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Suitable and adequate compromise: Putin and Erdogan have concluded a good deal on Idlib

Erdogan y Putin
© Sputnik / Sergey Guneev
Much scepticism surrounds the fate of the city of Idlib following the deal concluded between the two presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that led to the suspension of the long-awaited military operation against the jihadists and their allies. Only a few details of the deal have been revealed, enough however to shed doubts both about its validity and its sustainability. Nevertheless, optimism pervades the Russian, Iranian and Turkish side - whereas the jihadists in Idlib and surroundings no longer see a confrontation as inevitable. The key difference now, after the Putin-Erdogan agreement, is that Turkey will no longer be present to defend the jihadists, and neither will Erdogan stir the European pot, threatening an "exodus of millions" (into the old continent) as leverage to avoid the battle of Idlib.

What is not apparent from publicly available information is that both Erdogan and Putin helped each other climb down the tree of Idlib they climbed up over the last months and have found a suitable and adequate compromise.

Before the Idlib deal, Putin promised to clear the city and its surroundings of jihadists and supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's rhetoric: "every inch of Syria will be liberated". The Syrian army gathered most of its forces within the 4000 sq km that represent the northern area occupied by Turkey, its proxies and other jihadists. That triggered a strong reaction from the US, whose forces occupy parts of the north east (al-Hasaka) and east (al-Tanf) of Syria.

Comment: Russia Brings Turkey to the Right Side of History - Terrorists and Israel React Badly to Sochi Agreement on Idlib


Chess

Former Obama-Clinton Democrat operative now advising Kavanaugh accuser

clinton lawyer Ricki Seidman Anital hill

Former Clinton advisor Ricki Seidman (L), Anita Hill (R)
Brett Kavanaugh's accuser Christine Blasey Ford is getting advice by Democratic super-activist Ricki Seidman, Politico reports.

Seidman, currently an executive at a public relations company, has worked for the Dukakis, Mondale and Clinton campaigns for president. She served as Joe Biden's communications director when he was named Barack Obama's running mate in the 2008 election, and managed the confirmation of Obama's Supreme Court justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Recently, Seidman served at the the executive director of the liberal voter turnout group Rock the Vote.

Seidman served in Bill Clinton's campaign's "war room" and served as deputy communications director in the Clinton White House, according to Politico.

Comment: More from Politico:
Even though Democrats have purposefully proceeded cautiously with Ford, the news that she is working with an experienced political operative was interpreted by Republicans close to the process as a sign that Democrats are trying to leverage the accusation to derail the Kavanaugh confirmation process.

"This feels more like a Democratic super PAC than a legal effort to get at the truth," said a senior Republican official of Seidman's role working with Ford.

"If you're concerned about an appearance of partisanship, hiring a Democratic operative with a history of smearing conservative judges doesn't exactly mitigate that," said Cassie Smedile, press secretary for the Republican National Committee.



Jet2

Russian aircraft downed over Syria: A USS Liberty moment or an MH17 moment?

Ilyushin Il-20M

Ilyushin Il-20M
The USS Liberty

During the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, an American technical research ship called the USS Liberty was attacked in an simultaneous aerial and torpedo assault by Israeli warplanes and motor torpedo boats. In the attack which lasted nearly an hour and a half, 34 Americans were killed and 171 were wounded, many of them severely.

Officially, both the US and Israel called the attack on the USS Liberty an incident of tragic friendly fire deriving from the Israelis falsely identifying the American fagged ship as Egyptian. While Israel paid the US compensation and the issue was allowed to rapidly die down by a complacent US media, since 1967 many books and articles have been written suggesting that the attack on the USS Liberty was a deliberate attack on Israel's part while others have asserted that Israel acted with the approval of US President Lyndon Johnson in an attempt to stage a false flag attack wherein Egypt would have been incorrectly blamed for such an attack. According to this theory, the fact that there were survivors meant that the false flag narrative needed to be called off and substituted with the friendly fire/mistaken identity narrative.

