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Trump Is Blinking on Syria

Trump Is Blinking on Syria - Russian Ability to Hit Back Is Too Risky for Him

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Charles it the founder and editor of Russia Insider. He can be reached at charles@russia-insider.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Update on the DDoS attack - it is continuing, but we are defending against it adequately. You might notice the the site is somewhat slower than usual - those are the enemy servers bombarding us. Folks have been sending in donations in support - Thank you!! We're winning - that's why they're attacking us. More on all this later ...  Here is my article about this from yesterday.

It is now becoming quite clear that the US and Israel do not hold enough cards in Syria, and have been out-manouvered by Russia/Iran/Syria. The US will either not strike at all, or like a year ago, make symbolic strikes where they have warned the Russians of targets, avoiding any Russian fatalities. All of Trump's terrifying bluster of yesterday was just that, bluster.
Consider the following:
The Syrians / Iranians / Russians have won the war on the ground, and a few missile strikes at military targets are not going to change that reality. We carried an article this morning by the excellent Indian analyst M.K. Bhadrakumar, who is always worth reading, where he explains the reality of this most convincingly.
RI deputy editor Marko Marjanovic makes a similar point in another excellent article this morning - the strikes will not impede the Russian goal of winning the war, so if there are strikes, the rational response would be to ignore them, and get on with crushing Al Qaeda, which they are doing very effectively (they've already destroyed ISIS).
Also very interesting is this explanation on Russian television recently from an expert on Israeli intelligence and military issues, Yakov Kedmi. Mr. Kedmi has become a regular on the top Russian political analysis shows, earning respect from viewers for his hype-free explanations of what the reality is on the ground in the Middle East. A career Israeli intelligence officer, he ran the Israeli government agency 'Nativ', ostensibly engaged in helping Jews repatriate to Israel, but in fact a part of Israeli intelligence, in the mid-90s.
He explains some very simple facts which no doubt have been explained to Trump by his admirals and generals, when he has time to sit down and focus for a few minutes in between the madness of having to deal with Mr. Mueller, endless scurrilous and likely untrue allegations trumpeted in the media, and actually running a country. That he is able to focus on anything for more than a few minutes is astounding.
Kedmi explains that the head of the Russian general staff, Mr. Valery Gerasimov, made it very clear a month ago, that if Russian servicemen were killed or injured in American strikes, then the Russians will take out the American platforms which launched the strikes. In simple language: Russian submarines will sink the American ships that launched the strikes, something they can easily do. Kedmi argues that while the Americans can't be sure that the Russians will do this, the possibility is high enough that they won't risk it because of the political fallout back home. Listen to him explain it himself:
(The translation in the video is not entirely precise. In addition to watching the video, read this partial transcript below where I corrected for clarity)
If anyone from the intelligence community said that Israeli planes were sent to test Syrian air defenses, then I feel sorry for those they work for. The US isn't interested in Syria's air defenses, ... they're interested in the Russian system. ...
Americans are most concerned about the Russian planes in Syria, and about the submarines that are not too far from these US destroyers that will strike. The Russian Chief of the General Staff (Valery Gerasimov) has warned the Americans concretely. If he said, 'We'll shoot down the missiles,' that would've been one thing. But, he said, 'We'll sink the destroyers that initiate the strike.' And the Americans take this seriously. ...
Have they ever fought a real army? Who did they fight? The Afghans? The Iraqis? - Those aren't armies. 
They know. They're professionals (the Americans), especially the Navy. They know the difference between fighting a semi-guerilla unit, the so-called 'slave armies.', the Afghans - and the Russian Army.
This is why they're so serious about Russia's possible reaction. Like any US President, Trump is a cautious man ... He says whatever he wants, he's a politician. But he will never go for an operation that might not go well for him.
The US military never starts an operation unless it's 100% or 200% sure of its success. Trump takes this into consideration as he's briefed by the US admirals.
What would happen if the two destroyers that fired the missiles got sunk within 5 minutes? What's next? Would that be a win for him?
The chances of this happening are very high because it was said by the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Army (Valery Gerasimov). He doesn't speak up often, but when he does, it's blunt and to the point. It gets through to them.
The only thing that can stop US actions is the threat of a Russian military response.
In simple English, the American / Israeli bully and liar, with his endless charades of ridiculous false flags and accompanying media hysteria, has been told to back off by someone who is able to hit back in a way that is unacceptable to the bully.
I don't mean to degrade the seriousness of this article, for what I am explaining couldn't be more serious, as we dance on the precipice, but this humorous little video actually depicts the situation quite accurately:
The latest news is that now the Russian and American militaries are frantically talking, helped by Israelis (Netanyahu himself!), and the Turks (NATO members after all, but de facto Russian allies), trying to figure a way out of this Mexican standoff. Some experts are saying that it will go down like last time: the Americans will notify the Russians in advance of the targets, the Russians (and most Syrians whom the Russians will inform) will leave them, the strikes will be all for show, and the Russians and Syrians will get on with pulverizing Al Qaeda. The Syrians have already moved their planes to Russian bases, so, no, Syria will not lose its air force. Everyone saves face, and the world moves on.
But this will come at a high political cost for Trump at home, for his base will be furious at yet another betrayal. Every day that passes is another day of Tucker Carlson pointing out the insanity and extreme dishonesty of an American attack, and the American media screaming for one.
I wrote about that this morning - for those readers not watching American TV it is the most stupendous show of pathetic lying ever witnessed. But also, there is a the massively influential alternative media, on the left and the right, big guns like Alex Jones and Zerohedge, and hundreds of medium guns like Russia Insider, and social media, and Americans are tuning in and listening to what we are saying.
A few more days of this pitched battle, and the political damage will be grievous, and Trump knows it - so the pressure is on.
For more info on how this is likely to pan out, here is a very interesting Twitter tree from a respected Russian analyst:

UPDATE: 1. So, it appears , working on de-escalation options now via a number of "middle men". RUS military stated earlier it's been in touch w/ American Joint Chief of Staff over the issue & there're Rus- communication/talks via military.
Here's the whole tree:

This post first appeared on Russia Insider
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