The Political Scene: Trump’s Policy with Allies – Pay Us and We’ll Protect You

Source

March 23, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump waits to speak by phone with the Saudi Arabia's King Salman in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

US president Donald trumps’ policies towards the region have not been crystallized so far.
Many of the political positions and statements announced by the new administration are not clear enough to give a full- fledge  image about the US vision towards the region. Most of the information and conclusions are inferred from tentative analyses and some of his advisors statements.

Nonetheless, the main headline of the US policy towards the friends and allies in the world generally, and the region specifically, “pay us and we will protect you.”

However, it is estimated that the new American policy will go in accordance with the following lines:
Washington will neither wage a war nor will it withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran, but will make sure to tighten the sanctions against it, to downsize its influence in many places in the region.

– The US administration intends to engage more in Iraq by deploying more troops there in an attempt to get rid of ISIL and to make sure to blackmail the Iraqis, thus pressuring them to give more political and economic concessions. Trump aspires to cut off Iraq from its current stances and annex it to the gulf states in an effort to terminate the Iranian influence and coordination with Baghdad.

– As for Palestine, Trump plans to hold an international conference to reach a so-called political settlement, or to hold a tripartite summit that brings him, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas together to reach what his administration envisages as  a permanent solution .

In Yemen, the US urges Saudi Arabia to put a speedy end to its heavy engagement in the Yemeni quick sands, as winning the war there has proved to be almost impossible, along with Saudi dwindling status that affects drastically in other areas which could be in turn detrimental to US interests.

As for Syria, Washington intends to involve itself more, especially in the northern part of the country where it has deployed more troops and military equipments and has supported the Kurdish forces with vital military supplies thus escalating the Turkish worries. The US plans to have the sole and upper hand in liberating Raqqa without any coordination with or help from Russia in order to strike a balance with the culminating, rather towering influence Moscow has in Syria.

Washington wants this at any rate because it deeply understands that the future situation in Syria will play a crucial role and determine the future of the region and far beyond that for long years.

Source: Al-Manar Website

America and israel Threaten World Peace

By Stephen Lendman
3-22-17

Multiple global flashpoints should terrify everyone. They’re hugely dangerous along Russia’s border with Eastern European countries, in the South China Sea, in Ukraine, in Syria, Iraq, and other US war theaters, and possible Israeli war on Lebanon and/or Gaza.

America and Israel perpetuate endless wars, related violence, chaos and repression. Peace and stability defeat their rogue agendas.

Days earlier, Israel activated around 2,000 reserve soldiers. Along with regular IDF troops, they’ve been involved in military exercises since Sunday, simulating war on Gaza.

Is another one planned? IDF chief of staff General Gadi Eisenkot said the drill was called to “assess the preparedness” for war.

If launched, “we will know how to surprise in every way to prevent enemy achievements” and accomplish objectives as quickly as possible, he said.

Israel prepared contingency plans to evacuate around 250,000 civilians from communities bordering Lebanon and Gaza.

The IDF repeatedly targets the Strip by terror-bombing and cross-border incursions, other pre-dawn incidents on Wednesday.

Drones and ground forces targeted Rafah in southern Gaza, killing one Palestinian youth, injuring two others – on the phony pretext of preventing the planting of an explosive device near Israel’s border.

Israeli forces indiscriminately fired on Palestinian farmers in their fields, threatening no one. No injuries were reported.

Since January, multiple airstrikes and cross-border shelling killed four Palestinians, injuring over a dozen others.

Last month, the Mezan Center for Human Rights warned about possible large-scale Israeli aggression on Gaza for the fourth time since December 2008.

It called on the international community to “act promptly against Israel’s military escalation, to fulfill their obligations to protect civilians, and ensure respect for the rules of international law.”

It stressed “acting before a full-scale military bombardment is launched,” saying it’s “crucial to ensur(e) the protection of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.”

They’re defenseless and vulnerable to mass casualties again if Israel launches aggression.

Hamas seeks no military confrontation with Israel, its senior official Khalil al-Hayya stressed, adding “we are a bereaved and oppressed people who resist occupation” – their right under international law.

During the latest UN Commission on Human Rights and Human Rights Council session in Geneva, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Palestine Michael Lync called Israel’s occupation “the most malignant” anywhere in the world.

Oppressing millions of people violates core international law principles, he stressed. Intensified crackdowns on human rights activists are intolerable. Gaza’s blockade is flagrantly illegal.

US and Israeli diplomats boycotted the session. Both countries want high crimes committed against Palestinians suppressed.

