We were unable to load Disqus. If you are a moderator please see our troubleshooting guide.

Bill Herschel • 2 years ago


May I suggest a game of WWPD "What would Putin do?"

I recall that he said at one point a year or two ago, "I could be in Kiev in an hour [if I wanted to]."

The Russians knew the Germans were planning to attack Kursk and planned and executed a tactical strategy to defeat them, which they did. Even more brilliant was their Manchurian campaign at the end (probably causing the end) of WWII.

Closer to the present, by the time the Coalition knew what was happening Russia was flying hundreds of sorties a day over Syria and had created a "no-fly" zone.

So... WWPD?

I for one believe he has superb intelligence and no desire whatsoever to lose a single soldier or aircraft in a battle against human scum on the ground and some undefined opposition in the air. He will surprise us.

The Beaver • 2 years ago


The flip-flopper Erdogan is at it again :

In an Op-Ed in WSJ:
“Moderate rebels played a key role in Turkey’s fight against terrorists in Northern #Syria; their assistance and guidance will be crucial in Idlib as well”

Yep wonder where all those moderate rebels aka foreign jihadis came through after landing in IST.
Putin told him off in Tehran and now he is back on the fence or on the FUKUS side.
Guess Qatar must be pushing him to play nice by flooding him with billions .

WSJ is really hoping to get the war going . This is a second article /op-ed two days in a row.

Don Bacon • 2 years ago

The US has no more authority to interfere in Syria domestic affairs than Syria has to interfere in US domestic affairs.
>Syrian President Bashar Assad has authorized his forces to use chlorine gas in the assault on the last significant rebel redoubt in the country, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. Who can doubt the Wall Street Journal?
>The Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, usually called the Geneva Protocol, is a treaty prohibiting the use of chemical and biological weapons in international armed conflicts.
> The Protocol was Signed at Geneva June 17, 1925, and Entered into force February 8, 1928, and the convention were ratified by President Ford on January 22, 1975.
>Chlorine itself is not a chemical weapon. It’s a toxic industrial chemical that is very useful to purify water. It’s really very important to have clean water to avoid water borne diseases. But chlorine is a chemical agent that effects the eyes and the ability to breath. When mixed with water it produces hydrochloride acid. It’s not a very efficient chemical weapon because we can sense it when it’s not very toxic yet. So you can run away. Using chlorine gas is not prohibited as such, but using chlorine gas as a weapon is prohibited in international armed conflicts.

blue peacock • 2 years ago

"The US has no more authority to interfere in Syria domestic affairs than Syria has to interfere in US domestic affairs."

When has this prevented the US from intervening as it pleases over the last 100 years?

Fred • 2 years ago

"ratified by President Ford"
I was unaware that President Ford "ratified" a treasty and it was not voted on by the entire US Senate, which is the body that has the constitutional authority to ratify treaties. Perhaps someone should tell the folks at the State Department that the President can't ratify treaties.

Aukuu Makule • 2 years ago

The Geneva Protocol was unanimously approved by the Senate of December 16, 1974, and ratified by President Ford on January 22, 1975.

Fred • 2 years ago

nice link to "Constitutional Bait and Switch: Executive Reinterpretation of Arms Control Treaties" but not an actual link to the Senate vote, which doesn't show in Google. Surprising isn't it?

Aukuu Makule • 2 years ago

If you open the link I provided, you will find a footnote that cites the Congressional Record. That is the official source for the Senate vote.

Pat Lang • 2 years ago

The senate ratifies treaties, not the president.

Aukuu Makule • 2 years ago

Article 2 Section 2 states:

Clause 2. He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur

Nowhere in Article 2 does the Constitution use the word "ratify" in relation to the treaty power.
The Constitution does use the word "ratification" in Article 7 - where it refers to the establishment of the constitution by the states,
i.e., the Constitution became effective when New Hampshire ratified it.
The meaning of the word "ratify" is simply "approve".
It is the President who provides the final approval of a treaty by his signature, after "two thirds of the Senators present" has concurred.
Therefore it is accurate to say that the president ratifies the treaty.

Pat Lang • 2 years ago

You are being pedantic about this.

Biggee Mikeee • 2 years ago

The President ratifies treaties AFTER the Senate has given its ADVICE and CONSENT. The President can't ratify a treaty unilaterally. That act would violate the Constitution.

Fred • 2 years ago

Yes. But I haven't found a link showing a reference to the Senate actually ratifying the protocol.

Biggee Mikeee • 2 years ago

Your link to the State Dept document in your reply to Don Bacon (above) stated that the Senate voted unanimously to approve the ratification resolution on Dec 16, 1974.

Fred • 2 years ago

I must be getting dyslexic in my old age. Thanks for correcting me.

Pat Lang • 2 years ago

Why so much interest in this?

Biggee Mikeee • 2 years ago

Why you ask? Because words and facts matter. Look at how much space and time has been spent on this because of a misunderstanding of the meaning of the word ratification.

Anyway, this is what got it started:
Fred wrote (above): "Perhaps someone should tell the folks at the State Department that the President can't ratify treaties."

