WAR/DRAFT/VETERAN AFFAIRS | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


WAR/DRAFT/VETERAN AFFAIRS

Jan 31 09:27

Qatar to expand largest US airbase in MidEast to make it permanent, plans to host Navy

Qatar plans to add 200 more housing units to the Al-Udeid Air Base, crucial to the US-led counter-terrorist campaign, so that US troops deployed there on a permanent basis can feel “at home,” Qatar’s defense minister said.

Among far-reaching plans outlined by Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah, Minister of State for Defense and Deputy Minister of Qatar, the Gulf kingdom is renovating its naval ports so that the US Navy can be deployed to the country in addition to some 10,000 US servicemen stationed at Al-Udeid air base near Doha.

To ensure the US troops lack nothing during their long-term deployment, Qatar “have decided immediately to build 200 units for the officers and officers’ families,” as well as a new school within the compound.

Jan 31 09:09

The "Dirty Game" To Fuel Ethnic Proxy War Across The Greater Middle East

Turkish allegations of Saudi, Emirati and Egyptian support for the outlawed Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) threatens to turn Turkey’s military offensive against Syrian Kurds aligned with the PKK into a regional imbroglio. The threat is magnified by Iranian assertions that low-intensity warfare is heating up in areas of the Islamic republic populated by ethnic minorities, including the Kurds in the northwest and the Baloch on the border with Pakistan.

Taken together, the two developments raise the specter of a potentially debilitating escalation of the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran as well as an aggravation of the eight-month-old Gulf crisis that has pitted Saudi Arabia and its allies against Qatar, the latter which has forged close ties to Turkey.

Jan 30 14:06

Syria – Neo-Conservatives Demand “Action” – Hope For A Larger War

The neoconservative writers and their op-eds should be ignored.

The U.S. polity and media now acknowledge what we reported on December 21. The U.S. announcement to build up a 30,000 strong PKK army in north-east Syria was a disaster.

It prompted Turkey to initiate its attack on YPG/PKK Kurds in Afrin. It threatens to drive it out of NATO and into Russia’s open arms. It gives the Syrian government new leverage against the Syrian Kurds.

Jan 30 13:15

DACA a Dreamer’s Paradise

I agree some provision should be made for “Dreamers” to achieve legal status (not citizenship), but border security must be part of the deal so this doesn’t keep happening.

And someone needs to explain why Democrats are willing to shut down government services to American citizens (who voted them into office) to provide benefits to illegal immigrants.

Good heavens, civil and charitable Americans do not want to corral Dreamers into concentration camps or starve anyone because they circumvented the existing process for entry into our country and/or eventually applying for citizenship. After all, the American Dream has been available to those who accept the principles of our English language culture and heritage.

Jan 30 13:08

Turkey plays its latest card in the New Great Game – Pepe Escobar

Sochi, not Geneva, is the forum where the endgame for the Syrian proxy war will be decided.

President Tayyip Erdogan’s ‘Olive Branch’ operation appears to have support at home and in Moscow, but failure would spell problems.

Olive Branch” is the Orwellian-named Turkish invasion of a chunk of Syria. The operation comes as no surprise. President Tayyip Erdogan had hinted for nearly a year that a move was likely in the Syrian Kurdish canton of Afrin.

Jan 30 12:32

Too Many Wars. Too Many Enemies

If Turkey is not bluffing, U.S. troops in Manbij, Syria, could be under fire by week’s end, and NATO engulfed in the worst crisis in its history.

Turkish President Erdogan said Friday his troops will cleanse Manbij of Kurdish fighters, alongside whom U.S. troops are embedded.

Jan 30 09:05

US-Vietnam Military Ties Warn China over Maritime Expansion

A high-level U.S. visit to Vietnam followed by plans to send American naval vessels may herald a tougher American policy toward China in Asia's stickiest maritime sovereignty dispute.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis met in Vietnam last week with the host country’s president, Tran Dai Quang, as well as the general secretary of its ruling Communist Party and a Vietnamese military counterpart.

The U.S. Department of Defense website said they shared concerns about freedom of navigation and “respect for international law,” likely references to a six-way dispute over sovereignty of the South China Sea dominated by Beijing. A U.S. aircraft carrier will call in Vietnam in March. Vietnam is the most outspoken rival claimant to China.

Jan 30 08:52

Russia Puts the World's Largest Supersonic Bomber Back Into Serial Production

Russia has started test flying the first “new” Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack supersonic strategic bomber. However, this first airframe will primarily be used as a flight sciences test aircraft — it is not a fully equipped mission capable strategic bomber. Moreover, this particular airframe was likely assembled from parts that were originally built during the Soviet-era.

Jan 29 21:10

Paul Craig Roberts Warns “The Russiagate Stakes Are Extreme”

Russiagate was a conspiracy organized for the purpose of bringing down the elected president of the United States.

Many Americans do not seem to understand what is at stake. What America is confronted with is a coup conspiracy organized by top officials of the Obama Justice Department, FBI, CIA, the Hillary DNC, and the presstitute media to overturn the result of a democratic election and remove the president from office.

Jan 29 15:24

The Bloodbath In Vietnam Was Us

For Mark Bowden, author of Hué 1968, the pivotal battle of the War in Vietnam did not follow the script most Americans were used to scanning in their newspapers or visualizing on the evening news. The war Americans followed at home was like a humongous hunting expedition. U.S. forces seemed engaged in an endless chase over a lush boondocks inhabited by peasants and dotted with rice paddies or trailing the rugged forested highlands in search of the Viet Cong, a cunning and elusive enemy whose tactics were hit and run, not stand and fight.

Jan 29 12:26

How Regional Rivalries Threaten to Fuel the Fire in Syria and Iran

Turkish allegations of Saudi, Emirati and Egyptian support for the outlawed Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) threaten to turn Turkey’s military offensive against Syrian Kurds aligned with the PKK into a regional imbroglio.

The threat is magnified by Iranian assertions that low intensity warfare is heating up in areas of the Islamic republic populated by ethnic minorities, including the Kurds in the northwest and the Baloch on the border with Pakistan.

Taken together, the two developments raise the spectre of a potentially debilitating escalation of the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran as well as an aggravation of the eight-month-old Gulf crisis that has pitted Saudi Arabia and its allies against Qatar, which has forged close ties to Turkey.

The United Arab Emirates and Egypt rather than Saudi Arabia have taken the lead in criticizing Turkey’s incursion into Syria designed to remove US-backed Kurds from the countries’ border and create a 30-kilometre deep buffer zone.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With Turkey demanding that US troops get out of Manbij ...or else, while the US government has declared it is not leaving,US General Votel says that US forces will not leave this could get very dicey, very quickly.

I have a very serious concern that those service members, embedded with the Kurds in Manbij, may be pawns, and it is not impossible that they are being used very cynically by this administration.

And I say that, because the minute US service members get killed by Turkish fire, the narrative may well immediately be ordered to be shifted, so that the US government will blame their deaths on either Syrian or Russian forces, as a "justification" for war against either, or both countries.

