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The Renewed Call for War in Syria is coming. Be ready.

by Kit

A-Syrian-flag--011

Since Russia and Iran agreed to lend military assistance to the embattled government od President Bashar al-Assad, Syria has taken very much a backseat in the Western political sphere. The Russian presence there seemed to silence all but the most insane warmongers in Washington and Whitehall. We got updates, courtesy of NGOs like the highly suspicious Syrian Civil Defense, telling us how “brutal” the Russian bombing campaigns were, and how “savage” the siege-tactics have been. Occasionally a lunatic like Natalie Nougayrède will write about how “we” are “letting down the people of Syria”. But it’s a long time since anyone read any of NatNug’s columns with anything but a sense of baffled pity for the poor old dear.

Brexit, the Labour coup and the Presidential election in the US have pushed Syria further to the back pages recently. The vague, simmering propaganda execises about Syria’s “plight” are met with derision by the public, never has the general population’s opinion been so far from what they are supposed to think. It is a sign of the power of the internet, and the failing of the old media mechanisms.

All this is primed for a change, however. There will be a renewed push for war in Syria before the end of the year. With Iran and Russia already deeply involved, any Western military intervention could easily trigger a truly global conflict. In the nuclear age such a war would be brief and catastrophic. These risks cannot be overstated.

The ordained presidential successor to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, has been shown to be a dangerously psychopathic warmonger many times in her political career – blazing a path of destruction from Latin America to the Middle East via Eastern Europe. Once elected she will make Barack Obama look like the drum-circle peacenik he has always pretended to be. Her projected Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, is a glassy-eyed neocon lunatic who already, in Ukraine, pushed us right to the precipice of calamity and started spitting over the edge.

It was reported, late last month, that a Clinton regime:

…will reset Syria policy against ‘murderous’ Assad regime

This comes from a statement made by one of Hillary’s aides, the delightfully named Jeremy Bash, speaking the Telegraph Bash also said:

…a Clinton administration would seek to bring moral clarity to the US strategy on the Syrian crises.”

For those of you behind on your Newspeak lessons, “moral clarity” means bombing more people. It means arming terrorists and mercenaries (even more than they already are), and it means implementing the famous “no fly zone”. People tend to think of a no-fly zone as a passive, defensive measure. It is neither. A no fly zone means NATO jets patrolling the skies above Syria, shooting down Russian and Syrian bombers. A no fly zone is World War III waiting to happen. A no fly zone is a global suicide pact. Nevertheless, it will almost certainly be part of the “moral clarity” Clinton intends to bring to bear on Syria.

There are also signs of a renewed propaganda campaign re: Syria. On August 6th Le Point [link in original French] headlined:

Why Putin is going to destroy Aleppo

Coupled with the Telegraph article, and the 1, 2, 3, 4 editorials in the Guardian in the last week (2 by the increasingly bewildered and incoherent NatNug), and the failed hype of a “new chemical attack”, you can sense an increased energy surrounding the Syria question.

The “new chemical attack” is the reported use of barrel-bombs laced with chlorine gas in Idlib province. Reported, it should be pointed out, only by the previously mentioned Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the “White Helmets”. Whose about page declares [our emphasis]:

Syria Civil Defence receives funding (through Mayday Rescue and Chemonics) from the governments of the UK, Holland, Denmark, Germany, Japan, and the USA. This funding goes towards the training, equipment and support we need to achieve our mission.

Now, the more cynically minded readers might be thinking this calls into question how “neutral, impartial and humanitarian” they are, don’t worry because:

Our donors…do not control the mission of the organisation, our advocacy messages or our internal leadership structure.”

So that’s alright then.

It’s interesting that, alongside the sudden ratcheting up of tension from the media and Western-backed NGOs, there is also the sudden identity crisis for Jabhat al-Nusra. They have decided to cut all ties with al-Qaeda, and change their name. The “moderates” are getting more moderate every day, now they are even disavowing their jihadist roots and calling themselves a new friendly name: Jaish al-Fatah, or “The Army of Conquest”…which doesn’t sound especially “moderate” to me, but then again neither does decapitating prisoners or eating human organs.

John Kerry said, on May 5th this year, that August 1st would be the deadline (a new “red line”, if you will) for Assad to step down…or else.

He said:

…either something happens in these next few months, or they are asking for a very different track.”

Assad is, obviously, still in power. The board was set, and now the pieces are moving.

To sum up:

  • In the week leading up to the 1st of August the Western media began a new barrage of propaganda concerning Syria, and especially Aleppo.
  • On July 28th al-Nusra Front, the much derided “moderate rebels”, changed their name and disavowed all links to al-Qaeda (or pretended to, at least).
  • On August 1st the “rebels” launched a counter-attack, trying to cut the supply lines of the government forces surrounding Aleppo, and a Russian helicopter was shot down, killing 5 Russian soldiers.

Nobody is asking where the “besieged” rebels got the arms and supplies needed to counter-attack. No one is asking where the rebels, who previously had no anti-air weapons, got the MANPADs required to take down a helicopter. No one is asking, because everyone knows.

It’s the same place ISIS get their matching Toyotas and green-screen equipment. It’s the same place that started this war five years ago, and the same place that will set the whole world ablaze if allowed to go unchecked.


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76 Comments

  1. Eric_B says

    Jackie Holt wrote:
    The free press may not be perfect, but it is by definition the best we can get because it is free, because journalists can choose to write for papers which broadly accord with their own world outlook, because papers can print whatever they like as long as they refrain from libel.

    There’s not much difference between state controlled media and US style oligarch controlled media. Very often the oligarchs and the state have the same interests, since its the oligarchs who fund the politicians who get elected and run the state.

