Log in

No account? Create an account
12 December 2015 @ 06:54 pm
McCain is Playing Chicken With Baghdad  
11.12.2015 Author: Vladimir Simonov
New Eastern Outlook.
According to the Iraq Press Agency, the head of the Iraqi parliamentary bloc Irada, Hannan al-Fetlaui stated that up to 100,00 foreign troops are headed to Iraq. Up to 90,000 are going to be sent by the Arab and Gulf States to Iraq to fight the Islamic State (ISIL), while another 10,000 will come from the United States. According to the MP, she received this information from a reliable sources that was involved in the talks between Senator John McCain, and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Hannan al-Fetlaui clarified that the meeting took place on November 27 in a joint US-Iraqi operation headquarters in Baghdad, which coordinates joint military actions against ISIL.
According to the head of Irada, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Jordan are going to send the better part of the troops that are to be deployed in the western parts of Iraq. It’s reported that the Iraqi Prime Minister openly expressed surprise about such a decision, but John McCain, however, told him that this is a decided matter and there’s nothing to discuss. While still in Baghdad, McCain, accompanied by Senator Lindsey Graham, stated that American soldiers will only provide logistical support to the Arab military contingent from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. It is clear that Egyptian and Turkish troops were mentioned as being used to implement the plan and get them involved in the Syrian conflict, since Ankara is desperate to launch a military invasion of Syria and create a no-fly zone over it.
However, this plan sounds particularly delusional, since Russia has already deployed over a hundred combat warplanes and helicopters in Syria, along with the top-of-the line anti-air complexes S-400 and a naval equivalent of the S-300, virtually creating a no-fly zone of its own over Syria.
But what is curious is that US Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter hinted that special units will be sent to Iraq and neighboring Syria, while implying that they’ve reached an agreement on this issue with Baghdad. According to Hannan al-Fetlaui, in response the Office of the Prime Minister issued a statement that it welcomes any foreign aid in the fight against ISIL, but only when it is demanded by Iraqi officials.
There’s a number of questions that must be asked in light of this development: Who is John McCain to decide when US troops should be sent abroad? Has the US president and the US Senate no say on this issue anymore? Let’s make it clear, an ordinary senator of the Republican Party is saying what America will do next, while the president who is sitting in the White House is a Democrat. So, if Obama has given up on the attempts to run the government, which is unlikely, McCain’s actions are nothing more than a case of amateurish propaganda. But one can be pretty sure that it is illegal to try to throw a president under the bus, even in the US.
Has the Prime Minister of Iraq Kadhim Al-Abadi issued an official request to bring foreign expeditionary forces into Iraq? Is there a UN Security Council resolution on the involvement of foreign troops in Iraq? There is not, so an official invitation by the Iraqi government is needed, as it was the case with Damascus which invited Russia’s air corp to assist its troops in the fight against terrorism. A speech given by a mere member of the Iraqi parliament is notthe official position of Baghdad. It looks like she has simply leaked the information to the media about the upcoming invitation of foreign troops to Iraq in order to prevent it. After all, neither the Sunnis nor Shia’a, especially those who have experienced all the “beauty” of the US occupation will want to see it repeated ever again. For example, supporters of Mahdi – the most influential Shia’a leader in Iraq, who has armed troops under his command, will not welcome this development. Additionally, Iran is more than capable to put some pressure on Baghdad to prevent this.
And who is going to believe that the Shia’s rulers of Baghdad and Tehran will allow thousands of armed soldiers into Iraq, sent by the Sunni monarchies of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Jordan? It’s hardly a secret for anyone that Saudi Arabia is Iran’s sworn enemy.
And finally, before sending troops to Iraq, the Persian Gulf monarchies should take a closer look at the unfolding, humiliating defeat they’re suffering in Yemen. While the Houthis have no aviation or air defense capabilities, they are beating the Persian Gulf coalition hands down, while retaining control of a better part of the country. It seems that the Al Saud clan has lost the last remnants of common sense.
The conclusion is simple – if what we’re witnessing now is not yet another figment of McCain’s inflamed imagination, caused by his inability to leave the hardships of his Vietnamese captivity behind, then what is it? What is happening in Washington? Has the White House lost all control over the actions of such madmen, who are dragging the United States back into a war which it was pretty desperate to finish back in 2011? Those were grim days. Apparently, there’s no comprehensive plan of action in place. The US as lost all control over the Middle East, which is why it’s incapable of providing an adequate answer to the threat of ISIL, which has been admitted by President Obama in one of his speeches.
So this very well may be a case of desperate propaganda, that will scare Washington and its Arab allies more than anyone – Arab allies who are pretty reluctant to become engaged in Iraq, knowing the fighting they will face and the defeat they will be handed. A preview of this possible future can be viewed in the Yemeni campaign which has only proven that they will suffer one bitter defeat after another. Those allies are even doubting their ability to save their own governments from the chaos created by Washington, and they have a pretty good reason to do so.
Vladimir Simonov, expert on the Middle East, Doctor of science (history), exclusively for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook.
First appeared: http://journal-neo.org/2015/12/11/mccain-is-playing-chicken-with-baghdad/
clothcapclothcap on December 12th, 2015 05:58 pm (UTC)
NATO is No Better Than Turkey

