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Porter writes: "US and allied planes carried out multiple strikes on a Syrian government base in the desert near one of its airbases in Deir Ezzor and killed at least 62 Syrian troops and wounded more than 100. The Pentagon soon acknowledged what it called a mistake in targeting, but the impact on the ceasefire deal was immediate."

Sergey Lavrov and John Kerry. (photo: Reuters)
Sergey Lavrov and John Kerry. (photo: Reuters)


How the Pentagon Sank the US-Russia Deal in Syria

By Gareth Porter, Middle East Eye

26 September 16

 

Was the first ever US strike against Syrian government forces an intentional hit by the Pentagon to block military cooperation with Russia?

nother US-Russian Syria ceasefire deal has been blown up.

Whether it could have survived even with a US-Russian accord is open to doubt, given the incentives for al-Qaeda and its allies to destroy it. But the politics of the US-Russian relationship played a central role in the denouement of the second ceasefire agreement.

The final blow apparently came from the Russian-Syrian side, but what provoked the decision to end the ceasefire was the first ever US strike against Syrian government forces on 17 September.

That convinced the Russians that the US Pentagon had no intention of implementing the main element of the deal that was most important to the Putin government: a joint US-Russian air campaign against the Islamic State (IS) militant group and al-Qaeda through a “Joint Implementation Centre”. And it is entirely credible that it was meant to do precisely that.

Withdrawal from Castello Road - or not?

The Russians had a powerful incentive to ensure that the ceasefire would hold, especially around Aleppo.

In the new ceasefire agreement, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russsian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had negotiated an unusually detailed set of requirements for both sides to withdraw their forces from the Castello Road, the main artery for entry into Aleppo from the north. It was understood that the “demilitarisation” north of Aleppo was aimed at allowing humanitarian aid to reach the city and was, therefore, the central political focus of the ceasefire.

The Russians put great emphasis on ensuring that the Syrian army would comply with the demilitarisation plan. It had established a mobile observation post on the road on 13 September. And both the Russians and Syrian state television reported that the Syrian army had withdrawn its heavy weaponry from the road early on 15 September, including video footage showing a bulldozer clearing barbed wire from the road. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the Syrian army had withdrawn from the road. 

But al-Qaeda’s newly renamed Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (previously the al-Nusra Front) had a clear incentive to refuse to comply with a move that could open the door to a US-Russian campaign against it. Opposition sources in Aleppo claimed that no such government withdrawal had happened, and said that opposition units would not pull back from positions near the road. On the morning of 16 September, the Syrian army moved back into positions on the road. 

Kerry and Lavrov agreed in a phone conversation that same day that the ceasefire was still holding, even though humanitarian aid convoys were still stalled in the buffer zone at the Turkish border because of the lack of permission from the Syrian government, as well as uncertainty about security on the route to Aleppo.

But Kerry also told Lavrov that the US now insisted that it would establish the Joint Implementation Centre only after the humanitarian aid had been delivered.

US policy clash

That crucial shift in US diplomatic position was a direct result of the aggressive opposition of the Pentagon to Obama’s intention to enter into military cooperation with Russia in Syria. The Pentagon was motivated by an overriding interest in heading off such high-profile US-Russian cooperation at a time when it is pushing for much greater US military efforts to counter what it portrays as Russian aggression in a new Cold War.

At an extraordinary video conference with Kerry immediately after the negotiation of the ceasefire agreement was complete, Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter strongly objected to the Joint Centre – especially the provision for sharing intelligence with the Russians for a campaign against IS and al-Qaeda.

Obama had overridden Carter’s objections at the time, but a New York Times story filed the night of 13 September reported that Pentagon officials were still refusing to agree that the US should proceed with the creation of the Joint Implementation Centre if the ceasefire held for seven days.

The Times quoted Lt Gen Jeffrey L Harrigian, commander of the United States Air Forces Central Command (USAFCENT), as telling reporters, “I’m not saying yes or no.”

"It would be premature to say that we’re going to jump right into it," he added.

President Obama’s decision to insist that the US would not participate in the joint centre with Russia until humanitarian convoys had been allowed into Aleppo and elsewhere first was apparently aimed at calming the Pentagon down, but it didn’t eliminate the possibility of a joint US–Russian campaign.

