I Support a No-Fly Zone in Syria – A Real One that Applies to NATO Too 247


This is the result of NATO bombing of Sirte to “enforce the no-fly zone” in Libya.

Sirte-destroyed-1

When the neo-cons in the UK parliament and the serial warmonger Hillary Clinton call for a “no-fly zone” they actually mean the opposite. They mean that NATO should be given untrammelled access to the airspace to carry out mass bombings – but that nobody else should.

We saw it in Libya. The argument goes like this. NATO aircraft need to enforce the no-fly zone. To do this in safety, they need to attack and destroy any ground to air weapons capabilities on the ground. That does not just include surface to air missiles, both carriage mounted and hand held, but anything that can be pointed upwards and fired. They need to take out by more bombing any stores that may house such weapons. They need to take out any radar installations, including civilian ones, that may pinpoint NATO aircraft. They need to destroy any runways and hangars, including civilian ones. They need to destroy by bombing all military command and control centres, including those in built up areas. They need to destroy the infrastructure on which air defence relies, including electricity generation and water supply, including civilian assets.

I am not exaggerating. That really is the doctrine of NATO for enforcing a “no fly zone”, as previously witnessed in Iraq and Libya. It really was NATO aircraft which did to the beautiful Mediterranean town of Sirte the destruction which you see in that picture – in order to enforce a no-fly zone. Enforcement of the no-fly zone was the only authorisation NATO had for the massive bombing campaign on Libya which enabled regime change, which enabled rival jihadist militias to take over the country. They showed their gratitude by murdering the US Ambassador. The failure of central government led to Libya becoming the operating site from which a number now in the hundreds of thousands of boat refugees have crossed to Europe.

Now they wish to do precisely the same again. Make no mistake. Those calling for a “No-fly zone” do indeed want to stop the bombs falling on jihadist-held areas of Aleppo. But they want to replace this with NATO dropping a vastly greater weight of vastly more powerful weaponry on areas held by the Assad regime. They are relentless warmongering bastards, pretending to be motivated by humanitarian concern.

There are no easy answers in Syria. Without Russian and Syrian government air power, Syria might well already have fallen to disparate groups of murdering religious fanatics, who would then have redoubled their existing tendency to also kill each other. The pretence that there is any significant number of pro-western democratic rebels is ludicrous nonsense. But so equally is the pretence that the Assad regime is a decent regime. It is not and never has been. There is always this pathetic reductionism in the western media to conflict as between “good guys” and “bad guys”. They are all killing civilians. They are all bad guys.

If all bombing were to stop, the danger is that jihadists would again gain the upper hand. But in a situation where there are no good options, I think that is still better than the continued bombing of civilian areas held by jihadists. The fact that the West has repeatedly done this massively in Mosul or Fallujah does not make it right for the Russians or Assad to do it now. The moral balance now must be for a halt to all bombing and all military air operations – including by NATO.

A security council resolution could be tabled calling for the end of all military flights, by anybody, over Syrian airspace. The UK and US would oppose that, and so would all those Tories ad Blairites pretending to advocate a no-fly zone in the House of Commons. That would show up the bastards for the evil hypocrites they are.


247 thoughts on “I Support a No-Fly Zone in Syria – A Real One that Applies to NATO Too

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  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Why not just call for a negotiated settlement?

    The world needs much more than just showing the bastards who use covert weapons to carry on the continuing Cold War with Russia once again who they are.

    • Ben

      What was the US General’s name who said of Viet Nam;

      “We had to destroy the village in order to save it” ?

      Cue the UK’s symbolic participation in NATO.

      They should receive an honorable mention.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Sounds like General William Westmoreland who ultimately became US Army Chief of Staff.

        He wanted to see an out-out war in Vietnam portrayed by the subservient media as merely a limited one.

        • LeeJ

          He also said that the US values lives more than the Vietmanese, The problem is he actually seems to believe it!

      • Tom Welsh

        That would be Ben Tre (inflections marks omitted on account of my incompetence). According to Wikipedia (not the most anti-American source, but reasonably honest in this case as there is really nowhere to hide):

        “A famous quote from the Vietnam War was a statement attributed to an unnamed U.S. officer by AP correspondent Peter Arnett in his writing about Bến Tre city on 7 February 1968:

        “‘It became necessary to destroy the town to save it’, a United States major said today. He was talking about the decision by allied commanders to bomb and shell the town regardless of civilian casualties, to rout the Vietcong”.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%E1%BA%BFn_Tre

    • Tom Welsh

      “Why not just call for a negotiated settlement?”

      Because they don’t want a negotiated settlement. They want Assad dead (bayonet rape optional). They want the constitutional, secular, democratic Syrian government ripped up and burnt. They want “enough” Syrian civilians to be killed (methods, again, optional – whatever turns you boys on). And they want chaos and anarchy to reign under the pretence of Sharia Law. Just like Afghanistan, really.

      Has anyone wondered why the Americans have been busting a gut to defeat the Taliban for the last 15 years, and now they are doing everything in their power to help Daesh – whose beliefs are identical to those of the Taliban?

  • MJ

    There is already a de facto no fly zone over Syria. That’s why forces loyal to the neocon project do not fly over it and why they are powerless to prevent the liberation of Aleppo and the defeat of ISIS.

