AuthorTopic: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball  (Read 29729 times)

Offline Palloy2

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #345 on: April 12, 2018, 07:29:40 PM »
RT kindly explains their defensive systems, so everyone knows what they can expect to happen.

https://www.rt.com/news/423925-russia-air-defense-syria/
Russia’s military options to counter US strike in Syria
12 Apr, 2018


An S-400 air defence missile system is deployed for a combat duty at the Hmeymim airbase. © Dmitriy Vinogradov / Sputnik


With the US and Russia engaged in a public row over the consequences of a possible American attack against Syria, the capabilities that Moscow has to respond to it are a major question.

Washington threatened military action against the Syrian government in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, which incidentally happened exactly a year after the first such America raid against Syria. In April 2017, President Donald Trump was apparently satisfied with a largely symbolic pounding of a Syrian airbase with dozens of Tomahawk missiles.

The current situation appears much tenser, with Russia openly threatening to directly oppose an American attack on Syrian soil. Russia’s determination may be questioned, considering its record of not opposing Israeli raids in Syria, but its capabilities to resist the attack are not in dispute.


An S-400 air defence missile system is deployed for a combat duty at the Hmeymim airbase. © Dmitriy Vinogradov / Sputnik

Russian troops have two primary sites in Syria, the Khmeimim airbase near the northern port city of Latakia, and the naval facility in Tartus in the northern part of the Syrian coast. Both locations are covered by long-range surface-to-air missiles, including S-400 systems deployed near Khmeimim and S-300VM ones defending Tartus. Both systems have a reported range of up to 400km, depending on the missile used, and are considered among the world’s best long-range anti-missile systems currently in service.


The Buk-M2E missile system. © Pavel Lisitsyn / Sputnik

Complementing those interceptors are shorter-range systems, including the middle-range Buk-M2 and the short-range Pantsir S1. The systems are meant to project layers upon layers of anti-access/area denial coverage, defending a strategic site from any threat, from small armed drones and low-flying aircraft, to tactical ballistic missiles.


A-50 early warning aircraft. © Maxim Maksimov / Wikipedia

The presumed weak spot of Russian long-range air defense systems is target acquisition, which requires additional radar coverage. In Syria, it is unlikely to be a problem, however, considering Russia’s use of its counterpart to AWACS, the A-50 airborne radar, and reports that its air defenses have been integrated with older Soviet assets used by the Syrian troops.

The US may try to overwhelm the Russian systems with a barrage of missiles, but the efficiency of the strike will still be significantly reduced.

In a limited missile attack scenario, the Russian military may deliver on the threat it made and retaliate against the origin of the missiles – the US guided-missile destroyers and possibly attack submarines currently deployed in the Mediterranean.
Attacking them with lethal force would be a major escalation in the conflict, but the Russian military may use a limited response – using airborne electronic warfare equipment to harass the American ships, messing up their target acquisition, geolocation or even AEGIS anti-aircraft systems. The extent of damage this may cause is debatable, but it would certainly make the job of destroying whatever targets the US command has in mind in Syria much more difficult.
"The State is a body of armed men."

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #346 on: April 12, 2018, 10:01:14 PM »
A couple of weeks ago I asked Saker to explain how a simple starting point could escalate into WW3.  This appears to be his response:

https://thesaker.is/what-price-will-mankind-have-to-pay-for-the-collapse-of-the-empire/
What price will mankind have to pay for the collapse of the Empire?
The Saker
April 13, 2018

We are currently living the most dangerous days in human history. You think that this is hyperbole?

Think again.
We are risking a nuclear Armageddon

The first thing to realize is that this is not, repeat, not about Syria or chemical weapons, not in Salisbury, not in Douma. That kind of nonsense is just “mental prolefeed” for the mentally deficient, politically blinded or otherwise zombified ideological drones who, from the Maine, to the Gulf of Tonkin, to NATO’s Gladio bombing of the Bologna train-station, to the best and greatest of them all – 9/11 of course – will just believe anything “their” (as they believe) side tells them. The truth is that the AngloZionists are the prime proliferators of chemical weapons in history (and the prime murderers of Arabs and Muslims too!). So their crocodile tears are just that – crocodile tears, even if their propaganda machine says otherwise.

Does anybody seriously believe that Trump, May, Macron or Netanyahu would be willing to risk an apocalyptic thermonuclear war which could kill several hundred million people in just a few hours because Assad has used chemical weapons on tens, hundreds or even thousands of innocent Syrian civilians (assuming, just for argument’s sake, that this accusation is founded)? Since when do the AngloZionist care about Arabs?! This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever!

For those who would say that speaking of “several hundred million people” killed is hyperbole, I would recommend looking up past western plans to “solve the Russian problem” including:

    Plan Totality (1945): earmarked 20 Soviet cities for obliteration in a first strike: Moscow, Gorki, Kuybyshev, Sverdlovsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Saratov, Kazan, Leningrad, Baku, Tashkent, Chelyabinsk, Nizhny Tagil, Magnitogorsk, Molotov, Tbilisi, Stalinsk, Grozny, Irkutsk, and Yaroslavl.
    Operation Unthinkable (1945) assumed a surprise attack by up to 47 British and American divisions in the area of Dresden, in the middle of Soviet lines. This represented almost a half of roughly 100 divisions (ca. 2.5 million men) available to the British, American and Canadian headquarters at that time. (…) The majority of any offensive operation would have been undertaken by American and British forces, as well as Polish forces and up to 100,000 German Wehrmacht soldiers.
    Operation Dropshot (1949): included mission profiles that would have used 300 nuclear bombs and 29,000 high-explosive bombs on 200 targets in 100 cities and towns to wipe out 85% of the Soviet Union’s industrial potential at a single stroke. Between 75 and 100 of the 300 nuclear weapons were targeted to destroy Soviet combat aircraft on the ground.

Articles like this one, this one, and this one are also good pointers (these are all estimates, of course, nobody knows for sure; all that matters is an approximate orders of magnitude).

