Tuesday, October 15, 2019

4.7 Quake Hits Central California


The Latest: Magnitude 4.7 quake shakes central California



A magnitude-4.8 earthquake has struck a wilderness area of central California.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the temblor occurred at 12:42 p.m. Tuesday and was centered about 16 miles (25 kilometers) southeast of Hollister. The quake occurred at a depth of 6 miles (9.6 kilometers).
The epicenter area is in a rugged mountain range, with agricultural areas to the west.
Late Monday, the San Francisco Bay Area was rattled by a magnitude 4.5 earthquake.
That quake was center near Pleasant Hill, northeast of Oakland but was felt widely.
More than 67,000 people posted to the U.S. Geological Survey's citizen reporting web page.
Veteran seismologist Lucy Jones says the two quakes are too far apart to be related.



Seismologists have slightly revised the magnitude of a central California earthquake down to 4.7.
The quake struck at 12:42 p.m. and was centered about 16 miles (25 kilometers) southeast of Hollister in a mountain range with agricultural areas to the west. It was previously listed at magnitude 4.8.
The U.S. Geological Survey's citizen reporting pages show it was felt in communities around Monterey Bay, north to the San Francisco region and in some Central Valley locations.






San Francisco Bay Area Hit By 4.5 Earthquake


San Francisco Bay Area rattled by 4.5 earthquake


A magnitude 4.5 earthquake was felt widely in the San Francisco Bay Area at 10:33 p.m. on Monday, with the epicenter in the Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill areas.
Moderate shaking was felt in the Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek and Concord areas of an intensity that can overturn unsecured objects, such as books and picture frames, and is capable of breaking dishes or windows. Weak shaking was felt in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Close to the epicenter in Walnut Creek, there was strong side-to-side shaking, strong enough to knock CDs off a shelf.
The USGS said there is a 2% chance of one or more aftershocks larger than magnitude 4.5 over the next week, and between zero and four aftershocks of magnitude 3 and higher. “The number of aftershocks will drop off over time, but a large aftershock can increase the numbers again, temporarily,” the USGS said in its aftershock forecast.

The earthquake had a preliminary depth of about 9 miles underneath the surface, fairly deep for this part of the world, Keith Knudsen, USGS geologist and deputy director of the agency’s Earthquake Science Center, said in an interview. Such a deep quake made it felt widely over a broad area, but lessened the shaking intensity felt at the surface than if it were shallow, scientists said.
The earthquake was not directly on top of any of the main Bay Area earthquake faults. The epicenter was about three miles west of the Concord fault, and farther than that off the northern end of the northern Calaveras fault, Knudsen said.
The epicenter is just northwest of Mt. Diablo, one of the Bay Area’s tallest peaks. The Mt. Diablo area is also a seismically active zone, “a region of uplift, folding and thrusting,” said David Schwartz, USGS scientist emeritus.
In the last 10 days, there have been two earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater centered nearby.


Political Correctness As A Tool


Political correctness versus common sense




The masters of political correctness in America are moving fast. 
For example, consider the explosion of so-called gender identities."  In 2016, New York City released a list of 31 genders approved by the city's Commission on Human Rights.  While writing my book Reclaiming Common Sense, I consulted Google to find out how many genders there were then and was told that the answer was 63.  Today, while writing this article, I re-Googled that question, and it was revealed to me that the latest number is 112.
Political correctness about gender identities is metastasizing rapidly, making it difficult for ordinarily busy people to keep up.  And keep up we must, just as people living in the Soviet Union had to keep up with the constantly changing Communist party line.  Not long ago, everyone understood the unchanging commonsense reality that human beings are either male or female.  Today in New York City, the rules have been changed — and failure to keep up can have dire consequences.  New York City's special 31 genders are surrounded by special legal protections.  Businesses can now be fined as much as $250,000 for refusing to address someone by his preferred pronoun.  As we have seen in the news, even in cities that have not yet have caught up with New York City in terms of imposing legal penalties, failing a test of political correctness about genders can result in public shaming or the loss of a job.
There is more to this story.  Consider the names given the genders officially approved by New York City's Commission on Human Rights.  The names include "drag king," "drag queen," "butch," "femme queen," "gender fluid," "gender blender," "gender gifted," "gender bender," and "femme person of transgender experience."  Talk about rubbing our noses in it!  The commissioners have gone out of their way to be outrageously transgressive.  This is not accidental.  They are making it abundantly clear they are ridiculing normal people and the world of common sense — the more outrageous, the better.
Why would they do that?  Because the purpose of political correctness is to humiliate us.  Under the cover of empowering people who deviate from normal, the proponents of political correctness are actually disempowering the rest of us.
Theodore Dalrymple has thought long and hard about political correctness.  Here is what he has to say about it:
Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. 
In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better.  When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity [integrity, honesty].  To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself.  One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed.  A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. 
I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.
The masters of political correctness have selected a number of areas of American public life where common sense has been replaced by political correctness backed up by the threat of humiliation.  When Americans speak up about the necessity of controlling our nation's borders or protest allowing illegal aliens to vote, they are accused of racism.  When Americans protest rules allowing men who "identify" as women to use the facilities reserved for women, they are accused of bigotry.  When Americans try to speak up about the need to take commonsense steps to address the threat of Islamic terrorists, they are accused of Islamophobia.  And so on down the list.
The important thing to understand is that the masters of political correctness are not done yet.  They have given us a glimpse of the future they have planned for us.  If they continue to have their way, more and more will be required of us, and the penalties will eventually go beyond mere fines and public humiliation.


