To Refugee Or Not To Refugee – That Is The Question?

Via The Saker

February 07, 2016

To Refugee Or Not To Refugee – That Is The Question?

This comment was chosen by Mod TR from the post “Turkey’s Gates To Europe”.  The moderator believes this comment looks at another reason for the flood of refugees into Germany – cheap labour and political useage. There is a lack of concern by the elites/political classes about who they have let into Europe. There are many reasons for this crisis but fundamentally it is the wars perpetrated by the “West” that has allowed the creation of displaced individuals who will be exploited for the gain of this group.

Comment by Purple Library Guy

In a broader sense, there is no bigger wheel than the desire to get some cheap labour. The entire point of modern elite-driven political economy is to get cheap labour and make sure it stays that way.

Even the oil wars are ultimately about cheap labour. They weren’t, after all, about getting access to the oil–they already had access to the oil. The point was getting control of the oil, so that it could be wielded as a weapon. And the point of wielding it as a weapon is so that the United States can remain hegemon. But the point for US and international elites of the United States remaining hegemon is so that pro-corporate, anti-labour policies can continue to be enforced worldwide. Oil is mainly one more weapon for enforcing the politics of ensuring that labour is cheap and elites get to rake off the difference, whether directly by producing stuff in sweatshops and selling it for more, or indirectly by ensuring the proles aren’t in a position to object to financial shenanigans like printing tons of money and making sure only financiers can have it, or by indebting them and charging them interest et cetera.

Given that, I think people are both too quick to dismiss the German elite interest in getting cheap labour and too quick to assume that German elites care whether there are a few thugs and/or terrorists among the refugees that cause some short term chaos and hurt, rape or kill a few people. If anything, German elites are probably happy that there are some thugs and terrorists among the refugees.

This is also where right wing cultural analyses are dead wrong: German and other European elites are in no way interested in creating a homogenized society in which the immigrants and existing population blend together and lose their respective cultures. To the contrary. This is also where East European makes his mistake: “I remember how hard it was for even a single qualified individual to get a residential permit to say, Germany” . . . well, yes, of course. A single qualified individual. From a non-demonized group. In short, someone who might expect to come in and make a good wage in a real job on an equal basis with middle class Germans. What use is that to elites? They want immigrants, sure–but they want them impoverished, isolated, scared, and ideally constituting a brand new social division to be exploited. If there were no thugs among them to help create a backlash, elites would have to bring some in. If anything what German elites would really love is to create US blacks: A permanent underemployed underclass which will stay separate and create divisions in the electorate forever, bringing down average wages, swelling the army of hungry poor that would take any crap job, making unionization and working class politics far harder both because of that reserve army willing to accept worse conditions and because of the social division.

For that dream, Angela Merkel’s political career is a very small price to pay, and even some risk of breakthroughs by hard-right parties who don’t threaten white bankers or factory-owners in the first place isn’t a huge deal. If anything, with the current popular dissatisfaction with austerity policies that has tended to build grassroots leftism, elites may actually feel that they benefit from the rise of the hard right because it sucks political energy from the left. They’re quite likely using the populist right, just like they used Hitler–although they may be miscalculating, just like they did with Hitler.

All that analysis aside, I’m not sure I really buy the idea that there’s anything too grand in the acceleration of refugee arrivals. Erdogan is certainly an Islamist, but I doubt he wants to take Vienna. It’s true he may have concluded he can no longer really use the huge camps of refugees for anything . . . but if they’re not useful, that means they’re a cost, and the Turkish economy isn’t doing so great. Not running camps full of gajillions of refugees is cheaper than running those camps. But also, it may just be the rhythm of things . . . Syrians may be avoiding going through Turkey and getting caught in camps because they’ve heard that if you go through Turkey you get caught in camps. Syrian refugees may have stopped in other places in the Middle East a lot at the beginning, like Lebanon, Jordan, even Iraq, but are now moving past them because there’s no room or the welcome has soured. The rate of refugees from other places like Libya, even Yemen, may be accelerating. The “business” of refugee transport may have gotten bigger and better organized and has simply been better able to move people than it was at the beginning. It’s inevitable that there’s a lot of fairly wild speculation about it all because frankly it would take a big expensive investigative effort to really get much of a handle on just how all these people are flowing and why rates of arrival are changing.

One thing that there can be no dispute about though: The bottom line is that ultimately all these refugees are a form of blowback. If the EU were to stop helping the US attack and destabilize these countries and refuse to give them diplomatic cover for such actions, they would ultimately see far fewer refugees.

Saudi Arabia to Deploy Ground Forces in Syria: Middle East Turmoil Greater Than Ever

08.02.2016

Peter KORZUN

The effectiveness of Russian airstrikes has helped the regular Syrian army encircle the rebel-held countryside north of the contested city of Aleppo raising concerns that rebels could lose the war in Syria. The prospects send shivers up the spine of some countries that belong to the US-led coalition and are adamant in their desire to overthrow the government of Bashar Assad. Now a major player has made public its readiness to send troops to the war-torn country.

Saudi Arabia would be ready to deploy army units in Syria should the US-led coalition call for ground operations. This is the first time the Saudi government openly expressed its willingness to deploy boots on the ground. «The kingdom is ready to participate in any ground operations that the coalition (against Islamic State) may agree to carry out in Syria», said military spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed al-Asiri during an interview with Al Arabiya News Channel.