    • Tom Welsh

      It would be nice if the Russians could enforce a “No-Fly” zone that simply implemented international law. Such a zone would entail the automatic destruction (after optional warnings) of any foreign aircraft or missiles that trespass even marginally, or momentarily, into Syrian air space. The precedent was, of course, set by the Turkish decision to shoot down a Russian Su-24 that the Turks alleged to have overflown a (disputed) part of Turkey for 17 seconds. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Russian_Sukhoi_Su-24_shootdown The Americans and other NATO authorities were quite positive that the Russians had it coming. (Personally, I am fairly sure it was an American plan, as it could hardly have been carried out without the use of at least two AWACS to make sure the attacking F-16 could shoot the Russians in the back without using active radar).

      Well, they can’t have it both ways. If flying over another nation’s air space for 17 seconds – while attacking horrible liver-eating, Christian-crucifying terrorists – justifies being shot down, what’s sauce for the Russians is also sauce for NATO.

  • bevin

    The resolution for which you call would involve ending Syrian sovereignty and replacing it by rule of a UN which is so corrupt that its current Human Rights Commissioner is a member of the Royal Jordanian court, a toll of Saudi Arabia and an all purpose spokesman for western imperialism.
    The UN, dominated by the United States, is unfit for any purpose but that of promoting the interests of the US dominated Empire.
    It is not necessary to have any illusions about the moral nature of the Syrian government system to understand that reforming it is not a matter that can be safely led either to the faux jihadi militias organised and led by the US and its tools or NATO-the same thing at a slightly more official level.
    You seem to support externally facilitated ‘regime change’ in Syria, so perhaps you can explain by whom you feel the next government should be selected? A US style election perhaps, like those in Haiti, and Yemen where critics of imperialism were kept off the ballot? Or do you favour the Darwinian plus model that Libya is experimenting with?
    What we need in Syria is not a no fly zone or regime change from Washington, or its London echo chamber, parodying Parliament, but an end to the flow of foreign mercenaries and arms into that country, the latest in a series being butchered for the sake of the spectacle.

    • craig Post author

      I don’t in the least support externally facilitated regime change, nor could any rational person conclude that from anything written here.

  • Republicofscotland

    What the self appointed world police (Nato) means by a “no-fly zone” is, they want Russian and Syrian fighter jets to pull way back, so they can bomb the hell out of the Syrian people, who are defending their country against Western/Saudi/Israeli, backed terrorist groups such as Al Nursa, the Salafists and the religiously brainwashed Wahhabists.

    We’ve reached this stage because Nato and its minions, are deeply concerned because their terror groups are being soundly thrashed in Syria, by Russian, Syrian and Iranian backed fighter, Russia especially has had a huge effect, using its bombing sorties to great effect.

    That’s why lickspittles, such as Johnson, Kerry and Co, have ramped up the rhetoric, in the media, oh they’ll make a lot of noise, stamp their feet and call for Russia to have this or than imposed upon it, but they won’t declare a “no-fly zone” in my opinion, because it could lead to a large scale escalation with Russia.

    I can see Nato forces, try and annex parts of Syria, into Israel, if they can’t break down Syrian/Russian/Iranian defences. I for one would like to see Nato thwarted, they and the head of the viper, the Great Satan (consecutive US governments) can’t be allowed to swan around the globe, invading and regime changing, when it suits them to do so.

  • Steve Hayes

    The government of Syria has the right to defend Syria from the US (and its allies) backed jihadists. The support Syria is receiving from its allies is making a military solution likely. And that is why the US and its allies are cynically crying crocodile tears. They see their illegal regime project being defeated. When people like Kerry, Johnson and the rest call for the protection of al Qaeda their utter sociopathy is revealed for all to see.

  • ian mcneish

    Craig, well said. They are war mongering bastards and have been since the end of WWll in which time they have killed in excess of 20 million people. And they want to cite Russia for war crimes. What about the killing in Yemen. What about Israel. I am Scottish and a retired senior police officer for whatever difference that makes, I have read General Wesley Clark’s stuff and more. The last thing the world needs is more fucking bombs. So well said again and I hope someone listens to you because not a soul will be listening to me. Ian

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    For more about Nato’s Royal Navy in action, read about how it almost sank the prawn trawler Karen in the Irish Sea last year, and tried to cover it up ever since. This is after it sank one a quarter century ago, and claimed it wouldn’t happen again.

    The Royal Navy’s submarines should only travel on the surface in such a confined, travelled body of water rather than try to catch some alleged Russian sub unawares.

    It’s called Cold War fever despite Sir John Sawers contentions to the contrary.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Raises the whole question again of Willie McRae’s unsolved murder.

      Was he concerned about the UK’s use of the Northern Channel of the Irish Sea in planning for a false flag operation to get rid of the USSR and Russia, and was taken out by a 14th Intelligence Company ambush when he was taking documents about it to SNP colleagues?

  • compass1312

    What is the North Atlantic Terrorist Organisation doing in Syria at all? The Poms and Yanks have been uninvited participants by proxy from the beginning. At least Putin was asked for help by Assad.
    Everywhere one looks these days the Septic Tanks are poking their noses in where they are not wanted.
    The pair of clowns that are up for election in the US are so bad that they make the bunch of fuckwits we have in Canberra look half decent, and they’re not. Not by a long way….