Things To Come:


Underestimating 'Them' & Overestimating 'Us'




September 2008 marked the beginning of this Fourth Turning, with the global implosion of financial markets, the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, double digit unemployment, six million home foreclosures, a 50% collapse in the stock market, the deepest recession since the 1930s, and shell-shocked consumers defaulting on credit card and auto loans to the tune of hundreds of billions.
As consumer credit contracted, retail stores began going bankrupt in vast numbers. Mall operators were left with 50% or vacancy rates. They couldn’t make the loan payments on their debt. By March of 2009 the country was in a full-blown crisis. My storage area in my basement was filled with food, cases of water and other emergency supplies. I was sure we were at the beginning of an economic period, similar but worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s.
I certainly overestimated my forecasting ability and underestimated the abilities of the ruling class to take outrageously reckless steps to retain their power and manipulate the masses into believing extreme abnormalcy was actually normal. The first outrage perpetrated by the oligarchs was passing the $700 billion TARP bailout of the feckless Hank Paulson lied and threatened to protect his billionaire buddies.

The fear mongering and fake accounting propagated by Bernanke, Paulson, Geithner, and their corporate media fake news propaganda machines had the sole purpose of shifting the fraudulently created Wall Street private losses to the taxpayers through deficit funded handouts, free money, accounting fraud, and throwing senior citizen savers under the bus.


I will also no longer overestimate the ability of the American populace to see through this charade and come to their senses regarding their unsustainable use of debt to try and maintain an unrealistic lifestyle. Their willful ignorance, created through government education propaganda and social engineering, will not be extinguished until the inevitable financial collapse wipes them out again.
This Fourth Turning certainly has not followed the path of the previous Fourth Turning. The existing social order has thrown every debt based “solution” at this debt-based crisis in order to avoid a 1930s like Depression. As we are eleven years into this Fourth Turning, the actions taken by the ruling class may have delayed the pain, but they have only assured the next leg down will be far worse than it needed to be. The social fabric of the country is being irreparably torn with the ongoing Deep State coup against Trump.

His impeachment and/or election of a gun grabbing socialist will surely lead to civil violence. The continued provocations between superpowers with nuclear weapons and a Middle East always on the verge of apocalypse only needs an arrogant misstep by an egomaniacal leader to trigger a global conflagration. I don’t think I’m overestimating the risk of catastrophe, but time will tell. Fourth Turnings have always swept away the existing social order in a chaotic whirlwind of death and destruction.



Erdogan Holding 50 Tactical Nukes 'Hostage'


Erdogan Holding 50 US Tactical Nukes 'Hostage' As Trump Authorizes Sanctions




Amid all the media and pundit outrage since Turkey's President Erdogan launched his so-called 'Operation Peace Spring' into northeast Syria last week, vowing to wipe out Syrian Kurdish forces who've long held the border areas, what's been largely missing is acknowledgement of the uncomfortable fact that NATO ally Turkey has long hosted a major portion of America's nuclear Cold War-era arsenal stored across Europe
And as Erdogan threatens to "open the doors and send 3.6 million migrants" to Europe while under increased international criticism for the rapidly rising civilian death toll in Syria, The New York Times reports the following bombshell Monday: some 50 US tactical nukes are "now essentially Erdogan’s hostages".