    Journalists work for corporations. They follow orders, spoken or unspoken. They know the kinds of stories and slants that are wanted, and those that are not wanted.

    Like

  2. nuffalready says

    About half of us Americans want to see the Washington/Whitehall war wagon go over a cliff. .Love that bare-knuckle British political wit.

    Like

  3. Nobody is asking where the “besieged” rebels got the arms and supplies needed to counter-attack. No one is asking where the rebels, who previously had no anti-air weapons, got the MANPADs required to take down a helicopter. No one is asking, because everyone knows.

    It’s the same place ISIS get their matching Toyotas and green-screen equipment.

    This article is utter nonsense. Here’s the real story on the arming of Syrian rebels.

    https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2016/8/9/anti-aircraft-missiles-could-be-a-game-changer-in-syria

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    • anonymous says

      I remember when Louis Proyect joined up with another paid U.S. government infiltrator of the left, a certain Pham Binh, whose claim to fame was that he had hung around at Occupy Wall Street. They started a Web site called The North Star with a nutcase in Los Angeles (who had been kicked out of Occupy LA) whose sole reason for existence was to try to get the left to support the U.S. and NATO war on Syria. When I pointed out in comments that they were working for the USG, I was blocked.
      I don’t know what happened to Pham Binh or The North Star. Being a USG propaganda organ, I didn’t pay attention to it. But lo and behold, here’s USG paid troll Louis Proyect, his fake leftist cover completely blown, trolling on Off Guardian. How much does the government pay you nowadays since you blew your cover, Louis?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Joe Staten says

      Stopped reading at “Russian invasion of Syria.” You’re just a shill Louis, and no one believes your stupid cover story about being a fucking “Marxist”.

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  4. Jackie Holt says

    Occaisionally [sic] a lunatic like Natalie Nougayrède… the poor old dear.

    The ordained presidential successor to Barack Obama…

    Toe-curling stuff. Is this a newspaper or a nursing home for writers of the NME? It’s emotionally incontinent guff.

    Kit blares out that there will be renewed calls for war before the end of the year, only to qualify that as meaning no-fly zones, which we’re told amount to much the same thing. They do not. Scorn is poured on the Syrian Civil Defence because – shock! horror! – it receives funds from the west, especially Europe; and rightly so, given its aim is to save lives by pulling people out of bombed out buildings. And supposedly al Nusra is considered a moderate rebel, but we’re not told by whom. Risible.

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    • Admin says

      Your response is puzzling and seemingly more emotional than rational. The article gives the widely accepted reasons why a no-fly zone is a declaration of war – viz “A no fly zone means NATO jets patrolling the skies above Syria, shooting down Russian and Syrian bombers.” You give no reason why you think this is untrue.

      Al Nusra has been associated with the indefinable “moderates” on many occasions, either directly or simply by implication. Here’s the Indy discussing this phenomenon explicitly, since this entire chapter seems to have passed you by somehow. 🙂

      The point about the Syrian Civil Defence is that it is presented as a) Syrian and b) non-partisan. It is neither of these things, and its funding makes this clear.

      I’m sorry to say that everything else in your comment is mere ad hom padding and needs no response.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jackie Holt says

        Well, let’s not get into who is making ad hominem arguments, when the author of this article states –

        But it’s a long time since anyone read any of NatNug’s columns with anything but a sense of baffled pity for the poor old dear.

        which is clearly ad hominem and also, in my opinion, rather pathetic to see in a newspaper. If you’ve issues with the arguments Nougayrède makes, why not counter them rather than dismissing her as batty?

        Al Nusra has been associated with the indefinable “moderates” on many occasions, either directly or simply by implication. Here’s the Indy discussing this phenomenon explicitly, since this entire chapter seems to have passed you by somehow.

        The Fisk article states that Qatar regards Nusra as moderate (and, by the way, so does Turkey) – so what? In the West it is designated a terrorist organisation. The implication of the article is that Nusra is regarded by the West as the “moderates”, which is simply untrue.

        The article gives the widely accepted reasons why a no-fly zone is a declaration of war

        Pleae link to the “widely accepted” view that a no-fly zone is a declaration of war. I don’t imagine you’ll have much success. No-fly zones are used in areas of conflict by thrid parties to provide protection to civilians – they are not declarations of war. So, rather than telling me it’s “widely accepted”, please provide an authoritative soorce.

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        • Eric_B says

          A non consensual no fly zone is a declaration of war on the country where the no fly zone is situated. It’s an infringement of sovereignty enforced by foreign military units.

          It’s irrelevant whether or not the foreign state(s) involved explicitly declare war.

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          • Jackie Holt says

            A non consensual no fly zone is a declaration of war on the country where the no fly zone is situated. It’s an infringement of sovereignty enforced by foreign military units.

            It’s irrelevant whether or not the foreign state(s) involved explicitly declare war.

            Hi Eric, that sounds like a statement of fact, but it lacks the reference link I asked for. I like the ‘non consensual’ bit, it sounds to me that you think some no-fly zones might be consensual? Surely that’s just airspace? 😉

            Anyhoo, links please.

            Ps. You claim that this is just a blog for people to point and laugh at the Guardian, my guess is that it has higher aspirations than that.

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            • Eric_B says

              What do you think war is? A non consensual no fly zone cannot be anything other than an act of war.

              It’s an armed attack on the sovereignty of another state as per the UN Charter.

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            • Eric_B says

              what don’t you understand about non consensual, I’m not following.

              Non consensual means without the consent of the state concerned.

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                • Eric_B says

                  A consensual no fly zone whould be where a state agreed not to conduct military flights at the request of the UN Security Council.