Radar

Critical thoughts on the downing of Russia's IL-20

Russian Aircraft IL-20
© Reuters
Aircraft IL-20 of the Russian Ministry of Defense during take-off at the Rostov-on-Don airport.
And so it starts. Russia must attack Israel, no-she must obliterate it, Putin is "soft", the world is coming to an end, Zionists are in control of Kremlin, Russia turns another cheek. And on, and on, and on. The chorus of noble warriors with the evils of Zionism is getting louder with each day. Behind this hysteria surrounding the tragedy of Russian VKS' IL-20 somehow crucial and widely publicized news have been ignored completely. It is no surprise they were ignored by all kinds of "specialists" in strategy, politics, and armchair strategists (I am one myself). The news are pretty simple. Lt. General Alexander Ionov, former Deputy Chief of Main Staff of Russian Air Force from 1991 through 2001, stated to popular Russian media Zvezda that it is guaranteed that Syrian Air Defense forces were not provided with compatible IFF equipment and codes.

For those who don't know what IFF (Interrogator Friend-Foe) is - it is electronic system which provides both a defense against friendly fire and easy radar identification of friendly forces. On older radar friendly forces would usually be marked with arches (below or above) radar marks of the targets and that is how one knows how not to shoot at them. The IFF technology is extremely sensitive as are the "codes" on which it runs. It wasn't provided, and for a good reason, to Syrian Forces. So, the question, in this case which will be asked by laymen is: but what about "full integration" of Russian and Syrian Air Defenses. It is a legitimate question. Without going into much detail how a key aspect of this integration is provided-in Western parlance it is called CEC (Cooperative Engagement Capability)-there are reasons to assume that in case of older S-200s the targeting data could have been provided by radio-voice commands. But here comes this most important fact-Syrian S-200 and its radar did have a track and, possibly, a lock on the Israeli F-16s. The certainty of this fact, as in old proverb about the proof being in the pudding, is in all advanced aircraft being equipped with Emission Detectors which are a warning system and Israeli aircraft using available "screen" in a form of Russian IL-20 on its approach to Khmeimim Air Base.

Comment: Also see:


Better Earth

Jack Ma: Trade should be 'propeller of peace' between US & China

Jack Ma
© Xinhua/Huang Zongzhi
Jack Ma, Alibaba co-founder and chairman, speaks in an exclusive interview with Xinhua News Agency and answers questions concerning his upcoming retirement in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, Sept. 18, 2018.
Alibaba chairman Jack Ma said efforts should be made to promote the healthy development of China-U.S. trade even though it is hard to fulfill his previous promise of creating 1 million jobs for the United States under current circumstances.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Tuesday, Ma said his promise was based on friendly cooperation between China and the United States and a rational growth of China-U.S. trade.

"However, the previous basis for trade has been undermined," he said. "But we will continue to work hard to promote the healthy development of China-U.S. trade."

Comment: Also see:


No Entry

Trump reportedly urged Spain to 'build a wall' along Sahara to stop migrants

Trump fake wall Mexico
© Henry Romero / Reuters
People pose near a fake wall and an effigy of Donald Trump in Mexico.
US President Donald Trump's recipe for the EU to resolve immigration problems is to build a wall along the Sahara Desert similar to the one he wants erected along his country's border with Mexico, according to a Spanish minister.

Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell told about Trump's suggestion during a lunch in Madrid organized by Club Siglo XXI, a respectable cultural association that dates back to 1969. According to El País newspaper, Trump argued before a Spanish delegation visiting the White House that "the border with the Sahara can't be longer than ours is with Mexico," to which the Spaniards said it actually would have to be longer by about a half.

Spain does have a border wall in Africa, where its tiny enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta are separated from Morocco by rows of wire fences. The enclaves regularly see crowds of asylum-seekers storming the fences in hopes of getting into a Spanish jurisdiction.

Comment: Also see:


Oil Well

Trump demands OPEC lower oil prices, claims US 'protects' Middle East countries

oil pumps
© Nick Oxford
US President Donald Trump has accused OPEC's Middle East producers of "pushing for higher and higher oil prices." Trump, who is a proponent of cheap crude, has told OPEC countries they would not be safe for long without the US.

Oil prices showed a mixed reaction to Trump's words. The Brent benchmark fell 43 cents to $78.97 per barrel, while the US Texas Intermediate grew 9 cents to $71.21.

