Putin BRICS Remarks Imply Need for New Monetary System

Putin BRICS Remarks Imply Need for New Monetary System

Friday’s 4.1% GDP growth rate announcement was an encouraging sign for President Trump’s #MAGA agenda, as are the first signs of real wage growth in over a decade. But the core problems of massive debt at all levels of government, plus the unfunded liabilities of bloated American military and ‘health care’ spending remain. Private borrowing — particularly in the overheated Anglosphere housing markets from London to Vancouver — is also unsustainable (including the stupid headlines about how Millennials should throw fewer bachelor parties if they want to save for a house and inexplicably sluggish sales amidst 2007-08 exceeding prices for homes). Commercial real estate from failing North American shopping malls represent the first canaries dropping in the coal mine before a worse crash than the 2008 collapse — though President Trump is buying Americans critical time.

Emerging market crises, while beneficial to the dollar in the short run, remain corrosive to the greenback’s dominance over the long haul, as countries like Turkey and Argentina seek to escape the boom-bust dollar loans cycle. Another factor undermining King Dollar is of course, the failing U.S./EU sanctions imposed on Eurasian energy giant Russia as part of Cold War II, which have spurred Moscow to make oil transactions outside of the SWIFT payments structure and in rubles, yuan or local currencies. Mindful of the foreign debt and liquidity traps Latin Americans (including the Brazilians) have repeatedly fallen into through the 20th and 21st centuries, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on the topic of inevitable de-dollarization at this year’s BRICS Summit in Johannesburg. — JWS

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This Is the Moment for Change

This Is the Moment for Change

Two events of the day point the way for how the New Silk Road paradigm is the means to overcome what is currently being whipped up in the Trans-Atlantic as inevitable, insoluble strife: the migrant crisis and trade war.

In the Americas, Bolivian President Evo Morales met in Beijing today with President Xi Jinping, and signed commitments for Belt and Road collaboration between Bolivia and China. Morales said it will mean economic development and peace throughout the continent. Also in China, is a delegation from the Dominican Republic, conferring on economic projects and business in the Caribbean. Generalized across Ibero-America, this activity--along with defeating the narco-criminals--can end the poverty and danger driving millions to flee their homelands. At present, 200 million out of the 650 million-plus people in Ibero-America and the Caribbean live in poverty, which can all be changed.

Secondly, the Japanese government is now working on specifics for first-ever cooperation with China on joint ventures in third countries, under the Belt and Road framework. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this week spoke of how Japan's "infrastructure exports" can be done on a collaborative basis. A task force is at work on selecting priority projects. This is a powerhouse arrangement.

Photo: Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Bolivian President Juan Evo Morales Ayma during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, June 19, 2018. Xi Jinping held talks with Juan Evo Morales Ayma on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

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The Entire World Is Responding to the New Reality Created by the Trump-Kim Summit

The Entire World Is Responding to the New Reality Created by the Trump-Kim Summit

Tuesday's summit in Singapore demonstrated that there is a sea-change underway in global politics, a sea-change that is sweeping away the old, decadent structures of geopolitics, and ushering in a New Paradigm which is taking root, first in Asia, around the Spirit of the New Silk Road. The world is divided, Helga Zepp-LaRouche commented today, between those, on the one hand, who understand that the Trump-Kim summit is the beginning of a new sort of process of peace through development; and those, on the other, whose hysterical reaction against the summit belies the fact that they would prefer even nuclear war to seeing the rules of their game change. The latter group includes the British Empire, their neo-con and neo-liberal allies in the U.S., and the apoplectic western media, who are lying wildly about what happened in Singapore.

Joint statement of President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un June 12, 2018

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G6, G7, or G8? The Post War British Imperial World is Fast Disintegrating

G6, G7, or G8? The Post War British Imperial World is Fast Disintegrating

The British Empire's 20th Century world — often mislabeled the "American Century" — is crumbling so rapidly that even the BBC headlined its coverage today: "Has Trump Broken the Special Relationship?" The President held an impromptu press conference on the White House lawn this morning before leaving for the G7 meeting in Quebec, where he told the press that "Russia should be in the meeting...it may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run." The newly elected Prime Minister of Italy Guiseppe Conte immediately tweeted: "I agree with President Trump. Russia should be re-admitted to the G8."

French President Macron had yesterday essentially ruled the U.S. out of the G7, even before Trump's "sacrilegious" invitation to Russia. Macron said we can just get along as a G6, without the US, while German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that the discord between Europe and the U.S. can no longer be swept under the rug, and Europe will have to seek new alliances. With whom, one must ask?

President Donald J. Trump arrives at the G7 Summit | June 8, 2018 (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

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The Chinese Dream (Китайская Мечта): What Moscow is Learning from Beijing's Success

The Chinese Dream (Китайская Мечта): What Moscow is Learning from Beijing's Success

When it comes to the Russia-China alliance, many Westerners tend to view it simplistically, basically as China buying oil and gas plus acquiring military technology from the Russians. The notion that the One Belt One Road (OBOR) goes both ways, and Moscow also has much to learn from Beijing’s tremendous success in lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty in less than two generations, is seldom acknowledged in Brussels, London or Washington. Yet as RogueMoney contributor London Paul of the Sirius Report likes to say, “Watch China and Russia” — because these two giants are the economic and security spearheads respectively to a post-dollar dominated, indeed a post-Western led world.

As the Russian Analyst noted in a previous post about the Valdai discussion group meetings in Shanghai of April 2018, several Chinese experts points of emphasis was greater cooperation between Russia and China in the media space. We see examples of this in RT launching a Chinese language channel in 2017 and more recently, in CGTN’s coverage of the 2018 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). But these programs have mostly targeted international rather than domestic Russian audiences, even as polling data shows Russians rank China as their country’s greatest friend on the world stage, alongside former Soviet republics Belarus and Kazakhstan, and well ahead of European trading partners Germany and France. China requites this ‘love’, to the extent that the historically inward looking and vast Middle Kingdom can, with polling data showing Putin is the most admired world leader among 1.4 billion Chinese.

Late in May Russian TV extensively promoted a new documentary film titled “The Chinese Dream: Path to Revival” by Alexei Denisov. The title is suggestive, not only of China’s revival, but that of Russia as well.

Sputnik photo by: Sergey Guneev

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MOAR U.S. Sanctions Will Accelerate Moscow's Embrace of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain

MOAR U.S. Sanctions Will Accelerate Moscow's Embrace of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain

The Russian Analyst was surprised to learn this week that our nearly 60 year old mother-in-law, a former M.D. who works in medical HR, knows what bitcoin is. Moreover, she also knows that one bitcoin is now valued more in U.S. dollars than the spot price for an ounce of gold, and that BTC is a highly volatile asset. While our mother-in- law is not by herself a reliable barometer of what mostly apolitical Muscovites or millions of Russians who watch the same channels she does believe, she does demonstrate that Russians are curious about digital currencies in a low-trust society that mostly still prefers cash to plastic. 

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Another Message to the US/NATO: Chinese and Iranian Troops Drill in Russia's Western Baltic Exclave of Kaliningrad

Another remarkable development in a week of interesting geopolitical developments almost totally ignored by the U.S. mainstream media: for the first time ever this past weekend, Chinese and Iranian troops visited not only Russia but the westernmost Russian exclave of Kaliningrad along the Baltic Sea, strategically located in between NATO countries for military exercises. While the contingents are very small, the message is the same as in the South China Sea: the Russia-China-Iran Eurasian alliance is real and rapidly developing into a formidable opponent of U.S. imperial hegemony.

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As Russian Navy Engages in Joint Exercises with Beijing's Fleet in the South China Sea, Chinese State Media Uses Term "Alliance"

For every action by a weakening hegemon trying to hang on to the illusion of 'full spectrum dominance', there is an equal and opposite set of reactions. Jeff J. Brown, a Francophone American expat living in Shenzhen from Oklahoma, has taken note of the upgrading in Chinese state media from describing Beijing's relationship with Moscow as a "close partnership" to "semi-alliance".

As the Russian and Chinese navies perform joint exercises in the South China Sea, where a U.S-backed Dutch court has ruled China has no legitimate claims to the rocks and reefs Beijing sees as strategic to its defense and historically Chinese dating to the 5th century B.C., this shift in China's stance takes on a new meaning. Those in Washington who believe that all they need to do to restore the unipolarity of a U.S.-led globalist empire is elect Hillary Clinton president had better think again.

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Former U.S. Amb. Chas Freeman and Helga Zepp-LaRouche on New Silk Road/One Belt One Road at the Schiller Institute Berlin Conference June 26-28, 2016

Whatever else one could say about Chas Freeman, when he speaks he brings decades of distinguished foreign service and diplomacy to support his opinions. Therefore it's not surprising that Freeman was one of the keynote speakers for the Schiller Institute's "Creating a Common Future for Mankind and Rennaissance of Classical Culture" conference held in Berlin from June 25 to 26. The highlight of which was Freeman and Schiller Institute founder Helga-Zepp LaRouche's addresses on the subject that has been on many minds across Eurasia, even if the (post)Western media has been slow on the uptake: China's One Belt, One Road/New Silk Road initiatives, also known as the largest construction project in the history of mankind. - JWS

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Running to Catch the Silk Road Express

"All Aboard! Last call for AIIB members headed to all points east along the Silk Road." On June 24th, UK oligarchs bent on severing ties with the European Union completed purchase of the ticket they had reserved back in March 2015. Everybody is talking about the union that they LEFT, but is anybody talking about the union that they have JOINED? 