Rogue states operate this way. America conspires with Israel to permit lawless apartheid viciousness to persist unaccountably.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Rania Khalek, Blacklisted, Smeared & Silenced For Exposing NATO Destabilization Of Syria

 

By

MINNEAPOLIS —  Though it’s been nearly six years, the subject of the Syrian conflict remains as contentious as ever. While those who characterize themselves as pro-regime change have monopolized the wider conversation on Syria, even the most tame opposition against foreign intervention, or the CIA-backed rebels—who now come in varying flavors of extremism—continues to be taboo.

Those who refuse to support U.S. military intervention in Syria and the CIA backed regime change operation there that has been well documented for over 25 years — are branded “Assadists” — and if you’re a writer or commentator?

Well, that gets you and your work blacklisted from publications and, in the case of journalists like myself and others who make up a long list of anti-interventionists far too long to mention here, even gets your speaking engagements shut down and kicked off of blogs, regardless of what topic they’re on.

It seems that opposing what clearly amounts to a NATO-imposed regime change operation in Syria in order to create the next Afghanistan in the Middle East and ultimately weaken Russia and Iran gets you characterized as a supporter of genocide.

But this is not a new phenomenon — we’ve been here before as recently as Libya and Iraq.

During the pro-war campaign against Libya, we were told, just as we were during previous conflicts, that military intervention was necessary in order to protect civilians from a madman.

The same loudmouthed pundits who led us down the bloody path of war have since been eerily silent in the aftermath — where Libya is now being overrun by groups like ISIS and the country is being described as a failed state.

In Iraq, we saw an energized anti-war movement smeared as being pro-Saddam, and now, despite what we’ve learned about both conflicts, history seems to be repeating itself. Many are now suffering a kind of collective amnesia over how war is peddled to the public.

Today we’re joined by Rania Khalek, an independent journalist who has become the latest victim  of an organized smearing and blacklisting campaign for her recent reporting on Syria. The organized campaign against her became so aggressive that several of her talks on apartheid in Israel were canceled after student groups were pressured to blacklist her events by pro-Syrian rebel activists who support US intervention and regime change.

The blacklisting of Rania Khalek garnered the attention of many notable scholars, activists and journalists including Noam Chomsky, John Pilger and Glenn Greenwald among others who signed a petition calling for an end to censorship and warning that there needs to be more open dialogue on Syria rather than silencing journalists

US Terror-Bombing in Iraq Massacres Civilians

US Terror-Bombing Massacres Civilians

by Stephen Lendman

US terror-bombing in the battle for Mosul has nothing to do with liberating the city, everything to with destroying it.
A similar strategy is employed in Syria, smashing vital infrastructure on the phony pretext of combating ISIS.
America created and/or supports terrorist groups in both countries and elsewhere – waging war OF terror, not on it.
Civilians in harm’s way are being indiscriminately massacred, residential neighborhoods turned to rubble, terror-bombing burying entire families beneath the wreckage of their homes – media scoundrels ignoring high crimes demanding accountability.
Last week’s mosque bombing in western Aleppo province slaughtered over four dozen worshipers, injured many more. Pentagon authorities lied, claiming an al-Qaeda structure was targeted, not a mosque. Its rubble and death toll proved otherwise.
Overnight Tuesday, US terror-bombing massacred over 30 Syrian civilians about 20 miles west of Raqqa, many others injured, according to residents and eye-witnesses.
Bodies are still being pulled from rubble. A school was struck hosting around 50 displaced families. Two days earlier, US terror-bombing slaughtered 30 civilians in Matab al-Borashid village near Raqqa, including eight children and six women.
In Iraq and Syria, defenseless civilians are being massacred on the phony pretext of combating ISIS – US war crimes unreported in the West.
Wherever America shows up, mass slaughter and destruction follow. Endless US imperial wars rage in Syria, Iraq and other theaters – horrors inflicted on millions ignored by media scoundrels.
Trump wants tens of billions more dollars budgeted for militarism and warmaking. America gives new meaning to the term rogue state.
Since Pentagon warplanes began terror-bombing Syria and Iraq in 2014, thousands of civilians were slaughtered or injured, numerous others displaced, vital infrastructure in both countries destroyed.

US Coalition Air Strike Kills 33 Civilians At Syrian School

US Coalition Air Strike Kills 33 Civilians At Syrian School

Airwars, a UK-based organisation which monitors international air strikes against ISIS, suggested as many as 370 civilian deaths could be attributed to coalition raids in the first week of March alone.