I just hope to heaven that I am a million percent wrong here.

Jan 29 11:50

4 Times US Military Sites Were Exposed Online

Fitness tracking apps have inadvertently revealed the locations of secret US military sites in the world’s most remote locations. However, it isn’t the first time technological blunders have given away valuable American secrets.

Jan 29 11:48

The War In America’s ‘Democratic’ Party

On January 23rd, Joe Biden virtually threw his hat into the 2020 U.S. Presidential contest, by producing for the neoconservative-neoliberal Council on Foreign Relations, a speech, and an accompanying article in their influential journal Foreign Affairs, titled, “How to Stand Up to the Kremlin: Defending Democracy Against Its Enemies”. He made clear that no one in American politics is going to stand to Biden’s right on international affairs and the military, when (or “if,” if one still doubts that) he will enter the 2020 U.S. Presidential contest formally. He’s already making the matter clear right now. He says in their journal.

Jan 29 11:38

Trump’s Foreign Policy Is In Service To Israel

Americans are so totally brainwashed by Israeli propaganda that there is no public restraint on Washington serving Israel’s interest.

Peter Jenkins, a former British ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, expresses concerns about the decisions of France, Germany, and the UK to appease President Trump on fixing “flaws” in the Iranian nuclear agreement.

Jan 29 11:38

'The Military Has Seen the Writing on the Wall'

When Senator Tammy Duckworth returned from a recent trip to South Korea and Japan, she brought back a sobering message: “Americans simply are not in touch with just how close we are to war on the Korean peninsula.” In a speech at Georgetown University, she laid out the U.S. military maneuvers over the past several months—including a nuclear-powered submarine heading to South Korea, the movement of three aircraft carriers to the Western Pacific, and the Army testing out “mobilization centers” for deploying troops and training soldiers to fight in tunnels like those beneath North Korea—that inform this worry. In an interview with me, she said the U.S. military seems to be operating with the attitude that a conflict “‘will probably happen, and we better be ready to go.’”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Senator Duckworth, as a person living on Oahu, and understanding that a Chinese or Russian bomb could devastate it, and our surrounding islands, please color me...very concerned!!

Jan 29 11:35

Uncle Sam dumps the Kurds (yet again) – The Saker

Russians need to stop the Turks before this all turns into a major and protracted conflict.

Did Trump and his generals really think that Turkey, Iran, Syria and Russia would accept a US protectorate in Syria masquerading as an “independent Kurdistan” and do nothing about it? Yet again, and I know this sounds hard to believe, but I think that this is yet another strong indication that the Empire is run by stupid and ignorant people whose brain and education simply do not allow them to grasp even the basic dynamics in the region of our planet they are interfering with.

Whatever may be the case the Turks reacted exactly as everybody thought:

Jan 29 11:30

By Remaining in Syria the US Is Fuelling More Wars in the Middle East

The US may want to get rid of Assad and weaken Iran across the region but it is too late. Pro-Iranian governments in Iraq and Syria are in power and Hezbollah is the most powerful single force in Lebanon. This is not going to change any time soon and, if the Americans want to weaken Assad by keeping a low-level war going, then this will make him even more reliant on Iran.

The present Turkish incursion shows that Ankara is not going to allow a new Kurdish state under US protection to be created in northern Syria and will fight rather than let this happen. But the YPG is highly motivated, well-armed and militarily experienced and will fight very hard, even though they may ultimately be overwhelmed by superior forces or because the Turkish and Syrian governments come together to crush them.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is only one way in which to accurately describe the current US "strategy" in Syria: painfully incoherent, lost, and myopic.

Jan 29 11:12

US Ambassador Urges Russia To React "Calmly" To "Corrupt Oligarchs" List Due Monday

The US Ambassador to Russia urged the Kremlin to react "calmly" to the U.S. Treasury Department's list of "corrupt oligarchs" due Monday. The list is designed to "name and shame" elite Russians into thinking twice before engaging in business with Putin's government. It will be up to Congress to decide whether the list should be published.

"I urge to take this report, based on its real and not a contrived essence and without emotions, because relations between our countries are far from being exhausted by this one legal act, and I was reminded about it in Washington, where I was two weeks ago," - US Ambassador John Huntsman via -newsru (translated)

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is the most completely ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid remark Huntsman could have possibly made, looking at the number of sanctions placed upon Russia, primarily as punishing it for what it did not do (i.e., allegedly "annexing" Crimea from Ukraine), a lie that every rational person sees as a lie, regarding the 2014 putsch in Kiev; the throwing the duly elected President Yanukovich under the proverbial bus; and crookedly installing Poroshenko as his successor.

And BTW, Ambassador Huntsman, the US government was heavily involved in this overthrow, which President Obama personally admitted:

President Obama admits that a US Brokered a deal in Support of Regime Change in Kiev.

When Crimea understood that representative government in Kiev no longer existed, they passed two referendums, one to ask its people if they wanted to stay with Ukraine, post-Coup, or join the Russian Federation. There was a unanimous vote by the Crimean people to petition the Russian Federation for membership, which Russia later granted.

Peaceful self-determination is a value enshrined in the UN charter, but Ukraine and the US vengefully spat all over that, in their threatening stance toward Russia, the sanctions against it being "punishment" for something Russia absolutely did not do.

So I have an observation for Ambassador Huntsman; sir, in the words of my late grandmother, "The horse is already out of the barn" on this issue, and both Putin and Xi are a zillion chess moves away from those of the US government.

And why?!? Both Russia and China are rapidly moving away from the US dollar in their trading, and so are other countries as well.

Putin Orders End to US dollar trade in Russian Seaports
Non-Dollar Trading Is Killing the Petrodollar — And the Foundation of U.S.-Saudi Policy in the Middle East

The US Dollar may be at risk as the global reserve currency

23 countries now abandoning the US dollar

Challenging the dollar: China and Russia plan from petroyuan to gold

Russia and China have the means to absolutely crucify the US dollar into absolute non-existence, and for the following reasons:

1. The US dollar, at this point, has no intrinsic value: it is simply a worthless piece of paper, with no tangible asset or assets backing it whatsoever.

2. By these actions by Russia and China, the Bretton-Woods Accord, which acknowledged the US dollar as the primary global currency in 1944, has ceased to exist.

Unfortunately, it appears that the US government will attempt to crush these new economic developments though a number of massive wars.

Washington plans to nuke Russia and China

So Ambassador Huntsman, if you are suddenly recalled from Russia to the US for "consultations", you now cannot say, with a straight face, that you did not know why.

Jan 29 10:21

Fitness tracking app Strava gives away location of secret US army bases

Sensitive information about the location and staffing of military bases and spy outposts around the world has been revealed by a fitness tracking company.

The details were released by Strava in a data visualisation map that shows all the activity tracked by users of its app, which allows people to record their exercise and share it with others.

Strava suggests military users 'opt out' of heatmap as row deepens
Read more
The map, released in November 2017, shows every single activity ever uploaded to Strava – more than 3 trillion individual GPS data points, according to the company. The app can be used on various devices including smartphones and fitness trackers like Fitbit to see popular running routes in major cities, or spot individuals in more remote areas who have unusual exercise patterns.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am having a double Picard face palm, at warp speed, upon reading this!!

