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US Pushing The Gambit In Syria: Something Big Is Coming As Officials Ramp Up Threats

Another Syria chemical weapons false flag is being prepared.

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Via Zerohedge


We warned previously that something big is coming in Syria as the final showdown for al-Qaeda held Idlib looms with the Syrian Army and Russian aerial and naval forces taking position.

Pentagon and US officials continue pushing the gambit, setting the stage to play the “Assad is gassing his own people” card should so much as an inkling of a White Helmets allegation emerge, in an unprecedented level of telegraphing intentions for leverage on the battlefield.

And right on cue CNN has ramped up its coverage over the past of week of the “last rebel-held stronghold” in Syria, sending a hijab-covered reporter into the territory under rebel permission to interview civilians which CNN says Assad seeks to wipe out, possibly through sarin or other chemical attack.

Except the “rebel” coalition in control of this major “final holdout” is but the latest incarnation of al-Qaeda, calling itself Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and has held the province, the capital city of which is Idlib city, since a successful Western and Gulf ally sponsored attack on the area in 2015.

From National Security Advisor John Bolton’s statements last week to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s “warning” to his Russian counterpart to Tuesday’s State Department press briefing, where spokeswoman Heather Nauert reiterated reiterated to reporters the United States “will respond to any verified chemical weapons use in Idlib or elsewhere in Syria … in a swift and appropriate manner”…

It now appears the US stands ready to respond militarily to even the most unlikely and flimsiest of accusations.

And why wouldn’t Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham militants, now surrounded by Syrian and Russian forces and facing imminent defeat, redeem what’s essentially the US offer to “call in the Air Force” against Assad’s army? All they have to do is utter the words “chemical weapons attack!” to their friends in the Western media.

The Idlib campaign is predicted to be the bloodiest and longest grinding final battle of the war, and what should by now be obvious to all is this: Assad, on the verge of total victory has absolutely no incentive whatsoever to commit the one act that would ensure his own demise after arguably barely surviving seven years of war.

And at the same time the HTS/AQ “rebels” have every incentive to bring to fruition what US officials have this week so clearly laid out for them.

After all, it’s happened before in Idlib, with not so much as an on-the-ground investigation to collect evidence to back the claim (usually the minimal investigative threshold for the UN and OPCW), as occurred in the April 2017 Khan Sheikhoun claimed “sarin attack” incident, which resulted in the first time President Trump ordered airstrikes on Syria. To this day the international chemical investigative body and watchdog, the OPCW, has yet to visit the site due to its being controlled by al-Qaeda forces.

Nauert said further on Tuesday that senior U.S. officials have engaged with their Russian counterparts “to make this point very clear to Damascus” — that chemical weapons “will not be tolerated” — and could meet with massive military response. She also repeated that Assad would be held responsible.

Meanwhile Russia has cited its own intelligence saying that Syrian armed groups in Idlib are preparing for a staged chemical provocation, which Moscow says the West will use to justify a strike against Syrian government forces.

Speaking to Newsweek on Monday, Syria analyst Joshua Landis said that there is every reason to doubt the veracity of past rebel claims regarding government chemical weapons usage — a surprising admission given his prominence as speaking from within the heart of the media foreign policy establishment.

Landis said, “I don’t know what to make of the U.S. and Russian war of words over the potential use of chemical weapons in Idlib. The final reports on the use of chemical weapons in Ghouta were not definitive.”

“There was no evidence found for the use of nerve agents, but controversy over the use of chlorine gas. The rebels had reason to carry out a false flag operation, as the regime and Russians suggested, but the regime refused to let U.N. inspectors in to test for chemical weapons until after a lengthy delay, which was suspicious,” he concluded.

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christianbloodfranz kafkaGuytomobidiah_slope Recent comment authors
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christianblood
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christianblood

If, once again, the Syrian army is attacked by the U$ and its
allies on fabricated charges, Russia should respond forcefully and if
this leads to WW3, so be it! Enough is enough!

franz kafka
Guest
franz kafka

How about this?

