The U.S. v. Russia Proxy War In Syria Creates High Risk For You

 

This column provides a Rosetta Stone for you to decode news about Russia's entry into the Syrian war.

You and yours face high risk from recent developments, including U.S.-allied reactions that include ramped-up U.S. shipments of advanced missiles to rebel fighters in Syria with minimal safeguards on use of the weapons. The New York Times reported this as a Syrian conflict "edging closer to an all-out proxy war between the United States and Russia."

Official announcements and reporting are heavily influenced by propaganda from all sides. So, any attempt to get at the facts on sensitive matters requires review of the mainstream media, academic and alternative sources, as well as (perhaps most importantly) common sense.

For such reasons, we note that the Washington Post — like the New York Times recently and many other mainstream media that advocate rebellion against Syria's government — published an Associated Press story on Oct. 12 that quoted the anti-government Syrian Observatory on Human Rights as if it were a neutral, fact-finding body. Instead, the news outlets could have ignored that source or informed readers of its background. The "observatory" is a one-man, anti-government propaganda mill whose one-sided "human rights" factoids are part of a campaign to overthrow Syria's government congruent with U.S. policy and that of the major U.S. news organizations.

We must also drop excessive loyalty to political parties and other movements whose leaders (many heavily influential with the media in ways seldom seen) protect their interests by shoehorning all information into partisan arguments. That doesn't help in a disaster like Syria created in a bipartisan manner.

Update: These developments are explored below as a part of a series on foreign policy that began Oct. 13. It has presented so far (in chronological order): 

To broaden this discussion, we note that InfoWars radio host Alex Jones got to the heart of the problems in a three-hour show last week in McCain: Let's Arm ISIS To Fight Russia. Jones is a gravel-voiced commentator who mixes primarily conservative themes with liberal ones, and often tackles elites and "globalists." Regarding U.S. sabre-rattling over Syria, Jones said, appropriately enough, "I do not even have words to describe how dangerous this is, but I'll do my best."

Presidernt Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Secretary of State Kerry at UN Sept. 28, 2015

Yet all major GOP candidates and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton blithely advocate a “No Fly Zone” among other warlike nostrums.

President Obama (shown in a September meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Secretary of State John Kerry) is one of the few major figures in American government resisting that escalation, which would be an illegal act of war because no relevant body has authorized it.

Aside from a legal basis, a shooting war with Russian, Syrian, and other opponents could easily arise if the United States or an ally shoots down one of their planes. They possess vastly greater firepower than the United States has faced in previous zones or indeed in any confrontations since the Vietnam War era. And intelligence sources inform us that Russian President Vladimir Putin specifically warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their meeting in Moscow not to interfere with Russian military actions in Syria, or else. 

Some of these dangers are obvious even if the media seldom reports on them.

But what the mainstream media never discuss are the full backgrounds and motivations of Obama, other key officials, and the private institutions that exert hidden controls over them and supposed watchdog institutions.

Based on the years of research in our recently updated 2013 book Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters, here is what can help you understand the news and not just to watch it.

These revelations are likely to disrupt previous conceptions for readers, just as they did for this editor during the research. Party loyalists and others who follow current affairs primarily to support their preconceptions can stop reading now. For those open to new ideas supported by documented proof:

The Stakes: Western battlefield setbacks in the Middle East and Central Asia are making leaders increasingly desperate and reckless. The U.S. has been forced to admit that the CIA has been operating a secret war for four years against the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad. Former CIA Director David Petraeus last week argued before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the U.S. should ally itself with Al Qaeda to overthrow Assad, whose coalition fights ISIS (used interchangeable hereafter with ISIL) and Al Qaeda as near-indistinguishable. Indeed, U.S. allies are widely suspected of funding ISIS and Al Qaeda, and USAID insignia is seen on a tent of purported ISIS members at rightISIS with USAID tents. Turkey has emerged as a leading supporter of ISIS and suspect in the horrendous chemical attack that killed more than a thousand persons in 2013, including many children. Israel's warmongering, interference in U.S. domestic politics, and increasingly cruel treatment of Palestinians have prompted widespread revulsion in the West, including among non-Zionist Jews in Israel and in the United States. Jihadists are threatening and killing Christians in Syria, who are fleeing in fear of their lives after living for generations under rule by Assad and his father. Refugees from Syria and other war-torn countries have brought chaos to the Middle East and now are creating massive migrations of not-vetted refugees destabilizing European nations. The 800,000 new immigrants in Germany, for example, are making many Europeans reappraise their support for U.S. policies. The ultimate risk, of course, is war. Saudi clerics and other radicals have ordered a fatwa against Russia, whose leaders suspect that the United States has organized jihadists to terrorize Russia.

The Players. Few Americans know that President Obama’s roots, like those of most of his family, are in the world of intelligence, banking, and prestigious foundations. Obama's mother worked for the Ford Foundation, the top conduit in the world for laundered funds from the CIA, and his grandmother was vice president of a Rockefeller-controlled bank. Similarly, the attacks on Obama as a “community organizer” and radical are half-truths at best and are meant to deceive. The same kinds of half-truths limit public understanding of most of our other “leaders,” organizations, and their plutocrat controllers.

