President Obama's Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter is one unhappy man. After impotent whining didn't work, he's now resorting to threats over Russian military intervention in Syria. On Thursday he predicted that Russia will 'pay a price' in the form of reprisal attacks on Russian soil and war casualties. According to the UK Guardian, Carter said:
“They have initiated a joint ground offensive with the Syrian regime, shattering the facade that they are there to fight Isil [Isis],” he added. “This will have consequences for Russia itself, which is rightly fearful of attacks. In coming days, the Russians will begin to suffer from casualties.”
It's difficult to characterize Carter's remarks as observations, as The UK Guardian and mainstream media attempt to do, rather than threats. Thus far there have been no known Russian casualties in Syria, as the CIA-backed jihadists of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Al-Nusra Front and Turkish-proxy Army of Conquest have failed to shoot down any Russian jets or helicopters. Pro-FSA propagandists on Twitter have claimed Russian casualties from FSA using U.S. and Saudi supplied TOW anti-tank guided missiles ATGM without providing any evidence. Meanwhile, Russian Mi-24 helicopters either flown by Russian or Russian-trained Syrian pilots have struck U.S.-backed jihadists with low level strafing runs. Clearly if avoiding the risk of MANPADs were the Kremlin or Assad's primary objective above all else, we would not be seeing such low level missions in daylight. It may also be that these gunships were hunting jihadists trying to get close enough to the Russian air base in Latakia to fire rockets at it. Either way the the Kremlin is aiming to send a message and that is we're coming for alCIAeda and intend to blast holes in the Syrian jihadis front lines in support of Damascus ground offensive.
The current gloating among pro-FSA propagandists about their 'fighters for the Syrian revolution' carving up Assad's offensive with TOW missiles reminds me of the Ukrainian propagandists on Twitter proclaiming victory in July/August 2014. Assad's troops are bringing in ever growing quantities of artillery, multiple launch rocket systems and Kornet ATGMs to kill the FSA even before the appearance of Iranian or Iraqi forces on the battlefield forces the rebels to fight on multiple fronts. Furthermore we expect the FSA to find out the hard way that the satellite phones the CIA operatives in Turkey or Jordan told them were encrypted and tracking-proof can actually be triangulated if not decrypted by Russian electronic warfare aircraft and spetsnaz forward air controllers (FACs) near the front lines -- who will direct the Su-24s and -34s toward incinerating the best equipped members of alCIAeda.
Russia's SORM version of the NSA's bulk collection programs can also tap cellular and landline/undersea cables (including those that run under the Persian Gulf and Bosporus?) communications in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, revealing to Russia intel in real time frantic phone calls demanding more fuel and supplies for the FSA, Al Nusra and ISIS after Moscow's jets blew up their facilities. Apparently the arrogance of U.S. Persian Gulf 'allies' and their proxies is such that they are going to have to learn the hard way that these are not your father's 1980s Soviet Russians bombing them, but a highly sophisticated adversary whose technology is almost a match for U.S. surveillance capabilities.
In the meantime, a few pissed off Pentagon bureaucrats (probably the same ones who griped to The Daily Beast that Putin had made the U.S. his "prison bitch") are trying to verbally piss on Russian capabilities as best they can.
Anonymous Department of Defense sources also told CNN and hipster .gov propaganda mouthpiece Vox that at least four Caspian Sea-launched Russian Kalibr cruise missiles crashed in Iran instead of striking targets in Syria early Wednesday. SecDef Carter also accused the Russians of not informing any other states in the region about the cruise missiles strike (which overflew Iran and Iraq en route to Syria with Tehran AND Baghdad's permission) on Russian President Vladimir Putin's 63rd birthday of October 7.
Russia's response predictably has been caustic, insisting together with Iran that the CNN 'reporting' is simply repeating lies from anonymous, faceless sources, and reiterating that all of the Kalibrs struck their intended targets:
"No matter how unpleasant and unexpected for our colleagues in the Pentagon and Langley was yesterday's high-precision strike on Islamic State infrastructure in Syria, the fact remains that all missiles launched from our ships have found their targets," ministry's spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.
Moscow's Defense Ministry spokesman is also feigning shock that a U.S. Defense Secretary would publically call for the deaths of Russian servicemen, without (as of this writing) directly addressing the implied threat of jihadist terror attacks on Russian soil:
"In their assessment of US military actions around the globe, the Russian military officials have never went so low as to publicly express their anticipation of the deaths of American soldiers," ministry's spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.
