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167 thoughts on “The 70,000 moderate rebels are mostly cavalry. On unicorns.

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  • fedup

    The risible excuses of the privateers for profiteering from yet another smash and grab get rich quick schemes have now descended into the realms of comedy.

    Seventy thousand Daesh fighters on their unicorns busy reenacting the Zulu scene with Michael Caine and the need for a bombing run to help stop poor Micheal getting killed!!

    These crooks and liars evidently have no shame that practically the whole of the world is laughing at them and their excuse for even more warmongering.

  • harry law

    Who are the moderates in Syria? Virtually everyone agrees, however, that it is dominated by Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood and various other hard line Salafist groups known for violently seeking sharia law and strict enforcement of their interpretation of Islamic doctrine. In December of 2012, Reuters, among numerous other establishment sources, reported that the Free Syrian Army had chosen a leader for its new “Islamist-dominated command.” At a meeting in Turkey attended by hundreds of rebel leaders, Western officials, and representatives of Gulf Arab autocracies, a new 30-member “Supreme Military Council” packed with Muslim radicals was selected.

    Despite official Western claims about the Free Syrian Army, even Reuters admitted that the make-up of the outfit was dominated by Islamists. “The unified command includes many with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and to Salafists, who follow a puritanical interpretation of Islam,” the news service reported. Incredibly, the supposed “army” was widely touted in the establishment press and among Western officials as the “moderate” alternative simply because known al-Qaeda fronts were not invited to participate in the meeting. Shortly after the selection of leaders, the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood demanded that the “international community” immediately “fulfill its obligations” and provide more weapons to the FSA.http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/asia/item/16550-what-is-the-obama-backed-free-syrian-army
    John McCain wants to supply stinger missiles to them as the US did in Afghanistan
    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Media reported earlier in October that Syrian rebels asked Washington for Stinger missiles to use them against Russia’s military jets.

    “Absolutely… Absolutely I would,” McCain said when asked whether he would support the delivery of Stinger missiles to the opposition in Syria.

    “We certainly did that in Afghanistan. After the Russians invaded Afghanistan, we provided them with surface-to-air capability. It’d be nice to give people that we train and equip and send them to fight the ability to defend themselves. That’s one of the fundamental principles of warfare as I understand it,” McCain said.http://sputniknews.com/us/20151020/1028835944/us-stingers-missiles-syrian-rebels-mccain.html
    So there we have it the US probably wants to supply stinger missiles to “moderate” groups who will immediately sell them to other not so moderate groups or to the highest bidder. The former leader of the FSA General Idriss confirmed this and said they cooperate with these groups all the time. Would any western or Israeli aircraft be safe in the middle east when such groups have stinger missiles? John McCain should be asked such questions.

  • Sixer

    Press are full of stories about the ISIS leadership all running off to Sirte in Libya.

    What then?

    We all go back to saying we need to bomb Assad (and Russia should get out of the way so that we can). And then the “moderate” rebels on their unicorns take control and suddenly we realise that they are takfiris too, so we start saying we need to bomb them? And then, finally, we get to the actual end game – the only things left are oil fields and the construction of gas pipelines, ably guarded by all the soldiers who are now “private security contractors” because they were made redundant from the actual army, cos austerity dontchaknow.

  • harry law

    It is not true to say there are no “moderate” groups in Syria, the US trained 5, yes five at a cost of 500$ million. WASHINGTON — The U.S. general directing the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq set off a wave of criticism Wednesday when he told a Senate panel that the $500 million Pentagon program to train nationalist Syrian rebels had so far yielded only “four or five” fighters.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/four-five-fighters-pentagon-syria_55f9ad27e4b0d6492d63ed49 Some of whom immediately handed their weapons over to other groups and defected or were killed outright. The US/UK have regime change in mind. When Putin tells Turkey, [and by implication NATO] that they will meet their Stalingrad in Syria. He means it.

  • Mick McNulty

    Cameron will drag us into defeat. After thirty-odd years of neo-liberal capitalism we have no military left, just a working class so destroyed and negatively-inclined it would rather fight the government than fight for it. A draft will be resisted, forcefully. The only way we can’t lose this war is to not get involved in it. That said, millions will be better off if Russia does take charge.

  • Mary

    Is Blair still employed by J P Morgan in this capacity or have they got shot of him? Climate change was in his remit with them.

    Blair takes position at J P Morgan
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/be4ed2c4-befa-11dc-8c61-0000779fd2ac.html#

    ~~~

    The hypocrisy from the rulers and their warmongers in Paris is intense.

