Puppet Masters


Saudi Arabia gives up its resistance against Russia after meeting

© AP Photo/ Mikhail Klimentyev
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Saudi Arabia's Defense Minister Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in the Konstantin Palace outside St. Petersburg, Russia.
Russia's military strength has apparently impressed Saudi Arabia. The new Saudi defense minister agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin that both countries should cooperate in Syria, DWN reported.

Russia and Saudi Arabia have surprisingly agreed on establishing closer coordination in Syria despite a number of disagreements.

A meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the new Saudi Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud took place in Sochi.

After the talks, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Dschubeir said that his country is in favor of a dialogue between the current Syrian government and the opposition and that it would support the idea of a transitional government in the war-torn country.

Thus, the Saudis have given up their plan to immediately overthrow Syrian President Bashar-al-Assad, which can be considered a great achievement, taking into account the recent negative attitude of the Saudi authorities toward Russia's military involvement in Syria.

Comment: Saudi Arabia doesn't have many options here. Their economy is struggling and they are busy destroying Yemen. Looks like Saudi Arabia will take a wait and see approach as Syria's election come up in March.

Snakes in Suits

Psychopathic thinking: US Senate hearing discusses using refugees as human shields in Syria

A recent US Senate hearing regarding Russia's ongoing air campaign in Syria plumbed dark depths when it was actually proposed by retired US Army General John M. Keane that "free zones" be established for armed militants, and populated with refugees to deter Russian attacks. In essence, General Keane's plan is to use refugees as human shields, and leverage any attack on this established "free zone" as a means of manipulating public opinion.

The US Strategy Until Now

The recent multinational anti-terror operation led by Russia at the request of the Syrian government has dealt the United States and its narrative regarding its own military intervention in Syria a severe blow.

It has become abundantly clear that not only has the United States been arming and funding extremists inside of Syria, including groups operating in tandem with listed terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda's Al Nusra Front, it also appears that the US has feigned its campaign against the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS/ISIL).

Comment: The US must really be deperate to even consider this option of using refugees as shields.

Light Saber

Convoy of ISIS leader al-Baghdadi hit by Iraqi Air Force, Baghdadi reported injured - hospital surrounded by ISIS militants

© social Media website/Reuters TV / Reuters
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Comment: First he was reported killed, then entirely absent (see Sputnik's report below). Now al-Baghdadi is reported as injured. Whatever the case, something is brewing on the border of Iraq and Syria. In addition to the new information below, Sputnik adds:
"Al-Baghdadi was wounded and currently is at a hospital of Al-Qaim. The hospital is encircled by the [ISIL] group's militants," a source told Sputnik.

Iraq's Air Force struck the convoy of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as he was about to meet with the terror group's top commanders, Reuters cited a military statement. The Baghdad Information Center has confirmed that the strike injured al-Baghdadi.

"Iraqi air forces have bombed the convoy of the terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi while he was heading to Karabla to attend a meeting with Daesh [ISIS] commanders," read the initial military statement cited by Reuters.

The military gave no information about the fate of the terrorist leader.

Al-Baghdadi was "wounded" in the airstrike, while three of his deputies were killed, Iranian news agency IRNA claimed, citing an informed source.

Comment: Perhaps Iraq seems to be moving out from under Washington's thumb?


Whose side are we on? The collapsing narratives in the 'War on Terror'

© Unknown
It's somewhat understandable that many in the West are confused by statements and rhetoric coming from certain Western quarters since Russian airstrikes commenced in Syria on September 30th, leaving them wondering: 'whose side are we on anyway?'. Given that the Western media has spent the last two years portraying ISIS as the epitome of evil, shouldn't the Russians' intervention, at the invitation of the Syrian government, be seen as a good thing? The results so far are impressive. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the following ISIS assets have been destroyed in the first week of bombing:
  • 71 armored vehicles
  • 30 other vehicles
  • 19 command facilities
  • 2 communication centers
  • 23 depots with fuel and ammunition
  • 6 plants used to make IEDs, including car bombs
  • several artillery pieces
  • several training camps
World leaders, if they really believe what they claim about ISIS being the number-one threat to global security, should be ecstatic. But they're not. Instead, we hear NATO Sec.-Gen. Jens Stoltenberg screaming about Russian 'aggression', and calling once more for more NATO troops all along Russia's European border and in Turkey.

America's 'coalition of 60+ countries' have allegedly been bombing ISIS inside Syria for just over a year. Given the contrast with Russian results in just one week, US-led airstrikes have been dismal (to say the least), with 'Islamic State' increasing, not decreasing its control of territory in Syria. What else can we conclude from this but that the US-led airstrikes have helped, not hindered, ISIS?

In retrospect, you really have to wonder about those reports of weapons air-drops 'accidentally' falling into the hands of ISIS terrorists. If we put that down to 'bad luck', then the US-led operation has been a complete failure, something acknowledged by top US military commanders testifying before the US Senate in recent months.

