Thursday, April 26, 2018

On The Record

Speaking Bluntly,

Brigadier-General (Res.) Zvika Fogel interviewed on the Yoman Hashevua program of Israel’s Kan radio, 21 April 2018 
This transcript of an Israeli General on an Israeli radio station (begins 6.52 in) defending the latest killing by Israeli army snipers of a 14 year old boy who posed no threat of any kind, is much more powerful if you just read it than any analysis I can give. 

The Mainstream Media is frantically attacking dissenting Syria narratives, and it looks really bad. 
What happens when it becomes the accepted wisdom that the TV and NPR are lying lying about important things like wars?

None of the arguments currently being used in Britain and the US to smear those sceptical of the governmental and media consensus are new. The Bolsheviks used to denounce people who said or did things they did not like as “objectively” being fascists or counter-revolutionaries. When those being denounced, often only a preliminary to being shot, replied that they were no such thing, the Bolsheviks would reply: “tell us who supports you and we will tell you who you are”. 

OPCW investigators found no evidence of chemical weapons at Syrian sites bombed by US.

Russia sends pictures of two lost American cruise missiles they found slightly rumpled in Syria, one from a ship and one from an airplane. They are attending to these poor lost missiles with the greatest of care and plan to find out exactly what is wrong with them, for the good of all parties invloved. It may take awhile. Also, it is clear that the Pentagon assessment that all 105 missiles found their targets, is at least a little wrong. The Russians say it's a lot wrong, and they make a pretty good case for only 22 hits can be confirmed, and they are pretty certain that the Syrians shot down 71 (71 + 22+ 2= 95, where are the other 10?)

Russia announces it will send advances S300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, and that if Israel attacks them, as threatened, there will be severe consequences. (Russians don't bluff. Bibi, how does this look?)

Saudi foreign minister tells Qatar that they have to send troops to Syria or lose their big US naval base and American support, which will topple their government. ("Wishful Saudi thinking", sez I).

Korean Peace Summit is happening now, with Kim Jong Un being the (very bold) first North Korean leader to set foot on southern soil since they were divided by war.

French public services, like healthcare and railways, have been excellent since WW-2, a matter of deep pride and satisfaction for public workers. French railway workers are on the lines fighting the globalist neoliberal machine that is dismantling all rights of all workers, and the pride they have in the quality of their work (mostly a fait accomplis here already). Thanks Wigs.

Bernie Sanders announces plans a job for every American, at a decent wage, anybody who wants to work will get training and a job, guarantied. Details to follow. (It is important to get some work skills and experience back into Americans, I think. This will obviously be a good plan in the next financial crisis, which probably can't be papered over with promises, like the last one.)

More details:

Was there an advanced industrial civilization on Earth, prior to the evolution of humans, something like 60 million years ago? How would our effects on Earth look 60 million years from now? Hmm, kinda hard to look at, happening this fast...

New DNA shape identified in human cells is not a double helix, and seems to have specific on-off regulation functions for deciding what other DNA the cell should read into proteins. It's kinda like a spitwad, but they cll it something more technical.

Lost in Translation

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Think Again

Born Normal,

Chamath Palihapitiya, former vice president of user growth at Facebook stated at a recent public discussion at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”... “So we are in a really bad state of affairs right now, in my opinion. It is eroding the core foundation of how people behave by and between each other. And I don’t have a good solution. My solution is I just don’t use these tools anymore. I haven’t for years.“ Concerning the issue of social media as a whole, Palihapitiya stated that he doesn’t use it anymore since he “innately didn’t want to get programmed.” And as for his kids, “they’re not allowed to use this shit.”  ...  “Everybody else has to soul-search a little bit more about what you’re willing to do,” he said. “Because your behaviors, you don’t realize it, but you are being programmed. It was unintentional, but now you gotta decide how much you’re willing to give up, how much of your intellectual independence.” ... and stated that those who are best-and-brightest are the most likely to fall for it, “because you are fucking check-boxing your whole Goddamn life.”

