GILAD ATZMON ON MUHAMMAD AND FRIENDS ( NATION OF ISLAM TV)

I love to be interviewed by the great Munir Muhammad. I have now improved the sound and put it on youtube. We spoke about: ISIS,  Jewish power, Israeli brutality, Jewishness, the Zionisfication of America, Expansionist Wars,   Palestine vs. Solidarity, George Soros and the Left being a Controlled opposition apparatus..  Very interesting..

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/muhammad-and-friends

http://youtu.be/sIgNICWisCI

 

Turn the Tables: Stopping Western Aggression in Syria

Sep 29, 2014, Tony Cartalucci, New Eastern Outlook

As the US begins token airstrikes on both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border, the fighting capacity of the “Islamic State” or “ISIS,” has seen no visible setbacks. This is because ISIS is in fact the very proxy mercenaries intentionally created to fight the West’s proxy war against Iran and its arc of influence stretching from neighboring Iraq, through Syria, and into Lebanon.

As early as 2007 – a full 4 years before the 2011 “Arab Spring” would begin – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his New Yorker article titled, “”The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” would warn specifically (emphasis added):

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

After the West’s flooding of the region with billions of dollars worth of weapons, equipment, vehicles, training, and cash for the purpose of bolstering “moderate rebels,” what has emerged is precisely the “extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam” and are “sympathetic to Al Qaeda” Hersh warned about in 2007. The West has thus far otherwise failed to explain who else besides extremists could have received the aid, or who is funding extremists above and beyond the collective support provided by the US, Europe, and the West’s Middle Eastern partners, that have allowed these extremists to dominate the battlefield so decisively.

Now the US claims it must raise another army of “moderate” ground troops to augment its aerial bombardment of “ISIS.” But in reality, attacks on phantom enemies in the desert serve the singular purpose of creating a no-fly zone and no-drive zone for Syria’s military, preventing the final annihilation of the West’s terrorist mercenaries in Syrian territory and in fact giving them a second chance to finally march on the gates of Damascus with US airpower in tow.

For all intents and purposes, the US through its airstrikes has carved out a defacto buffer zone protected by US airpower. The ground troops it seeks to deploy “against ISIS” are intended instead for Damascus, the overthrow of the Syrian government, and the handover of Syria to sectarian warlords for the same genocidal conflagration still being suffered in Libya after a similar “intervention” by the US and its NATO allies.

Turning the Tables 

Despite this diabolical, criminal conspiracy unfolding before the world’s eyes – a verbatim repeat of the crimes against humanity committed by NATO in Libya – there still exists an opportunity to turn the tables on the West, using its propaganda and the precedents it has set against it and its insidious agenda.

While in all actuality ISIS and other extremist factions already constitute the ground component of the West’s campaign against Damascus, now enjoying sanctuary under the cover of US airpower, the general public neither knows this, nor would ever accept this should they find out. The rhetorical hysteria surrounding the “awesome threat” ISIS suddenly poses to the world still has considerable momentum.

In a move of geopolitical redirection, Syria’s allies can cite that “awesome threat” of ISIS as impetus for their own actions in Syria – and more specifically – an overt, wide-ranging, arming, training, and funding regiment for forces already on the ground, already guaranteed not to be extremists, and the only legitimate force in Syrian territory – the Syrian Arab Army.

The Syrian Arab Army or More “Moderates?” – A Clear Choice 

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Indeed, the biggest quandary facing the West’s next attempt to overthrow Syria is the creation of its “ground force.” These troops would by necessity need to be indeed “moderates,” and not simply “more moderate” than the boogeymen Western propaganda has created under the name “ISIS.” Already, terrorists factions confirmed to have been armed with heavy weapons by the US have condemned airstrikes on ISIS and have openly admitted they fight alongside and within the ranks of Al Qaeda itself.

The Daily Beast would report in its article, “Al Qaeda Plotters in Syria ‘Went Dark,’ U.S. Spies Say,” that (emphasis added):

One Syrian rebel group supported in the past by the United States condemned the air strikes on Tuesday. Harakat Hazm, a rebel group that received a shipment of U.S. anti-tank weapons in the spring, called the airstrikes “an attack on national sovereignty” and charged that foreign led attacks only strengthen the Assad regime.The statement comes from a document, purportedly from the group, that has circulated online and was posted in English translation from a Twitter account called Syria Conflict Monitor. Several Syria experts, including the Brookings Doha Center’s Charles Lister, believe the document to be authentic. The Daily Beast would report in its article, “Al Qaeda Plotters in Syria ‘Went Dark,’ U.S. Spies Say,” that (emphasis added):

Before the official statement, there were signs that Harakat Hazm was making alliances in Syria that could conflict with its role as a U.S. partner. In early Septemeber a Harakat Hazm official told a reporter for the L.A. Times: “Inside Syria, we became labeled as secularists and feared Nusra Front was going to battle us…But Nusra doesn’t fight us, we actually fight alongside them. We like Nusra.”

Harakat Hazm is the rule, not the exception. Beyond the nebulous title “moderates,” the West has thus far failed to name any of these actual groups – because they do not exist. Weapons and cash it is pouring into Syria have ended up “alongside” Al Qaeda’s al-Nusra front and ISIS, just as groups like Harakat Hazm have.

Russia, China, and Iran have an opportunity to cite the Syrian Arab Army as the most capable and appropriate force in the region with which to fight ISIS – a task the Syrian Arab Army has been demonstrably doing since at least 2011. It was the US State Department itself that stated in their official designation of Jabhat al-Nusra as a foreign terrorist organization that Al Qaeda and other hardcore sectarian terrorists had been fighting the Syrian government, spearheading the violence in Syria since the conflict began in 2011.

The US State Department’s official press statement titled, “Terrorist Designations of the al-Nusrah Front as an Alias for al-Qa’ida in Iraq,” stated explicitly that:

Since November 2011, al-Nusrah Front has claimed nearly 600 attacks – ranging from more than 40 suicide attacks to small arms and improvised explosive device operations – in major city centers including Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr. During these attacks numerous innocent Syrians have been killed.

It is no stretch then to characterize Syria’s conflict as one between a secular government and a menagerie of foreign-backed sectarian extremists. Without even mentioning these extremists’ foreign sponsors, Syria’s allies can use the current hysteria created by the Western media itself to offer overt and wide-ranging military and political support to the Syrian government and above all, the Syrian people. Beyond the buffer zone the West is struggling tactically, strategically, and politically to establish and maintain, will be a Syrian nation-state backed with the resources necessary to stop further aggression in its tracks and roll back the terrorist hordes the West is clearly perpetuating within Syria’s borders and all along them.

The US is Not the Only Nation Entitled to “Defend” Itself Against ISIS 

The US appears to believe it is entitled to unilaterally attack, invade, and even occupy nations to “defend” itself against supposed threats. In the case of Syria, it is clear that after multiple failed attempts to sell regime change under the pretext of supporting “democracy,” multiple manufactured “humanitarian” pretexts, and the threat of “chemical weapons,” neutralizing ISIS is simply the latest excuse in a long line of verified, increasingly desperate lies being used to advance the West’s agenda in the Middle East.

Russia – threatened explicitly by ISIS terrorists – and China are both demonstrably facing sectarian extremists within their own borders – many of whom are directly linked to Al Qaeda. Both could easily make a case for assisting the Syrian government in eliminating the “ISIS threat.” Moscow and Beijing – and many others – could argue that clearly the West’s strategy of arming “moderates” has failed, and their latest plan to arm and train between 5,000-15,000 more is a disaster in the making.

Instead, the secular nation-state of Syria should be given the resources and support it needs to finally bury the threat of extremism it itself has warned the world of since the West began disingenuously both stoking and perpetuating the conflict in 2011. If the West can unilaterally begin military operations within a sovereign nation and without a mandate from either Syria or the UN, surely Syria’s allies can offer substantial and overt material and political support if given Damascus’ approval.

For the so-called “moderates” – if any in fact exist – an opportunity to join the Syrian government in its fight and broker a truce with government forces could be an attractive alternative to the zero-sum and zero-gain scenario Washington has planned for Syrians on both sides of the conflict.

A Syrian soldier needs only look at the current state of Libya to understand the necessity to continue fighting on, and any genuine rebels there may be can do likewise, understanding the ploy against their own nation they have been used and abused for, and the ignoble end their fight is leading toward.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

ISIS and the USA: Expansion and Resistance by Decapitation

By Prof. James Petras

Global Research, September 26, 2014
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In order to overcome massive US and world public opposition to new wars in the Middle East, Obama relied on the horrific internet broadcasts of ISIS slaughtering two American hostages, the journalists James Foley and Steve Sotloff, by decapitation.  These brutal murders were Obama’s main propaganda tool to set a new Middle East war agenda – his own casus belli bonanza!  This explains the US Administration’s threats of criminal prosecution against the families of Foley and Stoloff when they sought to ransom their captive sons from ISIS.

            With the American mass media repeatedly showing the severed heads of these two helpless men, public indignation and disgust were aroused with calls for US military involvement to stop the terror.  US and EU political leaders presented the decapitations of Western hostages by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) as a direct and mortal threat to the safety of civilians in the US and Europe.  The imagery evoked was of black-clad faceless terrorists, armed to the teeth, invading Europe and the US and executing innocent families as they begged for rescue and mercy.

            The problem with this propaganda ploy is not the villainy and brutal crimes celebrated by ISIS, but the fact that Obama’s closest ally in his seventh war in six years is Saudi Arabia, a repugnant kingdom which routinely decapitates its prisoners in public without any judicial process recognizable as fair by civilized standards – unless tortured ‘confessions’ are now a Western norm.  During August 2014, when ISIS decapitated two American captives, Riyadh beheaded fourteen prisoners. Since the beginning of the year the Saudi monarchy has decapitated more than 46 prisoners and chopped off the arms and limbs of many more.  During Obama and Kerry’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, horrendous decapitations were displayed in public.  These atrocities did not dim the bright smile on Barak Obama’s face as he strolled with his genial royal Saudi executioners, in stark contrast to the US President’s stern and angry countenance as he presented the ISIS killing of two Americans as his pretext for bombing Syria.

            The Western mass media are silent in the face of the Saudi Kingdom’s common practice of public decapitation.  Not one among the major news corporations, the BBC, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC, CBS and NPR, have questioned the moral authority of a US President who engages in selective condemnation of ISIS while ignoring the official Saudi state beheadings and the amputations.

Decapitation and Dismemberment:  By Dagger and Drones

            The ISIS internet videos showing gaunt, orange-suited Western prisoners and their lopped-off heads have evoked widespread dismay and fear.  We are repeatedly told: ‘ISIS is coming to get us!’  But ISIS is open and public about their criminal acts against helpless hostages.  We cannot say the same about the decapitations and dismemberments of the hundreds of victims of US drone attacks.  When a drone fires its missiles on a home, a school, wedding party or vehicle, the bodies of living people are dismembered, macerated, decapitated and burned beyond recognition – all by remote control.  The carnage is not videoed or displayed for mass consumption by Obama’s high commend.  Indeed, civilian deaths, if even acknowledged, are brushed off as ‘collateral damage’ while the vaporized remnants of men, women and children have been described by US troops as ‘pink foam’.

            If the brutal decapitation and dismemberment of innocent civilians is a capital crime that should be punished, as I believe it is, then both ISIS and the Obama regime with his allied leaders should face a people’s war crimes tribunal in the countries where the crimes occurred.

            There are good reasons to view Washington’s close relation with the Saudi royal beheaders as part of a much broader alliance with terror-evoking brutality.  For decades, the US drug agencies and banks have worked closely with criminal drug cartels in Mexico while glossing over their notorious practice of decapitating, dismembering and displaying their victims, be they local civilians, courageous journalists, captured police or migrants fleeing the terror of Central America.  The notorious Zetas and the Knights Templar have penetrated the highest reaches of the Mexican federal and local governments, turning state officials and institutions into submissive and obedient clients. Over 100,000 Mexicans have lost their lives because of this ‘state within a state’, an ‘ISIS’ in Mexico – just ‘South of the Border’.  And just like ISIS in the Middle East, the cartels get their weapons from the US imported right across the Texas and Arizona borders.  Despite this gruesome terror on the US southern flank, the nation’s principle banks, including Bank of America, CitiBank, Wells Fargo and many others have laundered billions of dollars of drug profits for the cartels.  For example, the discovery of 49 decapitated bodies in one mass in May 2014 did not prompt Washington to form a world-wide coalition to bomb Mexico, nor was it moved to arrest the Wall Street bankers laundering the ‘beheaders bloody booty’.

Conclusion

            Obama’s hysterical and very selective presentation of ISIS crimes forms the pretext for launching another war against a predominantly Muslim country, Syria, while shielding his close ally, the royal Saudi decapitator from US public outrage.  ISIS crimes have become another excuse to launch a campaign of ‘mass decapitation by drones and bombers’.  The mass propaganda campaign over one crime against humanity becomes the basis for perpetrating even worse crimes against humanity.  Many hundreds of innocent civilians in Syria and Iraq will be dismembered by ‘anti-terrorist’ bombs and drones unleashed by another of Obama’s ‘coalition’.

            The localized savagery of ISIS will be multiplied, amplified and spread by the US-directed ‘coalition of the willing decapitators’. The terror of hooded beheaders on the ground will be answered and expanded by their faceless counterparts in the air, while delicately hiding the heads rolling through the public squares of Riyadh or the headless bodies displayed along the highways of Mexico …  and especially ignoring the hidden victims of US-Saudi aggression in the towns and villages of Syria.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Syria: Engaging the Opposition with More than Weapons

Franklin Lamb

Al-Manar

Tadmon and Kafr Sousa neighborhoods, Damascus

Damascus CountrysideTo my knowledge this observer has never been-nor likely ever will be-accused of being particularly astute and certainly not the least bit prescient.  Yet, the more Syrians I meet in Damascus neighborhoods –seemingly from a fairly broad spectrum of political views, I am changing some earlier assumptions and tentative judgments about ’”this interminable Syrian war.”  While any sort of a timetable to end this horror is not yet discernible, the beginnings of putting much of it behind this ten millennia birthplace of civilization may be fairly imminent.

Eighteen months ago, more than a dozen neighborhoods in the Damascus suburbs were engaged in moderate to intense fighting between rebels and the Syrian army. Today, only four neighborhoods are under fairly heavy fire, Jobar, Daraya, al-Qabun and Yarmouk.  In most of the others, the government and rebels appear to be seeking an accommodation of sorts.

Residents from Tadmon as well as some Damascus University students offered this observer some examples of how both sides of the civil war are trying to work positively with their sworn enemies despite the conflict approaching its fourth year.

One major quality of life necessity is electricity in our homes. Supplying power to its areas is a major concern of both sides in this conflict. Frankly even the current Syrian system appears far better than in Lebanon which regularly sees road blockades and burning of tires to protest the nearly half century of incompetence and indifference of politicians in delivering as few as six hours of daily electricity and that depending on which area and which confession controls relevant cabinet ministries.  In these days of civil war in Syria the government delivers power two hours on and two hours off and full power during the night from 10 pm to 10 a.m.  Not too bad by Levant standards.  Even rebel groups in an increasingly number of neighborhoods, and to a lesser extent in the countryside, get government power. In some rebel neighborhoods electricity is being delivered to residents 24/7.  This is achieved by militia stealing power via cables they run to other neighborhoods.

They quite often seem to get away with it but occasionally they fight among themselves as happened earlier this month in Al Qudsayya when a dozen or so Nusra fighters routed around 50 FSA types caught hooking up wires under neighborhood buildings. Nusra and the FSA fight over a myriad of issues and especially over high-rise buildings.  Tall buildings are at a premium for obvious reasons including being desirable for sniper nests and mortar launchings.  Many neighborhood clashes occur in full view of army checkpoints that control neighborhood egress.  Whether or not the army has orders not to interfere or engage with militias, they reportedly often do.  Militia and army commanders, if not on exactly friendly terms, sometimes meet and parley as deemed necessary in an effort to create and maintain neighborhood peace. This practice appears to work for the benefit of both sides and is reportedly spreading, particularly around Damascus.

When rebel factions fight one another, as they often do and endanger a neighborhood, the army appears increasingly ready to will “mediate.”  If their orders to end the residents endangering fight are not immediately followed the army can and often does cut power to all sides until they receive pledges to honor the governments ‘recommendations.”

Rebel and government “contracts” as the locals call them, cover many subjects, some seemingly odd if not very bizarre.  One example. As news reports suggest the government’s policy is to pacify the neighborhoods so refugees can return and it has made remarkably progress around Damascus despite an increase in rebel mortar firings into Damascus from approximately 6 per day a year ago to as many as 23 per day currently.

It is reported on good authority from eyewitnesses, that certain army checkpoints  will actually allow armed militiamen to  pass through army checkpoints freely if they will head to Jobar or Duraya or other ‘fighting fields”  to challenge the army there and keep local peace in their local community.  Some do.  Last week, according to a student who lives in al-Qabun, there was a potentially serious problem but it was solved at one of the periodic meetings between rebel leaders and army officers. The unusual problem was that when a dozen or so rebels headed to the army checkpoint to go fight the same army near Jobar they were observed carrying two AK-47’s each.  The local army commander was livid because by the expressed terms of an earlier agreement each rebel fighter could only safely pass and return through the neighborhood army checkpoint if he was carrying only one AK.  The rebels protested complaining that they need two, always fight with two and it was no big deal for the army to let them pass. The army insisted on only one AK-47 per rebel fighter and threatened to not only stop rebels from exiting and entering their neighborhood but that if they did not keep the earlier agreement the army would attack the rebel positions, presumably with artillery or airstrikes.  This caused panic among the local civilians, many of whom have relatives in the FSA, Nusra, and even Da’ish. Long story made short, the rebels listened to their parents and relatives as well as to the reasoning of the army and finally agreed that they would carry only one AK-47 each thru the army checkpoints on route to fight the army a few kilometers away. According to two eyewitnesses to these events, all sides shook hands at the checkpoint as the rebels handed their second AK-47’s to the army for “safe keeping.”  An unwritten rule between the army and their sworn enemies en route to try to kill them is that if the rebel gets killed the army checkpoint guys gets to keep his weapon. This is not to say the army and the rebels are in league, but the Syrian government is working to secure the neighborhoods and does not want to resort to bombing if they can obtain their objectives by other means. One hears of many ‘contracts’ being made among sworn enemies around Syria in order to try to end this slaughter.