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        • Eric_B says

          Jackie Holt wrote:
          which is clearly ad hominem and also, in my opinion, rather pathetic to see in a newspaper.

          This isn’t a newspaper. It’s a blog where people point and laugh at Guardian ‘journalists’.

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        • Do you really believe that if the US invaded Syria and declared a no-fly zone over Aleppo (say), that the Syrian government and its allies would/should just agree to abide by it? If they don’t (and they won’t), how do you think the no-fly zone could be imposed short of shooting down Syrian and/or Russian planes?

          Do you likewise really believe these no-fly zones are “used in areas of conflict by third parties to provide protection to civilians”? Can you provide any examples of where this has been the result?

          As to your bizarre request for a “link” to the widely accepted view that a no-fly zone is a declaration of war – I can only assume you simply don’t understand that any uninvited incursion into a sovereign nation’s territory – such as would be necessary to impose a no-fly zone – is defined as an act of war under international law.

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          • Eric_B says

            No such thing as a ‘third party’ imposing a no fly zone.

            If you’re imposing one you become a direct party to conflict with the state concerned.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Jackie Holt says

            As to your bizarre request for a “link” to the widely accepted view that a no-fly zone is a declaration of war – I can only assume you simply don’t understand that any uninvited incursion into a sovereign nation’s territory – such as would be necessary to impose a no-fly zone – is defined as an act of war under international law.

            Look, I understand why you people are finding this request for a link difficult, but you don’t get to make up your own definitions for well-understood terms, which is why I’ve asked for the link. Here’s my link –

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-fly_zone

            No-fly zones are a modern phenomenon. They can be distinguished from traditional air power missions by their coercive appropriation of another nation’s airspace, in peacetime, without either the existence of a condition of war between the two nations or the surrender or occupation of the target nation.

            See how easy that was? Notice that the NFZ is coercive (non-consensual), but not a declaration of war? The article goes on to list examples of NFZs, none of which amounted to a declaration of war.

            Insisting that something is “widely accepted” doesn’t make it so, which is why I asked for links. Now, you might moan that it’s only Wikipedia, but I suggest you read the examples of NFZs contained within and ask yourself whether each one was a declaration of war; I think you should focus especially on Bosnia, which was a UN sanctioned NFZ. A declaration of war? I think not.

            Do you likewise really believe these no-fly zones are “used in areas of conflict by third parties to provide protection to civilians”? Can you provide any examples of where this has been the result?

            I can give you two, both mentioned in the Wiki article: Iraq (defending the Kurds in 1991) and Bosnia.

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            • Eric_B says

              The coercive appropriation of another nation’s airspace or any other part of their territory is the very definition of an act of war.

              The wikipedia entry doesnt make much sense.

              It says “No-fly zones are a modern phenomenon. They can be distinguished from traditional air power missions by their coercive appropriation of another nation’s airspace, in peacetime, without either the existence of a condition of war between the two nations or the surrender or occupation of the target nation. ”

              If there’s a non consensual no fly zone the target nation’s airspace clearly is occupied. Moreover such a no fly zone involves attacks on the target nation’s ground forces as we saw in Libya. All air defences must be destroyed.

              You presumably would agree that bombing another country is an act of war.

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            • Eric_B says

              Harping on the idea of war needing to be declared or it’s not really a war shows your lack of understanding of the subject matter. That idea is old hat and has been for decades.

              Was the Vietnam War a war? War was never declared. How about the invasion of Iraq? War was not declared.

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              • Jackie Holt says

                I’m not harping on about war needing to be declared for it to be war (that’s something of your own invention), but about whether a NFZ is a declaration of war. I supplied a reference explicitly stating that a NFZ is not a declaration of war.

                Was the Vietnam War a war? War was never declared. How about the invasion of Iraq? War was not declared.

                From the Wiki article on NFZs I linked to –

                In 1991, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Turkey, and other states intervened in Kurdish-Iraqi dispute in northern Iraq by establishing a no-fly zone in which Iraqi aircraft were prevented from flying. The intent of the no-fly zone was to prevent possible bombing and chemical attacks against the Kurdish people by the Iraqi regime. The initial operations were dubbed Operation Provide Comfort and Operation Provide Comfort II and were followed by Operation Northern Watch.

                I can Google ‘Vietnam War’, ‘Iraq War’. But ‘Iraq War 1997’ (the year of Operation Northern Watch) produces nothing. NFZs aren’t declarations of war, I’ve provided the links to prove my point, now it’s down to you to provide more than just hot air if you want to prove my links wrong.

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                • Eric_B says

                  jackie holt wrote:
                  I can Google ‘Vietnam War’, ‘Iraq War’. But ‘Iraq War 1997’ (the year of Operation Northern Watch) produces nothing. NFZs aren’t declarations of war, I’ve provided the links to prove my point, now it’s down to you to provide more than just hot air if you want to prove my links wrong.

                  I already showed you that wars usually dont get declared these days even though they are wars.

                  Yet still you’re harping on about the long obsolete idea of ‘declaration of war’.

                  You concoct a phrase of your own, “Iraq War 1997”, can’t find it on google, then use this as an argument?

                  Are you kidding me, what are you, 12?

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                • Eric_B says

                  Jackie Holt wrote:
                  Your claim that there’s an automatic state of war is preposterous: is Ukraine at war with Russia over Crimea? No.

                  Ukraine does indeed view itself as being at war with Russia.

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            • OffG Editor says

              Really not sure what your point is any longer. You appear finally to admit the author is correct and that a no-fly zone in Syria would be enforced by shooting down Syrian and Russian pilots, which is the point you originally decided to disagree with. Are you now suggesting that if NATO shoots down Russian jets this is not likely to start WW3?