Fred • 2 years ago

Yes, words and facts matter. State should still correct the wording of the ducument. I'll quote the same line Dan Bacon did:

"The protocol and the convention were ratified by President Ford on January 22, 1975"

That line appears two paragraphs before the treaty text.

Biggee Mikeee • 2 years ago

"Ratification defines the international act whereby a state indicates its consent to be bound to a treaty" **

**[Arts.2 (1) (b), 14 (1) and 16, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969]

Technically the Senate does not ratify treaties. The Executive branch does.

Pat Lang • 2 years ago

Anyone else who brings up the technicalities of ratification will be banned.

dennis daulton • 2 years ago

The British and U.S. establishments are right now in a flight forward, i.e. the Skripal affair, this new false flag chemical weapons game, the Mueller hoax etc., which goes to show how close we are to defeating these creeps if President Trump does stick to his campaign promises. This is a moment of extreme tension, danger and opportunity and therefore time to pull out all the stops and defeat this crowd who would lead us all into global war.

Aukuu Makule • 2 years ago

Alastair Crooke is one of the best informed re ME (former UK diplomat, MI6).
Here is his understanding of what is going on in Idlib. He covers the USA/Trump backflip,
the position of Erdogan militarily and politically, and of course the Russian position.
" Turkey has already designated an-Nusra as terrorists. The offensive will continue (and civilian casualties will inevitably occur, as the jihadists are merged into Idlib's civilian population -- as indeed happened when the US, the UK and France bombed Raqqa to rout out ISIS in 2017 with "more artillery shells launched into Raqqa than anywhere since the end of the Vietnam war”).
And the Americans probably will do their own ‘grandstanding’ – possibly with Tomahawks - to show Russia and Syria as ‘inhuman monsters’."

Pat Lang • 2 years ago

You are new here. I caution you that SST is not a bulletin board for other sites.

Aukuu Makule • 2 years ago

No problem, it is your site.
I thought Crooke's views were worthy of at least as much attention as the views of Fisk.

Pat Lang • 2 years ago

I publish articles for Crooke when he asks me. His site is a digest and he looks for other places to publish his own work. He is a far bettersource than Fisk who is a vain man who often makes mistakes.

Aukuu Makule • 2 years ago

I am glad to know that we agree about Alaistair Crooke.
But you have put me in a "double bind" (as my dear old deceased friend Gregory Bateson used to say) as you have "cautioned" me for posting a link to Crooke's comment, which was surely relevant to the discussion.

Pat Lang • 2 years ago

I don't mind you posting a link and an excerpt with your commentary on it. What O don't want is for you post his articles intact

Bill Herschel • 2 years ago

With the addition of the Blakely (sp), according to Izvestia, the U.S. now has 200 Tomahawk missiles ready to go off Syria. I guess this will be a really great show of force with lots of pictures of destroyed buildings. i think the significant metric will be how many of the 200 get through. I'll take the over at 25.

Pat Lang • 2 years ago

Interesting, a boon for whoever makes them.

blue peacock • 2 years ago

The propaganda war has been engaged.


Then there's Pat Buchanan, making reality based observations and asking the question: Is Trump gong neocon in Syria?


blue peacock • 2 years ago

Bolton seems to keep beating the strike drums.


David Optional Guyatt • 2 years ago

Fisk is an old school journalist who doesn't sport a parting in his tongue. I've found him to be very reliable in his reporting. His latest report reveals that despite considerable searching over a 2 day period, he could find no massed Syrian troops around Idlib ready for the looming ground battle.

It's not like you can miss 100,000 men and all the supporting equipment; armoured vehicles,, kitchens, field hospitals, tent cities etc. No Hezbollah, no Russians.

Which raises the question: are we being played here?


FB • 2 years ago

Well...after reading your comment I read the Fisk article...and my conclusion is your comment has almost nothing to do with the article...

Fisk is not saying 'are we being played here'...only you are saying that...and on what basis is not at all clear...since Fisk neither pretended to survey the entire area, nor said he did...nor even said he was trying to find the Syrian troops and their exact locations...

That's not how war reporting works anyway...if Fisk wanted the SAA side of the story, he could have, and presumably would have contacted the Syrian press people and they might have arranged a carefully guided tour of some of the forces...the fact that Fisk chose to wander around like a lost sheep [with the ubiquitous Arab taxi driver as his only resource]...tells much about both the brainpower and honesty of Fisk himself [or lack of either]...

Now having said that...Fisk does take note that the Turks are digging in their heels and notes that the Sultan seems very protective of the terrorists that he himself nurtured all these years...

'Will the Turks, who allowed so many of these men into Syria, survey the future battlefield and be intimidated by the massed Syrian army (for
they can assuredly survey it better than me)? No, I don’t think Turkey
will be intimidated.

But with Vladimir Putin’s hand on his shoulder, the Sultan Erdogan across the border might be a little more accommodating. Perhaps someone will take back the foreign fighters. Or send them to fight and die in another country. Libya, perhaps? Yemen? These men – and their families — have moved around the Middle East quite a lot these past years. There’ll be more negotiations, I suspect, between Putin and Erdogan and Assad and – through Putin – perhaps with the Saudis?

