Major Battle Looming at Syria-Iraq Border? US Coalition Sets Up New Base

South Front is reporting that the US-led Coalition has set up a second military base near the Syria-Iraq border. Apparently, the US Coalition, now aligned with the Kurds, is seeking to establish control over the entire border region before the advancing Syrian Arab Army can get there.

The US-led coalition has set up a new military base in Al-Zkuf, 70 km north-east of Al-Tanf near the Syrian-Iraqi border. According to the US-led coalition, the aim of the base is to fight ISIS.

The report, which you can access here, goes on to state that “the real purpose of new US-led coalition base in Al-Zkuf is to prevent the SAA advance aimed at reaching the Syrian-Iraqi border.”

An interesting aspect to all this is that while the SAA is advancing toward the border from the north and west, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), which South Front identifies as being “part of the Iraqi Armed Forces,” are moving toward the border from the south and east. According to a report here, the PMU’s goal is “to secure the entire border with Syria.” This won’t be an easy task. The border is 373 miles long, but PMU forces have had some major successes in Nineveh Province where they have seized from ISIS control the city of Al-Baaj and several other nearby villages.

The thing to keep in mind here is that the SAA and the PMU are essentially making common cause–that being the defeat of ISIS–and that they may be on the verge of an outright alliance with one another.

Iraqi National Security Advisor Faleh al-Fayyad is said to have relayed a “verbal message” from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to Syrian President Bashar Assad. The message is said to have proposed a “joint cooperation” effort “to fight terrorism in both countries and to secure the border between the two countries.” That is, at least, according to a report here. In the writer’s view, this sets the stage for a “proxy clash” between Iran and the US. By the way, Al-Abadi, it should be remembered, is Shiite, and an analyst at Al-Arabiya, the Saudi-funded news agency, seems convinced (or at least has convinced himself) that the PMU is in reality being led by Iranian forces.

And just as it seeks to halt the Syrian government’s advance to the border, the US Coalition is also said to be opposing the PMU efforts to secure the border from the Iraqi side. The irony here is that the US, which has set itself up as the global hegemon, is seeking to deny control of the border to the two sovereign nations which lie on either side of  it.

As mentioned above, the US has now formed a close alliance with the Kurds, or at any rate the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF. Interestingly, the Chinese news agency Xinhua is reporting that the SDF has warned the PMU against attempting to cross into Kurdish areas on the Syrian side of the border.

The new base at Al-Zkuf is the second US Coalition military base along the border. Previously the coalition had set up a base at the Syrian town of Al-Tanf, from which it has been training the so-called moderate rebels of the Free Syrian Army.


Documentary about Syrian Women

The following is a very interesting documentary about Syrian women recently posted. It includes interviews with women from different walks of life–university students, artists, even a segment on a woman coach of a boy’s soccer team.  All of it is quite informative, but especially interesting, in my opinion, are the comments from women who managed to escape from ISIS-held areas of the country. Some of these women, as you will see, in addition to falling under the control of ISIS,  also had contact with the Free Syrian Army. And if you’re of the opinion that the FSA must surely be “moderates,” otherwise why would the US be supporting them, you might change your mind after viewing this.

Macron’s rationality and the Syrian-Iraqi borders عقلانية ماكرون والحدود السورية العراقية

Macron’s rationality and the Syrian-Iraqi borders

يونيو 4, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Russia through the force of its President Vladimir Putin and its Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was present in two important stations outside the priorities of the US President Donald Trump, and beyond its distinguished relationship with Turkey as well as its keenness to support it with a balanced role within a regional system led by Moscow where Ankara and Tehran represent its parties. Moscow had an understanding with Paris that allows its inclusion to the efforts of building a new regional system under the sponsorship of Russia, it  made the same thing with Cairo. In the US absence of the war of Libya between the government of Firas Al-Sarraj who is supported by Turkey and NATO, and the commander Khalifa Hafter who is supported by Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Moscow devoted its importance to support Egypt, but in a remarkable change toward the political rationality the new French President Emanuel Macron after his meeting with the President Putin emerged to announce the support of a political solution in Syria that does not impose a negative attitude towards the Syrian President, on the contrary  it paves the way for a cooperation with him on the basis of the Russian equation, which based on linking the transitional stage with keeping the state and its institutions, which means adopting the constitutional shift starting from a government in the light of the Syrian President and ending with elections according to a new constitution in which he participates.