«…we believe that aerial operations are not the ideal solution and there must be a twin mix of aerial and ground operations», Asiri added.

Thousands of special forces could be deployed, likely in coordination with Turkey, Saudi sources told the Guardian.

Before that, Ankara had also made known its readiness to deploy troops in Syria. It’s not accidental that Saudi Arabia and Turkey set up a military coordination body a few weeks ago.

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter lost no time to welcome the Saudi offer to participate in any ground operations in Syria launched by the US-led coalition.

Carter said he looked forward to discussing the offer of ground troops with the Saudi defense minister in Brussels next week.

A ground operation of Saudi Arabia and Turkey was on the agenda for quite some time. The validity of this information was confirmed by the Huffington Post.

The talks between the two states are brokered by Qatar. The plans envision that Turkey would provide ground troops supported by Saudi Arabian airstrikes to assist «moderate» Syrian opposition fighters against the Syrian government.

It makes spring to mind another statement on Syria. Last November, the United Arab Emirates said it would be willing to participate in multilateral counterterrorism efforts on the ground in Syria.

No matter how limited its military contribution may be, the UAE’s participation would be important politically. At least three states said they would join in the ground operation if the action were supported by the United States leading a coalition of 65 members.

As a result of the planned military action there will be some blunt military realities to face. Serious questions remain about the scope of any Saudi-Turkish military involvement. It will require significant funds. Saudi Arabia is now engaged in a messy war in Yemen. It would have difficulty fighting and sustaining two wars. Saudi Arabia and Turkey will shoulder the brunt of the effort as the US, and, probably, some other states of the coalition like the UAE, will hardly deploy significant ground forces.

The operation would exacerbate regional divisions along sectarian lines – Sunni vs. Shia, as the would-be intruders (including the UAE, if the November statement is still valid) are all Sunni-dominated states. Saudi Arabia leads a grouping of Sunni countries including the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Sudan, Somalia and to a lesser extent Egypt. As well, Saudi Arabia sponsors a number of Sunni non-state actors in Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere. Meanwhile Iran leads a group of Shia actors including the Syrian Regime, Hezbollah, Ansar Allah (Houthis), and a vast array of militia groups in Iraq contained with the «Popular Mobilization Units».

The Saudi-Turkey strategy is driven by the fear of Iran’s Shia regional hegemony. Iran’s regional influence continued to expand even in the times it was under sanctions. It’s enough to remember that the Arab Gulf states (except Oman) reaction to the successful conclusion of the Iran deal was close to hysteria. This attitude strongly suggests that the underlying concern of the Gulf States (plus Turkey and Israel) was not really the danger of Iranian nuclear weapons, but rather the threat of Iran’s growing political influence in the region, from Iraq to Syria to Lebanon and Yemen.

Apparently, the fear was that with international sanctions lifted, Iran’s political influence throughout the region would grow. True, animosity toward Iran (Persians) and Shia Muslims is widely spread in Saudi Arabia and other countries where the austere Wahhabi doctrine is predominant. This fact has not prevented political interaction between Saudi Arabia and Iran on occasion, as well as private social interaction and intermarriage among Sunnis and Shia Muslims over the centuries. By casting its policies in sectarian terms, the Saudi leadership appears to be burning the bridges that will be very difficult to rebuild.

Even if Saudi Arabia and Turkey will shoulder the brunt of the war effort on the ground, the US will have to take sides being involved in the Sunni-Shia stand-off, should the operation start.

Saudi Arabia, together with Qatar and Turkey, is supporting and funding radical Sunni Islamists in Syria (Nusra Front and other al-Qaeda affiliates). It may empower an uncontrollable coalition of extremists whose activities make them essentially indistinguishable from the Islamic State (IS).

Deposing Assad is not a solution, but rather a way to reverse the players, turning many current regime supporters into insurgents while fueling a contest for supremacy among the al-Qaeda militias and IS. And Syria’s conflicts on its borders (potentially with Turkey, Jordan and Israel) would not subside once radical Islamist forces were entrenched in Syrian territory. Just as US and Saudi support for the mujahideen in Afghanistan came back to haunt America in the form of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, those who have been encouraging Al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria will not be immune to the inevitable backlash.

It is an illusion to believe that these radical groups could be contained or controlled by their sponsors. Helping extremists in Syria is like cutting off the nose to spite the face. The statements made by US official and President Obama’s decision to send elements of 101th airborne division to the region show that the United States is inclined to get involved and lend support to Saudi and Turkey’s policies. At first glance, it may seem to be an acceptable price to pay for short term political goals. In reality, it is a tempting illusion. The sectarian hatreds being unleashed today in the Middle East will not simply disappear. The consequences of these games will be felt for many years, perhaps, generations.

* * *

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova hit the nail on its head in her remarks regarding the Saudi announcement.

«I am afraid to ask, have you already fought off everyone in Yemen?» Zakharova posted an ironical comment on her page in Facebook.

