Tag Archives: Putin

Putin Trolls Biden: Communists & Dems Share ‘Common Values’ While Trump Record Hard On Russia, by Tyler Durden

Is Biden a Putin puppet? From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Like much of the American public, the Russian public is no doubt weary of the prior couple years of non-stop ‘Russiagate’ headlines and wild accusations out of Western press, which all are now pretty much in complete agreement came to absolutely nothing. This is also why the whole issue has been conspicuously dropped by the Biden campaign and as a talking point among the Democrats, though in some corners there’s been meek attempts to revive it, especially related to claims of “expected” Kremlin interference in the impending presidential election.

Apparently seeing in this an opportunity for some epic trolling, Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with Rossiya 1 TV days ago said it was actually the Democratic Party and the Communist Party which have most in common.

Putin was speaking in terms of historic Soviet communism in the recent interview (Wednesday) detailed in Newsweek“The Democratic Party is traditionally closer to the so-called liberal values, closer to social democratic ideas,” Putin began. “And it was from the social democratic environment that the Communist Party evolved.”

Then U.S. Vice President Joe Biden meeting with Putin in 2014 in Moscow, via TASS.

Continue reading→

Moscow’s Difficult Decision on Idlib, by Patrick Lawrence

How far will Russia go to help Syria liberate Idlib? From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:

Turkey’s leader, who nurses dreams of some kind of neo–Ottoman restoration across the Middle East, is now on a reckless tear.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a press conference in Turkey, Dec. 1, 2014. (Russian government)

As Recip Tayyip Erdogan prosecutes his latest military intrusion southward into Syria, all the old mythologies about the Turkish president and the 9-year-old Syrian conflict are rehearsed once again, hopelessly threadbare as they are. The problem now is not the fog of war. The problem is the war of fog.

Let us be clear from the start, then, as to what has unfolded since last week and what will be the desired outcome. The Syrian Arab Army, a force for good, must not stop short of decisive victory in Idlib, the governorate in northwest Syria sheltering the last jihadist militias operating on Syrian soil. Russia, which is correctly (and legally) supporting the S.A.A.’s campaign, should try to avoid a direct conflict with a NATO member but should engage Turkish forces if there is no alternative.

NATO, breaking its own Article 5 covenant, will not come to the aid of a member nation engaged in so despicable an assault on another sovereign nation. I am not alone in holding this opinion. Don’t forget: Most NATO members are squeamish, mealy-mouthed Europeans who have given up the ghost in Syria.

Continue reading→

Erdogan or Erdo-gone in Turkey? by Tom Luongo

Erdogan is playing such a weak hand he may be forced from the game. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

“Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad”
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “Prometheus”

It looks like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is headed for the political gallows a lot quicker than I ever thought.

His offensive in Idlib has bogged down. And a day before he’s scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow Erdogan Turkish parliament degrades quickly as opposition speaks out against his Syria campaign.

This prompted a fistfight.

It’s clear Erdogan’s support at home is deteriorating quickly. And his push into Syria is a grave miscalculation as I’ve noted in other posts (here and here).

I spoke with Sputnik Radio’s newest show, Political Misfits, on this making the point that Erdogan is still convinced he can fill the vacuum left by a retreating U.S. to become the regional overlord in a new Middle East.

Yes, really, he’s that delusional.

Continue reading→

 

Will Idlib be Putin’s Folly or Erdogan’s Rubicon? by Tom Luongo

The best bet is that Idlib ends up being deluded Erdogan’s Rubicon. Putin doesn’t have too many follies to his credit. From Tom Luongo at tomlungo.me:

It’s been a dramatic few days in Syria. The Syrian Army pushed across Idlib Province to retake major strongholds of Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists who have controlled the region for years thanks to support from Turkey.

This provoked a major escalation from Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Major offensives by the jihadists, backed by Turkish armor and air power, pushed back the Syrian army from the outskirts of Idlib city and took back the town of Saraqib at the confluence of the M4 and M5 highways which are of major strategic importance.

