Hersh’s New Syria Revelations

Shoygu reported to Vladimir Putin about successful liquidation of the head of ISIS

Source: https://cont.ws/@barbera/642188

Translated by EugeniaShoygu reported to Vladimir Putin about successful liquidation of the head of ISIS

Today at the working meeting of the Russian Security Counsel the Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu reported to the Commander-in-Chief that the Russian Air Force in Syria liquidated more than 30 field commanders of the terrorist organization ISIS, likely including its leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.

The report stated that on the night of May 28 Russian military planes Su-34 and Su-35 struck an ISIS command center near Raqqa. It was confirmed that as the result all participants of that clandestine meeting of the higher ISIS leadership were liquidated. Military authorities said that the leader of ISIS (as confirmed by many sources) was among the participants.

Russian Defense Ministry

In the end of May of 2017, the command of the Russian troops in Syrian Arab Republic obtained information that in the Southern suburb of Raqqa the leadership of terrorist group ISIS will be holding a meeting.

During checking of this information, it found that the goal of the meeting was to plan the retreat of the militants from Raqqa via so-called “Southern corridor”.

The strikes of Su-35 and Su-34 liquidated high-ranking commanders of the terrorist group who were members of the so-called Military Counsel of ISIS, as well as about 30 mid-ranking field commanders and up to 300 militants of their bodyguard.

Among liquidated terrorists were Emir of Raqqa Abu Al-Haji Al-Mysri, Emir Ibrahim An-Naef Al-Haj, who controlled the area from Raqqa to Es-Suhne, and the commander of ISIS security Suleiman Al-Shauah.

The airstrike occurred on May 28, and since then the terrorists tried to suppress the information about the demise of their leader. However, today the Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu personally reported to Vladimir Putin about possible liquidation of Al Baghdadi.

The liquidation of the ISIS leader is supported by the fact that meeting of this level and importance usually do not occur without the participation of the leader of the organization. Moreover, the strike happened on May 28, but was disclosed only after several weeks of painstaking verification of the information.

At the same time, presentation of unambiguous information regarding the liquidation of the terrorist leader is hard, because it is impossible to conduct identification of the bodies at the site of the strike. The territory where this command center was located remains in the hands of the enemy, the Western media purposefully suppress any information, and the place of the Russian airstrike at this “fatal military counsel” is now an even and totally burnt out wasteland.

In the future, one cannot exclude staged scenes with “live” Al Baghdadi (on poor quality video translated by Western media), but the fact that this information was reported to the President leaves little doubt that it is correct.

GENERALIZATION

After the siege of the Syrian Raqqa (by the US-led coalition) became more active and the top leaders of ISIS were destroyed by Russian Air Force, the capital of the terrorist group was moved again to a new place.

Right now, most of the ISIS field commanders left Raqqa and moved to the city Al-Mayadin in Deir-ez-Zor province. Previously, ISIS leadership from Iraqi Mosul also moved there.

Why this insignificant (considering its size) city is so important? Why after the demise of top leaders did their sidekicks moved there from everywhere? The answer: because of resources (oil, natural gas) and its strategic (for all involved) location.

The thing is, the Americans started their war in Syria not only to control the price and sources of oil and gas, but also to put pressure on Russia (details here). To this end, directing the terrorists to the Central Asia (the Russian underbelly) was one of the key objectives, and the construction of a huge pipeline Persian Gulf – EU was supposed to be its final economic achievement. Next, that was supposed to be followed by explosions all over Russia (with concomitant fall of the economy and standards of living), organization of “opposition rebellions”, Western “support of the press”, “sweet promises”, and “democratic” replacement of Putin and “elites” by those subservient to the US.

The next few years showed that the American strategy was too ambitious, but despite the Russian victories, its implementation in Syria not been completely stopped.

Thus, while the war is approaching its logical end, the US desperately needs to take possession of the largest possible and most convenient parts of pro-American Syrian territory, and via those, without deposing Assad, build those coveted oil and gas pipelines.

The first attempt to get this territory was made just a few weeks ago. Thanks to the able actions of the Russian Ministry of Defense it failed miserably (details here). The second attempt is being made right now and it is directly connected with little known Syrian township Al-Mayadin.

Al-Mayadin is a little hamlet in Deir-ez-Zor province, right next to the Euphrates river. In addition, it is located in the middle of rich Syrian deposits of oil and natural gas, and the shortest route (based on geological considerations) for the oil and gas pipelines from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean goes through the territories nearest to it (which was the greatest desire of the US from the start).

Thus, Al-Mayadin became the most contested point for the US, terrorists, and Russia.

To block the American scenario, the Russian coalition needs full control of the diagonal from the Northwest to the South-East of Syria, i.e., the whole territory along the Western bank of Euphrates. To the dismay of the US, this is quite achievable for the Russian coalition.

That is exactly why Washington, via Pentagon, recently intensified the attack on Raqqa and hastily announced that the area around Euphrates, including Deir-ez-Zor province, suddenly became the area of “increased American interests”. This statement is quite ironic, as “the area of interests” completely overlaps with the region of the richest Syrian oil and gas deposits.

In the near future, the Russian and American coalitions will rush to outcompete each other in taking the “capital” city of Al-Mayadin and oil- and gas-rich areas along the Western bank of Euphrates.