              If you just want to quibble about whether invasion of a sovereign country and the murder of its soldiers can technically be defined as “not war” if no declaration of war has been made then that’s your call but irrelevant to the point of the article and to any practical question. The fact remains that such an invasion is defined as an act of war under international law (try looking elsewhere than Wiki), and the people of Yugoslavia and Iraq were killed in their thousands as a result of the no-fly zones, as the people of Syria will be too if such madness is indeed implemented.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Jackie Holt says

                Really not sure what your point is any longer.

                Honestly? My point is about having some self-respect.

                Don’t headline an article about a NFZ with “Renewed Call For War”, as though they are the same thing, they are not (as I’ve shown). How about: “West Mulls NFZ in Syria, WWIII Beckons”? It’s about honesty.

                Don’t write articles calling Natalie Nougayrède a ‘lunatic’, Hillary Clinton ‘dangerously psychopathic’ and Victoria Nuland a ‘lunatic’; such abuse just reflects badly on the writer’s ability to rationally critique contrary opinions in a calm and lucid manner.

                Avoid innuendo which suggests the West regards al-Nusra as the ‘moderates’ when it’s been classified as a terrorist organisation for years. That’s just dishonest.

                Don’t slate the Syrian Civil Defence (SCD) as an untrustworthy puppet of the West, because it receives funding for pulling people out of bombed-out buildings, when in fact its evidence is corroborated by doctors and other witness statements in Aleppo. If the author wants to dismiss the SCD, he needs to present instances where SCD statements are contradicted by credible evidence – when, in fact the reverse is true, they have been repeatedly corroborated. It’s about responsible journalism.

                Now, I hope that clarifies my point. I bookmarked this site after reading Dani Rodrik’s piece on Gulen and the failed coup it Turkey; the article was informative, dispassionate and cogently argued, a model of good journalism – in short, the complete opposite of this petulant, snarky, hyperbolic and dishonest polemic by Kit.

                OffGuardian needs to decide what kind of paper it wants to be: a credible response to the Guardian, or [Eric_B:] “a blog where people point and laugh at Guardian ‘journalists’”. This article certainly reads like the latter.

                Like

                  1. Don’t misrepresent the article. No one will bother to correct you any more and you risk appearing sub-intelligent. If you really don’t understand what the article is saying, try reading it again.

                  2. No one is “slating” the White Helmets for “pulling people out of rubble.” They are “slating” the White Helmets for masquerading as neutral humanitarians when their major funders are regimes that are actively trying to overthrow the legitimate government and when they are run by prominent members of the “rebel” Syrian groups, and when their founder is an ex-military, ex-British Intelligence mercenary. They also take issue with the WH tendency to fake up pics of their “good deeds”, cheer the deaths of Syrian soldiers and associate with members of al Qaeda and al Nusra. (just google these things, but no, I’m not doing it for you).

                  3. If even Robert Fisk writing in the Indy that al Nusra is now being repackaged as a moderate group isn’t enough to convince you of this, then you are probably immune to persuasion on the matter.

                  4. Don’t bother to try those ancient tricks of diversion and faux moral outrage. No one will bite.

                  5. Likewise give up on the concern trolling. You’re here to disrupt, we all know that, and it’s fine. Feel free to carry on, but forget trying to offer up credentials of credibility. Waste of your time 🙂

                  Liked by 2 people

                • Catte says

                  I can add that there are numerous sources for the US govt supplying trucks to al Nusra back in 2014. In fact one “explanation” for how ISIS got those matching fleets of Toyotas is that they were being sent over by the US to al Nusra, but were somehow waylaid. We cover it briefly in one of our ISIS articles.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Jackie Holt says

                  @OffG Editor

                  That’s not a point, it’s simply abuse. If you feel I’ve misrepresented the article, explain where.
                  Without credible links to back-up these assertions, they’re just bullshit – and, oh look! – you’re not going to provide links. The SCD is funded by the West because the West has a long history of funding NGOs: Russia doesn’t, Syria doesn’t. There is no evidence that the West funds SCD to further its propaganda. There is no evidence that the SCD makes propaganda, its reports are corroborated by other sources.
                  It’s Fiske, not Fisk, I wonder how aware of his work you are when you are clearly unfamiliar with his name? It’s not even a difficult name: F I S K. Four letters. Did you read the article? It says Qatar regards al-Nusra as moderates, not the West. So what? The group has been listed as terrorists from days one, why else do you think they’re desperately trying to shake off the Al Qaeda link? Could it be in order to get off the list? Get back to me on that one.
                  It’s not faux moral outrage. I described the article as toe-curling, risible, emotionally inconcinent guff. The word you’re struggling to articulate is contempt.
                  I’m not trolling, if you’re getting hot under the collar, perhaps it’s because I’ve made some accusations which you’ve signally failed to refute.

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                • Jackie Holt says

                  @ Catte

                  Thank you Catte, your reply was a model of civility and even came with that rarest of things, a supporting link! I hadn’t contended the point about the Toyotas, but I was unaware of it, so I will read the link.

                  Like

                • Eric_B says

                  Jackie holt wrote:
                  Honestly? My point is about having some self-respect.
                  Don’t headline an article about a NFZ with “Renewed Call For War”, as though they are the same thing, they are not (as I’ve shown).

                  You’ve shown nothing, you quoted a garbled wikipedia article that you didn’t understand.

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                • Eric_B says

                  Jackie Holt wrote:
                  Don’t write articles calling Natalie Nougayrède a ‘lunatic’, Hillary Clinton ‘dangerously psychopathic’ and Victoria Nuland a ‘lunatic’; such abuse just reflects badly on the writer’s ability to rationally critique contrary opinions in a calm and lucid manner.