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Jaw, Jaw AND War: Russia in Talks with U.S., Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey; Iraqis Agree to Russian Air Strikes on Border with Syria

Sir Winston Churchill famously said jaw jaw is better than war war. What we see in the Middle East today is both jawing and warring -- an escalation in multiple theaters of proxy war at the same time as negotiations on the region's future, from Syria to Iraq to Yemen and far beyond.Reuters Lies, Claims Russia Declared It Would Only Target the Islamic State

The City of London/British government propaganda wire Reuters reported on October 23, "Kerry Sees New Syria Talks Next Week, Does Not Rule Out Iran Role":

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday he expects new talks on Syria to begin as soon as next week, and did not rule out participation by Iran, President Bashar al-Assad's closest ally, which has been kept away from past peace conferences.

Along with counterparts from allies Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Kerry met for two hours on Friday in Vienna with Sergei Lavrov, foreign minister of Russia, which has transformed momentum in the 4-year-old Syrian civil war by bombing Assad's enemies.

So far all diplomatic efforts to end the conflict have foundered over the demand by the United States, European countries, Arab states and Turkey that Assad leave power as a pre-condition for peace, which he refuses to consider.

[embed]https://twitter.com/RT_com/status/657498626172833792[/embed]

[embed]https://twitter.com/PressTV/status/657756523280642048[/embed]

The Reuters article goes on to state that, "Russia describes all its bombing targets as belonging to Islamic State." which is a flat out lie. At no point did the Russians explicitly state they were only targeting ISIS, in fact the Russian Defense Ministry's social media accounts and press releases have mentioned the Al-Qaeda in Syria faction Jubhat al-Nusra on multiple occasions. All one needs to do is click on the @MoD_Russia Twitter feed and scroll down.

[embed]https://twitter.com/mod_russia/status/657281823093952513[/embed]

It is such silly abuses of journalistic integrity in the service of US/NATO propaganda that have lowered Reuters in my eyes these past eighteen months -- including the wire service's predilection for reporting whatever alleged military gains or Russian military incursions the Ukrainian Defense Ministry announced in the Donbass war as fact, without visual evidence to back up their reports. But hey, when you're reporting that Russian cruise missiles crashed in Iran hundreds of miles from their targets, or tweeting about a half dozen or so downed Russian Hind gunships and Russian servicemen killed or wounded all over Latakia region, who needs visual evidence? And if Fox News and the neocon hipsters at The Daily Beast insist Cuban troops are fighting for Assad now, it must be true, right Sen. Ted Cruz?

Skipping the Propaganda of Both Sides, and Reading Between the Lines -- Russia and the Iranians are Increasing the Pressure on Turkey, Saudi Arabia to Cut Off their Syrian Jihadi Proxies

Were it not for the degraded and failing state of U.S. propaganda, as well as the looming death of the petrodollar underlying the mainstream media, Secretary of State John F. Kerry would not be bowing to Russian demands that Iran participate in the negotiations. And make no mistake, Vladimir Putin is under no illusions that Assad can permanently secure a Syrian ally for Russia from Western and Gulf Cooperation Council sponsored proxy war unless there are Sunni interlocutors willing to make their coreligionist proxies listen. To that end, we have seen Putin in intensive telephone conversations with Washington and London's man in the Middle East, King Abdullah of Jordan, as well as with the Saudis and Turks. The contents of those calls are unknown to us (though probably not the NSA/GCHQ on the non-encrypted Middle Eastern leaders' lines).

However, with Vladimir Vladimirovich knowing full well that the details of the call will be either listened to by or conveyed to the U.S. government, it's a safe bet that Putin is trying to persuade Ankara and Riyadh that their strategies to overthrow Assad through arming and funding jihadist 'rebels' have failed miserably. And that the only logical move to secure their own regime and economic stability is through making peace in Syria. The alternative, the continuation of the Sunni-Salafi jihadists fight to the bitter end, will only result in more refugees, casualties, and the socio-economic exhaustion of all participants. Such an outcome -- fighting Assad and Iran to the last Syrian Sunni willing to die -- may be attractive to Washington. The core conceit of whose strategists has been that the supply of Sunni cannon fodder for fighting Assad and by extension Iran in Syria was essentially limitless. But it is clearly not in the interests of Turkey or Saudi Arabia, if only because both parties to the conflict fear being richly repaid in their own coin: proxy war.

Hou-thi Wants a Long Proxy War? Or Why the Saudis Have Oh So Much to Lose

[embed]https://twitter.com/BaFana3/status/657547026821988352[/embed]

As we've pointed out many times here at RogueMoney and on the Guerrilla Radio broadcasts, the Turks have to worry about the Kurds, and the Saudis are already bogged down in a bloody war with the Houthi and allied Yemeni tribes they cannot win. Moreover, the ill-conceived war is not staying in Yemen, but spilling over into the Kingdom's southern regions, while bleeding Riyadh's finances are hemorrhaging red ink thanks to the Saudis' own 'war on shale'. The Saudis may be able to hire Sudanese and Colombian mercenaries to fight in Yemen as their own coddled soldiers try to avoid contact with the Yemeni militants, but mercenaries throughout history have famously proven reluctant to die for their employers.

[embed]https://twitter.com/BaFana3/status/657498043693080576[/embed]

Fighting or guarding narco traffickers was so much easier than this s--t: Colombian mercenaries reportedly deploy to KSA's Yemen war

https://twitter.com/metesohtaoglu/status/657278758546755585

Not to worry about those Houthis blowing up tanker trucks and armored cars of the Saudi Army -- the Sudanese will soon sort them out...

https://twitter.com/BaFana3/status/657342699922681856

And more Yemeni tribes 'rising up' as Dave from the X22 Report says, to kick some Saudi butt

[embed]https://twitter.com/TheArabSource/status/657401946509152256[/embed]

https://twitter.com/BaFana3/status/656916872764506112

Talk about hedging bets, and sending a message to the Saudis: Russian Foreign Ministry welcomes Yemeni/Houthi delegation to Moscow

[embed]https://twitter.com/BaFana3/status/657271704977281028[/embed]

Furthermore, any MANPADs and TOWs sent to Saudi financed jihadists in Syria to 'kill Russians' can be massively repaid in kind with the Houthis getting Iglas and Kornets with which to attack Saudi tankers and pilots. As we said in our last RM post on the Syria war, the coastline of Yemen is long, rocky, and easily accessible via 'cigarette boats' the Saudi/UAE flotilla would have a hard time stopping from making nighttime gun runs from Oman or even across the Bab-al-Mandeb strait from Africa. All it takes is sufficient quantities of money, weapons, and fast boats -- three things we know Iran has in spades -- to dispense with slower and easier to bomb overland re-supply of the Houthis. We sincerely hope CIA Director John Brennan, himself a Sunni Muslim convert during his days as Riyadh station chief and reportedly very close to the Saudi royals, comprehends that container ships and warehouses full of freshly delivered U.S. arms for Syrian jihadis could blow up anytime -- with some Shi'a militant group nobody's heard of taking responsible for the handiwork of Iranian or Russian spetsnaz teams. That is the message Putin is subtly conveying by hosting Houthis in Moscow.

We should also note here, as we did on Friday, that after the Qataris threatened Damascus with air strikes and direct military intervention in support of their jihadis inside Syria, a Lebanese politician tweeted out that Doha would be shelled in retaliation for such foolishness. And while the mainstream media continues to cover rumblings of discontent and palace coups inside the Saudi Kingdom, the British and American tabloids are having a field day with the psychotic, fart-in-face-fetish prince of Beverly Hills. Given how much the Kingdom pays for publicity and public relations every year -- in the hundreds of milllions if not billions if you include bribing Western politicians -- we'd have to say the ranking royals haven't been this unhappy about the Saudi brand since 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers turned out to have had Saudi passports.

All of this bad press is popping before the Kingdom starts getting hit with truthbombs that break through the mainstream media barriers regarding its sponsorship of Al-Nusra and ISIS. No, if DCI Brennan thinks he can re-live the 1980s glory days with the Saudis of a smoothly running proxy war against the Russians, he and other U.S./UK 'Deep Staters' are bound to find just how brittle is the medieval Saudi monarchy in 2016-17. Putin and the Iranians are more than capable of seeing to that -- and we detect the hand of Gen. Qasem Soleimani in the stepped up Houthi/Yemeni attacks on Saudi positions this past week.

Jordan's Agreement to Coordinate Air Missions Over Syria with Moscow a Clear Sign U.S. Mideast Coalition Cracking -- and the Jordanians May Become the Key Go-Between for Assad to Make Peace with Non-ISIS/Al-Nusra Sunni Groups

https://twitter.com/IraqiSuryani1/status/657585895168692224

Returning to the subject of this post, the diplomatic windows opened by Russia's bold military move in Syria, we see that Russia and Jordan are establishing a joint coordination center in Amman. RT reports:

Russia and Jordan agreed to create a coordination center in Amman, which will be used by the two countries to share information on the counter-terrorism operations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

Russia is already in touch with Iran, Iraq and Syria through a Baghdad-based center used for the same purpose.