Immediate impact

Late in the evening the next day, US and allied planes carried out multiple strikes on a Syrian government base in the desert near one of its airbases in Deir Ezzor and killed at least 62 Syrian troops and wounded more than 100.

The Pentagon soon acknowledged what it called a mistake in targeting, but the impact on the ceasefire deal was immediate. Syria accused the US of a deliberate attack on its forces, and the Russians similarly expressed doubt about the US explanation.

On Monday 19 September, the Syrian regime declared that the seven-day ceasefire had ended. And that same day, a major UN humanitarian aid convoy was being unloaded in an opposition-held town West of Aleppo when it was attacked, killing more than 20 aid workers. US officials accused Russia of an air strike on the convoy, although the evidence of an air attack appeared slender, according to a Russian defence ministry spokesman.

It is not difficult to imagine, however, the fury with which both Russian and Syrian governments could have reacted to the US blows against both the Syrian army and the deal that had been sealed with Washington. They were certainly convinced that the US air attack on Syrian troops was a clear message that the Pentagon and US military leadership would not countenance any cooperation with Russia on Syria - and were warning of a Syrian campaign to come once Hillary Clinton is elected.

Attacking the aid convoy by some means was a brutal way of signalling a response to such messages. Unfortunately, the brunt of the response was borne by aid workers and civilians.

Mistake or strategy?

The evidence that the US deliberately targeted a Syrian military facility is, of course, circumstantial, and it is always possible that the strike was another of the monumental intelligence failures so common in war.

No one has been able to explain how USAFCENT could have decided that a target so close to a Syrian government airbase in that government-controlled city was an IS target

But the timing of the strike - only 48 hours before the decision was to be made on whether to go ahead with the Joint Implementation Centre -and its obvious impact on the ceasefire make a tight fit with the thesis that it was no mistake.

And to make the fit even tighter, Gen Harrigan, the USAFCENT commander who had refused to say that his command would go ahead with such cooperation with Russia, would almost certainly have approved a deliberate targeting of a Syrian facility.

USAFCENT planners are very familiar with the area where it bombed Syrian troops, having carried out an average of 20 such strikes a week around Deir Ezzor, a DOD official told Nancy A Youssef of The Daily Beast.

Pentagon officials acknowledged to Youssef that the USAFCENT had been watching the site for at least a couple of days, but in fact they must have been familiar with the site, which has apparently existed for at least six months or longer.

Yet no one has been able to explain how USAFCENT could have decided that a target so close to a Syrian government airbase in that government-controlled city was an IS target.

Obama was strongly committed to the general strategy of cooperation with Russia as the key to trying to make headway in moving toward a ceasefire. But that strategy was based on a refusal to confront US regional allies with the necessity to change course from reckless support for a jihadist-dominated opposition force.

Now that the strategy of the past year has gone up in flames, the only way Obama can establish meaningful control over Syria policy is to revisit the fundamental choices that propelled the US into the sponsorship of the war in the first place.


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+19 # guomashi 2016-09-26 08:43
"Now that the strategy of the past year has gone up in flames, the only way Obama can establish meaningful control over Syria policy is to revisit the fundamental choices that propelled the US into the sponsorship of the war in the first place."

Dare we hope?

Naaahhhh.... just kidding.
 
 
+33 # tedrey 2016-09-26 12:13
Another way might be if Obama sacked Ashton Carter, General Harrigan, and others ASAP. An "error" of such magnitude, effectively reversing a major last-ditch effort to avoid further massive bloodshed, demands some heads to roll, even in the unlikely case that it WAS an error.

Or he couild just step down himself, admitting that he no longer has control of anything that happens in the foreign and military arenas.
 
 
+23 # harleysch 2016-09-26 13:04
It is obvious, from Obama again blaming Assad and the Russians for the breakdown of the ceasefire, and his backing of the Ash Carter hardline, that he was not supporting joint U.S.-Russian cooperation. He is still protecting Al Qaeda, while insisting Assad must go.

If there were a completely honest investigation, it would likely show a deliberate attack was launched, to sabotage the potential of joint U.S.Russian collaboration to defeat ISIS and Al Qaeda. And this was done with the full backing of Obama.
 
