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Russia is Waiting for Trump in Syria

Russia’s military campaign in Syria is heavily conditioned by hopes of cooperation with the US which can only be achieved in the event of Donald Trump’s victory in the US Presidential election.

Oliver Richardson

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Information has been published on social media claiming that Russia’s high rate of supplies shows a readiness for a return to its pre-withdrawal level of activity. Whilst this information on supplies may be accurate, it merely shows what replenishing the stocks of 1000+ personnel looks like.

As things stand, Russia is unable to up the ante in Syria due to the US’ unwillingness to coordinate their actions. Even though the Kremlin recently announced an agreement with the US for enhanced cooperation, in reality the US wants Russia to be its Air Force where it is needed. No cooperation really exists between Russia and the US. The only thing that can change this is Obama clearing his desk in November for Trump.

Russia’s campaign in Syria began on September 30th, 2015, when a contingent of military advisors, artillery, helicopters, and jets made the long journey to the Levant, setting up camp in the western province of Latakia. This would later become known as the Khmeimim Air Base, where 10 fueling trucks, refueling stations, warehouses for supplies, mobile kitchens, and even a bakery would appear. But the real reason the air base was created was to host over 50 aircraft including Su-34, Su-24M, Su-25, Mi-35m, Ka-52, Mi-24, and many others.

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The first mission for the Russia Air Force was to clear out Latakia, in particular the areas surrounding the air base. This operation involved the destruction of ISIS’ oil supplies coming from Turkish territory. Russia made Turkey’s role in fueling the war in Syria perfectly clear to the world. This led to the notorious “stab in the back”, when a Russian Su-24 was shot down by a Turkish F-16 on the Turkey/Syria border. This incident was the catalyst for the deployment of the S- 400 long-range surface-to-air missile system at the air base. From this moment on, Russia had de-facto created a no fly zone in the entire region.

After Latakia had been cleared out, Russia did something that took the West by surprise – they “withdrew” the majority of their air forces. The reason why Russia did this is multifaceted:

A) Economy of Force. Russia had many idle units sitting at the airbase after the primary mission to disrupt ISIS’ funding and Turkey’s position in the region had been completed. In order to keep Russia’s operation optimized, Shoigu exchanged jets for helicopters, which would lead to the campaign in Palmyra.

B) Aiding the political process. The “withdrawal” served to show that Russia’s presence in Syria is flexible and temporary – it is not an occupation (they have Assad’s permission anyway). In actuality, Russia could bring back anything they moved, and thus it never was a “withdrawal”, just a reshuffling. But of course, the Western media liked to use the “weak Russia” analogy until exhaustion.

C) An agreement with the US. The Higher Negotiations Committee (Saudi Arabia’s faux opposition group with Salafi representatives of Ahrar al-Sham etc.) would not budge an inch unless Russia’s presence was thinned out. This worked out fine for Russia because of point A.

Shortly after the withdrawal, which annoyed Iran and Hezbollah as they were close to capturing key areas and subsequently had to reorganize and relocate, the city of Palmyra and its outskirts were fully liberated and de-mined. Russia’s helicopters would operate in groups of two so that, should one be attacked, the other one could hone in on the perpetrator. A Russian orchestra would play at the famous ruins to illustrate to the world’s media that Russia’s presence in Syria was very real, and not a farce like the US’ incursions in Iraq.

After the core of Palmyra was liberated, Russia then focused its attention on Aleppo. Turkey and Saudi Arabia issued rhetoric threatening an invasion. Iran then sent 6000 “Al-sabereen” troops to Aleppo to totally block such a possibility. By this time, the US’ proxies – both the “moderate rebels” and Al-Nusra – had started to create demarcation lines, which the US aims to use to partition the country. This resulted in Aleppo being split into two – North and South, with the latter being a source of Takfiri infighting (Jaish al Islam and Faylaq Al-Rahman). Due to Russia’s “withdrawal” and a lack of air support for the Syrian Arab Army, Jabhat Al-Nusra was able to reclaim what it had lost when Russia initially began its campaign. This created a scenario where Russia was forced to focus on North Aleppo in order to help cut the supply off to the South. Fortunately, the Syrian Army was able to capture some key areas in Aleppo such as Al-Mallaah Farms, thus cutting major terrorist supply routes.