Lavrov said Jordan would play a positive part in finding a political solution to the Syrian conflict through negotiations between Damascus and opposition forces, an outcome that Russia itself is pursuing.

“Under an agreement between His Majesty King Abdullah II and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, the militaries of the two countries have agreed to coordinate their actions, including military aircraft missions over the Syrian territory,” Lavrov said. His Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh said the center would serve as an efficient communication tool for the militaries of the two nations.

While 'de-confliction' like what the U.S. and Russian militaries are trying to establish and the hotline between the Russians and Israelis was set up to ensure is the stated purpose of this 'center', we believe there's a much larger game afoot. Given that the Saudis are one of the largest if not the biggest investors in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan which acts as the geographic and (until recently, before direct sharing between Mossad and KSA) intelligence go-between Israel and Saudi Arabia..it's highly unlikely King Abdullah would take these steps towards Moscow without Riyadh's tacit or explicit consent. What that means in practical terms is that the Jordanians are setting themselves up to be the intermediaries between the Russians, Assad and Iran on one side, and the non-terrorist 'moderate' opposition to Assad (if the 'Free Syrian Army' actually exists) on the other side of the table.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlpD08i24pI[/embed]

As we wrote prior to the start of Russian military action in Syria on September 7, Putin's end game would never be to kill or drive out all of Assad's armed opponents. The mighty Soviet Union might not have been able to accomplish that, and the more modern but much smaller Russian military cannot and won't do it either. Instead, Russia is leveraging force in an incredibly bold bid to end the Saudi-Iran proxy wars that together with American interventions and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have ravaged the Middle East for years, and restore some semblance of order to the region. An order that may include Egyptian peacekeepers accompanied by Jordanian observers entering the Sunni parts of Syria to establish a buffer zone between the rebellious and pro-government areas of the country -- but only AFTER Russia, the SAA and Iran have mopped the floor with the jihadists.

[embed]https://twitter.com/Ibra_Joudeh/status/657591961688383488[/embed]

[embed]https://twitter.com/mod_russia/status/657281682190508033[/embed]

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8zjxO1UtWA[/embed]

Putin is 'All In' for Everything But Ground Troops to Get the Job Done in Syria -- While Washington is Struggling to Respond

Blogger Elijah J. Magnier (not certain if that's his real name or a pseudonym), describes himself as a "Senior Political Risk Analyst with over 32 years’ experience covering Europe & the Middle East. Acquiring in-depth experience, robust contacts and political knowledge in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan and Syria". He wrote a post this week based on what he says is a source close to the Assad government. In the article published Thursday, "What Putin and Assad discussed during their meeting in Moscow?" he wrote the following:

According to the source “President Putin offered himself as the guarantor to fight and defeat terrorism in Syria as a first priority. It was also agreed between the two Presidents that the political process is a necessity after the elimination of more than twenty to thirty thousand foreign fighting in the ranks of the “Islamic State” group (ISIS) and al-Qaeda in the Levant (Jabhat Al-Nusra Front). Mr. Assad expressed to Mr. Putin his readiness to engage in a political process and reform the existing law, giving guarantees and powers to those within the Syrian opposition but without any link to Salafi – jihadist, including those who are participating and currently engaged in the war in Syria”.

” The early departure of President Assad is not conceivable for both Russia and Syria. Neither side has mentioned this topic. Nonetheless, the Syrian President expressed to his counterpart his readiness for an early election to ensure a place for all, after proposing an amendment of the Constitution. By then, all Syrian armed organisations, which have disengaged from al Qaeda and ISIS, have returned under the roof of the Syrian state with the guarantee of Russia. Mr. Putin will present this offer to the regional countries engaged in financing the war in Syria, knowingly that Russia will continue supporting the ongoing military campaign to put an end to the control of the rural areas of Latakia, Aleppo, Hama, Idlib and Daraa”, confirmed the source.

That this Russian-Chinese led new order for the Middle East will leave the U.S. Empire and possibly Turkey and Israel as the biggest losers is understood by the Washington Establishment. That's why Jeb Bush was rambling on Fox News this past week about not letting the "USSR" (clearly meaning Russia) expand its influence into Syria.

Elijah J. also makes it clear that any attacks on Russian jets using surface to air missiles supplied by Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Turkey would be treated as an attack by these countries on Russia itself, and would face proportionate retaliation (all emphasis added by us):

“Mr. Putin is aware of every detail of the situation in Syria and the strength and the equipment provided to the Syrian rebels. He explained that Russia has used intercontinental cruise missiles to show to all players with proxies fighting on the ground in Syria its determination to target any regional country providing extremists with anti-air missiles (MANPADs) that can damage or shoot down any Russian jet.Any country that supports terrorists exposing Russian jets at risk would be a legitimate target to Russia.

War is one of the tools that serve the political track and that the struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia and between the United States and Russia conflict are based on competing interests and influence in the region...the United States’ foreign policy and involvement is in a significant decline “, said the source.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MT02OQDaDI[/embed]

American decline: A senior moment for Jeb Bush, going Back to the Future 1985 on Fox News viewers by describing Russia as 'the Soviet Union'

The Syrian Arab Army Advances on the Golan Heights Front -- Due to Israel Being Forced to Ditch the Al-Nusras or Get Truth Bombed and Have Some of its 'Invincible' Air Force Get Shot Down?

We wanted to reiterate here our statements on the Friday, October 16 Guerrilla Radio report with special guest 'W' the Intelligence Insider. Towards the halfway mark of the first hour we mentioned signs that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been told by Vladimir Putin to stand down his military from attacks on the Syrian Golan Heights, and the advances the SAA and Syrian National Self-Defense Force guardsmen were making there are fairly strong evidence Bibi has backed off. So is last week's report by Israel's YNet media source that Russian jets informed Israeli reconnaissance flights not to violate Lebanese or Syrian air space near Lebanon's border. But the best proof by far are the pictures posted on pro-SAA social media accounts showing SAA/NDF fighters triumphantly advancing to within a stone's throw of the Israeli Golani Brigade's observation posts (one of which we visited back in the early 2000s, looking down on Syria from an Israeli-held hilltop popular with tourists and visiting Congressional junkets from Washington).

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5chv9G7pU4[/embed]

Take a good look at the pictures below. Not a single IAF F-16 or F-15 in the skies above. The IDF's howitzers which once shelled the SAA on the pretext of being fired upon but in actuality to support the jihadists -- are silent:

https://twitter.com/TheArabSource/status/657762866817163264

[embed]https://twitter.com/Real_Syrian_Rev/status/657843039696633856[/embed]

[embed]https://twitter.com/IvanSidorenko1/status/657829938267975680[/embed]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65iYQhOQqTM

Netanyahu's clearly got his own problems now...without getting Israel further involved in the Syria mess

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3OdL4o6JrM[/embed]

Another Sign the U.S. Position in the Mideast is Crumbling -- Iraqi Parliamentarians Pressure PM to Invite in Russian Bombers After , While U.S. Sends Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman to 'Persuade' Iraqis to Stick with Uncle Sam or Else

Besides U.S. regional allies like Jordan turning to Moscow and others like Israel and Saudi Arabia being forced to grudgingly acknowledge the new balance of power for lack of alternatives, there's another sign that Washington is rapidly losing control of the Mideast. And this is a development the Hillary Clintons, Jeb Bushes and McInsanes crying for a 'no fly zone' or other foolish attempts to save face in Syria cannot remedy: a growing number of Iraqi parliamentarians want to invite the Russians to bomb the Islamic State in their country.

The Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi has vocally complained to France24 TV and other Western media outlets that Washington's air campaign against ISIS in support of Iraq's offensives has been grossly inadequate. Despite thousands of U.S. sorties since the start of the humorously named 'Operation Inherent Resolve', barely 20% of the American sorties against ISIS have involved dropping bombs. And the Russian sortie rate since the start Moscow's campaign, nearly all of which are bomb-dropping missions, has more than exceeded America's daily rate while not matching the total quantity of ordinance dropped. Moscow also, unlike the U.S., has the benefit of ground forces actually engaged with ISIS beyond the Kurds in the north, with the Syrian 'Cheetah' unit and other fighters converging on the Kuweires military airport northeast of Aleppo drawing fire from ISIS jihadists besieging the facility's perimeter. The Russians have been able to use Syrian units to draw out the Islamic State jihadists from their tunnels and other positions to make it easier for airpower and massed artillery to kill them.

All the same, looking over at Iraq and how long it took Baghdad's forces to take the oil refinery and city of Baiji on the highway to Mosul, progress has been painfully slow and the U.S. has clearly been reluctant to help Iranian-armed and financed Iraqis to crush the Islamic State with air strikes. Many Iraqis look at the U.S. refusal to provide effective air support and conclude that just maybe Washington doesn't really want to defeat ISIS so much at all.

BasjiOilInfrastructure

As German blogger Moon of Alabama reports:

Yesterday [October 20 - JWS] saw a huge defeat of the Islamic State but "western" media hardly noted it.

