WW3 in Europe against Russia would be a win/win situation for the USA

Who’s Driving the Latest Nato Exercises?

Written by Lindsey German

The escalating tensions with Russia should be of concern to everyone says Lindsey German

NatoMayhem564

‘Britain is part of the deployment across eastern Europe, sending 800 troops to Estonia’


This week we are witnessing another example of politicians and military figures talking peace but preparing for war. A thousand US troops have arrived in Poland as part of a 4000-strong deployment, its largest since the Cold War and brought forward to predate the inauguration of Donald Trump. The move is being driven by a decision at the Nato summit in Warsaw last year, itself reflecting the expansionist politics of Nato vis a vis Russia. Since the end of the Cold War, a major Nato policy has been eastward expansion right up to the borders of Russia, incorporating within its membership all the eastern European countries which have signed up to the EU since 2004, and demanding Nato membership as a future condition of membership.

It also reflects the desires of the very right wing governments in Poland and the Baltic states who have been at the forefront of pushing for a more aggressive Nato policy against Russia. Britain is part of the deployment across eastern Europe, sending 800 troops to Estonia. In addition, Germany is expanding its military role, hence a growing support for militarism there. In addition to US troops there are hundreds of US armoured vehicles and tanks in Germany to be transported to Poland and elsewhere. Already the troops have brought in bags full of US flags for grateful Poles to wave, as though the troop manoeuvres are some sort of liberation for the people of Poland, rather than back up for its increasingly right wing government.

These manoeuvres will not de-escalate tensions with Russia. They are not designed to. Instead, they mark the escalation of Nato policy over recent years. When the Cold War ended, the agreement between the west and Russia was that Nato would not expand eastwards beyond the reunited Germany. The opposite has happened. The escalating tensions with Russia should be of concern to everyone. This is not to imply any support whatsoever for Putin or his policies but it is to recognise that Nato is pursuing an aggressive policy, not a defensive one.

It is also to recognise that anti-Russian sentiment in the west is probably greater than at any time since the height of the Cold War. The furore in the US over Trump’s relations with Russia must surely be seen in part as an attempt to prevent him from any closer relations with Russia – a position in which he is quite isolated within the Republican party. In Britain in recent months, there have been scares over Russian planes and ships near British territory. Yet it is widely acknowledged that there is no immediate or even medium term threat of Russian invasion in Eastern Europe. The danger is that increased troop movements can lead to much greater tensions, possibly accompanied by accidents or misunderstandings which can lead to conflict.

Jeremy Corbyn’s spokesman was surely right therefore to caution over the latest troop deployments when he talked to journalists yesterday. “Jeremy has said repeatedly that he has lots of criticisms of the Russian government, both in relation to what has happened in the Middle East and domestically. But what we don’t want to see is a ratcheting up of tensions between Russia and the west, as has been taking place. We want talks and engagement to wind down military tensions, particularly on the Russian/Nato border and in the Middle East.”

Who could argue with that? Well apparently, the shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith is ‘livid’ about it. She shouldn’t be. Labour has spent far too long following the line of the Ministry of Defence (Griffith went on a trip to Estonia with the MOD) and of right wing commentators in supporting wars. Yet the record is appalling. The Middle East is in part destroyed after Iraq, Libya and Syria, and Afghanistan remains mired in war. Meanwhile the tensions across Europe are worsening. The people who brought us the past wars are the same as those urging further military intervention now.

One reason Corbyn has been elected twice as Labour leader is his opposition to such wars and his concerns for promoting peace rather than war. Unfortunately, the record of many Labour MPs is nowhere near as good. They have shown recently over debates on Chilcot and Saudi Arabia an unwillingness to confront their past mistakes and a blind commitment to supporting all wars.

With a Trump presidency beginning next week, the world is in dangerous and uncharted waters. Labour politicians should not be arguing for increasing instability. Nor should they view British troops in a sabre-rattling exercise in Estonia as doing anything useful. In addition, given the huge crisis over the NHS and care, surely this money could be far better spent.

