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|“Control over the production and distribution of oil is the decisive factor in defining who rules whom in the Middle East.”
― Christopher Hitchens,
“Anything that can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”
The key idea behind unleashing civil war in Syria using Weapons from Libya and jihadist volunteers from several Arab countries is to reverse the geopolitical gift to Iran which Bush Iraq war created.
Installation of fundamentalist government in Syria also is in the best interests of Israel as this is by definitely a weak sectarian government that terrorizes its own population. That's why they openly supported head choppers during Syrian civil war. Politics make strange bedfellows: Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Political Islam emerges are a reaction to colonialism but now it serve as a puppet of neoliberals to weaken and destroy secular governments in Arab countries and to weaken territorial integrity of Russia. So Russia in an indirect way is interested in preservation of secular government in Syria as creation of another large training camp for jihadism is not in their best interest.
The problem is that the US elite lost people who participated in WWII who understood the consequences of WWIII. now the US is represented by chickenhawks such as Trump, Bolton and the whole gallery of female chickenhawks (which were flourishing in Obama administration) such as Haley.
This generation of the US elite is indoctrinated is the "sole superpower" status and has difficulties to adapting to new realities when economically china will be larger then the USA in 2020 and military Russia is on par in some major categories, returning the situation of mutual assured destruction (MAD) that the USA tried to destroy (and for some succeeded in 1991-2000 due to collapse of the USSR and Yeltsin marionette government ) since Reagan.
Poisoning false flag are the favorite trick used by British intelligence services and it became an important tool for MI6 supported organizations such as White Helmets. They proved to be perfectly suitable for Islamists barbarians (aka "head choppers") who do not care much about human cost and can kill children and woman in cold blood to achieve their goals.
One of the most interesting features of Syria civil war is the extent of the chemical attacks false flags by islamists to inflict the damage on Assad forces. They usually resort to it when they are against the wall and need some time to prepare a counterattack, of escape, or surrender on more favorable conditions.
In this sense political Islam is a national liberation movement that "took the wrong turn on the road" and which was co-opted by the neoliberals to serve as their geopolitical ram. Instead of fighting Western neoliberal neo-imperialism they are helping them.
Ghouta 2013 This was Aug 21.2013 false flag disguised as a sarin rocket attack carried out by Assad or his supporters. It was a false-flag stunt carried out by the insurgents using carbon monoxide or cyanide to murder children and use their corpses as bait to lure the Americans into attacking Assadsee "Murder in the Sun Morgue" by Dr. Denis O'Brien (neuropharmacology expert):
"The primary conclusion of this study, based on a pharmacological analysis of the video and photographic evidence, is that the Ghouta Massacre near Damascus on Aug 21.2013 was not a sarin rocket attack carried out by Assad or his supporters. It was a false-flag stunt carried out by the insurgents using carbon monoxide or cyanide to murder children and use their corpses as bait to lure the Americans into attacking Assad."
288 pp. analysis. Also, some had slit throats:
For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section
Feb 17, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,
Erdogan de facto supports al-Qaeda remnants while facing either humiliating retreat from or total war against Syria
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, neo-Ottoman extraordinaire, is not exactly inclined to commit seppuku , the Japanese act of ritual suicide.
But if not through the perspective of neo-Ottomanism, how to explain the fact he is de facto supporting al-Qaeda remnants in Syria while facing two unsavory options – a humiliating retreat from or total war against the Syrian Arab Army?
Everything about the slowly evolving, messy chessboard in Idlib hinges on highways: the imperative for the government in Damascus to control both the M5 highway between Damascus and Aleppo and the M4 highway between Latakia and Aleppo. Fully reclaiming these two crucial axes will finally turbo-charge the ailing Syrian economy.
Very few players nowadays remember the all-important Sochi memorandum of understanding signed between Russia and Turkey in September 2018.
The Western spin was always about whether Damascus would comply. Nonsense. In the memorandum, Ankara guaranteed protection of civilian traffic on both highways. It's Ankara that is not complying, not only in terms of ensuring that "radical terrorist groups" are out of the demilitarized zone, but especially on point number 8:
"In the interests of ensuring free movement of local residents and goods, as well as restoring trade and economic ties, transit traffic along the routes M4 (Aleppo-Latakia) and M5 (Aleppo-Hama) will be restored before the end of 2018."
Vast stretches of Idlib are in fact under the yoke of Hayat Tahrir al Shams (HTS), shorthand for al-Qaeda in Syria. Or "moderate rebels," as they are known inside the Beltway – even though the United States government itself brands it as a terror organization.
For all practical purposes, the Erdogan system is supporting and weaponizing HTS in Idlib. When the SAA reacts against HTS's attacks, Erdogan goes ballistic and threatens war.
The West uncritically buys Ankara propaganda. How dare the "Assad regime" take back the M5, which "had been under rebel control since 2012"? Erdogan is lauded for warning "Iran and Russia to end the support for the Assad regime." NATO invariably condemns "attacks on Turkish troops."
The official Ankara explanation for the Turkish presence in Idlib hinges on bringing reinforcements to "observation posts." Nonsense. These posts are not meant to go away. On top of it, Ankara demands that the SAA should retreat to the positions it held months ago – away from Idlib.
There's no way Damascus will "comply" because these Turkish troops are a de facto occupation body-protecting "moderate rebels" fighting for "democracy" who were decisively excluded by Moscow – and even Ankara – from the Sochi memorandum. One can't make this stuff up.Got airpower, will travel
Now let's look at the facts on the ground – and in the skies. Moscow and Damascus control the airspace over Idlib. Su-34 jets patrol all of northwest Syrian territory. Moscow has warships – crammed with cruise missiles – deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The whole SAA offensive for these past few months to liberate national territory has been a graphic demonstration of top Russian intel – planning, execution, logistics.
What's being set up is a classic cauldron – a Southwest Asia replica of the cauldron in Donbass in 2014 that destroyed Kiev's army. The SAA is encircling the Turks from the north, east and south. There will be only one way out for the Turks: the border crossing at Bab al-Hawa. Back to Turkey.
Facing certified disaster, no wonder Erdogan had to talk "de-escalation" with Putin on Tuesday. The red lines, from Moscow's side, are immutable: the highways will be liberated (according to the Sochi agreement). The neo-Ottoman sultan can't afford a war with Russia. So, yes: he's bluffing .
But why is he bluffing? There are three main possibilities.
- Washington is forcing him to, pledging full support to "our NATO ally."
- The Turkish Armed Forces cannot afford to lose face.
- The "moderate rebels" don't give a damn about Ankara.
Option 1 seems the most plausible – even as Erdogan is being actually forced to directly confront a Moscow with which he has signed extremely important economic/energy contracts. Erdogan may not be a General Zhukov, but he knows that a bunch of jihadis and only 6,000 demoralized Turkish soldiers stand no chance against the SAA and Russian airpower.
It's enlightening to compare the current Turkish predicament with the Turk/Free Syrian Army (FSA) proxy gang alliance when they were fighting the Kurds in Afrin.
Ankara then had control of the skies and enormous artillery advantage – from their side of the border. Now Syria/Russia rules the skies and Turkish artillery simply cannot get into Idlib. Not to mention that supply lines are dreadful.Neo-Ottomanism, revisited
So what is Erdogan up to? What's happening is Erdogan's Muslim Brotherhood network is now managing Idlib on the ground – a fascinating repositioning gambit able to ensure that Erdogan remains a strongman with whom Bashar al-Assad will have to talk business when the right time comes.
Erdogan's partial endgame will be to "sell" to Assad that ultimately he was responsible for getting rid of the HTS/FSA jihadi nebulae. Meanwhile, circus prevails – or, rather, a lousy opera, with Erdogan once again relishing playing the bad guy. He knows Damascus has all but won a vicious nine-year proxy war – and is reclaiming all of its sovereign territory. There's no turning back.
And that brings us to the complex dynamics of the Turkish-Iranian puzzle. One should always remember that both are members of the Astana peace process, alongside Russia. On Syria, Tehran supported Damascus from the start while Ankara bet on – and weaponized – the "democratic freedom fighter" jihadi nebulae.
From the 16th century to the 19th, Shi'ite Iran and the Sunni Ottoman empire were engaged in non-stop mutual containment. And under the banner of Islam, Turkey de facto ruled over the Arab world.
Jump cut, in the 21st century, to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who codified neo-Ottomanism. Davutoglu came up with the idea that eastern Anatolia did not end with the borders with Armenia and Iran but extended to the western coast of the Caspian Sea. And he also came up with the idea that eastern Anatolia did not end at the borders with Iraq and Syria – but extended all the way to Mosul.
Essentially, Davutoglu argued that the Middle East had to be Turkey's backyard. And Syria would be the golden gate through which Turkey would "recover" the Middle East.
All these elaborate plans now lie in dust. The Big Picture, of course, remains: the US determined by all means necessary to prevent Eurasian unity, and the Russia-China strategic partnership from having access to maritime routes, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean through Syria via Iran.
The micro-picture is way more prosaic. It comes down to Erdogan making sure his occupying troops do not get routed by Assad's army. How the mighty (neo-Ottoman) have fallen.
Aug 31, 2018 | news.antiwar.comIn seeking to control post-war Syria, US determined to keep war going ,
In 2013, top Obama Administration officials described their policy in the Syrian War as one of keeping the war going. The administration wanted a big seat at the table for a political settlement, which officials clarified meant ensuring that the war kept going so that there was never a clear victor .
The Trump Administration seems to be slipping into that same destructive set of priorities in Syria. The Washington Post this week quoted an unnamed Administration official as saying that "right now, our job is to help create quagmires [for Russia and the Syrian regime] until we get what we want."
As ever, hat the US really wants is to have a dominant position in post-war negotiations, so they can dictate the form that post-war Syria takes. This means ensuring that the Syrian government doesn't win the war outright.
That's not as realistic as it once was, with the Assad government, backed by Russia, having retaken virtually all of the rebel-held territory except for a far north bastion in Idlib, dominated by al-Qaeda. This means the US now has to save al-Qaeda to keep the war going, which if we're being honest has been a recurring undercurrent in US policy in Syria for years.
It is this desire that has the US repeatedly threatening Syria and warning them not to attack Idlib. It is this desire that is sparking almost daily US threats to intervene militarily if the Idlib offensive involves chemical weapons. Most importantly, it is this desire that has Russia very much believing media reports that the rebels could "stage" a fake chemical attack just to suck the US into the war, and be fairly confident it would work.
The US is, after all, constantly talking about an imminent chemical attack despite there being no reason to think Syria is poised to launch one. At times, US officials have privately conceded that there is no sign Syria is making any moves to even ready such weapons for the offensive. Yet several times a week, the US issues statements with allegations of a chemical plot featuring prominently, setting the stage for a reaction.
The Syrian War has been nearing its endgame for months now, with Israeli officials conceding it is all but over as far as they are concerned (while vowing not to honor any post-war deals ). When a war is lost and a plan has failed, however, the US government is often the last to know, and that has them determined to drag the war on as long as possible.
Feb 14, 2020 | news.antiwar.com
Run-ins with Russian troops increasingly common in the area ,
The 500 US ground troops that remain in Syria, according to President Trump purely to control the oil, are finding themselves less and less welcome in Syria's northeast, and officials are presenting Russia as presenting them a constant set of challenges to stay .
The challenges appear to be largely of America's own making, with troops going on patrol into the area finding themselves having run-ins with Russian troops. The Pentagon says Russia is violating a pledge to keep US and Russian troops apart, but with Trump arguing the US is only there for the oil, it's not clear that there's a reason for the US troops to go on walkabouts in the Turkish-controlled border region, where Russian troops are known to be.
The most recent problem was in the city of Qamishli, where a US patrol happened on a Syrian government checkpoint. They weren't welcome, unsurprisingly, and locals started mocking the US troops, and some threw stones. This pretty quickly escalated into a small arms exchange, with the US killing one civilian.
Russians were present for the incident, and documented it, adding to the embarrassment. The US troops shooting the civilian was the embarrassing thing, however, just to be clear. That Russia was there is a secondary matter, and this clearly wasn't Russia's fault.
Since the US is militarily hostile toward the Syrian government much of the time, it's not surprising they'd call Russia to help them protect their checkpoint. These potential flashpoints are likely to continue so long as the US keeps its troops, uninvited, in Syria, and the Pentagon is clearly determined to blame Russia whenever anything happens.
Feb 15, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
"Syrian Army in full control of Aleppo-Damascus Highway for first time 8 years" - TTG
BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:10 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is officially in full control of the Aleppo-Damascus Highway (M-5) after eight years of battle. The Syrian Army said they captured the last points along the highway on Tuesday evening, when their forces took control of the strategic town of Khan Al-'Assal and the nearby Rashiddeen 4 sector in southwestern Aleppo.
According to the Syrian Army, their forces were able to achieve this imperative victory after capturing several important sites in eastern Idlib, including the cities of Saraqib and Ma'arat Al-Nu'man. While the Aleppo-Damascus Highway is under their control, the roadway will not likely be reopened to the public until the Syrian Army pushes west towards the Turkish border.
The reason for this is due to the fact that the jihadist rebels of Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and their allies from the Turkish-backed National Liberation Front (NLF) still maintain a presence along the western part of the Aleppo-Damascus Highway. Furthermore, there are still grave concerns of a potential large-scale Turkish military offensive to reclaim the areas lost by the jihadist rebels over the last few weeks. (AMN)
-- -- -- --
A lot went on in the last week to get to this point. I and other observers saw this clearing of the M5 as the objective of this phase of operation Idlib Dawn. The SAA is still on the offensive and may be aiming for more. One thing is for certain. The jihadis are having their asses handed to them.
Let's look at the SAA's progress in maps. I wish I could make one of those animated battlefield maps like the American Battlefield Trust created for many of our Civil War battles, but that's beyond my reach. You'll have to settle for this series of borrowed maps along with my comments. Most of the recent action took place well north of Saraqib and Idlib. The 25th Special operations Division continued to move north along the M5 forcing the jihadis east of that highway to retreat to avoid encirclement. The 25th linked up with the Republican Guard near Al Barfoum and Zerbeh along the M5 on 8 February. At that point, the 25th did the unexpected. They struck northwest from ICARDA agricultural research station towards Kafr Aleppo.
The axis of this advance took the high ground in the middle of the Idlib plain. It appeared the 25th was heading towards Kafr Nouran, Al Atarib and the Bab al Hawa Highway, Turkey's main supply route to Idlib.
However, the 25th surprised everyone and pivoted northward Arnaz and the Highway 60 cutting that road on 12 February.
Perhaps we shouldn't have been too surprised. Just prior to this pivot, the Russian and Syrian Aerospace Forces conducted heavy strikes against jihadist forces in the path of the 25th.
Meanwhile, Erdogan continued pouring in additional troops and equipment and threatening massive retaliation against the SAA. They established several new "observation posts" at Al Atarib and other points along the Bab al Hawa Highway leading to Idlib. The Turks and the SAA traded artillery strikes and more Turkish casualties were shipped back north of the border. Finally, on 10 February the jihadis began launching several counterattacks armed with Turkish equipment and supported by Turkish artillery.
The counterattack towards Saraqib began with a jihadi VBIED which was stopped by SAA fire before it could reach its target. The counterattack did not get far. Reports indicate the SAA was alerted to the impending attack by Russian reconnaissance aircraft. The SAA targeted the jihadis with BM-27 Uragan and BM-30 Smerch rocket launchers. Of the 80 attacking jihadists, 60 were killed and the rest wounded. Eight vehicles including Turkish supplied armored vehicles were destroyed. Infantry is the queen of battle. Artillery is the king of battle. And the king always puts it where the queen wants it.
The jihadists launched two other counterattacks towards 25th Division positions at Kafr Aleppo and Arnaz on 12 February. Both attacks were turned back in a matter of hours. The 25th immediately went on the offensive and captured two more towns. It seems the SAA has learned to consolidate on the objective and then some. The jihadists failed to initiate another counterattack after these defeats until today. They tried again on the Kafr Halab/Kafr Aleppo front with the same results - over 100 dead jihadis and dozens of vehicles including at least four Turkish supplied APCs turned into smoking hulks. All this was done in an effort to secure the Bab al Hawa-Idlib road, an LOC critical to Erdogan's and the jihadists' desire to retain Idlib.
The 25th did not stop there. They took the Regiment 46 installation today on the way to Atarib on the Bab al Hawa Highway. A Turkish unit was surrounded at Regiment 46
Things have also gone well on the Aleppo front. The 4th Armored Division steadily marched westward pushing the jihadis out of Aleppo's suburbs in spite of the jihadis' extensive tunnels and well prepared fortifications.
It now appears another front has opened from the YPG and SAA held territory northwest of Aleppo pushing south into jihadi held territory. This is certainly not tank country, but it is also not fortified built up areas of the west Aleppo suburbs. If this push south is successful and the 25th captures Atarib and continues north, the jihadis will be encircled or forced to retreat. They will be far removed from Aleppo and pushed towards the Turkish border of Hatay. The map below shows a possible scenario, not actual progress.
Erdogan's Ottoman dreams for Idlib will have to be rethought. My guess is that Erdogan regrets sending those 3,000 plus jihadi fighters to Libya. They were probably some of his better fighters. Well, life's a bitch Tayyip.
james , 14 February 2020 at 02:56 PMgreat overview ttg.. thank you..elaine , 14 February 2020 at 04:36 PM
" Finally, on 10 February the jihadis began launching several counterattacks armed with Turkish equipment and supported by Turkish artillery."
i guess that's why the pompous one was throwing all his support towards turkey the past few days..Arwa Damon of CNN reported on children freezing to death in refugeeBarbara Ann , 14 February 2020 at 04:52 PM
camps in Idlib. Apparently the temp has fallen below freezing &
some of the kids didn't have shoes or coats.
So many factions fighting in an area sounds like hell on earth for
CNN also showed a small U.S. contingent in the midst of the chaos
however I didn't understand where they were or their mission.Another great update, thanks TTG.turcopolier , 14 February 2020 at 04:56 PM
I really get the feeling we are watching history in the making as the SAA & friends carve a swathe through what remains of occupied Idlib. I am sure the outcome will prove to be a great turning point in the balance of power in the ME. This makes it all the more fascinating, from the safe spectator's standpoint.
I wonder if we should see it as encouraging that the TSK has not directly engaged the SAA again, since the exchange of fire a few days ago that you describe. Perhaps this is the calm before the storm. I'd like to think Erdogan has carefully weighed the risks of going to war over the bones of his ancestors. However, I'm not at all sure that the rational actor model can accurately forecast the actions of a neo-Ottoman fantasist. We shall soon see I guess.allBarbara Ann , 14 February 2020 at 05:47 PM
It remains to be seen of Pompeo and the other Ziocons can push turkey into war against Syria.On the subject of Pompeo's efforts to goad Turkey into war, has the State Dept. scrubbed the designation of HTS from its website?Elora Danan , 14 February 2020 at 05:56 PM
Here is an archive of the designation of HTS as an alias of al-Nusrah Front - note the date.
And here is the list of press releases by the Office of the Spokesperson covering the same period.
The link was live a few weeks ago, as I saw it myself. Nusrah is still on the FTO list, but if I'm not mistaken, this looks like an attempt to whitewash HTS.Erdogan will be pushed to whatever by whoever, since he is spending way too much a money he really has not in his overarching campaigns through the Mediterranean...Elora Danan , 14 February 2020 at 05:59 PM
Como turco en la neblinaWhy this behavior? Why does the Turkish government agree with Russia and Syria and very few days later it fails to fulfill its obligations? The answers must be sought in the internal situation of Turkey; and above all to the growing opposition that is maintaining the Turkish social democracy that has led to the fact that in the last elections the Erdogan party has lost nothing less than the mayor of Istanbul (formerly Constantinople) .
But there is also another reason of enormous weight in Turkey that is the situation of its economy. Turkey has a huge financial deficit caused by the "Ottoman" dreams of Erdogan, who tries to get out of his isolation, through large military expenses that are not justified, since Turkey is under the umbrella of NATO, and maintains the largest army within that organization, with an impossible cost to cope with. The Turkish industry is very late, and its manufacturing methods are not competitive, making its costs unassuming.(...)
What do you think, TTG, Pat, pilgrims, of the death menaces denounced by Russian Ambassador to Turkey received through "social media"?JohninMK , 14 February 2020 at 06:00 PMThe moves by the SAA in our last diagram are, as you say, not in tank country. It is rugged mountains currently in the middle of winter. The SAAs best chance is that the militants are on the run with few supplies pre-positioned in the area as they would probably not have been expecting to have to defend it yet. Whilst they think that the best thing to do is to keep on moving west, before they get slaughtered. A problem might be that I read somewhere that there are a lot of Uygurs there who will martyr themselves.prawnik , 14 February 2020 at 06:41 PM
A long and costly operation doesn't seem to be in the SAA plans currently.Gank 'em all, SAA!turcopolier , 14 February 2020 at 08:09 PM
No doubt Pompeo and his merry band of neocons are whispering something like "you can't let this Assad guy do that to you! You know what you gotta do? You gotta stand up for yourself, you gotta go on the attack! What are you, chicken?" in Erdogan's ear.johninMKMorongobill , 15 February 2020 at 09:56 AM
IMO there is at least a 50% chance that jihadi resistance will collapse in Idlib Province if the pursuit is pressed hard enough.The way the SAA is killing jihadists, a hundred here etc, perhaps they'll rid the Turks of all of them. Maybe Erdogan is smart like a fox.
Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Taffyboy , Feb 12 2020 17:48 utc | 34That rat Erdogan has requested NATO via Trump to help him. Looks like that rotten no good for nothing skunk is going all in. Let us see if his grunts can match the battle hardened Syrians. My vote is for the Syrians.
Virgile , Feb 12 2020 17:51 utc | 35"The civilians are suffering because of provocations in Idlib de-escalation zone by the terrorist groups that use 'live shield' against the Syrian government forces. The situation is exacerbated by the arrival of weapons and ammunition in the de-escalation zone via the Syrian-Turkish border, as well as the arrival of Turkish armoured vehicles and troops in the province of Idlib," the Russian ministry said in a press release.ARN , Feb 12 2020 20:56 utc | 62
"The real reason of the crisis in Idlib de-escalation zone is, unfortunately, the failure of our Turkish colleagues to adhere to their commitments on separating moderate opposition fighters from terrorists of Jabhat Nusra (banned in Russia) and Hurras ad-Din (linked to Al Qaeda, which is banned in Russia)," the press release read.
https://sputniknews.com/world/202002121078294391-kremlin-refutes-claims-that-syrian-army-attacked-civilians-in-idlib/Look like Erdo get even more from US for scalation..Bruce , Feb 12 2020 19:56 utc | 53
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200212-us-treasury-lifts-sanctions-off-turkey-ministries/@bMiss Lacy , Feb 12 2020 20:03 utc | 54
"Meanwhile, Turkish suppliers complained about difficulties sending tomatoes to Russia, said Ahmet Hamdi Gyrdogan, head of the Union of East Black Sea Exporters.
This is notable, since one of the sanctions Russia imposed on Turkey over the downing of the Russian Su-24 back in 2015, was related to tomatoes and they're a big part of Ankara-Moscow agricultural trade.
"We are ready to supply our products to Russia instead of the Chinese, which it has now abandoned because of the coronavirus. However, unfortunately, our historical friendship with Russia due to events in Syria, and especially in Idlib, is under great pressure, relations are deteriorating. Now we can't send tomatoes to Russia: they say that the quota has ended. < > I hope that the leadership of Russia and Turkey will be able to act on the basis of common sense," a source of RIA said.
According to him, exporters requested an additional quota from the Russian side, but so far no answer has been received, and the delivered goods are being returned back."
Precisely as you predicted. Better tomatoes than bodies. My hat is off to you and to VVP.Yes, turkey has been helping izzyhell to stolen oil for a very very long time. Remember Erdogan's son and the conveys of oil trucks? A very nasty viper is Erdogan. Does anyone else think he just set up Putie big time??? I'm referring to taffyboy's link at #34... syria and libya too. Pompeous must be dancing on his desk.
Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
uncle tungsten , Feb 13 2020 8:52 utc | 140The Syrian Government and its armed forces have finally taken control and regained control of the M5 highway joining Damascus, the capitol, to the south with the major industrial city of Aleppo in the north. They have achieved what Turkey lacked the will and capacity to achieve.
Syrian soldiers and their leader President Assad have demonstrated their capacity to defend their country against huge malign odds. With any sense Turkey will withdraw its lunatic interference and work with regional governments to eliminate the jihadis and resettle the refugees currently in Turkey. I wont hold my breath but that would be the sane way out of its self created dilemma.
Finally Aleppo city is free from murderous jihadis at its doorstep. Thanks to Russia and Syria working together and their regional allies.
Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Vato , Feb 12 2020 15:24 utc | 14Seems like Uncle Sam is making himself popular again during a clash with local militias in Qamishli
Mao , Feb 13 2020 7:34 utc | 131Posted by: Vato | Feb 12 2020 15:24 utc | 14snake , Feb 13 2020 10:58 utc | 146
Seems like Uncle Sam is making himself popular again during a clash with local militias in Qamishli
A Syrian was killed and another was wounded when government supporters attacked American troops and tried to block their way as their convoy drove through an army checkpoint in northeastern Syria, prompting a rare clash, state media and activists reported.
https://apnews.com/5af57c4ce873b35c22ceb7360f9323eethe link itselfalaff , Feb 13 2020 11:28 utc | 148
https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/02/12/usaf-f15-attacks-syrian-army-checkpoint-after-russians-save-us-column-from-angry-kurds/ <===the same link as amended for the bar ===>
Russia stops Syria so USA can get safely home
Maybe we now know Putin's position in Syria < == he is going to help the oil companies divide up Syria.
On the issue of Bernie.. might as well put Miss Julia my first grade teacher into the paint deceiving white house.. the problem Bernie cannot solve, is keeping the USA from using America and Americans to make the USA great. The USA has destroyed America, does not matter who has been elected its more of the same, just a different clown in a different clown suit.
Bernie cannot overcome the make the USA great syndrome he does understand the problem is how to return America to its Greatness, but he does not have the moxey it takes to deal with the mobster community? His legs will be broken before he gets installed. Even so no body is going to defeat the electoral college system, and Bernie ain't on the approved list.Yesterday's briefing by the Russian Defense Ministry:
At 10:30 a.m. on February 12, 2020, at a checkpoint near Kharbat Khamo, located east of Qamyshlia, al-Hasakah province, a unit of the Syrian Arab Republic stopped a convoy of the US Armed Forces deviating from the route. There was a conflict between US troops and the local civilians, as a result of which the US military opened fire on civilians. One local resident was injured. Another, a 14-year-old boy, Faisal Khalid Muhammad, died. Only through the efforts of the Russian servicemen who arrived at the scene of the incident, it was possible to prevent a further escalation of the conflict with local residents and to ensure the exit of the US Armed Forces column in the direction of the base point in the area of the KhImo, al-Hasakah province.
Amid the general hype, the US military shot and killed a 14-year-old child in Syria. A simple, insignificant, unimportant incident.
I doubt that CNN will talk about it in prime time.
Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
psychohistorian , Feb 13 2020 5:14 utc | 120Below is another short Xinhuanet posting about current political posturing and threats in the ME
TEHRAN, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi warned on Wednesday that Iran's response to any Israeli aggression against its interests in the region or in Syria will be "crushing."
Mousavi said over the past 70 years Israel has resorted to violence to occupy Palestine and target its neighboring countries.
Iran's presence in Syria has been at invitation with the aim of fighting terrorism, the spokesman added.
"Our country will not hesitate to protect its interests in Syria or in the region and will defend its national security," he noted, vowing "decisive and crushing response to any aggression or stupid act of Israel against its interests."
Sitting here on the West coast of North America all I can do is wish them well in working out the 70+ years of jamming the Occupied Palestine/Israel state into the middle of the ME...and then occupying more and into Syria....
And once again let me close by noting that the above is a proxy part of the current civilization war about public/private global finance in the social contract.....socialism or barbarism
Feb 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Deadly 'Occupation': Video Shows Moment Syrian Villagers Open Fire On US Patrol by Tyler Durden Wed, 02/12/2020 - 15:20
Via Al-Masdar News,
A new video from the Al-Qamishli countryside was released this afternoon following a skirmish between the U.S. Armed Forces and residents of the Syrian village of Khirbat Amo , east of Qamishli in Syria's northeast.
According to a report from the Al-Hasakah Governorate, the residents of Khirbat Amo attempted to block the U.S. Armed Forces from bypassing a checkpoint belonging to the National Defense Forces (NDF) in the southern countryside of Al-Qamishli.
Below is the video of the gunfire exchange from Khirbat Amo on Wednesday:
As a result of this obstruction, two U.S. military vehicles had to be towed from the area after they became stuck in the grass.
The incident also prompted false reports of airstrikes, which were said to have been carried out by the U.S. Coalition on the Syrian military's positions in Khirbat Amo on Wednesday.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said at least one resident of Khirbat Amo was wounded during the brief exchange . This was later updated to one civilian killed by U.S. gunfire, according to ABC News .AP photo of the aftermath of the deadly shootout, which left one Syrian civilian dead.
The U.S. Coalition confirmed the dangerous and rare incident:
"After Coalition troops issued a series of warnings and de-escalation attempts, the patrol came under small arms fire from unknown individuals. In self-defense, Coalition troops returned fire," an official statement by U.S. spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III said.
Coalition statement on the incident in Qamishli earlier today
* Came under fire from unknown individuals near a SAA checkpoint
* U.S troops fired backed
* Nothing on injuries
* Convoy returned to base
* Why is the U.S military passing though Syrian army checkpoints? pic.twitter.com/kIMIvqeEHe-- Danny Makki (@Dannymakkisyria) February 12, 2020
"The situation was de-escalated and is under investigation," the statement added.
Pro-Syrian government media sources said the villagers were outraged over an earlier skirmish that resulted in the death of a 14-year old from the town, though this is yet to be confirmed.
Locals opning fire at US military vehciles in Khirbat Amo in northern al-Hasakah today. Earlier US forces hadkilled a 14 year old teenager from the town. pic.twitter.com/fTA5NxrCMr-- Within Syria (@WithinSyriaBlog) February 12, 2020
The U.S. Coalition spokesperson later reported that one U.S. soldier suffered a superficial wound and was allowed to return to active duty following the incident.
* * *
Other local videos emerged on Arabic social media Wednesday, showing villagers confronting American troops as 'occupiers'.
"What are you doing in our country?" the local Syrian man asks while approaching the US convoy.
Feb 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Syria & Russia Publish Evidence Of US Weapons Recovered In Idlib 'Terrorist Enclave' by Tyler Durden Sat, 02/08/2020 - 22:00 0 SHARES The Syrian Army is making major gains inside Idlib in a military offensive condemned by Turkey and the United States, over the weekend capturing the key town of Saraqib from al-Qaeda linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham .
Amid the military advance, the Syrian and Russian governments say they've recovered proof of US support for the anti-Assad al-Qaeda insurgent terrorists, publishing photographs of crates of weapons and supplies to state-run SANA :
Syrian Arab Army units have found US-made weapons and ammunition, and medicines made in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait at the positions and caches of terrorist organizations in the towns of Mardikh and Kafr Amim in Idleb southeastern countryside after crushing terrorism in them.
Syrian reporters say they were recovered in newly liberated areas of southeastern Idlib province, where army units "found weapons, ammunition and US-made shells and Grad missiles left behind by terrorists at their positions in the town of Kafr Amim after they fled from the area after the advancement of the army."
The Russian Embassy in Syria also circulated the photos on Saturday, saying there were some "interesting findings" in areas that were controlled by terrorists:
#SYRIA | The #Syrian Army is coming across interesting findings as it liberates new areas in #Idlib from terrorists: lots of ammunition and medical supplies from various foreign countries ➡️ https://t.co/YqlSd0GZYZ | #IdlibBattle #سوريا #ادلب #إدلب_تحت_النار #USA #Nusra #grad pic.twitter.com/WyfFbvTfW6-- Russian Embassy, Syria (@RusEmbSyria) February 8, 2020
For years since nearly the start of the war in 2011 and 2012, Damascus and Moscow have repeatedly offered proof of US weaponry in the hands of jihadist terrorist groups, including ISIS.
Pentagon and even some former CIA officials have since admitted the covert US program 'Timber Sycamore' resulted in American arms 'unintentionally' making their way to terrorists in Syria; however, many informed commentators have said Washington knew exactly what it was doing in its 'at all costs' push to overthrow Assad.
Meanwhile, in the past days the US State Department has issued repeat warnings to Damascus that it must halt its joint offensive with Russia - going so far as to release a new video framing the operation as an attack on civilians .
The US State Dept has issued a propaganda video that warns against any assaults on #Idlib & promises to "use all its power to oppose normalization of the Assad regime into the int'l community". This is the US playing a part in supporting Al-Qaeda's war effort in #Syria . pic.twitter.com/jyb8zHPzBZ-- Walid (@walid970721) February 7, 2020
The US has charged that Damascus is harming "peace" in Idlib despite the fact that as of 2017 the US Treasury had quietly designated the main anti-Assad group in control of Idlib, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham , as a terrorist organization .
At the same time, top Turkish and Russian officials held high level talks in Ankara on Saturday over the worsening humanitarian crisis in Idlib.
syrian forces begins combing the city of Saraqib after controlling it.. pic.twitter.com/PNrTpZOwHz-- Geo_monitor (@ConstantinGreco) February 8, 2020
Turkey fears the fallout and strain of the hundreds of thousands of refugees now fleeing Idlib toward the Turkish border, while Russia has charged that Erdogan has failed in his promises to bring neutralize terrorist groups, who have even begun attacking civilians deep inside of neighboring Aleppo province.
Floki_Ragnarsson , 1 minute ago linkOliverAnd , 16 minutes ago link
The guns Hillary, Obama, Juan McLame, and Eric Dickholder ran to Libya and beyond. That was what got the US Amb whacked and why the stand down order was given by Valerie Jarrett.porco rosso , 20 minutes ago link
Of course the weapons are made in the USA! This is what happens when you allow Turkey into NATO and sell it weapons. The weapons were made in the USA, sold to Turkey and then the Turks sold/gave them to their brothers the Syrian Turkmen and ISIS fighters.Alice-the-dog , 16 minutes ago link
While the US the "land of the free and brave" is giving weapons to murderous islamistic gangs, Iran, the "ultimate evil" is fighting these same inhumane rats for years.yerfej , 22 minutes ago link
Land of the tax slave, home of the subservient. Since when are the US Sociopaths In Charge guilty of morality? Israel wants Syria destroyed, they happily send our sons and daughters to their death to accommodate them, and supply weapons to the very faction they claim to oppose.William Dorritt , 32 minutes ago link
It would be nice if the ******* assholes who run the MIC would realize that they can just stand back and watch war WITHOUT participating. Nothing EVER gets accomplished in any war except a transfer of real estate. What a complete waste, just look at the total destruction. Then once done the idiots will go looking for another war to play in.E5 , 36 minutes ago link
The boxes are signed "With Love" John McCainwdg , 39 minutes ago link
"'Timber Sycamore' resulted in American arms 'unintentionally' making their way to terrorists in Syria"
and yet the Sycamore tree is the icon of Syria. I don't understand why they think we are going to believe it was unintentional?NuYawkFrankie , 57 minutes ago link
Make America...oops Israel....Great Again. The US and Israel funded and equipped the ISIS to attack the Syrian government while pretending to be fighting ISIS. Bush, Clinton, Obama and Trump, it makes little difference despite Trump's rhetoric...or should we say blatant lies. Trump is actually more dangerous than Obama because so many conservatives/patriots are sucked in by the lies and disarmed as a result.madashellron , 38 minutes ago link
USSA Weapons To ISIS....
Meanwhile at an Auto-Dealership in Galveston Texas:
" Gee... Where The FCK did all my Toyota Trucks disappear to???"NuYawkFrankie , 1 hour ago link
Some guy who said he works for the state department ordered 200 of them.wdg , 37 minutes ago link
USSA - The Planet's PREMIER PROMOTER of TERRORISMVW Nerd , 1 hour ago link
The US is now the Evil American Empire and the greatest threat to peace and prosperity in the entire world.madashellron , 59 minutes ago link
Syria and Russian forces attack enemy insurgents illegally occupying Syria's Idlib and the US CIA and State Department condemn it as a threat to civilians, yet one of Syria's neighbors hit Damascus with repeated airstrikes, risking civilians, and the same US operatives are silent about these actions??? I'm confused....VW Nerd , 50 minutes ago link
No they weren't silent. The State Department came out and said Israel was justified in attacking Syria. Despite the fact Israel was using yet again a commerical airliner has bate. Hoping that Syria would shoot down the jet.madashellron , 1 hour ago link
Very true. I'm just wanting to bring to light the empty, mendacious argument about the "threat to civilians".Geocen Trist , 1 hour ago link
Imagine that, the District of Criminals. Using false pretexts in Syria and Iraq. To justify killing a Iranian General and bomb Syria and Iraq.
https://thegrayzone.com/2020/02/07/washington-false-pretext-escalation-iraq/amp/booboo , 20 minutes ago link
Or to perhaps further a New World Order. :-DEquinox7 , 1 hour ago link
My uncle worked for the federal government as a shoveler at the Money Hole. Retired there to as a manager at the Money Hole. He said the weapons pickers at the Weapons Tree had it tough, said jobs at the weapons tree went to mainly undocumented workers after Haliburton took over the Weapons Tree contract.freedommusic , 1 hour ago link
The White House needs to figure out how to drip the information out that the Retarded Bush 43 regime and Barry Sotoro regime, along with their cabinets, were running Deep State regime change in the middle East and around the world. Congress isn't going to drop anything. 50%+ of Congress is the Deep State.
I realize most Americans couldn't mentally handle a total information dump of truth all at once. Their patriotism would be destroyed if they truly understood what the Demoncrats and the Rhino Republicans and the Deep State Intelligence network have been doing since 1947 around the globe. They turned the US into a warmonger Empire, just like Rome.
McStain needs to be exposed though. Perhaps exposing a dead man's crimes first could start the drip.Equinox7 , 1 hour ago link
At least we know these weapons will NOT trace back to John McCain .Truthistheagenda , 2 hours ago link
They need to trace back to John McStain, a treasonous traitor.ZKnight , 2 hours ago link
All done under Obama's watch... with the help of McStain, HRC, Jarret, Rice and many more.
And you thought Benghazi was just a spontaneous protest over some video... It was arms running and they needed to make sure there were no Ambass, oops I mean loose ends.Truthistheagenda , 2 hours ago link
The US are the Terroistssimpson seers , 1 hour ago link
No, the Obama Administration was Terrorist...
it isn't the people, it's the ******* leadership.cashback , 2 hours ago link
https://www.fort-russ.com/2020/01/u-s-regime-has-killed-20-30-million-people-since-world-war-ii/mog , 33 minutes ago link
CIA had the ISIS program up and running since 1999. Iraq war, among other reasons, was designed to get ISIS up and running. Took a decade and still didn't pay off.Musum , 2 hours ago link
It was going strong before the Iraq war.
The USA and NATO were creating, arming, training, financing and importing islam terrorists against the Serbs in the early 1990s.
Even the Guardian exposes the US link with the Mujahareem in Bosnia = https://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/apr/22/warcrimes.comment
Just the tip of.....demoses , 2 hours ago link
So now Trump too is arming and supporting terrorists, like Obama and Clinton, the Saudis and Israelis.
What clusterfcuks -- all of them.zerofucks , 2 hours ago link
Trump is Bibis lil handpuppet...Totin , 3 hours ago link
trump was turned by the MIC/MIGA back in 2017 when he bombed syria
wake upTruthistheagenda , 2 hours ago link
That "From the USA for mutual defense" with the unaligned symbol and text is a dead giveaway. No way anyone would fake that. Were these found in a baby milk factory? Or maybe the maternity ward of a hospital?Whopper Goldberg , 3 hours ago link
The West Bankschroedingersrat , 3 hours ago link
All the Trumptards are still blaming Obomber even though Trump has been President for 3 years.tuetenueggel , 2 hours ago link
Trump increased Obombers bombing campaigns by +400% & increased troops in ME by 15k. Trump is even worse than Obomber. Maybe not as bad as Bush Jr. tough.beemasters , 3 hours ago link
at least not as stupid as those 2 idiots were.Largebrneyes1 , 4 hours ago link
Israhell has been very careful not to have their name associated with terrorists; they get Americans to do their dirty work and supply the terrorists instead. Good to be the puppet master, especially when you have control of American politicians/POTUS.schroedingersrat , 3 hours ago link
Wow, 6 whole crates, huh?
Now let's have russia and syria count how many hundreds of thousands of Russian AKs, PKMs, VKSs, RPKs, NSVs, RGNs, RPGs, Koronets, Konkurs, Fagots, and all the rest of the russian millitary hardware is being used in Syria every day....but I am sure they cannot count that high.
Stop posting trash.Largebrneyes1 , 47 minutes ago link
Russian military hardware is used in Syria because the Russians were invited to the country. Quite a difference :)simpson seers , 1 hour ago link
And yet russian hardware is the ubiquitous weapon of choice for the Hajis head choppers...nicely done.grumpygus , 38 minutes ago link
https://www.fort-russ.com/2020/01/u-s-regime-has-killed-20-30-million-people-since-world-war-ii/Barney Fife , 4 hours ago link
Those are USSR / Warsaw pact weapons not Russian weapons. They come from Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and the Ukraine not Russia. AK-47 and most RPG's are open source design. They make them all over the world.dogfish , 3 hours ago link
I smell ******** on the first photo. Dark ops policy executors are never stupid enough to ever put a "courtesy of America" on any weapons shipments in order to maintain plausible deniability. Otherwise how could they claim a fabricated story like "they were stolen out of a NATO depot" or something like that?
Sorry, seems bullshitty to me. Russian press lies too. Everybody lies.cashback , 3 hours ago link
The US never thought this war would ever end its defeat and did not care what the crates had printed on them, arrogance told the US that the truth would never be known.Barney Fife , 3 hours ago link
In the beginning no one expected Russians to jump in the Syrian war and if it wasn't for the Russians, no one would have known the truth about ISIS like people are still oblivious to all the terrorism in Iraq was sponsored by Mossad.dogfish , 2 hours ago link
Nah, that's conjecture. Nothing more. Sorry, I still smell BS. Black-ops are never this sloppy. If they were we'd have revolted decades ago.simpson seers , 1 hour ago link
So are you denying that the anti tank missiles are made in the US?booboo , 14 minutes ago link
." Black-ops are never this sloppy."........seriously?BlueLightning , 4 hours ago link
The US has openly admitted and acknowledge arming ISIS. You are either in denial or just playing dumb. Stop already, you only look foolish.simpson seers , 1 hour ago link
Holly **** batman there's a surprise, America a zionist controlled terrorist state.
never.........these people were all terrorists I'm sure, all 30 million....
Feb 07, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Last month, American military forces physically blocked Russian troops from proceeding down a road near the town of Rmelan, Syria. U.S. troops were acting on orders of President Trump, who said back in October that Washington would be "protecting" oil fields currently under control of the anti-Assad, Kurdish Syrian Defense Forces.
Meanwhile, the Russians are acting on behalf of Syrian president Bashar Assad, who says the state is ultimately in control of those fields. While no shots were fired in this case, the next time Moscow's forces might not go so quietly.
U.S. officials offered few details about the January stand-off, but General Alexus Grynkewich, deputy commander of the anti-ISIS campaign, said: "We've had a number of different engagements with the Russians on the ground." Late last month the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported: "Tensions have continued to increase significantly in recent days between U.S. and Russian forces in the northeastern regions of Syria."
Stationed in Syria illegally, with neither domestic nor international legal authority, American personnel risked life and limb to occupy another nation's territory and steal its resources. What is the Trump administration doing?
American policy in Syria has long been stunningly foolish, dishonest, and counterproductive. When the Arab Spring erupted in 2011, Washington first defended Assad. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even called him a "reformer." Then she decided that he should be ousted and demanded that the rest of the world follow Washington's new policy.
Feb 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
GMJ , Feb 3 2020 19:40 utc | 21Thank you for another good article. What strikes me is that so many automatically go to, or refer to, Mr Putin as the voice of reason these days and not Washington DC or any NATO country. I never thought that I will live to see the US become less trusted than our old enemy, the commies. BUT, as I say in my books, the Russia of today is not the USSR at all. Anyway, for those interested in interesting military history, I recently discovered this myself, see https://www.georgemjames.com/blog/the-fuhrers-commando-order-origins. I wanted to post on the open thread but got busy and forgot. GMJ.
Feb 01, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org
It isn't enough for the corporate media to praise John Bolton for his timely manuscript that confirms Donald Trump's explicit linkage between military aid to Ukraine and investigations into his political foe Joe Biden. As a result, the media have made John Bolton a "man of principle," according to the Washington Post, and a fearless infighter for the "sovereignty of the United States." Writing in the Post , Kathleen Parker notes that Bolton isn't motivated by the money he will earn from his book (in the neighborhood of $2 million), but that he is far more interested in "saving his legacy." Perhaps this is a good time to examine that legacy.
Bolton, who used student deferments and service in the Maryland National Guard to avoid serving in Vietnam, is a classic Chicken Hawk. He supported the Vietnam War and continues to support the war in Iraq. Bolton endorsed preemptive military strikes in North Korea and Iran in recent years, and lobbied for regime change in Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. When George W. Bush declared an "axis of evil" in 2002 consisting of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea, Bolton added an equally bizarre axis of Cuba, Libya, and Syria.
When Bolton occupied official positions at the Department of State and the United Nations, he regularly ignored assessments of the intelligence community in order to make false arguments regarding weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Cuba and Syria in order to promote the use of force. When serving as President Bush's Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and Disarmament, Bolton ran his own intelligence program, issuing white papers on WMD that lacked support within the intelligence community. He used his own reports to testify to congressional committees in 2002 in effort to justify the use of military force against Iraq.
Bolton presented misinformation to the Congress on a Cuban biological weapons program. When the Central Intelligence Agency challenged the accuracy of Bolton's information in 2003, he was forced to cancel a similar briefing on Syria. In a briefing to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2005, the former chief of intelligence at the Department of State, Carl Ford, referred to Bolton as a "serial abuser" in his efforts to pressure intelligence analysts. Ford testified that he had "never seen anybody quite like Secretary Bolton in terms of the way he abuses his power and authority with little people."