This app has been around since 2014, and the US military has just discovered this problem?!?

wikipedia.org: Stava Fitness App

Jan 29 10:06

The Navy Can't Afford $1 Million 'Smart' Shells for Its $4 Billion Battleships

The US Navy’s ultra-versatile new $440 million warship might have to ride out the rest of winter frozen to a dock in Canada. But the sailing branch says it expects to formally accept a new 610-foot-long vessel into service in the coming weeks, its second Zumwalt-class stealth battleship.

The catch? Its main weapons don't have any ammunition. And possibly never will.

Arguably the centerpiece of the ships' design is the Advanced Gun System, a unique, 155-millimeter-diameter cannon that can shoot GPS-guided shells as far as 60 miles. Each Zumwalt-class ship has two AGSs along with vertical launchers for at least 80 missiles.

The idea was that the Zumwalts would be able to sail close to enemy-held beaches and bombard defenses with smart shells, clearing the way for US Marines to storm ashore.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Absoflippinglutely unbelievable!!

Is THIS what passes for "planning" in the Naval Planning Hierarchy these days?!?

Jan 29 09:43

Pentagon: Obama’s DOD Gave Security Clearances to Contractors Charged with Felonies, Including Pedophilia

The Pentagon was forced last year to rescind interim security clearances granted under the Obama administration to at least 165 contractors linked to various crimes, including felony convictions for pedophilia and foreign government affiliations, revealed a report issued by the Director of the Defense Security Service (DSS).

According to the report, DOD contractors preserved their ability to access sensitive government information despite prior criminal records and other illicit past activity that the Pentagon’s vetting process failed to detect.

Jan 29 07:41

US blinks under Turkish pressure in Syria

The Turkish President Recep Erdogan gave a stark warning to the Trump administration on Friday by stating his intention to order an assault on the northern Syrian town of Manbij, roughly 40 km from the Turkish border and 100 km to the east of Afrin, where US forces are operating alongside Kurdish militia.

He said, “Operation Olive Branch will continue until it reaches its goals. We will rid Manbij of terrorists (read Kurds) … Our battles will continue until no terrorist is left right up to our (910-km) border with Iraq.”

Jan 29 07:40

US military must be ‘psyched’ for war with North Korea: Marine commander

US Marine Corps Commander General Robert Neller said on Thursday in Washington, D.C. that the US military must be psychologically prepared for a war with North Korea.

“It will be a very, very kinetic, physical, violent fight over some really, really tough ground, and everybody is going to have to be mentally prepared,” Neller said, according to CNN.

“When they train, they have to keep in the back of their mind, they have to be [ready] physically, mentally, and always their spirit has to be steeled and ready for serious conflict that’s going to test them beyond anything they have ever done in their lives, that was my only intent. And I’ll say that as long as I’m in this office because that’s my job,” Neller added.

Jan 29 07:39

Mattis signals harder line in South China Sea

US defense chief visits Indonesia and Vietnam, two potential key allies in new defense policy that views China as a 'strategic competitor'

Jan 29 07:00

The swamp are stumped by Trump!

This once again proves the Liberal Media’s distortion of reality.

It turns out America’s most “hated” and “racist” President attracts the crowd at DAVOS and get close to a Hero’s welcome at the World Economic Forum, while moving his # America First, # MAGA agenda forward.

It turned out in Saudi Arabia President Trump received the grandest red carpet treatment ever accorded to an American President by the leaders of the Arab and Muslim world.

So, is it President Trump’s leadership or is it America’s role in the world?

Jan 27 13:26

USAF Begins Massive GPS Blackouts In The Western US During Largest Ever Air War Drill

The United States Air Force is launching its largest-ever three-week premier set of air war drills, called Red Flag 18-1, starting on Friday and will conclude February 16, said the 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs.

On January 26, the air war drill, known as Red Flag, officially kicked off at Nellis Air Force Base, 20-miles outside of Las Vegas. Base officials have warned residents of increased military aircraft activity due to aircraft departing from Nellis Air Force Base twice-a-day to conduct war drills on the Nevada Test and Training Range.

“We’re trying a few new and different things with Red Flag 18-1,” said Col Michael Mathes, 414th Combat Training Squadron commander. “It’s the largest Red Flag ever with the largest number of participants, highlighting the balance of training efficiency with mission effectiveness.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The optics of the timing here concern me greatly, with so much real (and soon to be attempted) US military interventions, world wide.

Jan 27 13:12

‘We will NOT comply’ Russia refuses to impose North Korea sanctions set by United States

RUSSIA has announced it has no intention of imposing sanctions on North Korea set by the United States, insisting it is under “no obligation” to comply with them.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Watch for further demonization of both Russia and North Korea continuing apace by the US corporate presstitutes, and more "linkage" attemped in coverage of both countries.

Jan 27 13:07

Doomsday Clock Moves Closer to Midnight: The Most Perilous Time in World History

The clock was moved less than a full minute for the first time because he’d only been president a few days.

The Atomic Scientists expressed concern over his announced nuclear arsenal expansion, his strident nationalism, his dismissiveness about climate change, his “intemperate statements,” and questionable appointments, potentially “ma(king) a bad international security situation worse.”

His actions during his early days in office were cause for concern – far more worrisome after a year as president, his administration infested with hawkish generals and neocon extremists.

His and their rage for war and hostility toward sovereign independent states risk unthinkable nuclear war on his watch – perhaps confrontation with Russia and/or China going nuclear by accident or design.

In announcing today’s move, Atomic Scientists (AC) president Rachel Bronson said

“(i)t’s with considerable concern that we set the Doomsday Clock, as of today. It is two minutes to midnight.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sadly, I must concur; right now, in terms of US foreign policy, the inmates (read: warhawks) have taken over the asylum,and are very ready to gun down any country standing in the way of US hegemony.

At 68, I only remember being this terrified on one occasion: during the Cuban missile crisis, before Kruschev "blinked".

Jan 27 12:51

US Bombers in Guam Seen Readying for Tactical Nuclear Strike on North Korea

With all other signs of tensions on the Korean Peninsula on the decline, the US is stepping up its deployment of nuclear-capable bombers and general firepower to the airbase at Guam,

This is further fueling speculation that the US is preparing itself for the long-speculated sneak attack on North Korea, and that such a sneak attack could involve B-61 gravity bombs as part of a tactical nuclear strike.

The Trump Administration has been seen to be favoring the idea of a “limited attack,” betting that North Korea would not retaliate. It’s hard to imagine this could possibly be both limited and involve nuclear arms, but recent developments on the B-61 suggest that’s indeed the point of the weapon.

Some analysts have suggested the Pentagon could carry out a nuclear attack with B-61s that would totally destroy North Korea’s nuclear infrastructure while killing no more than 100 people, and that might be small enough to avoid retaliation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

PARDON ME, BUT HAVE THESE BLOODY ALLEGED "ANALYISTS" COLLECTIVELY LOST THEIR MINDS, AND GONE RABID, BARKING-DOG MAD?!?!?