When the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Choukri talks about a strategic cooperation in the war on terrorism that includes logistic, technical, operations, and intelligence support through a joint operations room with Russia, and when the President Macron talks after his meeting with the President Putin about a strategic cooperation committee that aims to put a comprehensive vision about the war on terrorism and the establishment of a comprehensive stability in the region, without ignoring to indicate to open the French embassy in Damascus but it is not among the priorities now, after it was from the taboos, then this means the success of Moscow to include two important forces in the policies of the Middle East; France and Egypt along with Turkey and Iran even from different positions to create the political solutions as the necessity of the war on terrorism.

To the extent through which Macron knows that the French interior supports a foreign policy that based on the openness to Russia and the solution in Syria in cooperation with the Syrian state, after his ancestor Hollande has put his popularity a cost for a reverse consideration, the Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi and his government know the vitality of the battle of Libya for the security of Egypt, and they both know that NATO will not support Egypt in its war against the government of Al-Sarraj, while Russia will not break up its relation  with Turkey which supports Al-Sarraj, but it will continue supporting Egypt to win this war. France and Egypt were observing carefully the last wars of the US administration before making the critical shift toward Russia. The war has a title to prevent the connection between the Syrian army and the Popular Crowd across the Syrian-Iraqi borders, because this connection means practically resolving the course of war and the direction of the new balances, but this connection is no longer possible to be prevented after the arrival of the Popular Crowd to the Syrian borders and the progress of the Syrian army by having control over twenty thousand square kilometers from Badia towards the borders despite the US warnings.

Mohammed Bin Salman will go to Moscow to meet the President Putin having these considerations along with the need to cooperate with Moscow to control the oil market and its prices, after the Saudi expenses have been increased, and after the deficit resulted from the visit of the US President increased.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

عقلانية ماكرون والحدود السورية العراقية

مايو 30, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– فيما حضرت روسيا بقوة برئيسها فلاديمير بوتين ووزير خارجيتها سيرغي لافروف في محطتين هامتين خارج دائرة أولوية الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب، وعابرة فوق علاقتها المميزة مع تركيا وحرصها على استيعابها بدور وازن ضمن منظومة إقليمية تقودها موسكو وتمثل أنقرة وطهران جناحيها، توّجت موسكو مع باريس تفاهماً يتيح ضمّها لجهود بناء نظام إقليمي جديد برعاية روسية، وفعلت الشيء نفسه مع القاهرة. ففي غياب أميركي عن حرب ليبيا بين حكومة فايز السراج المدعوم من تركيا وحلف الأطلسي وقائد الجيش خليفة حفتر المدعوم من مصر والسعودية، وضعت موسكو ثقلها لمساندة مصر. وفي تغيير لافت نحو العقلانية السياسية خرج الرئيس الفرنسي الجديد إيمانويل ماكرون بعد لقائه الرئيس بوتين ليعلن دعم حلّ سياسي في سورية، لا يشترط السلبية تجاه الرئيس السوري بل يفتح مجالاً للتعاون معه إلى قاعدة المعادلة الروسية التي تقوم على ربط المرحلة الانتقالية بالحفاظ على الدولة ومؤسساتها، ما يعني اعتماد الانتقال الدستوري، بدءاً بحكومة في ظلّ الرئيس السوري وانتهاء بانتخابات وفقاً لدستور جديد يشارك فيها.