09.12.2015 Author: Martin Berger
While the White House keeps telling the world the tale about America’s pivotal role in the so-called “war on terror”, the people of the world want to know what role the US-led North Atlantic alliance is playing in the sponsoring and arming of the Islamic State (ISIL). Such tales, as well as Washington-backed propaganda campaigns about the “ever-growing threat of the Islamic State” have a common goal: to excuse the staggering expenditures on arms that the US military keeps burning through in order to satisfy a number of arms manufacturers. Yet, the White House is using terrorist attacks around the globe that were supposedly carried out by Islamist groups to carry on its own wars in the Middle East, subjecting the countries it doesn’t like to bombings and devastation.
How else could one explain the fact that a year into the fight against ISIL, initiated by Barack Obama himself, with a total of 60 counties that rallied under the banner of the so-called US coalition has nothing to brag about yet? Only Russia’s decision to finally launch airstrikes against radicals in Syria resulted in the destruction of oil smuggling infrastructure that had been providing ISIL with funding for years. In an attempt to save face, a national American broadcaster, PBS, aired on November 19 the footage of Russian strikes against ISIL in Syria, while claiming it was actually US forces carrying them out. It’s clear that the US propaganda machine has gone too far in order to fabricate evidence of a successful NATO campaign in Syria by the stealing of footage provided by Russia’s Defense Ministry. After all, how else would one justify the excessive funding on three thousand so-called advisers that have been training the “forces of the moderate Syrian opposition”, while there’s little more than a hundred of those left in Syria?
More http://journal-neo.org/2015/12/09/nato-is-no-better-than-turkey/
clothcapclothcap on December 12th, 2015 06:24 pm (UTC)
The strategy of chaos
by Manlio Dinucci, Voltairenet
The strategy of chaos Rome (Italy)
Flags fly at half-mast in NATO countries for "France’s 9/11," while President Obama announces to the media: "We will provide you accurate information about who is responsible."
They needn’t wait. It is already clear.
The umpteenth massacre of innocents was caused by the series of geopolitical cluster bombs, detonated according to a precise strategy.

The unavowable project for a pseudo-Kurdistan
by Thierry Meyssan
Damascus (Syria)
The unavowable project for a pseudo-Kurdistan
Paris and London are multiplying their categorical declarations against Daesh, its programme of ethnic cleansing and its terrorist attacks. And yet they are preparing in secret for the ethnic cleansing of Northern Syria with a view to creating a pseudo-Kurdistan, and the re-localisation of Daesh to Al-Anbar in order to create a « Sunnistan » there. Thierry Meyssan analyses this plan, and underlines the numerous contradictions in the official discourse.

Where will the Ukrainian bombs explode?
by Andrey Fomin
Moscow (Russia)
While the International Coalition planes bombed a camp of the Syrian Arab Army, December 6, Ukrainian Cyber-Berkut have made public new documents. They show that Qatar has bought Russian-made bombs in Ukraine so as to accuse Russia.