The recent news about the US sending troops to Syria, Turkey’s announced intent to launch a ground operation there and Saudi Arabia’s statement on its readiness to join «any» military campaign on Syrian soil serve as indicators of imminent large-scale war. It was not accidental that the opposition supported by Saudi-Arabia and Turkey did its best to stymie the Geneva-3 peace talks. The deployment of ground troops in Syria is not only an outright violation of international law. The action will bring the Russia-Syria-Iran coalition and the US-led collation to the brink of collision. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other states willing to start this dangerous game rely on the US support. The United States is the key country. It can and must use its influence to avoid the worst from happening. It can direct the process and keep the situation from sliding into an uncontrollable conflict with unpredictable repercussions.

For instance, the US State Secretary John Kerry enjoys close relations with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The foreign chiefs could urgently meet to discuss the situation. Let them be open and above board discussing each other’s intentions and the implications to follow. Russia and the US managed to keep the world from falling in to abyss in the days of the 1962 Cuban crisis to prove that a dialogue and political interaction can work wonders. The US has great responsibility for what’s happening. The time to take a diplomatic action is now. The United States knows perfectly well Russia will meet its effort halfway.

Misconceptions about Syria by the American public

How Bamboozled the American Public Are About Syria

Responses at reddit.com to an article about Syria demonstrate that Americans have massive misconceptions about the war in Syria. 

Their main falsehoods will be quoted here (from that reddit string), and then the relevant solidly established facts will be cited and linked to (so that you can check these facts for yourself):

The article about the matter (which I wrote, and to which reddit’s readers were supposedly responding) was titled “Twice in One Day, Ban Ki-Moon Condemned Obama’s Actions on Syria,” and it quoted the statements from U.N. Secretary General Ban ki-Moon condemning U.S. President Barack Obama’s — and “many Western countries” — their repeated statements that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad must be removed from office and replaced with a leader whom those foreign leaders approve.

Mr. Ban said (among other things) that, “The future of Assad must be determined by the Syrian people,” rather than by foreign leaders.

A reddit reader wrote the following brief comment to that: “They [presumably referring to “the Syrian people,” not to the foreign leaders] clearly don’t want Assad. In case he’s [and no indication was given as to whom “he” was supposed to be] forgotten, that’s where the whole civil war started.”

The actual fact is that when America’s ally the Qatari regime, which funds al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria), hired a polling firm in 2012 to survey Syrians, the finding was that 55% of Syrians wanted Assad to remain as President. Then, as I reported on 18 September 2015, “Polls Show Syrians Overwhelmingly Blame U.S. for ISIS,” and those polls were from a British firm that has ties to Gallup. Whatever that reddit reader (or anyone else) might think of Assad, all polling of the Syrian people  shows that most Syrians are terrified of the jihadist groups who are trying to replace him (of which ISIS is merely one), fighting to take over the Syrian government; and also show that Syrians overwhelmingly blame as the cause of the war, the U.S. and its allies — which are the Sauds who own Saudi Arabia, and the Thanis who own Qatar, and the Islamicist leader of Turkey, Erdogan. Only a small minority of Syrians blame Assad, who is a secular leader who has always been committed to separation of church-and-state (a rarity in a Muslim-majority country).

Even most of Syria’s Sunnis want Assad to remain leading the country because the alternative has already shown itself in Libya; and, before that, in Iraq. If you were Syrian, would you want that alternative? The American public might be obtuse to (or deceived about) the realities that the Syrian people face, but Syrians are not. To them, this is a matter of life or death; and, now, mostly of death.

The next reader-comment was, “It boggles my mind how anyone can say that the Syrian population actually supports Assad. When foreign nations say that Assad has to go as part of the healing process in Syria, they  are speaking for the Syrian people.” His “they” was referring to Barack Obama, and to Islamicist Saudi King Salman, and to Islamicist Qatari Emir Thani, and to Turkey’s Islamicist President Erdogan. The U.S. leader, Obama, hopes to eliminate an ally of Vladimir Putin, whom Obama hates. (He doesn’t say he does, but he really does.) The other three (Saud, Thani, and Erdogan) are Sunni supporters of jihadist organizations, such as ISIS and Muslim Brotherhood, who are fighting to remove and replace Assad. That reader at reddit was so naive as to call those piranhas “the healing process in Syria,” who “are speaking for the Syrian people.” Not according to the polls, they aren’t.

The next reader-comment was, “You know the divide in Syria is almost entirely on ethnic lines between the sunnis and minorities?” That too is false. Table 3 in the most recent poll, July 2015, that was mentioned and linked-to in my “Polls Show Syrians Overwhelmingly Blame U.S. for ISIS”, asked respondents’ approval/disapproval rating of each one of the three main groups fighting to remove Assad, including “Free Syrian Army” (the group that Obama says the U.S. wants to take over Syria); and each one of the three groups was overwhelmingly disapproved. Obama’s Free Syrian Army was rejected by 63%, approved by 35%. Al Nusra (Al Qaeda in Syria) was rejected by 63%, approved by 35% — exactly the same percentages as FSA. ISIS (Islamic State) was rejected by 76% and approved by 21%. Each one of those three organizations is Sunni; none is Shiite, which Assad nominally is.