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2016 US Election Result: Yet More War

2016 US Election Result: Yet More War

‘Far from deterring the US’s opponents in the Middle East, the more muscular approach is likely to draw all sides into deeper conflict’

Raceoftheunloved564


What will the US election mean for the country’s involvement in wars and interventions? The answer is, whoever wins it’s likely to get worse. This lies in part in the nature of the candidates. Trump may talk isolationism but is unlikely to go down that road, given the concerns of important sections of the US ruling class –  not that there is not too much military action being carried out by its armed forces, but too little. Trump is, in any case, wildly unpredictable on these questions.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is all too predictable. Her record as Secretary of State was consistently hawkish, from her endorsement of the regime change in Libya in 2011, her intervention in the Syrian war from 2012 onwards and her public glee at the deaths of Gadaffi and Bin Laden. It is clear that her election to the presidency will herald an escalation of intervention in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

In this, she reflects the concerns by many of those involved with formulating foreign policy that Obama has been too averse to military action, and in particular that the US should engage in ‘limited’ airstrikes using cruise missiles, and that it should enforce no fly zones or ‘safe’ zones to stop Syrian and Russian bombing. An article in the Washington Post talks of a number of forthcoming reports and analyses which reflect an increasingly bipartisan approach to foreign policy and especially to Syria.

The article says: ‘Taken together, the studies and reports call for more-aggressive American action to constrain Iran, rein in the chaos in the Middle East and check Russia in Europe.’ This in itself is an admission of the failure of US foreign policy going back decades. The fall of Saddam’s Iraq strengthened his rival Iran – certainly an unintended consequence of the US intervention. The ‘chaos in the Middle East’ cannot be extricated from the wars, occupations and bombings which have been constant for a decade and a half. And the need to ‘check Russia in Europe’ is the justification for US backed Nato expansion which now stretches to Russian western borders.

Enforcing no fly zones or any variants thereof will not be a means to promoting peace, but a further military escalation of the war, as will further bombing or missile attacks. According to Brian Katulis, a Middle East analyst at the Centre for American Progress, ‘Today, the focus among the foreign policy elite is on rebuilding a more muscular and more “centrist internationalism.”’

Far from deterring the US’s opponents in the Middle East, the more muscular approach is likely to draw all sides into deeper conflict.

The only barrier to this course is the lack of support for such action among public opinion in the US. As is the case in Britain, the lessons of these wars have been better learnt by the people who suffer as a result of them than they have been by the politicians

First NATO causes Libya’s refugee problem and now it goes to war against them

The next war in Libya will be against refugees

Plans have already been drawn up to send around 1,000 UK troops says Chris Nineham

CNLibPic


‘A lot of Libyans think of it as a puppet government.’ So said Oliver Miles, former British ambassador to Libya on the BBC on Monday, about the new regime trying to establish itself in Libya.

The Libyans would be right. Fayez al Sarraj, so called ‘Prime Minister designate’ was shipped in on a Saudi warship from exile in Tunisia last month. Neither of the existing authorities in Libya, including the Tobruk House of Representatives which can claim some democratic mandate, backs Sarraj. He is still holed up with his team in a heavily guarded naval base on the edge of Tripoli because it is unsafe for him to travel in the country.

This week, the G5 powers met in Berlin partly to express support for Sarraj and to plan how best to impose his government on the Libyan people. The week before, British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond visited Libya to meet Sarraj and give what he describes as his ‘full support’.

The unseemly scramble to enforce the Sarraj government is driven by two main concerns. First, anxiety about advances made by Isis into key oil producing areas. US officials have expressed worry that Isis is using its occupation of the key port of Sirte to take over the oil and gas rich towns of Ras Lanuf and Sidra which would allow it strategic control of the whole Sirte Basin production area. Libya is the second most important gas producer in the world and the closest major oil producer to Europe.