The yuan will be the third most powerful currency in the IMF basket
by Ariel Noyola Rodríguez
In spite of the fierce opposition of the US treasury Department, on November 30 the IMF finally approved the inclusion of the yuan in the Special Drawing Rights, the currency basket created in 1969 to complement the official reserves of the members of the multilateral organization. With this the Chinese currency will become, next October 1 (2016), part of the integrating fifth of the IMF basket. The financial influence of China on a world scale will continue to grow at high velocity: the weight of the yuan in the Special Drawing Rights will be greater in comparison with the Japanese yen and the pound sterling.

Edited at 2015-12-12 06:34 pm (UTC)
clothcapclothcap on December 12th, 2015 06:53 pm (UTC)
NATO May Not Back Turkey in a War With Russia

09.12.2015 Author: Maram Susli
The Shoot down of the Su-24 was not about an airspace violation. Discussion about how many seconds the Russian Jet was inside Turkish Airspace, or how many warnings the Turkish military gave the Jet are largely irrelevant. In 2012, Turkish president Erdogan himself said, that brief airspace violations can’t be a pretext for attack. Turkey violated Greek airspace over 2000 times last year. US president, Obama hinted the real agenda behind Turkey was to protect Al-Qaeda linked Turkman insurgents in Syria, but this is also a secondary objective. The real agenda behind shooting down the jet is challenging Russia’s resolve on Syria and testing its position as a superpower on the world stage. This agenda belongs the US and not Turkey. A Challenge of Russia’s strength must be met in a way which would send a clear message to the West, that it is no longer a unipolar world and Russia is here to stay.
Russian Retaliation
To emphasise the importance of meeting a test of resolve, the wider implication of a “do nothing” response must be understood. While it’s tempting to dismiss the attack on an Su-24 (and later, a Mi-24 helicopter) as an isolated incident that is not worth escalating over, such an attack is usually only the first of a series of attacks. A decision not to strike back implies weakness and lack of resolve, which invites further attacks in future.
So far Russia has kept its retaliation in the economic and political spheres, placing Turkey under comprehensive sanctions. The political retaliation was also swift and strong. The Russian Embassy in Turkey was shut down signaled the end of relations between the two countries. The words coming out of the Russian government were equally strong, pointing Turkish President Erdogan out as a supporter of terrorism and a financier of ISIS.
But economic and political warfare could be a lead up to future military action. The installment of the Russian S-400 Anti-Air missiles in Syria, has effectively created a no-fly zone over Turkey. Turkey has grounded its air force for fear of retaliatory strikes from the the S-400. Russia has also begun striking at insurgent supply lines directly on the Turkey-Syria border crossing. Russia’s decision to speak openly about Turkey’s support of terrorist groups in Syria, could be establish a grounds for future to attacks against Terrorist targets within Turkish Territory.
With such grave possibilities, why would Turkey carry out such an attack? Turkey may have been gambled that Russia would not retaliate militarily, assuming that threatening to close the Bosphorus strait, and having NATO backing would be enough of a deterrent. But Can NATO backing be relied upon?
NATO May Not Back Turkey in a War With Russia.
clothcapclothcap on December 12th, 2015 07:02 pm (UTC)
Sent From Coventry

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is a Tool of Western Propaganda
12.12.2015 Author: Steven MacMillan
Since Russia began military operations in Syria against the terrorist proxy forces of NATO and the Gulf states, ubiquitous reports in the Western media have emerged which claim that Russia has killed and targeted civilians. Yet a large proportion of these news organisations that apparently are at the pinnacle of journalism in the West, are publishing reports that are often based on one or two very dubious (to say the least) sources.
No photographs, videos or any actual evidence is provided in a lot of these articles. The presstitutes are so lazy these days they can’t even be bothered manufacturing fake evidence most of the time, they just cite a blog post from what may as well be some random guy on Twitter, and then quote a few Western politicians who want to oust Assad from power in Damascus; and they try and pass that off as professional news gathering. It’s truly a new low for Western mainstream journalism.
One of the most widely cited ‘organizations’ in the Western media pertaining to the Syrian conflict is the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). As Tony Cartalucci astutely noted back in 2012, in his article: West’s Syrian Narrative Based on “Guy in British Apartment”, the Western media portrays the SOHR as a group of impartial and highly skilled professionals who are based in Syria:
clothcapclothcap on December 12th, 2015 07:03 pm (UTC)
ISIS Now Alleged to Have Chemical Weapons—But Who Did They Get Them From?

