Something extraordinary happened last weekend while Washington and MSM yammered about how 'tough' Hillary Clinton looked in Thursday's 11-hour long kabuki theater Benghazi hearings: Iraq told Obama's top general envoy and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff what they wanted to hear -- then 'went with the Russians' to use the Guerrilla Economist's phrase anyway. Specifically, this example of #DollarShaming involved the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff USMC Gen. Joseph Dunford personally visiting Baghdad to tell Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that if the Iraqis wanted any U.S. aid whatsoever against ISIS to cease and desist from inviting the Russians in to fight the Islamic State super-terrorists. Iraq to U.S.: We'll Smile, Nod, Take Your Money and Equipment, But We Still Don't Trust You to Actually Fight ISIS Please Come Do the Job Right Russia (and Maybe China Too)
The Iraqi response came late on Friday Washington time, from ranking Shi'a parliamentarians informing pro-Iranian/Hezbollah English language media that Iraq had authorized the Russians to bomb ISIS fighters fleeing Syria into Iraq. While Iraq's (strongly Iranian influenced) parliament is still hammering out a formal vote in the weeks to come, it would seem Russian 'hot pursuit' strikes inside Iraq's western border with Syria have already been authorized and may well be underway. The Russians announced to their media outlets Sputnik and RT that they hit a record 94 targets in a 24 hour period over the weekend, suggesting a stepped up number of sorties if not aircraft.
We repeat: the Iraqis smiled, nodded, told Obama's top general what he and Washington wanted to hear, but invited the Russians to use Iraqi airspace and possibly bases anyway. As we suggested in a late Friday night/early Saturday morning post here at RogueMoney, this turn of events is nothing short of extraordinary.
Who or What is Behind Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's Brave Dissent Against the War Party Line in Syria? Who is Advising Donald Trump to Say "Let Putin Bomb ISIS" and the Middle East Would be Better Off with Qaddafi?
Something else out of the ordinary seems to be happening as a result of the Russian intervention in Syria as well: open dissent on Capitol Hill from a young, attractive Democratic Congresswoman against the neocon/neoliberal party line that Washington must...do...something...to stop the Russians from bombing Al-Nusra and the Islamic State. Contrast this video from Rep. Adam Kinzinger (RINO/neocon southern Illinois):
declaring to Fox News he would tell the Russians to 'get the hell out of Syria' (and ignore the subsequent laughter) while spouting off about Dick Cheney's new book, with this rare moment of sanity on cable news, from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to CNN:
Notice what the Congresswoman says at the start, and note what Agency she firmly points the finger at: "The U.S. and CIA are working to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad...the U.S. and the CIA should stop this illegal and counterproductive war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad and should stay focused on fighting against who are enemy is, the Islamic extremist groups." Knowing how closely the Pentagon and intelligence agencies have historically monitored if not controlled the daily content of CNN (aka the Clinton News Network), we have to wonder if Hawaii National Guard member Rep. Gabbard is speaking only for herself here, or if bipartisan factions in Congress and inside the military increasingly disgruntled over the fraudulent 'war on ISIS' -- in other words, a 'Deep State' faction ready and eager to throw Langley and not just Obama or the Saudis and Turks under the bus for the Charlie Foxtrot that American policy in the Mideast has become.
According to Dr. Jim Willie, the Islamic State has been protected/off limits from intensive U.S. air strikes as 'Langley assets'. While we hesitate to remove one degree of separation and hence semi-plausible deniability between the CIA and the Saudi/Turkish/Qatari intelligence services that indisputably created ISIS as a counterweight to Iran, we would have to accept some validity to Jim Willie's claim. We would also have to look at some of the information being put out, beyond the ex-Defense Intelligence Agency chief's testimony and Judicial Watch obtained documents proving that DIA predicted the rise of the Islamic State way back in 2012.
Yes, there are subtle hints from what the Pentagon is telling the press that something about ISIS does not add up, besides their Hebrew language video released this weekend which suspiciously coincided with an Arab Israeli (the Hebrew speaker in this video?) supposedly hang gliding into Syria to join Daesh or their Al-Qaeda 'frenemies' in the Al-Nusra front. The scrambling of Israeli helicopters and jets along the border with Syrian air space on the Golan Heights Saturday was mistaken by at least one excited neocon on Twitter for the IAF challenging the de facto Russian no fly zone over Assad's troops fighting near the southern Syrian town of Quneitra. Unfortunately for him the Russian-israeli military 'hotline' worked, and the Israelis made no significant incursion.
'Authentic' ISIS/Daesh video or fake production? If it's real, where did ISIS/Daesh get a native Hebrew speaker?
Did Pentagon Dissenters Use CBS News (Same Network that Gave Putin a Sunday Prime Time Charlie Rose Interview) to Undermine the Awesome ISIS Invincible Super-Terrorist Army Narrative?