    Venting, sorry…

    • Republicofscotland

      The sad thing about America is that, its a rudderless ship, it won’t matter if Clinton or Trump becomes POTUS, the agenda in Syria will continue, in my opinion.

      Both candidates (I use the term lightly) are heavily influenced by powerful businessmen, lobbyist groups, and bought and paid for senators, if you pushed me on who is the bigger hawk, I’d have to go for Clinton, but in my opinion, America needs an aggressive foreign policy to help keep its economy bouyant. Don’t expect and radical changes from either candidate.

      • Tom Welsh

        “America needs an aggressive foreign policy to help keep its economy bouyant”.

        Perhaps, although frankly I think that ship sailed long ago. It’s now more of a submarine.

        Besides, if they get just a tiny tad TOO aggressive, their economy (and everyone else’s) will be incinerated. Then the ants and cockroaches can take over and try their antennae at creating economies.

    • Tom Welsh

      For what it’s worth, I thoroughly agree with every word of your venting. Good on you! Australians shouldn’t let the world be misled by the cynical lies of their political leaders – I know you fellows are far better than that. Indeed, I suspect that an average Australian and an average Russian would get on fine together, once they decided when to drink beer and when to drink vodka. Language? Who needs it!

  • Laguerre

    Couldn’t agree more.

    “The pretence that there is any significant number of pro-western democratic rebels is ludicrous nonsense.”

    So is the idea that large numbers of civilians are being slaughtered in Aleppo. There are very probably few civilians left in East Aleppo – a few thousand at most, maybe 10K. I watched the Russian drone video from around 3 days ago, and the streets were completely empty, an eery emptiness. And just in case you were thinking they’re hiding, there were one or two humans walking round calmly in the open, evidently without fear. It was not during an air-raid.

    Even Chulov yesterday could only describe it as largely empty, when he got down to the details.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/12/ground-down-by-savagery-the-agony-of-aleppo

    • Tom Welsh

      “And just in case you were thinking they’re hiding, there were one or two humans walking round calmly in the open, evidently without fear”.

      Clearly sophisticated individuals. If it had been an American drone they would have been wiser to take cover.

  • nevermind

    Well argued, NATO can proof that it has no intentions to oust the Russians from Latakia and Tartus, their bombs should not replace Rebel RPG’s and hand held missiles.

    The most logical solution to uphold a cease fire is to agree with Russia that it should use its SS400 system to enforce the no fly zone, much better. But it must come with an arms embargo applicable to all actors in Syria, no party should be allowed to sell or move any more arms.

    The price for letting NATO loose ala Libya is very likely to be the annexation of the Golan and the Bekaa valley by the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv.

    • MJ

      “The most logical solution to uphold a cease fire is to agree with Russia that it should use its SS400 system to enforce the no fly zone”

      It already is. No agreement was required.

  • Paul Barbara

    I have written this elsewhere on this blog, but it is particularly relevant here:
    Craig, are you aware of the following? Please check it out:
    From the Levant Intelligence Report:
    ‘2012 Defense Intelligence Agency document: West will facilitate rise of Islamic State “in order to isolate the Syrian regime”.’
    And these:
    ‘Ex-French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas is on video/TV saying that when he was in London in 2009, TWO YEARS before the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, he was approached by high British officials whom he knew, who told him Britain was going to overthrow Assad with the use of mercenaries.’
    ‘In 2001, days after the attack on the US, 4* General (Retd.) Wesley Clark, ex-Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, visited the Pentagon to find out what the US was going to do about it. He was told by a 3* serving General on the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the US was going to attack Iraq, Clark asked if the US had linked Saddam to 9/11, and was told no, but the US was going to attack Iraq.
    Clark went home, but after the US started bombing Afghanistan, he returned to the Pentagon and asked the same 3* General if the US was still going to attack Iraq, The 3* General told Clark it was worse than that: The uuUS was going to overthrow seven governments in five years, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran (the time-scale has obviously slipped).’ And of course, the ‘Yinon Plan’.

    I have made many MP’s aware of this information, and also ‘Stop the War’ (Ha,Ha! They claim to want to stop wars, but Lindsey German walked away when I personally tried to question her about why the info wasn’t up on the StW site – she muttered that it was as she scuttled off, but I have looked high and low on their site, and I can’t find it.
    These are not theories, one is an official US Defense Intelligence Agency document; one is a well-known plan from an Israeli in 1982; and the other two are TV/video interviews with an ex-Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and another from an ex-French Foreign Minister – yet no one wants to know – they would sooner toss around the feasibility of a confrontation with Russia, which is in Syria with the blessing of the legitimate Syrian government.
    Apart from the lies and illegality associated with the attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, have people forgotten the similar murderous thugs the US unleashed on the Sovereign Country of Nicaragua (the ‘Contra’ mercenaries), or the illegal invasions of Panama and Grenada? You could go back to the birth of the American Republic, and you would find ‘False Flag’ wars and interventions, or just plain old expansionism.

  • My Cocaine

    I disagree with you on a lot of things, Mr Murray, but credit where credit’s due – this is an excellent post.

  • Republicofscotland

    Now the Great Satan, is launching Tomahawk missilies into Yemen, the Tomahawk missilies, contain a half-ton warhead in each one.

