Blood and human lives, in large amounts, were sacrificed in the retaking of Palmyra. According to one report, more than 180 soldiers with the Syrian Army and their allied forces were killed in the fighting. Doubtless among these are plenty of examples of courage and sacrifice, but one story seems to be emerging above all others–that of Aleksandr Prochorenko.
At just 25 years of age, Aleksandr, a Russian Special Operations officer, was sent into Palmyra in advance of the military drive to liberate the city. His job? To identify ISIS positions and to pass their coordinates along to command for purpose of airstrikes. His was an operation of stealth, and it appears that he entered the city with a small number of other Russian soldiers.
Reports of Russian deaths in Palmyra began to surface in the media in mid-March following claims made in a statement released by ISIS. A website sympathetic to the group referred to “fierce battles around Palmyra city” that ostensibly left five Russian soldiers dead on March 16 and 17. The body of one of the Russians reportedly was shown in a video. 1)
Was this the same group that Aleksandr was part of? My guess would be yes. Exactly what happened is difficult to piece together, but apparently on March 18, Aleksandr found himself completely surrounded by terrorists, most of them probably high on captagon and screaming “Allahu Akbar.” 2) Aleksandr did what was necessary to rescue the situation. He called in an airstrike–on himself. The Russian missile killed him along with, most likely, a good number of the screaming Wahhabis.
Aleksandr hailed from the village of Gorodki, roughly 80 miles from the Russian city of Orenburg. According to a report here (in Russian), his family was informed of his death on March 19. “As is customary, the military thanked the parents for having brought such a son,” it says, informing us also that Aleksandr had attended the Military Academy of air defense in Smolensk. (A somewhat revised English version of the report can be accessed here.)
Russian soldiers in Syria are obviously well-trained. But perhaps even more important than that, they are highly motivated. Motivation is important, nay, crucial in war. And it only comes from knowing precisely what you are fighting and why. Russian soldiers know that in ISIS they are battling an evil and malevolent scourge of hideous proportions, this not only in terms of its rank and file recruits but also with regard to the world leaders backing this demonic, hoodlum army. The Russians are exposed to truth through their media, and they have confidence in their country’s leadership. Vladimir Putin’s approval rating in Russia is near 90 percent.
Contrast this to US troops, who, when sent into military ventures in various countries usually haven’t the faintest clue as to why they are there other than the ersatz pretexts voiced to them by their commanders, a good many of whom are regarded as lunatics.
Recently VT Senior Editor Gordon Duff made a telling observation about US pilots currently on mission in Syria. He writes that they have been observing Russian planes “wipe out targets that America had missed or overlooked or that, according to American pilots, they weren’t allowed to hit.”
Duff goes on to add:
American pilots can bomb, they have the experience, they have the equipment but for some reason, at least to each other and those they trust, they will tell you, against ISIS it has always been “hands off.”
Not so for Russia. For day after day, Russian pilots hit command posts, training camps, wiped out convoys Americans claimed they didn’t see, ammunition storage, and eventually the thousands and thousands of oil trucks American pilots had been begging to attack for months.
Not only were American officials presumably unable to spot the oil truck convoys, but they “didn’t lift a finger” to prevent ISIS from capturing Palmyra, says Bouthaina Shaaban, political advisor to Syrian President Bashar Assad. 3)
“Those who really want to fight terrorism must respond to President Putin’s call and help the Syrian Arab Army and its allies such as Russia, Iran and Hezbollah,” said Shaaban.
On Good Friday, the Syrian Arab Army’s “Tiger Forces,” backed by Hezbollah and Syrian marines, broke through ISIS defenses and entered Palmyra–and on Easter Sunday the city known as the “Pearl of the Desert” was completely secured. Evil suffered a set back. US forces, though ostensibly in Syria to fight ISIS, apparently gave no assistance in the effort.
One website posted a banner reading “Happy Easter from the Syrian Armed Forces,” and indeed much of the world was jubilant, for there was hope that something could yet be salvaged of Palmyra’s once-magnificent antiquities.
“For one year, Palmyra has been a symbol of the cultural cleansing plaguing the Middle East,” proclaimed UNESCO Director Irina Bokova in a statement welcoming the liberation. “The dynamiting and pillage of its treasures, to break an entire society, sparked a unanimous indignation and strengthened the unprecedented mobilization in favor of the values that unite all humanity.” 4)
Another statement welcoming the liberation was introduced in draft form by Russia at the UN, but at this point Western leaders apparently felt it necessary to mount their true colors. The statement was blocked.
“We are not so much surprised and disappointed by the position of Western colleagues as puzzled by their true intentions in regard to peaceful settlement in Syria,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Wednesday. 5)
“We thought that the delay of reaction from the Western capitals on Palmyra’s liberation was a coincidence. Now it is evident that this is part of a systematic approach,” she added.
Calling it a “systematic approach” is not an overstatement of the situation, and of course the Zionist media are, as always, a factor in that equation. On Wednesday Foreign Policy magazine published an article headlined, “Putin’s Attack Helicopters and Mercenaries are Winning the War for Assad,” in which the Russian leader was accused of spreading “lies and distortions”and of endeavoring to crush “Western-backed moderate Syrian rebel groups.”
The writer, James Miller, concocts the theory that Russia’s goal all along has been to “ensure that a popular uprising was crushed, a democratic movement discredited, and a Shiite puppet state propped up.”
Presumably Miller prefers the Wahhabi state of Saudi Arabia, though of course he doesn’t openly say so, nor does he bother to mention that the Syrian government under Assad has protected Christians and other religious minorities in the region. 6)
Foreign Policy magazine, by the way, was founded by Samuel Huntington, the progenitor of the “clash of civilizations” theory. That a Zionist, neocon news outlet would accuse a man like Putin of “lies and distortions” is not merely a case of blatant caviling. It borders upon the felonious.
We are now of course less than four months away from the two major-party conventions this summer, and just seven months out from the election itself. Should Hillary Clinton win the presidency, I suspect a war with Russia will become a foregone conclusion. Hillary’s comparison of Putin to Hitler is not the only reason I say this. Her personality is the other reason.
Mrs. Clinton strikes me as someone who could easily be manipulated by the Zionists in the State Department, much more so than Donald Trump. The latter, for all his shameless pandering to AIPAC, is probably less likely to be finagled or cajoled into a war with Russia than Clinton.
“America is a thing you can move very easily.” So said Benjamin Netanyahu famously in 2001. A Hillary Clinton presidency, should such come to pass, could well see those words borne out more precariously and dangerously than under any previous predecessor in the White House.
But at any rate, to return to the subject of Syria. The bottom line–it appears as if US forces sat on their haunches and didn’t lift a finger to help free Palmyra, and if that is the case, it begs the question: why are American troops even in Syria at all?
The answer is the same answer that always comes to the fore anytime our country gets involved in another conflict in that part of the world: Israel. Whether the stated claim is eliminating WMDs in Iraq or assisting a supposed “democratic movement” in Syria, the real objective is always the same: furthering the interests of Israel. In an article published on Easter Sunday, VT Managing Editor Jim Dean took America’s military and intelligence communities to task for not stepping forward to correct the treasonous path our political leaders have steered us upon–and for wanting nothing more than to “continue getting a paycheck, advancement and our applause for defending the country.” He added:
They would say that the public’s awareness of Israeli espionage would destroy public trust in government to such a degree as to be in itself a threat to our national security, which is of course is just a cheap cover, and bull pucky.
They want to hide that our own security people have been criminally negligent in not providing the citizens with critical information to fix an ongoing National Security threat.
So these folks have their reason for copping out. They want political power. They are a few years from retirement and nice big six figure consulting contracts in defense… $5,000-per-month expense accounts, etc. They want to be bought off because they see it as their right — to follow those who have gone before them and been lauded for it by their peers and the sheepeople.
So on this Easter Day, think of your country nailed to the cross and the words “God forgive them, for they know not what they do.” In the situation I have described, they DO know what they have done. So why don’t we Americans treat them as such? Why don’t we see that not doing so undermines our children ever doing anything about it because they have no examples to follow in this regard, and we have allowed them to be brainwashed from birth?
Thankfully for Russian soldiers, they don’t have to contend with any of this. When they are sent to war it is for reasons which are clearly and forthrightly articulated. And when they die it is in the interests primarily of their own country, or else humanity as a whole, rather than the narrow interests of a genocidal, apartheid state that finishes off moribund prisoners with a gunshot to the head as we saw occur in Israel last week.
And so a Russian hero, in the service of what is decent, went above and beyond the call of duty. And the world owes him its thanks. But instead, Western leaders couldn’t seem to bear even a simple statement acknowledging what he and his fellow combatants had achieved.
You might be interested to know that Aleksandr, who has been dubbed “the Russian Rambo,” wasn’t the first in his family to choose military service. He is in fact described as having been “born into a family of servicemen,” and he and his younger brother, Ivan, were both serving as soldiers.
But he had interests outside the military as well. A year and a half ago, Aleksandr, or “Sasha” as he was called by his loved ones, fell in love with and married a girl named Ekaterina. She is at home now in Gorodki–pregnant with their first child.
“He was very open-minded, loved life” said one of his friends. “It seems only yesterday they celebrated their wedding. A year and a half passed. You can’t imagine how happy he was! So in love. For a long time Katya did not know where he was sent. He didn’t want to upset her. She was sure that he served in the Caucasus, but then it turned out he was sent to Syria. Now she sleeps with a photograph of her beloved Sasha.”
Another photo of Sasha rests in a frame on a coffee table in the home of his parents. Also on the table are Christian icons. His mother, Natalia, and his father, Aleksandr, are taking his death very hard. Natalia reportedly has not stopped crying since the news came in.
“I’m sorry, no strength to talk. We do not know how he died. We were told only that it was in combat. This is all very hard for us,” she said.
The parents and the wife are all waiting for the body to be returned from Syria. Commented a family friend, “What a pity that Sasha did not see his child. He wanted a son. Katya worried that Sasha wouldn’t come back in time for the birth. And now he will not…”
But tributes to him have poured in across the world, while comments of an elegiac nature have been posted on Facebook, along with panegyric portraits put up in remembrance as well. In the school he attended in Gorodki, everyone is talking about him, and there are reports of plans to rename the school after him. The governor of the Orenburg region has also visited the family, and a street, too, is likely to be named in his honor. It’s a safe bet that Sasha is going to be remembered for a long time to come.
In his speech before the UN on September 28, 2015, Putin talked about the “export of revolutions” by Western countries seeking to overthrow governments they don’t like in favor of ones who would adopt policies more favorable to the West, all of course done in callous disregard for the consequences–and the Russian leader was honest enough to call this practice what it is: a disaster for humanity.
“Rather than bringing about reforms, an aggressive foreign interference has resulted in a brazen destruction of national institutions and the lifestyle itself,” he said. “Instead of the triumph of democracy and progress, we got violence, poverty, and social disaster. And nobody cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life.”
At this point, Putin posed a rhetorical question to the Western leaders who’ve been carrying out these destructive policies–a question which has since continued to ring around the world:
“I can’t help asking those who have forced this situation: do you realize now what you’ve done?”
The answer to that of course is, yes, they do.
- 16 Civilians Dead in Raids on Syria, nation.com.pk
- ‘Captagon’: The Drug Which Fuels ISIS and Turns Soldiers into ‘Superhumans’, https://au.news.yahoo.com
- If US-led Coalition Really Fought Terrorism, Palmyra Wouldn’t Have Fallen–Assad’s Adviser to RT, https://www.rt.com/news/337493-syria-palmyra-assad-adviser/
- UNESCO Chief Welcomes the Liberation of Syria’s Palmyra World Heritage Site, UN.org
- Moscow: Western Countries Block Security Council Statement on Palmyra Liberation, http://sana.sy/en/?p=73300
- Putin’s Attack Helicopters and Mercenaries are Winning the War for Assad, Foreign Policy
Richard Edmondson is an author, novelist, poet, and journalist whose writings often focus on Middle East issues, the Zionist lobby, and religion. His latest novel is The Memoirs of Saint John: When the Sandstone Crumbles, a story about an archaeological team doing a dig in Syria and set amidst the current conflict in the country.
In 2014 Richard attended an International Conference on Combating Terrorism and Religious Extremism, held in Damascus. The book is part two in the Memoirs of Saint John series.
Two other books by Richard are Rising Up: Class Warfare in America from the Streets to the Airwaves, relating his experiences founding and operating an unlicensed or “pirate” FM radio station in San Francisco in the 1990s, as well as a volume of poetry entitled American Bus Stop: Essay and Poems on Hope and Homelessness.
Richard is cognizant of the words of the early Christian writer Tertullian, who in the second century-basically prognosticating the fall of the Roman Empire-wrote: “We have made merry amid the ludicrous cruelties of the noonday exhibition.”