Pervasive Propaganda Presented As ‘News.’ The Middle Eastern wars are clarifying the media power of a hidden government or “Deep State” that manipulates constitutional safeguards to achieve autocratic goals benefiting elites. The mainstream media distort (often by omission) debate on such current topics as the Syrian war and presidential candidacies, or such historical topics as cover-ups of President Kennedy’s killers and the circumstances of other major assassinations. As one example, the media have thousands of times (as recently as the New York Times on Oct. 9) have relied on "the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" to inform audiences of basic facts about the Syrian war, but almost never provide the context that it is a one-main operation by an anti-government activist who has not been in his country for 15 years. As another example, the media self-censor and the CIA withholds information that President Kennedy was killed via a conspiracy of those who opposed his foreign policy. Obama, a product of the intelligence community, is frightened that the same thing might happen to him or his family. But Obama is nonetheless resisting his more extreme fellow war-mongers. That slant is never presented to you, except via the alternative media, as in a column Oct. 12 here by former Reagan Assistant Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts, now banned from the mainstream media.

Obama began his career as a recruit for the intelligence community who specialized in centrist-left role-playing. The facts have been well-documented since 2008 in alternative media, albeit in largely circumstantial ways too lengthy to repeat here. Books are for such documentation. Presidential Puppetry, for example, has nearly 1,300 endnotes, nearly all on the record.

The essence is that Obama’s first job out of college was with the CIA-front company Business International Corp. Thus, he was not a community organizer until later. His family on both sides was also involved in the wing of intelligence operations. Their goal was to penetrate on behalf of the power structure left-leaning organizations. Obama thus has functioned as a gatekeeper Democratic and other leftish criticisms of the power structure.

The picture becomes clear once you examine the evidence. The chairman of Obama’s department at Columbia University was former Carter Administration National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, a cofounder with David Rockefeller of the Trilateral Commission. Brzezinski advocated U.S. support for radical Muslims to fight Soviets in Afghanistan in 1979-1980, as shown in a 1980 Corbis photo meeting with fighters. He was Obama’s top national security advisor during his 2008 Zbigcampaign, and two weeks ago argued that Obama should retaliate if Russia doesn't stop attacking U.S. assets.

Thus, President Carter and Brzezinski started the United States on the path of using radical Muslims to undermine the Soviet Union. Obama, who traveled to Pakistan in 1980 as a college student to stay with the family of a future president, is very familiar with that history.

Since the early 1980s, Republicans and their neoconservative strategists enthusiastically expanded the Democratic plan and used it to destabilize Asian and North African countries via jihadists. These fighting forces have morphed into dozens of entities variously known now as the mujahedeen, Al Qaeda, ISIS/ISIL — and arguably the so-called “Free Syrian Army.”

In sum, Obama knew much more about the foreign policy intrigue upon taking office than most voters and pundits have assumed. He's implemented  many parts of the neocon and its parallel neoliberal agenda as payback to his elite supporters.

But he has since developed good reason (like President Kennedy previously) to distrust the advice provided by his warmonger handlers, their patrons in the private sector, and the almost united front of establishment experts.

Few of these experts can withstand scrutiny of their performance. Whatever their high position and experience, almost none have implemented successful foreign or military policies at reasonable cost. True, former Central Command leader and CIA Director David Petraeus might seem to be an exception, especially based on the military success of the 2007 "surge" in Iraq. Yet that was a short-term success achieved at unsustainable cost for uncertain goals. Thus, was the program was a failure even though he is still widely revered by colleagues as having provided expert and dedicated leadership.

Furthermore, the politically ambitious Petraeus is a problematical hero for the U.S. public. In a story long-covered up (except in the independent press), he was sacked in 2012 for disloyalty to his nominal boss, President Obama. A sex scandal was used as the excuse for public consumption for his resignation but Petraeus private sector backers soon arranged a CEO job on Wall Street as his reward.

David PetraeusFrom the left, commentator and author Webster Tarpley has been vilifying Petraeus (shown in his official photo as CIA director) and his former CENTCOM colleague John R. Allen CNAS photoJohn Allen, a former Marine four-star general whom Obama named to lead a fight against ISIL. Allen, shown in a file photo, has resigned, effective Nov. 1.

Tarpley claims that the anti-ISIS campaign has been half-hearted because powerful elements in the defense industry see ISIL/Al Qaeda as a useful tool to maintain high military spending and also to threaten Russian power.

"The Russian air campaign is revealing itself as exceptionally intense," Tarpley wrote Oct. 13, "with about 10 times as many combat sorties [one combat mission flown by one aircraft]  flown per day as compared with the U.S. and coalition average over the past several months. Under the defeatist phony war strategy imposed by the Petraeus-Allen clique, the U.S. and its partners had only been managing somewhere between five and ten sorties per day, with the proviso that many of these planes were coming back still carrying their bomb loads."

He argues that there must be deeper reasons than those presented to the public on why the trillion-dollar U.S. intelligence and war sector could not find and destroy the rag-tag ISIS forces driving new Toyota through deserts and using social media to display gruesome head-choppings.

Tarpley also cited a news story in the conservative Washington Times, Russia foils ISIS-trained terror attack on Moscow, to argue that Saudis, perhaps encouraged by anti-Russian U.S. sympathizers in high places, were implementing their threats to use ISIS for terror attacks against Russia's civilian population as an outgrowth of the Syrian war.