Meanwhile, the successes of the Russian operation are leading the war in Syria to its final conclusion. The closer it becomes, the more “financial” Russophobic nightmares will trouble the “civilized world”…

Washington’s plan for chaos and the Syrian encirclement خطة واشنطن للفوضى والقفص السوري

Washington’s plan for chaos and the Syrian encirclement

يونيو 19, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Before the battle of Aleppo, Moscow was preparing to participate with Washington in a political context that avoids the military solutions and devotes the common cooperation to eliminate the terrorism represented by Al Nusra and ISIS. Washington was unable to meet the requirements of that involvement for reasons related to the presidential elections on one hand, and because the military department does not lean to cooperate with Russia on the other hand, and because the US intelligence department betted on the choice of chaos which based on adopting the Kurdish state and restricting the war on ISISI as well as managing the movement of ISIS from one area to another.

After the battle of Aleppo, the US presidential elections, and the passage of time, it seemed apparently that America tried to neglect the understanding signed by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the US Secretary of State John Kerry, it moved to send force messages to the Syrian army to revive the armed groups, and to draw red lines that allow the movement of ISIS from Raqqa towards Palmyra, Badia, and Deir Al Zour and allow having control over the Syrian-Iraqi borders by the groups affiliated to Washington, despite the clarity of what will be as tension with Moscow on one hand, and with Turkey on the other hand.

After the crystallization of the US plan and adopting it practically, there were features of Syrian encirclement that embraces the US plan and allures it. It seemed that Russia and Iran support strongly the Syrian plan. The title of the Syrian plan is the avoidance of the direct confrontation with the Americans along with non-compliance with their red lines. The encirclement will be able to disable the US plan, and it will get narrow gradually from the fronts of the northeast of Aleppo, Palmyra, and the Syrian-Iraqi borders to drop the theory of the rolling of ISISI and restricting the final battle with ISIS in Deir Al Zour. The Syrians along with the Russian fiery support, an Iranian fighting participation and an active presence of Hezbollah advance rapidly in Badia, they have control over what is equal three times of Lebanon’s area. They progressed towards Raqqa and had control over more than one thousand kilometers of the area of the province; they moved along the Euphrates towards Deir Al Zour and progressed from Palmyra towards Sokhna towards Deir Al Zour. They moved to meet the Popular Crowd across the borders do not care about the expected US fire, till the borders line became resolved by facts where ISIS, the Kurds and the Americans were confined by the Syrian army which deploys along the Euphrates River, closing Badia and restricting the battle in the northern of the River.

The progress of Mosul’s battles after closing the western passages of withdrawal in front of ISIS as Raqqa, and the closing of the southern passages of withdrawal made Deir Al Zour the decisive battle in Syria and Iraq, it is a battle where the Syrian army confines the Americans who cannot get out but only by getting out of the battle with ISIS, but they do not bear that, so the only way in front of them is to cooperate with the Syrian army as unavoidable condition to win the war on ISIS and in order to say that Washington played a crucial role in the victory over the terrorism.

The Syrian encirclement is winning over the US red line, and what was refused by the Americans a year ago, its minimum will be accepted by them before the end of the year.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

خطة واشنطن للفوضى والقفص السوري

 

يونيو 17, 2017

– منذ ما قبل معركة حلب كانت موسكو قد فتحت الأبواب للتشارك مع واشنطن في سياق سياسي يتفادَى الحول العسكرية ويكرس التعاون المشترك للقضاء على الإرهاب، ممثلا بالنصرة وداعش، وقد عجزت واشنطن عن تلبية متطلبات هذا الانخراط لأسباب تتصل بالانتخابات الرئاسية من جهة، ولميل المؤسسة العسكرية لعدم التعاون مع روسيا من جهة أخرى، ولرهان المؤسسة الاستخبارية الأميركية على خيار الفوضى القائم أصلاً على تبني الحالة الكردية وحصر الحرب على داعش بها وإدارة تدحرج داعش من منطقة إلى منطقة.

– بعد معركة حلب والانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية ومرور بعض الوقت بدا الاتجاه الأميركي واضحاً بطي الصفحة على التفاهم الذي وقعه وزيرا الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف والأميركي جون كيري، والسير باتجاه رسائل القوة نحو الجيش السوري لإنعاش الجماعات المسلحة ورسم خطوط حمراء تتيح تنقل داعش من الرقة نحو تدمر والبادية ودير الزور وتسمح للجماعات المحسوبة على واشنطن بإمساك الحدود السورية العراقية، رغم وضوح ما سيترتب على كل ذلك من توتر مع موسكو من جهة ومع تركيا من جهة أخرى.

– بعد تبلور الخطة الأميركية والسير فيها عملياً، برزت ملامح قفص سوري يحيط بالخطة الأميركية ويستدرجها إلى داخله، وبدا بقوة أن روسيا وإيران تقفان بقوة وراء الخطة السورية، وعنوان الخطة السورية تفادي المواجهة المباشرة مع الأميركيين مع عدم التقيّد بخطوطهم الحمراء، فالقفص سيتكفل بإبطال الخطة الأميركية، والقفص يضيق تدريجياً من جهات شمال شرق حلب وتدمر والحدود السورية العراقية لإسقاط نظرية تدحرج داعش وحصر المعركة النهائية مع التنظيم في دير الزور، وسار السوريون ومعهم دعم ناري روسي ومشاركة قتالية إيرانية وحضور فاعل لحزب الله، للتقدم السريع في البادية فسيطروا على ما يعادل ثلاث مرات مساحة لبنان، وتقدّموا نحو الرقة وسيطروا على أكثر من ألف كلم مربع من مساحة المحافظة وساروا مع مجرى الفرات نحو دير الزور وتقدّموا من تدمر نحو السخنة باتجاه دير الزور حتى صاروا على مرمى حجر منها، واتجهوا لملاقاة الحشد الشعبي عبر الحدود غير آبهين بالنيران الأميركية المتوقّعة، حتى صار خط الحدود محسوماً بالوقائع ومثله القفص الذي يحتوي قوات داعش والأكراد والأميركيين، بقوس ينتشر عليه الجيش السوري مع مجرى نهر الفرات يغلق البادية ويحصر المعركة شمال النهر.