Though the study didn’t indicate how many parents were surveyed, the results showed that most agreed 11 was the “ideal” age for children to receive their first smartphone. Nonetheless, the stunning findings showed 25% of parents purchased devices for children six and under. 
Child playing with smartphone

North and South Korea agree on a summit date, Friday, this Friday April 27. (I don't think President Trump and Mike Pompeo are actually running this show, and that's fine. The Koreans can best work this out in the context of unification. There is enough win-win to go all the way around for everybody, everywhere.)

"Iraq war was a mistake, and it's time for the US to Leave Afghanistan" CIA director, Mike Pompeo, finally saying those words to senator Rand Paul. "OK, you've got it", Senator Paul opening the door to Secretary of State and Friday's (same Friday) NATO Summit.

"State Department could do worse", retired Colonel Ann Wright, peace advocate, on Mike Pompeo taking the Helm at "Foggy Bottom".

German reporter in Douma, Syria says "Whole story was staged", and backs it up with lots of facts about the staging and some of the actors, and testimonials from local citizens who witnessed the filming, not all of it at the same time. The "moderates" took a bunch of chlorine canisters to places they expected to get bombed. Awkwardly for them, no civilians died from that set-up.

From anti-tank weapons to tanks, moderate-terrorists are relieved of vast stockpiles of NATO munitions as the Syrian government lets them leave with their lives, and their wives... (No, you've gotta' leave the suicide belts too, guys, even the suicide belts.)

Turkish President Erdogan complains loudly of the US sending 5000 trucks full of free weapons to Syrian Kurdish forces (and others?). "Terrorists" get weapons for free, which Turkey can't buy from NATO "partners".
"We'll destroy your missiles if you deliver them to Syria" , Israeli PM Netanyahu threatens Russia.
Since the massive strike which involved the US, UK, and France launching over 100 cruise missiles, Russia is rumored to be moving forward on delivery of its advanced S-300 missile defense system, which would be a monumental upgrade allowing Syrian defenses to far surpass current capabilities which utilize the Soviet-made S-125 and S-200 air defense systems. Crucially, S-300s have a range of up to 150-200 kilometers (or 120 miles), bringing Syrian deterrent reach easily to within Lebanese airspace (as Israel has routinely struck targets inside Syria while firing over "neutral" Lebanese airspace in recent years), and could even extend airspace coverage into Israel itself. (These would be supplied as freely as the US supplies Israel with weapons systems, quickly, and manned by Russian soldiers until the Syrians get fully trained.)

Poor, rude President Trump blurted out to Israeli PM Netanyahu, "Do you really care about peace",  in winter phone call. (Shockingly anti-semitic! How can he ever make up for such effrontery?)

Massive oil discoveries are the result of test wells drilled in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. (This is the oil hidden away fro a rainy day under President Carter. It's raining on indigenous people and caribou, now. At least no sniper attacks on them yet, though...)

This is Not a Market, Ilargi @ The Automatic Earth, details the made-for-TV-movie that is the facsimile of global stock and bond markets. What are the implications of there being no actual markets, no actual price discovery, and no actual recovery from 2008? Yeah, what? When?

What does too-many-share-bikes look like? China investigates. Here is a picture at human scale. I just couldn't send the ones that are like looking at all the stars in the galaxy. Picture #9 is that way, taken from way, way up high. You can't see any individual bicycles, but all you see is bicycles, unused, overproduced, working bicycles.


Daily Bicyclist

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Establishment Consensus

Mastering the Obvious,

"Trump Scores Major North Korea Points; Democrats Sue WikiLeaks for Telling the Truth", our girl Caitlin in Oz

Details of North Korean friendly prelude to negotiations...

WASHINGTON—Demanding greater accountability for the race’s outcome, the Democratic National Committee reportedly filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit Friday alleging that the nation should never, ever stop focusing on the 2016 presidential election. “Our lawsuit lays out, in no uncertain terms, that the nation should never under any circumstances move on from the 2016 election results.”    (The Onion)

The Washingtoin Post reports that The Democratic National Committee filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit Friday against the Russian government, the Trump campaign and the WikiLeaks organization alleging a far-reaching conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 campaign and tilt the election to Donald Trump.      (Not The Onion. Notice the difference? ... Me neither.)