Iraqi Hashd militia and the Iraqi army defeated the Islamic State fighters in Baiji refinery and Baiji city. This was a big success:

Footage aired by the state-run TV showed Iraqi troops waving flags from rooftops in Baiji as thick black smoke billowed into the air. ... Baiji is the second most significant area recaptured in Salahuddin over the past months as pro-government forces retook the provincial capital of Tikrit in late March after weeks of clashes with the militants. The liberation of Baiji could be a prelude to Iraq’s highly-anticipated offensive into Mosul, which has served as the de-facto capital of Daesh in Iraq. The road from Baghdad to Mosul runs south to north through Balad, Samara, Tikrit and Baiji. Tikrit was liberated in March and the fight about the Baiji refinery and Baiji city had waged since. The victory now opens the road towards Mosul, Iraq's second biggest city and in the hand of the Islamic State.

The success can be attributed mostly to Iraqi militia supported by Iran. The 4+1 intelligence and operations room in Baghdad, where Iraq, Iran, Russia, Syria and Hizbullah as well as the Hashd coordinate their efforts, advised throughout the operation. The U.S. was not involved as it does not want to work with the Hashd militia and Iran.

When looking through the dailystrikereports of the U.S. lead operation Inherent Resolve one finds hardly any air strikes against IS forces around Baiji. The few that took place hit some IS "machine gun position" or "tactical fighting position". Hardly the effort that was needed to free the city. Indeed it took the Iraqi air force to do the real work:

Zaid Benjamin @zaidbenjamin Inherent Resolve Spx Steve Warren: Dealing with small pockets in #Beiji refinery. Iraqi air-force mounted 40 airstrikes & the coalition 4. Iraqi militia did the groundwork and the Iraqi air force covered the attack. The operation proceed under advice from Russia and Iran.The U.S. was not involved. It is no wonder then that "western" media are mostly silent about it.

According to Elijah J. Magnier the joint operations and intelligence sharing center that Russia has established in Baghdad with the Iraqis, Iranians, and top Hezbollah commanders is a few steps away from American diplomats and military officers. Small wonder then the 'butthurt' extends from the heavily fortified U.S. Embassy in Baghdad all the way back to the Pentagon and Foggy Bottom:

Baghdad is hosting a military intelligence operational room led by Iraqi and Iranian Generals, with the presence and coordination of a Russian General and his staff, as well as Syrian and Hezbollah officers. The aim of such a military operational room is to gather a bank of objectives and collect intelligence information on the organogram (?) and ISIS controlled area.

The source confirmed that the U.S was informed about the “Baghdad room” without necessary having any level of coordination. American diplomats and officers are within hundred meters from their once fiercest enemies (Iranian IRGC, Hezbollah) and now competing with Russia. It would be unlikely that the U.S would accept to see any success to these forces.

Now we have a better understanding as to why, instead of swallowing its pride and helping the Iraqis regardless of the Russian information operations center's support to them, the Obama Administration sent the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, to tell the Iraqis: "if Russia helps you fight ISIS, we can't".

Setting aside what that CBS headline reveals about the main U.S. priorities in the Middle East, and how seriously America takes the war on the super-terrorist group, it isn't even clear if Abadi can knuckle under to Washington's will without being voted out by his own party back benchers (who of course, if we're honest, are likely on the Iranians payroll like many if not most Shi'a majority Iraqi politicians). RT has captured this montage quite hilariously in the short video clip below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POLlIj5cZ-I

If Washington continues to dig in as the Russia Analyst expects, despite Mr. Kerry's diplomatic initiatives, the Iraqis could double the humiliation for the Americans. As of this writing, we expect the Iraqi parliament to vote on inviting the Russians in to bomb ISIS before the end of November (the Thanksgiving recess of Congress would make for clever timing on the Persians and Iraqis part). The Russians and Iraqis have already agreed, according to pro-Assad/Iranian Shi'a news source Al-Masdar News, to some sort of 'hot pursuit' whereby Russian planes can bomb Daesh fighters right on or as they're crossing the (ignored by ISIS) border:

[embed]https://twitter.com/TheArabSource/status/657801077228613633[/embed]

The Chinese military will probably be invited in by an Iraqi parliamentary vote as well. Direct Chinese participation in the war on Daesh will most likely come from Iranian bases, via long range (or air to air refueled) J-11 fighters and H-6K bombers. It will also depend in no small part on what happens in the South China Sea over the next few weeks and the successes of the Syrian Army campaign this winter. On Friday we also thought the Chinese were waiting to see what the U.S. Navy would do in the South China Sea: would the Navy follow up on the anonymous brass boasting of sailing through the 12-mile territorial waters Beijing has unilaterally established around its man-made island bases?

[embed]https://twitter.com/Ian56789/status/657658579676213248[/embed]

Turns out, we didn't have to wait very long to get an answer: from the looks of things the U.S. Navy isn't going to be 'bowing up' to the Chinese any time soon, as the People's Liberation Army Navy says hello to its latest port call...in Florida.

Um, wait, what? A Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy type 52 destroyer of the class coming to Florida's Naval station Mayport the first week of November

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7qXUai8Uks[/embed]

U.S. Threatens Baghdad with Aid Cutoff if it Allows Russians to Bomb Islamic State from Iraq, Kerry and Lavrov to Hold Talks Friday in Vienna

In this photo released by the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu meet with Syrian President Bashir al-Assad in Moscow, Tuesday, October 20, 2015 (Pic taken from RT.com)

As V said on this week's Guerrilla Report, major geopolitical events are happening so fast it is difficult to write articles summarizing them. On Wednesday the world was informed Bashir al-Assad had left Syria for the first time since 2011 for a previously unannounced Tuesday meeting with Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin. The same morning, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported it had intercepted communications between fighters of the Islamic State and the Al-Qaeda loyalist Al-Nusra discussing plans to merge their terrorist organizations into a united front against Assad and the Russian air strikes supporting the legitimate Syrian government.

Despite the Al-Nusra front being bloodthirsty, head-chopping and POW executing jihadists with only slightly less spectacular in terms of their beheading film production values than the Islamic State, 'respected' global wire service Reuters together with the UK Foreign Office parroting BBC had complained between 80 and 90% of Russian air strikes over the last two weeks had hit Al-Nusra and friends, rather than ISIS.

Like the Syrian Arab Army, Russia's Information Warfare Keeps Advancing 

https://twitter.com/INTHENOWRT/status/656922467550625792

RT, getting a bit too cheeky for my taste in plugging Putin's real War on Terror in Syria as opposed to America's fake war on ISIS...

https://twitter.com/MuradoRT/status/656909248870354944

...on the other hand, this is how you 'troll' RT. Bravo. Calling NATO out on their 'Russian planes operating without transponders' hypocrisy

[embed]https://twitter.com/MuradoRT/status/656829464282832896[/embed]

The mainstream media has been accusing Russia of targeting the 'Free Syrian Army', even though one of the FSA's biggest neocon boosters Michael D. Weiss recently admitted on camera that the 'FSA' doesn't exist. Or rather, he said the 'FSA' is simply a flag of convenience for a multitude of anti-Assad Islamist organizations, though ones he was quick to reassure his Reason mag interviewer were "not the kind of Islamists who would fly planes into the World Trade Center". Which of course should make any libertarian or otherwise sane reader of Reason feel all warm and fuzzy about America's mama snackbar screaming jihadi warriors who get off on mass rape and destroying churches...

[embed]https://twitter.com/Navsteva/status/654859495068274689[/embed]

A neocon hack admits the 'Free Syrian Army' only existed on Facebook -- so why did he 'report' from Syria while 'embedded' with this non-existent 'army' in 2013? How did Weiss' Senate ally Sen. John "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran" McCain sneak into Syria for a photo op with this virtual, Facebook-only group? And if McInsane didn't meet with the 'FSA', then who the hell was he meeting in Syria at the U.S. taxpayers' expense?

[embed]https://twitter.com/yurybarmin/status/656921596142202880[/embed]

If the Russian military SIGINT intercepts are true (and we have little reason to doubt Al-Qaeda 1.0 would gladly merge with Al-Qaeda 2.0) then the mainstream media and Western governments will soon have to come up with a new talking point, instead of the 'Russia is only bombing U.S.-equipped moderates instead of ISIS' propaganda line that has prevailed for the last fortnight.

The Michael D. Weiss/Neocon/MSM 'Russia doesn't bomb ISIS only our moderate jihadis' Narrative is Screwed

[embed]https://twitter.com/Assowaum/status/656246849175711745[/embed]

Similarly, the laughable Daily Beast  neocons' claims that 'Russia has become ISIS air force' because Daesh temporarily seized a couple of villages near Aleppo where the Russians bombed the Al-Nusras or Jaesh al Islam terrorists may have to be abandoned. That the Russians hit ISIS' 'capitol' of Raqqa and also bombed the hell out of ISIS near the Kuweires military airport, in order to help the SAA advance on this key objective, has basically been ignored by the MSM and its usual neocon Russia bashers.

[embed]https://twitter.com/newgreatgame/status/656899432470986752[/embed]

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hROlNsnSLiQ[/embed]

Neocon Michael D. Weiss: "Look, I'm out of solutions here..." you sure are Mikey, you sure are...

