Puppet Masters


Showing off? French Air Force sends two jets on airstrikes on ISIL training camp in Syria

© AP Photo/ French Army
"Two Rafale [aircraft] bombed an [ISIL] training camp. The targets have been hit," Le Drian told local Europa 1 radio station.

The minister stated that, "it is not the first time, it is not the last time," French aircraft have bombed the terrorists in Syria.

Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011. The country's government forces are fighting a number of opposition groups, as well as radical Islamist militant organizations, including the Nusra Front and ISIL.

In late September, France conducted its first airstrikes in Syria as part of a US-led international coalition that has been targeting ISIL position in Syria, as well as in Iraq, since 2014.

Comment: No word as of yet if France is coordinating with Russia on these strikes nor how successful they were. After all it was only two jets. We never see photos from the West on their "successful" bombing missions. Is France showing off or will it see the light?

Eye 1

Hypocrite Prime Minister: London Mayor Boris Johnson also called for Bin Laden trial - but no one called him a 'terrorist sympathizer'


PM David Cameron, Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne - among countless other politicians, civil servants, military personnel, spooks and City banksters - are all graduates of Oxford University, seen here posing as members of the 'Bullingdon Club' fraternity.
Now trending on Reddit, London Mayor Boris Johnson said in 2001 that Osama bin Laden should be captured and put on trial. For making the same observation, Prime Minister David Cameron has branded Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a "terrorist sympathizer."

Johnson made the comment in an Op-Ed article in the Daily Telegraph on December 13, 2001, just three months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

In the article, he argued that Bin Laden should go on trial in New York as a way to demonstrate the Western belief in justice.

The article is trending on Reddit following Cameron's controversial attack on Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday.

The PM accused Corbyn of being a "terrorist sympathizer" because he once described the fact that Osama bin Laden was killed without a trial as "a tragedy."

Corbyn supporters were quick to denounce Cameron's attack as deliberately having taken Corbyn's words out of context.

Comment: More blatant hypocrisy from British PM David Cameron, as the demonization of Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn continues.


Propaganda alert: CNN claims Russian missiles launched from Caspian Sea crashed in Iran

© RIA Novosti
Caspian Flotilla ships have launched 26 cruise missiles at Islamic State facilities at Islamic State positions in Syria.
A CNN report, claiming that several Russian cruise missiles targeting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) positions in Syria actually landed in Iran, has been refuted by the Russian Defense Ministry, while the US State Department say they can't confirm.

The American broadcaster cited two unnamed US officials, who said that four Russian missiles had crashed somewhere in Iran after being launched from vessels in the Caspian Sea. The report suggested that "some buildings were damaged and civilians may have been hurt."

This triggered a quick reaction from the Russian Defense Ministry, with spokesman Igor Konashenkov saying that all the missiles had hit their targets on Wednesday. "Unlike CNN, we don't distribute information citing anonymous sources, but show the very missile launches and the way they hit their targets almost in real time," Konashenkov said. The spokesman pointed out that the strike targets are being photographed before and after being hit, while Russian drones are monitoring the situation from Syrian skies 24/7.

Comment: This report is just sour grapes propaganda from the U.S., upset that the Russians are showing how much more competent they are than the Americans at bringing ISIS to its knees with superior military.


Truth or dare? Russia's Defense Ministry aware of Free Syrian Army's willingness to battle the Islamic State together

© AP Photo/Jake Simkin, File
Russia's Defense Ministry is aware of the information that the Free Syrian Army has agreed to cooperate and get involved in discussions related to the struggle against Islamic State militants, Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday.

"We focused our attention on the fact that certain forces operating in Syria at present, including the Free Syrian Army, express their willingness to cooperate and get involved in the discussions on participation in the struggle against the ISIL [the former name of Islamic State - eds. TASS]," Konashenkov said underscoring that the Russian defence ministry was open to contacts and was set to debate any constructive proposals.

Comment: This could be a sticky situation since the US and Saudi Arabia support the Free Syrian Army. Is the FSA serious about cooperation or is this a way for the West to infiltrate and disrupt Russia's efforts in Syria?