    America claims it fired them, into Yemen after missilies were fired at a US ship on Thursday, believe that if you like. The Gulf of Tonkin incident springs to mind.

    I however believe that the US, fired those missilies to take out Yemeni/Houthis fighters, that were/are proving difficult for the Saudis to remove.

    http://time.com/4529590/u-s-fires-missiles-at-yemen-and-the-axis-of-evil-persists/

    • RobG

      The good ole US of A is also deploying Tomahawk missiles in Romania and Poland (they are already deployed in Romania and will shortly be in Poland), obstensively as an ‘anti-missile system’, but of course such weapons can easily/quickly be used to carry nuclear warheads.

      What with this latest stuff in Yemen, and the absolute blitz of pro-war propaganda from the presstitutes (an example here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8fBcIrHlTg ), it appears that the batshit crazies are actually going to take on the Russians.

      I would say, don’t even bother digging a fallout shelter, because a quick death is much better than a slow, lingering one.

      The world has always been totally insane, but now the monkeys have weapons of mass destruction to play with.

  • apol

    Mr Murray
    Thank you for this ‘reality check’ as USspeaklikes to call plain truth.
    Sir, do you have any information or views on the hightened activity around Mosul
    from here ‘our bastards’ are being helicoptered out? ( Moon of Alabama comments)
    Particularly frightening in these circumstances – given that we are up against a ‘stop-at-nothing’ mentality.on the part of western puppet governments.- is the fact that the Mosul dam, already weakened, endangers
    the lifes of a million people downstream.

    <>

  • mike

    Spot on, Craig. One thing I would tentatively suggest, however, is that if Assad is simply a tyrannical butcher who rules through force, then the regime would surely have fallen long before now. Given that the Alawites are a minority and the Syrian army is mostly Sunni, I would further suggest that this means the regime has considerable support across the country, and that the majority of the armed opposition comes from various factions within the Saudi/Qatari-funded Islamic Proxies Inc and not from Syrians themselves.

    Perhaps it’s a case of the lesser of two evils here. As the alternative to Assad is the neocon ransacking of the country, and the installation of medievalist crazies, secular one-party rule looks quiet appealing, especially when your throw in luxuries such as the provision of health care, electricity and fresh water supplies.

  • Tom Welsh

    “But so equally is the pretence that the Assad regime is a decent regime. It is not and never has been”.

    As a matter of interest, Craig, would you care to tell us which “regimes” in the whole world you do consider to be “decent”? Presumably you wouldn’t have the effrontery to mention any NATO member. South America and Africa are full of corrupt governments, if not dictatorships. Asia… well… you have your religious dictatorships such as Saudi Arabia and Iran; your medieval monarchies such as most of the Gulf States; countries of which I feel sure you disapprove, such as China, Russia, Pakistan… how about Bangla Desh and India? Do they measure up?

    I am reminded of Jeremiah 5:1 – “Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it”.

    Seriously, please name a few countries whose “regimes” you consider “decent”.

    • craig Post author

      I think regimes that kill their political opponents are not decent. The Assad regime failed that test long before the civil war started.

      • Tom Welsh

        I think you evaded my question, Craig. To repeat it, please list some “regimes” anywhere in the world that you consider “decent”.

        As a subsidiary question, how would YOU fancy your chances (or your life expectancy) if you were president of Syria and avoided the strong-arm methods you deplore? Is it conceivable that some nations cannot be ruled without a modicum of violence?

        Incidentally, would you say that this story suggests that the US “regime” is more, or less, decent than Assad’s?

        https://www.sott.net/article/330928-Gitmo-detainee-granted-rectal-surgery-after-CIA-torture-by-sodomy

          • Harry Vimes

            No.

            Its about brutality in all its forms. Syria just happens to be a higher profile example at this present time. Nice try at sophistry though.

          • Habbabkuk

            Vimes

            Terribly sorry, old boy, I must have been mislead by the thread’s title and content.

          • Harry Vimes

            To be fair, the text does also reference other examples of the key underlying issue identified – such as Libya, Iraq, Mosel and Fallujah. Perhaps the author of this blog should be taken to task for not being sufficiently blatant in providing such clues. Just the sort of dastardly practice one finds in the corporate media.

      • Macky

        Craig; “The Assad regime failed that test long before the civil war started.”

        An important general point that is always never factored in, is that countries that feel threaten, subjected to interference/ destabilisations, sponsored sedition, etc cannot realistically be expected to be a model of democracies; it’s like a self-fulling circle, countries are targeted, leaders feels threaten both for themselves & for holding their countries together, so they become increasing paranoid & ruthless in seeing threats everywhere, and act accordingly; doesn’t justify, but helps explains I think.

        • Habbabkuk

          Macks

          That’s a rather silly (and certainly dishonest) justification, isn’t it. Would you also apply it to Israel? And use it to justify Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Russia?

          Nul points, yet again.

          • Macky

            Your “objection” as always is at best disingenuous, at worse fallacious, because nobody can believe that you have never called of the concept of Martial Law; these targeted countries, some undermined for decades, must feel that they are in a state of siege, if not actual covert war, with those States sponsoring the undermining.

            As to your nonsensical & ridiculous attempt to portray the countries that you list as comparable examples to the undermining & sponsored sedition that for example, Cuba, Iran or Iraq, Syria, etc were/are subjected to, well it neatly illustrates why I call you the Clown.