Most Syrians, even Sunni ones, are terrified of jihadists (all of whom are Sunnis; jihad simply isn’t a feature of Shiite Islam). Syria’s women don’t want to be executed if they get raped. Syria’s men don’t want to be forced to attend mosque. Syria is the most secular, the least sectarian, nation in the Middle East. Most Syrians want it to remain so. Obama, Saud, Thani, and Erdogan don’t. They want it to become a Sunni Islamic state. That’s not their lying rhetoric; it’s their reality.

That most-recent poll, taken by ORB International, which is the British member of WIN/Gallup International, didn’t ask respondents whether they’re Sunni (the majority of Syrians) or Shiite (the minority). However, such high disapproval-rates for each one of those Sunni fighting forces that are trying to topple the Assad government indicate strongly one thing: many Syrian Sunnis support Assad despite his being nominally Shiite. His support isn’t merely  Shiite. (But, of course, Ban ki-Moon’s point stands regardless: whomever the Syrian people want to be their leader should be  their leader.)

Another major reason why Americans think that Assad is a terrible person is that they’ve been deceived to think that Assad — and not  the leaders of U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey — was behind the August 2013 sarin gas attack that Obama arranged to be the reason for him to bomb Assad’s forces. (Such a thing is called a “false-flag attack” in the intelligence communities. Another of Obama’s false flags was his February 2014 coup in Ukraine, pretended to be a ‘democratic revolution.’)

The American people believe in fakes. So do the peoples of many countries. Unfortunately, America’s fakes run the most powerful nation on Earth. Perhaps that’s the reason why (as I reported earlier) “A Gallup International poll of 65 countries, issued on 30 December 2013, found that: 

‘The US was the overwhelming choice (24% of respondents) for the country that represents the greatest threat to peace in the world today. This was followed by Pakistan (8%), China (6%), North Korea, Israel and Iran (5%). Respondents in Russia (54%), China (49%) and Bosnia (49%) were the most fearful of the US as a threat.’”

After all, the U.S. is no longer a democracy. A deceived public is what’s to be expected in a dictatorship. George Orwell wrote all about it in his prophetic novel 1984, but today’s America is a more sophisticated version of that.

Western media mourns the loss of their “moderate” head choppers in Syria

Western media tears for Daesh as Syrian-Russian alliance frees besieged towns, cuts off Turkish terrorist supply routes 

© SANA
A man waves a Syrian national flag as residents of Nubul and al-Zahraa, along with forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, celebrate after the siege of their towns was broken, northern Aleppo countryside, Syria, in this handout picture provided by SANA on February 4, 2016.

The Syrian Arab Army, with Russian air support, recently broke the ‘rebel’ siege on some towns in northern Aleppo province in Syria, thus cutting the terrorists’ supply lines to Turkey. The U.S. was hoping that a ceasefire would protect their terrorist assets from this very scenario. No such luck. Just like it was in Ukraine before both Minsk agreements, the West only wants peace when its hired killers (and rapists and torturers) risk getting their asses handed to them on a platter by the populations they’ve been savaging.

The Western media response has been predictably shrill, and completely at odds with the reality of the situation. Here are some of the more odious examples. Get your sick bags ready!

First up is the Guardian‘s Natalie Nougayrède. One cannot help but be moved at her heartfelt sympathy for head-chopping jihadists…

The defeat of anti-Assad rebels who have partially controlled the city [Aleppo] since 2012 would leave nothing on the ground in Syria but Assad’s regime and Islamic State. And all hope of a negotiated settlement involving the Syrian opposition will vanish. This has been a longstanding Russian objective – it was at the heart of Moscow’s decision to intervene militarily four months ago.

Natalie really wishes there was a viable third option. There isn’t. The “anti-Assad rebels” in Aleppo are just as bad as ISIS:
Kerry and West mourning loss of their mercenaries, Russia helping Syrian army prepare for Turkish

It is hardly a coincidence that the bombardment of Aleppo, a symbol of the 2011 anti-Assad revolution, started just as peace talks were being attempted in Geneva. Predictably, the talks soon faltered. Russian military escalation in support of the Syrian army was meant to sabotage any possibility that a genuine Syrian opposition might have its say on the future of the country. It was meant to thwart any plans the West and the UN had officially laid out. And it entirely contradicted Moscow’s stated commitment to a political process to end the war.

Talk about spin! Yes, it was hardly a coincidence. The West was hoping a ceasefire would protect its terrorists and keep their supply lines with Turkey open, plain and simple. That isn’t a “political process to end the war” – it’s treachery. The terrorists who have held Aleppo for the last 3-4 years are not “genuine Syrian opposition”, they are mostly foreign-backed mercenaries, and dyed-in-the-wool radical jihadists.

If there is one thing Europeans have learned in 2015, it is that they cannot be shielded from the effects of conflict in the Middle East. And if there is one thing they learned from the Ukraine conflict in 2014, it is that Russia can hardly be considered Europe’s friend. It is a revisionist power capable of military aggression.

What does that even mean? You are writing nonsense, Natalie.

For you, the refugees pouring into Europe are ‘effects’, objects that are apparently useful only insofar as their grievances advance Western interests in Syria. Europeans cannot be ‘shielded’ from these ‘effects’ of obliterating Syria through proxy forces because European leaders keep increasing their countries’ participation in obliterating countries like Syria!

It’s really very simple: if you keep bombing their homes – directly from the air or indirectly through proxy forces – then you keep sending more refugees Europe’s way.

Aleppo will define much of what happens next. A defeat for Syrian opposition forces would further empower ISIS in the myth that it is the sole defender of Sunni Muslims – as it terrorises the population under its control. There are many tragic ironies here, not least that Western strategy against ISIS has officially depended on building up local Syrian opposition ground forces so that they might one day push the jihadi insurgency out of its stronghold in Raqqa. If the very people that were meant to be counted on to do that job as foot soldiers now end up surrounded and crushed in Aleppo, who will the West turn to? Russia has all along claimed it was fighting ISIS – but in Aleppo it is helping to destroy those Syrian groups that have in the past proved to be efficient against ISIS.

Oh, cry me a river! The terrorists hired, trained, and shipped into Syria by the CIA, MI6, et al. were never intended to provide Syrians with defense against ISIS. That only became the Western narrative after these terrorists were rebranded as ‘ISIS’ in the summer of 2014. They are, and always have been, a mercenary army with the purpose of terrorizing the Syrian population and overthrowing the Syrian government. Get a clue, Natalie. The groups that have proved efficient against ISIS are the Syrian National Defense Forces, the Kurds, the Iranian Quds Force, Hezbollah, and the Syrian Arab Army. You know, the ones actually working together to free the country from the West’s terrorists.

Russia’s strategic objectives go much further, however. Putin wants to reassert Russian power in the Middle East, but it is Europe that he really has in mind. … Putin was certainly caught off guard by the Ukrainian Maidan popular uprising, but he swiftly moved to restore dominance through use of force, including the annexation of territory. He calculated – rightly – that his hybrid war in Ukraine could not be prevented by the West.

How’s that U.S. State Department Kool-Aid tasting? Putin wasn’t caught off guard by a ‘popular uprising’ in Ukraine. He was ‘caught off guard’ by a U.S.-backed coup, designed – at least in part – to provoke Russia into an even bigger military confrontation. Thankfully for the world, that didn’t happen. Thankfully for Crimea, she returned to where she rightfully belonged, and not with the utterly corrupt and bankrupt joke of a Ukraine. Unfortunately for the people of southeastern Ukraine, they had to withstand the assault of NATO-backed torturers, rapists, and murderers in the process.

Natalie probably doesn’t realize it, but it is really the U.S. that ‘really has Europe in mind’: its primary objective is to ensure Europe does not become allied with Russia, at which point it’s curtains for the Western empire under U.S. hegemony.

Putin likes to cast himself as a man of order, but his policies have brought more chaos, and Europe is set to pay an increasing price. Getting the Russian regime to act otherwise will require more than wishful thinking. Aleppo is an unfolding human tragedy. But it is necessary to connect the dots between the plight of this city, Europe’s future, and how Russia hovers over both.

Blaming the chaos in Ukraine and Syria on Russia is rich, especially coming from an apologist of the Atlantic regime that spreads death and chaos every time it intervenes outside its borders. Although it is a point-blank lie to blame Russia for this, Natalie has correctly homed in on the essence of this titanic geostrategic battle: in this battle for the ancient city of Aleppo, so much more than Syria’s future hangs in the balance.

Moving on to the Washington Post, this one comes from Liz Sly and Zakaria Zakaria. (Seriously, I know.)

Syrian rebels battled for their survival in and around Syria’s northern city of Aleppo on Thursday after a blitz of Russian airstrikes helped government loyalists sever a vital supply route and sent a new surge of refugees fleeing toward the border with Turkey.

I’m at a loss for words. Do these idiots really not understand that they’re cheering head-chopping, al-Qaeda flag-waving terrorists who relish killing anyone, including – no, especially – Western liberals?

The Russian-backed onslaught against rebel positions in Aleppo coincided with the failure of peace talks in Geneva, and helped reinforce opposition suspicions that Russia and its Syrian government allies are more interested in securing a military victory over the rebels than negotiating a settlement.

That’s right: the WaPo wants Russia to negotiate with al-Qaeda and their affiliates.

What really happened is that the talks had to be postponed because the negotiators in Geneva had no opposition to talk to. On February 4th, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Major General Igor Konashenkov announced that there have been intense military preparations along the Turkish-Syrian border, which suggests that Turkey is planning a full-scale military invasion of the Syrian Arab Republic.

After two days of what rebel fighters terrorists described as the most intense airstrikes yet, government forces had succeeded on Wednesday in cutting off the rebels‘ terrorists’ main supply route from the Turkish border to the portion of Aleppo city that remains under opposition terrorist control. On Thursday, the government captured several more villages in the surrounding countryside, prompting fears among residents and rebels terrorists that the city could soon be entirely surrounded.

The above paragraph has been corrected to reflect reality, not WaPo‘s sly fantasy.

The loss of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and the most significant urban center to fall, at least partially, under rebel control, would represent a potentially decisive blow to the nearly five-year-old rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The rebels have maintained control of much of Aleppo since they surged into the city in 2012, prompting U.S. intelligence assessments that they eventually would topple the government in Damascus.

Indeed, once they took Aleppo, they thought al-Assad’s departure was a done deal, which is why they persisted in grinding the proxy war on for another three years, and why hundreds of thousands of refugees have since flooded into Europe. This is why the U.S. and their propagandists are so disappointed. They were counting on their al-Qaeda mercenaries to use Aleppo as a springboard for taking out Assad as they took out Gaddafi in Sirte.