– تقدّم معارك الموصل بعد إغلاق محاور الانسحاب غرباً أمام داعش ومثله الرقة وإغلاق ممرات الانسحاب جنوباً يجعلان دير الزور المعركة الفاصلة في سورية والعراق، وهي معركة يضعها الجيش السوري وحلفاؤه في قفص لا يملك الأميركيون الخروج منه إلا بالخروج من المعركة مع داعش، وهو ما لا يستطيعونه، حتى صار الباب الوحيد أمامهم السعي للتعاون مع الجيش السوري شرطاً لا مفر منه للفوز بالحرب على داعش والقول إن واشنطن لعبت دوراً حاسماً في الانتصار على الإرهاب.

– القفص السوري ينتصر على الخط الأحمر الأميركي، وما رفضه الأميركيون قبل عام سيرضون بأقل منه قبل نهاية العام.

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Tensions Escalate Over Shoot-down of Syrian Jet

The Russian Ministry of Defense is calling yesterday’s downing of a Syrian military plane “a cynical violation of Syria’s sovereignty” as well as “a deliberate default on their [the US Coalition’s] obligations under the memorandum on on preventing incidents and providing for safe flights during operations in Syria signed on October 20, 2015.”

As I reported yesterday, US Coalition forces–who are in Syria illegally–shot down a Syrian plane over Raqqa province. The Syrians say their aircraft was carrying out a bombing attack against ISIS. The Coalition claim is that the attack was against US-backed forces.

Russia has now denounced the shoot-down and broken off a communication channel with the US that established in 2015 to try and prevent incidents in Syrian skies.

From the Russian news agency Tass:

“As of June 19 this year, the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation has ended its interaction with the US side under a memorandum for preventing incidents and providing for safe flights during operations in Syria and demands that the US command carry out a careful investigation and report about its results and the measures taken,” the statement reads.

“The shooting down of a Syrian Air Force jet in Syria’s airspace is a cynical violation of Syria’s sovereignty. The US’ repeated combat operations under the guise of ‘combating terrorism’ against the legitimate armed forces of a UN member-state are a flagrant violation of international law, in addition to being actual military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic,” the ministry said.

Russia will regard any flights within the area of its air force group’s operation in Syria as legitimate targets, the ministry stressed.  

“Any aircraft, including planes and drones of the international coalition, detected in the operation areas west of the Euphrates River by the Russian air forces will be followed by Russian ground-based air defense and air defense aircraft as air targets,” the report said.

The ministry explained the reasons for suspending the memorandum. According to the ministry, at the moment the Syrian warplane was hit by the US fighter, Russia’s Aerospace Forces were carrying out missions in Syria’s airspace; “However, the coalition command did not use the existing communication line between the air commands of Al Udeid Air Base (Qatar) and Khmeimim Air Base to prevent incidents in Syria’s airspace.”

The story also reports that the Syrian plane was providing air cover for government troops which were mounting an offensive against ISIS terrorists near the city of Resafa. After the plane was hit, the pilot ejected. His fate is as yet unknown.

Syrian Army Captures Strategic Crossroad Town Of Resafa In Raqqah Province (Map)

Click the map 

Here is what the New York Times is reporting, referring to the conflict erroneously as a “civil war”:

Russia on Monday condemned the American military’s downing of a Syrian warplane, suspending the use of a military hotline that Washington and Moscow have used to avoid collisions in Syrian airspace and threatening to target aircraft flown by the United States and its allies over Syria.

The moves were the most recent example of an intensifying clash of words and interests between the two powers, which support different sides in the yearslong war in Syria.

The Russian military has threatened to halt its use of the hotline in the past — notably after President Trump ordered the launch of missiles against a Syrian air base in April — only to continue and even expand its contacts with the United States military. It was not clear whether the latest suspension would be lasting.

Its announcement came in response to an American F/A-18 jet’s shooting down a Syrian government warplane south of the town of Tabqah on Sunday, after the Syrian aircraft dropped bombs near local ground forces supported by the United States. It was the first time the American military had downed a Syrian plane since the civil war began in the country in 2011.

The article also includes a quote from Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford, who describes the current tensions as “a delicate couple of hours.”

“This is a delicate couple of hours,” Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Monday just before speaking at a luncheon in Washington. He said that he had no plans to immediately call his Russian counterpart, Gen. Valery V. Gerasimov, while the American military was still determining facts on the ground, but that he would talk to him “in time.”

Infantile discussion of the issue aired on CNN yesterday–includes no mention of the fact that US forces are in Syria illegally, no acknowledgement of the fact that the US goal has been regime change, rather than fighting terrorism. No mention also of the fact that the US is supporting “opposition forces” who are waging an armed rebellion against the democratically elected government.

Whether Russia will begin viewing Coalition forces as legitimate “targets” I guess remains to be seen. I’m not sure how much longer Vladimir Putin’s patience will last, but maybe it will remain intact through the present situation.