      • Tom Welsh

        Among many others, see for instance:

        http://theduran.com/us-presidential-race-heats-wests-establishment-locks-dissent/

        “This is the kind of behaviour that for years countries like the US ascribed to ‘third world’ dictatorships. The disappearance of political opponents, murder of opposition figures, show trials and false charges, electronic harassment, total censorship, disregarding of a foreign embassy’s sovereignty; all of it fits the list of charges.

        “This is now the reality of an America run by an establishment willing to do anything and everything to put Hillary Clinton in Power.

        “It is third world dictatorship only with trillions of dollars, the biggest military in the world and nuclear weapons”.

      • Tom Welsh

        Oh, and the war in Syria is NOT a “civil war”. On the contrary, it is a war between the government, armed forces and people of a secular, constitutional, democratic nation and a horde of vicious, murderous, fundamentalist terrorists unleashed on it by the “exceptional, indispensable nation” – mainly because the politicians of the “exceptional, indispensable nation” are unwilling to risk the political backlash of even a handful of American casualties.

      • Tom Welsh

        Thanks for picking up the challenge, nevermind. I think your choice is an excellent one – as far as I know Uruguay is indeed one of the most civilized and decent nations in the world, largely because it has so little government. It helps that it is a very small, fairly prosperous nation with (again, as far as I know) no extremely valuable resources to fight over. But culture is important, too.

        Nevertheless, I seriously doubt whether there is any nation in the entire world whose government is so spotlessly blameless that it could withstand the onslaught of the American government and media, should they decide to cast it as a villain. It doesn’t take much, does it? For instance, the neocons are now saying that Putin should be overthrown because of the murder of Politovskaya – which happened ten years ago and despite there being no evidence whatever linking him to it. That’s one death, probably not his fault, ten years ago. Since then the Americans have killed literally millions of people, quite deliberately.

  • David

    There will be no no fly zone. That would require the shooting down of Russian military jets and we all know where that will lead. Its just big mouths shouting off because they have no idea what else to do. The USA would have to commit its F22’s in direct conflict with Russian aircraft, and they would have to be prepared to loose some of them. Stealth is stealth, its not an invisibility shield. The Americans wont want to put their untested 5th gen ADF against advanced Russian fighters, they will look for an easier target to test them against soon enough. Typhoon radar isn’t up to the job anymore, French fighter jets are no better and no one else has anything worth talking about. Turkeys F16’s wont last long in that threat environment. The F35 is a strike aircraft, it doesn’t even have a gun, so has limited Air Domination capabilities.

    Could Nato control the skies over Syria, yes eventually they could, but the cost in man and machinery would be high, and we would be involved in a direct war with Russia, which may or may not be limited to the region. If Nato shoots down Russian jets WW3 will ensue.

    Better to withdraw from the region allow Russia to finish the job and work it out from there. Not a great solution, but maybe one that stops the killing fastest.

  • Tom Welsh

    As to Libya, I have recently seen it seriously argued – by someone who used to be a senior British civil servant – that the murder of Colonel Qadafi was also fully authorized by the “No-Fly” order. Apparently there is something about “command and control”, which can legally be interpreted to mean “killing anyone who is in charge of the country or its armed forces, or who takes orders from them”. The fact that Qadafi was heading directly away from the fighting and presumably trying to escape abroad cut no ice.

    I cannot see much difference between the implementation of a UN “No-Fly” zone and a full scale Nazi Blitzkrieg (or “Shock and Awe” as the Americans call it for some reason).

  • Sharp Ears

    O/T but this lyric, especially the last verse, has resonance here.

    “Blowin’ In The Wind”

    How many roads must a man walk down
    Before you call him a man?
    How many seas must a white dove sail
    Before she sleeps in the sand?
    Yes, and how many times must the cannon balls fly
    Before they’re forever banned?

    The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

    Yes, and how many years can a mountain exist
    Before it is washed to the sea?
    Yes, and how many years can some people exist
    Before they’re allowed to be free?
    Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
    And pretend that he just doesn’t see?

    The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

    Yes, and how many times must a man look up
    Before he can see the sky?
    Yes, and how many ears must one man have
    Before he can hear people cry?
    Yes, and how many deaths will it take ’til he knows
    That too many people have died?

    The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

    Congratulations to Bob Dylan on being awarded the Nobel Prize. Not exactly literature but described as ‘poetic expression’.

    • john young

      Nobody not anybody that I have ever heard/read/seen asks the cheerleaders for war,where will you be where will your family/relatives be are you prepared to go to the arena of war are you prepared to let your family/relatives lead us into war.Not fcuking likely.

      • nevermind

        Well said John Young, they are always the first to speed down the bunker, ill educated as to whats left when they come out.
        That is why I argue that any war between America and Russia should be fought on their territory, not ours.
        I’m sure that Canada would also want to opt out of this king of madness, surely Trudeau can’t be that brain damaged from boxing clever.

    • Tom Welsh

      More appropriate to this thread, I think, is “Masters of War”.