With the push around Aleppo, pro-government forces were able to break a rebel siege on two predominantly Shi’ite villages, Nubl and Zahra, which had been surrounded by rebel forces for the past three years and sustained only by government airdrops of food.

Think about that fact for a minute. Sly and Zakaria obviously didn’t.

Rebel fighters sounded desperate as they described enduring more than 200 airstrikes in the past 24 hours alone. Commanders from a range of rebel groups, from moderates to the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, issued urgent appeals for reinforcements from other parts of the country.

Again, think about that. Strange bedfellows, no? The WaPo has just blithely mentioned that the ‘rebels’ it sheds tears for are associated with the ‘terrorists who attacked us on 9/11’, and against whom the entire ‘war on terror’ and ‘multiple simultaneous war theaters’ in the Middle East and North Africa are justified.

Finally, here’s Frederic C. Hof, from the Atlantic Council, “working together to secure the future” (for what, we’re not entirely sure).

UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura suspended the Geneva talks until February 25 for one reason: Russia had taken full advantage of a peace conference it had helped organize to escalate its military campaign against nationalist rebels in northwestern Syria—a predominantly air campaign that was adding significantly to the horrific death toll of Syrian civilians.

<sigh> First, there is no source cited for the “horrific death toll of Syrian civilians”. Second, there is no mention of the fact that there would be no horrific death toll if the U.S. hadn’t manufactured a fake color revolution and trucked in thousands of foreign mercenaries to take over Syria. Third, as mentioned above, Turkey (and thus the US) is “taking full advantage of a peace conference” to prepare for what could be an invasion of Syria (as it did in northern Iraq 2 months ago).

Reacting to de Mistura’s decision to suspend the talks, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “The continued assault by Syrian regime forces—enabled by Russian airstrikes—against opposition-held areas, as well as regime and allied militias’ continued besiegement of hundreds of thousands of civilians, have clearly signaled the intention to seek a military solution rather than enable a political one.” This is potentially important.

Like you care. Not a word about the towns besieged by ‘moderate rebels’ or the fact that the towns ‘besieged’ by the Syrian Army are held by terrorists – terrorists who confiscate humanitarian aid and sell it to the besieged residents for massively inflated prices.

Moscow has used its “co-convener” status of the Vienna peace process (which mandated the Geneva conference) as a cover to distract and occupy Washington and the West while pursuing its political-military objective: neutralizing the armed nationalist opposition in order to create for the West—for Washington in particular—the horror of a binary choice between Bashar the Barrel Bomber and Baghdadi the False Caliph.

The horror!

Reality check, Fred: ‘The Dirty War on Syria: Barrel Bombs, Partisan Sources and War Propaganda’ . The only dirty barrels in Syria have been Erdogan’s oil tankers sneaking across the border with the Syrian people’s oil, and the only False Caliphs in this fake ‘war on terror’ have been CIA-Mossad boogeymen.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken the measure of the West and has decided that he can pull this off with impunity. There is no guarantee that he can. But the tut-tutting of Western politicians about the mistake Putin is making and the quagmire that awaits him impresses the Russian dictator not in the least. He has been schooled by an ever-widening gap between Western (especially American) word and deed in Syria. He has noticed that for all of the verbiage about human suffering, mass homicide, terrified refugees, red lines, and people stepping aside, the West has protected not a single Syrian inside Syria from his regrettable client.

Try a bit harder, Fred, I believe in you! You’re so close!

1) Putin can probably do this because his strategy is sound and effective.

2) What quagmire?

3) Yes, the West doesn’t have the slightest care for human suffering in Syria: they’ve been manufacturing it for more than four years. But no, it’s not from Assad. It’s from the West’s own mercenaries.

For Moscow the attempted military solution being enabled by the Vienna process has nothing to do with facilitating stable, legitimate governance or defeating the Islamic State (ISIL, ISIS, Daesh). The mission is to defeat all nongovernment, non-ISIL armed opponents of the Assad regime. The desired end-state is one in which the uprising against Assad family misrule is effectively neutralized, with Assad and Baghdadi alone left standing in Syria. This is also the end-state desired by ISIL. So much for the American “common enemy” thesis.

Boring!

Saving innocent lives is not, however, a universal motivator. So put humanitarian considerations aside: what happens in Syria does not stay in Syria. The gap in Syrian policy between US words and deeds surely has not imposed limits on Vladimir Putin’s dangerous and destabilizing behavior in Europe. And if his current offensive in Syria sends yet more waves of refugees in the direction of Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Western Europe, we should not expect Russia’s leader to lose sleep. Barack Obama may not be the only one hoping to leave office before the piper is paid. Russia may be dying, but Putin’s nationalist show of military aggression may buy him a few years in the saddle. Still, it is extraordinarily dangerous. It is a threat to the peace.

Is this supposed to be satire or something? I’m at a loss.

It stands to reason, of course, that the last people on Earth to realize that it is in fact the U.S. Empire which is dying will be its propagandists.