Another brief example.  Last week saw the doors of 17,486 of Syria’s  22,192  public schools open their doors. This according to Dr. Farah al-Mutlak, Deputy Minister of Education of the SAR, who generously gave this observer his time to discuss the current challenges for children in Syria. The gap of approximately 4,500 schools between the above figures is caused by the fact that 2,613 of Syrian schools, as of opening day were controlled by rebels including Da’ish.  688 former schools are now being used to house homeless refugees, 1,385 are war damaged and currently can’t be used. The figure was higher but over the past year the government has been able to repair 435.  In addition, approximately 128,000 children are attending “school clubs” in particularly volatile areas of Syria. This year alone, 72,000 children in Syria and 587,000 child refugees have received psychosocial support.

Excited and sometimes apprehensive children by the thousands are arriving for the new school year and according to Janet Hasan, Principal of the Salahedine Primary and Middle School in the Mezzeh neighborhood of central Damascus which was among those this observer visited, her school which normally teaches 600 girls now has 1,436. Class size has traditionally been 30 students of average.  Today class size at Salahedine School is 60 students per class.

94% of last years graduating class at Sahahedine public school passed their Baccalaureate exams opening the doors to university and higher education.

Yet despite severe overcrowding the classes appear very well organized and when the results of last June’s Baccalaureate were announced 94% of Principal Hassan’s students passed.    According to dedicated educator Hasan and some of her faculty this observer meet with,  due to the crisis attending school is enormously important for the children to experience at least some love and normalcy with peers and authority figures while learning about more than  only the obvious effects of war on their lives.

Principal Janet Hasan, with her dedicated faculty is working to normalize her school while inspiring her 1,400 students during the current conflict…

If militias are in control  of an area with a public school,  efforts are being made by both parties to keep it peaceful and toward this goal the government and the militia, “cooperate” with the exception of Da’ish (IS) who have set up essentially Madrassas that do not teach anything  much at all-but memorizing the Koran.  Da’ish forbids teaching music, dancing, studying philosophy, western literature or other ‘secular subjects.’   Al Nusra does not, unlike Da’ish, insist on a Madrassa type education in public schools which so far are a big success this new year and working to the benefit of the children and their exhausted and often destitute families.

Virtually every educator, government official and critic of the Assad regime with whom this observer has discussed what the Syrian government is doing to provide quality education for youngsters these days  have agreed that all sides, except Da’ish, are trying at different levels to cooperate to help Syria’s cherished youth. All also express abhorrence at what is happening to Syrian school children forced to take refuge in Lebanon. In Lebanon, there’s simply no space in many schools nor much political will left to help Syrian or Palestinian refugees plus the education system is overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of child refugees. Around 80 percent of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon don’t attend school, according to Save the Children and UNHCR.

One positive sign is that partly due to the Syrian Ministry of Education seeking international help, more than $316m was pledged this week, according to Dr. al-Mutlak, to support Syrian children affected by the conflict.  This assistance is part of a UN-led initiative to alleviate the impact of the crisis on young people. Despite this wonderful and much needed help a funding gap of more than $ 200 million remains.

Another issue that both sides are trying to resolve at citizens request is to open the neighborhoods on the weekends so residents can move around.  Currently in as many as a dozen Damascene neighborhoods  the rebels prevent residents from leaving their area on Friday because they believe they should pray and stay at home.  Some militias close the neighborhoods they control during both Friday and Saturday. Both sides have indicated that a mutually agreed resolution may be near so residents can head to the beautiful parks and old city for sightseeing or visit friends and family.

There is growing evidence here that the government and the rebels are trying to collaborate in various ways in order to save and entire generation of their children from being denied education due to the ravages of ongoing civil war. This massive catastrophe for Syria and the region can be ended if the above noted trend continues.

Franklin Lamb is a visiting Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law, Damascus University and volunteers with the Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program (sssp-leb.com).

Source: Al-Manar Website

27-09-2014 – 17:16 Last updated 27-09-2014 – 7:16

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Speech of Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov at the UNGA on September 27th

Via The Saker

Related

كلمة سورية امام الجمعية العامة يلقيها وليد المعلم وزير الخارجية في الدورة 69 | الفضائية


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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

AngloZionist Empire is at war with Russia.

The Russian response to a double declaration of war

The context: a double declaration of war 

Listening to Poroshenko a few days ago and then to Obama at the UNGA can leave no doubt whatsoever about the fact that the AngloZionist Empire is at war with Russia.  Yet many believe that the Russian response to this reality is inadequate.  Likewise, there is a steady stream of accusations made against Putin about Russia’s policy towards the crisis in the Ukraine.  What I propose to do here is to offer a few basic reminders about Putin, his obligations and his options.

First and foremost, Putin was never elected to be the world’s policeman or savior, he was only elected to be president of Russia.  Seems obvious, but yet many seem to assume that somehow Putin is morally obliged to do something to protect Syria, Novorussia or any other part of our harassed world.  This is not so.  Yes, Russia is the de facto leader of the BRICS and SCO countries, and Russia accepts that fact, but Putin has the moral and legal obligation to care for his own people first.

Second, Russia is now officially in the crosshairs of the AngloZionist Empire which includes not only 3 nuclear countries (US, UK, FR) but also the most powerful military force (US+NATO) and the world’s biggest economies (US+EU).  I think that we can all agree that the threat posed by such an Empire is not trivial and that Russia is right in dealing with it very carefully.

Sniping at Putin and missing the point

Now, amazingly, many of those who accuse Putin of being a wimp, a sellout or a naive Pollyanna also claim that the West is preparing nuclear war on Russia.  If that is really the case,  this begs the question: if that is really the case, if there is a real risk of war, nuclear or not, is Putin not doing the right thing by not acting tough or threatening?  Some would say that the West is bent on a war no matter what Putin does.  Okay, fair enough, but in that case is his buying as much time as possible before the inevitable not the right thing to do?!

Third, on the issue of the USA vs ISIL, several comment here accused Putin of back-stabbing Assad because Russia supported the US Resolution at the UNSC.

And what was Putin supposed to do?!   Fly the Russian Air Force to Syria to protect the Syrian border?   What about Assad?  Did he scramble his own air force to try to stop the US or has he quietly made a deal: bomb “them” not us, and I shall protest and do nothing about it?  Most obviously the latter.

In fact, Putin and Assad have exactly the same position: protest the unilateral nature of the strikes, demand a UN Resolution while quietly watching how Uncle Sam turned on his own progeny and now tries to destroy them.

I would add that Lavrov quite logically stated that there are no “good terrorists”.  He knows that ISIL is nothing but a continuation of the US-created Syrian insurgency, itself a continuation of the US-created al-Qaeda.  From a Russian point of view, the choice is simple: what is better, for the US to use its forces and men to kill crazed Wahabis or have Assad do it?  And if ISIL is successful in Iraq, how long before they come back to Chechnia?  Or Crimea?  Or Tatarstan?  Why should any Russian or Syria soldier risk death when the USAF is willing to do that for them?

While there is a sweet irony in the fact that the US now has to bomb it’s own creation, let them do that.  Even Assad was clearly forewarned and he obviously is quite happy about that.

Finally, UN or no UN, the US had already taken the decision to bomb ISIL.  So what is the point of blocking a perfectly good UN Resolution?  That would be self-defeating.  In fact, this Resolution can even be used by Russia to prevent the US and UK from serving as a rear base for Wahabi extremists (this resolution bans that, and we are talking about a mandatory, Chapter VII, UNSC Resolution).

And yet, some still say that Putin threw Assad under the bus.  How crazy and stupid can one get to have that kind of notion about warfare or politics?  And if Putin wanted to toss Assad under the bus, why did he not do that last year?

Sincere frustration or intellectual dishonesty?

But that kind of nonsense about the Syria is absolutely dwarfed by the kind of truly crazy stuff some people post about Novorussia.  Here are my favorite ones.  The author begins by quoting me:

“This war has never been about Novorussia or about the Ukraine.”

and then continues:

That statement is too vacuous and convenient as a copout. Do you really mean to say that the thousands of people murdered by shelling, the thousands of young Ukrainian conscripts put through the meat grinder, the thousands of homes destroyed, the more than 1 million people who have turned into refugees… NONE of that has anything to do with Novorussia and Ukraine? That this is only about Russia?  Really, one would wish you’d refrain from making silly statements like that.

The only problem being, of course, that I never made it in the first place 🙂

Of course, it is rather obvious that  I meant that FOR THE ANGLOZIONIST EMPIRE the goal has never been the Ukraine or Novorussia, but a war on Russia.  All Russia did was to recognize this reality.  Again, the words “do you really mean to say that” clearly show that the author is going to twist what I said, make yet another strawman, and then indignantly denounce me for being a monster who does not care about the Ukraine or Novorussia (the rest of the comment was in the same vein: indignant denunciations of statements I never made and conclusions I never reached).

I have already grown used to the truly remarkable level of dishonesty of the Putin-bashing crowd and by now I consider it par for the course.  But I wanted to illustrate that one more time just to show that at least in certain cases an honest discussion is not the purpose at all.  But I don’t want to bring it all down to just a few dishonest and vociferous individuals.   There are also many who are sincerely baffled, frustrated and even disappointed with Russia’s apparent passivity.  Here is an excerpt of an email I got this morning:

I guess I was really hoping that perhaps Russia, China The BRICS would be a counter force. What I fail to understand is why after all the demonisation by the U.S and Europe doesn’t Russia retaliate. The sanctions imposed by the West is hurting Russia and yet they still trade oil in euros/dollars and are bending over backwards to accommodate Europe. I do not understand why they do not say lift all sanctions or no gas. China also says very little against the U.S , even though they fully understand that if Russian is weakened they are next on the list. As for all the talk of lifting the sanctions on Iran that is farcical as we all know Israel will never allow them to be lifted. So why do China and Russia go along with the whole charade. Sometimes I wonder if we are all being played, and this is all one big game , which no chance of anything changing.

In this case the author correctly sees that Russia and China follow a very similar policy which sure looks like an attempt to appease the US.  In contrast to the previous comment, here the author is both sincere and truly distressed.

In fact, I believe that what I am observing are three very different phenomena all manifesting themselves at the same time:

1) An organized Putin-bashing campaign initiated by US/UK government branches tasked with manipulating the social media.
2) A spontaneous Putin-bashing campaign lead by certain Russian National-Bolshevik circles (Limonov, Dugin & Co.).
3) The expression of a sincere bafflement, distress and frustration by honest and well-intentioned people to whom the current Russian stance really makes no sense at all.

The rest of this post will be entirely dedicated to try to explain the Russian stance to those in this third group (any dialog with the 2 first ones just makes no sense).

Trying to make sense of an apparently illogical policy

In my introduction above I stated that what is taking place is a war on Russia, not hot war (yet?) and not quite an old-style Cold War.  In essence, what the AngloZionists are doing is pretty clear and a lot of Russian commentators have already reached that conclusion: the US are engaged into a war against Russia for which the US will fight to the last Ukrainian Thus, for the Empire, “success” can never be defined as an outcome in the Ukraine because, as I said previously, this war is not about the Ukraine.  For the Empire “success” is a specific outcome in Russia: regime change.  Let’s us look at how the Empire plans to achieve this result.

The original plan was simplistic in a typically US Neocon way: overthrow Yanukovich, get the Ukraine into the EU and NATO, politically move NATO to the Russian border and militarily move it into Crimea.  That plan failed.  Russia accepted Crimea and the Ukraine collapsed into a vicious civil war combined with a terminal economic crisis.  Then the US Neocons fell-back to plan B.

Plan B was also simple: get Russia to intervene militarily in the Donbass and use that as a pretext for a full-scale Cold War v2 which would create 1950’s style tensions between East and West, justify fear-induced policies in the West, and completely sever the growing economic ties between Russia and the EU.  Except that plan also failed – Russia did not take the bait and instead of intervening directly in the Donbass, she began a massive covert operation to support the anti-Nazi forces in Novorussia.  The Russian plan worked, and the Junta Repression Forces (JRF) were soundly defeated by the Novorussian Armed Forces (NAF) even though the latter was suffering a huge deficit in firepower, armor, specialists and men (gradually, Russian covert aid turned all these around).

At this point in time the AngloZionist plutocracy truly freaked out under the combined realization that their plan was falling apart and that there was nothing they could really do to rescue it (a military option was totally impossible as I explained it in the past).  They did try economic sanctions, but that only helped Putin to engage in long overdue reforms.  But the worst part of it all was that each time the West expected Putin to do something, he did the exact opposite:

  • Nobody expected that Putin would use military force in Crimea in a lightening-fast take-over operation which will go down in history as at least as amazing as Storm-333.
  • Everybody (including myself) expected Putin to send forces into Novorussia.  He did not.
  • Nobody expected Russian counter-sanctions to hit the EU agricultural sector.
  • Everybody expected that Putin would retaliate after the latest round of sanctions.  He did not.

There is a pattern here and it is one basic to all martial arts: first, never signal your intentions, second use feints and third, hit when and where your opponent doesn’t expect it.

Conversely, there are two things which are deeply ingrained in the western political mindset which Putin never does: he never threatens and he never postures.  For example, while the US is basically at war with Russia, Russia will gladly support a US resolution on ISIL if it is to Russia’s advantage.  And Russian diplomats will speak of “our American partners” or “our American friends” while, at the same time, doing more than the rest of the planet combined to bring down the AngloZionist Empire.

A quick look at Putin’s record

As I have written in the past, unlike some other bloggers and commentators, I am neither a psychic not a prophet and I cannot tell you what Putin thinks or what he will do tomorrow.  But what I can tell you is that which Putin has already done in the past: (in no particular order)

  • broken the back of the AngloZionist-backed oligarchy in Russia.
  • achieved a truly miraculous success in Chechnia (one which nobody, prophets included, had foreseen).
  • literally resurrected the Russian economy.
  • rebuilt the Russian military, security and intelligences forces.
  • severely disrupted the ability of foreign NGOs to subvert Russia.
  • done more for the de-dollarization of the planet than anybody before.
  • made Russia the clear leader of both BRICS and SCO.
  • openly challenged the informational monopoly of the western propaganda machine (with projects like RussiaToday).
  • stopped an imminent US/NATO strike on Syria by sending in a Russian Navy Expeditionary Force (which gave Syria a full radar coverage of the entire region).
  • made it possible for Assad to prevail in the Syrian civil war.
  • openly rejected the Western “universal civilizational model” and declared his support for another, a religion and tradition based one.
  • openly rejected a unipolar “New World Order” lead by the AngloZionists and declared his support for a multi-polar world order.
  • supported Assange (through RussiaToday) and protected Snowden
  • created and promoted a new alliance model between Christianity and Islam thus undermining the “clash of civilization” paradigm.
  • booted the AngloZionists out of key locations in the Caucasus (Chechnia, Ossetia).
  • booted the AngloZionists out of key locations in Central Asia (Manas base in Kyrgyzstan)
  • gave Russia the means to defend her interest in the Arctic region, including military means.
  • established a full-spectrum strategic alliance with China which is at the core of both SCO and BRICS.
  • is currently passing laws barring foreign interests from controlling the Russian media.
  • gave Iran the means to develop a much needed civilian nuclear program.
  • is working with China to create a financial system fully separated form the current AngloZionist controlled one (including trade in Rubles or Renminbi).
  • re-establised Russian political and economic support for Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Nicaragua and Argentina.
  • very effectively deflated the pro-US color-coded revolution in Russia.
  • organized the “Voentorg” which armed the NAF.
  • gave refuge to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.
  • sent in vitally needed humanitarian aid to Novorussia.
  • provided direct Russian fire support and possibly even air cover to NAF in key locations (the “southern cauldron” for example).
  • last but not least, he openly spoke of the need for Russia to “sovereignize” herself and to prevail over the pro-US 5th column.

and that list goes on and on.  All I am trying to illustrate is that there is a very good reason for the AngloZionist’s hatred for Putin: his long record of very effectively fighting them.  So unless we assume that Putin had a sudden change of heart or that he simply ran out of energy or courage, I submit that the notion that he suddenly made a 180 makes no sense.  His current policies, however, do make sense, as I will try to explain now.

If you are a “Putin betrayed Novorussia” person, please set that hypothesis aside for a moment, just for argument’s sake and assume that Putin is both principled and logical.  What could he be doing in the Ukraine?  Can we make sense of what we observe?

Imperatives Russia cannot ignore

First, I consider the following sequence indisputable:

First,  Russia must prevail over the current AngloZionist war against her.  What the Empire wants in Russia is regime change followed by complete absorption into the Western sphere of influence including a likely break-up of Russia.  What is threatened is the very existence of the Russian civilization.

Second, Russia will never be safe with a neo-Nazi russophobic regime in power in Kiev.  The Ukie nationalist freaks have proven that it is impossible to negotiate with them (they have broken literally every single agreement signed so far), their hatred for Russia is total (as shown with their constant references to the use of – hypothetical – nuclear weapons against Russia).  Therefore,

Third, regime change in Kiev followed by a full de-Nazification is the only possible way for Russia to achieve her vital objectives.

