Saturday, December 31, 2016

Famous Istanbul Night Club- 2 Santa Gumen, New Years Eve Attack


I just had a feeling.....When no one is paying attention-
ISTANBUL -- Turkey's state-run news agency says an armed assailant has opened fire at a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year's celebrations, wounding several people.
The Anadolu Agency said the attack occurred in Istanbul's Ortakoy district.
Footage from the scene showed at least six ambulances with flashing lights and civilians being escorted out. Media reports said police have cordoned off the area and an operation is ongoing.
Gunmen have attacked a famous nightclub in Istanbul during New Year's Eve celebrations, reportedly injuring dozens of people, local media reported.
Two attackers were reportedly dressed in Santa costumes, (coca cola Santa?) according to CNN Turk, when they opened fire on the Reina club in the Ortakoy area of the city.
Around 20-30 people may have been wounded in the attack, NTV reported.
One attacker was still inside the club and police special forces were preparing an operation to enter the building, broadcaster CNN Turk said.
TV footage showed armoured police vehicles surrounding the nightspot as ambulances rushed to the scene.
There were reportedly several hundred people in the club, which is among the city's glitziest nightspots.
Turkey has been the target of a number of recent attacks by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and Kurdish extremist groups.
At the stroke of midnight?
Will there be more?

UPDATE and this is interesting... I'll highlight:

Daily Sabah- 35 dead at Istanbul Nightclub 

 An assailant dressed in a Santa Claus costume opened fire at a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year's celebrations, killing at least 35 people and wounding several others, Istanbul governor Vasip Şahin said early Sunday.

A police officer was among the killed in the attack targeting the popular Reina nightclub in Istanbul's Ortaköy district. More than one assailant may have been involved in the attack, sources said. Over 500 people were inside the club at the time.

The attacker opened fire at the police outside the nightclub before entering and firing on people inside. Some customers jumped into the waters of the Bosporus to escape the attack, sources added.
Security measures had been heightened in major Turkish cities, with police barring traffic leading up to key squares in Istanbul and the capital Ankara. In Istanbul, some 17,000 police officers were put on duty, some camouflaged as Santa Claus and others as street vendors.
Ankara and Istanbul have been targeted by several attacks in 2016 carried out by the Daesh terrorists or PKK militants, killing more than 180 people.
Two Santa Shooters? One shooter? Cops in Christmas Santa camo?
Insiders?- Reminiscent of the Russian Ambassador Shooting?
Or outsiders wanting the crowd to believe they were safe with law enforcement so they could maximize damage?

An attack on the mid to upper classes. Designed to turn them against the government?

An attack on Europe?

The attack took place at the swanky Reina nightclub on the European side of the city. There were reportedly as many as 700 people dancing to celebrate the New Year, which chimed in barely an hour before the attack.

Situated in the Ortakoy district of Istanbul, the club is known as one of the most elite nightspots in the city and it is notoriously hard to get past the bouncers, who seek out only the best dressed.
Television pictures showed shellshocked revellers dressed up to the nines -- men in suits and women in cocktail dresses -- emerging dazed from the scene.

The attack sparked mass panic, with some diving into the Bosphorus Strait between Europe and Asia to escape the bullets. Rescuers were battling to salvage them to safety.
At least one gunman reportedly dressed as Santa burst into the nightclub, spraying bullets at random.
According to some witnesses cited by the Dogan news agency, the attackers were "speaking Arabic".

UPDATED! -UN Security Council Approves Russian Drafted Resolution

 Following up on:  UN Security Council To Vote on Syrian Ceasefire Agreement- 11:00 am EST

The UN Security Council has unanimously passed a resolution drafted by Russia that endorses a nationwide Syrian ceasefire, which was earlier brokered by Moscow and Ankara. 
Details to follow 

 The draft resolution prepared by Russia was officially presented to the UNSC on Friday, a day after Moscow sent the texts of two agreements signed by the Syrian government and seven armed opposition groups to the UN body.
The documents that “establish a ceasefire as well as obliges the Syrian government and the opposition to start direct talks in Astana in late January, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin told journalists on Friday, speaking about the documents he presented at the Security Council meeting together with a draft resolution supporting the ceasefire in Syria.
He also said that all groups that genuinely want to join talks between the Syrian government and the opposition in Astana scheduled for early 2017 are welcome in the Kazakh capital.
Security Council members welcomed the agreements reached through the mediation of Russia and Turkey, and stressed the importance of its “full and immediate implementation.”
What choice did the US, UK and France have other then to endorse this resolution?

 Western members of the council had sought changes to the draft resolution circulated by Russia and Turkey during consultations Saturday morning to clarify the role of the U.N. and the meaning of the agreement brokered by Moscow and Ankara
So the UN can pretend it's relevant ?
 The final text dropped an endorsement of the Syria cease-fire agreement brokered by Moscow and Ankara, and it changed the draft to call the Astana meeting "an important step ahead of the resumption of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva on Feb. 8, 2017."
The UN Security Council members didn't endorse a ceasefire agreement- An endorsement was dropped to get this passed?

Which parties from the security council refused to endorse the ceasefire agreement?
It wasn't Russia. It wouldn't have been China.
If all parties truly wanted peace there would have been zero refusals to endorse, so which parties refused?

The obvious answer is-  The ones that want the war on Syria to continue.

Smart money says the US was at least one party that REFUSED to endorse the ceasefire agreement! 
The UK and France come to mind as two others who would REFUSE to endorse the ceasefire.
And I do hope we found out which parties would not endorse the ceasefire agreement.. Particularly prior to the peace president (ahem) exiting from office

UN Security Council To Vote on Syrian Ceasefire Agreement- 11:00 am EST


UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council will vote Saturday on a resolution that would endorse the cease-fire agreement in Syria brokered by Russia and Turkey, and reiterate support for a roadmap to peace that starts with a transitional government.

The resolution also calls for “rapid, safe and unhindered” access to deliver humanitarian aid throughout the country. And it looks forward to a meeting in late January between the Syrian government and opposition in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana “as an important part of the Syrian-led political process facilitated by the United Nations.”