Despite these successes, Russia now finds itself in a testing situation. The US wanted Russia to enter Deir Ezzor at the same time as its units were aiding the YPG in Raqqa. Russia was unwilling to do this as priorities change all the time, and at this moment Aleppo is the “mother of all battles”. The benefit of liberating Deir Ezzor would be securing the highway that goes to Iraq, as well as a key area near Raqqa. As a result, Russia did something that angered many – they signed a ceasefire deal with the US. It is this deal that leads us to the main point: Russia is waiting for Donald Trump’s election victory in November.

The Obama administration stubbornly refuses to cooperate with Russia; John Kerry told Lavrov in no uncertain terms that it is a pointless exercise to bomb the “moderates”, because the US will simply arm them time and time again. In other words, regardless of Russia’s progress elsewhere, it is a zero sum game. The US is actually more interested in liberating Fallujah, and soon Mosul. Both these conquests will give Obama the legacy he wanted, and it is still possible that Putin and Obama will liberate Raqqa together, since no party in Syria wants to approach the caliphate’s “capital” alone. Consequently, Russia signed a ceasefire with the US to buy time – 3 months initially to be precise. This allows some legal framework to be in force to reduce civilian casualties, to allow humanitarian aid to enter the besieged areas, and to give Russia time to badger the US to separate its proxies.

The US’ main stratagem in Syria is to blend Al Qaeda and the “FSA” Trojan Horse together so as to usurp Russia’s strict adherence to International Law. The latter’s role is to supply arms to the former. Russia is struggling to separate AlNusra from the “moderate rebels” in Aleppo, mainly due to the US’ reluctance to put certain groups (e.g. Jaish al-Islam) on the UN known terrorist organizations list. This would allow Russia to bomb them without having to worry about Washington crying “oh my god you killed our guys!” The other reason for Russia’s sticky situation is the fact that Aleppo is being organized by the US and allies for partition, and so bombing the city not only implicates innocent civilians, but also is ineffective due to the guerrilla tactics being employed by groups like Al-Nusra, whose leader al-Joulani isn’t the bumbling idiot we all think he is.

In order to progress before November, Russia will send its only aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, with 12 jets to Syria from October 2016 until January 2017. This will allow Russia to reverse the “withdrawal” and (hopefully) avoid harsh critique from self-proclaimed military experts. This also gives Russia another point of attack instead of relying on Khmeimim Air Base. If Russia can secure the use of the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, via mediation from Iran and Israel, it will open up even more possibilities for the future liberation of Aleppo. But a lot depends on the US election, and only Donald Trump is willing to actually work with Russia to end this mess once and for all.

The partition of Syria is still a very real possibility, and it could play out like it did in the civil war in Lebanon in the 1980’s, or even like Berlin post WW2. As the US is still pursuing a federalized Kurdish state, Turkey has seemingly abandoned their ambitions to annex Aleppo and reset relations with Russia. This could prove to be the deciding factor later down the line. One thing is certain – there is still a long way to go in the war, and Russia, for the sake of the multipolar future, knows that Syria and the region in general absolutely must not suffer Sykes-Picot 2.0.

The author is an editor and translator for Fort Russ – a popular independent news portal reaching more than 40,000 unique readers a day – with a focus primarily on the ‘world-island’ of Eurasia.  He is a also the website manager of the Eurasianist Internet Archive – a volunteer initiative dedicated to translating into English and disseminating the works of historical and contemporary Eurasianist thinkers.

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BBC producer admits Douma attack was false flag that nearly sparked Russia – U.S. hot war (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 176.

Alex Christoforou

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BBC producer Riam Dalati believes that the scenes caught on video from a hospital in Douma, Syria were staged, all in an effort driven by jihadist terrorists and White Helmet “activists” to draw the U.S. and its allies into full on confrontation with Syria, and by extension Russia.

The viral images caused a media firestorm in 2018, showing children allegedly suffering from chemicals, as main stream media channels, like the BBC itself, called for war with Assad.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the BBC producer’s stunning admission, after a 6 month investigation, that reveals the “‘chemical attack” hospital scenes in Douma were completely staged.

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Via RT


Emotive scenes of Syrian civilians, among them crying, choking, half-naked children, dominated the airwaves in April last year after rebel-affiliated mouthpieces reported yet another “chemical attack by the Assad regime” in the town of Douma. Disturbing reports, including some from the controversial White Helmets, claimed scores of people had been killed and injured.

Mainstream media quickly picked up the horrific (but unverified) videos from a Douma hospital, where victims were treated after this “poison attack.” That hospital scene was enough to assemble a UN emergency session and prompt the US-led ‘coalition of the willing’ to rain down dozens of missiles on Damascus and other locations.