12.12.2015 Author: Janet Phelan
Following the ISIS attack in Paris, France, the US and its allies are making further and more dramatic claims concerning ISIS’s capability to strike with deadly force. According to France, the US and others, ISIS is developing chemical weapons.
Unnamed US official sources were quoted extensively in a recent AP article, stating that ISIS was known to be developing chemical weapons.
And on November 19, the Prime Minister of France issued this warning. ““We must not rule anything out,” said Prime Minister Manuel Valls. “I say it with all the precautions needed. But we know and bear in mind that there is also a risk of chemical or bacteriological weapons.”
These claims must be looked at very carefully. The US has previously made a number of claims that countries on its target list have BW or CW capabilities. Such claims, now discredited as false, were launched by President George W. Bush in order to gain support for the invasion of Iraq. Similar claims were made in August of 2013 against Syria’s President Assad, claims which were used by President Obama as justification to authorize a military strike against Syria. President Putin’s diplomatic solution to this crisis—bringing Syria in to join the international treaty organization, the Chemical Weapons Convention—derailed this stated intent by Obama to make war on Syria and effectively stalled the US’s intended invasion of Syria.
As it turned out, many questions have been posed about the alleged gas attack in Damascus in August of 2013. A report by a former UN weapons inspector, Richard Lloyd, and an MIT professor, Ted Postol, raises questions about the conclusions that the gas attack was launched by Syrian forces. According to their report, the munitions had a range of about two kilometers and therefore “could not possibly have been fired at East Ghouta from the “Heart,” or from the Eastern edge, of the Syrian government controlled area shown in the intelligence map published by the White House on August 30. 2013.”
clothcapclothcap on December 12th, 2015 07:04 pm (UTC)
Oil Tests May Prove One Test Too Many for Erdogan

09.12.2015 Author: Henry Kamens
Before oil is sold, it is tested. Oil test labs know exactly where the oil they test comes from and where it goes. We knew this even before the Las Vegas Sun broke a story about it.
But even though this story provided confirmation that there is no mystery about the oil sales funding ISIS, or the mechanism behind them, it hasn’t prevented these sales and transports continuing. This is because the logistics behind them are so sophisticated, and overseen at such a high level, that it is very difficult to isolate and expose the weak links in the chain.
When Bob Woodward of Watergate fame investigated drug use in Hollywood for a biography he found it more difficult to get to the truth than he had with Watergate, because the film industry closed ranks. Imagine how hard it is to expose what world governments are doing to support terrorism, when they try so hard to pretend they are doing the opposite. But maybe, just maybe, enough fingers are pointing in one direction to make it easier for other players to find an alternative, and sacrifice an ally along the way.
Would-be emperor with no clothes
clothcapclothcap on December 12th, 2015 07:24 pm (UTC)
RT Newsline
15:35 GMT
2 suspects arrested in Switzerland over explosives, toxic gas production
Two people of Syrian origin have been arrested by Swiss Federal Police on suspicion of manufacturing, concealing and transporting explosives and toxic gas, Reuters reports, citing a statement from the Swiss Attorney General’s office. The pair may also have ties to some extremist groups. Criminal proceedings against them were opened under a law banning terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda and Islamic State, according to the statement. Swiss officials have so far disclosed no further details about the suspects.

15:20 GMT
33 arrested during opposition rally in Moscow - reports
At least 33 people have been arrested during an opposition protest in Moscow, which gathered about a hundred activists, OVD-info news portal reported. The demonstrators were taking part in a rally dubbed: “The March of Change” on Russia’s Constitution Day. The protest had not been coordinated with the authorities and was eventually dispersed by police.

13:41 GMT
Russia blasts Saudi Arabia for ‘hijacking Syrian peace process’ after rebel conference
The emergency gathering of the so-called Friends of Syria group in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on December 14, which advocates the ousting of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, is an attempt to highjack the Syrian peace process. This would compromise a political resolution to the Syrian crisis, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The group “is well known for its adherence to the obsolete idea of ousting the lawful government in Damascus,” the statement said.

