3-D Chess Players,
The US is carrying out "Plan-C" in Syria, still trying to drive an imperial wedge into the region with a Kurdish statelet to carve oil and gas fields out of Syria, to keep Syria weak, desperate, and Turkey engaged in fighting Kurds. This is at the bidding of Israel, of course.
Syria shot down 13 Israeli Air Launched Cruise Missiles on February 10 (They missed some, too, but they took out the majority, and that Israeli F-16.) Thanks Eleni.
Turkish forces use chemical weapons, some kind of gas (mustard?) on US-backed Kurds inside Syria.
On the heels of a visit by Secretary of State Tillerson to Turkey, the US dismisses as "extremely unlikely" that Turkish forces gassed American Kurdish surrogate-pawns in Syria.
The standard Washington logic is as follows: should NATO ally Turkey or US-backed rebels commit chemical attacks or other atrocities, these will be immediately dismissed as "extremely unlikely" - in the White House's own words; while at the same time any American friendly group on the ground such as anti-Assad insurgents will be taken at their word and on the flimsiest of evidence should claims be made that Assad is using gas - no matter how much evidence stacks up against such claims.
Russia is Taking Over Syria's Oil and Gas (by exclusive invitation) that makes the fields Northeast of the Euphrates, promised to gullible Kurdish pawns, a "Russian interest".
Oil/Gas majors, in consortium, with Russian and French membership, are set to drill in undisputed waters off the Lebanese coast (not quite where Israel claims ownership), while Israel makes threats. Israel does not want the weak an deeply indebted Lebanese economy to recover, ever, or get regular 24 hour electricity. Israel is prepared for a third war against Lebanon to prevent that, but would it succeed or fail?
Engdahl: "With the Trump Administration declaring its growing hostility to Iran as well as its highly-provocative unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, the preconditions for an Israeli third Lebanon war, this one backed from behind by Washington and up front by Saudi economic sanctions, using the pretext of territorial claims to Lebanese offshore waters, would have the potential to escalate into a far broader war across the Middle East. By inserting its formidable military presence as well as energy presence into Lebanon at this point, Russia at this point may be the only barrier to that new Middle East conflagration."
Can Israel stomach the Russian Grand Bargain?
This is Putin’s Grand Bargain: Russia will assume a certain defined responsibility for Israel’s security, but not if Israel undertakes wars of choice against Iran and Hizbullah, or if it deliberately disrupts stability in the North (including Iraq). And no more gratuitous bombing raids in the north, intended to disrupt stability. But if Israel wants a war with Iran, then Russia will stand aloof. Israel has now had a taste of President Putin’s ‘stick’: Your air superiority in the North has just been punctured by the Syrian air defences. You, Israel, will lose it completely were our Russian S400s air defences to be enabled: ‘Think it over’. Thanks Eleni.
US buys more 33,000 pound bunker-buster bombs, useful against North Korean, Iranian and Chinese deeply-buried targets. Cheers! (Pilots report it's fun to fly a B-1 bomber when it drops one of these babies, and suddenly shoots up 100 feet in the air. Yee-HAW!)
Global Debt Crisis II Cometh...
Our Approaching Winter of Discontent, Charles Hugh Smith
That chill you feel in the financial weather presages an unprecedented--and for most people, unexpectedly severe--winter of discontent. Rather than sugarcoat what's coming, let's speak plainly for a change: none of the promises that have been made to you will be kept.
President Trump castigates Obama-holdover FBI-chief for failing to identify Nikolas Cruz in a social media post where he bragged he would become "a professional school shooter", slyly using his real name to confound the investigation. This could also have been linked better to the tip-off from a friend of Cruz that he might be preparing to do this. Trump also castigates HR McMaster for claiming Russian influence over the last election (which is not actually how things went down; no evidence that anything was influenced...)
Is there, possibly, a common thread here?
Nobody wants to admit the real reason behind American mass-shootings. (Violent culture; always has been. Lotta' inequality and nobodys yearning to be somebody, too.)
One imagines Nikolas sitting alone, watching coverage of the Las Vegas shooting, and thinking, “Why not? What have I got to lose? If this life is so miserable and unlikely to get better, why not go out, spectacularly, like that? If I did, they would remember who I was and what I did for the rest of their lives.”
"Sudden Stratospheric Warming Event Fractures Polar Vortex In Two" (Wow, that's weird. Putin's fault; bound to be...)