The War In Syria Cannot Be Ended By Simply Defeating the Proxies

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A Syrian girl helps harvest the famous Damascene rose in a photo taken in May of last year. The girl is from the government-controlled area of al-Marah, just north of Damascus

It happened just as Orthodox Christians in Syria were preparing to celebrate Easter this morning. Suddenly the Western media erupted in a new round of caterwauling.

Another chemical weapons attack in Syria! Photos of dead children, some foaming at the mouth. Trump, almost as if tipped off in advance, immediately got busy tweeting. Assad is an “animal”, he told his Twitter followers. Russia and Iran are “responsible” for actions of said animal–likewise Putin, whom he even mentioned by name.

He also threatened there will be a “big price” to pay.

Once again, the media are getting all their information from Syrian “activists” and White Helmeted “rescuers,” as if they have no reason to doubt anything such sources might tell them. The Russian Foreign Ministry seems a little behind the curve in terms of issuing a response, probably because they’re closed for the Easter holiday, and Patriarch Kirill has been leading an Easter service at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow.

An official with the US Department of Homeland Security says he “wouldn’t take anything off the table” at this point, while war hawk Lindsay Graham in the Senate praised Trump’s tweets on the matter, calling it a “defining moment” for the president.

“He (Trump) has challenged Assad in the past not to use chemical weapons,” Graham is quoted. “If it becomes a tweet without meaning then he’s hurt himself in North Korea, if he doesn’t follow through and live up to that tweet, he’s going to look weak in the eyes of and Russia and Iran.”

Graham added that Trump now needs to “show a resolve that Obama never did to get this right.”

The alleged chemical attack is said to have occurred in the city of Douma, which lies within the Ghouta district, where Western-backed terrorist proxies have been all but defeated. It comes just three days after a seemingly absurd statement by Nikki Haley in which the US ambassador to the United Nations threatened to “slap” the Russians “when we need to.”

So let’s see…another chemical attack (probably staged) that the Syrian government had no reason for carrying out. More calls for war. More accusations of Assad “killing his own people.” And more escalating rhetoric against Russia. Yes…it does seem like another case of déjà vu all over again.

It should be apparent by now that the Syrian war can never be brought to an end by simply fighting the proxies. But yet how many times have we heard the words, “ISIS is almost defeated” spoken by confident prognosticators that the terrorists and their supporters are close to throwing in the towel. It never happens, though. Why? The answer is there simply is no end to the number of people who can be recruited as terrorist mercenaries; no end or abatement to Wahhabi religious indoctrination; and as long as major powers with vast amounts of money to spend continue to exploit this seemingly never-ending resource, the war will go on.

The only way to bring the Syrian war to an end is if one of the major powers itself is defeated–either militarily or economically, or possibly both–or undergoes a regime change and voluntarily pulls out. This is the reality of the situation. It’s a reality the neocons of America clearly have grasped. I’m not sure the Russians have quite figured it out yet.

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US Trying to Trigger ‘All-Against-All’ War in Syria, says Russian General

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[ Ed. note -Finally a top-ranking Russian official who seems to understand that Western leaders are not his “partners.” Russian General Sergei Rudskoi, as you will note in the report below, is calling US efforts at dividing Syria “utterly unacceptable.” ]

MOSCOW, April 4. /TASS/. The United States seeks to trigger a new large-scale all-against-all war in Syria, Head of the Main Operations Department at Russia’s General Staff Colonel General Sergei Rudskoi said at the Moscow Conference on Global Security on Wednesday.

“The United States is set to divide Syria. It has been laying potential groundwork for a new all-against-all war,” he said.

America is trying to create in Syria a quasi-state on the eastern bank of Euphrates having its own armed forces, Rudskoi assumed.

Gen. Sergei Rudskoi

“Utterly unacceptable are the United States’ attempts at creating a quasi-state on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. We see that in these areas not only US-controlled bodies of power are being created, but their own armed forces formed,” Rudskoi told the 7th Moscow conference on International Security.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said US army units in the Syrian Democratic Forces-held part of Deir ez-Zor province “resist the restoration of Syrian government institutions.”

Oil fields

The United States wants to maintain a military presence in Syria in order to establish control over oil fields and divide the country, Deputy Minister of Defense of the Syrian Arab Republic Mahmoud Shawa emphasized.

“The United States decided to invent various pretexts to justify keeping the illegal presence of their bases and troops on Syrian soil with the goal of establishing control and domination over oil fields and dividing Syria through the so-called federation project,” he said.