As the Russia Analyst wrote in our previous post at RogueMoney, the Empire's officials seem to have gone directly from denial to anger in the "5 Stages of Grief" over Russian intervention destroying their imperial project of overthrowing Assad by proxy. Thursday may have marked a shift to the "bargaining" phase as threats are now perceived as somehow likely to make Russia back down. But Russia isn't backing down. In fact, the Russian Defense and Foreign Ministries continue to press the Americans as to why they will not share intelligence about the Islamic State (pronounced E-Gil in its Russian acronym) with Moscow. The Pentagon and State Department's response to the Russian request to share resources and intel in the anti-ISIS fight has been only slightly more dignified than a teenage girl screaming, "I hate you".
I don’t know how you can share intelligence when you don’t share a basic, common objective inside Syria. We’re not at that – we’re nowhere near that point. There’s no shared, common objective here about going after ISIL,” said John Kirby, a State Department spokesman.
John Kirby incidentally, is the same government drone who was tripped up by a question from Associated Press Foggy Bottom reporter Matthew Lee, who correctly pointed out that NATO has been expanding towards Russia and not vice versa for the last twenty years.
Meanwhile, The Daily Beast led by neocon hipster Michael D. Weiss has gone one further, citing the fanatically Russophobic fired-by-US Naval War College historian John R. Schindler's allegations that Russia is deliberately leaving ISIS alone (and by fanatical Russophobe, we mean it -- Schindler blames Russia for starting World War One even though Germany declared war on the Tsar. Schindler also imputes nearly supernatural powers of 'reflexive control' to the Kremlin and its ability to manipulate its jihadist enemies into fighting each other or for it unwittingly in an 'al-KGB-aeda' theory).
Joining this chorus of Weiss-Schindler has been Charles Lister, a 'scholar' at the Brookings Institute whose work is likely funded by the think tank's 'Doha Center', bankrolled by the Al-Thani royal family of Qatar. The Qataris have been huge sponsors of numerous jihadist groups trying to overthrow Assad's regime. Interestingly enough, Ft. Russ also reports that Michael D. Weiss is linked to Mouaz Moustafa, a Damascus born U.S. lobbyist for the 'Free Syrian Army' who helped to arrange Sen. John McCain's sneaking into Syria to meet with the FSA photo op.
Unfortunately for the MSM propaganda machine, Washington and London's insistence that the Russians weren't striking ISIS targets has been proven false by Russian Defense Ministry drone cam footage being released of targets blowing up in ISIS' de facto capital of Raqqa.
In response to extensive amount of drone and gun sight camera footage proving that the Russians are in fact bombing ISIS, the State Department has revised the MSM Narrative to insist that 90% of the targets Russia has hit aren't ISIS. Known US/UK government sock puppet couch potato Eliot Higgins piled on, claiming his super duper geolocation and Google Earth skills prove Russia is lying about the locations of its anti-ISIL strikes.
RT responded by pointing out that actual photo analysis experts have poured ridicule on Higgins' prior 'scoops' 'solving' the mystery of who shot down MH17 obtained from his couch in Leicester, England. The Russian Defense Ministry countered by saying it's the U.S., and not Russia, that's been half assed about striking ISIS after more than a year and thousands of sorties:
Senior Syrian and Iranian officials questioned America’s determination to defeat ISIS, saying that the coalition airstrikes are more of a show and are not intended to actually harm the terrorists. Instead Washington is trying to get ISIS topple the Assad government, hoping to deal with them later.
Russia voiced similar concerns on Wednesday, after reporting that its week-long effort had done serious harm to the jihadists in Syria.
“The US Air Force and other parties has been conduction airstrikes for a year. We have reasons to believe that they don’t often hit terrorist targets, or rather do so very rarely,”said Igor Konashenkov, the spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry.
Meanwhile Russia’s effort seems to have paid off, as on Tuesday the Syrian Army announced a major offensive against various terrorist groups. Commenting on what role Russia’s support played in turning the tables on the jihadists, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said that Russia “has produced significant results in several days that greatly surpass those achieved by the [US-led anti-ISIS] coalition in over a year.”