13:40 GMT
Base commander & 5 more killed in suicide attack on Iraqi border post
Six Iraqi border guards were killed and 14 more injured in a suicide car bomb attack on an Iraqi post in the country’s western Anbar province near the border with Saudi Arabia, AFP reports. The Iraqi base commander, Lieutenant Colonel Hussein al-Goli, is among the dead, AFP added citing Iraqi military officials.
A suicide bomber on an explosives-rigged vehicle rammed into a checkpoint near the border security’s headquarters in the town of al-Nukhayb, 100 kilometers from the border with Saudi Arabia. No organization has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

13:35 GMT
17 wounded in grenade attack in Ethiopian capital
At least 17 people were wounded in an alleged grenade explosion in the Ethiopian capital’s biggest Grand Anwar Mosque during evening prayers on Friday, AFP reports. No group has taken responsibility for the attack so far with the country’s police continuing the investigation of the incident, AFP reports citing Ethiopia’s Information Minister Getachew Reda.
"So far we have no idea who is responsible for this incident," he said, as quoted by AFP.
"17 people were injured including some seriously injured, but no fatalities," the minister added.

12:20 GMT
40 dead in Burundi’s political violence
Witnesses report 40 people dead in Burundi’s capital Bujumbura, as political violence continues to escalate. They were found shot dead a day after the government reported an unidentified group carrying out coordinated attacks on three military installations, AFP reports. All victims had bullets in their heads and had hands tied behind their backs. The identity of the current attackers is not clear at this point.
clothcapclothcap on December 12th, 2015 07:35 pm (UTC)
Map Study: ISIS Oil Smuggling Impossible Without Kurds

By Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor on December 12, 2015
by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff, Editors
ISIS oil routes into Turkey, that the Russians presented so much evidence of, all go through Kurdish controlled regions. Now that Turkey has moved thousands of troops into the region, sending Iraq to the UN for help, all done with Kurdish treachery, we have taken a closer look at who is really responsible for funding ISIS.
America says Assad is the ISIS oil partner. We say it is the Kurds along with Erdogan and we stand ready to prove it.
The maps tell a story of a continuous Kurdish controlled area that covers more than 70% of all stolen oil, all moved directly through Kurdish lines in areas where there is no ISIS presence. Turkey is currently inside Iraq building a new and highly illegal air base in the middle of the oil smuggling zone, all done with the full cooperation of the Kurdish Barzani regime in Erbil.
The Syrian and Iraqi borders with Turkey from Western Syria to the Iranian Border, the areas of most oil smuggling, are not only fully Kurdish controlled and where Turkey has invaded, but it is also where US Special Forces units have entered Syria illegally as well, right in the middle of the ISIS oil convoy area, according to Russian satellite intelligence published for the world last week.
According to our sources who live in this region, it is totally “combat free,” a safe-zone for smuggling arms one way and oil the other, quite a different story than the ones the media tell us.
More, maps http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/12/12/map-study-isis-oil-smuggling-impossible-without-kurds/
clothcapclothcap on December 12th, 2015 09:25 pm (UTC)
At least 16 dead, dozens injured in terror attack near hospital in Homs, Syria
At least 16 dead, dozens injured in terror attack near hospital in Homs, Syria
RT 12 Dec, 2015
At least 16 people have been killed and dozens injured after a car packed with 150kg of explosives exploded near a hospital in central Homs in western Syria, the SANA news agency reported, citing the local governor.
The incident happened near a hospital in the al-Zahra neighborhood of the city. The area has seen several bombings. It is home to the Alawite minority, to whom the ruling elite in Syria belongs.
Syrian state television described the attack as "two large terrorist explosions." The second explosion reportedly took place in a nearby shop a few minutes after the car bombing detonated.
At least 16 people have been killed and 54 others injured. Some are in a critical condition, Governor of Homs Talal al-Barazi told SANA.
The agency cited a source close the incident, saying a car packed with 150 kg of explosives was parked in a street near a charity association and al-Ahli Hospital.
clothcapclothcap on December 12th, 2015 09:33 pm (UTC)
Dogs of War: British mercenary reported killed in Yemen

RT Dec 11, 2015
Provisionally named as Colonel Arthur Kingston by local media, a British national reportedly died alongside an Australian and a group of Colombian mercenaries known to have been operating against the Shia Houthi militias.
clothcapclothcap on December 12th, 2015 09:36 pm (UTC)
‘They won’t pay us back because they are crooks’ - Medvedev on Ukraine debt