– عندما يخرج وزير الخارجية المصري سامح شكري يتحدث عن تعاون استراتيجي في مجال الحرب على الإرهاب، يتضمّن دعماً لوجستياً وتقنياً وعملياتياً واستخبارياً عبر غرفة عمليات مشتركة مع روسيا، ويخرج الرئيس ماكرون من لقائه مع الرئيس بوتين يتحدّث عن لجنة تعاون استراتيجي بهدف وضع تصوّر شامل للحرب على الإرهاب وإقامة استقرار شامل في المنطقة، من دون أن يستبعد فتح السفارة الفرنسية في دمشق بقوله ليست ضمن الأولويات حالياً، بعدما كانت من المحرّمات سابقاً، فذلك يعني نجاح موسكو بضمّ قوتين وازنتين في سياسات الشرق الأوسط هما فرنسا ومصر إلى جانب تركيا وإيران، ولو من مواقع مختلفة وخلافية، لصناعة الحلول السياسية كخلفية ضرورية لخوض الحرب على الإرهاب.

– بالمقدار الذي يعرف ماكرون أنّ الداخل الفرنسي يساند سياسة خارجية تقوم على الانفتاح على روسيا والحلّ في سورية بالتعاون مع الدولة السورية، وأنّ سلفه هولاند وضع رصيده الشعبي ثمناً لعناد معاكس، يعرف الرئيس المصري عبد الفتاح السيسي وحكومته حيوية معركة ليبيا لأمن مصر، ويعرفان أنّ الأطلسي لن يساند مصر في حربها على حكومة السراج، بينما لا تتوقف روسيا عند علاقتها بتركيا الداعمة للسراج وتمدّ يدها كما في السابق لمصر للفوز بهذه الحرب، لكن فرنسا ومصر كانتا تراقبان بعناية آخر حروب الإدارة الأميركية قبل إحداث النقلة الحاسمة نحو روسيا. والحرب لها عنوان هو منع التواصل بين الجيش السوري والحشد الشعبي عبر الحدود السورية العراقية. وهذا التواصل يعني عملياً حسم وجهة الحرب ووجهة التوازنات الجديدة، وهو تواصل ما عاد ممكناً منعه بعد بلوغ الحشد الشعبي الحدود مع سورية، وتقدّم الجيش السوري بالسيطرة على عشرين ألف كلم مربع من البادية باتجاه الحدود، رغم الإنذارات الأميركية.

– يتوجّه محمد بن سلمان إلى موسكو للقاء الرئيس بوتين، وأمامه هذه الصورة ومعها الحاجة لتعاون موسكو في ضبط سوق النفط وأسعاره، بعدما زادت النفقات السعودية وزاد العجز بمترتبات زيارة الرئيس الأميركي.

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خامنئي: السعودية كالبقرة الحلوب بالنسبة لأميركا وسيُقضى عليها في النهاية..

خامنئي: السعودية كالبقرة الحلوب بالنسبة لأميركا وسيُقضى عليها في النهاية

قال المرشد الإيراني السيد علي خامنئي «إنّ السعودية كالبقرة الحلوب بالنسبة لأميركا»، معتبراً أنّ «المجتمع الإسلامي اليوم كبقية المجتمعات يعاني من مشاكل».

ولفت خامنئي إلى أنّ «هناك بعض الناس الوضيعين ممن سلبوا بعض عناصر الأمة الإسلامية حقها في تقرير المصير كالحكومة السعودية، وهذا بسبب البعد عن القرآن وانعدام الإيمان «.

وقال: «لا يجب الانخداع بالمظاهر وهؤلاء سيسقطون، لأنهم باطل وسيزولون ويُقضى عليهم، وسرعة ذلك مرتبطة بصحة عمل المجتمع المؤمن».

وأضاف «حماقة السعوديين جعلتهم يظنون أن بإمكانهم جلب صداقة أعداء الإسلام بالأموال، لكنهم في الحقيقة يفرطون بالثروات الوطنية لأعداء الشعوب».

وذكّر خامنئي بأنه «يوماً ما كانت هناك حكومة إيرانية قال لها الأميركيون صراحة إنها شرطيهم في المنطقة، لكن الشعب الإيراني تمكن من إسقاطها رغم كل الدعم الذي كانت تحظى بِه وجاء بنظام الجمهورية الإسلامية الذي لا تطيق القوى العالمية رؤيته».