The hearings in 2005 included a statement from a whistleblower, a former contractor at the Agency for International Development, who accused Bolton of using inflammatory language and even throwing objects at her. The whistleblower told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff that Bolton made derogatory remarks about her sexual orientation and weight among other improprieties. The critical testimony against Bolton meant that the Republican-led Foreign Relations Committee couldn't confirm his appointment as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. President Bush made Bolton a recess appointment, which he later regretted.
The United Nations, after all, was an ironic assignment for Bolton, who has been a strong critic of the UN and most international organizations throughout his career because they infringed on the "sovereignty of the United States." In 1994, he stated there was no such thing as the United Nations, but there is an international community that "can be led by the only real power left in the world," the United States. Bolton stated that the "Secretariat Building in New York has 38 stories," and that if it "lost ten stories, it wouldn't make any difference."
Bolton said the "happiest moment" in his political career was when the United States pulled out of the International Criminal Court. Years later, he told the Federalist Society that Bush's withdrawal from the UN's Rome Statute, which created the ICC, was "one of my proudest achievements."
Bolton targeted every arms control and disarmament agreement over the past several decades, and played a major role in abrogating two of the most significant ones. As an arms control official in the Bush administration, he lobbied successfully for the abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972. As soon as he joined the Trump administration, he went after the Intermediate-Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was abrogated in 2018. He criticized the Nunn-Lugar agreement in the 1990s, which played a key role in the denuclearization of former Soviet republics, and maligned the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons as well as the Iran nuclear accord. He helped to derail the Biological Weapons Conference in Geneva in 2001.
U.S. efforts at diplomatic reconciliation have drawn Bolton's ire. The two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian situation as well as Richard Nixon's one-China policy have been particular targets. He is also a frequent critic of the European Union, and a passionate supporter of Brexit. From 2013 to 2018, he was the chairman of the Gatestone Institute, a well-known anti-Muslim organization. He was the director of the Project for the New American Century, which led the campaign for the use of force against Iraq. The fact that he was a protege of former senator Jesse Helms should come as no surprise.
It is useful to have Bolton's testimony at the climactic moment in the current impeachment trial, but it should't blind us to his deceit and disinformation over his thirty years of opposition to U.S. international diplomacy. As an assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration, he fought against reparations to Japanese-Americans who had been held in internment camps during World War II. Two secretaries of state, Colin Powell and Condi Rice, have accused Bolton with holding back important information on important international issues, and Bolton did his best to sabotage Powell's efforts to pursue negotiations with North Korea. Bolton had a hand in the disinformation campaign against Iraq in the run-up to the U.S. invasion of 2003. The legacy of John Bolton is well established; his manuscript will not alter this legacy. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Melvin Goodman Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a professor of government at Johns Hopkins University. A former CIA analyst, Goodman is the author of Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism . and A Whistleblower at the CIA . His most recent book is "American Carnage: The Wars of Donald Trump" (Opus Publishing), and he is the author of the forthcoming "The Dangerous National Security State" (2020)." Goodman is the national security columnist for counterpunch.org .
Feb 01, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Matthew Rand , 22 hours agoG Blizzard , 1 day ago
Bolton's mustache is trying to impeach his face.
Well, if his credibility is done, Michael Bolton can always go back to singing.
Curt Stolpe , 1 day agoIJJ , 1 day ago
"We can't beat him so we have to impeach him" no truer words were ever spoken. Too bad they couldn't come up with a reason. I think November will be a Democrat Slaughter.
Bolton & Schiff - Bozo 1 and Bozo 2 😂
MoralHi , 1 day ago
That old man Bolton would sell his Gandma to sell his book !
Jan 27, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Bolton's tell-all book leaks during Senate trial. #FoxNews
Yamaha Venture , 3 days agoMichael Harvey , 2 days ago
Mitt Romney is a joke.Stephen C , 1 day ago
John Bolton wants war everywhere to line his pockets with money.Citizen Se7en , 2 days ago
The "right" gets the left, but doesn't agree with them. The "left" doesn't understand the "right".Jack Albright , 2 days ago
"Bolton's resignation was one of the highlights of the president's first term." Truer words have never been spoken.Ragnar Lothbrok , 3 days ago
This story is also called "the scorpion and the frog".Stratchona , 1 day ago
John Bolton should be given a helmet and a gun and sent to the next war. Let's see how he likes it.Jaret Glenn , 2 days ago
Trump.." I don't know John Bolton,never met him,don't know what he does."Regan Orr , 2 days ago
Time to investigate Romney's son working for the oil company in the Ukraine.Marjo , 2 days ago (edited)
Romney's Holy Underwear is Cutting off the Blood Supply to his Deep St Brain!Shara Kirkby , 3 days ago
I never liked Bolton. I sensed he was out for himself, at anyone's expense. War monger too. He had many people fooled.David Dorrell , 1 day ago (edited)
Bolton wants war anywhere and forever!Olivier Bolton , 2 days ago
Frickin' Globalist peckerwoods. John Bolton and his pal, Mitt Romney.Max Liftoff , 2 days ago
Bolton wanted war so he got the boot...the fact he brings out his book now just looks like vengean$$¯\_(ツ)_/¯ , 1 day ago
2:30 Because Bolton never served in the military he truly passionately loved war :)) LMAO Tucker nailed it.j abe , 3 days ago
The left's championing of John Bolton is further proof that TDS has made their minds turn to sludge.Mark Whitley , 2 days ago
Can someone expaine to me how mit romney is still geting votes from pplTim Fronimos , 2 days ago
Bolton is a war mongering narcissist that wanted his war, didn't get it, & is now acting like a spoilt child that didn't get his way & is laying on the floor kicking & screaming!newuserandhiscrew 22 , 2 days ago
Regarding John Bolton's book, is this the first book that he's colored. just curiousBrittany Ward , 1 day ago
Everyone: Bolton: "take me in oh tender woman, take me in for heaven's sake"
I can't fathom that people actually believe everything the media says!
Jan 31, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Trump excoriates Bolton in tweets this morning:
"For a guy who couldn't get approved for the Ambassador to the U.N. years ago, couldn't get approved for anything since, 'begged' me for a non Senate approved job, which I gave him despite many saying 'Don't do it, sir,' takes the job, mistakenly says 'Libyan Model' on T.V., and ... many more mistakes of judgement [sic], gets fired because frankly, if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now, and goes out and IMMEDIATELY writes a nasty & untrue book. All Classified National Security. Who would do this?"
IMO, Trump is a fantastic POTUS for this day and age, but he wasn't on his A game when he brought Bolton onboard. He should have known better and, was, apparently, warned. Maybe Trump thought he could control him and use him as a threatening pit bull. Mistake. Bolton is greedy as well as vindictive.
Posted by: Eric Newhill | 29 January 2020 at 09:30 AM
Jan 29, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
J Villain • 19 hours agoIt leaves me yearning for the integrity of the Nixon foreign policy team and they were a certified pack of sociopaths.
Jan 28, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Why is Pompeo suddenly directing increasingly heated rhetoric towards Iran and its proxies in South America?
"Anti-Iran hawks like Pompeo like to emphasize that Iran is not a defensively-minded international actor, but rather that it is offensively-minded and poses a direct threat to the United States," said Max Abrahms, associate professor of political science at Northeastern and fellow of the Quincy Institute said in an interview with The American Conservative. "And so for obvious reasons, underscoring Hezbollah's international tentacles helps to sell their argument that Iran needs to be dealt with in a military way, and that the key to dealing with Iran is through confrontation and pressure."
Stories highlighting the role of Hezbollah in America's backyard "are almost always peddled by anti-Iran hawks," he said.
Like Clare Lopez, vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy, who aligns with the argument that Hezbollah has been populating South America since the days of the Islamic revolution.
"From at least the 1980s, many Lebanese fled to South America, and among that flow Hezbollah embedded themselves," she told The American Conservative in a recent interview. Their activity "really expanded throughout the continent" during the presidencies of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.
During that time, Lopez added, "there was a really strong relationship that developed Iranians established diplomatic facilities, enormous embassies and consulates, embedded IRGC cover positions and MOIS (intelligence services) within commercial companies and mosques and Islamic centers. This took place in Brazil in particular but Venezuela also."
Iran and Hezbollah intensified their involvement throughout the region in technical services like tunneling, money laundering, and drug trafficking. Venezuela offered Iran an international banking work-around during the period of sanctions, said Lopez.
Obviously security analysts like Lopez and even Pompeo, have been following this for years. But the timing here, as the Senate impeachment inquiry heats up, looks suspicious.
Last week, just as it looks increasingly likely that former national security advisor John Bolton and Pompeo himself will be hauled before the Senate as witnesses about the foreign aid hold-up to Ukraine, Pompeo praised Colombia, Honduras, and Guatemala for designating "Iran-backed Hezbollah a terrorist organization," and slammed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for embracing the terrorist group.
Hezbollah "has found a home in Venezuela under Maduro. This is unacceptable," Pompeo said when he met with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido last week.
Asked by Bloomberg News how significant a role Hezbollah plays in the region, Pompeo responded, "too much."
From the interview:
Pompeo : " I mentioned it in Venezuela, but in the Tri-Border Area as well. This is again an area where Iranian influence – we talk about them as the world's largest state sponsor of terror. We do that intentionally. It's the world's largest; it's not just a Middle East phenomenon. So while – when folks think of Hezbollah, they typically think of Syria and Lebanon, but Hezbollah has now put down roots throughout the globe and in South America, and it's great to see now multiple countries now having designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. It means we can work together to stamp out the security threat in the region."
Question: "I'm struck by this, because even hearing you – what you're saying, right, now – I mean, to take a step back, an Iranian-backed terrorist organization has found a home in America's backyard."
Pompeo: "It's – it's something that we've been talking about for some time. When you see the scope and reach of what the Islamic Republic of Iran's regime has done, you can't forget they tried to kill someone in the United States of America. They've conducted assassination campaigns in Europe. This is a global phenomenon. When we say that Iran is the leading destabilizing force in the Middle East and throughout the world, it's because of this terror activity that they have now spread as a cancer all across the globe. "
Pompeo has also been publicly floating increasing sanctions on Venezuela. He called the behavior of Maduro's government "cartel-like" and "terror-like," intensifying the sense that there is a real security "threat" in our hemisphere.
Yet the U.S. has little real insight into what happens in hostile regimes like Maduro's, and "Pompeo is probably the least reliable person in the world when it comes to information about Iran or its proxies," said Abrahms. "He has a terrible track record; he is an ideologue. He is the opposite of an impartial empiricist. I would never accept anything he says without corroborating sources."
There's no question that Hezbollah has a presence in South America, said Abrahms, "but the nature of its presence has been politicized."
According to what we know, a Hezbollah agent conducted years of surveillance on potential targets , and alleged sleeper agents within U.S. cities have so far not been activated, even in the wake of Iranian Quds force General Soleimani's death and the series of crippling sanctions the Trump administration has put on Iran."What this underscores is that Iran could pull the trigger, it could bloody the U.S., including the U.S. homeland, but tends to avoid such violence. I think the question that needs to be asked isn't just, 'where in the world could Iran commit an attack?' but whether Iran is a rational actor that can be deterred," said Abrahms. "Interestingly, this administration as well as its hawkish supporters tend to emphasize their belief that Iran can in fact be deterred," since that is the logic behind "maximum pressure" against Iran, after all. "The main causal mechanism according to advocates of maximum pressure, is that it will force Iran as a rational actor to reconsider whether it wants to irritate the U.S By applying economic pressure through sanctions, [they hope to] succeed in coaxing Iran to restructure the nuclear deal and making additional concessions to the west and reigning in its activities in the Persian Gulf and the Levant. At least on a rhetorical level, the hawks say they believe Iran can be deterred," he said.
It would not be the first time that a president reacted to an intensifying impeachment inquiry by redirecting national focus to threats abroad. In December 1998, as the impeachment inquiry into then-President Bill Clinton heated up, Clinton launched airstrikes against Iraq. We should therefore apply some caution when we see decades-old threats amplified by administration officials.
Barbara Boland is TAC's foreign policy and national security reporter. Previously, she worked as an editor for the Washington Examiner and for CNS News. She is the author of Patton Uncovered, a book about General George Patton in World War II, and her work has appeared on Fox News, The Hill, UK Spectator, and elsewhere. Boland is a graduate from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter
Jan 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
John Gilberts , Jan 28 2020 20:10 utc | 23
Terrorism to Turkey means the PKK/YPG Kurds in Syria which also fight Turkish forces within Turkey and Iraq. In east Syria the Kurds are cooperating with U.S. troops who occupy the Syrian oil resources. Turkey wants Syria to at least disarm the Kurds. The Kurds though use their U.S. relations to demand autonomy and to prevent any agreement with the Syrian government.
Neither Ankara nor Damascus seem yet ready to make peace. But both countries have economic problems and will have to come to some solution. There are still ten thousand of Jihadis in Idleb governorate that need to be cleaned out. Neither country wants to keep these people. The export of these Jihadis to Libya which Turkey initiated points to a rather unconventional solution to that problem.
The U.S. has still not given up its efforts to overthrow the Syrian government through further economic sanctions. It also pressures Iraq to keep its troops in the country.
After the U.S. murder of the Iranian general Soleimani and the Iraqi PMU leader al-Muhandis its position in Iraq is under severe threat . If the U.S. were forced to leave Iraq it would also have to remove its hold on Syria's oil. To prevent that the U.S. has reactivated its old plan to split Iraq into three statelets :At the height of the war in Iraq Joe Biden publicly supported it. The original plan failed when in 2006 Hizbullah defeated Israel's attack on Lebanon and when the Iraqi resistance overwhelmed the U.S. occupation forces.
It is doubtful that the plan can be achieved as long as the government in Baghdad is supported by a majorities of Shia. Baghdad as well as Tehran will throw everything they have against the plan.
After the U.S. murder of Soleimani Iran fired well aimed ballistic missiles against U.S. forces at the Ain al Assad airbase west of Ramadi in Anbar province and against the airport of Erbil in the Kurdish region. This because those are exactly the bases the U.S. wants to keep control of. The missiles demonstrated that the U.S. would have to fight a whole new war to implement and protect its plan.
From the perspective of the resistance the new plan is just another U.S. attempt to rule the region after its many previous attempts have failed.
Posted by b on January 28, 2020 at 16:28 UTC | PermalinkNine months ago, a group of Iraqi politicians and businessmen from Anbar, Salah al-Din and Nineveh provinces were invited to the private residence of the Saudi ambassador to Jordan in Amman.
Their host was the Saudi minister for Gulf affairs, Thamer bin Sabhan al-Sabhan, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's point man for the region.
It is not known whether Mohammed al-Halbousi, the speaker of parliament with ties to both Iran and Saudi Arabia, attended the secret Amman conference, but it is said that he was informed of the details.
On the agenda was a plan to push for a Sunni autonomous region, akin to Iraqi Kurdistan.
The plan is not new. But now an idea which has long been toyed with by the US, as it battles to keep Iraq within its sphere of influence, has found a new lease of life as Saudi Arabia and Iran compete for influence and dominance.
Anbar comprises 31 percent of the Iraqi state's landmass. It has significant untapped oil, gas and mineral reserves. It borders Syria.
If US troops were indeed to be forced by the next Iraqi government to quit the country, they would have to leave the oil fields of northern Syria as well because it is from Anbar that this operation is supplied. Anbar has four US military bases.
The western province is largely desert, with a population of just over two million. As an autonomous region, it would need a workforce. This, the meeting was told, could come from Palestinian refugees and thus neatly fit into Donald Trump's so-called "Deal of the Century" plans to rid Israel of its Palestinian refugee problem.
Anbar is almost wholly Sunni, but Salah al-Din and Nineveh aren't. If the idea worked in Anbar, other Sunni-dominated provinces would be next.
At least three large meetings have already been held over the plan, the last one in the United Arab Emirates. The timing indicates that the plan was initiated when John Bolton as Trump's national security advisor.
To split Iraq into three statelets the U.S. would control is a long standing neoconservative dream .
Canada also has troops in the Kurdish/Erbil region. One wonders if/when Iraq will demand they go as well, since they are part of the US-led coalition and reflect US/Israeli geostrategic objectives there
dh , Jan 28 2020 20:18 utc | 24@20 Strange isn't it? The statement by ISIS is most unusual. Prevailing wisdom has them allied with US/Israel against the Syrian government.les7 , Jan 28 2020 20:24 utc | 25It seems to me that in the Idlib pocket we are seeing an emerging Russian form of offensive/deterrence military strategy when up against proxies backed by the overwhelming force of empire.
By using proxies the empire forfeits much of its military mass advantage.
The repeated strike and ceasefire combined with continual negotiation approach negates the hybrid/media warfare of the empire which requires a period of time to mobilize public opinion. The empire cannot maintain more than three foci for that dis-information campaign due to the social engineered response it has manufactured
By constantly maneuvering, especially in coordinating with friends like Xi, opportunities of attack open up
Choosing moments of maximum empire distraction is also part of the process
This is a far cry from the classic mass formation attack strategy that most present warfare strategists endlessly debate.
Let the empire wear out it's own heart through an abuse of the hybrid/media warfare til it's own people vomit up the diet of fear
Jan 27, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Leith , 26 January 2020 at 09:42 PMOff topic: the SAA has cut the M5 highway north of Maraat al-Numan and is blockading it. This will cut off Erdogan's resupply of his pet headchoppers. Will this be the beginning of the end for HTS and the TIP? Long way to go, but this is a good start.
Sooner or later Trump is going to have to let go of his blockade of the Baghdad-Damascus highway at al-Tanf.
Jan 24, 2020 | off-guardian.org
"You didn't think that one through, did you, @eliothiggins sweetie? You're not in the ladies' lingerie trade now. This discussion is about truth, which endures, is not held together by elastic, and is not for sale." ~Peter Hitchens responding to Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat over the OPCW scandal on Twitter – 2 January 2020.
Jan 24, 2020 | off-guardian.org
"You didn't think that one through, did you, @eliothiggins sweetie? You're not in the ladies' lingerie trade now. This discussion is about truth, which endures, is not held together by elastic, and is not for sale."
Peter Hitchens responding to Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat over the OPCW scandal on Twitter – 2 January 2020.
Like many, I've been following the Douma scandal for some time and particularly since the OPCW whistleblowers and leaked emails blew the lid off the official narrative that Assad used chemical weapons there.
This issue is being discussed on one of my 'go to' accounts on Twitter – Peter Hitchens who has brought this to the attention of the mainstream .
For the past few weeks he's been debating the topic with Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat, Scott Lucas and various Middle East based journalists who created and then pushed the false narrative.
In fact, it's not really a debate. Peter Hitchens is quite literally slaughtering these narrative managers – his logic and clear thinking – and wit exposing the numerous gaps in their story and their desperate deflections.
Hitchens position is not exactly the same as many of us here hold – that Douma was a clear false flag. What he is saying is the evidence points to there being no chemical attack by the Syrian government, the pretext used for the attack on Syria. He doesn't wish to speculate on matters which aren't conclusively proven, for example precisely on what did actually happen.
I respect that position in many ways and his refusal to comment on the dead civilians in the Douma images makes sense from a journalist in the mainstream. I think by having a position which is clear and unassailable enables him to easily brush off his online detractors and not allow them to deflect to other issues.
While I don't agree with everything he says, Hitchens has a calm and rational argument for all the issues he covers. This puts clear ground between him and his online opponents who often resort to childish abuse.
My 80-year old mum admires him too. She describes him as 'frightfully posh'. Perhaps someone who might have belonged in a previous age – but I'm glad we have him in this one.
Anyway, I think we can be sure that Hitchens will continue his important work within the remit he's chosen and others will investigate the unanswered questions which arise from the Douma incident.
Ultimately the question about the dead civilians in the images is simply too dreadful to ignore.
This is because if a chemical attack did not take place and Assad was not responsible it seems highly likely that the civilians including children were murdered to facilitate a fabrication.
And were our own intelligence agencies involved in a staged event, considering the refusal to even establish the basic facts in the days following?
And then, of course, the resulting air strikes nearly caused us to go to war with Russia, with all that would entail.
While these investigations continue, I think it's timely to see where these events fit into the way the general public think and perceive wrongdoing and to try to radically to change this.
I believe more people nowadays recognise that the devastating wars in Iraq and Libya and events in Syria were pushed by our governments and media. They can even accept, when you explain, that we've been assisting terrorists to unseat governments for years. But they seem hesitant of taking the next step and we need to encourage them on this path.
This path leads to recognising the sheer evil in our midst and getting out of this mindset that criminal behavior and lying in governments and in our media is normal or should in any way be tolerated. Perhaps some people appreciate this already but don't want to address it out of concern to what they might find. Maybe some people dread the thought of a global conflict so ignore it. But we need to hammer home the consequences of simply doing nothing.
I've been trying to think of an analogy to try to get this point across. I sometimes say to people, we wouldn't have released a serial killer like Harold Shipman from prison and appointed him Foreign Secretary. Therefore, why do we tolerate a long line of Foreign Secretaries complicit in laying waste to the world? Sadly, with this analogy most people usually look back at me blankly so I have been searching for one more complete and rooted in history which people can relate better to events today.
So, here follows an analogy of a character who lived in the 17th century. His traits, his crimes, the political climate and peoples misguided perceptions in response can be compared to recent events and one particular individual causing havoc in the world today.
Of course I refer to Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat.
Eliot ( 'suck my balls' ) Higgins and Titus Oates1. Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat
Higgins probably doesn't need much of an introduction here. It seems he has no specific qualifications relevant to his role and a bit of a drop-out in terms of education.
Higgins has been quoted as saying :
Before the Arab spring I knew no more about weapons than the average Xbox owner. I had no knowledge beyond what I'd learned from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rambo."
But this didn't prevent him blogging about world events and then setting himself up and his site as investigator for several incidents most notably the shooting down of the MH17 passenger plane over Ukraine and allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria. It's now known that Bellingcat is funded by pro-war groups including the Atlantic Council
Higgins has been accused by chemical weapons experts, academics and independent journalists on the ground of fabricating evidence to reach a predetermined outcome decided on by his funders.
His rise to prominence was fast and apparently some media editors now refer their journalists to Bellingcat fabrications rather than allowing them to do any journalism themselves.
Higgins is currently frantically trying to prop up the Douma narrative against a mountain of evidence disproving his conclusions.
For those who've followed his story, it's clear that Higgins is an intelligence asset, set up to take the fall when the currently collapsing narratives take hold in the mainstream.2. Titus Oates and the Popish Plot
Oates was a foul-mouthed charlatan , serial liar and master of deception who lived in the 17th century. His earlier life included being expelled from school and he was labelled a 'dunce' by people who knew him. He became a clergyman and later joined the Navy. His career was plagued by various sex scandals and charges of perjury.
In the 1670s during the time of Charles II, religious tensions threatened to spill over into civil war but the pragmatic King, by and large, kept a lid on it.
However, along with Dr Israel Tonge an anti-Catholic rector, Oates started writing conspiracy theories and inventing plots and later began writing a manuscript alleging of a plan to assassinate King Charles II and replace him with his openly Catholic brother.
When the fabrication started to gather momentum, the King had an audience with Oates and was unconvinced and was said to have found discrepancies in his story.
However, the tense political and religious climate at that time was ideal for conspiracy theories and scaremongering. The King's ministers took Oates at his word and over a dozen Catholics were executed for treason. This story created panic and paranoia lasting several years taking the nation to the brink of civil war.
Over time Oates lies were exposed and when the Catholic King James II came to the throne, he tried Oates with perjury and he was whipped and placed in the pillory.
After James II fled England during the so-called 'Glorious Revolution' King William and Queen Mary pardoned Oates and gave him a pension.
For me, this whole episode has many obvious parallels with Higgins, the long-running Russia and the anti-Semitism witch-hunts in the media and the false narratives over Iraq, Libya and Syria. Like those in power today, Oates had a knack for getting away with it. And I guess we can all relate this to Julian Assange – the victims or whistleblowers being punished and the perpetrators getting off.
I had wondered why James II, often ruthless and unforgiving had not executed Oates. But apparently the crime of perjury even then didn't carry the death sentence. The judge who convicted Oates was said to have tried his best to finish him off through the whipping, though he survived.
But perhaps even the King and judiciary in failing in this or not using other means at their disposal, couldn't comprehend the enormity of his crimes. Oates was after all a rather absurd character, open to ridicule.
Perhaps this is a bit similar to people today when discovering that Eliot Higgins is also a foul-mouthed fraud – but they can't reconcile this comical ex-lingerie employee as a menace to humanity.3. Modern day
In the past few weeks I've read various older articles on Iraq and Syria. US troops shooting people for fun from a helicopter . The perpetrators are still free – the whistle-blowers who exposed that, and other events in prison or exile.
Last year we learned about a shocking massacre of Syrian children, unreported in the mainstream media . Mainstream journalists through their one-sided distortions of the conflict and silence, perpetuating the myth that the terrorists who carried out this mass murder are freedom fighters.
And as I've mentioned, we've seen firmer evidence of what many of us knew along – that Douma was a staged fabrication as a pretext for air-strikes and dangerously escalating the Syrian war. The likes of Eliot Higgins and others in the media, colluding in the cover-up of mass murder which likely facilitated this event. And for those honest journalists and experts who bring the truth of these staged events to us, smears will no doubt continue .
Higgins and others in the media who lie, misinform or remain silent are no better than those shooting civilians from helicopters or starting these wars in the first place. In fact, they have killed more and keep killing.
This modern-day Titus Oates, and others share a big responsibility for death and destruction in the Middle East and a dangerous new Cold War.
As I say, I think people are waking up to the distorted narratives and misdirections which have inflicted war on others. Now they need to take the next step and grasp the sheer enormity of the crimes and the risks of global conflict if we don't act.
So, how do we achieve this and get in a position of holding the criminals and war propagandists to account?
By confronting them directly and mercilessly. As Jeremy Corbyn should have done over the anti-Semitism hoax. Perhaps we should adopt some of the tactics they use against the truth-tellers and whistle-blowers. I don't mean by lies or smears. Maybe even ridiculing these people and their nonsense might have the effect of trivialising the crimes they have committed.
No, I think it is time for plainer, no-holds-barred language describing these people for the true evil they are – until the truth and label sticks.
We need to recognise more the seriousness of the crimes. This commentary from the usually measured Piers Robinson about the staged event in Douma reflects the true gravity of the situation in terms of the OPCW complicity .4. The hijacking of OPCW
The cover-up of evidence that the Douma incident was staged is not merely misconduct. As the staging of the Douma incident entailed mass murder of civilians, those in OPCW who have suppressed the evidence of staging are, unwittingly or otherwise, colluding with mass murder."
We need to now apply this strong language to all crimes committed, be it from the soldiers on the ground, the governments starting these wars or supplying terrorists or the media which promote mass murder through their lies, distortions and silence when presented with the true facts.
We need to go on the offensive and call out the criminals and spell out in no uncertain terms what we are dealing with. With the evidence and fact-based analogies or arguments we publish we should be using more commentary such as 'mass murderer', 'traitor' or 'terrorist propagandist'.
This is particularly important in light of events in recent days. The assassination of General Qasem Soleimani has been normalised in both mainstream and on social media. The people legitimising state-sponsored murder in offices thousands of miles away from Iran, woefully ignorant of the potential of this causing a chain of events which could visit our door soon.
Above all, we should specifically name and shame the individuals promoting war. This needs to be relentless. The official war narratives which have crumbled so far are ample evidence of wrongdoing on a vast scale. So, we can be confident in doing this with the truth firmly on our side.Filed under: Douma "Chemical Attack" , historical perspectives , latest , Syria Tagged with: Bellingcat. Eliot Higgins , douma chemical attack , Glorious Revelution , Kevin Smith , OPCW , Peter Hitchens , Titus Oates can you spare $1.00 a month to support independent media
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wardropper ,No, I think it is time for plainer, no-holds-barred language describing these people for the true evil they are – until the truth and label sticks.
I was, however, reminded today of the huge mountain we yet have to climb before it can be normal again NOT to be corrupt and wicked. The scenario was a session of acrimony in a US Senate chamber, and according to the NYTimes, "Tensions grew so raw after midnight that Chief Justice Roberts cut in just before 1 a.m. to admonish the managers and the president's lawyers to "remember where they are" and return to "civil discourse." "
"Remembering where you are", when dealing with Titus Oates and other vulgar frauds is perhaps not entirely appropriate ?
wardropper ,Apologies, I forgot to set the first sentence in quotes
Thom ,Hitchens may be on the level on this particular issue but it is part of a wider deception where Hitchens poses as a friend to critical thinkers and then tells them they are helpless and/or can do nothing about it. If he really had journalistic integrity he wouldn't be taking a salary from the Mail on Sunday, a newspaper that relentlessly lied for the Tories at the last election, with the help of the itelligence agencies.
Koba ,As good as Hitchens has done here he's still at heart a Trotskyist he lives a good split and a toothless display just like the Trotskyists he used to side with. His brother went from Trotskyist to soft neocon and peter went from Trotskyist to an ardent Christian Conservative in a veeeeeery short space of time. Plus there dad was deeeeep in with the establishment and his mum Jewish. So .
Richard Le Sarc ,what?
Gall ,Bellingcrap is just another scam like Dupes (Snopes) and Politi"facts". All of them are funded by the Atlantic Council and the CIA front National Endowment for "Democracy". Their cover as an "independent objective fact checking service" is about as transparent as Saran Wrap.
tonyopmoc ,I really liked this when I read it this morning, before the grandkids came round, but I thought some of the comments a bit severe..
I mean this photo is of some 40 year old kid, who lives in Leicester, and his Mum/wife/sister or whatever works in the local Post Office .
I personally had never heard of Brown Noses, and I have never personnally succeeded in getting anything I wrote, posted above our below the line, since The Manchester Guardian moved from Manchester to London, and whilst I do love reading some of the posters' comments well look face it.
Even though Rhys probabaly doesn't like what this kid writes – Elliot is it? he is hardly going to come round with a chainsaw, to cut his head off is he? He probably never even thought of it.
He did say he is small fry, and he probably is still a virgin (been brainwashed – so he actually belives the model doll is better. What has he got to compare it to?)
So I can't blame any of them.
There are alternatives as well as Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and all those Dating Websites, when almost everything you write gets deleted.
Just go down the local pub when there is a good band on. Even I can pull there, but I am better looking than both Rhys and Elliot
I Like Girls.
I am a man. It's Normal
Just keep fit dancing and smiling, and you will be O.K.
paul ,The prime importance of these endless hoaxes, smears, lies, fabrications and official approved conspiracy theories, lies not so much in the events themselves as what it says about the nature of the people who rule over us and their courtiers and handmaidens in the MSM.
It would take a whole forest of trees merely to catalogue all their lies over the years, whether it's the Iraq Incubator Babies, the black Viagra fuelled rape gangs in Libya, the Syrian Gas Hoaxes, 9/11, Iraq's WMD, Iran's non existent nuclear weapons, Skripal, Russiagate, Ukrainegate, or the communist spy/ terrorist/ anti semitic smear campaign against Corbyn. And that is only the tip of a very large iceberg. You could go back further to Gladio, Operation Northwoods, Tonkin Gulf, the "Holocaust", Zinoviev Letter, Bayonetted Belgian Babies, Raped Belgian Nuns, Human Bodies Made Into Soap. The list is endless.
We have been lied to consistently for years, decades, and generations. And these lies have been peddled endlessly in the MSM, no matter how ludicrous and transparently false they are. In the absence of direct personal knowledge or very convincing evidence to the contrary, you just have to assume that everything we have ever been told, are being told, and will be told, and most of the accepted historical record, are simply false. Nothing, nothing at all, can ever be taken at face value.
And those who rule over us and who are responsible for these lies are psychopathic subhuman filth devoid of any moral values or any redeeming features whatsoever. They are a thousand times worse than the worst mass murderers or child killers who have ever been through our courts. The Moors Murderers, the Ted Bundys, the Jeffrey Dahmers, were seriously damaged individuals who killed a handful of victims. And they did their own dirty work. The Blairs, the Campbells, the Straws, the Bushes, the Cheneys, the Rumsfelds, the Allbrights, the Macrons, the Camerons, the Netanyahus, the Trumps, have the blood of millions on their hands. They and their wire pullers are responsible for the death, starvation and misery of tens and hundreds of millions.
So when Blair, or Johnson, or Trump or whoever is interviewed on television, you have to remember that individual is a thousand times worse than the Moors Murderers, and we would actually be that much better off if Brady or Hindley were ruling over us. They deserve no respect or deference or legitimacy. They plot the murders of millions and the starvation of tens of millions – and laugh and giggle as they do so. They should be simply recognised for what they awe – psychopathic subhuman filth.
austrian peter ,I do agree with you Paul and of course all you say is true. One of the main problems is that these people have the power to build artificial constructs sufficient for the masses to believe and perpetuated through their bought and paid for MSM whose journalists are mere foot soldiers and wish only to get their pay checks. They have no reason to question the lies and distortions pedaled to them by TPTB – they merely repeat the false narrative:
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" – Upton Sinclair
And we, the great 99%, have little power to change things except within our local network. We can shout all we like on social media but it changes nothing until the great crisis reoccurs and perhaps the masses will rise and demand a just and equitable system. Until that day perhaps this little video will provide an understanding:
Roberto ,The business of the MSM throughout the ages has been to traumatise or at least just generally worry the public with headlines focused on fear, envy, anger, revenge, and hate. Include all five in your story and you're well on the way to a Pulitzer Prize, bestowed on the profession by one of the great muckrakers of all time. It's not incidental that there have been a disturbing number of winners that have turned out to be dissembling frauds. Add to this the fact that 'journalism' training apparently does not teach entrants to distinguish the difference between opinion and news, and the die is cast: propaganda as news.
Dungroanin ,Here is what BellEndScat supporting Rusbridger is moaning about.
"For some years now – largely unreported – two chancery court judges have been dealing with literally hundreds of cases of phone hacking against MGN Ltd and News Group, the owners, respectively, of the Daily Mirror and the Sun (as well as the defunct News of the World).
The two publishers are, between them, forking out eye-watering sums to avoid any cases going to trial in open court. Because the newspaper industry lobbied so forcefully to scrap the second part of the Leveson inquiry, which had been due to shine a light on such matters, we can only surmise what is going on.
But there are clues. Mirror Group (now Reach) had by July 2018 set aside more than £70m to settle phone-hacking claims without risking any of them getting to court. The BBC reported last year that the Murdoch titles had paid out an astonishing £400m in damages and calculated that the total bill for the two companies could eventually reach £1bn."
On the overall perfidious msm he quips:
"Because the newspaper industry lobbied so forcefully to scrap the second part of the Leveson inquiry, which had been due to shine a light on such matters, we can only surmise what is going on."
Completely ignoring that the Integrity Iniative infested Guardian ITSELF objected to the recommendation of Levesons thoroughly public Inquiry and opposition to a independent press regulator!
It would have been a building block and certainly stopped most of the continued press misbehaviour over the last 5 years.
Neither Fish nor Fowl Mr Rusbridger. More sinner that saint, more like.
Hugh O'Neill ,Going to the heart of what Bellingcat, MI6 and CIA is Pompeo's: "We lie, we cheat, we steal." These evil filth are devoid of any moral code and have no respect whatsoever for the laws of God or Man. At which point, consider Moses' (how apt) Ten Commandments. There among them is: "Thou shalt not bear false witness". Think what you will of these Ten, but as a moral code, they were quite useful.
Richard Le Sarc ,Would that all these scum could share the fate of their progenitor, Streicher-without the ' necktie party'. Life at hard labour would do the lot of them much good.
Brianeg ,I looked at the Veterans Today link and it all sounds very plausible'
However in today's world nothing makes sense especially when the questions arise.
Is it possible to change the signal of an aircrafts transponder remotely. Can the target acquisition radar on the missile be spoofed remotely. Just why did the flight control officer sanction the take off of this plane in the middle of a war unless they were party to the whole thing.. Just what were the six Israeli F-35 jets doing flying close to the Iranian border?
Okay there is a lot of smoke but just where is the fire.
Just as interesting is that none of the twelve Iranian missiles was intercepted and there are rumours that the Iranians were able to take out of action American air defences.
I am sure that like with Douma when the majority of NATO missiles were intercepted by missiles that were decades old, you wonder what might happen when most of the middle east is covered by the S-300 and later versions.
This is a story that has got a long way to run and we might never hear the ending.
Dungroanin ,Facts are inconvenient.
Many planes took off.
This one was delayed by the pilot 'to remove overloading'.
Reports of Cruise missiles heading in.
Mucho ,For the best info on this, go to Brendon O' Connell's channel and watch 1 to 3 and number 22. You will get answers there.
Also go to the Antedote and listen to Greg and Jeremy's latest offering.
Dungroanin ,It sounds a bit MAGA.
The thing about 'chips' is they could easily be identified by putting them in a black box and watching what they do using a chip which only does that!
The whole bs about it's THEM not US crap falls away. Just need some open source simple 'custodian' chip manufacturer to make that available. If it can be made a 'gate keeper' than we are all safe.
Mucho ,"It sounds a bit MAGA. "
After this, I will never, ever read any of your comments ever again. Get lost!
Mucho ,You talk so much crap. Please, keep it to yourself
Dungroanin ,I ain't saying that is your opinion am I?
The bit I watched was him being gung-ho about getting back 'control of microprocessors' !!!
There is a big difference between designing chips and 'manufacturing' facilities'.
Have you never wondered why most actual building of small electrical component equipment takes place in Asia?
I don't care wherher you read my comments- i am free to post what I want on whatevet article and whoevers comment. And stick to facts.
Mucho ,"The bit I watched ".
Honestly, I am so tired of people who comment on things they know nothing about. Everything you say is wrong, because you are speaking from a position of total ignorance, because you haven't watched the films.
Watch 1 to 3. Watch 22 and 23 ALL THE WAY THROUGH, not skimming. Then comment. Every inaccurate comment you make is covered in detail. Honestly it's no wonder we're so fucked.
From 2005 after one google search, time spent on this, 10 seconds:
"While Yona was developed in partnership with one of Intel's California centers, the 65nm microprocessor product is the first to be developed in its entirety, both the architecture and strategy, by Intel engineers at its Israel plants in Haifa and Yakum. "
You know zilch, you understand nothing, you make assumptions, you don't watch or read the material, and then in your total ignorance, you spew your feeble thoughts on this forum. Moron
Mucho ,You define the phrase "ignorant Brit"
Dungroanin ,Mucho since you FAILED instantly in your promise to ignore me – i will respond to your toy throwing out of the parambulator.
First just telling people to WATCH something without explaining what the salient point to be learnt – is not the way to influence or educate.
I prefer reading an argument- I definitely do not spend hours watching TV or listening to propaganda by msm / indy or 'shock jocks' – that last was the personality I saw and didn't feel the need to hear anymore as I don't when Nigel Farage and his ilk do on the radio here.
If you want to inform or prove something to me or anyone else kindly post a link to a written piece.
Second, chips are designed eveywhere there is such competence. Chip manufacturing mainly improved theough research in top universities.
The UK was a lead chip designer too.
None of that means the Israelis haven't monopolosed tech and own many patents. The fact is the Israelis ARE part of the 5+1 eyed world Empire – they are the plus one. Snowdens whistleblowing makes absolutely clear that the +1 gets a higher clearance than the +4.
That's as nice as I am prepared to be, so finally, that last paragraph is what is known as PROJECTION. Look it up and learn that it comes from your fav bogeymen brainfuckers.
That is some serious self-hate you have going on – work on it.
Take it easy ok?
Mucho ,Number 23 is totally relevant too, going deep into chips, backdooring and kill switch usage
Koba ,So the mocking of maga is what set you off? Fuck maga and it's idiot supporters great nations don't slaughter civilians for capital
bevin ,Has this link been cited?
norman wisdom ,chris morris is very funny has a fine body of twisted comedick works
for all his charm his role is too destroy society degrade
he is khazar after all
sacha baron co hen the names speaks for itself an empty cruel tool
never trust a coen cohen khan or cowen or co they cookoo
eliot mcfuck higgins is not oirish
he is not certainly related to snooker loopy or is it darts i cannot remember hero alex higgins.
eliot"s dad is rita katz from site intel group amaq news
his mom barbera lerner spector
or is it vice versa
get my the friends of the oirish israel drift
so to speaks
or sum such
Mucho ,Brilliant, insightful, logical hypothesis of the recent plane downing over Iran by Jeremy Rothe Kushel. Ignore the video, this is about the written article.
The Prime Suspect in Ukrainian PS752 Shootdown: Israel's Unit 8200
Mucho ,For further info about Israeli tech domination, what it is, where it comes from and the implications of this, go to Brendon O Connell's YT channel. Number 22 in his list is very important.
Mucho ,Jeremy Rothe-Kushel is a very important member of the truth community, in no small part due to the fact that he is an Ashkenazi Jew. My personal belief is that in the end, the Jewish community will play a pivotal role in weeding out the evil that rules over us. I wish we didn't have these labels, that we could have true freedom to play our chosen role in our God created realm, but at this stage in the game, we're stuck with our divide and rule labels and systems of control.
Jeremy's style is to the point, he has great depth of knowledge, an encyclopedic knowledge of his field and is a highly astute commentator. He presents a lot of complex information in fairly easy to digest chunks with his co-host, Greg McCarron, on their show "The Antedote" on YT, as well as doing a lot of guerilla style activism in US politics. Highly recommended.
norman wisdom ,i met elliot many years ago
the chap on the 8 year old lap top above
we called him fat face down the synagogue ohh how we laughed
he laughed as well everytime someone said it
are rabbi one day organised a trip and lecture tour of chatham house the belly of the beast.
we learnt all about how tough regime change was and how difficult it is to do on a bbc size budget.
what we learnt was that having are people everywhere really helped
scripted up to speed influencer roles in media in public on track on page working cog like.
a kind of khazar collective non semites only for security reasons of course.
we could work from a very low pound dollar and shekels base and still be very effective.
never under estimate the benjamins or elliots it is folks like this that are the real hero of the oded yinon
already my life
fat face eliot boy done good
and like all khazar he hates the sephardim jewisher and the unclean arab which is shirley a bonus is it not
George Mc ,First off, if folks haven't a clue who Harold Shipman is, you're not going to get far with Titus Oats. At the most they might think it's a character from Gormenghast.
Second, I initially misread the article and thought that the figure from the 17th century actually WAS Higgins of Bellingcat. And if that seems an absurd assumption to make, even temporarily, it doesn't seem much more absurd than some of the stuff he says e.g.
I had no knowledge beyond what I'd learned from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rambo.
The point has been raised that there are psyops perpetrated with a malicious sense of humour as if to say, "These suckers will swallow anything". Higgins with his "education" from Arnold and Rambo may be an example of one of those jokes.
Third, and to end on an optimistic note, I like the 17th century sentencing and recommend we bring it back:
and he was whipped and placed in the pillory.
Dungroanin ,Admin – a suggestion on keeping recent articles available from the top of the page.
Problem: As you add new aricles at top left the ones on the very right drop away! Almost as if being binned into a memory hole.
Solution: allow a scroll at the right hand edge so that these older links are easily available to readers. Only a minor coding change without any change to your front page.
Tallis Marsh ,I concur! I'm sure many of us will appreciate a scroll on the right hand edge so we can access the older articles. Thanks in advance, OffG!
Oliver ,HM Armed Forces operations in Syria follow the doctrine of Major General Sir Frank Kitson who learnt his stuff in Kenya in the 1950s. Murder, torture, rape the staples of the British military's modern terrorist ability. NATO doctrine too.
BigB ,This is an important article: one of the few that dares to express that Douma et al are not mere false flags they a darkly psychotic form of 'snuff propaganda porn' (including the recycling and rearanging of 'props' that were until recently animate human souls with a lifetime of possibility abnegated for ideology). The Working Group on Syria is part of a small counter-narrative subset – along with Sister Agnes Mariam, Vanessa Beeley, RT (on occasion), UK Column, The Indicter, Prof. Marcello Ferrada de Noli – who are willing to state plainly that this is child murder. Now I wholeheartedly commend Kevin that we should name and shame the culprits and their supporters.
"No, I think it is time for plainer, no-holds-barred language describing these people for the true evil they are – until the truth and label sticks."
I had a similar epiphany in early 2016. The barbaric of murder of starved and thirsty children at Rashidin – Syrian innocence lured by much needed sweets and drinks only to be blown apart in front of their mothers. Anyone who supports the White Helmets terrorist construct and their NATO-proxy child-murderers needs to be exposed. But what if that trail of exposure leads back to the leader of the Labour party: who had just personally endorsed the charity funding of the White Helmets? And continued to support the Jo Cox Foundation of Syrian humanitarian bombers and R2P interventionists? Which itself is a front for the dark money web of 'philanthrocapitalism' that is the shadow support network for regime change crimes against humanity. This is when righteous indignation meets the dark wall of silence around the social construction of reality. Especially if you put Jeremy Corbyn in the frame.
What this means is the ability to frame dark actors for the true evil they are has to be a two-way flow. Meaning is created across networks, not just by naming but by naming and agreeing across narrative communities. Again, this is not abstruse: it is social reality. Social reality is not reality: it is a consensual constructivism. Significant numbers of others have to be in a position of consensual agreement in order to challenge the dominant narrative(s). So I echo the sentiment that many can see that the dominant narrative – especially concerning Syria – is deeply flawed. But they are as yet unwilling to admit that the depth of the flaw is in fact a tear in social reality that cannot be easily healed.
This is the aspect of social reality called 'universe maintenance'. Doxa is the reality constructing belief set – the episteme of interacting beliefs. The narrative has two main aspects: ortho-doxa and hetero-doxa – the orthodox maintaining and heterodox subverting discourses. In order to truly subvert the hegemonic orthodoxy – there has to be a social moment of criticality when the heterodox is no longer deniable. To reach that point: the intrajecting true has to be believable to the hegemonic orthodoxy. Now we have a third mode: para-doxa when the true 'state of affairs' is not believable – it is easily rejected as paradoxical to the reigning consensus covenant of the true. This is universe maintaining: whereby the the totality of the dominant discourse actually subsumes or repels any paradox as a half-truth or ameliorated, disarmed less-than-true ('conspiracy theory'). This is known as 'recuperation'. Anything that meets the dominant discourse has to be explained in the terms of the dominant discourse accommodative and recommending itself to the dominant discourse. Which then becomes a part of the dominant universe of discourse.
A moment of the true is like a barb to a bubble. It has to be contained and wrapped in narrative that describes and explains it into a consumable form. The full realisation of the propagandic child murder in Syria – tacitly supported by the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn in particular – would destroy the symbolic universe of social reality. Of which it is my personal experience no one really wants to do. The correlations, direct and indirect links, and universally maintained orthodoxy of narrative discourse point to an accomodation. An explanation or multivariate set of explanations that problem shift and ascribe blame to imaginary actors. To deflect or defend the personal self. Because the personal self is independently situated outside the social sphere. Or is it?
Seeing the real event as it happens requires the perspicacity of social inclusion. We all create social reality together: with our without layers of dualising exclusion that protects us from the way the world really is. Who would vote to legitimise the supporters of NATO and the child-murderers of Syria? 31 million legitimising independent social actors just did. Do you suppose they did so in full knowledge that it is child-murder they were supporting? Or did they create universe maintaining accommodations to the truth? That is how powerful the screening discourses and legitimising orthodoxic narrative mythology is. It is not that it cannot be subverted: its just that calling out the true evil has to be heard in unison by large or social small assemblages willing to totally change everything – including themselves. In order to transition to a different social reality one that accommodates the truth. One which will look nothing like the social reality we choose to maintain as is.
Francis Lee ,My first attempt didn't get through. Herewith second.
It seems to me that the internal affairs of the Russian Federation, although they may have some impact on external geopolitical issues, are a matter for them. At the present time the relevant question regarding the RF is as follows: Question 1. Is Russia a revionist state intent on an expansionist foreign policy? Answer NO. But it is not going to tolerate NATO expansion into its own strategic zones, namely, Ukraine, Georgia and the North Caucusas. Question 2. Is the Anglo-Zionist empire in open of pursuit of a world empire intent on destroying any sovereign state – including first and foremost Russia – which stands in its way? Answer YES. This really is so blatant that anyone who is ethnically challenged should seek psychiatric help. In Polls conducted around the world the US is always cited as the most dangerous enemy of world peace, including in the US itself. Thus a small influential (unfortunately deranged) cabal based in the west has insinuated its way into the institutions of power and poses a real and present danger to world peace.
This being the case it is imperative to push all and any 'normal' western governments and shape public opinion and discourse (except the nut-jobs like Poland and the Baltics) into diplomacy. Wind down NATO just as the Warsaw Pact was wound down. that will do for starters. Of course the PTB in all the western institutions – the media (whores) the deep state, the Atlantic Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, Chatham House the Arms merchants, the security services GCHQ, the CIA, Mossad and the rest will oppose this with all the power at their command. This is the present primary site of struggle, mainly propagandistic, cultural and economic, but with overtones of kinetic warfare.
Similar diplomatic initiatives must be directed at China. Yes, I know all about China's social credit policy, I don't particularly like the idea of 24 hour system of surveillance, and I wouldn't want to live there, but is already a virtual fait accompli in the west. Again it bears repeating that sovereign states should be left to their own devices. After all 'States have neither permanent friends of allies, only permanent interests. (Lord Palmerston, 19 century British Statesman). No more 'humanitarian interventions' thank you very much. How about Mind our own Business non-interventions.
I make no apologies for being a foreign policy realist – if that hasn't become apparent by this stage!
The Russian Federation is involved is strategic partnership with China in consolidating the Eurasian 'supercontinent' into the world island. One which is slowly being drawn together into a massive market covering 70% of the world's population, 75% of energy resources, and 70% of GDP. I'd call that expansionist, wouldn't you?
Market mechanisms and methodology are exponentially expansionist, extractivist, and extrapolative. Market propaganda is free and equal exchange coupled with mutual development through comparative advantage. Everyone benefits, right?
No: markets operate as vast surplus value extractors that only operate unequally to deliver maximum competitive advantage to the suprasovereign core. Surplus value valorises surplus capital which cannot be contained in a single domestic market: so it seeks to exploit underdeveloped foreign markets setting up dependencies and peripheries in the satellite states. Which keeps them maldeveloped. In short: Russia and China's wealth is not just their own.
Russia and China are globalisation now. Globalist exponential expansionism, extractivism, and extrapolation is the repression of humanism and destruction of the biosphere. It can't stop growing in the cancer stage of hyper-capitalism. We are currently consuming every resource at a material throughput increase of 3% per annum year on year. That's a 23 year exponential doubling of material resources. And a 46 year doubling of the doubling. How long before globalisation uses everything? How far into the race to the bottom will the market collapse?
It would be really nice to return to a Westphalian System of non-expansionist, non-extractivist sovereign nation states. It is just not even plausible under market mechanisms of extraction. There can be no material decoupling and development remains contingent on an impossible infinity: because development remains parallel and assymetrically maintained. And all major resources are depleting exponentially too. Including the nominative renewable and sustainable ones.
Degrowth; self-sufficiency; localised 'anti-fragility', steady-state; asymmetric development of the marginalised and the peripheralised; regenerative agroecological agriculture; human development not abstract market development; are just some of the pre-requisites of a return to sovereign states. Russia 'sovereigntist' globalisation is the expansionist opposite to that. The RF is part of the biggest market in the world that hoovers up as much surplus value as it can before sending a large tranche of it to London. As much as $25bn a year in capital flight into the offshore nexus of secrecy jurisdictions. It's a globalist expansionist market mechanism that hoovers all vitality out of the life-ground. That: I call expansionist and imperialist of which Russia and China are now the major part.
Francis Lee ,"The Russian Federation is involved is strategic partnership with China in consolidating the Eurasian 'supercontinent' into the world island. One which is slowly being drawn together into a massive market covering 70% of the world's population, 75% of energy resources, and 70% of GDP. I'd call that expansionist, wouldn't you?"
No, I wouldn't actually. Building roads, rail connections and other trade routes doesn't strike me as imperial expansion. No-one is being forced to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) or into reconfiguring their internal political and economic structures, as the US does in Latin America or as the British did in India and Southern Africa. (East India Company and the British British South Africa Chartered Company). The SCO is a voluntary arrangement. Uzbekistan for example has decided not to join the central Asian Eurasian Economic Union – well that's its prerogative. No-one is going to send any gun-boats to force them. (I am aware that Uzbekistan is a landlocked country, but I was talking figuratively.)
The EEU's genesis has along with the SCO and BRI has been forced upon the China/Russia axis as part of an emerging counter-hegemonic alliance against the US's imperial aggrandisement with its kowtowing vassals in tow. Russia has no claims on any of its neighbours since it is already endowed with ample land and mineral deposits. China is a key part of this essentially geopolitical bloc quite simply because the US imperial hegemon is determined to stop China's development by all means necessary including the dragooning of contiguous military bases in US proxy states around China's maritime borders.
A distinction should be made between rampant imperialism of the Anglo-zi0nist empire, and the response of an increasingly bloc of states who find both their sovereignty and even their existence threatened by the imperial juggernaut. What exactly did you expect them to do given the hostility and destructive intent of the Empire? Defence against imperialism is not imperialism. The defence of autonomy and sovereignty of international society and the creation of an anti-hegemonic have the potential to finally create a transformative new world order (and goodness knows we need one) announced at the end of the Cold War in 1991. This ambition finds support not only in Russia and China but in other countries ready to align with them, but also in many western countries. I obviously need to put the question again. Who is and who is not the greatest threat to world peace? Surely to pose the question is to answer it.
Dungroanin ,Agree Francis.
There is a move to suggest that the Old Empire retains a 'maritime' world and the SCO confines itself to the Eurasian land mass.
The Empire is DEAD. Long live the new Empire!
BigB ,Who is the greatest threat to world peace and to the world itself? We are. The global carbon consumption/pollution bourgeoisie. It is the global expansionist mindset that is increasing its demands for growth – as the only solution to social problems, maldevelopment, and maldistribution caused by excessive growth. Supply has to be met by exponentially expanding markets. Whether this is voluntaristic or coerced makes very little difference to the market cancer subsuming the globe. Benign or aggressive forms of cancer are still cancer. And the net effect is the same.
Russia and China – the 'East' – uphold exactly the same corporate model of global governance that the 'West' does. Which has been made clear in every joint communique – especially BRICS communiques. I have made the case – following Professor Patrick Bond – that BRICS in particular (a literal Goldman Sachs globalist marketing ploy) – are sub-imperial, not anti-imperial. All their major institutions are dollar denominated for loans; BRI finance is in dollars; BRICS re-capitalised the IMF; Contingency Reserve Arrangements come with an IMF neoliberalising structural adjustment policy; etc. It is the same model East and West. One is merely the pseudo-benign extension of the other. The alternative to neoliberal globalisation is neoliberal globalisation. This became radiantly clear at SPIEF 2019: TINA there is no alternative.
The perceived alternative is the reproduction of neoliberalism – which has long been think-tanked and obvious – and its transformation from 'globalisation 3.0' to 'globalisation 4.0' trade in goods and services, with the emphasis on a transition to high-speed interconnectivity and decoupled service economies. Something like the Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway (TASIM)? With a sovereigntist and social inclusivity compact. So the neoliberal leopard can change its spots?
No. Whilst your argument is sound and well constructed: it is reliant on the early 20th century Leninist definition of 'imperialism' as a purely militarist phenomena. Imperialism mutated since then – from military to financial (which are not necessarily exclusive sets) – and is set to metastasise again into 'green imperialism' of man over man (and it is an andrarchic principle) and man (culture) over nature. Here your argument falls down to an ecological and bio-materialist critique. Cancer is extractivist and expansionist wherever it grows.
Russia is the fourth largest primary energy consumer on the planet. Disregarding hydro – which is not truly ecological – it has a 1% renewable penetration. It is a hydrocarbon behemoth set to grow the only way it knows how – consuming more hydrocarbons. They cannot go 'green': no one can. And a with a global ecological footprint of 3.3 planets per capita, per annum, this is not sustainable. Now or ever.
So a distinction needs to be made between the old rampant neoliberal globalisation model (3.0) – the Anglo-Zionist imperialist model – and the emergent neoliberal globalisation model (4.0) of Russia/China's rampant ecological imperialism? And a further distinction needs to be made about what humanity has to do to survive this distinction between aggressive and quasi-benign cancer forms. Because we will be just as dead, just as quick if we cannot even identify the underlying cancer we are all suffering from.
Koba ,Big B sit down ultra! China and Russia rent empires and have no desire to be! If you're a left winger you're another poor example of one and more than likely a Trotskyist
Richard Le Sarc ,Love the nickname, Josef.
Louis Proyect ,This is because if a chemical attack did not take place and Assad was not responsible it seems highly likely that the civilians including children were murdered to facilitate a fabrication.
And were our own intelligence agencies involved in a staged event, considering the refusal to even establish the basic facts in the days following?
This is the sort of conclusion you must come to if you are into Islamophobic conspiracy theories. The notion that this kind of slaughter took place to "facilitate" a false flag is analogous to the 9/11 conspiracism that was on display here a while back and that manifested itself through the inclusion of NYU 9/11 Truther Mark Crispin Miller on Tim Hayward's Assadist propaganda team.
Harry Stotle ,Go on Louis, remind us about the 'terrorist passport' miraculously found at the foot of the collapsed tower with a page coveniently left open displaying a 'Tora Bora' stamp – I kove that bit.
I mean who, apart from half the worlds scientific community is not totally convinced by such compelling evidence, especially when allied to the re-writing of the laws of physics in order to rationlise the ludicrous 2 planes 3 towers conspiracy theory?
Next you'll be telling us it was necessary for the US to invade Afghanistan and Iraq for reasons few American'srecall beyond the neocon fantasy contructed on 11th Septemember, 2001.
Dave Hansell ,It's clear to a blind man on a galloping horse from this comment of yours Mr Proyect that concepts such as objective evidence, logical and rational deduction, the scientific method etc are beyond your ken.
Faced with the facts of a collapsing narrative of obvious bullshit and lies you have bought into, which you are incapable of facing up to, it is unsurprising that you are reduced to such puerile school playground level deflections.
So come on, try getting out of the gutter and upping your game. Because this fare is nothing short of sad and pathetic.
We know from the evidence of those who actually know their arse from their elbow on these matters that the claims of an attack using chemical weapons on this site are unsustainable.
Which leaves the issue of the bodies at the site. Given they did not lose their lives as a result of the unscientific bullshit explanation you desperately and clearly want to be the case the question is how did those civilians lose their lives? How did their corpses find their way to that location?
Did Assad and his "regime" murder them and move the bodies to that site (over which they had no control) in order to create a false flag event to get themselves falsely accused of an NBC attack Louis? Because that's the only reasonable and rational deduction one can imply from your argument and approach.
It is certainly more reasoned, rational and in keeping with the scientific method (you might want to try it sometime) to surmise that the bodies on site, having not been the result of the claimed and unsustainable narrative you have naively committed to, either died on site from some other cause or were brought to the site for the purpose of creating your fantasy narrative.
In the latter case it is further a matter of rational and reasoned deduction that such an occurrence could only be carried it in circumstances in which whoever carried it out had actual, effective and physical control of a geographical location and area situated within a wider conflict zone.
Again, it remains a piece of factual reality that this location was not under the control of the Assad 'regime.' Not least because otherwise there would be no logical or rational military reason for the de facto Syrian Government and it's armed forces to waste resources attacking it.
Unless of course he buys I to the conspiracy theory and hat they somehow organised a false flag implicating themselves?
I'm sure everyone else here in the reality based community is waiting with bated breath for you to 'explain' how they did this Louis.
I know I am. I could do with a good laugh.
George Mc ,
This is the sort of conclusion you must come to if you are into Islamophobic conspiracy theories.
Umm – the assumption that Muslims DIDN'T do it is "Islamophobic"? Even on your own terms you're not making much sense these days, Louis.
lundiel ,There was little doubt that British special forces were captured in Eastern Ghouta when the SAA prevented an all out attack on Damascus. European precursors and British munitions were uncovered along with factories within the tunnel complex, itself a product of western engineering and slave labour. This was no propaganda, evidence was collected, statements were taken and everything was documented. Douma was a direct follow-on from that failure and yet, you refuse the evidence piling up, but accept testimony of journalists based in Jordan and Turkey? The "conspiracy" is wholly yours Louis and you are guilty of malicious intent, false representation and pretending to be a "Marxist" when you are a Zionist neocon.
lundiel ,Hi I'm Louis an unrepentant Marxist and I willfully refuse to use block-quotes.
Richard Le Sarc ,More proyectile vomitus in defence of child-murdering salafist vermin. How low can this creature descend?
Louis Proyect ,Richard, such abusive language only indicates your inability to discuss the matter at hand. In general, a detached sarcasm works much better in polemics. You need to read Lenin to see how it is done. I should add that I am referring to V.I. Lenin, not John Lenin who wrote "Crippled Inside".
Richard Le Sarc ,You defended the salafist butchers with lies, proyectile-do you not even comprehend your own sewage? Or did someone else write it and you just appended your paw-print?
Dave Hansell ,Apologies here. There is an open goal and the ball needs to be put in the back of the net:
Seems that Louis here is well ahead of the curve in terms of Fukuyama's well known observation about the end of history.
For Louise history, in terms of the progress and development of human knowledge, stopped around a century ago with whatever Lenin wrote.
But that's what happens to those who only read one book.
Dungroanin ,You come across more as Yaxley – Lenin mr Tommy Proyect – but he is a MI5 stooge unlike you cough cough.
Koba ,Lenin hates Trotsky! Trotsky was a power mad maniac who wanted a permanent war state to somehow spread his specific brand of "ahem" socialism, which won't win you friends! "Hi yeah sorry we killed your family in a war we started to save you but yippee Trotsky is now in charge so stop complaining"! You're just a bunch of liars the trots
Maggie ,learn to use the internet which has the information you need to learn the truth:
Acting out a chemical attack?
Jimmy Dore hits the nail every time!!
Didn't you just love George Carlin, identifies just what the problem is with dicks like Proyect.
Maggie ,Here's another Jimmy Dore Vid from 2017
Watch and learn
Koba ,Maggie don't take jimmy bore as some truth teller he's a bland progressive with revolutionary slogans like proyect! He also has a habit of equating Stalin with Hitler in that god awful nasal accent of his
Richard Le Sarc ,Thems White Helmets is always so neat and tidy. Their mammies must have insisted that they always look their best.
paul ,The British taxpayer funded head choppers and throat slitters in Syria routinely committed massacres and filmed their victims. The resulting footage was passed off by tame media hacks as "evidence" of regime atrocities.
Koba ,Death to the Trotskyists
Fuck proyect your name calling says it all!
Islamophobes indeed?! What an idiot
Harry Stotle ,The alternative media, and a smattering of truth tellers are locked in an asymmetrical information-war with the establishment – with an all too obvious 'David & Goliath' sort of dynamic underlying it.
The question asked at the heart of this article is how to break the vice like grip information managers hold over various geopolitical narratives, referencing events in Douma in particular.
Alnost reflexively 9/11 comes to mind – a fairly unambiguous example of mass murder for which the official account does not withstand even the most cursory form of scrutiny.
Professionals even went so far as to purger themselves while the investigating committee admitted they were 'set up to fail' (to quote its chairman).
Yet the public, instead of shredding Bush, limb from limb (for the lies that were told) rolled onto their back while the neoncons tickled their collective belly as you might do with a particulalrly adorable puppy,
So if we can't even get to the bottom of events in the middle of New York what realistic chance of doing so in a hostile war zone like Douma?
On balance racism, together with other forms of collective loathing is the most likely reason why this unsatisfactory state of affairs is unlikely to change.
A collective 'them and us' mindset makes it far easier for information managers to manipulate a visceral hatred and fear of 'the other'.
Today it is Qasem Soleimani westerners are taugyt to despise, yesterday it was Bashar al-Assad, before that Vladimir Putin, Saddam Hussein, Muammar al-Gaddafi, Nicolás Maduro . the list just goes on and on.
Information managers simply wind the public up so that collective anger can be directed toward governments or individuals they are trying to bring down – recent history tells us that the public are largely oblivious to this process, so thus never learn from their mistakes.
Perhaps one thing western leaders, and the US in particular can always rely on, is the ease with which the public can be persuaded to believe that certain bogeymen pose a grave threat to 'our way of life' while failing to notice that it is in fact our own leaders who are carrying out the worst atrocities.
harry law ,Harry Stotle, .."Perhaps one thing western leaders, and the US in particular can always rely on, is the ease with which the public can be persuaded to believe that certain bogeymen pose a grave threat to 'our way of life'. That's true Hermann Goring had it about right with this quote
"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
Jan 24, 2020 | dissidentvoice.org
by Ben Norton / January 23rd, 2020Video and a transcript of former OPCW engineer and dissenter Ian Henderson's UN testimony appears at the end of this report.
A former lead investigator from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has spoken out at the United Nations, stating in no uncertain terms that the scientific evidence suggests there was no gas attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018.
The dissenter, Ian Henderson, worked for 12 years at the international watchdog organization, serving as an inspection team leader and engineering expert. Among his most consequential jobs was assisting the international body's fact-finding mission (FFM) on the ground in Douma.
He told a UN Security Council session convened on January 20 by Russia's delegation that OPCW management had rejected his group's scientific research, dismissed the team, and produced another report that totally contradicted their initial findings.
"We had serious misgivings that a chemical attack had occurred," Henderson said, referring to the FFM team in Douma.
The former OPCW inspector added that he had compiled evidence through months of research that "provided further support for the view that there had not been a chemical attack."
Western airstrikes based on unsubstantiated allegations by foreign-backed jihadists
Foreign-backed Islamist militants and the Western government-funded regime-change influence operation known as the White Helmets accused the Syrian government of dropping gas cylinders and killing dozens of people in the city of Douma on April 7, 2018. Damascus rejected the accusation, claiming the incident was staged by the insurgents.
At the time, Douma was controlled by the extremist Salafi-jihadist militia Jaysh al-Islam , which was created and funded by Saudi Arabia and formerly allied with Syria's powerful al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra .
The governments of the United States, Britain, and France responded to the allegations of a chemical attack by launching airstrikes against the Syrian government on April 14. The military assault was illegal under international law, as the countries did not have UN authorization.
Numerous OPCW whistleblowers and leaks challenge Western government claims
In May 2019, an internal OPCW engineering assessment was leaked to the public. The document, authored by Ian Henderson, said the "dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders" in Douma "were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder having been delivered from an aircraft," adding that there is "a higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft."
After reviewing the leaked report, MIT professor emeritus of Science, Technology and International Security Theodore Postol told The Grayzone, "The evidence is overwhelming that the gas attacks were staged." Postol also accused OPCW leadership of overseeing "compromised reporting" and ignoring scientific evidence .
In November, a second OPCW whistleblower came forward and accused the organization's leadership of suppressing countervailing evidence , under pressure by three US government officials .
WikiLeaks has published numerous internal emails from the OPCW that reveal allegations that the body's management staff doctored the Douma report.
As the evidence of internal suppression grew, the OPCW's first director-general, José Bustani, decided to speak out. "The convincing evidence of irregular behavior in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had," Bustani stated.
"I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing," the former OPCW head concluded.
OPCW whistleblower testimony at UN Security Council meeting on Douma
On January 20, 2020, Ian Henderson delivered his first in-person testimony, alleging suppression by OPCW leadership. He spoke at a UN Security Council Arria-Formula meeting on the fact-finding mission report on Douma.
( Video of the session follows at the bottom of this article, along with a full transcript of Henderson's testimony .)
China's mission to the UN invited Ian Henderson to testify in person at the Security Council session. Henderson said in his testimony that he had planned to attend, but was unable to get a visa waiver from the US government. (The Trump administration has repeatedly blocked access to the UN for representatives from countries that do not kowtow to its interests, turning UN visas into a political weapon in blatant violation of the international body's headquarters agreement .)
Henderson told the Security Council in a pre-recorded video message that he was not the only OPCW inspector to question the leadership's treatment of the Douma investigation.
"My concern, which was shared by a number of other inspectors, relates to the subsequent management lockdown and the practices in the later analysis and compilation of a final report," Henderson explained.
Soon after the alleged incident in Douma in April 2018, the OPCW FFM team had deployed to the ground to carry out an investigation, which it noted included environmental samples, interviews with witnesses, and data collection.
In July 2018, the FFM published its interim report , stating that it found no evidence of chemical weapons use in Douma. ("The results show that no organophosphorous nerve agents or their degradation products were detected in the environmental samples or in the plasma samples taken from alleged casualties," the report indicated.)
"By the time of release of the interim report in July 2018, our understanding was that we had serious misgivings that a chemical attack had occurred," Henderson told the Security Council.
After this inspection that led to the interim report, however, Henderson said the OPCW leadership decided to create a new team, "the so-called FFM core team, which essentially resulted in the dismissal of all of the inspectors who had been on the team deployed to locations in Douma and had been following up with their findings and analysis."
Then in March 2019, this new OPCW team released a final report, in which it claimed that chemical weapons had been used in Douma.
"The findings in the final FFM report were contradictory, were a complete turnaround with what the team had understood collectively during and after the Douma deployments," Henderson remarked at the UN session.
"The report did not make clear what new findings, facts, information, data, or analysis in the fields of witness testimony, toxicology studies, chemical analysis, and engineering, and/or ballistic studies had resulted in the complete turn-around in the situation from what was understood by the majority of the team, and the entire Douma [FFM] team, in July 2018," Henderson stated.
The former OPCW expert added, "I had followed up with a further six months of engineering and ballistic studies into these cylinders, the result of which had provided further support for the view that there had not been a chemical attack."
via @ BenjaminNorton
A former OPCW inspection team leader and engineering expert told the UN Security Council that their investigation in Douma, Syria suggested no chemical attack took place. But their findings were suppressed and reversed
Read more here: https://t.co/HI028MZl0k
via @BenjaminNorton pic.twitter.com/rmaSzWzs5Z
-- The Grayzone (@TheGrayzoneNews) January 22, 2020
US government pressure on the OPCW
The US government responded to this historic testimony at the UN session by attacking Russia, which sponsored the Arria-Formula meeting.
Acting US representative Cherith Norman Chalet praised the OPCW, aggressively condemned the "Assad regime," and told the UN that the "United States is proud to support the vital, life-saving work of the White Helmets" – a US and UK-backed organization that collaborated extensively with ISIS and al-Qaeda and have been involved in numerous executions in Syrian territory occupied by Islamist extremists .
The US government has a long history of pressuring and manipulating the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, the George W. Bush administration threatened José Bustani, the first director of the OPCW, and pressured him to resign.
In 2002, as the Bush White House was preparing to wage a war on Iraq, Bustani made an agreement with the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein that would have permitted OPCW inspectors to come to the country unannounced for weapons investigations. This infuriated the US government.
Then-Under Secretary of State John Bolton told Bustani in 2002 that US Vice President Dick " Cheney wants you out ." Bolton threatened the OPCW director-general, stating, "You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don't comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you We know where your kids live."
Attacking the credibility of Ian Henderson
While OPCW managers have kept curiously silent amid the scandal over their Douma report, an interventionist media outlet called Bellingcat has functioned as an outsourced press shop, aggressively defending the official narrative and attacking its most prominent critics, including Ian Henderson.
Bellingcat is funded by the US government's regime-change arm, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and is part of an initiative bankrolled by the British Foreign Office.
Following Henderson's testimony, Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins tried to besmirch the former OPCW engineer's credibility by implying he was being used by Russia . Until 2019, Higgins worked at the Atlantic Council , a pro-war think tank financed by the American and British governments , as well as by NATO.
Supporters of the OPCW's apparently doctored final report have relied heavily on Bellingcat to try to discredit the whistleblowers and growing leaks. Scientific expert Theodor Postol, who debated Higgins, has noted that Bellingcat "have no scientific credibility at any level." Postol says he even suspects that OPCW management may have relied on Bellingcat's highly dubious claims in its own compromised reporting.
Higgins has no expertise or scientific credentials, and even The New York Times acknowledged in a highly sympathetic piece that "Higgins attributed his skill not to any special knowledge of international conflicts or digital data, but to the hours he had spent playing video games, which, he said, gave him the idea that any mystery can be cracked."
In his testimony before the UN Security Council, Ian Henderson stressed that he was speaking out in line with his duties as a scientific expert.
Henderson said he does not even like the term whistleblower and would not use it to describe himself, because, "I'm a former OPCW specialist who has concerns in an area, and I consider this a legitimate and appropriate forum to explain again these concerns."
Russia's UN representative added that Moscow had also invited the OPCW director-general and representatives of the organization's Technical Secretariat, but they chose not to participate in the session.
Video of the UN Security Council session on the OPCW's Douma report
Ian Henderson's testimony begins at 57:30 in this official UN video :
Transcript: Testimony by OPCW whistleblower Ian Henderson at the UN Security Council
"My name is Ian Henderson. I'm a former OPCW inspection team leader, having served for about 12 years. I heard about this meeting and I was invited by the minister, councilor of the Chinese mission to the UN. Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances around my ESTA visa waiver status, I was not able to travel. I thus submitted a written statement, to which I will now add a short introduction.
I need to point out at the outset that I'm not a whistleblower; I don't like that term. I'm a former OPCW specialist who has concerns in an area, and I consider this a legitimate and appropriate forum to explain again these concerns.
Secondly, I must point out that I hold the OPCW in the highest regard, as well as the professionalism of the staff members who work there. The organization is not broken; I must stress that. However, the concern I have does relate to some specific management practices in certain sensitive missions.
The concern, of course, relates to the FFM investigation into the alleged chemical attack on the 7th of April in Douma, in Syria. My concern, which was shared by a number of other inspectors, relates to the subsequent management lockdown and the practices in the later analysis and compilation of a final report.
There were two teams deployed; one team, which I joined shortly after the start of field deployments, was to Douma in Syria; the other team deployed to country X.
The main concern relates to the announcement in July 2018 of a new concept, the so-called FFM core team, which essentially resulted in the dismissal of all of the inspectors who had been on the team deployed to locations in Douma and had been following up with their findings and analysis.
The findings in the final FFM report were contradictory, were a complete turnaround with what the team had understood collectively during and after the Douma deployments. And by the time of release of the interim report in July 2018, our understanding was that we had serious misgivings that a chemical attack had occurred.
What the final FFM report does not make clear, and thus does not reflect the views of the team members who deployed to Douma -- in which case I really can only speak for myself at this stage -- the report did not make clear what new findings, facts, information, data, or analysis in the fields of witness testimony, toxicology studies, chemical analysis, and engineering, and/or ballistic studies had resulted in the complete turn-around in the situation from what was understood by the majority of the team, and the entire Douma team, in July 2018.
In my case, I had followed up with a further six months of engineering and ballistic studies into these cylinders, the result of which had provided further support for the view that there had not been a chemical attack.
This needs to be properly resolved, we believe through the rigors of science and engineering. In my situation, it's not a political debate. I'm very aware that there is a political debate surrounding this.
Perhaps a closing comment from my side is that I was also the inspection team leader who developed and launched the inspections, the highly intrusive inspections, of the Barzah SSRC facility, just outside Damascus. And I did the inspections and wrote the reports for the two inspections prior to, and the inspection after the chemical facility, or the laboratory complex at Barzah SSRC, had been destroyed by the missile strike.
That, however, is another story altogether, and I shall now close. Thank you."
• Article first published in The GrayzoneBen Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker. He is the assistant editor of The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast, which he co-hosts with editor Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com and he tweets at @ BenjaminNorton . Read other articles by Ben , or visit Ben's website .
This article was posted on Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 at 12:37pm and is filed under Chemical weapons , Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) , Syria , United Nations , WikiLeaks .
Jan 23, 2020 | off-guardian.org
Yesterday the UNSC held a special panel to discuss the reliability and impartiality of the OPCW, most specifically regarding the alleged Douma "chemical attack". The expert panel reviewed and revealed some worrying evidence.
Most important was the testimony of Ian Henderson, former OPCW inspector and leader of the engineering sub-team who visited Douma.
Ian Henderson, the source of the famous leaked "dissenting report" on the placement of gas cylinders at the Douma site, was speaking via video link due to being denied a VISA by the US authorities (we don't know why this happened, but I'm sure it was all honest and above board, and not just petty politicking).
He told the UNSC that findings of the experts on the ground were totally ignored by their OPCW bosses.
By the time of release of the interim report in July 2018, our understanding was that we had serious misgivings that a chemical attack had occurred."
And added that the final report was a "complete turnaround" on these findings, and authored by a separate group who had never visited the site .
Unsurprisingly, efforts to smear Mr Henderson, or otherwise minimise his testimony, were quick to appear.
Thomas Phipps, a UK diplomat to the UN chimed in with some rather xenophobic snobbery:
Four Russians and one Syrian make up the 'expert' panel at Russia's #UNSC Arria meeting on #Syria Chemical Weapons. Four are diplomats and one an academic whose credentials are unclear. These are not impartial actors without an agenda. pic.twitter.com/y2PSv4QYOw
-- Thomas Phipps (@thomasphipps) January 20, 2020
You'll notice he doesn't mention Henderson at all.
Plus, there were the usual non-arguments from the usual unqualified, NATO-backed mouth pieces:
Meanwhile, the Western press is simply keeping shtum, with the testimony of Henderson, and the UN panel in general, not mentioned in any mainstream outlet we can find.
That seems unlikely to change.
Rhys Jaggar ,The fact that Thomas Phipps calls himself a diplomat should alert all that he is 'lying for his country', whether that be abroad or if he happened to be based in the UK when he uttered his smear.
The definition of a diplomat being one who 'lies abroad for his country' should always be at the front of the mind of anyone seeking truth. Diplomats should always be assumed to be lying, honourably of course, until proven otherwise.
It is what diplomats do, after all.
JudyJ ,That would be Thomas Phipps MBE . Having worked for over 5 years at Tate & Lyle he qualified for a 'desk officer' job at the FCO in 2009 as a diplomatic 'fast streamer' (i.e. someone with 'recognised potential' to progress up the grades to the highest level). After just over 2 years he transferred to the diplomatic service, working in Manila until 2016. It was for that work that he was awarded his MBE in 2015.
When I was a civil servant many 'fast streamers who worked for the Foreign Office or diplomatic service' unofficially earned themselves another job title – w..kers! They really considered themselves to be something special when they were anything but. And believe you me, I came across many in my years of service. Once you had your foot in the door the only way was up as long as you were a 'yes' man or woman. Phipps resoundingly meets this criterion. As I have commented previously, he is clearly intended to be Dame Karen Pierce's replacement when she moves on to spread her lies, xenophobia and arrogance elsewhere.
Yarkob ,"last minute Visa waiver issues" caused Mr. Henderson to have to give evidence by video link instead of in person as planned.
What were they, I wonder an ESTA lasts 2 years last time I checked. Did he forget to renew it before coming to New York? Doesn't sound like something somebody as apparently meticulous as Mr. Henderson would do
Gall ,Many of us already knew that it was nothing but a false flag brought to you by George Clueless' favorite group the White Helmets since it made no sense why Assad would desperately launch a chemical attack when 1) he was winning 2) he's never done so in the past even and 3)he doesn't have the means to do it even if he wanted to .
Some of us tried to tell Trump this but it seems that his head was so far up Bibi's ass he never listened to us and said damn the torpedos or the cruise missiles in this case and at that point gave the finger to the base that elected him.
He's currently been impeached but like Clinton for the wrong high crimes and misdemeanors so his fat lying ass won't be convicted.
Antonym ,The CIA is not run from Jerusalem, or Washington for that matter. More from Langley or central New York (not Trump!!).
Tallis Marsh ,The truth will out, despite the propaganda-by-omission MSM!
On a different (yet also important) subject of the Opposition Leadership Election – good news!
'Long-Bailey backs open selections in "democratic revolution" plan':
Rebecca Long Bailey is showing her principles, steel, political astuteness, and a true sense of democracy! 'Open Selections' will be immensely popular with the membership and is a game-changer which will help her win. This will put the spanner in the works for Keir "Trilateral Commission" Agent Starmer.
Vote for Rebecca Long-Bailey for Leader and Richard Burgon for Deputy Leader!
Protect ,After hundreds of years of murder and theft, Western Civilisation is now capable of propping its relevance ONLY by resorting to Lies and Deceit to justify wanton violence against nations they dont like.
unknown drill ,"Western Civilisation" – that's a good one, that is ! I like the idea of that. When can we start, then.
Jack_Garbo ,You stole that one from Gandhi
Richard Le Sarc ,The comment by that swine Higgins MUST win some prize for filthy hypocrisy, but at least they show, emphatically, that the metastasis has NO interest in the truth, just ensuring his NATO pay-cheque keeps on coming.
norman wisdom ,the chap above mr henderson should avoid country walks with friendly mi5 sas or oded yinon mossad types
and if invited for country supper he should not carry pocket knife
while walking in the country
arm in arm with mossadick henchmen on way 2 n snuff out event
like dr kelly
or mountain top romantick snuff walk like robin cook
henderson should avoid all suicided push jump trip thoughts while mountain high
or avoid suicided pocket knife wrist attacks upon himself
while being carried too the designated ritual killing zone
certainly avoid any khazar company on designated chabad holiday
Rhys Jaggar ,Eliot Higgins discussing 'establishing ones credibility' has to go down as joke of the decade, and we only in January 2020 ..
George Mc ,
Whatever the outcome of the planned challenge to OPCW officials by dissidents at a November 25th conference, the burden will fall upon them to make a compelling case for a false flag.
No, the burden always falls on those who make the initial claim. And that intial claim is what Henderson is disputing.
paul ,I wouldn't take too much notice of Soros funded CIA Front NGOs if I were you. They'd swear that the moon was made of green cheese for a few bucks from Soros.
There you go with your racist dismissal of the head choppers again. They're not capable of making a hole in a roof or moving a couple of canisters around. And apparently local people (if there are any left in the area) have nothing better to do than scrutinise the activities of the head choppers to report on anything they do that is not 100% kosher.
paul ,As to where the corpses came from, there are 3 options.
-The plastic dummies they use in their "atrocity" videos.
– The live "extras" who lie on sheets, pretending to be dead, until they get bored and start yawning and scratching their noses.
– Victims chosen at random from the hostages they have seized as human shields,
women and children driven round in cages on the backs of lorries. Or just villagers killed at random as grisly props in their latest theatrical production.
You seem to have a touching faith in the "reputation" of people who like to film themselves cannibalising corpses, beheading children, and slitting the throats of prisoners.
lundiel ,Yes. I saw such an underground machine shop come munitions factory in a video by Vanessa Beeley filmed just after the liberation of Eastern Ghouta. It was full of European made precursors and British mortar shells in various stages of dismantling. All in preparation for "the final assault on Damascus" which was intercepted by the SAA.
paul ,Luckily, the British special forces running the show managed to bug out through Israel after donning the obligatory white helmets.
Steve Hayes ,When General Mad Dog Mattis was the US Secretary of Defence he publicly asserted that the US had no evidence that Assad had ever used chemical weapons. The corporate media largely ignored this admission. After his gaffe, Mattis subsequently stated that he was certain that Assad had used chemical weapons (although he offered nothing other than is certainty to support the assertion). The corporate media, of course, gave this claim a completely acritical platform, reporting it as though it was an established fact.
Richard Le Sarc ,And isn' t it illuminating of the true nature of the Western Free Press and its presstitute denizens that this stonking great story has had virtually NO coverage, and that which appears is proyectile level disinfo and agit-prop for the child-killer salafists.
Gall ,Should use quotes around "free". Unless your referring to its use as toilet paper, wrapping fish or lining the bottom of a bird cage.
JudyJ ,Ian Henderson has more dignity and integrity in his little finger than Phipps and Pierce put together. They are either corrupt or seriously lacking in intellect. As a former UK HQ civil servant myself, I am ashamed that we appear to have sunk to an all time low in what they stand for and their willing subservience to the morally unscrupulous.
SO. ,Henderson has probably forgotten more about chemical munitions design and deployment than a little turd like Higgins would ever know.
The fact Higgins *didn't* know who he is just goes to show you how well he understands the subject matter.
Jan 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Arch Mangle , Jan 21 2020 14:04 utc | 3The Wikipedia article on the Douma attack makes no mention of the recent OPCW leaks:
It's clear to me that Wikipedia is nothing but a tool for the concealment of truth.
somebody , Jan 22 2020 12:39 utc | 96Posted by: Walter | Jan 22 2020 12:30 utc | 95
Of course. Intelligence services wordwide and their governments knew this as soon as they saw the image.
But Western main stream media does not report on it.
Jan 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
uncle tungsten , Jan 22 2020 10:10 utc | 93juliania #66
I do agree with Robert that the visa difficulties would suggest that the UN needs to find a new home in a country that would not bring such matters to that unhelpful conclusion.
Establishing the UN in one country was fine in the days of poor speed telecommunications. The entire Un should be a multi national establishment and distributed across the globe where technical and administrative mechanisms suit. There is no reason for Un to be centralised in USA in these day of excellent communications systems. Multinational corporations and vast states like Russia that span half the planet can achieve these things.
The blatant hoax of the OPCW Douma exercise is simply an insult to the common sense of humanity. The fact that so many children were sacrificed to give gravity to this hoax is simply macabre beyond belief. The OPCW is complicit in a crime against humanity and refuses to acknowledge it. Each and every one of the scientists that participated should give recorded testimony of what they know of the origins and fate of those children. THAT is an absolute priority evidence collection.
Laguerre , Jan 22 2020 15:58 utc | 104Posted by: bevin | Jan 22 2020 15:38 utc | 103
I entirely agree. The really shocking thing was to denial of a visa for Henderson. That undermines the entire functioning of the UN as an entity at least to an extent independent of the US. The UN cannot function like that. It can only be a puppet of the US - and an open puppet, not concealed control (as many here have accused over the years).
Trump is not very subtle, he has wrecked many US policies, by exposing them in the open - for example, the treatment of the EU as a prime enemy. Nobody knew (though they guessed) how much the US treated the EU as a competitor. Now it's declared in the open.
Jan 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Piotr Berman , Jan 22 2020 16:32 utc | 108This is a relevant quote from a commentary in NYT, March 26, 2018 by Kadri Liik (@KadriLiik) is a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and the former director of the International Center for Defense Studies in Estonia.
"The world does not yet know the full details of the Skripal poisoning, but it does not feel like waiting, as the expulsions make clear. Too often in the past, Moscow has denied its involvement in cases that later end up being traced to the Kremlin or its proxies. The result is that its denials lack credibility. Now, the successful use of "plausible deniability" in all the previous cases collides with the Kremlin's current interests and contributes to the verdict: guilty until proven innocent."
Punishment before the proof, if you reverse the order you [do what Putin wants|make Putin happy], the outcome so ghastly that we cannot risk it. The truth has to be declared, and then, optionally, proven. Another option is to just repeat that, say, Qassim Suleimani was a terrorist. And punish.
Bombing of Barzeh as a punishment for un-investigated crime follows the template, duly approved by the sophisticated Europeans from a myriad of outfits like International Center for Defense Studies in Estonia. I would move all of them to Tiksi (check accuweather), a quiet and somewhat depopulated city on the shore of beautiful Arctic ocean, with an airport, a few thousand of empty apartments should accommodate them (if not, there are also former mining towns in the interior, although the may be colder). Cold Warriors should embrace the cold.
Jan 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
bevin , Jan 22 2020 15:38 utc | 103somebody@94
Don't underestimate the transformation of residual 'blood and soil' themes in fascism into foundations of the Green movements. They were not simply dissenters within the communist tradition but rabid anti-communists. It was the intellectual traditions and the residual popular support among generations schooled in fascism-often literally schooled- which were preserved and amplified by the wave of anti-communism which came in from America. Like the legendary 'cavalry' rescuing the embattled settlers the US swooped into Europe, when all seemed lost, and turned the remnants of fascism into heroes.
Many of those who sneaked out to Argentina and concealed themselves would have done better to have waited for Canada and the States to invite them to come and 'do their thing' in Cleveland, Chicago, Montreal and Edmonton, Alberta.
Which leads me to the point I came here to make: the astonishing thing about the OPCW hearing is that Henderson was denied a visa. That really is shocking and a measure of how brutal, intellectually and actually, the US government has become. It has long been bad but things have reached the stage now where it has become clear that the likes Of Al Capone and the models for The Godfather movies, were babes in arms compared with the likes of Bolton or Pompeo.
When we consider Trump and the key, almost impossibly apt, fact that Roy Cohn was his mentor it is easy to forget that, in a sense, Roy Cohn was America's mentor. Cohn, who got the job of McCarthy's counsel, in competition with Bobby Kennedy, turned the Wisconsin Senator from a loose cannon into a guided missile against the residual American left and, a much easier target, the Intelligentsia.
And Cohn and McCarthy and the forces that they represented- the primordial forces of Capitalism- put the fear of poverty into them. It is impossible to understand the USA today, and its role in the world, without understanding that its intellectuals were intimidated into exile, silence, compromise, retreat and impotence as the new Imperialism set about its ruthless work. Look at the late forties, from Taft Hartley (and the crushing of the Unions)to such forgotten but signatory interventions as that in Guyana against Cheddi Jagan (repeated by JFK in 1960) Guatemala and Iran. Not to mention the imposition of semi colonial hegemony over Europe.
All these things have lasted. And Cohn's role in producing them was crucial-it was the bipartisanship of bigotry and brutality and Tammany gangsterism. (An old alliance that, between Jim Crow and the Machines.)
Trump is one of Cohn's kids but much more representative of them is Hillary Clinton, daughter of a John Bircher, a Goldwater girl, a 'feminist'-of the thoroughly sickening variety- and imbued with a hatred of Russia.
somebody , Jan 22 2020 21:00 utc | 118Posted by: bevin | Jan 22 2020 15:38 utc | 103karlof1 , Jan 22 2020 17:45 utc | 114
Foundation members of the Greens were very diverse, for sure. The right wing ecofascist faction left them soon though - they were incompatible.
There is the elementary conflict between SPD/Linke voters and Greens though on industrial economic growth and consumerism.pretzelattack , Jan 22 2020 18:01 utc | 115
The Soviet Union won the war, the United States won the peace... That didn't happen by accident.
The Outlaw US Empire immediately initiated the Cold War as soon as V-E day happened by collecting SS and Gestapo for redeployment into Eastern Europe to commit acts of terrorism, a preplanned exercise. It later held the farcical trials at Nuremburg. Walter's provided lots of nice insight into the aims of the Manhattan Project and real reason for murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese. The Great Evil that's today's USA got its start during WW2, but its philosophical underpinnings are as old as the Republic.
If History is going to be remembered correctly, then ALL of that History must be revealed--true and raw, just as Putin and the Russians propose to do with their historical memory project.another benefit for the u.s., all those german scientists via operation paperclip. helped keep the mic running after it would normally ramp down postwar.pretzelattack , Jan 22 2020 18:01 utc | 115 karlof1 , Jan 22 2020 19:02 utc | 116bevin @103--karlof1 , Jan 22 2020 20:04 utc | 117
Yes, Standing Ovation!! So much of that's now swept under the rug. Henry Wallace was all too correct about US Fascism in his 1944 essay. During WW2, Charles Beard wrote a book that was initially serialized in Life magazine beginning on 17 Jan 1944, The Republic: Conversations on Fundamentals , which was read by and sold more copies than any of his works--ever--and was the last major book he produced. Yet, when you look at the short bibliography at Wikipedia or the one provided by its link to the American History Association, it is omitted--WHY? I used it as a teaching tool for both history and polisci because of its brilliant construction--the way in which Beard composed it as a series of conversations. This link provides a hint , or you can join the archive and "borrow" it as there's no open downloading of this book available--WHY? Lots of his other works are feely available. It's not hard to find used first editions for under $4, which attests to the number published. But it certainly seems like we're not supposed to know of this work as its airbrushing from his AHA bibliography suggests.
Maybe what Beard wrote about was too contrary to The Plan. Aha!! Beard wrote that it was his rebuttal to Henry Luce--the owner/publisher of Life and Time magazines--and his idea of an American Century meaning American Empire a la Rome/Britain--Pax Americana. The mystery gets deeper upon reading the introduction at the first link above. I wish I could copy/paste, but I'm barred from doing that, so you'll need to read it yourself. One can envision Bradbury's Firemen rushing out to eliminate just such a book with its heretical ideas about how the US federal government's supposed to operate and for whom.
But back to bevin and his recounting of a critical historical chapter that's also being airbrushed. Some of us barflies are akin to Bradbury's "Train People" from Fahrenheit 451 , but how confident are we that the stories we have to tell are being heard AND remembered so they don't vanish with us?116 Cont'd--karlof1 , Jan 22 2020 23:51 utc | 123
This is more for Bubbles @71, but applies to all. This is from 2017 upon the release of UN Holocaust files held back on request by the Outlaw US Empire and its vassal Britain as reported in an excellent article by Finnian Cunningham:
"In other words, the Cold War which the US and Britain embarked on after 1945 was but a continuation of hostile policy towards Moscow that was already underway well before the Second World War erupted in 1939 in the form of a build up of Nazi Germany. For various reasons, it became expedient for the Western powers to liquidate the Nazi war machine, along with the Soviet Union. But as can be seen, the Western assets residing in the Nazi machine were recycled into American and British Cold War posture against the Soviet Union. It is a truly damning legacy that American and British military intelligence agencies were consolidated and financed by Nazi crimes.
"The recent release of UN Holocaust files – in spite of American and British prevarication over many years – add more evidence to the historical analysis that these Western powers were deeply complicit in the monumental crimes of the Nazi Third Reich. They knew about these crimes because they had helped facilitate them. And the complicity stemmed from Western hostility towards Russia as a perceived geopolitical rival.
" This is not a mere historical academic exercise . Western complicity with Nazi Germany also finds a corollary in the present-day ongoing hostility from Washington, Britain and their NATO allies towards Moscow. The relentless build up of NATO offensive forces around Russia's borders, the endless Russophobia in Western propagandistic news media, the economic blockade in the form of sanctions based on tenuous claims, are all deeply rooted in history. [My Emphasis]
"The West's Cold War towards Moscow preceded the Second World War, continued after the defeat of Nazi Germany and persists to this day regardless of the fact that the Soviet Union no longer exists. Why? Because Russia is a perceived rival to Anglo-American capitalist hegemony, as is China or any other emerging power that undermines that desired unipolar hegemony.
"American-British collusion with Nazi Germany finds its modern-day manifestation in NATO collusion with the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine and jihadist terror groups dispatched in proxy wars against Russian interests in Syria and elsewhere. The players may change over time, but the root pathology is American-British capitalism and its hegemonic addiction.
"The never-ending Cold War will only end when Anglo-American capitalism is finally defeated and replaced by a genuinely more democratic system."
The picture becomes clearer as we begin to realize that today's monsters--Pompeo, Pence, Bolton, Abrams, Rove, and others--are the same as yesterday's monsters, although they've moved from one side of the Atlantic to the other. What's currently happening ought to make informed people think again about who the Arc of Resistance is actually defending and what message Trump's murder of Soleimani is meant to convey--it's TINA once again: Neoliberal Fascism. It should also be noted that the release occurred soon after Trump became POTUS, giving a strong secondary motive for Russiagate and the Skripals shortly afterward.
Bubbles @122--AntiSpin , Jan 22 2020 23:11 utc | 121
Thanks for your reply. Are you aware of Operation Unthinkable , Operation Sunrise from which the former sprang, and Allen Dulles's activities in Italy and Germany during 1945?
Good to hear from you! I had a hard time digging up a copy of Life to read Luce's screed on the American Century which I photocopied. Today, a quick search now finds it online here (PDF), while here's a dissection that sets up the conflicting outlooks of Beard and Luce that IMO's useful. Indeed, Luce's views are quite the read given what the USA's become--do note the political party that feared and predicted such an outcome. It's a great misfortune that a discussion of the two doesn't even enter into graduate seminars about WW2; at least my undergrads got some exposure and learned of the two essay's existence.@ karlof1 | Jan 22 2020 19:02 utc | 116
Thanks much for the information on Charles Beard's "forgotten" book. I just ordered a copy.
Jan 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Walter , Jan 22 2020 12:30 utc | 95@ Russ | Jan 22 2020 8:33 utc | 86 (about the gas cylinder(s).
Any bright high-school kid who's been through the math curriculum and has some calculus can tell you, give you, a range of terminal velocities in air at that elevation. You have to assume that the thing fell in the "best" attitude, and also the "worst" attitude - a matter of aerodynamic drag. Obviously there's a terminal velocity - somewhere about 200 feet per second. There's a minimum altitude above which it doesn't fall any faster because of drag...and it has a krappy drag coefficient. You have to work with the numbers to get a fine understanding...but it's the sort of question you'd see in a university engineering exam.
The mass is assumed to be something like 100 pounds. Do the math.
Then there's the question of concrete quality...it's highly heterogeneous..but you can assume it's top quality, and estimate the rebar density and thickness from the pretty pictures.
And you can assume zero projectile deformation (not even straps torn off!!?) and the hole's not big enough.
The story's bull.
William Gruff , Jan 22 2020 13:48 utc | 98
somebody @96: "But Western main stream media does not report on it."
Of course not. The western corporate mass media does not have among their workforce "Any bright high-school kid who's been through the math curriculum and has some calculus..." that Walter @95 points out as being a prerequisite to see how bogus is the narrative they are tasked with amplifying. The workforce chose to major in Journalism specifically because they had difficulties with basic arithmetic, with such heartless and unyielding topics as addition and subtraction being forever beyond them in the absence of a calculator.
Many think I exaggerate or am joking, but this is literal truth. These individuals of which the corporate mass media are composed get their conception of physics from crappy syfy movies in which spaceship blasters make "Pew-pew!!" noises in the vacuum of space. If it is necessary for the plot that a flimsy canister is able to punch through steel rebar reinforced concrete with barely a scratch, then they are fine with it. If these new age journalists' "contact" in Langley (what we know to be their "handler" or "operator" ) says it is believable, they won't pause for an instant to question.
After all, earnest delusion and ignorance serves the Mockingbird mass media's handlers in the CIA far better than does cynical and deliberate deception, though that last does have a sizable role to play as well. Deliberate deception is difficult and requires some skill, while any American can do stupidity with the greatest of ease.
Jan 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
UN Security Council Hears OPCW Inspector Testimony About The Manipulation Of 'Chemical Attack' Reports pretzelattack , Jan 21 2020 14:07 utc | 4
We have long maintained that the alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, on April 7 2018 was faked by Jihadists shortly before they were evicted from that Damascus suburb.
By the end of last year leaked documents and a whistle blower from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had proven that the OPCW managers had manipulated the report their staff had written about the incident. The OPCW inspectors who had investigated the case on the ground in Douma found that there was evidence that a chemical attack had happened. The murdered people seem in videos from the alleged attack must have died of other causes. The yellow canisters found at the locations of the alleged attack were not dropped from helicopters but clearly manually placed.
Using the Arria-formula , a procedure to have witnesses testify to the UN Security Council, Russia and China invited other UN members to listen to the testimony of OPCW inspector Ian Henderson. He denounced the false final report the OPCW management had published. Henderson, a South African engineer, was a team leader at the OPCW where he had worked for more than twelve years.
Henderson's testimony can be watched here . Philip Watson transcribed Henderson's speech:
Cont. reading: UN Security Council Hears OPCW Inspector Testimony About The Manipulation Of 'Chemical Attack' Reports
Posted by b at 13:34 UTC | Comments (58) the u.s. can veto any proposed action, but at least the representatives had to sit still and listen. they'll probably look hard for some way to kneecap him like the first head of the opcw ("we know where your kids are") or julian assange.
Piotr Berman , Jan 21 2020 14:22 utc | 6The Arria meeting at UNSC was skimpily reported. RT and some other sources focused on Russian accusations. Google hits only one western report, The Times of London. I skip here little:GMJ , Jan 21 2020 14:26 utc | 7
Western nations accused Russia of sowing misinformation ...
Yesterday Russia convened an "Arria" meeting, in which the Security Council hears from civilians and experts outside the United Nations. Alexander Shulgin, Russia's ambassador to the OPCW, said that the gas cylinders had been placed on the scene by Syrian opposition groups "for provocative purposes".
Showing the council a series of slides, he claimed that a hole in a roof did not correspond to the shape of one of the gas cylinders and questioned how one of them had come to rest on a bed. "Now, I weigh about 90kg," he said. "If I incautiously throw myself down on the bed I always break something, the strut falls out, the slat falls out or something else." Yet here, he said, was a gas cylinder, apparently filled with chlorine, that had rebounded "at a wild angle" and came to rest "like a light swan".
Russia presented a video featuring Ian Henderson, who worked with the fact-finding team but differed with the OPCW's conclusions in internal emails that were leaked last year. It also presented Maxim Grigoriev, director of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy, who claimed that his group's research on the ground showed that no chemical attack had taken place.
The German ambassador, Christoph Heusgen, said that the Russian intelligence service itself had conducted a cyber attack on the OPCW last year, adding that this "shows how far Russia is prepared to go" in its efforts to discredit the organisation.
Mr Heusgen also questioned the expertise of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy, saying that its experts "belong to the school of Russian scientists that believes Ukraine invaded Russia".
Mr Heusgen said that, listening to the presentation, "I was thinking of Alice in Wonderland. This belongs in literature to the genre of fantasy and absurdity. While Alice in Wonderland is a great fiction, what we heard today is a very sad fiction."
Karen Pierce, Britain's representative at the United Nations, said that Russia had shut down an investigative body that assigned responsibility for chemical attacks after it showed that the Syrian Arab Republic was responsible for a sarin gas attack in Syria in 2017.
Mr Henderson's challenge to the conclusions of the report reflected "any scientific process" in which "there are bound to be robust exchanges of views" before a conclusion was reached. She added: "Someone in Russia is a fan of English literature, specifically they are very fond of Lewis Carrol."We should remember that the US, UK, and France (sort of - they missed the launch sequence) attacked without even waiting for this fake report/excuse. And the western media applauded widely. It is sad. https://www.georgemjames.com/blog/what-is-the-us-military-legacy-since-2003 I never thought that I would write such things. GMJ/div> Time to sue the hell out of these liars and drag them to ICC by Syria. Let them prove their innocence there and it will also solve visa problem when these liars will feel the heat and stop travelling to other countries for the fear of being arrested. State sponsored terror by those who are pretending to fight the terror!
Posted by: Test123 , Jan 21 2020 15:16 utc | 12Time to sue the hell out of these liars and drag them to ICC by Syria. Let them prove their innocence there and it will also solve visa problem when these liars will feel the heat and stop travelling to other countries for the fear of being arrested. State sponsored terror by those who are pretending to fight the terror!ak74 , Jan 21 2020 15:27 utc | 14
Posted by: Test123 | Jan 21 2020 15:16 utc | 12A War Crimes Tribunal is awaiting America, Britain, France, and their allies.somebody , Jan 21 2020 15:38 utc | 15
The Douma scandal is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of the American Axis' lies regarding not only Syria but many other nations (Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, etc.) that these war criminal "democracies" have attacked.
Waging wars of aggression based on deceptions like "Syrian Weapons of Mass Destruction" cannot go unpunished.Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 21 2020 14:37 utc | 8john , Jan 21 2020 16:12 utc | 17
Just checked. It is outside of the reporting of German main stream media. Same as wikileaks - they don't mention their leaks any longer.
According to opinion polls most Germans are against German military involvement in Syria.
If you ask people in Germany about "disinformation, misrepresentation and absurdities" most would connect it to Trump not Putin. The German government took the extraordinary step to confirm that they had been blackmailed versus Iran by Trump threatening tariffs for the car industry. There is also the case of Nord Stream II which will be built though the US threw everything they had at it.
There is a German-Russian community and they watch Russian media. There used to be a push by Russia to "protect" "our Russians" against immigrants in Germany but after some stern talks this has stopped. I guess Russian support for AFD has also stopped.
It is obvious that Germany will insist on trade with Russia and China. All Putin has to do is wait for Trump (and Boris Johnson) to cut the last Atlantic bridge.
There is a German version of RT, I just had a look, they sound pretty mainstream and relaxed on the disinformation front. Actually most of the non-Western stuff nowadays looks like this - Press TV, Xinhua. I guess they feel they can be a contrast to Donald Trump's post fact era - which Bush's "truthiness" for invading Iraq has started.ak74 @ 14 says:BM , Jan 21 2020 16:33 utc | 18
A War Crimes Tribunal is awaiting America, Britain, France, and their allies
in 2011 the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal found former US president George W Bush and former British prime minister Tony Blair guilty of crimes against humanity, so they have a head start, but yeah, you just know that these criminal fuckers are shaking in their boots, what with the way things are trending and all. it'll be psychologically devastating for masses of Americans, though perhaps by that time the worst effects will have been ameliorated by all the writing on the wall.The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal found Bush and Blair guilty ... and subsequently Malaysia seems to have been forced to pay a heavy price, namely MH370 and MH17.Bubbles , Jan 21 2020 16:50 utc | 20More counter official OPCW narrative input,frances , Jan 21 2020 16:59 utc | 21
"Important Douma OPCW update from Prof. Piers Robinson
vanessa beeley / 2 days ago "
"How the OPCW's investigation of the Douma incident was nobbled*"
Brown Noses aka Bellingcat also receives attention for it's slippery ways above.The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal found Bush and Blair guilty ... and subsequently Malaysia seems to have been forced to pay a heavy price, namely MH370 and MH17.jayc , Jan 21 2020 18:05 utc | 28
Posted by: BM | Jan 21 2020 16:33 utc | 18
Yes, apparently the final straw was when the President refused to accept US aid, rebellions ensued and a S compliant and apparently quite corrupt govt is now in place.As described by Times of London - an extremely poor response by western representatives at the UNSC, all ad hominem attacks and incredulity. This story has been brewing for months, with a fair amount of established detail on the process used to arrive at the published report. To attempt to use the OPCW's own weak retort that it was merely a "robust exchange of views" rather than conscious manipulation, a line of argument long superseded by the collected facts, shows the western representatives are feigning ignorance, and they do so confident that most news "consumers" are in fact ignorant of these matters because they are simply not reported.Harry , Jan 21 2020 18:07 utc | 29Re Pyotr BermanAriusArmenian , Jan 21 2020 18:15 utc | 30
Lewis Carroll. How apt!
"Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said. 'One can't believe impossible things.'
I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!"
― Lewis CarrollCorruption and manipulation in western influenced and controlled institutions has become the norm in the West. The public has been normalized to blindly accepting lies by the political and corporate elites. The people are easily kept under control by narratives of fear and hate.William Gruff , Jan 21 2020 18:21 utc | 31
Truth and honesty from anything the western elites touch is now rare and precious.A quick note about the chlorine "bombs" that were seen in Douma: Those are 100# propane tanks. ASME, DOT, and UN standards only require they have a burst pressure of up to 400psi (ASME is only 275psi). In normal operation propane only pressurizes the tanks to around 100psi. Because of this the tank walls are usually made of 10 or 11 gauge mild steel... about .125" thick.NoOneYouKnow , Jan 21 2020 18:50 utc | 34
For comparison SCUBA tanks operate up to 3000psi and have wall thicknesses of over .25"... twice as thick as a 100# propane tank. They are also made from higher grade steels and not plain old cold rolled.
Large high pressure gas cylinders are fairly rugged items, but even so I have a difficult time imagining one punching through steel reinforced concrete and remaining largely undamaged.
Propane gas tanks are NOT high pressure gas cylinders. They are flimsy in comparison. It is not surprising that the OPCW team that actually visited the site of the supposed bombing dismissed the terrorists' narrative. What is surprising is the number of supposedly non-stupid people who believe that the tanks were dropped from helicopters, punched through steel reinforced concrete, and came to rest in the condition seen in the photographs. It takes habituated suspension of disbelief of a population perpetually plugged into the boob tube to accept that nonsense.Wikipedia is fine for unimportant info. I hope anyone who relies on it for serious subjects reads this: https://firstname.lastname@example.org/wikipedia-rotten-to-the-core-dcc435781c45juliania , Jan 21 2020 19:21 utc | 40
Also, in the penultimate sentence of Nebenzia's statement, "shelled" should be "shelved."In addition to the falsification of the report, now presented as undeniable fact to the Security Council, b takes note of two other atrocities - first:Robert , Jan 21 2020 19:35 utc | 42
"...Videos from Douma at the time of the incident showed some 30 bodies of dead persons. Most were children. It is up to day unknown who they were and who had murdered them. The OPCW manipulation of the original reports of its inspectors' findings is a cover up for that huge crime..."
There should be a thorough investigation of the identities of these victims. I am guessing the atrocities were perpetrated in a school, if most of the victims were children. Was it in this very building? Had some sort of hostage situation been taking place?
Secondly, the building totally destroyed and seen in b's coverage was one which researched medical and agricultural concerns for Syria - a huge loss in itself, not to mention if there were people within. I don't remember seeing news of that, would appreciate a link if anyone has it.
Thanks b, for your coverage here; it is most important. I had mentioned an argument with an anti-Assad person a while back. (Told him to come here and read; I hope he did.) His main point was the lie that Assad had 'gassed his own people.' Maybe I'll encounter him again.
I further think if the UN Security Council ignores this it will take on the same shade of black currently shrouding the USA. It's currently grey in my book.As I see it the real problem is the UN based in the US. Not mentioned is that the OPCW inspector's testimony had to be given by Tele conference because he could not get a visa to attend. Remember too that the Iranian foreign minister has been refused a visa to attend the UN. Remember that Bustani was forced to resign as the head of OPCW because of vile,naked threats against his family.Paleene , Jan 21 2020 19:38 utc | 43@ Norwegian # 30Guy THORNTON , Jan 21 2020 19:39 utc | 44
Thank you very much for this absolutely disgusting information. Sheds a different light on the Breivik-affair. :-("What is surprising is the number of supposedly non-stupid people who believe that the tanks were dropped from helicopters, punched through steel reinforced concrete, and came to rest in the condition seen in the photographs."Formerly T-Bear , Jan 21 2020 20:02 utc | 48
Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 21 2020 18:21 utc | 31
Agreed. I've never understood why the Russians haven't filmed the dropping of a few similar cylinders from helicopters at various heights....onto flat roofs of concrete apartment blocks.....so that everyone can see the result for comparison instead of endless theorising. You'd have thought the OPCW inspectors would have done this....but no mention of it.Having watched the UNSC meeting concerning the OPCW perfidious economy with fact, the British permanent envoy to the UN's 'performance' made it hard to not think the 'woman' would make the perfect character to fill the part of the lead concubine for Star Wars Jabba the Hutt, the demeanour, the ethics (doubtlessly supplied by Integrity Initiative), the appearance.Jen , Jan 21 2020 21:35 utc | 53
Wondrous things are made on that small island just off the coast of Europe, and some should be best kept there. Poor Europe, so far from heaven, so close to Britain.Juliania @ 40:
Based on other online news I have seen in the past, I think it is likely that the dead children shown in the videos had been kidnapped by the takfiris in various villages and other communities, targeted for being Orthodox Christian or Alawite believers, over the years. If the videos have no time stamps on them, then we have no way of knowing how long these children have been dead; they could have been dead for years and the videos themselves of equal vintage before the takfiris decided to make them public. The children may not all be from the same community or school; they could have been grouped together before they were killed or their bodies removed from where they were murdered and then grouped together.
The children may not even have been killed by CWs. I have seen some online photos of Syrian children said to have died from CW suffocation and in some of those photos, there was evidence of blunt force trauma around the hairline near the foreheads and ears.
The only way we'd know the identities of the children is if their families and communities are able to come forward and see the videos and other visual evidence. That's if the relatives are still alive or still in Syria.
Mother Agnes Mariam el Sahib , speaking to RT, on the video footage purporting to show dead victims of CW attacks (August 2013) in East Ghouta:"... I have carefully studied the footage, and I will present a written analysis on it a bit later. I maintain that the whole affair was a frame-up. It had been staged and prepared in advance with the goal of framing the Syrian government as the perpetrator.
The key evidence is that Reuters made these files public at 6.05 in the morning. The chemical attack is said to have been launched between 3 and 5 o'clock in the morning in Guta. How is it even possible to collect a dozen different pieces of footage, get more than 200 kids and 300 young people together in one place, give them first aid and interview them on camera, and all that in less than three hours? Is that realistic at all? As someone who works in the news industry, you know how long all of it would take.
The bodies of children and teenagers we see in that footage – who were they? What happened to them? Were they killed for real? And how could that happen ahead of the gas attack? Or, if they were not killed, where did they come from? Where are their parents? How come we don't see any female bodies among all those supposedly dead children?
I am not saying that no chemical agent was used in the area – it certainly was. But I insist that the footage that is now being peddled as evidence had been fabricated in advance. I have studied it meticulously, and I will submit my report to the UN Human Rights Commission based in Geneva ..."
The girls may have been separated from other hostages to be married off to takfiris or used in sex trafficking schemes; or if dead, their bodies disposed of somehow. The extreme religious beliefs of ISIS, al Nusra and other takfiris probably don't allow them to touch the bodies of dead women and girls.
Jan 21, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org
The U.S. was having some success with turning protest messaging against Iran – until, that is – its killing and wounding of so many Iraqi security force members last week (Ketaib Hizbullah is a part of Iraq's armed forces).
Escalation of maximum-pressure was one thing (Iran was confident of weathering that); but assassinating such a senior official on his state duties, was quite something else. We have not observed a state assassinating a most senior official of another state before.
And the manner of its doing, was unprecedented too. Soleimani was officially visiting Iraq. He arrived openly as a VIP guest from Syria, and was met on the tarmac by an equally senior Iraqi official, Al-Muhandis, who was assassinated also, (together with seven others). It was all open. General Soleimani regularly used his mobile phone as he argued that as a senior state official, if he were to be assassinated by another state, it would only be as an act of war.
This act, performed at the international airport of Baghdad, constitutes not just the sundering of red lines, but a humiliation inflicted on Iraq – its government and people. It will upend Iraq's strategic positioning. The erstwhile Iraqi attempt at balancing between Washington and Iran will be swept away by Trump's hubristic trampling on the country's sovereignty. It may well mark the beginning of the end of the U.S. presence in Iraq (and therefore Syria, too), and ultimately, of America's footprint in the Middle East.
Trump may earn easy plaudits now for his "We're America, Bitch!", as one senior White House official defined the Trump foreign policy doctrine; but the doubts – and unforeseen consequences soon may come home to roost.
Why did he do it? If no one really wanted 'war', why did Trump escalate and smash up all the crockery? He has had an easy run (so far) towards re-election, so why play the always unpredictable 'wild card' of a yet another Mid-East conflict?
Was it that he wanted to show 'no Benghazi'; no U.S. embassy siege 'on my watch' – unlike Obama's handling of that situation? Was he persuaded that these assassinations would play well to his constituency (Israeli and Evangelical)? Or was he offered this option baldly by the Netanyahu faction in Washington? Maybe.
Some in Israel are worried about a three or four front war reaching Israel. Senior Israeli officials recently have been speculating about the likelihood of regional conflict occurring within the coming months. Israel's PM however, is fighting for his political life, and has requested immunity from prosecution on three indictments – pleading that this was his legal right, and that it was needed for him to "continue to lead Israel" for the sake of its future. Effectively, Netanyahu has nothing to lose from escalating tensions with Iran -- but much to gain.
Opposition Israeli political and military leaders have warned that the PM needs 'war' with Iran -- effectively to underscore the country's 'need' for his continued leadership. And for technical reasons in the Israeli parliament, his plea is unlikely to be settled before the March general elections. Netanyahu thus may still have some time to wind up the case for his continued tenure of the premiership.
One prime factor in the Israeli caution towards Iran rests not so much on the waywardness of Netanyahu, but on the inconstancy of President Trump: Can it be guaranteed that the U.S. will back Israel unreservedly -- were it to again to become enmeshed in a Mid-East war? The Israeli and Gulf answer seemingly is 'no'. The import of this assessment is significant. Trump now is seen by some in Israel – and by some insiders in Washington – as a threat to Israel's future security vis à vis Iran. Was Trump aware of this? Was this act a gamble to guarantee no slippage in that vital constituency in the lead up to the U.S. elections? We do not know.
So we arrive at three final questions: How far will Iran absorb this new escalation? Will Iran confine its retaliation to within Iraq? Or will the U.S. cross another 'red line' by striking inside Iran itself, in any subsequent tit for tat?
Is it deliberate (or is it political autism) that makes Secretary Pompeo term all the Iraqi Hash'd a-Sha'abi forces – whether or not part of official Iraqi forces – as "Iran-led"? The term seems to be used as a laissez-passer to attack all the many Hash'd a-Sha'abi units on the grounds that, being "Iran-linked", they therefore count as 'terrorist forces'. This formulation gives rise to the false sequitur that all other Iraqis would somehow approve of the killings. This would be laughable, if it were not so serious. The Hash'd forces led the war against ISIS and are esteemed by the vast majority of Iraqis. And Soleimani was on the ground at the front line, with those Iraqi forces.
These forces are not Iranian 'proxies'. They are Iraqi nationalists who share a common Shi'a identity with their co-religionists in Iran, and across the region. They share a common zeitgeist, they see politics similarly, but they are no puppets (we write from direct experience).
But what this formulation does do is to invite a widening conflict: Many Iraqis will be outraged by the U.S. attacks on fellow Iraqis and will revenge them. Pompeo (falsely) will then blame Iran. Is that Pompeo's purpose: casus belli?
But where is the off-ramp? Iran will respond Is this affair simply set to escalate from limited military exchanges and from thence, to escalate until what? We understand that this was not addressed in Washington before the President's decision was made. There are no real U.S. channels of communication (other than low level) with Iran; nor is there a plan for the next days. Nor an obvious exit. Is Trump relying on gut instinct again?
Jan 21, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org
lastair Crooke January 20, 2020 © Photo: Flickr / DonkeyHotey On the 17 September 1656, Oliver Cromwell, a Protestant Puritan, who had won a civil war, and had the English king beheaded in public, railed against England's enemies. There was, he told Parliament that day, an axis of evil abroad in the world. And this axis – led by Catholic Spain – was, at root, the problem of a people that had placed themselves at the service of 'evil'. This 'evil', and the servitude that it beget, was the evil of a religion – Catholicism – that refused the English peoples' desire for simple liberties: " [an evil] that put men under restraint under which there was no freedom and under which, there could be 'no liberty of individual consciousness'".
That was how the English protestant leader saw Catholic Spain in 1656. And it is very close to how key orientations in the U.S. sees Iran today : The evil of religion – of Shi'ism – subjecting (they believe) Iranians to repression, and to serfdom. In Europe, this ideological struggle against the 'evil' of an imposed religious community (the Holy 'Roman' Axis, then) brought Europe to 'near-Armageddon', with the worst affected parts of Europe seeing their population decimated by up to 60% during the conflict.
Is this faction in the U.S. now intent on invoking a new, near-Armageddon – on this occasion, in the Middle East – in order, like Cromwell, to destroy the religious 'community known' as the Shi'a Resistance Axis, seen to stretch across the region, in order to preserve the Jewish "peoples' desire for simple liberties"?
Of course, today's leaders of this ideological faction are no longer Puritan Protestants (though the Christian Evangelicals are at one with Cromwell's 'Old Testament' literalism and prophesy). No, its lead ideologues are the neo-conservatives, who have leveraged Karl Popper's hugely influential The Open Society and its Enemies – a seminal treatise, which to a large extent, has shaped how many Americans imagine their 'world'. Popper's was history understood as a series of attempts, by the forces of reaction, to smother an open society with the weapons of traditional religion and traditional culture:
Marx and Russia were cast as the archetypal reactionary threat to open societies. This construct was taken up by Reagan, and re-connected to the Christian apocalyptic tradition (hence the neo-conservative coalition with Evangelists yearning for Redemption , and with liberal interventionists, yearning for a secular millenarianism). All concur that Iran is reactionary, and furthermore, the posit, poses a grave threat to Israel's self-proclaimed 'open society'.
The point here is that there is little point in arguing with these people that Iran poses no threat to the U.S. (which is obvious) – for the 'project' is ideological through and through. It has to be understood by these lights. Popper's purpose was to propose that only liberal globalism would bring about a "growing measure of humane and enlightened life" and a free and open society – period.
All this is but the outer Matryoshka – a suitable public rhetoric, a painted image – that can be used to encase the secret, inner dolls. Eli Lake, writing in Bloomberg , however, gives away the next doll:
"Since President Donald Trump ordered the drone strike that killed [Soleimani – justified in terms of deterrence, and allegedly halting an attack] a handful of Trump's advisers, however, [espied another] strategic benefit to killing Soleimani: Call it regime disruption
"The case for disruption is outlined in a series of unclassified memos sent to [John Bolton]in May and June 2019 their author, David Wurmser, is a longtime adviser to Bolton who then served as a consultant to the National Security Council. Wurmser argues that Iran is in the midst of a legitimacy crisis. Its leadership, he writes, is divided between camps that seek an apocalyptic return of the Hidden Imam, and those that favour of the preservation of the Islamic Republic. All the while, many Iranians have grown disgusted with the regime's incompetence and corruption.
"Wurmser's crucial insight [is that] – were unexpected, rule-changing actions taken against Iran, it would confuse the regime. It would need to scramble," he writes. Such a U.S. attack would "rattle the delicate internal balance of forces and the control over them upon which the regime depends for stability and survival." Such a moment of confusion, Wurmser writes, will create momentary paralysis -- and the perception among the Iranian public that its leaders are weak.
"Wurmser's memos show that the Trump administration has been debating the blow against Soleimani since the current crisis began, some seven months ago After Iran downed a U.S. drone [in June], Wurmser advised Bolton that the U.S. response should be overt and designed to send a message that the U.S. holds the Iranian regime, not the Iranian people, responsible. "This could even involve something as a targeted strike on someone like Soleimani or his top deputies," Wurmser wrote in a June 22 memo.
In these memos, Wurmser is careful to counsel against a ground invasion of Iran. He says the U.S. response "does not need to be boots on the ground (in fact, it should not be)." Rather, he stresses that the U.S. response should be calibrated to exacerbate the regime's domestic legitimacy crisis.
So there it is – David Wurmser is the 'doll' within: no military invasion, but just a strategy to blow apart the Iranian Republic. Wurmser, Eli Lake reveals, has quietly been advising Bolton and the Trump Administration all along. This was the neo-con, who in 1996, compiled Coping with Crumbling States (which flowed on from the infamous Clean Break policy strategy paper, written for Netanyahu, as a blueprint for destructing Israel's enemies). Both these papers advocated the overthrow of the Secular-Arab nationalist states – excoriated both as "crumbling relics of the 'evil' USSR" (using Popperian language, of course) – and inherently hostile to Israel (the real message).
Well ( big surprise ), Wurmser has now been at work as the author of how to 'implode' and destroy Iran. And his insight? "A targeted strike on someone like Soleimani"; split the Iranian leadership into warring factions; cut an open wound into the flesh of Iran's domestic legitimacy; put a finger into that open wound, and twist it; disrupt – and pretend that the U.S. sides with the Iranian people, against its government.
Eli Lake seems, in his Bloomberg piece, to think that the Wurmser strategy has worked. Really? The problem here is that narratives in Washington are so far apart from the reality that exists on the ground – they simply do not touch at any point. Millions attended Soleimani's cortege. His killing gave a renewed cohesion to Iran. Little more than a dribble have protested.
Now let us unpack the next 'doll': Trump bought into Wurmser's 'play', albeit, with Trump subsequently admitting that he did the assassination under intense pressure from Republican Senators. Maybe he believed the patently absurd narrative that Iranians would 'be dancing in the street' at Soleimani's killing. In any event, Trump is not known, exactly, for admitting his mistakes. Rather, when something is portrayed as his error, the President adopts the full 'salesman' persona: trying to convince his base that the murder was no error, but a great strategic success – "They like us", Trump claimed of protestors in Iran.
Tom Luongo has observed : "Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate begins next week, and it's clear that this will not be a walk in the park for the President. Anyone dismissing this because the Republicans hold the Senate, simply do not understand why this impeachment exists in the first place. It is [occurring because it offers] the ultimate form of leverage over a President whose desire to end the wars in the Middle East is anathema to the entrenched powers in the D.C. Swamp." Ah, so here we arrive at another inner Matryoshka.
This is Luongo's point: Impeachment was the leverage to drive open a wedge between Republican neo-conservatives in the Senate – and Trump. And now the Pelosi pressure on Republican Senators is escalating . The Establishment threw cold water over Trump's assertion of imminent attack, as justification for murdering Soleimani, and Trump responds by painting himself further into a corner on Iran – by going the full salesman 'monte'.
On the campaign trail, the President goes way over-the-top, calling Soleimani a "son of a b -- -", who killed 'thousands' and furthermore was responsible for every U.S. veteran who lost a limb in Iraq. And he then conjures up a fantasy picture of protesters pouring onto the streets of Tehran, tearing down images of Soleimani, and screaming abuse at the Iranian leadership.
It is nonsense. There are no mass protests (there have been a few hundred students protesting at one main Tehran University). But Trump has dived in pretty deep, now threatening the Euro-Three signatories to the JCPOA, that unless they brand Iran as having defaulted on JCPOA at the UNSC disputes mechanism, he will slap an eye-watering 25% tariff on their automobiles.
So, how will Trump avoid plunging in even deeper to conflict if – and when – Americans die in Iraq or Syria at the hands of militia – and when Pompeo or Lindsay Graham will claim, baldly, 'Iran's proxies did it'? Sending emollient faxes to the Swiss to pass to Tehran will not do. Tehran will not read them, or believe them, even if they did.
It all reeks of stage-management; a set up: a very clever stage-management, designed to end with the U.S. crossing Iran's 'red line', by striking at a target within Iranian territory. Here, finally, we arrive at the innermost doll.
Cui bono ? Some Senators who never liked Trump, and would prefer Pence as President; the Democrats, who would prefer to run their candidate against Pence in November, rather than Trump. But also, as someone who once worked with Wurmser observed tartly: when you hear that name (Wurmser), immediately you think Netanyahu, his intimate associate.
Jan 21, 2020 | sputniknews.com
Russia urged to convene a briefing with the participation of OPCW Fact-Finding-Mission (FFM) experts, who worked on the report on alleged chemical attack in Syria's Duma in April 2018, to reach an agreement on this controversial case, Alexander Shulgin, Russia's envoy to OPCW, said at a Security Council meeting. On Monday, members of the UN Security Council, at the request of the Russian mission, held an informal meeting to assess the situation around the FMM's Final Report on the incident in the Arab Republic .
In November, whistleblowing website WikiLeaks published an email, sent by a member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) mission to Syria to his superiors, in which he voiced his "gravest" concerns over the redacted version of the report in question, which he co-authored. According to the OPCW employee, the document, which is understood to have been edited by the secretariat, misrepresented facts, omitted certain details and introduced "unintended bias," having "morphed into something quite different to what was originally drafted.""We once again propose to resolve the conflicting situation through the means of holding of a briefing under the auspices of the OPCW and, possibly, with the assistance of all concerned countries and with the participation of all experts of the Fact-Finding-Mission, who worked on the Duma incident, to find a consensus on this resonant incident," Shulgin said on Monday.
Shulgin also suggested that the working methods of FFM must be improved, stressing the necessity for its members to personally visit sites of alleged use of chemical weapons and collect evidence samples, as well as strictly adhere to the chain of custody over the items of evidence and guarantee geographically-balanced makeup of the mission.
In July, Shulgin said that the head of the mission probing claims of a chemical attack in Duma had never travelled to this city.
Reports about an alleged chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta's Duma emerged on April 7, 2018. The European Union and the United States promptly accused Damascus of being behind it, while the Syrian government denied any involvement. Syria and Russia, a close ally of the former, said that the attack was staged by local militants and the White Helmets group.
A week later, without waiting for the results of an international investigation, the United States, the United Kingdom and France hit what they called Syria's chemical weapons facilities with over 100 missiles in response to the reported attack.
Jan 21, 2020 | off-guardian.org
For starters, don't be surprised if his "fortification" of ISIS means Donald Trump can't pull out of Syria after all. Or maybe if ISIS attacks on Iraqi civilians/militias result in the Iraqi parliament revoking their request for the US to remove their troops from Iraqi soil.
There's the possibility that ISIS will start a resurgence in Libya, meaning that NATO has to get in there and sort things out. Maybe some furious ISIS fighters will be the ones who assassinate Iranian generals in future. It's much less messy that way.
Or, hell, maybe we'll return to the hits of the 90s and early 2000s, and Islamic jihadists will get back to work in Chechnya.
Whatever happens, ISIS are back baby. And that means that some way, somehow, Mr al-Salbi is about to make the foreign policy goals of the United States much easier.
That's what Goldsteins are for.
harry law ,.... The US have used Islamic state against both Syria and Iraq, [the enemy of my enemy is my friend].
There can be no doubt that the US are going to use Islamic state to disrupt Iraq, just as they had no qualms about watching [from satellites and spotter aircraft] Islamic state travel 100's of kilometres from Syria to Northern Iraq [Mosul] across the desert, whipping up tons of dust in their Toyota jeeps to put pressure on the Iraqi government. Also as they watched on with equanimity when the Islamic state transported thousands of tanker loads of oil from Syria to Turkey, that is until the Russians bombed those convoys, the US must think everyone is as stupid as they are. If the Iraqis don't drive the US out using all means including violence, they deserve to be slaves.
"Sergey Lavrov earlier called the US-led coalition's refusal to combat al-Nusra "absolutely unacceptable."
"Iraqi security expert Kazim al-Haaj said "US Army troops are preparing and training the ISIL militants in al-Qadaf and Wadi al-Houran regions of Al-Anbar province with the aim of carrying out terrorist attacks and restarting insecurity in Iraq." https://stephenlendman.org/2020/01/trump-regime-shifting-isis-terrorists-from-syria-to-iraq/
Dec 16, 2019 | www.voltairenet.org
Munich, 16 February 2018 : World Uyghur Congress president, Dolkun Isa, and Turkey Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.
The "Xinjiang papers", released on 16 November 2019 by the New York Times , have been spinned by the Western media as a plan to suppress Uyghur culture in China [ 1 ]. Written in Chinese, their interpretation may not be easily accessible to the Western world. In reality, China protects Uyghur culture, tolerates Muslim religion, while trying to stymie terrorist attacks and the separatist push coming from the World Uyghur Congress (WUC).
China has already published numerous studies [ 2 ] clarifying its policy.
The documents published by the New York Times attest to the determination of the Chinese government to use any means necessary to maintain civil peace. President Xi has called on the police to show "absolutely no mercy" towards terrorists. Indeed, the Chinese leader is up against a powerful organization, i.e. the World Uyghur Congress, which was created by the CIA during the Cold War, and which the US daily disingeniously portrays as being totally peaceful.
However, the World Uyghur Congress, based in Munich (Germany), has directly claimed responsibility for many deadly attacks in China. In addition, thousands of Uyghur combatants were sent to be trained in Syria with Turkey's assistance. [ 3 ] More than 18,000 Uyghur jihadists are currently occupying the city of al-Zanbaki (Idlib governorate) where German and French NGOs provide them with food and health services.
Uyghur jihadists have garnered many supporters in Europe. Thus, lobbyists gathered in Brussels behind closed doors for a three-day seminar (7-9 December 2019), followed on 10 December by a conference in the European Parliament co-chaired by French MEP, Raphaël Glucksmann, and WUC president Dolkun Isa.[ 1 ] "'Absolutely No Mercy': Leaked Files Expose How China Organized Mass Detentions of Muslims", Austin Ramzy and Chris Buckley, The New York Times , November 16, 2019
[ 2 ] " Human Rights in Xinjiang - Development and Progress ", 1 June 2017; " Cultural Protection and Development in Xinjiang ", 13 December 2018; " The Fight against Terrorism and Extremism and Human Rights Protection in Xinjiang ", Voltaire Network , 18 March 2019.
[ 3 ] " The CIA is using Turkey to pressure China ", by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network , 19 February 2019. Article licensed under Creative Commons
The articles on Voltaire Network may be freely reproduced provided the source is cited, their integrity is respected and they are not used for commercial purposes (license CC BY-NC-ND ).
Source : "The CIA and Uyghur Jihadists", Voltaire Network , 16 December 2019, www.voltairenet.org/article208556.html
Jan 15, 2020 | www.voltairenet.org
On 8 January 2020, in Ankara, Russian President Vladimir Putin struck a deal with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for a ceasefire in Syria's Idlib province. It was made public before being approved by the Syrian side.
With the United States also having secretly agreed to the ceasefire, China and Russia went along with the vote on 10 January at the Security Council of a resolution [ 1 ] renewing the list of crossing points for the delivery of humanitarian aid inside Syria, which were not those initially proposed.
In addition, the Russian delegation convened another Security Council meeting to discuss the report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on the alleged chemical attack in Douma, issued on 7 April 2018, and currently put into question. [ 2 ]
Following these developments, the heads of the Syrian and Turkish secret services, Ali Mamlouk (national security) [photo] and Hakan Fidan (Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı), held talks during a Syro-Russian-Turkish summit in Moscow on 13 January 2020. It was the first time that the two countries had an official contact since the outset of the conflict in 2011.
Talks focused on the liberation of the Idlib governorate, where a large number of Al Qaeda fighters, possibly hundreds of thousands, are harbored. On this subjet, the Sochi de-escalation memorandum (2018) [ 3 ], which Turkey has not complied with, provided for:
the withdrawal of heavy weapons, while Turkey continues to support the jihadists. However, it has started to move them out of Idlib to Djerba (Tunisia), and onwards to Tripoli (Libya), where the United States wishes to rekindle the war.
the reopening of the Aleppo-Latakia (M4) and Aleppo-Hama (M5) highways.
Also on the agenda was the fight against the Kurdish terrorists of the PKK/YPG. On this point, Turkey requested the revision of the Adana Secret Agreement (1998) [ 4 ], which was hammered out during the Cold War, when the Kurdish organizations identified themselves as Marxist-Leninist and were turned towards the Soviet Union. They are now anarchists and work with NATO. The Agreement recognized Turkey's right to guarantee its security, granting it access to a strip of Syrian territory corresponding to the range of the artillery in possession of the Kurdish armed groups at the time. Article licensed under Creative Commons
The articles on Voltaire Network may be freely reproduced provided the source is cited, their integrity is respected and they are not used for commercial purposes (license CC BY-NC-ND ).
Source : "Russia offers deal to Syria and Turkey", Voltaire Network , 15 January 2020, www.voltairenet.org/article208911.html
Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
fleur de lis , 26 minutes ago linkDragon HAwk , 27 minutes ago link
Langley employees gone wild.
There is only one cure.Einstein101 , 36 minutes ago link
So what did the stewardesses look like Inquiring Minds want to Know?dogismycopilot , 37 minutes ago link
The guys that Erdogan supports in Libya are extremist Muslims that set the dark Islam's Sharia laws as the base of their judicial system. Same as other extreme Muslim regimes like Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Iranian women & girls as young as 9 who don't wear hijab face jailAjax_USB_Port_Repair_Service_ , 38 minutes ago link
For our frequent fliers who are members of our "Chopping Heads and Eating Livers of Infidels" Afriqiyah Airways is a code share flight with Turkish Airlines. Also, remember your points can be used in Paradise to rent hotel rooms for you and your 72 virgins.
Turkish Airlines. The airline of choice for Jihadis.
(satire)ImTalkinfullCs , 39 minutes ago link
If there were flight attendants (male or female), I bet they were groped.Joe Plane , 43 minutes ago link
I'm sure the CIA has sponsored this campaign to lock down oil fields for Israel on the American taxpayers dime.Blankone , 49 minutes ago link
Those are anything but rebels. Simply head choppers and Erdogan's cannon fodder.petroglyph , 20 minutes ago link
A little is being left out:
" Libyan Islamists backed by the West toppled Gaddafi and destroyed much of the country in the 2011 war. "
1 They were not Libyan's they were insurgents, for the most part.
2 They were not just backed. Libya was toppled due to the US/France declaring a no fly zone over Libya. At least it was no fly for Libya's military.
3 The US/France and others bombed the Libyan military.
4 The US did not just support them. The organized them, supplied them, mobilized them into Libya and so on.NeitherStirredNorShaken , 50 minutes ago link
Remember the insurgents paused the killing long enough to start up a central bank, in the middle of a war! If that doesn't make the general public curious about who is doing all the *******, they are to incurious to save.
Where did Gadaffi's gold go? 86 tons didn't leave in a Toyota Hilux.Wahooo , 58 minutes ago link
Erdogen hasn't been hiding anything even as far back as his ISIS caravans to Syria for oil for gold scam he was running. He's threatened to take over the nuclear weapons as Incirlik at least twice. He's playing Putin because it gives him leverage against NATO. He's criminally in Syria and now Libya and nobody's calling him on it. Putin is actually capitulating and coddling Erdogan. Erdogan's at least as much of an international war criminal, terrorist, mass murdered as the last five Presidents so why is he still in office let alone still alive?monty42 , 58 minutes ago link
Prince is jealous and pissed.wetwipe , 1 hour ago link
Oddly, like in Syria, the US set up Libya, and the Russians and Turks are claiming to resolve what chaos was created by the empire. Looks stage produced. In the Syrian case, Turkey was aiding and abetting "ISIS" and then the script flipped to Russian ally, and they invaded Syria and still occupy their territory. The empire achieves their goals, another crushed and dependent nation, resources stolen, their defenses exhausted, while assigning political rebuilding to their Russian and NATO partners.
Who gets victimized out of all involved? The Libyans and the Syrians.gay troll , 1 hour ago link
In the end.... no matter what side they fight on..... they always seem to aid and abet Israel in the long run..... Funny that.
-WetWipeEinstein101 , 1 hour ago link
Jihadis are freedom fighters and militias are terrorists. Got it?monty42 , 1 hour ago link
And yet look who's sending actual jihadists into the already war-ravaged country on comfortable commercial jets
The Sultan Erdogan is playing with fire and he will get burned, I'm quite sure about it.
More NATO shenanigans. Look back to when the US regime/zionist empire attacked Libya, sending in the airforce while their Al-CIA-da provided the ground force, and after they sodomized, tortured, and murdered the 70 year old Gaddafi, as well as his son's family, including grandchildren, they reported it openly that those mercenaries were being sent to Syria. When the average person is too mentally damaged by propaganda to realize what they're looking at, the rulers probably enjoy putting it out in the open. I bet they get tingles every time they fool people.
Operations in Syria wrapping up, so now back to Libya. It's like sequels in one of their hollywood productions.
Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
J S Bach , 7 minutes ago linkVernon_Dent , 9 minutes ago link
10,000 virgins anxiously await the downing of this jet of jihadists.dogismycopilot , 37 minutes ago link
Join ISIS and see the world. The few, the proud.
For our frequent fliers who are members of our "Chopping Heads and Eating Livers of Infidels" Afriqiyah Airways is a code share flight with Turkish Airlines. Also, remember your points can be used in Paradise to rent hotel rooms for you and your 72 virgins.
Turkish Airlines. The airline of choice for Jihadis.
Jan 12, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
likbez , January 12, 2020 5:30 pm
Everyone keeps dancing around it: Iraqi PM Abdul-Mahdi has reported that Soleimani was on the way to see him with a reply to a Saudi peace proposal. Who profits from Peace? Who does not?
The killing of Soleimani, while a tragic even with far reaching consequences, is just an illustration of the general rule: MIC does not profit from peace. And MIC dominates any national security state, into which the USA was transformed by the technological revolution on computers and communications, as well as the events of 9/11.
The USA government can be viewed as just a public relations center for MIC. That's why Trump/Pompeo/Esper/Pence gang position themselves as rabid neocons, which means MIC lobbyists in order to hold their respective positions. There is no way out of this situation. This is a classic Catch 22 trap.
The fact that a couple of them are also "Rapture" obsessed religious bigots means that the principle of separation of church and state does no matter when MIC interests are involved.
The health of MIC requires maintaining an inflated defense budget at all costs. Which, in turn, drives foreign wars and the drive to capture other nations' resources to compensate for MIC appetite. The drive which is of course closely allied with Wall Street interests (disaster capitalism.)
In such conditions fake "imminent threat" assassinations necessarily start happening. Although the personality of Pompeo and the fact that he is a big friend of the current head of Mossad probably played some role.
It's really funny that Trump (probably with the help of his "reference group," which includes Adelson and Kushner), managed to appoint as the top US diplomat a person who was trained as a mechanic engineer and specialized as a tank repair mechanic. And who was a long-time military contractor. So it is quite natural that he represents interests of MIC.
IMHO under Trump/Pompeo/Esper trio some kind of additional skirmishes with Iran are a real possibility: they are necessary to maintain the current inflated level of defense spending.
State of the US infrastructure, the actual level of unemployment (U6 is ~7% which some neolibs call full employment ;-), and the level of poverty of the bottom 33% of the USA population be damned. Essentially the bottom 33% is the third world country within the USA.
"If you make more than $15,000 (roughly the annual salary of a minimum-wage employee working 40 hours per week), you earn more than 32.2% of Americans
The 894 people that earn more than $20 million make more than 99.99989% of Americans, and are compensated a cumulative $37,009,979,568 per year. "
( https://www.huffpost.com/entry/income-inequality-crisis_n_4221012 )
Jan 07, 2020 | fpif.org
The Syrian civil war, which has been raging since 2011, is one of the worst tragedies of the early twenty-first century. Approximately half a million people have died, about six million people have fled the country, and another six million people remain internally displaced. Much of the country lies in ruins, perhaps never again to recover.
The war is also far from over. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been gaining momentum, but his regime has failed to recapture many parts of the country. Multiple foreign powers remain active in Syria, including Iran, Russia, Turkey, Israel, and the United States. In the northwest, Idlib Province is dominated by tens of thousands of Islamist militants, many of whom are active in al-Qaeda-style terrorist organizations.
"It's a kind of conflict where the kindling is sufficient for it to burn for decade after decade and continue to be an engine of jihadism and instability for the entire region and beyond," a senior State Department official said early last year.
The leaders of the United States have called for a political settlement, but they have played a central role in fueling the conflict. As they have tried to oust Assad, they have settled on a strategy of stalemate , keeping the war going as a means of pressuring the Syrian leader into relinquishing power.
The Obama administration, which designed the strategy, spent years providing Islamist militants with just enough support to keep them fighting the Assad regime but not enough support for them to overthrow the government.
"What we're trying to do is to make sure the moderate opposition continues to stay strong, puts the pressure on the regime," CIA Director John Brennan explained during the administration's final year in office. "We don't want the Syrian government to collapse. That's the last thing we want to do."
Administration officials feared that if the rebels overthrew the government, the country would implode, making it into a center of Islamist extremism and terrorism. They wanted Assad gone, but they did not want the country to become another Libya , which had devolved into a bitter civil war after the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
"We have huge interests because of the stability of the region, because of the need to fight against extremism, the need to prevent the country from breaking up and having a negative impact on all of the neighborhood," then-Secretary of State John Kerry said .
Sharing these concerns, the Trump administration ended support to the rebels but turned to other forms of leverage. For the most part, the Trump administration has been exploiting the areas outside of the Assad regime's control, trying to prevent the regime from reclaiming those areas and reestablishing its authority.
"Bashar al-Assad can think he's won the war, but right now he holds on to approximately half the territory of Syria," James Jeffrey, the administration's special envoy for Syria, remarked in 2018. "He's sitting on a cadaver state."
This "cadaver state," as Jeffrey described it, provides the guiding vision for the Trump administration's strategy in Syria. To keep pressure on Assad, the Trump administration is trying to preserve the cadaver state, keeping Syria dead and dismembered until Assad steps down from power. Implementing its own version of the stalemate strategy, the Trump administration wants to achieve something morticians might call the embalming of Syria.
Keeping Syria Dismembered
The civil war has divided Syria into several areas of control . Although the Assad regime controls much of central Syria and the capital in Damascus, other groups control large areas in the northwest, northeast, and south.
In the northwest, the opposition controls Idlib Province, its last and largest stronghold. Since 2015, an al-Qaeda offshoot called Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) has dominated the area, using it to organize resistance to the Assad government. Early last year, HTS took administrative control of the region.
Some U.S. officials say the province is now home to one of the largest concentrations of terrorists in the world. They are particularly concerned about an al-Qaeda branch called Hurras al-Din , which could be plotting attacks against the West. Perhaps the strongest symbol of what has happened to the area is that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, was found hiding there during the U.S. raid that resulted in his death last year.
"There is no dispute that Idlib has become a hornet's nest of multiple terrorist organizations," Defense Department official Robert Karem told Congress in 2018.
Although the Assad regime has been working with Russia in an ongoing military campaign to retake control of the terrorist stronghold, the Trump administration has been trying to slow the attack. Administration officials argue that a major offensive will create a humanitarian catastrophe . More than three million people live in the province, and many of them are refugees from other parts of Syria.
The bigger fear in Washington is that Assad's military campaign will succeed in destroying the terrorist groups. Although U.S. forces have taken several actions of their own against them, U.S. officials want the militants to keep pressure on Assad. When the Syrian government attempted to retake control of the area in 2018, Jeffrey warned that a Syrian victory "would have meant essentially the end of the armed resistance to the Syrian Government."
As the Trump administration has sought to prevent the Syrian government from retaking Idlib, it has been pursuing a similar objective in Rojava, the Kurdish-led area in the northeast. Since the war began, Kurdish militias have controlled the northeastern part of the country, benefiting from Assad's decision early in the war to withdraw forces and send them elsewhere.
After Assad's forces left, the Kurds faced a major challenge from the Islamic State, which began conquering large parts of central Syria. Once the Islamic State began moving into Kurdish areas, the Kurds put up effective resistance, notably in Kobani from late 2014 to early 2015.
Impressed by the Kurdish resistance, the Obama administration began partnering with the Kurds, helping them fight the Islamic State. With U.S. support, the Kurds defeated the Islamic State and secured control of the northeast. Leading a major social revolution , they started creating an autonomous confederation of cantons outside of the control of the Syrian government.
Officials in Washington, who repeatedly praised the Kurds for their bravery against the Islamic State, came to value them even more for their control over northeastern Syria. In their view, the Kurds had acquired significant leverage over Assad.
"This area accounts for roughly one-third of the country east of the Euphrates River and is the United States' greatest single point of leverage in Syria," a 2019 report by the congressionally mandated Syria Study Group (SSG) stated.
Although Trump seemingly abandoned this leverage when he began withdrawing U.S. forces from the area in October, administration officials persuaded him to keep nearly a thousand U.S. troops inside the country. The soldiers may not be able to regain control of the bases they lost to Turkish, Russian, and Syrian forces, but they continue to control strategically important oil fields.
U.S. control provides " a good negotiating leverage point ," according to Gen. Joseph Votel, a former commander of U.S. Central Command.
In the meantime, the Trump administration has been maintaining another significant leverage point in the southern part of Syria, where it keeps about a hundred U.S. soldiers stationed at the al-Tanf military base. "I think U.S. officials and other officials around the region consider the U.S. presence at Al-Tanf to be of strategic importance," SSG co-chair Michael Singh told Congress last year. It is useful "for maintaining a kind of presence in that kind of swath of Syria."
Keeping Syria Dead
As the Trump administration has kept Syria divided and broken, it has made a major effort to prevent the Assad regime from reviving the areas it does control. Using a mix of economic and military power, the Trump administration has made it impossible for the country to recover under Assad's leadership.
For years, U.S. sanctions have kept Syria weakened and isolated. By maintaining the comprehensive set of sanctions that previous administrations had already imposed on Syria, the Trump administration has kept the country under what is essentially a full economic embargo.
According to the Treasury Department, the U.S. sanctions regime is " one of the most comprehensive sanctions programs " administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which implements and enforces U.S. sanctions.
Adding to the economic pressure, the Trump administration has also been blocking reconstruction aid to Syria. Despite the fact that the war has left countless people homeless, administration officials actively discourage the international community from directing any kind of reconstruction assistance to areas under Assad's control.
The withholding of funds is one of the Trump administration's "potent levers" over Assad, State Department official David Satterfield told Congress in 2018.
Administration officials even acknowledge that they are trying to prevent the country from recovering. Destroyed parts of the country are "going to stay part of rubble in a graveyard until the international community sees some kind of movement towards our list of issues and answers and policies," a senior State Department official said in November.
Taking more direct action, the United States and its allies have also been carrying out airstrikes against Syrian infrastructure. Once in April 2017 and again in April 2018 , the Trump administration launched missile attacks against Syria, insisting that they were a necessary response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.
At one point, Trump even considered assassinating Assad, saying " Let's fucking kill him! " Then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis told the president that he would look into it, but Trump's national security team decided against it, arguing for airstrikes instead.
Also favoring airstrikes, the Israeli government has carried out hundreds of attacks inside Syria. Its targets have included weapons convoys, Syrian infrastructure, Iranian forces, and Iranian infrastructure. Both Assad and the Iranians "have Israel to contend with in basically a silent war in the skies and on the ground in Syria," Jeffrey told Congress last year.
The Future of a Failed Strategy
From one perspective, the Trump administration appears to be achieving its goals in Syria. By keeping the country permanently weakened, it has prevented Assad from winning the war.
From another perspective, however, the Trump administration has failed. Not only has it been unable to pressure Assad into leaving office, but it has made no progress in convincing Assad to hold meaningful negotiations with the rebels. The only thing the Trump administration has done is prolonged the war, causing more death, destruction, and misery.
"We failed, and the failure continues," former U.S. official Anthony Blinken said in 2018.
During a congressional hearing last September, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) said that "it's time for us to admit that our policy in Syria, over the course of two administrations, has been a failure."
Regardless, the Trump administration has continued implementing its own version of the stalemate strategy. When it was facing widespread criticism last year over its decision to betray the Kurds, Jeffrey reassured Congress that the United States maintains significant leverage over Assad.
"We had the leverage of a totally broken state, which is what we still have today," Jeffrey said. The war is "stalemated" and the country remains "basically a pile of rubble," he added. "I think that it's open to question whether Assad personally is going to lead that country indefinitely."
Indeed, the morticians in the Trump administration remain convinced that they can oust Assad. All they need to do, they believe, is keep the war stalemated, keep the country a pile of rubble, and keep Syria dead and dismembered, no matter the costs to the Syrian people. Share this:
Edward Hunt writes about war and empire. He has a PhD in American Studies from the College of William & Mary.
Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
BM , Dec 31 2019 17:18 utc | 15B, under the "major stories covered" title you should include Skripal, about which you wrote many important articles; I believe ultimately - like OPCW and Russiagate - it will prove to be history-making event in terms of impact on public perceptions of media and the ability of the media to control public opinion. Probably eventually whistleblowers will come forward like the OPCW, and only thin will it have it's maximum impact.
(Well, the original event was 2018 not 2019, but some of the reports were in 2019 anyway)
BM , Dec 31 2019 17:36 utc | 20My predictions on these issue for next year are:
Mainstream media have suppressed all news about the OPCW scandal. This will only change if major new evidence comes to light.
That is if the MSM get their way! Maybe I am being overoptimistic, but Russia - as a permanent member of the UNSC and a member of the OPCW - will do everything in it's powers to pursue this matter, and it seems quite possible they will be able to force it onto the main agenda within 2020. If that happens it will be impossible for the MSM to push it under the rug.
The other aspect it is that the MSM ability to suppress this news is dependent on behaviour of the MSM community in its totality, and the relationship to reader plausibility. There are a few factors that could influence this independently of major new evidence, such as the behaviour of a few outlier MSM's that decide to release information (and whether or not that information then takes off in the public consciousness); pressure that could build up in social media calling for the MSM to respond and attacking MSM credibility; or other forms of pressure from the public calling on the MSM to respond. It is therefore a dynamic that is not entirely predictable.
Both of the above are distinct from the emergence of new major evidence, although both cases would seem likely to provoke new revelations in turn.
What determines whether one MSM decides to break the pack and publish news on OPCW? Well, for one thing, MoA articles can influence individual journalists and individual editors!
Jan 03, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Robert Fisk via The Independent,
In the very early spring of this year, I gave a lecture to European military personnel interested in the Middle East. It was scarcely a year since Bashar al-Assad's alleged use of chlorine gas against the civilian inhabitants of the Damascus suburb of Douma on 7 April 2018, in which 43 people were said to have been killed.
Few present had much doubt that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which represents 193 member states around the world, would soon confirm in a final report that Assad was guilty of a war crime which had been condemned by Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron and Theresa May.
But at the end of my talk, a young Nato officer who specialises in chemical weapons – he was not British – sought me out for a private conversation.
"The OPCW are not going to admit all they know," he said. "They've already censored their own documents."
I could not extract any more from him. He smiled and walked away, leaving me to guess what he was talking about. If Nato had doubts about the OPCW, this was a very serious matter.
When it published its final report in March this year, the OPCW said that testimony, environmental and biomedical samples and toxicological and ballistic analyses provided "reasonable grounds" that "the use of a toxic chemical had taken place" in Douma which contained "reactive chlorine".
The US, Britain and France, which launched missile attacks on Syrian military sites in retaliation for Douma – before any investigation had taken place – thought themselves justified. The OPCW's report was splashed across headlines around the world – to the indignation of Russia, Assad's principal military ally, which denied the validity of the publication.
Then, in mid-May 2019, came news of a confidential report by OPCW South African ballistics inspector Ian Henderson – a document which the organisation excluded from its final report – which took issue with the organisation's conclusions. Canisters supposedly containing chlorine gas may not have been dropped by Syrian helicopters, it suggested, and could have been placed at the site of the attack by unknown hands.
Peter Hitchens of the Mail on Sunday reported in detail on the Henderson document. No other mainstream media followed up this story . The BBC, for example, had reported in full on the OPCW's final report on the use of chlorine gas, but never mentioned the subsequent Henderson story.
And here I might myself have abandoned the trail had I not received a call on my Beirut phone shortly after the Henderson paper, from the Nato officer who had tipped me off about the OPCW's apparent censorship of its own documents. "I wasn't talking about the Henderson report," he said abruptly. And immediately terminated our conversation. But now I understand what he must have been talking about.
For in the past few weeks, there has emerged deeply disturbing new evidence that the OPCW went far further than merely excluding one dissenting voice from its conclusions on the 2018 Douma attack.
The most recent information – published on WikiLeaks, in a report from Hitchens again and from Jonathan Steele, a former senior foreign correspondent for The Guardian – suggests that the OPCW suppressed or failed to publish, or simply preferred to ignore, the conclusions of up to 20 other members of its staff who became so upset at what they regarded as the misleading conclusions of the final report that they officially sought to have it changed in order to represent the truth . (The OPCW has said in a number of statements that it stands by its final report.)
At first, senior OPCW officials contented themselves by merely acknowledging the Henderson report's existence a few days after it appeared without making any comment on its contents. When the far more damaging later reports emerged in early November, Fernando Arias, the OPCW's director general, said that it was in "the nature of any thorough enquiry for individuals in a team to express subjective views. While some of the views continue to circulate in some public discussion forums, I would like to reiterate that I stand by the independent, professional conclusion [of the investigation]." The OPCW declined to respond to questions from Hitchens or Steele.
But the new details suggest that other evidence could have been left unpublished by the OPCW. These were not just from leaked emails, but given by an OPCW inspector – a colleague of Henderson – who was one of a team of eight to visit Douma and who appeared at a briefing in Brussels last month to explain his original findings to a group of disarmament, legal, medical and intelligence personnel.
As Steele reported afterwards, in a piece published by Counterpunch in mid-November 2019, the inspector – who gave his name to his audience, but asked to be called "Alex" – said he did not want to undermine the OPCW but stated that "most of the Douma team" felt the two reports on the incident (the OPCW had also published an interim report in 2018) were "scientifically impoverished, procedurally irregular and possibly fraudulent". Alex said he sought, in vain, to have a subsequent OPCW conference to address these concerns and "demonstrate transparency, impartiality and independence".
For example, Alex cited the OPCW report's claim that "various chlorinated organic chemicals (COCs) were found" in Douma, but said that there were "huge internal arguments" in the OPCW even before its 2018 interim report was published . Findings comparing chlorine gas normally present in the atmosphere with evidence from the Douma site were, according to Alex, kept by the head of the Douma mission and not passed to the inspector who was drafting the interim report. Alex said that he subsequently discovered that the COCs in Douma were "no higher than you would expect in any household environment", a point which he says was omitted from both OPCW reports. Alex told his Brussels audience that these omissions were "deliberate and irregular".
Alex also said that a British diplomat who was OPCW's chef de cabinet invited several members of the drafting team to his office, where they found three US officials who told them that the Syrian regime had conducted a gas attack and that two cylinders found in one building contained 170 kilograms of chlorine. The inspectors, Alex remarked, regarded this as unacceptable pressure and a violation of the OPCW's principles of "independence and impartiality".
Regarding the comments from Alex, the OPCW has pointed to the statement by Arias that the organisation stands by its final report.
Further emails continue to emerge from these discussions. This weekend, for example, WikiLeaks sent to The Independent an apparent account of a meeting held by OPCW toxicologists and pharmacists "all specialists in CW (Chemical Warfare)", according to the document. The meeting is dated 6 June 2018 and says that "the experts were conclusive in their statements that there is no correlation between symptoms [of the victims] and chlorine exposure."
In particular, they stated that "the onset of excessive frothing, as a result of pulmonary edema observed in photos and reported by witnesses would not occur in the short time period between the reported occurrence of the alleged incident and the time the videos were recorded". When I asked for a response to this document, a spokesman for the OPCW headquarters in Holland said that my request would be "considered". That was on Monday 23 December.
Any international organisation, of course, has a right to select the most quotable parts of its documentation on any investigation, or to set aside an individual's dissenting report – although, in ordinary legal enquiries, dissenting voices are quite often acknowledged. Chemical warfare is not an exact science – chlorine gas does not carry a maker's name or computer number in the same way that fragments of tank shells or bombs often do.
But the degree of unease within the OPCW's staff surely cannot be concealed much longer. To the delight of the Russians and the despair of its supporters, an organisation whose prestige alone should frighten any potential war criminals is scarcely bothering to confront its own detractors. Military commanders may conceal their tactics from an enemy in time of war, but this provides no excuse for an important international organisation dedicated to the prohibition of chemical weapons to allow its antagonists to claim that it has "cooked the books" by permitting political pressure to take precedence over the facts. And that is what is happening today.
The deep concerns among some of the OPCW staff and the deletion of their evidence does not mean that gas has not been used in Syria by the government or even by the Russians or by Isis and its fellow Islamists. All stand guilty of war crimes in the Syrian conflict. The OPCW's response to the evidence should not let war criminals off the hook. But it certainly helps them.
And what could be portrayed as acts of deceit by a supposedly authoritative body of international scientists can lead some to only one conclusion: that they must resort to those whom the west regards as "traitors" to security – WikiLeaks and others – if they wish to find out the story behind official reports . So far, the Russians and the Syrian regime have been the winners in the propaganda war. Such organisations as the OPCW need to work to make sure the truth can be revealed to everyone. Tags Politics
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Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
DontBelieveEitherPr. , Dec 31 2019 22:10 utc | 49Congratulations from me too!
Especially your work on OPCW! Even a MSM "alpha journalist" like Hitchens was forced to give props to you reporting those otherwise not reported information about the hospital "victims" being there even before the alleged attack!
Sadly i dont see the US pulling out of Iraq. The US is wanted there by a huge part of the Iraqis (As counterweight to Iran), not only by Sunni, but also by many Shias.
Even a totally pro-Shia reporter like Elijah reports that. So with that large Anti-Iran sentiment the US will not be forced to leave until Iraqis from ALL confessions, tribes, political factions and other groups agree to force the US out.(I dont claim the Anti-Iran sentiment in Iraq is as valid as those people think, and it certainly is fueled by Gulf state and US propaganda, but it is a fact this sentiment is prevalent).
As Elijah writes, Iraqis are "emotional", in this context meaning easily manipulated by (anti-Iran) propaganda/fake news, and just like the protests/riots without coherent political plan, and realistic objectives.
Also Iran was pretty crude and Qassem Soleimani not as subtle as needed when they tried to use their soft power in the political struggle, opposed to the gulf states and the US. At least this is the prevailing view of the Iraqis, which makes it real for them, no matter how valid it is or not is.
Many Iraqis felt offended by this, and they now have a very strong patriotism, which fueled the riots and attacks on Iranian linked targets. They felt their honor was attacked, and they acted as their culture and society demands when someone offends you: They hit back, violently.
That the US has this time not used their power as much as before to influence Iraq in the elections, likely made Iran's use of soft power more visible, and therefore led many Iraqis to see the US and gulf states as the smaller evil.
This unreflected, emotional and often violent patriotism now seems to be universally for most Iraqis. Even the Shia religious leaders agitate for a sovereign Iraqis, without any interference from Iran or US. So the US clearly won the battle here for the moment in a hybrid war/soft power view concerning the public image of Iran in Iraq.
Only thing that could turn this around fast would be a public outcry against the US.
If the current air strikes are enough? i dont think so. The US can claim they only attacked Iran linked soldiers, even though they are now part of the Iraqi army command strucure, and many Iraqis have no problem with that.
And as Iraqis are sick of war, understandable, they also dont want those Iranian linked forces to use Iraq as a battleground against the US. And the multiple attacks in the last weeks against US installations to which the US did not react militarily, are seen by many Iraqis as just that; Iran misusing Iraq as a proxy battleground to fight the US. They think the US had to react sometime.
Then there is Al Sadr, who is rumored to be the main man who instigated the riots against Iranian targets with his forces. But he may change sides and now turn (again) against the US, who knows.
All in all, the US now seems less interested to influence politics in Iraq directly like the US always did before. Trump seems to really want to get out of the MENA and focus on China etc.
But Iran would have to act more cleverly with a soft power approach to turn the Iraqis currently bad image of Iran into something more positive and leverage that situation where the US is less focused on the Middle East.
Then, and only then, if the Iraqis would not see Iran as a threat to sovereignty anymore, would they force the US out of Iraq.
But all that may not matter anyway, as Iraq is on a downward spiral, and the whole political system reeks of Weimar.
Democracy is seen by the majority now as the rule of the corrupt. The protesters rallied for the Shia general (connected to the US) who (in their mind) saved them from Isis to take over and clean the corrupt politicians out. Just like Saddam was a hope for most Iraqis back in the day.
An "enlightened despot".
And while it may send shivers down many of our western political minds who believe that our ideology is universal to humanity(Social Democracy, Neo Liberal Democracy, Socialism, ..):
Maybe it is the only realistic option; The best realistic result based on realpolitik.
The Middle East is not Western Europe. Democracy does work not in tribalism, islamic tradition and law, sectarianism, without any real civil society whatsoever.
The only options are living like the last 1500 years politically; Anarchic and tribalistic. Or with a central state hold together by a ruthless despot that gouverns respecting popular demands.
Western Democracy in Iraq is an imperialistic project doomed to fail. As sad as this may be for many of us westerners.
Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Russia has received a lot of criticism over the bombing of alleged 'hospitals' in Syria which were registered on a UN sponsored list. The Russian military argued that the positions on the UN list were not of real hospitals but of ammunition depots or command centers of the Jihadists. After it had published dozens of articles bashing Russia's campaign the New York Times has finally admitted that Russia was right:
The U.N. Tried to Save Hospitals in Syria. It Didn't Work.United Nations officials only recently created a unit to verify locations provided by relief groups that managed the exempt sites, some of which had been submitted incorrectly, The Times found. Such instances of misinformation give credibility to Russian criticisms that the system cannot be trusted and is vulnerable to misuse.
The groups give locations of their own choosing to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the agency that runs the system.
A document prepared by the agency warned that participation in the system "does not guarantee" the safety of the sites or their personnel. The document also stated that the United Nations would not verify information provided by participating groups.
While investigating an airstrike in November, The Times discovered that a relief group had provided coordinates for its health center that were around 240 meters away. When another hospital was bombed in May, The Times found that the coordinates submitted by its supporting organization pointed to an unrelated structure around 765 meters north.
After questions from The Times prompted the organization to review its deconfliction list, a staff member discovered that it had provided the United Nations with incorrect locations for 14 of its 19 deconflicted sites . The original locations had been logged by a pharmacist. The list had been with the United Nations humanitarian agency for eight months, and no one had contacted the organization to correct the locations, a member of the organization's staff said.
Use as open thread ...
Posted by b at 15:42 UTC | Comments (65)
alaff , Dec 29 2019 16:07 utc | 1Interesting news. ANNA NEWS, in a recent report, announced an investigation into the infamous "White Helmets". The material promises to be very interesting, with an abundance of exclusive video, details, interviews etc. The film should be released tomorrow (December 30 at 19h Moscow time).Brendan , Dec 29 2019 18:50 utc | 12
Here is the announcement (at 9'55).
Btw, I do not exclude the possibility that when this movie is released, the ANNA NEWS youtube channel account will suddenly be blocked again without explanation. Will see.Breaking news from the NYT: 19 of the 20 reports so far of the destruction of the last hospital in Idlib were untrue. The incorrect locations were submitted by the White Helmets (just an honest mistake).Jackrabbit , Dec 29 2019 20:51 utc | 17
Caitlin Johnstone: Narrative Managers Claim White Helmets Founder Was Driven To Suicide By Syria Skepticssnake , Dec 29 2019 21:03 utc | 19
I linked to ZeroHedge's reposting because of the comments which reflect skepticism about the apparent death of Jeffery Epstein as well as James Le Mesurier:Zappalives
This guy is probably having a cocktail with epstein and his new girl whores.
Coroner concluded that this suicide was one of the most unusual ones that he ever saw. Founder of White Helmets was found stabbed, hanged and shot.
Colonel Klinks Ghost
This has CIA/Mossad written ALL over it. And Jeffrey Epstein killed himself. Got it!
White Helmet is a CIA fraud, and the founder retired with full pension and benefits. Suicide was just a cover for a job well done exit.
Baghdadi's killing was also rather strange.
One either believes the Empire kills those in its service when they have become inconvenient liabilities or these guys (Le Mesurier, Epstein, Baghdadi) were extracted and are living comfortably in retirement.
!!Thanks B, at my pay grade I am not able to say that White means terror and helmet means ism.Brendan , Dec 29 2019 21:59 utc | 25
Source in Syria: militants transport chlorine in coordination with White Helmets
the food that feeds and powers the nation state system
http://whatdoesitmean.com/ <= has this site been removed it has been unreachable for days now.. ?/I didn't see it in the NYT article, but the false reporting of the hospital locations by "multiple NGOs" was supposedly just done "accidently". That's according to an NYT investigator who used to work for Bellingcat.
My previous comment about the last hospital in Idlib was a joke, but the NYT's Mr. Triebert seems to be serious about the accidental fake news about hospital locations. RIP satire.
Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
snake , Dec 29 2019 5:30 utc | 60
psychohistorian , Dec 29 2019 5:53 utc | 61Below is a link to a Catlin Johnstone link about the latest Wikileaks dump about OPCW and who Voldemort is
Media's Deafening Silence On Latest WikiLeaks Drops Is Its Own Scandal
The take away quote
Up until the OPCW leaks, WikiLeaks drops always made mainstream news headlines. Everyone remembers how the 2016 news cycle was largely dominated by leaked Democratic Party emails emerging from the outlet. Even the relatively minor ICE agents publication by WikiLeaks last year, containing information that was already public, garnered headlines from top US outlets like The Washington Post , Newsweek, and USA Today. Now, on this exponentially more important story, zero coverage.
The mass media's stone-dead silence on the OPCW scandal is becoming its own scandal, of equal or perhaps even greater significance than the OPCW scandal itself. It opens up a whole litany of questions which have tremendous importance for every citizen of the western world; questions like, how are people supposed to participate in democracy if all the outlets they normally turn to to make informed voting decisions adamantly refuse to tell them about the existence of massive news stories like the OPCW scandal? How are people meant to address such conspiracies of silence when there is no mechanism in place to hold the entire mass media to account for its complicity in it? And by what mechanism are all these outlets unifying in that conspiracy of silence?
Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgKali , Dec 29 2019 2:52 utc | 49Mike Figueroa from The Humanist Report has got a bunch of angry leftists hating on Tulsi Gabbard for her Christmas greeting today on twitter and youtube, they are claiming Tulsi is "too religious" or "she is pandering to evangelicals." They have gone insane obviously and are hating on Tulsi for other reasons (she dares challenge Bernie for president). Pam Ho breaks it all down for you at Like, In The Year 2024
TJ , Dec 28 2019 18:10 utc | 10OPCW-DOUMA - Release Part 4augrr , Dec 29 2019 0:10 utc | 39
We now have Voldemorts real name, Sebastien Braha.Re #10psychohistorian , Dec 29 2019 5:53 utc | 61
Voldemort is on LinkedIn. I wanted to congratulate him on his ethics (NOT) but did not have the status with LinkedIn required to email someone.
Perhaps someone else in the bar could send him a message - needs to be a premium member.Below is a link to a Catlin Johnstone link about the latest Wikileaks dump about OPCW and who Voldemort isak74 , Dec 29 2019 5:53 utc | 62
Media's Deafening Silence On Latest WikiLeaks Drops Is Its Own Scandal
The take away quote
Up until the OPCW leaks, WikiLeaks drops always made mainstream news headlines. Everyone remembers how the 2016 news cycle was largely dominated by leaked Democratic Party emails emerging from the outlet. Even the relatively minor ICE agents publication by WikiLeaks last year, containing information that was already public, garnered headlines from top US outlets like The Washington Post , Newsweek, and USA Today. Now, on this exponentially more important story, zero coverage.
The mass media's stone-dead silence on the OPCW scandal is becoming its own scandal, of equal or perhaps even greater significance than the OPCW scandal itself. It opens up a whole litany of questions which have tremendous importance for every citizen of the western world; questions like, how are people supposed to participate in democracy if all the outlets they normally turn to to make informed voting decisions adamantly refuse to tell them about the existence of massive news stories like the OPCW scandal? How are people meant to address such conspiracies of silence when there is no mechanism in place to hold the entire mass media to account for its complicity in it? And by what mechanism are all these outlets unifying in that conspiracy of silence?
""Why do so many people in the West have this knee-jerk need to try to build false equivalencies between their criminal empire and other systems, or voice cynical and unfounded assumptions of malfeasance by those other systems whenever those other systems demonstrate superiority? It is an egotistical tribal sickness."uncle tungsten , Dec 29 2019 9:32 utc | 68
It is a symptom of the "West is Best" syndrome.
Or in its specific American incarnation, the ideology that America is the Shining City on Hill, Exceptional Country, and Indispensable Nation.
People indoctrinated into this belief system cannot brook the idea that there may be an alternative to their own way of life that is, in some respects, better. Hence, they will instinctively attack and smear this alternative as bad.
In many ways, Western Liberal "Democracy" (or what passes for democracy) is a secular religion and fundamentalist ideology.
As Francis Fuckuyama stated at the end of the Cold War with his pronouncement of the End of History, Western Liberal Democracy is the highest form of human socio-political evolution and government.
There Is No Alternative.psychohistorian #61
Thanks for pointing that out, Caitlin Johnston may be revealing the extent to which Integrity Initiative or maybe Institute for Statecraft have now bought even more editors than previously revealed in those leaked papers. OUTRAGE is the mildest term that comes to mind. What spineless media bedevils this world.
Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
librul , Dec 29 2019 22:21 utc | 28@Posted by: sleepy | Dec 29 2019 17:38 utc | 8
But underlying your comment is an assumption of *logic* in this world. If it ever existed it certainly does not apply any longer. Look how much mileage the MSM and the anti-Democracy Party got out of the nothingburger Russiagate.
The MSM doesn't even need to smell real blood, they will run with anything to continue the coup.
Anything negative that involves Edward Gallagher between now and election day could be magnified 1 million-fold and
repeated 1000 million times by the MSM and dropped in Trump's lap.
If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS.
Dec 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Senior OPCW Official Busted: Leaked Email Exposes Orders To "Delete All Traces" Of Dissent On Douma by Tyler Durden Sat, 12/28/2019 - 10:30 0 SHARES
Wikileaks has released their fourth set of leaks from the OPCW's Douma investigation, revealing new details about the alleged deletion of important information regarding the fact-finding mission.
RELEASE: OPCW-Douma Docs 4. Four leaked documents from the OPCW reveal that toxicologists ruled out deaths from chlorine exposure and a senior official ordered the deletion of the dissenting engineering report from OPCW's internal repository of documents. https://t.co/ndK4sRikNk-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 27, 2019
"One of the documents is an e-mail exchange dated 27 and 28 February between members of the fact finding mission (FFM) deployed to Douma and the senior officials of the OPCW. It includes an e-mail from Sebastien Braha, Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW , where he instructs that an engineering report from Ian Henderson should be removed from the secure registry of the organisation," WikiLeaks writes. Included in the email is the following directive:
" Please get this document out of DRA [Documents Registry Archive] And please remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever in DRA.'"
According to Wikileaks, the main finding of Henderson, who inspected the sites in Douma, was that two of the cylinders were most likely manually placed at the site, rather than dropped.
"The main finding of Henderson, who inspected the sites in Douma and two cylinders that were found on the site of the alleged attack, was that they were more likely manually placed there than dropped from a plane or helicopter from considerable heights. His findings were omitted from the official final OPCW report on the Douma incident," the Wikileaks report said.
It must be remembered that the U.S. launched an attack on Damascus, Syria on April 14, 2018 over alleged chemical weapons usage by pro-Assad forces at Douma.AP file image.
Another document released Friday is minutes from a meeting on 6 June 2018 where four staff members of the OPCW had discussions with "three Toxicologists/Clinical pharmacologists, one bioanalytical and toxicological chemist" (all specialists in chemical weapons, according to the minutes).
Minutes from an OPCW meeting with toxicologists specialized in chemical weapons: "the experts were conclusive in their statements that there was-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 27, 2019
no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure". https://t.co/j5Jgjiz8UY pic.twitter.com/vgPaTtsdQN
The purpose of this meeting was two-fold. The first objective was "to solicit expert advice on the value of exhuming suspected victims of the alleged chemical attack in Douma on 7 April 2018". According to the minutes, the OPCW team was advised by the experts that there would be little use in conducting exhumations. The second point was "To elicit expert opinions from the forensic toxicologists regarding the observed and reported symptoms of the alleged victims."
More specifically, " whether the symptoms observed in victims were consistent with exposure to chlorine or other reactive chlorine gas."
According to the minutes leaked Friday: "With respect to the consistency of the observed and reported symptoms of the alleged victims with possible exposure to chlorine gas or similar, the experts were conclusive in their statements that there was no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure ."
The OPCW team members wrote that the key "take-away message" from the meeting was "that the symptoms observed were inconsistent with exposure to chlorine and no other obvious candidate chemical causing the symptoms could be identified".
* * *
See full details at Wikileaks.org
JohnFrodo , 28 minutes ago linkafricoman , 38 minutes ago link
pity the human pawns at the center of this mess.ponyboy99 , 40 minutes ago link
There has been a Newsweek reporter who quite over editorial block of this OPCW case here also another interview by Grayzone
The isisrahell have such long hand to pull the plug any stories implicating their crime in progress otherwise they can put out some bs spins as bombshell reporting about US lies in Afghanistan war on their wapo for public for those who read it was nothing important revealed except being a misdirected naponyboy99 , 47 minutes ago link
If you want to pay off that student loan you're going to print what they tell you to print. You're going to inject kids with what they tell you to inject them with. You're going to think what they tell you to think or you're going to spend your days in a Prole bar drinking Blatz.Ace006 , 57 minutes ago link
If you go thru life assuming every single thing is a farce and a lie (Roddy Piper) these events can not only be explained, they can be predicted.Weihan , 58 minutes ago link
SOMEbody's got to ensure the intergrity of the Documents Registry ArchiveNothing , 1 hour ago link
The globalist deep-state's reach is legendary.Greed is King , 36 minutes ago link
yes, an attack was launched, 50 missiles I believe, after loud warnings that it was coming, and none of them actually hit anything significant ... this is the way the game is played .... the good news is that the missiles cost $50 million, and now they will have to be replaced, by the Pentagon, first borrowing the money through the US Treasury offerings, and then paying for them from new money printed by the Federal Reserve. capische?africoman , 16 minutes ago link
That`s the way it`s always been, it`s the eternal war of good against evil.
And when one evil enemy is defeated, it`s necessary to create a new evil enemy, how else can the Establishment Elite make money from war, death and destruction.Thordoom , 1 hour ago link
It's really very awkward & telling how ***** these bunch of western nations are looking tough on taking out poor defenceless country like Syria on ******** & at the satried to ease real kickass Russian as you described when they launch the attacks
I kind wish the US & their Zionist clown launch such huge attacks on Iran based on false flag
I really wanted these evil aggressive powers to taste what it is like to get bombed back even one they used to throw on multiple weaker nations freely with nothing to fear as retribution etcDCFusor , 1 hour ago link
This organisations are all set up in Europe and US run by the filthiest filth on earth who still think they have God given right to imperial rule over the world.
British elite is the worst of all.St. TwinkleToes , 1 hour ago link
Your military-industrial-intelligence complex at work, creating justification for more funding, like always - and who cares if people die as a result? Like Soros said, if they didn't do it, someone else would. (do I need /sarc?).
They don't like to be shown to be in charge, just to be in charge. And if you think this is a function of the current admin, you've been slow in the head and deaf and blind for quite some time.
I've watched since Eisenhower, and "it's always something". Doesn't matter what color the clown in chief's tie is.veritas semper vinces , 2 hours ago link
Imagine millions of government employees paid for by America's tax payer class, involved in covert operations undermining nation states for the benefit of war mongering shadow overlords counting on more never ending chaos feeding their hunger for power.
This isn't Orwell's 1984, this Team America on opioids.holgerdanske , 1 hour ago link
Senior OPCW official had orders from US/ the Donald. Remember that the Donald bombed Syria based on this fake report , after a false flag done by Al Qaeda's artistic branch, the White Helmets.lwilland1012 , 3 hours ago link
It was May that insisted on this attack. Remember the "poison" attack and the evil Russians?ken , 1 hour ago link
Pray, do tell where are the consequences for these literal demons that engaged in war crimes? It is quite clear: as long as you are a member of the establishment, you can do whatever the f*ck you want. Why do we even follow the law, then? Given the precedent that is being set, we might as well not have any.WorkingClassMan , 3 hours ago link
Well, they are looking forward to using all those Israeli weapons, er, uh, products, that local law enforcement has purchased...so watch out for Co-Intel Pro elicitation going forward....?turkey george palmer , 3 hours ago link
Everybody knows the Golem (USA) does Isn'treal's bidding in Syria and elsewhere in the Near East. Hopefully they keep hammering in the fact that this "gas attack" was an obvious set-up to use as a pretext (flimsy itself on the face of it) to brutalize Assad and Syria on behalf of Isn'treal.
The whole thing is built on ******* lies. Worst part about it is, nothing will happen.adonisdemilo , 3 hours ago link
Only official news is to believed. You see it and it is a lie. they tell you to believe it. A lot of people casually believe whatever is spoken on TV. They become teachers and are taught in college what is right and wrong. We only have a few years before all the brain dead are in charge and robotically following the message like zombies with no brainjohnnycanuck , 3 hours ago link
Third rate script, third rate actors and crooked investigators. TPTB seem to have a plan worked out. Their problem now is that we, the hoi-polloi, have seen it all before, many times, and we can now recognise ******** when it's used to try to influence us.5fingerdiscount , 3 hours ago link
It is difficult to underestimate the seriousness of this manipulative act by the OPCW. In a response to the conservative author Peter Hitchens, who also writes for the Mail on Sunday – he is of course the brother of the late Christopher Hitchens – the OPCW admits that its so-called technical secretariat "is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised [sic] release of the document".
Then it adds: "At this time, there is no further public information on this matter and the OPCW is unable to accommodate [sic] requests for interviews". It's a tactic that until now seems to have worked: not a single news media which reported the OPCW's official conclusions has followed up the story of the report which the OPCW suppressed.
And you bet the OPCW is not going to "accommodate" interviews. For here is an institution investigating a war crime in a conflict which has cost hundreds of thousands of lives – yet its only response to an enquiry about the engineers' "secret" assessment is to concentrate on its own witch-hunt for the source of the document it wished to keep secret from the world.
If this is not lamentable enough, the OPCW – whose final report came to more than a hundred pages and which even issued an easy-to-read precis version for journalists – now slams shut its steel doors in the hope of preventing even more information reaching the press.
https://johnmenadue.com/robert-fisk-the-evidence-we-were-never-meant-to-see-about-the-douma-gas-attack-counterpunch-27-may-2019/Helg Saracen , 3 hours ago link
Instead of these pieces concentrating on the whistleblower how about putting a little heat on the 50 lying bastards who initiated the coverup?carbonmutant , 4 hours ago link
The destruction of the countries of the Middle East for the sake of a dwarf with giant ambitions is the most stupid thing the United States has done over the past 30 years in its foreign policy. And yes, all the wars in the Middle East were grounded in lies. And the Americans paid for it all from start to finish. When Americans realize that they need to defend their national interests, and not other people's national interests, maybe something in the Middle East will change for the better. True, I am afraid that with the hight level of stupidity and shortsightedness that is common among Americans, the United States is more likely to be destroyed faster. No offense.
And I propose to remember the Syrian Christians who were destroyed by the Saudi Wahhabis, hired by the CIA with the money of American taxpayers and at the request of Israel. Until the Americans begin to investigate the activities of the CIA (and this activity causes the United States only harm), the responsibility for this genocide (you heard right) will be on the American nation. It turns out that in the Middle East you are primarily destroying Christians. How interesting, why such zeal.dogbert8 , 4 hours ago link
You gotta wonder how much the deep state has deleted about their interference in Trump's administration...Joiningupthedots , 4 hours ago link
Pretty much everyone with a brain realizes this all was a lie; only the M5M and the DC swamp continue to pretend it wasn't.ClickNLook , 3 hours ago link
Who really made the order though?Condor_0000 , 4 hours ago link
Sebastien Braha, Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW needs to be interrogated to find out.
Newsweek Reporter Quits After Editors Block Coverage of OPCW Syria Scandal
December 19, 2019
According to whistleblower testimony and leaked documents, OPCW officials raised alarm about the suppression of critical findings that undermine the allegation that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. Haddad's editors at Newsweek rejected his attempts to cover the story. "If I don't find another position in journalism because of this, I'm perfectly happy to accept that consequence," Haddad says. "It's not desirable. But there is no way I could have continued in that job knowing that I couldn't report something like this."
New leaks continue to expose a cover-up by the OPCW – the world's top chemical weapons watchdog – over a critical event in Syria. Documents, emails, and testimony from OPCW officials have raised major doubts about the allegation that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. The leaked OPCW information has been released in pieces by Wikileaks. The latest documents contain a number of significant revelations – including that that about 20 OPCW officials voiced concerns that their scientific findings and on-the-ground evidence was suppressed and excluded.
This is, without a doubt, a major global scandal: the OPCW, under reported US pressure, suppressing vital evidence about allegations of chemical weapons. But that very fact exposes another global scandal: with the exception of small outlets like The Grayzone, the mass media has widely ignored or whitewashed this story. And this widespread censorship of the OPCW scandal has just led one journalist to resign. Up until recently, Tareq Haddad was a reporter at Newsweek. But in early December, Tareq announced that he had quit his position after Newsweek refused to publish his story about the OPCW cover up over Syria.
Dec 27, 2018 | www.rt.com
President Trump's big announcement to pull US troops out of Syria and Afghanistan is now emerging less as a peace move, and more a rationalization of American military power in the Middle East. In a surprise visit to US forces in Iraq this week, Trump said he had no intention of withdrawing the troops in that country, who have been there for nearly 15 years since GW Bush invaded back in 2003.
Hinting at private discussions with commanders in Iraq, Trump boasted that US forces would in the future launch attacks from there into Syria if and when needed. Presumably that rapid force deployment would apply to other countries in the region, including Afghanistan.
In other words, in typical business-style transactional thinking, Trump sees the pullout from Syria and Afghanistan as a cost-cutting exercise for US imperialism. Regarding Syria, he has bragged about Turkey being assigned, purportedly, to "finish off" terror groups. That's Trump subcontracting out US interests.
Critics and supporters of Trump are confounded. After his Syria and Afghanistan pullout call, domestic critics and NATO allies have accused him of walking from the alleged "fight against terrorism" and of ceding strategic ground to US adversaries Russia and Iran.
'We're no longer suckers of the world!' Trump says US is respected as nation AGAIN (VIDEO)
Meanwhile, Trump's supporters have viewed his decision in more benign light, cheering the president for "sticking it to" the deep state and military establishment, assuming he's delivering on electoral promises to end overseas wars.
However, neither view gets what is going on. Trump is not scaling back US military power; he is rationalizing it like a cost-benefit analysis, as perhaps only a real-estate-wheeler-dealer-turned president would appreciate. Trump is not snubbing US militarism or NATO allies, nor is he letting loose an inner peace spirit. He is as committed to projecting American military as ruthlessly and as recklessly as any other past occupant of the White House. The difference is Trump wants to do it on the cheap.
Here's what he said to reporters on Air Force One before touching down in Iraq:
"The United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world. It's not fair when the burden is all on us, the United States We are spread out all over the world. We are in countries most people haven't even heard about. Frankly, it's ridiculous." He added: "We're no longer the suckers, folks."
Laughably, Trump's griping about US forces "spread all over the world" unwittingly demonstrates the insatiable, monstrous nature of American militarism. But Trump paints this vice as a virtue, which, he complains, Washington gets no thanks for from the 150-plus countries around the globe that its forces are present in.
As US troops greeted him in Iraq, the president made explicit how the new American militarism would henceforth operate.
"America shouldn't be doing the fighting for every nation on earth, not being reimbursed in many cases at all. If they want us to do the fighting, they also have to pay a price," Trump said.
'We give them $4.5bn a year': Israel will still be 'good' after US withdrawal from Syria – Trump
This reiterates a big bugbear for this president in which he views US allies and client regimes as "not pulling their weight" in terms of military deployment. Trump has been browbeating European NATO members to cough up more on military budgets, and he has berated the Saudis and other Gulf Arab regimes to pay more for American interventions.
Notably, however, Trump has never questioned the largesse that US taxpayers fork out every year to Israel in the form of nearly $4 billion in military aid. To be sure, that money is not a gift because much of it goes back to the Pentagon from sales of fighter jets and missile systems.
The long-held notion that the US has served as the "world's policeman" is, of course, a travesty.
Since WWII, all presidents and the Washington establishment have constantly harped on, with self-righteousness, about America's mythical role as guarantor of global security.
Dozens of illegal wars on almost every continent and millions of civilian deaths attest to the real, heinous conduct of American militarism as a weapon to secure US corporate capitalism.
But with US economic power in historic decline amid a national debt now over $22 trillion, Washington can no longer afford its imperialist conduct in the traditional mode of direct US military invasions and occupations.
Perhaps, it takes a cost-cutting, raw-toothed capitalist like Trump to best understand the historic predicament, even if only superficially.
This gives away the real calculation behind his troop pullout from Syria and Afghanistan. Iraq is going to serve as a new regional hub for force projection on a demand-and-supply basis. In addition, more of the dirty work can be contracted out to Washington's clients like Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia, who will be buying even more US weaponry to prop the military-industrial complex.
'With almost $22 trillion of debt, the US is in no position to attack Iran'
This would explain why Trump made his hurried, unexpected visit to Iraq this week. Significantly, he said : "A lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking", regarding his decision on withdrawing forces from Syria and Afghanistan.
Since his troop pullout plan announced on December 19, there has been serious pushback from senior Pentagon figures, hawkish Republicans and Democrats, and the anti-Trump media. The atmosphere is almost seditious against the president. Trump flying off to Iraq on Christmas night was reportedly his first visit to troops in an overseas combat zone since becoming president two years ago.
What Trump seemed to be doing was reassuring the Pentagon and corporate America that he is not going all soft and dovish. Not at all. He is letting them know that he is aiming for a leaner, meaner US military power, which can save money on the number of foreign bases by using rapid reaction forces out of places like Iraq, as well as by subcontracting operations out to regional clients.
Thus, Trump is not coming clean out of any supposed principle when he cuts back US forces overseas. He is merely applying his knack for screwing down costs and doing things on the cheap as a capitalist tycoon overseeing US militarism.
During past decades when American capitalism was relatively robust, US politicians and media could indulge in the fantasy of their military forces going around the world in large-scale formations to selflessly "defend freedom and democracy."
Today, US capitalism is broke. It simply can't sustain its global military empire. Enter Donald Trump with his "business solutions."
But in doing so, this president, with his cheap utilitarianism and transactional exploitative mindset, lets the cat out of the bag. As he says, the US cannot be the world's policeman. Countries are henceforth going to have to pay for "our protection."
Inadvertently, Trump is showing up US power for what it really is: a global thug running a protection racket.
It's always been the case. Except now it's in your face. Trump is no Smedley Butler, the former Marine general who in the 1930s condemned US militarism as a Mafia operation. This president is stupidly revealing the racket, while still thinking it is something virtuous.
Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV.
Once again, Cunningham has hit the nail on the head. Trump mistakenly conflates fear with respect. In reality, around the world, the US is feared but generally not respected.
My guess is that the same was true about Trump as a businessman, i.e., he was not respected, only feared due to his willingness to pursue his "deals" by any means that "worked" for him, legal or illegal, moral or immoral, seemingly gracious or mean-spirited.
Complaining how the US gets no thanks for its foreign intervention. Kind of like a rapist claiming he should be thanked for "pleasuring" his victim. Precisely the same sentiment expressed by those who believe the American Indians should thank the Whites for "civilising" them.
"Washington gets no thanks for from the 150-plus countries around the globe that its forces are present in."
That might mean they don't want you there. Just saying.
None of these wars are working out for the US strategically. All they do is sow chaos. They seem to not be gaining anything, and are just preventing others from gaining anything as well.
Ernie For -> ProRussiaPole
i am a huge Putin fan, so is big Don. Please change your source of info Jerome, Trump is one man against Billions of people and dollars in corruption. He has achieved more in the USA in 2 years than all 5 previous parasites together.
It could be a change for a better direction. Time will tell. 'If you do what you've always been doing, you'll get what you've always been getting.'
Apr 09, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com
The start of current decade revealed the most ruthless face of a global neo-colonialism. From Syria and Libya to Europe and Latin America, the old colonial powers of the West tried to rebound against an oncoming rival bloc led by Russia and China, which starts to threaten their global domination.
Inside a multi-polar, complex terrain of geopolitical games, the big players start to abandon the old-fashioned, inefficient direct wars. They use today other, various methods like brutal proxy wars , economic wars, financial and constitutional coups, provocative operations, 'color revolutions', etc. In this highly complex and unstable situation, when even traditional allies turn against each other as the global balances change rapidly, the forces unleashed are absolutely destructive. Inevitably, the results are more than evident.
Proxy Wars - Syria/Libya
After the US invasion in Iraq, the gates of hell had opened in the Middle East. Obama continued the Bush legacy of US endless interventions, but he had to change tactics because a direct war would be inefficient, costly and extremely unpopular to the American people and the rest of the world.
The result, however, appeared to be equally (if not more) devastating with the failed US invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US had lost total control of the armed groups directly linked with the ISIS terrorists, failed to topple Assad, and, moreover, instead of eliminating the Russian and Iranian influence in the region, actually managed to increase it. As a result, the US and its allies failed to secure their geopolitical interests around the various pipeline games.
In addition, the US sees Turkey, one of its most important ally, changing direction dangerously, away from the Western bloc. Probably the strongest indication for this, is that Turkey, Iran and Russia decided very recently to proceed in an agreement on Syria without the presence of the US.
Yet, the list of US failures does not end here. The destruction of Syria and Libya created massive refugee flows which have proved that the European Union was totally unprepared to deal with such a major issue. On top of that, the latest years, we have witnessed a rapid rise of various terrorist attacks in Western soil, also as a result of the devastating wars in Syria and Libya.
Evidence from WikiLeaks has shown that the old colonial powers have started a new round of ruthless competition on Libya's resources. The usual story propagated by the Western media, about another tyrant who had to be removed, has now completely collapsed. They don't care neither to topple an 'authoritarian' regime, nor to spread Democracy. All they care about is to secure each country's resources for their big companies.
The Gaddafi case is quite interesting because it shows that the Western hypocrites were using him according to their interests .
Whenever they wanted to blame someone for some serious terrorist attacks, they had a scapegoat ready for them, even if they had evidence that Libya was not behind these attacks. When Gaddafi falsely admitted that he had weapons of mass destruction in order to gain some relief from the Western sanctions, they presented him as a responsible leader who, was ready to cooperate. Of course, his last role was to play again the 'bad guy' who had to be removed.
Economic Wars, Financial Coups – Greece/Eurozone
It would be unthinkable for the neo-colonialists to conduct proxy wars inside European soil, especially against countries which belong to Western institutions like NATO, EU, eurozone, etc. The wave of the US-made major economic crisis hit Greece and Europe at the start of the decade, almost simultaneously with the eruption of the Arab Spring revolutionary wave and the subsequent disaster in Middle East and Libya.
Greece was the easy victim for the global neoliberal dictatorship to impose catastrophic measures in favor of the plutocracy. The Greek experiment enters its seventh year and the plan is to be used as a model for the whole eurozone. Greece has become also the model for the looting of public property, as happened in the past with the East Germany and the Treuhand Operation after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
While Greece was the major victim of an economic war, Germany used its economic power and control of the European Central Bank to impose unprecedented austerity, sado-monetarism and neoliberal destruction through silent financial coups in Ireland , Italy and Cyprus . The Greek political establishment collapsed with the rise of SYRIZA in power, and the ECB was forced to proceed in an open financial coup against Greece when the current PM, Alexis Tsipras, decided to conduct a referendum on the catastrophic measures imposed by the ECB, IMF and the European Commission, through which the Greek people clearly rejected these measures, despite the propaganda of terror inside and outside Greece. Due to the direct threat from Mario Draghi and the ECB, who actually threatened to cut liquidity sinking Greece into a financial chaos, Tsipras finally forced to retreat, signing another catastrophic memorandum.
Through similar financial and political pressure, the Brussels bureaufascists and the German sado-monetarists along with the IMF economic hitmen, imposed neoliberal disaster to other eurozone countries like Portugal, Spain etc. It is remarkable that even the second eurozone economy, France, rushed to impose anti-labor measures midst terrorist attacks, succumbing to a - pre-designed by the elites - neo-Feudalism, under the 'Socialist' François Hollande, despite the intense protests in many French cities.
Germany would never let the United States to lead the neo-colonization in Europe, as it tries (again) to become a major power with its own sphere of influence, expanding throughout eurozone and beyond. As the situation in Europe becomes more and more critical with the ongoing economic and refugee crisis and the rise of the Far-Right and the nationalists, the economic war mostly between the US and the German big capital, creates an even more complicated situation.
The decline of the US-German relations has been exposed initially with the NSA interceptions scandal , yet, progressively, the big picture came on surface, revealing a transatlantic economic war between banking and corporate giants. In times of huge multilevel crises, the big capital always intensifies its efforts to eliminate competitors too. As a consequence, the US has seen another key ally, Germany, trying to gain a certain degree of independence in order to form its own agenda, separate from the US interests.
Note that, both Germany and Turkey are medium powers that, historically, always trying to expand and create their own spheres of influence, seeking independence from the traditional big powers.
Economic Wars, Constitutional Coups, Provocative Operations – Argentina/Brazil/Venezuela
A wave of neoliberal onslaught shakes currently Latin America. While in Argentina, Mauricio Macri allegedly took the power normally, the constitutional coup against Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, as well as, the usual actions of the Right opposition in Venezuela against Nicolás Maduro with the help of the US finger, are far more obvious.
The special weight of these three countries in Latin America is extremely important for the US imperialism to regain ground in the global geopolitical arena. Especially the last ten to fifteen years, each of them developed increasingly autonomous policies away from the US close custody, under Leftist governments, and this was something that alarmed the US imperialism components.
Brazil appears to be the most important among the three, not only due to its size, but also as a member of the BRICS, the team of fast growing economies who threaten the US and generally the Western global dominance. The constitutional coup against Rousseff was rather a sloppy action and reveals the anxiety of the US establishment to regain control through puppet regimes. This is a well-known situation from the past through which the establishment attempts to secure absolute dominance in the US backyard.
The importance of Venezuela due to its oil reserves is also significant. When Maduro tried to approach Russia in order to strengthen the economic cooperation between the two countries, he must had set the alarm for the neocons in the US. Venezuela could find an alternative in Russia and BRICS, in order to breathe from the multiple economic war that was set off by the US. It is characteristic that the economic war against Russia by the US and the Saudis, by keeping the oil prices in historically low levels, had significant impact on the Venezuelan economy too. It is also known that the US organizations are funding the opposition since Chávez era, in order to proceed in provocative operations that could overthrow the Leftist governments.
The case of Venezuela is really interesting. The US imperialists were fiercely trying to overthrow the Leftist governments since Chávez administration. They found now a weaker president, Nicolás Maduro - who certainly does not have the strength and personality of Hugo Chávez - to achieve their goal.
The Western media mouthpieces are doing their job, which is propaganda as usual. The recipe is known. You present the half truth, with a big overdose of exaggeration. The establishment parrots are demonizing Socialism , but they won't ever tell you about the money that the US is spending, feeding the Right-Wing groups and opposition to proceed in provocative operations, in order to create instability. They won't tell you about the financial war conducted through the oil prices, manipulated by the Saudis, the close US ally.
Regarding Argentina, former president, Cristina Kirchner, had also made some important moves towards the stronger cooperation with Russia, which was something unacceptable for Washington's hawks. Not only for geopolitical reasons, but also because Argentina could escape from the vulture funds that sucking its blood since its default. This would give the country an alternative to the neoliberal monopoly of destruction. The US big banks and corporations would never accept such a perspective because the debt-enslaved Argentina is a golden opportunity for a new round of huge profits. It's happening right now in eurozone's debt colony, Greece.
'Color Revolutions' - Ukraine
The events in Ukraine have shown that, the big capital has no hesitation to ally even with the neo-nazis, in order to impose the new world order. This is not something new of course. The connection of Hitler with the German economic oligarchs, but also with other major Western companies, before and during the WWII, is well known.
The most terrifying of all however, is not that the West has silenced in front of the decrees of the new Ukrainian leadership, through which is targeting the minorities, but the fact that the West allied with the neo-nazis, while according to some information has also funded their actions as well as other extreme nationalist groups during the riots in Kiev.
Plenty of indications show that US organizations have 'put their finger' on Ukraine. A video , for example, concerning the situation in Ukraine has been directed by Ben Moses (creator of the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam"), who is connected with American government executives and organizations like National Endowment for Democracy, funded by the US Congress. This video shows a beautiful young female Ukrainian who characterizes the government of the country as "dictatorship" and praise some protesters with the neo-nazi symbols of the fascist Ukranian party Svoboda on them.
The same organizations are behind 'color revolutions' elsewhere, as well as, provocative operations against Leftist governments in Venezuela and other countries.
Ukraine is the perfect place to provoke Putin and tight the noose around Russia. Of course the huge hypocrisy of the West can also be identified in the case of Crimea. While in other cases, the Western officials were 'screaming' for the right of self-determination (like Kosovo, for example), after they destroyed Yugoslavia in a bloodbath, they can't recognize the will of the majority of Crimeans to join Russia.
The war will become wilder
The Western neo-colonial powers are trying to counterattack against the geopolitical upgrade of Russia and the Chinese economic expansionism.
Despite the rise of Donald Trump in power, the neoliberal forces will push further for the expansion of the neoliberal doctrine in the rival field of the Sino-Russian alliance. Besides, Trump has already shown his hostile feelings against China, despite his friendly approach to Russia and Putin.
We see, however, that the Western alliances are entering a period of severe crisis. The US has failed to control the situation in Middle East and Libya. The ruthless neo-colonialists will not hesitate to confront Russia and China directly, if they see that they continue to lose control in the global geopolitical arena. The accumulation of military presence of NATO next to the Russian borders, as well as, the accumulation of military presence of the US in Asia-Pacific, show that this is an undeniable fact.
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
KC February 15, 2019 at 11:16 pmThe one thing your accurate analysis leaves out is that the goal of US wars is never what the media spouts for its Wall Street masters. The goal of any war is the redistribution of taxpayer money into the bank accounts of MIC shareholders and executives, create more enemies to be fought in future wars, and to provide a rationalization for the continued primacy of the military class in US politics and culture.
Occasionally a country may be sitting on a bunch of oil, and also be threatening to move away from the petrodollar or talking about allowing an "adversary" to build a pipeline across their land.
Otherwise war is a racket unto itself. "Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. "
― George Orwell
Also we've always been at war with Oceania .or whatever that quote said.
Dec 19, 2019 | angrybearblog.com
likbez, December 19, 2019 6:58 pm
Afghan war demonstrated that the USA got into the trap, the Catch 22 situation: it can't stop following an expensive and self-destructive positive feedback loop of threat inflation and larger and large expenditures on MIC, because there is no countervailing force for the MIC since WWII ended. Financial oligarchy is aligned with MIC.
This is the same suicidal grip of MIC on the country that was one of the key factors in the collapse of the USSR means that in this key area the USA does not have two party system, It is a Uniparty: a singe War party with two superficially different factions.
Feeding and care MIC is No.1 task for both. Ordinary Americans wellbeing does matter much for either party. New generation of Americans is punished with crushing debt and low paying jobs. They do not care that people over 50 who lost their jobs are essentially thrown out like a garbage.
"41 Million people in the US suffer from hunger and lack of food security"–US Dept. of Agriculture. FDR addressed the needs of this faction of the population when he delivered his One-Third of a Nation speech for his 2nd Inaugural. About four years later, FDR expanded on that issue in his Four Freedoms speech: 1.Freedom of speech; 2.Freedom of worship; 3.Freedom from want; 4.Freedom from fear.
Items 3 and 4 are probably unachievable under neoliberalism. And fear is artificially instilled to unite the nation against the external scapegoat much like in Orwell 1984. Currently this is Russia, later probably will be China. With regular minutes of hate replaced by Rachel Maddow show ;-)
Derailing Tulsi had shown that in the USA any politician, who try to challenge MIC, will be instantly attacked by MIC lapdogs in MSM and neutered in no time.
One interesting tidbit from Fiona Hill testimony is that neocons who dominate the USA foreign policy establishment make their living off threat inflation. They literally are bought by MIC, which indirectly finance Brookings institution, Atlantic Council and similar think tanks. And this isn't cheap cynicism. It is simply a fact. Rephrasing Samuel Johnson's famous quote, we can say, "MIC lobbyism (which often is presented as patriotism) is the last refuge of scoundrels."
Apr 09, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
The dominant propaganda meme of the day, as already noted by Colonel Lang, is that Bashar al Assad unleashed chemical weapons on "innocent women and children" in rebel held territory and that Russia and Iran, along with Syria, are responsible. We MUST take action (or so we are told emphatically by morons pretending to be news anchors on the various cable outlets). Few media outlets are willing to report that this information is not only uncorroborated but originates with established liars and rebel partisans--i .e., the White Helmets. Oh, and did you know that the White Helmets are funded largely by the Governments of the UK and the United States?
It is critical to keep the source of funds in mind if you are to understand the true nature of these Islamic scam artists. Ironically, Max Blumenthal, son of the infamous Sid, has been a leader in exposing these fraudsters. Blumenthal wrote, more than three years ago, that :
The White Helmets' leadership is driven by a pro-interventionist agenda conceived by the Western governments and public relations groups that back them. Anyone who visits the group's website -- which is operated by an opposition-funded PR company known as the Syria Campaign -- will be immediately directed to a request to sign a petition for a no-fly zone to "stop the bombs" in Syria. These sorts of communiques highlight the dual role the White Helmets play as a civil defense organization saving lives while lobbying for a US military campaign that will almost inevitably result in the collapse of Syria's government. . . .
The White Helmets were founded in collaboration with USAID's Office of Transitional Initiatives -- the wing that has promoted regime change around the world -- and have been provided with $23 million in funding from the department. USAID supplies the White Helmets through Chemonics, a for-profit contractor based in Washington DC that has become notorious for wasteful aid imbroglios from Haiti to Afghanistan.
While members of the White Helmets have been implicated in atrocities carried out by jihadist rebel groups, the names of many of the firms that supposedly monitor and evaluate their work have been kept secret by USAID on unspecified security grounds.
Anna , 12 hours agoNikki Haley: "Russia will "never be America's friend." Moscow can try to behave "like a regular country," but the US will "slap them when we need to," Haley said." ... "Everybody likes to listen to the words. I'm going to tell you – look at the actions," Haley urged. "We expelled 60 Russian diplomats/spies, we have armed Ukraine so that they can defend themselves..." https://www.rt.com/usa/423422-us-russia-stalemate-haley/Babak Makkinejad Anna , 6 hours ago
The UK has the pottery-boy Gavin Williamson as a Sec. of Defence and the US has a waste-management Nikki Haley as an US envoy to the United Nations. They both are ignoramuses and the eager ziocon tools.
Again, Israel's special relationships with anti-Assad forces and Israel's refusal to ratify the Chemical Arms Treaty make Israel the major suspect in the chemical attacks in Syria: https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-russia-links-syria-chemwar-to-israel-1.5333503That "Russia will "never be America's friend" is not disputed. What is missing is that "US and Russia cannot afford to be enemies". Nixon understood all of that 30 years ago.Anna , a day agoYes. Has not Israel given orders? - https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/04/urgent-syria-under-attack/Sid Finster , 2 hours agoSociopaths care nothing for logic or morality of they stabs in the way of something they want. Like the Reichstag fire.Kooshy , 9 hours ago
I don't understand why people refuse to see that we are run by sociopaths, or, at a minimum, by people indistinguishable from sociopaths.I think Colonel is absolutely right, all signs are, that everybody on both sides are getting ready for a war, how big, and who will participate, nobody knows yet would it be 2 oceans and 3 continents war or just concentrated on Eurasia? Unfortunately, I think DJT' canoe has sunken in the swamp he said he will drain, or IMO he didn't even know what he is talking about, or is dealing with.TTG , 9 hours agoI agree that the uncritical and unwavering acceptance of the notion of Assad's chemical attacks on his people is ignorant and dangerous. It shows a true lack of imagination among the jihadis and their supporters. Not one of these attacks have been convincingly attributed to Assad's forces. To the contrary, the propaganda put out by the jihadis appears blatantly staged and bogus. The sooner we're out of Syria, the better. And the sooner Trump realizes unwavering support of the current Israeli regime is a cost center, the better.Terry , 11 hours agoThank you for reopening comments. I missed my tribe of non-conformists thinkers and all the various viewpoints. :-)SmoothieX12 , 11 hours ago
The insanity and distortion of reality and facts is getting extreme. Unfortunately tribalism with it's baggage of historical grievances, partisan loyalties, and mob mentalities are growing as our society returns to default human social behaviour while loyalty to the binding myths and ideas of the constitution and the founding of our republic fade. Truth is a casualty. Facts don't matter. Conformity to whatever tribal identity selected is the norm. Science show that there is a real decline in the higher brain functions when mobs form.
A good article on our decline into tribalism -
https://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/09/can-democracy-survive-tribalism.htmlrobt willmann , 12 hours agoIf the Russians don't respond in some discrete but substantive way, their presence, efforts and international prestige will have vanished by tomorrow morning.
Your "grasp" of air-defense issues, including suggestion of shooting down aircraft in Lebanon's (international) airspace, among many other things clearly shows an armchair "strategist" (no offense, I am one myself) who played, unlike me--I don't play video games, too much video-games and thinks that he knows better than say Russian General Staff. Indeed, what do they know, really--what a bunch of amateurs who do not follow your highly professional suggestion.The Russian Defense Ministry is now saying that 8 missiles were fired at the Syrian T4 airfield and airbase from Israeli airplanes flying inside Lebanon. The report says that 5 of the missiles were knocked down by antiaircraft / missile defense systems and that 3 of them hit the area of the airfield--Anna , 12 hours ago
https://www.rt.com/news/423545-israel-planes-syria-strike/Agree.james , 18 hours ago
The theater of absurd: Israelis "are shooting with live ammunition at people without guns:" Play Hideisrael to the rescue... they have to protect isis! and where would they be without regular support from the usa / uk.... white helmets are a pale imitation of israel at this point..Hood Canal Gardner , 20 hours agoPT .. thanks for the "outing" of Chemonics .. add Pakistan/HCG got a brick through his Islamabad bedroom window in the early1990s..tucked tail.Karl Kolchak , 20 hours ago
"Chemonics, a for-profit contractor based in Washington DC that has become notorious for wasteful aid imbroglios from Haiti to Afghanistan."Kathy , 20 hours ago"...a large number of supposedly intelligent Republicans and Democrats..."
There's no such thing any more. Both parties chased their intelligent leaders out a long time ago. Indeed, this is a repeat of the Cuban Missile Crisis with a bunch of emotional ten-year-olds in charge.Slightly OT, but in poking around the SCL/Cambridge Analytica web of intrigue, I found this tantalizing Wikipedia account of Vincent Tchenguiz, the largest shareholder in CA. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Tchenguizblue peacock , 20 hours ago
Some people are truly not fit to walk on this earth.PTwisedupearly Ceo , 21 hours ago
This is getting more and more ridiculous. From the ludicrous novichok caper that May and Boris have made into a Monty Python skit to the yet another theatrical chemical attack performance starring the perennial Syrian villain, Animal Assad and the increasingly heated rhetoric emanating from DC, London, Beijing and Moscow. Of course with all the bugles and trumpets blowing from the hysterical media with the Borg agenda trying to cajole a highly skeptical public.
What do you make of all this? Is the Borg getting really desperate that their gig may be up? That their deceit and duplicity will be uncovered.
We have Brennan, Holder, Yates busy tweeting along with Trump. There is McCabe and his GoFundMe. We have Comey's book tour and even Loretta Lynch is to hit the airwaves. All to spin tales that less people believe unless of course you are a card carrying partisan. Then there is Sessions making announcements of US Attorneys investigating and possibly convening grand juries and supervising document production to Congress around the conspiracy at the highest levels of law enforcement & intelligence in the Obama administration. Is this Reality TV at it's best putting Jerry Springer to shame??
What does your spidy sense tell you?I trust the Pentagon warned Israel not to launch cruise missiles from their submarines close to US surface fleet units.Anna , 21 hours ago"If the Russians don't respond... their international prestige will have vanished..."Peter in Toronto , a day ago
-- What are you implying -- that only deception, perfidy, and bullying deserve "prestige?" Would not it be great if the decent people have finally explained the "prestigious" Nikki Haley that she is an ignoramus and warmonger? And how about sending Gavin Williamson to his familiar proper place where he could resume selling the fine pottery and ceramic countertops instead of being a mockery to his current post of Sec of Defence?
What is so prestigious about the opportunistic Theresa May and Boris Johnson, whose incompetent actions have been highly damaging to the UK reputation? And guess that the criminal (but very pious) Tony Blair fits the definition of "prestige."
There are people whose response is indeed important from the perspective of decency and competence and patriotism – these people are the US brass in the highest echelons of the US military. Do they serve the interests of the US or the interests of Israel? The question is very simple. The answer is yes or no.
Saker asks for patience: http://thesaker.is/missile-strikes-on-syria-tonight-do-not-rush-to-conclusions-please-post-here-what-you-hear/
Comment section: "The Lord Has Risen, and the forces of evil are rabid for more Death and Destruction."Salvos underway.The Beaver , a day ago
If the Russians don't respond in some discrete but substantive way, their presence, efforts and international prestige will have vanished by tomorrow morning.T4 -East Homs being hit . Looks like the ISRAELIS are sending missilesAnna , a day ago"His master's voice (or how an obedient dog goes to war)": http://thesaker.is/his-masters-voice-or-how-an-obedient-dog-goes-to-war/Not In Istanbul , a day ago
"Israeli officials: the "U.S. must strike in Syria" because "Assad is the angel of death, and the world would be better without him."
Ziomedia is willing to report the Skripal nonsense with a straight face After all, if the Russians could use "Novichok and buckwheat" in the UK, why would they not use chemical weapons in Syria? And, no, the fact that neither the Russians nor the Syrians actually have any chemical weapons (both were fully disarmed and certified as such) makes absolutely no difference! "
And what country does not want to declare her chemical weapon? – http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/175032
"The head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Tuesday called on Israel to renounce chemical weapons and join the convention banning them just like Syria did."Cruise missile strikes are currently underway...Anna , a day ago"...Owen Matthews' article at The Spectator betrays the kind of factual sloppiness that is typical of the pundit-political-business classes in the West today."jjc , a day ago
-- In this case it is more than sloppiness: Owen Matthews is an opportunist loaded with the tribal grievances against Russia:
"... in his book "Stalin's Children" Matthews clearly takes sides with, endorses and, possibly, even covers up for his Trotskyist Commissar grandfather and that makes him a fair target for criticism"The constant repetitive referral to "Obama's red line" has been effective in shaping a preferred response to these alleged attacks. Contrary to today's conventional wisdom, Obama did not "fail" to enforce his own line - the administration through its own State Department was quite prepared to rain bombs down on Damascus, but faced political opposition from Congress (as did Cameron's UK government fail to achieve support for the bombing in its Parliament). Congressional opposition was sparked by robust opposition from citizens/ constituents in the form of communications directed to their Congressional offices. This was all reported by the mainstream media at the time, yet a false recounting is predominant today. The "unrelenting information operation" is not possible without the witting collaboration of the supposed "free" media. The ownership and editorial staff of such are as fully responsible for this frightening state of affairs as anyone else.blowback , a day agoThe SOHR has some pretty solid reporting on what is going on in Douma. They make no mention of any use of chemical weapons in Douma, but instead attribute the deaths to suffocation resulting from the destruction of cellars containing civilians:Imagine , a day ago
And with the death of more citizens, it has increased to 96 at least including 27 children and 16 woman, the number of persons who have been killed since Friday, and the death toll is expected to rise because there are some people in critical situation, where reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that some of the casualties and wounded suffocated as a result of the demolition of home basements due to the heavy and intense shelling on Douma city, and the trusted sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory of Rights that the number of injuries today has exceeds 500, including tens of children and tens of women, where more than 70 of them have suffered suffocation as a result of the demolition of home basements over them due to the heavy and intense shelling on the last area beyond the regime forces' control in the Eastern Ghouta , which is the stronghold of Jaysh al-Islam, and the Syrian Observatory published hours ago that 11 people at least including 5 children had suffocated, after bombardment by a warplane on an area near the old cemetery at the northern outskirts of Douma city in the Eastern Ghouta, also the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published that violent clashes taking place between the regime forces and their allied militiamen of Syrian and non-Syrian nationalities against Jaish Al-Islam in areas in the vicinity of Douma area, where the regime forces continue their attempts to achieve more advancement in the area after they managed today morning to advance in the farms of Douma from the direction of Al-Raihan area. The regime forces managed to advance in 50 farms in the area following series of ongoing ground and aerial shelling of the regime forces and their warplanes and helicopters, which target the city and its vicinity.
Recent articles from SOHR can be found here:
Jaish al-Islam asked for quarter as the SAA appears to have broken Jaish al-Islam's defensive lines making their position in Douma untenable."Murder in the Sun Morgue" by Dr. Denis O'Brien (neuropharmacology expert):Swamp Yankee , a day ago
"The primary conclusion of this study, based on a pharmacological analysis of the video and photographic evidence, is that the Ghouta Massacre near Damascus on Aug 21.2013 was not a sarin rocket attack carried out by Assad or his supporters. It was a false-flag stunt carried out by the insurgents using carbon monoxide or cyanide to murder children and use their corpses as bait to lure the Americans into attacking Assad."
288 pp. analysis. Also, some had slit throats:
https://www.scribd.com/document/230748990/Murder-in-the-SunMorgueThank you for this, Publius Tacitus -- and to you, Colonel Lang, re-opening the comments section here at SST.Patrick Armstrong , 10 hours ago
I think it's notable that Owen Matthews' article at The Spectator betrays the kind of factual sloppiness that is typical of the pundit-political-business classes in the West today. For of course, "Arsenal of Democracy" is a phrase associated not with Truman but with Franklin Roosevelt.
I was the working-class scholarship kid at one of the elite educational institutions that forms a feeder-conduit to these echelons of media, political, and economic power, and one thing I have remarked is the utter mediocrity and laziness of so many members of our ruling class. As Corey Robin found out when he had an exchange with Chelsea Clinton over Hannah Arendt, and I discovered as an undergrad and in grad school, many of them simply never did the reading. They relied then, and still do today, on group-think and sheep-like intellectual conformity, which, of course, is then magnificently (and munificently!) rewarded. I also discovered that even when they did read something, it made no impression on them, not in any real way, they failed to keep the lessons taught thereby in their head once it was no longer needed for an exam or a paper.
To be led by fools such as these into a world war -- and why? -- is lunacy. That's why I'm grateful for places like this Committee to keep the home-fires of sanity burning. Thanks again, and let's hope that peace prevails, against the devoutly-hoped wishes of the Borg.An excellent summary, I posted it on FB and VK.
Nov 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Nauman Sadiq,
Before the evacuation of 1,000 American troops from northern Syria to western Iraq, the Pentagon had 2,000 US forces in Syria. After the drawdown of US troops at Erdogan's insistence in order for Ankara to mount a ground offensive in northern Syria, the US has still deployed 1,000 troops, mainly in oil-rich eastern Deir al-Zor province and at al-Tanf military base.
Al-Tanf military base is strategically located in southeastern Syria on the border between Syria, Iraq and Jordan, and it straddles on a critically important Damascus-Baghdad highway, which serves as a lifeline for Damascus. Washington has illegally occupied 55-kilometer area around al-Tanf since 2016, and several hundred US Marines have trained several Syrian militant groups there.
It's worth noting that rather than fighting the Islamic State, the purpose of continued presence of the US forces at al-Tanf military base is to address Israel's concerns regarding the expansion of Iran's influence in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
Regarding the oil- and natural gas-rich Deir al-Zor governorate, it's worth pointing out that Syria used to produce modest quantities of oil for domestic needs before the war – roughly 400,000 barrels per day, which isn't much compared to tens of millions barrels daily oil production in the Gulf states.
Although Donald Trump crowed in a characteristic blunt manner in a tweet after the withdrawal of 1,000 American troops from northern Syria that Washington had deployed forces in eastern Syria where there was oil, the purpose of exercising control over Syria's oil is neither to smuggle oil out of Syria nor to deny the valuable source of revenue to the Islamic State.
There is no denying the fact that the remnants of the Islamic State militants are still found in Syria and Iraq but its emirate has been completely dismantled in the region and its leadership is on the run. So much so that the fugitive caliph of the terrorist organization was killed in the bastion of a rival jihadist outfit, al-Nusra Front in Idlib, hundreds of kilometers away from the Islamic State strongholds in eastern Syria.
Much like the "scorched earth" battle strategy of medieval warlords – as in the case of the Islamic State which early in the year burned crops of local farmers while retreating from its former strongholds in eastern Syria – Washington's basic purpose in deploying the US forces in oil and natural gas fields of Deir al-Zor governorate is to deny the valuable source of income to its other main rival in the region, Damascus.
After the devastation caused by eight years of proxy war, the Syrian government is in dire need of tens of billions dollars international assistance to rebuild the country. Not only is Washington hampering efforts to provide international aid to the hapless country, it is in fact squatting over Syria's own resources with the help of its only ally in the region, the Kurds.
Although Donald Trump claimed credit for expropriating Syria's oil wealth, it bears mentioning that "scorched earth" policy is not a business strategy, it is the institutional logic of the deep state. President Trump is known to be a businessman and at least ostensibly follows a non-interventionist ideology; being a novice in the craft of international diplomacy, however, he has time and again been misled by the Pentagon and Washington's national security establishment.
Regarding Washington's interest in propping up the Gulf's autocrats and fighting their wars in regional conflicts, it bears mentioning that in April 2016, the Saudi foreign minister threatened that the Saudi kingdom would sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets if the US Congress passed a bill that would allow Americans to sue the Saudi government in the United States courts for its role in the September 11, 2001 terror attack – though the bill was eventually passed, Saudi authorities have not been held accountable; even though 15 out of 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals.
Moreover, $750 billion is only the Saudi investment in the United States, if we add its investment in Western Europe and the investments of UAE, Kuwait and Qatar in the Western economies, the sum total would amount to trillions of dollars of Gulf's investments in North America and Western Europe.
Furthermore, in order to bring home the significance of the Persian Gulf's oil in the energy-starved industrialized world, here are a few stats from the OPEC data: Saudi Arabia has the world's largest proven crude oil reserves of 265 billion barrels and its daily oil production exceeds 10 million barrels; Iran and Iraq, each, has 150 billion barrels reserves and has the capacity to produce 5 million barrels per day, each; while UAE and Kuwait, each, has 100 billion barrels reserves and produces 3 million barrels per day, each; thus, all the littoral states of the Persian Gulf, together, hold 788 billion barrels, more than half of world's 1477 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.
No wonder then, 36,000 United States troops have currently been deployed in their numerous military bases and aircraft carriers in the oil-rich Persian Gulf in accordance with the Carter Doctrine of 1980, which states: "Let our position be absolutely clear: an attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force."
Additionally, regarding the Western defense production industry's sales of arms to the Gulf Arab States, a report authored by William Hartung of the US-based Center for International Policy found that the Obama administration had offered Saudi Arabia more than $115 billion in weapons, military equipment and training during its eight-year tenure.
Similarly, the top items in Trump's agenda for his maiden visit to Saudi Arabia in May 2017 were: firstly, he threw his weight behind the idea of the Saudi-led "Arab NATO" to counter Iran's influence in the region; and secondly, he announced an unprecedented arms package for Saudi Arabia. The package included between $98 billion and $128 billion in arms sales.
Therefore, keeping the economic dependence of the Western countries on the Gulf Arab States in mind, during the times of global recession when most of manufacturing has been outsourced to China, it is not surprising that when the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia decided to provide training and arms to the Islamic jihadists in the border regions of Turkey and Jordan against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Obama administration was left with no other choice but to toe the destructive policy of its regional Middle Eastern allies, despite the sectarian nature of the proxy war and its attendant consequences of breeding a new generation of Islamic jihadists who would become a long-term security risk not only to the Middle East but to the Western countries, as well.
Similarly, when King Abdullah's successor King Salman decided, on the whim of the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, to invade Yemen in March 2015, once again the Obama administration had to yield to the dictates of Saudi Arabia and UAE by fully coordinating the Gulf-led military campaign in Yemen not only by providing intelligence, planning and logistical support but also by selling billions of dollars' worth of arms and ammunition to the Gulf Arab States during the conflict.
In this reciprocal relationship, the US provides security to the ruling families of the Gulf Arab states by providing weapons and troops; and in return, the Gulf's petro-sheikhs contribute substantial investments to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars to the Western economies.
Regarding the Pax Americana which is the reality of the contemporary neocolonial order, according to a January 2017 infographic by the New York Times, 210,000 US military personnel were stationed all over the world, including 79,000 in Europe, 45,000 in Japan, 28,500 in South Korea and 36,000 in the Middle East.
Although Donald Trump keeps complaining that NATO must share the cost of deployment of US troops, particularly in Europe where 47,000 American troops are stationed in Germany since the end of the Second World War, 15,000 in Italy and 8,000 in the United Kingdom, fact of the matter is that the cost is already shared between Washington and host countries.
Roughly, European countries pay one-third of the cost for maintaining US military bases in Europe whereas Washington chips in the remaining two-third. In the Far Eastern countries, 75% of the cost for the deployment of American troops is shared by Japan and the remaining 25% by Washington, and in South Korea, 40% cost is shared by the host country and the US contributes the remaining 60%.
Whereas the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar – pay two-third of the cost for maintaining 36,000 US troops in the Persian Gulf where more than half of world's proven oil reserves are located and Washington contributes the remaining one-third.
* * *
Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism.
ipsprez , 8 minutes ago linkOLD-Pipe , 19 minutes ago link
I am always amazed (and amused) at how much smarter "journalists" are than POTUS. If ONLY Mr. Trump would read more and listen to those who OBVIOUSLY are sooo much smarter!!!! Maybe then he wouldn't be cowed and bullied by Erdogan, Xi, Jung-on, Trudeau (OK so maybe that one was too far fetched) to name a few. Please note the sarcasm. Do I really need to go in to the success after success Mr. Trump's foreign policy has enjoyed? Come on Man.Blue Steel 309 , 5 minutes ago link
What a load of BOLOCKS...The ONLY, I mean The Real and True Reason for American Armored presence is one thing,,,,,,,Ready for IT ? ? ? To Steal as much OIL as Possible, AND convert the Booty into Currency, Diamonds or some other intrinsically valuable commodity, Millions of Dollars at a Time......17 Years of Shadows and Ghost Trucks and Tankers Loading and Off-Loading the Black Gold...this is what its all about......M-O-N-E-Y....... Say It With Me.... Mon-nee, Money Money Mo_on_ne_e_ey, ......ombon , 58 minutes ago link
This is about Israel, not oil.Pandelis , 28 minutes ago link
From the sale of US oil in Syria receive 30 million. dollars per month. Image losses are immeasurably greater. The United States put the United States as a robbery bandit. This is American democracy. The longer the troops are in Syria, the more countries will switch to settlements in national currencies.uhland62 , 50 minutes ago link
yeah well these are mafia guys...BobEore , 1 hour ago link
"Our interests", "strategic interests" is always about money, just a euphemism so it doesn't look as greedy as it is. Another euphemism is "security' ,meaning war preparations.
...The military power of the USA put directly in the service of "the original TM" PIRATE STATE. U are the man Norm! But wait... now things get a little hazy... in the classic... 'alt0media fake storyline' fashion!
"President Trump is known to be a businessman and at least ostensibly follows a non-interventionist ideology; being a novice in the craft of international diplomacy, however, he has time and again been misled by the Pentagon and Washington's national security establishment."
Awww! Poor "DUmb as Rocks Donnie" done been fooled agin!
...In the USA... the military men are stirring at last... having been made all too aware that their putative 'boss' has been operating on behalf of foreign powers ever since being [s]elected, that the State Dept of the once Great Republic has been in active cahoots with the jihadis ...
and that those who were sent over there to fight against the headchoppers discovered that the only straight shooters in the whole mess turned out to be the Kurds who AGENT FRIMpf THREW UNDER THE BUS ON INSTRUCTIONS FROM JIHADI HQ!
... ... ...
Oct 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,
The Courage Foundation , an international protection and advocacy group for whistleblowers, has published the findings of a panel it convened last week on the extremely suspicious behavior of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in its investigation of an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria last year. After hearing an extensive presentation from a member of the OPCW's Douma investigation team, the panel's members (including a world-renowned former OPCW Director General) report that they are "unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018."
I'll get to the panel and its findings in a moment, but first I should provide some historical background so that readers who aren't intimately familiar with this ongoing scandal can fully appreciate the significance of this new development.
In late March of last year, President Trump publicly stated that the US military would soon be withdrawing troops from Syria, causing some with an ear to the ground like independent US congressional candidate Steve Cox to predict that there would shortly be a false flag chemical weapons attack in that nation. This was because the public had already been shown that highly suspicious chemical attacks tended to happen when the Trump administration begins pushing for a reversal of standing US Syria policy, as I noted in April 2017 immediately following the alleged attack in Khan Shaykhun.
"I was able to predict Douma in 2018 because it happened already almost exactly 1 year prior, at Khan Shaykhun, April 4, 2017," Cox told me on Twitter earlier today.
"Khan Shaykhun also occurred within days of the Trump Admin saying we're leaving Syria."
And, like clockwork, on April 7 2018 dozens of civilians in Douma were killed in an incident which was quickly reported as a Syrian government chemical attack by all the usual establishment narrative managers on Syria , with everyone from the White Helmets to Charles Lister to Eliot Higgins to Julian Röpcke loudly flagging it on social media to draw the attention of mainstream news outlets who were slower to pick up the story.
There was immediate skepticism, partly because acclaimed journalists like Sy Hersh have been highlighting plot holes in the official story about chemical weapons in Syria since 2013, partly because Assad would stand nothing to gain and everything to lose by using a banned yet highly ineffective weapon in a battle he'd already essentially won in that region, and partly because the people controlling things on the ground in Douma were the Al Qaeda-linked extremist group Jaysh-al Islam and the incredibly shady narrative management operation known as the White Helmets. Those groups, unlike the Assad government, most certainly would stand everything to gain by staging a chemical attack in the desperate hope that it would draw NATO powers into attacking the Syrian government and perhaps saving their necks.
Long before any investigation into this suspicious incident could even be begun, much less completed, the US State Department declared it to have been a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Syrian government, saying "the Assad regime must be held accountable", and that Russia "ultimately bears responsibility" for the attack. Which was of course mighty convenient for US geostrategic interests.
On the 14th of April 2018, the US, UK and France launched an airstrike on the Syrian government as punishment for using chemical weapons, citing secret "intelligence" which the US government claimed gave them "very high confidence that Syria was responsible." The public has to this day never been permitted to see this intelligence. This all happened before any formal international investigation could take place.
The OPCW conducted their investigation, and in July 2018 published an interim report saying that "no organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties." This ruled out sarin gas, invalidating earlier reports by Syria war pundits like Charles Lister who claimed that sarin had been used, but it didn't rule out chlorine gas. In March of this year the OPCW issued its final report saying forensics were consistent with chlorine gas use and advancing a ballistics report which strongly implicated the Assad government by implying it was an aerial drop (Syrian opposition militias have no air force). The official Twitter account for the UK Delegation to the OPCW tweeted at the time that the report "confirms chemical weapons used, demonstrating the vital importance of OPCW's work. This confirmed chlorine attack was only the latest example of Asad regime's CW attacks on its own population."
In May of this year, a leaked internal document from the OPCW investigation was published by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media which completely contradicts the findings of the official report published in March. The leaked Engineering Assessment said that "observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest there is a higher probability both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft," which would implicate the forces on the ground in the incident rather than the Assad government.
The OPCW indirectly confirmed the document's authenticity by telling the press that its release had been "unauthorised". Climate Audit's Stephen McIntyre published an excellent thread breaking down how the document invalidates the OPCW's claims which you can read by clicking here . Establishment narrative managers had a very difficult time spinning the fact that the OPCW had taken it upon itself to hide findings from the public which dissented from its official report on an incident which preceded an international act of war upon a sovereign nation, and all the implications that necessarily has for the legitimacy of the organization's other work.
Throughout this time, critical thinkers like myself have been aggressively smeared as deranged conspiracy theorists, war crimes deniers and genocide deniers for expressing skepticism of the establishment-authorized narrative on Douma. Which takes us to today.
The Courage Foundation panel who met with the OPCW whistleblower consists of former OPCW Director General José Bustani (whose highly successful peacemongering once saw the lives of his children threatened by John Bolton during the lead-up to the Iraq invasion in an attempt to remove him from his position), WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson , Professor of International Law Richard Falk , former British Army Major General John Holmes , Dr Helmut Lohrer of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, German professor Dr Guenter Meyer of the Centre for Research on the Arab World, and former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East Elizabeth Murray of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
So these are not scrubs. These are not "conspiracy theorists" or "Russian propagandists". These are highly qualified and reputable professionals expressing deep concerns in the opaque and manipulative way the OPCW appears to have conducted its investigation into the Douma incident. Some highlights from their joint statement and analytical points are quoted below, with my own emphasis added in bold:
"Based on the whistleblower's extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018. We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion ."
"The convincing evidence of irregular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had. I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing. "
"A critical analysis of the final report of the Douma investigation left the panel in little doubt that conclusions drawn from each of the key evidentiary pillars of the investigation (chemical analysis, toxicology, ballistics and witness testimonies,) are flawed and bear little relation to the facts. "
From the section on Chemical Analysis:
"The interpretation of the environmental analysis results is equally questionable. Many, if not all, of the so-called 'smoking gun' chlorinated organic chemicals claimed to be not naturally present in the environment' (para 2.6) are in fact ubiquitous in the background, either naturally or anthropogenically (wood preservatives, chlorinated water supplies etc). The report, in fact, acknowledges this in Annex 4 para 7, even stating the importance of gathering control samples to measure the background for such chlorinated organic derivatives. Yet, no analysis results for these same control samples (Annex 5), which inspectors on the ground would have gone to great lengths to gather, were reported."
"Although the report stresses the 'levels' of the chlorinated organic chemicals as a basis for its conclusions (para 2.6), it never mentions what those levels were -- high, low, trace, sub-trace? Without providing data on the levels of these so-called 'smoking-gun' chemicals either for background or test samples, it is impossible to know if they were not simply due to background presence . In this regard, the panel is disturbed to learn that quantitative results for the levels of 'smoking gun' chemicals in specific samples were available to the investigators but this decisive information was withheld from the report ."
"The final report also acknowledges that the tell-tale chemicals supposedly indicating chlorine use, can also be generated by contact of samples with sodium hypochlorite, the principal ingredient of household bleaching agent (para 8.15). This game-changing hypothesis is, however, dismissed (and as it transpires, incorrectly) by stating no bleaching was observed at the site of investigation. (' At both locations, there were no visible signs of a bleach agent or discoloration due to contact with a bleach agent' ). The panel has been informed that no such observation was recorded during the on-site inspection and in any case dismissing the hypothesis simply by claiming the non -observation of discoloration in an already dusty and scorched environment seems tenuous and unscientific ."
From the section on Toxicology:
"The toxicological studies also reveal inconsistencies, incoherence and possible scientific irregularities. Consultations with toxicologists are reported to have taken place in September and October 2018 (para 8.87 and Annex 3), but no mention is made of what those same experts opined or concluded. Whilst the final toxicological assessment of the authors states ' it is not possible to precisely link the cause of the signs and symptoms to a specific chemical ' (para 9.6) the report nonetheless concludes there were reasonable grounds to believe chlorine gas was the chemical (used as a weapon)."
"More worrying is the fact that the panel viewed documented evidence that showed other toxicologists had been consulted in June 2018 prior to the release of the interim report. Expert opinions on that occasion were that the signs and symptoms observed in videos and from witness accounts were not consistent with exposure to molecular chlorine or any reactive-chlorine-containing chemical. Why no mention of this critical assessment, which contradicts that implied in the final report, was made is unclear and of concern. "
From the section on Ballistic Studies:
"One alternative ascribing the origin of the crater to an explosive device was considered briefly but, despite an almost identical crater (understood to have resulted from a mortar penetrating the roof) being observed on an adjacent rooftop, was dismissed because of ' the absence of primary and secondary fragmentation characteristics'. In contrast, explosive fragmentation characteristics were noted in the leaked study ."
From the section titled "Exclusion of inspectors and attempts to obfuscate":
"Contrary to what has been publicly stated by the Director General of the OPCW it was evident to the panel that many of the inspectors in the Douma investigation were not involved or consulted in the post-deployment phase or had any contribution to, or knowledge of the content of the final report until it was made public . The panel is particularly troubled by organisational efforts to obfuscate and prevent inspectors from raising legitimate concerns about possible malpractices surrounding the Douma investigation."
I'll leave it there for now.
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Flavius said in reply to Harper... , 24 October 2019 at 01:21 PM
Oct 24, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
"Joltin" Jack Keane, General (ret.), Fox Business Senior Strategery Analyst, Chairman of the Board of the Kagan run neocon "Institute for the Study of War" (ISW) and Graduate Extraordinaire of Fordham University, was on with Lou Dobbs last night. Dobbs appears to have developed a deep suspicion of this paladin. He stood up to Keane remarkably well. This was refreshing in light of the fawning deference paid to Keane by all the rest of the Fox crew.
In the course of this dialogue Keane let slip the slightly disguised truth that he and the other warmongers want to keep something like 200 US soldiers and airmen in Syria east of the Euphrates so that they can keep Iran or any other "Iranian proxy forces" from crossing the Euphrates from SAG controlled territory to take control of Syrian sovereign territory and the oil and gas deposits that are rightly the property of the Syrian people and their government owned oil company. The map above shows how many of these resources are east of the Euphrates. Pilgrims! It is not a lot of oil and gas judged by global needs and markets, but to Syria and its prospects for reconstruction it is a hell of a lot!
Keane was clear that what he means by "Iranian proxy forces" is the Syrian Arab Army, the national army of that country. If they dare cross the river, to rest in the shade of their own palm trees, then in his opinion the air forces of FUKUS should attack them and any 3rd party air forces (Russia) who support them
This morning, on said Fox Business News with Charles Payne, Keane was even clearer and stated specifically that if "Syria" tries to cross the river they must be fought.
IMO he and Lindsey Graham are raving lunatics brainwashed for years with the Iran obsession and they are a danger to us all. pl
Fred , 23 October 2019 at 04:54 PMIf only General Keane was as willing to defend America and America's oil on the Texas-Mexico border. Or hasn't anyone noticed that Mexico just a lost a battle with the Sinaloa drug cartel?Harlan Easley , 23 October 2019 at 05:35 PMI view them as selling their Soul for a dollar. Keane comes across as dense enough to believe his bile but Graham comes across as an opportunist without any real ideology except power.JohninMK , 23 October 2019 at 05:43 PMIts probably one step at a time for the Syrians, although the sudden move over the past couple of weeks must have been a bit of a God given opportunity for them.walrus , 23 October 2019 at 06:42 PM
Whilst the are absorbing that part of their country the battle of Iblib will restart. After that they can move their attention south and southeast, al-Tanf and the oilfields. I can't see how the US will be able to stop them but at least they will have time to plan their exit.
As I posted in the other thread, the Syrian Government is the only real customer for their oil and the Kurds already have a profit share agreement in place, so the US, if they allow any oil out, will effectively be protecting the fields on behalf of Assad. Surely not what Congress wants?
At the moment the Syrian Government has enough oil, it is getting it from Iran via a steady stream of SUEZMAX tankers. The cost, either in terms of money or quid pro quo, is unknown.I think this might be President Putin's next problem to solve. As far as I know, there is no legal reason for us to be there, not humanitarian, not strategic not even tactical. We simply are playing dog-in-the-manger.different clue , 23 October 2019 at 06:54 PM
My guess is that we will receive an offer to good to refuse from Putin.For those who have wondered as to why the DC FedRegime would fight over the tiny relative-to-FUKUS's-needs amount of oil in the Syrian oilfields. It is clearly to keep the SAR hobbled, crippled and too impoverished to retake all its territory or even to restore social, civic and economic functionality to the parts it retains. FUKUS is still committed to the policy of FUKUSing Syria.prawnik said in reply to different clue... , 24 October 2019 at 11:25 AM
Why is the Champs Elise' Regime still committed to putting the F in UKUS?
(I can understand why UKUS would want to keep France involved. Without France, certain nasty people might re-brand UKUS as USUK. And that would be very not nice.)Because France wants to be on the good side of the United States, and as you indicate, the United States is in Syria to turn that country into a failed state and for no other reason.Decameron , 23 October 2019 at 07:03 PMA good antidote for Joltin' Jack Keane's madness would be for Lou Dobbs and other mainstream media (MSM) to have Col Pat Lang as the commentator for analysis of the Syrian situation. Readers of this blog are undoubtedly aware that Col. Lang's knowledge of the peoples of the region and their customs is a national treasure.Stephanie , 23 October 2019 at 07:06 PM
This President appears at times to recognize the reality of nation states and the meaning of national sovereignty. He needs to understand that on principle, not merely on gut instinct. President Trump's press conference today focused in one section on a simple fact -- saving the lives of Americans. Gen. Jack Keane,
Sen. Lindsay Graham, and other gamers who think they are running an imperial chessboard where they can use living soldiers as American pawns, are a menace. Thanks Col. Lang for calling out these lunatics.In WWI millions of soldiers died fighting for imperial designs. They did not know it. They thought they were fighting for democracy, or to stop the spread of evil, or save their country. They were not. Secret treaties signed before the war started stated explicitly what the war was about.Babak Makkinejad -> Stephanie... , 23 October 2019 at 08:48 PM
Now "representatives" of the military, up to and including the Commander in Chief say it's about conquest, oil. The cards of the elite are on the table. How do you account for this?Men are quite evidently are in a state of total complete and irretrievable Fall, all the while living that particular Age of Belief.Jackrabbit , 23 October 2019 at 07:39 PMDuring the 2016 election, Jack Keane and John Bolton were the two people Trump mentioned when asked who he listens to on foreign affairs/military policy.VietnamVet , 23 October 2019 at 07:47 PMColonel,Mk-ec said in reply to VietnamVet... , 24 October 2019 at 07:40 PM
The crumbling apart is apparent. I don't know in what delusional world can conceive that 200 soldiers in the middle of the desert can deny Syria possession of their oil fields or keep the road between Bagdad and Damascus cut. All the West's Decision Makers can do is threaten to blow up the world.
Justin Trudeau was elected Monday in Canada with a minority in Parliament joining the United Kingdom and Israel with governments without a majority's mandate. Donald Trump's impeachment escalates. MbS is nearing a meat hook in Saudi Arabia. This is not a coincidence. The Elites' flushing government down the drain succeeded.
Corporate Overlords imposed austerity, outsourced industry and cut taxes to get richer, but the one thing for certain is that they can't keep their wealth without laws, the police and the military to protect them. Already California electricity is being cut off for a second time due to wildfires and PG&E's corporate looting. The Sinaloa shootout reminds me of the firefight in the first season of "True Detectives" when the outgunned LA cops tried to go after the Cartel. The writing is on the wall, California is next. Who will the lawmen serve and protect? Their people or the rich? Without the law, justice and order, there is chaos.Latin America is burning too - although the elites here have plundered and imposed structural plunder for too long. No matter where you are it .. Chile poster of the right, or Ecuador, Peru, etcHarper , 23 October 2019 at 07:49 PMNo doubt that Keane and his ilk want endless war and view Trump as a growing obstacle. Trump is consistent: He wanted out of JCPOA, and after being stalled by his national security advisors, he finally reached the boiling point and left. The advisors who counseled against this are all gone. With Pompeo, Enders and O'Brien as the new key security advisors, I doubt Trump got as much push back. He wanted out of Syria in December 2018 and was slow-walked. Didn't anyone think he'd come back at some point and revive the order to pull out? The talk with Erdogan, the continuing Trump view that Russia, Turkey, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia should bear the burden of sorting out what is left of the Syria war, so long as ISIS does not see a revival, all have been clear for a long time.Babak Makkinejad -> Harper... , 23 October 2019 at 08:52 PM
My concern is with Lindsey Graham, who is smarter and nastier than Jack Keane. He is also Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and may hold some blackmail leverage over the President. If the House votes up impeachment articles, Graham will be overseeing the Senate trial. A break from Trump by Graham could lead to a GOP Senate stampede for conviction. No one will say this openly, as I am, but it cannot be ignored as a factor for "controlling" Trump and keeping as much of the permanent war machine running as possible.
Thoughts?Trump has committed the United States to a long war against the Shia Crescent. He has ceded to Turkey on Syrian Kurds, but has continued with his operations against SAR. US needs Turkey, Erdogan knows that. Likewise in regards to Russia, EU, and Iran. Turkey, as is said in Persian, has grown a tail.Tidewater said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 24 October 2019 at 01:14 PMDid you notice the Middle East Monitor article on October 21 reporting that the UAE has released to Iran $700 million in previously frozen funds?Lars said in reply to Harper... , 23 October 2019 at 09:10 PM
Yet in early September, Sigal Mandelker, a senior US Treasury official, was in the UAE pressing CEOs there to tighten the financial screws on Iran. The visit was deemed a success. During this visit she was quoted as saying that the Treasury has issued over 30 rounds of curbs targeting Iran-related entities. That would include targeting shipping companies and banks.
It was also reported in September that in Dubai that recent US Treasury sanctions were beginning to have a devastating effect. Iranian businessmen were being squeezed out. Even leaving the Emirates. Yet only a few days ago--a month later-- there are now reports that Iranian exchange bureaus have suddenly reopened in Dubai after a long period of closure.
Also, billions of dollars in contracts were signed between Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE during Putin's recent visit to the region. It seems to me that this is real news. Something big seems to be happening. It looks to me as if there could be a serious confrontation between the Trump administration and MBZ in the offing.
Do you have an opinion on the Iranian situation in Dubai at the moment?I have my doubt that Sen. Graham will lead any revolt, but if it starts to look like Trump will lose big next year, there will be a stampede looking like the Nile getting through a cataract.Jack said in reply to Lars... , 24 October 2019 at 09:30 AM
They will not want to go down the tube with Trump. I still maintain that there is a good reason for him to resign before he loses an election or an impeachment. It will come down to the price.Lars,Lars said in reply to Jack... , 24 October 2019 at 02:05 PM
Lose big to whom in the next election? Biden got 300 people to show up for his rally in his hometown of Scranton and he is supposedly the front runner. Bernie got 20,000 to show up at his rally in NY when he was endorsed by The Squad and Michael Moore. Do you think the Dem establishment will allow him to be the nominee?
Trump in contrast routinely can fill up stadiums with 30,000 people. That was the indicator in the last election, not the polls. Recall the NY Times forecasting Hillary with a 95% probability of winning the day before the election.
As Rep. Al Green noted , the only way the Democrats can stop him is for the Senate to convict him in an impeachment trial. Who do you believe are the 20 Republican senators that will vote to convict?Trump barely won the last time and while he currently has wide support in the GOP, it is not nearly as deep as his cultists believe. When half the country, and growing, want him removed, there is trouble ahead. Republicans are largely herd animals and if spooked, will create a stampede.Mk-ec said in reply to Lars... , 24 October 2019 at 08:20 PM
You can tell that there are problems when his congressional enablers are not defending him on facts and just using gripes about processes that they themselves have used in the past. In addition to circus acts.
I realize that many do not want to admit that they made a mistake by voting for him. I am not so sure they want to repeat that mistake.It depends on who will be the democratic ticket .. will it mobilize the basis? I think the compromise candidate is Warren, but she looks to me a lot like John Kerry, Al Gore.. representing the professional, college educated segment of society, and that doesn't cut it.Jack said in reply to Lars... , 24 October 2019 at 09:29 PMLars,Diana C said in reply to Harper... , 24 October 2019 at 08:37 AM
It's not a question if he barely won. The fact is he competed with many other Republican candidates including governors and senators and even one with the name Bush. He was 1% in the polls in the summer of 2016 and went on to win the Republican nomination despite the intense opposition of the Republican establishment. He then goes on to win the general election defeating a well funded Hillary with all her credentials and the full backing of the vast majority of the media. That is an amazing achievement for someone running for public office for the first time. Like him or hate him, you have to give credit where it's due. Winning an election for the presidency is no small feat.
There only two ways to defeat him. First, the Senate convicts him in an impeachment trial which will require at least 20 Republican senators. Who are they? Second, a Democrat in the general election. Who? I can see Bernie with a possibility since he has enthusiastic supporters. But will the Democrat establishment allow him to win the nomination?We're no longer having to listen to Yosemite Sam Bolton. His BFF Graham is left to fight on his own. I don't think Trump feels the need to pay that much attention to Graham. He didn't worry about him during the primary when Graham always seemed to be on the verge of crying when he was asked questions.prawnik said in reply to Harper... , 24 October 2019 at 11:28 AMTrump is far from consistent. This is the man who attacked Syria twice on the basis of lies so transparent that my youngest housecat would have seen through them, and who tried and failed to leave Syria twice, then said he was "100%" for the continued occupation of Syria.Patrick Armstrong -> prawnik... , 24 October 2019 at 05:06 PM
He could have given the order to leave Syria this month, but Trump did not. Instead, he simply ordered withdrawal to a smaller zone of occupation, and that under duress.
Congratulations are hardly in order here.The Great Trumpian Mystery. I don't pretend to understand but I'm intrigued by his inconsistent inconsistencies. https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/03/17/trump-mysteries-inconsistent-inconsistencies/
What the Colonel calls the Borg is akin to an aircraft carrier that has been steaming at near flank speed for many years too long, gathering mass and momentum since the end of Cold War I.The Twisted Genius , 23 October 2019 at 11:33 PM
With the exception of Gulf War I, none of our interventions have gone well, and even the putative peace at the end of GUlf War I wasn't managed well because it eventuated in Gulf War Ii which has been worst than a disaster because the disaster taught the Borg nothing and became midwife to additional disasters.
It probably should come as no surprise to us that Trump is having small, but not no, success in getting the ship to alter course - too many deeply entrenched interests with no incentive to recognize their failures and every incentive to stay the course by removing, or at least handicapping the President who was elected on a platform of change.
Whether the country elected the right man for the job remains to be seen. At times he appears to be his own worst enemy and his appointments are frequently topsy-- turvy to the platform he ran on but he does have his moments of success. He called off the dumb plan to go to war with Iran, albeit at 20 minutes to mid night and he is trying hard against the full might of the Borg to withdraw from Syria in accord with our actual interests. Trumps, alas, assumed office with no political friends, only enemies with varying degrees of Trump hate depending on how they define their political interests.
With that said, I doubt very much whether the Republicans in the Senate will abandon Trump in an impeachment trial. Trump's argument that the process is a political coup is arguably completely true, or certainly true enough that his political base in the electorate will not tolerate his abandonment by Republican politicians inside the Beltway. I think there is even some chance that Trump, were he to be removed from office by what could be credibly portrayed as a political coup, would consider running in 2020 as an independent. The damage that would cause to the Republican Party would be severe, pervasive, and possibly fatal to the Party as such. I doubt Beltway pols would be willing to take that chance.
I don't think Keane or Trump are focused on the oil. Keane just used that as a lens to focus Trump on Iran. That's the true sickness. Keane manipulated Trump by aggravating his animosity towards Iran, more specifically, his animosity towards Obama's JCPOA. I doubt Trump can see beyond his personal animus towards Obama and his legacy. He doesn't care about Iran, the Shia Crescent, the oil or even the jihadis any more than he cares about ditching the Kurds. This administration doesn't need a national security advisor, it needs a psychiatrist.Fourth and Long -> The Twisted Genius ... , 24 October 2019 at 12:01 PM
In case you missed this piece in Newsweek: https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-us-has-plan-send-tanks-troops-secure-syria-oil-fields-amid-withdrawal-1467350Artemesia said in reply to The Twisted Genius ... , 24 October 2019 at 04:17 PM
No idea here who the un-named pentagon "official" might be, but sounds as thought Gen Keane may not be all alone in his soup.
IMO Trump cares about what Sheldon Adelson wants and Adelson wants to destroy Iran: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sCW4IasWXc Note the audience applauseDecepiton , 24 October 2019 at 04:40 AM
We massacred two hundred ruskies in the battle of khasham. What can they do.MSB said in reply to Decepiton... , 24 October 2019 at 03:21 PM
And in response, Russia killed and captured hundreds of US Special forces and PMC's alongside SAS in East Ghouta . It is said that the abrupt russian op on East Ghouta was a response to the Battle of Khasham.ancientarcher , 24 October 2019 at 11:19 AM
Colonel, thanks for spelling it out so clearly.Larry Kart , 24 October 2019 at 11:39 AM
The difference between the reality that we perceive and the way it is portrayed in the media is so stark that sometimes I am not sure whether it is me who is insane or the world - the MSM and the cool-aid drinking libtards whose animosity against Trump won't let them distinguish black from white. Not that they were ever able to understand the real state of affairs. Discussions with them have always been about them regurgitating the MSM talking points without understanding any of it.
While it will always be mystifying to me why so many people on the street blindly support America fighting and dying in the middle east, the support of the MSM and the paid hacks for eternal war is no surprise. I hope they get to send their children and grandchildren to these wars. More than that, I hope we get out of these wars. Trump might be able to put an end to it, and not just in Syria, if he wins a second term, which he will if he is allowed to contest the next election. There is however a chance that the borg will pull the rug from under him and bar him from the elections. Hope that doesn't come to pass.
"This administration doesn't need a national security advisor, it needs a psychiatrist." I think TTG speaks the truth.David said in reply to Linda... , 24 October 2019 at 04:39 PM
No, they just have to sit there and be an excuse to fly Coalition CAPs that would effectively prevent SAA from crossing the Euphrates in strength. Feasible until the SAA finishes with Idlib and moves some of its new Russian anti-aircraft toys down to Deir Ezzor.robt willmann , 24 October 2019 at 12:46 PM
On Monday, 21 October, president Trump "authorized $4.5 million in direct support to the Syria Civil Defense (SCD)", a/k/a the White Helmets, who have been discussed here on SST before-- https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-press-secretary-89/turcopolier , 24 October 2019 at 01:34 PM
TTG IMO you and the other NEVER Trumpers are confused about the presence in both the permanent and appointed government of people who while they are not loyal to him nevertheless covet access to power. A lot of neocons and Zionists are among them.The Twisted Genius -> turcopolier ... , 24 October 2019 at 02:54 PM
Colonel Lang, I am well aware of the power seekers who gravitate towards Trump or whoever holds power not out of loyalty, but because they covet access to power. The neocons and Zionists flock to Trump because they can manipulate him to do their bidding. That fact certainly doesn't make me feel any better about Trump as President. The man needs help.turcopolier -> The Twisted Genius ... , 24 October 2019 at 05:15 PM
TTGThe Twisted Genius -> CK... , 24 October 2019 at 05:21 PM
you are an experienced clan case officer. You do not know that most people are more than a little mad? Hillary is more than a little nuts. Obama was so desperately neurotically in need of White approval that he let the WP COIN generals talk him into a COIN war in Afghanistan. I was part of that discussion. All that mattered to him was their approval. FDR could not be trusted with SIGINT product and so Marshall never gave him any, etc., George Bush 41 told me that he deliberately mis-pronounced Saddam's name to hurt his feelings. Georgie Junior let the lunatic neocons invade a country that had not attacked us. Trump is no worse than many of our politicians, or politicians anywhere. Britain? The Brexit disaster speaks for itself, And then there is the British monarchy in which a princeling devastated by the sure DNA proof that he is illegitimate is acting like a fool. The list is endless.
CK, the people surrounding Trump are largely appointees. Keane doesn't have to be let into the WH. His problem is that those who would appeal to his non-neocon tendencies are not people he wants to have around him. Gabbard, for instance, would be perfect for helping Trump get ourselves out of the ME, is a progressive. Non-interventionists are hard to come by. Those who he does surround himself with are using him for their own ideologies, mostly neocon and Zionist.oldman22 , 24 October 2019 at 01:49 PM
Bacevich interview:Leith , 24 October 2019 at 01:50 PM
> Andrew Bacevich, can you respond to President Trump pulling the U.S. troops away from this area of northern Syria, though saying he will keep them to guard oil fields?
> ANDREW BACEVICH: First of all, I think we should avoid taking anything that he says at any particular moment too seriously. Clearly, he is all over the map on almost any issue that you can name. I found his comment about taking the oil in that part of Syria, as if we are going to decide how to dispose of it, to be striking. And yet of course it sort of harkens back to his campaign statement about the Iraq war, that we ought to have taken Iraq's oil is a way of paying for that war. So I just caution against taking anything he says that seriously.
> That said, clearly a recurring theme to which he returns over and over and over again, is his determination to end what he calls endless wars. He clearly has no particular strategy or plan for how to do that, but he does seem to be insistent on pursuing that objective. And here I think we begin to get to the real significance of the controversy over Syria in our abandonment of the Kurds.
> Let's stipulate. U.S. abandonment of the Kurds was wrong, it was callous, it was immoral. It was not the first betrayal by the United States in our history, but the fact that there were others certainly doesn't excuse this one. But apart from those concerned about the humanitarian aspect of this crisis -- and not for a second do I question the sincerity of people who are worried about the Kurds -- it seems to me that the controversy has gotten as big as it is in part because members of the foreign policy establishment in both parties are concerned about what an effort to end endless wars would mean for the larger architecture of U.S. national security policy, which has been based on keeping U.S. troops in hundreds of bases around the world, maintaining the huge military budget, a pattern of interventionism. Trump seems to think that that has been a mistake, particularly in the Middle East. I happen to agree with that critique. And I think that it is a fear that he could somehow engineer a fundamental change in U.S. policy is what really has the foreign policy establishment nervous.
> NERMEEN SHAIKH: As you mentioned, Professor Bacevich, Trump has come under bipartisan criticism for this decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was one of the many Republicans to criticize Trump for his decision. In an opinion piece in The Washington Post McConnell writes, quote, "We saw humanitarian disaster and a terrorist free-for-all after we abandoned Afghanistan in the 1990s, laying the groundwork for 9/11. We saw the Islamic State flourish in Iraq after President Barack Obama's retreat. We will see these things anew in Syria and Afghanistan if we abandon our partners and retreat from these conflicts before they are won." He also writes, quote, "As neo-isolationism rears its head on both the left and the right, we can expect to hear more talk of 'endless wars.' But rhetoric cannot change the fact that wars do not just end; wars are won or lost." So Professor Bacevich, could you respond to that, and how accurate you think an assessment of that is? Both what he says about Afghanistan and what is likely to happen now with U.S. withdrawal.
> ANDREW BACEVICH: I think in any discussion of our wars, ongoing wars, it is important to set them in some broader historical context than Senator McConnell will probably entertain. I mean, to a very great extent -- not entirely, but to a very great extent -- we created the problems that exist today through our reckless use of American military power.
> People like McConnell, and I think other members of the political establishment, even members of the mainstream media -- _The New York Times_, The Washington Post -- have yet to reckon with the catastrophic consequences of the U.S. invasion of Iraq back in 2003. And if you focus your attention at that start point -- you could choose another start point, but if you focus your attention at that start point, then it seems to me that leads you to a different conclusion about the crisis that we are dealing with right now. That is to say, people like McConnell want to stay the course. They want to maintain the U.S. presence in Syria. U.S. military presence. But if we look at what the U.S. military presence in that region, not simply Syria, has produced over the course of almost two decades, then you have to ask yourself, how is it that we think that simply staying the course is going to produce any more positive results?
> It is appalling what Turkey has done to Syrian Kurds and the casualties they have inflicted and the number of people that have been displaced. But guess what? The casualties that we inflicted and the number of people that we displaced far outnumbers what Turkey has done over the last week or so. So I think that we need to push back against this tendency to oversimplify the circumstance, because oversimplifying the circumstance doesn't help us fully appreciate the causes of this mess that we're in.
more here, about Tulsi, about Afghanistan, about Trump:
In addition to oil from Iran, Assad also gets oil from the SDF and the Kurds. Supposedly a profit sharing arrangement as commented on by JohninMK in a previous post.The Twisted Genius -> turcopolier ... , 24 October 2019 at 05:49 PM
This oil sharing deal was also mentioned by Global Research and Southfront back in June of 2018:
Colonel Lang, the only way to "overthrow" Trump is through impeachment in the House and conviction in the Senate. That is a Constitutional process, not a coup. The process is intentionally difficult. Was the impeachment of Clinton an attempted coup?Stephanie said in reply to turcopolier ... , 24 October 2019 at 09:59 PM
Two things.Jane , 24 October 2019 at 05:48 PM
In the first place isn't the dissolution of Ukraine and Syria and Iraq and Libya and Yemen exactly what we have wished to achieve, and wouldn't an intelligent observer, such as Vladimir Putin, want to do exactly the same thing to us, and hasn't he come very close to witnessing the achievement of this aim whether he is personally involved or not? What goes around comes around?
But that is relatively unimportant compared to the question whether dissolution of the Union is a bad thing or a good thing. Preserving it cost 600,000 lives the first time. One additional life would be one additional life too many. Ukraine is an excellent example. Western Ukraine has a long history support for Nazi's. Eastern Ukraine is Russian. Must a war be fought to bring them together? Or should they be permitted to go their separate ways?
As Hector said of Helen of Troy, "She is not worth what she doth cost the keeping."
After hanging up from a call to Putin, thanking him for Russia's help with the Turks, YPG leader Mazloum Kobane returned to the Senate hearings in which he alternately reminded his flecless American allies of their failure, not only to protect Rojava from the Turks, but didn't even give them a heads up about what was about to happen and begged an already angry [at Trump] Senate about their urgent need for a continued American presence in the territory.oldman22 , 24 October 2019 at 08:29 PM
It seems that some in the USG do not understand that all the land on the east bank of the Euphrates is "Rojava" or somehow is the mandate of the Kurds to continue to control. For a long time, now, the mainly Arab population of that region have been chafing under what is actually Kurdish rule. This could be a a trigger for ISIS or some other jihadis to launch another insurgency, or at the least, low level attacks, especially in Rojava to the north.
To remind, the USG is not using military personnel, but also contracts, about 200 troops in one field and 400 contractors in the other.
There is video of the SAA escorting the Americans to the Iraqi border. PM Abdel Hadi has reiterated that the US cannot keep these troops in Iraq, as they go beyond the agreed upon number. It is quite likely that the anti-Iranian aspect of the border region is NOT something they wish to see.
"Iranian proxies" refers to Hezbollah, the various Shia militia groups from Pakistan and Afghanistan, and of course, others, not the SAA.
The US is reportedly planning to deploy tanks and other heavy military hardware to protect oil fields in eastern Syria, in a reversal of Donald Trump's earlier order to withdraw all troops from the country. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/24/us-military-syria-tanks-oil-fieldsturcopolier , 24 October 2019 at 09:46 PM
He let them roll him, just like Obama and so many others. Just a different set of rollers.
Oct 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
A whistleblower with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), responsible for conducting an independent investigation into the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7, 2018, has presented WikiLeaks with a body of evidence suggesting the chemical weapons watchdog agency manipulated and suppressed evidence .
A prior official OPCW report of the investigation issued last March found "reasonable grounds" for believing a toxic chemical was used against civilians, likely chlorine. Long prior to any independent investigators reaching the site, however, Washington had launched major tomahawk airstrikes against Damascus in retribution for "Assad gassing his own people" .
WikiLeaks published documents based on evidence presented by the internal OPCW whistleblower to an expert review panel on Wednesday. "The panel was presented with evidence that casts doubt on the integrity of the OPCW," WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson wrote.
An official WikiLeaks press release said as follows :
Kristinn Hrafnsson took part in the panel to review the testimony and documents from the OPCW whistleblower. He says: "The panel was presented with evidence that casts doubt on the integrity of the OPCW. Although the whistleblower was not ready to step forward and/or present documents to the public, WikiLeaks believes it is now of utmost interest for the public to see everything that was collected by the Fact Finding Mission on Douma and all scientific reports written in relation to the investigation."
"Based on the whistleblower's extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma," the experts pointed out.
"We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion ."
The testimony further revealed "disquieting efforts to exclude some inspectors from the investigation whilst thwarting their attempts to raise legitimate concerns , highlight irregular practices or even to express their differing observations and assessments."
The new information was enough to convince José Bustani, former director-general of the OPCW to conclude there is now "convincing evidence" of irregularities .
According to a summary of the latest controversy to cast doubt on the dominant mainstream narrative related to Douma, Middle East analysis site Al-Bab noted Bustain harbored prior doubts :
Bustani was quoted as saying he had long held doubts about the alleged attack in Douma, on the outskirts of Damascus. "I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best."
Some dissenting officials as well as countries like Russia have accused the international chemical watchdog body, which operations in coordination with the UN, of being politically compromised when it comes to Syria.
spam filter , 4 minutes ago linkboattrash , 2 minutes ago link
"Because of my great wisdom as a stable genius, i launched major tomahawk airstrikes against Damascus in retribution for Assad gassing his own people" .
I am Ironman!
Has he lost his mind?
Can he see or is he blind?
Can he walk at all
Or if he moves will he fall?monty42 , 41 seconds ago link
...to appease the neocons...he killed a total of 3 ground squirrels.NA X-15 , 6 minutes ago link
Tell that to the Syrians who were killed, both soldiers and civilians, as well as those having to pay for the lost property that was destroyed. It was thrown out there, purely out of thin air, that nothing of substance was hit and it was just a show by Trump, despite reports by those terrorized by the attacks.Arising , 12 minutes ago link
It's the same lying neocon **** that cried out "Darfur!"..."Donbass!"...the exact same lying ****. **** them all to hell, I wish I could exterminate their voices forever.Chupacabra-322 , 16 minutes ago link
I have reposted these wikileaks documents on many different sites, especially the one's where the intelligence agencies are active.
I want them to know that we know.Meximus , 23 minutes ago link
The Gas Lighting, PsyOp & False Flags will continue until the masses are completely Frightened & Brainwashed.
US Interference and Regime Change PsyOp
"Secret cables and reports by the U.S., Saudi and Israeli intelligence agencies indicate that the moment Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline, military and intelligence planners quickly arrived at the consensus that fomenting a Sunni uprising in Syria to overthrow the uncooperative Bashar Assad was a feasible path to achieving the shared objective of completing the Qatar/Turkey gas link. In 2009, according to WikiLeaks, soon after Bashar Assad rejected the Qatar pipeline, the CIA began funding opposition groups in Syria."
Regime change is the only reason we or any of our proxies are there. We have NO GOOD REASON being there other than this BS.
- The US Congress has not approved the US being in Syria.
- The UN Security Council has not approved the US presence in Syria.
- President Assad of Syria did not invite the US or approve the US presence in Syria.
- Only the US deep state neocons have approved the US presence in the context of "regime change".
I mean C'mon now? These Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Deep State CIA, MI6, Mossad Psychopaths couldn't write up a different Scripted False Narrative PsyOp to sell to the World & American People.
CHEM ATTACK PART III RETURN OF THE ASSAD.
The Lack of creativity among those in the Pentagram & Deep Staters is downright pathetic.
Bolton was nothing more than a mere Agent of Chaos with his mission the for continuation of the Yinon Plan.
I'd respect them more if they'd just said, "we seeking regime change to secure the better interests of Israel, the US & World Community."
Wink, wink, nod, nod...those better interest are the Qatari Pipeline to provide continued SA & Petro Dollar Hegemony among Vassel States. While simultaneously eliminating Russia's & Gasprom's ability to supply European Oil.ebworthen , 49 minutes ago link
The french are having misgivings in supporting this war crime. They are now talking with russia to normalize relations.
Soon we will go from FUKUS to just UKK (united **** kingdom) .NA X-15 , 51 minutes ago link
People are still believing the chemical attack canard? Seriously?
Assad wears a suit and protects Christians and Jews; as does Russia.
I can't say the same for the U.S.A., other than protecting Christians and Jews connected to Wall Street.
From Day One, nobody believed the neocon ******** about the alleged "gassings".
Oct 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Bolton Opposed Ukraine Investigations; Called Giuliani "A Hand Grenade" by Tyler Durden Tue, 10/15/2019 - 12:25 0 SHARES
Former national security adviser John Bolton was 'so alarmed' by efforts to encourage Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and 2016 election meddling that he told an aide, Fiona Hill, to alert White House lawyers, according to the New York Times .
On Monday, Hill told House investigators that Bolton got into a heated confrontation on July 10 with Trump's EU ambassador, Gordon D. Sondland, who was working with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani to investigate Democrats. Hill said that Bolton told her to notify the top attorney for the National Security Council about the 'rogue' effort by Sondland, Giuliani and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
"I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up," Bolton apparently told Hill to tell the lawyers.
It was not the first time Mr. Bolton expressed grave concerns to Ms. Hill about the campaign being run by Mr. Giuliani. " Giuliani's a hand grenade who's going to blow everybody up, " Ms. Hill quoted Mr. Bolton as saying during an earlier conversation.
The testimony revealed in a powerful way just how divisive Mr. Giuliani's efforts to extract damaging information about Democrats from Ukraine on President Trump's behalf were within the White House. Ms. Hill, the senior director for European and Russian affairs, testified that Mr. Giuliani and his allies circumvented the usual national security process to run their own foreign policy efforts, leaving the president's official advisers aware of the rogue operation yet powerless to stop it. - NYT
When Hill confronted Sondland, he told her that he was 'in charge' of Ukraine, "a moment she compared to Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr.'s declaration that he was in charge after the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt, according to those who heard the testimony," according to the Times.
Hill says she asked Sondland on whose authority he was in charge of Ukraine, to which he replied 'the president.' She would later leave her post shortly before a July 25 phone call with Ukraine's president which is currently at the heart of an impeachment inquiry.
Meanwhile, the Times also notes that "House Democrats widened their net in the fast-paced inquiry by summoning Michael McKinley, a senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who abruptly resigned last week, to testify Wednesday."
Career diplomats have expressed outrage at the unceremonious removal of Ambassador Marie L. Yovanovitch from Ukraine after she came under attack by Mr. Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr. and two associates who have since been arrested on charges of campaign violations.
The interviews indicated that House Democrats were proceeding full tilt with their inquiry despite the administration's declaration last week that it would refuse to cooperate with what it called an invalid and unconstitutional impeachment effort. - NYT
Three other Trump admin officials are scheduled to speak with House investigators this week, including Sondland - who is now set to appear on Thursday. On Tuesday, deputy assistant secretary of state George Kent will testify, while on Friday, Laura K. Cooper - a a deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia policy, will speak with lawmakers as well.
Et Tu Brute , 20 minutes ago linkjanus , 22 minutes ago link
Why are we still even hearing from that human excrement?Treavor , 17 minutes ago link
Looks like we have our whistleblower. My only question is, how does one whistle with such a bristly moustache draping their hairlip?
So now we have Mr. Neocon and Mr. Liddle Kidz conjugating as the strangest of bedfellows? How will this play to their respective bases? Are we to assume these people think this nations top law enforcement agent (POTUS) is to abdicate his duties therewith just because the criminal is (at least according to our two tiered justice system) supposed to be beyond reproach?
Mr. Bolton, bright and determined as he is, has hitched his wagon to mad mare galloping full tilt over a precipice.
Looking for a return of uranium one to the headlines soon. In due time we will stich this Russia/Ukraine narrative back together from a patchwork of facts. You traitors are fucked...royally fucked...and you know it.
So, Mr bolton, explain to us in simple terms how you appraise America's security and her related interests. Your camp is in eclipse.
"I was appauled...just flabbergasted...that the president was concerned that our intelligence apparatus was politicized to the extent that its highest echelons were arrayed in an attempt to subvert a lawful and legitimate election. Never mind that six other nations were tasked with abetting this treasonous plot...this is an outrage!!! The whole point of intelligence agencies is to skirt the law with impunity, and once we (the unelected permanent breacracy) tell one of our minions like Biden or Hillary that they're permanently immune from prosecution, we can't have some earnest pact of Patriots running around demanding law and order."
What a sorry bunch of cretians.
We were so close...so close...to losing it all. But since the enemy is making clear we're playing zero sum, we're going to end up with everything.
Brace yourself, California. If I were you, I'd study the legal framework of Reconstruction. Your plight will be of a kind. Your state has been engaged in a systematic attempt to overthrow the government. Your leaders will be appointed for a generation after this all comes out. Don't look to Beijing to save you...they kinda have their hands full.
JanusMimir , 2 minutes ago link
He is a criminal involved in Ukraine weapons deals the yal get the piece that is why they are mad lost $$$$$$MrAToZ , 26 minutes ago link
Clearly a criminal among criminals.Infinityx2 , 26 minutes ago link
Deep state arms skim meister Bolton. Never enough bodies for this "patroit."One-Hung-Lo , 30 minutes ago link
So, I guess Bolton is no longer collecting free money like Hunter Biden was. I get it now how all these politicians have kids overseas and open foreign corporations which our tax money goes in to by way of cutting deals overseas public officials to line their pockets with our money. This how they get into government poor and become very rich! Giuliani is pointing this fact out to the public with Trump and the swamp HATES IT!
The public now knows how these corrupt PUBLIC OFFICIALS in America have been fleecing the tax payers. This is a major hit on the swamp.
Trump & Giuliani we're behind you thank you for showing us how the swamp has been ******* us for all these years.moe_reeves , 32 minutes ago link
Bolton should have never been allowed to enter the White House and I am not sure about Giuliani either as I kinda feel like he is borderline senile.frankthecrank , 34 minutes ago link
If Biden is guilty, Giuliani is not.John_Coltrane , 37 minutes ago link
Understand that the reason Schitt head won't allow public hearings is because the former Ambassador to Ukraine--Volker, shot this whole **** fest down when he testified. There is no "there" there.
Bolton and the others are crying because of Trump's pull out. The left jumped on the war bandwagon under Billary a long time ago. Necons work both parties.Archeofuturist , 15 minutes ago link
If Bolton dislikes Guiliani that's the best endorsement of Rudy I can imagine. Bolton is a complete warmongering traitor who, like McShitstain, desires a nice case of brain cancer.
Go Rudy, expose the corrupt Demonrats! We deplorables love human hand grenades. That's why we elected the Donald, and you apparently are the perfect lawyer for our great God emperor.Buster84 , 55 minutes ago link
You can bet that the piggies are squealing because it's more than just the Dems who are neck deep in the ****. Lotta funky stuff went down in Ukraine.AnnimaTday , 50 minutes ago link
Sounds like Bolton may have some dirty laundry he is wanting to cover up.
"Schiff simply does not have the gravitas that a weighty procedure such as impeachment requires," Biggs wrote in an opinion piece for Fox News. "He has repeatedly shown incredibly poor judgment. He has persistently and consistently demonstrated that he has such a tremendous bias and animus against Trump that he will say anything and accept any proffer of even bogus evidence to try to remove the president from office."
Oct 01, 2025 | tass.com
Thirteen drones moved according to common combat battle deployment, operated by a single crew Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin © Vadim Grishankin/Russian Defense Ministry's press service/TASS BEIJING, October 25. /TASS/. The drones that attacked Russia's Hmeymim airbase in Syria were operated from the US Poseidon-8 reconnaissance plane, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Colonel General Alexander Fomin said at a plenary session of the Beijing Xiangshan Forum on security on Thursday.
"Thirteen drones moved according to common combat battle deployment, operated by a single crew. During all this time the American Poseidon-8 reconnaissance plane patrolled the Mediterranean Sea area for eight hours," he noted. Read also Three layers of Russian air defense at Hmeymim air base in Syria When the drones met with the electronic countermeasures of the Russian systems, they switched to a manual guidance mode, he said. "Manual guidance is carried out not by some villagers, but by the Poseidon-8, which has modern equipment. It undertook manual control," the deputy defense minister noted.
"When these 13 drones faced our electronic warfare screen, they moved away to some distance, received the corresponding orders and began to be operated out of space and receiving help in finding the so-called holes through which they started penetrating. Then they were destroyed," Fomin reported.
"This should be stopped as well: in order to avoid fighting with the high-technology weapons of terrorists and highly-equipped terrorists it is necessary to stop supplying them with equipment," the deputy defense minister concluded.
The Russian Defense Ministry earlier said that on January 6 militants in Syria first massively used drones in the attack on the Russian Hmeymim airbase and the Russian naval base in Tartus. The attack was successfully repelled: seven drones were downed, and control over six drones was gained through electronic warfare systems. The Russian Defense Ministry stressed that the solutions used by the militants could be received only from a technologically advanced country and warned about the danger of repeating such attacks in any country of the world.The forum
The eighth Beijing Xiangshan Forum on security will run until October 26 in Beijing. It was organized by the Chinese Ministry of Defense, China Association for Military Science (CAMS) and China Institute for International Strategic Studies (CIISS). Representatives for defense ministries, armed forces and international organizations, as well as former military officials, politicians and scientists from 79 countries are taking part in the forum.
Sep 17, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
A retired Australian diplomat who served in Moscow dissects the emergence of the new Cold War and its dire consequences.
I n 2014, we saw violent U.S.-supported regime change and civil war in Ukraine. In February, after months of increasing tension from the anti-Russian protest movement's sitdown strike in Kiev's Maidan Square, there was a murderous clash between protesters and Ukrainian police, sparked off by hidden shooters (we now know that were expert Georgian snipers) , aiming at police. The elected government collapsed and President Yanukevich fled to Russia, pursued by murder squads.
The new Poroshenko government pledged harsh anti-Russian language laws. Rebels in two Russophone regions in Eastern Ukraine took local control, and appealed for Russian military help. In March, a referendum took place in Russian-speaking Crimea on leaving Ukraine, under Russian military protection. Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, a request promptly granted by the Russian Parliament and President. Crimea's border with Ukraine was secured against saboteurs. Crimea is prospering under its pro-Russian government, with the economy kick-started by Russian transport infrastructure investment.
In April, Poroshenko ordered full military attack on the separatist provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine. A brutal civil war ensued, with aerial and artillery bombardment bringing massive civilian death and destruction to the separatist region. There was major refugee outflow into Russia and other parts of Ukraine. The shootdown of MH17 took place in July 2014.
Poroshenko: Ordered military attack.
By August 2015, according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates, 13,000 people had been killed and 30,000 wounded. 1.4 million Ukrainians had been internally displaced, and 925,000 had fled to neighbouring countries, mostly Russia and to a lesser extent Poland.
There is now a military stalemate, under the stalled Minsk peace process. But random fatal clashes continue, with the Ukrainian Army mostly blamed by UN observers. The UN reported last month that the ongoing war has affected 5.2 million people, leaving 3.5 million of them in need of relief, including 500,000 children. Most Russians blame the West for fomenting Ukrainian enmity towards Russia. This war brings back for older Russians horrible memories of the Nazi invasion in 1941. The Russia-Ukraine border is only 550 kilometres from Moscow.
Russian forces joined the civil war in Syria in September 2015, at the request of the Syrian Government, faltering under the attacks of Islamist extremist rebel forces reinforced by foreign fighters and advanced weapons. With Russian air and ground support, the tide of war turned. Palmyra and Aleppo were recaptured in 2016. An alleged Syrian Government chemical attack at Khan Shaykhun in April 2017 resulted in a token U.S. missile attack on a Syrian Government airbase: an early decision by President Trump.
NATO, Strategic Balance, Sanctions
An F-15C Eagle from the 493rd Fighter Squadron takes off from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, March 6, 2014. The 48th Fighter Wing sent an additional six aircraft and more than 50 personnel to support NATO's air policing mission in Lithuania, at the request of U.S. allies in the Baltics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Emerson Nunez/Released)
Tensions have risen in the Baltic as NATO moves ground forces and battlefield missiles up to the Baltic states' borders with Russia. Both sides' naval and air forces play dangerous brinksmanship games in the Baltic. U.S. short-range, non-nuclear-armed anti-ballistic missiles were stationed in Poland and Romania, allegedly against threat of Iranian attack. They are easily convertible to nuclear-armed missiles aimed at nearby Russia.
Nuclear arms control talks have stalled. The INF intermediate nuclear forces treaty expired in 2019, after both sides accused the other of cheating. In March 2018, Putin announced that Russia has developed new types of intercontinental nuclear missiles using technologies that render U.S. defence systems useless. The West has pretended to ignore this announcement, but we can be sure Western defence ministries have noted it. Nuclear second-strike deterrence has returned, though most people in the West have forgotten what this means. Russians know exactly what it means.
Western economic sanctions against Russia continue to tighten after the 2014 events in Ukraine. The U.S. is still trying to block the nearly completed Nordstream Baltic Sea underwater gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Sanctions are accelerating the division of the world into two trade and payments systems: the old NATO-led world, and the rest of the world led by China, with full Russian support and increasing interest from India, Japan, ROK and ASEAN.
Return to Moscow
In 2013, my children gave me an Ipad. I began to spend several hours a day reading well beyond traditional mainstream Western sources: British and American dissident sites, writers like Craig Murray in UK and in the U.S. Stephen Cohen, and some Russian sites – rt.com, Sputnik, TASS, and the official Foreign Ministry site mid.ru. in English.
In late 2015 I decided to visit Russia independently to write Return to Moscow , a literary travel memoir. I planned to compare my impressions of the Soviet Union, where I had lived and worked as an Australian diplomat in 1969-71, with Russia today. I knew there had been huge changes. I wanted to experience 'Putin's Russia' for myself, to see how it felt to be there as an anonymous visitor in the quiet winter season. I wanted to break out of the familiar one-dimensional hostile political view of Russia that Western mainstream media offer: to take my readers with me on a cultural pilgrimage through the tragedy and grandeur and inspiration of Russian history. As with my earlier book on Spain 'Walking the Camino' , this was not intended to be a political book, and yet somehow it became one.
I was still uncommitted on contemporary Russian politics before going to Russia in January 2016. Using the metaphor of a seesaw, I was still sitting somewhere around the middle.
My book was written in late 2015 – early 2016, expertly edited by UWA Publishing. It was launched in March 2017. By this time my political opinions had moved decisively to the Russian end of the seesaw, on the basis of what I had seen in Russia, and what I had read and thought during the year.
I have been back again twice, in winter 2018 and 2019. My 2018 visit included Crimea, and I happened to see a Navalny-led Sunday demonstration in Moscow. I thoroughly enjoyed all three independent visits: in my opinion, they give my judgements on Russia some depth and authenticity.
Russophobia Becomes Entrenched
Russia was a big talking point in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the initially unlikely Republican candidate Donald Trump's chances improved, anti-Putin and anti-Russian positions hardened in the outgoing Obama administration and in the Democratic Party establishment which backed candidate Hillary Clinton.
Russia and Putin became caught up in the Democratic Party's increasingly obsessive rage and hatred against the victorious Trump. Russophobia became entrenched in Washington and London U.S. and UK political and strategic elites, especially in intelligence circles: think of Pompeo, Brennan, Comey and Clapper. All sense of international protocol and diplomatic propriety towards Russia and its President was abandoned, as this appalling Economist cover from October 2016 shows.
My experience of undeclared political censorship in Australia since four months after publication of 'Return to Moscow' supports the thesis that:
We are now in the thick of a ruthless but mostly covert Anglo-American alliance information war against Russia. In this war, individuals who speak up publicly in the cause of detente with Russia will be discouraged from public discourse.
In the Thick of Information War
When I spoke to you two years ago, I had no idea how far-reaching and ruthless this information war is becoming. I knew that a false negative image of Russia was taking hold in the West, even as Russia was becoming a more admirable and self-confident civil society, moving forward towards greater democracy and higher living standards, while maintaining essential national security. I did not then know why, or how.
I had just had time to add a few final paragraphs in my book about the possible consequences for Russia-West relations of Trump's surprise election victory in November 2016. I was right to be cautious, because since Trump's inauguration we have seen the step-by-step elimination of any serious pro-detente voices in Washington, and the reassertion of control over this haphazard president by the bipartisan imperial U.S. deep state, as personified from April 2018 by Secretary of State Pompeo and National Security Adviser Bolton. Bolton has now been thrown from the sleigh as decoy for the wolves: under the smooth-talking Pompeo, the imperial policies remain.
Truth, Trust and False Narratives
Let me now turn to some theory about political reality and perception, and how national communities are persuaded to accept false narratives. Let me acknowledge my debt to the fearless and brilliant Australian independent online journalist, Caitlin Johnstone.
Behavioural scientists have worked in the field of what used to be called propaganda since WW1. England has always excelled in this field. Modern wars are won or lost not just on the battlefield, but in people's minds. Propaganda, or as we now call it information warfare, is as much about influencing people's beliefs within your own national community as it is about trying to demoralise and subvert the enemy population.
The IT revolution of the past few years has exponentially magnified the effectiveness of information warfare. Already in the 1940s, George Orwell understood how easily governments are able to control and shape public perceptions of reality and to suppress dissent. His brilliant books 1984 and Animal Farm are still instruction manuals in principles of information warfare. Their plots tell of the creation by the state of false narratives, with which to control their gullible populations.
The disillusioned Orwell wrote from his experience of real politics. As a volunteer fighter in the Spanish Civil War, he saw how both Spanish sides used false news and propaganda narratives to demonise the enemy. He also saw how the Nazi and Stalinist systems in Germany and Russia used propaganda to support show trials and purges, the concentration camps and the Gulag, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, German master race and Stalinist class enemy ideologies; and hows dissident thought was suppressed in these controlled societies. Orwell tried to warn his readers: all this could happen here too, in our familiar old England. But because the good guys won the war against fascism, his warnings were ignored.
We are now in Britain, U.S. and Australia actually living in an information warfare world that has disturbing echoes of the world that Orwell wrote about. The essence of information control is the effective state management of two elements, trust and fear , to generate and uphold a particular view of truth. Truth, trust and fear : these are the three key elements, now as 100 years ago in WWI Britain.
People who work or have worked close to government – in departments, politics, the armed forces, or top universities – mostly accept whatever they understand at the time to be 'the government view' of truth. Whether for reasons of organisational loyalty, career prudence or intellectual inertia, it is usually this way around governments. It is why moral issues like the Vietnam War and the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq were so distressing for people of conscience working in or close to government and military jobs in Canberra. They were expected to engage in 'doublethink' as Orwell had described it:
Even in Winston's nightmare world, there were still choices – to retreat into the non-political world of the proles, or to think forbidden thoughts and read forbidden books. These choices involved large risks and punishments. It was easier and safer for most people to acquiesce in the fake news they were fed by state-controlled media.
'Trust, Truth and False Narratives'
Fairfax journalist Andrew Clark, in the Australian Financial Review , in an essay optimistically titled "Not fake news: Why truth and trust are still in good shape in Australia", (AFR Dec. 22, 2018), cited Professor William Davies thus:
"Most of the time, the edifice that we refer to as "truth" is really an investment of trust in our structures of politics and public life' 'When trust sinks below a certain point, many people come to view the entire spectacle of politics and public life as a sham."
Here is my main point: Effective information warfare requires the creation of enough public trust to make the public believe that state-supported lies are true.
The key tools are repetition of messages, and diversification of trusted voices. Once a critical mass is created of people believing a false narrative, the lie locks in: its dissemination becomes self-sustaining.
Caitlin Johnstone a few days ago put it this way:
" Power is being able to control what happens. Absolute power is being able to control what people think about what happens. If you can control what happens, you can have power until the public gets sick of your BS and tosses you out on your ass. If you can control what people think about what happens, you can have power forever. As long as you can control how people are interpreting circumstances and events, there's no limit to the evils you can get away with."
The Internet has made propaganda campaigns that used to take weeks or months a matter of hours or even minutes to accomplish. It is about getting in quickly, using large enough clusters of trusted and diverse sources, in order to cement lies in place, to make the lies seem true, to magnify them through social messaging: in other words, to create credible false narratives that will quickly get into the public's bloodstream.
Over the past two years, I have seen this work many times: on issues like framing Russia for the MH17 tragedy; with false allegations of Assad mounting poison gas attacks in Syria; with false allegations of Russian agents using lethal Novichok to try to kill the Skripals in Salisbury; and with the multiple lies of Russiagate.
It is the mind-numbing effect of constant repetition of disinformation by many eminent people and agencies, in hitherto trusted channels like the BBC or ABC or liberal Anglophone print media that gives the system its power to persuade the credulous. For if so many diverse and reputable people repeatedly report such negative news and express such negative judgements about Russia or China or Iran or Syria, surely they must be right?
We have become used to reading in our quality newspapers and hearing on the BBC and ABC and SBS gross assaults on truth, calmly presented as accepted facts. There is no real public debate on important facts in contention any more. There are no venues for dissent outside contrarian social media sites.
Sometimes, false narratives inter-connect. Often a disinformation narrative in one area is used to influence perceptions in other areas. For example, the false Skripals poisoning story was launched by British intelligence in March 2018, just in time to frame Syrian President Assad as the guilty party in a faked chemical weapons attack in Douma the following month.
The Skripals Gambit
The Skripals gambit was also a failed British attempt to blight the Russia –hosted Football World Cup in June 2018. In the event, hundreds of thousands of Western sports fans returned home with the warmest memories of Russian good sportsmanship and hospitality.
How do I know the British Skripals narrative is false? For a start, it is illogical, incoherent, and constantly changes. Allegedly, two visiting Russian FSB agents in March 2018 sprayed or smeared Novichok, a deadly toxin instantly lethal in the most microscopic quantities, on the Skripals' house front doorknob. There is no video footage of the Skripals at their front door on the day. We are told they were found slumped on a park bench, and that is maybe where they had been sprayed with nerve gas? Shortly afterwards, Britain's Head of Army Nursing who happened to be passing by found them, and supervised their hospitalisation and emergency treatment.
Allegedly, much of Salisbury was contaminated by Novichok, and one unfortunate woman mysteriously died weeks later, yet the Skripals somehow did not die, as we are told. But where are they now? We saw a healthy Yulia in a carefully scripted video interview released in May 2018, after an alleged 'one in a million' recovery. We were assured her father had recovered too, but nobody has seen him at all. The Skripals have simply disappeared from sight since 16 months ago. Are they now alive or dead? Are they in voluntary or involuntary British custody?
A month after the poisoning, the UK Government sent biological samples from the Skripals to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons , for testing. The OPCW sent the samples to a trusted OPCW laboratory in Spiez, Switzerland.
Lavrov Spiez BZ claims, April 2018
A few days later, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dramatically announced in Moscow that the Spiez lab had found in the samples a temporary-effect nerve agent BZ, used by U.S. and UK but not by Russia, that would have disabled the Skripals for a few days without killing them. He also revealed the Spiez lab had found that the Skripal samples had been twice tampered with while still in UK custody: first soon after the poisoning, and again shortly before passing them to the OPCW. He said the Spiez lab had found a high concentration of Novichok, which he called A- 234, in its original form. This was extremely suspicious as A-234 has high volatility and could not have retained its purity over a two weeks period. The dosage the Spiez lab found in the samples would have surely killed the Skripals. The OPCW under British pressure rejected Lavrov's claim, and suppressed the Spiez lab report.
Let's look finally at the alleged assassins.
'Boshirov and Petrov'
These two FSB operatives who visited Salisbury under the false identities of 'Boshirov' and 'Petrov' did not look or behave like credible assassins. It is more likely that they were sent to negotiate with Sergey Skripal about his rumoured interest in returning to Russia. They needed to apply for UK visas a month in advance of travel: ample time for the British agencies to identify them as FSB operatives, and to construct a false attempted assassination narrative around their visit. This false narrative repeatedly trips over its own lies and contradictions. British social media are full of alternative theories and rebuttals. Russians find the whole British Government Skripal narrative laughable. They have invented comedy skits and video games based on it. Yet it had major impact on Russia-West relations.
The Douma False Narrative
I turn now to the claimed Assad chemical weapons attack in Douma in April 2018.This falsely alleged attack triggered a major NATO air attack on Syrian targets, ordered by Trump. We came close to WWIII in these dangerous days. Thanks to the restraint of the then Secretary of Defence James Mattis and his Russian counterparts, the risk was contained.
The allegation that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used outlawed chemical weapons against his own people was based solely on the evidence of faked video images of child victims, made by the discredited White Helmets, a UK-sponsored rebel-linked 'humanitarian' propaganda organisation with much blood on its hands. Founded in 2013 by a British private security specialist of intelligence background, James Le Mesurier, the White Helmets specialised in making fake videos of alleged Assad regime war crimes against Syrian civilians. It is by now a thoroughly discredited organisation that was prepared to kill its prisoners and then film their bodies as alleged victims of government chemical attacks.
As the town of Douma was about to fall to advancing Syrian Government forces, the White Helmets filled a room with stacked corpses of murdered prisoners, and photographed them as alleged victims of aerial gas attack. They also made a video alleging child victims of this attack being hosed down by White Helmets. A video of a child named Hassan Diab went viral all over the Western world.
Hassan Diab later testified publicly in The Hague that he had been dragged terrified from his family by force, smeared with some sort of grease, and hosed down with water as part of a fake video. He went from hero to zero overnight, as Western governments and media rejected his testimony as Russian and Syrian propaganda.
In a late development, there is proof that the OPCW suppressed its own engineers' report from Douma that the alleged poison gas cylinders could not have possibly been dropped from the air through the roof of the house where one was found, resting on a bed under a convenient hole in the roof.
I could go on discussing the detail of such false narratives all day. No matter how often they are exposed by critics, our politicians and mainstream media go on referencing them as if they are true. Once people have come to believe false narratives, it is hard to refute them.
So it is with the false narrative that Russian internet interference enabled Trump to win the 2016 U.S. presidential elections: a thesis for which no evidence was found by [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller, yet continues to be cited by many U.S. liberal Democratic media as if it were true. So, even, with MH17.
Managing Mass Opinion
This mounting climate of Western Russophobia is not accidental: it is strategically directed, and it is nourished with regular maintenance doses of fresh lies. Each round of lies provides a credible platform for the next round somewhere else. The common thread is a claimed malign Russian origin for whatever goes wrong.
So where is all this disinformation originating? Information technology firms in Washington and London that are closely networked into government elites, often through attending the same establishment schools or colleges like Eton and Yale, have closely studied and tested the science of influencing crowd opinions through mainstream media and online. They know, in a way that Orwell or Goebbels could hardly have dreamt, how to put out and repeat desired media messages. They know what sizes of 'internet attraction nodes' need to be established online, in order to create diverse critical masses of credible Russophobic messaging, which then attracts enough credulous and loyal followers to become self-propagating.
Firms like the SCL Group (formerly Strategic Communication Laboratories) and the now defunct Cambridge Analytica pioneered such work in the UK. There are many similar firms in Washington, all in the business of monitoring, generating and managing mass opinion. It is big business, and it works closely with the national security state.
Starting in November 2018, an enterprising group of unknown hackers in the UK , who go by the name 'Anonymous', opened a remarkable window into this secret world. Over a few weeks, they hacked and dumped online a huge volume of original documents issued by and detailing the activities of the Institute for Statecraft (IfS) and the Integrity initiative (II). Here is the first page of one of their dumps, exposing propaganda against Jeremy Corbyn.
We know from this material that the IfS and II are two secret British disinformation networks operating at arms' length from but funded by the UK security services and broader UK government establishment. They bring together high-ranking military and intelligence personnel, often nominally retired, journalists and academics, to produce and disseminate propaganda that serves the agendas of the UK and its allies.
Stung by these massive leaks, Chris Donnelly, a key figure in IfS and II and a former British Army intelligence officer, made a now famous seven-minute YouTube video in December 2018, artfully filmed in a London kitchen, defending their work.
He argued – quite unconvincingly in my opinion – that IfS and II are simply defending Western societies against disinformation and malign influence, primarily from Russia. He boasted how they have set up in numerous targeted European countries, claimed to be under attack from Russian disinformation, what he called 'clusters of influence' , to 'educate' public opinion and decision-makers in pro-NATO and anti-Russian directions.
Donnelly spoke frankly on how the West is already at war with Russia, a 'new kind of warfare', in which he said 'everything becomes a weapon'. He said that 'disinformation is the issue which unites all the other weapons in this conflict and gives them a third dimension'.
He said the West has to fight back, if it is to defend itself and to prevail.
We can confirm from the Anonymous leaked files the names of many people in Europe being recruited into these clusters of influence. They tend to be significant people in journalism, publishing, universities and foreign policy think-tanks: opinion-shapers. The leaked documents suggest how ideologically suitable candidates are identified: approached for initial screening interviews; and, if invited to join a cluster of influence, sworn to secrecy.
Remarkably, neither the Anonymous disclosures nor the Donnelly response have ever been reported in Australian media. Even in Britain – where evidence that the Integrity Initiative was mounting a campaign against [Labour leader] Jeremy Corbyn provoked brief media interest. The story quickly disappeared from mainstream media and the BBC. A British under-foreign secretary admitted in Parliamentary Estimates that the UK Foreign Office subsidises the Institute of Statecraft to the tune of nearly 3 million pounds per year. It also gives various other kinds of non-monetary assistance, e.g. providing personnel and office support in Britain's overseas embassies.
This is not about traditional spying or seeking agents of influence close to governments. It is about generating mass disinformation, in order to create mass climates of belief.
In my opinion, such British and American disinformation efforts, using undeclared clusters of influence, through Five Eyes intelligence-sharing, and possibly with the help of British and American diplomatic missions, may have been in operation in Australia for many years.
Such networks may have been used against me since around mid-2017, to limit the commercial outreach of my book and the impact of its dangerous ideas on the need for East-West detente; and efficiently to suppress my voice in Australian public discourse about Russia and the West. Do I have evidence for this? Yes.
It is not coincidence that the Melbourne Writers Festival in August 2017 somehow lost all my sign-and-sell books from my sold-out scheduled speaking event; that a major debate with [Australian writer and foreign policy analyst] Bobo Lo at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne was cancelled by his Australian sponsor, the Lowy institute, two weeks before the advertised date; that my last invitation to any writers festival was 15 months ago, in May 2018; that Return to Moscow was not shortlisted for any Australian book prize, though I entered it in all of them ; that since my book's early promotion ended around August 2017, I have not been invited to join any ABC discussion panels, or to give any talks on Russia in any universities or institutes, apart from the admirable Australian Institute of International Affairs and the ISAA.
My articles and shorter opinion commentaries on Russia and the West have not been published in mainstream media or in reputable online journals like Eureka Street, The Conversation, Inside Story or Australian Book Review . Despite being an ANU Emeritus Fellow, I have not been invited to give a public talk or join any panel in ANU (Australian National University) or any Canberra think tank. In early 2018, I was invited to give a private briefing to a group of senior students travelling on an immersion course to Russia. I was not invited back in 2019, after high-level private advice within ANU that I was regarded as too pro-Putin.
In all these ways – none overt or acknowledged – my voice as an open-minded writer and speaker on Russia-West relations seems to have been quietly but effectively suppressed in Australia. I would like to be proved wrong on this, but the evidence is there.
This may be about "velvet-glove deterrence" of my Russia-sympathetic voice and pen, in order to discourage others, especially those working in or close to government. Nobody is going to put me in jail, unless I am stupid enough to violate Australia's now strict foreign influence laws. This deterrence is about generating fear of consequences for people still in their careers, paying their mortgages, putting kids through school. Nobody wants to miss their next promotion.
There are other indications that Australian national security elite opinion has been indoctrinated prudently to fear and avoid any kind of public discussion of positive engagement with Russia (or indeed, with China).
There are only two kinds of news about Russia now permitted in our mainstream media, including the ABC and SBS: negative news and comment, or silence. Unless a story can be given an anti-Russian sting, it will not be carried at all. Important stories are simply spiked, like last week's Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivistok, chaired by President Putin and attended by Prime Ministers Abe, Mahathir and Modi, among 8500 participants from 65 countries.
The ABC idea of a balanced panel to discuss any Russian political topic was exemplified in an ABC Sunday Extra Roundtable panel chaired by Eleanor Hall on July, 22 2018, soon after the Trump-Putin Summit in Helsinki. The panel – a former ONA Russia analyst, a professor of Soviet and Russian History at Melbourne University, and a Russian émigré dissident journalist introduced as the 'Washington correspondent for Echo of Moscow radio' spent most of their time sneering at Putin and Trump. There were no other views.
A powerful anti-Russian news narrative is now firmly in place in Australia, on every topic in contention: Ukraine, MH17, Crimea, Syria, the Skripals, Navalny and public protest in Russia. There is ill-informed criticism of Russia, or silence, on the crucial issues of arms control and Russia-China strategic and economic relations as they affect Australia's national security or economy. There is no analysis of the negative impact on Australia of economic sanctions against Russia. There is almost no discussion of how improved relations with China and Russia might contribute to Australia's national security and economic welfare, as American influence in the world and our region declines, and as American reliability as an ally comes more into question. Silence on inconvenient truths is an important part of the disinformation tool kit.
I see two overall conflicting narratives – the prevailing Anglo-American false narrative; and valiant efforts by small groups of dissenters, drawing on sources outside the Anglo-American official narrative, to present another narrative much closer to truth. And this is how most Russians now see it too.
The Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki in July 2018 was damaged by the Skripal and Syria fabrications. Trump left that summit friendless, frightened and humiliated. He soon surrendered to the power of the U.S. imperial state as then represented by [Mike] Pompeo and [John] Bolton, who had both been appointed as Secretary of State and National Security Adviser in April 2018 and who really got into their stride after the Helsinki Summit. Pompeo now smoothly dominates Trump's foreign policy.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Gage Skidmore)
Finally, let me review the American political casualties over the past two years – self-inflicted wounds – arising from this secret information war against Russia. Let me list them without prejudging guilt or innocence. Slide 20 – Self-inflicted wounds: casualties of anti-Russian information warfare.
Trump's first National Security Adviser, the highly decorated Michael Flynn lost his job after only three weeks, and soon went to jail. His successor H R McMaster lasted 13 months until replaced by John Bolton. Trump's first Secretary of State Rex Tillerson lasted just 14 months until his replacement by Trump's appointed CIA chief (in January 2017) Mike Pompeo. Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon lasted only seven months. Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is now in jail.
Defence Secretary James Mattis lasted nearly two years as Secretary of Defence, and was an invaluable source of strategic stability. He resigned in December 2018. The highly capable Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman lasted just two years: he is resigning next month. John Kelly lasted 18 months as White House Chief of Staff. Less senior figures like George Papadopoulos and Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen both served jail time. The pattern I see here is that people who may have been trying responsibly as senior U.S. officials to advance Trump's initial wish to explore possibilities for detente with Russia – policies that he had advocated as a candidate – were progressively purged, one after another . The anti-Russian U.S. bipartisan imperial state is now firmly back in control. Trump is safely contained as far as Russia is concerned .
Russians do not believe that any serious detente or arms control negotiations can get under way while cold warriors like Pompeo continue effectively to control Trump. There have been other casualties over the past two years of tightening American Russophobia. Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning come to mind. The naive Maria Butina is a pathetic victim of American judicial rigidity and deep state vindictiveness.
False anti-Russian Government narratives emanating from London and Washington may be laughed at in Moscow , but they are unquestioningly accepted in Canberra. We are the most gullible of audiences. There is no critical review. Important contrary factual information and analysis from and about Russia just does not reach Australian news reporting and commentary, nor – I fear – Australian intelligence assessment. We are prisoners of the false narratives fed to us by our senior Five Eyes partners U.S. and UK.
To conclude: Some people may find what I am saying today difficult to accept. I understand this. I now work off open-source information about Russia with which many people here are unfamiliar, because they prefer not to read the diverse online information sources that I choose to read. The seesaw has tilted for me: I have clearly moved a long way from mainstream Western perceptions on Russia-West relations.
Under Trump and Pompeo, as the Syria and Iran crises show, the present risk of global nuclear war by accident or incompetent Western decision-making is as high as it ever was in the Cold War. The West needs to learn again how to dialogue usefully and in mutually respectful ways with Russia and China. This expert knowledge is dying with our older and wiser former public servants and ex-military chiefs.
These remarks were delivered by Tony Kevin at the Independent Scholars Association of Australia in Canberra, Australia on Wednesday.
Watch Tony Kevin interviewed Friday night on CN Live!
Tony Kevin is a retired Australian diplomat who was posted to Moscow from 1969 to 1971, and was later Australia's ambassador to Poland and Cambodia. His latest book is Return to Moscow, published by UWA Publishing.
Bruce , September 17, 2019 at 08:58
Excellent article. It's very interesting to see how the state and its media lackey set the narrative.
Most of this comment relates to the Skripals but also applies to other matters (the Skripals writing was some of Craig Murray's finest work in my opinion). One of the hallmarks of a hoax is a constantly evolving storyline. I think governments have learned from past "mistakes" with their hoaxes/deception where they've given a description of events and then scientists/engineers/chemists etc have come in and criticised their version of events with details and scientific arguments. Nowadays, governments are very reluctant to commit to a version of events, and instead rely on the media (their propaganda assets) to provide a scattergun set of information to muddy the waters and thoroughly confuse the population. The government is then insulated from some of the more bizarre allegations (the headlines of which are absorbed nonetheless), and can blame it on the media (who would use an anonymous government source naturally). Together with classifying just about everything on national security grounds, they can stonewall for as long as they want.
The British are masters of propaganda. They maintained a global empire for a very long time, and the prevailing view (in the west at least) was probably one of tea-drinking cricket playing colonials/gentlemen. But you don't maintain an empire without being absolutely ruthless and brutal. They've been doing this for a very long time.
When we hear something from the BBC or ABC, we should think "State Media".
That's probably why its got a nice folksy nickname of "aunty" .build up the trust.
Leslie Louis , September 17, 2019 at 04:00
Society is suffering the extreme paradox; there is the potential for everyone to have a voice, but the last vestiges of free speech have been whittled away. Fake news is universal, assisted by the fake "left". It is impossible to get published any challenge to even the most outlandish versions of identity politics. As the experience of Tony Kevin exemplifies, all avenues for dissent against hegemonic orthodoxies are closed off.
Disinformation is now an essential weapon in waging hot and cold wars. Cold War historians are well informed on false flags, "black ops", and other organised dirty tactics. I do not know what happened to the Skripals, and while it is legitimate to bear in mind KGB assassinations, despite the enormous resources at its disposal, the English security state has been unable to construct a credible case. Surely scepticism is provoked by the leading role being played by the notorious Bellingcat outfit.
Zenobia van Dongen , September 17, 2019 at 00:29
Here is part of an eyewitness account:
"After the Orange Revolution which began in Kiev, the country was divided literally into two parts -- the supporters of integration with Russia and the supporters of an independent Ukraine. For almost 100 years belonging to the Soviet Union, the propaganda about the assistance and care from our "big brother" Russia, in Ukraine as a whole and the Donbass in particular has borne fruit. At the end of February 2014, some cities of the Southeast part were boiling with mass social and political protest against the new Ukrainian government in defense of the status of the Russian language, voicing separatist and pro-Russian slogans. The division took place in our city of Sloviansk too. Some people stood for separation from Ukraine, while Ukrainian patriots stood for the unity of our country.
On April 12, 2014 our city of Sloviansk in the Donetsk region was seized by Russian mercenaries and local volunteers. From that moment onward, armed assaults on state institutions began. The city police department, the Sloviansk City Hall, the building of the Ukraine Security Service was occupied. Armed militants seized state institutions and confiscated private property. They threatened and beat people, and those who refused to obey were taken away to an unknown destination and people started disappearing. The persecution and abduction of patriotic citizens began."
Michael McNulty , September 16, 2019 at 11:36
Watching Vietnam news coverage as a kid in the '60s I noticed the planes carpet-bombing South East Asia were American, not Russian. And as I only watched the footage and never listened to the commentary (I was waiting for the kids programs that followed) the BS they came out with to explain it all never reached me. I saw with my own eyes what the US really was and is, and always believed growing up they were the belligerent side not Russia. Once the USSR fell it was clear there were no longer any constraints on US excesses.
dean 1000 , September 15, 2019 at 18:17
Doublethink, not to mention doublespeak, is so apt to describe what is happening. If Orwell was writing today it would have to be classified as non-fiction.
Free speech is impossible unless every election district has a radio/TV station where candidates, constituents, and others can debate, discuss and speak to the issues without bending a knee to large campaign contributors or the controllers of corporate or government media. It may start with low-power pirate radio/TV broadcasts. No, the pirate speakers will not have to climb a cell tower to broadcast an opinion to the neighborhood or precinct.
If genuine free speech is going to exist it will start as something unauthorized and unlawful. If it sticks to the facts it will quickly prove its value.
Download a free pdf copy of '1984.' https://www.planetebook.com/free-ebooks/1984.pdf
Njegos , September 15, 2019 at 03:39
Excellent article. The only exhibit missing was reference to Bill Browder's lies. Browder's rubbish has been exposed by intrepid journalists and documentary makers such as Andrei Nekrasov, Sasha Krainer and Lucy Komisar but to read or listen to our media, you'd think BB was some sort of human rights hero. That's because BB's fairy tale fits nicely into the MSM's hatred of Putin and Russia. Debunk Browder and a major pillar of anti-Russia prejudice collapses. Therefore, Browder will never face any serious questions by the MSM.
John A , September 16, 2019 at 09:18
judges of the European Court of Human Rights published a judgement a fortnight ago which utterly exploded the version of events promulgated by Western governments and media in the case of the late Mr Magnitskiy. Yet I can find no truthful report of the judgement in the mainstream media at all.
MSM propaganda by omission. Anything that doesn't fit the government narrative gets zero publicity.
Jim Ingram , September 14, 2019 at 21:12
Well said and needing to be said Tony.
Mr. Dan , September 14, 2019 at 19:41
I have stopped following australian mainstream media including the darlings of the 'left' ABC/SBS over a decade ago, completely. My disgust with their 'coverage' of the 2008 GFC was more than enough. Since 2008-9 things have deteriorated drastically into conspiracy theory propaganda by omission la-la land *it seems*, given I don't tune in at all.
The author has a well supported view. I find it a little naive in him thinking that the MSM has that much power over shaping public opinion in australia.
People who want to be informed do so. The half intelligent conformists on hamster wheel of lifetime mortgage debt have 'careers' to hold onto, so parroting the group think or living in ignorance is much easier. The massive portion of australian racists, inbred bogans and idiots that make up the large LNP, One Nation etc. voting block are completely beyond salvation or ability to process, and critically evaluate any information. The smarter ones drool on about the 'UN Agenda 21' conspiracy at best. Utterly hopeless.
I don't expect things to change as the australian economy is slowly hollowed out by the rich, and the education system (that has always been about conforming, wearing school uniform and regurgitating what the teacher/lecturer says at best) is gutted completely. Welcome to australistan.
Fran Macadam , September 14, 2019 at 19:21
Note that the prohibition against false propaganda to indoctrinate the domestic population by the American government was lifted by President Obama at the tail end of his administration. The Executive Order legalizes all the deceptive behavior Tony itemizes in his article.
Josep , September 17, 2019 at 04:10
I thought it was Reagan who did that by abolishing the Fairness Doctrine in 1987. At least in terms of television and radio (?) broadcasts.
Stephen Morrell , September 14, 2019 at 19:02
Thank you Tony for your thoughtful talk (and interview on CN Live! too).
What's encouraging is this cohort of what might be called 'millennial journalists' coming through willing to do 'shoe-leather' journalism and stand up to smears and flack for revealing uncomfortable facts and truth. They're the online 5th estate holding the 4th to account (to steal Ray McGovern's apt view), and they're congealing against the onslaught.
Some include Max Blumenthal and Rania Kahlek (both now being pilloried by MSM and others for visiting Syrian government held areas and reporting that life isn't hellish as MSM would have everyone believe heaven forbid); Vanessa Bealey who's exposed a lot of White Helmet horrors and false-flag attacks in Syria (and being attacked by all and sundry for exposing the White Helmets in particular); Abby Martin whose Empire Files are excellent and always edifying; Dan Cohen who has written the best expose of the actors behind the Hong Kong rioting and co-authored the best expose of the background of Guaido et al.; Whitney Webb of Mint Press whose series on Epstein is overwhelming and likely a ticking timebomb; Caitlin Johnstone of course; and Aaron 'Buzzsaw' Mate who made his first mark with a wonderful takedown interview of Russiaphobe MI6 shill Luke Harding. Others too of course, with most appearing or having written pieces on CN. John Pilger, Robert Fisk, Greg Palast, et al. won't drop off their twigs disappointed.
This, along with the fact that MSM -- that cowed and compromised fourth estate -- increasingly is held in such laughable contempt by most people under about 50 yr, is highly encouraging indeed. Truth is the new black.
nwwoods , September 15, 2019 at 11:49
The Blogmire is an excellent resource for detailed analysis of the Skripal hoax. The author happens to be a long-time resident of Salisbury, and is intimately familiar with the topography, public services, etc., and a very thorough investigator.
John Wright , September 14, 2019 at 18:35
I'm not surprised that Mr. Kevin is being isolated and shunned by the Australian establishment. Truth and truth tellers are always the first casualties of war. I do hope that his experience will encourage him to increase his resistance to the corrosiveness of mendacious propaganda and those who promulgate it.
Truth is the single best weapon when fighting for a peaceful future.
If Australia is to flourish in the 21st century, it really needs to understand Russia and China, how they relate to each other, and how this key alliance will interface with the rest of the world. Australia and Australians simply cannot afford to get sucked down further by facilitating the machinations of the collapsing Anglo-American Empire. They have served the empire ably and faithfully, but now need to take a cold hard look at reality and realign their long-term interests with the coming global power shift. If not, they could literally find themselves in the middle of an unwinnable and devastating war.
* * *
The first Anglo-American Russian cold war began with the Russian revolution and was only briefly suspended when the West needed the Soviet people to throw themselves in front of the Nazi blitzkrieg in order to save Western Europe. Following their catastrophically costly contribution to the victory on the Continent, the Russians were greeted with an American nuclear salute on their eastern periphery, signalling their return to the diplomatic and economic deep freeze.
While the Anglo-American Empire solidified and extended its hold on the globe, the enlarged but war-ravaged and isolated Soviet Union hunkered down and survived on scraps and sheer will until its collapse in 1989. Declaring the cold war over, and with promises to help their new Russian friends build a prosperous future, the duplicitous West then ransacked their neighbors resources and sold them into debt peonage. The Russians cried foul, the West shrugged and Putin pushed back. Unable to declaw the bear, the west closed the cage door again and the second cold war commenced.
* * *
The first cold war was essentially an offensive war disguised as a defensive war. It enabled the Anglo-American Empire to leverage its post-war advantage and establish near total dominance around the globe through naked violence and monetary hegemony.
Today, with its dominance rapidly slipping away, the Anglo-American Empire is waging a truly defensive cold war. On the home front, they fight to convince their subjects of their eternal exceptionalism with ever more absurd and vile propaganda denigrating their adversaries . Abroad, they disrupt and defraud in a desperate attempt to delay the demise of the PetroDollar ponzi.
The Russians and the Chinese, having both been brutally burned by the Western elites, will not be fooled into abandoning their natural geographic partnership. They are no longer content to sit quietly at the kids' table taking notes. While they may not demand to sit at the head of the table, it is clear that they will insist on a round table, and one that is large enough to include their growing list of friends.
If the Americans don't smash the table, it could be the first of many peaceful pot lucks.
John Read , September 15, 2019 at 02:11
Well said. Great comments. Thanks to Tony Kevin.
Mia , September 14, 2019 at 18:33
Thank you Tony for continuing to shine light on the pathetic propaganda information bubble Australians have been immersed in .. you demonstrate great courage and you are not alone ??
Peter Loeb , September 14, 2019 at 12:58
WITH THANKS TO TONY KEVIN
An excellent article.
There is a lack of comments from some of the common writers upon whose views I often rely.
Personally, I often avoid the very individual responses from websites as I have no way
of checking out previous ideas of theirs. Who funds them? With which organizations are they
affiliated? And so forth and so on.
Peter Loeb, Boston, Massachusetts
Peter Sapo , September 14, 2019 at 10:24
As a fellow Australian, everything Tony Kevin said makes perfect sense. Our mainstream media landscape is designed to distribute propaganda to folk accross the political spectrum. Have you noticed that the ABC regurgitates stories from the BBC? The BBC has a long history (at least since WW2) of supporting government propaganda initiatives. Based on this fact, it is hard to see how ABC and SBS don't do the same when called upon by their minders.
Francis Lee , September 14, 2019 at 09:48
I just wonder where the Anglo-Zionist empire thinks it is going. It should be obvious that any NATO war against Russia involving a nuclear exchange is unwinnable. It seems equally likely the even a conventional war will not necessarily bring the result expected by the assorted 'experts' – nincompoops living in their own fantasy world. The idea that the US can fight a war without the US homeland becoming very much involved basically ended when Putin announced the creation of Russia's set of advanced hypersonic missile system. But this was apparently ignored by the 'defence' establishment. It was not true, it could not possibly be true, or so we were told.
Moreover the cost of such wars involving hundreds of thousands of troops and military hardware are massively expensive and would occasion a massive resistance from the populations affected. It was the wests wars in Korea, and Indo-China that bankrupted the US and led to the US$ being removed from the gold standard. The American military is rapidly consuming the American economy, or at least what is left of it. From a realist foreign policy perspective this is simply madness. Great powers end wars, they don't start them. Great powers are creditor nations, not debtor nations. Such is the realist foreign policy view. But foreign policy realists are few and far between in the Washington Beltway and MIC/NSA Pentagon and US/UK/AUSTRALIAN MSM.
Thus the neo-hubris of the English speaking world is such that if it is followed to its logical conclusion then total annihilation would be the logical outcome. A sad example of not very bright people who face no domestic opposition, believing in their own bullshit:
"American elites proved themselves to be master manipulators of propaganda constructs But the real danger from such manipulations arises not when those manipulations are done out of knowledge of reality, which is distorted for propaganda purposes, but when those who manipulation begin to sincerely believe in their own falsifications and when they buy into their own narrative. They stop being manipulators and they become believers in a narrative. They become manipulated themselves." (Losing Military Supremacy – Andrei, Martyanov)
Or maybe just the whole thing is a bluff. Those policy elites maybe just want to loot the US Treasury for more cash to be put their way.
John Wright , September 15, 2019 at 19:15
The self-serving Israeli Zionists know that the American cow is running dry and their days of freely milking it are coming to an end. They have an historic relationship with Russia and, leveraging their nuclear arsenal, know they can make a deal with the emerging China-Russia-centric global paradigm to extort enough protection to maintain their armed enclave for the foreseeable future. Their no so hidden alliance with the equally sociopathic Saudis will become even more obvious for all to see.
Israel, like China and Russia, knows how to play a long game. Thus, Israel will consolidate its land grab with the just announced expansion into the Jordan Valley and quietly continue as much ethnic cleansing as possible while the rest of the world is preoccupied with the incipient global power shift (True victims of history, the Palestinians have no real friends). While they will bemoan the loss of their muscular American stooge, Israel enjoyed a very lucrative 70 year run and will part with a pile of useful and deadly toys. They're also fully aware that no one else will ever let them take advantage to the degree they've been able to with the U.S.A. (Unlimited Stupidity of Arrogance?)
Eventually, the social schizophrenia that is the state of Israel will catch up with them and they will implode. Let's hope that breakdown doesn't involve the use of their nuclear arsenal.
Yes, the U.S. Treasury will continue to be looted until the last teller turns the lights out or the electricity is shut off, whichever comes first.
The Western transnational financial elites will accept their losses, regroup and make deals with the new bosses where they can; but their days of running the game unopposed are over.
Today is a good day to learn Mandarin (or Russian, if you prefer to live in Europe).
Bill , September 16, 2019 at 03:36
Very well said and I agree with a lot of what you say.
Tiu , September 14, 2019 at 06:01
Won't be too long before writing articles like this will get you busted for "hate-speech" (e.g. anything that is contrary to the official version prescribed by the "democratically elected" government)
Personally I always encourage people to read George Orwell, especially 1984. We're there, and have been for a long time.
geeyp , September 14, 2019 at 01:15
Tony Kevin – Nice rundown of what ails society. You have a fine writing style that gets the point across to the reader. Kudos and cheers.
Michael , September 13, 2019 at 22:34
The 'modernization' of the Smith Mundt Act in 2013 "to authorize the domestic dissemination of information and material [PROPAGANDA] about the United States intended primarily for foreign audiences" was a major nail in the Democracy coffin, consolidating the blatant ruling of the US Police State by our 17 Intelligence Agencies (our betters). The Telecommunications Act of 1996 lead to ownership of (>80%) of our media (the MSM by a handful of owners, all disseminating the same narratives from above (CIA, State Department, FBI etc) and squelching any dissenting views, particularly related to foreign policies.
Tony's article sadly just confirms the depth and breadth of our Global Stasi, with improved, innovative and (mostly) subtle surveillance, and the controlling constant interference with alternate viewpoints and discussions, the real basis for free societies. It is bad enough to be ruled by neoliberal psychopathic hyenas and jackals, soon we won't be able to even bitch about what they are doing.
Tom Kath , September 13, 2019 at 21:42
The most impressive article I have read in a very long time. I congratulate and thank Tony.
I have myself recently addressed the issue of whether it is a virtue to have an "open mind". – The ability to be converted or have your mind changed, or is it the ability to change your own mind ?
Tony Kevin clearly illustrates the difference.
Litchfield , September 13, 2019 at 16:11
Please keep writing.
Do start a website, a la Craig Murray.
There are people who are proactively looking for alternative viewpoints and informed analysis.
How about starting a website and publishing some excerpts of your book there?
Or, sell chapters separately by download from your website?
You could also have a discussion blog/forum there.
John Zimmermann , September 13, 2019 at 16:02
Excellent essay. Thanks Mr. Kevin.
rosemerry , September 13, 2019 at 15:37
At least Tony Kevin was an Australian ambassador, not like Mike Morrell and the chosen russop?obes the USA assumes are needed as diplomats!! Now he is treated as Stephen Cohen is- a true expert called "controversial" as he dares to go by real facts and evidence, not prejudice.
If instead of enemies, the West could consider getting to understand those they are wary of, and give them a chance to explain their point of view and actually listen and reflect on it.
(Dmitri Peskov valiantly explained the Russian official response as soon as the "Skripal poisoning" story broke, but it was fully ignored by UK/US media, while all of Theresa May's fanciful imaginings were respectfully relayed to the public).
geeyp , September 14, 2019 at 23:26
As you usually are with your comments, you are spot on again, rosemerry.
Martin - Swedish citizen , September 13, 2019 at 14:46
I find the mechanics of how the propaganda is spread and the illusion upheld the most important part of this article, since this knowledge is required to counter it.
When (not if) the fraud becomes more common knowledge, our societies are likely to tumble.
Pablo Diablo , September 13, 2019 at 14:45
Whoever controls the media, controls the dialogue.
Whoever controls the dialogue, controls the agenda.
peter mcloughlin , September 13, 2019 at 13:40
' The present risk of global nuclear war is as high as it ever was in the Cold War.' And possibly higher. The Cold War, though dangerous, was the peace. The world has experienced periods of peace (or relative peace) throughout history. The Thirty Years Peace between the two Peloponnesian Wars, Pax Romana, Europe in the 19th century after the Congress of Vienna, to name a few. The Congress System finally collapsed in 1914 with the start of World War One. That conflict was followed by the League of Nations. It did not stop World War Two. That was followed by the United Nations and other post-war institutions. But all the indications are they will not prevent a third world war. The powers that are leading us towards conflagration see this as a re-run of the first Cold War. They are dangerously mistaken.
Guy , September 13, 2019 at 13:21
With so many believing the lies ,how will this mess ever come to light . I don't reside in Australia but anywhere in the Western world the shakedown is the same .In my own house ,the discussion on world politics descends into absolute stupidity . As one can't get past the constant programming that has settled in the minds of the comfortable with the status quo of lies by our media. There are intelligent sources of news sources but none get past the absolutely complete control of MSM.So the bottom line is ,for now ,the lies and liars are winning the propaganda war.
Anton Antonovich , September 13, 2019 at 13:16
He speaks the truth. Liars and dissemblers have won over the minds and hearts of so many lazy shameful citizens who will not accept the truth Tony Kevin wants to share with the world.
junaid , September 13, 2019 at 13:08
Washington resumes military assistance to Kyiv. According to American lawmakers, Ukraine is fighting one of the main enemies. "Contain Russia": what the US pays for Ukraine
"Contain Russia": what the US pays for Ukraine
Lily , September 13, 2019 at 23:42
The Pentagon is using the Ukrainian territory for experiments on chemical weapons.
John A , September 14, 2019 at 06:55
Anyone or article who spells Kiev as Kyiv can be safely ignored as western anti-Russia propaganda. It's a true tell.
Robert Edwards , September 13, 2019 at 12:53
The Cold war is totally manufacture to keep the dollars flowing into the MIC – what a sham . and a disgrace to humanity.
Cavaleiro Marginal , September 13, 2019 at 12:52
"The key tools are repetition of messages, and diversification of trusted voices. Once a critical mass is created of people believing a false narrative, the lie locks in: its dissemination becomes self-sustaining."
This had occurred in Brazil since the very first day of Lula's presidency. Eleven years late, 2013, a color revolution began. Nobody (and I mean REALLY nobody) could realize a color revolution was happening at that time. In 2016, Dilma Rousseff was kicked from power throughout a ridiculous and illegal coup perpetrated by the parliament. In 2018 Lula was imprisoned in an Orwellian process; illegal, unconstitutional, with nothing (REALLY nothing) proved against him. Then a liar clown was elected to suppress democracy
I knew on the news that in Canada and Australia the police politely (how civilized ) went to some journalist's homes to have a chat this year. Canadians and Aussies, be aware. The fascism's dog is a policial state very well informed by the propaganda they call news.
Robert Fearn , September 13, 2019 at 12:48
As a Canadian author who wrote a book about various tragic American government actions, like Vietnam, I can relate to the difficulties Tony has had with his book. I would mail my book, Amoral America, from Canada to other countries, like the US, and it would never arrive. Book stores would not handle it, etc. etc.
Josep , September 17, 2019 at 05:21
Not to disagree, but some years ago I read about anecdotes of anti-Americanism in Canada, coming from both USians and Canadians, whether it be playful banter or legitimate criticism. I believe it is more concentrated among the people than among the governmental elites (with the exception of the Iraq War era when both the people and the government were against it). And considering what you describe in your book and the difficulty you've faced in distributing it abroad, maybe the said people are on to something.
Stephen , September 13, 2019 at 11:44
This interview by Abby Martin with Mark Ames is a little dated but is a fairly accurate history. I post it to try and counter the nonsense.
All the empire wants is to do it all again.