    ‘We Are Architects Of Our Own Destruction’
    The Prince of Wales tells crucial talks in Paris that humanity faces many threats “but none greater than climate change”.
    http://news.sky.com/story/1596691/we-are-architects-of-our-own-destruction

  • Fish n Chumps

    The motion to be defeated as the devils will cunningly try to include a proviso that authorises troops on the ground as well, Labour MPs thinking of voting with the neocoens have to be especially aware.

  • Mary

    I have just seen footage of the press hounding Jeremy Corbyn earlier. He was shown leaving his house with microphones and cameras stuck in his face accompanied by idiot questions. He even had to wait for them to move to allow him to get into his car. He did not rise to their provocation.

    I feel very sorry for the man.

  • harry law

    The 70,000 “moderate” rebels may not exist but the culprits who back the extremists certainly do, Turkey is the main conduit for Islamic state to transfer weapons and men to the fight in Syria, as Putin pointed out at the G20 meeting recently Islamic state oil truck convoys miles long transit from Syria to Turkey with the full knowledge of the Turkish authorities. First thing the UK should do to finish Islamic state off is censure its NATO ally Turkey, then do the same with Saudi Arabia and Qatar who fund same. No need to bomb, just put your so called friends and allies in their place. http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20151125/1030730838/turkey-erdogan-war-russia.html

  • nevermind

    ‘So why is he buying F-35’s from the US?’

    Well good question, Ba’al, maybe he looked envious at the Eurofighter, because its more suitable to our needs, well anyone’s needs really, because the F35, 400 billion development program is a dud.

    http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/07/14/pentagons-big-budget-f-35-fighter-cant-turn-cant-climb-cant-run/

    I’m sure the S 400 can deal with it, too heavy, too complicated and dangerous to pilots.

  • Silvio

    Regardless of what you think about David Icke in regards to his position on the presence of reptilian, alien beings among us, he nails it with this caption on a photo posted on his site today. In the photo
    Cameron, addressing some of the cannon fod…. er, I mean some troops, with mic in hand is giving a pep talk to the assembly, and the overlayed caption reads:

    “Okay, chaps, this is the plan – we’ve
    created a terror group for you mugs to fight
    so we can remove Assad and take freedoms away
    at home.”

  • YouKnowMyName

    more unicorns from http://neurope.eu/article/former-nato-deputy-allied-commander-says-bombing-syria-is-useless/

    A former senior NATO General, Richard Shirreff, warned that air strikes in Syria would be ineffective in fighting Daesh and could prove the beginning of a “bloody” and protracted war.

    Shirreff raised his concerns after Prime Minister Cameron rule out the engagement of British ground forces in Syria. Prime Minister Cameron said Britain had to support an anti-ISIS and anti-Assad 70,000 force of local fighters – of otherwise unspecified origin – to attack Raqqa, that is, the self-proclaimed capital of the so-called Islamic State of the Levant (ISIL).

    Speaking on The National, a Scottish daily, General Sir Richard Shirreff, former Nato deputy supreme allied commander of Europe, said a large number of western ground forces would eventually be needed to fight alongside local groups to recapture Raqqa. Sir Shirref argues that Raqqa will require a massive force as urban fighting “soaks up troops in a massive way.”

    Shirreff echoes the concerns expressed by some Conservative Members of Parliament. Addressing similar criticism, the former foreign secretary and leader of the Conservative Party, William Hague, argued that Britain should not rule out sending ground troops to Syria. Britain’s Defense Secretary, Michael Fallon, said he was not certain the government had the majority required for intervention. The Secretary has said that RAF would target military targets alone with precision airstrikes, without causing civilians deaths.

    SNP Deputy Leader, Stewart Hosie, insisted that the government was not making the case since “the one thing that Syria doesn’t lack is people dropping bombs on it – Jordan, UAE, Russia, Turkey, France, any number of sides in this multi-faceted Syrian war.”

  • fwl

    Libya was a failure
    Iraq was a failure
    Afghanistan was a failure though arguably justified or more justified than Iraq and Libya.

    I am a patriot. I am not opposed to military action. I don’t believe that bombing is precise nor that it is tactically surgical.

    Surgical tactical precision would perhaps involve targeting leaders and funding, and those who provide funding. You don’t have to bomb oil wells and oil in transit. Intelligence and special ops could do a lot and we wouldn’t have to know. Blackmail the funders would be preferable to bombing. It may not be glamorous, nor debatable in Parliament but in reality it would be more spirited and honourable than bombing.

