Friday, September 4, 2015

Flashpoint: White House Confirms Russian Presence In Syria, Warns It Is "Destabilizing"

Tyler Durden's picture

Two days ago we reported something which we had anticipated for a long time but nonetheless did not expect to take shape so swiftly: namely, that with Assad's regime close to collapse and fighting a war on three different fronts (one of which is directly supported by US air and "advisor" forces), Putin would have no choice but to finally intervene in the most anticipated showdown in recent history as "Russian fighter pilots are expected to begin arriving in Syria in the coming days, and will fly their Russian air force fighter jets and attack helicopters against ISIS and rebel-aligned targets within the failing state."
This was indirectly confirmed the very next day when an al-Nusra linked Twitter account posted pictures of a Russian drone and a Su-34 fighter jet - the kind which is not flown by the Syrian air force - flying over the Nusra-controlled western idlib province.

Another twitter account said to have captured Russian soldiers in Zabadani "while fighting for Assad"

Also, one day after our report, the Telegraph reported that "Syrian state TV reportedly broadcasts footage of Russian soldiers and armoured vehicle fighting alongside pro-Assad troops." According to the article, "the video footage claimed to show troops and a Russian armoured vehicle fighting Syrian rebels alongside President Bashar al-Assad's troops in Latakia. It is reportedly possible to hear Russian being spoken by the troops in the footage."
It added that "a Russian naval vessel was photographed heading south through the Bosphorus strait carrying large amounts of military equipment, according to social media and a shipping blog" while "an unnamed activist with the Syrian rebel group the Free Syrian Army told The Times: “The Russians have been there a long time."
"There are more Russian officials who came to Slunfeh in recent weeks. We don’t know how many but I can assure you there has been Russian reinforcement.” "
Then earlier today we got the closest thing to a confirmation from the White House itself which confirmed that "it was closely monitoring reports that Russia is carrying out military operations in Syria, warning such actions, if confirmed, would be "destabilising and counter-productive."
Obama spokesman Joshn Earnest essentially confirmed Russia was already operating in Syria when he said that "we are aware of reports that Russia may have deployed military personnel and aircraft to Syria, and we are monitoring those reports quite closely."
"Any military support to the Assad regime for any purpose, whether it's in the form of military personnel, aircraft supplies, weapons, or funding, is both destabilising and counterproductive."
And another confirmation: "a US official confirmed that "Russia has asked for clearances for military flight to Syria," but added "we don't know what their goals are."
"Evidence has been inconclusive so far as to what this activity is."
Other reports have suggested Russia has targeted Islamic State group militants, who have attacked forces loyal to Russian-backed Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
Both the White House and the Pentagon refused to say whether they had intelligence suggesting the reports were accurate.
Of course, what is left unsaid is that since Russia is there under the humanitarian pretext of fighting the evil ISIS, the same pretext that the US, Turkey, and the Saudis are all also there for, when in reality everyone is fighting for land rights to the most important gas pipeline in decades, the US is limited in its diplomatic recoil.
Indeed as we sarcastically said last week: "See: the red herring that is ISIS can be used just as effectively for defensive purposes as for offensive ones. And since the US can't possibly admit the whole situation is one made up farce, it is quite possible that the world will witness its first regional war when everyone is fighting a dummy, proxy enemy which doesn't really exist, when in reality everyone is fighting everyone else!"
* * *
Which now effectively ends the second "foreplay" phase of the Syrian proxy war (the first one took place in the summer of 2013 when in a repeat situation, Russia was supporting Assad only the escalations took place in the naval theater with both Russian and US cruisers within kilometers of each other off the Syrian coast), which means the violent escalation phase is next. It also means that Assad was within days of losing control fighting a multi-front war with enemies supported by the US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and Putin had no choice but to intervene or else risk losing Gazprom's influence over Europe to the infamous Qatari gas pipeline which is what this whole 3 years war is all about.
Finally, it means that the European refugee crisis, which is a direct consequence of the ISIS-facilitated destabilization of the Syrian state (as a reminder, ISIS is a US creation meant to depose of the Syrian president as leaked Pentagon documents have definitively revealed) is about to get much worse as 2013's fabricated "chemical gas" YouTube clip will be this years "Refugee crisis." It will be, and already has been, blamed on Syria's president Assad in order to drum up media support for what is now an inevitable western intervention in Syria.
The problem, however, has emerged: Russia is already on the ground, and will hardly bend over to any invading force.
Finally, while we have no way of knowing how the upcoming armed conflict will progress, now may be a safe time to take profits on that oil short we recommended back in October, as the geopolitical chess game just shifted dramatically, and with most hedge funds aggressively short, any realization that the middle east is suddenly a far more violent powderkeg - one which may promptly include the Saudis in any confrontation - could result in an epic short squeeze