That counterattack occurred while the Syrian Army had moved south to claim vast territory northeast of the Russian air base at Latakia.

Erdogan has been threatening for weeks for the Syrian army to halt its advance or face the brunt of the Turkish Army. He made good on those threats, but only after taking advantage of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s temperance.

Continue reading

An Imperfect Bit of Statecraft, by Philip Giraldi

The real reason the US military was in Syria was to get rid of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. That’s not going to happen. Will anybody in power recognize this golden opportunity to leave Syria? From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

Trump cancels the pullout from Syria then flip-flops, threatens war with Turkey and gives money to terrorists

The long nightmare in Syria might finally be coming to an end, but not thanks to the United States and the administration of President Donald Trump. Trump’s boastthat “this was an outcome created by us, the United States, and nobody else” was as empty as all the other rhetoric coming out of the White House over the past two and a half years. Nevertheless, it now appears that the U.S. military just might finally be bidding farewell to an exercise that began under President Barack Obama as a prime bit of liberal interventionism, with American forces illegally entering into a conflict that the White House barely understood and subsequently meddling and prolonging the fighting.

The fundamental reason why the U.S. was so ineffective was that the Obama Administration’s principal objective from the beginning was to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, yet another attempt at “humanitarian” regime change similar to that which produced such a wonderful result in Libya. Al-Assad was never in serious danger as he had significant popular support, including from the country’s Christian minority, and American piecemeal attempts to negotiate some kind of exit strategy were doomed as they eschewed any dealing with the legitimate government that was in place. The Syrian civil war supported and even enabled by Washington caused more than 500,000 deaths, created some 9 million internal and external refugees, and destroyed the Syrian economy and infrastructure while also almost starting a war between the U.S. and Turkey.

Continue reading

What the Media Aren’t Telling You About Turkey and the Kurds, by Marc D. Joffe

There are good reasons, Marc D. Joffe argues, for the US to stand aside in the Turkey-Kurd conflict. From Joffe at antiwar.com:

Mainstream media are taking occasional breaks from 24/7 impeachment coverage this month to lambaste the Trump Administration for abandoning our Syrian Kurdish allies at the insistence of Turkey’s despotic rulers. Since the original withdrawal announcement, Administration policy has taken on a helter-skelter quality: rushing out sanctions, threatening airstrikes and deploying troops elsewhere in the Middle East. Ultimately Trump policies are producing more foreign adventurism and less freedom of commerce for American companies. But the original decision to pull out was the correct one, and consistent media criticism of the withdrawal often omits important facts that the American public needs to consider. Specifically:

  • As a member of NATO since 1952, Turkey has been a US treaty ally for as long as most of us can remember; the Syrian Kurdish forces are not a recognized state and thus cannot be an ally, a term used in diplomatic parlance to refer to states formally cooperating with one another.
  • The Syrian Kurdish forces are connected with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which was designated by the US State Department as a terrorist organization in 1997 and remains on the list in 2019.

Continue reading

Is the Interventionists’ Era Over for Good? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Let’s hope the interventionist era is drawing to a close. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

President Donald Trump could have been more deft and diplomatic in how he engineered that immediate pullout from northeastern Syria.

Yet that withdrawal was as inevitable as were its consequences.

A thousand U.S. troops and their Kurdish allies were not going to dominate indefinitely the entire northeast quadrant of a country the size of Syria against the will of the Damascus regime and army.

Had the U.S. refused to vacate Syrian lands on Turkey’s demand, a fight would be inevitable, whether with Turkey, Damascus or both. And this nation would neither support nor sustain a new war with Turks or Syrians.

And whenever the Americans did leave, the Kurds, facing a far more powerful Turkey, were going to have to negotiate the best deal they could with Syria’s Bashar Assad.

Nor was President Recep Erdogan of Turkey going to allow Syrian Kurds to roost indefinitely just across his southern border, cheek by jowl with the Turkish Kurds of the PKK that Erdogan regards as a terrorist threat to the unity and survival of his country.

