Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Are Big Changes Coming In U.S. Policy In Syria?








Right after the U.S. government shot down a Syrian government plane in Syria, the Russian government broke off the coordination of its operations along with the U.S. and America's allied forces in Syria (otherwise known as «deconfliction of forces» there), and warned that:


In areas where Russian aviation is conducting combat missions in the Syrian skies, any flying objects, including jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River, will be followed by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets» — meaning ordered out, or else immediately shot down. 


U.S. President Donald Trump’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Marine Corps General Joseph F. Dunford, spoke at the National Press Club in Washington later that day. Only a video from the National Press Club is, as of yet, available of this important event (the first post-warning top U.S. government official public statement about it), no transcript yet; but here is what Dunford said (and the time he said it in the video), which struck this reporter as being important in his comments, at this historic moment when the likelihood of a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia — World War III — was higher than it has been ever since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis between U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and U.S.S.R. Premier Nikita Khrushchev:


9:00- prosecute the defeat-ISIS campaign in Syria, which is the reason why we are in Syria»

He said that to «defeat ISIS» is «the reason», not «a reason», we’re there. Very important word-choice. Profoundly meaningful in this context.


His stating that «the reason why we are in Syria» is to «prosecute the defeat-ISIS campaign in Syria», means that we are not in Syria in order to overthrow and replace Syria’s government — that we are not there in order to conquer Syria. That’s not «the reason», nor even «a reason», we’re there. People who have been following the Syria-war matter closely over the past few years will find this a shocking assertion from the U.S. government, because it is such a stark contrast to U.S. President Barack Obama’s constant demands that «Assad must go».

And, it is being made not by Trump’s U.N. Ambassador, nor by any other mere mouthpiece, but instead by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, who would not be saying it unless he had just previously communicated directly with the President after that extremely grave Russian warning.

Trump, it now seems, knows that this is serious, and by allowing his CJCS to go public with this, he is overriding here the many neocons whom he has appointed to lead the Defense Department. Dunford represents the President, not merely the military of which the President is the Commander-In-Chief. (Dunford’s role, as CJCS, is purely advisory, both to the President and to the Secretary of Defense, but he is «the principal military advisor to the President, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense».) That clause in a sentence — and especially its «the» instead of an «a» — means more than most officials’ entire speeches do.

13:05: «Our stated objective at this point is a stable secure and sovereign Iraq and we are supporting Iraqi security forces in defeating ISIS inside of Iraq, and I think that the issue of a Kurdish referendum is one that will have to be worked out between President Barzani and Prime Minister Abadi and the Iraqi people».
This means that Trump respects the sovereignty of each individual nation. He is asserting this in specifically the case of Iraq. But its meaning reverberates clearly also in Damascus, and in Istanbul, just as well as it does in Baghdad. It means: no Kurdistan.
The CIA, and Israel, and DC’s think-tanks such as the Brookings Institution, are all neoconservatives who favor breaking up Syria, and as part of that, establishing an independent Kurdistan across all three countries.

Trump’s Pentagon, under the neocon James Mattis, had blatantly violated Syria’s sovereignty on Syrian soil.

But now, in Dunford’s totally unhedged statements, immediately after the U.S. government had perpetrated that blatant violation, Trump’s own Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was, effectively, committing the man whom he directly advises on military-strategic matters, this President, against the neoconservatives whom this same President had brought in to run his Pentagon. 

On strategic matters, the Joint Chiefs Chairman stands even closer to the Commander-in-Chief than does the Secretary of Defense or, sometimes, even, than does the National Security Advisor (the neocon H.R. McMaster, who has thus-far been loudly silent on this matter).

A 3PM update on June 19th, the day of Russia’s warning — an update by this reporter to my news earlier that day which was headlined «Russia Announces No-Fly Zone in Syria — War Against U.S. There» — provided the earliest-published indications that Trump had turned away from the neocons whom he himself had appointed; and, here is that update, to provide broader context for Dunford’s remarks:


Al Masdar News, the go-to site for the latest news regarding the Syrian war, headlines, as of 3PM Eastern time, «Pentagon changes disposition of US-led coalition aircraft in Syria», and reports, from several reliable sources, such as Joseph Dunford, the head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, indicate a U.S. climb-down, and a desire to cooperate with Russia in Syria. If this is not a lie (as so much from the U.S. government has turned out to be), then the U.S. will stop protecting its jihadists in Syria; and, consequently, the war in Syria will end on terms which are suitable to Syria, Russia, and Iran, but which have not heretofore been acceptable to the U.S.-Saudi (and other fundamentalist Sunni) coalition

The signs, at least as of 3PM, are that Trump will quit the war against the Syrian government, regardless of how much this might disappoint the Sauds (and the Israelis). 

Looking at the way the Western press are reporting on the matter, they're going to allow him to withdraw as quietly as possible.

So, as soon as Russia made clear that it's willing to go all the way to defeat the U.S.-Saudi-Sunni-fundamentalist invasion, the West, apparently, will simply quit. 

 All the jihadists in Syria will soon be scrambling to escape from there. Without U.S. protection, they can't win. But will Russia, Iran, and Syria, simply kill them all, right there? If not, then those jihadists will end up going back 'home', wherever that might happen to be, and far more dangerous in those countries than they had been there before.









A top U.S. missile and chemical weapons expert has documented for months that the Syrian government did not carry out a chemical weapons attack against civilians, and that contrary claims by the Trump White HouseFrench intelligence services, the New York TimesCNN and other “mainstream” sources are wrong … and worthless propaganda.

Former top military and intelligence officials  – including many who warned against the faulty Iraq intelligence in advance of the Iraq war – have long said that the claims that Assad carried out the chemical weapons attacks was bunkum.

Pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh – who broke the stories of the Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam and the Iraq prison torture scandals, which rightfully disgraced the Nixon and Bush administrations’ war-fighting tactics – reported yesterday in the large German publication Weld that U.S. military officials tried to tell Trump that a chemical weapons attack never occurred at all:

“This was not a chemical weapons strike,” the adviser said. “That’s a fairy tale. If so, everyone involved in transferring, loading and arming the weapon – you’ve got to make it appear like a regular 500-pound conventional bomb – would be wearing Hazmat protective clothing in case of a leak. There would be very little chance of survival without such gear. Military grade sarin includes additives designed to increase toxicity and lethality. Every batch that comes out is maximized for death. That is why it is made. It is odorless and invisible and death can come within a minute. No cloud. Why produce a weapon that people can run away from?”

 A Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) by the U.S. military later determined that the heat and force of the 500-pound Syrian bomb triggered  a series of secondary explosions that could have generated a huge toxic cloud that began to spread over the town, formed by the release of the fertilizers, disinfectants and other goods stored in the basement, its effect magnified by the dense morning air, which trapped the fumes close to the ground. According to intelligence estimates, the senior adviser said, the strike itself killed up to four jihadist leaders, and an unknown number of drivers and security aides




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