The Syrian army and the militants

The Syrian army has destroyed about 65,000 terrorists with support from Russia and Iran during the war in its country, Rudskoi pointed out.

“The Syrian government forces have liberated a total of about 113,000 square km and 1,245 communities from illegal armed groups with support from Russia and Iran. About 65,000 militants have been destroyed,” he said at the seventh Moscow International Security Conference that is being held on April 4-5.

In addition, 6,500 hectares and about 17,200 facilities were cleared from mines in Syria by combined efforts. Security was provided for more than 260 UN aid convoys.

Source

 

Ahed Tamimi Interrogation Video Discussed in New Report

Source

I do not make a habit of visiting the Daily Beast. I simply don’t care much for their editorial policies. But an article published today on an alleged video of a police interrogation of Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi is worth taking a look at.

Before I get into the details of the report, let me just comment, as an aside, that for a while now it has seemed to me that we are witnessing a growing rift among Jews over the policies of the state of Israel. The rift is primarily between Jews who live in the West and Israeli Jews who by and large support the policies of apartheid.

For instance you might want to go here to read an article, published a bit over a week ago at the ultra-Zionist Aurtz Sheva/Israel National News website–an article which assails Ronald Lauder over a mildly-worded comment in which the president of the World Jewish Congress criticized “Israel’s capitulation to religious extremists” while at the same time referencing a “growing disaffection of the Jewish diaspora.”

Israel’s policies and all the boycotts they are generating, in addition to making it increasingly hard to cast Jews as victims, are bound to be causing headaches for Jews who oversee vast business empires in the West–empires which depend upon public goodwill for continued profitability. And this is probably a major source of the “growing disaffection” Lauder refers to.

Now comes the Daily Beast article.

Written by a Jewish writer, Jesse Rosenfeld, the article offers a rather realistic view of the occupation, describing Ahed Tamimi’s village of Nabi Saleh as a place where “unpleasant daily encounters with Israeli settlers and soldiers are a fact of life.” Rosenfeld also makes reference to “vitriolic condemnations” heaped upon the Tamimi family by “hardline Israeli politicians” and by “national activists,” and he additionally cites figures showing that the conviction rate of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli military courts is “near one hundred percent.”

It’s almost sounds as if the Daily Beast is championing the cause of Ahed Tamimi!

But let’s get into the nuts and bolts of the article, which you can read in full here. Rosenfeld apparently was given access to a video of an interrogation of Ahed that took place on December 26. The video, he says, is nearly two hours long, and in it the two Israeli interrogators show no regard for her rights as a minor.

Israel Takes Steps to Bar Gaza Christians for Easter Holiday

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[ Ed. note – Israel’s supporters and its legions of hasbara apparatchiks are quite fond of telling us how wonderfully Christians are treated in the Jewish state. But an article published today in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz gives us a slightly different perspective. Palestinian Christians in Gaza are required to obtain permits to travel to Jerusalem for Easter observances, and according to the Haaretz report, Israeli authorities are refusing to issue permits to Christians aged 55 and under.

One other thing you’ll note about the article below: it makes mention of an Israeli government agency known as “COGAT.” COGAT stands for “Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.” It is a part of the Israeli Ministry of Defense and generally speaking is responsible for implementing government policies in the occupied territories. Back in February it was none other than a COGAT official who made the ludicrous assertion that Muhammed Tamimi, the young cousin of Ahed Tamimi who was shot in the head with a rubber bullet, had actually injured himself by falling off his bicycle.

Immediately below the Haaretz report, you’ll also find a Press TV program from Easter of two years ago. One of the guests on the program discusses travel restrictions on Palestinian Christians from visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem–so in other words, while the age restrictions discussed in the Haaretz article below may be new, the travel restrictions in general are not. And also, in the same video, you’ll hear about hate crimes against Christians, including vandalism of churches and spitting upon Christians.

One final thing I’ll mention–I have not reported it so far because I’ve been busy on other things lately, but the case of Ahed Tamimi was finally adjudicated by the Israeli military court. The girl was sentenced to eight months in jail following a plea bargain deal reached with prosecutors. She will also pay a fine of nearly $1,500. The arrangement was announced on Wednesday of last week.

Ironically, in the same week, an Israeli military parole board ruled that Israeli soldier Elor Azarya should be released after serving only nine months for shooting a wounded Palestinian in the head and killing him back in March of 2016. But wait, there’s more. Also last week (a rather stunning week for irony, even perhaps by Israeli standards), yet another Israeli, David Muial, is reported to have been sentenced to community service for participating in a lynching of an Eritrean assylum seeker that occurred back in October of 2015.

So let’s see. Azarya, when he is released in May, will end up having served just nine months for carrying out what in reality was a cold-blooded murder of a Palestinian…while Ahed, for the horrible crime of slapping a soldier at the front entrance to her home, will remain behind bars for eight months–a mere 30 days less than Ararya got for an act of murder. And Muial’s appallingly brutal sentence of community service I guess speaks for itself.

So…imposing draconian discipline upon “chosen people” for petty crimes like murder and lynching–what in the heck is that all about? It looks like Jews really do have it tough in Israel after all!

Of course, we do know of one Jew who paid the ultimate price–for the “crime” of preaching peace, love and compassion. ]

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Haaretz

Only Christians over the age of 55 will be allowed to enter Israel from the Gaza Strip to pray at Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre during Easter, according to a document issued by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. Five hundred permits have been issued for the holiday, as compared to 700 for Christmas, but sources in Gaza say that the age restriction means that only about 10 percent of the quota will be filled.

According to Christian clergy in Gaza, who say the limitations are unjustified, only about 120 Christians meet the age criteria and many will not be able to travel without relatives who are under the age limit. George Anton, a Christian community activist from Gaza, said that no permits for Easter have been issued so far.

Easter, also known as the “great feast,” is the most important holiday on the Christian liturgical calendar in the Middle East, as opposed the West, where Christmas takes precedence. Catholics and Protestants will celebrate Easter on Sunday, while the Orthodox churches will mark the holiday two weeks later.

Anton told Haaretz that there are about 1,200 Christians living in Gaza (as opposed to 1,313 documented by a Vatican delegation in 2014). Similar age restrictions were imposed in the past, he said. For the Easter holiday in 2015, following the war in the Gaza Strip the previous year, entry to Israel was barred for people age 16 to 35. However, after church leaders in Israel and abroad intervened, the restriction was lifted and 850 permits were issued.

According to COGAT, restrictions are eased during Muslim and Christian holidays as part of the policy to encourage religious activities of all faiths. But in Gaza, news of the relaxed restrictions are usually made public late, and responses to permit applications are often given too late or are turned down with no reason given.

In a video posted on COGAT’s Facebook about three weeks ago, the day the quota was made public, an Israeli army officer named Alaa Halabi asked Gaza residents who had received permits for Christmas and had not yet returned to do so immediately. Halabi warned that their failure to return would “impact the ability” of COGAT “to take steps ahead of Easter.”

Sources in Gaza believed that a few dozen people did not return after leaving the Strip for Christmas.

The COGAT document did not reveal the reason for the age restrictions but the office confirmed the age restriction and did not deny that it was a punitive measure. “The State of Israel is a sovereign state that has the right to decide who enters it,” the response stated. “Foreigners have no inherent right to enter Israel, including Palestinian residents of Gaza.” It was decided to issue permits only to those over 55 “In light of the recurring phenomenon of Palestinians who took advantage of the permit to remain in Israel illegally” and “as part of the actions to limit illegal presence in Israel,” COGAT said.

Lawmaker Aida Touma-Sliman of the Joint List asked Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan to change the entry conditions so that all Christians would “be able to exercise their basic right to freedom of religion.” Touma-Sliman said she has not yet received an answer. “Israel boasts to the whole world that it is a safe place for all religions. But in fact it continues to harm the Palestinian Christian population,” the lawmaker said. She added that the age restriction “constitutes more proof that Israel has never left Gaza and continues to control everything that happens there.”

Following requests for action from Gaza, the nonprofit organizationGisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement demanded in a letter to COGAT that the age restriction be lifted and that the number of permits for the holiday be increased. “There is no justification for arbitrary impairment of freedom of movement and religion,” Gisha wrote, “certainly not a dialogue of threats. This is another example of collective punishment of the residents, and generally the punitive and arbitrary nature of Israel’s permit regime with regard to Gazans.”

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McMaster Threatens Russia in Speech at Holocaust Museum; is there a ‘Jewish Agenda’ at Work?

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Departing US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster believes the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. is holy ground. He said so in a recent speech there.

“We are gathered together this afternoon on holy ground,” he proclaimed.

Yesterday it was reported that McMaster has been ousted from his position in the Trump administration. While there were subtle nuances in views on such things as Russia and the JCPOA agreement with Iran, the “personal chemistry” between Trump and McMaster probably had at least as much, if not more, to do with the latter’s departure than anything else. And the general’s speech at the Holocaust Museum, I would contend–a speech given on the 7th anniversary of the outbreak of the war in Syria–offers us some interesting insights into why the anti-Russia hysteria emanating from Washington has ramped up to such dangerous levels.

You can go here to access a Politico report on the speech, and here to see a video of it uploaded by the US State Department. As you will observe, McMaster devoted much of the talk to fulminating against Russia. The program also abounded with the usual rhetoric against Syria and Iran.

“Unfortunately today in Syria we are confronted with some of the worst atrocities known to man,” McMaster declared, and he went on to adjure that “the Russian government has bombed civilian areas and provided political cover for Assad’s crimes.”

Some of the worst atrocities known to man? McMaster ludicrously seems to be suggesting that President Assad, whose ouster has been openly called for by both US and Israeli officials, may be “worse than Hitler,” as it were. It is a sign that desperation to remove him is reaching new levels.

Significantly, the talk was given on March 15, which as I say was the 7th anniversary of the outbreak of the war in Syria–and at several points during the program McMaster made reference to a “Syria exhibit” there at the museum.

“The Syria exhibit here at the Holocaust Museum details these horrifying crimes through photographs, film, first person accounts, and other documentary evidence. It is estimated that nearly 500,000 people have perished since the war began,” he said.

Throughout, the following image was projected onto a large screen upon the stage from which the general gave his talk:

Question: Why would the Holocaust Museum, an entity presumably devoted to remembering an event in history, insert itself into the contemporary politics of regime change in the Middle East? Does it not suggest that the agenda of overthrowing the Assad government may be quintessentially a “Jewish agenda”?

In that regard, another point to consider is this: Russia is the chief reason why, after seven long years, the efforts to overthrow Assad have gone up in smoke. Imagine. All the money, resources, time and effort spent recruiting, arming, and training terrorist proxies, and nothing to show for it other than heaps of dead bodies and whole areas reduced to rubble. Despite all that, Assad remains leader of Syria.

Imagine the pent up fury this has triggered in certain circles in Washington…and probably elsewhere. Do you really doubt that pitting the US in a war against Russia is an option that has not been considered? So should we consider the bringing about of such a war a part of the aforementioned “Jewish agenda”?

Many political analysts would say what’s being played out now, vis-à-vis the escalating tensions between the US and Russia,  is a “neocon agenda.” Or, alternately, that the “Deep State” or the “Military Industrial Complex” are behind it all. But McMaster’s speech at the Holocaust Museum on the anniversary of the start of the war strikes me as an oddity, a red flag almost. If you were Sherlock Holmes trying to solve the puzzle of a murder mystery it’s certainly a piece of evidence you wouldn’t overlook.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (as it is officially called) is located adjacent to the National Mall in Washington, some ten blocks from the White House. According to Wikipedia, it has approximately 400 employees and is run by a governing board called the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, a body whose membership  includes 55 individuals appointed by the president of the United States. The Council also includes five members of the US Senate and five members of the House of Representatives. Congressional members include Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Ted Deutch, and Marco Rubio of Florida; Lee Zeldin of New York; Brad Schneider of Illinois; Orrin Hatch of Utah; and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

The current chairman is Howard M. Lorber, chairman and CEO of Vector Group Ltd., a holding company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. He is chairman also of Nathan’s Famous, a fast food chain. While in college, Lorber was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, an experience which, according to Wikipedia, “had a large impact on his Jewish identity, and as such he endowed a position within the organization called the Lorber Director of Jewish Programming.” Alpha Epsilon Pi, by the way, is a fraternity that is “based upon Jewish principles.” Supposedly it is open to all who espouse its “purpose and values,” however, some have questioned whether this is indeed the case since the fraternity is said to have “expelled non-Jewish members from some of its chapters.”

Lorber reportedly has known Trump for more than 30 years.

The day McMaster gave his speech at the museum was also the day the US, UK, France, and Germany issued a joint statement on the Salisbury nerve agent poisoning, a statement in which the NATO members judged it “highly likely” that Russia was behind the attack. In fact, McMaster even made mention of the statement in his speech that same day.

“This morning the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom condemned the abhorrent nerve agent attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal that took place in Salisbury, United Kingdom on March 4,” he said. “The statement made clear that we believe that Russia was responsible for this attack, and we call on the Russian government to answer all questions related to this incident and to provide full information to the OPCW.”