Jim Kunstler says...  It begins to look like The USA will litigate itself into Civil War Two with the first battle being half the lawyers in the Department of Justice prosecuting the other half until Anthropogenic Global Warming puts the DC Swamp completely underwater and all parties concerned scuttle off into the deep blue sea.  It was rather a shock to see the photo lineup of all those familiar faces — Comey, Hillary, McCabe, Loretta Lynch et. al. — in the criminal referral “matters” sent over to the DOJ by congress on Wednesday, as if they were some mob of goombahs caught running a waste management kickback racket in the Hackensack mud-flats...  Mixed metaphors aside, it looks like all the clones of Ricky Ricardo and Lucy engineered in some CIA black lab will never satisfy the amount of ’splainin’ that needs to be done, and that the ensuing trials may last longer than the lifetimes of millennials still struggling on campus with their gender presentation...  This melodrama will make The Lord of the Rings look like a knock-knock joke...   
Trump may emerge briefly from his triumph over the Swamp-led coup-d’etat only to find himself in his fated other role as designated bag-holder for the next crack-up of the banking system. At least he’ll be in his natural element: bankruptcy, presiding over the biggest ruined casino the world has ever seen...
Meantime, my head is still reeling from the shenanigans in Syria last week. How many of our missiles were shot down exactly? I’m not too confident we’ll ever get a straight answer about that from the generals. Nor why they decided to blow up a suspected chemical weapons factory which, you’d think, would disperse a residue cloud of chemical weapons all over the Syrian landscape — and since that didn’t happen, was it actually a chemical weapons factory at all? 

Why Each US President Ends Up as Ruthless Interventionist These Days, Philip Geraldi   Thanks Eleni
In the wake of last week’s cruise missile attack on Syria, there was a joke going around the internet saying that it doesn’t matter who Americans vote for, they always wind up getting John McCain as President...  President Donald Trump’s explicit pledges to avoid expanded engagement in Asia and the Middle East while also fixing the relationship with Russia are by now lost down the memory hole...  Pundits see the process whereby all new presidents turn into hawks as evidence of the pervasiveness of the Deep State in US foreign policy, but as the Deep State operates largely in the open in the United States, it might also be referred to as the Establishment Consensus...  The combination of government and media lies renders most Americans completely ignorant about what is going in in Syria. First of all, the United States and its allies, who are occupying nearly one quarter of the country, are in Syria illegally...  It is also a war crime as defined by the Nuremberg Trials that followed after the Second World War, which ruled that a war of aggression is the “ultimate war crime” as it inevitably leads to many other crimes. So the United States is undeniably an unindicted war criminal ...  Establishment politics has meant that the United States is now a rogue nation defined by its propensity to go to war. America’s bombing of Syria is illegal, immoral, ineffective and dishonest. 

I have to hope this is right: 
"The embarrassing ineffectiveness of the April 14th missile- invasion — it didn’t even get the OPCW, Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, to cancel its planned investigation of the evidence in Douma Syria regarding whether it was Assad and Putin who have been lying, or instead Trump and his foreign allies who were lying — caps what is actually the U.S. Government’s defeat in its decades-long plan for global hegemony, global dictatorship." 

The US is still protecting moderate-terrorists in the 25% of Syria it controls, the part with the oil, gas and water. Update here:

Inspectors from the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) finally reached Douma for their investigation and inspection for chemical weapons. They were not delayed by Russian or Syrian "cover-up", which they discounted as a possibility. "The OPCW in official statements confirmed that they were prevented from visiting Douma not by Syrian or Russian authorities, but by United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS), which has the final say over OPCW movements within Syria."

Two of President Trump’s “nice and new and smart” cruise missiles were recovered non-detonated by the Syrian Armed Forces on April 14, one day after the US, the UK and France fired more than 100 rockets into Syria according to the Russian TASS new agency...  And now the reverse engineering of America's "new and smart" technology can begin: an unnamed source within the Syrian military confirmed to TASS that the cruise missiles were sent to Russia on April 18...  Pentagon officials have denied all claims that their “nice and new and smart” cruise missiles were shot down. Officials said that missiles successfully hit all targets, while the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Syrian air defense claimed they shot down 71. 