Russia and Islam, connecting the dots and discerning the future

June 18, 2017

This article was written for the Unz Review

Russia has often been in the news over the past years, mostly as the demonized “Empire of Mordor” responsible for all the bad things on the planet, especially Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton, the Russian intervention in Syria and, of course, the “imminent” Russian invasion of the Baltics, Poland or even all of Western Europe. I won’t even dignify all this puerile nonsense with any attention, but instead I will focus on what I think are important developments which are either misunderstood or completely ignored in the West.

First, a few key dots:

1) The Russian intervention in Syria

There are so many aspects of the Russian military intervention in Syria which ought to be carefully studied that I am confident that many PhD theses will be written on this topic in the future. While I have mostly focused my work on the purely military aspects of this campaign, it is important to look at the bigger picture. To do that, I will make the admittedly risky assumption that the civil war in Syria is pretty much over. That is not my conclusion only, but also an opinion voiced by an increasing number of analysts including a Russian general during an official briefing. With the fall of Aleppo and now the latest Syrian-Hezbollah-Russian move to cut off the US controlled forces from their planned move to the Iraqi border, things do indeed looks pretty bleak for the terrorists, the “good ones” and the “bad ones”. In the Syrian-Russian-Hezbollah controlled areas, normal life is gradually returning and the Russians are pouring huge amounts of aid (food, medical supplies, mine clearing, engineering, etc.) into the liberated areas. When Aleppo was under Takfiri control it was the center of attention of the western media, now that this city has been liberated, nobody wants to hear about it lest anybody become aware of what is a huge Russian success.

Even more impressive is the nature of the Russian forces in Tartus and, especially, in Khmeinim. The Russian military TV Channel “Red Star” has recently aired two long documentaries about the Russian facilities in Syria and two things are clear: first, the Russians are going to stay for a very long time and, second, they have now completed an advanced resupply and augmentation infrastructure which can accommodate not only small and mid size aircraft and ships, but even the immense An-124. The Russian have dug in, very very deep, and they will fight very hard if attacked. Most importantly, they now have the means to bring in more forces, including heavy equipment, in a very short time.

Again, this might be a premature conclusion, but barring any (always possible) surprises, the Russians are in, Assad stays in power, the Takfiris are out and the civil war is over.

Conversely this means that: the USA lost the war, as did the KSA, Qatar, Israel, France, the UK and all the other so-called “friends of Syria”. The Iranian, Hezbollah and the Russians have won.

So what does all this really mean?

The most radical consequence of this process is that Russia is back in the Middle-East. But even that is not the full story. Not only is Russia back, but she is back in force. Even though Iran has actually made a bigger effort to save Syria, the Russian intervention, which was much smaller than the Iranian one, was far more visible and it sure looked like “Russia saved Assad”. In reality, “Russia saved Assad” is a gross over-simplification, it should be “the Syrian people, Hezbollah, Iran and Russia saved Syria”, but that is how most people will see it it, for better or for worse. Of course, there is more than a kernel of truth in that view as without the Russian intervention Damascus would have probably fallen to the Daesh crazies and all the other Christian or Muslim denominations more or less wiped out. Still, the perception is that Russia single-handedly changed what appeared as an inevitable outcome.

The Russian success was especially amazing when compared to the apparently endless series of defeats for the United States: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and now the latest mess with the Saudi blockade against Qatar – the Americans just don’t see to be able to get anything done. Just the contrast between the way the US betrayed Hosni Mubarak with how the Russians stood by Assad is a powerful message to all the regional leaders: better to have the Russians on your side than the Americans.

2) How Russia transformed Turkey from an enemy to a potential ally

To say that Turkey is a crucial ally of the US and a vital member of NATO is an understatement. For one thing, Turkey has the 2nd largest army in NATO (the US being the biggest one, of course). Turkey also holds the keys to the Mediterranean, NATO’s southern flank and the northern Middle-East. Turkey has a common border with Iran and a maritime boundary with Russia (over the Black Sea). When Turkey shot down a Russian SU-24 bomber (with US complicity) the situation became so tense that many observers feared that a full-scale war would break out between the two countries and, possible, the NATO alliance. Initially, nothing happened, the Turks took a hard stance, but following the coup against Erdogan (also with US complicity), the Turks suddenly did an amazing 180 and turned to Russia for help. The Russians were only glad to help, of course.

We will never really know what role the Russians really played in saving Erdogan, but it is pretty clear, even by his own words, that Putin did something absolutely crucial. What is indisputable is that Erdogan suddenly moved away from the USA, NATO and the EU and turned to the Russians who immediately used Turkey’s ties with the Takfiris to get them out of Aleppo. Then they invited Turkey and Iran to negotiate a three way deal to end the civil war. As for the Americans, were not even consulted.

The example of Turkey is the perfect illustration of how the Russians turn “the enemies into neutrals, neutrals into friends and friends into allies”. Oh sure, Erdogan is an unpredictable and, frankly, unstable character, the Americans and NATO are still in Turkey, and the Russians will never forget the Turkish support for the Takfiris in Chechnia, Crimea and Syria or, for that matter, the Turkish treacherous attack on their SU-24. But neither will they show any external signs of that. Just like with Israel, there is no love fest between Russia and Turkey, but all the parties are supremely pragmatic and so everybody is all smiles.

Why does this matter?