The second main driver is the refugee crisis. The EU deal with Turkey is an attempt to close down refugee access to Europe via the eastern route. This, and the warmer weather, has increased the flow from the south over the Mediterranean crossing, with tragic results. Working in close co-ordination, the EU, NATO and the UN have been unrolling a military plan, Operation Sophia, to stem the flow and force the refugees back to Africa.  

A UK government source said Operation Sophia ‘has achieved a lot in terms of bringing the numbers down. But one of the challenges is that it is only operating on the high seas.’The problem is in other words, that any push back of refugees would need a viable partner on the mainland.

This is where Sarraj comes in. Not only will he co-operate with the clampdown against refugees, crucially, western leaders are confident he will invite western military in to help. NATO is pushing for a 6,000 strong military force from Europe to go in. Plans have already been drawn up to send around 1,000 UK troops, ostensibly to train up a new Libyan army. But any foreign force of that size in a country riven by war is almost bound to get involved in combat.

The scepticism on the ground in Libya is learnt from bitter experience. Last time the western powers organised an intervention in Libya in 2011, the no-fly zone and the resulting bombing raids were presented as an operation to head off a regime attack on Benghazi, the centre of opposition.

Benghazi was secured in a few days. What followed was five months of some of the most intensive bombing in history during which time 30-40,000 people died. The operation ended with the killing of President Ghaddafi in what independent observers reported was a western orchestrated operation. Barely able to contain her excitement Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commented ‘We came, we saw, he died’.  As well as killing on an industrial scale, the bombardment devastated the country’s infrastructure and led directly to the country’s political fragmentation. It was these conditions that IS were able to exploit to establish control of important sections of the coastal strip.

The plans for Libya are the direct opposite of a humanitarian intervention. They want us to go to war against the refugees. We must not let them.

Source: Stop the War Coalition

US-led Coalition Strikes Syrian Army instead of ’ISIS’: Several Dead, Injured

US-led coalition warplanes are reported to have killed four Syrian soldiers in the Dier al Zor province, which is mostly under the control of “ISIS”. 

A Syrian government source confirmed that the airstrike had taken place and that there had been casualties. The source also added that vehicles had been destroyed.

 A total of four Syrian Army soldiers have been killed, while a further 16 were injured, a government source told RIA Novosti.
 “The airstrike hit an ammunition dump belonging to the Syrian Army in Dier al Zor. According to our information, four soldiers have died and 16 were injured. Two tanks were also damaged. This was the work of the US-led coalition,” the government source added.
The so-called Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an air raid “by the international coalition” hit the camp in the west of Deir Ezzor province, “around two kilometers one mile from an area controlled by “ISIS”.
 “Regime forces have never previously been hit by raids from the international coalition, which was targeting extremist bases and oil tankers in Deir Ezzor,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.
 The Dier al Zor province is eastern Syria, and is largely controlled by “ISIS”.The region is of extreme strategic importance to the terrorist group, as it contains a number of oilfields, which are a major source of revenue for “ISIS”.
 On November 24, a Turkish Air Force F-16 jet shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria.

Ankara claims the Russian plane briefly crossed into Turkish airspace. One of the Russian pilots was killed by Syrian rebels as he ejected from the stricken plane, while the other was rescued in a swift operation during which one Russian serviceman was killed.

 Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
 07-12-2015 | 10:22

 US-Led Coalition Targets Military Base in Deir Ezzor: 3 Syrian Soldiers Martyred

Damascus said on Monday that three Syrrian soldiers were martyred when US-led coalition warplanes struck a Syrian army post in Deir Ezzor.

“Four US-led coalition warplanes targeted with 9 rockets one of the Syrian army’s posts in Deir Ezzor province, claiming the lives of 3 soldiers and injuring 13 others,” the Syrian foreign ministry said in a statement.

The strike also destroyed “three armored vehicles, four military vehicles, 23 mm machinegun, 14.5 machinegun and a depot of arms and ammunition,” the statement added.