As the impasse between Washington and Moscow continues, Russia is moving troops, attack helicopters and jets into its former Soviet Central Asian SCO allied state of Tajikistan near the Afghan border. Moscow also announced in a not so veiled shot at the U.S. and UK that instructors with American and British citizenship(s) were training ISIS members at training camps inside Afghanistan(see item 5 below). Whether the Kremlin intends to follow through on Kabul's request for assistance, 36 years after a pro-Soviet Afghan regime called for help in 1979, remains to be seen. What is clear is that Lt. Gen. Leonid Reshetnikov, the retired KGB/SVR analyist who advises Vladimir Putin on policy, was not kidding in an interview he gave months ago saying Moscow sees the threat from Washington-radicalized Muslims as the most serious challenge to its security. A threat far more serious even than a radicalized ultranationalist, NATO aligned Ukraine on Russia's doorstep.
Nor have the actions of the U.S. or its primary Muslim client state Saudi Arabia done much to disabuse Russians of the notion that ISIS is a CIA creation and jihad is essentially a faucet Langley and its allied intelligence services turn on and off:
Given these perceptions and the deepening chill of Cold War 2.0, we can expect several events to occur:
1) While Washington in the true fashion of a bully fears getting punched directly in the nose, the U.S., Doha and Riyadh have sunk too many billions into their failed project at regime change followed by the installation of a Qatari gas pipeline to give up in Syria just yet. The one major candidate besides the ignored Sen. Rand Paul who has taken a 'let Putin bomb ISIS' position, Donald Trump, will come under immense pressure to 'rethink' his position with all sorts of leaks about business dealings and smears. Candidates with no actual viability like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will keep receiving prime air time to plug their 'get tough with Russia arm the Ukrainians and moderate Syrian rebels now' schtick.
2) The 'Free Syrian Army' or whatever group of jihadis wearing that label will be supplied with MANPADs, irrespective of the risk that Stinger missiles could fall into the hands of ISIS or even be sold by the 'vetted' 'moderate rebels' to the Islamic State and/or Al Qaeda to be used against airliners. The neocon crazies like Sen. John McCain are sufficiently humiliated and enraged by Putin's intervention to not care anymore about the potential exposure of such arms smuggling or whether it will run afoul of the USA Patriot Act or other legislation that makes it illegal to smuggle arms. Even the Iranian and Russian exposure of the CIA's massive gunrunning to Syria at Benghazi does not seem sufficient deterrent against such a policy.
President Barack Obama is on his way out of office and can be kept safely out of the loop or at least told in no uncertain terms to butt out should his pro-Iranian adviser/handler Valerie Jarrett get wind of it, not unlike Reagan being warned off or kept in the dark regarding the cocaine trafficking aspect of Iran Contra. Remember the Guerrilla's maxim: desperate people do desperate, stupid things.
An airliner full of innocent civilians getting blown out of the sky on approach by ISIS is a small price to pay in the minds of the crazed neocons for shooting down a few Russian Hind helicopters, since the FSA won't be able to kill any fast movers at high altitude or jets on low level fast-bombing runs using older MANPADs. The FSA will have to be supplied with hardware of sufficient sophistication that there's a high risk CIA personnel trying to train the FSA on it in Jordan or elsewhere could find themselves the victims of a sudden cross border spetsnaz raid.
Make no mistake -- the Russians will not just let the CIA bleed their forces through alCIAeda without extracting a price, whether it be taking out CIA contractors who thought they were safe in Jordan or Iraq, or killing U.S. mercenaries from Greystone or other son of Blackwater companies with a drone strike in eastern Ukraine. Modern Russia is NOT the Soviet Union of the 1980s. For its part, Hezbollah has targeted CIA personnel in Lebanon in the past and could do it again, though Russia would clearly prefer that they not do so, as a covert war in which both sides target each other's spies is bad for the spying business. Moscow also prefers as in August 2013 to give its nuclear armed opponent a face saving way 'out' of the Syria and Ukraine messes. That's not going to be possible if things escalate to the point of direct covert hostilities.
3) China will come out firmly behind Russia, even if the rumors about Chinese ships and troops being sent to Russia's bases in Syria turn out not to be 100% accurate. Beijing is well aware that the Pentagon is bragging about how it will soon challenge China's nautical and aviation exclusion zone around the man made islands it has created in the South China Sea. ISIS spreading across former Soviet Central Asia including into Afghanistan represents a direct threat not only to Chinese business interests in Afghan minerals extraction (lithium and natural gas), but also the New Silk Roads initiative championed by Xi Jinpeng. For these and other reasons, China's rhetoric has gotten tougher and Beijing has yet to disavow the rumors about PLA special forces or jets going into Syria, even if Debka's claim about a Chinese aircraft carrier visiting the port of Tartus proved false. At some point the PLA wants and needs real live fire combat experience and fighting ISIS is a low risk, internationally popular way to get it for Beijing.