Because it shows how sophisticated the Russians are, how instead of using military force to avenge their SU-24, which is what the Americans would have done, they quietly but with great resolve and effort did what had to be done to “de-fuse” Turkey and “turn” it. The day following the Turkish attack Putin warned that Turkey would not “get away with just some tomatoes” (referring to the Russians sanctions against Turkish imports). Less than a year later, the Turkish military and security services got almost completely de-fanged in the purges following the coup against Erdogan and Erdogan himself flew to Moscow to ask to be accepted by the Kremlin as a friend and ally. Pretty darn impressive, if you ask me.

3) Russia and the “Chechen model” as a unique case in the Muslim world

Many observers have commented in awe at the miracle Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov pulled-off in Chechnia: after the region was absolutely devastated by two vicious and brutal wars and after being a “black hole” for assorted terrorists and common thugs, Chechnia turned into one of the most peaceful and safe parts of Russia (even while neighboring Dagestan is still suffering from violence and corruption). I won’t revisit it all and describe all the dramatic changes in Chechnia, but I will focus on a often ignored aspect of the “Chechen model”: Chechnia has become an extremely strict and traditional Sunni Muslim region. Not only that, but it is also one which has basically comprehensively defeated not only the Wahabis themselves but also their Wahabi ideology. In other words, Chechnia today is unique in that this is a Sunni Muslim culture which is strictly Islamic but with no risk whatsoever of being re-infected by the Wahabi virus. It is difficult to overstate the importance of this unique feature.

In the 1990s most of the Muslim world supported the Wahabi insurgency in Chechnia in a completely knee-jerk reaction I call “wrong or right – my Ummah”. This is largely the result of the very sophisticated AngloZionist propaganda aimed at the Muslim world which completely distorted the truth about the conflict taking place there (the same happened in Bosnia, by the way). Nowadays, however, the “Chechen example” is attracting a great deal of attention in the Muslim world and the personality of Ramzan Kadyrov is slowly becoming somewhat of a hero. Even the Saudis who financed a great deal of the Chechen insurgency and who threatened Russia with terrorist attack during the Sochi Olympics, now have to be very courteous and “brotherly” with Ramzan Kadyrov. The truth is that the Saudis are directly threatened by the “Chechen model” because it proves something the Saudis want to categorically deny: the traditional and strict Islam does NOT have to be Wahabi or, even less so, Takfiri.

Think of it: the biggest threat to the Saudis is, of course, Iran because it is a powerful, successful and dynamic Islamic Republic. But at least Iran is Shia and that, in the minds of some Sunnis, is a grievous heresy and almost a form of apostasy. But the Chechens are potentially much more dangerous to the Saudi ideology – they are anti-Wahabi (they call them “shaitans” or, literally, “devils”) and they are willing to fight anywhere in the Muslim world to counter the “good terrorists” supported by the CIA and the House of Saud. Time and time again, Ramzan Kadyrov, and many other Chechen leaders and commanders, have repeated that they are willing to fight for Russia “anywhere on the planet”. They have already been deployed in Georgia, Lebanon, Novorussia and now they are fighting in Syria. Each time with devastating effectiveness. They are true Muslim heroes, recognized as such even by the non-Muslim Russians, and they want absolutely nothing to do with the Wahabis whom they hate with a passion. As a result, more and more people in the Muslim world are expressing their admiration for the Chechen model.

The Chechen model also is noticed and hotly debated inside Russia. Russian liberals absolutely hate it and, just like their western curators, they accuse Kadyrov all sorts of unspeakable crimes. Their latest invention is that homosexuals are jailed and tortured by Chechen security service. This kind of stories might be taken seriously in San Francisco or Key West, but they get zero traction with the Russian public.

Chechnia is ideally located to influence not only the Caucasus but also other Muslim regions of Russia and even Central Asia. The large number of Chechens in the Russian special operation forces also makes them very visible in the Russian media. All this contributes to the high-visibility and popularity of a viable traditional Sunni model which is the exact opposite of what is happening the EU. Let’s compare the image of Muslims in the EU in Russia.

A couple of important caveats first. First, the picture was not always quite as rosy, especially not in the 1990s when Chechens were seen as thugs, brutes, crooks and vicious terrorists. Some Russians have neither forgotten nor forgiven (and, of course, some Chechens still hate Russians for what they did to Chechnia during the two wars). Second, this table compares what I call “ethnic Muslims” in Europe, meaning people coming from Muslim countries or families but who are not necessarily true, pious, Muslims at all. In fact, most of them are not. This is why I put “Muslims” in quotation marks. When I speak of Chechens, I refer to those conservative Chechens who support Kadyrov and his strict adherence to Islamic values. So, in a way, I will be comparing apples and oranges, but I do so because I want to show the greatest contrast possible and I believe that these apples and oranges play a crucial role in the development of the societies they live in now.

“Muslims” in the EU “Kadyrov Chechens” in Russia
Seen as alien/immigrants/”others” Seen as neighbors/locals
Seen as disruptive of the local culture Seen as representing a conservative/traditionalist strand in the Russian society
Seen as potential terrorists Seen as the prime victims of, and allies against, terrorism
Seen has disloyal to the native people Seen as the most loyal defenders of the Motherland
Seen as criminals and hooligans Seen as “law and order” types
Seen as lazy welfare leeches Seen as hard-working and skilled businessmen

Again, these are not scientific findings, they are not backed by careful opinion polling and they do compare apples and oranges. So take them with a big bag of salt. And yet, I think that what this table shows what are deep and contrasting trends inside the EU and Russian societies: the EU is on a collision course with the Islamic world while Russia is not. In fact, Russia represents a model of how a (nominally) Christian society can coexist with a large Muslim minority to the benefit of both communities. Russia also represents a unique example of how two very different religions can contribute to the development of a *joint* civilizational model.