Continue reading

New World Order in Meltdown, But Russia Stronger Than Ever, by Jon Hellevig

This is the best analysis of both the global and Russian economy we’ve seen in a long time. Prepare for a very bumpy road, and forget about a new world order. From Joh Hellevig at thesaker.is:

Last week was full of portentous events. Only somebody who has not been awake for the last few years will fail to realize how these at first sight unconnected events are part of the same matrix. There was the ever louder talk in mainstream media about an approaching global recession, inverted yield curves and the negative yields, which tell us that the Western financial system is basically in coma and kept alive only by generous IV injections of central bank liquidity. By now it has dawned on people that the central bankers acting as central planners in a command economy and printing money (aka quantitative easing) to fuel asset bubbles are about to wipe off the last vestiges of what used to be a market economy.

Then we saw Trump taking new twitter swipes at China in his on-and-off “great trade deal” and the stock markets moving like a roller coaster in reaction to each new twitter salvo. Also, we had both Trump and Macron sweet talking about getting Russia back and again renaming their club G8. Last Tuesday at a G7 presser in Biarritz, the Rothschild groomed Macron took it one step further opening up about the reasons why they all of a sudden longed for friendship with Russia: “We are living the end of Western hegemony.” In the same series, Britain’s new government under Boris Johnson was telling his colleagues in Biarritz that he is now decisively going for a no-deal Brexit, after which he went back to London and staged a coup d’état by suspending parliament to ensure no elected opposition interfered with it.

Perhaps the weirdest news to crown it all, came from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where the Western central bankers were holed up for their annual retreat. The president of Bank of England Mark Carney shocked everybody (at least those not present) by announcing that the US dollar was past its best-before and should be replaced with something the central bankers have up their sleeves.

Continue reading→

 

One Last Ceasefire Before Oblivion for Jihadists in Syria, by Tom Luongo

Syria, Russia, and Iran have basically wiped out the jihadists in Syria. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

The battle to reclaim Syria moved forward this week. Syrian Arab Army forces reclaimed the town of Khan Sheikoun last week prompting a flurry of moves by all involved, most notably Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan was in Moscow this week sharing an ice cream cone with Vladimir Putin and cutting deals. The first part of that deal went into effect today; a ceasefire in the de-escalation zone in Idlib province.

If the battle is won, in essence, and the jihadists on the run, why call a ceasefire now?

Simple. Turkey needs to be able to recall its troops from the area and disengage with the rebels it has been backing there for years. That was what Erdogan bargained for in Moscow, the lives of his troops.

That should tell you how serious Putin is about retaking Idlib and how little patience he has now for Erdogan’s nonsense.

As Bernard from Moon of Alabama points out the proof of this is Turkey blocking the rebels’ escape from Idlib back into Turkey.

Today about a thousand ‘rebels’ tried to cross through the Al-Bab border station into Turkey. Videos show a long line of cars of fleeing people. At the front several hundred men managed to enter Turkish ground. They were pushed back by Turkish army forces with water cannon trucks, tear gas and finally with gunfire. At least two ‘rebels’ were killed.

People shouted “Traitor traitor traitor, Turkish army is traitor”. They burned pictures of Erdogan while screaming takbir and allahu akbar.

Putin has been very clear about his policy from the beginning. Terrorists are to be wiped out. They are not to be allowed to escape and regroup to show up and cause trouble somewhere else.

The implicit message here is that Erdogan cannot do the U.S.’s bidding on this. He must withdraw support from them and leave them to hang.

If the U.S. and Israel want these guys kept alive then they should stop acting through Turkey’s proxy.

The howls from the U.S. corporate media will be ridiculous. There will be infuriating bloviations from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. John Bolton’s mustache will be heartsick that opportunities to kill more decent people will be lost.

Netanyahu will likely bomb some SAA ammunition dump and declare himself the greatest military mind of the 21st century.

What was that the gods making men mad?

The failure to reinforce Khan Sheikoun and the open hostility by Syrian forces against the Turkish resupply convoy was Erdogan’s end-game in Idlib.