President Trump, please, I am begging you; don't listen to people who are giving you, and your advisors, information that is absolutely skewed to what you want to hear about the potential success of a "limited strike" against North Korea.

This falls into the category of "extreme magical thinking."

BEFORE you decide to do this, please lisen to the people who are going to be brutally honest about what the true consequences of such a strike will be, particularly how China is most likely to react, should such a strike be ordered by you.

You need to make this decision from fact, and not from "fairytale data", conjured up by people who want to make you believe this is doable, with little or no consequences.

Because, Mr. President, do you really want to get the US embroiled in a war in China?!? Because if you order this strike, that is most likely the outcome, sir.

Jan 27 12:36

Turkey Vows to Expand Syria Offensive East to Iraq Border

One week into the Turkish invasion of Syria’s Afrin District, the war against the Kurdish YPG looks to be expanding precipitously, with President Erdogan first announcing he’d extend the war to Manbij, and now all the way east to the Iraqi border.

This suggests Turkey’s war against Syria’s Kurds is likely to span the whole of YPG territory, which at present is about 25% of all of Syria. That war will include Turkey’s allies, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which Turkey tends to install as de facto rulers in places they’ve seized.

More importantly, this escalation all but ensures Turkey will be in an military confrontation with the US, as all of America’s troops deployed in Syria are in YPG territory, embedded with the Kurds, who they consider allies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

But what if there is no "grand understanding:" between Turkey,Syria, the Kurds, Iraq, and Russia?!?!

And the other question, still unanswered, is how much military "monkey business" will Russia, which was invited to Syria at the behest of the Syrian government, allow to happen before it intervenes, and hard, militarily?!?

Is the US goal in Syria, in terms of having US troops in the country illegally, to pick a fight with Russia,and have that become the "justification" for a war against Russia, which, unfortunately, US troops might well not be able to win?!?

And I posit that question as someone who is a Christian pacifist activist, who very deeply cares about her country, and is deeply disturbed by various policy trajectories the US government is taking, both foreign and domestic.

We have reached a point in time where the US government believes that the only answer to any geopolitical dispute has to be war, and has completely forgotten the high art of good will/win/win, moral... negotiations.

Here are the cold hard facts; Russia consripts; the US does not. Our troops are intensely overstretched. The Russians have weaponry which has proven field tested and combat ready; the US presents badly engineered products,like the F-35. And the US doesn't have the manufacturing capacity (we've offshored it/outsourced that), nor the money to insure a positive outcome of a war against Russia.

Jan 27 12:17

PEPE ESCOBAR PUTS 'DAVOS MAN' STRAIGHT: "IT'S INEQUALITY, STUPID!"

For billions of people, the Groucho Marx rule applies when talking about Davos. This is the exclusive club, which meets in the luxury Swiss resort each year to discuss the global business environment.

Groucho, of course, has been immortalized along with the rest of the Marx Brothers in the zany Hollywood movies of the 1930s, such as A Night a the Opera, A Day at the Races and Animal Crackers.

In one quick-fire response, he joked: “I sent the club a wire stating, ‘Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member’.”

Well, to start off with those billions of people would not get past the bouncers, because the self-defined World Economic Forum is about exclusion. Yet even if, by divine design, they were handed free passes, what would be the point?

Jan 27 12:08

TRUMP NOW INCREASES ‘DEFENSE’ BUDGET 37% ABOVE OBAMA’S

The Washington Post headlined on January 26th, "Trump plans to ask for $716 billion for national defense in 2019 — a major increase”, and reported that when President Trump had entered the White House in January 2017, the ‘Defense' budget was $521 billion, but that President Trump will propose in his upcoming State-of-the-Union speech, a 2019 ‘Defense' budget of $716 billion, which, if it becomes law, would mean a 37% increase, above Obama’s last Pentagon budget (for 2017).

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: we are most probably looking at the US government initiating more wars, and a possible return to the draft, and soon.

Jan 27 12:02

TURKEY DEMANDS US FORCES LEAVE SYRIA'S MANBIJ IMMEDIATELY

As Turkish and allied militant forces from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) advance further upon Kurdish positions in northern Syria, Turkey has called upon the United States to vacate its military bases in the Syrian district of Manbij. Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Turkish foreign minister Melet Cavusoglu said that Ankara is calling upon the US, its official ally in NATO, to cease any and all support to Syrian Kurdish forces and militias.

While both Turkey and the United States are in violation of international law by entering Syria with military forces without permission by Damascus or a UN mandate, both countries have vastly different interests in the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Note that in the information about the conversation between McMaster and his counterpart, Turkey's Ibrahim Kalin, there is no mention of a withdrawal of US troops from Manbij.

This could get ugly, very quickly, pitting one NATO member(Turkey) against another (the United States).

I would like to believe that saner heads in both the US and Turkish governments will do everything possible to ratchet down the tensions here, but I sure as heck wouldn't bet on it.

Jan 27 11:57

USAF Begins Massive GPS Blackouts In The Western US During Largest Ever Air War Drill

The United States Air Force is launching its largest-ever three-week premier set of air war drills, called Red Flag 18-1, starting on Friday and will conclude February 16, said the 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs.

On January 26, the air war drill, known as Red Flag, officially kicked off at Nellis Air Force Base, 20-miles outside of Las Vegas. Base officials have warned residents of increased military aircraft activity due to aircraft departing from Nellis Air Force Base twice-a-day to conduct war drills on the Nevada Test and Training Range.

“We’re trying a few new and different things with Red Flag 18-1,” said Col Michael Mathes, 414th Combat Training Squadron commander. “It’s the largest Red Flag ever with the largest number of participants, highlighting the balance of training efficiency with mission effectiveness.”

Jan 27 11:49

Turkish Foreign Minister Urges Immediate US Withdrawal From Syria's Manbij

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has stated that the United States should take concrete steps to prove the end of support for Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), rather than rhetoric.

The statement was made amid the ongoing Turkish military offensive in the Kurdish-dominated Syrian city of Afrin, launched on January 20 and provoked, as Ankara explained, by the necessity for the country to protect its borders from a "terrorist army," the new "Border Defense Forces," comprising the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Kurdish YPG militias, trained by the US.

On the day the operation was started, Pentagon representative Adrian Rankine-Galloway told Sputnik that the US recognized Turkey's concerns regarding the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), but called on all sides to avoid escalation and focus on countering terrorism.

Jan 27 11:44

95 Killed, 158 Injured As Bomb Hidden In Ambulance Goes Off Near Embassies In Kabul

An explosives-packed ambulance blew up in a crowded area of Kabul on Saturday, killing at least 95 people and wounding 158 others, officials said, in one of the biggest blasts to rock the war-torn city in recent years.

The Taliban-claimed assault -- the second carried out by the terrorist group in the Afghan capital in a week -- triggered chaotic scenes as terrified survivors fled the area scattered with body parts, blood and debris, and hospitals were overwhelmed by the large number of wounded.