4) The Chinese will leverage their business relationships with the Turks to put pressure on Ankara not to pick a fight with the Russians. Moscow will remind Ankara that the Turks need Russian gas a lot more badly than Russia needs Turkish produce, possibly with 'safety inspections' on fruits and vegetables coming from Anatolia this winter. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government will come under intense pressure after his Islamist Law and Justice Party takes a hit in the early November elections, and there may be more rumblings about a military coup against him, particularly if the AKP led government cracks down and faces more insurgency from the Kurds.
Note Michael D. Weiss citing Jane's Defense -- the same corrupted British publication that lied about the extent of Kiev's battlefield 'successes' just before the collapse of the Ukrainian offensive into a humiliating rout in August 2014
5) Russia will continue to leak kompromat about the U.S. government's half-assed to weak campaign against ISIS, including data it will claim spetsnaz captured in raids on ISIS/AlNusra 'safehouses' that proves a Langley connection to the terrorists. This data will be 'leaked' via LiveLeak and LifeNews.ru before getting picked up by the rest of the Russian or pro-Russian press. The U.S. Deep State will angrily respond with more 'Al-KGB-aeda' claims, generally pushed through the usual sock puppets like John R. Schindler, Michael D. Weiss of The Daily Beast or Business Insider's Michael B. Kelley. There will also be more cyber attacks blamed on Russia and China. 'Adventurer journalists' who are actually Pentagon sock puppets like the Heritage Foundation Daily Signal reporter Nolan W. Peterson will likely be sent into Turkey if not rebel held parts of Syria under Russian bombs to humanize the jihadists, just as Peterson tried to tell the story of the SS regalia wearing Azov Battalion shortly after Congress voted to cut off any U.S. funding for the Ukrainian Nazi group.
6) The U.S. Deep State will push through the GOP presidential candidates and Hillary's replacement Joe Biden on the Democratic side for rearming Ukraine for a new offensive against the 'pro-Russian separatists'. In the meantime Putin allegedly pressuring the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics to cancel elections intended for this month will be spun as 'the Kremlin is abandoning Novorossiya/DNR/LNR in return for some sort of deal with the Americans on Syria'. Even though it's obvious from the bellicose rhetoric and threats emanating from SecDef Ashton Carter and nearly the entire U.S. political elite that there is 'no deal', only more Cold War 2.0 to be decided on the battlefield or with the collapse of the dollar.
7) Most alarming for Washington though will be the increasingly overt alignment of former U.S. allies from Cairo to Baghdad to Kabul to Islamabad with the Russians and Chinese. Obama will be blamed for having not just 'lost the Middle East', but for doing more damage to America's alliances than any president in history including George W. Bush. The Kiev regime will continue to crumble economically and protests against it and Uncle Sam as the presumed puppeteer behind the wildly unpopular Poroshenko/Yatsenyuk government will grow. Kiev will badly want to crack skulls but will be unable to be as vicious as it wants to be against protesters due to global media attention.
The protests in Moldova, and the growing anger in Europe over Merkel's stupid open borders policy towards refugees and the presumptive Washington pressure behind it will fuel an anti-U.S. sentiment in countries where previously Washington's grip on media and public opinion manipulators seemed incontestable, especially Germany.
When the Iraqis celebrate Russian air strikes blowing ISIS away after a year of failed U.S. bombing of the terrorist group on their soil, RT/Sputnik among others will be there to cover it in full HD.That my friends s going to be a bitter pill for the likes of McCain and other supporters of the Iraq war to take -- that the U.S. shed blood and spent over a trillion dollars to establish not only an Iranian, but Russian ally in Baghdad.
Many battles lay ahead -- but the momentum has clearly shifted in Syria and no amount of desperately trying to relive the 1980s Soviet-Afghan war will help the Western globalist banksters take back the illusion of control. From now on, they are doomed to keep reacting to the actions of the Eurasian axis, of which the Syrian counteroffensive is just one front.