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Russian jet ‘flew 5ft from’ US spy plane

Following the Syria situation covered here:

Russia Warns U.S. After Downing of Syrian Warplane

From BBC News:

A Russian jet flew within 5ft (1.5m) of the wing tip of a US reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea on Monday, US officials say.

The encounter was deemed “unsafe” due to the Russian pilot’s “high rate of closure speed and poor control of the aircraft”, officials told US media.

But Russia disputes the American account, saying the US plane made a “provocative” move towards their jet.

On Monday, Russia warned that US jets flying in Syria would be targeted.

The announcement came in response to the US downing of a Syrian jet after it targeted American-allied rebels.

On Tuesday, the US military shot down an armed Iranian-made drone in Syria, adding to tensions between the Washington and Moscow, which is allied with the Syrian regime.

The intercept on Monday occurred 25 miles (40 km) from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, over international waters.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters: “We were flying in international airspace and did nothing to provoke this behaviour.”

A Russian SU-27 fighter jet© Getty Images A Russian SU-27 fighter jet

The US RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft had been flying with its transponder on, making it visible to other aircraft, he added.

But Russia’s defence ministry said it was the US plane that behaved dangerously after it was already intercepted and was being escorted by a Russian Su-27 fighter jet.

“During the escorting, the RC-135 crew made an attempt of closing with the Russian fighter, performing a provocative turnaround toward the Su-27,” the TASS news agency quoted the Russian ministry as saying.

About 10 minutes later, another US surveillance plane arrived, and it too was intercepted by a SU-27 jet, the ministry said.

Earlier this month, the US Air Force deployed 800 troops and long range B-52 bombers to the United Kingdom to take place in joint Nato exercises.

There have been more than 30 interactions between US and Russian planes and ships in the Baltic Sea since the beginning of June, US officials tell CNN.

The majority have been deemed safe, US officials say.

SOURCE:

BBC News logo

Russia Warns U.S. After Downing of Syrian Warplane

Syria Russia

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/18/world/middleeast/iran-syria-missile-launch-islamic-state.html?ribbon-ad-idx=5&rref=world/middleeast&module=Ribbon&version=context&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Middle%20East&pgtype=article

“WASHINGTON — An American fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane on Sunday after it dropped bombs near local ground forces supported by the United States, the first time the American military has downed a Syrian aircraft since the start of the civil war in 2011, officials said.

The confrontation represents a further escalation between forces supporting President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and the United States, which has been directing the military campaign in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State.

The American F/A-18 shot down the Syrian government warplane south of the town of Tabqah, on the same day that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps launched several midrange missiles from inside Iran at targets in Syria, hoping to punish Islamic State forces responsible for last week’s terrorist attacks in Tehran.

The Guards Corp said it “targeted the headquarters and meeting place and suicide car assembly line” of “ISIS terrorists” in the province of Deir al-Zour, where Islamic State forces surround an estimated 200,000 people in a government-held section of the provincial capital of the same name…..”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/russia-shoot-down-all-flying-objects-in-syria-us-regime-warplane-isis-terror-a7797101.html

Credit Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defence, via European Pressphoto Agency

WASHINGTON — Long-running tensions between the United States and Russia erupted publicly on Monday as Moscow condemned the American military’s downing of a Syrian warplane and threatened to target aircraft flown by the United States and its allies west of the Euphrates.

The Russians also said they had suspended their use of a hotline that the American and Russian militaries used to avoid collisions of their aircraft in Syrian airspace.

The episode was the first time the United States downed a Syrian plane since the civil war began there in 2011 and came after the SU-22 jet dropped bombs on Sunday near American-backed fighters combating the Islamic State. It followed another major American military action against the Syrian government: a cruise missile strike to punish a nerve gas attack that killed civilians in April.

The latest escalation comes as competing forces converge on ungoverned swaths of Syria amid the country’s six-year civil war. Syrian forces and Iranian-backed militias that support them are extending their reach east closer to American-backed fighters, including forces that the Pentagon hopes will pursue the militants into the Euphrates River valley after they take the Islamic State’s self-declared capital of Raqqa. The collision of the disparate forces has, in effect, created a war within a war.

More:

“I would be very surprised if they willfully shot down a U.S. plane that came to bomb some al Qaeda target west of the Euphrates River,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, a think-tank in Washington. “On the other hand, if we’re coming after Assad’s forces with some big armada, maybe they want us to be a little nervous that maybe we’d get shot at.”