  • harry law

    [email protected] “It may not be glamorous, nor debatable in Parliament but in reality it would be more spirited and honourable than bombing”. I agree, but when it comes to what is honourable, when we are talking arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Qatar and their investments in the UK it becomes a different matter, for instance the US recently spent 80 billion dollars on weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, all talk of honourable goes out the window,sad but true. Oh, and of course our NATO ally Turkey has a right to defend itself against aircraft intruding its air space and kill descending parachutists [a war crime] “One such ludicrous defense of the Turkmen militia came from a US government spokesman who when asked about the shooting of the pilot from the downed Russian jet said that the Turkmen militia ‘were entitled to defend themselves’,” the lawyer continues.

    “This would be almost funny were it not for the alarming ignorance of international law that such a remark displays,” he highlights.

    O’Neil cites Article 42 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocol 1 of the 1977 amendments to the Conventions, as saying:

    “1. No person parachuting from an aircraft in distress shall be made the object of attack during his descent. 2. Upon reaching the ground in territory controlled by an adverse Party, a person who has parachuted from an aircraft in distress shall be given the opportunity to surrender before being made the object of attack….”

    Time to Kick Turkey Out of NATO? Ankara Playing Dangerous Games With ISIL
    The Russian pilot, murdered in cold blood by the Turkmen militia, did not have this opportunity, the lawyer points out.http://sputniknews.com/politics/20151128/1030916110/international-law-manipulations-nato-us-turkey-strike-su24.html

  • bevin

    This piece by Fisk sums it up pretty well-maybe I’m the only person who missed it:http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/11/30/70000-kalashnikovs-camerons-moderate-rebels/

    The real drama is within the Labour party as the Blairites led by Watson, blinded by their own folly, are proving more enthusiastic for the proposed bombing than just about anyone else. They are well aware -and their local parties must be telling them if they are not- that Cameron’s case is ridiculous. That no case has been made for bombing except that Corbyn is opposed to it.
    They are making a very big mistake unless it is their plan to follow up this vote by escaping from the Labour party by crossing the floor. Perhaps the intention is to depart as an organised faction- New National Labour?- and form a coalition with a few places at the Cabinet table, or in the ante-room.
    Let us hope so.

  • bevin

    “The Russian pilot, murdered in cold blood by the Turkmen militia,..”
    The actual killer seems to have been a Turkish fascist, a member of the Grey Wolves, and probably an agent of the Turkish Intelligence service. The “Turkmen militia” seem to be nothing more than a front for the government of Turkey. In other words the pilot was killed, just as his plane was shot down by members of the Turkish forces. If that isn’t an act of war what is?

  • falloch

    Fisk: ‘Yet Dave knows – and we all know, don’t we? – that Isis will most assuredly try to commit an atrocity in Britain to revenge Dave’s latest schoolboy adventure.’

    I am more concerned that the UK government’s deep state minions commit an atrocity in Britain in order to persuade us of the necessity of bombing Syria.

  • Mary

    Cover up? Syrian father accuses US of bombing home, killing 6 children
    30 Nov, 2015
    https://www.rt.com/news/323981-syria-children-killed-airstrike/

    ‘The house, which the father of the children claims was bombed by coalition forces, was completely destroyed.

    The US military issued a statement saying that “allegations of civilian casualties by the coalition were unfounded and deemed not credible.”

    “The target was an Islamic State staging area,” US Central Command (CENTCOM) said, stressing that the strike on the vicinity of Atmeh was successful.

    But the father of the dead children, who was not at home when his house was hit, said Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) had not been present in the area for quite a long time.

    “My children were killed. The refugee guests I had from Ariha [another small town in Idlib province] were killed. We were all civilians, we don’t have any weapons or anything,” the man told the Middle East Eye, adding that IS had not been present in the area since January 2014.

    Altogether nine civilians were killed in that bombing, including a family of three refugees.

    Only two of the father’s children survived the blast.’

    ~~~

    Someone here has said they approve of military action!

    No child shall be harmed.

  • fedup

    In other words the pilot was killed, just as his plane was shot down by members of the Turkish forces. If that isn’t an act of war what is?

    Since then Erdogan has gone on record about his version of long lost “Sudetenland”. He contends that the borders with Syria are artificial, drawn up by foreigners and make no sense, Turkmen* are the longs lost brothers whom share the same culture and traditions as the Turks, and theri need to reunite with the fazerland dammit!!!!!!!

    Note this part of his speech has never made it out of Turkey and no one in the West understand Turkish all of sudden!!