We suspect the new party line might involve elaborately pro-Establishment, 'AlKGBaeda' theories, perhaps citing the Daily Beast's favorite ex-NSA Russophobe John R. Schindler, that the FSB/SVR/GRU's secret assets inside the Islamic State arranged for the merger with Al-Nusra as part of Moscow's 'reflexive control' toward a 'bomb em' all and let Allah sort em' out' agenda.

[embed]https://twitter.com/20committee/status/540507110942208000[/embed]

Which in fact, isn't quite what the Russians are doing, though we don't doubt for a minute that:

a) the Russian security services and Kadryovsti have their share of assets inside ISIS' Caucasian fighters, which in part explains Russia's superb targeting of the Islamic State's underground caches and command bases while not yet going after the bulk of ISIL's former Soviet Union (FSU) national recruits

b) Yury Barmin's statement that an ISIS/alNusra merger makes Russia's air campaign an even easier 'sell' to Westerners if not their ever loyal to the Washington party line EU/NATO politicians. Hey killing Al-Qaeda AND ISIS is two for the price of one to 'joe and geoff' six packs from Moscow to Manchester...hell, even retired ex-President, Habitat for Humanity home builder and noted peace negotiator Jimmy Carter is ready to pitch in and help the Russians target these barbarians! That's how much the whole world hates ISIS and how well Russia is turning the West's Narrative about the damn-near invincible super terrorist group against it in a massive judo move.

What we see Moscow doing is using force in the classically Clausewitz-ian sense, as a continuation of politics by other means and forcing adversaries to negotiate on Russia and its Syrian client's terms. But with a Russian-brokered peace in Syria far off, as The Saker reminded his readers Tuesday, a whole lot more bloody hard fighting remains ahead for the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Iranians and their Iraqi and Lebanese Hezbollah allies.

[embed]https://twitter.com/BBassem7/status/656711817998151680[/embed]

John McInsane's Syrian 'moderates' are at it again -- this time recruiting kids down to ages 12 and 14 while beheading POWs

[embed]https://twitter.com/MuradoRT/status/656827157860233216[/embed]

Washington Lays Down the Law for Iraq: If You Allow the Russians in to Bomb ISIS We'll Cut Off All Foreign Aid to Baghdad This Should Make the Iraqis Very Happy and Now They Will Quietly Obey Whatever the Americans Say (Not)

As the Russia Analyst got into bed before dawn Wednesday Russian and German media reported that the Iraqis had been threatened with a cutoff of American aid if they allowed Russia to bomb the Islamic State from their bases and territory. This would lead RT reporter Murad Gazdiev (a name that sounds quite Caucasian if not Azeri) to tweet that 'the masks are off' regarding whether Washington's highest priority is fighting ISIS, or resisting Moscow's expanding influence across the Middle East:

https://twitter.com/MuradoRT/status/656893068268974081

Murad was not the only one joining in the general tweet-pile on regarding Washington's threats against its soon to be former Iraqi allies in the fight against Daesh/Islamic State...

[embed]https://twitter.com/LinaArabii/status/656897694393311236[/embed]

The Iraqis have also noticed that since the establishment of the combined intelligence sharing center in Baghdad with Iraq, Iran and Russia their army and militias have been much more effective against Daesh, taking back one of the most important refinery complexes in the country...

[embed]https://twitter.com/LinaArabii/status/656912285152210944[/embed]

aand here's the meme that appeared after the first week of Russian bombing reportedly sent several thousand ISIS fighters scurrying for Turkey...

[embed]https://twitter.com/PhilipRuiter/status/656915522135719936[/embed] After the sun set Wednesday evening in Washington and a new day was about to dawn in Moscow, AP State Department ace reporter Matthew Lee tweeted that Secretary of State John F. Kerry was flying to Vienna, Austria for urgent talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the foreign ministers of Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

[embed]https://twitter.com/APDiploWriter/status/656957834190528512[/embed]

As Bassem (@BBaseem7) tweeted something indeed seems to be going down between the Russians, the House of Saud, the Turks, and an increasingly desperate-to-save-face Obama Administration.

[embed]https://twitter.com/BBassem7/status/656848922174865408[/embed]

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o1_seQclgk[/embed]

As the Prussian king Frederick the Great used to say diplomacy without armaments is like music without instruments. If old Friedrich der Grosse were brought back to life today, he'd probably add there's no diplomats talking without clocks and money transfers ticking in addition to bombs falling. We don't know whether Webster Griffin Tarpley is right about secret Russian weapons or power-mad moves by Washington's War Party to prop up the petrodollar at any cost with escalation in defiance of Obama's orders.

As the Russia Analyst noted in Wednesday's post, we do see many signs that the hype about Russian casualties and arms supplies to the jihadists is increasing, despite the diplomatic tete a tetes that have so far established rules for Russian and American flyers to avoid collisions or clashes over Syria. Julian Roepcke, the Bild correspondent whose fanatical Russophobia and zeal for the Syrian jihadist cause probably would've embarrassed his spiritual forebears at Signal or Völkischer Beobachter, brag-tweeted on Wednesday about nasty surprises awaiting the Russian air force, according to his rebel 'sources'.

Why the Syria Jihadis' TOWs Are Potent, but Not Unbeatable 'Wonder Weapons'

We've reported that the Russians have taken precautions against MANPADs through the use of swarming/wingman tactics and deploying large quantities of flares during their low level Hind gunship missions. But it seems Julian has far more faith in jihadists ability to use MANPADs against Russian jets bombing at high speeds or from altitudes at the very edge of any Stinger missile's range than do the Syrian rebels themselves. The fact is, in any war, weapons and tactics evolve according to the needs of the men fighting it, to the ebb and flow of combat. As we wrote Wednesday just because the neocons believe that jihadi TOW stocks and more importantly, cannon fodder numbers are basically limitless does not make this so. TOW missiles themselves, contrary to their portrayal in rebel media, aren't American wunderwaffen for which no Russian counter has been developed.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tXij7BLhs8[/embed]

According to Soviet BearRus speaking in the video above, Moscow is sending the Syrians more of its highly modern T-90 as well as older model T-72s equipped with the Shtora-1 defense systems. What these devices do, as the Russian language video demonstrates below, is detonate smoke grenades on the turret of the tank as soon as a TOW or other ATGM's laser rangefinder is detected, preventing the older model TOWs the Syrian jihadists have from getting a lock.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEY1bnykV3c[/embed]

Even if the gunner precedes to guide the missile to the target manually, the Shtora-1 has two other answers. It can set off grenade charges that blast an incoming missile, so that the TOW gunner has to maintain his lock and let the rocket slow down in an attempt to bypass this defense system (slowing down and then firing a lethal charge is what the Russian Kornet missile does to defeat such systems). Last but not least, the Shtora-1 contains a nasty surprise for any mama snackbaring morons who don't know about Russian tank turrets having autoloaders -- the system can rotate the main gun around within 2 to 3 seconds of ATGM launch detection and fire a 125mm round down the bearing of the attacker to within about 3 degrees of the launcher. Any TOW crew that cannot 'shoot and scoot', thereby losing the lock or breaking the wire on the missile will likely get killed or injured without heavy cover from the tank round's blast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS5-dCgmi3k

Washington's pet Allahu Akbar-ing TOW jihadis get a nasty surprise from a Syrian T-90 tank blasting them within two seconds of launch

The Russians have blown up so much ordinance in just two weeks of bombing at a pace of barely 50 to 60 sorties a day that already, the jihadis are having to move their best TOW gunners and remaining missile stocks around. With Moscow's plans to increase the number of sorties to up to 300 per day, using the closed Latakia airport as a second air base, the war will shift from a 'reconnaissance by fire' to a true massed firepower offensive. It was these plans that we presume were the primary topic of conversation between Bashir al-Assad and Putin Tuesday at the Kremlin. We also believe the diplomatic initiatives the Kremlin would pursue seeking to persuade the Turks and Saudis to cut off aid to their proxies in Syria were also shared with Assad, who in turn can inform the Iranians.

[embed]https://twitter.com/IraqiSuryani1/status/655550348761911296[/embed]

Just How Well or How Badly is the Offensive Going for Assad and the Russians? We'd Say 'Not Bad'

Blogger Patrick Bahzad, who purports to be a retired U.S. Army officer, sums up the SAA's offensive after two weeks quite nicely. Suffice to say, despite all the bulls--t and bravado of the pro-TOW jihadi Twitterati, the SAA is grinding down the rebels. Washington, Ankara, Riyadh and Doha's pet jihadis have totally lost the initiative on the battlefield, which they enjoyed as recently as this summer:

The attritional character of the current ground offensives against entrenched rebel positions, some of whom have been fortified for months and years, is obvious. The unknown factor is the current depletion rate of rebel manpower, ammunition and weaponry, which makes a forecast regarding the length of the current campaign difficult.

However, it looks like the idea of stretching rebel forces thin, forcing them to organise/reorganise defensive lines in areas located wide apart, notably through starting an operation in Aleppo, behind major rebel lines, will take its toll on the logistics and CC capabilites of the rebels.