Now an attempt at discerning the future

So let’s connect the dots above: First, Russia is arguably the single most important actor in the Middle-East, far eclipsing the United States. Second, Russia has successfully built an informal, but crucial, alliance with Iran and Turkey and these three countries will decide of the outcome of the war in Syria. Third, Russia is the only country on earth where Sunni Islam is truly safe from the Wahabi virus and where a traditionalist Sunni society exists without any Saudi interference. Combine these three and I see an immense potential for Russia to become the force which will most effectively oppose the power and influence of the Saudis in the Muslim world. This also means that Russia is now the undisputed leader in the struggle to defeat international Takfiri terrorism (what Trump – mistakenly – calls “Islamic fundamentalism”).

The AngloZionist rulers of the Empire have been very clever, if also very short-sighted: First they created al-Qaeda, then unleashed it against their enemies, then they used al-Qaeda/ISIS/Daesh to wreak havoc on a number of secular regimes just to “re-shape” a “new Middle-East” and now they are finally using al-Qaeda/ISIS/Daesh to set the West on a direct collision course with the entire Muslim world (1.8 billion people!) which will prevent the imperial slaves, that is all of us, the common folks living the the EU and USA, from ever looking at the real cause of our problems or, even less so, overthrow our rulers.

Thus we see the disgraceful and, frankly, stupid propaganda against Muslims and Islam as if somehow there was a real Muslim or Islamic threat. The reality, of course, is that all those Muslims who do represent a real threat for the people in the West are invariably associated with western security services and that since 9/11 the vast majority of terror attacks have been false flags. True, there were some apparently “real” (that is: undirected by western special services) attacks, but the number of victims in such, frankly, amateurish attack was minuscule and blown out of proportion.

Just like the “thug life” musical propaganda in the USA resulted in large numbers of US Blacks being killed, mostly by shooting each other, so the “Islamic terrorist” hysteria in the media will result in a few genuine terrorist attacks. But if you add up all the numbers you quickly realize that this paranoid hysteria is completely out of proportion with the real danger.

Somebody wants us all the be afraid, really afraid.

Sadly, this hysteria has affected many, not only in the official Ziomedia, but also in the so-called ‘alternative’ media. The result? Just as the rulers of the Empire need it, the West and the Islamic world are now on a collision course. Who is your money on in this clash? Just take a look at the clowns we have for leaders and tell me that the West will win this one!

The West will, of course, lose this war too, but the consequences of this defeat are not the topic of this article. What I am trying to illustrate here is that the West and Russia have taken to radically different approaches to the challenges of an increasingly more influential Islamic world. I would compare Russia and the West to two swimmers caught in a powerful riptide: the West is determined to swim directly against it while Russia uses this riptide to get where she wants. Again, who do you think will fare better?

But this is not just about the West anymore, this is about the multi-polar world which will replace the current AngloZionist hegemony. In this context, one of the most interesting processes taking place is that Russia is becoming a major player in the Muslim world.

Only 10 to 15 percent of Russians are Muslim, that amounts to about 10 million people. Most Muslim countries are way bigger. And since 85 to 90 percent of Russians are not Muslims, the influence of Russia in the Muslim world cannot be measured by such relatively modest numbers. However, when we consider the central role Russian Muslims play in the Russian policies towards the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle-East, when we take into account that Russian Muslims are mostly Sunni and very well protected against the virus of Wahabism and when we recall that traditional Sunni Islam has the full backing of the Russian state we can truly get a sense of the unique combination of factors which will give the Russian Muslims an influence far in excess of their relatively modest numbers.

Furthermore, the Russians are now closely collaborating with Shia Iran and with (mostly) Hanafi Turkey. Most Chechens belong to the Sha’afi Sunni tradition and about half are adherents to Sufism. It might be because Russia is not a majority Muslim country that she is the ideal place to re-create a non-denominational form of Islam, an Islam which would be content to be Islam and with no need to subdivide itself into competing, sometimes even hostile, subgroups.

Russia only has an observer status in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) due to the fact that she is not a majority Muslim country. Russia is also a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which brings together China, Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzstan , Russia , Tajikistan , Uzbekistan , India and Pakistan. Let’s look at the approximate number of Muslims in the SCO countries: China 40’000’000 , Kazakhstan 9’000’000, Kyrgyzstan 5’000’000, Russia 10’000’000, Tajikistan 6’000’000 , Uzbekistan 26’000’000, India 180’000’000, Pakistan 195’000’000. That’s a grand total of 471 million Muslims. Add to this figure the 75’000’000 Iranians which will join the SCO in the near future (bringing the grand total to 546’000’000) and you will see this stunning contrast: while the West has more or less declared war in 1.8 billion Muslims, Russia has quietly forged an alliance with just over half a billion Muslims!

Russian nationalists (as opposed to Russian patriots) did try their best to infect Russia with her own brand of Islamophobia, but that movement was defeated by an absolutely uncompromising stance by Vladimir Putin himself who went as far as stating that:

I need to say that, as I have repeated many times before, from its beginning Russia had formed as a multiconfessional and multiethnic state. You are aware that we practice Eastern Christianity called Orthodoxy. And some theorists of religion say that Orthodoxy is in many ways closer to Islam than to Catholicism. I don’t want to evaluate how true this statement is, but in general the coexistence of these main religions was carried out in Russia for many centuries. Over the centuries we have developed a specific culture of interaction, that might be somewhat forgotten in the last few decades. We should now recall those our national roots.”