      Come you masters of war
      You that build the big guns
      You that build the death planes
      You that build all the bombs
      You that hide behind walls
      You that hide behind desks
      I just want you to know
      I can see through your masks

      You that never done nothin’
      But build to destroy
      You play with my world
      Like it’s your little toy
      You put a gun in my hand
      And you hide from my eyes
      And you turn and run farther
      When the fast bullets fly

      Like Judas of old
      You lie and deceive
      A world war can be won
      You want me to believe
      But I see through your eyes
      And I see through your brain
      Like I see through the water
      That runs down my drain

      You fasten all the triggers
      For the others to fire
      Then you sit back and watch
      When the death count gets higher
      You hide in your mansion
      While the young people’s blood
      Flows out of their bodies
      And is buried in the mud

      You’ve thrown the worst fear
      That can ever be hurled
      Fear to bring children
      Into the world
      For threatening my baby
      Unborn and unnamed
      You ain’t worth the blood
      That runs in your veins

      How much do I know
      To talk out of turn
      You might say that I’m young
      You might say I’m unlearned
      But there’s one thing I know
      Though I’m younger than you
      That even Jesus would never
      Forgive what you do

      Let me ask you one question
      Is your money that good?
      Will it buy you forgiveness
      Do you think that it could?
      I think you will find
      When your death takes its toll
      All the money you made
      Will never buy back your soul

      And I hope that you die
      And your death’ll come soon
      I will follow your casket
      By the pale afternoon
      And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
      Down to your deathbed
      And I’ll stand o’er your grave
      ‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead

      Songwriters: Bob Dylan
      Masters of War lyrics © Bob Dylan Music Co.

  • glenn

    Surprising how often the “We have to do something” line is used, when by “doing something”, we actually mean bomb the object of concern into the stone age. We had to “do something” about Saddam Hussein, because of what he was doing to those poor Iraqis. We had to “do something” about Afghanistan, America constantly find the need to “do something” to spread freedom and democracy.

    Saint Ronnie of Regan read out the words, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government, I’m I’m here to help’ “.

    The help Regan referred to here was welfare, health care, education and so on. Absolutely terrifying. Has to be stopped. Whereas the “help” provided by US and “rebel” forces sponsored by us, with bombs, death-squads, torture and destruction, was always with the best intentions. After all, we are always good, “something must be done”, and we’re there to help.

    No official word yet on the US and UK special forces already operating in Syria? Perhaps there was insufficient time to give Parliament a briefing on their activity.

  • James lake

    I can’t believe the UK media warmongering on bbc and Sky in support of Al nusra
    The debate in parliament was an embarrassment, tears and calls for no fly zones.
    The crys that the bombing should stop ignores the fact that it has stopped twice – in February and in September and each time the jihadis got reinforcements and rearmed by the U.S. and the gulf states and Turkey and attacked the SAA and the civilian areas.
    Boris Johnson needs to stop the UK allies from doing this.
    If not the SAA and allies will have to fight on and destroy the jihadis and that’s the least worst option

  • Sharp Ears

    No new plans for British military action in Syria, PM says

    Theresa May responds following comments made by Boris Johnson, who said further options were being considered.
    The British Government has said it is not currently considering extending military involvement in Syria.

    “There are no plans for military action. We are working with the international community to look at how to bring the conflict to an end,” a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said.

    The Government has been involved in bombing raids against Islamic State in Syria since lawmakers voted for airstrikes in December 2015.

    Earlier on Thursday, Boris Johnson said Britain was looking again at its military involvement, but any action would need to be part of a coalition involving the United States and was not likely to happen soon.

    Fighting continues in Aleppo
    Video: ‘Aleppo is burning’ says city’s mayor

    Giving evidence to the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr Johnson said it was time to consider “more kinetic options”, including “military options”.

    But Mrs May, responding to his comments, said there were no new plans for military action and that there were a “range” of options available.

    Aleppo: Death Of A City – special coverage
    :: Aleppo: How did the city crumble so fast?
    :: IS has become cast-iron excuse to bomb Aleppo
    :: Aleppo under siege: a timeline
    :: Aleppo mayor blames West for doing nothing over ‘holocaust’ in city
    :: Family finds safety in UK after being forced from Aleppo home by IS
    :: Sky poll: Almost half back UK military action in Syria
    :: ‘Mamma, mamma, save me’: Syrian mother tells of drowned child’s last words
    :: Syria and the Interventionist’s Dilemma

    What is it like being one of the last remaining nurses in Aleppo?
    Video: The Nurse: Life as one of the final medical workers in Aleppo

    It comes amid intensified Syrian and Russian airstrikes targeting rebel-held districts of the Syrian city of Aleppo.

    In the last two days of bombing, at least 145 people have been killed, according to the head of the Civil Defence rescue service there, Ammaral Selmo.

    Damascus has reportedly given the go ahead for UN convoys to deliver aid to 25 of 29 besieged and hard-to-reach areas across the country.

    But, crucially, not to the eastern districts in Aleppo that are controlled by rebels.

    Lina Shamy, an Aleppo resident who works for a non-government organisation
    Video:What’s it like to live in Aleppo at the moment?

    Meanwhile, Russia has said it is ready to guarantee safe passage for rebels to quit eastern Aleppo with their weapons, as Western criticism of its bombing campaign increases.

    “We are ready to ensure the safe withdrawal of armed rebels, the unimpeded passage of civilians to and from eastern Aleppo, as well as the delivery of humanitarian aid there,” Russian Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoy said in a televised briefing.