The destruction in Maysaloun school in #Tabqah after several ِairstrikes on it yesterday in Raqqa, Syria. (Photo: Twitter @@Raqqa_SL)

The destruction in Maysaloun school in #Tabqah after several ِairstrikes on it yesterday in Raqqa, Syria. (Photo: Twitter @Raqqa_SL)


suspected US air strike on a school being used as a shelter by families displaced from the Isil-held Syrian city of Raqqa killed at least 33 people on Tuesday, in the latest high civilian casualty raid by the coalition.

A school being used by some 50 families in Mansoura, 15 miles from the capital of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil)’s so-called caliphate, was leveled by airstrikes on Tuesday morning.

The death toll is expected to rise, according to local activists, who said bodies were still being pulled from the rubble and many families were unaccounted for.

The nearest Isil installation to the site of the air strike was a religious school two miles away, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“All remaining hospitals in the countryside have been rendered inoperable,” said one activist from the anti-Isil group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently.

“The international coalition indiscriminately bombs the city, civilians expect their death coming down from the sky.”

A coalition raid on a mosque outside the city of Aleppo last Thursday evening left as many as 46 dead, making it the deadliest for civilians alleged against the coalition since it began its campaign against Isil two years ago.

They said the mosque had not been their target, saying they had intended to hit a building nearby which was being used as a meeting place for al-Qaeda-linked rebel fighters.

Earlier this month, the coalition said its raids in Syria and Iraq and unintentionally killed at least 220 civilians. But other monitors say the number is far higher.  Airwars, a UK-based organisation which monitors international air strikes against Isil, suggested as many as 370 civilian deaths could be attributed to coalition raids in the first week of March alone. 

The White House is considering lifting rules of engagement enacted by the Obama administration that sought to avoid civilian deaths.

The coalition has stepped up its air campaign in recent months as it prepares for a ground assault to retake the strategic Syrian city from the jihadists.

Top officials from the 68-nation alliance fighting Isil are set to meet in Washington later today to hear more about US President Donald Trump’s plan to destroy the jihadists’ remaining strongholds in Iraq and Syria.

Since taking office, Mr Trump has increased the number of US advisers on the ground in Syria as part of his promise to eradicate Islamist terror in the war-torn country.

If You Weren’t Sure About Trump’s Foreign Policy – You Can Be Now

If You Weren’t Sure About Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy – You Can Be Now

Written by Chris Nineham

If anyone had doubts about the direction of Trump’s Middle East policy, the last few days should have cleared them up

FPtrump564

‘Largely unreported in the mainstream media, the US is escalating its intervention across all fronts in the region.’


On Friday, a drone strike near Aleppo hit a mosque and killed up to 46 people. The US accepted responsibility for the strike which the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring network, described as a “massacre,” saying the dead were mostly civilians.

This attack follows the first announcement of regular troop deployments in Syria since the start of the war. 1,000 troops have been earmarked to join the offensive against Raqqa.

As early as February this year, it appears that the US was killing more civilians in Syria than Russian forces.

Meanwhile across the border in Iraq, the US backed assault on Mosul is increasing in intensity. Airwars has estimated that as many as 369 civilians were killed in just one week at the start of March by air strikes in one district of southwest Mosul, way more than admitted by the leaders of US operation Inherent Resolve.

Reports from within the city suggest that the population is blaming much of the devastation on attacks by US aircraft and helicopter gunships.

Middle East Eye reports growing anger amongst local people. They quote one eye witness saying:

“Countless civilians have been killed by these air strikes and many, many bodies are still lying underneath their homes,”

“The aircraft see one Daesh guy on the roof and drops a bomb to get him but, in the basement below, a family of 10 people are sheltering and they get killed too.”

Another blamed the attacks that have buried whole families on the US:

“They are definitely coalition air strikes. Most of them are done by unmarked aircraft without any Iraqi flags, and only America has Apache helicopters here, not the Iraqi air force…anyway, the Iraqi military can’t do anything here without the permission of the US.”

Fighting On All Fronts

The level of violence in the brutal Saudi led war against Yemen continues to rise as well – with US collaboration as Foreign Policy reported on March 9:

“After a week of punishing airstrikes loosed on al Qaeda in Yemen that saw 40 targets go up in flames and smoke, American pilots took a breather the past two nights, watching the dust settle.

The weeklong blitz in Yemen eclipsed the annual bombing total for any year during Obama’s presidency. Under the previous administration, approval for strikes came only after slow-moving policy discussions, with senior officials required to sign off on any action. The Trump administration has proven much quicker at green-lighting attacks.”

The US role was exposed again on Friday when at least 42 Somali refugees fleeing the country were killed by an attack on their boat by an apache helicopter gunship, almost certainly supplied to the Saudis by the US.