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Most Import Report Yet! Pre-Jade Helm Doc Discovered! Shows How They Will Master The Human Domain


There are strong indications that all out war against Americans has been well underway since 2001:

  • The WTC/Pentagon attacks on 9/11
  • The nullification of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights via Patriot Act in the wake of 9/11
  • TSA and DHS now persisently harass everyday Americans nationwide.
  • Establishing legalized torture as an official US practice.
  • NDAA
  • The transfer of trillions of dollars from the Federal treasury to the private sector via wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. What good is a war if you don’t get to sack the city and loot/plunder every last nickel you can get your hands on?
  • The continued wealth transfer to fight monsters created from prior wars.
  • The rollout and operationalization of warrantless, secret mass surveillance of American Citizens nationwide.
  • The 2008 economic attacks, bank bailouts, and crushing of OWS movement.
  • The opiatization of America via increased mass distribution of cheap Heroin – from Afhanistan primarily of all places.
  • Attacks on education via student loans. Seems to be a new form of indentured servitude?
  • Massive nationwide attacks on clean water supply sources via pollution, and corporate plunder
It seems the militarization of police is less about police waging war on citizens, and more about Power planning to crush the inevitable explosion of nationwide chaos from a people without rights and without representation, suffering mass unemployment, crushing debt, a bankrupt government, etc.

Across America, Police Departments Are Quietly Preparing For War
At first blush, the title of this post could be perceived as somewhat hyperbolic by those who still have an impression of America’s police departments as bastions of safety, designed “to protect and to serve” the population of the “land of the free.” However, said impression would be promptly washed away upon reading an article in today’s NYT which citing Pentagon data, reveals that under the Obama administration, “police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.
Which begs the question: just who is America’s police force, and by extension the Obama administration, which is behind this quiet militarization of local police forces with weapons that would normally be seen in a warzone, preparing for war against?
And while we already documented America’s conversation to a turnkey totalitarian banana republic (confirmed over a year later by Edward Snowden), behold America’s conversion to a police state:
In the past we have occasionally covered the slow (but sure) conversion of America’s Police force into an army, fully loaded with the latest weapons and equipments, not even we had an idea of the full extent of what was going on behind the scenes. As the NYT describes, all of the above-mentioned equipment “has been added to the armories of police departments that already look and act like military units. Police SWAT teams are now deployed tens of thousands of times each year, increasingly for routine jobs. Masked, heavily armed police officers in Louisiana raided a nightclub in 2006 as part of a liquor inspection. In Florida in 2010, officers in SWAT gear and with guns drawn carried out raids on barbershops that mostly led only to charges of “barbering without a license.


Hoaxster Andy Parker Caught Dancing at "Slain Daughter's" Services Virginia Shooting Hoax

Entire Family ARRESTED for Refusing Illegal Search


Why Russia Military Won’t Intervene in Syria or Anywhere Else

Russia has absolutely no obligation or intention to intervene anywhere
Why Russia Military Won't Intervene in Syria or Anywhere Else
Image Credits:
by The Saker | Russia Insider | September 3, 2015