While news has been publicized about senior Iranian IRGC deaths, it should be noted that the rebels have lost a very significant number of front-line commanders ("Jaish al-Islam" in Damascus, "Jabhat al-Nusra" and "Ahrar al-Sham" in the NW) and that an undetermined number of foreign fighters were killed around Idlib. These kills bear the hallmark of the RuAF strategy, aimed at:

  1. logistical depots and bases of the rebels,
  2. rebel frontline positions (CAS) and
  3. CC facilities and individual commanders.

In this regard, the absence of a unified command structure among the rebel factions might cost them dearly in a not so distant future, as the R+5 seems intent on keeping the momentum and intensifying the operational pace. The number of airstrikes has significantly increased in the last two days and correlating the targets of these strikes with imminence of renewed ground operations suggests that the major axis of R+5 offensives will focus again on the Rastan enclave and a further push into SW Aleppo. The outcome of the relief operation to Kuweires airbase, located East of Aleppo, will also be interesting to follow.

Previously to the push around Aleppo, major combat operations were taking place North of Hama and in Ghab plain. In that regard, there is a big question mark regarding the whereabouts of the several thousand strong Iranian force, most of which has not been seen in large numbers on the battlefield so far.

Quite possibly, there is an ongoing troops buid-up in Latakia province, with the recent attacks on Salma being only a probing a testing phase for a larger engagement which would target the border areas to Turkey and the Jabal al-Akrad in particular.

Unconfirmed info regarding the state of the rebel factions makes for a picture that is consistent with the intended goals of the R+5:

  • TOW teams deployed in Ghab plain were sent back to SW Aleppo to counter advancing government troops. If the rebels are forced to send already committed forces to hot spots of R+5 offensives, this is a rather ominous sign;
  • internal feuds could have erupted within Jaish al-Fath, as one of its most radical components - the Jihadi "Jund al-Aqsa" - stated it was not willing to confront ISIS if called upon to do so. According to unverified sources, the predominantly Moroccan and North African "Jund al-Aqsa" got into firefights with "Ahrar al-Sham" groups in at least one location under their control.

Based on Bahzad and Southfront's descriptions, what the SAA, Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Shi'a militia allies have been doing thus far is clearing out threats to the logistical 'spine' of the country. It was the risk that Assad's enemies could cut the vital highway between the capitol Damascus and the regime's coastal stronghold in Latakia province where Russian bases can operate safely that prompted Putin's intervention. Now the SAA is effectively encircling the remaining rebel pockets around Homs, as well as the countryside outside Hama.

The Syrians have also beaten the jihadists back from the Damascus eastern outskirts territory of East Ghouta and made significant progress in the south pushing the enemy towards the Israeli-held Golan Heights, this time without any interference from the Israelis due to the Russian Bear dominating the skies. As we've argued in this space before, if neither Israeli nor Turkish pilots will risk their necks to establish a 'safe zone' or 'no fly zone' over 'America's' rebels, why should the United States military? Unless of course, you happen to be crazy-eyed, like John McCain or Hillary Clinton:

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmcCNSpbXpE[/embed]

That SAA progress has been at some places slow, particularly in Damascus' suburbs urban terrain or in areas where the Russian air strikes need to be called in to remove the jihadists from the high ground, is an unavoidable fact. The Saker is not wrong to preach caution and to admonish his readers not to get triumphalist about the Russian intervention. The SAA has suffered severe casualties and poor coordination between air power and frontline commanders for many months now. The Iranians troop levels have not been as large as some anticipated at the start of the Russian air campaign, but we believe the Persians are holding their best troops in reserve for a major breakthrough this winter after the jihadists have been 'softened up'.

When Will the Dragon Join in the Anti-ISIS Offensive? What Are the Chinese Waiting For?

Putin and his allies have several more 'cards' up their sleeves besides what we've seen thus far from the air and cruise missile strikes by the Russians. Namely, an Iranian pincer move with the Persians IRGC joining Hezbollah and Iraqi militias in the encirclement of the rebel stronghold Aleppo, simultaneous with a Houthi/Yemeni army offensive against the Saudi-led coalition occupying their country. There is simply no way in our minds, a commander as devious and feared by the Americans as Gen. Qasem Soleimani would be making such a spectacle of himself taking selfies with his men near the frontlines in Aleppo if he were not seeking to distract Saudi, Israeli and U.S. intelligence from another move on the chessboard. We believe this move will be a Houthi/Yemeni 'Tet' style offensive that will inflict painful losses on the Saudis. The other factor in the combined Syria/Iraq theater is the one we mentioned above: Washington's pressure on the Iraqis to not allow the Russians into their bases could backfire. Because instead of getting Russian planes flying into Iraq to bomb the Islamic State, we expect another player to emerge: China.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoT8AnIf31o[/embed]

Coming to a Daesh front line near you in Anbar province?

The Chinese have modernized versions of Russia's Tupolev-16 long range bomber, the H-6K. These versions carry cruise missiles as well as 'dumb' bombs that can be used in multiple-hour long loiter missions, not unlike how we saw Diego Garcia-based B-52s fly in November 2001 to blast Taliban lines in Afghanistan. With the Islamic State reeling from the loss of the Basji oil refinery complex and additional hammer blows from the Shi'a led Iraqi Army and militias, we could see a delineation or division of labor between the Russians and Chinese.

In this scenario, Russia will step up its air strikes in Syria using the expanded Latakia airport base and the additional runway/s there, while China's long range aviation operates out of bases in Iran to hit Daesh targets in western Iraq. None other than SouthFront, one of our premier sources for accurate and timely info on the conflict, has stated that China may be eyeing bases in Iran in order to strike ISIS targets in Iraq. The security issues and risk of suicide bomb attacks that plagued the U.S. when it came to air operations at Balad or other Air Force bases in Iraq would certainly be insignificant by comparison in Iran's Persian heartland. The last thing Russian or Chinese generals in charge of their nation's long range bombers want to worry about on their first joint, SCO expeditionary mission is suicide-vest equipped jihadists with satellite maps provided by You Know Who (Langley) crawling under their wire and setting off bombs within their perimeter.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Zk59xwu4qY[/embed]

Chinese J-11 license built versions of Russia's Sukhoi 27 multirole fighter, which has the range to strike targets in western Iraq from Iran

In this way, Moscow can increase the pressure on Daesh, and China will 'punk' Washington at the very moment the Obama Administration is trying to 'look tough' over Beijing's artificial South China Sea island bases. The Iranians could also cement their place in the new Shanghai Cooperation Organization led order by hosting long range Chinese and possibly Russian aviation to act as a 'force multiplier' for the shared Russian-Iranian-Iraqi intelligence command center in Baghdad.

The only reasons we can think of why China stays aloof from the anti-Daesh air campaign thus far is because it's been:

a) waiting to see how far the US Navy intends to push to within the 12 mile exclusion zones around Fiery Cross reef and other Spratly Islands bases

b) waiting on the Iranian ground offensive to start and force ISIS to pull more troops off the Anbar province front so a rapid, prestige enhancing breakthrough can be achieved for the Iraqis with the help of Chinese bombs raining down on ISIS exposed in the open desert

c) evaluating using its own satellites and intelligence sources in the Mideast particularly in Baghdad where it has major oil interests how successful the Russian campaign has been

d) finalizing secret and not so secret arms sale and energy concession agreements with the Iraqi government, which will likely include more armed Chinese-manufactured drones patrolling Iraqi skies

The Diplomatic Dance: Moscow Rules for Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the Americans Just How Badly Are the Saudis Doing? And Will They Negotiate in Good Faith or Be Forced To by the Oil/Proxy War Pincers?

The coming weeks will be critical and may decide whether the Russians will succeed in a military and diplomatic masterstroke, or get bogged down by the fanatical resistance of the jihadists in Syria and the stubborn refusal of Washington, Riyadh, Doha and Ankara to accept a face-saving peace that will in fact represent a defeat. The infighting in the House of Saud exposed by the anonymous prince letter and the war in Yemen is forcing the previously intransigent Saudis to negotiate with Putin. So too, is the alarming decline in Saudi market share in the world's biggest oil importer, China, which seems to have deliberately favored the petro-yuan paying Russians and Iranians over the Gulf States still stuck on the petrodollar. Today Moscow exports more crude to China than Saudi Arabia. If you add in Persian crude, it isn't even close. Presumably this is what EVOLUTION Consulting meant by the BRICS capacity to absorb market share and to do it on a more long term basis than the Western petrodollar dependent powers. Nonetheless, that the 30-year-old Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman negotiating with Putin is also the Kingdom's defense minister nominally responsible for the debacle in Yemen demonstrates the complexity of this diplomatic dance.

The Turks too, are in a world of hurt as their economy and currency the lira suffer. The November 1 elections could prove embarrassing to Erdogan's ruling Law and Justice Party (AKP), forcing him to share power with some sort of opposition bloc. The vote is expected to force a shift towards negotiations with the Kurds, something Washington already demands of Ankara as a de facto if not de jure Kurdistan may prove to be the only remaining piece of the Iraq and Syria puzzle left for the Americans to 'salvage'. In the worst case scenario from Washington's point of view, the nearly landlocked Kurds (except for whatever territory they end up grabbing adjoining Assad's coastal Latakia province near the Turkish border) may be the only 'friend' they will have left when Putin is done smacking the Turks and Saudis into compliance with the new Eurasian order in the Mideast.