By the way, I am not suggesting that at this point in time the AngloZionists would want to deliberately start a thermonuclear war with Russia. What I am suggesting is that there is a very simple and basic asymmetry between the Russian and AngloZionist forces in the Middle-East which could lead to such an outcome regardless of original intentions. Here is how:

How are we risking a nuclear Armageddon?

Step one: the AngloZionists strike Syria hard enough to force the Russians to retaliate.
Step two: now outraged by the Russian response, the AngloZionists retaliate against the Russian forces in Syria.

At this point it is crucial to remember that while the Russians have better equipment and far better soldiers than their “western” opponents (the examples of Alexander Prokhorenko or Roman Filipov will tell you all you need to know about how Russians in Syria fight, especially compared to the kind of personnel deployed by the US and NATO), the CENTCOM+NATO+Israel+KSA have an immense numerical advantage. It does not matter how effective the Russian air defenses or (tiny) air superiority aircraft force is when it can simply be overwhelmed by numbers. All the Empire needs to do is first fire a large number of dumb old Tomahawk cruise missiles, let the Russian use their stores of air defense missiles and then follow-up with their more advanced weapons. The truth is that if the Empire wanted to, it could even establish a no-fly zone over Syria and completely wipe-out the Russian task force. Sure, there would be losses on both sides, the Russians would fight heroically, but they would lose. Unless, of course, they got help from the Motherland, specifically in the form of cruise missile attacks from the Black Sea Fleet, the Caspian Flotilla, the aircraft stationed in southern Russia (Crimea) or even in Iran. Russia also strike with land and sea based missiles. So Russia does have the capability to strike at numerous lucrative (and more or less defenseless) US and “coalition” targets throughout the Middle-East. But what would be the consequences of that?

Step three: Russian strikes on CENTCOM targets would force the Empire to fight back and strike at Russian Navy ships and, even worse, at military installations in Russia proper.
Step four: US/NATO attacks on Russian territory would inevitably trigger a Russian response on the USA itself.

That response would be initially conventional, but as the losses on both sides would mount, the use of nuclear weapons would be almost inevitable.

Yes, in theory, at any time during this escalatory cycle both sides could decide to de-escalate. In theory. But in the real world, I don’t see that happening nor have I ever seen any model which would convincingly explain how such a de-escalation could happen (especially with the exceptionally low-quality type of narcissistic and psychopathic individuals in command in the USA – think Trump or Bolton here – and all their “we are the best and biggest and greatest” pseudo-patriotic nonsense).

I am not predicting that this is what will actually happen, but I am saying that this is the risk the AngloZionist Empire is willing to take in order to achieve.. what exactly? What is worth taking such a risk?

I think that the UK Minister of Defense put it best: the AngloZionists want Russia to “go away and shut up”.

Why we are risking a nuclear Armageddon

“Go away and shut up” has been the dream of all western leaders since at least a millennium (interspersed and strengthened by regular (and failed) attempts at conquering and/or converting the Russians). Just think how frustrating it has been for a civilization which has established colonies worldwide, including in the farthest regions of our planet, to have this unconquerable nation right next door which was not only refusing to submit, but which would regularly defeat them on the battlefield even when they all joined forces lead by their “best and brightest” leaders (Napoleon, Hitler and… Trump?). Just imagine how a civilization centered on, and run by, bankers would go crazy realizing that immense riches were literally “right next door” but that those who lived on that land would, for some unfathomable reason, refuse to let them exploit it! The very existence of a “Russian Russia” is an affront to all the real (as opposed to official) western values and that is simply not something the leaders of the Empire are willing to tolerate. Hence Syria, hence the Ukraine, hence all the silly accusations of “novichok” cum buckwheat attacks. These are all expressions of the same policy

    Paint Russia as some kind of Mordor and create yet another “grand coalition” against her
    Force Russia to submit to the AngloZionist Hegemony
    Defeat Russia politically, economically or militarily

These are objectives for which it is worth risking it all, especially when your own Empire is collapsing and time is not on your side. What we are witnessing since at least 2015 is yet another western Crusade against Russia, a kind of holy war waged in the name of everything the West holds sacred (money, power, hegemonic world domination, secularism, etc.) against everything it abhors (sovereignty, independence, spirituality, traditions).

The simple truth is this: were it not for the Russian military capabilities, the West would have wiped Russia “off the map” long ago, and replaced it with something like a number of “mini-Poland’s” ruled by a liberal comprador elite just like the one currently in charge of the EU. The desperate scream “go away and shut up” is just the expression of having this “western dream” frustrated by the power of the Russian armed forces and the unity of the Russian people behind their current leader. But even the admittedly frustrating existence of Russia is not a sufficient reason to risk it all; there is much more at stake here.

Russia as the tip of a much larger iceberg

Due to geographical, historical, cultural, religious and military factors, Russia is today the objective leader of the worldwide resistance to Empire, at least in moral, psychological and political terms. But that does not mean that she is “anti-USA”, not at all. For one thing, Russia does absolutely not run or control the worldwide resistance to Empire. In fact, to a superficial analysis, Russia often looks pretty much alone in her stance (as shown by the recent Chinese behavior at the UN Security Council). The truth is that other countries who want an end to the AngloZionist hegemony have absolutely no incentive to join Russia on top of the US “shit list” and expose themselves to the wrath of the Hegemon, especially not when Russia seems to be more than willing to bear the brunt of the Empire’s hatred. Besides, like all large and powerful countries, Russia lacks real friends and most countries are more than happy to demand that Russia fix all their problems (as shown by the constant stream of accusations that Russia has not done enough in this or that part of the planet). And yet all these countries are not exactly standing in line to show solidarity with Russia when she might need it. So when I say that Russia leads the resistance I am not suggesting that she does that the way the USA runs NATO or some “coalition of the willing”. Russia simply leads by the fact that she does not “go away” or, even more so, does not “shut up”.

Russia is the only country on the planet, with the possible exception of Iran, which openly and unapologetically dares to denounce the Empire’s hypocrisy and which is willing to back her words with military power if needed. The DPRK is a unique and local case. As for the various Bolivarian countries and movements in Latin America, they are currently being defeated by the Empire. In theory, the Muslim world definitely has the potential to play a bigger role in the resistance to the Empire, but the Wahabi-virus injected into the Muslim world by the USA+KSA+Israel has, at least so far, prevented the emergence of a successful and truly Islamic model besides the one of the Islamic Republic of Iran (hence the demonization of the latter by the AngloZionists).

And yet …

The Empire is in the process of losing the entire Middle-East. Not so much because of some brilliant and Machiavellian Russian or Iranian policies, but more as a courtesy of its own infinitely arrogant, stupid and self-defeating policies. The overthrow of Saddam Hussein will probably go down in history as one of the dumbest political decisions ever (Bolton was behind that one too, by the way). That was an entirely self-inflicted catastrophe. As was the almost equally disastrous invasion of Afghanistan. Another self-inflicted disaster for the AngloZionists was their support for the US/EU led coup in the Ukraine, which not only resulted in a calamity which the Europeans will have to pay for for many decades to come (think of it as a big Somalia on the EU’s doorstep) but also did an amazing job uniting the Russian people behind their leaders and reduced the pro-Western feelings in the Russian public opinion to something in the range of 2-5 percent at the most. “Getting” the Ukraine sure would not have been worth “losing” Russia.

Then there is China which the USA has grossly mismanaged since the so-called Third Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1996 when Clinton militarily threatened China (see here for details) and with whom Trump has now launched a trade war in order to MAGA (good luck with that!).

In contrast, all the real “action” is now centered around the OBOR project in which China and Russia play the main role and in which the Anglosphere will play no role at all. Add the Petro-Yuan to the equation and you have the emergence of a new Eurasian model which threatens to make the entire Empire simply irrelevant.

And then there is Turkey (2nd most powerful NATO member state). And Pakistan for that matter. Or Afghanistan. Or Iraq. Or Yemen. Everywhere the Empire is in full retreat leaving only chaos behind.

The truth is that Russia would never be a credible threat to the AngloZionist Hegemony if it was not for the innumerable self-inflicted disasters the Empire has been absorbing year after year after year. In reality, Russia is no threat to anybody at all. And even China would not be a threat to the Empire if the latter was not so arrogant, so over-stretched, so ignorant, reckless and incompetent in its actions. Let me just give one simple, but stark, example: not only does the USA not have anything remotely resembling a consistent foreign policy, it does not even have any ministry of foreign affairs. The Department of State does not deal with diplomacy simply because the US leaders don’t believe in diplomacy as a concept. All the DoS does is issue threats, sanctions, ultimatums, make demands, deliver score-cards (on human rights and the like, of all things!) and explain to the public why the USA is almost constantly at war with somebody. That is not “diplomacy” and the likes of Nikki Haley are not diplomats. In fact, the USA has no use for International Law either, hence the self-same Nikki Haley openly declaring at a UNSC meeting that the USA is willing to ignore the decisions of the UNSC and act in complete violation of the UN Charter. Simply put: thugs have no need for any diplomacy. They don’t understand the concept.

Just like their Israeli masters and mentors, the US Americans have convinced themselves that all they need to be successful on the international scene is to either threaten the use of force or actually use force. Which works great (or so it seems) in Gaza or Grenada, but when dealing with China, Russia or Iran, this monomaniacal approach rapidly shows its limitations, especially when your force is really limited to shooting missiles from afar or murdering civilians (neither the USA nor Israel nor, for that matter, the KSA has a credible “boots on the ground” capability, hence their reliance on proxies).

The Empire is failing, fast, and for all the talk about “Animal Assad” or “Rocket Man” being in need of AngloZionist punishment, the stakes are the survival of Hegemony imposed upon mankind at the end of WWII and, again, at the end of the Cold War, and the future of our planet. There cannot be one World Hegemon and a multipolar world order regulated by international law. It’s an either-or situation. And in that sense, this is all much bigger than Syria or even Russia.

From Douma to Donetsk?

There is still a chance that the AngloZionists will decide to strike Syria symbolically, as they did last year following the previous chemical false flag in Khan Sheikhoun (Trump has now probably tweeted himself into a corner which makes some kind of attack almost inevitable). Should that happen though, we should not celebrate too soon as this will just be a minor course change, the 21st-century anti-Russia Crusade will continue, most likely in the form of a Ukronazi attack on the Donbass.

Quick reminder: the purpose of such an attack will not be to reconquer and then ethnically cleanse the Donbass, but to force the Russian Federation to prevent such an outcome by openly intervening. Such a Russian intervention will, of course, quickly stop the war and crush the Ukronazi forces, but at that point the tensions in Europe will go through the roof, meaning that NATO will (finally!) find a halfway credible mission for itself, the Germans will have to give up on North Stream II, Poland and the Baltic statelets will make money by becoming the East European version of Okinawa and the Anglo powers (US/UK) will firmly reestablish control over the EU, Brexit notwithstanding. Furthermore, Russia will become the target of a total economic war, including an energy blockade (the US will be more than happy to impose its overpriced gas on the Europeans), a disconnection from SWIFT, a seizure of Russian assets, a ban on Russian financial operations in the EU, etc. That could be risky, of course, especially with a trade war with China also taking place, but these are just options.

What is certain is that as long as Putin or anybody like him remains in power in Russia, the Congress will continue to slap sanctions after sanctions after sanctions on Russia. In fact, during most of her history, even before the Revolution, Russia was under one type of western sanctions or another. There is absolutely nothing new here and, as I like to remind people these days, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, especially with maniacal regimes and leaders.

Besides, as I have already mentioned in the past, and unlike the current confrontation in Syria, a war in the Ukraine is a very safe bet for the Empire. First, when the goal is the defeat of “your” side, almost any military adventure is pretty safe. Second, once the Russians are in Novorussia, they will “own it”, meaning that they will have to carry the huge financial burden of rebuilding it. Third, such a Russian presence would consolidate and even boost the Ukie nationalists who, by the way, will have a golden opportunity to blame everything they did wrong over the past 4 years on the Russians. Fourth, any such operation will get a lot of the worst and most rabid Ukronazi killed and that will remove a potential problem from the Poroshenko-types the US much prefers to deal with.

Finally, as I said, this will give NATO a sacred mission to “defend Europe against a revanchist Russian rogue state” thereby crushing any European hopes for even a modest degree of independence from the Anglosphere. And the worst case? The worst case would be if the Novorussians can stop the Ukronazi attack without overt Russian intervention. But even if that happens and even if the Novorussians launch some kind of counter-offensive liberating Mariupol or Slaviansk, these are irrelevant losses from the point of view of the Empire which sees both Russians and Ukrainians as cannon fodder. Just as the Empire wants Arabs and Muslims to kill each other on Israel’s behalf in the Middle-East, so does the Empire want nothing more than to see Ukrainians and Russians kill each other in maximal numbers and for as long as possible.

Some might suggest here that the Novorussians could not only defeat the Ukronazi forces but also liberate the rest of the Ukraine, including Kiev. I find that exceedingly unlikely. Here is why: First, all the hurrah-patriotic nonsense notwithstanding, there are very good and objective reasons why the Novorussians could not liberate Mariupol the first time around (there was a major risk of Ukrainian envelopment for the Novorussian force) or why it took them so long to retake control of the Donetsk airport: during most of their existence, Novorussian forces were composed of a mix of different types of units which, for all their personal courage, were simply not capable of operational-level offensives. They were limited to tactical-level engagements which, even when successful, do not necessarily lead to operational-level developments.

There seems to have been major changes made in the command structure of the Novorussian forces. The liberation of the Donetsk airport and, even more so, the Debaltsevo “cauldron” were joint DNR-LNR efforts, but even if, as I suspect, the Novorussians are now capable of operational-level counter-offensives, this is still not what it would take to liberate Kiev. Furthermore, as one Novorussian officer commented, “the further West we go, the less we are seen as liberators and the more as occupiers”. Last but not least, Russia will not allow the Novorussians to liberate most of the Ukraine even if they could do so, because then Russia would have to pay for the staggering costs of trying to fix this massive “European Somalia”, and that is a task far beyond her current means. For all the East-European hallucinations about some Russian invasion, Russia has neither the desire nor even the means to invade anybody. The painful reality is this: the Ukrainians will pay a dear price for their Russophobic delusions and most of the bill to fix that mess will have to be paid by the rest of Europe. They created that nightmare, let them fix it now.]

Conclusion: back to Syria


None of the above should distract us from what is by far the biggest danger currently facing us all – the risks of a US-Russian war in Syria. In fact, this reality seems to be slowly dawning even on the most obtuse of presstitutes who are now worrying about a spill-over effect. No, not in Europe or the USA, but on Israel, of course. Still, the fact that there are folks who understand that Israel might not survive a superpower clash on its doorstep is a good thing. Maybe the Israel lobby in the USA, or a least the part of it which cares for Israel (many/most only pretend to), will be more vocal than all the silent Anglo shabbos-goyim who don’t seem to be able to muster even a minimal amount of self-preservation instinct? Bibi Netanyahu felt the need to call Putin after the Israeli ambassador to Russia was read the riot act by Russian officials following the (admittedly rather lame) Israeli airstrike on the T-4 Syrian air force base. Not much of a hope, I admit...

This is not about good guys versus bad guys anymore. It’s about sane versus insane. I think that we can safely place Trump, Bolton, Haley and the rest of them in the “terminally delusional” camp. But what about the top US generals? I asked two well-informed friends, and they both told me that there is probably nobody above the rank of Colonel with enough courage left to object to the Neocon’s insanity, even if that means WWIII. Again, not much hope here either…

There is a sura (Al-Anfal 8:30) of the Qur’an which Sheikh Imran Hosein often mentions which I want to quote here: And [remember, O Muhammad], when those who disbelieved plotted against you to restrain you or kill you or evict you [from Makkah]. But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners. And since we are talking about Syria where Iran and Hezbollah are targets as much (or more) as the Russians, it is also fitting here to quote a very popular Shia slogan which calls to remember that the battle against oppression must be fought ceaselessly and everywhere: “Every Day Is Ashura and Every Land Is Karbala”. And, of course, there are the words of Christ Himself: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt 10:28).

Such religious references will, no doubt, irritate the many “enlightened” westerners for whom such language reeks of obscurantism, fanaticism, and bigotry. But in Russia or the Middle-East, such references are very much part of the national or religious ethos. To illustrate my point I want to quote from Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s “Divine Victory Speech” spoken in 2006 following the crushing victory by a relatively small Hezbollah force of the combined might of the Israeli ground, air and naval forces:

    We are today celebrating a big strategic, historic, and divine victory. How can the human mind imagine that a few thousand of your Lebanese resistance sons – if I wanted, I would give the exact number – held out for 23 days in a land exposed to the skies against the strongest air force in the Middle East, which had an air bridge transporting smart bombs from America, through Britain, to Israel; against 40,000 officers and soldiers – four brigades of elite forces, three reserve army divisions; against the strongest tank in the world; and against the strongest army in the region? How could only a few thousand people hold out and fight under such harsh conditions, and [how could] their fighting force the naval warships out of our territorial waters? By the way, the army and the resistance are capable of protecting the territorial waters from being desecrated by any Zionist. [Applause] [And how could their fighting] also lead to the destruction of the Mirkava tanks, which are an object of pride for the Israeli industry; damage Israeli helicopters day and night; and turn the elite brigades – I am not exaggerating, and you can watch and read the Israeli media – into rats frightened by your sons? [How did this happen] while you were relinquished by the Arabs and the world and in light of the political (human solidarity was profound though) division around you? How could this group of mujahidin defeat this army without the support and assistance of Almighty God? This resistance experience, which should be conveyed to the world, depends – on the moral and spiritual level – on faith, certainty, reliance [on God], and readiness to make sacrifices. It also depends on reason, planning, organization, armament, and, as is said, on taking all possible protective procedures. We are neither a disorganized and sophistic resistance, nor a resistance pulled to the ground that sees before it nothing but soil, nor a resistance of chaos. The pious, God-reliant, loving, and knowledgeable resistance is also the conscious, wise, trained, and equipped resistance that has plans. This is the secret of the victory we are today celebrating, brothers and sisters.