Meanwhile, our leaders huff and puff and froth and roar and – across that little valley, be sure Syria’s guns continue to fire this morning. It’s not all quiet on the northern front, then. But not yet war.'
Varg • 2 years ago

Random choice. I wondered about this:

From there, a Syrian captain told me, Nato watched Syria and could probably listen to Syrian communications – although the Syrians could apparently not listen to Nato.

probably, apparently.

Considering how it works? How his approach should have been? Had we been that much wiser after?

As far as David Optional Guyatt´s response. It feels Fisk sends enough signals that the impression of calm (before the storm?) may well be misguided. As nitwit, I am vaguely reminded of an experience in 'Nam Pat once told us about.


Is there any way to estimate how many foreign fighters are still in Idlib? And/or help to wrap our heads around HTS more generally? Besides what happens in Basra?


Pat Lang • 2 years ago

Not from here. The GRU and Syrians probably have rather good numbers.

Pat Lang • 2 years ago

You should stick with Fisk. SST is obviously a fraud.

FarNorthSolitude • 2 years ago

Don't think it's an either/or. Elijah Magnier reported that the Idlib campaign has been postponed.


Pat Lang • 2 years ago

So, some of you see this attempt to teach you something as a contest among Me, Fisk and Magnier. Grotesque

FarNorthSolitude • 2 years ago

I don't see where the idea of a competition comes into what I said. So Fisk goes wandering around and doesn't see much but basically says "not imminent" i.e. next few days. SST and others report that SAA is readying for an offensive in Idlib in September - I 100% believe that's true. Magnier reports a delay from the original September date. as SAA/Russia respond to the complex and evolving political situation.

The opposite of seeing a competition, rather different viewpoints that aren't really in conflict and one doesn't invalidate the other.

Aukuu Makule • 2 years ago

For me, it is not either/or.
I have learned a lot from both of you.
Here is today's reprint of Fisk's meeting with Osama:

gda • 2 years ago

The word is derived from articles written by Robert Fisk that were easily refuted, and refers to a point-by-point debunking of lies and/or idiocies.

This is the guy you're praising?

David Optional Guyatt • 2 years ago

Fisking: "Originally coined by extremist right-wing bloggers in reference to Robert Fisk, a journalist who is the subject of ad hominem attacks."

Dif you read the article in question and the refutation? Do you have a link for them?

RBD • 2 years ago

I read some of those so-called "fisking debunkings" when they came out. They were not convincing in the least.

Biggee Mikeee • 2 years ago

Fisk was (maybe still is) considered a Peacenik, who had to be de-legitamized by the far right.

Jack • 2 years ago


We can be certain that the jihadi White Helmets will stage an "outrage" event, since Bolton and Nikki have already stated what the US response would be. The media I'm sure have their playbook already figured out and ready to create the necessary media hysteria.

The last two times Trump fired a few missiles and called it a day. Woodward however claims that his "anonymous" sources say that Trump wanted to assassinate Assad and Mattis walked it back to token missile strikes. Woodward also claims that the #Resistance in the White House are doing whatever they want and Trump is for all intents and purposes rather clueless about what they're up to. If this has any credence would it be possible that Bolton and Nikki and the other ziocons in the White House orchestrate a provocation by the jihadis that will then be setup to "we need a muscular response to show who's boss". You know the all too familiar argument that the US needs to act to retain credibility.

All this is coming just before the mid-terms which is a pivotal election for Trump. If he loses the House then he's up shit creek with Dems running all kinds of investigations and Mueller emboldened. How does he calculate the political implications of a deeper military engagement in Syria? IMO, many who supported him in the last election will not be very happy and their enthusiasm may waver which could be the difference in close races. OTOH, there is a perception that his economic team and policies are making a positive difference and that is benefiting the Deplorables.

Obama lost big time in his first mid-terms and did very poorly for the Democrats in both federal and state elections during his term as president. Yet the Democrat establishment has continued to back him. That may not happen with Trump as the GOP establishment will find the opportunity to go back to their traditional ways if Trump can't hold the House.

JTMcPhee98 • 2 years ago

Bob Woodward, with all his baggage, is all of a sudden an authoritative voice on everything about the Trump White House. How does this happen?

gda • 2 years ago

"traditional ways"

What a quaint way of stating it. And you failed to point out that the GOP establishment have never varied from their "traditional ways" all along, since they were either complicit in the "coup" themselves, or simply didn't want to lose their place at the trough, and so failed to offer him any support when the details of the coup became glaringly apparent.

Biggee Mikeee • 2 years ago

He told us here, we just didn't listen: https://www.youtube.com/wat...

English Outsider • 2 years ago

Just about all the big politicians do it. Reality is, if they didn't they wouldn't be big politicians.


Lincolnite • 2 years ago

Deutsche Welle has just published a news item suggesting Germany is anticipating being involved in air strikes in the near future. What effect that might have on the current ruling coalition Government could be interesting.