The terror attack recently carried out against an anti-war, pro-peace with the Kurds student rally in the Turkish capitol of Ankara was a message from ISIS not to betray them, according to Southfront. But the flow of Daesh contraband crude to Turkish middlemen is now acknowledged by none other than Establishment Pentagon journalist Bill Gertz, who lists the Islamic State's annual revenues at an astounding billion bucks. As we predicted back in August, the Turks are the perfect 'fall guys' to explain away the spectacular rise of the Islamic State, and all the long Toyota pickup truck convoy signs of ISIL's state sponsorship.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwqbRTLi00I[/embed]

US SecDef Threatens Russia with 'Casualties' in Syria, Syrian Arab Army (SAA) Offensive Advances as China Waits in Wings

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter speaking at the Pentagon.

President Obama's Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter is one unhappy man. After impotent whining didn't work, he's now resorting to threats over Russian military intervention in Syria. On Thursday he predicted that Russia will 'pay a price' in the form of reprisal attacks on Russian soil and war casualties. According to the UK Guardian, Carter said:

“They have initiated a joint ground offensive with the Syrian regime, shattering the facade that they are there to fight Isil [Isis],” he added. “This will have consequences for Russia itself, which is rightly fearful of attacks. In coming days, the Russians will begin to suffer from casualties.”

It's difficult to characterize Carter's remarks as observations, as The UK Guardian and mainstream media attempt to do, rather than threats. Thus far there have been no known Russian casualties in Syria, as the CIA-backed jihadists of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Al-Nusra Front and Turkish-proxy Army of Conquest have failed to shoot down any Russian jets or helicopters. Pro-FSA propagandists on Twitter have claimed Russian casualties from FSA using U.S. and Saudi supplied TOW anti-tank guided missiles ATGM without providing any evidence. Meanwhile, Russian Mi-24 helicopters either flown by Russian or Russian-trained Syrian pilots have struck U.S.-backed jihadists with low level strafing runs. Clearly if avoiding the risk of MANPADs were the Kremlin or Assad's primary objective above all else, we would not be seeing such low level missions in daylight. It may also be that these gunships were hunting jihadists trying to get close enough to the Russian air base in Latakia to fire rockets at it. Either way the the Kremlin is aiming to send a message and that is we're coming for alCIAeda and intend to blast holes in the Syrian jihadis front lines in support of Damascus ground offensive.

The current gloating among pro-FSA propagandists about their 'fighters for the Syrian revolution' carving up Assad's offensive with TOW missiles reminds me of the Ukrainian propagandists on Twitter proclaiming victory in July/August 2014. Assad's troops are bringing in ever growing quantities of artillery, multiple launch rocket systems and Kornet ATGMs to kill the FSA even before the appearance of Iranian or Iraqi forces on the battlefield forces the rebels to fight on multiple fronts. Furthermore we expect the FSA to find out the hard way that the satellite phones the CIA operatives in Turkey or Jordan told them were encrypted and tracking-proof can actually be triangulated if not decrypted by Russian electronic warfare aircraft and spetsnaz forward air controllers (FACs) near the front lines -- who will direct the Su-24s and -34s toward incinerating the best equipped members of alCIAeda.

Russia's SORM version of the NSA's bulk collection programs can also tap cellular and landline/undersea cables (including those that run under the Persian Gulf and Bosporus?) communications in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, revealing to Russia intel in real time frantic phone calls demanding more fuel and supplies for the FSA, Al Nusra and ISIS after Moscow's jets blew up their facilities. Apparently the arrogance of U.S. Persian Gulf 'allies' and their proxies is such that they are going to have to learn the hard way that these are not your father's 1980s Soviet Russians bombing them, but a highly sophisticated adversary whose technology is almost a match for U.S. surveillance capabilities.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDAYTAVM8Js[/embed]

In the meantime, a few pissed off Pentagon bureaucrats (probably the same ones who griped to The Daily Beast that Putin had made the U.S. his "prison bitch") are trying to verbally piss on Russian capabilities as best they can.

[embed]https://twitter.com/yurybarmin/status/651735712107204608[/embed]

Anonymous Department of Defense sources also told CNN and hipster .gov propaganda mouthpiece Vox that at least four Caspian Sea-launched Russian Kalibr cruise missiles crashed in Iran instead of striking targets in Syria early Wednesday. SecDef Carter also accused the Russians of not informing any other states in the region about the cruise missiles strike (which overflew Iran and Iraq en route to Syria with Tehran AND Baghdad's permission) on Russian President Vladimir Putin's 63rd birthday of October 7.

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Russia's response predictably has been caustic, insisting together with Iran that the CNN 'reporting' is simply repeating lies from anonymous, faceless sources, and reiterating that all of the Kalibrs struck their intended targets:

"No matter how unpleasant and unexpected for our colleagues in the Pentagon and Langley was yesterday's high-precision strike on Islamic State infrastructure in Syria, the fact remains that all missiles launched from our ships have found their targets," ministry's spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

Moscow's Defense Ministry spokesman is also feigning shock that a U.S. Defense Secretary would publically call for the deaths of Russian servicemen, without (as of this writing) directly addressing the implied threat of jihadist terror attacks on Russian soil:

"In their assessment of US military actions around the globe, the Russian military officials have never went so low as to publicly express their anticipation of the deaths of American soldiers," ministry's spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.

As the Russia Analyst wrote in our previous post at RogueMoney, the Empire's officials seem to have gone directly from denial to anger in the "5 Stages of Grief" over Russian intervention destroying their imperial project of overthrowing Assad by proxy. Thursday may have marked a shift to the "bargaining" phase as threats are now perceived as somehow likely to make Russia back down. But Russia isn't backing down. In fact, the Russian Defense and Foreign Ministries continue to press the Americans as to why they will not share intelligence about the Islamic State (pronounced E-Gil in its Russian acronym) with Moscow. The Pentagon and State Department's response to the Russian request to share resources and intel in the anti-ISIS fight has been only slightly more dignified than a teenage girl screaming, "I hate you".

[embed]https://twitter.com/MaxAbrahms/status/651840984268042240[/embed]

I don’t know how you can share intelligence when you don’t share a basic, common objective inside Syria. We’re not at that – we’re nowhere near that point. There’s no shared, common objective here about going after ISIL,” said John Kirby, a State Department spokesman.

John Kirby incidentally, is the same government drone who was tripped up by a question from Associated Press Foggy Bottom reporter Matthew Lee, who correctly pointed out that NATO has been expanding towards Russia and not vice versa for the last twenty years.

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Meanwhile, The Daily Beast led by neocon hipster Michael D. Weiss has gone one further, citing the fanatically Russophobic fired-by-US Naval War College historian John R. Schindler's allegations that Russia is deliberately leaving ISIS alone (and by fanatical Russophobe, we mean it -- Schindler blames Russia for starting World War One even though Germany declared war on the Tsar. Schindler also imputes nearly supernatural powers of 'reflexive control' to the Kremlin and its ability to manipulate its jihadist enemies into fighting each other or for it unwittingly in an 'al-KGB-aeda' theory).

Joining this chorus of Weiss-Schindler has been Charles Lister, a 'scholar' at the Brookings Institute whose work is likely funded by the think tank's 'Doha Center', bankrolled by the Al-Thani royal family of Qatar. The Qataris have been huge sponsors of numerous jihadist groups trying to overthrow Assad's regime. Interestingly enough, Ft. Russ also reports that Michael D. Weiss is linked to Mouaz Moustafa, a Damascus born U.S. lobbyist for the 'Free Syrian Army' who helped to arrange Sen. John McCain's sneaking into Syria to meet with the FSA photo op.

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Unfortunately for the MSM propaganda machine, Washington and London's insistence that the Russians weren't striking ISIS targets has been proven false by Russian Defense Ministry drone cam footage being released of targets blowing up in ISIS' de facto capital of Raqqa.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J65cK0UUGrI[/embed]

In response to extensive amount of drone and gun sight camera footage proving that the Russians are in fact bombing ISIS, the State Department has revised the MSM Narrative to insist that 90% of the targets Russia has hit aren't ISIS. Known US/UK government sock puppet couch potato Eliot Higgins piled on, claiming his super duper geolocation and Google Earth skills prove Russia is lying about the locations of its anti-ISIL strikes.

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RT responded by pointing out that actual photo analysis experts have poured ridicule on Higgins' prior 'scoops' 'solving' the mystery of who shot down MH17 obtained from his couch in Leicester, England. The Russian Defense Ministry countered by saying it's the U.S., and not Russia, that's been half assed about striking ISIS after more than a year and thousands of sorties:

Senior Syrian and Iranian officials questioned America’s determination to defeat ISIS, saying that the coalition airstrikes are more of a show and are not intended to actually harm the terrorists. Instead Washington is trying to get ISIS topple the Assad government, hoping to deal with them later.

Russia voiced similar concerns on Wednesday, after reporting that its week-long effort had done serious harm to the jihadists in Syria.

“The US Air Force and other parties has been conduction airstrikes for a year. We have reasons to believe that they don’t often hit terrorist targets, or rather do so very rarely,”said Igor Konashenkov, the spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry.