 
+5 # Radscal 2016-09-26 22:47
I agree. I also suspect the aid convoy was NOT attacked under either Russian or Syrian orders.

As always, I ask, who benefits? The Syrian forces and Russia definitely were striking the terrorists that the cease fire agreement listed as valid targets.

Those same terrorists could have faced joint US/Russian attacks if the aid convoy had gone through, and the Pentagon had been forced to abide by it.

Whoever took out the convoy let the US is off the hook with Russia, and prevented any cooperation between Russia and the US against them.

Sounds like the terrorists did it to me.
 
 
+22 # indian weaver 2016-09-26 08:46
I'll cringe when the international community finally is happy to support the nuclear bombing of Washington DC, the Black House and the Congress. Karma is due, for all of us, unfortunately, courtesy of Obama, Kerry, Ashton Carter and their fascist regime. Time for this country to join the world community in the suffering Obama / dubya have levied on 100s of millions of innocent civilians like ourselves worldwide. At this point, Obama has massacred, burned and butchered alive way more 10s of millions than Hitler ever did or could have. Adolf didn't have Obama's weapons of mass destruction, Obama's boy toys, or the ability to deploy them then. So Hitler probably only destroyed 300 million lives or so? with some 50 million dead and 50 million horribly damaged? What are Hitler's real numbers, and Obama's, I wonder. Who's winning the Crimes Against Humanity atrocities "game" against Mankind, Animalkind, the environment, livestock and crops? Hitler or Obama?
 
 
+50 # guomashi 2016-09-26 09:24
I expect the problem comes not from the president, but from a two pronged attack on the presidency and the country by the pentagon and the CIA.

Obama has been weak in resisting whatever they tell him to manipulate him, but Obama does not have anything at all like the powers Hitler had.

If we can't get rid of the black-ops budget in the CIA and get the pentagon under control we are indeed doomed as you suggest.
 
 
+6 # bardphile 2016-09-26 10:39
Indian: You'd be more convincing if: a) you stopped making up numbers out of your head, and b) made useful distinctions among the transgressors you cite. Obama isn't dubya, and he certainly isn't Hitler.
 
 
+16 # dbrize 2016-09-26 12:45
Quoting bardphile:
Indian: You'd be more convincing if: a) you stopped making up numbers out of your head, and b) made useful distinctions among the transgressors you cite. Obama isn't dubya, and he certainly isn't Hitler.


iw's frustration is well founded. It is your second sentence that requires response.

When comparing the two it becomes apparent that Bush was rather than unintelligent, a lazy intellect. He was/is capable of rigorous thinking but doesn't/didn't want to be bothered with it. Obama on the other hand is involved with enough rigor to know EXACTLY what he is doing and why and the likely consequences.

Neither does a factual comparison of the two support the contention that Obama is the better:

1. GWOT.

Expanded to more than double the nations under Bush, currently 136 nations where we have ongoing military operations.

2. Civil liberty "extra-constitu tional" (really a euphemism for unconstitutiona l) affronts.

Greatly expanded under Obama in the form of enhanced versions of the Patriot Act, NDAA, FISA courts and culminating with the "finding" that the president on his authority alone has the "right" to assassinate US citizens without charge or trial.

3. Foreign policies.

Syria and Libya are fiasco's under Obama policies. Relations with Russia are in serious decline.

You are right, Obama isn't "dubya" he's worse.
 
 
+11 # guomashi 2016-09-26 13:28
I don't know about worse,
I would maybe say equivalently catatstrophical ly bad.

Obama inherited a catastrophe and improved it very slightly before jumping in deeper with both feet in another direction.

I'm pretty sure none of Obama's neo-con behaviors stem from his own policy ideas
I expect they are being fed to him on a daily basis by misinformation from the CIA.

The result, however, is just a deepening worldwide catastrophe.
 