ودعا الحكومة الإيرانية «للوضوح في التأكيد على أصول الإسلام»، معتبراً أنّ هذا الأمر «لا ينافي العلاقات العالمية». وأوضح المرشد الإيراني خلال جلسة «الأنس بالقرآن» في أول يوم من شهر رمضان المبارك أنّ «السعوديين أشداء علی المسلمین، رحماء مع الكفار، لكن سيقضى عليهم في النهاية».

American Soldiers in Iraq

American Soldiers in Iraq

By Alla Pierce, Axis of Logic

Now that Mosul is being wiped off the face of the earth by US troops, I came back to my notes made recently, as well as some older ones, from interviewing American soldiers and officers who attended Iraq war campaigns. Below I used some of the excerpts from those interviews, which in my opinion most typically reflect attitudes and understanding of their participation in the Middle East wars.

 – AP


A gray day on West Mosul’s Corniche. Matt Cetti-Roberts photo

Embarking upon the war campaign in Iraq, American soldiers and officers did not know much about this country, the culture, history or the way people live there, neither anything about Saddam, his policies, as well as about who the Sunnis and Shiites are, and about the difference and contradictions between them. They still don’t know that now, even those who have a Master Degree. “Surprisingly, we were finding portraits of Saddam in the pockets of the Iraqis we killed. Was he not a dictator? “They probably were Sunnis.” “Who are Sunnis?”What are they fighting for in a strange country while possessing such little knowledge about it?
For average Americans, the army is just one way to make money. The longer you stay in the Army, the more benefits you receive. – Did you really think that you were spreading democracy by fighting in Iraq? – F… the democracy. When you serve for a long time, you get a lot of benefits, that’s why we enlist in the army and stay in it.They go to war, guided by the desire to earn, but the flywheel of hatred is launched and it is spun by those who are sitting in their fashionable offices very far away from the places of bloody massacres while they plan another one in order to attain more profits. It’s also launched by commanders who create the military operations and by the soldiers themselves who came to this land without being welcomed and by other soldiers that came before them.
They launch the flywheel of hatred without any understanding or realization of what they are actually doing. Unmotivated soldiers become motivated when their comrades are killed. And it becomes unimportant that no one called them to this land, and that the people living here have the right to kill the occupants. This all becomes unimportant because the war becomes personal. They pay back for their dead friends by killing more Iraqis (or whomever) and the other side also kills more in revenge. Hatred is growing. The War machine is working. – It was a huge deal about revenge. If some of our soldiers were hit we went back with overwhelming force and not just killed one person but killed many more and destroyed a whole area. Yes, it was very punitive the way we acted, but it was a revenge and we also rebuilt a lot of damaged areas. – Like what? – We built schools, hospitals…Destroying than rebuilding is just the way for American companies to use taxpayers’ money by building in Iraq for nothing. – Did Iraqis collaborate? – No, they didn’t. They hated us.“It was my trophy” Some of them showed me their trophies. – Why did you take ID cards from the Iraqis you killed? – These are our trophies. – But you cannot do this. People cannot be identified without identity cards. – Everybody took them and so did I.I looked at the photos of the dead Iraqis and thought about their loved ones who have been waiting for them to return from the war. I remember how one Russian woman who received an official notice that her son was killed in Afghanistan, said: “Until I see him dead, I’ll believe that he is still alive.” I’m telling this to American soldiers who show me photos of slain Iraqis. Then I tell them how Russian women waited for their men from the Great Patriotic War. Sometimes they waited for the rest of their lives. – Do you know how much it hurts, year after year to wait and hope what if he is alive? Do you know how painful it is do not even have the opportunity to go to the grave of you love one? The bodies of that Iraqis might not been identified without IDs. – These are emotions, ‘I heard in reply’. I did not think about it. Everybody took, so and I did. I was in this war. This was my trophy.