    Moscow and Washington are gearing up for talks on Saturday, the first since the United States suspended ceasefire negotiations with Russia in protest at the fierce assault on Aleppo.

    Amina’s brothers died in an airstrike in Aleppo
    Video:Girl blames Assad for brothers’ deaths

    The northern city, once a thriving trade hub, has become a central battleground in the five-year-Syrian war and is facing a humanitarian disaster.

    In a Sky Data poll, almost half of Britons said they would back military intervention to stop the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo – but not if it meant conflict with Russia.

    Some 46% of people said they would support British military involvement to end the suffering of residents in the war-ravaged city, while 37% said they would oppose such a move.

    And 53% thought Britain had a responsibility to do what it could to protect people in Syria, while 31% said it was not the UK’s responsibility to intervene in the war-torn country’s affairs where they did not affect British interests.

    http://news.sky.com/story/no-plans-for-british-military-action-in-syria-pm-says-10615802

    Sky’s anti Assad/Russia propaganda has been going on all day and for weeks now.

    • nevermind

      Indeed sharp ears, Murdoch should be rendered, slowly.
      I can’t watch sky, its making me physically sick, snooker is more exciting at the moment.
      I have a whole neat roll of Sky data polls, in the toilet.

  • Paul Barbara

    So many, including Craig, miss the point – Assad is defending his people (and his regime) from murderous swine poured in from Turkey with the assistance and green light from the US and NATO. Should he abandon them to the Jihadis? These murderous swine are bombarding Western Alleppo, but not a squeak out of the MSM and NATO. 200,000 civilians are forced to remain in Eastern Aleppo (elsewhere, the Jihadist mercenaries have buried people alive who try to escape their clutches):
    ”Aleppo is defended by Assad, not attacked’:
    http://internationaltimes.it/aleppo-is-defended-by-assad-not-attacked/

    ‘WAR – what is it good for? The military and weapons industry, of course. That’s what they do. When you have trained to become a chef, architect or musician your natural desire is to have people who want feeding, housing or entertaining. Soldier are no different. Without wars there is no place to properly test new weapons and the skills of those who are trained to kill people. War is where soldiers get promoted through the ranks. They like it, as do the makers of death-dealing weaponry. So when the military industrial complex has its hands on the controls of a nation we can be horrified, but not surprised, that reasons to make war are fabricated. We don’t want to believe that fellow human beings could behave like this simply to get rich and powerful, but they can, and have done through history. Hundreds of thousands may die and millions be displaced by their crimes against humanity. They don’t care.

    The war in Syria was planned long before any shots were fired. It is as phony as the WMD lies that initiated war upon Iraq, and as unrelated to “bringing democracy” as the war that turned a stable Libya into a mess for its people, a training ground for terrorists and a launch point for thousands of refugees fleeing the chaos we brought to the region. The Syrian conflict is NOT a civil war, but a foreign invasion, supported and led by the US, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar and other interested parties.

    Most of the news we are fed about Aleppo is lies. Did you know that 70% of its residents supported the Syrian government, according to a rebel commander in 2012? 600,000 residents fled eastern Aleppo to the safety of government secured western Aleppo when the so-called rebels (mostly foreign fighters) attacked in July 2012. The estimated 200,000 trapped in the east today are prevented by the insurgents from fleeing to safety. It is these so-called rebels who turned once-peaceful eastern Aleppo into a war zone, which is why civilians are getting killed. TheWhite Helmets are not what you imagine, either. The so-called Rebels are good at PR, trained by their Western advisors.

    We are barraged with talk of nasty “barrel bombs.” These explosives dropped from the air are, essentially, bombs not made by the likes of Lockheed, Boeing and BAE Systems. All bombs tend to kill or injure those in a building being destroyed. Respectable branded bombs can cost anything from $100,000 (Hellfire) to $14 million (the MOAB) apiece (average cost of a US airstrike is $2.5 million ). To those at the receiving end, many of the branded products can be even more horrific than barrel bombs.

    “Top U.S. arms makers are straining to meet surging demand” for their lethal ordnance as a result of the various conflicts supported or prompted by western foreign policy in Syria and the Middle East. Its boom time and they’re lovin’ it. The Syrian conflict could have been over in 2013 had the US and its coalition not actively fanned the flames of war with men and munitions. It is all done for the Syrian people, of course. Today they are still fanning those flames, seeking to escalate and prolong the conflict.

    The western military industrial complex doesn’t really give a damn whether wars are won or lost anymore. When the US lost in Vietnam and abandoned mission in Iraq its generals did not surrender their swords and America was not invaded. Syria is or was a big stepping stone on the road to bringing down Iran. It was all planned ahead and paid for with our taxes.