 
+24 # jdd 2016-09-26 09:33
Blaming the Pentagon may be fashionable but not entirely correct. It is President Obama who refused to rebuke Sec. of Defense Ashton Carter, a civilian, and then added his own wildly inflammatory speech at the UN General Assembly. The president followed withhis immediate and now discredited attempt at blame Russian for the attack on the aid convoy. All while ignoring Russia's allegation of 302 violations of the cease fire by US backed terrorists under Al-Qaeda command. The final, most damning evidence his true sentiment, is the president's veto of the JASTA act allowing the families of 911 victims to sue the Saudi perpetrators, exposing them to discovery and trial. Undoubtedly, the fact that Obama has taken the Saudi side against Congress, the 911 victims, and the American people is not lost on Russia and China, who are now watching the fortitude of Congress and the American people to effect a Congressional override in the face of intense Obama arm twisting and Saudi bribery.
 
 
+27 # ChrisCurrie 2016-09-26 09:45
Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter should be FIRED IMMEDIATELY! He clearly want's to make matters worse in Syria rather than to actually solve the multi-sided civil war in Syria which the US Government played a key role in creating.
 
 
+21 # jdd 2016-09-26 10:08
And just who will do this? If you are waiting for Obama, don't hold your breath Carter as well as lunatic UN Rep Samantha Power are being given free reign to rant on an on while Sec Kerry is being hung out to dry. Lie after lie is in the msm as fact. Instead, call Congress to override Obama's JASTA veto at 202.224.3121. Break the US alliance with the Saudi murderers.
 
 
+9 # Radscal 2016-09-26 23:34
The same thing happened after Kerry signed the Minsk II Agreement to end the "Civil War" in Ukraine.

The very next day, Asst. Secretary of State Victoria Nuland made a public statement disavowing the agreement (which had been signed by several countries, including Ukraine, and the leadership of the Donbas resistance).

And the cease fire and terms of the agreement were never met. This is the power of the Shadow Government.
 
 
+3 # crispy 2016-09-29 23:55
Thanks for reminding us Radscal. France also had co-signed the agreement which called for NEW elections to be held quickly... They were never held and France never complained that I know of (I was there all Summer)
 
 
+24 # bardphile 2016-09-26 10:43
I'd go further. Obama would do his country a great service by firing the twenty or so most prominent neocon-cold warriors now, in time to force the issues of Syria, Russia, etc., to the forefront of what remains of the election season. But yeah, it ain't likely.
 
 
+16 # danireland46 2016-09-26 10:37
Obviously Obama has lost control of the Pentagon. They're calling the shots. Since they're in charge, and since War is their highly lucrative business, we may be doomed; especially since HRC is the MIC's best friend and the donald wants to put Putin in his cabinet.
 
 
+26 # Aliazer 2016-09-26 10:39
I have come to the conclusion,some thing that I should have arrived at much sooner, that policy making in the U. S. is in total chaos and that no one is in charge, as numerous factions operate within the war making infrastructure of this country.

Supposedly, Obama, a wishie/washie person from the very beginning, as commander in chief, has allowed chaos to prevail, along with insubordination by the military and others in the State Department( Victoria Nuland, for one)!

These folks should be fired immediately and prosecuted for defying policy making directives.
 
 
+13 # elkingo 2016-09-26 10:40
How did "we" get this evil? The late and indeed under-recognize d psychiatrist R.D.Laing pointed out that some 100 million had been killed in the 20th century. The idea is to ditch these moral morons who rule us, including "our" moron allies and opponents, and stop the never ceasing wholesale murder of innocents. The main solution governments have to implement their policies is: kill. Think of all the recent pictures of burned and drowned babies.
 
 
+17 # guomashi 2016-09-26 13:30
Quoting elkingo:
How did "we" get this evil?


No one is ever so evil as the person who believes himself to be the highest good.
Our belief in our own exceptionalism is the world's greatest curse.
 
 
+8 # jdd 2016-09-26 10:47
The pentagon follows the political lead, not visa versa.Yes there are factions, but the president is the decision maker. Obama has not lost control; it is the civilians suits who are the loudest voices for lies and war and they are never rebuked. Ever. Believing Obama is the victims here is the greatest impediment to peace. Has he not proven his personal criminality over and over?
 
 
+13 # janie1893 2016-09-26 11:32
The Pentagon does, indeed, control American foreign policy. It has done so since the Viet Nam war, at least. The Pentagon biggies understand that if there is peace, they have no raison d'etre.
 
 
+10 # Radscal 2016-09-26 23:39
November 22, 1963.

Sometimes people ask why we still care about uncovering the truth about the murder of JFK. The reason is, if that was a coup, then the factions that did it and got away with it, are still in control, or at least heavily influencing the US government.
 
 
+9 # librarian1984 2016-09-27 10:37
Yes, we are still feeling the effects of that traitorous act.

And we will feel the effects of the Democratic primary theft for decades to come.
 
 
+18 # lamancha 2016-09-26 12:27
Enough of this horseshit! Pres. Obama, as Commander in Chief, must fire the Pentagon officials who ordered the airstrikes, citing treasonous disregard. It is clear that USA-Russian cooperation is essential to halt the conflagration in Syria, to stop demonizing the Syrian government and instead work round-the-clock to repair the damage, chart a course to work with Russia to contain ISIS and build peace in Syria and to curtail the flight of its citizens.
 
 
+5 # lorenbliss 2016-09-26 13:37
Obviously the wrecking of the cease-fire and the (probably permanent) destruction of any hope for a U.S.-Russian anti-ISL alliance is a de facto coup.

But the generals are more likely its facilitators than its commander.

Its commander is almost certainly Hillary, the Goldwater Girl whose "better-dead-th an-Red" Christianity has convinced her that, amidst the progressive temptations on this dying planet, thermonuclear apocalypse is the only sure way for "God's chosen" to get to heaven.

The generals, themselves all bible-thumping "better-dead-th an-Red" Christians, are merely demonstrating their absolute loyalty to the future Empress of Doom.

(Yes of course I know Russia is no longer Communist. But it was once, for nearly 73 years, and as the USian Imperial One Percent escalate their looting of the global economy, they and their Ruling Class vassals are terrified by the likelihood it may become Communist again.)
 
 
+4 # Activista 2016-09-26 14:45
Communism (Russian imperialism) - was/is totalitarian system - with Gulags, KGB - Stalin horrors are example.
Russia will not get communist again (nationalistic yes) - they lived it and suffer through it,
 
 
+1 # lorenbliss 2016-09-26 19:30
@Activista: but were economically better off under Communism than they are now even after Putin -- as a kind of Russian FDR -- rescued them from the worst of USian puppet Yeltsin's shock-doctrine capitalism.
Of relevance here is what RT reported Putin said to the Duma yesterday: http://russia-insider.com/en/putin-ussr-could-have-been-reformed-there-was-no-need-destroy-it/ri16649?utm_source=Russia+Insider+Daily+Headlines&utm_campaign=ef634a2b4c-Russia_Insider_Daily_Headlines11_21_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c626db089c-ef634a2b4c-227237953&ct=t(Russia_Insider_Daily_Headlines11_21_2014)&mc_cid=ef634a2b4c&mc_eid=2b405096b8
 
 
+7 # Activista 2016-09-26 23:50
I find https://www.rt.com/ pro Russian but quite objective - they are not afraid to cover/criticize both sides.
NO Russian were NOT economically better off under Communism - militarism and totality killed Soviet Union. USA should learn this lesson.
 
 
+4 # Activista 2016-09-27 00:06
http://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2016/09/russia-election-putin/500555/
"Putin’s party had won 54 percent of the vote in elections for the Duma, the lower house of parliament. Both the Communist Party and the nationalist LDPR secured about 13 percent, while the social democratic party, A Just Russia, won 6 percent.

It was widely expected that Putin’s party would win. The results mean United Russia will take 343 of the 450 seats in the Duma. In the 2011 elections, the party won 238 seats. Sunday’s outcome means Putin’s party holds the largest-ever majority of seats. That, Reuters points out, is enough to allow the party to unilaterally change the country’s constitution.
... As the BBC reported, voters in Crimea overwhelmingly supported Putin ..
Russians learned ... do NOT support communism ..
 
 
+7 # guomashi 2016-09-26 14:23
Quoting lorenbliss:

(Yes of course I know Russia is no longer Communist. But it was once, for nearly 73 years, and as the USian Imperial One Percent escalate their looting of the global economy, they and their Ruling Class vassals are terrified by the likelihood it may become Communist again.)