Take this video from CBS News, available on their web page purporting to cover the 'Fight Against ISIS' in-depth. According to CBS News Twitter feed, ISIS/Daesh (its derogatory Arabic name) has 20,000 fighters under arms, with many of those new recruits replenishing its losses from combat and the U.S. air campaign. Of course it should be pointed out that aside from a few special forces operators embedded with the Kurds and British SAS in its territory, Daesh has not had to face a serious ground offensive aside from the Kurdish front, which is a widely acknowledged reason for the ineffectiveness of U.S. bombing dating back to August 2014.
We should also point out here that CBS News was only permitted inside CENTCOM for a close up look at how the American air campaign is going AFTER the Russians started bombing ISIS targets on September 30. That in of itself is a tacit admission by the Pentagon that Russia going into Syria has 'stolen their thunder' and the petulant whining that the Russians aren't bombing ISIS enough and cannot be trusted with the coordinates of 'moderate' jihadis not to bomb them too has caused embarrassment in considerable quarters. But one key detail that most viewers of the CBS News report -- but not trained analysts -- would overlook revealed quite a lot, in our opinion.
At one point CBS News tweeted out that according to the CENTCOM staffers they talked to Daesh has 20,000 hardcore jihadist fighters under arms. That's 20,000 men to control and defend a territory the size of Belgium or even larger at the peak of the Islamic State's 'conquests'. When you factor in considerable desertion since the Russian air campaign began on September 30, with Moscow's military claiming thousands of Daesh fighters fled into Turkey, that is hardly a force that could stand up to even a comparably sized contingent of 'moderate' Sunni Syrians backed by U.S. special forces and airpower for long.
Consider the 2001 rout of the Taliban in Afghanistan who if anything, controlled more rugged terrain and were more indigenous to their territory than Daesh's foreign legions of death that include many anti-Moscow Chechen jihadists, East Turkistan/Uighur Wahhabis from China, and numerous recruits from across the Middle East (although some would argue the Taliban melted away to fight another day, and Alex Jones claims many were airlifted to safety in Pakistan). Clearly, just like with the Hebrew language video above posted seemingly in response to the Arab world's questions about, 'Why does Daesh never attack Israel?', something about these numbers does NOT add up.
If ISIS has 'only' 20,000 loyal fighters according to U.S. intelligence estimates, than the Russian Air Force and Syrian Arab Army killing 200 of these bastards matters quite a lot, in contrast to War is Boring and the Institute for Study of War's propaganda that the Russian air campaign will barely make a dent in the invincible super jihadist group
In our recent piece "Are Disgruntled Spooks and 'Realists' Teaming Up to Undermine Cold War 2.0 in Syria?" we predicted more leaks that would undermine the War Party's case for arming the 'moderate' jihadists to attack Russians and the Syrian Arab Army. We also said that the stories reported by the typically neocon Daily Beast and other mainstream media about the disgruntled intelligence analysts who were sick of being told to lie in their reports about 'progress' against Daesh was just the tip of the iceberg.
While most members of the U.S. military will not risk their families' livelihoods and possibly their freedom (like ex-CIA officer John Kiriakou) to blow the whistle on bombing missions run against desert sand that supposedly hit ISIS targets, here hiding in the plain sight of this CBS report is a 'bread crumb' that exposes the fraudulent nature of Washington's war against ISIL.
For anyone who has been trained by intelligence agencies or like the Russia Analyst is self-taught at 'reading between the lines', the notion that the U.S. cannot use special forces and 'moderate' rebels alone rout a force of 20,000 men is laughable. So either the U.S. will not rout Daesh because it fears a breach with its three major Sunni allies in the region -- Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar -- that backed the Islamic State (a slightly 'benign' but still cowardly lion version of events). Or more darkly, there is a powerful faction within the U.S. government and primarily the CIA according to Congresswoman Gabbard that wants to topple Assad above all else, and will deal with ISIS and al-Nusra later (if ever).
The latter of course, is now a far more credible explanation of events given that the U.S. just parachuted 50 tons of ammunition to a newfangled Arab coalition in northeastern Syria that might not exist and American officials have admitted most of the ammo was received by the Kurds. Meanwhile, Washington has already broken with the House of Saud on the Iran nuclear deal. So the 'explanation' that the U.S. has held back from going all in with the Kurds and with its own coalition of Iraqis and 'Free Syrians' to defeat ISIS out of fear of offending Ankara and Riyadh doesn't pass the laugh test.