Again, and at the risk of having my words twisted and misrepresented, I have to repeat here that Novorussia isnot what is at stake here.  It’s not even the future of the Ukraine.  What is at stake here is a planetary confrontation (this is the one thesis of Dugin which I fully agree with).  The future of the planet depends on the capability of the BRICS/SCO countries to replace the AngloZionist Empire with a very different, multi-polar, international order.  Russia is crucial and indispensable in this effort (any such effort without Russia is doomed to fail), and the future of Russia is now decided by what Russia will do in the Ukraine.  As for the future of the Ukraine, it largely depends on what will happen to Novorussia, but not exclusively.  In a paradoxical way, Novorussia is more important to Russia than to the Ukraine.  Here is why:

For the rest of the Ukraine, Novorussia is lost.  Forever. Not even a joint Putin-Obama effort could prevent that.  In fact, the Ukies know that and this is why they make no effort to win the hearts and minds of the local population.  If fact, I am convinced that the so-called “random” or “wanton” destruction of the Novorussian industrial, economic, scientific and cultural infrastructure has been intentional act of hateful vengeance similar to the way the AngloZionists always turn to killing civilians when they fail to overcome military forces (the examples of Yugoslavia and Lebanon come to mind).  Of course, Moscow can probably force the local Novorussian political leaders to sign some kind of document accepting Kiev’s sovereignty, but that will be a fiction, it is way too late for that.  If not de jure, then de facto, Novorussia is never going to accept Kiev’s rule again and everybody knows that, in Kiev, in Novorussia and in Russia.

What could a de facto but not de jure independence look like?

No Ukrainian military, national guard, oligarch battalion or SBU, full economic, cultural, religious, linguistic and educational independence, locally elected officials and local media, but all that with Ukie flags, no official independence status, no Novorussian Armed Forces (they will be called something like “regional security force” or even “police force”) and no Novorussian currency (though the Ruble – along with the Dollar and Euro – will be used on a daily basis).  The top officials will have to be officially approved by Kiev (which Kiev will, of course, lest its impotence becomes visible).  This will be a temporary, transitional and unstable arrangement, but it will be good enough to provide a face-saving way out to Kiev.

This said, I would argue that both Kiev and Moscow have an interest in maintaining the fiction of a unitaryUkraine.  For Kiev this is a way to not appear completely defeated by the accursed Moskals.  But what about Russia?

What if you were in Putin’s place?

Ask yourself the following question: if you were Putin and your goal was regime change in Kiev, would you prefer Novorussia to be part of the Ukraine or not?  I would submit that having Novorussia inside is much better for the following reasons:

  1. it makes it part, even on a macro-level, of the Ukrainian processes, like national elections or national media.
  2. it begs the comparison with the conditions in the rest of the Ukraine.
  3. it makes it far easier to influence commerce, business, transportation, etc.
  4. it creates an alternative (Nazi-free) political center to Kiev.
  5. it makes it easier for Russian interests (of all kind) to penetrate into the Ukraine.
  6. it removes the possibility to put up a Cold War like “wall” or barrier on some geographical marker.
  7. it removes the accusation that Russian wants to partition the Ukraine.

In other words, to keep Novorussia de jure, nominally, part of the Ukraine is the best way to appear to be complying with AngloZionist demands while subverting the Nazi junta in power.  In a recent article I outlined what Russia could do without incurring any major consequences:

  1. Politically oppose the regime everywhere: UN, media, public opinion, etc.
  2. Express political support for Novorussia and any Ukrainian oppositionContinue the informational war (Russian media does a great job)
  3. Prevent Novorussia from falling (covert military aid)
  4. Mercilessly keep up the economic pressure on the Ukraine
  5. Disrupt as much as possible the US-EU “axis of kindness”
  6. Help Crimea and Novorussia prosper economically and financially

In other words – give the appearance of staying out while very much staying in.

What is the alternative anyway?

I already hear the chorus of indignant “hurray-patriots” (that is what these folks are called in Russia) accusing me of only seeing Novorussia as a tool for Russian political goals and of ignoring the death and suffering endured by the people of Novorussia.   To this I will simply reply the following:

Does anybody seriously believe that an independent Novorussia can live in even minimal peace and securitywithout a regime change in Kiev?  If Russia cannot afford a Nazi junta in power in Kiev, can Novorussia?!

In general, the hurray-patriots are long on what should be done now and very short any kind of mid or long term vision.   Just like those who believe that Syria can be saved by sending in the Russian Air Force, the hurray-patriots believe that the crisis in the Ukraine can be solved by sending in tanks.  They are a perfect example of the mindset H. L. Mencken was referring to when he wrote “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong”.

The sad reality is that the mindset behind such “simple” solutions is always the same one: never negotiate, never compromise, never look long term but only to the immediate future and use force in all cases.

But the facts are here: the US/NATO block is powerful, militarily, economically and politically and it can hurt Russia, especially over time.  Furthermore, while Russia can easily defeat the Ukrainian military, this hardly would be a very meaningful “victory”.  Externally it would trigger a massive deterioration of the international political climate, while internally the Russians would have to suppress the Ukrainian nationalists (not all of them Nazi) by force.  Could Russia do that?  Again, the answer is that yes – but at what cost?

I good friend of mine was a Colonel in the KGB Special Forces unit called “Kaskad” (which later was renamed “Vympel”).  One day he told me how his father, himself a special operator for the GRU, fought against Ukrainian insurgents from the end of WWII in 1945 up to 1958: that is thirteen years!  It took Stalin and Krushchev 13 years to finally crush the Ukrainian nationalist insurgents.  Does anybody in his/her right mind sincerely believe that modern Russia should repeat that policies and spend years hunting down Ukrainian insurgents again?

By the way, if the Ukrainian nationalists could fight the Soviet rule under Stalin and Krushchev for a full 13 years after the end of the war – how is it that there is no visible anti-Nazi resistance in Zaporozhie, Dnepropetrivsk or Kharkov?  Yes, Luganks and Donetsk did rise up and take arms, very successfully – but the rest of the Ukraine?  If you were Putin, would you be confident that Russian forces liberating these cities would receive the same welcome that they did in Crimea?

And yet, the hurray-patriots keep pushing for more Russian intervention and further Novorussian military operations against Ukie forces.  Is it not about time we begin asking who would benefit from such policies?

It has been an old trick of the US CIA to use the social media and the blogosphere to push for nationalist extremism in Russia.  A well know and respected Russian patriot and journalist – Maksim Shevchenko – had a group of people organized to track down the IP numbers of some of the most influential radical nationalist organizations, website, blogs and individual posters on the Russian Internet.  Turns out that most were based in the USA, Canada and Israel.  Surprise, surprise.  Or, maybe, no surprise at all?

For the AngloZionists, supporting extremists and rabid nationalists in Russia makes perfectly good sense.  Either they get to influence the public opinion or they at the very least can be used to bash the regime in power.  I personally see no difference between an Udaltsov or a Navalnii on one hand and a Limonov or a Dugin on the other.  Their sole effect is to get people mad at the Kremlin.  What the pretext for the anger is does not matter – for Navalnyi its “stolen elections” for Dugin it’s “back-stabbed Novorussia”.  And it does not matter which of them are actually paid agents or just “useful idiots” – God be their judge – but what does matter is that the solutions they advocate are no solutions at all, just pious pretexts to bash the regime in power.

In the meantime, not only had Putin not sold-out, back-stabbed, traded away or otherwise abandoned Novorussia, it’s Poroshenko who is barely holding on to power and Banderastan which is going down the tubes.  There are also plenty of people who see through this doom and gloom nonsense, both in Russia (Yuri Baranchik) and abroad (M. K. Bhadrakumar).

But what about the oligarchs?

I already addressed this issue in a recent post, but I think that it is important to return to this topic here and the first thing which is crucial to understand in the Russian or Ukrainian context is that oligarchs are a fact of life.  This is not to say that their presence is a good thing, only that Putin and Poroshenko and, for that matter, anybody trying to get anything done over there needs to take them into account.  The big difference is that while in Kiev a regime controlled by the oligarchs has been replaced by a regime of oligarchs, in Russia the oligarchy can only influence, but not control, the Kremlin.  The examples, of Khodorkovsky or Evtushenkov show that the Kremlin still can, and does, smack down an oligarch when needed.

Still, it is one thing to pick on one or two oligarchs and quite another to remove them from the Ukrainian equation: the latter is just not going to happen.  So for Putin any Ukrainian strategy has to take into account the presence and, frankly, power of the Ukrainian oligarchs and their Russian counterparts.

Putin knows that oligarchs have their true loyalty only to themselves and that their only “country” is wherever their assets happen to be.  As a former KGB foreign intelligence officer for Putin this is an obvious plus, because that mindset potentially allows him to manipulate them.  Any intelligence officer knows that people can be manipulated by a finite list of approaches: ideology, ego, resentment, sex, a skeleton in the closet and, of course, money.  From Putin’s point of view, Rinat Akhmetov, for example, is a guy who used to employ something like 200’000 people in the Donbass, who clearly can get things done, and whose official loyalty Kiev and the Ukraine is just a camouflage for his real loyalty: his money.  Now, Putin does not have to like or respect Akhmetov, most intelligence officers will quietly despise that kind of person, but that also means that for Putin Akhmetov is an absolutely crucial person to talk to, explore options with and, possibly, use to achieve a Russian national strategic objective in the Donbass.

I have already written this many times here: Russians do talk to their enemies.  With a friendly smile.  This is even more true for a former intelligence officer who is trained to always communicate, smile, appear to be engaging and understanding.  For Putin Akhmetov is not a friend or an ally, but he is a powerful figure which can be manipulated in Russia’s advantage.  What I am trying to explain here is the following:

There are numerous rumors of secret negotiations between Rinat Akhmetov and various Russian officials.  Some say that Khodakovski is involved.  Others mention Surkov.  There is no doubt in my mind that such secret negotiations are taking place.  In fact, I am sure that all the parties involved talk to all other other parties involved.  Even with a disgusting, evil and vile creature like Kolomoiski.  In fact, the sure signal that somebody has finally decided to take him out would be that nobody would be speaking with him any more.  That will probably happen, with time, but most definitely not until his power base is sufficiently eroded.

One Russian blogger believes that Akhmetov has already been “persuaded” (read: bought off) by Putin and that he is willing to play by the new rules which now say “Putin is boss”.  Maybe.  Maybe not yet, but soon.  Maybe never.  All I am suggesting is that negotiations between the Kremlin and local Ukie oligarchs are as logical and inevitable as the US contacts with the Italian Mafia before the US armed forces entered Italy.

But is there a 5th column in Russia?

Yes, absolutely.  First and foremost, it is found inside the Medvedev government itself and even inside the Presidential administration.  Always remember that Putin was put into power by two competing forces: the secret services and big money.  And yes, while it is true that Putin has tremendously weakened the “big money” component (what I call the “Atlantic Integrationists”) they are still very much there, though they are more subdued, more careful and less arrogant than during the time when Medvedev was formally in charge.  The big change in the recent years is that the struggle between patriots (the “Eurasian Sovereignists”) and the 5th column now is in the open, but it if far from over.  And we should never underestimate these people: they have a lot of power, a lot of money and a fantastic capability to corrupt, threaten, discredit, sabotage, cover-up, smear, etc.  They are also very smart, they can hire the best professionals in the field, and they are very, very good at ugly political campaigns.  For example, the 5th columnists try hard to give a voice to the National-Bolshevik opposition (both Limonov and Dugin regularly get airtime on Russian TV) and rumor has it that they finance a lot of the National-Bolshevik media (just like the Koch brothers paid for the Tea Party in the USA).

Another problem is that while these guys are objectively doing the US CIA’s bidding, there is no proof of it.  As I was told many times by a wise friend: most conspiracies are really collusions and the latter are very hard to prove.  But the community of interests between the US CIA and the Russian and Ukrainian oligarchy is so obvious as to be undeniable.

The real danger for Russia

So now we have the full picture.  Again, Putin has to simultaneously contend with

1) a strategic psyop campaign run by the US/UK & Co. which combines the corporate media’s demonization of Putin and a campaign in the social media to discredit him for his passivity and lack of appropriate response to the West.
2) a small but very vociferous group of (mostly) National-Bolsheviks (Limonov, Dugin & Co.) who have found in the Novorussian cause a perfect opportunity to bash Putin for not sharing their ideology and their “clear, simple, and wrong” “solutions”.
3) a network of powerful oligarchs who want to use the opportunity presented by the actions of first two groups to promote their own interests.
4) a 5th column for whom all of the above is a fantastic opportunity to weaken the Eurasian Sovereignists
5) a sense of disappointment by many sincere people who feel that Russia is acting like a passive punching-ball.
6) an overwhelming majority of people in Novorussia who want complete (de facto and de jure) independence from Kiev and who are sincerely convinced that any negotiations with Kiev are a prelude to a betrayal by Russia of Novorussian interest.
7) the objective reality that Russian and Novorussian interests are not the same.
8) the objective reality that the AngloZionist Empire is still very powerful and even potentially dangerous.

It is very, very, hard for Putin to try to balance these forces in such a way that the resulting vector is one which is in the strategic interest of Russia.  I would argue that there is simply no other solution to this conundrum other than to completely separate Russia’s official (declaratory) police and Russia’s real actions.  The covert help to Novorussia – the Voentorg – is an example of that, but only a limited one because what Russia must do now goes beyond covert actions: Russia must appear to be doing one thing while doing exactly the opposite.  It is in Russia’s strategic interest at this point in time to appear to:

1) Support a negotiated solution along the lines of: a unitary non-aligned Ukraine, with large regional right for all regions while, at the same time, politically opposing the regime everywhere: UN, media, public opinion, etc. and supporting both Novorussia and any Ukrainian opposition.
2) Give Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs a reason to if not support, then at least not oppose such a solution (for ex: by not nationalizing Akhmetov’s assets in the Donbass), while at the same time making sure that there is literally enough “firepower” to keep the oligarch under control.
3) Negotiate with the EU on the actual implementation of Ukraine’s Agreement with the EU while at the same time helping the Ukraine commit economic suicide by making sure that there is just the right amount of economic strangulation applied to prevent the regime from bouncing back.
4) Negotiate with the EU and the Junta in Kiev over the delivery of gas while at the same time making sure that the regime pays enough for it to be broke.
5) Appear generally non-confrontational towards the USA while at the same time trying as hard as possible to create tensions between the US and the EU.
6) Appear to be generally available and willing to do business with the AngoZionist Empire while at the same time building an alternative international systems not centered on the USA or the Dollar.

As you see, this goes far beyond a regular covert action program.  What we are dealing with is a very complex, multi-layered, program to achieve the Russian most important goal in the Ukraine (regime change and de-Nazification) while inhibiting as much as possible the AngloZionists attempts to re-created a severe and long lasting East-West crisis in which the EU would basically fuse with the USA.

Conclusion: a key to Russian policies?

Most of us are used to think in terms of super-power categories.  After all, US President from Reagan on to Obama have all served us a diet of grand statements, almost constant military operations followed by Pentagon briefings, threats, sanctions, boycotts, etc.  I would argue that this has always been the hallmark of western “diplomacy” from the Crusades to the latest bombing campaign against ISIL.  Russia and China have a diametrically opposed tradition.  For example, in terms of methodology Lavrov always repeats the same principle: we want to turn our enemies into neutrals, we want to turn neutrals into partner and we want to turn partners into friends“.  The role of Russian diplomats is not to prepare for war, but to avoid it.  Yes, Russia will fight, but only when diplomacy has failed.  If for the US diplomacy is solely a means to deliver threats, for Russia it is a the primary tool to defuse them.  It is therefore no wonder at all the the US diplomacy is primitive to the point of bordering on the comical.  After all, how much sophistication is needed to say “comply or else”.  Any petty street thug know how to do that.  Russian diplomats are much more akin to explosives disposal specialist or a mine clearance officer: they have to be extremely patient, very careful and fully focused.  But most importantly, they cannot allow anybody to rush them lest the entire thing blows up.

Russia is fully aware that the AngloZionist Empire is at war with her and that surrender is simply not an option any more (assuming it ever was).  Russia also understands that she is not a real super-power or, even less so, an empire.  Russia is only a very powerful country which is trying to de-fang the Empire without triggering a frontal confrontation with it.  In the Ukraine, Russia sees no other solution than regime change in Kiev.  To achieve this goal Russia will always prefer a negotiated solution to one obtained by force, even though if not other choice is left to her, she will use force.  In other words:

art: Josetxo Ezcurra

Russia’s long term end goal is to bring down the AngloZionis Empire.  Russia’s mid term goal is to create the conditions for regime change in Kiev. Russia’s short term goal is to prevent the junta from over-running Novorussia. Russia’s preferred method to achieve these goals is negotiation with all parties involved.  A prerequisite to achieve these goals by negotiations is to prevent the Empire from succeeding in creating an acute continental crisis (conversely, the imperial “deep state” fully understands all this, hence the double declaration of war by Obama and Poroshenko.)

As long as you keep these basic principles in mind, the apparent zig-zags, contradictions and passivity of Russian policies will begin to make sense.

It is an open question whether Russia will succeed in her goals.  In theory, a successful Junta attack on Novorussia could force Russia to intervene.  Likewise, there is always the possibility of yet another “false flag”, possibly a nuclear one.  I think that the Russian policy is sound and the best realistically achievable under the current set of circumstances, but only time will tell.