The ministry said it had sent a letter o the UN Secretary General and Chairman of the UN Security Council in which Damascus “strongly condemns this heinous aggression by the coalition and affirms that it contradicts with the goals and wills of the UN Charter.”

“Syria called on the Security Council to immediately take the urgent measures to prevent such aggressions from occurring again, adding that the aggression on the military post hinders the efforts aiming to fight terrorism and reiterates that the US-led coalition lacks seriousness and credibility in the fight against terrorism,” SANA news agency cited the Syrian foreign ministry’s letter as saying.

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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!

Emergency Protests Across UK: Don’t Let Cameron Take Us into Another War

Global Research, December 01, 2015
Stop the War Coalition 30 November 2015

syria_parliament_dont_bomb_460_3

David Cameron has announced that MPs will vote this Wednesday 2 December on bombing Syria. 

Stop the War is asking all its groups and supporters to protest tomorrow night, Tuesday 1 December, against plans for bombing .

In London we will be assembling at 6pm in Parliament Square where we will hold a rally and then march to Labour and Tory Party headquarters, both nearby.

Elsewhere there will be protests in town and city centres around the country.

Our campaigning has already made a big impact and been widely reported. Over 40,000 people have already lobbied their MPs via the Stop the War website alone.

The Mirror, the Mail, The Financial Times and Observer have all come out against bombing, recognising how incoherent and dangerous David Cameron’s plans are.

We are urging people to use the little remaining time and every means available to maximise the pressure on MPs.

Please encourage everyone you can to lobby their MP by phone or email and publicise the protests as widely as possible.

We must do everything we can to stop MPs voting the UK into its fourth war on a Muslim country in 14 years.

Facebook Event…

This page will be updated as we get more information. Follow theDon’t Bomb Syria Action Page for updates of protests round the country.

Source: Stop the War Coalition

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Why has the USA invaded, occupied or bombed 14 Muslim countries in 30 years?

Why has the US invaded, occupied or bombed 14 Muslim countries in 30 years?

After the sacrifice of thousands of American lives and trillions of dollars, the region is now a cauldron of death and destruction.

Obama meets Gulf states

On May 13th and 14th, 2015, President Obama hosted a billionaire conglomerate known as the Gulf Cooperation Council, consisting of Middle East countries Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Oman, at which he said: ‘I am reaffirming our ironclad commitment to the security of our gulf partners.’

TO PLACATE their pique at his effort to get a non-proliferation agreement with Iran, Barack Obama met last Thursday at Camp David with Saudi royals and leaders of the other five feudal dictatorships of the Persian Gulf.

He reaffirmed the United States “ironclad” commitment to their security and promised even more military aid and cooperation. After the personal dust-up between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu settles, we can expect the Administration and Congress to add even more steel to our commitment to protect and subsidize Israel by adding more to its already vast store of sophisticated weapons.

Thus, we take another step deeper into the tragedy of US intervention in the Middle East that has become a noxious farce.

Consider just one of the head-spinning subplots: We are allied with our declared enemy, Iran, against the bloody Islamic State, which was spawned from the chaos created by our own earlier decisions to invade Iraq and to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria, which has us fighting side-by-side with jihadist crazies financed by Saudi Arabia, whom we are supporting against the Houthis in Yemen, the bitter rivals of Al Qaeda — the perpetrators of 9/11!

Since 1980, we have invaded, occupied and/or bombed at least 14 different Muslim countries. After the sacrifice of thousands of American lives and trillions of dollars, the region is now a cauldron of death and destruction. Yet, we persist, with no end in sight. As a former Air Force General Charles F. Wald remarked told the Washington Post, “We’re not going to see an end to this in our lifetime.”

Democrats and Republicans snipe over tactics, but neither wants to discuss the question of whether we should be there in the first place. Even liberals counseling caution, like the New York Times editorial board, hasten to agrees that the US must play a “leading role” in solving the Middle East’s many problems. In other worlds, stay the course.