Other commenters, from George Galloway to Paul Craig Roberts, have covered extensively why it would have been absurd for Russia to carry out such an attack, so I’m not going to waste space on it here. What I’d like to do instead is posit the theory of an historical continuum.

What we are seeing now, with all the venomous rancor being directed against Russia, is not solely the result of Russia’s entry into the Syrian war in 2015; it in fact has relatively little to do with that; it also has little or nothing to do with Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, nor does it trace its roots back to the outset of the Syrian war in 2011.

It did not begin with Assad’s becoming president of Syria in the year 2000, nor with Putin’s assuming the leadership of Russia in 1999.

What we are seeing is not a “new cold war,” a throwback to the 1950s and 60s; nor did it even commence with the Holocaust in the 1940s and 30s. No. What we are seeing now began much earlier. Much earlier. It is a continuum that stretches back for 2000 years–all the way back to the crucifixion of Christ.

dictionary definition of “continuum” is: “a continuous extent, succession, or whole, no part of which can be distinguished from neighboring parts except by arbitrary division”…and…“a continuous series or whole, no part of which is perceptibly different from the adjacent parts.”

In other words, a continuum, particularly an historical continuum, could be thought of as a play of many acts. In this case, the play started in the time of Christ–and it has yet to reach its conclusion. I say this because anger at Christ and Christianity seems to be embedded in the collective Jewish psyche. Jews for centuries have blamed Christians for their problems. Certainly a lot has changed since the Second Vatican Council and the onset of the era of “interfaith dialog” (an era which has coincided with the rise of Christian Zionism), and the ill-will between Christians and Jews today is nowhere near what it used to be. Now, rather than Christians, it is the Muslim world which Jews, or Israeli Jews at any rate, find themselves at war against, yet the old resentments are still there– bubbling underneath though surfacing from time to time in such forms as negative portrayals of Christians in Hollywood films and TV shows.

Alleged “Christian anti-Semitism” is something that many Jews harbor seething resentments over. And this is why I say a continuum is in effect…and why such a continuum should be taken into consideration when forming an analysis of current events.

The key events in this continuum are:

→ The crucifixion of Christ in 30 A.D.;

→ Destruction of the Jewish temple exactly 40 years later;

→ Third Jewish revolt crushed by the Romans in 136 A.D.;

→ Rome renames Judea “Syria Palestina”; some Jews remain; others disperse to other regions;

→ The compilation, starting in early 3rd century, of the Talmud (in which Jesus is reviled);

→ The compilation, in the 7th century, of the Quran (in which Jesus is revered);

→ Conversion to Judaism by the Khazars in the 8th century;

→ Khazar Kingdom defeated by joint Russian-Byzantine force in the 10th century; Khazarian Jews disperse to Eastern Europe;

→ 11th-20th centuries: Jews expelled from roughly 100 countries or regions;

→ 1933-45: Hitler comes to power; Jews placed in camps; World War II is fought

→ 1948: Israel established; more than 700,000 Palestinians dispersed from their villages and homes;

→ 1951: AIPAC is founded and Jewish power begins to grow in America

Russia is the most powerful Christian nation on earth. Yes, its power and influence are viewed as threatening to US global hegemony, but the irrational threats and accusations being made against it, the heightening of tensions to almost unprecedented levels, can be fully understood only within the context of the above continuum.

Likewise the threats against Assad and Syria.

Bashar Assad is a secular leader who has protected Christians. If terrorism is truly the concern of US officials, why single out Assad as the enemy? Why not Saudi Arabia instead? Assad is actually fighting the very terrorists Washington professes such concern over. Assad has ensured that Christians in Syria, at least in areas controlled by the government, remain free to practice their religion. Their churches and monasteries are protected. In fact, Assad arguably has done more to unify Christians and Muslims than any other national leader, certainly in the Middle East–and this may be the real reason he is hated so much. Here is a video which I posted on December 30, 2015. It shows Assad and his wife, Asma, visiting a Church in Damascus during Christmas that year:

The church is the Notre Dame de Damas Church, an ancient cathedral located just two kilometers from the militant-held area of East Ghouta. The people you see in this video are probably some of those who have suffered most from terrorist shells fired from East Ghouta. The more the Syrian Army has closed in on these terrorists, establishing humanitarian corridors for trapped civilians, the louder have become the howls of protest from the mainstream media and US officials. And yes, a case in point–McMaster’s speech on the 15th.

“The war has now raged for seven years. The Assad regime has killed indiscriminately, tortured, starved, raped, and used chemical weapons on his own people. It has attacked hospitals and schools, and countless Syrians have been arrested, abducted, or simply disappeared,” he claimed.

This wasn’t the only reference to the Syrian “regime” reputedly killing its “own people.” In fact throughout his talk, McMaster repeatedly referred to “Assad’s use of chemical weapons,” as if it were a proven, undisputed fact. And almost laughably–despite America’s documented support for terrorists in Syria, including the Nour al-Din al-Zenki movement, which in 2016 filmed themselves beheading a 12-year-old Palestinian boy–he touted the US as a “civilized nation.”

“All civilized nations must hold Iran and Russia accountable for their role in enabling atrocities and perpetuating human suffering in Syria,” he insisted…and he issued a demand:

If Iran and Russia do not stop enabling the regime’s atrocities and adhere to Security Council resolutions, all nations must respond more forcefully than simply issuing strong statements. It is time to impose serious political and economic consequences on Moscow and Tehran.

I suppose we should breathe a sigh of relief that McMaster didn’t call for an all-out military invasion of Russia–and that so far no other US official has issued such a call either. But that being said, it’s hard to imagine what further “political and economic consequences” could be imposed that would not lead to war.

Is it just a coincidence that Vladimir Putin, president of the most powerful Christian nation on earth, and Bashar Assad, a head-of-state who has worked toward Muslim-Christian unity, would be held up by US leaders and mainstream media as objects of vilification and demonization? Did that simply happen by chance? Or is there a continuum in effect? A continuum that has resulted in a Jewish agenda that is now leading us toward global confrontation?

The lies tirelessly generated by mainstream media on Syria are discussed in an article published a couple of days ago by independent journalist Eva Bartlett.

“As per their norm, corporate media’s reports on Eastern Ghouta rely on the usual suspect sources,” Bartlett says.

One of the “usual suspect sources” heavily relied upon for a good while now has been the infamous White Helmets. This proved to be the case in McMaster’s speech as well–in fact, from his podium the general recognized and applauded two members of the so-called humanitarian organization present at the time–present in the halls of the Holocaust Museum in Washington. “Let’s give them a round of applause,” he urged. The audience obliged.

Bartlett also discusses an article by Sharmine Narwani that was published a few days prior to her own, an article in which Narwani discusses her experience of visiting, and seeing with her own eyes, a chemical weapons laboratory discovered by the Syrian Arab Army in a recently-liberated portion of East Ghouta. Narwani’s article, which includes photos taken inside the lab, can be viewed here.

But yet McMaster and other US officials go on asserting that it is Assad, rather than terrorist saboteurs, resorting gawkishly to chemical attacks–and they state their opinion on this matter almost uniformly, as if singing in a chorus.

McMaster, in his position as National Security Advisor, participated regularly in meetings of the National Security Council. He presumably had access to CIA intelligence on the situation in Syria. If the CIA is even remotely competent then would it not know, or at least have a fairly good idea, who is manufacturing and using chemical weapons in Syria? If the answer to that question is no, then it inevitably begs a second question, somewhat more trenchant and sardonic than the first: do CIA agents, tasked with gathering, processing and analyzing national security information, derive their intelligence assessments from reading the mainstream media?

Of course the other alternative is that the US national interest has now been replaced by some other agenda.

Bartlett’s article, well worth reading in its entirety, is headlined, ‘They know that we know they are liars, they keep lying’: West’s war propaganda on Ghouta crescendos.

In it, she also cites a group of Trappist nuns in Syria–and even provides a couple of quotes from one of them. Here is what she writes:

“We, the people who actually live in Syria, we are really exhausted, nauseated by this global indignation that issues blanket condemnations of those who defend their lives and their land.

“The attacks on civilians in Damascus, began from the Ghouta area into the government-controlled part, and not vice versa… Why this blindness on the part of the West?”

You can well understand why the nuns would feel nauseated. So thorough has been the distortion of reality that soldiers of the Syrian Army, the very young men who have given their lives to protect the nuns and other innocent Syrians, have been portrayed as the evildoers. Bartlett herself then goes on to comment:

It is a painful rhetorical question that many of us have asked over the years, well-aware of the answer: because it doesn’t serve the regime-change agenda, one so diligently put forth by the corporate media.

As the war propaganda continues, I quote the nuns, who said: “Deliver us Lord from the war… and deliver us from bad journalism.”

I’ll close here with a quote from Jesus–it is the 9th beatitude, from the 5th chapter of Matthew, a quote which Russians and Syrians generally, and most especially Vladimir Putin and Bashar Assad in particular, would do well to keep in mind:

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

I’ll also offer a quote from John, from his first epistle, a passage in which this beloved disciple of Jesus discusses the crucial importance of love. What he is outlining here is the most fundamental of all Christian concepts:

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

It is vital that we continue to live in love rather than succumb to the hatred of other nations and peoples–hatreds that are being deliberately fomented. It is also important that we understand the continuum, to recognize that it is still in effect, and that most likely there are further acts in the play that are yet to come. These do not have to include World War III, however. It is not mandated that the play end tragically. For the choice of how it ends is our own–and the possibility of choosing love, rather than fear and hate, lies with all of us.

Russia: US Training Syria Terrorists to Carry Out False Flag Chemical Attack

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[ Ed. note – The Russian Ministry of Defense has issued a statement citing evidence that “American instructors” are training insurgents in Syria to carry out chemical weapons “provocations” that can then be blamed upon Syrian government forces. The false flag attacks will likely be widely broadcast over Western media and used as justification for a US attack upon the Syrian military, the Ministry of Defense says.

You can go here to read the full MoD statement, and here to view an RT report on it. Below is an excerpt from the statement. This is not, of course, the first time that the Russians have issued warnings about terrorists planning chemical attacks in Syria. On February 13 they issued a similar warning, and sure enough just two weeks later–on February 26, an alleged chlorine gas attack took place in East Ghouta. The only thing the Russians got wrong was the place: the initial statement had pointed to Idlib Province as the site of the possible attack.

As for the latest warning, as you can see, it is quite detailed in the information it presents. (The emphases in the excerpt below are my own):

It is be stressed that insurgents do not stop taking efforts to organize provocations with the use of poisonous agents in order to accuse the government troops of using chemical weapons against civilians.

In regard to information about preparation of provocations by insurgents in the Eastern Ghouta, the Russian party has evidence that American instructors have trained several groups of insurgents near al-Tanfa in order to hold provocations with chemical weapons in the south of Syria.

In the early March, the sabotage groups were deployed in the southern de-escalation zone near Daraa. formations of so-called Free Syrian Army are located there.

They are preparing provocations using explosive devices fitted with poisonous agents. In the future, this fact will be used in order to accuse the government troops of using chemical weapons.

Components for these chemical munitions have already been transported to the southern de-escalation zone under cover of humanitarian convoys of a number of non-governmental organizations.

Insurgents have not only components for poisonous agents but also detonating fuzes camouflaged as packs with cigarettes. 

Besides, the Jabhat al-Nusra armed formations with support of so-called ‘White Helmets’ are preparing staged chemical attack near the settlements of al-Habid and Qalb Luza located 25 km northwest Idlib. Therefore, 20 containers with chloride have been delivered there.

It is planned that the event shall be widely broadcasted in the western mass media.

Such provocations will give the USA and its coalition grounds for an attack against military and government facilities in Syria.

“The Russian Ministry of Defence stressed that there is clear evidence of preparations for the possible strikes. There are groups of missile carriers deployed in eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf and Red Sea. It causes a question – whom will the USA support with these strikes? Will it be the Jabhat al-Nusra and its affiliates that commit outrages in the country? The Russian General Staff continues monitoring situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” said Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy.

What’s new in this statement, of course, is the part about “American instructors” being involved. But another thing I find striking is the detail regarding detonating fuses being camouflaged as packs of cigarettes–this would strongly suggest that Russian intelligence has been working overtime monitoring the situation.

The Russian MoD statement should be considered in the context of recent comments by Nikki Haley at the UN in which she threatened attacks against the Syrian government.

“We warn any nation determined to impose its will through chemical attacks and inhuman suffering, but most especially the outlaw Syrian regime, the United States remains prepared to act if we must. It is not a path we prefer. But it is a path we have demonstrated we will take, and we are prepared to take again.”

Haley made that statement on Monday, March 12. Two days later, on the 14th, she joined British Prime Minister Theresa May in accusing Russia in the alleged nerve agent attack in Salisbury targeting a former Russian spy and his daughter.

“The United States believes that Russia is responsible for the attack on two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent,” Haley said.

Incredibly, she then went on to warn that Russia may be plotting a chemical attack in the US:

“If we don’t take immediate concrete measures to address this now, Salisbury will not be the last place we see chemical weapons used,” she said. “They could be used here in New York or in cities of any country that sits on this council.”