I am sorry that it took me over 6400 words to explain all that, but in a society were most “thoughts” are expressed as “tweets” and analyses as Facebook posts, it was a daunting task to try to shed some light to what is turning to be a deluge of misunderstandings and misconceptions, all made worse by the manipulation of the social media.  I feel that 60’000 words would be more adequate to this task as it is far easier to just throw out a short and simple slogan than to refute its assumptions and implications.

My hope that at least those of you who sincerely were confused by Russia’s apparently illogical stance can now connect the dots and make better sense of it all.

Kind regards to all,

The Saker

Will Russia and China hold their fire until war is the only alternative?

Chinese naval warships of South China Sea Fleet

 Chinese naval warships of South China Sea Fleet
Paul Craig Roberts, paulcraigroberts.org

Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:14AM GMT

Obama’s September 24 speech at the UN is the most absurd thing I have heard in my entire life.  It is absolutely amazing that the president of the United States would stand before the entire world and tell what everyone knows are blatant lies while simultaneously demonstrating Washington’s double standards and belief that Washington alone, because the US is exceptional and indispensable, has the right to violate all law.

It is even more amazing that every person present did not get up and walk out of the assembly.

The diplomats of the world actually sat there and listened to blatant lies from the world’s worst terrorist. They even clapped their approval.

The rest of the speech was just utter bullshit:  “We stand at a crossroads,” “signposts of progress,” “reduced chance of war between major powers,” “hundreds of millions lifted from poverty,” and while ebola ravages Africa “we’ve learned how to cure disease and harness the power of the wind and the sun.”  We are now God, “We” is comprised of the “exceptional people” – Americans.  No one else counts.  “We” are it.

It is impossible to pick the most absurd statement in Obama’s speech or the most outrageous lie.  Is it this one?  “Russian aggression in Europe recalls the days when large nations trampled small ones in pursuit of territorial ambition.”

Or is it this one?  “After the people of Ukraine mobilized popular protests and calls for reform, their corrupt president fled.  Against the will of the government in Kiev, Crimea was annexed.  Russia poured arms into eastern Ukraine, fueling violent separatists and a conflict that has killed thousands.  When a civilian airliner was shot down from areas that these proxies controlled, they refused to allow access to the crash for days.  When Ukraine started to reassert control over its territory, Russia gave up the pretense of merely supporting the separatists, and moved troops across the border.”

The entire world knows that Washington overthrew the elected Ukrainian government, that Washington refuses to release its satellite photos of the destruction of the Malaysian airliner, that Ukraine refuses to release its air traffic control instructions to the airliner, that Washington has prevented a real investigation of the airliner’s destruction, that European experts on the scene have testified that both sides of the airliner’s cockpit demonstrate machine gun fire, an indication that the airliner was shot down by the Ukrainian jets that were following it.  Indeed, there has been no explanation why Ukrainian jets were close on the heels of an airliner directed by Ukrainian air traffic control.

The entire world knows that if Russia had territorial ambitions, when the Russian military defeated the American trained and supplied Georgian army that attacked South Ossetia, Russia would have kept Georgia and reincorporated it within Russia where it resided for centuries.

Notice that it is not aggression when Washington bombs and invades seven countries in 13 years without a declaration of war.  Aggression occurs when Russia accepts the petition of Crimeans who voted 97 percent in favor of reuniting with Russia where Crimea resided for centuries before Khrushchev attached it to the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine in 1954 when Ukraine and Russia were part of the same country.

And the entire world knows that, as the separatist leader of the Donetsk Republic said, “If Russian military units were fighting with us, the news would not be the fall of Mariupol but the fall of Kiev and Lviv.”

Which is “the cancer of violent extremism” – ISIS which cut off the heads of four journalists, or Washington which has bombed seven countries in the 21st century murdering hundreds of thousands of civilians and displacing millions?

Who is the worst terrorist – ISIS, a group that is redrawing the artificial boundaries created by British and French colonialists, or Washington with its Wolfowitz Doctrine, the basis of US foreign policy, which declares Washington’s dominant objective to be US hegemony over the world?

ISIS is the creation of Washington.  ISIS consists of the jihadists Washington used to overthrow Gaddafi in Libya and then sent to Syria to overthrow Assad.  If ISIS is a “network of death,” a “brand of evil” with which negotiation is impossible as Obama declares, it is a network of death created by the Obama regime itself.  If ISIS poses the threat that Obama claims, how can the regime that created the threat be credible in leading the fight against it?

Obama never mentioned in his speech the central problem that the world faces.  That problem is Washington’s inability to accept the existence of strong independent countries such as Russia and China.  The neoconservative Wolfowitz Doctrine commits the United States to maintaining its status as the sole Unipower.  This task requires Washington “to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”  A “hostile power” is any country that has sufficient power or influence to be able to limit Washington’s exercise of power.

The Wolfowitz Doctrine explicitly targets Russia: “Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere.”  A “rival” is defined as any country capable of defending its interests or those of allies against Washington’s hegemony.

In his speech, Obama told Russia and China that they can be part of Washington’s world order on the condition that they accept Washington’s hegemony and do not interfere in any way with Washington’s control.  When Obama tells Russia that the US will cooperate with Russia “if Russia changes course,” Obama means that Moscow must accept the primacy of Washington’s interest over Russia’s own interest.

Clearly, this is an inflexible and unrealistic position.  If Washington keeps to it, war with Russia and China will ensue.

Obama told China that Washington intended to continue to be a Pacific power in China’s sphere of influence, “promoting peace, stability, and the free flow of commerce among nations” by building new US air and naval bases from the Philippines to Vietnam so that Washington can control the flow of resources in the South China Sea and cut off China at will.

As far as I can tell, neither the Russian nor Chinese governments understand the seriousness of the threat that Washington represents.  Washington’s claim to world hegemony seems too farfetched to Russia and China to be real.  But it is very real.

By refusing to take the threat seriously, Russia and China have not responded in ways that would bring an end to the threat without the necessity of war.

For example, the Russian government could most likely destroy NATO by responding to sanctions imposed by Washington and the EU by informing European governments that Russia does not sell natural gas to members of NATO.  Instead of using this power, Russia has foolishly allowed the EU to accumulate record amounts of stored natural gas to see homes and industry through the coming winter.

Has Russia sold out its national interests for money?

Much of Washington’s power and financial hegemony rests on the role of the US dollar as world reserve currency.  Russia and China have been slow, even negligent from the standpoint of defending their sovereignty, to take advantage of opportunities to undermine this pillar of Washington’s power. For example, the BRICS’ talk of abandoning the dollar payments system has been more talk than action. Russia doesn’t even require Washington’s European puppet states to pay for Russian natural gas in rubles.

One might think that a country such as Russia experiencing such extreme hostility and demonization from the West would at least use the gas sales to support its own currency instead of Washington’s dollar.  If the Russian government is going to continue to support the economies of European countries hostile to Russia and to prevent the European peoples from freezing during the coming winter, shouldn’t Russia in exchange for this extraordinary subsidy to its enemies at least arrange to support its own currency by demanding payment in rubles?  Unfortunately for Russia, Russia is infected with Western trained neoliberal economists who represent Western, not Russian, interests.

When the West sees such extraordinary weakness on the part of the Russian government, Obama knows he can go to the UN and tell the most blatant lies about Russia with no cost whatsoever to the US or Europe. Russian inaction subsidizes Russia’s demonization.

China has been no more successful than Russia in using its opportunities to destabilize Washington.  For example, it is a known fact, as Dave Kranzler and I have repeatedly demonstrated, that the Federal Reserve uses its bullion bank agents to knock down the gold price in order to protect the dollar’s value from the Federal Reserve’s policies.  The method used is for the bullion banks to drive down the gold price with enormous amounts of naked shorts during periods of low or nonexistent volume.

China or Russia or both could take advantage of this tactic by purchasing every naked short sold plus all covered shorts, if any, and demanding delivery instead of settling the contracts in cash.  Neither New York Comex nor the London market could make delivery, and the system would implode.  The consequence of the failure to deliver possibly could be catastrophic for the Western financial system, but in the least it would demonstrate the corrupt nature of Western financial institutions.

Or China could deal a more lethal blow.  Choosing a time of heightened concern or disruptions in US financial markets, China could dump its trillion dollar plus holdings of US treasuries, or indeed all its holdings of US financial instruments, on the market.  The Federal Reserve and the US Treasury could try to stabilize the prices of US financial instruments by creating money with which to purchase the bonds and other instruments.  This money creation would increase concern about the dollar’s value, and at that point China could dump the trillion dollars plus it receives from its bond sales on the exchange market. The Federal Reserve cannot print foreign currencies with which to buy up the dollars. The dollar’s exchange value would collapse and with it the dollar’s use as world reserve currency. The US would become just another broke country unable to pay for its imports.

Possibly, Washington could get Japan and the European Central Bank to print enough yen and euros to buy up the dumped dollars.  However, the likelihood is that this would bring down the yen and euro along with the dollar.

Flight would occur into the Chinese and Russian currencies, and financial hegemony would depart the West.

By their restraint, Russia and China enable Washington’s attack upon them.  Last week Washington put thousands of its NGO operatives into the Moscow streets protesting “Putin’s war against Ukraine.”  Foolishly, Russia has permitted foreign interests to buy up its newspapers, and these interests continually denounce Putin and the Russian government to their Russian readers.

Did Russia sell its soul and communication system for dollars?  Did a few oligarchs sell out Russia for Swiss and London bank deposits?

Both Russia and China have Muslim populations among whom the CIA operates encouraging disassociation, rebellion, and violence.  Washington intends to break up the Russian Federation into smaller, weaker countries that could not stand in the way of Washington’s hegemony.  Russian and Chinese fear of discord among their own Muslim populations have caused both governments to make the extremely serious strategic mistake of aligning with Washington against ISIS and with Washington’s policy of protecting Washington’s status quo in the Muslim world.

If Russia and China understood the deadly threat that Washington presents, both governments would operate according to the time honored principle that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  Russia and China would arm ISIS with surface to air missiles to bring down the American planes and with military intelligence in order to achieve an American defeat.  With defeat would come the overthrow of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt and all of the American puppet rulers in the area. Washington would lose control over oil, and the petro-dollar would be history.  It is extraordinary that instead Russia and China are working to protect Washington’s control over the Middle East and the petro-dollar.

China is subject to a variety of attacks. The Rockefeller Foundation creates American agents in Chinese universities, or so I am informed by Chinese academics.  American companies that locate in China create Chinese boards on which they place the relatives of local and regional party officials.  This shifts loyalty from the central government to the American money.  Moreover, China has many economists educated in the US who are imbued with the neoliberal economics that represents Washington’s interests.

Both Russia and China have significant percentages of their populations who wish to be Western.  The failure of communism in both countries and the success of American cold war propaganda have created loyalties to America in place of their own governments.  In Russia they go by the designation “Atlanticist Integrationists.” They are Russians who wish to be integrated into the West. I know less about the Chinese counterpart, but among youth Western materialism and lack of sexual restraint is appealing.

The inability of the Russian and Chinese governments to come to terms with the threat posed to their existence as sovereign countries by the neoconservative insistence on American world hegemony makes nuclear war more likely.  If Russia and China catch on too late in the game, their only alternative will be war or submission to Washington’s hegemony.  As there is no possibility of the US and NATO invading and occupying Russia and China, the war would be nuclear.

To avoid this war, which, as so many experts have shown, would terminate life on earth, the Russian and Chinese governments must soon become far more realistic in their assessment of the evil that resides in what Washington has turned into the world’s worst terrorist state.

It is possible that Russia, China, and the rest of the world will be saved by American economic collapse. The US economy is a house of cards. Real median family incomes are in long-term decline. Universities produce graduates with degrees and heavy debts but no jobs. The bond market is rigged by the Federal Reserve which necessitates rigging the bullion markets in order to protect the dollar. The stock market is rigged by the outpouring of money from the Federal Reserve, by the Plunge Protection Team, and by corporations repurchasing their own stock. The dollar is supported by tradition, habit, and currency swaps.

The American House of Cards continues to stand only as a result of the tolerance of the world for vast corruption and disinformation and because greed is satisfied by the money made from a rigged system.

Russia and/or China could pull down this House of Cards whenever either country or both had leadership capable of it.

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. His latest book is How America Was Lost.

NT/GJH

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Irresponsible New York Times Presstitution

 The late Gore Vidal called The Times the “Typhoid Mary of American journalism” for good reason.

The so-called “newspaper of record” is more laughing stock than source for legitimate journalism.

Its news, information and analysis are heavily filtered. Fiction and popular myths substitute for facts.

Monied interests are supported at the expense of popular ones. Vital truths are systematically buried.


Managed news misinformation substitutes. So do Big Lies on issues mattering most.


Imperial wars are called liberating ones. Ravaging and destroying one nation after another is considered humanitarian intervention.


Wars are supported in the name of peace. Might justifies right. Plunder is called economic development.


Civil liberties are suppressed for our own good. Irresponsible government and corporate interests are wholeheartedly endorsed. Beneficial social change is considered heresy.


The market (aka as casino capitalism) works best so let it, we’re told. Patriotism means supporting Washington right or wrong.


The Times is America’s lead propaganda instrument. Misinformation masquerades as legitimate journalism.


Whenever America goes to war or plans one, Times correspondents, contributors and editors march in lockstep.


Times policy is it’s OK if we do it. Bad guys are nations, groups or individuals Washington opposes.


Terrorism is what they do, not us. Reasons why imperial wars are waged are suppressed.


Wealth, power and privilege alone matter. Sacrificing human lives and freedoms are small prices to pay. Humanity is at risk but who cares.


Ravaging and destroying one nation after another doesn’t matter. Corporate grand theft is OK. So is the unprecedented wealth gap.


Protracted Main Street Depression conditions affecting most Americans aren’t discussed.


Nor unmet human needs, growing poverty, hunger, homelessness, depravation and despair.


Unprecedented corporate and government corruption is ignored. So is government of, by and for monied interests alone.


Sham elections are called democratic ones. Social injustice gets short shrift if any.


Truth is the most dangerous disinfectant. Suppressing it is longstanding Times policy. All garbage all the time on issues mattering most substitutes.


Russia bashing is relentless. Putin is considered public enemy No. 1. Kiev fascist putschists are called democrats.


They’re xenophobic, ultranationist, anti-democratic, anti-Semitic, anti-Russian hate-mongers.


They represent mob rule. They have no legitimacy whatever. Don’t expect The Times to explain.


Lies, damn lies and Big ones substitute for credible news, commentary and analysis.


They’re relentless on Ukraine. For the first time since Nazi Germany’s defeat, reemergent fascism infests Europe’s heartland.


Western leaders support it. John Pilger quoted Professor Terry Eagleton saying “for the first time in two centuries, there is no eminent British poet, playwright or novelist prepared to question the foundations of the western way of life.”


Its most disturbing aspects. Its immorality. Its belligerence. Its lawlessness. Its contempt for popular interests. Its support for wrong over right.


“No Shelly speaks for the poor,” said Pilger. “(N)o Blake for utopian dreams…(N)o Byron damns the corruption of the ruling class…”


“(N)o Thomas Carlyle and John Ruskin reveal the moral disaster of capitalism. William Morris, Oscar Wilde, HG Wells, George Bernard Shaw have no equivalents today.”


The late “Harold Pinter was the last to raise his voice.” He’s badly missed.


So are Gore Vidal, Studs Terkel, Howard Zinn, Edward Said and other distinguished figures speaking truth to power forthrightly, publicly, and effectively.


They’re gone. They’re not around to challenge official Big Lies. Relentless misinformation on Ukraine.


Scoundrel media corruption. Unconscionable Russia bashing. Outrageous lies about Putin. It gives yellow journalism new meaning.


MSM today are scandalous. Disreputable. Unethical. Outrageous. An embarrassment to legitimate journalism.


It’s a lying machine. Washington’s war on humanity is called humanitarian intervention.


Israeli aggression is considered self-defense. Palestinian self-defense is called terrorism.


Illegitimate Kiev fascist putschists are lauded like democrats.

Southeastern Ukrainian freedom fighters are called terrorists.


Russia’s heroic conflict resolution efforts are called “invasion,” “infiltration,” “cross-border shelling,” “significant escalation,” “interference,” “aggression,” and other pejorative Big Lies.


Irresponsible Putin bashing rages. It’s relentless. Western leaders bear full responsibility. Media scoundrels share it.


Times correspondents, contributors and editors turn truth on its head. Indefensible Big Lies substitute.


Readers are carpet-bombed daily. The Russians are coming, they’re told.


“Mr. Putin (plays) his dangerous game in Ukraine with cunning and deceit,” claim Times editors. “First he annexed Crimea.”


He held “intimidating military exercises on the Ukrainian border and sen(t) in ever more men and arms in support of secessionists in Donetsk and Luhansk, all the while falsely denying any Russian involvement other than humanitarian concern for the ethnic Russian population.”


“Rebels shot down a Malaysian jetliner with a Russian missile…” Cross-border artillery fire shelled Ukraine, claimed Times editors.


Russian “armored columns” invaded Ukraine, they said.


Fact check:


Crimeans voted near unanimously to join Russia. They did so in a referendum independent international monitors called open, free and fair.


Putin responsibly accommodated their wishes. Russian military exercises threaten no one.


Western monitors were invited to observe them. No Russian invasion occurred. No cross-border artillery fire.


So-called satellite imagery was fake. One or more Ukrainian warplanes shot down MH 17.


Clear evidence showed cannon fire downed it. No ground to air missile was involved. Don’t expect Times editors to explain. Or its correspondents and contributors.


On September 27, Putin bashing continued. The Times headlined “It Pays to Be Putin’s Friend,” saying:


He “steer(ed) lucrative accounts” Bank Rossiya’s way after Washington “made (it) a primary target of sanctions…”


It’s “run by some of (Putin’s) closest friends and colleagues from his early days in St. Petersburg…”


It’s “emblematic of the way (his) brand of crony capitalism has turned loyalists into billionaires whose influence over strategic sectors of the economy has in turn helped him maintain his iron-fisted grip on power.”


Fact check:


US government/corporate corruption gives grand theft new meaning. So does US-style crony capitalism.


Monied interests run America. They so so in league with fascist governance.


Mussolini called his version corporatism. It reflects “the merger of state and corporate power,” he said.


America’s version is worse. It’s global. It combines police state harshness, disdain for fundamental rights, and brazen brutality with unbridled corporate power.


It’s ideologically over-the-top and then some. It’s ruthless. It’s all take and no give. Non-believers aren’t tolerated.


They’re systematically eliminated. They’re murdered in cold blood. They locked away in gulag prison hell to rot.


Fascism works this way. America is the world’s leading exponent. Ukraine is the epicenter of its European reemergence. Don’t The Times to explain.


“If the modern Russian state is Kremlin Inc., Mr. Putin is its chief executive officer, rewarding his friends with control of state-owned companies and doling out lucrative government contracts in deals that provoke accusations of corruption but have the veneer of legality under the Putin system,” it claimed.


He “collect(ed) new friends,” it added. He “la(id) the foundation for what would evolve into the system of personalized, state-sponsored capitalism now at the heart of his power.”


“In many cases, contracts and property (are) distributed through insider deals, often without open or transparent bidding.”


Fact check:


American-style casino capitalism gives corruption new meaning. Crony capitalism flourishes. Oligarchs run America.


No-bid sweetheart deals are standard practice. So is gross over-billing, waste, fraud and abuse on the grandest of grand scales.


Gangsterism defines America. So does kleptocracy. Washington’s criminal class is bipartisan.


Monied interests run things. They’re in league with corrupt government officials.


They hold an unprecedented amount of wealth. They take full advantage.


They hide it in offshore tax havens. America is the United States of steal all you can.


Ordinary people have no say. Elections have no legitimacy. They’re shams. Democracy is pure fantasy. It’s the best money can buy.


Personal freedoms are eroding in plain sight. They’re disappearing altogether.


Putin was democratically elected three times. Independent monitors call Russia’s process open, free and fair.


Russians want no one else to lead them. In March 2012, Putin’s majority was 63.6%. His closest rival got 17.2%.


Polls show he’s overwhelmingly popular. Well over 80% of Russians support him. It’s for good reason.


For opposing Western imperialism. For affirming Russian sovereignty. For observing international laws, norms and standards.


For championing multi-world polarity. For going all-out for diplomatic conflict resolutions. For supporting peace and stability. For deploring wars without end.


For challenging US unipolarity, unilateralism, state terror and war on humanity.


He’s bashed for doing the right thing. For supporting right over wrong. For being on the right side of major geopolitical issues.


For being forthright. For challenging America responsibly. Don’t expect The Times to explain.


It wages war on truth relentlessly. Putin bashing persists like sport. Russian expert Stephen Cohen says doing so endangers US security.


Media scoundrels denigrate him irresponsibly. They’re mindless about what’s at stake, says Cohen.


Putin bashing “featur(es) mostly irrelevant, baseless or hyperbolic allegations about his political record…” It’s unabated. It’s relentless.


It’s malicious. MSM countervailing voices don’t exist. He’s demonized like “Saddam, Stalin and Hitler.”


He’s falsely accused of revanchism. Of wanting imperial Russia restored. Of “poking America in the eye.”


Putinophobia rages. It’s when cooperating with Moscow should take precedence.


At risk is open East/West confrontation. Potentially escalating it to global conflict.


Obama represents the worst of rogue leadership. He’s ideologically over-the-top. He risks what no responsible leader would dare.


His geopolitical agenda reflects madness. Media scoundrels share blame. They’re mindless of potential armageddon.


Times news, commentaries and analyses have clout. They reflect official policy. They influence it.


Bashing Putin irresponsibly risks the unthinkable. Cold War 2.0 risks becoming hot. All bets are off if it happens.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.


His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”


http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

posted by Steve Lendman @ 5:54 AM

The Looming American Quagmire in Iraq and Syria

Wayne MADSEN | 19.09.2014 | 00:01

As the Barack Obama administration seeks reliable allies to confront the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL) – the official U.S. Department of Defense nomenclature for the newest radical Islamist bogeyman that has eclipsed “Al Qaeda” as global “public enemy number one” – the United States is on the precipice of falling into another Middle Eastern quagmire.

The deeper one digs into the operations surrounding the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL), or, as it is variably called, “Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham” (ISIS), “Al Dawlah” (the State), or “Da’ish” (a concatenation of “al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Iraq wa al-Sham,” the more the Islamist insurgent group’s links to Western and Israeli intelligence are revealed. ISIL is  an outgrowth of the Organization of Jihad’s Base in the Country of the Two Rivers or Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. As with the current leader of ISIL, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, questions surrounded the background of Zarqawi.

As described in a PowerPoint slide created by the Multinational Force – Iraq (MNFI), Zarqawi was largely a menacing character created by the Pentagon’s psychological operations, media operations, and special operations to leverage a xenophobic response from Iraq’s religious and ethnic groups, including Shi’as, moderate Sunnis, Sufis, and Kurds.

In a 2004 slide titled “Result,” the MNFI bragged that its creation of the Zarqawi threat had the following desired results:

“Abu Musab al-Zarqawi now represents:

a.​ Terrorism in Iraq

b.​ Foreign Fighters in Iraq

c.​ Suffering of Iraqi People (Infrastructure Attacks)

d.​ Denial of Iraqi Aspirations (Disrupting Transfer of Sovereignty”

The slide concludes with a description of the effect of promoting Zarqawi as the top threatening terrorist in Iraq, which was to:

“Eliminate popular support for a potentially sympathetic insurgency. Deny ability of insurgency to ‘take root’ among the people.”

According to The Washington Post, General Mark Kimmitt, the U.S. Central Command’s chief public affairs officer in Iraq stated in a 2004 internal CENTCOM briefing that “The Zarqawi PSYOP program is the most successful information campaign to date.”

After the Iraq debacle, many of Zarqawi’s U.S. intelligence-controlled terrorist “assets” moved to Syria, where they now threaten the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Some of these elements stormed across Syria’s border to threaten the Shi’a-dominated government in Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government in Erbil. The newest bogeyman is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a former lieutenant under Zarqawi, who has proclaimed himself “emir” of a new caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

Zarqawi’s real name was Ahmed Fadeel Nazal al-Khalayleh. He was born in the Jordanian town of Zarqa. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was an alias as much as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is an alias today for the leader of ISIL. Al Baghdadi, a native of Samarra, Iraq, is actually Ibrahim ibn Awwad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ali ibn Muhammad al-Badri al-Samarrai. Before he joined the mujaheddin war against the Soviets, Zarqawi was known as a drunk and drug abuser, hardly material for the fundamentalist Islamists bankrolled by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates.

Like Baghdadi, Zarqawi proclaimed himself the “Emir of Al Qaeda in the Country of the Two Rivers,” which means Iraq. Some U.S. intelligence sources claimed that Zarqawi was a “myth” invented by the neocons to justify continued U.S. military operations in Iraq. Iraqi Sunni and Shi’a leaders rarely agree, however, a Sunni insurgent leader told The Daily Telegraph that he believed that Zarqawi was an American or Israeli agent and Iraqi Shi’a leader Muqtada al Sadr claimed that Zarqawi was a fake radical Islamist takfir who was in the employment of the United States.

While Zarqawi was hyped as one of America’s most dangerous enemies, the man who eventually succeeded him as the head of ISIL in Syria, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, became one of America’s trusted allies. Al-Baghdadi, along with the leaders of the Al Nusra Front, initially placed their forces under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army. However, there is every indication that al-Baghdadi is as much a creation of the CIA as was Zarqawi.

Nabil Na’eem, a former top Al Qaeda commander and founder of the Islamic Democratic Jihad Party in Lebanon told Beirut’s Al-Maydeen television network that ISIL is a creation of the CIA and Mossad.

FORMER AL-QAEDA COMMANDER: ISIS WORKS FOR THE CIA

Na’eem also stated that the intent of ISIL is to implement Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s 1996 “Clean Break” policy, also known as the A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm and crafted by America’s leading Zionist neocons. The Clean Break laid the groundwork for the U.S. Syrian Accountability Act of 2003, the blueprint for American intervention in Syria to overthrow Assad.

Al-Baghdadi is reported to have undergone Mossad military and Islamist theology training in Israel for a year. Na’eem also said that the commander of the Al-Nusra Front, Mohammed al-Jawlani, who swore allegiance to ISIL, is a CIA operative.

A videotaped speech by Al Baghdadi at the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, in which he claimed to be the caliph of all Muslims, was deemed a fake by an Iraqi government official.

The Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) and its component Syria Revolutionaries Front (SRF), backed by key American neo-conservatives like Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, as well as neocon non-profits like the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, maintain close links with ISIL and al-Nusra. SRF commander Jamal Maaroud, a nom-de-guerre, has publicly stated that the SRF will fight ISIL but not “Al Qaeda: although there is little evidence on the ground in Syria and Iraq that suggests there is a difference between the two groups.

The FSA and ISIL reportedly joined ranks in the invasion of Lebanon during the Battle of Arsal in August. ISIL and the FSA took several hostages after they attacked Lebanese army units and the local police. FSA commanders also stated that they and ISIL and al-Nusra terrorists had joined ranks in attacking Lebanese units in Arsal and the border Qalamoun region.

There is every indication that ISIL has significant links to Israel. Although there are claims to the contrary, ISIL absorbed most of the ranks of the Al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) Islamist insurgent group in Syria. Al Nusra Front has coordinated its seizure of Syrian army positions along the Golan Heights border with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Rather than hit back at Al Nusra positions on the Syrian side of the Golan frontier, the Israelis attacked Syrian army positions, giving a boost to the Syrian campaigns of Al Nusra in particular and ISIL in general. There are reports that the Israeli military has been given the coordinates of Syrian army and Hezbollah forces, as well as “Committees for the Defense of the Homeland” militia forces of Alawites, Shi’as, Christians, and Druze, by Al-Nusra/ISIL to launch missile and drone attacks from the Israeli side of the border.

Israelis so sanguine about ISIL, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz has reported that Israeli authorities routinely permit Israeli tourists, armed only with cameras and binoculars, visit the Golan Heights and peer out over the valley of Quneitra to witness Al-Nusra/ISIL jihadists fighting the Syrian army. Israel has even supplied large telescopic viewers for Israelis to peer down on the fighting in the valley. Israelis, some who bring their lunch, coffee, and lawn chairs, spend the entire day watching Arabs killing other Arabs.

In Germany, a German Muslim volunteer for ISIL, Kreshnik Berisha, is on trial for being a member of ISIL. Berisha, before joining ISIL , played soccer for TuS Makkabi Frankfurt, Germany’s largest Jewish soccer team.

The Israeli complacency about the jihadists suggests a deal having been worked out between the Israeli government and the Syrian jihadists not to bring the conflict across the Golan frontier into Israel. Or, the Syrian jihadists are under some type of operational control by Mossad and the IDF and are under strict orders to not attack Israeli targets.

Israelmasks its cross-border infiltration and exfiltration of Al Nusra/ISIL guerrillas into and out of Syria by claiming it is rendering medical assistance to wounded Syrian rebels. Some of these activities were witnessed by Philippines and Fiji UN peacekeepers who were ultimately attacked by Al Nusra/ISIL. The terrorists took 45 Fijian peacekeepers as hostages and were not released until Qatar paid a hefty ransom, thus enriching ISIL’s already-sizable coffers of cash. Another Syrian “moderate” group said to receive assistance from both Saudi Arabia and Israel is the “Southern Front” grouping led by someone named Bashar al-Zoubi.

In the internecine battles in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and probably soon in Jordan and the Sinai peninsula of Egypt, shifting loyalties, deep-pocketed Gulf Arabs, and an increasingly close relationship between Israel’s right-wing Zionists and the House of  Saud, provide all the ingredients for a quagmire. Thanks to the neocons plunging the United States into another absolute mess, America has not seen the last steady influx of body bags to its Dover Air Force Base, Delaware mortuary command.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

The Covert Origins of ISIS

http://scgnews.com/the-covert-origins-of-isis?utm_source=share-fb

Evidence exposing who put ISIS in power, and how it was done.

The Islamic militant group ISIS, formerly known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq, and recently rebranded as the so called Islamic State, is the stuff of nightmares. They are ruthless, fanatical, killers, on a mission, and that mission is to wipe out anyone and everyone, from any religion or belief system and to impose Shari’ah law. The mass executions, beheadings and even crucifixions that they are committing as they work towards this goal are flaunted like badges of pride, video taped and uploaded for the whole world to see. This is the new face of evil.

Would it interest you to know who helped these psychopaths rise to power? Would it interest you to know who armed them, funded them and trained them? Would it interest you to know why?

This story makes more sense if we start in the middle, so we’ll begin with the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The Libyan revolution was Obama’s first major foreign intervention. It was portrayed as an extension of the Arab Spring, and NATO involvement was framed in humanitarian terms.

The fact that the CIA was actively working to help the Libyan rebels topple Gaddafi was no secret, nor were the airstrikes that Obama ordered against the Libyan government. However, little was said about the identity or the ideological leanings of these Libyan rebels. Not surprising, considering the fact that the leader of the Libyan rebels later admitted that his fighters included Al-Qaeda linked jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq.

These jihadist militants from Iraq were part of what national security analysts commonly referred to as Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Remember Al-Qaeda in Iraq was ISIS before it was rebranded.

With the assistance of U.S. and NATO intelligence and air support, the Libyan rebels captured Gaddafi and summarily executed him in the street, all the while enthusiastically chanting “Allah Akbar”. For many of those who had bought the official line about how these rebels were freedom fighters aiming to establish a liberal democracy in Libya, this was the beginning of the end of their illusions.

Prior to the U.S. and NATO backed intervention, Libya had the highest standard of living of any country in Africa. This according to the U.N.’s Human Development Index rankings for 2010. However in the years following the coup, the country descended into chaos, with extremism and violence running rampant. Libya is now widely regarded as failed state (of course those who were naive enough to buy into the propaganda leading up to the war get defensive when this is said).

Now after Gaddafi was overthrown, the Libyan armories were looted, and massive quantities of weapons were sent by the Libyan rebels to Syria. The weapons, which included anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles were smuggled into Syria through Turkey, a NATO ally. The times of London reported on the arrival of the shipment on September 14th, 2012. (Secondary confirmation in this NYT article) This was just three days after Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed by the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi. Chris Stevens had served as the U.S. government’s liaison to the Libyan rebels since April of 2011.

While a great deal media attention has focused on the fact that the State Department did not provide adequate security at the consulate, and was slow to send assistance when the attack started, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh released an article in April of 2014 which exposed a classified agreement between the CIA, Turkey and the Syrian rebels to create what was referred to as a “rat line”. The “rat line” was covert network used to channel weapons and ammunition from Libya, through southern turkey and across the Syrian border. Funding was provided by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

With Stevens dead any direct U.S. involvement in that arms shipment was buried, and Washington would continue to claim that they had not sent heavy weaponry into Syria.

It was at this time that jihadist fighters from Libya began flooding into Syria as well. And not just low level militants. Many were experienced commanders who had fought in multiple theaters.

The U.S. and its allies were now fully focused on taking down Assad’s government in Syria. As in Libya this regime change was to be framed in terms of human rights, and now overt support began to supplement the backdoor channels. The growing jihadist presence was swept under the rug and covered up.

However as the rebels gained strength, the reports of war crimes and atrocities that they were committing began to create a bit of a public relations problem for Washington. It then became standard policy to insist that U.S. support was only being given to what they referred to as “moderate” rebel forces.

This distinction, however, had no basis in reality.

In an interview given in April of 2014, FSA commander Jamal Maarouf admitted that his fighters regularly conduct joint operations with Al-Nusra. Al-Nusra is the official Al-Qa’ida branch in Syria. This statement is further validated by an interview given in June of 2013 by Colonel Abdel Basset Al-Tawil, commander of the FSA’s Northern Front. In this interview he openly discusses his ties with Al-Nusra, and expresses his desire to see Syria ruled by sharia law. (You can verify the identities of these two commanders here in this document from The Institute for the Study of War)

Moderate rebels? Well it’s complicated. Not that this should really come as any surprise. Reuters had reported in 2012 that the FSA’s command was dominated by Islamic extremists, and the New York Times had reported that same year that the majority of the weapons that Washington were sending into Syria was ending up in the hands Jihadists. For two years the U.S. government knew that this was happening, but they kept doing it.

And the FSA’s ties to Al-Nusra are just the beginning. In June of 2014 Al-Nusra merged with ISIS at the border between Iraq and Syria.

So to review, the FSA is working with Al-Nusra, Al-Nusra is working with ISIS, and the U.S. has been sending money and weapons to the FSA even though they’ve known since 2012 that most of these weapons were ending up in the hands of extremists. You do the math.

[UPDATE 9.03.14]: Retired Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney admits: “We Helped Build ISIS”:
Note that the first version of this video I uploaded (here) was quickly taken down. To insure that this clip does not disappear we have provided a secondary download link here. So if the video below isn’t playing then use that link and upload it elsewhere.

Syria, we backed I believe, in some cases some of the wrong people and not in the right part of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) that’s a little confusing to people. So I’ve always maintained, and go back quite some time that we were backing the wrong types. I think it’s going to turn out maybe this weekend in a new special that Brett Baer is going to have Friday that’s gonna show some of those weapons from Benghazi ended up in the hands of ISIS. So we helped build ISIS.

In that context, the sarin gas attacks of 2013 which turned out to have been committed by the Syrian rebels, makes a lot more sense doesn’t it? If it wasn’t enough that U.N. investigators, Russian investigators, and Pulitzer prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh all pinned that crime on Washington’s proxies, the rebels themselves threatened the West that they would expose what really happened if they were not given more advanced weaponry within one month.

By the way, this also explains why Washington then decided to target Russia next.

This threat was made on June 10th, 2013. In what can only be described as an amazing coincidence, just nine days later, the rebels received their first official shipment of heavy weapons in Aleppo.

After the second sarin gas fiasco, which was also exposed and therefore failed to garner public support for airstrikes, the U.S. continued to increase its the training and support for the rebels.

 

In February of 2014, Haaretz reported that the U.S. and its allies in the region, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel, were in the process of helping the Syrian rebels plan and prepare for a massive attack in the south. According to Haaretz Israel had also provided direct assistance in military operations against Assad four months prior (you can access a free cached version of the page here).

Then in May of 2014 PBS ran a report in which they interviewed rebels who were trained by the U.S. in Qatar. According to those rebels they were being trained to finish off soldiers who survived attacks.

“They trained us to ambush regime or enemy vehicles and cut off the road,” said the fighter, who is identified only as “Hussein.” “They also trained us on how to attack a vehicle, raid it, retrieve information or weapons and munitions, and how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush.”

This is a blatant violation of the Geneva conventions. It also runs contrary to conventional military strategy. In conventional military strategy soldiers are better off left wounded, because this ends up costing the enemy more resources. Executing captured enemy soldiers is the kind of tactic used when you want to strike terror in the hearts of the enemy. It also just happens to be standard operating procedure for ISIS.

One month after this report, in June of 2014, ISIS made its dramatic entry, crossing over the Syrian border into Iraq, capturing Mosul, Baiji and almost reaching Baghdad. The internet was suddenly flooded with footage of drive by shootings, large scale death marches, and mass graves. And of course any Iraqi soldier that was captured was executed.

Massive quantities of American military equipment were seized during that operation. ISIS took entire truckloads of humvees, they took helicopters, tanks, and artillery. They photographed and video taped themselves and advertised what they were doing on social media, and yet for some reason Washington didn’t even TRY to stop them.

U.S. military doctrine clearly calls for the destruction of military equipment and supplies when friendly forces cannot prevent them from falling into enemy hands, but that didn’t happen here. ISIS was allowed to carry this equipment out of Iraq and into Syria unimpeded. The U.S. military had the means to strike these convoys, but they didn’t lift a finger, even though they had been launching drone strikes in Pakistan that same week.

Why would they do that?

Though Obama plays the role of a weak, indecisive, liberal president, and while pundits from the right have had a lot of fun with that image, this is just a facade. Some presidents, like George W. Bush, rely primarily on overt military aggression. Obama gets the same job done, but he prefers covert means. Not really surprising considering the fact that Zbigniew Brzezinski was his mentor.

Those who know their history will remember that Zbigniew Brzezinski was directly involved in the funding and arming the Islamic extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to weaken the Soviets.

By the way Osama bin Laden was one of these anti-Soviet “freedom fighters” the U.S. was funding and arming.

This operation is no secret at this point, nor are the unintended side effects.

Officially the U.S. government’s arming and funding of the Mujahideen was a response to the Soviet invasion in December of 1979, however in his memoir entitled “From the Shadows” Robert Gates, director of the CIA under Ronald Reagan and George Bush Senior, and Secretary of Defense under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, revealed that the U.S. actually began the covert operation 6 months prior, with the express intention of luring the Soviets into a quagmire. (You can preview the relevant text here on google books)

The strategy worked. The Soviets invaded, and the ten years of war that followed are considered by many historians as being one of the primary causes of the fall of the USSR.

This example doesn’t just establish precedent, what we’re seeing happen in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria right now is actually a continuation of a old story. Al-Nusra and ISIS are ideological and organizational decedents of these extremist elements that the U.S. government made use of thirty years ago.

The U.S. the went on to create a breeding ground for these extremists by invading Iraq in 2003. Had it not been for the vacuum of power left by the removal and execution of Saddam, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, aka ISIS, would not exist. And had it not been for Washington’s attempt at toppling Assad by arming, funding and training shadowy militant groups in Syria, there is no way that ISIS would have been capable of storming into Iraq in June of 2014.

On every level, no matter how you cut it, ISIS is a product of U.S. government’s twisted and decrepit foreign policy.

Now all of this may seem contradictory to you as you watch the drums of war against ISIS begin to beat louder and the air strikes against them are gradually widened http://www.wjla.com/articles/2014/08/president-obama-considers-possible-…). Why would the U.S. help a terrorist organization get established, only to attack them later?

Well why did the CIA put Saddam Hussein in power in 1963?, Why did the U.S. government back Saddam in 1980 when he launched a war of aggression against Iran, even though they knew that he was using chemical weapons? Why did the U.S. fund and arm Islamic extremists in Afghanistan against the Soviets?

There’s a pattern here if you look closely. This is a tried and true geopolitical strategy.

Step 1: Build up a dictator or extremist group which can then be used to wage proxy wars against opponents. During this stage any crimes committed by these proxies are swept under the rug. [Problem]

Step 2: When these nasty characters have outlived their usefulness, that’s when it’s time to pull out all that dirt from under the rug and start publicizing it 24/7. This obviously works best when the public has no idea how these bad guys came to power.[Reaction]

Step 3: Finally, when the public practically begging for the government to do something, a solution is proposed. Usually the solution involves military intervention, the loss of certain liberties, or both. [Solution]

ISIS is extremely useful. They have essentially done Washington dirty work by weakening Assad. In 2014, while the news cycle has focused almost exclusively on Ukraine and Russia, ISIS made major headway in Syria, and as of August they already controlled 35% of the country.

Since ISIS largely based in Syria, this gives the U.S. a pretext to move into Syria. Sooner or later the U.S. will extend the airstrikes into Assad’s backyard, and when they do U.S. officials are already making it clear that both ISIS and the Syrian government will be targeted. That, after all, is the whole point. Washington may allow ISIS to capture a bit more territory first, but the writing is on the wall, and has been for some time now.

The Obama administration has repeatedly insisted that this will never lead to boots on the ground, however, the truth of the matter is that anyone who understands anything about military tactics knows full well that ISIS cannot be defeated by airstrikes alone. In response to airstrikes ISIS will merely disperse and conceal their forces. ISIS isn’t an established state power which can be destroyed by knocking out key government buildings and infrastructure. These are guerrilla fighters who cut their teeth in urban warfare.

To significantly weaken them, the war will have to involve ground troops, but even this is a lost cause. U.S. troops could certainly route ISIS in street to street battles for some time, and they might even succeed in fully occupying Syria and Iraq for a number of years, but eventually they will have to leave, and when they do, it should be obvious what will come next.

The puppets that the U.S. government has installed in the various countries that they have brought down in recent years have without exception proven to be utterly incompetent and corrupt. No one that Washington places in power will be capable of maintaining stability in Syria. Period.

Right now, Assad is the last bastion of stability in the region. He is the last chance they have for a moderate non-sectarian government and he is the only hope of anything even remotely resembling democracy for the foreseeable future. If Assad falls, Islamic extremist will take the helm, they will impose shari’ah law, and they will do everything in their power to continue spreading their ideology as far and wide as they can.

If the world truly wants to stop ISIS, there is only one way to do it:

1. First and foremost, the U.S. government and its allies must be heavily pressured to cut all support to the rebels who are attempting to topple Assad. Even if these rebels that the U.S. is arming and funding were moderate, and they’re not, the fact that they are forcing Assad to fight a war on multiple fronts, only strengthens ISIS. This is lunacy.

2. The Syrian government should be provided with financial support, equipment, training and intelligence to enable them to turn the tide against ISIS. This is their territory, they should be the ones to reclaim it.

Now obviously this support isn’t going to come from the U.S. or any NATO country, but there are a number of nations who have a strategic interest in preventing another regime change and chaotic aftermath. If these countries respond promptly, as in right now, they could preempt a U.S. intervention, and as long this support does not include the presence of foreign troops, doing so will greatly reduce the likelihood of a major confrontation down the road.

3. The U.S. government and its allies should should be aggressively condemned for their failed regime change policies and the individuals behind these decisions should be charged for war crimes. This would have to be done on an nation by nation level since the U.N. has done nothing but enable NATO aggression. While this may not immediately result in these criminals being arrested, it would send a message. This can be done. Malaysia has already proven this by convicting the Bush administration of war crimes in abstentia.

Now you might be thinking: “This all sounds fine and good, but what does this have to do with me? I can’t influence this situation.”

That perspective is quite common, and for most people, it’s paralyzing, but the truth of the matter is that we can influence this. We’ve done it before, and we can do it again.

I’ll be honest with you though, this isn’t going to be easy. To succeed we have to start thinking strategically. Like it or not, this is a chess game. If we really want to rock the boat, we have to start reaching out to people in positions of influence. This can mean talking to broadcasters at your local radio station, news paper, or t.v. station, or it can mean contacting influential bloggers, celebrities, business figures or government officials. Reaching out to current serving military and young people who may be considering joining up is also important. But even if it’s just your neighbor, or your coworker, every single person we can reach brings us closer to critical mass. The most important step is to start trying.

If you are confused about why this is all happening, watch this video we put out on September 11th, 2012

If this message resonates with you then spread it. If you want to see the BIG picture, and trust me we’ve got some very interesting reports coming, subscribe to StormCloudsGathering on Youtube, and follow us on Facebook, twitter and Google plus.

BONUS ARTICLE (an interesting tangent): Were the Libyan rebels being led by a CIA plant?

Escobar: ‘Obama using the ISIS pretext to go after Assad!’

Via FLC 

“… Escobar said. “So now Obama’s finally got his war in Syria – and in no less than three fronts; against the Caliphate; against the mysterious Khorasan jihadi group; and weaponizing the Syrian ‘rebels’ to try once more to get rid of Bashar al-Assad.”…

 “There had to be an ‘unimpeachable’ justification for yet another Obama bombing/droning ‘kinetic’ adventure in the Middle East. So those ghostly Khorasan goons perfectly fit the bill – more evil that Caliph Ibrahim. To the point that the Pentagon is convinced their ‘plotting was imminent’ to stage a new 9/11,” he added.
Concluding, Pepe Escobar referred to Khorasan as “the perfect ghost in the GWOT [Global War on Terrorism] machine; the invisible target of a war within a war.” He also stressed that Khorasan is “the perfect terror ghost; nobody has heard about them before, nobody knows how many they are, and nobody knows exactly what they want….”

Recent reminders: ‘Bandar & ISIS’

 Steve Clemons in the Atlantic:

“… The Free Syrian Army (FSA), the “moderate” armed opposition in the country, receives a lot of attention. But two of the most successful factions fighting Assad’s forces are Islamist extremist groups: Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the latter of which is now amassing territory in Iraq and threatening to further destabilize the entire region. And that success is in part due to the support they have received from two Persian Gulf countries: Qatar and Saudi Arabia.Qatar’s military and economic largesse has made its way to Jabhat al-Nusra, to the point that a senior Qatari official told me he can identify al-Nusra commanders by the blocks they control in various Syrian cities. But ISIS is another matter. As one senior Qatari official stated, “ISIS has been a Saudi project.”
ISIS, in fact, may have been a major part of Bandar’s covert-ops strategy in Syria. …”

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

On Israel’s little-known concentration and labor camps in 1948-1955

Civilians captured during the fall of Lydda and Ramle around the time of July 12, 1948 and taken to labour camps. In the July heat they were thirsty and were given a drop of water carried by a child under soldiers’ guard. (Photo: Salman Abu Sitta, Palestine Land Society)
Published Monday, September 29, 2014
Much of the grim and murky circumstances of the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the late 1940s have gradually been exposed over time. One aspect – rarely researched or deeply discussed – is the internment of thousands of Palestinian civilians within at least 22 Zionist-run concentration and labor camps that existed from 1948 to 1955. Now more is known about the contours of this historical crime, due to the comprehensive research by renowned Palestinian historian Salman Abu Sitta and founding member of the Palestinian resource center BADIL Terry Rempel.
The facts are these.
The study – to be published in the upcoming issue of theJournal of Palestine Studies – relies on almost 500 pages of International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) reports written during the 1948 war, that were declassified and made available to the public in 1996, and accidentally discovered by one of the authors in 1999.
Furthermore, testimonies of 22 former Palestinian civilian detainees of these camps were collected by the authors, through interviews they conducted themselves in 2002, or documented by others during different moments of time.
With these sources of information, the authors, as they put it, pieced together a clearer story of how Israel captured and imprisoned “thousands of Palestinian civilians as forced laborers,” and exploited them “to support its war-time economy.”
Digging up the crimes
“I came across this piece of history in the 1990s when I was collecting material and documents about Palestinian,” Abu Sitta told Al-Akhbar English. “The more and more you dig, the more you find there are crimes that have taken place that are not reported and not known.”
At that time, Abu Sitta went to Geneva for a week to check out the newly-opened archives of the ICRC. According to him, the archives were opened to the public after accusations that the ICRC had sided with the Nazis during World War II. It was an opportunity that he could not miss in terms of seeing what the ICRC had recorded of the events that occurred in Palestine in 1948. It was there he stumbled onto records discussing the existence of five concentration camps run by the Israelis.
He then decided to look for witnesses or former detainees, interviewing Palestinians in occupied Palestine, Syria, and Jordan.
“They all described the same story, and their real experience in these camps,” he said.
One question that immediately struck him was why there was barely any references in history about these camps, especially when it became clearer the more he researched that they existed, and were more than just five camps.

“Many former Palestinian detainees saw the concept of Israel as a vicious enemy, so they thought their experience labouring in these concentration camps was nothing in comparison to the other larger tragedy of the Nakba.” – Palestinian historian Salman Abu Sitta

“Many former Palestinian detainees saw the concept of Israel as a vicious enemy, so they thought their experience labouring in these concentration camps was nothing in comparison to the other larger tragedy of the Nakba. The Nakba overshadowed everything,” Abu Sitta explained.
“However, when I dug into the period of 1948-1955, I found more references like Mohammed Nimr al-Khatib, who was an imam in Haifa, who had written down interviews with someone from al-Yahya family that was in one of the camps. I was able to trace this man all the way to California and spoke with him in 2002,” he added. More references were eventually and slowly discovered by Abu Sitta that included information from a Jewish woman called Janoud, a single masters thesis in Hebrew University about the topic, and the personal accounts of economist Yusif Sayigh, helped to further flesh out the scale and nature of these camps.
After more than a decade, Abu Sitta, with his co-author Rempel, are finally presenting their findings to the public.
From burden to opportunity: concentration and labor camps
The establishment of concentration and labor camps occurred after the unilateral declaration of Israel’s statehood on May 1948.
Prior to that event, the number of Palestinian captives in Zionist hands were quite low, because, as the study states, “the Zionist leadership concluded early on that forcible expulsion of the civilian population was the only way to establish a Jewish state in Palestine with a large enough Jewish majority to be ‘viable’.” In other words, for the Zionist strategists, prisoners were a burden in the beginning phases of the ethnic cleansing.
Those calculations changed with the declaration of the Israeli state and the involvement of the armies of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Transjordan, after much of the ethnic cleansing had occurred. From that moment, “the Israeli forces began taking prisoners, both regular Arab soldiers (for eventual exchange), and – selectively – able-bodied Palestinian non-combatant civilians.”
The first camp at Ijlil, which was about 13 km northeast of Jaffa, on the site of the destroyed Palestinian village Ijlil al-Qibiliyya, emptied of its inhabitants in early April. Ijlil was predominately made up of tents, housing hundreds and hundreds of prisoners, categorized as POWs by the Israelis, surrounded by barbed wire fences, watchtowers, and a gate with guards.
As the Israeli conquests grew, in turn exceedingly increasing the number of prisoners, three more camps were established. These are the four “official” camps that the Israelis acknowledged and were actively visited by the ICRC.
The study notes:
All four camps were either on or adjacent to military installations set up by the British during the Mandate. These had been used during World War II for the interment of German, Italian, and other POWs. Two of the camps – Atlit, established in July about 20 kms south of Haifa, and Sarafand, established in September near the depopulated village of Sarafand al-Amar in central Palestine—had earlier been used in the 1930s and 1940s to detain illegal Jewish immigrants.
Atlit was the second largest camp after Ijlil, it had the capacity of holding up to 2,900 prisoners, while Sarafand had the maximum capacity of 1,800, and Tel Letwinksy, near Tel Aviv, held more than 1,000.
All four camps were administered by “former British officers who had defected their ranks when British forces withdrew from Palestine in mid-May 1948,” and the camp’s guards and administrative staff were former members of the Irgun and the Stern Gang – both groups designated as terrorist organizations by the British before their departure . In total, the four “official” camps were staffed by 973 soldiers.
A fifth camp, called Umm Khalid, was established at a site of another depopulated village near the Zionist settlement of Netanya, and was even assigned an official number in the records, but never attained “official” status. It had the capacity to hold 1,500 prisoners. Unlike the other four camps, Umm Khalid would be “the fist camp established exclusively as a labor camp” and was “the first of the “recognized” camps to be shut down…by the end of 1948.”
Complementing these five “recognized” camps, were at least 17 other “unrecognized camps” that were not mentioned in official sources, but the authors discovered through multiple prisoner testimonies.
Civilians in a labour camp in Ramleh, July 1948. (Photo: Salman Abu Sitta, Palestine Land Society)
“Many of [these camps],” the authors noted, “[were] apparently improvised or ad hoc, often consisting of no more than a police station, a school, or the house of a village notable,” with holding capacities that ranged from almost 200 prisoners to tens.
Most of the camps, official and unofficial, were situated within the borders of the UN-proposed Jewish state, “although at least four [unofficial camps] – Beersheba, Julis, Bayt Daras, and Bayt Nabala – were in the UN-assigned Arab state and one was inside the Jerusalem “corpus separatum.”