RT 9 Dec, 2015
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has told reporters that Ukraine has no intention of repaying a $3 billion debt to Russia and sharply criticized Western governments for covering up Kiev’s violations of perfectly legal financial agreements.
“I have a feeling that they [Ukraine] will not return anything [to us] because they are crooks,” Medvedev said on Wednesday during an interview with several leading Russian TV channels. “They refuse to return the money and our Western partners not only render us no help, they are actually hindering our efforts,” he added.
The Russian PM also reminded journalists that Ukrainian debt to Russia had been well planned, and that the initial agreement was sealed between the two national governments.
“Ukrainian authorities asked Russia to participate in bond placements so that they could solve some routine tasks of the Ukrainian economy. When two governments make an agreement this is obviously a sovereign debt,” Medvedev noted.
The PM also said the approach of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other players in the field of international finance was far from correct: “It is very surprising that international financial organizations have started saying this was not sovereign borrowing. This is rubbish. This is obviously a blatant and cynical lie,” Medvedev stated.
He noted that according to commonly accepted rules, failure to repay a sovereign debt in time - also called a default on sovereign debt - should always lead to “unpleasant consequences” for the borrower.
clothcapclothcap on December 12th, 2015 09:37 pm (UTC)
Russia Carpet-bombing Turkish Protected Terrorists

By GPD on December 12, 2015
[ Editor’s note: VT rejects the respect some fearful members of the media give “ISIS” by allowing them to change names at will when, through their own idiocy, they “wear out” their old ones. They aren’t a “state,” they are a criminal gang working with the CIA, Mossad, Saudis and Turks with Qatari officers and lots of Ukrainian and American arms. Shame on the press for kissing their nasty fat behinds.]
TEHRAN (FNA) – Russian strikers and bombers staged heavy airstrikes on militants’ positions in the Western and Northern parts of Aleppo province a few kilometers away from the border with Turkey, army sources said Saturday, adding that the air raids inflicted much damage on the terrorists.
The sources said that the militants’ concentration centers in Atarib 25 kilometers west of Aleppo city and just 20 km away from the Syrian–Turkish borderline, came under heavy airstrikes of the Russian bombers, which inflicted heavy losses on them.
“Also, the Russian fighting bombers stormed the militants’ military camps in Deir Jamal region North of Aleppo province and hit them hard,” the sources added.” … columns of dark smoke could be seen from far distance after the Russian army bombed the militant groups’ site in Deir Jamal,” the sources said.
The Russian Air Force launched its massive anti-terrorism combat sorties over the Syrian territories on September 30, since then too many militant targets have been bombed by them.
On Friday, the Russian fighter jets carried out several combat sorties over the militant groups’ concentration centers in the Western outskirts of Aleppo city, targeting them heavily.
The militant groups suffered a heavy death toll after the Russian warplanes pounded their strongholds in al-Rashedin and al-Mansoura, the sources said.
“Nearly 11 militants were killed in the Russian warplane’s rocket attack in al-Rashedin,” the sources said.
“Harakat Nouriddeen al-Zinki terrorist group’s military equipment was destroyed in the air attack in al-Mansoura,” the sources went on to say.
‘Moderate’ Rebels in Aleppo Join ISIS
clothcapclothcap on December 12th, 2015 09:43 pm (UTC)
Everyone is looking where they are supposed to be.
What else is in plain sight apart from the COP out meeting.
What else is devastation dave up to?
clothcapclothcap on December 12th, 2015 10:17 pm (UTC)
Why Did Turkey Shoot Down That Russian Plane?