My recent article about a possible Russian military intervention in the Syrian conflict triggered, amongst mostly rational reactions, a few angry and frustrated one from folks who were apparently disgusted with the Russian refusal to get militarily involved in Novorussia and Syria.  Since such angry protests are also often echoed on other supposedly pro-Russian blogs and websites I think that it is worthwhile to address the substance of these criticisms once again.  So let’s start with the basics:
The legal purpose of the Russian Armed Forces
The Federal Law N61-F3 “On Defense”, Section IV, Article 10, Para 2 clearly states that the mission of the Russian Armed Forces is to “repel aggression against the Russian Federation, the armed defense of the integrity and inviolability of the territory of the Russian Federation, and to carry out tasks in accordance with international treaties of the Russian Federation“.  That’s it.  Defend the territory of Russia or to carry out tasks in accordance to ratified treaties.  These are the sole functions of the Russian Armed Forces.
The Russian Constitution, Chapter IV, Article 80, Para 2 clearly states that “The President of the Russian Federation shall be guarantor of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, of the rights and freedoms of man and citizen. According to the rules fixed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, he shall adopt measures to protect the sovereignty of the Russian Federation, its independence and state integrity, ensure coordinated functioning and interaction of all the bodies of state power“.
Now, for an American used to have, on average, about one new war every year, this might seem mind boggling, but the Russian Federation has absolutely no desire to become an “anti-USA” and get involved in constant military operations abroad.  Not only that, but the laws of the Russian Federation specifically forbid this.
Russia is not the world policeman, she does not have a network of 700-1000 bases worldwide (depending on your definition of ‘base’) but an army specifically designed to operate withing 1000km or less from the Russian border and the President does not have the legal mandate to use the Russian armed forces to solve foreign crises.
The political mandate of the Russian President
Putin’s real power is not based on any written Russian law.  His real power is in the fact that he has the support of the overwhelming majority of the Russian people.  How did he achieve such an amazing popularity?  It was not by funding a multi-billion dollar propaganda campaign, or by making empty promises.  Putin’s popularity is simply a direct result of the fact that Putin’s actions are in conformity with the will and desires of the Russian people. Again, for an American who has seen every single US President grossly betray all his promises and who is used to have somebody in the White House whom a minority of Americans really support, this might be mind boggling, but in Russia the President actually enjoys the support of the people. And the fact is that poll after poll the majority of the Russian people (67%) are opposed any overt Russian military intervention in the Donbass.  That is a fact which the “hurray patriots” always conveniently ignore, but it is a fact nonetheless.  Now if most Russian are opposed to a Russian military intervention in Novorussia, what percentage do you think would approve of a Russian military intervention in Syria? This might sounds trite, but Putin was elected by the Russian people to defend their interests.  He was not elected by the people of Novorussia or Syria.  In fact, Russia has absolutely obligation to anybody, not even a moral obligation to help.  Those who are disgusted by the lack of Russian military intervention seem to somehow assume that Russia “must” or “should” “do something” simply because she could do it.  That is absolutely not true.  Even if Russian could successfully intervene in Novorussia (she can) or Syria (she cannot) – that does not at all automatically mean that she has to take any such action. Yes, Russia has provided support to Novorussia and Syria, but not because she “owed” them anything, but because she chose to help.  This help, however, does not automatically entail that the Russian commitment is open-ended and that Putin “has to” send Russian soldiers into combat if needed. Besides, when is the last time any country send its soldiers to help Russia and, if needed, die for her?
Why the Russian soldier is willing to die in combat
I have three kids and I can easily imagine what the parents of a young man from, say, Tula or Pskov would feel if their son died in combat somewhere in Syria.  Here is the text of the oath taken by each Russian solider:
“I, (full name), do solemnly swear allegiance to the Fatherland – the Russian Federation.  I swear to faithfully observe the Constitution of the Russian Federation, to comply strictly with the requirements of the military regulations, the orders of my commanders and superiors. I swear to honorably perform my military duties, to courageously defend the freedom, independence and constitutional order of Russia, the people and the fatherland.”
There is no mention of Syria or any other country in this, is there? When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan the Soviet propagandists came up with a cute concept “интернациональный долг” or “international duty”.  This idea was derived from the Marxist concept of “proletarian internationalism”.  And it is true that the Soviet Constitution (in articles 28 and 30) included the following language:
“The foreign policy of the Soviet Union aims at strengthening the positions of world socialism, supporting the struggle of peoples for national liberation and social progress” (…) “the Soviet Union as part of the world socialist system, the socialist community develops and strengthens friendship and cooperation, comradely mutual assistance with other socialist countries on the basis of a socialist internationalism”
There are probably those who are still nostalgic of the “good old days” when the Soviet Union was involved in conflicts in Asia, Africa or Latin America, but I am most definitely one of them.  And neither are the vast majority of Russians who remember exactly the price paid in blood for such ideological nonsense. Again, for a person living in the USA where it is normal to see “posts” of “Veterans of Foreign Wars” (as if the US ever had a domestic one in living memory!) all over the country and where everybody know a least one relative, friend or neighbor who lost a family member in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere – this might seem ridiculous.  But for a Russian national not only is this not ridiculous, it is quite literally sacred.  Why?  Because it means that if their son or daughter are only sent into harms way when the Russian nation is under attack.  This is also why the men of the 6th Company in Ulus-Kert were willing to die: because they were fighting for their Motherland, not for a college tuition, not to avoid jail or unemployment and not because they thought they could visit the world and kill brown people.