Meanwhile Russia’s effort seems to have paid off, as on Tuesday the Syrian Army announced a major offensive against various terrorist groups. Commenting on what role Russia’s support played in turning the tables on the jihadists, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said that Russia “has produced significant results in several days that greatly surpass those achieved by the [US-led anti-ISIS] coalition in over a year.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP9P7bgmKQU

As the impasse between Washington and Moscow continues, Russia is moving troops, attack helicopters and jets into its former Soviet Central Asian SCO allied state of Tajikistan near the Afghan border. Moscow also announced in a not so veiled shot at the U.S. and UK that instructors with American and British citizenship(s) were training ISIS members at training camps inside Afghanistan(see item 5 below). Whether the Kremlin intends to follow through on Kabul's request for assistance, 36 years after a pro-Soviet Afghan regime called for help in 1979, remains to be seen. What is clear is that Lt. Gen. Leonid Reshetnikov, the retired KGB/SVR analyist who advises Vladimir Putin on policy, was not kidding in an interview he gave months ago saying Moscow sees the threat from Washington-radicalized Muslims as the most serious challenge to its security. A threat far more serious even than a radicalized ultranationalist, NATO aligned Ukraine on Russia's doorstep.

Nor have the actions of the U.S. or its primary Muslim client state Saudi Arabia done much to disabuse Russians of the notion that ISIS is a CIA creation and jihad is essentially a faucet Langley and its allied intelligence services turn on and off:

https://twitter.com/RT_com/status/651666027932024834/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

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Given these perceptions and the deepening chill of Cold War 2.0, we can expect several events to occur:

1) While Washington in the true fashion of a bully fears getting punched directly in the nose, the U.S., Doha and Riyadh have sunk too many billions into their failed project at regime change followed by the installation of a Qatari gas pipeline to give up in Syria just yet. The one major candidate besides the ignored Sen. Rand Paul who has taken a 'let Putin bomb ISIS' position, Donald Trump, will come under immense pressure to 'rethink' his position with all sorts of leaks about business dealings and smears. Candidates with no actual viability like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will keep receiving prime air time to plug their 'get tough with Russia arm the Ukrainians and moderate Syrian rebels now' schtick.

2) The 'Free Syrian Army' or whatever group of jihadis wearing that label will be supplied with MANPADs, irrespective of the risk that Stinger missiles could fall into the hands of ISIS or even be sold by the 'vetted' 'moderate rebels' to the Islamic State and/or Al Qaeda to be used against airliners. The neocon crazies like Sen. John McCain are sufficiently humiliated and enraged by Putin's intervention to not care anymore about the potential exposure of such arms smuggling or whether it will run afoul of the USA Patriot Act or other legislation that makes it illegal to smuggle arms. Even the Iranian and Russian exposure of the CIA's massive gunrunning to Syria at Benghazi does not seem sufficient deterrent against such a policy.

President Barack Obama is on his way out of office and can be kept safely out of the loop or at least told in no uncertain terms to butt out should his pro-Iranian adviser/handler Valerie Jarrett get wind of it, not unlike Reagan being warned off or kept in the dark regarding the cocaine trafficking aspect of Iran Contra.  Remember the Guerrilla's maxim: desperate people do desperate, stupid things.

An airliner full of innocent civilians getting blown out of the sky on approach by ISIS is a small price to pay in the minds of the crazed neocons for shooting down a few Russian Hind helicopters, since the FSA won't be able to kill any fast movers at high altitude or jets on low level fast-bombing runs using older MANPADs. The FSA will have to be supplied with hardware of sufficient sophistication that there's a high risk CIA personnel trying to train the FSA on it in Jordan or elsewhere could find themselves the victims of a sudden cross border spetsnaz raid.

Make no mistake -- the Russians will not just let the CIA bleed their forces through alCIAeda without extracting a price, whether it be taking out CIA contractors who thought they were safe in Jordan or Iraq, or killing U.S. mercenaries from Greystone or other son of Blackwater companies with a drone strike in eastern Ukraine. Modern Russia is NOT the Soviet Union of the 1980s. For its part, Hezbollah has targeted CIA personnel in Lebanon in the past and could do it again, though Russia would clearly prefer that they not do so, as a covert war in which both sides target each other's spies is bad for the spying business. Moscow also prefers as in August 2013 to give its nuclear armed opponent a face saving way 'out' of the Syria and Ukraine messes. That's not going to be possible if things escalate to the point of direct covert hostilities.

3) China will come out firmly behind Russia, even if the rumors about Chinese ships and troops being sent to Russia's bases in Syria turn out not to be 100% accurate. Beijing is well aware that the Pentagon is bragging about how it will soon challenge China's nautical and aviation exclusion zone around the man made islands it has created in the South China Sea. ISIS spreading across former Soviet Central Asia including into Afghanistan represents a direct threat not only to Chinese business interests in Afghan minerals extraction (lithium and natural gas), but also the New Silk Roads initiative championed by Xi Jinpeng. For these and other reasons, China's rhetoric has gotten tougher and Beijing has yet to disavow the rumors about PLA special forces or jets going into Syria, even if Debka's claim about a Chinese aircraft carrier visiting the port of Tartus proved false. At some point the PLA wants and needs real live fire combat experience and fighting ISIS is a low risk, internationally popular way to get it for Beijing.

4) The Chinese will leverage their business relationships with the Turks to put pressure on Ankara not to pick a fight with the Russians. Moscow will remind Ankara that the Turks need Russian gas a lot more badly than Russia needs Turkish produce, possibly with 'safety inspections' on fruits and vegetables coming from Anatolia this winter. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government will come under intense pressure after his Islamist Law and Justice Party takes a hit in the early November elections, and there may be more rumblings about a military coup against him, particularly if the AKP led government cracks down and faces more insurgency from the Kurds.

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Note Michael D. Weiss citing Jane's Defense -- the same corrupted British publication that lied about the extent of Kiev's battlefield 'successes' just before the collapse of the Ukrainian offensive into a humiliating rout in August 2014

5) Russia will continue to leak kompromat about the U.S. government's half-assed to weak campaign against ISIS, including data it will claim spetsnaz captured in raids on ISIS/AlNusra 'safehouses' that proves a Langley connection to the terrorists. This data will be 'leaked' via LiveLeak and LifeNews.ru before getting picked up by the rest of the Russian or pro-Russian press. The U.S. Deep State will angrily respond with more 'Al-KGB-aeda' claims, generally pushed through the usual sock puppets like John R. Schindler, Michael D. Weiss of The Daily Beast or Business Insider's Michael B. Kelley. There will also be more cyber attacks blamed on Russia and China. 'Adventurer journalists' who are actually Pentagon sock puppets like the Heritage Foundation Daily Signal reporter Nolan W. Peterson will likely be sent into Turkey if not rebel held parts of Syria under Russian bombs to humanize the jihadists, just as Peterson tried to tell the story of the SS regalia wearing Azov Battalion shortly after Congress voted to cut off any U.S. funding for the Ukrainian Nazi group.

6) The U.S. Deep State will push through the GOP presidential candidates and Hillary's replacement Joe Biden on the Democratic side for rearming Ukraine for a new offensive against the 'pro-Russian separatists'. In the meantime Putin allegedly pressuring the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics to cancel elections intended for this month will be spun as 'the Kremlin is abandoning Novorossiya/DNR/LNR in return for some sort of deal with the Americans on Syria'. Even though it's obvious from the bellicose rhetoric and threats emanating from SecDef Ashton Carter and nearly the entire U.S. political elite that there is 'no deal', only more Cold War 2.0 to be decided on the battlefield or with the collapse of the dollar.

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7) Most alarming for Washington though will be the increasingly overt alignment of former U.S. allies from Cairo to Baghdad to Kabul to Islamabad with the Russians and Chinese. Obama will be blamed for having not just 'lost the Middle East', but for doing more damage to America's alliances than any president in history including George W. Bush. The Kiev regime will continue to crumble economically and protests against it and Uncle Sam as the presumed puppeteer behind the wildly unpopular Poroshenko/Yatsenyuk government will grow. Kiev will badly want to crack skulls but will be unable to be as vicious as it wants to be against protesters due to global media attention.

The protests in Moldova, and the growing anger in Europe over Merkel's stupid open borders policy towards refugees and the presumptive Washington pressure behind it will fuel an anti-U.S. sentiment in countries where previously Washington's grip on media and public opinion manipulators seemed incontestable, especially Germany.

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When the Iraqis celebrate Russian air strikes blowing ISIS away after a year of failed U.S. bombing of the terrorist group on their soil, RT/Sputnik among others will be there to cover it in full HD.That  my friends s going to be a bitter pill for the likes of McCain and other supporters of the Iraq war to take -- that the U.S. shed blood and spent over a trillion dollars to establish not only an Iranian, but Russian ally in Baghdad.

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Many battles lay ahead -- but the momentum has clearly shifted in Syria and no amount of desperately trying to relive the 1980s Soviet-Afghan war will help the Western globalist banksters take back the illusion of control. From now on, they are doomed to keep reacting to the actions of the Eurasian axis, of which the Syrian counteroffensive is just one front.

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