Clearly, as long as Putin and those who support him remain in power, Islamophobia will have no future whatsoever in Russia.

[Sidebar: while this is never mentioned anywhere in the western literature, there are real political prisoners in Russia and there is one group of people which the Kremlin has truly persecuted on political grounds: the Russian nationalists. This topic would deserve an article on its own, but here I will just say that since Russia is a state where the rule of law is official policy, the Kremlin has to resort to some creative ticks to jail these nationalists including accusing them of “attempting to overthrow the state by using crossbows” (I kid you not!). Nationalists are often persecuted on charges of violating laws against hate speech, for distributing extremist literature, etc. Basically the authorities harass them and try to disrupt their activities. Again, the western champions of civil rights and various Putin-haters never speak about these very real political persecutions in Russia. Apparently western human rights organizations live by the motto of the “Angel of Death” of the French Revolution’s infamous “terror” period, Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, who famously declared “pas de liberté pour les ennemis de la liberté” (no freedom for the enemies of freedom). It is clear that as soon as Putin came to power he immediately realized the potential danger to the Russian society posed by these nationalists and he decided to clamp down on them every bit as hard as he did on the Wahabi recruiters and neo-Nazis propagandists in Russia.]

Furthermore, Russia has now become the most influential member of the SCO which represents the strategic interests of over half a billion Muslims worldwide. In the Middle-East, Russia has made an amazing comeback – from a quasi-total departure in the 1990s to becoming the single most influential player in the region. Russia has successfully convinced two very powerful potential competitors (Iran and Turkey) to work together and now this informal alliance is in a very strong position to influence the events in the Caucasus and Central Asia. At this point it is already clear that what we are seeing is a long term process and long term strategic goal of Russia: to become directly involved in the struggle for the future of Islam.

The struggle for the future of Islam

The Islamic world is facing an immense challenge which is threatening its very identity and future: the Wahabi-Takfiri ideology. That ideology, by its very nature, represents a mortal threat to any other form of Islam and a moral threat, literally, to every non-Takfiri Muslim living on the planet. The Takfiri ideology also represents a real existential threat to all of mankind, very much including Russia and Russia cannot simply sit back and wait to see who of the AngloZionist West or the wannabe Caliphate of Daesh will prevail, especially since the two are also loacked in a weird symbiotic relationship between the western deep state and special services and the Takfiri leaders. Furthermore, assuming the West is willing to seriously fight terrorism (and so far there is no sign of that whatsoever) it is also obvious that Europe is useless in this struggle (due to an acute lack of brain, spine and other body parts) and that the USA, being protected by large oceans, are not facing the same threat as the states of the Eurasian landmass. Russia therefore has to act on her own, and very forcibely.

This is not a struggle which will be determined by military means. Yes, being willing and capable of killing Takfiris is important, and Russia can do that, but at the end of the day it is the Takfiri ideology which must be defeated and this is where the Russian Muslims will play an absolutely crucial role in the struggle for the future of Islam. Their status as a minority in Russia actually serves to protect Russian Muslims simply because there is absolutely no possibility whatsoever for any type of Wahabi Islam to gain enough traction in Russia to threaten the state. If anything, the two wars in Chechnia are the best proof that even in the worst possible conditions Russians will always hit back and very hard at any attempt to create a Wahabi state inside, or next to, Russia. President Putin often says that Russia has to sent her forces to fight in Syria not only to save Syria, but also to kill the many thousands of Russian citizens who are currently in the ranks of Daesh before they come back home: better to fight them there than to fight them here. True. But that also means that Russia will have to take the ideological fight to the rest of the Islamic world and use her influence to support the anti-Takfiri forces currently struggling against Daesh & Co worldwide.

The future of Russia and the Muslim world are now deeply intertwined which, considering the current disastrous dynamic between the West and the Muslim world, this is a good thing for everybody. While the leaders of the AngloZionist Empire are using both Russia and the Muslim world as bogeymen to scare their subjects into submission to the international plutocracy, Russia will have to become the place where the Islamophobic myths will debunked and a different, truly multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic civilizational model offered as an alternative to the monolithic Hegemony dominating the world today.

Modern secularist ideologies have given mankind nothing except violence, oppression, wars and even genocides. It is high time to kick them into the trash heaps of history where they belong and return to a truly tolerant, sustainable and humane civilizational model centered around spiritual, not materialistic, values. Yes, I know, for the media-brainwashed zombies out there religion is not exactly associated with the ideas of tolerance and compassion, but that is just the inevitable consequence of being exposed to particularly nasty and hypocritical forms of religion. That, and a basic lack of education. These things can be remedied, not so much by debating them ad nauseam, but simply by creating a different civilizational model. But for that Russia and the Islamic world will need to look inside themselves and focus on healing their own (still numerous) pathologies and dysfunctions (especially spiritual ones) in order to create such a spirituality-centered alternative to the Almighty Dollar. In the words of Saint Seraphim of Sarov, “acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved”. I think that this is a future worthy of fighting for.

The Saker

Are More US Attacks on Syrian Forces Planned? Establishing Pentagon Bases in Syria?

Global Research, June 17, 201

Responding to US-led attacks on Syrian and allied forces, a Russian Foreign Ministry statement said Sergey Lavrov “strongly disagreed with the US strikes against pro-government forces, calling for specific measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.”