O’Hanlon added, “They’re trying to create some deterrents, or some limits, on our involvement in escalation. And it’s consistent with the way this thing has been going back and forth for a while.”

Then again, some analysts believe the Russians are issuing empty threats because they can’t afford the consequences of doing anything more.

“A lot of of this is saber rattling and bluster from the Russians who are clearly unnerved actually by recent U.S. actions,” said Gardiner.

Gardiner said it’s significant that when a plane from NATO-member Turkey shot down a Russian fighter operating from Syria in 2015 there was rhetoric from Moscow but not a whole lot of action……

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/20/russian-threat-to-target-us-aircraft-in-syria-seen-as-more-bluster.html

Sabre-rattling, or serious threat? Maybe there wasn’t a lot of action in 2015, but things have moved on. I guess we’ll find out what the next move is soon enough.

Is That Armageddon Over The Horizon? Paul Craig Roberts.

Is That Armageddon Over The Horizon?

Is That Armageddon Over The Horizon?

Paul Craig Roberts

The insouciance of the Western world is extraordinary. It is not only Americans who permit themselves to be brainwashed by CNN, MSNBC, NPR, the New York Times and Washington Post, but also their counterparts in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan, who rely on the war propaganda machine that poses as a media. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39573526

The Western “leaders,” that is, the puppets on the end of the strings pulled by the powerful private interest groups and the Deep State, are just as insouciant. Trump and his counterparts in the American Empire must be unaware that they are provoking war with Russia and China, or else they are psychopaths.

A new White House Fool has replaced the old fool. The New Fool has sent his Secretary of State to Russia. For what? To deliver an ultimatum? To make more false accusations? To apologize for the lies?

Consider the audacity of Secretary of State Tillerson. He has spent the week prior to his visit to Moscow supporting incredible lies and false allegations that Assad of Syria used chemical weapons with Russia’s permission, which justified Washington’s unambigious war crime of a military attack on a country with which the US has not declared war. Less than 100 days in office, and Trump is already a war criminal along with the rest of his warmonger government.

The entire world knows this, but no one says it. Instead, Tillerson, who has been heavy with lies and threats has the confidence to go to Moscow to tell the Russians that they have to hand over Assad to the American Uni-Power.

Tillerson’s mission demonstrates the complete, total unreality of the world in which Washington lives. Try to imagine Tillerson’s arrogance. If you had been bad-mouthing and threatening strong, important people, would you feel comfortable going over to their house to have dinner with them? Does Tillerson think that now that Russia has largely freed Syrtia of US-supported ISIS, Russia is going to turn Syria over to Washington?

Is he going to tell Lavrov that he didn’t really mean all those nasty lies he told about Russia, but the zionist neoconservatives made him do it? That he is not really in charge, just a tool of the Anglo-Zionist Empire?

Is Tillerson going to apologize for White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s statement that Assad, Russia’s ally, is more evil than Hitler? https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39573063

Maybe Tillerson is going to ask for asylum and get on the winning side.

Stephen Cohen, one of the few remaining Americans knowledgeable about Russia, told the two CNN presstitutes and the warmonger Col. Leighton, one of the “experts” that the presstitutes roll out to pronounce the propaganda against Russia, that Russia was preparing for hot war. It seems to have gone over the heads of the CNN presstitutes and colonel. Whose payroll are they on? https://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46838.htm

The Russian leaders, who, unlike the Western liars, speak the truth, have said clearly that Russia will never again fight a war on her own territory. The Russians couldn’t put it more clearly. Provoke a war, and we will destroy you on your own territory.

When you watch the president and government in Washington, the European governments, especially the idiots in London, the Canadian and Australian governments, you can only marvel at the total stupidity of “Western leadership.” They are begging for the end of the world.

And the presstitutes are at work driving toward the end of life. Huge numbers of Western peoples are being prepared for their demise, and they are protected from the realization by their insouciance.

Washington is so arrogant and lost in its own hubris, that Washington does not understand that the years of clear as crystal lies about Russia and Russian intentions and deeds have convinced Russia that Washington is preparing the populations of the United States and Washington’s captive peoples in West and East Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan for a US pre-emptive nuclear strike against Russia. Published US war plans against China have convinced China of the same.