                  I sincerely hope Off Guardian will continue to use the epithets the kind of trash who write for The Guardian deserve.

                  And I am more than confident they will.

                  Like

                • Jackie Holt says

                  @Eric_B:

                  Yet still you’re harping on about the long obsolete idea of ‘declaration of war’.

                  Eric, you’ve become a little confused. My stance (corroborated by Wiki) is that a NFZ isn’t a declaration of war. Whereas you’ve said –

                  [Eric_B, August 12th:] “A non consensual no fly zone is a declaration of war on the country”

                  come on now, it’s only August 15th, how can you go from claiming it’s a declaration of war to claiming that such a thing is long obsolete?

                  You concoct a phrase of your own, “Iraq War 1997”, can’t find it on google, then use this as an argument?

                  Er, no. You think the imposition of a NFZ means the two countries are in a state of war (despite the Wiki article explicitly stating otherwise), in which case there ought to be some mention on the web of the War of Operation Northern Watch. I don’t care what search criteria you use, but I can find no reference to this ‘war’. See if you can find it.

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                • Eric_B says

                  Jackie wrote:
                  Eric, you’ve become a little confused. My stance (corroborated by Wiki) is that a NFZ isn’t a declaration of war. Whereas you’ve said –

                  [Eric_B, August 12th:] “A non consensual no fly zone is a declaration of war on the country”

                  come on now, it’s only August 15th, how can you go from claiming it’s a declaration of war to claiming that such a thing is long obsolete?

                  What i meant was that a state of war exists when a hostile NFZ is declared. While declarations of war per se are no longer used, a NFZ amounts to an old fashioned declaration of war when declared.

                  Er, no. You think the imposition of a NFZ means the two countries are in a state of war (despite the Wiki article explicitly stating otherwise), in which case there ought to be some mention on the web of the War of Operation Northern Watch. I don’t care what search criteria you use, but I can find no reference to this ‘war’. See if you can find it.

                  You can’t use wikipedia as a source.

                  A hostile NFZ means a state of war exists. This is derived from the first principle of international law, the sovereignty of states, as per the UN Charter and all other sources of international law.

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                • Jackie Holt says

                  @ Eric_B:

                  You can’t use wikipedia as a source.

                  If you think there’s an error in the article, provide a link to a more authoritative source which contradicts it, don’t just stamp your feet because you don’t like what it says!

                  A hostile NFZ means a state of war exists. This is derived from the first principle of international law, the sovereignty of states, as per the UN Charter and all other sources of international law.

                  Breaching an article of the UN Charter in such a way doesn’t place two countries at war, that’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the charter. If an article is breached, the offender is considered to have broken international law and it is then in the UN’s remit to decide what action to take.

                  The UN Charter provides a legal basis for the victim to take military reprisals (including treating the offence as a de facto declaration of war), it doesn’t recommend or insist that a state of war exists. You are displaying a yawning chasm of ignorance if you think otherwise.

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                • Catte says

                  @JackieHolt You’re welcome. BTW the fact the founder of the White Helmets is an ex-mercenary and ex-military intelligence is common knowledge. Ditto the fact that senior members of the Syrian “opposition” are among the leaders, and the fact they have recycled pics from other incidents as evidence of their good deeds. There’s a good breakdown of all that here , but just Google if you need more information. In fairness you can’t expect us to fill the gaps in your own research.

                  Not sure I can help with the other issues you have. This article does not say anywhere that a NFZ equates with a declaration of war. It says a NFZ imposed in Syria will lead to WW3, which most people would agree is likely true.

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                • Eric_B says

                  Breaching an article of the UN Charter in such a way doesn’t place two countries at war, that’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the charter. If an article is breached, the offender is considered to have broken international law and it is then in the UN’s remit to decide what action to take.

                  Breaching the sovereignty of another state using one’s military most certainly does place 2 countries at war.

                  It is not up to the UN to decide if that is a war or not. It just is a war.

                  Like

                • Jackie Holt says

                  @Catte

                  There’s a good breakdown of all that here , but just Google if you need more information.

                  The link is to 21st Century Wire, which isn’t a credible source. Patrick Henningsen is a conspiracy theorist and RT ‘expert’. If SCD has questions to answer, those should appear in mainstream publications with a reputation for honesty to uphold (i.e. credibility), not just on conspiracy theorist websites.

                  In fairness you can’t expect us to fill the gaps in your own research.

                  Hitchen’s Razor: that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. You don’t need to provide links to back-up your claims, it just means those claims won’t be very credible.

                  This article does not say anywhere that a NFZ equates with a declaration of war.

                  And nor have I, I was simply refuting the claim made by Admin and parroted by Eric_B. My issue was that the headline ‘renewed call for war’ doesn’t match the article ‘renewed call for NFZ’.

                  Like

                  • The link is to 21st Century Wire, which isn’t a credible source. Patrick Henningsen is a conspiracy theorist and RT ‘expert’. If SCD has questions to answer, those should appear in mainstream publications with a reputation for honesty to uphold (i.e. credibility), not just on conspiracy theorist websites.

                    If you unquestioningly accept everything you read from your allegedly “credible” sources and refuse to even read those outlets you have been taught to regard as “non-credible”, you’re entirely surrendering your independent judgement and becoming little more than a consumer of pre-packaged opinion. Wouldn’t it be better to eschew potentially propagandist notions of ‘credible” sources and simply assess the evidence on its own terms, regardless of where it comes from?

                    The data is there if you want to look at it.

