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Update: At least two sources confirm that Turkey also fired on the Syrian army on Saturday, an exceptionally provocative move.
Update: Washington has now weighed in and is asking the Turks to please stop shelling the soldiers the Pentagon is arming.
#BREAKING US urges Turkey to halt artillery fire on Kurd, regime forces in Syria
— AFP news agency (@AFP) February 13, 2016
* * *
Even as all sides – including the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and select rebel groups – pretend to be working towards a ceasefire and a diplomatic solution to the five year conflict in Syria, actions speak louder than words, and to put it as succinctly as possible, everyone is still fighting…
A war is brewing and perhaps within a few days or weeks, should cooler heads not prevail in the middle east, we will see the opening salvos of World War III. This time it won’t just be a proxy war between various extreme and moderate terrorist organizations. This time, as John Kerry so eloquently noted, the end result may well be war with the Russians.
As we publish, Saudi Arabian forces are readying their air force for bombing runs over Syria. According to reports they are also massing ground troops and awaiting the go-ahead from their Western coalition partners, with the final order likely coming directly from the United States.
For the moment the United States will be sitting this one out, acting indirectly as more of a support mechanism rather than putting any boots on the ground. Thus, it will be in the hands of the Turks and Saudis for now.
But if they think they’re simply going to walk into Syria against battle-hardened forces sponsored by Iran and Russia, they are about to get a very brutal wake-up call.
In a forum posting detailing the The Hidden Agenda Behind Saudi Arabia’s Market Share Strategy, prolific researcher and analyst John Galt of the Shenandoah web site says that should Saudi Arabia put boots on the ground and attempt to engage ground forces in Syria the consequences may be disastrous:
The Saudi forces allegedly deployed are designed for operations to protect the royals. Saudi SF are not trained for foreign engagements, have no familiarity with Syrian, Iranian, or other combat operations.
It would be like sending our TSA to fight the Mexican Drug cartels in Monterrey.
If the Saudi and GCC SF’s engage in combat inside of Syria without US oversight, they will lose 50% of their forces in the first engagement with Syrian or Hezbollah forces who now have learned how to launch coordinated air and ground assaults on enemy positions.
The Saudi military is a joke.
Galt backs up his claim with a video that pretty much demolishes the notion that the Saudi Arabian military is trained for this kind of combat…
The United States would have the world believe that it is in mortal danger should nations like Iran or North Korea obtain operationally effective nuclear weapons. We are told that there is a grave risk of these weapons being used against another nation and that the US (with the support of the “international community”) must confront these government, and if possible undermine and overthrow them. Why?
Since a nation has already used nuclear weapons against another state, ironically enough that nation being the United States itself, we already know the devastating effects of nuclear weapons. Besides the immense, indiscriminate initial blast, nuclear weapons also produce a persistent radioactive threat amid the fallout afterwards.
The fallout and the catastrophic effects it has on human health for years afterward make nuclear weapons particularly horrifying and abhorrent. The United States didn’t drop only one nuclear bomb on another nation, Japan, it dropped two. The data collected in the aftermath of these attacks have helped form our collective fear of these weapons.
Ironically the US is using the fear its own nuclear warfare has created as leverage to wage still more war.
Depleted Uranium – All the Fallout, None of the Bang
But what if the catastrophic human health effects of fallout could be achieved without the immense, city-flattening initial explosion? What if you could use a weapon to induce long-term spikes in cancer and birth defects without the political ramifications of dropping a nuclear bomb on a population? Some readers may be tempted to cite “dirty bombs,” and they would be partially correct. But there is another correct answer. Depleted uranium or DU ammunition.
Depleted uranium is one of the densest materials munitions can be made out of. Because of their density, they are able to penetrate armor other rounds cannot. DU was initially conceived as an additional deterrence, a weapon of last resort in the event of a full-scale Soviet invasion of Western Europe during the Cold War.
Because of the overwhelming number of tanks the Soviet Union possessed, it was believed extraordinary measures would be needed to even the odds, even at the cost of radioactive contamination of the battlefield.
The catastrophic effects of littering the battlefield with contaminated ammunition possessing a half-life of several billion years was a risk NATO was willing to take to ensure the survival of Western Europe. How then, did this weapon of last resort become a weapon commonly used?
The first Gulf War in 1990, Operation Desert Storm, included the heavy use of this doomsday contingency. The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) in their recent piece titled, “’The most toxic war in history’ – 25 years later,” would note:
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the start of Operation Desert Storm, the combat phase of the Gulf War. Precipitated by Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait in August 1990, the conflict was the first to see the widespread use of depleted uranium (DU) ammunition. US and UK forces subsequently acknowledged firing a combined 286,000kg of DU – the vast majority of which was fired by US Abrams and M60 tanks, and A10 and Harrier aircraft.
ICBUW would also note that the use of DU has impacted both soldiers who used the weapons as well as civilians trapped on or near battlefields they were used on…
So we know that the psychopaths-that-be don’t care about the health of their own soldiers or the viability of the battlefield as a living environment after the battle.
With some important exceptions, such as the issue of regime change, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s foreign policies were largely on the same page, as they have been throughout the campaign. Sanders joined in with the prevailing fear of Russia, praising NATO’s recent provocative amassing of troops along Russia’s border, its largest deployment since the Cold War. The candidates then went on to separately embrace two of history’s worst war mongers.
Clinton went first. After Sanders criticized her earlier embrace of her predecessor Henry Kissinger, calling him “one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country,” Clinton doubled down, arguing that whatever complaints one may have of Kissinger, “his opening up of China and his ongoing relationships with the leaders of China is an incredibly useful relationship.”
Clinton’s earlier mention of Kissinger wasn’t just name-dropping. She appears to genuinely view him as a role model while serving as Secretary of State. In a 2014 review of his latest book, she called him a “friend.” Her praise has raised eyebrows among liberals, given Kissinger’s well-documented record of war crimes, including the illegal bombing of Cambodia that killed tens of thousands of civilians and brought the genocidal Khmer Rouge to power.
In this context, Sanders’ avowal that “Henry Kissinger is not my friend” played well. It was a good moment for him, forcing Clinton to publicly defend Kissinger – a reviled figure among older Democrats and the Left – while calling attention to the establishment ties he’s tried to hammer her on throughout the campaign.
And then he mentioned Winston Churchill.
Asked by a Facebook user which foreign leader the candidates took inspiration from when it came to foreign policy, Sanders cited the former British Prime Minister…
They could do no better than Kissinger and Churchill? Sad.