It came as both the insurgents and the ISIS group have escalated their attacks on Kabul, one of the deadliest places in Afghanistan for civilians.

An AFP reporter saw "lots of dead and wounded" civilians in the Jamuriate hospital, which is metres away from the blast and where medical staff struggled to treat the bloodied men, women and children lying on the floor in corridors.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The metrics by which US and NATO forces could possibly measure a "victory" in Afghanistan, 16 years on, are completely non-existent.

I am profoundly disappointed that President Trump, listening to his unholy triumverate of "President Whisperers", consisting of Kelly, McMaster, and Mattis, could possibly believe that a military victory here was actually possible, without hundreds of thousands of US and NATO troops invading the country, and a carpetbombing campaign which would amount to a complete genocide of the Afghani people.

Doing something precisely the same way, time after time, yet expecting a different outcome, is one of the classic definitions of insanity.

That characterisation of Afghanistan as the "graveyard of Empire" is, unfortunately, profoundly true, even in the 21st century.

The only guy who was able to hold it together, by a series of alliances and strategic marriages, to insure dynastic continuums, was Alexander the Great, and that was only for three years!!

So, what should the US and NATO do?!?

Remove their forces as quickly as is safely possible, and negotiate with whatever government is left in Kabul for the pipeline rights, and the opium production rights.

After all, when negotiations on the pipeline rights betwen the Taliban and the Bush Administration failed, because the Bush administration considered the price "too high" was the moment when they decided to invade Afghanistan.

Or has no one told you that?!? The fantasy "cover story" was that Afghanistan refused to hand over Bin Laden, post 9/11; The real reason was far more sinisterly economic in nature.

America, Oil, and Afghanistan

Oh, and let's not forget the issue of the opium trade, the profits of which fund off-the-shelf missions "alphabet soup agencies" conduct, without congressional oversight:

The Spoils of War: Afghanistan’s Multibillion Dollar Heroin Trade

So the next time the Federal government tries to "sell" you on a war they are trying to justify, do please keep in mind that nearly all wars are economic in nature.

And BTW, do you remember the lies we were told to attempt to "justify" a war against Iraq?!? That Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, right?!?

Wrong; what Iraq, and Saddam had... was oil.

And do you know what entity has, ultimately, "won" this war, on 18 January, 2018?!? British Petroluem

Iraq, BP Sign Deal To Boost Kirkuk Crude Output

Jan 27 11:29

All the New Aircraft Carriers That Are Under Construction

Building an aircraft carrier is a long and laborious process, one that costs billions of dollars and takes years to complete. Since we last cataloged every aircraft carrier in the world, the world’s navies have only received two new aircraft carriers, but several more are in the shipyards under construction or have been announced. Furthermore, a number of navies are building ships or have built large ships that may soon accommodate fixed wing fighters, specifically the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.

Jan 27 03:13

Tax Reform: FedEx Announces $3.2 Billion Investment Plan, Insurance Giant Rolls Out Bonuses and New Benefits

There's still an enormous amount of disinformation in the bloodstream about this law, and those myths must be actively tackled and dispelled.

If it feels like we’ve been reporting new, positive pieces of tax reform news virtually every day, that’s because we have.

One company after another has been running the math on how the GOP tax law — opposed by literally every Democrat in Congress — benefits them, and are moving accordingly to reinvest significant portions of their fresh windfalls into their employees and business plans. The result has been millions of American workers experiencing bonuses, wage increases, and enhanced benefits, in addition to expanded operations, new job creation, and hefty corporate charitable contributions. Another titan of American business has now unveiled its tax reform-fueled investments:

Jan 27 03:09

President Trump, One Year In: The Prospects for US-Russia Relations

Big changes start with small steps.

US President Donald Trump rebuked Russia on Jan. 17 for helping North Korea evade international sanctions. He expressed frustration with Moscow’s policy, stating “Russia is not helping us at all with North Korea,” and adding during an Oval Office interview withReuters, “What China is helping us with, Russia is denting.” This is the first time he has chosen to openly use such harsh words to slam Russia for its alleged wrongdoing. Donald Trump also said he wanted more missile defense systems – a contentious issue that will drive the US and Russia further apart. Moscow believes that that acquisition will threaten the strategic nuclear balance.

Jan 27 03:05

Stupid Republicans Sitting On Evidence That Clears Trump

Here's how the Stupid Party remains stupid! In the 1970s neoconservative Irving Kristol aptly described the Republicans as “the stupid party.” We are seeing this today in the hesitation of the House Intelligence Committee to release to the American public the results of its investigation of Russiagate.

Apparently, Republicans are not smart enough to understand that to announce that you have proof that turns Russiagate away from President Trump and toward its DNC, FBI, and DOJ originators and then to sit on the information gives the Democrats and the presstitutes time to discredit the information in advance of its release.

Jan 27 03:02

Russsia-Gate Implodes – Justin Raimondo

We have become a prisoner of our own empire. The finale is upon us: the Russia-gate fraud is about to be exploded, at long last.

Although the vaunted memo – and the underlying intelligence – compiled by the leadership of the House Intelligence Committee under chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) has yet to be released, there has been enough chatter by those House members who have read it to give us the basic elements of what it contains. Although prepare to be shocked by what I consider to be the most outrageous aspect of this affair.

Jan 27 02:57

Mike Pence’s Middle East Tour: Outright Pressure and Threats as Foreign Policy Tools

Washington is pushing a plan pretty vague about details and is doing it without its Middle East strategy defined.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II wants Washington to “rebuild trust “after US President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The king believes that East Jerusalem must be the capital of Palestine. According to him, from now on the US has a “major challenge to overcome”.

“Friends occasionally have disagreements,” Mike Pence said ruefully in his comments on the outcome of the talks. The disagreement came into the open.

Jan 26 11:58

Will There be a US Nuclear Sneak Attack on North Korea?

Under the cover of the pre-Winter Olympics thaw between North and South Korea and the momentary lull in the “fire and fury” rhetoric from the Trump White House, there are growing signs that the Pentagon and the CIA are pressing ahead with preparations for a preemptive war against North Korea, including the use of nuclear weapons.

There have been multiple reports in the American corporate media of behind-the-scenes discussions between the US military and intelligence apparatus and the Trump administration of the feasibility of a so-called “bloody nose” attack, involving US air strikes on North Korean nuclear facilities, with the expectation—however ill-founded—that they would not provoke a full-scale war.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A window for such an action is closing rapidly, and South Korea's Foreign Minister has openly stated that an attack against North Korea "is not an option"

Attacking North Korea is not an option

The games begin on 9 February, and end on 25 February. North Korea is participating in the event, and Vice-President Pence has stated that he will be in attendance, essentially to protect, as well he can, against any more talk of unification between North and South Korea.

But no matter how this attack is sliced and diced, should it go forward, the optics will be very bad for the US government, which will be blamed for it happening, no matter how they try to justify it.