Really, i don't think TPTB give a hoot about communism. Their complaint is the nationalism that comes along with communism, and which retains control over wealth and natural resources inside the country rather than opening them up to foreign exploitation.
 
 
+2 # lorenbliss 2016-09-26 19:39
@guomashi: USian history -- its domestic war against Communism dating from the 1870s and its (often illegal) warfare abroad dating from its invasion of the fledgling USSR in 1918 -- proves otherwise. In fact, nothing -- save perhaps the overthrow of patriarchy and the re-deification of Mother Earth implicit in the pagan renaissance -- is more terrifying to the One Percent and its Ruling Class than Communism and Communist revolution. Indeed, why do you suppose the USian Fourth Reich with its new Electronic Gestapo has imposed on all humanity a total-surveilla nce empire more malevolent (and more vindictively deadly) than anything any dystopian-minde d science fiction writer could have ever imagined?
 
 
+2 # guomashi 2016-09-27 18:33
what domestic war against communism are you talking about in the 1870? The American Communist party did not appear until the time of the Russian Revolution ~1918.

The occupation of Vladivostok was in cooperation with the then legally constituted government of Russia.

That being said, socialist, labor and communists movements were all about getting people off the 12 hrs a day, 7 days a week for a dollar a day formula. That formula was indeed loathed by the powers that be for the obvious reasons: it reduced their profits.

Foreign communism is a different matter. Excepting fear of world revolution (and the concomitant aforementioned loss of profit on that account) the only harm possible is loss of access to markets and resources.
US history has shown conclusively that we don't give a rat's ass about dictators, in fact we prefer them, so long as it profits us.
 
 
0 # lorenbliss 2016-09-30 01:40
@guomashi: sorry, but your reactionary reflexes are showing. So is the fact you need to learn more history. See for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_socialist_movement_in_the_United_States
also
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1877_St._Louis_general_strike

"Joseph Weydemeyer, a German colleague of Karl Marx who sought refuge in New York in 1851 following the 1848 revolutions, established the first Marxist journal in the U.S., Die Revolution...In 1852 he established the Proletarierbund , which would become the American Workers' League, the first Marxist organization in the U.S...In 1866, William H. Sylvis formed the National Labor Union (NLU). Frederich Albert Sorge, a German who had found refuge in New York following the 1848 revolutions, took Local No. 5 of the NLU into the First International as Section One in the U.S. By 1872 there were 22 sections, which held a convention in New York. The General Council of the International moved to New York with Sorge as General Secretary...bot h Marxists and Lasalleans formed the Workingmen's Party of the United States in 1876...the 1877 St. Louis general strike...was largely organized by the Knights of Labor and the Marxist-leaning Workingmen's Party...The strike was ended when some 3,000 federal troops and 5,000 deputized special police killed at least eighteen people in skirmishes around the city..."

And you claim this wasn't war against Communism? (And against the entire 99 Percent as well.)
 
 
+6 # Activista 2016-09-26 14:37
Do not blame Obama,
"That crucial shift in US diplomatic position was a direct result of the aggressive opposition of the Pentagon to Obama’s intention to enter into military cooperation with Russia in Syria. The Pentagon was motivated by an overriding interest in heading off such high-profile US-Russian cooperation at a time when it is pushing for much greater US military efforts to counter what it portrays as Russian aggression in a new Cold War."
it is PENTAGON (Military industrial complex) who hates Obama and his and Kerry diplomacy.
 
 
+6 # lfeuille 2016-09-26 19:30
Obama is to blame. He allowed it to happen and did nothing to discipline those who carried it out.
 
 
+11 # Anonymot 2016-09-26 17:24
Since 1989 when the CIA took over the power in the White House (Director cum President, G H W Bush) no subsequent President has had any power or control of foreign policy. To those with their ear to the ground and an eye to reading what's between the lines the CIA/MIC and a corps of people with a war-set mind decide what to do.

People don't become firemen because they like to polish red trucks. They need the fire's adrenalin rush. The same is true for Generals sitting in their offices.

That's what this well-documented article is about.

We'll never know if Obama was blind-sided and meant well and was told to shut up or if he was chosen because he's never been interested in foreign policy, just domestic.