Divisions in the Security Council between Russia and the veto-wielding Western powers — the U.S. Britain and France who support the moderate opposition and demand that Assad steps down — have blocked action to end the war, now in its sixth year.

Russia and Turkey sent the cease-fire agreement and the draft resolution to Security Council members Thursday night. After closed discussions in the council Friday morning, Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin circulated a revised draft, urged council members to support it, and called for a vote on Saturday.

The Security Council needs to participate “in this important process,” Churkin said.

The council is scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. EST. Russia’s U.N. Mission said members would hold closed consultations and then vote.

The draft resolution reiterates “that the only sustainable solution to the current crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process based on the Geneva communique of June 30, 2012,” which was endorsed by the Security Council.

The communique, adopted by key nations, calls for the formation of a transitional government with full executive powers “on the basis of mutual consent” and steps leading to elections.
I'll be watching for the results so stay tuned...

Oh and just in case you've  not been paying attention... 


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Three Documents Signed- Syrian Ceasefire Begins at Midnight

Necessary Background:

Breaking news the last hour or so..

MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. Agreements have been achieved on a ceasefire in Syria and the readiness to start peace talks, according to Vladimir Putin.
"Reports have just arrived that several hours ago there was a development that we all have looked and worked for for so long. Three documents have been signed. A ceasefire between the Syrian government and the armed opposition is the one. A package of measures to control the ceasefire is the other. There is also a declaration of readiness to enter peace talks on Syrian conflict settlement," Putin said at a meeting with Russian foreign and defense ministers.
Russia, Turkey, Iran undertake commitments to guarantee peaceful settlement in Syria. The deal is the result of Russia’s cooperation with partners in the region, Putin emphasized.
"No doubt, the agreements reached are fragile and demand special attention and assistance with the goal of preservation and development. But nevertheless, this is a notable result of our joint work, efforts of the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and our partners in the regions," Putin said at the meeting with the foreign and defense ministers.
Putin said the Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry were constantly in a contact with partners in Damascus and other capitals. "They did a very great job jointly with partners from Turkey. We know that most recently a trilateral meeting of foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran was held in Moscow where the three countries undertook commitments both on control and guarantees of peaceful settlement in the Syrian Republic."
"As we understand very well, all the agreements reached are very fragile, they demand special attention and patience, a professional approach to these issues and a constant contact with our partners," Putin stressed
 UPDATE # 1:

 Putin Speaks- Russian only


 This agreement we’ve reached is very fragile, as we all understand. They require special attention and patience, professional attitude, and constant contact with our partners,” Putin said

The first was signed by the Syrian government and the Syrian opposition to stop hostilities in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. The second one is a set of measures to control the ceasefire. The third document is a declaration of intention for Syrian settlement,” the Russian president said

The agreement is the result of joint efforts by Russia, Turkey, and Iran, the president said.
Great work has been done in cooperation with our partners from Turkey. We know that only recently there was a trilateral meeting in Moscow of the foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey, and Iran, where all of the nations made obligations not only to control, but also to act as guarantors of the peace process in Syria.

The truce is supported by seven major armed opposition groups that have over 60,000 fighters in their ranks, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said.

The minister said under the deal any armed group that refuses to cease hostilities would be considered a legitimate target for the use of force, as is the case with terrorist groups Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and Al-Nusra Front, which are not included in the truce. Shoigu added that if the agreement holds, it would allow Russia to scale down its military presence in Syria.

He added that he will contact his Iranian and Turkish counterparts to discuss further steps in the Syrian peace process.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the three nations are preparing a meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, to pave the way for peace talks on Syria.
Lavrov said that the ceasefire agreement would be submitted to the UN Security Council later on Thursday for potential endorsement.(RT's reporting, but, doesn't appear to be what Lavrov is saying? I wouldn't think they need the UN's endorsement or approval)
We will inform UNSC members of the work we have done and answer their questions,” the Russian foreign minister said.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that Turkey and Russia will act as guarantors of the truce, which does not include groups designated as terrorists by the United Nations.
Ankara has called on all parties that can exert influence on armed groups to support the ceasefire deal.
Damascus has confirmed that it will observe the truce starting at midnight local time on December 30 (22:00 GMT December 29).
The rebel National Coalition announced its support for the ceasefire deal, AFP reported. Zakaria Malahifji, who represents the Free Syrian Army-affiliated rebel group Fastaqim, has confirmed supporting the truce to Reuters.

Update # 2:

The draft text of just one of the three documents signed - Set of Measures to Control the Ceasefire

Pretty straightforward stuff.
The text is not the final version signed by the all parties, the channel said in its web page, citing Bassam Barabandi, the senior advisor to the opposition High Negotiations Committee.
According to the channel, Hadi Al Bahra, spokesperson of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), also confirmed the document. "Daesh and groups designated by the UN as terror organisations would be excluded from the deal," Al Bahra was quoted as saying in the piece.
The translation of the text is as follows:
1- A ceasefire in all Syrian territory excluding military HQs in areas under Daesh control. The ceasefire will continue as long as the political process is ongoing.
2- The Turkish government guarantees the commitment of the opposition in all the areas that the opposition controls to the ceasefire, including an end to any type of shelling.
3- The Russian Federation guarantees the commitment to the ceasefire, including all types of aerial bombardment and artillery shelling, of the Syrian gov't and its allies in all the territory that they control.
4- The guarantors of the agreement will ensure that the parties in the conflict will not attempt to seize new areas that were not under their control prior to the ceasefire.
5- The guarantors of the agreement will present an appropriate mechanism to monitor the ceasefire based on UN frameworks after the parties agree to these terms.
6- Negotiations will begin as to a political solution one month into the ceasefire.
7- Humanitarian aid will be delivered to all of the besieged areas according to a plan where Russia and Turkey will guarantee full compliance.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin also spoke Thursday on the phone regarding the developments. The two leaders reportedly discussed the cease-fire and the Astana process. The ceasefire will be in effect on December 30
Update # 3:

Italy: (no doubt speaking on behalf of the US)- UN Talks Only Solution for Syria 

 Only talks at the United Nations can pave the way for a solution to the Syrian crisis, Premier Paolo Gentiloni said Thursday. The only "credible" way forward, he said, "can only be opening serious talks on the transition handled by the UN. "It is very hard to imagine a different solution, we have to get there and I hope Russia helps arrive at this solution: the UN, transition, and dialogue between Bashar al-Assad and the oppositions". Gentiloni said "certainly we have behind us dramatic months and months of diplomatic failures, to be frank.
    Gentiloni said "we had a format born in February in Munich and which seemed very promising, 18 countries including Italy around the table, at the head were Lavrov and Kerry and around it Iranians, Turks, Saudis, the different subjects we had to involve to reach peace.
    "This operation initially produced results...but then what happened? I must say that many worked against this US-Russian collaboration".
 I addressed the inevitable machinations that will be engaged in to  undermine this agreement in my December 26th post- A Ceasefire In Syria? - Not if the US & co Have Their Way! 

Gentiloni is regurgitating John Kirby's previous sputum:
 John Kirby said "we believe that this process should continue to be under UN auspices and that should be led by Staffan de Mistura."

"And it is up to him to determine where and how and when they will occur, not to the United States; we’re not taking a position on that," he said”

As I pointed out three days ago...

Why should this or any decision be made by the UN Envoy? It seems that negotiators from Iran, Turkey, Russia and Syria are perfectly capable of deciding for themselves. No need to be dictated to.. The entire UN  process has been a fail!  Staffan de Mistura has been a total fail.  Geneva has been a fail.
It really appears the US is determined to turn the potential ceasefire into yet another one of their fails!
Pushing for UN involvement only makes sense in the context of the US wanting this agreement and a potential Syria wide ceasefire to fail!


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Turkey, Russia & Iran Build Anticipation In Advance of Ceasefire

Interesting the news of the choir singing from the same hymnal yesterday.
 Even though the dis/misinfo (that website never proved what it claimed) msm /alt media chose to only focus on Erdogan’s ISIS statement.. In order to manipulate their audiences with some ridicule or other ad hominem type statement.

Me? I see things just a bit differently.  Erdogan's statement cut a much wider swathe then just a mention of US support to ISIS. His statement  was coordinated with statements coming out of Russia and Iran on the very same day. Yesterday. All three nations making statements pointing out US support for terrorists and terrorism. It seems sensible that all statements made have something to do with that still being hammered out ceasefire agreement between Russia, Iran and Turkey.

Written about in two posts: 

 Tuesday, December 20, 2016: Russia,Iran,Turkey: Guarantors of the Moscow Declaration

Monday December 26/2016 A Ceasefire In Syria? - Not if the US & co Have Their Way!

What has trickled out today regarding the ceasefire, though quite limited, has one aspect which I believe ties to the tripartite statements made yesterday.
"The agreement does not include terrorist organizations such as Al Nusra Front and Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL), which would not be part of the deal, Anadolu says. A source close to the Russian Foreign Ministry told that Kurdish militia units known as YPG are also excluded from the ceasefire"
The terrorist organizations of Al Nusra Front/IS/ISIS/ISIL and the YPG/PKK are excluded from the ceasefire- Which means they are named terrorists and can be gotten rid of.

Coordinated Statements:


“Turkish President Receb Tayyip Erdogan said he has evidence that U.S.-led coalition forces give support to terrorist groups including the Islamic State and Kurdish militant groups YPG and PYD, he said on Tuesday, APA reports quoting Reuters
"They were accusing us of supporting Daesh (Islamic State)," he told a press conference in Ankara.

"Now they give support to terrorist groups including Daesh, YPG, PYD. It's very clear. We have confirmed evidence, with pictures, photos and videos," he said”
Undoubtedly Turkey has this evidence because quite frankly, they've told the US previously they had this evidence (mentioned here at the blog) and quite honestly the evidence can be found by simply reading the many media reports, lots of which are posted here.

On the same day...  Russia:
Russia has called a US decision to ease restrictions on arming Syrian opposition groups a "hostile act" that would directly threaten Russian military forces in Syria.

Maria Zakharova, foreign ministry spokeswoman in Moscow, said on Tuesday the policy change set out in the annual defence policy bill signed into law by US President Barack Obama last week, would lead to weapons ending up "in the hands of jihadists with whom the sham 'moderate' opposition have long acted jointly".

"Such a decision is a direct threat to the Russian air force, to other Russian military personnel, and to our embassy in Syria, which has come under fire more than once. We therefore view the step as a hostile one," Zakharova said in a statement.
And then Iran:
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan has slammed Washington's lack of seriousness in the fight against the Daesh terrorist group, saying the US has nurtured terrorists itself and now wants them to stay in the Middle East.

“The Western coalition is of a formal nature, they have no real intention to fight either in Syria or in Iraq. We don’t see any readiness on their part to play a truly useful and meaningful role in fighting Daesh, because it’s them who have raised terrorists and they are interested in keeping them there, Dehqan said in an interview with RT published on Tuesday.
All statements are in agreement- The US supports terrorists. And is not serious about fighting them. I'll be paying attention to the ceasefire agreement details as more come out.

Turkey, Iran and Russia are building up interest and likely causing concern to certain parties 

From Earlier:

Mosul's Last Bridge Destroyed By Coalition Airstrikes- From 5 to None

Mosul's Last Bridge Destroyed By Coalition Airstrikes- From 5 to None

Following up on: "Before the Flood" or "Mosul Dam: Bigger Problem Then ISIS" the New Yorker

Fish in a barrel/Sitting Ducks
Mosul residents said on Wednesday that an airstrike had disabled the city’s last functioning bridge across the Tigris River, forcing residents to cross the waterway in boats

The residents said the airstrike happened at dawn on Monday. Iraqi and officials from the US-led coalition battling ISIL were not available to comment.

Activists from inside Mosul published pictures on Tuesday night of the metal bridge, known as the Old Bridge, showing its twisted girders sinking into the water as boats ferried residents from both banks. The bridge, which was built during the reign of King Ghazi in the 1930s, is considered one of the city’s iconic landmarks.

 Until recently, Mosul had five bridges spanning the Tigris River, which runs through the centre of the northern city. One was disabled in the weeks before the offensive to retake the city began on October 17, while the other four have since been bombed in airstrikes.
If the intention is to drown a city.... Bombing the bridges would be a good way to go
 So far, most of the fighting in Mosul has taken place on the Tigris River’s eastern bank. Iraqi forces are expected to use pontoon bridges when they reach the river as they have done in previous military operations in other areas.
And drown an army too? 
Surely slowing up the Iraqi army's ability to retake all of Mosul, no?

The damage is expected to further complicate life inside Mosul. A resident said people waiting by the banks to be ferried across ran for cover every time they heard a plane buzzing overheard, fearing further airstrikes.
 What ever the case bombing the bridges did nothing to help the people of Mosul. Rich rebuilding contracts will be necessary..

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

"Before the Flood" or "Mosul Dam: Bigger Problem Then ISIS" the New Yorker

  Very last sentence from the New Yorker, first:
This article appears in other versions of the January 2, 2017, issue, with the headline “Before the Flood.”
hattip karin and my responses:
A bigger problem than ISIS ?
Mosul Dam is failing (New Yorker mag online)

  1. thank you karin

    as you know I've written extensively about that..
    and i've never, never given up on the possibility that the US would resort to ensuring this dam fails to clean up Mosul--- of it's people problem

  1. karin- did you happen to read what the alternate title of this article was?
    It's all the way at the end
    This article appears in other versions of the January 2, 2017, issue, with the headline “Before the Flood.”

    Think that title gave too much away?

A Bigger Problem Than ISIS?

"The Mosul Dam is failing. A breach would cause a colossal wave that could kill as many as a million and a half people"

Eye catching headline. That's for sure.

 What a story to kick off the New Year at the New Yorker!  A problem bigger then ISIS, with an alternative title of "Before the Flood"  Woweeee.....Before the Flood. A title that gives so much away. Not an if, but, a when. Prophetic or something else? Of course long time readers here are aware I've written about the something else. Weaponizing the dam. Intentionally. 
 The New Yorker author writes about a weaponized dam as a 'nuclear bomb with an unpredictable fuse' as if it's an unintended catastrophe- biblical- the work of God, a "catastrophe of Biblical proportions" 

It will be catastrophic but it won't be unintentional. 
It will be a made to order example of disaster capitalism and extreme ethnic cleansing, people displacement.

A bit more then two paragraphs from the New Yorker directly below:
But, in the months that followed, American officials inspected the dam and became concerned that it was on the brink of collapse. The problem wasn’t structural: the dam had been built to survive an aerial bombardment. (In fact, during the Gulf War, American jets bombed its generator, but the dam remained intact.) The problem, according to Azzam Alwash, an Iraqi-American civil engineer who has served as an adviser on the dam, is that “it’s just in the wrong place.”
The discussion about this 'wrong place" claim has been had here previously
"In February, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad issued a warning of the consequences of a breach in the dam. For a statement written by diplomats, it is extraordinarily blunt. “Mosul Dam faces a serious and unprecedented risk of catastrophic failure with little warning,” it said. Soon afterward, the United Nations released its own warning, predicting that “hundreds of thousands of people could be killed” if the dam failed. Iraq’s leaders, apparently fearful of public reaction, have refused to acknowledge the extent of the danger. But Alwash told me that nearly everyone outside the Iraqi government who has examined the dam believes that time is running out: in the spring, snowmelt flows into the Tigris, putting immense pressure on the retaining wall.

If the dam ruptured, it would likely cause a catastrophe of Biblical proportions, loosing a wave as high as a hundred feet that would roll down the Tigris, swallowing everything in its path for more than a hundred miles. Large parts of Mosul would be submerged in less than three hours. Along the riverbanks, towns and cities containing the heart of Iraq’s population would be flooded; in four days, a wave as high as sixteen feet would crash into Baghdad, a city of six million people. “If there is a breach in the dam, there will be no warning,” Alwash said. “It’s a nuclear bomb with an unpredictable fuse.”
Mosul Dam

Let's go back to when I first brought up the idea of the US and company using the dam as a weapon. Notice the evocative language used in the New Yorker article "nuclear bomb"
I'll relink that original article and all subsequent articles following up on the idea of weaponizing the collapse of the dam to achieve certain goals and agendas.

 March 02/2016 :Mosul Dam Set to Fail- Intentional Take Down? Disaster Capitalism to the Extreme?
 More then a million could die? How large a displacement of the populace are we really talkin?
Ethnic cleansing to the extreme? I wouldn't discount it, that's for sure.
Since when do war makers and imperialists concern themselves with the puny little lives of the masses? They can use them and abuse them. That's just reality. When psychopaths rule the world.
And we allow it to go on.
The earliest article I had cited in my earliest post regarding the dam is from February 04/2016

 From February 4/2016- Notice how all warning are coming from the Americans, while the Iraqis think it's much ado about nothing- Interesting. After reading this one could also say thanks to the US and it's multiple invasions, it's sanctions regime, it's incessant war making and bombing they virtually guaranteed the destruction of this vital dam anyway

The New Yorker "Before the Flood" - In February, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad issued a warning of the consequences of a breach in the dam. For a statement written by diplomats, it is extraordinarily blunt. “Mosul Dam faces a serious and unprecedented risk of catastrophic failure with little warning,” it said. 
 March 10/2016: Samantha Power “Chilling Briefing” Regarding Mosul Dam. Mosul Dam, Again!
 If this dam goes. It’s on America. It’s on NATO. All the resulting destruction, death and displacement is on their watch. And they are responsible for it. As I’ve postulated already the death, destruction and displacement may be exactly what they want

 March 30th/2016: Thank- You E. William Engdahl! And Yes, it's the Mosul Dam, Again

April 21/2016: Gearing up for the Annexation of Mosul. Destroying Iraq & Maybe Mosul Dam too!

 April 27/2016 Annexing Mosul, Destroying Iraq & Collapsing Mosul Dam (Making way for Badush): Part 2

April 29/2016:  US Controls Info and Data Regarding Mosul Dam. Why?

 May 12/2016: Italian Defense Minister in Iraq for Mosul Dam Talks

May 13/2016  Mosul Dam Evacuation Plan? Warning Leaflets dropped over Mosul? Questionable.

May 20/2016:Mosul: it's Precarious Dam & an Earthquake? CENTCOM/ DOD. Baghdad Protests, Again
It almost appears as if the Mosul dam is being prepared for demolition as the dam's concrete footwall has been reduced to rubble and the concrete erosion caps cut into pieces in recent months.
 This image is from

 Weakening the foundation/base so when the melt occurs........??- Cause that appears to be demolition occurring at the base of the dam
Would it "strengthen" the dam to remove the concrete at it's base?
I don't see how it would?

 Watch the video at VOA as the concrete is demolished- This is the low water level side of the dam.Behind that wall is the water being held back
May 24/2026:  Saving Mosul Dam from Afar? Sweden of all places?

The New Yorker does a big  new year expose to replant the idea of Mosul dam as 'the most dangerous dam in the world' Likening it to a nuclear bomb.

After the flood.............

Killing more then a million, permanently displacing/cleansing countless others. 
Sending the ethnically cleansed flooding in Europe. Resolve the battle for Mosul once and for all- And, I'm not talking about the battles present time. I'm talking the battle for pieces of Mosul vs taking the whole resource rich Mosul pie. Both fights are going on concurrently.
A weaponized dam? You betcha!  The New Yorker article covers a lot of ground, but, I can assure you much more was covered here by yours truly! If you didn't read last year- feel free to take in all the old posts and their external links. 
If that dam fails it won't be an accident. But it will look like one.

Monday, December 26, 2016

A Ceasefire In Syria? - Not if the US & co Have Their Way!

After all these years of bloggin’ on Syria, it seems to me we are witnessing the best opportunity ever for a Syrian ceasefire. And, yet, there is this strange disconnect with the media coverage regarding Syria?  We are supposed to believe, having  been told for years now, that the cessation of fighting in Syria was always the goal. No military solution, just a political solution. The recent deal worked out between Russia, Turkey and Iran looks, to me, to be the closest the world has come to making/witnessing this cessation of hostilities actually taking place in Syria. An actual move towards peace and resolution truly occurring!

Yet..... there is this huge vacuum between  reality and  msm presented narrative
The mainstream media  is choosing to present the entire situation in Syria as a failure of "humanitarianism"- I'm sure you've seen, heard and read it, everywhere... so we won't get into that. Instead let's focus on what is getting no mention at all.

There is nearly non existent western coverage (alt or msm) about the deal made between Russia, Turkey and Iran- Covered in this post : December 20/2016 :Russia,Iran,Turkey: Guarantors of the Moscow Declaration 

Russia, Turkey, Iran and Syria- Working this all out together.

 In their 'neck of the woods' so to speak. They have a huge interest in settling Syria. Therefore their willingness to be guarantors of a settlement should be considered pretty good, right?  If you said right, you would of course, be wrong. The US and company never wanted the war to stop. They wanted Syria destroyed. Balkanized. Assad overthrown. Etc.,

Today it was reported Putin, speaking on behalf of Russia believes that a cross country ceasefire can take place- Today being December 23rd when I initially began work on this post. Article dated December 24/2016- The National

Happy Syrians..
"The liberation of Aleppo from radical elements is a very important part of the normalisation in Syria, and I hope, for the region overall," Mr Putin said in a meeting with defence minister Sergei Shoigu.

"Everything needs to be done for fighting to stop on all Syrian territory," Mr Putin said. "In any case, we will strive toward this."

He called Mr Al Assad on Friday to congratulate him on the recapture of Aleppo

Mr Putin said that Russia wanted ceasefire talks to take place in Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital, as the location had already been approved by Syrian president Bashar Al Assad and the leaders of the other power brokers in the Syrian conflict – Iran and Turkey"

Astana, Kazakhstan- The venue agreed upon by all parties to this long over due ceasefire.

Syria, Iran,Turkey, Russia - All agree. Astana Kazakhstan is the place for those concerned parties to be!

Putin says Assad, Iran, Turkey agree on Astana as venue for Syria talks

Russian President Putin attends his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow

President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia, Iran, Turkey and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had all agreed that the Kazakh capital of Astana should be the venue for new Syrian peace talks.

Russia, Iran and Turkey held talks in Moscow on Tuesday after which they said they were ready to help broker a Syrian peace deal.
Russia, Iran, Turkey and Bashar al Assad all agreed that Astana is the place to be!

The negotiations in Astana are an important step, they will prompt the United States and the European Union to accept the necessity to stop the bloodshed and to reach peace in Syria as soon as possible," Selcuk Ozdag said.
Stop bloodshed and reach peace asap! I'll bet lots of Syrians like this idea

The US is of course the killjoy. The party that kills joy. And hope.

John Kirby speaks...
 “The decision on when and where to hold the next round of intra-Syrian reconciliation talks should be made by the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura" TASS reported citing a US Department of State spokesman.

Commenting on the possibility of moving the talks from Geneva to Astana, as suggested by the government of Kazakhstan, John Kirby said "we believe that this process should continue to be under UN auspices and that should be led by Staffan de Mistura."

"And it is up to him to determine where and how and when they will occur, not to the United States; we’re not taking a position on that," he said”

Why should this or any decision be made by the UN Envoy? It seems that negotiators from Iran, Turkey, Russia and Syria are perfectly capable of deciding for themselves. No need to be dictated to.. The entire UN  process has been a fail!  Staffan de Mistura has been a total fail.  Geneva has been a fail.
It really appears the US is determined to turn the potential ceasefire into yet another one of their fails!
Pushing for UN involvement only makes sense in the context of the US wanting this agreement and a potential Syria wide ceasefire to fail!

Some additional news you probably missed!

December 23/2016  US imposes sanctions against Syrian Central Bank chief, cabinet members

 Washington has imposed sanctions against Syrian Central Bank Governor Duraid Durgham, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Ghanem, Finance Minister Maamoun Hamdan, Industry Minister Ahmad al-Hamu, Information Minister Mohammad Ramez Tourjman and Minister of Communications and Technology Ali al-Zafir, the US Department of Treasure said in a statement, APA reports quoting TASS.
 December 24/2016: New US Sanctions Against Russia 
 Russian Foreign Ministry said that the new US sanctions against some Russian figures aim to punish Russia for the support it has provided to the Syrian government in the fight terrorism.
“The new US sanctions adopted by the outgoing US President Barack Obama are detrimental to the US interests only,” Sputnik quoted the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying in a statement Saturday.
“This widening of American sanctions against Russia … at a time when the bloody attacks in Ankara and Berlin should bring reasonable people together to fight the terrorist threat shows that Washington has completely lost its grip on reality. Nonetheless, the outgoing Obama administration has set out, in the past few years, to vigorously search for ways to harm Moscow. But this had not happened the way they wanted it,” the ministry added.
 Putin, Erdogan discuss Syria over phone
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan talked about the Syria issue over phone on Sunday, the Kremlin said in a statement.
The two leaders exchanged views in details on the situation in Syria, the Kremlin said, adding that President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who is currently on a working visit to Russia, also took part in the discussion.

Which brings us back around to..

Russian Airstrikes Supporting Turkish Troops but US Support Lacking. Not a surprise.

And of course, don't miss....

NATO Chief Auditor Yves Chandelon Found Dead In Suspicious Circumstances

NATO Chief Auditor Yves Chandelon Found Dead In Suspicious Circumstances

hattip Ally!

Isn't that interesting and very, very suspicious Ally
thank you
sure smells like an assassination.

my husband is a lefty and there is no way in hell he'd use his right hand, unless absolutely unavoidable (unnatural/not normal), - even though it's hard to be a lefty in a right hand world

sloppy assassins. not even his gun, of course
can't blame the family at all
The family is very suspicious and raised concerns to the media. I understand it completely!
This is one extremely under  reported, but, extremely interesting bit o'news
Yves Chandelon, the chief auditor of NATO relating to terrorism financing and money laundering, has been found dead in his car in an incident that raises suspicions.

62-year-old Chandelon's death, resembling a suicide with a shot fired to his head, occurred on Dec. 16 and the body was found in his car the same day although the incident was largely kept away from the media. Belgian press started covering the incident on Dec. 21 as his family raised suspicions about his death.

Despite Chandelon being left-handed, a gun was found in his right hand, and the gun was not one of Chandelon's three registered guns. These details raised suspicions about an assassination rather than a suicide.

His body was found near the town of Andenne in Belgium's Ardennes region, some 140 kilometers away from his office at NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NPSA) in Capellen, Luxembourg and 100 kilometers away from his residence in the town of Tournai. He was reportedly visiting a friend.

Chandelon's death occurred three days before the murder of Russia's Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov in Ankara on Dec. 19. Another Russian diplomat, Petr Polshikov, was also found dead in his apartment in Moscow the same day.
 Yves Shandelon, the main Auditor of Nato,  was found dead in the Andenne town in Belgian Ardennes, according to media.

In concordance with them, an official, probably shot himself, but family rejects this version. Three firearms were registered in the name of 60-years-old Shandelon. However, unregistered weapons were found beside the body of , from which he was shot in the head.

People from his surrounding claims that he informed them on getting "strange" phone calls.
Yves Chandelon, Chief Auditor of the NATO, was found dead in the city of Andenne in the Belgian Ardennes. As it is reported, the official most probably committed a suicide. However, his family strenuously rejects this version.

The body was detected 140km away off his work and 100km away off the city of Lens, where he lived.

Three units of weapons were registered in the name of the 60-y.o. killed official. However, an unregistered one was found near the body.

Chandelon was dealing in particular with issues on countering terrorism funding. According to the media, he was talking recently about strange phone calls he received. The investigation is being continued.

Expect this to be swept under the rug as quickly as possible- Sad for the family that's for sure.

From Earlier:

Russian Airstrikes Supporting Turkish Troops but US Support Lacking. Not a surprise.

Russian Airstrikes Supporting Turkish Troops but US Support Lacking. Not a surprise.

It was reported here on more then one occasion that the US was NOT supporting Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield- This lack of support news had come from main stream sources though the news garnered minimal coverage- still it was present. But, mostly ignored.

Just a few posts covering the disconnect between the US & Turkey regarding Operation Euphrates Shield:

Today, what's being reported?

Two particularly interesting tidbits!  It’s being reported that Russia planes flew sorties in support of Turkish troops in Syria- It’s obfuscated by the mainstream-  but it’s there. Al Masdar is openly reporting the news.
Secondly: Turkey has asked for coalition support to fight ISIS and none has been coming...

What's Missing from the reports?

-The media focus is not on the disconnect between Turkey and the US led allies.
-The media is not asking the all important question- Why is the US not assisting in this fight against ISIS if the true reason for the coalition being in Syria and Iraq is the fight against ISIS?

Readers here are all aware of my thoughts on what is really happening in the region

- Fight against ISIS is the smokescreen for the real agenda
- Greater Kurdistan aka Israel 2.0
- Remaking the Middle East and North Africa
- Kurds/ISIS = KurdISHIS: symbiotic partners at the NATO teat

Russian air support for Turkish operation:

The Russian air force carried out airstrikes on Sunday and Turkey said 226 militants had been "neutralised" in its latest operation but troops had been unable to take complete control of the Syrian town.

The Russian Air Force carried out its first airstrikes over the key city of Al-Bab on Sunday, marking the first time during this war that their aircraft have directly aided the Turkish Army.

According to a military source at the Kuweires Airport, a group of Russian Su-24 and Su-34 fighters jets carried out airstrikes over Al-Bab in east Aleppo, resulting in the destruction of several mechanisms that belonged to the so-called "Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham" (ISIS).