Jan 26 11:42

Trump Confounded by Turkey’s Invasion of Syria

After years of piecemeal US military operations vaguely advancing ill-defined goals, the American position in Syria, and its vast collection of allies and enemies is so inscrutable that the State Department tried, and failed, to clarify what the US position actually is.

President Trump is being described as downright confounded about what to do about the Turkish invasion of Syria earlier this week, which sees the NATO member nation sending troops into Afrin District to attack the US-backed Kurdish YPG forces there.

In the immediate term, the US can, and largely has, chosen to ignore this and urge calm, though with US troops embedded in Kurdish territory elsewhere in Syria, including Manbij, Turkey’s talk of expanding the invasion would quickly put them in the line of fire.

It’s not as if this problem is a sudden surprise. Turkey’s been threatening the Kurds for years, and has been complaining about the US backing the Kurds more or less constantly in that same period of time.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are no clear goals in this war against both Syria, and the reality is that the US government has failed, big time, to achieve its objective of regime change in Damascus.

I lay the President's confusion at the hands of that unholy triumverate of "President Whisperers" who have his ear right now, consisting of Kelly, Mc Masters, And Mattis; I suspect that the info about the coming debacle in Syria, and that the Turkish government was ultimately make good on its word to destroy the Kurds, got "filtered out" of any communication they had with President Trump on the issue.

And notice; not one tiny peep from the corporatized US presstitutes, that this was even happening. It has been labled "invisible to the US public (except to those who read or write blogs dedicated to ferreting out the truth, like WRH).

I first read of it on Friday, courtesy of zerohedge.com; then, the Turkish invasion was annouced at that same blog the following Sunday.

But this is Kryptonite to the US press, until the State Department has come up with some kind of a plan, to try to end this peacefully.

I am hoping - and praying - that none of the US embeds in Manbij are hurt or killed. But I am realistic enough to understand that this may well happen, and when that does happen, what the hell is the US government going to do about it?!?

Are our military in Syria to become the "sacrificial lambs", to be slaughtered as a "justification " for the US to go into Syria, hot and heavy, in a war against both Russia and Syria?!?

I wish I could bet that this will not happen; that at the end of the day, the US government will find a peaceful resolution, and get our troops safely out of Syria; unfortunately, however, just because an attack against Syria, and the Russian presence there, would be the most hamfistedly, pigheadedly stupid thing thing the US government and military could do right now, is absolutely no guarantee that it will not do it.

Jan 26 11:25

Turkey Will ‘Target’ US Troops If They Keep Supporting Syrian Kurds

US-Turkey tensions mounting surrounding the Turkish invasion of the Syrian Kurdish Afrin District look to be getting much worse, with Turkey’s deputy premier Bekir Bozdag warning that the US is the one risking confrontation by supporting the Kurds.

Bozdag warned the US needs to “review its soldiers and elements giving support to terrorists on the ground,” and that US forces who continue to support the Kurdish YPG, which Turkey considers terrorists “will become a target in this battle.”

The US isn’t believed to have any serious forces inside Afrin District, which Turkey is presently invading. Turkey’s President Erdogan, however, says they will attack Manbij next, and there are a substantial number of US troops deployed there.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, please let me get my head around this; Turkey, a NATO member, is threatening war against American troops embedded in Manbij, (The US is also a NATO member) if they find them embedded with the YPG there?!?!?

War with Turkey... over Syria?!?!?

This is a thoroughly insane situation, yet it has been brought about by the "magical thinking" inside the White House, Pentagon, and State Department, that if somehow the US was able to carve out a little piece of Syria to call "their own" (or the Kurd's own), and Syria's sovereign statehood be damned here, that they could somehow push Bashir Al Assad out of power, and regime change Damascus.

Not satisfied’ till Assad gone: US pushes for regime change as war in Syria winds

Erdogan has stated that he has "made a deal" with Moscow about this invasion into Turkey. And as an invited guest of the Syrian government, Russian troops, aligned with the Syrian troops, have done a formidable job of basically scraping most of the jihadists out of the country.

The question now is, what will happen if the situation in Manjib gets ugly quickly, and American military are shot and killed here?!?

Is the US government really thinking about spinning such a potential narrative here, as a reasonable excuse for going to war with Russia over Syria?!?

Jan 26 10:33

Graphic: Saudi-led mercenaries suffer another day of utter slaughter in Yemen at the hands of relentless Houthi rebels

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:15 P.M.) – Mercenary forces fighting alongside the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen have endured another, rather typical, day of utter slaughter and destruction at the hands of Houthi rebels with one of their bases being annihilated during a surprise attack.

Jan 26 10:17

A guided tour of the big guns at the Big Sandy Shoot (VIDEO)

And we will have fun,fun,fun!

At the most recent Big Sandy Shoot, big gun expert Robert Bigando gave us a tour of the nearly two dozen big guns on display at the event.

The Big Sandy Shoot is a biannual event that takes place near Wikieup, Arizona, in April and October of each year. The event attracts hundreds of shooters, machine guns and large caliber guns. The most recent shoot was held from Oct. 20-22. It saw the largest turn out of big guns in the event’s 30 year history. This included the largest civilian owned gun — the 152mm Russian D20 howitzer.

“A good Bofors gun can probably be picked up for $25,000.” he said. “So you got to ask yourself, what would you rather have? An M-16, or a 37mm Bofors?”

Which gun would you rather have?

Jan 26 10:06

Russians and Turks Humble the US in Syria

The drama which is unfolding in northern Syria is truly an almost ideal case to fully assess how weak and totally dysfunctional the AngloZionist Empire has really become. Let’s begin with a quick reminder.

The US-Israeli goals in Syria were really very simple. As I have already mentioned in a past article, the initial AngloZionist plan was to overthrow Assad and replace him with the Takfiri crazies (Daesh, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, ISIS – call them whatever you want).

Jan 25 13:46

USMC continues expeditionary roll-out of F-35B with first sloped landings

The US Marine Corps (USMC) is continuing to develop the tactical operating capabilities of the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), with the first sloped-surface landing announced on 22 January.

Aircraft and personnel from the F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force (ITF) performed vertical landing trials of an F-35B on a specially constructed sloped surface at Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue, North Carolina, on 16 January.

As noted by the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), the trials were focused on simulating expeditionary conditions as the programme moves towards its initial operational test and evaluation phase.

Jan 25 10:14

Washington New Defense Strategy: Keep Russia, China Down

One thing can be said about the new Pentagon National Defense Strategy document just released under the name of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. It is honest about what the target of US military policy is going forward. Washington military policy is explicitly aimed to keep China and Russia from developing any alternative counter-pole to unchallenged US military and political supremacy. The new document lays this out in no uncertain terms. The details are notable and show the disarray that is Washington today, as its once-firm grip on world power disintegrates.

Jan 25 09:06

Trump Officially Restores Cold War

On January 20th, CBS News bannered “Terrorism no longer the military's top priority, Mattis says” and opened:

“There is a major change in US military strategy. On Friday, more than 16 years after the 9/11 attacks, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said terrorism is no longer the No. 1 priority.”