The ordinary citizen trying to make sense of all this might reasonably ask: why? The president’s answer is that the war is in our “national interest.” Congress says, Amen. The phrase causes politicians and pundits on talk shows to synchronize the nodding of their heads, signaling that the national interest should not have to be explained — and certainly not debated.

When pressed for more specifics, our governing class offers four rationales for this endless war:

1. Fighting terrorism
2. Containing Iran
3. Securing oil
4. Defending Israel.

But when the citizen in whose vital interest the war is supposedly being fought takes a close look, he/she will find that none of these arguments — or all of them together — justifies the terrible cost, or even makes much sense.

Terrorism

The claim is that we will prevent another 9/11 by killing terrorists and keeping them offshore. But by now it is obvious that our interventions are counter-productive, i.e., they have vastly enlarged the pool of American-hating fanatics, willing to kill themselves in order to hurt us.

Americans are appalled when shown ISIS’s public beheadings on TV. What they are not shown is the beheadings routinely performed by the Saudi Arabian government and our “moderate” allies. Nor are they told that militias allied to the US-backed government in Iraq have killed prisoners by boring holes in their skulls with electric drills.

This is the way bad people behave in that part of the world. ISIS is a symptom, not a cause, of Middle East fanaticism — a problem rooted in corruption, tyranny and ignorance, which the United States cannot solve. Meanwhile, Arab governments themselves have enough firepower to defeat ISIS if they can put aside their own differences to do it. If they can’t, it is not our job to save them from their own folly.

The rationale here is embarrassingly circular — we must remain in the Middle East to protect against terrorists who hate America because we are in the Middle East. George W Bush’s often echoed claim that “They hate us for our freedoms” is nonsense. They hate us because we are foreign invaders. The longer we stay, the most likely it is that we will see another 9/11. And as the Boston Marathon bombing demonstrates, the people who carry out the next attack are more likely to live here, than there.

Iran

Iran is not a threat to US security and will not be as far as one can see into the future. Its hostility to the US is a product of over 50 years of our active interference in its politics, beginning in 1953 when the CIA overthrew the democratically elected prime minister and replaced him with a king.

Barack Obama is right that stopping the spread of nuclear weapons should be one of our highest international priorities. But taking sides in the Middle East’s political and religious civil wars has undercut our credibility, making it look like we are more interested in checking Iran’s influence than nuclear proliferation. Why, the inquiring American citizen might ask, is it OK for Israel and Pakistan to refuse to sign international treaties and allow inspection of their nuclear facilities, but not Iran?

In any event, the leverage that brought Iran to the negotiating table was not the US military’s presence or saber rattling in Washington. It was the economic sanctions.

Oil

Oil is an international commodity. When it comes out of the ground it is sold on world markets. Producing countries need consumers. US consumers buy oil at world prices, and it is available to them as it is to everyone else who can pay for it. They get no special discount for having military bases in the area.

The economic motivation for the invasion of Iraq was not to assure that we Americans would have gas for our cars and oil for our furnaces, but to assure that American-based oil companies would be the ones to bring it here.

Today, we get less than 10 percent of our oil from the Persian Gulf. The US is now projected to pass both Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest oil producer in the next two years. By 2020 North America, and likely the US alone, will be self-sufficient in oil and gas.

The claim that Americans need to be in the Middle East for the oil has gone from dubious to implausible.

Israel

The United States does not need Israel to protect its security. Nor does Israel need the US

Israel has by far the most powerful sophisticated military in the entire region. Its arsenal includes nuclear and chemical weapons that, because Israel has refused to ratify international nonproliferation treaties banning, it can continue to develop with no outside interference. The surrounding Arab states are dysfunctional, disorganized and caught in the brutal quasi-religious war between Sunnis led by Saudi Arabia and Shiites led by Iran that is likely to drag on for decades. Hezbollah, which arose in Lebanon as a result of Israel’s 1982 invasion, can harass, but is certainly no threat to Israel’s existence.

Even if Iran eventually builds a bomb, Israel would still have the capacity to blow that country back to the Stone Age, and there is no evidence that Iran’s political establishment is suicidal.