If not for war, what else is the change in US war doctrine for? George W. Bush abandoned the stabilizing role of nuclear weapons by moving them from a retaliatory function to a nuclear first strike. Then he pulled out of the anti-ballistic missile treaty concluded by President Richard Nixon. Now we have US missile sites positioned on Russia’s borders. We tell the Russians the lie that the missiles are to prevent an Iranian nuclear ICBM strike against Europe. This lie is told, and accepted by the puppets in Europe, despite the known, incontestable fact that Iran has neither nukes nor ICBMs. But the Russians do not accept it. They know it is another Washington lie.

When Russia hears these flagrant, blatant, obvious lies, Russia understands that Washington intends a preemptive nuclear attack on Russia.

China has reached the same conclusion.

So, here is the situation. Two countries with nuclear forces expect that the insane fools who rule the West are going to attack them with nuclear weapons. What are Russia and China doing? Are they begging for mercy?

No. They are preparing to destroy the evil West, a collection of liars and war criminals, the like of which the world has never previously experienced.

It is the US, the washed-up joke of a “uni-power” that after 16 years is still unable to defeat a few thousand lightly armed Taliban in Afghanistan, that needs to ask for mercy.

The reckless and irresponsible war talk in the US government and presstitute media and among NATO and Washington’s vassals must stop immediately. Life is in the balance.

Putin has shown amazing patience with Washington’s lies and provocations, but he cannot risk Russia by trusting Washington, whom no one can trust. Not the American people, not the Russian people, not any people.

By jumping on the Deep State’s propaganda wagon the liberal/progressive/left is complicit in the march toward Armageddon.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/04/12/is-that-armageddon-over-the-horizon/

Top Ten Reasons To Doubt The Official Story Assad Poison Gas Attack, by Jon Rappoport

Top ten reasons to doubt official story on Assad poison-gas attack

by Jon Rappoport

April 13, 2017

The sarin-gas attack story prompted the US missile strike on a Syrian runway. Here are the top ten reasons for doubting that story, and instead calling it a convenient pretext:

ONE: Photos show rescue workers treating/decontaminating people injured or killed in the gas attack. The workers aren’t wearing gloves or protective gear. Only the clueless or crazy would expose themselves to sarin residue, which can be fatal.

TWO: MIT professor Thomas Postol told RT, “I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the [US intelligence] document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun…Any competent analyst would have had questions about whether the debris in the crater was staged or real. No competent analyst would miss the fact that the alleged sarin canister was forcefully crushed from above, rather than exploded by a munition within it.” How would a canister purportedly dropped from an Assad-ordered plane incur “crushing from above?”

THREE: Why would President Assad, supported by Russia, scoring victory after victory against ISIS, moving closer to peace negotiations, suddenly risk all his gains by dropping sarin gas on his own people?

FOUR: In an interview with Scott Horton, ex-CIA officer Philip Giraldi states that his intelligence and military sources indicate Assad didn’t attack his own people with poison gas.

FIVE: Ex-CIA officer Ray McGovern states that his military sources report an Assad air strike did hit a chemical plant, and the fallout killed people, but the attack was not planned for that purpose. There was no knowledge the chemicals were lethal.

SIX: At consortiumnews.com, journalist Robert Parry writes, “There is a dark mystery behind the White House-released photo showing President Trump and more than a dozen advisers meeting at his estate in Mar-a-Lago after his decision to strike Syria with Tomahawk missiles: Where are CIA Director Mike Pompeo and other top intelligence officials?”

“Before the photo was released on Friday, a source told me that Pompeo had personally briefed Trump on April 6 about the CIA’s belief that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was likely not responsible for the lethal poison-gas incident in northern Syria two days earlier — and thus Pompeo was excluded from the larger meeting as Trump reached a contrary decision.”

“After the attack, Secretary of State Tillerson, who is not an institutional intelligence official and has little experience with the subtleties of intelligence, was the one to claim that the U.S. intelligence community assessed with a ‘high degree of confidence’ that the Syrian government had dropped a poison gas bomb on civilians in Idlib province.”

“While Tillerson’s comment meshed with Official Washington’s hastily formed groupthink of Assad’s guilt, it is hard to believe that CIA analysts would have settled on such a firm conclusion so quickly, especially given the remote location of the incident and the fact that the initial information was coming from pro-rebel (or Al Qaeda) sources.”

“Thus, a serious question arises whether President Trump did receive that ‘high degree of confidence’ assessment from the intelligence community or whether he shunted Pompeo aside to eliminate an obstacle to his desire to launch the April 6 rocket attack.”