“The fight against terrorism” Noticing complete separations in their mind between themselves and “that brown skinned people”, I asked the question: – Tell me, was there a feeling of being from a super nation and not being allowed to get killed? American leaders loudly consider themselves a morally and culturally superior nation. – Not exactly, but yes, when they kill our soldiers, it unites us more and raises our patriotic feelings. Maybe our politicians do something wrong, you know, I do not like our government, like most of us, but I love my country and I’m proud of it. I think that America is the most powerful and fair country. – Despite the fact that you go to someone else’s country to kill its inhabitants? – No, that’s not why we go there. We are fighting terrorism.Come on, give it up! Who really believes that the US is fighting terrorism? Back in March 1999, the bombing of Yugoslavia began. These are the mournful days for all residents of Eastern Europe. The beautiful Yugoslavia was skillfully destabilized, set on fire, finished off by bombing and after being dismembered was ready for use according to US interests. What terrorists did the united NATO troops fight by dropping bombs on Belgrade? Contrary to all international conventions, NATO was using radioactive depleted uranium in their ammunition, so people are still dying from those bombings.
Officially the “war on terror” was launched against Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. That was a group of ultra-radicals, which number was estimated at no more than a few hundred – at the most- in the beginning.
Now the number of adherents of Islamic extremism has grown to hundreds of thousands if not more. While the United States bombing the Middle East for 16 years, destroying one country after another and creating the world’s largest refugee crisis since World War II, and financing and supplying  weapons to the militants of ISIS, the properly formed ideological settings of Islamic radicals now spreads not only to every state, bombed by America, but also over European countries.
And one of the main reason of it is that people are looking for alternative to American’s standards and “democracy” which in these days has nothing to do with people interests. War crimes And now, talking with soldiers who fought in Iraq, I did not know what struck me more: their cynical actions or the calm with which they talk about it.
Often, if Iraqis came to American field hospitals they were not treated, even children were often turned away. They were left to die according to American soldiers I’ve talked to. They were treated only if they were shot by American soldiers. If the bullets came from other than American guns the Iraqis were left to die. “I had to tell many Iraqis to just watch your children die. It’s sad, but we were following orders”.Here is a story I was told: An American officer brought a wounded Iraqi girl to the hospital. She had an injury from a bullet in her leg and was heavily bleeding. This girl needed urgent help, otherwise she could lose her leg. The girl was frightened and suffered from pain. The medical staff quickly put her on the table, and got prepared to start providing medical assistance. – Hey, wait, says the officer, the one who brought this girl there, – I was a little mistaken. We should not help the Iraqis in our hospitals. – But she needs help urgently!  And she’s already here, give us an opportunity to help the girl. – No, says the officer, it’s not according to the rules. We cannot break an order. She was hit by an AK-47, 7.62 caliber bullet. That is not one of ours. – But she might die! – An order is an order.The officer pulled his gun out. No, he did not point it to the medical staff, he just held it in his hand. Then he took the girl away and left her somewhere to die.
I asked the officer who told me this story, was it an example of a war crime in his opinion? – That officer was just following orders. He is not responsible for orders issued in one way or another. – But being just a human, is it not a crime to refuse giving a help to the wounded child when you have a chance to do it? – He acted in accordance with the order.The crime is when we break the law. But we live and act mostly directed by unwritten human rules, by something that gives us the right to call ourselves “a human being”. One day this officer will get back home, maybe even receive an award from being a good soldier who correctly followed orders. Will he remember the girl he brought back to the shelled streets when he takes his children to the Aqua Park, Zoo, or Disneyland? I doubt it. None of soldiers and officers I talked to had any empathy towards Iraqi civilians.
