Monday, April 30, 2018

On the Brink: Bracing for an Israel-Iran Confrontation in Syria

 As today's earlier post ended.. Coordinated USrael Strikes from Israel, maybe Jordan?
 "These developments are unfolding during a highly dramatic period in the region, with the US two weeks away from opening its embassy in Jerusalem. Of most specific relevance, however, is the fact that in less than two weeks the Trump administration will make its decision on whether or not to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal.
In that light, the resonant strikes in Syria overnight will doubtless constitute considerable food for thought for Tehran, and indeed Moscow, regarding their next moves in Syria and maybe in other places as well."

American Interest- Ehud Yaari is an Israel-based Lafer Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Middle East Commentator for Israel TV 12/13 (Israel-centric view point)
Israel is going to make this move- And only the US can restrain them. If the US so chooses to restrain Israel.
 "The United States has options for preventing—or at least limiting the scope of—a regional showdown in Syria.

Israel and Iran are on course for a collision in the near future. Indeed, a military clash that could expand well beyond Syrian territory appears almost inevitable. In particular, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is determined to transform Syria into a platform for a future war against Israel, whereas leaders of the Jewish state have sworn to prevent what they often describe as the tightening of a noose around Israel’s neck.
The past five years have already seen a series of direct clashes between the two powers. These include more than 120 Israeli Air Force (IAF) strikes against weapons shipments to Hezbollah, Iranian attempts to instigate cross-border incidents along the Golan Heights, and Israeli targeting of arms-production facilities introduced by Iran. In early 2018, these exchanges have escalated to include Israeli airstrikes on Iranian UAV facilities established deep in the Syrian desert, at the T-4 Air Base, and a first Iranian attempt to stage an armed drone attack in Israel.
Iran has committed publicly to conducting a forceful retaliation for the Israeli strike in January that killed eight Iranian officers, including UAV unit commander Colonel Mehdi Dehghani. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has threatened vaguely that a confrontation in Syria could prompt Israel to target Iranian territory. He has also presented an ultimatum of sorts to Bashar al-Assad, suggesting that continued acquiescence by the Syrian President to the establishment of Iranian military bases across his country would compel an end to the Israeli policy of noninterference in the Syrian war. This switch would entail direct military hits on the regime, the preservation of which has been Tehran’s prime objective in the region. Such a shift in Israel’s policy would of course carry the risk of drawing Russian intervention to prevent Assad’s removal. Relatedly, Moscow has already hinted that it may supply Syria with the advanced S-300 air-defense system—probably manned with Russian personnel—which would complicate IAF sorties over the country. In recent weeks, neither Israel nor Iran has signaled an intention to reassess its position, and combative rhetoric from both sides has become an almost daily occurrence.
Outside powers, too, have yet to undertake serious efforts to stop the escalation. The United States is quietly backing Israeli preemptive operations against Iranian forces in Syria, while Russia has restricted itself to advising both parties to refrain from widening the scope of the clashes. President Vladimir Putin, although in close contact with both Netanyahu and President Hassan Rouhani, has never offered to mediate. Moreover, he has not directed his pilots, based mainly near Latakia, to interfere with Israeli strikes or to stop Iran from expanding its military infrastructure in Syria. Putin appears to believe he can still exploit the Israel-Iran rivalry to his own benefit.
Since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria in March 2011, Israel and Iran have been on opposing sides of the conflict. Despite harboring deep suspicions about the plethora of Sunni rebel groups conducting the uprising against Assad, Israel nevertheless yearned to see Assad’s downfall. In this view, the removal of the Assad regime would deprive Iran of what Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has called “the golden ring in the chain of resistance” against Israel. The Iranian loss of Syria—following an investment of no less than $20 billion to prop up the regime—could reduce a mighty Hezbollah proxy force to an isolated actor in Lebanon, delinked from its Syria-based sources of support and equipment. Iran would thus be blocked from implementing its regional plan, based on surrounding Israel with Iranian allies and forging land corridors from its borders all the way west to the Mediterranean. Still, the Israeli leadership—with consistent backing from IDF generals—has opted not to act to speed the collapse of the Assad regime, often on the strength of an implied “devil we know” argument.
Netanyahu has nevertheless articulated a set of red lines: the transfer via Syria to Hezbollah of game-changing weapons, specifically precision-guided missiles; and any attempt to open a new front in terrorist operations along the Golan Line of Separation, where Israel intends to maintain calm. Outside these red lines, however, Israel has taken no actions to degrade Assad’s power or threaten regime assets separate from the Iran-Hezbollah deployment in Syria. Both the Israeli security cabinet and the IDF General Staff have repeatedly rejected suggestions to equip certain non-jihadist rebel factions with the weapons they desperately need to fight the remnants of the Syrian army and the Iran-sponsored militias, at some 40,000 strong. This is despite pleas by rebel commanders for anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, heavy mortars, and light artillery. In the minority, a handful of Israeli security officials felt early on that by extending modest military assistance to vetted rebel groups in the Quneitra and Deraa provinces, they could help these fighters overcome the depleted units of the Syrian army’s First Corps, stationed at the nexus of Syria’s borders with Israel and Jordan, with Damascus to the north. The five Syrian army divisions traditionally posted in this area had suffered substantial casualties, defections, and a collapse in recruitment. For those Israeli officials who favored arming the rebels, the idea was to encourage their capture of this space and holding of the line along the southern approaches to the Syrian capital, areas that include the Assad strongholds of al-Kiswah, Qatana, and Kanaker. A strong rebel line in this territory would relieve pressure from rebel brigades active in other sectors surrounding Damascus and force Assad to split his much-weakened forces. Capture of southern Syria by the rebels, some suggested, would create a wide buffer zone between Israel and Iran-sponsored forces. Such a plan, however, never materialized owing to Netanyahu’s reluctance to get drawn into the Syrian quagmire and expose Israelis to retaliatory fire from across the border. (Netanyahu has not been reluctant)
In retrospect, this hesitance by the Israeli security establishment can be traced all the way back to the first Lebanon war in 1982, when Israel failed to facilitate regime change in Beirut and later had to relinquish the security belt established along the border and abandon the local militia operating there—the South Lebanon Army (SLA). From that experience, most Israeli officials absorbed the lesson that adventures outside Israel’s borders must be averted, as well as a skepticism of the effectiveness of investing in proxy foreign militias.
Whatever their resistance to actually funding the Syrian rebels, Israeli officers maintained a continuous dialogue with various such groups and mostly assessed that they were too fragmented and, to varying degrees, also inclined toward jihadist ideology. The bottom line for Israel was that, even in cases where rebel groups from different towns joined together in coalitions such as the Southern Front, they did not warrant the investment. (again downplaying the very active Israeli role in shoring up the jihadis)
Still, in an effort to keep the Golan front calm and avoid a flood of refugees, Israel has since 2013 gradually developed a humanitarian-aid program for rebel-held villages close to the border. The program has slowly been expanded so that today it reaches approximately 300,000 inhabitants of the Quneitra and, to a lesser extent, Deraa provinces. This program—clearly the most successful of all similar humanitarian efforts in Syria—consists of medical treatment of thousands in hospitals inside Israel and large cross-border deliveries of food, fuel, clothes, and other supplies. In June 2016, this program was consolidated under a special unit named “Good Neighborhood,” which itself is part of Territorial Division 420, in charge of the border. Both the entry of Syrians seeking medical care and the aid deliveries across the border occur at night and are coordinated by Israeli intelligence officials with an array of rebel commanders and community leaders on the other side"
Israel and the 'flood of refugees"

  Israel's involvement in Golan (there are more posts on the subject then just these)

*2018: Israel Arming & Supporting 7 Different Syrian "Rebel" Groups
*2018: Israel’s creeping further into Syria- Stealthily Taking Golan
*2016: Israel: Annexing More of Syria's Golan Territory For a "Safe Zone"- History Repeats 
*2016: While the Cat's Away? Israel Plots Largest Settlement In SYRIAN Occupied Golan
"This effort has helped maintain quiet on the Israeli side of the border, even during periods of intense fighting very close to the front lines. But lacking significant military assistance, the rebels have proven unable to win any important battles against the Syrian army over the past four years, and control of southern Syria hasn’t changed hands during that same period. The governorate capitals—Quneitra and Deraa—are in Assad’s hands, whereas the rural areas are split. The western parts adjacent to the Israeli Golan have become a de facto Israeli zone of influence where the Syrian army and its allied militias avoid embarking upon major offensives and the Russian air force does not fly its planes. The small enclave held by the Islamic State in the southernmost sector of the Golan border, along the western section of the Yarmouk River, remains largely isolated and does not yet constitute a real threat for Israel or the neighboring rebel factions.
The cautious policy pursued by Israel also resulted, to a certain degree, from the understanding in Jerusalem that former U.S. President Barack Obama was adamant in his refusal to adopt recommendations by some of his top advisors to intensify support of rebel groups and adopt a firm anti-Assad stance. The Israelis felt at the time that without U.S. leadership, the objective of toppling the Assad regime was untenable. The Israelis were also aware of Jordan’s halfhearted assistance to tribal rebels in the Hawran area, which has traditional ties to the Hashemite throne. On top of that, funding from the Gulf states to a string of rebel coalitions tended to prioritize those active in central and northern Syria, whereas the modest financing extended to rebel factions south of Damascus was badly coordinated and often had Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar backing rival factions.
Whatever the root causes, Israel has now suffered a major strategic failure with far-reaching implications. Instead of watching the demise of the Assad regime, Israel must cope with the presence of a formidable Russian air force contingent next door and a steady encroachment of Iran toward its border.
By mid-2012, the Iranian General Hossein Hamedani had managed to convince Assad, who was then contemplating going into exile, to stay in office and keep fighting. In the first phase, Iran helped Assad defend Damascus and some other parts of “useful Syria” by operating an air bridge that brought military equipment and munitions, by introducing Hezbollah units to the battlefield, and by deploying hastily recruited militias consisting both of local loyalists and foreign fighters from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. At one point, IRGC Qods Force commander General Qasem Soleimani led 4,000 IRGC troops to the battle for eastern Aleppo, but he ultimately had to send them back to Iran at the insistence of Khamenei, who indicated a low tolerance for Iranian fatalities in Syria. Then, in 2015, came the masterstroke: Soleimani struck a deal with Putin, and the arrival of the Russian air force on the scene since September 2015 has slowly enabled Iran to secure Assad’s control over 60 percent of the country.
Not only has Iran managed to stabilize the Assad regime and pacify much of his territory, it has also obtained a great degree of influence over decision-making in Damascus, become a dominant actor in the war, and begun to solidify its military presence in Syria. It has achieved the latter two ends by acquiring bases and deploying advanced facilities, constructing myriad militias outside the framework of the Syrian Arab Army and its irregular auxiliary forces, and establishing plants for production of missiles, precision guidance systems, and ammunition.
Israel is faced not only with a preserved Assad regime—a vital ally to Iran and Hezbollah—but also with the emergence of Iranian military power next door. In short, Israeli caution has opened the door to future adventures, after all. Israeli inaction came face-to-face with Iranian proactivity, and Israel now finds itself counting its losses even as the Syrian war winds down. Particularly, the Golan Heights, kept calm for decades by father and son Assad, is now, in the view of the regime’s Iranian patrons, a new front for resistance forces. Furthermore, at least five Syrian air bases already accommodate Iranian units, along with their UAVs, missiles, and intelligence facilities. The number of militiamen—Shi‘a and others—at Iran’s disposal in Syria is steadily growing, and their training and equipment are improving.
The future scheme envisaged by Soleimani involves at least one land bridge, and likely two, through Iraqi territory, over which reinforcements and supply convoys could be moved. Several leaders of major Iraqi Popular Mobilization Unit (PMU) militias have already announced their wish to join a battle against Israel on the Golan. Moreover, once the Iranians modernize their outdated army, they may consider deploying combat aircraft and navy units (for example, submarines) in Syria. This, of course, comes on top of Iran’s impressive arsenal of long-range missiles capable of hitting Israel and its massive—currently dormant—global terrorist network, which can be activated on very short notice.
Iran is in no hurry to have a confrontation. Soleimani, his boss Khamenei, and his lieutenants seem to have abandoned for the moment their earlier plans to deploy Hezbollah and other militias close to the Golan frontier. Prompting this reassessment was a series of pinpoint Israeli strikes against Iran-sponsored groups that had prepared the grounds for terrorist attacks from Syrian-army-controlled areas near Quneitra, including by planting explosive charges and firing Katyusha rockets. In 2015, the commanders entrusted with these missions, including the Lebanese Samir Kuntar and Jihad Mughniyah, as well as Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, the IRGC general in charge, were killed by the IDF. Later that same year, the IDF killed an additional three operatives who were on their way to the border fence, prompting Iran to suspend such attempts. Iran and its proxies still hold a half-dozen or so positions between the slopes of Mount Hermon and the Damascus-Deraa highway, but they have refrained from further provoking Israel.

Since August 2015, Iran has instead focused on its long-term campaign to deepen its offensive capabilities within Syrian territory. From their headquarters at Damascus Airport, known as the “Glasshouse,” Iranian forces, currently led by IRGC General Hussein Kaani, control, among other sites, the al-Kiswah camp, south of the capital, from which operations closer to the Israeli border are supervised. From this headquarters, the Iranians hope to direct, when the opportunity arises, an attack on the rebels in Deraa, with the goal of capturing the entire province and encircling the rebel factions in Quneitra province in a pocket adjacent to the Israeli border.
An Iran-directed offensive toward the south, however, would require Russian consent given Moscow’s 2017 declaration—joined by Washington and Amman—of a de-escalation zone in this region. An offensive would constitute a violation of this agreement, and would likewise probably require Russian air support in order to uproot the rebels from their strongholds. Putin has not in the past hesitated to flout his deconfliction arrangements, but so far he has approved only sporadic strikes by Russian planes around Deraa, where both sides have for months been preparing for an eventual showdown.

Israel will face a difficult dilemma once an Iran-led assault toward Deraa begins. Sending the air force and employing land-based missiles to stop the advance may well compel Assad and his Iranian patrons to retaliate, thus increasing the danger of a general flare-up. On the other hand, clinging to the current Israeli policy of nonintervention in Syria would enable the Iranians to consolidate their dominance over hilltops along the border, from which they could threaten the Israeli Golan with short-range rockets and mortars. Furthermore, the capture of Deraa province would position Iranian proxy forces on the border with Jordan. Israeli officials believe Soleimani may be planning an effort to subvert the Hashemite regime in Amman, in the expectation that one way or another Jordan will finally join the Axis of Resistance. It is important to remember that for many decades, Israeli governments have regarded foreign intervention with their neighbor to the east as a casus belli. Russian air force participation in such an attack on Deraa would, of course, further complicate Israel’s calculations. The hotline between the IAF and the Russian-operated Hmeimim Air Base in Syria has so far successfully prevented any clash between Russian and Israeli pilots, and the top-of-the-line Russian air defense systems in Syria have not locked their radars on Israeli planes, even while the latter attacked Iranian depots located near Russian military units. Israel would certainly be extremely prudent if faced with the risk of dogfights with the Russians. Putin, as implied thus far, has proven disinclined to get involved in skirmishes with Israel over Syria, although at times he has expressed annoyance at Israeli strikes.

In view of the currently rising tension between Israel and Iran, what measures could be taken to prevent a confrontation, or at least limit its scope?"
In other words Israel is planning to move pre-emptively.

"Contacts between Israel and Iran through a variety of Track II channels, quietly organized in past years, have failed to produce any prospect for near-term tacit understandings. Messages exchanged via European diplomats have likewise resulted once again in deadlock. The Iranian representatives simply refuse to consider any restriction on their activities in Syria or toning down of their calls for the destruction of the “Zionist regime.”

The same goes for the few futile attempts by some Arab and European states to set up a communication channel between Israel and the Assad regime. Syria may be inclined at some future point to curtail Iran’s entrenchment on its soil, but at present the government in Damascus does not feel at liberty to stop the construction of Iranian military infrastructure. Netanyahu’s warning that Israel may be compelled to take direct action against Assad has not had the desired effect on Assad’s conduct.

A more promising option would be a dialogue with Putin, who has privately told Western interlocutors that he does not want Syria to become a “Persian colony” and that he has no interest in watching a war erupt between Iran and Israel. However, the Kremlin still requires the Iran-sponsored militias to complete the destruction of the remaining rebel bastions, especially in Idlib province and some other smaller enclaves. Therefore, it may take time before Putin is willing to rein in his Iranian allies.

The most sensible way to address Iran’s expansion into Syria would be to establish a comprehensive set of understandings between Moscow and Washington on how to shape Syria’s future. Unfortunately, under the existing circumstances, such an agreement does not seem possible for the foreseeable future. Therefore, the 2017 de-escalation agreement reached by the two parties in relation to southern Syria can be further elaborated to consolidate a stable ceasefire in the areas lying between Damascus and the borders with Israel and Jordan. In turn, an upgraded de-escalation deal could prevent an offensive against the rebels in Deraa and then Quneitra provinces. And a ceasefire could potentially allow the rebels to bolster their defensive capabilities. Since both the United States and Russia prefer to avert an Israel-Iran clash and its associated risks, expanded understandings over the south could contain a prohibition on entry to the area of non-Syrian forces, such as Hezbollah, thus diminishing the danger of an eruption along the border. Curtailing IRGC acquisition of a network of bases in Syria also requires that Assad and his mentors be thwarted from capturing the areas east of the Euphrates River—roughly a quarter of Syria’s territory—currently held by the U.S.-sponsored Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), aided by the presence of 2,000 U.S. soldiers. Control of this region has prevented Iran from activating their two planned land corridors into Syria. One corridor would run through Anbar province in western Iraq and the other through the Kirkuk-Sinjar roads. The IRGC aspires to gain the ability to direct more militiamen and supplies to Syria through friendly areas along these routes in order to accelerate the military buildup inside the country. Experience has taught them that reliance on airlifts is quite vulnerable to Israeli strikes.

To keep districts east of the Euphrates outside the reach of Iran-sponsored forces, the United States must continue its role there so that the SDF, consisting mainly of fighters from the Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG), remains confident of continuous U.S. air cover, assistance, and training. Such an arrangement, however, does not necessarily preclude a reduction in the U.S. force count on the ground."

Coordinated USrael Strikes from Israel, maybe Jordan?

I've updated twice already and it's starting to seem quite apparent that the US and Israel coordinated this attack on Syria.  Please read all the way to the bottom- the last couple paragraphs are important

The Syrian regime Tashrin journal revealed on early Monday that the source of missiles that hit Hama and Aleppo countryside northern Syria.

The journal posted on Facebook and quoted from a field source that “Attack on Aleppo and Hama countryside was carried out using 9 Ballistic missiles launched form the U.S. and British bases northern Jordan”.

Local sources told Qasioun News Agency that violent explosions hit The Scientific Research Mountain (Brigade 47) followed to the Syrian regime forces in the southern countryside of Hama, the mountain is considered a prominent base for the Iranian revolutionary guards corps IRGC and Syrian regime forces.

Meanwhile, no reports were received about bombarding Syrian regime forces in Aleppo countryside, it is predicted the shelling targeted Azan strategic mountain held by Iranian militias which was hit previously by the Israeli warplanes.
Could Israel have struck again? Coordinated with forces in Jordan?
The mountain known as Ma’arin Mountain is located 10km. from Hama city center and expands till southern and eastern Hama, it is considered as an Iranian base that includes Shiite militias from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon and Iraq 
 Syrian regime media sources said that the shelling led to kill more than 35 and injured 50 others from those militias due to the explosions that occurred after the shelling and the huge fire blazes.
 This is very early reporting, so stay tuned. 


Link US, UK bases fire missile at Syrian positions

Tehran, April 30, IRNA – The US and UK bases in Jordan on Monday fired 9 ballistic missiles at Syrian positions in Hama, Aleppo, Russian media ‘RT Arabic’ reported.
According to RT, an explosion happened in an arsenal in Hama.

Syrian army base in Hama was also targeted.

Meanwhile, based on local media reports, huge blasts rocked a Syrian arsenal in Tell Salhab, west of Hama.

Meanwhile, Arab media ‘Al Mayadeen’ reported that some missiles hit Al-Malikiyah District in northern Aleppo.


A massive explosion occured at a Syrian Army military base in Hama, allegedly after it was hit by a missile strike.
Another explosion has been heard near Aleppo. According to local TV station Surya, the explosions occurred at 10:30 PM local time.
​According to a Haaretz report, Israel is responsible for the attack.
 — Kamil Eryazar (@FarkliBirBakis_) 29 апреля 2018 г.
 UPDATE # 2 Resonant Syria strike suggests coordinated US-Israel message to Russia and Iran

Overnight attack comes with Pompeo in the region, Netanyahu and Trump on the phone, Liberman in the US, and the US Army CENTCOM chief having visited without fanfare last week

 Bunker Busters used?

Hours after a mysterious “earthquake” — 2. 6 on the Richter scale — registered on the devices of the European Mediterranean Seismological Center, the circumstances behind the series of explosions that shook Syria overnight Sunday-Monday are starting to become clear.
An increasing number of media organizations associated with the Syrian regime and Hezbollah are hinting that Israel was responsible. According to a report in the Al Akhbar newspaper, identified with Hezbollah, bunker buster missiles, which do not explode on impact but rather deep in the ground, hit bases in the Hama and Aleppo areas. Hence the “earthquake.”
 The base that was attacked in the Hama area belongs to the 47th Brigade of President Bashar Assad’s Syrian Army, but apparently there were many Shiites and/or Iranians in the area. The Syrian Human Rights Observatory (based in London) reported that 26 people were killed in this attack, Iranians among them. Another report spoke of 38 fatalities. Whatever the case, it is clear that the strike was highly unusual in several respects.
First and foremost was the sheer power of the attack. The pictures and the sounds, and the large number of casualties, point to an incident of larger scale than those to which we have become accustomed. We are not talking here about just another strike on another Hezbollah convoy, but rather what would appear to be a new step in what is now the almost-open warfare being waged between Iran and Israel in recent weeks on Syrian territory. The same player that earlier this month attacked the T-4 airbase.
Second, not only is the attacking force not rushing to take responsibility, but those who are being attacked are not hurrying to assign blame. That is to say, there may be hints regarding ostensible Israeli responsibility, but there has been no direct accusation — at least not at the time of writing.
Third, the latest strike was carried out at a time when the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is visiting the region, and just a few hours after he held talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two of them used the opportunity to issue no shortage of threats and promises to thwart Iran’s aggression and nuclear ambitions.
Late Sunday, news also broke of a phone call between Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump. Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has been meeting with his US counterpart James Mattis in Washington. And less than a week ago, Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of the US army’s Central Command, or CENTCOM, whose sphere of responsibility includes Syria and Iran, made a largely unpublicized visit to Israel.
All this is beginning to look rather like a coordinated Israeli-American operation to limit Iran’s military activities in Syria — simultaneously conveying the message to Moscow that Russia’s green light for Iran to establish itself militarily in Syria is not acceptable in Jerusalem and Washington.

These developments are unfolding during a highly dramatic period in the region, with the US two weeks away from opening its embassy in Jerusalem. Of most specific relevance, however, is the fact that in less than two weeks the Trump administration will make its decision on whether or not to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal.
In that light, the resonant strikes in Syria overnight will doubtless constitute considerable food for thought for Tehran, and indeed Moscow, regarding their next moves in Syria and maybe in other places as well.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Yup, It's Snowing! April 29/2018

It's 7:45 am est. And as I'm enjoying my morning brew I can view the snow falling.
Yes, you read correctly the SNOW IS FALLING.
The thermometer outside my patio doors here says the temp is 32F or 0 C.
The official weather forecast for my area is calling for a 30 percent chance of SNOW. The official high for today is supposed to reach 10 C. Our usual temp for this time of years is more often roughly 21 C or 68-70 F. Day time highs We've been no where near that except for maybe two to three days this entire month. Clearly the alleged AGW that was supposed to make us all so much hotter is not the reality. I had trouble with tomato plants, again, this year because of the cold and lack of sunshine and for the first time ever my father lost all his tomato seedlings as well
 First time. All gone. He had started his plants using the same method he always has.

As I get ready to publish this post it is 7:58 am and yes it's still snowing.

Chance of flurries
Chance of flurries

Chance of flurries
Chance of flurries

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Exaggerated Reports Regarding US/Turkish Agreement & Manbij, Again

Yesterday, after catching  some fake news via Reuters, claiming that the US and Turkey had reached an agreement on Manbij- One that will see them 'move together' in Syria's Manbij.
It occurred, immediately to me, that yup I've read this hogwash on a number of occasions.
I need context and lots of it to understand what's really happening.
 And, as expected the actuality was nothing like the out of context Reuter's article.

Daily Sabah-

Today this vitally important sentence is completely gone

“If the [determined] plan is actualized, the YPG terror group will withdraw from Manbij,” says Çavusoglu

If the determined plan is actualized..... 

Pompeo also warned Turkey about their S-400 purchase
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned his Turkish counterpart against purchasing a Russian surface-to-air missile system.
"The secretary underscored the seriousness of U.S. concerns...if [the Turkish authorities] go ahead," the official said in a briefing with reporters in Brussels.
"He asked Cavusoglu to closely consider NATO interoperable systems," the official added.

Yeni Safak

“If the [determined] plan is actualized, the YPG terror group will withdraw from Manbij,” says Çavuşoğlu

Çavusoglu stated that he had also discussed Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense systems with Pompeo. "We have taken the first steps and there is no return, but there may be different steps taken in the future," he said.
Last December, Turkey announced that it had concluded an agreement with Russia for the purchase of two S-400 systems by early 2020.

Today's reporting on Manbij is different then the Reuters report of yesterday:

Ahval:  No agreement on Manbij, looking for "a diplomatic solution" - U.S.

U.S. State Department Spokesperson on Friday said her country and Turkey were looking to “find a common way forward,'' in Syria.

The US and Turkey have been looking for a  common way forward regarding Manbij for a long time now. Since the Obama administration. Nearly two years ago.

As covered August 16, 2016: Turkey: US to Keep Manbij Promise? 3 Step Road Map: Assad Stays. Cooperating with Iran & More

Çavusoglu said: "The U.S. and the President Barack Obama personally promised that PYD members in the SDF would be withdrawn to the east of the Euphrates River. Now the U.S. must keep its promise, and we expect them to. We are maintaining our communications regarding this matter."

Seems to me to be just more of the same.

Oh, just one more thing.... 

According to Ahval the sentence that starts like this “If the [determined] plan is actualized, the YPG terror group will withdraw from Manbij,” says Çavusoglu
Ends more like this "Otherwise, we will intervene as we did with Afrin,’’

“If the [determined] plan is actualized, the YPG terror group will withdraw from Manbij,” says Çavusoglu "Otherwise, we will intervene as we did with Afrin,’’
Quite  clearly there is no agreement 

Posts from this past week that you may enjoy:

Friday, April 27, 2018

Armenia & 23 on my Mind

As the Armenian identified driver of the Ryder van attacked - Coincidentally, or not so much, Armenia had a coup on the very same day. It's pretty clear there was western involvement in the coup.

I've drawn a few comments out from Arevordi's blog- Heralding the Rise of Russia (always linked here) Arevordi is from Armenia. And you can avail yourself of additional commentary at his blog.

Today I woke up to learn that one of Levon Petrosian's smut-peddlers has succeeded in ousting Serj Sargsyan. This morning I was reminded again of the saying, the people deserve the governments they have. Nevertheless, a part of me is happy. There was no bloodshed. Seeing just how hated and despised he was, Serj Sargsyan had the wisdom to step down. Now, perhaps Karen Karapetyan can rise to power. Mass hysteria has transformed into mass euphoria. Needless to say, a part of me is also very worried. The fundamental question is this: The "people" got what it wanted, but what happens next? This is why it's not a good idea to break something before you get a better replacement. You can't break something, and then "hope" for something better to come. So, will unsavory characters and Western-financed agents (which we know saturate the Armenian landscape today) be able to grab power? Also, what kind of a precedence does this set: Every time 51%-plus of the people dislike their leader, they will disregard the nation's constitution and take to the streets to oust him or her from power? The reality of the matter is that Armenia stands today on the cusp of a perennial freak show and circus.

  1. There is also somewhat of a surreal or supernatural feel to all this. It's as if we have been here before. It's as if ancient spectres are haunting us. It's as if the spirits of our failed ancestors are rising from their graves and leading us into yet another unknown. History is repeating. We are self-mutilating and predators in our neighborhood are smelling blood. We are once again opening the gates of our city to allow the enemy in. We are once again ready to tear to pieces our old prince and ask someone we don't even know to rule over us. We are once again getting ready to cut off the head of our sparapet, so that we may live in peace. The peasants are out in force, and they are ready to burn down their village to save it from phantoms both real and perceived. Collective hysteria has gripped the masses, and the moment has taken on a life of its own. It all seems/feels preordained by forces beyond our comprehension. So be it. I am just glad there was no widespread destruction and bloodshed.

    Once more, I am very thankful that Serj Sargsyan had the clarity of vision or wisdom to refrain from using violence, especially with genocide commemorations upon us. Once more, I want to warn that "radical changes" will not make things better. At this point, we just need to be happy that Serj Sargsyan voluntarily stepped down, and put someone like Karen Karapetyan into power. And be quick about it.

 Washington Post

SERZH SARGSYAN, who ruled Armenia as president from 2008 until this month, was a faithful client of Vladi­mir Putin. In 2013, after meeting with the Russian president, he abruptly dropped negotiations with the European Union and instead joined Moscow-led economic and security organizations.

Go back to the comments section in the first post regarding the Van Attack
The van attack that took place on April 23.

Something I forgot to mention was about the amazing news out of Armenia - the people came onto the streets to protest their president the other day, so eventually he had to know, the usual, he's corrupt, driven the country right down the tubes etc etc. They'd had enough of him and so out he went. Yesterday's Van Attacker, with an obvious Armenian name, got me thinking... You know how I love those weird connections!
Some kind of political message - Turkey - Russia - they're all connected states - perhaps?


  1. Marie: I like your thinking ;)
    I was completely unaware of the news about the Armenian President- it had already occurred to me about the Russian/Turkish/Armenian connection
    Nagorno Karabakh
Also there are known Armenian terrorists groups who have operated right here in Canada Who not coincidentally have a real tie with the PKK
So,yes, the fact that he's an Armenian, of all the ethnic backgrounds in the Toronto area is quite, quite... connected to the bigger geopolitical.

YaYaC had mentioned:

Penny, did you see where the Globe listed the names of the injured, and says the guy has been charged with 10 murders and 13 attempted - not 15 as we've been told repeatedly up to now. (I'm a big numbers nut, and I was waiting for this because the incident happened on the 23rd, and 10 dead, 13 injured adds up to 23 victims.)
Update: Coroner officially identifies victims of Yonge St. van rampage

Alek Minassian, 25, of Richmond Hill is charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.
Exactly what YaYaC had anticipated. 23 victims in total.
Recapping: On the 23rd of April, Armenia had a coup. Meanwhile in Toronto, on that same 23rd day of April, an Armenian driver attacked 23 victims in total, killing 10, with a van. 

23 is an interesting number all on it's own- It is a prime number.

23 pairs of Chromosomes 

Psalm 23- The Lord is my Shepherd
"From there, the van proceeded southbound on Yonge for several blocks toward Sheppard Avenue. "

 From earlier today:

OIT Interview- Stephen Baskerville:The New Politics of Sex

I'm simply not buying the incel narrative in the van attack.  It fits too handily into the bigger identity politics/ bash  men rubbish that is obviously being pushed.

 Was just saying to hubby today, it would be so difficult in this day and age to raise a young boy with all the negative stereotyping around men.

OIT Interview- Stephen Baskerville:The New Politics of Sex

All I can say is the interview below is timely. Because the war on men/ the family etc.,  relates to the "incel" meme explosion that is so very obvious and in your face due to the Toronto "Van Attack" incident and the implantation of an assuredly fake face book account, conveniently uploaded to face book just in time for the multiplier media to spread the aforementioned "incel" meme. As I stated yesterday "But pay no mind to the curiosities about this incident and by all means allow yourselves to be distracted by the 'incel' meme.  After all sex is a great distractor."

That distractor is the subject of the interview below 

hattip to Our Interesting Times and Tim Kelly (always linked in the sidebar)

Dr. Stephen Baskerville joins Our Interesting Times to discuss his book The New Politics of Sex: The Sexual Revolution and Civil Liberties, and the Growth of Governmental Power. We talk about the Sexual Revolution and how the new sexual ideology it imposed has impacted the family, government, the criminal justice system, and the global political environment. Dr. Baskerville is a Professor of Government at Patrick Henry College. He teaches Comparative Politics and upper level courses in International Politics and Policy. He has taught government and international affairs at Howard University in Washington and Palacky University in the Czech Republic. Among Dr. Baskerville's other publications is Not Peace but a Sword:The Political Theology of the English Revolution, and Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family.His website is

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Toronto Van "Attack"- Facebook's Role in Fake News Media Distribution

Ah, facebook......

Facebook and Intelligence agencies. Intel collection/distribution and Facebook. 
They go together. "Like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong"

As I'd mentioned in the first post covering the numerous anomalies regarding the Van "attack" and the alleged attacker- A Face book post purporting to belong to the attacker was uploaded to Facebook immediately prior to the attack- And conveniently left up just long enough for the msm to distribute a specific narrative far and wide. That specific facebook presented narrative is pretty much all that is left of the news coverage for this incident! The overwhelming majority of so called news article covering this incident are reinforcing the 'incel' meme. 

This is exactly what any intelligence agency planting information on Facebook would expect their mockingbird/co-opted media to do. And this is done to direct the duped masses away from the numerous inconsistencies obvious in this incident.
In other words- this media distraction is the plan!

Greencrow covered  yet another one of the many glaring inconsistencies in her post from yesterday:  Toronto Truck Mass Casualty Event... "Jumps The Shark"?

The bald man arrested vs the man with hair /side part that appeared in court

A courtroom sketch showing duty counsel Georgia Koulis, from left, Alek Minassian, Justice of the Peace Stephen Waisberg, and Crown prosecutor Joe Callaghan in court in Toronto yesterday. Pic: AP

Going back to my previous post:   Flashback : Toronto Van "Attack" Anomolies
"Canadian media outlet CBC News reports that in a Facebook post, Minassian appears to praise Elliot Rodger, a California man who stabbed and killed three people and shot dead another three individuals in a 2014 rampage. However, CBC was unable to verify that the Facebook profile belonged to the suspect in Monday’s attack, and on Tuesday the page appeared to have been removed from the social media network"
PDF- Social Media & US Intelligence
"Another potential value adding implication of intelligence agency use of social media is how journalists at major media outlet utilize this new information source

The news media can serve a “multiplier effect,” a magnifying interface between intelligence agencies and the public. Reporters can also use the content provided on these sites to grow their own knowledge, raise new questions or develop new stories. Jung and Park  have shown that reporters can serve as needed intermediaries between security and intelligence agencies and the general public"
Think about the above information?  A potential value for intelligence agencies is how the journalists at major media outlets will utilize this information. The media can serve up a "multiplier effect". A magnifying interface between intelligence agencies and the public.

  Consider the fact that a convenient, media friendly, titillating narrative was uploaded to facebook for just long enough to enable the msm to distribute it!

Recall from my first post (Toronto Van "Attack" Anomolies) the Toronto Police couldn't even get the suspect name straight? 
 1: Incorrect name- Incorrect identification ? 

The alleged van driver- Alek or Alex Minassian. It seems that the media has settled on Alek. Despite early reporting having police services providing two different names/spellings. 

Which I found very odd. At a time when a proper identification and name spelling is of the utmost importance- Especially when talking to the media!  Eventually they settled on the name you and I are supposed to believe is the correct one. I don't know?  Is it?

Perhaps they settled on the name they did because their just so happened to be a man with nearly the very same name, nearly the same age, who just so happened to live in Richmond Hill. Let's read about him, okay?

The Province

"TORONTO — It was a series of unfortunate events that led to the mixup, and Alex Minassian has spent the last 24 hours trying to set the record straight — he’s not the driver of a van that mowed down pedestrians on a busy Toronto street.

Minassian, 24, shares a last name with 25-year-old Alek Minassian, who is now charged with 10 counts of murder in connection with the incident, which took place Monday afternoon on a busy street in north Toronto. Alek Minassian is also facing 13 counts of attempted murder"
Note to YaYa: There's the 10 and 13 you were speaking of?

Both men are from Richmond Hill, Ont.

Shortly after the van attack, Alex Minassian said he was contacted by several American news outlets that assumed he was the van driver police had taken in to custody.
 Interesting just after the attack occurred Alex Minassian had his facebook page taken down.
Leaving only the facebook page of one Alek Minassian of Richmond Hill, Toronto,
the alleged van attacker as the sole face book page accessible to the msm.

 "It didn’t help that later in the afternoon Facebook shut down Alek Minassian’s profile, leaving just Alex Minassian from Richmond Hill, Ont., on the social media site."

I'm going to repeat that so you can understand that facebook shut his account leaving only the alleged perpetrator's account accessible to the media- I mean, really, that's a spectacular coincidence, right?

"It didn’t help that later in the afternoon Facebook shut down Alek Minassian’s profile, leaving just Alex Minassian from Richmond Hill, Ont., on the social media site"
That's awfully convenient when we think about an intelligence agency planting information for the msm to access in order to create a multiplier effect.
But pay no mind to the curiosities about this incident and by all means allow yourselves to be distracted by the 'incel' meme.  After all sex is a great distractor.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Phil Escott – Why Eat Meat? The Case for Carnivores

Very worthwhile interview. With much thanks to Legalise Freedom
I'm going to enjoy the 80 minute interview for a second time while I bake my non vegan cookies. (yup, they have butter and eggs in them- Yum!)
"Although vegetarian and vegan diets have long been promoted as healthier alternatives to the carbohydrate and sugar saturated Western diet, in recent years much has been made of paleo, ketogenic, and similar low carb diets which attempt to emulate the eating patterns if not the entire lifestyle of our ancient ancestors. There is another alternative, however, now re-emerging, which takes some of those ideas a stage further – the complete, or near-complete, carnivore diet. Controversial and subject to some scathing criticism, it nonetheless offers options to those finding their current food regime unsatisfying, unhealthy or otherwise no longer acceptable.
But making or even contemplating such a choice can be challenging, caught between the mainstream medical dogma of ‘five a day’ and ‘healthy wholegrains’ and the sometimes savage attacks of vegan and veggie evangelists who believe that ‘meat is murder’, an atavistic throwback to be abandoned for the sake of the environmental, moral and spiritual well-being of the planet. The reality of the situation isn’t quite so black and white, but in an age characterised by polarised politics and destructively-divisive public debate, there’s almost always more heat than light when arguments erupt on emotive subjects. Attempting to cut through the confusion and needless complexity, Escott suggests some simple, straightforward strategies for those seeking lifestyle changes, starting with the larder"

Download (74.1MB)

Flashback : Vegetarian Diet? No Panacea for Environment or Health- Meat Lies Told To Justify Meat Tax

Flashback: Plants Are Aware When They Are Being Consumed

I've noticed the vegans are quite off the wall- Literally expecting everyone to conform to their irrational ideology.  Quite the bunch of dictators they are! Recent news out of Toronto left me scratching my head- Perhaps  something lacking in their meat deprived brain that consumes them?  I don't know?

Vegan Protestors Still Won't Leave Antler Restaurant Alone 
That was the fourth time these activists had gathered outside Antler, which is known for serving game meat, to hold up protest signs and shout "murder!" at restaurant patrons.
Tomorrow night will be the eighth of such protests at Antler in recent months.
If I could make a suggestion to the cult adherents- Eat where you choose, leave others alone. I'm not even going to address their rubbish label "speciesism". Except to say, maybe they should run along and protest a tiger as it consumes it's kill? Or perhaps some wolves or coyotes more locally to us here in Canada as they stalk and finally take a deer down. Perhaps they can wave placards at my beloved bald eagle as he hunts for his food- Rabbits. Fish. For shame tiger, wolf  coyote and eagles!- Don't you know your practicing 'speciesism'  ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Toronto Van "Attack" Anomolies

There are some curiosities about this incident:

1: Incorrect name- Incorrect identification ? 

The alleged van driver- Alek or Alex Minassian. It seems that the media has settled on Alek. Despite early reporting having police services providing two different names/spellings. This is not the first time I've read of incorrect naming of a suspect. Is it just incorrect spelling? I don't know. Is everyone illiterate and can't spell a name correctly when proper ID is paramount?

Inconsistent name reporting by the same source
“There has been some confusion about the correct spelling of the suspect's name, spelled by some sources as Alek and others as Alex. The Toronto police have been inconsistent in this as well, the latest update suggesting the correct spelling is Alek.”
2: Known to authorities or not known to authorities?

 So far Canadian law enforcement is saying not know, but NYC Police Commisioner says the suspect is known to Police
Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton reportedly told MSNBC that officials in Canada said Minassian was known to authorities prior to the attack. However, Toronto Police maintain the suspect was not known to them before the incident.
Toronto Police not knowing only informs us the police don't  know him. 
We aren't told if the suspect was  known to RCMP or CSIS. Perhaps he was? 
Why did NYPD commissioner say he was known to "authorities" prior to the attack? 
What 'authorities' is he referring to?

From the twitter account of Malcom Nance stated bio:  US Intelligence +36 yrs. Expert Terrorist Strategy,Tactics,Ideology. Torture, Russian Cyber! | NYT Bestselling Author, Navy Senior Chief/Jedi Master, NBC/MSNBC.
Former NYC Police commissioner Bill Bratton states on his sources in Canada say van driver in was known to Police and now consider incident a terrorist attack. Motivation and affiliation unknown.
3: The Ryder Truck

 One would think with all the bad press Ryder has gotten for decades a rebrand might be in order? But, no.  The ubiquitous Ryder truck. Present at the first trade center bombing, 1993.
Ryder truck in Toronto
"The 1,200-pound bomb was in a Ryder truck parked in a parking garage beneath the World Trade Center"
 Present at the Oklahoma City bombing. 
"McVeigh and Nichols removed the bomb supplies from their storage unit in Herington, Kansas, where Nichols lived, and loaded them into a Ryder rental truck"
4- The cop doesn't shoot the suspect! - Does NOT shoot the suspect

Now this non action on the part of law enforcement simply blows my mind. The suspect has, according to reports, just run down a whole bunch of people. Intentionally. Gets out of the van, claims he is armed. Tells the cop to shoot him and the cop doesn't ??!!

Sky news
A police officer has been praised for refusing to shoot a man seeking "suicide by cop", after allegedly killing 10 people in a van attack in Toronto.

Dramatic video shows the officer, who has not yet been named, arresting Alek Minassian after a tense stand-off.

As the suspect shouted "Kill me," the officer replied, "No, get down."
 The officer tells the man to "get down" and when the suspect says he has a gun, the officer repeats: "I don't care. Get down." The suspect was then arrested without shots being fired.
That seems so very unlikely if we are to take this story at face value.

A couple of thoughts regarding the cop choosing to not shoot the perpetrator though he  claimed to have a gun in his possession:

I: As I said in the comments "The fact that the cop didn't kill the guy, seems possibly to have been done to redeem the cops from there pretty well deserved bad reputation"

II: This next reason seemed so obvious after I heard someone actually say- well this is Canada we don't go around just shooting people- to which I replied Sammy Yatim and the TO police?   

Not only was young Sammy gunned down-then shot in his groin- and then, to add insult to injury, tasered multiple times- So that's a load of shit that 'we don't go around shooting people'- However this plays into the "Canada the good" vs "US the bad" memes that are endlessly spread by very ignorant (lacking in knowledge)  persons in Canada

5- The curious uploading and just as sudden take down of a very suggestive and highly convenient to specific narrative creation face book post or account

Time of Israel
"Canadian media outlet CBC News reports that in a Facebook post, Minassian appears to praise Elliot Rodger, a California man who stabbed and killed three people and shot dead another three individuals in a 2014 rampage. However, CBC was unable to verify that the Facebook profile belonged to the suspect in Monday’s attack, and on Tuesday the page appeared to have been removed from the social media network"
Daily Mail
 Shortly before the attack, a Facebook profile with the same name uploaded a post which read: 'All hail the supreme gentleman Elliot Rodger'.

The post also mentioned 'incel', which is a term used to refer to men who have been made 'involuntarily celibate' because women continually reject their sexual advances.
 'The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!'
 Uploaded to Facebook  just prior to the 'attack' and just as quickly taken down. No verification at all whose Facebook account this really was. And knowing what I do about facebook... (spook/intel connected) I'd call this bogus.

6: Did you know the G-7 were meeting in Toronto when this took place?- That's right the G-7. It used to be the G-8, but, that has changed.

The presence of the G-7 in Toronto certainly informs us that there is an over abundance of intelligence agencies and their associates present and ready for anything in Toronto.
What's on the agenda? Reads like tyranny to me.

Wark said there appears to be a sense of urgency — but not panic — among the G7 nations as they look ahead to events such as the U.S. midterm elections this year and Canada's federal election in 2019.
The Trudeau government recently committed more than $500 million toward bolstering and reorganizing the country's cyber defences, and pledged an additional $200 million toward better signals intelligence at the country's high-tech overseas eavesdropping agency, the Communications Security Establishment.

"Russia, rightly, on G-7 Agenda"

Fascist Nazi Freeland
"Patience with Russia for many Western states is running out. This mood may have repercussions at the G7 foreign ministers' meeting being held on April 22 to 23 in Toronto, ahead of the G7 summit to be held in Charlevoix, Que., in June."

Hold on! 

Because there was a really interesting connection to  what was on the G-7 agenda and the Van attack incident-  G7 security ministers gathered in Toronto discuss 'soft targets' 
What is a 'soft target'? A soft target is one exactly like the location of the van attack!
And that's a bit too much of a coincidence

CSIS director briefing ministers today,(yesterday April 23/18) with attacks in unsecured public spaces on the agenda

The scene that unfolded on a Toronto street Monday is something straight out of a counter-terrorism officer's worst nightmares.
Security analysts call them "soft targets" — unsecured public spaces where a lone attacker can do maximum damage. 
Those kinds of scenarios are on the agenda Tuesday for the G7 security ministers meeting in Toronto, along with other recent attacks in public spaces by terrorists.
Regardless of how that probe unfolds, the event is a reminder of the enormous challenges involved in securing ordinary public venues from extraordinary threats. 

Gee, I would say that CSIS just guaranteed their funding.  Right, readers? I mean you're all convinced of the need to have your liberties further curtailed?  

7 : It seems the perpetrator was in the Canadian Military for a short stint- 

"Alek Minassian was voluntarily released from the Canadian Armed Forces after 16 days of training, Sajjan said.
Sajjan also said Minassian was subject to a “rigorous” screening process before he elected to leave the force."

“When it comes to the selection process that the military takes, we go through a very rigorous process in terms of security, medical testing, making sure that the people that are going to be doing the Canadian Armed Forces have been thoroughly screened and in this case, that was done,” the minister said.
Is it being suggested here that Alek was not mentally ill. Or mentally challenged? Or whatever?  Additionally and correct me if I'm mistaken- I thought there were contracts involved in military service. Commitments let's say. Does anyone know?

Military saw no red flags for Toronto attack suspect: Sajjan


CTV’s Mercedes Stephenson says she has learned Alek Minassian was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces for two months, between late August and October, 2017.
“For some reason, he asked to be released and he received a voluntary release, rather than a forced or medical release,” Stephenson told CTV News Channel.
“We don’t know what prompted him to ask for that or why that happened, and we don’t know much more about his training.”

8- The van 'attack' conveniently obfuscates or pushes to the wayside  the sordid/sickening news regarding....

Order of Canada Recipient Peter Dalglish Accused of Abusing Children in Nepal

"A Canadian man who spent decades working with children’s organizations and received the Order of Canada for his global contributions is now locked in a crowded detention cell in Kathmandu accused of having sex with minors.Peter Dalglish, 60, has been a leading international advocate for combatting child poverty. But early on the morning of April 7, police descended on his home in Nepal and took him away at gunpoint. 

At the time of his arrest, two boys − one 12, another 14 − were in the house with him.
Greencrow has written on this topic and has promised to keep an eye on this news, which looks as if it will drop down the memory hole now that Canada has been subjected to the white van/public space attack.


 * Does the alleged perpetrator/patsy have mental health issues ?

* The idea that the van was self driving or being driven, remotely, by some one else has also entered my mind- the technology is available, obviously. 

* It's a mistake to believe that since this hasn't had the terror attack label attached to it, means it's not one.  It is a terror attack if the populace is terrorized- Which it is!
This is indeed an attack undertaken to induce terror. Here's what I said to Northern Truthseeker yesterday-
 Blogger Penny said...there is always something to be gained by these types of attacks even if it is only to terrorize the populace and keep them dependent/complacent and compliant
I'd say the van attack is "mission accomplished" hattip Donald Trump/GW Bush