“Any illegal attack on Russia’s ally, Syria, by any nation, will be met with a full spectrum response against that nation, up to and including thermo-nuclear weapons, on the territory of Syria or anywhere on the planet where that nation has military or other assets”

Guy
Guest
Guy

The war mongers are desperate .They are losing in Syria and everywhere else they have invaded illegally .The USD is threatened by the Eurasian consortium and the US is trillions in debt that can never be realistically be paid back .They are playing their final card and that could very well be war .Freedom loving people have no choice in the matter but to support the destruction of the one nation that claims freedom and democracy but demonstrably proves itself otherwise and bullies the the whole world into submission . One has to wonder if this will be the event… Read more »

tom
Guest
tom

‘the United States “will respond to any verified chemical weapons use in Idlib or elsewhere in Syria”‘

That’s OK then. There has never been a *verified* chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government, and there never will be.

Chemical weapons have often been used by the US-backed terrorists, though. And, if you include such weapons as napalm and white phosphorus, by the US itself.

franz kafka
Guest
franz kafka

The spirit of Insane McCain has possessed Washington.

It must be nuked to save the planet.
The US has lost all right and reason to exist.

obidiah_slope
Guest
obidiah_slope

They certainly stick to the tried and trusted (BS) script…….how do they keep a straight face?

Boudica
Guest
Boudica

Neocons need war so they can profit by it. Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and now Syria. American taxpayers will never understand that. After Syria comes Iran.

Jim Bim
Guest
Jim Bim

Newsweek, Syria analyst Joshua Landis writes, “but the regime refused to let OPCW inspectors in to test for chemical weapons until after a lengthy delay, which was suspicious,” he concluded.”
Thats a lie, the OPCW inspectors where stuck in Damaskus after arriving, first because of the US/UK/France strike, second because the UN body after the strike, did not give the green light to the OPCW to inspect, because of militant snipers at the site who had to be eliminated first.

AM Hants
Guest
AM Hants

US Rejects Russia’s Data on Chemical Weapons Provocations in Syria – Lavrov… https://sputniknews.com/world/201808291067566254-us-russia-info/ Not forgetting the tweets, from the Syrian MP, who is trying to highlight the case of the kidnapped children, taken hostage from The White Helmets, in order to be used in the ‘false flag’. How many ships, plus, submarines has Russia sent to Syria, including the new arrivals? EURASIADEFENSE VIDEO: Will Onyx Missile Launch By Russia Send The ‘MESSAGE” To The U.S What AWAITS Them In SYRIA?… https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/08/video-will-onyx-missile-launch-by-russia-send-the-message-to-the-u-s-what-awaits-them-in-syria/ RUSSIAN NORTHERN FLEET’S NAVAL GROUP HOLDS DRILLS NEAR SYRIA… https://theduran.com/us-pushing-the-gambit-in-syria-something-big-is-coming-as-officials-ramp-up-threats/ Interesting: US state secretary requests meeting with Lavrov during… Read more »

311hwr
Guest
311hwr

sad, but putin will not lift a finger when syria is attacked again, n.a.t.o and it’s master israel can do whatever they want to syria.

Tibetan Cowboy
Guest

I expect to read that the U.S. Navy war convoy has been blown to bits and sunk by a barrage of 100s of those low-altitude cruise missiles that Russia and China will use (and which the USA has none) to defeat the USA in any conventional war in retaliation for the USA’s arrogance and daily worldwide Crimes Against Humanity. Sooner or later … for a realistic scenario of just this happening, with all kinds of technical language included, read: “Twilight’s Last Gleaming”, the only book so far I’ve read that described the collapse and disintegration of the USA into revolution,… Read more »