There seems very much an agenda being put into place now by criminals in the Deep State to provoke a war with Russia. If this turns into a nuclear war, we are likely to see scenes straight out of the Book of Revelation. ]

RT Documentary on Ahed Tamimi

Posted on 

The above documentary is very much worth watching. Uploaded on March 9 and entitled “The Slap Heard Around the World: The People of Israel vs. Ahed Tamimi,” the video focuses not only on the Tamimi family and Ahed’s case in the Israeli military court system, but also the hysteria that has erupted in Israeli society over the whole affair. It includes interviews with members of the Tamimi family as well as Israeli journalist Gideon Levy.

For the past couple of days I’ve been trying to find out what, if anything, occurred in the Ofer military court on Sunday, March 11, the day Ahed’s trial was supposed to open. For some reason the Israeli media, at least the outlets that publish in English, have largely gone mum on the case. About the only reference I could find was a Haaretz piece published a bit earlier today and which, though vague on details, seems to suggest that the trial has been postponed once again so that the court may consider an appeal of its decision to close proceedings to the public.

Ahed’s pre-trial hearings were open to the public, but on February 13 a ruling was issued saying the trial would be held behind closed doors. Then on February 26, Israeli soldiers carried out another raid in Nabi Saleh, arresting Mohammed Tamimi, Ahed’s 15-year-old cousin, the boy who was shot in the head by a rubber-coated bullet. One day after that arrest an Israeli official went public with a claim that Mohammed had “admitted” under interrogation that the head injury had been from a bike accident. The bogus claim is covered in the video above.

The latest charade the Israelis seem to be playing is that it is not the prosecution that objects to having the trial opened to the public, but that this decision was made by the court alone and with Ahed’s best interest at heart.

“We left the request to open the hearings to the judgment of the court of first instance, and we will leave that request to the discretion of this honorable court,” says Maj. Gilad Peretz, the military prosecutor quoted in the Haaretz story.

In other words, Peretz purports to be neutral on the question of a trial behind closed doors, but with an air of touching concern for the girl’s welfare believes that keeping the proceedings closed would be “to Tamimi’s advantage.”

The appeal, filed by defense attorney Gabby Lasky, calls for the trial to be opened to the public, and while the court did not issue a ruling in a hearing held on Monday, it is “expected to do so shortly,” the report states.

It’s interesting that the Israeli media, aside from the Haaretz article (which is very brief) have gone so quiet on the story–in stark contrast to the kind of reporting we were seeing back in January, February and the latter part of December, when stories were coming out virtually every day. Apparently “out of sight out of mind” is the operative theory now.

Meanwhile, Ahed and her mother, Nariman, remain locked up in an Israeli prison.

Below is a commentary written by Jonathan Cook and published a bit over a week ago by Mondoweiss.

***

Israeli Army’s Lies Can No Longer Salvage Its Image

By Jonathan Cook

It is has been a very bad week for those claiming Israel has the most moral army in the world. Here’s a small sample of abuses of Palestinians in recent days in which the Israeli army was caught lying.

A child horrifically injured by soldiers was arrested and terrified into signing a false confession that he was hurt in a bicycle accident. A man who, it was claimed, had died of tear-gas inhalation was actually shot at point-blank range, then savagely beaten by a mob of soldiers and left to die. And soldiers threw a tear gas canister at a Palestinian couple, baby in arms, as they fled for safety during a military invasion of their village.

In the early 2000s, at the dawn of the social media revolution, Israelis used to dismiss filmed evidence of brutality by their soldiers as fakery. It was what they called “Pallywood” – a conflation of Palestinian and Hollywood.

In truth, however, it was the Israeli military, not the Palestinians, that needed to manufacture a more convenient version of reality.

Last week, it emerged, Israeli officials had conceded to a military court that the army had beaten and locked up a group of Palestinian reporters as part of an explicit policy of stopping journalists from covering abuses by its soldiers.

Israel’s deceptions have a long history. Back in the 1970s, a young Juliano Meir-Khamis, later to become one of Israel’s most celebrated actors, was assigned the job of carrying a weapons bag on operations in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank. When Palestinian women or children were killed, he placed a weapon next to the body.

In one incident, when soldiers playing around with a shoulder-launcher fired a missile at a donkey, and the 12-year-old girl riding it, Meir-Khamis was ordered to put explosives on their remains.

Continued here

 

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