    It was the US that scuppered the recent cease-fire in its desperation to keep the conflict going. They spin their propaganda, demonizing Assad to justify military intervention. The ploy is to protect the Syrian people from his tyranny (ring any bells?). The aim is to prevent him defeating the so-called rebels intent upon taking over Aleppo against the wishes of its residents. That could bring peace – a major setback for Islamic State and the military industrial complex, putting a brake on America’s grand demolition plan for the Middle East. ‘

    I put the following up earlier, but no one whatsoever replied – why? Is the information questionable? Irrelevant? Hardly:

    ‘Craig, are you aware of the following? Please check it out:
    From the Levant Intelligence Report:
    ‘2012 Defense Intelligence Agency document: West will facilitate rise of Islamic State “in order to isolate the Syrian regime”.’
    And these:
    ‘Ex-French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas is on video/TV saying that when he was in London in 2009, TWO YEARS before the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, he was approached by high British officials whom he knew, who told him Britain was going to overthrow Assad with the use of mercenaries.’
    ‘In 2001, days after the attack on the US, 4* General (Retd.) Wesley Clark, ex-Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, visited the Pentagon to find out what the US was going to do about it. He was told by a 3* serving General on the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the US was going to attack Iraq, Clark asked if the US had linked Saddam to 9/11, and was told no, but the US was going to attack Iraq.
    Clark went home, but after the US started bombing Afghanistan, he returned to the Pentagon and asked the same 3* General if the US was still going to attack Iraq, The 3* General told Clark it was worse than that: The uuUS was going to overthrow seven governments in five years, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran (the time-scale has obviously slipped).’ And of course, the ‘Yinon Plan’.

    I have made many MP’s aware of this information, and also ‘Stop the War’ (Ha,Ha! They claim to want to stop wars, but Lindsey German walked away when I personally tried to question her about why the info wasn’t up on the StW site – she muttered that it was as she scuttled off, but I have looked high and low on their site, and I can’t find it.
    These are not theories, one is an official US Defense Intelligence Agency document; one is a well-known plan from an Israeli in 1982; and the other two are TV/video interviews with an ex-Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and another from an ex-French Foreign Minister – yet no one wants to know – they would sooner toss around the feasibility of a confrontation with Russia, which is in Syria with the blessing of the legitimate Syrian government.
    Apart from the lies and illegality associated with the attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, have people forgotten the similar murderous thugs the US unleashed on the Sovereign Country of Nicaragua (the ‘Contra’ mercenaries), or the illegal invasions of Panama and Grenada? You could go back to the birth of the American Republic, and you would find ‘False Flag’ wars and interventions, or just plain old expansionism.’

  • fedup

    A security council resolution could be tabled calling for the end of all military flights, by anybody, over Syrian airspace. The UK and US would oppose that, and so would all those Tories ad Blairites pretending to advocate a no-fly zone in the House of Commons.

    How about a security council resolution for the cessation of injection of arms and munition to Syria, and into the hands of the terrorists posing as the “rebels” that are denoted as “moderates” by the oligarch owned media and the politicos alike? The “rebels” are fighting in the front line that used to be University of Aleppo, ie room to room in that complex by the weapons that US has provided for them with the money of the al saud pederasts, as the Wikileaks leaked emails of Clinton prove. It is a winning formula, sell weapons to al sauds, and get these weapons into the hands of the mercenary terrorists who then fired on Syrians, it is a win all the way scenario for the Yanks.

    The oligarch owned media in the West is far too busy pushing the neocon agenda to not ever take any note of the atrocities of the “rebels” included the sale of the captured women by these “moderates”. The same unfortunate slaves yes they (moderates) actually call these women; “slaves” and consider these as the “booty of war”, selling the said slaves from one owner to another for princely sums starting from $10.00? Needless to point out that the fate of most of these women is never even hinted at. Furthermore never hinted is the fate of the said women’s men folk, who are invariable killed in the most gruesome and barbaric fashion.

    The images of children in “Eastern Aleppo” that is trotted out as and when the proxy fighters of the West aka “rebels” are losing the war, and as often as the set backs arise for these terroirst. Furthermore, never shown or ever pointed at are the plight of the people in Western Allepo, or the government held territories. Evidently it is only the rebels that are subjected to attacks and the poor little besieged terrorists don’t ever kill any of the Syrian people in the government held territories.

    The fact that cocaine fuelled political vassals over here are busy pontificating “no fly zones” is simply because these have forgotten that this time around they are going into a fight with a nuclear power, that has ICMB with multiple nuclear and thermonuclear warheads instead of “barrel bombs” that could deliver to the heart of various Western capitals. The war these desk warriors are getting into that is no longer fought with “IED” (Improvised as in Heath Robinson, explosive devices), and or sub-machine guns alone!

    Going missing on Boris et al, is the the fact that slight extremes of wind, rain, cold, heat, bring the infrastructure of our land to a halt. Any flue epidemic nearly brings the health service to its’ knees, as people are told to keep away from hospitals!

    Yet these cocaine snorting desk warriors are getting ready to go to a fight to the last drip of the last man standing, so long as it is some one else’s blood, sensibly of course.*

    The fact that one Russian bomb delivered to London would bring about the collapse of our civilisation somehow has gone missing on the desk warriors who are far too busy following the remit set for them by their sponsors and funders.

    * Anyone remember Cherie bLiar bawling her son had left to another city to attend university! That was at the same time that her husband was sending other peoples sons and daughters to another part of the world to kill and get killed.

  • Mark Doran

    Strangely unmentioned by Craig: the arms, funding, training and other support still being received by the ‘jihadists’ from, inter alia, the US, Israel, Quatar and Saudi Arabia — all of which would *continue to arrive* even if his nitwit suggestion of a ‘Nobody-Flies Zone’ were made a reality.

    Seems a ‘No-Supply Zone’ is beyond the reach of our respected ex-diplomat’s imagination.

    Mark D.

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