SEVEN: As soon as the Assad gas attack was reported, the stage was set for a US missile strike. No comprehensive investigation of the purported gas attack was undertaken.

EIGHT: There are, of course, precedents for US wars based on false evidence—the missing WMDs in Iraq, the claims of babies being pushed out of incubators in Kuwait, to name just two.

NINE: Who benefits from the sarin gas story? Assad? Or US neocons; the US military-industrial complex; Pentagon generals who want a huge increase in their military budget; Trump and his team, who are suddenly praised in the press, after a year of being pilloried at every turn; and ISIS?

TEN: For those who doubt that ISIS has ever used poison gas, see the NY Times (11/21/2016). While claiming that Assad has deployed chemical attacks, the article also states that ISIS has deployed chemical weapons 52 times since 2014.

I’m not claiming these ten reasons definitely and absolutely rule out the possibility of an Assad-ordered chemical attack. But they do add up to a far more believable conclusion than the quickly assembled “Assad-did-it” story.

These ten reasons starkly point to the lack of a rational and complete investigation of the “gas attack.”

And this lack throws a monkey wrench into Trump’s claim that he was ordering the missile strike based on “a high degree of confidence.”

Top ten reasons to doubt official story on Assad poison-gas attack

Has Trump Crossed The Line? By G Squared

Putin, who America desperately needs as Russian leader, is now under attack to be replaced by Zhirinovsky. If you thought you had seen hawks and war mongers in contemporary history, you have not seen the crews Trump has just unleashed in Russia.

His one act of lunacy has actually woken The Bear.

Trump is delivering slappies in Syria while making a face, while hardcore to the death Russia is screaming. Stalingrad, Zhukov, and The 1945 Battle of Berlin. And certainly American activities in: Crimea, Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, Chechnya, and Ossetia, alone do not look good on America’s track record.

The Bear Will March if Putin is replaced. America will be hit, and it will never forget it. Europe will be subsumed again. The USN will be destroyed by Russia and China.

America has just detected Russian submarines along its coasts. I have previously written of the Russian bases at Santa Clara and Lourdes (Cuba). And of Russian TU nuclear bomber overflights of Guam and The American West Coast.

Zhirinovsky just reminded The Russian Duma, that America has lost every single war it has ever prosecuted since 1945.

The former British ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, in a BBC interview, just stated The American created Jihadists have now been enlived to stage further False Flag Chemical Attacks, based on what they have just seen of The West being led by the gullibility of The MSM.

Tillerson immediately scheduled a flight to Moscow to meet Putin. Putin’s office responded by advising that there will be no meeting with Putin. He can talk to Lavrov if he wants. Previously Tillerson of Exxon-Mobil was always well received in Russia. Putin had even met with the grand liar Kerry. But Tillerson has been advised that he cannot be entered into Putin’s calendar. When Tillerson’s representatives mentioned that Syria was to be discussed, they were advised by Putin’s representatives; that Syria is now ‘Off the table’.

China has just moved an additional 150,000 troop mechanised Rapid Reaction Group to The Yalu-Amnok border with North Korea.

America has moved The USS Vinson Carrier Group One from Singapore to The Korean Peninsula. In that group there are three junk Aegis vessels; two destroyers and one cruiser. Remember the Russian EMP disarming of The USS Donald Cook, and the joke played on The USS Porter?

The USS Vinson was the one involved in The Osama bin Laden Capture Lie. It carries just 90 aircraft; which will have nowhere to land if China takes the initiative.

Image result for uss vinson deployment 2017

Mattis has come out making noises to the effect that the ill thought Syrian attack has caused 20% damage to The Syrian Air Force. However he determined that gymnastic concerning refuelling and ammunition supplies, he didn’t factor in the reality of an Act of War by America, and the fact that Russia has already rectified what he claims in his nonsense narrative.

Iran’s Rouhani; who can strangle America with one move in The Strait of Hormuz; has correctly stated that America is not the world’s leader.

The forthcoming G7 meeting in Italy of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain, and America, will privately discuss what can be done to alleviate the damage caused by America, while publicly giving full support to the current village idiot. The European states at issue are flooded by Islamists of various drivings, courtesy of America.

The radicals are enlived. Britain and France will no longer need to stage false flags to maintain focus. Unless they distance from America, they appear to be heading down a nasty path.