                    Like

                    • Jackie Holt says

                      @Catte

                      If you unquestioningly accept everything you read from your allegedly “credible” sources and refuse to even read those outlets you have been taught to regard as “non-credible”, you’re entirely surrendering your independent judgement

                      RT is the propaganda arm of the Russian state, its purpose is to further the causes of the Putin regime, not to report news. I don’t have an omniscient independent judgement when I read a story which says “the white helmets are faking bombing photos”, as though I can divine the story’s truthfulness, all I can do is look for the story in as many places as possible and assess the credibility of the sites telling this story, and thus the credibility of the story itself.

                      Your argument is akin to chiding me for only using science as the basis for knowledge of the creation of the earth and its inhabitants, telling me that the bible has a lot to say on the matter and offers a different viewpoint; the bible isn’t a credible source, its writers were more interested in making memorable and entertaining creation myths, propaganda which placed the Jews as the chosen people of a single God. It doesn’t add information to the debate, it just muddies the waters.

                      The free press may not be perfect, but it is by definition the best we can get because it is free, because journalists can choose to write for papers which broadly accord with their own world outlook, because papers can print whatever they like as long as they refrain from libel. Filter out the noise from the gutter press and we are left with a wide number of sources of diverse political outlook giving perspectives from numerous countries. These are quality papers which pride themselves on their credibility, news reports are fact-checked and, where facts are thin on the ground, articles are accompanied by caveats. Its best exemplars demonstrate a rigour with parallels in science: evidence is gathered and verified, a hypothesis is made, the hypothesis is tested by further enquiry, deriving a theory which makes predictions for the future.

                      Like

                    • Yes, you just re-affirmed your prejudice in extended prose. You believe RT is untrustworthy because it sells the Russian governmental perspective. You believe the MSM is trustworthy because it sells the Western governmental perspective, which for you equates automatically with some higher form of truth. No amount of labyrinthine reassertions can make this anything but a statement of blind faith. If you want to make it more than that you need to show some data that supports the hypothesis that what you term the “free press” has a consistent record of greater honesty, balance and accuracy than the “Russian propaganda” channels. If you can do that we’ll give you space here to publish your findings.

                      Like

                • Jackie Holt says

                  Breaching the sovereignty of another state using one’s military most certainly does place 2 countries at war.

                  It is not up to the UN to decide if that is a war or not. It just is a war.

                  I never claimed that the UN decides who is at war, read my post again.

                  Your claim that there’s an automatic state of war is preposterous: is Ukraine at war with Russia over Crimea? No.

                  Like

                • Jackie Holt says

                  @ Catte

                  RT is untrustworthy because it sells the Russian perspective. The MSM is trustworthy because it sells the Western perspective

                  RT is untrustworthy because it’s the propaganda arm of the Putin regime. The MSM is as trustworthy as any news source can be because it allows freedom of expression across the political spectrum. It’s not hard to understand that the second is vastly more trustworthy than the first.

                  If you can do that [show RT is less trustworthy than the MSM] we’ll give you space here to publish your findings.

                  How noble of you, however my comments now appear to be in pre-mod in contravention to your own comment policy. All I’m arguing is that facts really SHOULD be sacred – did you know that’s actually the strapline to this website? The very headline of this article makes a mockery of that claim.

                  Like

                  • Repeating your own preconception over and over again in different language is not developing a point. Everything you say about RT can equally be said of the state-controlled BBC or the oligarch-controlled Guardian. More so in fact since RT is very closely monitored by OfCom and would face sanction for any overt misrepresentation.

                    Facts are sacred here. But your a priori beliefs are not facts, and they will not become facts no matter how many times you reassert them. Unless you can show some evidence for the prevailing inaccuracy of RT over the various western outlets you prefer you have no facts at all.

                    And you aren’t on pre-mod. No one here is and no one ever will be. The system held your comment back because it perceived you to have more than two hyperlinks, even though you didn’t actually have any. It’s very unlikely to happen again.

                    Like

                • Eric_B says

                  Jackie holt wrote:
                  RT is untrustworthy because it’s the propaganda arm of the Putin regime. The MSM is as trustworthy as any news source can be because it allows freedom of expression across the political spectrum. It’s not hard to understand that the second is vastly more trustworthy than the first.

                  In what sense is Russian state funded media different from British or US state funded media?

                  Also the MSM does not allow complete freedom of expression. That’s because it has owners, wealthy people who decide what is published and what is not.

                  Like

                • Jackie Holt says

                  @ Catte

                  Everything you say about RT can equally be said of the state-controlled BBC or the oligarch-controlled Guardian.

                  Sorry, that’s simply not true. The degree of state control over RT is like nothing in the West. Here’s the Independent –

                  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-today-tomorrow-the-world-2083869.html

                  But RT is rather different from the BBC, certainly when it comes to covering the “home” country. Several journalists at the channel have told The Independent that while some coverage of problems in Russia and sensitive issues is allowed, any direct criticism or questioning of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin or President Dmitry Medvedev is strictly prohibited.

                  Unless you can you show some evidence for the prevailing inaccuracy of RT

                  Here’s a study by graduate students of the Columbia School of Journalism –

                  http://rtwatchcuj.tumblr.com/

                  And you aren’t on pre-mod. No one here is and no one ever will be.

                  Thanks for the clarification.

                  Like

                  • LOL! You are quoting a Western media source as evidence of how much better Western media sources are than RT! If I quoted RT on the subject of how RT is better than the BBC, what would you say?

                    Your other link is just a source for alleged instances of RT media bias. That’s fine as far as it goes, but it doesn’t prove or even support your allegation that RT is consistently less reliable than Western media. OffGuardian has hundreds of examples right here of media bias and even outright lying by the BBC, the Guardian and other outlets, that are every bit as bad, in fact often much worse, than those alleged in the CJS research. Unless you can provide some evidence of persistent RT bias that can’t be matched by Western media you are not making your case even slightly.