This is not the first time Trump has attacked OPEC and blamed it for high oil prices. Asked by Fox on July 1 if someone was manipulating oil markets, Trump said: "OPEC is and they better stop it because we're protecting those countries, many of those countries." In a follow-up Tweet on July 4, the president said that "the United States defends many of those countries for very little $'s."


Comment: If he's referring to the despotic and much despised regime in Saudi Arabia, then he'd be right: Saudi Arabia defies Trump's request to boost oil production to offset Iran sanctions


Why does Trump so badly want low oil prices?

Comment: The US, with its perpetual chaos creation in the Middle East, its funding of the apartheid and psychopathic state of Israel, and its sanctioning some of the worlds largest oil producers, only has itself to blame: Also check out SOTT radio's:


Control Panel

Google reportedly tweaked algorithm for stories about immigration debate

google reflection
Google employees wanted to push users to pro-immigration groups in the days after the Trump administration launched its travel ban last year, according to a report posted Thursday night.

In a series of emails cited by The Wall Street Journal, Google workers in early 2017 sought to "leverage" their massive worldwide power and fight what they saw as "islamophobic, algorithmically biased results from search terms 'Islam', 'Muslim', 'Iran', etc." and "prejudiced, algorithmically biased search results from search terms 'Mexico', 'Hispanic', 'Latino.' "

Some in the chain of emails occasionally cautioned against getting involved in a divisive political fight, the newspaper reported.

Comment: "Google has never manipulated its search results....." - Yeah right!! See also: Study shows Google search manipulation can swing up to 80 percent of undecided voters


Pirates

Analysts estimate what might cause Idlib demilitarized zone to collapse

Syria
© AFP 2018 / Mohamed al-Bakour
Hopes for establishing a demilitarized zone to protect civilians in Syria's Idlib could be quashed by a chemical attack staged by the West and its terrorist allies and/or Russia and Turkey exploiting the situation to target opponents, analysts told Sputnik.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting in Sochi earlier this week signed an agreement to establish a 9-12 mile demilitarized zone in Idlib along the contact line by October 15.

Chemical Attack Spoiler

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a weekly briefing that terrorists in Syria are continuing preparations for a staged provocation with the use of chemical weapons in Idlib province.

Last week, the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation said the filming of a staged provocation with the alleged use of chemical weapons had begun. A Syrian human rights activist later told Sputnik that dozens of White Helmets arrived from Turkey to Idlib in order to conduct the false flag operation. He said they had tanks containing an unknown gas with them. The Russian military said that the gas was a chlorine-based toxic substance.

Comment: Although they've come to a tentative deal, it still remains to be seen if the terrorists will play along. So far, it doesn't look like they are too keen on the suggestion and a false flag chemical attack can't be entirely written off. In fact, it still appears to be an option the terrorists are willing to plunge ahead with, whether on their own or through their US/Israeli handlers.


Attention

Cooking the books? FBI had two sets of Trump investigation records

Andrew McCabe

“Any documents, files, and databases that were deleted or manipulated” by McCabe and Strzok were noted and recorded by the federal IG investigators.
Journalist Sara Carter told Sean Hannity during his Wednesday radio show that the FBI has two sets of records in the Russia investigation, and that "certain people above Peter Strzok and above Lisa Page" were aware of it - implicating former FBI Director James Comey and his #2, Andrew McCabe.
Hannity: Sara, I'm hearing it gets worse than this - that there is potentially out there - if you will, two sets of record among the upper echelon of the FBI - one that was real one that was made for appearances. Is there any truth to this?

Carter: Absolutely, Sean. With the number of sources that I have been speaking with as well as some others that there is evidence indicating that the FBI had separate sets of books.

I will not name names until all of the evidence is out there, but there were certain people above Peter Strzok and above Lisa Page that were aware of this. I also believe that there are people within the FBI that have actually turned on their former employers and are possibly even testifying and reporting what happened inside the FBI to both the Inspector General and possibly even a Grand Jury.
Listen:


(h/t Cristina Laila @ Gateway Pundit)