"Inevitably," Tarpley wrote in his daily newsletter of the Tax Wall Street Party, "the Russian leadership will consider the threats from the Pentagon and from the Saudis to be two prongs of the same aggressive operation. With most of the American public still oblivious to what is being done in their name, the world is drifting towards a superpower confrontation."

Tarpley, arguably the first pundit anywhere to identify the presidential candidate Obama in 2008 as a product of the intelligence, banking and foundation communities, also warned, "If the CIA is allowed to deliver Stinger surface-to-air missiles to Al-Qaeda, the world may slide into World War III."

If Obama should be so foolish as to allow modern Stinger missiles to get into the hands of Islamist jihadis in Syria, it will become only a question of time until these missiles are used to shoot down a passenger airliner landing or taking off at an airport in Turkey, Israel, Western Europe or the United States. And, once that happens, the political damage to the United States and to the feckless Obama personally will be incalculable."

Obama must assert himself far beyond his usual comfort zone to get control of his government and put the CIA and Petraeus-Allen secret government forces on a short leash. The drone which approached the White House a few days ago [news reports said it was an accident] may be the harbinger of a putsch designed to impose a wider war.

 

Presidential Puppetry by Andrew KreigObama's Rise Reexamined

Obama’s rise to power under the cover of being a community organizer and suspected leftist has made it easy for the right-wing to demonize him and his current policy positions, particularly since he uses executive power with minimal formal inputs from Congress and backs gay rights and other controversial positions on social issues that anger his opponents.

Obama can thus be targeted as a patsy for defeats sustained as he implemented wrongheaded policies of his predecessors, handlers, and the powerful interests they represent.

To Obama’s credit, he apparently suspects at this point (as did President Kennedy by 1963) that his advisors (most recommended by outside powers) can be wrong and that he, not them, was elected to lead the country.

But, as Obama doubtless knows, he faces risks in resisting the power structure's consensus desire for force against Assad. As comparison, strong evidence implicates warmongers in both the assassination and cover up in part because of his growing reluctance regarding Defense Department and CIA strategies regarding Cuba, Vietnam and the Soviet Union.

Lee Harvey Oswald Head and ShouldersSimilarly, authorities framed and executed (via intermediaries) the execution of accused Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald had been Marine working at the Atsugi Air Force Base in Japan on the top-secret U-2 spy project.

Later, Oswald (shown in a file photo) was accepted at Albert Schweitzer College, a CIA front in Switzerland that Oswald never attended. He pretended to be a Communist and defected to the Soviet Union. Back in the United States, he became an undercover asset for multiple federal agencies and cooperating private sector companies. Suddenly, he was denounced as a lone nut who had killed Kennedy and promptly murdered in the Dallas police station, with no notes taken from his 12 hours of interrogation about the crime of the century.

We have published many columns on that as part of our “Readers Guide to the JFK Assassination” series. The Kennedy murder cover up is highly relevant to current affairs, as I describe Nov. 21 at a conference in Dallas.

One illustration for now is the attached Life Magazine cover. The cover is obvious fabrication published under Charles Douglas “CD” Jackson, publisher of Time-Life Inc. and previously the nation’s top psychological warfare expert in his White House and Defense Department positions. The magazine cover shows “Oswald” with a head too large and the body contorted into an unnatural leaning position while he was supposedly relaxing at home. "Oswald" is brandishing a gun that the real Oswald probably never owned and that was too large for the package Oswald's friend Buell Frazier saw him carry the day of the shooting.

Lee Harvey Oswald Life Magazine Cover Feb. 24, 1964The magazine cover and story helped media manipulators like Jackson and his team frame Oswald. The lack of accountability for the public murders of a previous president and a previous patsy cannot be encouraging to Obama or any other president considering actions that might antagonize the nation's power structure and its enforcement arms, such as the CIA. 

Obama, as a black man by choice descended from parents of different races, has reason also to identify with the fate of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was murdered in 1968 soon after he expanded the civil rights struggle to protest against a Vietnam war that JFK had privately vowed to end.

King’s alleged assassin, the racist James Earl Ray, could not have killed King. Ray’s frame-up is a story well-known to researchers. As indicated from Obama comments at a California fund-raiser and as reported in Presidential Puppetry, King’s murder (and doubtless the cover-up) has been on the president’s mind when he weighs the pros and cons of his policies.

Bottom line: Any thinking person in Obama's position would realize he faces a double danger. First is the vendetta of the establishment that Kennedy incurred from his peace and other presidential policies. The second is the danger that any covert agent like Oswald risks in being hated and denounced for the role, and thus expendable as a patsy.

The establishment media’s cowardice and willful ignorance is the ever-present framework for this country’s plight in Syria, as elsewhere. Their disgraceful shortcomings are understandable, although not excusable, once one recognizes that journalists who attain stature in covering politics and foreign affairs achieve that prominence only by pretending to pursue stories aggressively while kow-towing to the power structure.

In fact, the journalists pull punches when “the story” veers into sensitive areas that are not congruent with the goals of their news sources and, more importantly, with a news outlet’s owners and their Wall Street financiers.

