Friday, March 17, 2017

Battle over Healthcare: Just Another Theater in the War to Remove Trump

Battle over Healthcare: Just Another Theater in the War to Remove Trump

Ever since the November 2016 election and the defeat of the horrible warmonger Hillary Clinton, I have been flooded with inquiries from Serbia, Russia, and other countries asking how and when American foreign policy will change for the better. Will NATO back off from provocations in the Baltic and Black seas? Will Trump accept a compromise over Crimea? Will Washington cease its 100 percent bias in favor of Zagreb, Sarajevo, and Priština against the Serbs? Why has nothing changed yet? Will America go to war with Iran? North Korea? China?
Keep in mind that Donald Trump’s appointments within his own administration are proceeding with glacial sluggishness, in part though not entirely due to Senate Democrats’ slowing down the confirmation process. It also doesn’t help that Trump seems to have a penchant for appointing people to foreign policy and national security posts who in no way reflect what appear to be his sincerely held views. Sometimes it seems that the only ideological Trump-ist in his administration is Trump himself.
But most importantly, keep in mind that Trump mainly ran on what he would do for the American people at home: police our borders («Build the Wall!»), deport criminal aliens, end the glut of cheap illegal labor that drives down wages (and drives up medical costs with illegals’ uninsured visits to the emergency room); reverse one-sided trade deals and restore manufacturing; and rebuild our infrastructure, which was once the envy of the world and is now its laughingstock.
These promises, which impact the everyday life of Americans at home, will determine if his presidency is a success or if he gets tossed out on his ear in 2020, with the warmongering Deep State majestically reassuming its rightful patrimony. That’s if the ongoing «soft coup» being waged against him by the Deep State and MSM hasn’t succeeded in removing him before then. With that in mind, Trump’s only essential foreign task is not to stumble into another catastrophic war somewhere.
Among his domestic promises that are make-or-break for him, and for the Republican Party in which he is locked in an uncomfortable symbiosis, Trump’s promise to repeal and replace «Obamacare» (formally, the «Affordable Care Act») is front and center. Keep in mind that for historical reasons too complicated to describe here, the United States doesn’t have a healthcare system like most other countries. While the federal government has a large role in regulating the system, the major players are private companies providing insurance to pay for medical services, much as we have life insurance or car insurance.
But medical insurance is much more heavily regulated, and as one might expect the companies themselves have a lot of influence about how they are regulated. The result is something like a system of state capitalism which satisfies nobody, neither those who advocate the kind of universal «single payer» socialist model practiced by other developed countries (but which often results in waiting lists, shortages, and lower quality of care) versus those who claim that a purer free market model of the sort we have for other essential services, like food, would work better. American prices for prescription drugs, many of them developed in the U.S., are among the world’s highest, because other countries’ governments insist on buying them in bloc at set prices, leading the companies to make up the difference in America where they can charge whatever they like. Among Trump’s heresies with many Republicans is that he’d like the U.S. federal government also to purchase in bulk and drive prices down.
American health services are prohibitively expensive for anyone who doesn’t have insurance, and not everyone does. Most Americans who have insurance get it through their employers (where the worker also must pay into the system), itself a problem as more and more companies hire people as «contract workers,» not as employees who must be offered such benefits. Millions of working people are uninsured, either because their employers don’t offer insurance or they can’t afford the premiums. Some young and healthy people – they call them «young immortals» – have access and can afford insurance but would rather spend their money on something else. The Medicaid program provides basic services for the poor. As it stands, American healthcare generally is considered as having a high quality of care and quick availability – if you have insurance, you won’t die waiting for your heart bypass, you’ll get it right away.
Obamacare adjusted this system, largely by trying to force young immortals to buy insurance by fining them if they don’t. In the end, American healthcare became even more complex and expensive, though several million people who were uninsured now have it on a subsidized basis.
For a number of reasons, the Republican Congress has decided that keeping their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare is first on their legislative agenda. This in effect means that almost nothing else can get done until Congress takes care of that. (As the American expression has it, they aren’t coordinated enough to walk and chew gum at the same time.) Similarly, the forces eager to bring down Trump – for other reasons, especially to prevent him from changing American foreign and security policy – are doing their very best to ensure that the first item on the Republicans’ domestic agenda turns into a disastrous failure.
Certainly, there is disagreement in the Republican ranks on how to proceed. There are procedural problems on how to get legislation through the Senate, where the Democrat minority can block it. A powerful Democratic ally is the supposedly non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, which just released a skewed estimate on costs of the Republican replacement plan and how many people might not be forced to buy insurance and will therefore be presumed uninsured. In the media, that becomes a depiction of cruel Republicans kicking sick grandmothers out to the curb to die for the sheer evil fun of it.
In short, the healthcare debate will proceed with the same scorched-earth ferocity we’ve seen on «Russian hacking» and the political assassination of Mike Flynn, except the theater of civil war has shifted to a domestic issue. But the real issue isn’t health care at all, it’s how to cripple Trump and then remove him before he can do real damage to the Deep State.
And now, just as I write this, someone at the Internal Revenue Service has criminally leaked part of Trump’s 2005 tax return. The hunt is on!

Analysis, Latest, News, Report Russia A Russian-German thaw? Merkel heads for Moscow

A Russian-German thaw? Merkel heads for Moscow

As crises build up around her, Angela Merkel sends Putin "particularly warm greetings" and prepares trip to Moscow.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, facing a possibly difficult election in Germany later this year, is travelling to Moscow on 2nd May 2017.

Suffice to say that the last occasion when Merkel visited Moscow was in the fraught run-up to the Minsk Agreement in February 2015.  When German SPD leader and Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and Bavarian Minister-President and CSU leader Horst Seehofer, visited Moscow in October 2015 and February 2016, she made little attempt to hide her disapproval.
This time the mood is completely different.  Not only is Merkel herself going to Moscow, but her journey there has been well prepared in advance by the same duo of Gabriel and Seehofer who earned her displeasure by going to Moscow in October 2015 and February 2016.
Both Gabriel (now Germany’s Foreign Minister) and Seehofer have just visited Moscow over the course of the last week, and this time both have made it clear that they have done so with Merkel’s full backing.
Gabriel was there first, meeting with Putin in the Kremlin on 9th March 2017.
During this meeting Gabriel not only confirmed Merkel’s intention to travel to Moscow, but informed Putin that Germany’s new President and previous Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is also intending to go to Moscow soon.  The Kremlin’s summary of his comments to Putin shows they were both extremely relaxed and remarkably warm
It is wonderful that you found the time for this exchange and dialogue. I already had a substantial discussion on various subjects with Sergei Lavrov today.
I also think, and you are quite right, that despite the various difficulties before us, we do have the task of ensuring peace and stability in Europe. This is not easy, but it is something that is worth the effort.
It is with pleasure that I will pass on your best wishes to the Federal Chancellor, and I too hope that the opportunity will come up for her visit. I think that the Federal President [President-elect Frank-Walter Steinmeier] also plans to visit. We therefore have every reason to be confident in our bilateral relations’ stability.
A few days after Gabriel’s visit Horst Seehofer also turned up, leading a strong delegation from Bavaria, which first met with Lavrov and various Russian business leaders.
Seehofer eventually met with Putin in the Kremlin on 16th March 2017.  To grasp the change in the atmosphere between this visit and his previous visit of a year ago, it is sufficient to compare what Seehofer said to Putin on this occasion with what he said a year ago.
Here is what Seehofer said a year ago
We have come here from the free state of Bavaria, which traditionally has very intensive ties with Russia, and we want to maintain these ties.
Bavaria is part of the federal government. We are part of the government coalition, and we think it our duty, the duty of our hearts and souls, to put a bit more trust back into our relations. We think this is essential in today’s situation, looking at what is happening in the world.
I am very pleased that you said today that we are not coming here as plotters. Never in the run-up to any of my previous visits to other countries, have I heard as much untruthful and inaccurate information as I have this time.
Compare that with the words Seehofer said to Putin during their latest meeting
I am very pleased to see that trade relations between Bavaria and Russia are developing so well. Let me thank you too for the fact that during our last meeting, you allowed us to hold talks and work at the federal level, which we are doing. Of course, we are continuing our cooperation with our partner city, Moscow.
Allow me to convey particularly warm greetings from our Federal Chancellor [Angela Merkel]. She reminded me several times that I was not to forget to do this, and said that she would visit you in early May.
We therefore have an excellent opportunity to continue the good relations that have become a tradition between Bavaria and Russia. Some of my predecessors even piloted the plane themselves on the way here and landed safely. My direct predecessor, Edmund Stoiber, as we counted today, visited Moscow around ten times.
(bold italics added)
In February 2016 Seehofer went to Moscow under a cloud, complaining to Putin that he was being called a plotter.  In March 2017 he came bearing warm greetings for Putin from Merkel herself.
Seehofer’s comments confirm that the initiative for Merkel’s forthcoming trip to Moscow came from her.  Moreover Merkel’s repeated requests to Seehofer to make sure that he remembered to pass on her “particularly warm greetings” to Putin is a clear sign that she wants to carry out at least some repairs both to Germany’s relationship with Russia and her own broken relationship with Putin.
What explains this reversal?
Firstly it should be said that Merkel’s policy positions have little to do with ideology and everything to do with her wish to secure her position in Germany and to remain Chancellor.  Thus where before 2014 she followed the policy of engaging with Russia, which Germany had followed since the Ostpolitik era of the 1970s, and which has much support in Germany especially within its business community, in 2014, when it suited her politically, she reversed course and took a hard line against Russia of a sort that would have been countenanced by no previous German leader since Adenauer.
If Merkel is now softening that line, it is because she thinks her position as Chancellor would benefit from her doing so, not because she has any strong convictions about the matter.
As to why Merkel might think that, at its simplest, with crises (eg. Brexit, Le Pen, the refugee crisis, relations with Turkey, Poland, Grexit etc) rapidly building up all around her, Merkel – rather like Erdogan in June 2016 – probably has come to realise that with a difficult election coming she needs to start solving problems more quickly than she is causing them.  With her other problems both intractable and largely beyond her control it is understandable why she might be looking to improve relations with Russia where at least some progress is possible.
Having said this, there are three pressing issues that must be causing Merkel concern, and which may explain why she is looking to mend at least some fences with Moscow now.
The first is the rapidly deteriorating situation in Ukraine.  Some time ago one of Merkel’s aides let slip that Merkel regards the crisis in Ukraine as by far the biggest crisis she faces, and that it is the one that keeps her awake at night.
With the situation in Ukraine going rapidly from bad to worse, it is understandable if Merkel wants to talk about it with Putin to see how the crisis might be contained.  The fact that she was on the receiving end of a furious lecture from Putin a short while ago during the military crisis in Avdeevka will have spelled out to her how important it is as the situation in Ukraine deteriorates that she keeps her lines of communication to Putin open.
Significantly criticism of Putin and Russia over Ukraine from Merkel and other Western leaders has been surprisingly muted over recent weeks, even as Russia recognises the validity of the documents issued by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, and even as the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics have nationalised Ukrainian businesses located on their territories in retaliation for the Ukrainian transport blockade.
Another fact that is probably causing Merkel to reconsider her hardline policy towards Russia is the coming of Donald Trump.
It is becoming increasingly clear that Donald Trump is not going to be driven from the White House because of the ‘Russiagate’ scandal, and Merkel must calculate that once he has put this essentially fake scandal behind him he will be able to press ahead with his stalled plan for detente with Russia.
Certainly Merkel will have noticed – even if most Western commentators have not – that since Trump arrived in the White House the US and Russian militaries have been quietly talking to each other, and have even been quietly cooperating with each other in Syria.
If the drive for detente between the US and Russia is renewed, perhaps in the summer, then Merkel does not want to be left high and dry, clinging on to an anti-Russian policy the US is no longer intent on.
To understand the importance of relations with the US to Merkel’s actions, it is only necessary to recall what happened to Seehofer after he returned to Germany following his trip to Moscow in February 2016.  Shortly after his return the US delivered him a brutal public snub when the US delegation to the Munich security conference led by the neocon hardliner Victoria Nuland, Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, boycotted a public dinner Seehofer hosted on behalf of the Bavarian government.
Merkel will want to avoid any such snub, and as the self-proclaimed ‘Queen of Europe’ she will not want to be left out in the cold if the US and Russia start edging closer to each other.  Her trip to Moscow is therefore in a sense her taking out insurance in case (as remains likely) US-Russian relations start to improve in the summer.
Lastly Merkel must be concerned that the issue of sanctions – to which her reputation and her authority are now tied – has now become an issue in the French elections, and probably before long be an issue in the Italian elections whenever they happen.  If she is to continue to hold the line on sanctions, as is essential for her prestige, she has to give at least the appearance of negotiating with Moscow so as to hold out the hope to her increasingly restive European partners and to the German business community that they will one day be lifted.
Merkel therefore has multiple good reasons to reach out to Putin and go to Moscow now.  Whatever else she is, she is above all an extremely skilled politician, and the fact she is going to Moscow is a clear sense that she senses a turn in the wind.
The Russians for their part will be willing to receive her.  From their point of view a rapprochement with Germany, the single most important country in Europe and a major trading parter, is worth the price her visit.
The Russians will receive Merkel with all their customary courtesy.   They will listen to (and record) attentively what she says.  They may even conclude some agreements with her.
They will not however trust her.  The experience of what happened in 2014, when the Russians thought they had an understanding with Merkel over how to handle the Ukrainian crisis only for Merkel to back a Ukrainian army offensive in the Donbass and then slap sanctions on Russia when it began to go wrong, is not one the Russians are going to forget.  Nor is Putin likely to forget the terrible things Merkel has said about him.
Behind the smiles and the smooth words there will be continued mistrust and the Russians will be very much on their guard.
By now the Russians have learnt that if it is wise to hold your enemies close and your friends even closer, in the case of Merkel it is wisest to hold her closer still.

Erste Pressekonferenz Trump und Merkel: «Ein sehr guter, offener Austausch»

Erste Pressekonferenz Trump und Merkel: «Ein sehr guter, offener Austausch»
Verstanden sich offenbar besser als erwartet: Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel und der US-Präsident Donald Trump. 
Das erste Zusammentreffen zwischen Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel und US-Präsident Donald Trump in Washington scheint positiv zu verlaufen. Beide unterstrichen die Bedeutung der deutsch-amerikanischen Beziehungen und bekräftigten ihren Willen zu Zusammenarbeit.
US-Präsident Donald Trump versicherte Kanzlerin Angela Merkel nach dem ersten persönlichen Treffen seine Solidarität für die Nato, forderte aber erneut eine faire Lastenteilung. Es gäbe viele Länder, so Trump während der Pressekonferenz im Weißen Haus, die dem Verteidigungsbündnis erhebliche Beträge schuldeten. Das müsse sich ändern.
In diesem Zusammenhang würdigte Trump die Ankündigung von Merkel, das deutsche Verteidigungsbudget zu erhöhen. Gleichzeitig dankte Trump der Bundeskanzlerin für Deutschlands Beitrag im Kampf gegen den Terrorismus, insbesondere gegen die Terrormiliz Islamischer Staat. Auch dankte er für das Engagement Deutschlands in Afghanistan. 
Bei den Themen Einwanderung und Einreisedekrete blieb der US-Präsident seiner Linie treu:
Immigration ist ein Privileg, nicht ein Recht,
Türkische Zeitung widmet Cover „Frau Hitler“ Merkel
sagte Trump. Die Sicherheit des eigenen Landes müsse immer Vorrang haben. Merkel betonte, Deutschland habe mit Blick auf die Geschichte nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg den USA viel zu verdanken. Das Treffen sei eine "große Freude" gewesen, sie sei „freundschaftlich empfangen“ worden. Die Kanzlerin sagte, dass es ein guter, offener Austausch gewesen sei. Sie ergänzte:
Es ist immer besser, miteinander als übereinander zu reden.
Merkel wiederholte ihr Versprechen, die deutschen Verteidigungsausgaben weiter zu erhöhen. Deutschland habe sich auf das Nato-Ziel verpflichtet, bis 2024 zwei Prozent des Bruttoinlandsprodukts für das Militär auszugeben.
Wir werden auch weiter in diese Richtung arbeiten,
sagte die Kanzlerin. Die Nato hat sich das Zwei-Prozent-Ziel bei einem Gipfeltreffen in 2014 gesetzt. Derzeit erreichen nur fünf von 28 Mitgliedern das gesteckte Ziel. Deutschland liegt zurzeit bei 1,2 Prozent, die USA bei 3,6 Prozent. Die USA haben die Bündnispartner aufgefordert, bis Ende des Jahres einen Plan zu entwickeln, wie das Zwei-Prozent-Ziel erreicht werden kann.
Angela Merkel auf dem Weg zu ihrer Regierungserklärung, um zur Wahl von Donald Trump Stellung zu nehmen, Berlin, 9. November 2016.
Auf Fragen nach seiner Handels- und Wirtschaftspolitik, antwortete Trump, dass er nicht für Abschottung und Isolation sei. Er sprach sich für Handel aus, aber Handel "muss fair sein", so Trump. Merkel erklärte ihren Willen Kompromisse zu finden, es sei zwar manchmal auch mühevoll, Kompromisse zu finden, "aber dazu sind wir gewählt.“
Auch das Verhältnis zu Russland kam zur Sprache, diese wolle man "verbessern", so Merkel. Das Minsker-Friedensabkommen für die Ukraine müsse dabei eine Grundlage sein. Es gehe darum, die Souveränität der Ukraine zu sichern, aber auch das Verhältnis zu Russland zu verbessern.
Unterhaltsam wurde es, als Trump auf die von ihm erhobenen Vorwürfe, er sei von Ex-Präsident Obama abgehört wurden, angesprochen wurde. Mit einer Geste in Richtung der Bundeskanzlerin sagte Trump augenzwinkernd:
Wenigstens das haben wir gemeinsam.
Nach der Pressekonferenz im Weißen Haus soll noch ein gemeinsames Mittagessen folgen. Zuvor hatte es schon Gesprächsrunden gegeben, an der auch die Vorstandsvorsitzenden der deutschen Unternehmen Siemens, Schaeffler und BMW, Joe Kaeser, Klaus Rosenfeld und Harald Krüger, sowie deutsche und US-amerikanische Auszubildende teilnahmen. Auch Trumps Tochter Ivanka war anwesend.

Six years of American hell-raising in Syria by Robert Bridge,

 an American writer and journalist based in Moscow, Russia, is the author of the book on corporate power, “Midnight in the American Empire”, released in 2013. 
Looking back: Six years of American hell-raising in Syria
The Syrian people, who have demonstrated remarkable courage and perseverance in the face of formidable challenges that would have crushed a lesser people, are forced to observe yet another bloodstained milestone they neither want nor deserve.
Six long years ago, Syria was caught up in the 'Arab Spring,' a Middle East maelstrom that tossed this diverse nation of 17 million people into the grip of a malevolent contagion that continues unabated today.
Originally thought to be a healthy, grassroots act of expression against the government of President Bashar Assad, the Syrian crisis has morphed into yet another Made in America regime-change operation, the likes of which have already decimated a number of hapless countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
Indeed, the Syrian people avoid the term 'civil war;' instead, the fight is against the proxy, mercenary forces of foreign governments whose primary interest is carving up the Syrian Arab Republic for strategic and financial gain.
The question now being asked after years of bloodshed is: ‘How did we get here and where will events eventually lead us?’ Robert F. Kennedy Jr. explained the motivation behind the Syrian conflict in an article entitled, Syria: Another Pipeline War. According to Kennedy, the war against Bashar Assad “did not begin with the peaceful civil protests of the Arab Spring in 2011. Instead, it began in 2000 when Qatar proposed to construct a $10 billion, 1,500 km pipeline through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and Turkey."
"The proposed pipeline would have linked Qatar directly to European energy markets via distribution terminals in Turkey which would pocket rich transit fees,” Kennedy reported“The Qatar/Turkey pipeline would have given the Sunni Kingdoms of the Persian Gulf decisive domination of world natural gas markets and strengthen Qatar, America's closest ally in the Arab world.”
You can bet if there is a resource-rich nation anywhere in the world that is suddenly overwhelmed by internal issues, old Uncle Sam will be quickly on the scene with his monkey wrench, whether its wanted or not.

America to the rescue

Washington wasted no time picking sides in the domestic brawl, giving the ‘moderate’ opposition a massive shot of adrenaline, and, consequently, aggravating the Syrian conflict much in the same way it aggravated the Ukrainian (Is it just a happy coincidence that the US ambassador of regime change, Senator John McCain, appeared in both Syria and Kievduring their respective episodes of civil strife?).
In August 2011, President Obama, weighing in on the Syrian crisis, made the following statement: “The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”
Is it just me, or does that sound like an imperial command given by Caesar to a provincial governor on the outskirts of empire?
In any case, one year later, after the thinly veiled threat failed to persuade Bashar Assad, Obama gave the Syrian opposition forces what amounted to an open invitation to use chemical weapons by declaring that their use would constitute a “red line.”
"We have communicated in no uncertain terms with every player in the region that that's a red line for us and that there would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front or the use of chemical weapons," Obama warned.
On August 21, 2013, the painfully predictable happened: two opposition-controlled districts in the suburbs of Damascus were hit by rockets containing the chemical agent sarin. The death toll was reported to be 281 people, although other estimates placed it as high as 1,700.
Although it would have been absolutely self-defeating for Assad to have resorted to chemical weapons in a conflict he was winning, the Obama administration clung stubbornly to its casus belli and moved to a war footing.
By late August 2013, US fighter jets were fueled up and ready to strike. But then something strange happened on the road to war. UK Prime Minister David Cameron failed to secure authorization in the House of Commons to join in the hunt. This unexpected setback took the wind out of Obama's sails and suddenly the Nobel Peace Prize winner was open to the idea of letting Congress debate the use of military force (incidentally and for the record, that debate never occurred).
Several weeks later, as the United States weighed its options, former Secretary of State John Kerry blurted out that Assad could avoid a possible military attack by turning over his chemical weapon cache "in the next week.”
Russia was quick to act on the comment.
“A new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged in the past few days. The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government’s willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction,” Vladimir Putin wrotein an article for The New York Times.
The Syrian government also welcomed the idea, and the threat of war was averted at the 11th hour.
However, there was something far more noxious and sinister on the horizon than chemical weapons, and that was the sudden appearance of a terrorist group called Islamic State.

ISIS makes grand entrance

For those who thought the Obama administration was sincere about peace in Syria, they would soon be disappointed.
In August 2014, a new terrorist group appeared on the scene, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), whose perverse penchant for ultra-violence seemed so outrageous that it actually worked against its purported objective of creating an Islamic caliphate across the Middle East.
Indeed, these new hooligans on the block spent much of their free time videotaping grisly acts of murder, actions which – curiously - gave the Obama administration the very excuse it needed to begin military operations in Syria.
In August 2014, ISIS released a video of the purported beheading of US journalist James Foley who had been working in Syria at the time of his abduction. In September, Israeli-American journalist Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines suffered the same fate. The US war machine was now off the leash.
On September 22, 2014, the US, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates - without a UN mandate or formal invitation from the Syrian government - begin military operations against ISIS forces inside Syria.
However, it became quickly apparent that something was very wrong with the US-led efforts. Despite the US military possessing state-of-the-art drone technology, and other wicked, top-shelf military hardware, ISIS was not only left unmolested in the wide-open desert of Syria, it flourished, even finding time to start a lucrative oil export business through Turkey (!).
The reason for the group's seeming invincibility became more apparent after Judicial Watch, a government watchdog, obtained a secret Pentagon document that showed Western governments were using Islamic State as a lever of sorts to bring down the Syrian government.
The explosive part of the leaked document reads: “If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”
Investigative reporter Nafeez Ahmed wrote in Medium, the "leaked document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, despite anticipating that doing so could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).”

Russia says 'enough'

After receiving a formal request from the Syrian government to assist in the fight against Islamic State forces, the Russian military opened a fierce offensive on ISIS positions from warships in the Caspian Sea as well as from fighter jets.
Strangely, the Obama administration signaled no enthusiasm over the Russian efforts, and even refused to share information with Moscow regarding ISIS positions. No matter how one wishes to look at that refusal, it is hard to deny it is odd. After all, Russia was providing plenty of video evidence that it was actually carrying out the job it said it would: destroying ISIS.
Unfortunately, the situation in Syria went from bad to worse in September as US fighter jets laid siege for a full hour to the Deir Ezzor Airport, an attack the US claims was intended to target ISIS, but instead killed at least 62 Syrian soldiers.
The attack, which upset a sensitive ceasefire that had been in effect between Syrian government forces and the rebels, sparked a volatile row between the US and Russian ambassadors to the United Nations on the sidelines of an emergency Security Council meeting called by Russia.
Former US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, chastised Russia for calling the meeting, calling it a "stunt."
Meanwhile, it is important to mention some of the dramatic geopolitical developments that have occurred since Russia entered the Syrian theater against ISIS.
After a Russian fighter jet was shot down near the Turkish-Syrian border on November 2015, it looked as if relations between Moscow and Ankara would be in the dog house for a long time. 
However, following a coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Erdogan last July, Russia-Turkey relations made a dramatic comeback after the Turkish leader suspected US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen of being behind the failed insurrection. US relations with its strategic NATO partner remain in shambles to this day.
Today, Russia can take some degree of satisfaction knowing that it helped liberate a number of Syrian towns and cities, including Palmyra and Aleppo, which the Western media has gone to great pains to portray as a humanitarian disaster, a sentiment that is certainly not shared by those Syrians freed from the city.
It is just possible the Western doomsayers are attempting to overshadow the very real disaster the US-led coalition is now facing in Mosul, Iraq, where hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are scrambling for cover.
However, despite the real gains made in Syria against ISIS and other assorted villains, the Arab Republic has a long hill to climb before it reaches the summit of peace.
Just today, on this grim anniversary of the start of the Syrian conflict, dozens were killed in a suicide attack at the Justice Palace in al-Hamidiyeh, Damascus, which killed at least 31 people.
State-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reports that a second suicide bomber set off an explosive device inside a restaurant in the capital, killing several more people.
Godspeed, people of Syria!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.