What empathy am I talking about, if there was a serious issue about torture? Now there is well-known fact that Iraqis were tortured and placed in hospitals for healing, so they could be tortured again. Some were kept tortured until they died or their brain stopped working from non-stop pain. Very often, and probably most of the time, Iraqis didn’t have information or simply couldn’t understand them. So, too bad for them. They were tortured to death.     A Paramedic that fought in Iraq told me that helicopters with red cross symbols from MEDEVAC units that were supposed to evacuate injured casualties, had instead installed machine guns, on request of special forces who used them to carry out operations under the guise of Red Cross missions — an act which is prohibited. On many occasions they were ordered to shoot every few seconds, while they were flying, over hot zones regardless of what they shot at. Not only when they see someone, but just shoot, so those who see them would think they are under attack. – You said you counted your fired bullets and estimated it was around a million of them in one year. Do you realize that you could kill hundreds or thousands of people this way? – It was an order.    – But do you realize that shooting like this randomly you did kill innocent people? – Do you know how many our American soldiers were killed?I asked if this person sees it as a war crime when army medical personnel randomly shoot like this from helicopter with a red cross on it. The answer was, “No, it was an order and we did it to protect ourselves from being shot at”.
From time to time during those conversations I felt like I was talking to robots. No matter what you say the answer is the same: “I was given an order”, “They killed our people”.
Sometimes, after hearing all their stories I asked: – Just imagine that, for instance, China invaded in the USA and Chinese soldiers don’t understand what we are saying and we do not understand what in hell they are saying and they just torture us or fire at us all the time? Imagine our kids are playing outside and a helicopter with a red cross just starts shooting them. Do you understand what real terrorism is? Do you think, because it’s done by high technology and by people in nice uniforms it doesn’t mean they are not terrorists?When incoming ground fire was received, the soldiers targeted the hostile threat with precision munitions by providing the exact coordinates to controllers who ordered returning artillery, or air strikes. Those precision locating devices were designed to reduce the number of random victims and damage, especially in civilian areas, since it sends exact coordinates to within a meter of accuracy from where the shot came from. Often, instead of attacking that particular point of hostility, the artillery sent hundreds of shells. So, if it was one shot they didn’t reply with one shell but hundreds of them, destroying a whole block of the city. Nothing can be alive after that. Nothing. Just dust from buildings, churches or high streets.
I asked the soldier who sent back targeting coordinates to his controllers as to how he feels about the fact that possibly hundreds of people were killed because of it. – I didn’t kill anyone – he said. – But you said that the whole area was destroyed by American artillery after you sent the coordinates. – Yes, it was, but I acted in accordance with standard procedure.The basic impression from talking to those solders is that they all gave me a really cold blooded speech about the war. Just like it was nothing. No emotions were noticed on their faces. Even when they describe how they kill people. During these conversations, I did not see a drop of doubt about their actions, even when I have talked to female officers. Only when I said: “Imagine that it was your child,” something changed in their eyes.
You do not spread any democracy but death and destruction. Are all the financial and career benefits you are really fighting for worth children’s deaths, their tears and pain? If you are not brainwashed you would think, ‘Does anybody want damn democracy at this price?’ The infrastructure completely destroyed. No water, no electricity, no wages, no banks, no international transfers. Who can live in a place like this?
And yet, many Americans still think that military intervention in the Muslim world is needed to combat terrorism. Purposely poor education set by government in order to easily control and manipulate people, non-stop propaganda mixed with excessive patriotism that easily turns to arrogance, racism and hostility toward people from other countries are the main pillars of American policy. Obliviousness to cause and effect, namely that American foreign policy is the single biggest cause for such instability and radicalism in the Middle East.