The Times cites growing alarm by top State and Energy Dept. officials over what the publication likens as a "disastrous" and confusing break from US policy in northern Syria, given not only further expected destabilization in the region, but worsening and unpredictable ties with Erdogan's Turkey, given Trump is now preparing to sign into effect severe sanctions with the aim of attempting to "limit" his military incursion. 



According to the report:
And over the weekend, State and Energy Department officials were quietly reviewing plans for evacuating roughly 50 tactical nuclear weapons that the United States had long stored, under American control, at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, about 250 miles from the Syrian border, according to two American officials.
Turkey is among a handful of European NATO allies which play host to the extensive US nuclear arsenal on European soil  a remnant and continuation of the historic Cold War build-up — when Washington was locked in battle to deter Soviet expansion in Europe, which also allowed US allies to not have to pursue their own nukes. 
The further irony in all this is that Incirlik Air Base is precisely where during the opening years of the war in Syria, US intelligence and military officials teamed up with their Turkish counterparts to wage proxy war against Assad, which involved fueling the jihadist insurgency which birthed the very groups now slaughtering Syrian Kurds and Christians in the country's northeast. 


Terry James: A Restraining Force






Each morning in my prayer time, I am prompted to ask that the Lord continue to restrain the evil coming against His prescription for godliness. That evil seems to be closing in like an eerie, early morning fog. But unlike such naturally occurring, gathering opaqueness, the increasingly darkening supernatural mist that is engulfing life in America today harbors genuine threat. There are real bogeymen who intend harm lurking in that satanically spawned fog.
The Lord of Heaven didn’t put the following in His Word without good reason:
And now ye know what [restrains] that [Antichrist] might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now [restrains] will [restrain], until [the Restrainer] be taken out of the way. And then shall [Antichrist] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-9)
All the Christian needs do to discern that this generation is being enveloped by the end-times “mystery of iniquity” fog described in the Apostle Paul’s above warning is to consider his “perilous times” forewarnings. Let us again examine just a couple of these characteristics of end-time man given in Paul’s prophecy:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (2 Timothy 3:1-8)





The U.S. Considering Plan To Remove Nukes From Turkish Base


Amid rising tensions, US said considering plan to remove nukes from Turkish base



US officials met in recent days to review plans to remove some 50 nuclear weapons housed under American control at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey amid growing tensions with Ankara, the New York Times reported Monday.
US President Donald Trump said Monday he would issue new sanctions against Turkey, halting trade negotiations and raising steel tariffs, in an effort to pressure Ankara to stop its ongoing offensive attack in Syria against Kurdish forces.
While the Pentagon does not discuss where it stores nuclear assets, the B61 gravity bombs are believed to be kept at Incirlik as a deterrent to Russia and to demonstrate America’s commitment to NATO, the 28-member military alliance that includes Turkey.
Two officials told the paper that State and Energy Department officials were quietly examining ways to remove the tactical nukes, with one official saying they were effectively hostage to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

“To fly them out of Incirlik would be to mark the de facto end of the Turkish-American alliance. To keep them there, though, is to perpetuate a nuclear vulnerability that should have been eliminated years ago,” the paper said.


The US Air Force declined to answer questions about possible nuclear weapons at the base or whether they would be moved.
In an email to Air Force Times, spokesperson Ann Stefanek said there have been no daily operations changes at the base.
It’s not the first time the security of the nuclear weapons stationed on the base in southern Turkey, just 110 kilometers (70 miles) from the border with war-torn Syria, has been raised.


500 Scientists Sign Letter To UN: 'There Is No Climate Emergency'


500 Scientists Sign Letter to UN: ‘There Is No Climate Emergency’


The message was clear: “There is no climate emergency.”

With those five simple words, a global network of scientists and professionals attempted to inject reasonableness and decorum into what should be a robust discussion about a complex scientific and public policy issue, but has instead degenerated into an ever more intense mud-slinging contest over the years.

A group of 500-some scientists and professionals signed on to the “European Climate Declaration” that was released last week. This simple, short, and understandable statement proposed how analysis of any public policy issue involving complex science should be approached from a reasoned, fact-based perspective.

Statements such as “97 percent of climatologists agree that anthropogenic climate change is occurring” isn’t a statement of fact, it’s an opinion twice removed. It’s an opinion that involves evaluation of the legitimacy of how the results of the poll in question were sorted to dismiss some answers and allow others, and it’s an opinion in terms of how representative the sample size is with respect to all climate professionals.