The report said, “Maintaining a military advantage over China and Russia is now Defense Secretary Mattis' top priority.”

Jan 25 08:33

The New U.S. National Defense Strategy of Sowing Global Chaos - Russian TV

Jan 25 06:42

Clinton–Obama Emails: The Key to Understanding Why Hillary Wasn’t Indicted

New FBI texts highlight a motive to conceal the president’s (Obama) involvement.

If Clinton had been charged, Obama’s culpable involvement would have been patent. In any prosecution of Clinton, the Clinton–Obama emails would have been in the spotlight. For the prosecution, they would be more proof of willful (or, if you prefer, grossly negligent) mishandling of intelligence. More significantly, for Clinton’s defense, they would show that Obama was complicit in Clinton’s conduct yet faced no criminal charges.

Jan 24 17:22

The FBI Hand Behind Russia-Gate

It now appears that it was not the Russians trying to rig the outcome of the U.S. election, but leading officials of the U.S. intelligence community, shadowy characters sometimes called the Deep State.

SPECIAL REPORT: IN THE WATERGATE ERA, LIBERALS WARNED ABOUT U.S. INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES MANIPULATING U.S. POLITICS, BUT NOW TRUMP-HATRED HAS BLINDED MANY OF THEM TO THIS DANGER BECOMING REAL, AS EX-CIA ANALYST RAY MCGOVERN NOTES.

Russia-gate is becoming FBI-gate, thanks to the official release of unguarded text messages between loose-lipped FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and his garrulous girlfriend, FBI lawyer Lisa Page. (Ten illustrative texts from their exchange appear at the end of this article.)

Jan 24 16:49

Release the Memo

Now why is this not the prime news story across the nation?

Swamp is in Full Force – Maintain the Cover-up

The utter farce of the Mueller investigation into Trump collusion with Russia demonstrates the most obscene and overwhelming pattern of government deceit and deflection in decades.

Jan 24 16:46

Turkey re-enters Syrian endgame with ‘smart power’

“Our operations will continue until the separatist terror organization is fully cleared from the region and around 3.5 million Syrians who are now sheltered in Turkey are able to securely return to their homeland.”

The UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday regarding Turkey’s military operations in Syria turned out to be like the dog that didn’t bark in the night in the Sherlock Holmes short story. There was no bark – no statement by the Security Council – condemning Turkey.

Jan 24 16:43

Bullhorns disambiguation

Will a 4-page memo detailing extensive FISA court abuse change the course of what is known as Russiagate?

Also, does the Trump administration’s Syria policy make any sense?

Jan 24 16:41

When it comes to Davos, it’s inequality, stupid

This is what ‘the great and the good’ in the business world will not be discussing during the annual talk-fest at the Swiss luxury resort.
This is the exclusive club, which meets in the luxury Swiss resort each year to discuss the global business environment.

Davos is essentially double-dip land. On one side, we have ‘Bad for Labor’, with millions in the West thrown into an unemployment hell or suffering from a wages freeze. On the other side, we have ‘Good for Capital’, with companies flush with cash. Yet the result is uncertainty, all over again.

Jan 24 14:54

Coup d'état political intervention

Coup d’état, also called Coup, the sudden, violent overthrow of an existing government by a small group. The chief prerequisite for a coup is control of all or part of the armed forces, the police, and other military elements.

Can you say Deep State?

A coup rarely alters a nation’s fundamental social and economic policies, nor does it significantly redistribute power among competing political groups.

Jan 24 12:52

US May Be Preparing Preemptive Strike Against North Korean Nuclear Sites

It’s no secret that the US military has been gradually amassing firepower on the Korean Peninsula since Pyongyang began testing a range of ballistic missiles in April, triggering a US military buildup across the border in South Korea. Now, it appears the Pentagon is preparing its forces there for a potential nuclear strike against North Korea.

The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber and B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber, the two planes comprising the "air leg" of the US' nuclear triad, have both been deployed to the Korean Peninsula. Furthermore, Business Insider reported that the B-2s may soon be equipped with modified B-61 nuclear bombs.

The B-61 thermonuclear gravity bomb has been the US' low yield strategic and tactical nuclear bomb of choice since the 1960s. Its compact design was recently modified to increase its penetrative potential so that it can better strike at underground targets — where most of North Korea's nuclear arsenal is believed to be.

Jan 24 10:26

A National Defense Strategy of Sowing Global Chaos

As topics like empire, imperialism, and even war and peace, are censored and excised from political debate, US officials, subservient media and the rest of the US political class conjure up an illusion of peace for domestic consumption by simply not mentioning our country’s 291,000 occupation troops in 183 other countries or the 39,000 bombs and missiles dropped on our neighbors in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan since Trump took office.

The 100,000 bombs and missiles dropped on these and other countries by Obama and the 70,000 dropped on them by Bush II have likewise been swept down a kind of real time “memory hole,” leaving America’s collective conscience untroubled by what the public was never told in the first place.

Jan 24 10:21

Pence to Attend Winter Olympics to Stop North Korea ‘Hijacking’ Games

White House officials have announced Tuesday that Vice President Mike Pence will attend the Winter Olympics in South Korea in early February, with an eye seemingly toward ensuring that North Korea’s attendance of the event doesn’t lead to improved relations.

Officials say Pence believes North Korea’s Kim Jong Un intends to “hijack” the Olympics with his country’s involvement, and that Pence will be there to offset the “charade” that is North Korea’s Olympic team.

Bilateral talks between North and South Korea have improved relations in recent weeks, and a big part of that is their agreement on the Olympics. The US clearly has problems with this improved relations between the two, and has gone to great lengths to present North Korea as somehow trying to trick everybody in being willing to negotiate.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Does the Vice President have a clue as to how these statements make it painfully apparently, that the only option the US government believes it has, regarding North Korea, is war?!?

I have never, this lifetime, seen the US government so thoroughly afraid of peace breaking out, and a potential accord being reached between the two Koreas.

This definitely makes me wonder if North Korea is absolutely the first country on the US government's timeline for "regime change", and a spontaneous reconcilliation between North and South Korea would absolutely destroy any attempts at regime change in the North.

Jan 24 10:09

Intense battles continue between Turkish fighters, Kurds in Syria's Afrin

Turkish soldiers are seen with their armored vehicles near Turkish-Syrian border in Hatay, Turkey, on Jan. 23, 2018. Turkish military's operations in Syria will continue "until all terrorists are fully eliminated" and 3.5 million Syrian refugees return home, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said on Tuesday

- Intense battles continued Tuesday between the Turkish forces and the Kurdish-led troops on the outskirts of the Kurdish-controlled Afrin enclave in northern Syria, a monitor group reported.

The battles between the Turkish forces and the Kurdish-led fighters stretched from northeastern Afrin to its southwestern part, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Turkish warplanes also struck several targets in Afrin on Tuesday, killing two children and two women on Tuesday, the observatory said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Erdogan needs a quick ending to this invasion of Syria, because he absolutely doesn't want the optics here to be about massive Syrian casualties, but it appears that Kurds are not going to allow him that luxury.