Putin by working with the SAA finally forced Erdogan to choose what’s more important: his relationship with the U.S. or that with Russia and China, who are currently supporting his economically-challenged regime.

Erdogan got what he wanted from the U.S. on removing the Kurdish SDF forces from the northern part of Syria. He made that deal when it looked like he would be able to hold Khan Sheikoun and keep maximum pressure on Bashar al-Assad’s government.

The U.S. is desperately trying to starve Syria of oil to keep the SAA from having the resources needed to finish its job. It is failing.

All of these little battles they’ve lost, inch by inch. The collapse of the coalition to starve Yemen has fractured because of this. The border crossing between Iraq and Syria is now open. Iran is surviving Trump’s sanctions as China’s oil imports are rising again.

Oil tankers will make it to Syria.

The amount of time and money the Trump Administration sank into stopping one Iranian oil tanker is ludicrous and now highlights jut how pathetic and ineffective the whole program is.

With each little victory, each tanker of oil offloaded, town liberated and each day survived the position of U.S. forces in Syria weakens.

And soon Trump will be forced to make a real decision, not some fake one he doesn’t have the stones to follow through on. He’ll have to decide if Syria is worth it.

The ceasefire will be temporary. It is Erdogan’s last chance to truly gain Putin’s trust and exit Turkey from an untenable situation. He cannot use his troops as human shields anymore to protect the jihadist attacks on government-held territory.

He’s been trying to play Russia and the U.S. off each other to forge an independent path and hold onto his gains in Syria, while at the same time pressuring Cyprus.

Putin wasn’t having any of that. The price for Turkey’s energy stability which Putin has provided is the end of Turkish-backed opposition in Syria. The price of Turkey’s territorial stability is also bound up in Putin’s support. Because it is clear that the U.S.’s goal is an independent and oil-rick Kurdistan under its proxy control.

Putin understands that Turkey needs to be put back in its box. Because this is the only way forward that puts Israel’s expansionist ambitions back in the bottle where they belong.

Trump’s over the top support for Israel emboldened everyone to think they had this campaign in the bag.

In thinking this everyone in the U.S.’s orbit — Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UAE, the U.K. — all overextended themselves. In doing so they became exposed to counter-attack and to key moments of failure.

Khan Sheikoun was one of those moments. And with Turkey no longer providing support the jihadists there will be wiped out, paving the way for the reintegration of Syria.

As I pointed out last week, the Houthi drone attack was another. The UAE cutting deals with Iran after the attack on oil tankers at Fujairah was another. These were all small victories which have big implications.

Millions can return to rebuild Syria once this is campaign is over which Russia, China and Iran will take the lead on in defiance of horrific and cruel U.S. sanctions.

The big question is what Israel will do here to stop this. Because they are the last wild card.

Bibi Netanyahu is putting on his best show before September’s election. He’s opened Israel up to a response by Hezbollah and Lebanon after going way too far there and in Iraq.

One can only hope that Trump will finally see the folly of this policy, understand that the conditions to enforce the Kushner/Netanyahu plan for subjugation of the Palestinians is dead and begin reversing course.

There are signs that he obliquely understands this but Trump’s inability to curb his ‘enthusiasms’ is his Achilles’ heel.

The fate of tens of millions of people hangs in the balance.

Target Syria, by Philip Giraldi

Is US military action to stymie Syria and Russia in Idlib, Syria a done deal? From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

Will a new war be the October Surprise?

Syrian Army

It’s official. The Syrian Army assisted by Russian air support is closing in on the last major pocket of terrorists remaining in the country in the province of Idlib near Aleppo. The United States, which has trained and armed some of the trapped gunmen and even as recently as a year ago described the province as “al-Qaeda’s largest safe haven since 9/11,” has perhaps predictably warned Syria off. The White House initially threatened a harsh reaction if the Bashar al-Assad government were to employ any chemical weapons in its final attack, setting the stage for the terrorists themselves to carry out a false flag operation blamed on Damascus that would bring with it a brutal response against the regime and its armed forces by the U.S., Britain and France.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: