Saturday, March 17, 2018 by JD Heyes
Well below the radar and out of the ‘mainstream’ of news coverage dominated by a drumbeat of non-stop hatred toward the NRA, President Donald J. Trump, conservatives, libertarians, and pretty anyone who isn’t a hard-core Marxist are some really important events that more Americans should know about but don’t.
One of those events could eventually impact the lives of all 323.1 million Americans and 144.3 million Russians if things spiral even further out of hand in what’s left of Syria.
Earlier this month a force of hundreds led by so-called “Russian mercenaries” attacked a U.S.-held base in Deir Ezzor, which also involved elements of the Syrian government and Shiite militias. As reported by Bloomberg View national security columnist Eli Lake, the Russian and U.S. governments are well aware what took place and both acknowledge that Russia-affiliated mercenaries took part in the attack.
“But the line, for now, is that those contractors had gone rogue,” Lake wrote, “and Moscow didn’t know anything about it.”
Don’t be fooled by that, he notes.
Lake reported further:
When reporters asked U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis about the incident, he called the whole thing perplexing. “I have no idea why they would attack there, the forces were known to be there, obviously the Russians knew,” he said. “We have always known that there are elements in this very complex battle space that the Russians did not have, I would call it, control of.”
If Mattis’ explanation sounds plausible, it’s meant to — but only to uninformed observers. Deep down he knows that the attack came on orders from Vladimir Putin and that the Kremlin was up to its eyeballs in planning and equipping the force involved.
Lake writes that Mattis, a retired four-star Marine general who is extremely intelligent, probably employed what Plato called a “noble lie” — an intentional falsehood meant to essentially achieve a greater social outcome.
“If Mattis acknowledges the obvious — that the Kremlin authorized a direct assault on a U.S.-sponsored base by non-uniformed personnel — he risks an escalation spiral in Syria,” Lake writes. “Better to express bewilderment and give Russian President Vladimir Putin a chance to back down and deny culpability, which he ended up doing despite the heavy casualties suffered by his mercenaries.” (Related: Report: Russia arming Hezbollah with heavy weapons as part of alliance with Syria, Iran.)
For certain, there is plenty of evidence to substantiate the fact that the Russian mercs were operating under the orders of Putin. And furthermore, the Kremlin was well aware of the fact that U.S. forces were at that base. Lake has confirmed it with various sources, including former Defense Department and State Department officials; the mercs involved in this attack belong to a contractor by the name of Wagner; they “are a key part of Russia’s broader strategy of ‘hybrid warfare,’ a mix of kinetic and information aggression to advance Russian interests,” Lake writes.
And by all accounts, the U.S. military, leading the defense of Deir Ezzor, responded with swift and brutal force. Lake noted that published accounts in Russian press noted more than 200 Russian mercenaries were killed.
In addition, according to The Daily Caller, recordings of Russian mercenaries involved in the fight were critical of the Kremlin’s decision to attack U.S. forces, as well as praiseworthy of American troops.
“They beat our a**es like we were little pieces of sh*t,” said one, according to records obtained from a close Kremlin source by Polygraph.info, a fact-checking website linked with Voice of America.
Said another: “So, one squadron f**** lost 200 people…right away. Another one lost 10 people… and I don’t know about the third squadron but it got torn up pretty badly, too.”
The Russian government has downplayed the attack, but Lake and others say it is clear that Mattis is giving Putin a chance to bow out diplomatically with a warning not to try another attack against U.S. forces again.
Read more of J.D. Heyes’ work at The National Sentinel.