But Riam Dalati, a reputable BBC producer who has long reported from the Middle East, took the liberty of trying to sift through the fog of the Syrian war.

He believes Assad forces did attack the town, but that the much-publicized hospital scenes were staged.

After almost 6 months of investigations, I can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged. No fatalities occurred in the hospital.

Anticipating further queries, he said no one from the White Helmets or opposition sources were present in Douma by the time the alleged attack had happened except for one person who was in Damascus.

Dalati also says that an attack “did happen” but that sarin, a weapons-grade nerve agent, was not used. He said, “we’ll have to wait for OPCW [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] to prove chlorine or otherwise.”

However, everything else around the attack was manufactured for maximum effect.

The journalist said Jaysh al-Islam, an Islamist faction that fought the Syrian army there, “ruled Douma with an iron fist. They co-opted activists, doctors and humanitarians with fear and intimidation.”

Dalati’s revelations could have become a bombshell news report, but instead it was met with a deafening media silence. His employer preferred to distance itself from his findings. The BBC told Sputnik in a statement that Dalati was expressing “his personal opinions about some of the video footage that emerged after the attack but has not claimed that the attack did not happen.” 

After a while, Dalati restricted access to his Twitter account which is now open only to confirmed followers.

Interestingly, his previous inputs did not sit well with the official narrative either. “Sick and tired of activists and rebels using corpses of dead children to stage emotive scenes for Western consumption. Then they wonder why some serious journos are questioning part of the narrative,” he said in a tweet which he later deleted over “the breach of editorial policy.”

In all, Dalati is not a lone voice in the wilderness. The Intercept has recently run a story that also cast doubt on the mainstream coverage of Douma, although it doesn’t doubt that the attack itself happened. While a veteran British reporter Robert Fisk suggested there was no gas attack at all, saying people there were suffering from oxygen starvation. Witnesses of the “chemical attack,” for their part, told international investigators the story was a set-up.

Moscow, which supports Damascus in its fight against terrorists, has long stated the Douma incident was staged, calling for an international OPCW inquiry. Last year, the Defense Ministry presented what it said was proof the “provocation” was to trigger Western airstrikes against Syrian government forces.

This time, the military recalled a similar 2017 incident in Khan Sheikhoun, where an alleged chemical attack took place. The ministry’s spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Friday that a closer inspection of footage from that location clearly shows this was a set-up as well.

Now the Foreign Ministry has suggested Dalati is being silenced for voicing inconvenient views, with spokeswoman Maria Zakharova asking on Facebook: “A telling story. How about Western advocates of rights and freedoms? Had they accused BBC of censorship and pressuring the journalist?”

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President Trump schools liberals with National Emergency declaration

President Trump skillfully defeats Democrat naysayers, by increasing support for the border wall prior to declaring a National Emergency.

Seraphim Hanisch

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President Trump signed a continuing resolution to keep the US government fully running through the rest of the 2019 fiscal year. The CR contained a $1.374 bn allocation for US border security, and that money includes and pays for the completion of some fifty-five miles of border fence (or wall, or barrier, or “not-a-wall” depending on one’s preferential phrasing.) He also declared a National Emergency, theoretically freeing at least another $8 bn for the continued construction of the border wall.

Yes, it is a wall. And, yes, it is being built right now. And yes, it will be completed. The President of the United States has made this abundantly clear.

Some news reporters talk about this matter still as though there is in fact no wall now, and that there is no construction in progress on any wall. To that we can say, please watch this:

This section of the wall is going up near Santa Teresa, New Mexico. It augments a very well-designed 18 foot wall stretching from west of Santa Teresa, NM to Tornillo, Texas. If someone wants to cross the border without having to negotiate this barrier they have to go very far off the beaten path to do it. President Trump wants to make it even more difficult; in fact, he wants to have the barrier run the entire length of the US-Mexico border.

This second video says a bit more about the situation:

His campaign to get this has been brilliant in terms of getting the American people informed that there is a problem. How did he do this with a press that hates him?

Easy. He made an issue out of it, knowing that the news media has no choice but to cover the President’s every antic, and in so doing, while seeking fodder for criticism, they actually ended up reporting on the actual problem.