These words could also be used to describe the relatively small Russian task force in Syria. In fact, there are numerous parallels which could be made between Hezbollah’s role and position in the Middle-East and Russia’s role and position in the world. And while both are well-trained, well-armed and well-commanded, it is their spiritual power which will decide the outcome of the wars waged against them by the Hegemony. AngloZionist secularists will never understand that – they just can’t – and that will bring their inevitable downfall. The only question is the price mankind will have to pay to have that last Empire finally bite the dust.
"The State is a body of armed men."

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #347 on: April 12, 2018, 11:31:54 PM »
A couple of weeks ago I asked Saker to explain how a simple starting point could escalate into WW3.  This appears to be his response:

I find it interesting that nowhere in the article does he ever mention Oil, Energy, Resource Depletion or Population Overshoot.

Far as Empires go, one thing you can be sure of is they all die, just as all living things die.  Entropy wins in the end, always.  That is Collapse in action.

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🚀 Strategy of US Anti-Russia Sanctions Becomes Clearer
« Reply #348 on: April 13, 2018, 12:34:48 AM »
Pretty good analysis here from Eric Zuess on the underlying conflict between the Ruskie and FSoA Oligarchies.

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https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/04/11/strategy-of-us-anti-russia-sanctions-becomes-clearer.html

 Eric ZUESSE | 11.04.2018 | WORLD / Americas   
Strategy of US Anti-Russia Sanctions Becomes Clearer



On Friday, April 6th, Reuters headlined “Russian businessmen, officials on new US sanctions list”, and opened: “The United States on Friday imposed major sanctions against 24 Russians, striking at allies of President Vladimir Putin over Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US election and other ‘malign activity’. Below are the most prominent businessmen targeted along with their main assets and connections as well as extracts from the US Treasury statement.”

As that Reuters list makes even clearer than before, US economic sanctions against Russia are focused against mainly the following four categories of targets in Russia:

1. Russian competitors to America’s largest international oil companies. These specific US firms were listed, on March 27th, in an excellent article by Antonia Juhasz in Pacific Standard magazine, “INSIDE THE TAX BILL'S $25 BILLION OIL COMPANY BONANZA: A Pacific Standard analysis shows the oil and gas industry is among the tax bill's greatest financial beneficiaries.” There, they were listed in rank order. For example: the largest such firm, Exxon/Mobil, was given $5.9 billion in “2017 Tax Act Savings,” and the second-largest, Philipps 66, won $2.7 billion in it. The latest round of anti-Russia sanctions focuses clearly against these international US oil firms’ Russian competitors.

However, previous rounds of US sanctions have especially focused against:

2. Russian competitors of Lockheed Martin and other international US weapons-firms — Russian manufacturers that are selling, to foreign governments, military aircraft, missiles, and other military equipment, on the international markets: competing military products. The competitive purpose of these sanctions is to boost not US international oil-firms, but US international weapons-firms.

3. Russian banks that lend to those firms. Some of these banks have also other close ties to those firms.

4. Russian Government officials, and billionaires, who cooperate with Russia’s elected President, Vladimir Putin. Putin refuses to allow suppliers to the Russian military to be controlled (such as are the military suppliers to America’s Government) by private investors (and especially not by foreigners); he wants the weapons-manufacturers to represent the state, not the state to represent the weapons-manufacturers; i.e., he refuses to privatize Russia’s weapons-producers, and he instead insists that all firms that supply Russia’s military be controlled by Russia’s elected Government, not by any private investors. (By contrast, The West relies almost entirely upon privately owned weapons-makers.) He also prohibits foreign interests from controlling Russia’s natural resources such as oil firms, mining, and land-ownership, and this explicitly applies even to agricultural land. However, most important are Russia’s Strategic Sectors Law (otherwise known as “Strategic Investment Law”), which defines as a “Strategic Entity” and thus subject strictly to control only by the Russian Government and citizenry, four categories: Defense, Natural Resources, Media, and Monopolies. Russia’s refusal to allow US billionaires to buy control over these — to buy control over the Government — is, to a large extent, being punished by the US anti-Russia sanctions.



Focusing on the latest round: The Reuters article lists the specific main targets of the new sanctions. These targets are, as described by the US Treasury Department, and as quoted by Reuters:

“Oleg Deripaska is being designated ... for operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation economy.”

“Viktor Vekselberg is being designated for operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation economy.”

“Kirill Shamalov is being designated for operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation economy.”

“Andrei Skoch is being designated for being an official of the Government of the Russian Federation.”

“Suleiman Kerimov is being designated for being an official of the Government of the Russian Federation.”

“Vladimir Bogdanov is being designated for operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation economy.”

“Igor Rotenberg is being designated for operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation economy.”

Those are the ones that the Reuters article specifically listed. In addition, there are:

DESIGNATED RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

Andrey Akimov, chairman of the board at Gazprombank

Andrey Kostin, president of VTB bank

*Alexey Miller, chief executive of Gazprom

Mikhail Fradkov, president of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies

Sergey Fursenko, member of the board of directors of Gazprom Neft

Oleg Govorun, head of the Presidential Directorate for Social and Economic Cooperation with the Commonwealth of Independent States Member Countries

Gazprom is Russia’s oil-and-gas giant; and, likewise in accord with Putin’s demand that national-security industry remain under state-control instead of control by private investors, its controlling investor is the Russian Government. However, a few individuals are listed who are simply Russian Government officials, presumably likewise more cooperative, with carrying out the intentions of the elected President, than the US and its allied governments consider to be acceptable.