Naked Emperor

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Not As Advertised

Coming Up Short,

This article from Eleni lays out the Plan-B goal in Syria, to bleed and bleed and bleed Iran, since regime change sweeping across the middle east has not gone as efficiently as originally planned. Whose interests are served? No interests are well served as greed and overreach of aggressive policy have natural consequences. There is a lot of good insight here.
The strikes from this weekend were intended to do much more damage than they did.  The U.S. Military’s presser on Friday after the attack was purposeful disinformation.  They only admitted to attacking three sites, all of which were empty and obliterated. But what about the airstrikes on no less than four Syrian airfields, including Al-Shairat (again)? No mention of those. Because they didn’t succeed. 

Brandon Smith says the Syrian conflict is a distraction from a secret war. (I think the war does more than distract from the inevitable monetary reset of global reserve currency. Central bankers want electronic money. Bitcoin is actually lousy as a currency, but great for central bank transactions. We can just have credit cards with chips, and be excluded from the economy if we don't conform. Perfect! Against Western central banking runs the counter-force of Russia, China and Iran, though Libya is now out of that game. This group prefers gold. Pick a side and a personal strategy. Growing vegetables is revolution.)

Vladimir Putin, well aware of anti-Russian sentiment in the US, opens the invitation to negotiation with the bid to make concessions under the right circumstances. Russia has a fairly strong hand, but not economically...

Donald Trump, as well as wanting to negotiate rationally with Russia, in the interests of the US, also wants US troops to come home from Syria as soon as possible. (Trump is an America-firster, who does not want America to keep getting exhausted by imperial overreach. It's not in the American interest, after all.)

Eleni sends this article (excerpts below) from Paul Craig Roberts about "Racism" as a cover for financial exploitation and aggressive war, currently and historically in North America. (We are divided and conquered...)
The working class, designated by Hillary Clinton as “the Trump deplorables,” is now the victimizer, not the victim. Marxism has been stood on its head. The American ruling class loves Identity Politics, because Identity Politics divides the people into hostile groups and prevents any resistance to the ruling elite. With blacks screaming at whites, women screaming at men, and homosexuals screaming at heterosexuals, there is no one left to scream at the rulers. 
  The ruling elite favors a “conversation on race,” because the ruling elite know it can only result in accusations that will further divide society...  
The first slaves in the new world were white. When real history was taught, this was widely understood. Movies were even made that showed that in King George III’s England, the alternative to criminal punishment was to be sold as a slave in the colonies. See, for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAgfWhlc3gQ   Among the first New World lands to be exploited by the Europeans were the Carribean Islands, which were suitable for sugar and rice production. The problem was that the white slaves died like flies from malaria and yellow fever. The Spanish lack of success with a work force of natives of the lands they conquered led those in search of a work force to the slave export business of the black Kingdom of Dahomey. The demand for black workers rose considerably when it was discovered that many had immunity to malaria and resistance to yellow fever. This meant that a plantation’s investment in a work force was not wiped out by disease...  
Why did the South leave the Union? Because it was being economically exploited by the North, which, once the North gained the ability to outvote the Southern states, imposed tariffs that benefited the North at the expense of the South. The North needed protection from British manufactures in order for the economic rise of the North. In contrast, the South’s economy was based on cotton exports to England and on cheap manufactures imported from England. Tariffs would bring the South higher cost of manufactured goods and retaliation against their cotton exports. The economic interests of the North and South did not coincide...  
What about the Emancipation Proclamation? Didn’t this order by Lincoln free the blacks? No. It was a war measure on which hopes were placed that, as almost every able-bodied Southern male was in the front lines, the slaves would revolt and rape the Southern soldiers’ wives and daughters, forcing the soldiers to desert the army and return home to protect their families. As Lincoln’s own Secretary of State said, the president has freed the slaves in the territories that the Union does not control and left them in slavery in the territory that the Union does control...  
The United States with its brainwashed and incompetent population—indeed, the entirety of the Western populations are incompetent—and with its absence of intelligent leadership has no chance against Russia and China, two massive countries arising from their overthrow of police states as the West descends into a gestapo state. The West is over and done with. Nothing remains of the West but the lies used to control the people. All hope is elsewhere. 

"Today reporters no longer have to check sources, because there is no longer journalism in America. When the Clinton regime in compliance with the Deep State that made the Clintons super-rich permitted 90% of the independent and diverse US media to be concentrated in the hands of six political companies, that was the end of journalism in America. All we have now is a propaganda ministry that lies for a living. Anyone in American journalism who tells the truth is either immediately fired or in the case of Tucker Carlson at Fox News is set upon by outside presstitutes in an effort to force Fox to replace him. I wonder how long before some woman pops up and claims Tucker Carlson sexually harassed her. 
As far as I can tell, the United States is now a police state in which all information is controlled and the population is trained to believe the propaganda or be accused of lack of patriotism and consorting with terrorists and Russians." 

There are rodents chewing on the Clinton & Friends neoliberal power establishment. It looks like some heads will roll, someday... There are subpoenas and referrals for indictment targeting Clinton/Obama team insiders at the highest levels. There is a lot of meat there, too, unlike the lame Russian-collusion story that could never be supported factually, and turned into a low-catch-fishing-expedition. The floundering fishermen may be reeled in soon.

66 pounds of plastic bags in it's stomach killed this 7 ton sperm whale, washed up on a Greek island and rotting from inside. 

Swallowed Enough

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Negotiate Or Else

Bargaining Chips,

Military conquest of Syrian oil, gas, farmland and water... for "peace", "freedom" and stuff.
"Northeastern Syria is an important region owing to its rich natural resources, particularly fossil fuels in the form of natural gas and oil. Indeed, this area contains 95 percent of all Syrian oil and gas potential — including al-Omar, the country’s largest oil field. Prior to the war, these resources produced some 387,000 barrels of oil per day and 7.8 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, and were of great economic importance to the Syrian government. However, more significantly, nearly all the existing Syrian oil reserves – estimated at around 2.5 billion barrels – are located in the area currently occupied by the U.S. government...  In addition, the conflict in Syria – now in its seventh year – was, in part, initiated as a result of clashes over two pipeline proposals that needed to secure passage through Syria. Syria, not long before the foreign-funded proxy war besieged the country, had turned down a U.S.-backed proposal that would take to Europe natural gas from Qatar in favor of a Russia-backed proposal that would take natural gas originating in Iran."

"US opens new military base in former ISIS stronghold", (yeah, the oil place , Dier Ezzor, in northeast Syria, where ISIS failed to keep the oil away from the Syrian government as ordered.)
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-17/us-opens-new-military-base-former-isis-stronghold

Vladimir Putin warns that the world is at risk of descending further into chaos if the US attacks Syria again. (It does not seem to be worded as a threat,)

President Trump was given 3 options to attack Syria. (Not attacking was not apparently offered to him as an option.) 
He chose the one that mostly wasted a lot of missiles for domestic propaganda, and cost less than the others. 
"We taught 'animal Assad' a lesson" seems to be the sales pitch..

Secretary of Defense Mattis advocated for seeking Congressional approval before launching recent missile attack on Syria. ("Mad Dog"? Maybe "Monk Mattis", his USMC nickname, was correct all along.) 
"In the end, Mattis prevailed in limiting the Friday night strikes to three targets which would avoid hitting Russian troops stationed at various military facilities throughout Syria. Democratically elected Syrian President Bashar al Assad moved fighter jets to said installations before the US-led strike, which also included the participation of the United Kingdom and France to give it an air of legitimacy." “The strike was really just enough to cover the president politically, but not enough to spark a war with the Russians,” said two-tour Iraq war veteran Jon Soltz, chairman of liberal veterans group VoteVets. “It was clear the military had tight constraints on the operation, and that everybody in the military seemed to know that except the president.”  "The cleanup crew at the destroyed Barzah chemical weapons Research facility didn't need protective clothing to sift through the rubble, the message is loud and clear; the West needs to get it's act together before bombing a sovereign nation based on crappy - or even worse, fabricated intel. "

Pentagon hides failure of attack, as over 70 missiles are shot down, about 1/3 get through to least defended areas. none of these areas was defended by Russia.

A view from France. Thanks Eleni.
The Allies pretend that Syria kept stocks of chemical weapons, despite its membership of the Convention which prohibits them. They claim that they targeted only areas linked to these weapons. And yet, for example, they fired four missiles at the international commercial airport in Damascus, an exclusively civilian target. Happily, the Syrian Arab Army managed to intercept them all. In total, the Syrian Arab Army, which was only in possession of S-125’s, S-200’s, Buk’s, Kvadrat’s and Osa’s, managed, single-handed, to shoot down two thirds of the Western projectiles. Finally, despite themselves, the Allies had just fought the first battle of their history in which they killed not one enemy. France, which tested its new naval Cruise missile for the first time in a combat situation, was unable to boast of a success to its potential clients...  This grand show, then, was no more than a futile gesture. After a quarter of a century of unilateral domination by the West, its three main military powers have just been down-graded. The world has returned to a bipolar situation like that of the Cold War, although the new rules still need to be defined. The Third World War will have to wait. 

"Now that the jihadist-occupied suburb of Douma has been retaken by the Syrian government, western journalists have been allowed in to poke around and start asking questions, and so far it isn’t looking great for the propaganda machine." (No chemical weapon injuries or deaths at all in Douma that day, according to doctors and residents of the area.This is why the attacks had to come before any investigation. US says "Russia ate my homework")

CIA Director, Mike Pompeo met with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un this past weekend. It reportedly went well. Pompeo is nominated for Secretary of State. (Howzat lookin?)
Speaking at his Florida beach resort Tuesday ahead of bilateral meetings with Shinzo Abe, Trump confirmed that the two governments had held direct party-to-party talks for the first time without the South Koreans acting as intermediaries. Trump disclosed that the two countries were hoping to hold the historic meeting in early June, or possibly before.

North and South Korea are reportedly set to announce an official end to the 1950-1953 Korean War that technically finished with a truce — and not a peace treaty, according to South Korea's daily newspaper Munhwa Ilbo. 

The US military is poised to develop smart-enough drones to make the decision of who to kill, completely on their own. (This should reduce PTSD on remote drone operators who dream of the children they've killed at all those family gatherings. Mission Accomplished! "Blowback?" What blowback? Nothin's gonna go wrong! This is completely different from self-driving cars.)

Throwing Dice

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Oops English Nerve Gas

Publicly Embarrassed,

A Swiss lab determines that "Russian BZ" poison used on Skripal father/daughter, was not of Russian origin, but came from UK or US chemical weapons labs (poor quality, too...). 

Yulia Skripal makes this odd statement, with police "protectors" at her side: 
"I have specially trained officers available to me, who are helping to take care of me and to explain the investigative processes that are being undertaken. I have access to friends and family, and I have been made aware of my specific contacts at the Russian Embassy who have kindly offered me their assistance in any way they can. At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services, but, if I change my mind I know how to contact them"..."For the moment I do not wish to speak to the press or the media, and ask for their understanding and patience whilst I try to come to terms with my current situation."  http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/04/new-developments-in-the-skripal-drama-police-statement-opcw-report-release.html#more

France, UK & US attack on Syria (more apparent than real; cute acronym) Thanks Eleni. 
"Last night France, the UK and the U.S. launched an illegal attack on Syria and bombed several military and civilian sites within the country. They justify their attack as revenge or punishment for an alleged 'chemical attack' that had taken place a week earlier. The 'chemical incident' on April 7 in Douma was designed to reverse Trump's publicly announced decision to order the U.S. military out of Syria. The Saudi financed Salafi 'rebels' in Douma collected bodies, probably from another incident, and stacked them up in one apartment to stage a scene and to create fake videos of a 'chemcial attack' which they falsely attributed to the Syrian government. Trump pretended to fall for the videos and tweeted threats against Syria and Russia. Russia threatened to respond with strong force should any U.S. attack hurt its soldiers or interests in Syria. The UK and France, who like the U.S. were only recently visited by the Saudi clown prince and showered with fresh Saudi billions, jumped onto the case. France now admits that its 'intelligence' of the Douma incident is solely based on the obviously staged youtube videos and claims made by 'western' financed propaganda operations who cooperate with the Jihadis." 


The Pentagon also said the United States had “deconfliction” contacts with Russia before and after the strikes, that Syrian air defense systems had been largely ineffective and there was no indication that Russian systems had been employed. In comments on Saturday morning, the Russian Defense Ministry said the strikes did little damage and claimed that of 103 cruise missiles fired in the U.S.-led airstrike, 71 were shot down by Syria’s Soviet-made air-defense systems. The intercepted missiles included all 12 of those bound for the Al-Dumayr military airfield near Damascus, where the chemical attack that triggered the crisis was allegedly launched. In de-escalating the airstrikes' aftermath, Russia said its own air defenses were not activated because none of the missiles passed through its zone of influence. Russia also said there were no immediate reports of military or civilian casualties. The Syrian army command said three civilians had been injured in the attack on Homs.  https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-14/people-are-dancing-streets-syria-russia-iran-shrug-more-limited-feared-airstrikes
"It's not only about Syria itself, you see.  The GDP of Syria won't make a difference on the USD.  It's about stopping a revolution.  If Syria uses a Russian - Chinese financial and energy system perhaps it will spread to Jordan, Lebanon, and who next?  If half the world is suddenly using a Yuan denominated trading market, it would threaten US hegemony.  So all alternatives need to be stopped in their tracks, period.  That isn't an opinion it is the policy in DC based on research by companies like RAND." 

Chinese State News, "Global Times" says:
  The facts cannot be distorted. This military strike was not authorized by the UN, and the strikes targeted a legal government of a UN member state. The US and its European allies launched strikes to punish President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected chemical attack in Duma last weekend. However, it has not been confirmed if the chemical weapons attack happened or if it did, whether government forces or opposition forces launched it. International organizations have not carried out any authoritative investigation...  The US has a record of launching wars on deceptive grounds. The Bush government asserted the Saddam regime held chemical weapons before the US-British coalition troops invaded Iraq in 2003. However, the coalition forces didn't find what they called weapons of mass destruction after overthrowing the Saddam regime. Both Washington and London admitted later that their intelligence was false.  Washington's attack on Syria where Russian troops are stationed constitute serious contempt for Russia's military capabilities and political dignity. Trump, like scolding a pupil, called on Moscow, one of the world's leading nuclear powers, to abandon its "dark path." Disturbingly, Washington seems to have become addicted to mocking Russia in this way. Russia is capable of launching a destructive retaliatory attack on the West. Russia's weak economy is plagued by Western sanctions and squeezing of its strategic space. That the West provokes Russia in such a manner is irresponsible for world peace.

Provocative Israeli airstrikes in Aleppo, Syria kill about 20 Iranian military personnel. Iran is goaded to strike back, then be destroyed "to protect Israel". Nukes would suffice. (What Israeli target can Iran strike without pulling that trigger?)

"Hours after the overnight US-led missile strikes on Syria, WikiLeaks republished a crucially important diplomatic cable through its official media accounts confirming that Saudi Arabia's long term strategy in Syria has been to pursue regime change "by all means available." According to the leaked internal Saudi government document, this is the kingdom's proposed end-goal even should the United States at any point show "lack of desire" due to the threat of Russian response and possibility of a 'great power' confrontation... It is also essential to recall that the al-Qaeda linked group which originated the claims of a government orchestrated chemical attack on civilians in the Damascus suburb of Douma, called Jaish al Islam (JAI), is and has always been state sponsored by the Saudi regimeThe Guardian, among others, reported beginning in 2013 that Saudi Arabia founded and trained the group, spending millions...  Notably, as Russia as well as some Western counter-terror experts continue to point the finger at Jaish al Islam (and the "White Helmets") for staging the Douma "chemical attack" in order to provoke the US military response, it has emerged through past reporting that JAI itself had used chemical weapons against Kurdish militias in Aleppo’s Sheikh Maqsoud district in 2016 (and it appears that the Saudi-backed group openly admitted to carrying out prior chemical attacksaccording to The Daily Beast)."

Cheating to Win