Putin Keeps Cool and Averts WWIII as Israeli-French Gamble in Syria Backfires Spectacularly Putin vowed that Russia would take extra precautions to protect its troops in Syria, saying these will be “the steps that everyone will notice.” Published 2 hours ago on September 22, 2018 By Robert Bridge

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Authored by Robert Bridge via The Strategic Culture Foundation:

By initiating an attack on the Syrian province of Latakia, home to the Russia-operated Khmeimim Air Base, Israel, France and the United States certainly understood they were flirting with disaster. Yet they went ahead with the operation anyways.

On the pretext that Iran was preparing to deliver a shipment of weapon production systems to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israeli F-16s, backed by French missile launches in the Mediterranean, destroyed what is alleged to have been a Syrian Army ammunition depot.

What happened next is already well established: a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft, which the Israeli fighter jets had reportedly used for cover, was shot down by an S-200 surface-to-air missile system operated by the Syrian Army. Fifteen Russian servicemen perished in the incident, which could have been avoided had Israel provided more than just one-minute warning before the attack. As a result, chaos ensued.

Whether or not there is any truth to the claim that Iran was preparing to deliver weapon-making systems to Hezbollah in Lebanon is practically a moot point based on flawed logic. Conducting an attack against an ammunition depot in Syria – in the vicinity of Russia’s Khmeimim Air Base – to protect Israel doesn’t make much sense when the consequence of such “protective measures” could have been a conflagration on the scale of World War III. That would have been an unacceptable price to achieve such a limited objective, which could have been better accomplished with the assistance of Russia, as opposed to NATO-member France, for example. In any case, there is a so-called “de-confliction system” in place between Israel and Russia designed to prevent exactly this sort of episode from occurring.

And then there is the matter of the timing of the French-Israeli incursion.

Just hours before Israeli jets pounded the suspect Syrian ammunition storehouse, Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan were in Sochi hammering out the details on a plan to reduce civilian casualties as Russian and Syrian forces plan to retake Idlib province, the last remaining terrorist stronghold in the country. The plan envisioned the creation of a demilitarized buffer zone between government and rebel forces, with observatory units to enforce the agreement. In other words, it is designed to prevent exactly what Western observers have been fretting about, and that is unnecessary ‘collateral damage.’

So what do France and Israel do after a relative peace is declared, and an effective measure for reducing casualties? The cynically attack Syria, thus exposing those same Syrian civilians to the dangers of military conflict that Western capitals proclaim to be worried about.

Israel moves to ‘damage control’

Although Israel has taken the rare move of acknowledging its involvement in the Syrian attack, even expressing “sorrow” for the loss of Russian life, it insists that Damascus should be held responsible for the tragedy. That is a highly debatable argument.

By virtue of the fact that the French and Israeli forces were teaming up to attack the territory of a sovereign nation, thus forcing Syria to respond in self-defense, it is rather obvious where ultimate blame for the downed Russian plane lies.

“The blame for the downing of the Russian plane and the deaths of its crew members lies squarely on the Israeli side,” Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said. “The actions of the Israeli military were not in keeping with the spirit of the Russian-Israeli partnership, so we reserve the right to respond.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, took admirable efforts to prevent the blame game from reaching the boiling point, telling reporters that the downing of the Russian aircraft was the result of “a chain of tragic circumstances, because the Israeli plane didn’t shoot down our jet.”

Nevertheless, following this extremely tempered and reserved remark, Putin vowed that Russia would take extra precautions to protect its troops in Syria, saying these will be “the steps that everyone will notice.”

Now there is much consternation in Israel that the IDF will soon find its freedom to conduct operations against targets in Syria greatly impaired. That’s because Russia, having just suffered a ‘friendly-fire’ incident from its own antiquated S-200 system, may now be more open to the idea of providing Syria with the more advanced S-300 air-defense system.

Earlier this year, Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached an agreement that prevented those advanced defensive weapons from being employed in the Syrian theater. That deal is now in serious jeopardy. In addition to other defensive measures, Russia could effectively create the conditions for a veritable no-fly zone across Western Syria in that it would simply become too risky for foreign aircraft to venture into the zone.

The entire situation, which certainly did not go off as planned, has forced Israel into damage control as they attempt to prevent their Russian counterparts from effectively shutting down Syria’s western border.

On Thursday, Israeli Major-General Amikam Norkin and Brigadier General Erez Maisel, as well as officers of the Intelligence and Operations directorates of the Israeli air force will pay an official visit to Moscow where they are expected to repeat their concerns of “continuous Iranian attempts to transfer strategic weapons to the Hezbollah terror organization and to establish an Iranian military presence in Syria.”

Moscow will certainly be asking their Israeli partners if it is justifiable to subject Russian servicemen to unacceptable levels of danger, up to and including death, in order to defend Israeli interests. It remains to be seen if the two sides can find, through the fog of war, an honest method for bringing an end to the Syria conflict, which would go far at relieving Israel’s concerns of Iranian influence in the region.




Granny Women and Biopiracy

Copyright Jill HendersonJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

Granny Women were once herbal doctors whose knowledge almost became extinct thanks to big pharma. Today, it is again threatened by restrictive patents from big ag and big pharma genetic bio-pirates looking for the next billion-dollar drug or plant gene that they can patent for billions of dollars in profits – taking away the public’s right to gather, use, and save seed from all native and naturalized plant life on earth. Read on to learn more about the roles that Granny Women (and Men) have played throughout the history of mankind and why the knowledge they passed down to us is once again being threatened with extinction.

After a long, cold, snowy winter, spring is finally beginning to take hold here in the Ozarks.  A quick walk through woods or meadows reveals rising sap in the trees and swelling buds of flowers and leaves.  In the garden, Nature’s slow awakening from the Great Sleep is most evident in the growing carpet of chickweed and henbit along the garden edges and the first leaves of dandelion popping out of the barely-green grass.  Many people consider these plants to be pesky weeds but for wild foragers and herbalists, they represent some of nature’s finest edible and medicinal plants.

Indeed, any pioneer housewife worth her salt would have been in hog heaven to find as lovely a patch of chickweed as the one growing on the edge of our garden. She would have collected the fresh, crisp leaves and stems before the blooms opened and made a soothing salve for the itchy rashes and bites that would come soon enough.  As one of the first edible greens to appear outside of cultivation, chickweed was and still is relished as a nourishing addition to the dinner plate.  You can read more about chickweed in my previous article, Weeds That Heal: Chickweed.

By Ivy Main (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsThere was a time not so long ago when rural folks sought out these and many other healthful spring plants. Some were eaten as vegetables while others were used to make teas and tonics to help rejuvenate their bodies after a long winter without fresh greens. Every person raised in the country knew which plants were good for food and most had some knowledge of medicinal plants and herbs that could be used to treat all manner of injury or illness. On the few occasions that the pioneer family needed the help of a skilled healer, they could often call on an elder herbalist that the locals often called a granny woman.

In the early days of settlement, a granny woman was often the closest thing that most rural folks ever got to a doctor – in fact, these women generally were the doctors. They were also herbalists, veterinarians, midwives and fortune tellers whose skills with native plants and herbs are legendary. These women would come when called and work tirelessly for little more than a gift in kind.

Today, most of us will never know the depth of the wisdom passed down through generation upon generation of granny women, but there are still a few elders that can remember a time when a granny woman came to care for a family member or to attend the birth of a baby. It is unfortunate that these memories are the last of a cultural heritage whose enormity and scope will be lost to the following generations forever.

The good news is that some of the information they held dear still survives, sifting slowly through the nooks and crannies of time. Today there are new granny women taking up where our ancestors left off and trying as they might to catch up. These new healers strive to learn more about the many medicinal and nutritious benefits that wild plants have to offer mankind and after many decades of persistence, they are finally being recognized by the modern medical establishment.

Yet even as we make huge strides towards sustainability and natural healing and lose our fear of the ‘wild’ things, hordes of scientists from biotech firms and chemical manufacturers are lurking in the woods searching for plants that might bring them the next billion dollar pharmaceutical drug or the next wave of patented plant genes for industrial agriculture.

While today’s natural healers and wild foragers are happy to share their knowledge with others for very little personal gain, these big corporations want to patent life forms – not to help mankind as they profess – but for their own selfish gain and monetary enrichment.  I cringe to think that one day Monsanto or Bayer or one of the big tech giants might own the patent on such common plants as the watercress that grows in the spring branch, or the wild onion in the meadow, or the lowly chickweed in my garden.

Ironically, the greatest hope for combating the biopiracy of our native flora is to follow the example of the old Granny Women and today’s modern herbalists and foragers by learning to identify and use the weeds and wild plants that have been put on this earth by our Creator and lay claim to the rights of all of humanity to freely cultivate, save seed and use them for the betterment of mankind without fear of persecution. We must become the next generation of healers and Granny Women and Men so that the precious knowledge of healing through natural means is never lost to mankind again.

Show Me Oz | Living and loving life in the Ozarks!
Gardening, foraging, herbs, homesteading, slow food, nature, and more!
© Jill Henderson



Deep Throating The Deep State – Boiler Room EP #183 — Alternate Current Radio

Boiler Room | Hesh, Spore, Jay, Daniel Spaulding and Max convene for this meeting of the ACR Brain-trust. Get ready for a wild look into the wide wide world of media scrapping across the feeds this week.

via Deep Throating The Deep State – Boiler Room EP #183 — Alternate Current Radio