Micah Zenko from the Council on Foreign Relations has identified a dramatic ramp up in drone attacks in the region since Trump’s inauguration. In his own words:

During President Obama’s two terms in office, he approved 542 such targeted strikes in 2,920 days—one every 5.4 days. From his inauguration through today, President Trump had approved at least 36 drone strikes or raids in 45 days—one every 1.25 days.

The View From Trumpland

This series of incidents is not coincidental. Largely unreported in the mainstream media, the US is escalating its intervention across all fronts in the region. This reflects the consensus that emerged towards the end of Obama’s presidency in the US Foreign Policy community that for all its brutality, Obama’s posture to the Middle East was way too restrained.

During his presidency, Russia, China and Iran all increased their influence in the region, and Trump’s new administration is committed to rolling them back. Such a policy can only inflame an already dangerously fraught situation. Any semblance of a peace process appears to have broken down in Syria. Israel, no doubt emboldened by the change of US policy, has stepped up its bombing raids, making Syria the most militarily contested country anywhere since World War Two.

And the Middle East is just one element in a more and more dangerous global situation. Richard Fontaine from the ‘moderate’ think tank the Centre for a New American Security, recently provided an insight into how the world looks from the White House:

‘Russia is more active in the Middle East today than it has been at any point since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and it has initiated a program of disruption and intimidation across Europe. China has stepped up its efforts to solidify claims over most of the South China Sea and enhance its economic influence over the region. Iran has become the primary external actor in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.’

Trump’s first two months suggest that his response to such challenges to US hegemony will be confrontational. Having generated much revulsion and protest around the world already it is crucial that the spirit of resistance is maintained to stop him dragging the world deeper into war

The basic difference, Russia Combats Terrorists While America Supports them

Russia Combats Terrorists America Supports

by Stephen Lendman

Russia’s agenda is polar opposite America’s. It’s effectively combating terrorists in Syria.
The dynamic on the ground dramatically changed after it intervened in September 2015 at Assad’s request.
America created and supports ISIS, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups – why they exist. Washington feeds the monster it claims to oppose.
Trump seamlessly continues the agenda his predecessors began – notably the Clintons, Bush/Cheney and Obama.
So-called US war on terror is a made-for-media fabricated hoax. Last September, RT quoted an al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria) commander saying:
“Yes, the US supports” anti-government fighters in Syria. Washington “support(s) the countries that support us.”
Earlier, Sergey Lavrov said he had no doubt that weapons America sends anti-government forces end up in “terrorists’ hands.”
So-called moderate rebels don’t exist – one of many scoundrel media proliferated Big Lies throughout over six years of US aggression, using terrorist fighters as proxy foot soldiers – supplemented by US terror-bombing and Pentagon forces, lawlessly operating in northern Syria, aiding terrorists, not combating them.
All fighters opposing Assad are terrorists, largely imported from scores of countries, actively recruited by the CIA and rogue US allies.
US cargo planes airdrop weapons and munitions to anti-government terrorists. Pentagon contractors train ISIS and other terrorists in chemical weapons use. Russia wants this scourge eliminated. America actively supports it.
Russia is the only major power actively seeking diplomatic conflict resolution in Syria. Washington wants endless war continued – regime change its ultimate objective.
It wants US-controlled puppet rule replacing sovereign independent Syrian governance, isolating Iran, targeting it next for regime change, unchallenged US and Israeli regional dominance the ultimate aim, weakening Russia and China at the same time.
Where will it all end? In his 1990 address to a joint congressional session, GHW Bush coined the phrase “New World Order,” preparing the public for Operation Desert Storm in January 1991 and endless wars to follow – today raging in multiple theaters, additional ones likely coming.
What the Pentagon earlier called America’s “long war,” Dick Cheney infamously said conflicts “won’t end in our lifetime.”
Former CIA director James Woolsey said Washington “is engaged in WW IV, and it could last for years.”
It’ll “last considerably longer than either WW I or II” – forever wars the way bipartisan administration and congressional neocons, along with Pentagon commanders planned them.
Russia and China represent the final frontier. Eliminating their sovereign independence would give Washington unchallenged global dominance it seeks.
Perhaps US plans call for nuclear madness to achieve it, risking mass annihilation, everyone affected, the ultimate insanity if launched.
Today is the most perilous time in world history for good reason. Bipartisan lunatics infesting Washington believe nuclear war is winnable.
They’ll perish along with everyone else if these weapons are unleashed like king-sized hand grenades – humanity’s greatest threat.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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