Clarty
Guest
Clarty

what i want to know will the Russian army assist in defending the syrian army from this bogus unfounded attack if it happens? If its not the americans it is the [email protected] or the turkish or ISIS who are attacking syria and its people for no real reason but self interest but what is russias game here ? So the cycle seems to be, russia help assad eliminate terrorist and get the country back under control, assad close to winning , false flag chemical attack by US and its puppets , bomb syrian army and assets, rinse and repeat ….… Read more »

James Johnson
Guest
James Johnson

The Deep state knows that if Bashir takes Idlib that Syria will be free of American interference . As a consequence Israel will have to stop the arming pf Hezbollah
by its self, which means Israel will be bombing Bashir’s Own People!!

ColinNZ
Guest
ColinNZ

The usual bluster, expect a few missiles to be allowed to hit derelict buildings or land in the desert with the rest shot down … followed by the usual US declared celebration of “100% of missiles hit the designated targets” … they cannot change the situation on the ground, and they know it. Kia kaha brave SAA & allies.

AJ
Guest
AJ

The Syrians should make an announcement that their planes will not take part in the Idlib operation & leave it to Russian planes alone. Any fake gas attack cant then be pinned on Assad – no one would believe Russia used gas.

James Johnson
Guest
James Johnson

An excuse for Trump to Bomb Bashir’s own people.

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John Bolton discusses US reasons for INF withdrawal

Despite fears about the US withdrawing from the INF, John Bolton suggests that this is to make way for a more relevant multilateral treaty.

Seraphim Hanisch

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John Bolton, the US National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump, is in Moscow this week. The main topic of concern to many Russians was the stated intention by President Trump to withdraw the US from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (or INF) Treaty with Russia. With the current record of American hostile and unprovoked actions taken against the Russian Federation over the last two years especially, this move caused a good deal of alarm in Russia.

Bolton had meetings with several leaders in the Russian government, including Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, and President Vladimir Putin, himself.

Kommersant.ru interviewed Mr. Bolton extensively after some of his meetings had concluded, and asked him about this situation. The interviewer, Elena Chernenko, was very direct in her questioning, and Mr. Bolton was very direct in his answers. What follows is the translation of some of her pertinent questions and Mr. Bolton’s answers:

Elena Chernenko (EC): How did your negotiations with Nikolai Patrushev go? Is it true that you came to Moscow primarily to terminate the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF)?

John Bolton (JB): (Laughs.) Today was my second meeting with Nikolai Patrushev and the staff of the Russian Security Council. The first time I met them was before the summit in Helsinki. I came to prepare the ground for a meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin. Patrushev at the time was understood to be in South Africa. So I met with his deputy [Yuri Averyanov – Kommersant] and other colleagues. Patrushev and I first met in Geneva in August.

In any case, this is the second meeting after Helsinki, and it was scheduled about six weeks ago. Now was simply the right time to meet. We arrived with a broad agenda. Many issues – for example, arms control and all related topics – were discussed in Geneva in August. We discussed them then and planned to do it again in Moscow. And we had these plans before the President’s Saturday statement [on the US intention to withdraw from the INF Treaty. “Kommersant”].

EC: Can you explain [this decision] to us? What are the reasons for this decision?

JB: Five or even more years ago, during the presidency of Barack Obama, the United States concluded that Russia committed substantial violations of the INF Treaty; [that Russia] was involved in the production and deployment of missiles that do not comply with the terms of the agreement. The Obama administration called on Russia to return to fulfilling its obligations. The Trump administration called for the same. But based on Russian statements, it became clear that they [the authorities of the Russian Federation— Kommersant] do not at all believe that any kind of violation occurred. And today, during the talks, my Russian interlocutors very clearly expressed their position – that it is not Russia that is in violation of the INF Treaty, but the United States.