Words By G Squared, Images added by Martin Harris.

Liberty Report, Ron Paul.

And Now They Love Him: Media Reaction To Trump’s Missile Strike.

THIS IS FROM MY MSN FEED THIS MORNING, NO AUTHOR ATTRIBUTION:

The cruise missiles struck, and many in the mainstream media fawned.

“I think Donald Trump became president of the United States last night,” declared Fareed Zakaria on CNN, after firing of 59 missiles at a Syrian military airfield late Thursday night. (His words sounded familiar, since CNN’s Van Jones made a nearly identical pronouncement after Trump’s first address to Congress.)

“On Syria attack, Trump’s heart came first,” read a New York Times headline.

“President Trump has done the right thing and I salute him for it,” wrote the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens — a frequent Trump critic and Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative columnist. He added: “Now destroy the Assad regime for good.”

Brian Williams, on MSNBC, seemed mesmerized by the images of the strikes provided by the Pentagon. He used the word “beautiful” three times and alluded to a Leonard Cohen lyric — “I am guided by the beauty of our weapons” — without apparent irony.

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams.© Reuters MSNBC anchor Brian Williams.

Quite the pivot, for some. Assessing Trump’s presidency a few weeks ago, Zakaria wrote that while the Romans recommended keeping people happy with bread and circuses, “so far, all we have gotten is the circus.” And the Times has been so tough on Trump that the president rarely refers to the paper without “failing” or “fake” as a descriptor.

But after the strikes, praise flowed like wedding champagne — especially on cable news.

“Guest after guest is gushing. From MSNBC to CNN, Trump is receiving his best night of press so far,” wrote Sam Sacks, a Washington podcaster and journalist. “And all he had to do was start a war.”

Why do so many in the news media love a show of force?

“There is no faster way to bring public support than to pursue military action,” said Ken Paulson, head of the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center.

“It’s a pattern not only in American history, but in world history. We rally around the commander in chief — and that’s understandable.”

Paulson noted that the news media also “seem to get bored with their own narrative” about Trump’s failings, and they welcome a chance to switch it up.

But that’s not good enough, he said: “The watchdog has to have clear vision and not just a sporadic bark.”

Clara Jeffery, editor in chief of Mother Jones, offered a simple explanation: “It’s dramatic. It’s good for TV, reporters get caught up in the moment, or, worse, jingoism.”

She added: “Military action is viewed as inherently nonpartisan, opposition or skepticism as partisan. News organizations that are fearful of looking partisan can fall into the trap of failing to provide context.”

And so, empathy as the president’s clear motivation is accepted, she said — “with no mention of the refugee ban keeping those kids out, no mention of Islamophobia that has informed his campaign and administration. How can you write about motive and not explore that hypocrisy?”

Mocking “the instant elevation of Trump into a serious and respected war leader,” Glenn Greenwald in the Intercept recalled John Jay, one of the Federalist Papers authors, who wrote more than 200 years ago: “However disgraceful it may be to human nature . . . nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting anything by it.”

In fact, Jay wrote, “absolute monarchs will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it” — except, of course, to scratch that eternal itch for military glory, revenge or self-aggrandizement.

Groupthink, and a lack of proper skepticism, is something that we’ve seen many times before as the American news media watches an administration step to the brink of war.

Most notoriously, perhaps, that was true in the run-up to the Iraq invasion in 2003, the start of a long disaster there.

Stephen Walt, Harvard professor of international affairs, thinks the press and the public should have learned some things by now.

“Syria remains a tragedy because there are no good options,” he wrote in Foreign Policy, and America’s interventions in the Middle East very seldom end well.

Walt later told me that the news media now must look forward and ask deeper questions.

“What is Trump’s overall strategy for Syria,” given that “the balance of power on the ground is unchanged and we are no closer to a political settlement.”

Missile strikes may seem thrilling, and retaliation righteous.

But journalists and commentators ought to remember the duller virtues, too, like skepticism, depth and context.

And keep their eyes fixed firmly there, not on the spectacular images in the sky

https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/opinion/perspective-the-media-loved-trump%e2%80%99s-show-of-military-might-are-we-really-doing-this-again/ar-BBzzzHG?li=BBqdk7Q&ocid=SK2MDHP

Still running the show, regardless of who the President is.

Russia: “The US Can’t Aim For Shit” Suspends Pentagon Agreement