As noted above, mainstream U.S. media have quoted "the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" thousands of times for expertise on developments in Syria as if the organization were a neutral and authoritative source. The New York Times, for example, quoted it Oct. 9 in ISIS Makes Gains in Syria Territory Bombed by Russia.

But the alternative media reports that the "observatory" is a one-man operation by an anti-Assad activist, as reported by Pro-Democracy Terrorism: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is a Propaganda Front funded by the EU.

Meanwhile, neoliberals use their Democratic credentials to join with Republican neocons to support policies creating more chaos, often in the name of democracy and human rights. Most adherents doubtless believe the slogans but results speak louder than words.

Through it all, the press and presidential candidates remain nearly oblivious except to repeat the talking points of their experts sought out for their hawkish views.

The results? Disastrous foreign policy reverses, horrid death and other suffering on a monumental scale, and vast migrations of refugees who cannot be vetted in any practical way to protect host communities from prospective jihadists.

Clinton, Sanders and the media have an opportunity to clear up these matters and many more, beginning with the Democratic presidential debate scheduled Oct. 13.

Don’t count on it. Instead, scan through the columns below and fill in the gaps yourself. You were endowed with eyes to read, a brain to think, and the rights of a citizen.

This column concludes with appendices. One is a sample of questions rarely asked of newsmakers about recent developments. Below that are excerpts of recent articles that illustrate the nation’s dangerous foreign policy.


 
 
 
 
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Questions the Media Should Ask Newsmakers

Why haven’t the American public been informed that President Obama was a CIA covert asset before entering U.S. politics?

So has been every other U.S. president after Jimmy Carter (a Naval Academy graduate and example of veterans of uniformed service who entered politics). Spiking that story about Obama and his recent predecessors is one of the clearest indications of a hidden government and compliant press.

What is the legal or practical basis for United States and its allies to wage war against the government of Syria, which invited Russian, Iranian, and other assistance under long-established relationships and international law?

Meanwhile, the Congress and the United Nations have failed to provide any legal basis for ongoing wars, which have included years of secret CIA training of jihadists to overthrow Syria’s government and many violations of its airspace by surrounding nations and NATO members.

What happens if and when Russia violates the “no fly zone” demanded by all major 2016 presidential candidates in both parties aside from Democrat Bernie Sanders?

If Assad’s “barrel bombs” are so reprehensible in the civil war where is the comparable outcry against Saudi Arabia’s annihilation of Yemen by a war of aggression in recent months?

John McCain and alleged ISIS and Al Qaeda leaders in Syria 2013Whom did Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) meet during his 2013 visit to Syria if they were not, as alleged (see photo), the future leader of ISIS and Al Qaeda personnel?

How has ISIS been supplied and grown in a landlocked arid region if not through the complicity of its neighbors Turkey and the Gulf feudal monarchies, along with at the minimum astonishing laxity by the NSA, Defense Department, CIA and other relevant U.S. officials?

To take a relatively small but telling point, how does ISIS sell oil and buy brand new Toyota pickups without the knowledge of the NSA and complicity of Defense Department leaders who fail to bomb the trucks as they parade through the deserts?

When will the press (if not Congress) bring forward the disloyalty of CIA Director David Petraeus that caused his dismissal in 2012 and has motivated his actions since then in service of his Wall Street backers?

Have those who planned the wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and Sudan long in advance of their starting dates considered the impact on America’s European influence of the food of Arab refugees to Europe?

Germany is receiving an estimated 800,000 who cannot be vetted to eliminate criminals and jihadists. Many residents there, as well as in other designated refugee destinations include the United States, are become furious at the bipartisan U.S. foreign affairs leadership creating these upheavals.  

Why does Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders (I-VT) back the use of drones in the Middle East and support Saudi Arabia’s militaristic adventures without supporting release of the Senate-House report identifying funders of the alleged 9/11 hijackers?

The Saudis are demonstrably one of the world’s most repressive, anti-democratic, and militarily aggressive nations in violation of Geneva Conventions, and have been repeatedly linked to funding the exact same terror suspects whose actions prompted these devastating wars.

 

Related News Coverage

Federal Announcements, Interviews By President Obama, Others

CBS News 60 Minutes. Steve Kroft questions President Obama on topics including Russia's incursion in Syria, ISIS and the 2016 presidential race, Oct. 11, 2015. It's been a week of rising tensions in Syria with Russia stepping up airstrikes and naval bombardments in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and in some cases against rebel groups supported by the United States. It's complicated an already precarious situation and aggravated an already contentious relationship between President Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Add to that the presidential primary campaigns underway at home, and it seemed like a good time to talk about all of it with the president which we did on Tuesday in the Roosevelt Room at the White House; a lively, spirited discussion that began with ISIS.

Steve Kroft: The last time we talked was this time last year, and the situation in Syria and Iraq had begun to worsen vis-à-vis ISIS. You had just unveiled a plan to provide air support for troops in Iraq, and also some air strikes in Syria, and the training and equipping of a moderate Syrian force. You said that this would degrade and eventually destroy ISIS.

President Barack Obama: Over time.

Steve Kroft: Over time. It's been a year, and--

President Barack Obama: I didn't say it was going to be done in a year.