Alla Pierce, independent journalist, Florida, USA, 2017

«Israel’s» Inhumane Treatment of Detainees

Designed By: Nour Fakih

"Israel's" Inhumane Treatment of Detainees

From Syria to Korea: The Rush to Crush Multipolarism

April 30, 2017 (Ulson Gunnar – NEO) – A recent, unilateral, unjustified military strike on Syria by US cruise missiles, coupled with the deployment of a US naval fleet to the Korean Peninsula as well as terrorist attacks carried out by terrorist fronts worldwide associated with US-backed opposition groups signifies a worldwide push-back from Wall Street and Washington amid its crumbling “international order.”

Like all hegemons before it, Wall Street and Washington have found themselves expending more time and resources maintaining their current geopolitical order than on either further expansion or domestic development. What has developed is a vicious cycle of aggression, conflict, and retrenchment. Throughout the process, there is the expenditure of irreplaceable political capital.

For example, while US policymakers rightly noted their “international order” built by and for Wall Street and Washington would suffer immensely had their attempts to overthrow the Libyan government in 2011 been reversed, their “success” was equally damaging. Before an increasingly capable world of alternative systems, blocs and an emerging multipolar order, the destruction of Libya and its current status as a failed state along with the protracted nature of the US campaign to topple the government was more a sign of growing weakness than a warning of American strength.

Struggling in Syria 

The subsequent conflict in Syria only reinforced suspicions of serious and growing American weakness. The conflict has dragged on for 6 years, and US attempts at regime change have been met by direct Russian military intervention along with a significant role played by another obstacle to US regional and global hegemony, Iran.

Such a scenario, 20-30 years ago, would have been unimaginable.

The recent missile strikes in Syria, then, were not a masterstroke of strategic strength and brilliance, but rather an act of desperation amid a crumbling policy within its crumbling “international order.”

Analysts and policymakers the world over should not, however, get the impression that a retreating America poses no threat. On the contrary, the US in its current state of wounded pride, retracting influence and waning power is more dangerous than ever.

As the window closes on any possibility of a US-maintained order in the Middle East, attempts to permanently damage whatever remains and whoever presides over it becomes more tempting than ever.

While the US poses as “fighting” terrorist organizations like the “Islamic State” and other Al Qaeda affiliates, it has all but openly armed, funded, trained and supported these groups, including with, now, direct military intervention. Indeed, the military targets the US hit recently with its cruise missiles were engaged on the front lines against both the Islamic State and US State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization, the al-Nusrah Front.

Continued support for these terrorist groups either directly or through America’s regional allies (Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others), along with the persistent threat of unilateral military action in direct defiance of the very international law Washington claims its own “international order” is built upon, may be a grievous threat for years to come.

Along the peripheries of this conflict include Egypt who has also just recently experienced terrorist attacks aimed at dividing the nation along sectarian lines and undermining Cairo’s ability to administer its own nation let alone participate in any meaningful way in any emerging alternative regional order.

Proxy War on the Korean Peninsula 

North Korea poses little threat to the United States. Any first strike carried out by North Korea against either the US or South Korea would result in the immediate and absolute destruction of the isolated nation. Despite this reality, the United States has purposefully and disingenuously built it up into a national, even global security threat that conveniently requires an ever increasing military build-up both on the Korean Peninsula itself, as well as across the rest of East Asia.

However, the Korean Peninsula is just one of several fronts amid the actual target of US ambitions, China and the ruling political order in Beijing.

In addition to the Korean Peninsula, the US is concentrating sociopolitical, economic and even covert terrorist pressure as far west as Afghanistan, Pakistan and China’s Xinjiang province, all throughout Southeast Asia and even within Chinese territory, particularly in Hong Kong.

The elimination of North Korea as one of the remaining buffer zones between America’s presence in the Pacific and Beijing has been a stated US geopolitical objective for decades (including during the Korean War). With the target actually being Beijing itself, efforts to solve the “Korean problem” without recognizing and dismantling America’s unwarranted presence in the region will lead only to further conflict, not only in East Asia but all along China’s peripheries.

Not Trump’s Policy, Not Because of His Ego 

American and European media sources have attempted to assign responsibility for America’s recent aggression both in Syria and its posturing upon the Korean Peninsula to US President Donald Trump’s own personal motivations and politics. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

The precise agenda of regime change in Syria stretches back decades, and plans to launch cruise missiles into Syria once it became apparent swift Libyan-style regime change was not possible was articulated across the entirety of the US foreign policy establishment as early as 2013.

Bloomberg, in a 2013 article titled, “Tomahawk Cruise Missiles Likely in U.S. Strikes on Syria,” would exclaim:

Tomahawk cruise missiles are likely to be launched at night against hundreds of Syrian targets, including some of President Bashar al-Assad’s elite military units, if the U.S. and allies launch a military strike in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons.