The security problem for Israel comes from within the territory it controls: the status of the conquered, embittered Palestinians, who in 1948 and 1967 were driven out of their homes and herded into the ghettos of the West Bank and Gaza in order make room for the Jewish state.

The Palestinians are militarily powerless. They can throw stones and occasionally talk some lost soul into becoming a suicide bomber. From Gaza they can lob wobbly mortars over the Israel border. But always at the cost of harsh retaliation. Two thousand Gazans were killed in the Israeli punitive attacks of August 2014. It will take them ten years to rebuild their homes and infrastructure.

Yet the Palestinians will not give up their own dream of an independent homeland — at least on the territory occupied by the Israel army since 1967. So for almost a half century, our governments have pushed both sides to negotiate a permanent solution, pouring billions in aid to Israel, and lesser, but substantial amounts to placate the Palestinians and to bribe Egypt and Jordan into recognizing Israel. We have paid a huge political price; our role as collaborator in the Palestinian oppression is a major source of anti-Americanism in the Muslim world.

The US effort has failed. Neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis — both driven by anger, mutual distrust and historical grievances — have behaved well. But, Israel is the one in control of the West Bank. So any credible solution requires that it end the apartheid system they have imposed, either by giving Israeli citizenship to the Palestinians (One-State) or by permitting the establishment of an independent Palestine (Two-States).

The Israelis will never accept a one state solution with the Palestinians. Among other reasons is a widely shared fear of the faster Palestinian birthrate. The re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu in March after he promised Israeli voters he would never accept two states, has buried that idea as well. The real Israel solution is already in motion on the ground — pushing Jewish settlements further and further into the Palestinians’ territory until there is no space left for a Palestinian state.

There are now about 600,000 people in the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and their number is growing. No Israeli government in the foreseeable future will be capable of evicting a substantial share of them in order to give the Palestinians room to form an independent country. The only pressure on Israel is the fear that it might become an international pariah state — as South Africa did before it ended its apartheid. But so long as Israel is under the political protection of the US, it can, and will, ignore world opinion.

Our choice therefore is either to remain as enabler of Israel’s “settler” solution, or, as part of a general withdrawal from the region, to let the Israelis and Palestinians deal with the consequences of their own behavior. Indeed, US disengagement might be the political jolt needed to force a change.

Thus, the real answer to the question of why our country is stuck in the Middle East will not be found in the phrase, “national interest.” Rather it will be found among a much narrower group of special interests — military contractors, oil sheikdoms, the Israel lobby, and a media that hypnotizes the electorate into equating patriotism and war.

These interests are formidable. Their fallback argument is that we are in too far even to contemplate pulling out. Much too complicated. And America’s “credibility” is at stake.

Maybe. But our credibility as a democracy is also at stake. To maintain it, responsible citizens should at least demand clarity about why we are slogging deeper and deeper into this quagmire, putting lives at risk, wasting enormous resources and diverting the attention of the US government from the deterioration of our national economy — the fundamental source of national security.

America’s bi-partisan governing class has no intention of opening up their Middle East misadventure to such scrutiny. So it’s up to the citizenry.

The 2016 president election campaign will force candidates into forums, town meetings and question-and-answer sessions. It may be the last chance for citizens to pierce the veils of glib rhetoric that hide the reasons our rulers have pushed us into a part of the world where we have no real business and where our presence has only made things worse.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Stop the War Coalition

Source: Common Dreams

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Suleimani Accuses US-Led Coalition of Supporting ISIL

Local Editor

Suleimani

Commander of the Iranian Al-Quds Brigades, Major General Qassem Suleimani accused that the “anti-ISIL” coalition supports ISIL terrorist group.

Suleimani said that the states which claim that they are fighting ISIL enable the terrorist group to export the oil it confiscates in the Syrian Deir Ezour and the Iraqi Kirkuk via their territories.

Source: Agencies

27-05-2015 – 14:46 Last updated 27-05-2015 – 15:14

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