Statements such as “modeling shows that catastrophic climate change will occur in the next [pick a number] years unless drastic changes are made” is also an opinion. It’s an opinion because the results of any model, and in particular any model that purports to predict the future of anything as complex as the entire planet’s climate system, necessarily relies on a multitude of choices made by the model’s designer.

The relative importance of the many, many factors that go into the model’s complex calculations are based on the judgments of the model designer, and those judgments are matters of opinion, not statements of fact.

In a letter sent to António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, the leaders of the European Climate Declaration urged the U.N. to “follow a climate policy based on sound science, realistic economics, and genuine concern for those harmed by costly but unnecessary attempts at mitigation.”

Hundreds of scientists and professionals from 13 European nations signed on to the Declaration, supported by fellow signatories from 10 other countries outside the European Union. I was honored to be asked to be one of the signatories from the United States and most enthusiastically agreed to do so.


I will close with three important claims that form part of the European Climate Declaration. I believe each to be accurate, and hope that reasonable people can use these claims, and the others contained in the declaration, as the basis for civilized, respectful, and meaningful discussions in the future.

One: “The world has warmed at less than half the originally predicted rate, and at less than half the rate to be expected on the basis of net anthropogenic forcing and radiative imbalance. It tells us that we are far from understanding climate change.”

Two: “Climate models have many shortcomings and are not remotely plausible as policy tools. Moreover, they most likely exaggerate the effect of greenhouse gases such as CO2. In addition, they ignore the fact that enriching the atmosphere with CO2 is beneficial.”

Three:
 “There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic and alarm. We strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy proposed for 2050. If better approaches emerge, we will have ample time to reflect and adapt. The aim of international policy should be to provide reliable and affordable energy at all times, and throughout the world.”


Persecution In Burkina: 'A Fight For Survival'




Christians in Burkina Faso: "A Fight for Survival"




The extremist attacks on Christians in the Muslim-majority West African country of Burkina Faso are not only a cause of great concern, but indicate that terrorist groups in the Middle East, such as ISIS, have not been defeated; they have moved their operations elsewhere.

Terrorism -- committed by armed groups such as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Al-Mourabitoun, Ansar al-Dine, Ansar-ul-Islam lil-Ichad wal Jihad, Boko Haram, Islamic State in Greater Sahara and the Macina Liberation Front -- has resulted in the displacement of more than 135,000 people in Burkina Faso, two-thirds of them since the beginning of this year. Their violence also has led to the closure of many schools.


According to a September 18 report by the international Catholic organization, Aid to the Church in Need:
"The most recent villages to have been abandoned are those of Hitté and Rounga, where the inhabitants were given an ultimatum by the Islamist terrorists, who ordered them to convert to Islam or abandon their homes. A source, who requested anonymity, said: 'They are by no means the only ones facing this situation, rather they are just part of a program by the jihadists who are deliberately sowing terror, assassinating members of the Christian communities and forcing the remaining Christians to flee after warning them that they will return in three days' time -- and that they do not wish to find any Christians or catechumens still there.'"
The rise in terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso followed the 2014 fall of its long-ruling dictator, Blaise Compaoré. Four years later, in December 2018, a state of emergency was declared in the country's northern provinces. So far, however, Burkina Faso's security forces have been unable to prevent attacks on Christians, who have been living in constant fear and danger.


"The impact has been great on the church specifically. Open Doors has been told that an unknown number of pastors and their families have been kidnapped and remain in captivity. The increased insecurity has caused great fear among the Christian population.
"More than 200 churches have been closed in northern parts of the country to avoid further attacks. Holding Sunday worship services has been discouraged in most rural areas.

"'The jihadists started threatening the church, sending warnings to stop worship services in the communities of Arbinda, Dablo, Djibo, Kongoussi and others,' our team reported. 'At first, they were against the mode of worship in the churches where women and men gathered in the same church. Then, in no time, the believers were warned not to hold any Christian worship services.'


"More than 5,000 pastors and church members have been forced into Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps or are taking refuge with family and friends in the south, central regions or in the capital city of Ouagadougou.
"People fled with little more than the clothes on their backs, our team reports. Most church schools in the north have been closed. Many Christian children are out of school and cannot afford school fees in their new areas.