Careless readers could easily mistaken the Bloomberg article from years ago for a current headline.

Likewise, US efforts to topple the government of North Korea stretch back for years. US-based think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), would publish a 2009, 60-page report titled, “Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea,” in which scenarios for the full-scale invasion, occupation and subjugation of North Korea were laid out.

Today, President Trump is merely the latest politician to rubber stamp the most recent iterations of these policies, laid out publicly and repeatedly for years by policy think tanks representing the collective interests and ambitions of some of the West’s largest corporations and financial institutions.

Conversations regarding the so-called “deep state” have revolved around talk of various bureaucracies and career administrators within the US government, however, more accurately, all of these, along with elected representatives, fall under a singular and truly gargantuan deep state, one emanating from Wall Street, not offices in Washington.

Thus, regardless of various popular narratives circulating across the Western press, US policy now is merely the continuation of a singular agenda pursuing global hegemony. As competing centers of power around the globe emerge and increasingly resist the United States, attempts to sweep these centers of power away increase in both number and desperation.

Genuinely responsible leadership in the United States or Europe would recognize the shifting balance of power and seek to maintain equity between nations. Instead, ruling circles of power in the West are attempting to unrealistically reassert hegemony at the risk of triggering catastrophic and destructive war. By doing so, they, at best, are only delaying the inevitable. And by doing so, they illustrate their inability to function as reasonable and constructive partners in the new, multipolar world order that is emerging, ensuring that they are the ones ultimately swept away.

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

No wonder the average American has no problem with torture

Apparently boiling a mentally ill man alive for making a mess with his feces is not cruel or unusual punishment

By Subby Imgur
Prisoner put in boiling hot shower for making a mess, prison guards not charged with a crime.

In June of 2012, 50-year old Darren Rainey, a schizophrenic man serving time for cocaine possession, died in the Dade Correctional Institution. According to prison witnesses and civil rights groups, Rainey died after guards locked him in a shower for two hours with water at 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Nurses who examined Rainey said that he had burns over 90 percent of his body — and that his skin fell off at the touch.

According to an autopsy report released in January by the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner, Rainey died from “complications of schizophrenia, heart disease and ‘confinement’ in the shower.”

On Friday, more than four years after Rainey’s death, the office of Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle stated that they would not be seeking charges against the four correctional officers allegedly involved in Rainey’s death.

“The shower was itself neither dangerous nor unsafe,’’ the report read. “The evidence does not show that Rainey’s well-being was grossly disregarded by the correctional staff.’’

According to the report, the “facts and evidence in this case do not meet the required elements for the filing of any criminal charge. Therefore, none of the correctional officers at Dade C.I. are criminally responsible for the death of inmate Rainey. Based upon the foregoing, we close the investigation without filing any criminal charges.”

At least six inmate witnesses said that correctional officers had rigged the shower so that they could control the temperature from the outside, and that they purposefully turned the water to temperatures that scalded Rainey. The inmate witnesses also claim that Rainey could be heard kicking the shower door and screaming “Please take me out! I can’t take it anymore!”

Prosecutors rejected those witness accounts, calling the testimony “unreliable” and “not credible.”

Milton Grimes, the attorney representing Rainey’s family, expressed extreme disappointment with the state’s decision.

“We are appalled that the state attorney did not look deeper into this case and see the criminality of the people who were involved,” Grimes told the Miami Herald.

A Miami Herald investigation into the Dade Correctional Institution called it “the deadliest prison in Florida,” and chronicled a litany of abuses suffered by inmates at the hands of correctional officers. Around the same time as Rainey’s death, another mentally ill inmate hanged himself from an air conditioning vent, leaving behind a list of alleged abuses he suffered in the prison.

In 2016, 16 inmates died while in custody at the Dade Correctional Institution. Throughout the entire state, 356 inmates died in custody, according to numbers provided to the Miami Herald by the Florida Department of Corrections.

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