This has been an interesting flow of events:

  • Mainstream news slamming the President’s every statement about the need for a wall
  • The fury of Democrat leaders Nancy Pelosi and Charles “Chuck” Schumer in their 100% opposition – their own temper tantrum whilst blaming that tantrum on Trump, who actually acted more like a strict parent than a bratty teenager
  • The very public presentations of Border Patrol experts that Trump arranged, the purpose being to listen to their own expert assessment of the actual needs at the border

This last issue marks a need for even the conservative press to have a wake-up call. Daniel Horowitz wrote a piece in The Conservative Review excoriating President Trump’s signing of this present deal as a “sell out”, noting that:

Trump originally demanded $25 billion for the wall. Then he negotiated himself down to $5.6 billion. Democrats balked and only agreed to $1.6 billion. This bill calls it a day at $1.375 billion, enough to construct 55 miles. But it’s worse than that. This bill limits the president’s ability to construct “barriers” to just the Rio Grande Valley sector and only bollard fencing, not concrete walls of any kind.

Daniel’s point is great for rhetoric because, of course, the President originally did promise a big beautiful concrete wall running the entire length of the border.

However, he missed the point about using bollard-style walls that can be seen through – the Border Patrol agents themselves said this kind of wall is to their advantage. A solid wall prevents natural visibility and the agents were getting rocks thrown at them from people they could not see on the other side. A see-through capability means that people approaching the wall on the other side can be seen and tracked.

This marks an example of conservative ideology being too strongly fixed, just as the liberals’ ideology is fixed at the level of a four-year old child refusing to let someone else play with his toys.

They both do not understand that President Trump is not concerned with ideology. He is concerned with useful results, which he got in this deal.

Now about that National Emergency. Is this really the constitutional crisis Trump’s detractors say it is?

Probably not.

It has been widely reported that the US is currently running under some 31 other national emergencies, and that the one President Trump declared makes it number 32. The rhetoric from the news media and Democrats is centered around the idea that no President has ever used this power to get money that only the Congress can allot.

We also probably already know that this is an irrelevant point – the President is in charge of the national security of the nation, and he can and must do what he can to ensure it. The huge numbers of illegal crossings, nearly half a million in 2018 were largely apprehended and released into the United States, rather than deported. Half a million is far less than the 1.6 million that came through in 2000, but it is also not zero. Half a million is the size of the city of Atlanta, Georgia.

The distractors in the Democrat party and media do not want anyone comprehending this fact, so they try to divert and dissuade. But President Trump has not let any of this get past him. In a media event, the President had parents and relatives of people who were murdered by illegal aliens in a direct face-off with none other than CNN’s provocateur-in-chief Jim Acosta, and the reporter was forced to listen to what these family members had to say about their convictions that the president was correct in his:

Trump pointed to angel moms in attendance, asking them for their thoughts.

“You think I’m creating something? Ask these incredible women who lost their daughters and their sons,” Trump said. “OK, Because your question is a very political question because you have an agenda. You’re CNN. You’re fake news.”

Trump told Acosta the statistics he provided were “wrong” and told him to take a look at the federal prison population for proof.

“See how many of them,percentage-wise, are illegal aliens,” Trump said. “Just see, go ahead and see. It’s a fake question.”

Acosta was subsequently confronted by the angel moms in attendance, after the press conference. As angel moms confronted the CNN reporter, he invited them to appear on the network in the background of a live shot.

“There is no attempt whatsoever to diminish what they’ve gone through, or take away what they’ve gone through, but as you heard in that question that I had with the president … it was really about the facts and the data,” Acosta said on CNN following his exchange with Trump. “Some of these folks came up to me right after this press conference … they’re holding up these pictures of loved ones who lost their lives.”

An angel mom then discussed that a previously deported illegal alien murdered her son.

“President Trump is completely correct on this issue, we need to protect this country,” the angel mom told Acosta.

Acosta actually was a victim of his own passions when he went to the border to a place where the bollard wall presently stands and reported that nothing was happening there. It seemed that he was expecting that there were supposed to be angry mobs on the other side trying to get through. However, no one was there, because it is rather pointless to try to get over this wall at this place. Even liberals were forced to acknowledge Mr. Acosta’s strategic miscalculation.

The new national emergency is about getting results. If we were concerned only with smooth and impressive politics, we could only remark on the President’s success in maneuvering the Democrats (not all of them were slavishly going with the Pelosi-Schumer stance) and his ability to do what he does best – getting his message to the American people, and giving them information with which to decide what they want.

This campaign is not over, but this particular battle appears to have been won with a lot of hard work.