“[T]he situation of civilian internees was ‘absolutely confused’ with that of POWs, and… Jewish authorities ‘treated all Arabs between the ages of 16 and 55 as combatants and locked them up as prisoners of war.’” – ICRC report, 1948

The number of Palestinian non-combatant detainees “far exceeded” those of Arab soldiers in regular armies or bona fide POWs. Citing a July 1948 monthly report made by ICRC mission head Jacques de Reynier, the study states that de Reynier noted, “that the situation of civilian internees was ‘absolutely confused’ with that of POWs, and that the Jewish authorities ‘treated all Arabs between the ages of 16 and 55 as combatants and locked them up as prisoners of war.’” In addition, the ICRC found among the detainees in official camps, that 90 of the prisoners were elderly men, and 77 were boys, aged 15 years or younger.
The study highlights the statements by an ICRC delegate Emile Moeri in January 1949 of the camp inmates:
It is painful to see these poor people, especially old, who were snatched from their villages and put without reason in a camp, obliged to pass the winter under wet tents, away from their families; those who could not survive these conditions died. Little children (10-12 years) are equally found under these conditions. Similarly sick people, some with tuberculosis, languish in these camps under conditions which, while fine for healthy individuals, will certainly lead to their death if we do not find a solution to this problem. For a long time we have demanded that the Jewish authorities release those civilians who are sick and need treatment to the care of their families or to an Arab hospital, but we have not received a response.
As the report noted, “there are no precise figures on the total number of Palestinian civilians held by Israel during the 1948-49 war” and estimates tend to not account for “unofficial” camps, in addition to the frequent movement of prisoners between the camps in use. In the four “official” camps, the number of Palestinian prisoners never exceeded 5,000 according to figures in Israeli records.
Taking accounting the capacity of Umm Khalid, and estimates of the “unofficial camps,” the final number of Palestinian prisoners could be around the 7,000 range, and perhaps much more when, as the study states, when taking into account a November 17, 1948 diary entry by David Ben-Gurion, one of the main Zionist leaders and Israel’s first prime minister, who mentioned “the existence of 9,000 POWs in Israeli-run camps.”
In general, the living conditions in the “official” camps were far below what would be considered appropriate by international law at that time. Moeri, who visited the camps constantly, reported that in Ijlil in November 1948: “”[m]any [of the] tents are torn, that the camp was “not ready for winter,” the latrines not covered, and the canteen not working for two weeks. Referring to an apparently ongoing situation, he stated that “the fruits are still defective, the meat is of poor quality, [and] the vegetables are in short supply.””
Furthermore, Moeri reported that he saw for himself, ““the wounds left by the abuse” of the previous week, when the guards had fired on the prisoners, wounding one, and had beaten another.”
As the study shows, the civilian status of the majority of the detainees were clear for the ICRC delegates in the country, who reported that the men captured “had undoubtedly never been in a regular army.” Detainees who were combatants, the study explains, were “routinely shot on the pretense that they had been attempting to escape.” ‘
The Israeli forces seemed to always target able-bodied men, leaving behind women, children, and the elderly – when not massacring them – the policy continued even after there were low levels of military confrontation. All in all, as the Israeli records show and the study cites, “Palestinian civilians comprised the vast majority (82 percent) of the 5,950 listed as internees in the POW camps, while the Palestinians alone (civilian plus military) comprised 85 percent.” The wide-scale kidnapping and imprisonment of Palestinian civilians tend to correspond with the Israeli military campaigns. For example, one of the first major roundup occurred during Operation Danj, when 60-70,000 Palestinians were expelled from the central towns of Lydda and Ramleh. At the same time, between a fifth and a quarter of the male population from these two towns who were over the age of 15 were sent to the camps.
The largest round-up of civilians came from villages of central Galilee who were captured during Operation Hiram in the fall of 1948.
One Palestinian survive, Moussa, described to the authors what he witnessed at the time.
“They took us from all villages around us: al-Bi’na, Deir al-Asad, Nahaf, al-Rama, and Eilabun. They took 4 young men and shot them dead…They drove us on foot. It was hot. We were not allowed to drink. They took us to [the Palestinian Druze village] al-Maghar, then [to the Jewish settlement] Nahalal, then to Atlit.”
A November 16, 1948 UN report collaborated Moussa’s account, stating that some 500 Palestinian men “were taken by force march and vehicle to a Jewish concentration camp at Nahlal.”
Maintaining Israel’s economy with “slave labor”
The policy of targeting civilians, particular “able-bodied” men, was not accidental according to the study. It states, “with tens of thousands of Jewish men and women called up for military service, Palestinian civilian internees constituted an important supplement to the Jewish civilian labor employed under emergency legislation in maintaining the Israeli economy,” which even the ICRC delegation had noted in their reports.

Abuses by the Israeli guards were systematic rife in the camps, the brunt of which was directed towards villagers, farmers, and lower class Palestinians.

The prisoners were forced to do public and military work, such as drying wetlands, working as servants, collecting and transporting looted refugee property, moving stones from demolished Palestinian homes, paving roads, digging military trenches, burying the dead, and much more.
As one former Palestinian detainee named Habib Mohammed Ali Jarada described in the study, “”At gunpoint, I was made to work all day. At night, we slept in tents. In winter, water was seeping below our bedding, which was dry leaves, cartons and wooden pieces.”
Another prisoner in Umm Khalied, Marwan Iqab al-Yehiya said in an interview with the authors, “We had to cut and carry stones all day [in a quarry]. Our daily food was only one potato in the morning and half dried fish at night. They beat anyone who disobeyed orders.” This labor was interspersed with acts of humiliation by the Israeli guards, with Yehiya speaks of prisoners being “lined up and ordered to strip naked as a punishment for the escape of two prisoners at night.”
“[Jewish] Adults and children came from nearby kibbutz to watch us line up naked and laugh. To us this was most degrading,” he added.
Abuses by the Israeli guards were systematic rife in the camps, the brunt of which was directed towards villagers, farmers, and lower class Palestinians. This was so, the study said, because educated prisoners “knew their rights and had the confidence to argue with and stand up to their captors.”
What is also interestingly noted by the study is how ideological affiliations between prisoners and their guards, had another effects in terms of the relationship between them.
Citing the testimony of Kamal Ghattas, who was captured during the Israeli attack in the Galilee, who said:
We had a fight with our jailers. Four hundred of us confronted 100 soldiers. They brought reinforcements. Three of my friends and I were taken to a cell. They threatened to shoot us. All night we sang the Communist Anthem. They took the four of us to Umm Khaled camp. The Israelis were afraid of their image in Europe. Our contact with our Central Committee and Mapam [Socialist Israeli party] saved us .… I met a Russian officer and told him they took us from our homes although we were non-combatants which was against the Geneva Conventions. When he knew I was a Communist he embraced me and said, “Comrade, I have two brothers in the Red Army. Long live Stalin. Long Live Mother Russia”.

“Anyone who refused to work was shot. They said [the person] tried to escape. Those of us who thought [we] were going to be killed walked backward facing the guards.” – Former Palestinian detainee Tewfic Ahmed Jum’a Ghanim

Yet, the less fortunate Palestinians faced acts of violence which included arbitrary executions and torture, with no recourse. The executions were always defended as stopping “escape attempts” – real or claimed by the guards.It became so common that one former Palestinian detainee of Tel Litwinsky, Tewfic Ahmed Jum’a Ghanim recounted, “Anyone who refused to work was shot. They said [the person] tried to escape. Those of us who thought [we] were going to be killed walked backward facing the guards.”Ultimately, by the end of 1949, Palestinian prisoners were gradually released after heavy lobbying by the ICRC, and other organizations, but was limited in scale and very focused to specific cases.

Prisoners of Arab armies were released in prisoner exchanged, but Palestinian prisoners were unilaterally expelled across the armistice line without any food, supplies, or shelter, and told to walk into the distance, never to return.
It would not be until 1955 when most of the Palestinian civilian prisoners would finally be released.
Forced Labour Camps Atlas. (Source: Salman Abu Sitta,
Palestine Land Society)
An enduring crime
The importance of this study is multi-faceted. Not only does it reveal the numerous violations of international law and conventions of the age, such as 1907 Hague Regulations and the 1929 Geneva Conventions, but also shows how the event shaped the ICRC in the long run.
Because the ICRC was faced with an Israeli belligerent actor who was unwilling to listen and conform to international law and conventions, the ICRC itself had to adapt in what it considered were practical ways to help ensure the Palestinian civilian prisoners were protected under the barest of rights.
Citing his final report, the study quotes de Reynier:
[The ICRC] protested on numerous occasions affirming the right of these civilians to enjoy their freedom unless found guilty and judged by a court. But we have tacitly accepted their POW status because in this way they would enjoy the rights conferred upon them by the Convention. Otherwise, if they were not in the camps they would be expelled [to an Arab country] and in one way or another, they would lead, without resources, the miserable life of refugees.
In the end, the ICRC, and other organizations, were simply ineffective as Israel ignored its condemnations with impunity, in addition to the diplomatic cover of major Western powers.
More importantly, the study sheds more light on the extent of the Israeli crimes during its brutal and bloody birth. And “much more remains to be told,” as the final line of the study states.

The study essentially shows the foundations and beginnings of Israeli policy towards Palestinian civilians that comes in the form of kidnapping, arrest, and detainment.

“It is amazing to me, and many Europeans, who have seen my evidence,” Abu Sitta said, “that a forced labor camp was opened in Palestine three years after they were closed in Germany, and were run by former prisoners – there were German Jewish guards.”“This is a bad reflection of the human spirit, where the oppressed copies an oppressor against innocent lives,” he added.
The study essentially shows the foundations and beginnings of Israeli policy towards Palestinian civilians that comes in the form of kidnapping, arrest, and detainment. This criminality continues till this day. One merely has to read the reports on the hundreds of Palestinians arrested prior, during, and after Israel’s latest war on Gaza mid-summer of this year.
“Gaza today is a concentration camp, no different than the past,” Abu Sitta concluded to Al-Akhbar English.

Yazan is a staff writer for Al-Akhbar English. Follow him on Twitter: @WhySadeye
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US “underestimated”…..

US “underestimated” the power of of Iraqi Army

US President Barack Obama speaks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 44th Annual Legislative Conference Phoenix Awards Dinner in Washington on September 27, 2014. (Photo: AFP – Nicholas Kamm)

Published Monday, September 29, 2014
US President Barack Obama admitted Sunday that the United States had underestimated the opportunity that a collapsing Syria would provide for jihadist militants to regroup and stage a sudden comeback.
Speaking to CBS News, the president said that former al-Qaeda fighters driven from Iraq by US and local forces had been able to gather in Syria to form the newly dangerous Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.
A US-led coalition of Arab and Western allies has begun an air campaign against the group, hitting targets in Iraq and Syria, which Obama called “ground zero for jihadists around the world.”
ISIS has killed thousands while seizing parts of Syria and northwestern Iraq to form a self-declared “caliphate.”

“I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” 

Obama said, referring to his director of national intelligence.
Clapper told a Washington Post columnist this month that US intelligence had underestimated ISIS and overestimated Iraq’s army.
“I didn’t see the collapse of the Iraqi security force in the north coming,” Clapper was quoted as saying. “I didn’t see that. It boils down to predicting the will to fight, which is an imponderable.”
Asked whether Washington has also overestimated the ability or will of Iraq’s US-trained military to fight the jihadists on its own, Obama said:

“That’s true. That’s absolutely true.”

The US leader made his comments in an interview with the “60 Minutes” news show taped on Friday.
Islamic militants went underground when US Marines supposedly quashed al-Qaeda in Iraq, he said.

“But over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where essentially you have huge swaths of the country that are completely ungoverned, they were able to reconstitute themselves and take advantage of that chaos,” Obama said.

Obama said he recognized the contradiction in opposing the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while battling ISIS militants who have been fighting Assad’s government.

“For Syria to remain unified, it is not possible that Assad presides over that entire process,” Obama said. “On the other hand, in terms of immediate threats to the United States, ISIL, Khorasan Group, those folks could kill Americans.”

The US says it has hit a group called “Khorasan” in Syria in the past week, but experts and Syria’s so called “moderate” opposition argue it actually struck al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, al-Nusra Front, which fights alongside the Syria rebels.
Obama said ISIS members have become “very savvy” in their use of social media, and had lured new recruits “who believed in their jihadist nonsense” from Europe, America and Australia, as well as from Muslim majority countries.
The US president said that part of the solution would be for Syria and Iraq to resolve their domestic political crises. He did not specify how international airstrikes would help.
Obama outlined the military goal against ISIS:

“We just have to push them back, and shrink their space, and go after their command and control, and their capacity, and their weapons, and their fueling, and cut off their financing, and work to eliminate the flow of foreign fighters.”

An enduring solution, Obama said, would require

“a change in how not just Iraq, but countries like Syria and some of the other countries in the region, think about what political accommodation means.”

He added:

“The Iraqis have to be willing to fight. And they have to be willing to fight in a nonsectarian way – Shia, Sunni, and Kurd – alongside each other against this cancer in their midst.”

Obama said some countries in the region

“have now created an environment in which young men are more concerned whether they’re Shia or Sunni, rather than whether they are getting a good education or whether they are able to, you know, have a good job.”

When it comes to Iraq, Obama claimed that the US left Iraqis

“with a democracy that was intact, a military that was well-equipped and the ability then to chart their own course.”

However, he added

“that opportunity was squandered over the course of five years or so because the prime minister, [Nouri al-]Maliki, was much more interested in consolidating his Shia base.”

Obama did not address how sectarianism in Iraq was directly fueled and encouraged by the Americans during their occupation of the country.
“We are assisting Iraq in a very real battle that’s taking place on their soil, with their troops,” Obama said.
“It is in our interest to do that, because ISIL represents sort of a hybrid of not just the terrorist network, but one with territorial ambitions, and some of the strategy and tactics of an army,” he said, using an alternate name for ISIS.
Iraq has remained divided since the 2003 US invasion and the withdrawal of American troops in 2011, and Syria has been in full-blown civil war since 2011.
“This is not America against ISIL,” Obama said. ”

This is America leading the international community to assist a country with whom we have a security partnership with, to make sure that they are able to take care of their business.”

(AFP, Reuters, Al-Akhbar, Anadolu)
——–
RELATED VIDEO:  When US “underestimate” 
US “underestimated” the power of Daash
US “underestimated” the power of of Iraqi Army
US “underestimated” the power of of Iraqi Army
US “underestimated” the Results of intervening:
in Libya
in Iraq
in ME the last 2 decades
The US is underestimating the consequences of leading its collision against terror.
Whenever the US Air force attack we hear the  US Media saying the US is killing Terrorist.

But
When the Syrian Air Force attack the US media say: Syria is killing the “freedom fighters”
Soon we will hear the western media taking about Yemani “freedom fighters” fighting the “Houthi Terrorists”

عندما تسيء اميركا التقدير … _ مقدمة محمد شري _ مع الحدث | المنار

المجتمع الدولي ومفهوم الارهاب_ رئيسة الارجنتين تكشف زيف التعاطي مع الارهاب في العالم

The international community and the concept of Terrorisn: Argentine President reveal the falsity of dealing with terrorism in the world

More Here

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Saudi regime commits new crime against protesters in al-Qatif

Protestors were shot and killed in the Saudi town of al-Qatif. (Photo: Al-Akhbar)
Published Monday, September 29, 2014
The region of al-Qatif in Saudi Arabia witnessed a “silent” crime a couple of days ago, when the authorities of the House of Saud used live bullets, once again, to disperse a peaceful protest, killing one person and injuring many others.
Only a few days after National Day celebrations in Saudi Arabia, the House of Saud was keen on reminding the public about the real historical significance of this date.
The Interior Ministry raided the Showeika neighborhood in al-Qatif in the Eastern Region, shooting live rounds from inside civilian cars at a peaceful protest organized by a group of young men in support of arrested cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. About 10 protesters were injured; they fell to the ground, spilling their blood on the protest signs that they were carrying, as seen in photos shared online by local activists.
Social media activists said a young man by the name of Bassem al-Qadihi was injured and admitted to the hospital, but security forces soon checked him out of the hospital and took him to an unknown location, despite his serious health condition. Some parents, fearing their children’s arrest, did not take them to the hospital but treated them at home instead.
The Interior Ministry maintained silence for hours as a public solidarity campaign was launched along with fiery tweets by activist Hamza al-Shakhouri.
When the Interior Ministry finally spoke out, the ‘terrorism’ charge was used against the protesters as usual.
In a press release published by the Saudi news agency, the ministry’s security spokesman, General Mansour al-Turki said “concerned security bodies were able to track down fugitive Ali Mohammed al-Qadihi, involved in leading a number of terrorist operations that targeted citizens, residents and security forces, in the town of al-Awamiya during which firearms were used, and training and encouraging young people on using [these arms].”
But does the ministry have any evidence to support its claims? The answer is no as these claims remain mere accusations. The House of Saud has grown accustomed to fabricating accusations against the people of the Eastern Region ever since they started protesting peacefully three years ago to demand freedom.