Syrian rebels—including some reportedly armed and trained by the United States—are defenseless against Russian air attacks. If diplomacy is to have a chance—if a military solution is to be avoided—leaving them defenseless is the wrong medicine. Mr. Obama is now making moves in Europe that recognize the threat posed by Russia: moves from which his successor will benefit. Perhaps—if for no other reasons than to save lives, give diplomacy a chance, and curb Russian impunity—he will move in Syria as well.

Just wow. Translation: “OMG, our terrorists are getting their butts kicked! Diplomacy! Diplomacy!”

Newsflash to NATO-backed terrorists and their masters: “ceasefire” is not just another word for “uncle”. You should have tried out that “diplomacy” thing before the whole destabilization-and-regime-change-through-terror routine.

Mr. Putin is now making moves in the Middle East that recognize the threat posed by the U.S. and her allies: moves from which the world benefits.

Perhaps – if for no other reasons than to save lives, give national sovereignty and stability a chance, and to curb American impunity – the world will follow suit.

Are all these writers just total morons? Or do they know they’re total liars?

@BBC Whips up Anti-Russia Hysteria to Apocalyptic Levels

BBC Whips up Anti-Russia Hysteria to Apocalyptic Levels

BBC asks: How would you stop the Russkies?

Originally appeared at RT

Once again, Russia is being featured as Dr. Evil Incarnate, the villain that regularly plays opposite peace-loving NATO nations, in a BBC program that has Moscow initiating an invasion on Latvia followed up with a nuclear strike on Britain.

And just in time for the military-industrial shopping season.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has failed Western analysts and political pundits in spectacular fashion. Despite a full-court effort to portray Russia as a barbaric, land-grabbing nation obsessed with the idea of restoring imperial real estate, Russia has stubbornly refused to play along.

Why, even dangling the fat bait of Ukraine before Russia’s nose could not get Moscow to react the way NATO had hoped it would.

In fact, while NATO has been hot on the warpath against a number of shell-shocked nations across the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa, Russia has gone to war on just one (1) occasion, and that was against Georgia, and only after the egomaniacal leader of that tiny Caucasian country tempted fate by stupidly poking the Russian bear first.

Thus, the BBC has apparently found it necessary to contrive an altered state of reality, a veritable twilight zone, to convince its audience of Russia’s ‘real’ intentions: The result is a military contractor’s wet dream, an apocalyptic bunker buster, unsubtly entitled ‘World War Three: Inside the War Room,’ that depicts a sweat-inducing showdown between Russia and NATO and the beginning of WWIII.

It’s probably safe to say I would not be playing plot spoiler by revealing here that Russia has been typecast as the aggressor.

To briefly summarize: After the Russian military rolls over little Latvia for no good strategic reason whatsoever, British military commanders and graying bureaucrats with furrowed brows huddle themselves in a bunker, deciding whether to launch Trident missiles at Russia in response.

The Daily Mail breathlessly described the tax-payer paid performance as “an utterly realistic ‘war game’” which presents “deeply troubling questions, not least with the current political row over Government plans to spend £100 billion replacing our fleet of Trident submarines.”

Eureka! At the very same time UK military contractors are salivating over the prospect of winning billion-dollar contracts to replace the Queen’s collection of Trident nuclear-armed submarines, along comes a state-funded scaremongering film, starring arch-villain Russia to lend some credence to the initiative.

Russian lawmaker Frants Klintsevich told the Russian News Service radio station the film will give NATO an opportunity to remind member states that they should crack open their tattered purses and boost their military spending.

“They [West] have always demonized Russia trying to show that it is uncontrolled and non-European. As for what happens recently… we qualified this a long time ago as an information war, a very serious and a profound one,” said Klintsevich, the first deputy chairman of Federation Council’s committee on defense and security.

“Today the US has a very serious problem of rearmament, the military and industrial sector needs to get financing. A mechanism of the corrupt American elite has been launched. This was in Iraq, is in Syria and around Europe,” the senator said.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has provided a tongue-in-cheek critique of the BBC film.

“Unfortunately, our colleagues from the BBC have lately resorted to making public products, of quite low-quality. Therefore, we haven’t always been in a hurry to familiarize ourselves with them,” Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked whether the Kremlin has stayed up late to catch the film.

“It’s simply not worth the time it takes to watch,” Peskov said.

On the same day the BBC thriller was released, a report by the totally unbiased Rand Corporation – invoking sexed-up memories of Saddam Hussein’s alleged ability to strike the UK in 45 minutes – said that it would take just 60 hours for Russia to occupy Estonia and Latvia, and that’s not taking into account Riga’s rush-hour traffic.

“Across multiple games using a wide range of expert participants in and out of uniform playing both sides, the longest it has taken Russian forces to reach the outskirts of the Estonian and/or Latvian capitals of Tallinn and Riga, respectively, is 60 hours,” Rand said in its report.

“Such a rapid defeat would leave NATO with a limited number of options, all bad.”

It might be worth noting in closing that former RAND chief strategist, Herman Kahn, once forwarded the insane idea of a “winnable” nuclear exchange in his 1960 book ‘On Thermonuclear War.’

This led to Kahn being the inspiration for the title character of Stanley Kubrick’s black comedy satire Dr. Strangelove.

As far as the BBC’s latest anti-Russia production goes, well, it’s just plain strange.