However, rather than devolve the negotiations into a tit-for-tat issue, Mr. Bolton noted the real nature of the problem. He understood that simply asking for Russia to resume compliance with the treaty would not be enough – in fact, for Bolton, and really, for President Trump, whom he represents in this matter – the issue is not just an argument between the US and Russia at all. He continued:

JB: Now, some say: “This is just a negotiating move by President Trump, and if we could force Russia to return to the fulfillment of obligations, the treaty would be saved.” But this is impossible from the point of view of logic.

This is the reality we face. As the president said, Russia is doing what we think is considered a violation of the agreement, and we will not tolerate it without being able to respond. We do not think that withdrawal from the agreement is what creates the problem. We think that what Russia is doing in violation of the INF Treaty is the problem.

There is a second point: No one except us in the world is bound by this treaty. Although this is technically incorrect: lawyers will tell you that the former USSR countries (with the exception of the three Baltic republics, which the US never recognized as part of the USSR), were also bound by the treaty when the USSR collapsed. But the remaining 11 countries do not have any ballistic missiles. That is, only two countries in the world are bound by the INF Treaty. One of these countries violates the agreement. Thus, there is only one country in the world bound by the terms of the document – the USA. And this is unacceptable.

At the same time, we see that China, Iran, the DPRK – they all strengthen their potential with methods that would violate the INF Treaty, if these countries were its signatories. Fifteen years ago, it was possible that the agreement could be extended and made multilateral. But today it is already impracticable in practice. And the threat from China is real – you can ask countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan or Australia what they think about the Chinese [missile. – Kommersant] potential. They are nervous about this. Many in Europe and the Middle East are nervous about Iran’s potential.

As the President explained on Saturday, this puts the United States in an unacceptable position. And that is why he promulgated the decision [to withdraw from the INF Treaty. – Kommersant].

So, here, the President’s point of view is that the treaty as it presently stands has two problems: Russia is in violation (and a very good point was conceded by Bolton of how the American side also becomes in violation as well), but the INF treaty only applies to these two countries when the emerging great and regional powers China, North Korea, and Iran, also have these types of missiles.

For President Trump, an effective measure would be to create a multilateral treaty.

This is a very interesting point of discussion. Politically for President Trump, this immediate decision to withdraw from the INF looks like a show of toughness against Russia. Before the midterms this is probably an important optic for him to have.

However, the real problem appears to be the irrelevance of a treaty that applies to only two of the at least five nations that possess such armaments, and if Russia and the US were limiting only their missiles, how does that prevent any other power from doing the same?

While it could be argued that North Korea is no longer a threat because of its progress towards denuclearization, and Iran maintains that it has no nuclear weapons anyway, this leaves China. Although China is not expressing any military threats at this time, the country has shown some increased assertiveness over territories in the South China Sea, and Japan and China have historically bad relations so there is some worry about this matter.

Behind this all, or perhaps more properly said, in concurrence with it, is the expressed intention of Presidents Putin and Trump to meet again for another summit in Paris on November 11. There are further invitations on both sides for the American and Russian presidents to visit one another on home grounds.

This brings up speculation also that President Trump has some level of confidence in the outcome of the US Congressional midterm elections, to be held in two weeks. It appears that Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin also will not be thwarted any longer by opinions and scandal over allegations that bear no semblance to reality.

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‘Meme-killing’ EU regulation could end YouTube as we know it, CEO warns

The proposed amendments to the EU Copyright Directive would require the automatic removal of any user-created content suspected of violating intellectual property law.

The Duran

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Via RT


YouTube’s CEO has urged creators on the popular video site to organize against a proposed EU internet regulation, reinforcing fears that the infamous Article 13 could lead to content-killing, meme-maiming restrictions on the web.

The proposed amendments to the EU Copyright Directive would require the automatic removal of any user-created content suspected of violating intellectual property law – with platforms being liable for any alleged copyright infringement. If enacted, the legislation would threaten “both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki warned the site’s content creators in a blog post on Monday.

The regulation would endanger “hundreds of thousands of job,” Wojcicki said, predicting that it would likely force platforms such as YouTube to allow only content from a hand-picked group of companies.