But it's one thing to be 'less than ecstatic', another to be so furious as to attack Russia's efforts to rout ISIS from the moment it got involved. 36 civilian casualties on the first day, they told us, citing the dubious, UK-based 'Syrian Observatory for Human Rights', an outfit run by one man from his 3 bedroom house in Kent, England.

Comment: See also:

2 + 2 = 4

Russia, Syria and the anglo-American existential gas war in the Middle East


Russian destroyers in the Caspian Sea launch cruise missiles at terrorist targets in Syria, 7th October 2015
On our weekly radio show last Sunday, I commented that the response from the U.S. and its Western allies to Russia's launch of an actual war on terrorism in Syria has been largely silence, deafening silence, a bit like Netanyahu's 'silence spectacle' at the UN recently, only even more deafening. So deafening in fact, that it came full circle and I began to hear something.

At first it was just a mealy-mouthed American-accented, 'Russia is making things worse'. But it quickly grew in strength to announce in a Queen's English accent, "we're bombing ISIS too you know!" And before long it had become a cacophonous coprocopia of nonsense about Russia "killing innocent civilians in Syria" and, most recently, "dangerously invading the airspace" of our NATO ally Turkey.

Still, it was, and is, all 'sound and fury', because the bottom line is that U.S. has had its 'war on terror' bluff called in spectacular fashion by Russia and there is nothing, and I mean nothing, that the terror masterminds in Washington and Langley can do about it, short of declaring war on Russia.

The only more or less honest statements about Russia's move into Syria from the West have come from the same person, U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, head of U.S. European Command. Speaking on Sept. 28th at a meeting in Berlin of the 'German Marshall Fund' - a US think tank that commemorates the Marshall Plan, an initiative through which the USA gained economic control over most of Western Europe after WW2 - Breedlove said that Russia had installed "very sophisticated air defense capabilities/anti-access area denial" that were not aimed at the Islamic State but "about something else". Of course, "something else" here means "NATO bombs".


ISIL terrorists now plagued by panic and massive desertion - thanks Russia!

There's an increasing number of reports stating that after just a week of Russian airstrikes against ISIL (Islamic State) positions, there's panic and desertion everywhere. About a thousand extremists have already abandoned their positions in Syria and are now heading in the direction of Iraq, Turkey and a number of European states. Successful operations carried out in cooperation with the regular Syrian army has not only managed to interrupt a series of relatively easy victories that ISIL had been scoring on the field of battle, but also stopped the flow of militants from abroad.

According to the Arabic television channel Al-Mayadeen, ISIL members are urgently evacuating their families, fearing new air raids. In a situation where command centers are getting obliterated, there's desertion to be found everywhere. According to numerous experts, just the first few days of Russia's campaign have caused the Islamic State more damage than a year of the so-called "war on terrorism" in Syria, launched by the United States, and then supported by the UK, France, Germany Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

The successful counterattack of the Syrian army, with Russian warplanes flying close air support, aggravated the already complicated relations between militants of this Islamist organization, causing morale to sink lower. It went as far as forcing ISIL to create a special "military police", that is now entrusted with the duty of checking special papers that testify that a militant is carrying out his duties in a designated location.

Comment: Also see: Brzezinski's 'Arc of Chaos' is being laid to rest


Congresswoman who publicly supported Russia's anti-terror campaign says she was disinvited from Democratic debate


Rep. Tulsi Gabbard grabs the bull by the horns

Comment: Rep. Gabbard has publicly attributed her disinvite to the Democratic presidential debate due to her calling for more debates. However, a much more egregious offense to the United States' political establishment is her vocal support of Russia in their fight against terrorism in Syria.

Gabbard has taken to twitter to express her concerns and has had several recent interviews with the media on the subject:

The presidential debates are a dog and pony show for the public. More or fewer debates will not change it's power structure. The US' true position on terrorism is being exposed, and this is a very real threat to their power. Gabbard is likely being sent a message to stay in line.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said she was disinvited from the first Democratic presidential primary debate in Nevada after she appeared on television and called for more face-offs.

Ms. Gabbard confirmed on Sunday that her chief of staff received a message last Tuesday from the chief of staff to Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the national committee, about her attendance at the debate. A day earlier, Ms. Gabbard had appeared on MSNBC and said there should be an increase beyond the current six sanctioned debates.

A person close to the committee who asked for anonymity to discuss internal discussions insisted, however, that Ms. Gabbard had not been disinvited. Instead, the person said, an aide to Ms. Wasserman Schultz expressed a desire to keep the focus on the candidates as the debate approached, rather than on a "distraction" that could divide the party, and suggested that if Ms. Gabbard could not do that, she should reconsider going.

Ms. Gabbard insisted otherwise.