    * Turkmen are Mongoloid and dispersed throughout the area that include Uighurs too! This is declaration of war on more than one country!!!
    ===================

    Campaign group Action on Sugar is calling on David Cameron to establish a Government funded independent agency to bring the food industry into line and stop obesity and diabetes “spiralling out of control”.

    Admirable sentiments, but how is it going to be achieved?

    1- Is it going to be through providing a better food stuff of higher quality at lower costs?
    2- Is it going to be through provision of free and low cost sporting (swimming, gym, etc) activities for the nation?
    3- Is it going to be through introduction of legislation with heavy penalties for adulteration of food stuff, ie injecting the meat with water and weird and wonderful proteins to make it heavier with a view to boosting the profits?

    Don’t so fucking silly!!!!

    It is simple through introduction of twenty percent tax on fizzy drinks of course!!!! No not the bubbly/champagne the cans of coke !!!!

    Interesting that there are only two solution that available to successive UK governments when dealing with any problems where we the people are concerned;
    1- increase taxes (only through making life more expensive for the great unwashed can the great unwashed get; healthier, productive, enlightened, save the planet, …………..
    2- bomb the crap out of somewhere (anywhere would really).

  • Sixer

    Fedup

    Additionally, fizzy drinks are ALREADY taxed at 20%. It’s called VAT. Chocolate and sweets also attract VAT, although as we all know via Jaffa Cakes, cakes do not.

    If they insist on this sort of thing – personally, I think an adequately funded public health service is the real answer – then a SENSIBLE proposal would be to set healthy limits of added sugar in processed savoury foods and any product over that limit could also be subject to VAT. Reducing the added/hidden sugars in 99p processed ready meals and value line baked beans would be much more helpful.

  • Republicofscotland

    If that’s true, then, if the Tories get the thumbs up to bomb Syria, we can send our 70,000 pilots on the backs of winged dragons.

    Meanwhile before the decision to kill more women and children in Syria is taken at Westminster, a moment of sanity amongst the war hawks would show that already bombing Syria into oblivion are the US, Israel, Russia, France, Turkey, Bahrain,Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the Emirates.

    Now tell me what difference will it make to the situation, by sending the RAF’s eight, thirty year old GR4 Tornados into the fray?

  • Mary

    O/T There was a reasoned argument on Russia Today against suggested changes to the Freedom of Information Act. The speaker was Pete Clifton of the Press Association.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-bcgjTRRXM

    Editor-in-Chief of the Press Association on the Freedom of Information Act
    Published on 30 Nov 2015
    Afshin Rattansi goes underground on the government review on the FOIA. Pete Clifton, Editor-in-Chief of the Press Association, danger to the freedom of the press, undermining authority and government secrets. With the recent Snooper’s charter and continued spying on civilians, will our only counter-balance with authority be a thing of the past?

    Guess who is on the investigatory commission that Cameron set up?

    Lord Burns GCB
    Chair, Independent Commission on Freedom of Information

    Dame Patricia Hodgson
    Freedom of Information Commissioner

    The Rt Hon Lord Howard of Lympne CH QC
    Freedom of Information Commissioner

    The Rt Hon Jack Straw
    Freedom of Information Commissioner

    Lord Carlile of Berriew QC CBE
    Freedom of Information Commissioner

    Some favourites there!

    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/independent-commission-on-freedom-of-information

  • Republicofscotland

    Russia Bans George Soros Foundation As A “Threat To National Security And Constitutional Order.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-30/russia-bans-soros-foundation-threat-national-security-and-constitutional-order

    In a statement released on Monday, prosecutors said the activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation were a threat to the foundations of Russia’s Constitutional order and national security.

    They added that the Justice Ministry would be duly informed about these conclusions and would add the two groups to Russia’s list of undesirable foreign organizations.

  • YouKnowMyName

    Spying on civilians leads to. . . what exactly? ( as the agencies try to be ever so covert )

    But here, in the U.K., comes this shocker for those non-violent extremists who post ‘their truths’ here:

    intelligence-related information is being used to prevent “those with differing political opinions” from seeking employment . . .

    Not an ‘allegation’ but a successful court-case in NI
    http://www.irishnews.com/news/2015/11/30/news/employment-checks-now-including-mi5-intelligence–337618/

  • Republicofscotland

    Re my last comment.

    Meanwhile, the Ukrainian president Peter Poroshenko awarded George Soros with the Medal of Freedom and and suggested that he should be granted the status of honorary citizen of Ukraine.

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