Cloud Lightning

Seeing the light? EU Commission head says relations with Russian 'must be improved,' US 'can't dictate'

© Vincent Kessler / Reuters
Europe must treat Russia with more decency, improve the relationship, and not let EU policies be dictated by Washington, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a surprise speech in Germany.

It is now critical for the EU to work on its relations with Russia, Juncker said in the southern German town of Passau: "We must make efforts towards a practical relationship with Russia. It is not sexy but that must be the case, we can't go on like this."

Moreover, the US needs to keep its influence out of EU relations with other countries, Juncker added.

"Russia must be treated decently ... We can't let our relationship with Russia be dictated by Washington."

EU-Russia relations have deteriorated since the EU imposed sanctions on Russia for its alleged role in the Ukrainian conflict. The Russian government has unswervingly denied these allegations.

Comment: Will Europe wake up from under the slumber of following the US dictates? One can only hope.


Russian warplanes strike 27 terrorist targets in Syria

© Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti
A Russian Sukhoi Su-25
Russian warplanes hit 27 terrorist targets in the course of 22 sorties carried out in Syria overnight, the Defense Ministry said Thursday, adding that terrorist strongpoints and training camps were destroyed.

"The [Russian] bombers... targeted eight militant strongholds in the province of Homs. The militant fortifications were completely destroyed by the strikes," said Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry.

The Russian planes hit 11 Islamic State training camps in the Syrian provinces of Raqqa and Hama, he added. "The infrastructure used by terrorists for training has been eradicated."

Comment: With the overwhelming success of the Russian air and sea strikes against terrorists in Syria, it's clear that the U.S. actions before the Russians took over the fight were merely for show and really weren't intended to destroy ISIS.

Bizarro Earth

Let's get Syrious (it's a mess!)

© www.ibtimes.com
Fighters from Ahrar al Sham, the Free Syrian Army, and Al Nusrah Front display their banners after a victory in Idlib province, Syria.
Let's get serious about the mess in Syria. Western media and DC think tanks are still muddying the waters in order to spin the Russian military intervention and air campaign as some nefarious plot to rule the world. They pose a false either/or binary choice in doing so. Take this statement from the often reliable Institute for the Understanding of War (IUW): "The Russian air campaign in Syria appears to be largely focused on supporting the Syrian regime and its fight against the Syrian opposition, rather than combatting ISIS". The problem with this claim is that it conflates the Syrian opposition into one conglomerate while excluding IS from the opposition. First, the word 'opposition' is itself misleading. We are dealing with Syrian revolutionary forces. Understanding this aspect of the revolutionary/civil war, IS is one of the Syrian opposition/revolutionary groups.

Second, the other revolutionary forces are almost solely jihadi groups — Jabhat al-Nusra (JN), Ahrar al-Sham (AS), the Islamic Front (JI), etc., etc. — which often fight side-by-side with that supposedly 'moderate' revolutionary force, the Free Syrian Army (FSA). In fact, the FSA is dominated by fighters tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Third, the non-IS jihadi groups and the FSA often conduct joint operations.

Comment: All eyes are on the Russian bear to bring us out of the woods. Syriously. It is obvious the Western coalition can't see the forest for the trees. As masters of hubris and perception, lies and deception, fear and insurrection, they become masters of none. So far, Russia has been true to its word and true to its friends, even true to its "not friends." An accomplishment, and hopefully, a global game changer.


Barrel bombs, partisan sources and war propaganda: Prosecuting the dirty war on Syria

War propaganda often demands the abandoning of ordinary reason and principle, and the Dirty War on Syria demonstrates this in abundance. A steady stream of atrocity stories - 'barrel bombs', chemical weapons, 'industrial scale' killings, dead babies - permeate the western news on Syria. They all have two things in common: they paint the Syrian President and the Syrian Army as monsters slaughtering civilians, including children; yet, when tracked back, all the stories come from utterly partisan sources. We are being deceived.