Forbidden love tales in Israel…

Source

BorderlifeThe banned book Borderlife was based on a love story between an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man [image of the book’s cover]

How can a two-year-old novel become a best seller? Censorship is the short answer. The most important question is, however, why would the “Jewish democracy” censor a love fiction between a Jew and non-Jew?

The banned book Borderlife was based on a love story between an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man. According to Haaretz newspaper, the novel was recommended in 2015 for Hebrew high school literature classes by “a professional committee of academics and educators, at the request of a number of teachers.”

The Israeli Ministry of Education rejected the fiction work for fear it would corrupt young Jewish minds. In explaining its decision, the ministry wrote “Intimate relations between Jews and non-Jews threaten the separate identity.” The Israeli Education Ministry wrote that “young people of adolescent age don’t have the systemic view that includes considerations involving maintaining the national-ethnic identity of the (Jewish) people and the significance of miscegenation.”

In layman’s terms, the educational authorities in the only “democracy” in the Middle East wanted to protect the fledgling Jewish minds from the plague of assimilation and intermarriages between people of different races. Wasn’t this what Adolph Hitler had advocated for the Aryan race?

But in an Orwellian love is hate doublethink, Dalia Fenzig, the head of the Israeli ministry committee that decides the Hebrew Literature matriculation reading list, told Israeli Army Radio: “The (love fiction) book could incite hatred…”

Fenzig further implied that Israeli societal racism rendered the book unfit for Israeli students. “Many parents in the state school system would strongly object to having their children study the novel,” she said.

Shlamo Herzig, the ministry’s head of literature studies that recommended the book was more forthright in addressing Israeli structural racism: “The acute problem of Israeli society today is the terrible ignorance and racism that is spreading in it.”

In a newspaper interview with the Telegraph, Israeli book author Dorit Rabinyan talked about the real fundamental issue for banning her work.

“My book’s only ‘harm’, if you want to call it that, is that a young (Israeli) person may get another perspective on Palestinians to the one they’re being exposed to by politicians and the news … he’s a Palestinian and a full human. That is the power of the book and the reason for it to be banned.”

It is worth noting that the book’s author is anything but an ardent Zionist. She espoused the racist Zionist ideology that gave her Jewish parents the right to emigrate from Iran to live on land stolen from native Palestinians. This is while, like most Zionists, she rejects the right of those Palestinians to return to their homes.

Not surprising, the whole fiasco was very likely engineered by the ex-American, Israeli Minister of Education Naftali Bennett who previously said such things as “when Palestinians were climbing trees, we already had a Jewish state” and “I’ve killed lots of (Palestinian) Arabs in my life, and there’s no problem with that.”

Bennett sees his educational role, “in the only ethnocentric diplomacy” as the national custodian to ensure Jewish blood remains pure and Palestinian-free, even in fiction tales.

In the face of blatant Israeli ethnocentric racism against non-Jews, the onus is on Jewish civil rights organisations, especially those advocating equality in the US and Europe to speak up against Jewish racism in Israel.

Jewish organisations cannot demand justice and equality when in the minority, while supporting a government perpetuating inequality under a self-proclaimed Jewish state majority.

Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.

How they love to play the victim, Netanyahu condemns arson of a “tent” synagogue erected illegally in the West Bank

No mention of the countless Mosques & Churches attacked by israel

Israeli leader calls on world to condemn arson of synagogue

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called on the world to condemn a suspected arson attack against a makeshift synagogue in the West Bank where Jewish Torah scrolls were burned.

The scrolls were stored inside a tent that was used as a synagogue near a West Bank outpost that overlooked the site where the bodies of three Jewish teenagers were found in June 2014. Their abduction and murder was carried out by Palestinians said by Israel to be members of the militant group Hamas and set off a series of events that ultimately led to that summer’s 50-day war in Gaza.

Netanyahu said this weekend’s desecration of the makeshift synagogue that was named after the teenagers was a result of the type of Palestinian incitement that has fed the current five-month-long wave of Palestinian violence.

“We will do everything to find who did this and bring them to justice but I expect all those, here and around the world, who justifiably condemn any desecration of a mosque … to equally cry out about this heinous act,” he said at the start of his weekly Cabinet meeting.

Israel has been coping for years with vandalism attacks against mosques and churches that have been blamed on Jewish extremists. But attacks on synagogues have been rare.

The Anti-Defamation League, a U.S. group that battles anti-Semitism worldwide, called the incident “an act of anti-Semitism.” Education Minister Naftali Bennett said that “the images of burnt holy books in a synagogue are taken straight out of the darkest nights of our people’s history.”

The suspected attack comes amid five months of near-daily Palestinian assaults, mainly stabbings, against Israeli civilians and security personnel that have killed 27 Israelis. Some 155 Palestinians, the majority of whom Israel says were attackers, were killed by Israeli fire during that time. The rest died in clashes with Israeli security forces.

Israel says the violence is fueled by a campaign of Palestinian incitement. Palestinians say it stems from frustration at decades of occupation.

The violence continued Sunday with an Israeli soldier stabbed in the south of the country and his attacker shot dead.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the soldier was standing near the central bus station in the southern city of Ashkelon when he was stabbed in his torso and lightly wounded. The stabber was shot and apprehended. He later died of his wounds. Police said the stabber was a Sudanese foreign national but they still believe the attack to be politically motivated.

 

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