Slowly, oh, so slowly, it would seem that the forces of common sense are making some headway in America.

 

 

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“This is America” reveals a shocking vision of the United States

The Grammy Award winning Song and Record of the Year feature the very darkest vision of what America has become.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Grammy Awards are the second of the three most significant musical achievement awards in the United States. Two of the anticipated awards that many fans of this event look forward to learning are the Song of the Year and the Record of the Year.

The Song of the Year is awarded to the songwriters of a given song, where the Record of the Year goes to the artists, producers and engineers involved in crafting the recording (the “record”) of a song. Both categories are huge and both usually go to an artist or organization responsible for a pop song.

It also happens to be that usually the song that is picked is beautiful and in most cases, reflects the character of beauty (whether in music or lyrics or both) for that year.

This year was quite different. Both awards went to Donald Glover, a.k.a. “Childish Gambino” for his song This is America.

This song features a radically different tone than previous winners going back for many years. Though rap remixes are usually less musical, the Grammy winners among these mixes have nevertheless retained some relatively positive, or at least attractive, aspect.

This is America is very different, especially when watched with its video.

Musically, it is genius, though the genius appears to have gone mad. Glover paints a picture of some very positive segments in American life, but then destroys it with his audible form and message that says absolutely nothing positive, but even more so – it doesn’t make sense unless one knows the context.

That context is revealed in the video with frightening images: someone getting their brains blown out (we see the blood fly), a gospel choir shot up with an automatic rifle while they were singing, and cannabis, front and center, being smoked by the artist himself.

This is America?

For Glover, this song and others on his album do seem to reflect that point of view.  Feels like Summer, one of Glover’s other recent songs, also reflects this sense of hopelessness, though it is far more musically consistent. The video gives the most clear contextual information that one could ask for, and while the video is not violent, it features degradation in society, even though the people depicted appear to be trying to make the best of their life situations.

The image Mr. Glover paints of America is a far cry from that which was known to most Americans only twenty years ago, and in fact, in many parts of the country where cannabis is still illegal there is a corresponding sense of positivity in life that is absent in Childish Gambino’s California-esque view of life.

There is a massive change that is taking place in American society. Our music and art reflects this change, and it sometimes even helps drive that change.

The United States of today is at a crossroads.

How many times have we read or heard THAT statement before?  But does it not seem so now? The attempt of identity politics to separate our nation into groups that must somehow fight for their own relevance against other groups is not the vision of the United States only twenty years ago.

Further, the normalization of themes such as drug-use and racism, the perpetuation of one in reality and the other as a mythological representation of how life “really is” in the US is radically bizarre.

In discussions with people who do not live in the United States, we found that sometimes they believed that white-on-black racism really was happening in America, because the media in the US pumps this information out in a constant stream, often with people like Donald Trump as the scapegoat.

But it is not true. Anyone in America’s new “accused class” of white, Christian, European-descent males (and some women who are not feminists), will note that they are not racist, and in fact, they feel persecuted for their existence under the new mantra of “white privilege.”

But it does not matter what they say. The media pumps the message it wants to, and with such coverage it is easy to get to halfway believing it: I know I am not this way, but I guess things are getting pretty bad elsewhere because all of those people seem to be getting this way…

This is the narrative the press promulgates, but upon conversations with people in “those places” we find that it is not true for them, either, and that they may in fact be thinking this is true about us.

Made in America is a visionary song and video. However, the vision is not a dream; it is nothing that anyone in the country would sincerely hope for. Even in Donald Glover’s case – as one of Hollywood’s hottest actors, and as a big success in music, he is far from being one of the “boys in the ‘hood.” In fact, Time Magazine in 2017 named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people.

Certainly his musical work creates a powerful influence, but it also must raise questions, with the main ones being:

  • Are we really like this?
  • Is this what we really want to be as a country?
  • Is this the kind of image we want our children in the US to adopt?

In fact, if Mr. Glover’s work was viewed with care (rather than just as something that is “cool” because the media says it is), it might help us steer away from the cliff that many Americans are in fact heading towards.

We have elected not to link to the video because it is too disturbing for children. It is even too disturbing for many adults. For that reason we are not making it one-click-easy to get to.

Parents reading this opinion piece would do well to screen the video by themselves without the kids around first, before deciding what they want to do. Even though the video is probably something that they have already seen, the parents still stand as the guides and guardians for their children through all the perils of growing up.

These times call for great guardians indeed.

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