Normal ethical notions of avoiding conflicts of interest, searching for independent evidence and disqualifying self-serving claims from belligerent parties have been ignored in much of the western debate. This toxic atmosphere invites further fabrications, repeated to credulous audiences, even when the lies used to justify previous invasions (of Iraq in 2003) and dirty wars (in Libya, 2011) are still relatively fresh in our minds. As in previous wars, the aim is to demonise the enemy, by use of repeated atrocity claims, and so mobilise popular support behind the war (Knightley 2001).

Yet in circumstances of war adherence to some key principles is necessary when reading contentious evidence; at least if we wish to understand the truth of the matter. A belligerent party always has a vital interest in discrediting and de-legitimising its opponent. For that reason, we must always view belligerent party 'evidence' against an opponent with grave suspicion. It is not that a warring party is incapable of understanding its opponent, rather what they say will always be conditioned by their special interest. We must assume bias. If there is no way to check the origin of that evidence, and if it is partisan and 'self-serving', it should be rejected as forensically worthless. This exclusion of 'self-serving' evidence follows broad principles applied in civil and criminal law. Such evidence only has value when it goes against the interest of the warring party, as with admissions, or when it says something about the mentality of the party putting it forward.

Stock Down

China starts dumping U.S. government debt

The foreign feast on U.S. debt is over. For years, the central banks of emerging market countries have devoured U.S. debt in order to bolster their foreign currency reserves. The trend intensified amid booming trade surpluses fueled largely by the sale of commodities, from soybeans to crude.

While our government's debt has been a hot topic for many years, it's the money that we owe China that has been frightening financial analysts, especially since the crash of 2008. The fact that we are indebted to one of our biggest competitors on the global stage, does not bode well for our future. The only question is, what happens if China decides to pull the rug out from under us by ditching these debts?

We may be about to find out, since lately, China has been dropping US government bonds like hot potatoes. After the Chinese government devalued the yuan in August, their currency experienced a massive sell-off by investors who feared that more devaluations were ahead. To contain the situation, China's central bank has been buying up their own currency while selling their dollar reserves.

And China isn't alone either. By July, Russia had sold $32.8 billion in US Treasury debt, and Brazil and Taiwan have been dumping the dollar as well. All of these countries used to be our biggest customers. India has actually increased its holdings, but it hasn't been nearly enough to offset what we've lost. Foreign purchases of US treasury notes and bonds have been in the red throughout 2015, and peaked to about $123 billion in loses last summer; the largest decline since we started keeping track in 1978. While the trend is still young, it appears that the global dollar sell-off has begun in earnest.

Comment: Washington's financial/currency war on China and the Yuan's eclipse of the US dollar


What does Russia want regarding Syria?

© www.nytimes.com
Syrian tribute to Putin
The Western media has portrayed Russia's recent joint anti-terror security operations with the Syrian government as a means of expanding its influence beyond its borders. CNN in its article, "Petraeus accuses Putin of trying to re-establish Russian Empire," would go as far as claiming:
One of America's top former generals compared the situation in Syria Tuesday to a historic nuclear disaster, implicitly criticizing the U.S. for allowing it to worsen, and accused Russia's President of trying to re-establish an empire.

Russian moves in Syria are designed to bolster and hold on to their naval base and airstrip along the Mediterranean coast of Syria, and shore up the al-Assad regime in order to preserve Russian influence in the Middle East, Petraeus said. "I think that what Vladimir Putin would like to do is resurrect the Russian empire," he said.
Ironically, the United States maintains over 800 military bases around the world while occupying Afghanistan since 2001 and carrying out armed operations everywhere from Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, and Syria to the borders of Pakistan. Russia's only overseas base is in fact the naval facility mentioned by Petraeus. Petraeus never elaborates on how despite such obvious disparity between Russia and America regarding foreign policy, why Russia is suspected of pursuing "empire" while the US is not then completely guilty of already establishing and fighting desperately to maintain an immense one.

Comment: A definitive assessment and overview of the differences between the West and Russia becoming more observable and evidenced as time passes.
  • US/NATO Goal: Regime changes via terrorist organizations, to eventually include Iran, Russia, China.
  • Russia Goal: Stop Western conquest, seek partners, balance of power, respect of sovereignty, multipolar future.
If you were Syria, who would you want on your side? The choices and consequences are worlds apart.