OpEdNews, Recognizing Neocon Failure Shows Obama Has Come To His Senses, Paul Craig Roberts, Oct. 12, 2015. Obama Shows Strength By Recognizing The Failure Of The Neoconservative Policy. Tyler President Obama 60 Minutes Screenshot Oct. 11, 2015Durden of Zero Hedge and others are misinterpreting Steve Kroft's "60 Minutes" interview with President Obama. They see weakness and confusion in Obama's responses and conclude that Kroft shredded Obama.

What I see is entirely different. Steve Kroft is either a neoconservative or he is inculcated into the neocon mind-set that the US must prevail everywhere. Kroft's view is that weakness and indecision on Obama's part is the reason the US is not prevailing in Syria. Kroft's purpose is to embarrass Obama and push him into escalating the situation. However, Obama is too strong for him. I read the interview as Obama saying that the neocon program has turned out not to be in America's national interest. Those who dislike Obama, and those inculcated by years of propaganda into the neocon view that America must always and everywhere prevail, will see what they want to see.

NBC News, Obama Says U.S. Knew Russian Military Planned to Intervene in Syria, M. Alex Johnson, Oct. 11 2015. The United States had "pretty good intelligence" that Russia intended to intervene militarily in Syria before President Barack Obama met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Obama said in an interview broadcast Sunday. Critics have accused Obama of having ceded American leadership to Putin by having failed to prevent Russia from launching airstrikes there on Sept. 30. Russia says the airstrikes are part of a campaign to wipe out ISIS, but U.S. officials have accused Putin of using them to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom the United States is seeking to oust. Some critics, including several Republican presidential candidates, have suggested that the Obama administration was taken by surprise by the airstrikes. In a long, tense interview with CBS's "60 Minutes," conducted Tuesday and aired Sunday night, however, Obama said: "We knew that he was planning to provide the military assistance that Assad was needing because they were nervous about a potential imminent collapse of the regime."

New York Times, Obama Administration Halts Program to Train Syrians to Combat ISIS, Michael D. Shear, Helene Cooper and Eric Scmitt, Oct. 9, 2015. After struggling for years to identify groups in Syria that it can confidently support, the Obama administration on Friday abandoned its effort to build a rebel force inside Syria to combat the Islamic State. It acknowledged the failure of its $500 million campaign to train thousands of fighters and said whatever money remained would be usedto provide lethal aid for groups already engaged in the battle.

New York Times, An Incoherent Syria War Strategy, Editorial Board, Oct. 9, 2015. The Obama administration’s $500 million initiative to train and arm so-called moderate rebels to take on the Islamic State never seemed promising when it was rolled out last year. Having acknowledged that this plan has failed — largely because Syrian opposition groups are more interested in taking on President Bashar al-Assad — the White House on Friday unveiled a plan that is even more incoherent and fraught with risk. The Pentagon will stop putting rebel fighters through training in neighboring countries, a program that was designed to ensure that fighters were properly vetted before they could get their hands on American weapons and ammunition. The new plan will simply funnel weapons through rebel leaders who are already in the fight and appear to be making some headway. The initial plan was dubious. The new one is hallucinatory, and it is being rolled out as the war enters a more perilous phase now that Russia has significantly stepped up its military support of Mr. Assad’s forces.

Russian Reactions, Strategies

RT, War of Words: Russian Foreign Ministry calls out MSM reports on hospital strike in Syria, Oct. 23, 2015. The Russian Foreign Ministry has disputed Western media reports accusing Russia of hitting a field hospital in northwestern Syria and killing 13 people. The reports cited “sources” provided by the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, stressed that such reports show tremendous bias towards Russia’s military efforts in Syria. “There are so-called mass media reports which allege that Russian aircraft bombed a field hospital in the Idlib Governorate in northwestern Syria and reportedly killed 13 people. I cannot say that these reports are written by journalists but their ingenuity delights,” Zakharova told reporters. She questioned the credentials of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, pointing out that it is based in Britain and has no direct access to the ground in Syria.

Vladimir Putin Charlie Rose CBS 60 Minutes and Kremlin Sept. 2015BBC, Syria conflict: Putin defends Russia's air strikes, Staff report, Oct. 12, 2015. President Vladimir Putin has defended Russia's military operations in Syria, saying the aim is to "stabilise the legitimate authority" of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia wants to "create conditions for a political compromise" in Syria, he told Russian state TV. On Monday the EU's foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, called Russia's role "a game-changer". She said: "It has some very worrying elements." EU ministers are discussing Syria now. Going into the Luxembourg meeting, several foreign ministers stressed that air strikes should only target so-called Islamic State (IS) fighters and other Islamist "terrorists." The US and UK governments have accused Russia of attacking mainly "moderate" anti-Assad groups, rather than the jihadists. Mr Putin denied that that was the case. "The interventions against Daesh (IS) have to be clearly against Daesh and other terrorist groups, as defined by the UN," Ms Mogherini stressed. Ms Mogherini said she was especially worried about recent violations of Turkish airspace by Russian jets.

Washington Times, Russia foils ISIS-trained terror attack on Moscow, L. Todd Wood, Oct. 12, 2015. Russian citizens planned to hit transportation. Russian FSB agents today arrested six Russian citizens at a Moscow apartment who were apparently planning to detonate an explosive device in similar strength to that used in the Ankara bombings. The explosion was to be carried out on Moscow public transportation. Up to a dozen people had been actively visiting the apartment and had been previously trained by ISIS terrorists on Syrian territory.