Clearly, the special focus of these sanctions is on supporting US international oil firms competing against Russian international oil firms.

On January 26th, Reuters bannered “US hits Russian deputy minister and energy firms with sanctions”, and opened:

The United States added Russian officials and energy firms to a sanctions blacklist on Friday, days before details of further possible penalties against Moscow are due to be released.



A Treasury Department spokesperson said the department is “actively working” on reports required under the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Terrorism Act” and aimed to release them consistent with timelines in the legislation.

Trump or his Treasury Secretary were actually responding to pressure from “Democrats” and unnamed others; but, when the final statement from the Treasury was issued on January 29th (and largely ignored by the press), it turned out that no new sanctions were issued, against anyone. The billionaires’ lobbyists had achieved nothing more than to provide (via the anti-Russia verbiage from members of Congress) to the American public, yet more anti-Russia indoctrination in support of America’s war against Russia; but, this time, no real action was taken by the President against Russia.

On 28 December 2017, the ‘private CIA’ firm Stratfor, which does work for the CIA and for major US corporations, had headlined, “Russia Won't Sit Still for Additional US Sanctions”, and summarized prior US economic sanctions against Russia:

Since the Soviet period, the United States has targeted Russia with numerous sanctions. The primary ones currently in effect were instituted over human rights violations and the conflict in Ukraine. In late 2012, the United States expanded its Soviet-era sanctions over human rights and approved the Magnitsky Act to punish those deemed responsible for the death of Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky, a whistleblower who investigated Kremlin abuses and a tax-fraud scheme. The act penalizes dozens of people believed to be involved in the case, but the measure has evolved into a platform for the United States and its allies to punish Russia for a much wider scope of human rights abuses.

The Ukraine sanctions imposed by the United States (and, to a lesser extent, by the European Union, Canada, Australia and Japan) stem from Russian involvement in the conflict there and includes the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Russian support of the previous government, the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and the annexation of Crimea. Those penalties include:

• Limits on debt issuance to Russia's six largest banks, four primary state oil firms and four state defense firms.

• Sanctions on Russia's energy industry, prohibiting US firms from providing, exporting or re-exporting goods and technology related to deep-water, Arctic offshore and shale oil and natural gas projects in Russia.

• Bans on subjects receiving dual-use goods by Russia's primary state defense companies.

• Sanctions (travel and asset freezes) against hundreds of Russian entities and individuals.

That was a fair summary; but, because Stratfor derives some of its income from the CIA, it stated as being facts, instead of as being lies, that “Sergei Magnitsky [was] a whistleblower who investigated Kremlin abuses and a tax-fraud scheme,” even though Magnitsky actually was never a “whistleblower,” and he was, to the exact contrary, assisting an American hedge-fund operator to illegally avoid $230 million in taxes that were due to the Russian Government and which tax-fraud had been reported not by Magnitsky as any ‘whistleblower’ but instead by, essentially, a bookkeeper, who was afraid of being prosecuted if she didn’t report to the police this tax-evasion that she was working on. Furthermore, Stratfor’s “to punish those deemed responsible for the death of” Magnitsky also is a lie, because the only person who so “deemed” was the American tax-fraudster who had employed Magnitsky. That employer accused Russia’s police of beating to death in prison this criminal suspect, Magnitsky, and he used, as ‘documentation’ for his charges, fake ‘translations’ into English of the police documents, and these ‘translations’ were taken at face-value by US and EU officials, who couldn’t read Russian, and who wanted to cooperate with, instead of to resist, the US Barack Obama Administration and the UK David Cameron Administration.

Furthermore, Stratfor, when it refers to “human rights violations and the conflict in Ukraine,” is actually referring instead to “the most blatant coup in history”, as the head of Stratfor put it when describing what the Obama regime referred to as the ‘revolution’ that in February 2014 had overthrown Ukraine’s democratically elected Government and that then began an ethnic-cleansing campaign to get rid of the residents in the areas that had voted over 75% for the President whom the US-run operation had overthrown. In fact, US think-tanks criticized Obama for providing insufficient assistance to the newly installed Ukrainian regime’s firebombings of the places where over 90% of the residents had voted for the now-ousted Ukrainian President. And that was entirely typical. This is a sort of ‘philanthropy’ that America’s billionaires receive ‘charitable’ tax-writeoffs for funding (donating to). No matter how aggressive a US President may be against Russia, America’s aristocracy (through their ‘philanthropies’ etc.) complain that it’s not aggressive enough — America’s Government must do yet more, in order to ‘support human rights’ abroad.

So, that’s what America’s anti-Russian sanctions are all about: serving America’s billionaires.
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Offline Surly1

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #349 on: April 13, 2018, 06:24:41 AM »
 Although I agree with his conclusion, the policy is fitted to serve American billionaires, one assertion  upon which his logic is based is, to my understanding,  completely false:

Quote
because Stratfor derives some of its income from the CIA, it stated as being facts, instead of as being lies, that “Sergei Magnitsky [was] a whistleblower who investigated Kremlin abuses and a tax-fraud scheme,” even though Magnitsky actually was never a “whistleblower,” and he was, to the exact contrary, assisting an American hedge-fund operator to illegally avoid $230 million in taxes that were due to the Russian Government and which tax-fraud had been reported not by Magnitsky as any ‘whistleblower’ but instead by, essentially, a bookkeeper, who was afraid of being prosecuted if she didn’t report to the police this tax-evasion that she was working on.

It comes down to whether you believe this or not.
I don’t.
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Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #350 on: April 14, 2018, 10:20:22 AM »
I might just be quite jaded, but I am highly suspicious of the way this attack on Syria played out.  Who announces their intentions days in advance?  And Putin's response? Taking it up with the UN Security Council?  Yeah, right.  I recognize Kabuki theater when I see it.

"Hey Vlad, I was thinking Thursday for launching the missiles at Syria."

"Oh, no, Donald, Thursday doesn't work for me.  Our allies need more time to evacuate the sites.  How about early Saturday morning?"

"Okay, will do."
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Offline luciddreams

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #351 on: April 14, 2018, 10:48:04 AM »
I might just be quite jaded, but I am highly suspicious of the way this attack on Syria played out.  Who announces their intentions days in advance?  And Putin's response? Taking it up with the UN Security Council?  Yeah, right.  I recognize Kabuki theater when I see it.

"Hey Vlad, I was thinking Thursday for launching the missiles at Syria."

"Oh, no, Donald, Thursday doesn't work for me.  Our allies need more time to evacuate the sites.  How about early Saturday morning?"

"Okay, will do."

Exactly.  Like I said before,  it's just news for the idiocracy to believe in.

Offline Eddie

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #352 on: April 14, 2018, 11:33:39 AM »
They had to wait until the poll results came in to decide? Which looks more Presidential. Death from above, or no death from above.

Can't look weak like he accused Obama of being. People might begin to realize he's full of shit, and lying every time he opens his mouth.
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Well, so far no retaliation from Vlad the Impaler on the NATO bombing of Syria, supposedly for alleged Chemical Weapons in Douma, never verified.  This after Vlad said no actions would go unpunished.  At the moment, he looks quite impotent to stop this shit.

However, it seems to me Vlad just doesn't really give a shit here about the Syrians and he doesn't want to get WWIII going either.  What Syria has become is basically a test of Weapons Systems.  How many Missiles do we need to hit how many Targets?  How many Missiles will get shot down when we try this?  What reaction will we get if we do fire off missiles and reduce a few more buildings to rubble?

Syria as a country has become almost meaningless to both sides.  They have little to no oil left to extract, and their Geopolitical positioning is not all that great either.  Pipeines can be run through the Balkans from Iran bypassing Syrian ports altogether.  The climate there is completely fucked already and they can't grow enough food for an already decimated population.  So the place is just an experiment for the War Machine of both sides.

Now, the total number of missiles fired and which hit targets is in dispute by both sides.  I don't believe either side in their reporting on this, it is all spin. By NO MEANS can "Victory" be declared here, it's just a minor skirmish.

At some point however, Vlad's side here including the Iranians and to some extent the Turks will need to retaliate in some meaningful fashion or the FSoA and NATO will keep finding new excuses to bomb the living shit out of Syria.  If Mother Russia shows she won't protect her allies, why be allies with her?

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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-43771840

Syria air strikes: US still 'locked and loaded' for new chemical attacks

    44 minutes ago


Related Topics

    Syria air strikes

Media captionWatch the key moments over 12 hours - in two minutes

President Donald Trump has warned Syria's government the US is "locked and loaded" to strike again if it carries out chemical attacks.

The warning came after the US, UK and France struck three Syrian sites in response to a suspected deadly chemical attack in the town of Douma a week ago.

Syria denies any chemical use and says that attack was fabricated by rebels.

A UN Security Council vote brought by Syria's ally, Russia, to condemn the US-led strikes was rejected.

The wave of strikes represents the most significant attack against President Bashar al-Assad's government by Western powers in seven years of Syria's civil war.

While Western powers have supported rebels from early on in the war, they have not intervened against Syria directly.

    What was targeted in Syria?
    Will the West's attack sway Assad?
    UK publishes legal case for Syria strikes

After the failure of the Russian motion, the US, UK and France circulated a new draft resolution to UN Security Council members, calling for an independent investigation into Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons, AFP news agency reported.

A similar previous plan had been vetoed by Russia.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has blamed Russian obstruction for the need to launch military strikes, saying they left "no practicable alternative".
Media captionSyria air strikes: Will they work?
Isn't an investigation already under way?

Inspectors from the independent Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had already been dispatched to Damascus and they are expected to visit Douma this weekend.

But the OPCW will not seek to establish - and publicly announce - who was responsible for the attack, which is what the UK, US and France want to see.

The new, Western-drafted resolution calls for the OPCW to release their report within 30 days.

UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson wrote in the Telegraph that global powers will not "turn a blind eye" to the use of chemical weapons.

    World won't ignore toxic warfare - Johnson
    Syria 'chemical attack' on Douma: What we know
    Fall of Eastern Ghouta pivotal moment for Assad

Syria's Assistant Foreign Minister Ayman Sousan told the BBC his government welcomed the OPCW delegation.

"The work of the mission is in the interest of the Syrian state as it will uncover the lies, hypocrisy and the misinformation of the sides which had promoted the alleged use of chemical weapons," he said.
What happened at the UN?

An emergency meeting was held by the UN Security Council on Saturday, leading to some bitter exchanges.

Russia sought to secure a collective condemnation of the early morning air strikes.

However, out of the 15-member council, only China and Bolivia voted in favour of the Russian resolution.

Russia's UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzia, read out a quote from President Vladimir Putin accusing the US, UK and France of "cynical disdain" in acting without waiting for the OPCW's findings.

US envoy Nikki Haley said the strikes were "justified, legitimate and proportionate".

She said: "I spoke to the president [Trump] this morning and he said, 'if the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded'."

She added: "We cannot stand by and let Russia trash every international norm and allow use of chemical weapons to go unanswered."

    Can Trump walk away after air strikes?

Syrian envoy Bashar Jaafari called the US, UK and France "liars, spoilers and hypocrites", who exploited the UN "to pursue... [their] policy of interference and colonialism".
What is happening on the ground?

CBS News reporter Seth Doane visited one of the targets in Damascus on Saturday afternoon, and found it to be a smouldering pile of rubble.
Image copyright CBS News
Image caption The Barzeh complex appears to be totally destroyed

The Barzeh complex is, according to the US, a centre for development, production and testing of chemical and biological weapons. Syria denies this.

    What sites were targeted?
    US and allies launch air strikes on Syria

Elsewhere, the Syrian army announced on Saturday that the Eastern Ghouta region, where Douma is situated, had been cleared of the last rebel fighters and was fully retaken.
Media captionAmateur footage shows strikes on a military research facility in Damascus, while state TV shows the damage
What has Donald Trump said?