"When I first came to Washington, one of the things that I was disappointed about was there's a lot of immaturity and petty gamesmanship that goes on, and it kind of reminds me of how high school teenagers act," Ms. Gabbard said in a telephone interview on Sunday night. She said she would watch the debate in her district in Hawaii, which elected her to her second term last year.

Better Earth

Putin has shifted the power balance and the world knows it

The world is beginning to realize that a seachange in world affairs occurred on September 28 when President Putin 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. Two days later, Russia took over the military situation in Syria and began the destruction of the Islamic State forces.

Perhaps among Obama's advisers there are a few who are not drowning in hubris and can understand this seachange. Sputnik news reports that some high-level security advisers to Obama have advised him to withdraw US military forces from Syria and give up his plan to overthrow Assad. They advised Obama to cooperate with Russia in order to stop the refugee flow that is overwhelming Washington's vassals in Europe. The influx of unwanted peoples is making Europeans aware of the high cost of enabling US foreign policy. Advisers have told Obama that the idiocy of the neoconservatives' policies threaten Washington's empire in Europe.

Several commentators, such as Mike Whitney and Stephen Lendman, have concluded, correctly, that there is nothing that Washington can do about Russian actions against the Islamic State. The neoconservatives' plan for a UN no-fly zone over Syria in order to push out the Russians is a pipe-dream. No such resolution will come out of the UN. Indeed, the Russians have already established a de facto no-fly zone.

Putin, without issuing any verbal threats or engaging in any name-calling, has decisively shifted the power balance, and the world knows it.

Comment: Putin is exposing the United States' corruption for the world to see, while actually taking on the mess that Washington has created. See the latest SOTT Report:


How do you prepare a child for life in the American police state?

"Fear isn't so difficult to understand. After all, weren't we all frightened as children? Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf. What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday. It's just a different wolf." ― Alfred Hitchcock
© Screen Capture Youtube
In an age dominated with news of school shootings, school lockdowns, police shootings of unarmed citizens (including children), SWAT team raids gone awry (leaving children devastated and damaged), reports of school resource officers tasering and shackling unruly students, and public schools undergoing lockdowns and active drills, I find myself wrestling with the question: how do you prepare a child for life in the American police state?

Every parent lives with a fear of the dangers that prey on young children: the predators who lurk at bus stops and playgrounds, the traffickers who make a living by selling young bodies, the peddlers who push drugs that ensnare and addict, the gangs that deal in violence and bullets, the drunk drivers, the school bullies, the madmen with guns, the diseases that can end a life before it's truly begun, the cynicism of a modern age that can tarnish innocence, and the greed of a corporate age that makes its living by trading on young consumers.

It's difficult enough raising a child in a world ravaged by war, disease, poverty and hate, but when you add the police state into the mix—with its battlefield mindset, weaponry, rigidity, surveillance, fascism, indoctrination, violence, etc.—it becomes near impossible to guard against the toxic stress of police shootings, SWAT team raids, students being tasered and shackled, lockdown drills, and a growing unease that some of the monsters of our age come dressed in government uniforms.

Children are taught from an early age that there are consequences for their actions. Hurt somebody, lie, steal, cheat, etc., and you will get punished. But how do you explain to a child that a police officer can shoot someone who was doing nothing wrong and get away with it? That a cop can lie, steal, cheat, or kill and still not be punished?

Kids understand accidents: sometimes drinks get spilled, dishes get broken, people slip and fall and hurt themselves, or you bump into someone without meaning to, and they get hurt. As long as it wasn't intentional and done with malice, you forgive them and you move on. Police shootings of unarmed people—of children and old people and disabled people—can't just be shrugged off as accidents, however.

Tamir Rice was no accident. Cleveland police shot and killed the 12-year-old, who was seen playing on a playground with a pellet gun. Surveillance footage shows police shooting the boy two seconds after getting out of a moving patrol car. Incredibly, the shooting was deemed "reasonable" and "justified" by two law enforcement experts who concluded that the police use of force "did not violate Tamir's constitutional rights."


Wishful thinking: British foreign secretary says UK willing to be 'flexible' on overthrowing democratically elected government of Syria

© SANA/Reuters
Syria's elected President Bashar al-Assad
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says Bashar Assad cannot remain in power, but the UK is flexible about how and when the Syrian president stands down.

Ahead of a meeting of European foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday, Hammond said, "We cannot work with Assad as a long-term solution for the future of Syria," but that it was possible to "be flexible" on the manner and timing of his departure.

Against a backdrop of Russian intervention in Syria, a move the UK government opposes, the Conservative government is pushing hard for a new vote on launching airstrikes of their own.

Comment: Hammond and other pathological authoritarians like him are still living in an alternate reality where they think they can continue to overthrow governments whenever it suits them; however Putin has just changed the rules of the game.