Upon interrogation, Russian officials reported the suspects admitted they had received training and monetary assistance in Syria from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Speculation has risen that Russia may face reprisals from Sunni Muslim groups after the recent Russian assault in Syria began. The campaign seems to be primarily directed at rebels opposing the Assad regime rather than the Islamic State, according to reports from the region.

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

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

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

OpEdNews, A Decisive Shift In The Power Balance Has Occurred, Paul Craig Roberts (shown in file photo), Oct. 10, 2015. The world is beginning to realize that a seachange in world affairs occurred on September 28 when President Paul Craig RobertsPutin of Russia stated in his UN speech that Russia can no longer tolerate Washington's vicious, stupid, and failed policies that have unleashed chaos, which is engulfing the Middle East and now Europe.

RT, 63 ISIS targets hit in 64 Russian sorties over Syria: Combat report, Staff, Oct. 11, 2015. Russian Aerospace Forces have extended the range of their airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Syria to four provinces, focusing primarily on demolishing fortified installations and eliminating supply bases and the terrorists' infrastructure. In total, 64 sorties targeted 63 Islamic State installations, among them 53 fortified zones, 7 arms depots, 4 training camps and a command post. A group of Sukhoi Su-24M bombers attacked a terrorist field headquarters near the village of Salma in northwest Syria. This command post has been coordinating operations of the militants in whole of the Latakia province. Russian and American armed forces have held a second video conference regarding the operation in Syria. The two sides discussed in detail proposals voiced at the first such event and focused on issues of air security to be ensured by both sides, since both US and Russian aircraft are currently operating in Syria’s airspace.

 

Western Media Reliance on Propaganda Outlet for Syrian News?

OpEdNews, The MH-17 "Report," Paul Craig Roberts, Oct. 13, 2015. When I read that the report on the downing of the Malaysian airliner over Ukraine was being put in the hands of the Dutch, I knew that there would be no investigation and no attention to the facts. The Western media already had "the-Russians-did-it" story ready the moment the airliner was reported to be shot down. This story was very useful to Washington in hardening its European vassal states into sanctions against Russia, as there was some dissent. The Western media has no independence. An editor of a major German newspaper has written a book, a best-seller published in Germany, in which he states that not only he himself served the CIA as a reliable purveyor of Washington's lies, but that every significant journalist in Europe does so also. Obviously, his book has not been translated and published in America.

New York Times, ISIS Makes Gains in Syria Territory Bombed by Russia, Anne Barnard and Thomas Erdbrink, Oct. 9, 2015. A prominent Iranian general was killed in Syria on Thursday night, Iranian officials and state news media reported on Friday, illustrating the level of Iran’s direct involvement on the government side in the Syrian civil war. The general, Hussein Hamedani, a senior figure in the Revolutionary Guards, was killed in Aleppo Province, where he was advising the Syrian military. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group with extensive contacts in Syria, said General Hamedani was killed along with several bodyguards on Thursday near the Kweiris military airport east of Aleppo. One of the bombs killed Saleh Mahmoud Leyla, a Syrian journalist working for Turkey’s state-run news agency, Anadolu, according to the agency. Mr. Leyla, who had also been an antigovernment activist, frequently covered news developments in insurgent-held areas of Syria. Dozens of Syrian journalists have lost their lives in the conflict.

Global Research, Pro-Democracy Terrorism: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is a Propaganda Front funded by the EU, Tony Cartalucci, April 12, 2013. The NYT admits fraudulent Syrian human rights group is UK-based “one-man band” funded by EU and one other “European country.” In reality, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has long ago been exposed as an absurd propaganda front operated by Rami Abdul Rahman out of his house in England’s countryside. According to a December 2011 Reuters article titled, “Coventry – an unlikely home to prominent Syria activist,” Abdul Rahman (shown in a Reuters photo) admits he is a member of the so-called “Syrian opposition” and seeks the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad: "After three short spells in prison in Syria for pro-democracy activism, Abdulrahman came to Britain in 2000 fearing a longer, fourth jail term. “I came to Britain the day Hafez al-Assad died, and I’ll return when Bashar al-Assad goes,” Abdulrahman said, referring to Bashar’s father and predecessor Hafez, also an autocrat."

One could not fathom a more unreliable, compromised, biased source of information, yet for the past two years, his “Observatory” has served as the sole source of information for the endless torrent of propaganda emanating from the Western media. Perhaps worst of all, is that the United Nations uses this compromised, absurdly overt source of propaganda as the basis for its various reports – at least, that is what the New York Times now claims in their recent article, “A Very Busy Man Behind the Syrian Civil War’s Casualty Count.”

Wikipedia, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) founded in May 2006 is an information office documenting human rights abuses in the Syrian Civil War. Rami Abdulrahman's UK-based SOHR has been cited by virtually every western news outlet since the beginning of the uprising. Since the start of coalition airstrikes against ISIL/ISIS in September 2014, SOHR is frequently quoted by major news media, such as Voice of America, Reuters, BBC, CNN and National Public Radio, about daily numbers of ISIL/ISIS fighters and civilians killed in airstrikes in Syria. The United Kingdom-based SOHR is run out of a two-bedroom terraced home in Coventry by one person, Rami Abdulrahman, a Syrian Sunni Muslim who also runs a clothes shop. After three spells in prison in Syria, Abdulrahman came to Britain in 2000 fearing a longer, fourth jail term. The New York Times in April 2013 described him being on the phone all day every day with contacts in Syria, and checking all information himself. Born Osama Suleiman, he adopted a pseudonym during his years of activism in Syria, and has used it publicly ever since. Abdulrahman's website is at syriahr.com and syriahr.net (in Arabic) and syriahr.com/en (in English).

RT, Man who runs Syrian Observator for Human rights (SOHR) admits to RT he last visited Syria 15 years ago, Ilya Petrenko, Oct. 6, 2015. "We are under attack simply because we tell the truth what's going on in Syria. Apparently nobody wants to hear the truth," Abdulrahman told RT’s Ilya Petrenko. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has been feeding news about the Syrian war to many media outlets, claiming to have a wide network of contacts on the ground. Recently RT went to investigate what makes SOHR so popular with the mainstream media. Journalist and prankster Nimrod Kamer, who volunteered to help find out the answer, travelled to the Midlands to see the headquarters of the Observatory and speak to its director. Kamer had no luck catching Rami Abdulrahman at home, however. Calling him on the phone, he found out the man went out to a shop. The director of the Observatory sounded very distressed on the phone, talking about the dangers of meeting up for daytime interviews because “they are trying to kill me.”

Commentary on U.S. Strategies

New York Times, Supply of U.S.-Made Missiles Picks Up, Syrian Insurgents Say, Anne Barnard and Karam Shouma, Oct. 12, 2015. Insurgent commanders say that since Russia began air attacks in support of the Syrian government, they have for the first time received bountiful supplies of powerful American-made antitank missiles. With the enhanced insurgent firepower and with Russia steadily raising the number of airstrikes against the government’s opponents, the Syrian conflict is edging closer to an all-out proxy war between the United States and Russia. The increased levels of support have raised morale on both sides of the conflict, broadening war aims and hardening political positions, making a diplomatic settlement all the more unlikely. The American-made TOW antitank missiles began arriving in the region in 2013, through a covert program run by the United States, Saudi Arabia and other allies to help certain C.I.A.-vetted insurgent groups battle the Syrian government. The weapons are delivered to the field by American allies, but the United States approves their destination. That suggests that the newly steady battlefield supply has at least tacit American approval, now that Russian air power is backing President Bashar al-Assad.

Info Wars, McCain: Let's Arm ISIS To Fight Russia, Alex Jones, Oct. 2, 2015. On this edition of the Show, we look into Sen. John McCain's plan to arm ISIS-linked Syrian rebels to shoot down Russian airplanes, which would likely spark World War 3. We also analyze the myth of "moderate" rebel groups because ISIS and ISIS-linked groups make up the vast majority of militants in Syria. Also, Joe Biggs is live streaming from UT Austin where Second Amendment supporters are staging a counter-protest against a gun control group on campus. And geopolitical expert Joel Skousen explains what can plausibly happen next in Syria and why everyone should be paying attention. You don't want to miss today's show!


New York Times, An Incoherent Syria War Strategy, Editorial Board, Oct. 9, 2015. The Obama administration’s $500 million initiative to train and arm so-called moderate rebels to take on the Islamic State never seemed promising when it was rolled out last year. Having acknowledged that this plan has failed — largely because Syrian opposition groups are more interested in taking on President Bashar al-Assad — the White House on Friday unveiled a plan that is even more incoherent and fraught with risk. The Pentagon will stop putting rebel fighters through training in neighboring countries, a program that was designed to ensure that fighters were properly vetted before they could get their hands on American weapons and ammunition. The new plan will simply funnel weapons through rebel leaders who are already in the fight and appear to be making some headway. The initial plan was dubious. The new one is hallucinatory, and it is being rolled out as the war enters a more perilous phase now that Russia has significantly stepped up its military support of Mr. Assad’s forces.

Washington Post, U.S.-made missiles raise the stakes in Syria, Liz Sly, Oct. 11, 2015. Anti-tank missiles delivered to aid Free Syrian Army groups in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad are now being used in what amounts to an American proxy war of sorts with Russia. American antitank missiles supplied to Syrian rebels are playing an unexpectedly prominent role in shaping the Syrian battlefield, giving the conflict the semblance of a proxy war between the United States and Russia, despite President Obama’s express desire to avoid one. The U.S.-made BGM-71 TOW missiles were delivered under a two-year-old covert program coordinated between the United States and its allies to help vetted Free Syrian Army groups in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad. Now that Russia has entered the war in support of Assad, they are taking on a greater significance than was originally intended.

Since Wednesday, when Syrian troops launched their first offensive backed by the might of Russia’s military, dozens of videos have been posted on YouTube showing rebels firing the U.S.-made missiles at Russian-made tanks and armored vehicles belonging to the Syrian army. Appearing as twirling balls of light, they zigzag across the Syrian countryside until they find and blast their target in a ball of flame.
The rebels claim they took out 24 tanks and armored vehicles on the first day, and the toll has risen daily since then. The TOW missile program overseen by the CIA is entirely separate from a failed program run by the Pentagon that was intended to influence the outcome of the other war being waged in Syria, the one in the northeastern part of the country against the Islamic State. The CIA program got underway before the Pentagon one, in early 2014, with the goal of propping up the flagging rebellion against Assad’s rule by delivering training, small arms, ammunition and the antitank missiles, which have proved instrumental in eroding the government’s key advantage over the lightly armed rebel force — its tanks and heavy armor.

Politico, Brzezinski: Obama should retaliate if Russia doesn't stop attacking U.S. assets, Staff report quoting former Carter and Obama national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski (shown in a file photo) from a Financial Times column, Oct. 5, 2015.  "In these rapidly unfolding circumstances the U.S. has only one real option if it is to protect its wider stakes in the region: to convey to Moscow the demand that it cease and desist from military actions that directly affect American assets....The Russian naval and air presences in Syria are vulnerable, isolated geographically from their homeland....They could be 'disarmed' if they persist in provoking the US....But, better still, Russia might be persuaded to act with the U.S. in seeking a wider accommodation to a regional problem that transcends the interests of a single state....China would doubtless prefer to stay on the sidelines. It might calculate that it will then be in a better position to pick up the pieces. But the regional chaos could easily spread northeastward, eventually engulfing central and northeastern Asia. Both Russia and then China could be adversely affected. But American interests and America’s friends — not to mention regional stability — would also suffer. It is time, therefore, for strategic boldness.”

Antiwar.com, ISIS Leader Fought for US as Late as 2013, Brad Hoff, Sept. 19, 2015. Abu Omar al-Shishani, the red-bearded face of ISIS terror lately described in such headlines as ‘Star pupil’: Pied piper of ISIS recruits was trained by U.S. for the fact that he received American military training as part of an elite Georgian army unit in 2006 and after, did not stop playing for “team America” once he left his home country in the Caucuses. He actually enjoyed US backing and American taxpayer largesse as late as 2013, soon after entering Syria with his band of Chechen jihadists. A new book about ISIS chronicles the terror group’s earliest successes when it first made a name for itself on the Syrian battlefield by tipping the scales in favor of rebels in Northern Aleppo who had spent nearly a total of two years attempting to conquer the Syrian government’s seemingly impenetrable Menagh Airbase.

 

Ron Paul WeeklyRon Paul Institute, I Wish Nobody Was Bombing Syria, Ron Paul, Oct. 5, 2015. The U.S. regime change policy for Syria has been a catastrophe. More than 200,000 killed and an entire country reduced to rubble at least partly because President Obama decided that “Assad has lost his legitimacy.” How is it that the president of a country 6,000 miles away has the authority to decide whether another leader belongs in office or not?

The neocon solution to this failure to overthrow Assad and “degrade and destroy” ISIS is to increase the bombing and lead a ground invasion of Syria. The confusing policy of fighting Assad and also fighting his enemies does not seem to bother the neocons. They want us to forget all about their recent failures in Libya and Iraq and to try the same failed strategy one more time.

But something dramatic happened last week. Russian president Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the United Nations criticizing the US policy of partnering with one set of extremists – al-Qaeda and its allies – to attack both ISIS and Assad. Shortly after Putin’s UN speech, he requested and was granted authority from the Russian parliament to use force in Syria in response to the Syrian government’s request for assistance against the rebels.

It may be tempting to cheer Russian military action in Syria, as it seems ISIS is finally suffering some considerable losses. But I cannot cheer the bombs, whether they are Russian bombs or US bombs or French or British bombs. I wish Congress respected our Constitution enough to demand that the president seek a declaration of war before attacking a foreign country. I wish President Bush and his neocon advisors had never decided to overthrow the Syrian government. I wish President Obama had fired the neocons who led him from one foolish intervention to another. I wish the US media was more than just a propaganda arm of the US government.

Justice Integrity Project, Does Turkey Secretly Support ISIS? Andrew Kreig, Aug. 31, 2015. Turkey is a covert supporter of the brutal regime of ISIS, according to expert critics who are becoming increasingly outspoken. McClatchy, for example, a chain of 29 newspapers in 28 U.S. markets, published an investigation last week reporting that Turkey "orchestrated" the kidnapping by radical Islamists of about 50 newly deployed "moderate" Syrians trained by the U.S. at a cost of $500 million. The result was the deaths of nearly 10 percent of the recruits regarded as America's major strike force against ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). 

ISIS, Rebel Initiatives

New York Times, ISIS Makes Gains in Syria Territory Bombed by Russia, Anne Barnard and Thomas Erdbrink, Oct. 9, 2015. The Islamic State registered significant gains Friday in the area of northwestern Syria that Russian warplanes have been bombing heavily, taking six villages near Aleppo and threatening to cut off an important route north to the Turkish border. The Islamic State advance is threatening a strategic area north of Aleppo on the way to crossing points into Turkey that was to be part of a proposed ISIS-free buffer zone under a plan the United States announced over the summer with Turkey; that plan now seems to have stalled. A prominent Iranian general was killed in Syria on Thursday night, Iranian officials and state news media reported on Friday, illustrating the level of Iran’s direct involvement on the government side in the Syrian civil war. The general, Hussein Hamedani, a senior figure in the Revolutionary Guards, was killed in Aleppo Province, where he was advising the Syrian military.