By Conn Hallinan
Global Research, December 12, 2015
It was certainly not because the SU-24 posed any threat. The plane is old and slow, and the Russians were careful not to arm it with anti-aircraft missiles. It was not because the Turks are quick on the trigger. Three years ago Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, “A short-term violation of airspace can never be a pretext for an attack.” And there are some doubts about whether the Russian plane ever crossed into Turkey’s airspace.
Indeed, the whole Nov. 24 incident looks increasingly suspicious, and one doesn’t have to be a paranoid Russian to think the takedown might have been an ambush. As Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney (ret), former U.S. Air Force chief of staff commented, “This airplane was not making any maneuvers to attack the [Turkish] territory,” the Turkish action was “overly aggressive,” and the incident “had to be preplanned.”
It certainly puzzled the Israeli military, not known for taking a casual approach to military intrusions. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told the press Nov. 29 that a Russian warplane had violated the Israeli border over the Golan Heights. “Russian planes do not intend to attack us, which is why we must not automatically react and shoot them down when an error occurs.”
So why was the plane downed? Because, for the first time in four years, some major players are tentatively inching toward a settlement of the catastrophic Syrian civil war, and powerful forces are maneuvering to torpedo that process. If the Russians had not kept their cool, several nuclear-armed powers could well have found themselves in a scary faceoff, and any thoughts of ending the war would have gone a glimmering.
There are multiple actors on the Syrian stage and a bewildering number of crosscurrents and competing agendas that, paradoxically, make it both easier and harder to find common ground. Easier, because there is no unified position among the antagonists; harder, because trying to herd heavily armed cats is a tricky business.
A short score card on the players:
The Russians and the Iranians are supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and fighting a host of extremist organizations ranging from Al-Qaeda to the Islamic State (IS). But each country has a different view of what a post civil war Syria might look like. The Russians want a centralized and secular state with a big army. The Iranians don’t think much of “secular,” and they favor militias, not armies.
Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and most the other Gulf monarchies are trying to overthrow the Assad regime, and are the major supporters of the groups Russia, Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah are fighting. But while Turkey and Qatar want to replace Assad with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi Arabia might just hate the Brotherhood more than it does Assad. And while the monarchies are not overly concerned with the Kurds, Turkey is bombing them, and they are a major reason why Ankara is so deeply enmeshed in Syria.
The U.S., France and Great Britain are also trying to overthrow Assad, but are currently focused on fighting the IS using the Kurds as their major allies—specifically the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Party, an offshoot of the Kurdish Workers Party that the U.S. officially designates as “terrorist.” These are the same Kurds that the Turks are bombing and who have a friendly alliance with the Russians. Indeed, Turkey may discover that one of the price tags for shooting down that SU-24 is the sudden appearance of new Russian weapons for the Kurds, some of which will be aimed at the Turks.
The Syrian war requires a certain suspension of rational thought.
For instance, the Americans are unhappy with the Russians for bombing the anti-Assad Conquest Army, a force dominated by the Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s franchise in Syria. That would be the same al-Qaeda that brought down the World Trade towers and that the U.S. is currently bombing in Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan.
Suspension of rational thought is not limited to Syria.
More http://www.globalresearch.ca/why-did-turkey-shoot-down-that-russian-plane/5495273
clothcapclothcap on December 12th, 2015 10:46 pm (UTC)
Elimination of the middle class. Progress report.

Impoverishment of the Middle Class in America: Middle-income Households No Longer The Majority
By Andre Damon
Global Research, December 11, 2015
World Socialist Web Site
For the first time in more than four decades, “middle-income households” no longer constitute the majority of American society, according to a study published Wednesday by the Pew Research Center. Instead, the majority of households are either low or higher-income.
The study concluded, “Once in the clear majority, adults in middle-income households in 2015 were matched in number by those in lower- and upper-income households combined.” Pew called its findings “a demographic shift that could signal a tipping point” in American society.
The study also found a sharp fall in household incomes and wealth, particularly for low-income households, noting that only “upper-income families realized notable gains in wealth from 1983 to 2013.”
Together with the decline in the relative numbers of middle-income earners, the incomes of households in this group has fallen substantially in recent decades. The median income of middle-income households fell by four percent between 2000 and 2014, while their median wealth fell by 28 percent over approximately the same period.
The study notes that since 1983, the total share of income accruing to high-income households has grown significantly. The study found that “fully 49% of US aggregate income went to upper-income households in 2014, up from 29% in 1970.” Meanwhile the share “accruing to middle-income households was 43% in 2014, down substantially from 62% in 1970.”
More http://www.globalresearch.ca/impoverishment-of-middle-class-in-america-middle-income-households-no-longer-the-majority/5495178