”The Saudi regime is delusional for thinking that its assaults and fascism will terrorize our people and stop them from continuing their movement and demanding their rights.” – Activist Hamza al-Shakhouri

In addition, the spokesman mentioned al-Awamiya region on purpose, although the incident took place in the al-Showeika neighborhood, as if he intentionally implicated al-Awamiya since the town has a heavy opposition presence, and has witnessed many bloody events in the past.
The press release noted that al-Qadihi’s health deteriorated without giving any details, and it was announced later on Sunday that he succumbed to his injuries.
Al-Qadihi’s name was not among the 23 individuals announced by the Saudi authorities as dangerous fugitives; however, General Turki insisted that he was “one of the most dangerous individuals wanted by the security forces.”
How is he one of the most dangerous fugitives but his name is not on the most wanted list? Only the Saudi authorities can answer this question.
Following the incident, activist Hamza al-Shakhouri said on Twitter: “The Saudi regime is delusional for thinking that its assaults and fascism will terrorize our people and stop them from continuing their movement and demanding their rights. The oppressed will come out victorious, and triumph by virtue of their will, determination, and sacrifices, over the crimes and terror committed by despotic authorities.”
“It is not the first time that Saudi investigators and intelligence officials behave in such an insanely stupid manner that even children laugh at them, they think they are deceiving people,” al-Shakhouri said. He added, “psychological strain, frustration, and the crisis on the decision-making level are making the princes of the House of Saud reckless and crazy, if they had been sane, none of this would have happened.”
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
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Argentinian President Kirchner at 69th UN GA says what we’ve all been thinking

Press TV ‎- 3 hours ago

Media censor Argentina president’s remarks at UN

http://en.nilenetonline.com/world-2/6130-1411995890

 

NILENET – Mainstream media outlets have censored the comments made by the Argentine president at the United Nations General Assembly where she harshly criticized the US international policies.

During her speech before the United Nations 69th General Assembly on September 24, Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner covered a variety of issues from economic reforms needed at the International Monetary Fund to the plight of Palestinians and the global fight against terrorism.

The Argentine president questioned countries such as the United States for attacking groups, including the ISIL Takfiri terrorists which Washington previously backed against the Syrian government.

“Where do ISIS (ISIL) and Al-Qaeda take their guns from? Yesterday’s freedom fighters are today’s terrorists,” Cristina Fernandez said, blasting US policies vis-a-vis terrorism.

The ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, control large parts of Syria’s northern territory. The group sent its members into neighboring Iraq in June and seized large parts of land there.

The US and its allies recently launched airstrikes against ISIL terrorists in Iraq and later extended the aerial campaign to Syria.

Fernandez also touched on judicial cooperation with Iran over the issue of the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing in the capital, Buenos Aires, and the political pressure that has been exerted on Argentina by the US and Israeli lobbies in that regard.

Tehran and Buenos Aires signed a memorandum of understanding on January 27, 2013 to jointly probe the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA), which killed 85 people and wounded 300 others.

The Argentine president dismissed the allegations against Iran concerning the 1994 deadly bomb attack, saying the investigations conducted by Buenos Aires proved that Iran was not involved in the bombing.

Under intense political pressure imposed by the US and Israel, Argentina had formally accused Iran of having carried out the bomb attack.

Tehran has denied any involvement in the attacks and denounced accusations against Iranian citizens in connection with the blast as a false flag to screen the real perpetrators behind the bombing.

Massive Military Escalation Planned by USA In Syria And Iraq

http://www.countercurrents.org/martin290914.htm

By Patrick Martin

29 September, 2014
WSWS.org

The comments this weekend by spokesmen for the White House, the Pentagon and US Congress are part of an orchestrated campaign to stampede the American people into an all-out war in Iraq and Syria that could spread quickly throughout the Middle East.

The drumbeat for war has been carefully worked out to prepare public opinion in the United States and internationally for a dramatic escalation in military operations in the region, including the direct and open targeting of the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Since President Obama announced the US war in Iraq and Syria in a nationally televised speech September 10, the White House and the American media have gone all-out to portray the conflict as a response to “terrorism” in the form of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Islamist organization whose sudden rise was fueled by assistance from US allies in the Persian Gulf and from the CIA itself.

On Friday, however, US officials began open discussion of the imposition of a “no-fly” zone in Syria, supposedly in response to appeals from the Turkish government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the only NATO ally in the region.

At a Pentagon press conference, both Major General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and defense secretary Chuck Hagel said that a no-fly zone over Syria was under consideration, along with a buffer zone on the Turkish-Syrian border near the town of Kobani, the scene of mass flight by Syrian Kurds under attack by ISIS forces.

Hagel said, “We’ve discussed all these possibilities and will continue to talk about what the Turks believe they will require.” Dempsey added that “a buffer zone might at some point become a possibility,” although that would involve some outside military force, likely Turkish, moving into Syrian territory.

There is a glaring contradiction between Obama’s claims to be fighting ISIS, and discussion of a no-fly zone, since this would be directed against the Assad regime, which controls the Syrian Air Force. ISIS has no planes, no helicopters and no aerial assets of any kind. A no-fly zone would mean scrapping the pretense of a war with ISIS and openly acknowledging the real purpose of the US intervention all along: the destruction of the Assad government and the establishment of a US puppet regime in Damascus.

Retired General Carter Ham, who headed the Pentagon’s Africa Command, explained the implications of a no-fly zone in an interview Sunday on the CBS program “Face the Nation.” Ham oversaw the no-fly zone imposed during the 2011 US-NATO war on Libya.

“We should make no bones about it,” he said. “It first entails killing a lot of people and destroying the Syrian air defenses and those people who are manning those systems. And then it entails destroying the Syrian air force, preferably on the ground, in the air if necessary. This is a violent combat action that results in lots of casualties…”

The designated White House representative on the Sunday morning television interview programs, Deputy National Security Adviser Anthony Blinken, confirmed that the administration was considering imposing a no-fly zone on Syria as part of its war plans in the region.

On Fox News Sunday, Blinken said, “We’re proceeding very deliberately and taking this one step at a time.” He added, “These are all things that we’re looking at over time, if they prove useful, necessary and effective, we’ll take them on.”

A further signal of the real direction of US policy came from Secretary of State John Kerry, in an op-ed column published Friday in the Boston Globe, under the headline, “Under US leadership, world will defeat ISIS.” Kerry went out of his way to rebut claims that bombing ISIS would help the Assad regime in Syria.

“We are not on the same side as Assad,” Kerry declared. “We are embarking on an important effort to train and equip vetted members of Syria’s opposition who are fighting the Islamic State and the regime at the same time.”

At the same time—and no doubt by prearrangement with the White House—the top congressional Republican, House Speaker John Boehner, declared his support for sending US ground combat troops to Iraq. Appearing on the Sunday ABC program “This Week,” Boehner said, “At the end of the day, I think it’s gonna take more than air strikes to drive them outta there,” referring to ISIS. “At some point somebody’s boots have to be on the ground.”

Boehner was asked by interviewer George Stephanolpoulos, “And if no one else will step up, would you recommend putting American boots on the ground?” Boehner replied, “We have no choice. These are barbarians. They intend to kill us. And if we don’t destroy them first, we’re gonna pay the price.”

Boehner added that if Obama proposed a resolution authorizing US combat operations in Syria and Iraq, he would call the House of Representatives back into session to vote on it. The House is in recess until after the November 4 congressional elections.

Asked about Boehner’s comment, White House representative Blinken replied, “We have been very clear that there will not be a US ground invasion of Iraq or Syria.”

Since no “invasion” of Iraq is at issue—the puppet regime in Baghdad will rubber-stamp any proposal for more US troops—this new formulation is a political signal of a shift towards the mobilization of significant US ground forces in the war, notwithstanding Obama’s repeated declarations, to delude antiwar opinion in the United States, that there will “no US ground troops” in Iraq or Syria.

The White House has steadily shifted its language on ground troops since the declaration by General Dempsey September 16 that if there were no alternative, he would urge Obama to reverse himself and order US ground troops to Iraq to prevent the collapse of the US puppet regime in Baghdad.

Meanwhile US airstrikes have continued in both Iraq and Syria. US warplanes pounded ISIS positions Friday around Kobani, the first time that targets have been hit so close to the Syria-Turkish border.

At the Pentagon press conference, Hagel gave the highest estimate for the cost of the war issued so far, as much as $10 million a day. This would bring the cost of the bombing campaign to $1 billion if it continues at the present level through the end of 2014. The cost would spiral upwards rapidly with a no-fly zone or deployment of large numbers of US ground troops.

Hagel also revealed that the first US troops had arrived in Saudi Arabia to begin training Syrian rebel forces under the auspices of the brutal and reactionary Saudi monarchy.

Overall, the US-led military operations in Iraq and Syria have now involved a dozen other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, all of them engaged in the air war in Syria; and Britain, France, Canada, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark, all contributing warplanes to the air war in Iraq.

The potential for a still wider spread of the conflict was indicated in the statements of Iranian ground forces commander Ahmad Reza Pourdestana Saturday, who warned that if ISIS penetrated too far into Iraq’s Diyala province, which borders on Iran, “we will attack deep into Iraqi territory and we will not allow it to approach our border.”

These developments underscore the danger of the reckless and incendiary policy of US imperialism, which threatens to plunge the entire Middle East, and potentially the entire world, into a widening military conflagration.

The IAEA has lost all credibility, israel simply ignores them and nothing is done

If Israel can ignore the IAEA, why should anyone else listen?

Media reports on Monday suggested that this week’s annual conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will include a serious discussion of Israel’s presumed nuclear capabilities. One can only hope that this takes place, that the long-running grievances of Arab and other countries are finally given their just due. With accusations relating to weapons of mass destruction having been a large part of the US pretext for invading Iraq and Iran now facing heavy pressure over similar claims, the double standard involving the Jewish state ­ which has steadfastly refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) ­ has become too obvious to ignore any longer.

None of this has deterred the Israelis, though, from speaking out against the alleged ambitions of others. In fact, Israel has been at the forefront of countries demanding that the IAEA get tough with Iran. The Israelis are not at all embarrassed that Tehran is a signatory to the NPT and they are not; nor does it bother them that no one thinks the Islamic Republic has nuclear weapons, while the Jewish state is estimated by experts to possess something in the order of 200-300 warheads, not to mention a variety of air-, land- and sea-based delivery systems.

The unbridled hypocrisy of Israeli policy and rhetoric on this issue constitutes a major test for the IAEA, and indeed for two cornerstones of modern diplomacy: arms control and collective security. If the presumed violations of some countries are to be “punished” pre-emptively while those of others go unchecked, there is little point in cooperating with the co-opted organization that enforces its own regulations according to Washington’s whim. Israeli impunity relies on America for its sustenance, and the nuclear question is a case in point: US law is very clear in banning foreign aid to countries that either do not sign or fail to obey the NPT, but somehow more than $3 billion in illegal funds gets from Washington to Israel every year with nary a word of protest on Capitol Hill.

If America is unwilling to comply with its own laws when these do not suit Israel’s purposes, why should anyone trust it to undertake an accurate accounting of international security arrangements? And if the IAEA is unwilling to assert its independence in the face of pressure from Washington, why should any of its members bother to help maintain the pretense that signed agreements mean anything at all?

Obama “The Khorasans are coming to get you”, OK they are not I just made it up

Obama’s Fake Pretext: “Going After the Super-Evil Khorasans Who are About to Attack Us”

 


Click for larger image

New Boogeyman Has Already Been Debunked

khorasans-airstrike-syria-fake-threat

Obama is now – after the fact – scrambling to justify bombing the sovereign nation of Syria without the permission of either the Syrian government or even the United States Congress by saying that we were going after the super-evil Khorasans, who were about to attack us.

My God!  That sounds terrifying … like a cross between Genghis Khan, Klingons and the Kardashians!

The U.S. is saying that they’re even more dangerous than ISIS.

There’s just one wee little problem … the Khorasan threat is as as fake as the Kardashians’ physiques. (Admittedly, it’s confusing, given that the Kardashians have also inserted themselves right in the middle of the Syrian conflict.)

Agence France-Presse reports:

The US says it has hit a little-known group called “Khorasan” in Syria, but experts and activists argue it actually struck Al-Qaeda’s affiliate Al-Nusra Front, which fights alongside Syrian rebels.

In announcing its raids in the northern province of Aleppo on Tuesday, Washington described the group it targeted as Khorasan, a cell of Al-Qaeda veterans planning attacks against the West.

But experts and activists cast doubt on the distinction between Khorasan and Al-Nusra Front, which is Al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch.

In Syria, no one had ever heard talk of Khorasan until the US media brought it up,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“Rebels, activists and the whole world knows that these positions (hit Tuesday) were Al-Nusra positions, and the fighters killed were Al-Nusra fighters,” added Abdel Rahman, who has tracked the Syrian conflict since it erupted in 2011.

Experts were similarly dubious about the distinction.

“The name refers to Al-Qaeda fighters previously based in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran who have travelled to Syria to fight with… Al-Nusra,” said Matthew Henman, head of IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre.

They… should not be considered a new or distinct group as such.”

Aron Lund, editor of the Syria in Crisis website run by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, raised similar doubts.

The fact that news about this Al-Qaeda-run, anti-Western cell linked to Al-Nusra emerged just over a week ago, through US intelligence leaks — well, it’s certainly an interesting coincidence,” he told AFP.

***

Claims of a distinction are lost of many of Syria’s rebels, who have also often rejected the world community’s designation of Al-Nusra as a “terrorist” group.

When Washington added Al-Nusra to its list of “terrorist” organisations, even the internationally-backed Syrian opposition National Coalition criticised the decision.

***

On the ground, almost all rebel groups have been willing to cooperate with Al-Nusra, seeing them as distinct from the Islamic State group (IS), which espouses transnational goals and includes many non-Syrians among its ranks.

***

[The] history of cooperation [between the various crazies in Syria] has left some rebels and activists on the ground suspicious and even angry about the strikes on Al-Qaeda.

***

Some key members are believed to maintain channels of communication with Al-Nusra, including Qatar, which has helped negotiate the release of prisoners held by the group.

McClatchy adds:

Raad Alawi, the commander of a smaller group of fighters, the Squadrons of Al Haq, told McClatchy he was very angry.

“Starting the war with the bombing of Nusra is an indication that this is a war against the revolution and not [ISIS] … “Maybe next they will bomb the bases of the Free Syrian Army.”

Well, okay … experts and Syrian Islamic jihadis think there’s no distinction between the Khorasans and plain vanilla Al Nusra/Al Qaeda/Free Syrian Army fighters.

But surely America and our allies treat the moderate Syrian rebels … I mean Al Nusra …  er, I mean the Khorasans … with a consistent iron fist?

Well, no … we’ve been – directly or indirectly – backing them.  And – as we’ve been warning for some time – the boys we’re arming are threatening to attack us.

So – while I’d like to believe that I’m being shown the real deal as a justification for long-term, direct involvement – I’m just not buying it

How Israel Silences Dissent

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/27/opinion/how-israel-silences-dissent.html?_r=1

JAFFA, Israel — On July 12, four days after the latest war in Gaza began, hundreds of Israelis gathered in central Tel Aviv to protest the killing of civilians on both sides and call for an end to the siege of Gaza and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. They chanted, “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.”

Hamas had warned that it would fire a barrage of rockets at central Israel after 9 p.m., and it did.

But the injuries suffered in Tel Aviv that night stemmed not from rocket fire but from a premeditated assault by a group of extremist Israeli Jews. Chanting “Death to Arabs” and “Death to leftists,” they attacked protesters with clubs. Although several demonstrators were beaten and required medical attention, the police made no arrests.

The same thing happened at another antiwar protest in Haifa a week later; this time, the victims included the city’s deputy mayor, Suhail Assad, and his son. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made no statement condemning the violence, even though he had previously stated his primary concern was the safety of Israeli citizens.

The vilification of the few Israelis who don’t subscribe to right-wing doctrine is not new. Similar acts of incitement occurred before the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. But now they have multiplied, escalated and spread.

On July 10, the veteran Israeli actress Gila Almagor did not show up to perform at Tel Aviv’s Habima Theater; she had received threats that she would be murdered on stage. In an interview in the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot a few days earlier, she had expressed feeling ashamed after a 16-year old Palestinian, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, was kidnapped and burned alive by Jewish extremists.

In an interview during the Gaza war, the popular comedian Orna Banai said she felt terrible that Palestinian women and children were being killed — she was subsequently fired from her position as spokeswoman for an Israeli cruise ship operator. And Haaretz hired bodyguards for its columnist Gideon Levy after he wrote an article criticizing Israeli Air Force pilots.

The aggressive silencing of anyone who voices disapproval of Israeli policies or expresses empathy with Palestinians is the latest manifestation of an us-versus-them mentality that has been simmering for decades. It is based on the narrative that Palestinians are enemies who threaten Jewish sovereignty and are solely to blame for the failure to achieve peace. The Israeli peace camp — which remains obsessively focused on stopping settlement expansion and pursuing the ever-elusive two-state solution while ignoring Israel’s failure to separate religion and state and guarantee equal rights for Arab citizens — has been incapable of challenging this mentality.

Israeli society has been unable and unwilling to overcome an exclusivist ethno-religious nationalism that privileges Jewish citizens and is represented politically by the religious settler movement and the increasingly conservative secular right. Israel’s liberal, progressive forces remain weak in the face of a robust economy that profits from occupation while international inaction reinforces the status quo. In their attempt to juggle being both Jewish and democratic, most Israelis are choosing the former at the expense of the latter.

Netanyahu’s lies continue to go unchallenged in Western media

Netanyahu’s chutzpa…

Netanyahu’s chutzpa…

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