By her actions (forget her words) Hillary either was totally ignorant on foreign affairs and let those people decide then she rubber stamped or, worse, she was interested in foreign affairs and with great gusto she organized & controlled the destruction of the Middle East & North Africa with Iran, Russia & China to go.

The only honest person running is Stein, but she won't be elected.

Our choice is between Trump who insists he wants no wars, but will negotiate - which may or may not be true, but even with a Republican majority he'll not control Congress, because too many Congressmen hate him. He'll set back women's & minority gains, immigration & environmental causes.

And the Clintons may advance all those causes, but will wipe them out with WW III.
 
 
+9 # lfeuille 2016-09-26 19:27
Obama should have fired anyone in the Pentagon responsible in any way for this. He is commander-in-ch ief, not anyone in the pentagon. They were either grossly negligent or, more likely, insubordinate.
 
 
+4 # lorenbliss 2016-09-26 19:55
Alas, Obama is as owned by the One Percenters and their generals as any antebellum slave was owned by the master of the plantation -- which is why Obama is as submissively compliant to his owners as any house-slave was to his massa. Just as we are now being defrauded by fear into voting for our extinction, in 2008 we were defrauded by the Big Lie of "change we can believe in" into voting for the continuation of our socioeconomic and political ruin.

(And, though it was I who first denounced this most maliciously dishonest of all presidents as "Obama the Orator" who shape-shifted into "Barack the Betrayer," I voted for him twice, first in a final spasm of now-obviously forever futile hope, next in the final spasm's final desperate twitch of hope maybe I had read the evidence wrong. But now there is no question: whether the next occupant of the imperial throne is Hillary the Empress of Apocalypse or Donald the Emperor of Renewed Holocaust, We the People are doomed.)
 
 
+8 # wcandler1 2016-09-27 09:37
I'm sorry, but I am new to this. Is there a reason we are in Syria? While I am about it: Why no concern about drone killing people in countries we are not at war with? Trump may be crazy, but he makes more sense on Putin, than Hillary.
Peace,
 
 
+6 # guomashi 2016-09-27 18:37
There are reasons we are in Syria and Ukraine and....
Syria has Russian bases, the only ones in the Mediterranean. Can't have that, can we? Also something about a pipeline and oil. Everything else you hear is a big smokescreen made out of burning BS.

Peace.
 
 
+4 # Radscal 2016-09-27 20:57
Those "reasons" are definitely true (actually, I think Russia's ONLY foreign military base is in Syria). Relatedly, Assad was arranging to sell oil to European buyers in Euros instead of US Federal Reserve Notes.

That NEVER goes well for the seller. It's not nice to mess with Supra-National Banksters.

Then you have Syria inconveniently encompassing part of Eretz Israel. Or really, essentially ALL of Syria being in the Biblical "Promised Land."
 
 
+2 # Activista 2016-09-28 12:45
" (actually, I think Russia's ONLY foreign military base is in Syria)"
List of Russian military bases abroad - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Russian_military_bases_abroad
Wikipedia
This article lists military bases of Russia abroad. The majority of Russia's military bases and facilities are located in former Soviet republics; which in Russian political parlance is termed the "near abroad"
Country Details No. of personnel
Armenia Russian 102nd Military Base in Gyumri and the Russian 3624th Airbase in Erebuni Airport near Yerevan. Est. 3,214[3] to 5,000[4]
Belarus The Hantsavichy Radar Station,[5][6] the Vileyka naval communication centre near Vileyka,[3] and the 61st Fighter Airbase in Baranovichi.[7] Est. 1,500
Georgia Following the Russo-Georgian War in 2008, Russia has maintained a large presence ..
Syria Russian naval facility in Tartus, Khmeimim Air Base
Tajikistan Russian 201st Military Base Est. 7,500
Vietnam The Russian Navy maintains naval resupply facilities at Cam Ranh Bas.
 
 
+1 # Radscal 2016-09-29 17:29
Yep. You're right. Russia does have military bases (and like the US, military facilities not called "bases") in many of the former Soviet States, as well as Vietnam.

This map shows the countries with US and Russian bases.

https://twitter.com/drunk__monk/status/672736912025743360/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
 

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