The most recent incident occurred in what CENTCOM called a “deconfliction” zone – unilaterally declared by Washington.

Lavrov said he knows nothing about this zone. Russia rejects it, he stressed. US-led forces operate illegally in Syria without Security Council or Damascus authorization.

Establishing Pentagon bases in the country shows regime change remains Washington’s objective. Phony claims about combating ISIS conceal its real aim.

On Thursday, Russia’s Defense Ministry warned about US-led coalition HIMARS multiple rockets launchers moved to its illegal al-Tanf military base in southern Syria being used.

Deploying them likely means they’ll be used to attack Syrian and allied forces, a Russian Defense Ministry statement saying:

“The range of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is not enough to support…US-backed” anti-government forces – death squad terrorists masquerading as moderate rebels.

“At the same time, the US-led…coalition has several times attacked the Syrian government forces near the Jordanian border, so it can be assumed that such attacks will continue, but this time involving the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems.”

Russian forces in Syria are monitoring things closely, notably in northern areas near Raqqa and along the Jordanian and Iraqi borders in the southern part of the country.

Deploying weapons anywhere in Syria without Damascus permission is flagrantly illegal. So is America’s presence and support for the terrorist scourge it claims to oppose.

During the State Department’s press briefing days earlier, spokeswoman Heather Nauert claimed CENTCOM’s so-called deconfliction zone “was established through a mutual understanding” among coalition countries…to ensure (their) forces are not endangered by other forces” – a clear perversion of truth.

She failed to address the illegality of America’s presence in the country along with its rogue allies, claiming “the urgent challenge to defeat ISIS” – the scourge Washington created and supports wherever its death squads are deployed.

“We do not see (the buildup of US-led forces in southern Syria) “as an escalation,” she said.

Reality on the ground indicates otherwise.

She declined to discuss planned US operations in Syria, saying “I’m just not going to get into that.”

Separately, Vladimir Putin told Oliver Stone in part three of his interview that Russian aircraft conduct on average between 70 – 120 daily airstrikes on terrorist targets.

During his annual Q & A marathon on Thursday, he said Russian operations in Syria have been “a significant benefit for our defense industry.”

“The use of advanced weapons allowed us to better understand the principles of their use in combat conditions and to make certain changes to the quality of these advanced weapon systems.”

“We have already known that these arms are good and could be used, but when we tested their capabilities in combat conditions, it is a different story” – the best way to proved their effectiveness.

Many groups, including Sunni ones, expressed willingness to cooperate with government and Russian forces against ISIS and al-Nusra. Assad welcomes it, Putin explained, adding:

“We we are eager to establish a dialogue in order to preserve the territorial integrity of the country. It’s very difficult. It’s difficult to reach a consensus, but direct contact with both sides gives us such a chance. And in general we achieve success.”

Achieving conflict resolution depends on cooperation from Washington and its regional allies – not at all forthcoming, unlikely given their rage for regime change and destroying Syrian sovereignty.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image: credits to the owner

Report: Oliver Stone’s Israel Remarks Censored By Stephen Colbert’s Late Show

Posted on June 17, 2017

[ Ed. note – The Duran has published a story saying that during an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Oliver Stone made a remark about Israel having far more influence over US elections than any supposed influence Russia may have exerted. It is of course a truthful statement, but it would be stunning to hear something like that ever spoken on American TV. And indeed, according to The Duran, the remark was censored out. This is particularly ironic, not to mention utterly hypocritical, considering that at one point in the interview Colbert made a sniping comment about Vladimir Putin supposedly suppressing freedom of the press in Russia.

Below is the full article from The Duran, and beneath that is a video of the Stone interview as it aired on the Colbert show. The remark about Israel is indeed missing, but the host’s snide comment about Putin being “an oppressive leader of his country who suppresses the free press and arrests his enemies” comes at about 5:45. There no doubt are hypocrites in Russia–just as there are every place else–but the difference is that hypocrisy doesn’t seem to predominate public discourse they way it does in America–something perhaps to ponder as you reflect upon Colbert’s quips about Russia and the audience laughter they provoke. No matter how hard Stone tries to explain his views about Putin, it is useless. The comedian (and to a large extent his audience as well) has wholly bought into the mainstream media narrative, or either he pretends to. ]

By Adam Garrie

Oliver Stone said Israel had more involvement in the US election than Russia. But the mainstream media kept this statement from the public.

Reports have surfaced that during his heated exchange with Stephen Colbert, Oliver Stone responded to statements from Colbert repeating the tired narrative about Russia interfering in the US election by bringing up an elephant in the room that many media outlets have totally ignored.

Stone said of alleged and thus far totally unproved Russian interference,

“Israel had far more involvement in the US election than Russia, why don’t you ask me about that?”

Colbert, quick to end that part of the discussion replied,

“I’ll ask you about that when you make a documentary about Israel”

This section of the interview was edited out of the final  broadcast, but multiple sources, including many pro-Israel sources testify to the existence of the in-studio exchange.

Few could reasonably deny that the pro-Israel lobby in the US is extremely power, well funded and influential.

Oliver Stone touched on a deeply important issue, one that clearly did not fit the anti-Russia stance of Stephen Colbert and his producers.


Related

Video

Oliver Stone Interview With Vladimir Putin

Posted June 14, 2017

Part 1 (English Subtitles)

Part 2 (English Subtitles)

Part 3

Part 4

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