“It would be too risky for platforms to host content from smaller original content creators, because the platforms would now be directly liable for that content,” Wojcicki wrote.

While acknowledging that it was important to properly compensate all rights holders, the YouTube chief lamented that the “unintended consequences of Article 13 will put this ecosystem at risk.”

She encouraged YouTubers to use the #SaveYourInternet hashtag to tell the world how the proposed legislation would impact them personally.

“RIP YOUTUBE..IT WAS FUN,” read one rather fatalistic reply to the post. Another comment worried that Article 13 would do “immense damage … particularly to smaller creators.”

The proposal has stirred considerable controversy in Europe and abroad, with critics claiming that the legislation would essentially ban any kind of creative content, ranging from memes to parody videos, that would normally fall under fair use.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google and YouTube, has opposed Article 13 for months. The measure was advanced in June by the European Parliament. A final vote on the proposed regulation is expected to take place sometime next year.

World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales have also spoken out against Article 13.

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WSJ Op-Ed Cracks The Code: Why Liberal Intellectuals Hate Trump

WSJ: The Real Reason They Hate Trump

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Via Zerohedge


As pundits continue to scratch their heads over the disruptive phenomenon known as Donald Trump, Yale computer science professor and chief scientist at Dittach, David Gelernter, has penned a refreshingly straightforward and blunt Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal explaining why Trump has been so successful at winning hearts and minds, and why the left – especially those snarky ivory-tower intellectuals, hate him.

Gelernter argues that Trump – despite being a filthy rich “parody of the average American,” is is a regular guy who has successfully resonated with America’s underpinnings.

Mr. Trump reminds us who the average American really is. Not the average male American, or the average white American,” writes Gelernter. “We know for sure that, come 2020, intellectuals will be dumbfounded at the number of women and blacks who will vote for Mr. Trump. He might be realigning the political map: plain average Americans of every type vs. fancy ones.”

He never learned to keep his real opinions to himself because he never had to. He never learned to be embarrassed that he is male, with ordinary male proclivities. Sometimes he has treated women disgracefully, for which Americans, left and right, are ashamed of him—as they are of JFK and Bill Clinton. –WSJ

Gelernter then suggests: “This all leads to an important question—one that will be dismissed indignantly today, but not by historians in the long run: Is it possible to hate Donald Trump but not the average American?“.

***

The Real Reason They Hate Trump via the Wall Street Journal.

He’s the average American in exaggerated form—blunt, simple, willing to fight, mistrustful of intellectuals.

Every big U.S. election is interesting, but the coming midterms are fascinating for a reason most commentators forget to mention: The Democrats have no issues. The economy is booming and America’s international position is strong. In foreign affairs, the U.S. has remembered in the nick of time what Machiavelli advised princes five centuries ago: Don’t seek to be loved, seek to be feared.

The contrast with the Obama years must be painful for any honest leftist. For future generations, the Kavanaugh fight will stand as a marker of the Democratic Party’s intellectual bankruptcy, the flashing red light on the dashboard that says “Empty.” The left is beaten.

This has happened before, in the 1980s and ’90s and early 2000s, but then the financial crisis arrived to save liberalism from certain destruction. Today leftists pray that Robert Mueller will put on his Superman outfit and save them again.

For now, though, the left’s only issue is “We hate Trump.” This is an instructive hatred, because what the left hates about Donald Trump is precisely what it hates about America. The implications are important, and painful.

Not that every leftist hates America. But the leftists I know do hate Mr. Trump’s vulgarity, his unwillingness to walk away from a fight, his bluntness, his certainty that America is exceptional, his mistrust of intellectuals, his love of simple ideas that work, and his refusal to believe that men and women are interchangeable. Worst of all, he has no ideology except getting the job done. His goals are to do the task before him, not be pushed around, and otherwise to enjoy life. In short, he is a typical American—except exaggerated, because he has no constraints to cramp his style except the ones he himself invents.