Incidentally this same weekend the so-called 'moderates' of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) were getting some bad press, as an unveiled Muslim Arab journalist based out of the United Arab Emirates, Jenan Moussa, admits the 'FSA' basically control no territory. In fact Moussa's story just confirms what FSA booster Michael D. Weiss admitted to Reason mag a few days ago -- the 'FSA' doesn't exist, it's more of a label or flag of convenience for multiple rebel, mostly Islamist groups. Essentially the 'FSA' are simply middlemen who spare the CIA some embarrassment over handing TOW missiles to the much larger and stronger Al-Qaeda loyalists of Al-Nusra. The same Jabhat al-Nusra that is imposing shariah law in the Idlib province it controls along the highway to Turkey. And the same group that will likely receive the lion's share of the MANPADs that unregistered agent for the Qatari government Charles Lister (of the FARA violating 'Brookings Doha Center' 'think tank' that is actually a lobbying/PR firm) boasts will be delivered to threaten Russian gunships this November (besides Al-Qaeda using them to shoot down airliners in Jordan, Iraq or even a Western country, what could possibly go wrong?):
Another thought to 'wrap up' this thread of analysis -- did anyone else notice that this 'nugget' about Daesh having a mere 20,000 armed men (a fact that matters when the Syrian Arab Army claims to have killed nearly 200 ISIS fighters over the weekend) aired on CBS? The same network that gave prime air time to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin's interview with Charlie Rose before the Russian President's UN General Assembly indictment of American foreign policy in late September? And was it just coincidence that Donald Trump, the GOP presidential 'front runner' told CBS 'let Putin bomb ISIS' noted with Trump-ian satisfaction his interview aired alongside Putin's too?
The Donald says Putin is 'respected' and enjoys an 80%+ approval rating as measured by independent pollsters (Levada Center?) and is 'making Obama look bad' while fighting ISIS because 'he doesn't want them in Russia'
Clearly if the Syrian jihadists are going to receive MANPADs with which to attempt to 'kill Russians' in retired Army Gen. Robert H. Scales infamous Fox News rant, something's about to give.
We already know from the reporting of Elijah J. Magnier that Putin has assured Assad that any nation that participates in the targeting of Russian flyers in and over Syria even by proxy could face direct retaliation. What that would look like, we cannot say, but Magnier mentioned this in the context of discussing Russia's firing of 26 Kalibr cruise missiles that fly faster and deliver their warheads at longer ranges than America's Tomahawks.
While we don't expect Kalibr missile strikes on Saudi, Qatari or Turkish warehouses full of TOWs and other goodies for their proxies (thus escalating to a real on-ramp to WW3 with these regimes' US patron), it would not surprise us if some of those facilities started blowing up. Either the Kurdish and in the past Communist-friendly PKK, which Moscow refuses to call a terrorist group, or some Shi'a group linked to the Houthis nobody had heard of before would likely take credit for a string of explosions at sensitive facilities inside Saudi Arabia, Turkey or Qatar (with a Turkish base near Incirlik AFB a possible target if Moscow truly wanted to 'send a message' so U.S. servicemen would watch their Turkish counterparts' buildings go up in flames). If CIA Director John Brennan thinks he can 'kill Russians' with impunity without some of Langley's own personnel being put at risk of another Benghazi situation or dying in a TOW warehouse explosion, he and his fellow Deep State globalist actors are badly mistaken.
As we have indicated here at RM in the past, Russian retaliation might not remain limited to the greater Middle East either, but could involve the deaths of CIA contractors and American mercenaries embedded with the Azov Battalion and other ultra-nationalist if not neo-Nazi battalions in Ukraine. As we emailed a few friends and the RM brain trust this past weekend, Putin is in this thing to win and is much more prepared for casualties than is the United States government. But as we said, Putin's trump card is the truth bomb aka kompromat on the real origins of ISIS/Daesh, and much more (Jim Willie's fav topic of Saudi, Turkish and CIA narcotics, anyone?).
There will be more leaks about how the MANPADs intended for CIA 'vetted' rebels instead went to Al-Nusra aka Al-Qaeda...or directly to Daesh itself. Whether there will finally be consequences in the form of protesters greeting Sen. John McInsane or Sunni Muslim convert CIA Director John Brennan with shouts of 'treason' or any actual accountability for such remains to be seen. We suspect, but cannot prove, that the recent hack of Brennan's emails attributed to a group no one had heard of before and the publication of his personal AOL account emails by Wikileaks was intended as a 'warning', with more sensitive and incriminating kompromat on Brennan to come. The former FBI agent who has implied Brennan was recruited by the Saudis to become their asset while serving as the CIA's station chief in Riyadh is still out there.
Is somebody in Washington eagerly prodding the Chinese into retaliating for such U.S. displays by sending bombers and special forces to fight alongside the Russians in Syria or bombing ISIS at the Iraqis' invitation?
One thing is clear: between the visit of the Chinese warships to Florida even as the Navy pronounces it will test China's nautical exclusion zones in the South China Sea; and the statements of Trump and Rep. Gabbard, there is a war going on inside the U.S. military and intelligence communities even as Cold War 2.0 heats up in the Middle East.
While neocons, neoliberals and Qatari shills call for a doubling down on 'arming the rebels' aka Al-Qaeda and even sending them MANPADs to target Russian choppers in Syria, Belgrade-based analyst Joaquin Flores sees a complex diplomatic game at work: