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Friday, September 2

"I don’t know who is bombing whom"

This military adventure also reveals, again, the utter incoherence—in terms of the ostensible goals of fighting ISIS, regional stability, or even rational American self-interest—of the savage multi-proxy war the U.S. has been directing in Syria.
As the NYT reports, the American-supported Turkish campaign “pits two American-backed Syrian forces against each other”: jihadi groups—backed by the CIA, “allied intelligence agencies,” and now the Turkish army and the U.S. Air Force, against Kurdish militias—backed by the Pentagon and American troops—that have been the “most reliable partner on the ground in the fight against the Islamic State.”
As one rebel leader expressed his confusion: “We weren’t planning to open a front with them [the Kurds] … I don’t know who is bombing whom.”
The above is from Jim Kavanagh's hilarious, horrible, head-banging I Can't Believe This Is Happening August 31 article for Counterpunch, Turkey Invades Syria, America Spins The Bottle. The worst is that Kavanagh makes few forays into conjecture; for the most part he is simply passing along hard news -- news about nightmarishly incoherent actions that paint a frightening portrait of the early years of this new century, as scores of governments with no serious challenge from their own citizens transform countries that are too weak to resist into a blood-soaked chess game fit for the Red Queen.

More black humor comes today from Russia, which probably invented black humor:
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has stated that Moscow and Washington see eye to eye now after reaching an understanding on most Syrian issues.
He highlighted that there are daily contacts between the Russian and US diplomats, military and intelligence agencies. This was to continue “to develop this algorithm (of the fight against terrorism).”
Lavrov added that “virtually all components of this task are already clear, an understanding has been reached on most issues.”
He emphasized however that the relations cannot continue if the USA continues to associate with terrorist groups in Syria.
“The most important thing is that any agreements with the Americans on practical actions, on coordination of operations against terrorists will not be implemented if our American partners do not keep their promise to dissociate themselves from terrorists, above all, the Jabhat al-Nusra,” he said.
“Many of the groups considered acceptable by the US have actually affiliated with Jabhat al-Nusra, while Jabhat al-Nusra is using them to avoid being attacked,” Russia’s top diplomat explained.
Which is a very diplomatic way of saying the Russians and Americans are agreeing not at all. Thanks to Paul Antonopoulos at AMN for scooping up that gem

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