Mr. Trump lacks constraints because he is filthy rich and always has been and, unlike other rich men, he revels in wealth and feels no need to apologize—ever. He never learned to keep his real opinions to himself because he never had to. He never learned to be embarrassed that he is male, with ordinary male proclivities. Sometimes he has treated women disgracefully, for which Americans, left and right, are ashamed of him—as they are of JFK and Bill Clinton.

But my job as a voter is to choose the candidate who will do best for America. I am sorry about the coarseness of the unconstrained average American that Mr. Trump conveys. That coarseness is unpresidential and makes us look bad to other nations. On the other hand, many of his opponents worry too much about what other people think. I would love the esteem of France, Germany and Japan. But I don’t find myself losing sleep over it.

The difference between citizens who hate Mr. Trump and those who can live with him—whether they love or merely tolerate him—comes down to their views of the typical American: the farmer, factory hand, auto mechanic, machinist, teamster, shop owner, clerk, software engineer, infantryman, truck driver, housewife. The leftist intellectuals I know say they dislike such people insofar as they tend to be conservative Republicans.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama know their real sins. They know how appalling such people are, with their stupid guns and loathsome churches. They have no money or permanent grievances to make them interesting and no Twitter followers to speak of. They skip Davos every year and watch Fox News. Not even the very best has the dazzling brilliance of a Chuck Schumer, not to mention a Michelle Obama. In truth they are dumb as sheep.

Mr. Trump reminds us who the average American really is. Not the average male American, or the average white American. We know for sure that, come 2020, intellectuals will be dumbfounded at the number of women and blacks who will vote for Mr. Trump. He might be realigning the political map: plain average Americans of every type vs. fancy ones.

Many left-wing intellectuals are counting on technology to do away with the jobs that sustain all those old-fashioned truck-driver-type people, but they are laughably wide of the mark. It is impossible to transport food and clothing, or hug your wife or girl or child, or sit silently with your best friend, over the internet. Perhaps that’s obvious, but to be an intellectual means nothing is obvious. Mr. Trump is no genius, but if you have mastered the obvious and add common sense, you are nine-tenths of the way home. (Scholarship is fine, but the typical modern intellectual cheapens his learning with politics, and is proud to vary his teaching with broken-down left-wing junk.)

This all leads to an important question—one that will be dismissed indignantly today, but not by historians in the long run: Is it possible to hate Donald Trump but not the average American?

True, Mr. Trump is the unconstrained average citizen. Obviously you can hate some of his major characteristics—the infantile lack of self-control in his Twitter babble, his hitting back like a spiteful child bully—without hating the average American, who has no such tendencies. (Mr. Trump is improving in these two categories.) You might dislike the whole package. I wouldn’t choose him as a friend, nor would he choose me. But what I see on the left is often plain, unconditional hatred of which the hater—God forgive him—is proud. It’s discouraging, even disgusting. And it does mean, I believe, that the Trump-hater truly does hate the average American—male or female, black or white. Often he hates America, too.

Granted, Mr. Trump is a parody of the average American, not the thing itself. To turn away is fair. But to hate him from your heart is revealing. Many Americans were ashamed when Ronald Reagan was elected. A movie actor? But the new direction he chose for America was a big success on balance, and Reagan turned into a great president. Evidently this country was intended to be run by amateurs after all—by plain citizens, not only lawyers and bureaucrats.

Those who voted for Mr. Trump, and will vote for his candidates this November, worry about the nation, not its image. The president deserves our respect because Americans deserve it—not such fancy-pants extras as network commentators, socialist high-school teachers and eminent professors, but the basic human stuff that has made America great, and is making us greater all the time.

Mr. Gelernter is computer science professor at Yale and chief scientist at Dittach LLC. His most recent book is “Tides of Mind.”

Appeared in the October 22, 2018, print edition.

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