                    Like

                • Jackie Holt says

                  @ Catte

                  You are quoting a Western media source as evidence of how much better Western media sources are than RT!

                  The Indy article isn’t making that point, it’s interviewing RT journalists about the restrictions they work under. Do you understand the difference? The journalists admit they can’t criticise the Putin regime, that ought to be damning in itself: a ‘News’ channel which can only report favourable stories on the state should more correctly be termed a propaganda outlet.

                  Like

                  • LOL! Do you mean these two sentences? Hardly an “interview” is it? 🙂

                    “Several journalists at the channel have told The Independent that while some coverage of problems in Russia and sensitive issues is allowed, any direct criticism or questioning of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin or President Dmitry Medvedev is strictly prohibited.”

                    But even if you think anonymous unquoted claims are a trustworthy source for RT media bias, this still doesn’t go anywhere near proving your claim. Even if the anonymous claims are true, there is just as much and far better direct testimony of the same kind of editorial control being endemic in Western media. Remember, you claimed RT is more biased and inaccurate than western media. So far you have provided zero evidence for this.

                    FWIW, though it’s sort of beside the point, there is quite a lot of criticism of Medvedev and Putin in some of the Russian media. Why don’t you try getting to know some Russian people or ex-pat Westerners living in Russia. You’ll get a better perspective if you aren’t solely reliant on the highly-controlled and very anti-Russian Western press for all your information.

                    Like

                • Jackie Holt says

                  @OffG Editor

                  It’s Fiske, not Fisk, I wonder how aware of his work you are when you are clearly unfamiliar with his name? It’s not even a difficult name: F I S K. Four letters.

                  Hey poor diddums, if you’re going to modify my posts, you need to edit the entire sentence, otherwise the change doesn’t make sense. Glad to see you’ve learned to spell Fisk though, why you’ve even corrected the spelling of his name in your own post! Bravo!

                  This site continues to cover itself in glory. Why not edit my posts entirely so that they just cheer on your good work? Or would that be going too far?

                  Like

                • Eric_B says

                  Jackie holt wrote@
                  @ Catte

                  You are quoting a Western media source as evidence of how much better Western media sources are than RT!

                  The Indy article isn’t making that point, it’s interviewing RT journalists about the restrictions they work under. Do you understand the difference? The journalists admit they can’t criticise the Putin regime, that ought to be damning in itself: a ‘News’ channel which can only report favourable stories on the state should more correctly be termed a propaganda outlet.

                  What didn’t you understand about the sentence:

                  You are quoting a Western media source as evidence of how much better Western media sources are than RT!

                  Seemed clear enough.

                  Like

              • Jackie Holt says

                @Catte

                Even if the anonymous claims are true, there is just as much and far better direct testimony of the same kind of editorial control being endemic in Western media.

                All editors exercise editorial control, it goes with the job. It’s entirely different to exercise state control prohibiting criticism of the regime. I’m surprised you’re so blithely accepting of state propaganda!

                I’ve shown that RT cannot criticise the Putin regime and provided evidence of consistently terrible journalism at RT, but have little doubt you still regard it as a trustworthy source – or more accurately, as a useful source for your rather untrustworthy ‘news’ site.

                To OffG staff generally: have fun modifying the remainder of my comments in this thread, I’m done for the time being. For all you may sneer at the Guardian, on the evidence of this article and the comments below, it upholds far higher standards of journalism than is evident here!

                Like

            • Eric_B says

              jackie holt wrote:
              SSorry, that’s simply not true. The degree of state control over RT is like nothing in the West. Here’s the Independent –

              http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-today-tomorrow-the-world-2083869.html

              But RT is rather different from the BBC, certainly when it comes to covering the “home” country. Several journalists at the channel have told The Independent that while some coverage of problems in Russia and sensitive issues is allowed, any direct criticism or questioning of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin or President Dmitry Medvedev is strictly prohibited.

              You’re quoting the western press as a defence of the western press. Why should I believe the claims of The Independent who won’t name alleged sources about RT?

              Like

  5. ddddffff says

    Get ready for what exactly? Which force is supposed to attack Syria, the martians? Or do you mean that majestic force that coulsn’t even kill a handful of Taliban barbarians?

    A big LMAO from me, and most certainly also from Russia and the US military itself.

    Like

    • “Or do you mean that majestic force that coulsn’t even kill a handful of Taliban barbarians?” Sounds like you mean the US.

      Like

  6. Yes the neo-cons r on captogan. The shill Moreel with Charlie Rose last nite made complete asses of themselves.”We have to kill Russians and Iranians in Syria so the Know we mean business.” Pure idol psychopaths. Its all hasbra. The west especially the exceptionalist/Washington Consensus mob r so delusional it’s beyond belief. It is so sad that we the sheeple fall for such hyperbole. we have only ourselves to blame. Ignorance is bliss while the rest of the world has their eyes wide open.
    Iran knows the deal. The west r not honourable people. They have been planning for an inevitable military assault on their shores for years since the Iran and Iraq war . That scarred the daylites out of them.
    Russia knows full well that Nato is going to attack them sooner rather than later. Putin has already warned the lunatics in the west /minions/puppets/politicos of the anglo-zionist world.
    The Ponzi scheme QE alla USA and alla ECB is fully exposed. The stock market is over leveraged by circa 500 percent , this has been acknowledged by all reputable economist. The petro dollar is entering it’s used by date.
    The Un has exposed itself more often than not that it is a tool for the antlantacist/ washington consensus.IE: Peace talks always get a mention as soon as the washington consensus proxy army in Syria r loosing.
    The Chinese r aware of the Washington consensus mob trying to undermine anything decent and economically progressive for the Eurasian development.
    Docius in Fundum. last but not least war is inevitable if we the sheeple allow it . Remember its 64000 of them and SIX AND HALF BILLION OF US, I consider that a big margin.
    P’S I suggest we start protesting and educating all fellow citizens. ENOUGH WAR PEACE IS THE WORD. Cause one thing is 4 sure the Iranians ,Chinese and the Russians r ready for it they do not want a war but the Washington Consensus mob/Nato/Israel do so the choice is easy .
    The world has had enough of this extortion racket