The Russian Air Force carried out its first airstrikes over the key city of Al-Bab on Sunday, marking the first time during this war that their aircraft have directly aided the Turkish Army.
According to a military source at the Kuweires Airport in Aleppo, a group of Russian Su-24 and Su-34 fighters jets carried out airstrikes over Al-Bab in east Aleppo, resulting in the destruction of several mechanisms that belonged to the so-called "Islamic State " (ISIS), AMN reports.
Russian Air Force assisting Turkish troops.

No Coalition Support:

Hurriyet (don't worry I've got additional info and direct attribution)

Sky News,again

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said: "The international coalition must carry out its duties regarding aerial support to the battle we are fighting in al Bab.

"Not giving the necessary support is unacceptable.

“These circles, which always level criticism at Turkey on ISIL, are not giving the necessary support for our struggle against ISIL in Azez, Jarablus, Dabiq and al-Bab. This is unacceptable,” presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin told reporters on Dec. 26.

 Last 24 hours

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Russian Plane, Headed For Syria, Carrying Iconic Entertainers, Crashes. No Survivors

Planes crash. I realize that. Sometimes, some plane crashes are very, very suspicious.
This crash is one of those suspicious ones. When I first saw the news this morning three initial thoughts crossed my mind- Timing. Timing. Timing 
And after taking the time to read- more impressions began to form-

1st the Timing?

 -Aleppo's liberation. 
- Ambassador Assassinated. 
- Deal with Turkey and Iran
- And finally Christmas

2-Plane heading to Syria

3- Cultural Icon

This famed group was apparently a cultural icon- A big part of the Russian narrative
So the demise of these carefully selected individuals is truly a strike at the heart of  Russian culture, history and society

Searching the Black Sea

 A military plane carrying members of a renowned Cold War-era musical ensemble that was going to perform for Russian servicemen at a Syrian air base crashed into the Black Sea early Sunday, apparently killing everyone aboard, officials said.

 The flight also carried nine journalists and a prominent Russian philanthropist.

 Debris from the plane was found at a depth of 160 to 230 feet about a mile offshore, the Emergency Situations Ministry said. On Sunday, the temperature of the Black Sea was about 50 degrees, which makes hypothermia inevitable after about an hour in the water, it said.

 "The investigative committee is looking at various theories. Naturally, it considers the entire spectrum and any possible reasons that might have led to the crash. It is too early to speak about a terrorist attack," he said, according to the official Tass news agency.
The largest group of passengers were 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, the army’s official dance and choir company. They were planning to perform at the Hemeimeem air base near Latakia, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. The list included the ensemble’s conductor, Valery Khalilov.
Active since 1928 and founded by the author of the Soviet national anthem, the Alexandrov Ensemble — informally known in the Soviet era as the Red Army Chorus — was immensely popular. It toured the world performing Russian folk songs, World War II anthems and patriotic music and was dubbed “Russia’s singing weapon.”
The ensemble consisted of 100 to 120 members depending on the type of performance, including a choir, a dance troupe and an orchestra. Because the performance at the air base was going to be mostly a cappella, only the choir and a few dancers were aboard the plane, Russian media reported.
 It is very difficult indeed to find any words with which to describe the loss that the families of the deceased suffered, as well as the loss to Russian culture, Ilya Reznik, a Russian poet-songwriter, who worked closely with the ensemble, said.
I've got a rather large post saved that needs tidying.. a concern that something else was going to happen was looming large in my mind as typed away. I'm afraid this might have been that "something else". Of course, I may be wrong- but this incident nags at me.

Terrorism has not been ruled out! 

Additional Reading-

Vladimir Putin declared December 26 as the day of national mourning for those who died in the Tu-154 plane crash.
“Tomorrow the day of national mourning will be declared in Russia,” Putin told reporters.
The Russian Defence Ministry said one of its TU-154 Tupolev planes had disappeared from radar screens at 0525 MSK (9.25 p.m. ET), two minutes after taking off from Sochi in southern Russia, where it had stopped to refuel from Moscow, on its way to Syria.
An unnamed ministry source told Russian news agencies no life rafts had been found, while another source told the Interfax agency that the plane had not sent an SOS signal.
In televised comments, President Vladimir Putin, speaking in St Petersburg, declared Dec. 26 a national day of mourning.


“Putin has ordered Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to form and head a state commission to investigative the crash of the Tu-154 plane in Sochi,” the Kremlin said in a statement, adding that Putin expressed his deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the crash.

The Tu-154 plane went down in the Black Sea shortly after taking off from the southern city of Adler where it had been refuelling, defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told Russian news agencies.

It disappeared from radar just two minutes after it took off at 5:25 am (0225 GMT).

From Earlier 

Samantha Power’s Syria Problem?


Samantha Power’s Syria Problem?

It's WSJ, okay? Read between the lines and leave some comments
I couldn't pass on this prime example of perception management via the msm

As Aleppo falls, the anti-genocide activist (??) turned U.N. ambassador argues that Syria differs from past crises in which the U.S. intervened

When Samantha Power’s 7-year-old son recently asked her, “Why are all the kids in Syria always painted white or gray?” the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations recalls wishing that she had a better answer. Her son, who had often heard his mother talking about the country’s agonizing civil war,(??) had gotten the idea from seeing photographs of ash-covered Syrian children pulled out of bombed-out rubble.
Did Samantha Powers son really ask her that question? That is just so touching...(and I don't believe it of course)
That innocent question hit home, rather literally, for perhaps the Obama administration’s highest-profile human-rights advocate. Ms. Power, scalded from the experience of covering the 1990s Balkan wars as a young reporter, came to prominence for her 2002 book “ ‘A Problem From Hell’: America in the Age of Genocide.” Her research documented the chilling passivity of U.S. administrations over the decades in the face of genocides in Armenia, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and elsewhere.
A young reporter in the Balkans 1990's?