Unfortunately, unless there is an immediate ceasefire, coupled with negotiations on a practical way to repatriate displaced Syrians taking shelter in Turkey, this could very well drag on, and morph into a hard, nasty campaign from both sides.

Jan 24 10:01

Monitors warn of preparations for fresh surge of fighting in Ukraine

Government troops and Russian-led militia in eastern Ukraine appear to be preparing for an escalation in fighting, international monitors warned on Tuesday, amid Kremlin condemnation of Kiev’s new legal stance on the grinding conflict.

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) mission said neither side was abiding by the 2015 Minsk agreement, which has failed to end fighting that has killed more than 10,300 people and displaced 1.6 million.

“Instead of fully complying, instead of withdrawing weapons, disengaging and de-mining, it seems the sides are in fact doing the opposite,” said Alexander Hug, principal deputy chief monitor of the mission.

“All across eastern Ukraine [we have] been observing readiness. Everywhere we observe indications that the sides are preparing to continue the conflict, or even escalate it,” he said via video link from the main separatist-held city of Donetsk.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This could get nasty in a heartbeat; please remember in December of last year, the US approved of the sale of offensive weapons to Kiev.

When those weapons are actually delivered to the Ukrainian military, will most probably dictate the start of further conflicts here.

Let us hope and pray that tensions can be ratched down by both sides; otherwise, American troops permanently stationed in Ukraine could find themselves fighting Russians.

Jan 24 09:54

Putin, Erdogan discuss situation in Syria, including near Afrin — Kremlin

Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russian and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey spoke over phone to discuss the situation in Syria, including near Afrin, where Turkey is conducting a military operation, the Kremlin press service said on Tuesday.

"Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two presidents exchanged views on the situation in Syria, including in the northwest of the country, near Afrin, where the Turkish armed forces are conducting a military operation. Both side stressed the importance of further joint efforts towards crisis settlement that are to be based on the principles of respect to Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty," the Kremlin said.

According to the press service, the two leaders also touched upon preparations for an upcoming Syrian National Dialogue Congress due to be held in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi on January 29-30.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Russia has won this round, backing up diplomacy with Turkish "muscle" in Syria.

The US government has now lost Syria, whatever various spokespersons say, and this is yet another epic fail, and catastrophe of non-critical thinking, in the Middle East.

Jan 24 09:49

CIA Boss Gives Latest Indication Trump May Consider Preemptive Strike on North Korea

The Central Intelligence Agency is briefing President Donald Trump on the risks and opportunities of a limited attack on North Korea, its director suggested on Tuesday.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo would not discuss the “wisdom of a preemptive strike” on Pyongyang or its nuclear weapons program, he told an audience at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. But in rare public remarks, Pompeo portrayed North Korea as an urgent priority for the agency, and disclosed aspects of its role in setting back Kim Jong Un’s nuclear program during his first year at Langley.

Kim is a rational man, Pompeo said the CIA had assessed. But it’s less clear that Kim takes seriously the prospect of a U.S. attack, something that could blunder the world into a devastating nuclear conflict.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The question here is ... timing.

Faced with an economic collapse in this country, whatever war the US is going to trigger, be it against Russia, Iran, China, or North Korea, has to happen relatively quickly, to attempt to "misdirect" the American public as to the causes of the collapse, which they will immediately blame on the waror wars.

My best guess here would be, that the US will feign negotiations with North Korea, give them a time limit in which to engage, and if they "miss the window", either generate a "false flag", to be blamed on North Korea, or a actual attack, will happen.

I would like to politely remind CIA head Pompeo that China is producing some wonderful weapons which actually work as advertised; also, they conscript, which the Us does not at this time.

War with North Korea, unless they actually hit an American interest or target first, will most likely mean war with China.

Jan 23 13:42

Now Trump Menaces Pakistan

If the Pakistan-Afghanistan border had been mined and fenced on both sides, as proposed by Pakistan, and patrolled aggressively by the armies of both countries, nobody could claim that illegal crossings would have been easy. If the Afghan army had been ordered to cooperate with their opposite numbers across the border, and if there had been coordinated surveillance and aggressive foot patrols – as wanted by the Pakistan military – then it would have been very difficult indeed for insurgents to cross in either direction. The US did not approve Pakistan’s proposal for fencing and minefields and did not supply any assistance for the project. So the barrier was not erected.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The only thing this set of bone-headed moves are going to do, regarding Pakistan, is to thrown it more deeply into the orbit of China and Russia.

The only characterisations of US foreign policy one can state with a straight face, right now are, "incoherent and fractured."

Jan 23 13:09

UNCONFIRMED REPORTS THAT #US SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES WEARING #YPG UNIFORMS ARE ENGAGING #TURKISH ARMY SOLDIERS IN AND AROUND AFRIN #SYRIA

UNCONFIRMED REPORTS THAT #US SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES WEARING #YPG UNIFORMS ARE ENGAGING #TURKISH ARMY SOLDIERS IN AND AROUND AFRIN #SYRIA

Jan 23 12:24

Turkey’s military operations to continue until 3.5 million Syrians return: Government

The Turkish military’s operations in Syria will continue “until all terrorists are fully eliminated” and around 3.5 million Syrian refugees return to their homes, the Ankara government announced after a top security summit held on the fourth day of “Operation Olive Branch” in Afrin.

“Our operations will continue until the separatist terror organization is fully cleared from the region and around 3.5 million Syrians who are now sheltered in Turkey are able to securely return to their homeland,” Presidential Spokesman ?brahim Kal?n said in a written statement on Jan. 23 after the summit.

The meeting was convened at the presidential complex in Ankara, under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an and with the participation of senior military and civilian officials.

Turkey currently hosts around 3.5 million Syrians who have fled violence in Syria since the civil war broke out in early 2011.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Can you say "Long, Bloody, and Protacted"?!?

This is a chilling preview of what is ahead for the region, and the world.

One has to wonder just how the US government is assessing its commitment to both NATO, and Turkey is a NATO signatory, and that hunk of Syrian property (theoretically) to be set aside for the Kurds, who have wanted a homeland of their own, for centuries.

Jan 23 11:53

Syrian Kurdish Forces Launch Powerful Counterattack Against Turkey

Turkey is hoping for a quick victory in Afrin, but its soldiers and allied Syrian militiamen are facing counter-attacks by Kurdish forces on villages close to the border. The Kurds are reported to be readying reinforcements to join the battle from their bases in north east Syria where they have thousands of troops who until recently were fighting Isis.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says there would be “no stepping back from Afrin” which means that the campaign, bizarrely named ‘Operation Olive Branch’, will continue. But it will take time to drive the Kurdish YPG paramilitary forces out the Afrin enclave north of Aleppo. So far the Turkish offensive has captured only a few villages close to the border in three days of fighting and there are a total of 350 villages in Afrin.

The population of the enclave is estimated to be 200,000, many of whom will be come refugees if Turkey and Arab militiamen take control.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And we have that story accompanied by the following:

Turkey escalates attacks on Syrian Kurds

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