The pitfalls of “limited” military interventions
Ask yourself, how do wars typically end?  Specifically, how many wars do you know of when both parties agreed to stop and sign some kind of peace treaty?  The fact is that most wars end up in a victory for one side and a defeat for the other.  And that, in turn, means that as long as the stronger party does not have the means to fully defeat the weaker one, the war will continue.  The perfect example of that was the war in Afghanistan in which the Soviets easily invaded the country and defeated the “freedom fighters” [which later became known as “al-Qaeda”, courtesy of the US CIA] but were unable to pursue them into Pakistan and Iran.  Thus the anti-Soviet forces, while “weaker”, could deny the Soviets their “victory” simply by surviving and even successfully resisting them in some locations (such as the Panjshir Valley). This is the rough map of the territory currently controlled by Daesh:
Daesh area of operations
As you can see from the map, Daesh currently is active in both Syria and Iraq, and we also know that they have made inroad into Lebanon and Egypt.  We can also be certain that Daesh could, if needed, move inside Saudi Arabia.  By any measure, the territory currently more or less controlled by Daesh or, more accurately, the territory where Daesh can operate is huge.  So in this context, what would “victory” mean?  Eradicating Daesh from the entire Middle-East, of course.  We have already seen what happened when the Syrian military basically defeated Daesh – Daesh just retreated into Iraq, that’s all.  And that was enough to deny the Syrians their victory. Can Daesh be defeated?  Absolutely.  But only if the Empire would stop its anti-Shia crusade and let Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Iraq crush these Takfiri lunatics.  But since that is absolutely unacceptable to the Empire, the war will go on.  And it is in this context that some would have Russia enter the conflict?!   That is insane! Any Russian commitment, besides being of dubious legality and politically very dangerous for Putin, would have to be either half-hearted or open-ended.  In the first case it would be useless and in the second one extremely dangerous. What about only sending aircraft? Contrary to what some commentators have written, sending 6 MiG-31s could make a difference: six MiG-31s would mean 2 on combat air patrol, 2 ready to take-off and 2 in routine maintenance.  Also, 2 MiG-31s in the air would be enough to monitor the Syrian airspace and defend it from any intruder (you can think of the MiG-31 as a ‘mini AWACS’ since it has an advanced passive electronically scanned array radar and weapons capable of tracking 10 targets while simultaneous engaging four of them at a very long range (as far as 200km).  The problem with that is that all this fancy hardware serves no purpose against Daesh which has no air force. Some have suggested that the MiG-31s could be used to protect Syria from a US cruise missile attack.  While it is true that the MiG-31 is capable of engaging low-flying cruise missiles, the problem here is that each MiG-31 can only carry 4-6 air-to-air missiles.  Thus a 2 MiG-31s patrol could only engage 12 cruise missiles at most, unless they begin chasing down each one and use their 23mm canon.  Since any US attack on Syria would involve many more cruise missiles, there is really very little the MiG-31s could do.  A much more effective defense would be provided by the S-300 and this is why the US and Israel were so opposed to any S-300 deliveries to Syria. Others have suggested that Russia could send MiG-29s.  Bad choice.  The MiG-29 is a formidable close-in combat fighter, but a poor close air support aircraft.  If the mission is the support of Syrian combat operations, then SU-24 and, especially, SU-25 would be much better suited.  As far as I know, not a single report mentioned these. How Syria can be assisted First and foremost, I want to remind everybody that Russia has already single-handedly stopped a planned US attack on Syria by simultaneously sending a naval task force off the Syrian coast (thereby providing the Syrians of a full view of the airspace in and around Syria) and by brilliantly suggesting that Syria get rid of her (utterly useless) chemical weapons (which, of course, some saw as a “betrayal” and “disarming” of Syria).  Russia can still help Syria by sending military hardware, advisors, sharing intelligence and, most importantly, providing political cover. Should the Syrian armed forces truly suffer from a military reversal and should the government be threatened, Hezbollah will be the first to intervene (as they already have), followed by Iran (as they, reportedly, also already have).  With Hezbollah and Iranian boots on the ground (the latter probably also in Hezbollah uniforms), there is no need at all for Russian forces.  At least not “regular” military ones. It is possible, and even likely, that the Russians would (or already have) send covert units into Syria.  What we are talking here are GRU and SVR special teams, mostly posing as “advisors” or private military contractors or even “technical assistance” personnel.  Still, by all accounts the Syrian forces are extremely capable and we should not assume that they need any special outside expertise.  And to the degree that outside assistance would be needed, Hezbollah would probably be much better suited for this task than Russian units. As far as I know, the Syrians do lack some types modern equipment, especially modern electronics and optics.  I am confident that the Russians can supply those, if needed through Iran.  Finally, since this war has been going on for so many years already, I am sure that the Syrian military has difficulties with spares and repairs.  Here again, Iran can help, with Russian aid if needed. Conclusion For the Russians to intervene directly in Syria would be illegal, politically impossible and pragmatically ineffective.  Russia is much better off playing her role in the Hezbollah-Iran-Russia “chain of support” for Syria. For all the western propaganda about the resurgent Russian Bear planning to invade Europe and for all the sophomoric demands by pseudo-friends of Russia for Russian military interventions – Russia has absolutely no obligation or intention to intervene anywhere.  The US example has already shown how costly and self-defeating it is for a country to declare itself the world policeman and to use military force to try to solve every one of the world’s crises.  Russia is not the USA and she is not even an “anti-USA”.  And that is, in my opinion, a very good thing for everybody.