He tweeted early on Saturday, hailing the strikes as "perfectly executed". He also thanked the UK and France.
Skip Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump

    A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2018

Report

End of Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump

His use of the phrase "Mission Accomplished" drew a warning from President George W Bush's ex-press secretary Ari Fleischer:
Skip Twitter post by @AriFleischer

    Um...I would have recommended ending this tweet with not those two words. https://t.co/h5Fl7kjea6
    — Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) April 14, 2018

Report

End of Twitter post by @AriFleischer

The phrase had been on a banner as Mr Bush declared the end of "major combat operations" in Iraq in May 2003, six weeks after the US-led invasion of the country. The following Iraqi insurgency questioned the validity of the statement.

    UK's May faces almighty row over air strikes
    What can Western military intervention achieve?
    Were the Syria air strikes legal?

At a Pentagon briefing on Saturday, Lt Gen Kenneth McKenzie listed the three targets that had been struck, saying the attacks had "set the Syrian chemical weapons programme back years".
Media captionGen Kenneth McKenzie: "We deployed 105 weapons"

Gen McKenzie said about 40 Syrian defence missiles were fired, mostly after the targets were hit and none were "successfully engaged".

The Pentagon briefing conflicted with information given at a Russian defence ministry briefing, which said 103 cruise missiles had been launched and 71 were shot down by Syrian systems.

Both the Russians and the US said there were no reported casualties. Syria says three people were hurt near Homs.

The US said it had communicated with Russia ahead of the strikes through the normal procedures of their "deconfliction" hotline but no details of the attacks were given.

    Theresa May statement in full
    President Trump's statement in full

There had been concerns that if the allied strikes had hit Russian military personnel, it would have further escalated tension.

The US says the scale of the strikes was about "double" what was launched in April 2017 after a chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed more than 80 people.
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Offline Surly1

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #354 on: April 15, 2018, 02:48:37 PM »
I might just be quite jaded, but I am highly suspicious of the way this attack on Syria played out.  Who announces their intentions days in advance?  And Putin's response? Taking it up with the UN Security Council?  Yeah, right.  I recognize Kabuki theater when I see it.

"Hey Vlad, I was thinking Thursday for launching the missiles at Syria."

"Oh, no, Donald, Thursday doesn't work for me.  Our allies need more time to evacuate the sites.  How about early Saturday morning?"

"Okay, will do."

Exactly.  Like I said before,  it's just news for the idiocracy to believe in.

“Get ready Russia, the missiles are coming?“ Absolutely agreed.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Palloy2

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Re: Syria - superpowers eye-ball to eyeball
« Reply #355 on: May 01, 2018, 03:09:56 PM »
US seems to be telling Syria "we and our allies will protect your borders for you".  How helpful and kind.

https://www.rt.com/usa/425608-us-syria-isis-partition/
US plan of last push against ISIS raises specter of Syria partition
1 May, 2018

Announcing the start of military operations against the remaining strongholds of Islamic State, the US State Department included some pointed language, hinting at de facto partition of Syria, analysts tell RT.

“The days of ISIS controlling territory and terrorizing the people of Syria are coming to an end,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Tuesday.The operations will be conducted by the US-led coalition and local partners, including the Kurdish-majority Syrian Democratic Forces.

The US will also work with Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon to “secure their borders” from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Nauert said. This is intriguing, because the only remaining IS presence is near the Iraqi border, with a pocket south of Damascus currently being cleared out by Syrian government forces.

Nauert also said the US will ensure there is a “strong and lasting footprint” in Syria so that IS cannot return and the liberated populations “are not exploited by the Assad regime or its Iranian supporters.”

Last week, the US House of Representatives passed the “No Assistance for Assad Act,” or HR 4681. If approved by the Senate, it would mandate that any US funds for recovery, reconstruction or stabilization in Syria “should be used only in a democratic Syria or in areas of Syria not controlled by a government led by Bashar al-Assad or associated forces.”

Between Nauert’s statement and the House bill, a question arises on whether the US intends to allow the reintegration into the Syrian state of any areas liberated from IS.

US statements supporting the territorial integrity of Syria “are only words” that serve as cover for “plans to partition Syria,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday, after a meeting with Turkish and Iranian officials in Moscow. Lavrov had also warned earlier this year about Western plans to partition Syria.

The State Department’s language is “subterfuge,” former Pentagon official Michael Maloof told RT. The US and its allies intend to occupy the eastern part of Syria and partition the country, in order to “use the Sunnis in East Syria and West Iraq to form a barricade to stop any Iranian influence and cut off supplies to Hezbollah.”

Washington’s objectives are aligned with the axis between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Maloof added, with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu hoping the US will fight Iran for Israel.

“They will go alone if they have to and drag the US into it,” Maloof told RT. “We’re getting sucked into another war.” 

Nauert’s reference to a “future political settlement that honors the will of all Syrians, including Sunni Arabs, Kurds, Christians, Turkmen, and other minorities” could mean either regime change or some form of partition, former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT. The State Department notably made no mention of Shia or Alawite Syrians.

“Even if the Syrian government headed by President Assad remains in power in the west,” Jatras said, “de facto or de jure areas will be created for Kurds and particularly Sunnis.” The reference to Turkmen could signal the possibility of permanent Turkish presence in, or even annexation of, some parts of Syria, he added.

“ISIS is a sideshow. The real US targets are the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian backers,” Jatras said. “The stage is being set for a confrontation with Iran, in which Syria is simply one theater.”

“The reference to Christians is simply cynical. It is intended to make Americans think we give a damn about Syria’s Christians, despite seven years of arming and funding jihadists for whom Christians are prime targets for murder and enslavement,” Jatras explained.

The US has approximately 2,000 troops in Syria, who are there without legal authorization. The Russian military contingent that has aided Damascus against IS and other terrorist groups arrived in September 2015 at the government’s invitation.
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📡 Syrian War Report – Russia Boosts Its EW Capabilities In Syria
« Reply #356 on: September 27, 2018, 12:12:59 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/imup6iazp2s" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/imup6iazp2s</a>
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