    Like

  7. AtaBrit says

    Fear of Clinton is well justified.
    But what is missing entirely from your piece is the TR-RF ‘reset: in relationa both drectly and regionally.
    If the doomsayers are correct and this is all a ploy by TR to better negptiate a position in the West, then all hell is going tp break loose And if it isn’t I can’t see the west fairng any better without TR on their side.

    Like

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      Nougayrede is, in my opinion, barking mad and ferociously vicious. Like a female Luke Harding. The trade-mark hysteria, invective, routine lying and misrepresenting is reminiscent of Zionazi screechers, whose histrionics were described by Gilad Atzmon as a ‘Pre Traumatic Stress Disorder’, where any criticism of Israel’s barbarity is greeted by the screaming of ‘antisemitism’, ‘Holocaust’ and ‘Holocaust denier’, ‘blood libel’ etc. Unless Nougayrede is herself Jewish, and not just their property, she seems to be exhibiting ‘Pre Traumatic Stress Syndrome by Proxy’. Funny to think that hundreds of thousands have been murdered in Syria, and millions, even billions, more may follow, thanks to the propaganda work of monsters like this. They hanged Streicher for very much less.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. michaelk says

    A vote for Clinton… is a vote for more wars, and down the line a few years, probably war with Russia and China. Liberals should bare that in mind before, like the Guardian, they throw all their concerned weight behind Clinton.

    In this context, Trump is looking increasingly like the ‘not more war’ candidate, probably because he’d rather folks spent their money in his casinoes.

    The ruling elite in the US seems to be split. The War Party, which includes the leadership of both of the main factions, the Democrats and Republicans, supports Clinton, which means more of the same and more wars. In Syria this means an escalation to open conflict with Russia and Iran, making them ‘bleed’ for their intervention. Obviously this could prove massively dangerous.

    Trump has seen that vast swathes of the American people are sick and tired of these wars, or crusades for freedom. The War Party has made the link between ‘helping’ foreigners abroad and ‘freedom’ at home. Unfortunately, the American people increasingly don’t give a fuck about abroad and ‘helping’ foreigners find freedom in the greater Middle East. Let them help themselves, is what people have said to me when I was in the US a few months ago. The guys down at the tavern aren’t particularly ‘liberal’, but they’ve understood the ‘link’, though somewhat differently. They see the potholes in the roads and the ravaged infra-structure, the lack of good jobs, the poverty… and they’ve linked this to spending billions ‘helping’ foreigners gain their freedom… and they no longer want to pay for it. Help America first… that’s what lots of people said to me, when we touched on what I called Grand Imperial Strategy.

    So, the natives are getting restless, big time, and this is a problem for Clinton and the War Party. The big question is, can ‘American democracy’ survive more wars that the people don’t support and don’t really understand or want to pay for?

    Like

  9. menechem golani says

    i do not see why mr murdoch can provide sky,times and fox informational news on syriana and at the same time part own israel firster firm genie energy.
    un resolution states golan is syria these nazi ignore the talmud where it states clearly most of syria belongs to us.
    oil drilling rights is only the start of a more robust claim from israel nazi will always hate we need to drill for oded yinon and ignore these dogs.

    Like

  10. Seamus Padraig says

    From the Washington Post article Kit linked to:

    “Jabhat al-Nusra announced that it would henceforth be known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham — or Front for the Conquest of Syria — and said it no longer owes allegiance to al-Qaeda.”

    So if they no longer owe allegiance to Al-Qaeda, that must mean that, from now on, they will answer directly to the CIA!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Brian Harry, Australia says

    The USA MIC and the real rulers of Britain seem to be descending into complete lunacy, egged on by the lunatics controlled by Tel Aviv………

    Like

    • My term is “criminally insane”. Our rulers are mad of course, but in a purposeful way, explicable by laws of capital accumulation and imperial rivalry. (Really, the conspiracy theorists need to get up to speed on Marx.) I began to note, in the context of Ukraine, that there are those within the American ruling class who think a limited nuclear war can be won, especially when the warmongers in chief are several thousand miles away. A Clinton win in November, still the most likely scenario though after Brexit no-one should rule out Trump, will make this scary world considerably more scary. Syria is the obvious flashpoint.

      This is a good piece by Kit. I wonder if the relatively low number of comments reflects the fact all thinking people are too depressed to respond.

      Like

    • Secret Agent says

      Ah, but that’s where the Brexit comes in. The Brit oligarchy sees where this is headed and had disembarked the American crazy train.

      Like

  12. I’ll be the one walking around in a T shirt with the legend STOP THE UK’s CRIMINAL WARS.
    Someone could make a fortune making T shirts with STOP US/NATO CRIMINAL WARS printed on them.

    Like

    • Might be good business, briefly. But next year May will make production of political t-shirts a new kind of “extremism” and have you shipped off to a CIA black site.

      Like

  13. Captain Kemlo says

    Excellent article and, yes, you could see this ramping-up from a mile away. The Neo-con supporting Guardian will be first in the queue. Watch this space…

    Liked by 2 people

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