         The Fall of Aleppo

Now, her final weeks in office have been overshadowed by the fall (liberation) of Aleppo, where Syria’s dictator, (elected leader) Bashar al-Assad, has retaken (reclaimed that which was held hostage) rebel-held parts of the shattered city, helped by Russia and Iran. Human-rights groups estimate that more than 430,000 Syrians have died during the war. Critics say that Ms. Power should have resigned to protest U.S. inaction in the face of the slaughter.
Ms Power resign? Due to US inaction? That's absurd. The US was very active therefore Ms Power could not resign because of US inaction?
But Ms. Power says that she didn’t want to quit, even after Mr. Obama opted against airstrikes in response to the Assad regime’s August 2013 sarin-gas attack on a Damascus suburb, which the U.S. says killed more than 1,400 civilians, including some 400 children. A year earlier, Mr. Obama had called the use of chemical weapons “a red line” that could prompt a U.S. military reaction. Today, when asked whether the U.S. should have used force in Syria, Ms. Power says, “I think the complexity of the situation on the ground, the number of armed troops, makes it very hard to see where that would’ve ended.”

Online, she has tweeted her disgust at Mr. Assad’s atrocities, (but disgust wasn't expressed at rebel atrocities committed with the aid of the US) and at the U.N., she has decried Russia’s repeated vetoes of Syria resolutions. Earlier this month, as the Syrian regime tightened the noose around Aleppo, Ms. Power blasted her Syrian, Russian and Iranian counterparts at a Security Council meeting. “Are you truly incapable of shame?” she asked them. “Is there no act of barbarism against civilians, no execution of a child that gets under your skin?”
Samantha Powers 'cares' - I roll my eyes at the absurdity of this evil individual caring
Speaking at an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power asked the Assad regime and its allies whether they were ‘incapable of shame.’

Syria may be the most painful issue that Ms. Power has confronted during her three-year tenure at the U.N., but she has faced many other challenges. She has helped the Security Council forge what U.S. officials call the strongest set of sanctions against North Korea in 20 years, chaired a rare emergency Security Council meeting on a global-health crisis, Ebola, and denounced Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Painful because they didn't kill enough Syrians for her bloodlust? Didn't overthrow the government? What really caused this evil woman pain?
She has also made a point of visiting as many of the 193 U.N. member states’ missions as she can—hitting 191 missions, more than 40 of which had never been visited by a U.S. ambassador, diplomats say. “It means something when President Obama’s ambassador shows up and pays respect, checks out the artwork on the wall and the books on the shelf,” she says.

Ms. Power calls herself a big believer in “soft-power capital”—using cultural tools and personal interactions to facilitate diplomacy. She recently took a group of diplomats to see “Fun Home,” a Broadway musical about a young woman coming out as gay to her complicated family. She wanted to help envoys from less tolerant countries understand different perspectives. She relishes playing sports with her fellow ambassadors, which she thinks can help to defuse conflicts. During tough votes, “You say…‘Remember when we were playing soccer? So about that Crimea resolution…’ ” she says with a laugh.
 "Soft power is the ability to shape the preferences of others through appeal and attraction.
 The term has also been used in changing and influencing social and public opinion through relatively less transparent channels and lobbying through powerful political and non-political organizations. In 2012, Nye explained that with soft power, "the best propaganda is not propaganda", further explaining that during the Information Age, "credibility is the scarcest resource."[1]
 A countrys soft power can come from three resources: its culture (in places where it is attractive to others), its political values (when it lives up to them at home and abroad), and its foreign policies (when they are seen as legitimate and having moral authority)

Soft Power is just another means of waging war and yes in the information age credibility is the scarcest resource. And propaganda is always propaganda.

You should understand , this article from WSJ is a prime example of  both credibility being a scarce resource and the 'best' propaganda still being propaganda 
Ms. Power grew up in Dublin, the daughter of a doctor and a dentist. She lived in Ireland until she was 9; she, her mother and her brother moved to Pittsburgh in 1979. She went on to Yale University and earned a law degree at Harvard. In 1993, she became a U.S. citizen.

Her time covering Bosnia led to a job running a Harvard human-rights center (groomed for her position?) and spurred her to write “ ‘A Problem From Hell.’ ” The book won a Pulitzer Prize (definitely groomed for her position) and led to a stint in Mr. Obama’s Senate office, followed by a first-term administration job as the top human-rights official on his National Security Council staff. “Each of my prior lives feels in retrospect like a setup and a steppingstone to what I’m doing now,” she says. “They all feel of a piece, and the cause of my life hasn’t changed that much.”

That cause, she says, now keeps her focused on removing Mr. Assad’s declared stockpile of chemical weapons—an often frustrating struggle. “Right after he declared these things were moved out of the country, he began using chlorine and sticking it in barrel bombs like a serial drug user who, having had one drug taken away, finds another,” she says.

    ‘There’s lots of room, I think, for reflection on what we might’ve done differently.’

Ms. Power says that Syria differs from past cases in which the U.S. chose to use military force. Just “because you adopted one prescription in a wholly different country with a different size [and] wholly different ethnic and religious dynamics,” she says, doesn’t mean that the same prescription should apply to “some future conflict of a wholly different nature.” She adds, “There’s lots of room, I think, for reflection on what we might’ve done differently, but it is extremely difficult to believe that there was some panacea out there.”

On Jan. 20, Ms. Power will be out of a job. (Donald Trump has chosen Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina as her replacement.) Ms. Power and her husband, the Harvard legal scholar Cass Sunstein and their two children will be leaving her official ambassador’s residence—a sprawling apartment in the Waldorf Astoria Towers—and moving to Massachusetts. Their children, 4 and 7, who now ride to school in armored cars, will have to get used to traveling by more modest means.

A more normal family life could be a boon, Ms. Power thinks. “None of us can keep going at this pace forever,” she says.
 This evil person will not go away quietly- nor will her equally evil spouse- And outlets such as WSJ will never stop peddling deceptive obfuscations to manipulate minds via the mass media

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Conspiracy of Goodwill- Merry Christmas Conspirators

I came across the quote shown below and thought...... It's good. I like it!
It's very suitable. It speaks of the reasoning I've had this blog for so many years.  And it communicates to all readers my view of their participation here.
We're all, hopefully, participating in a conspiracy of goodwill in order that our human societies, formed of our families & friends, both near and far will endure.

Merry Christmas Conspirators!!!

And a truly happy, healthy and prosperous new year!!