As Raymond Ibrahim, a Gatestone Institute distinguished senior fellow, recentlywrote:
"The situation in Burkina Faso is a reminder that, if groups like the Islamic State are on the wane in Iraq and Syria, the jihad continues to spread like wildfire in more obscure and forgotten nations around the world, and to consume countless nameless and faceless innocents."


France: More Death To Free Speech


France: More Death to Free Speech



  • Defending someone who is accused of being a "racist" implies the risk of being accused of being a "racist" too. Intellectual terror reigns in France.
  • France is moving from a "muzzled press to a muzzling press that destroys free speech". — Alain Finkielkraut, writer and philosopher.

  • Writers other than Éric Zemmour have been hauled into court and totally excluded from all media, simply for describing reality.

  • In a society where freedom of speech exists, it would be possible to discuss the use of these statements, but in France today, freedom of speech has been almost completely destroyed.

  • Soon in France, no one will dare to say that any attack openly inspired by Islam has any connection with Islam.



On September 28, a "Convention of the Right" took place in Paris, organized by Marion Marechal, a former member of French parliament and now director of France's Institute of Social, Economic and Political Sciences. The purpose of the convention was to unite France's right-wing political factions. In a keynote speech, the journalist Éric Zemmour harshly criticized Islam and the Islamization of France. He described the country's "no-go zones" (Zones Urbaines Sensibles; Sensitive Urban Zones) as "foreign enclaves" in French territory and depicted, as a process of "colonization", the growing presence in France of Muslims who do not integrate.

Zemmour quoted the Algerian writer Boualem Sansal, who said that the no-go zones are "small Islamic Republics in the making". Zemmour said that a few decades ago, the French could talk freely about Islam but that today it is impossible, and he denounced the use of the "hazy concept of Islamophobia to make it impossible to criticize Islam, to reestablish the notion of blasphemy to the benefit of the Muslim religion alone..."


Zemmour's speech was broadcast live on LCI television. Journalists on other channels immediately accused LCI of contributing to "hate propaganda". Some said that LCI should lose its broadcasting license. One journalist, Memona Hinterman-Affegee, a former member of France's High Council of Audiovisual Media (Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel), the body that regulates electronic media in France, wrote in the newspaper Le Monde:

The journalists of Le Figaro, the newspaper employing Zemmour, wrote a press release demanding his immediate dismissal. Calls heard on most radio and television stations for a total boycott of Zemmour stressed that he had been condemned several times for "Islamophobic racism".








Monday, October 14, 2019

Putin To Fill The Void Left By The U.S. Withdrawal From Syria: Will This Be A 'Putin-Brokered Deal Of The Century'?


"Compromise Or Genocide": Putin's 'Deal Of The Century' Rapidly Unfolding In Syria



"Putin is capitalizing on the chaotic retreat of the US and Turkey's brutality toward the Kurds in order to assert Russia's leadership," Syria analyst Joshua Landis observed of a newly published Vladimir Putin interview"He contrasts how Russia has stood beside its beleaguered ally, Syria, while the US has abandoned both its allies, the Kurds and the Turks," Landis added. 
Putin said in the interview: "Syria must be free from other states' military presence. And the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic must be completely restored."
Given this weekend's rapidly unfolding events, with state actors Turkey and the Syrian Army squaring up on front lines, Russia's role in all this is probably still the greatest unknown, but what do we know at this point? 

Reuters revealed on Sunday that Damascus and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been in direct negotiations, with crucial Russian participation


"The source close to the Syrian government said meetings between the SDF and Damascus had taken place before and after the latest Turkish offensive," according to the report.


PUTIN: ¨Syria must be free from other states military presence and the and territorial integrity the Syrian Arab Republic must be completely restored. ¨#Syria #Kurds #Turkey #OperationSpringPeace pic.twitter.com/xhYxAM38hN
— ivan (@ivan8848) October 12, 2019


Again given how fast all of this has played out, a number of pundits and analysts questioned: are we witnessing a Putin-brokered 'deal of the century' unfold?
We explained late last week that there are a number of signs suggesting this is the case, noting that Moscow had begun organizing "reconciliation talks" between Syria and Turkey, in what would truly be an unprecedented development, given President Erdogan's long-time position that Turkey won't negotiate with Damascus so long as Assad is in power, after the two cut diplomatic relations in 2012. 

But Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov recently confirmed as much saying"Moscow will ask for start of talks between Damascus and Ankara".
Putin's timing for such potential deal-making couldn't have been better, given that:
  • A US ground retreat from the border area means Washington now has little active leverage over the situation (Trump has said he desires regional powers to sort it out).
  • Syria's beleaguered Kurds now see Damascus as the only option for survival (and thus Syria's ally Russia). 
  • Turkey is now at odds with all major Western and regional powers over 'Operation Peace Spring,' is also hated in international media, and thus will be more sensitive to reputational damage. 
  • Turkey is now under a human rights and war crimes microscope
  • For many reasons, especially the recent S-400 deal and F-35 hold-up, US-Turkey relations are currently at their lowest point, with threat of new US sanctions on Ankara looming.
  • With Washington ceding the driver's seat, all of the above means Putin alone can "check" Erdogan's actions


Just ahead of this weekend's rapidly developing Syria events, Reuters reported that Putin is positioned to be the only voice with "positive" relations with Turkey, able to "limit" Erdogan's ambitions inside Syria:
In a phone call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan before the operation against U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters, Russian leader Vladimir Putin, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, made clear he hoped the incursion would be limited in time and scale, the sources said.

“If he [Putin] manages to fix this it would be considered a major political victory,” commented Andrey Kortunov, head of the Russian International Affairs Council, as cited in the report.Putin could argue that the Americans failed to sort this out but we managed it, which implies our approach to the conflict is more efficient than our geopolitical opponents,” he added.
And one senior former Russian diplomat confirmed to Reuters further that, "If Turkey limits its operation to a 30-mile security zone inside Syria and conducts a quick operation, Russia is likely to tolerate it."
And even CNN now reluctantly admits that:
Russia is already by far the strongest foreign power operating in Syria, and President Vladimir Putin has allied himself with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, throwing the full weight of the Russian military behind the Syrian Army.
Now, a planned Turkish operation to "clear" Kurdish forces from the Northeastern Syrian border zone could give Putin a chance to expand Russian influence  to the alarm of US hawks.


Turkey vs Kurds In Syria As Russia Watched U.S.-Turkey Split


Margolis: More "Stupid Wars" In Syria




Infographic: The Current Situation In Syria  | Statista




Most Kurdish forces are deployed along the line of the former Berlin-Baghdad railway, a major source of warlike tensions before World War I.  Interestingly, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was making a state visit to blood enemy Serbia when the Turkish offensive kicked off.
Turkey calls the Kurdish militias ‘terrorists’ and links them to the original Kurdish resistance movement PKK which is on the US and Turkish black list. 
 Israel is a bitter foe of Turkey’s Erdogan.  

The United States has zero historic interest in the region. US troops in Syria appear to have come from the US garrison in Iraq, which, as VP Dick Cheney hoped, would become a central US military base for the entire Mideast.  The Washington war party is moaning that Trump has ‘betrayed’ the Kurds.  Their unofficial head, Sen. Lindsey Graham, is demanding more war in Syria – the same warrior senator who dodged the Vietnam War by joining the National Guard as a lawyer.
The Kurds have been used and betrayed since 1918.  They always seem to get the short end of the stick.  The old Kurdish saying, ‘no friends but the mountains,’ is painfully true.  Washington does not want to get involved in a new Kurdish state carved out of Syria or Iraq even though Israel is pushing it hard to further splinter the Mideast.  Iraq’s and Syria’s oil deposits are still a powerful lure for imperial-minded powers.


Trump rightly calls the fracas in Syria ‘a stupid war.’  But many pro-war forces play on this tired, confused president who has gotten himself deep into the Syrian morass, a problem of largely American but also Turkish making.  Ironically, former president Barack Obama foolishly authorized America’s effort to overthrow Syria’s Assad government under the guise of a phony civil war.  This was one of the few Obama policies that Trump chose to follow. The neophyte president was unwilling or unable to prevent the deep state in Washington from encouraging the war.
The region in question is hardly the beating heart of Syria. It looks large on the map but is mostly desert and scrub, dotted by miserable little villages with Arab or Kurdish populations.  

Turkey, which has over 2 million Syrian refugees, is eager to begin repatriation of this massive burden created by its policy errors and the western powers.
In the middle is the scattered debris of the short-lived ISIS caliphate.  Russia, which is selling Turkey its very capable S-400 anti-aircraft system, is watching with delight as old allies Turkey and the US split.
Even Trump knows how important Turkey is to the NATO alliance.  A rupture between Washington and Ankara could see the vital US bases at Incirlik and Adana thrown out of Turkey.  That’s why Trump needs to tread carefully.