Iraq Government to USA. “We don’t want your bases in Iraq”

‘We Don’t Want Your Bases’: Iraqi Vice-President Warns US Army to Back Off

The Iraqi army and Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), not the US, should take the credit for the recent liberation of Mosul from the Daesh terrorist group, Iraqi Vice-President Nouri al-Maliki said on Friday.

Iraqi Vice-President Nouri al-Maliki has hit back at US attempts to claim the credit for the recent liberation of Mosul, emphasizing the leading role that the Iraqi army and people’s militia played in the operation to free the city of Daesh terrorists.

“They [the United States] say – and I regret this and reject this – that the victory is their achievement because they led this war, but really this is a victory of the Iraqi army. Yes, they supported us with their aviation, but the main credit belongs to the Iraqi soldiers, the people’s militia, Iraq’s air force,” Maliki told RIA Novosti.

Al-Maliki also reiterated the Baghdad’s gratitude to the People’s Mobilization Forces (PMF) for helping to defeat Daesh, and the government’s opposition to the establishment of US bases on Iraqi soil.”The US doesn’t have the right to say that people’s militia, which is comprised of the sons of Iraq, of whom 20,000 have been killed and wounded, are terrorists. If it weren’t for the people’s militia, there wouldn’t be any Sunnis or Shiites left.”

“Iraqi society is against foreign bases on our territory… I told the Americans, ‘It’s not in your interests to return to Iraq in order to establish military bases again,'” al-Maliki said.

Nikolai Sukhov, researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Eastern Studies and Vice-President of the International Middle Eastern Studies Club, told the RIA Novosti that al-Maliki’s statement is a reflection of an anti-American mood in Iraqi society.

“Such statements are a reflection of prevailing anti-American sentiments in the country, which have remained since the American act of aggression which overthrew Saddam Hussein and plunged the country into chaos.”

“Different groups in society may relate to the Saddam regime differently, but many see that over the past decade the country has become fragmented and destroyed. Many people have suffered great hardships, lost loved ones. Anti-American sentiments exist both among Shiites and Sunnis. Being the Vice-President of a country where the majority of people hold anti-American sentiments, he can’t say anything else,” Sukhov said.

The operation to liberate Mosul was launched in October 2016 and was declared victorious by Iraqi President Haider Abadi on July 9. Mosul, formerly Iraq’s second city, was overrun by Daesh terrorists in 2014 and was a key stronghold for the Islamists.Al-Maliki said that Iraqi forces are still fighting some remaining terrorists and the huge task of rebuilding the city is just beginning.

“The armed forces tried not to destroy the city more than was necessary in order to complete the operation, everyone knew the battle could drag on, eventually it lasted nine months. We could have surrounded the city, but the problem was that its inhabitants would have starved. Frankly, the military losses are huge — about 20,000 dead and wounded in the armed forces and police. The victory is not conclusive; there are still some small pockets in the city where terrorists are hiding and there are sleeper cells in Diyala too,” the Iraqi Vice-President said

Media Largely Silent on Trump’s Killing Of 3,700 Civilians In Iraq

Media Largely Silent on Trump’s Killing Of 3,700 Civilians In Mosul

By Adam Johnson

Earlier this week, human rights group Amnesty International issued a lengthy report accusing US-backed forces of “repeated violations of international humanitarian law, some of which may amount to war crimes,” in Mosul, Iraq, causing the deaths of at least 3,700 civilians. Neither this report, nor the broader issue of the civilian toll in the US war against ISIS, has come close to penetrating US corporate media.

The only major radio or television outlet to report on Amnesty’s claims was NPR (7/12/17). While traditional print outlets, such as the New York Times and Washington Post, did run Reuters (7/11/17) and AP (7/12/17) articles, respectively, on the report, neither covered it themselves. Neither Amnesty’s charges, nor the broader issue of civilian deaths in Mosul,  garnered any coverage in television news, with no mention on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN or MSNBC.

The expulsion of ISIS from Mosul by the US-led coalition did receive coverage, but the US role in killing civilians was uniformly ignored.

CBS News’ reports (6/25/17, 7/4/17, 7/9/17) made no mention of US responsibility for civilian deaths, referring only vaguely to “a rising civilian death toll” and “whole neighborhoods” that “cease to exist.” The role of US bombing role in that rising death toll or those no-longer-existing neighborhoods was never mentioned.

In one report (6/23/17), correspondent Charlie D’Agata, standing over a pile of rubble, said to the camera, “Whole buildings, whole neighborhoods have been wiped out, this is what it cost to get rid of ISIS.” Who helped “wiped out” the buildings and neighborhoods is left a mystery.

One slight exception was ABC Nightline (7/14/17), which reported on summary executions and torture by Iraqi special forces, but made no mention of direct US responsibility for the bombing of Mosul. It did, however, accuse the US of “turning a blind eye” to crimes committed by others.  The remaining ABC News reports (7/5/17, 7/12/17), like the others, overlooked US-caused civilian casualties.

One 10-minute report for Nightline (7/12/17) made reference to “thousands killed,” but pinned the blame for those deaths squarely on ISIS. After hearing an airstrike in the distance, correspondent Ian Pannell sang the praises of bombing raids, insisting, “It’s hard to imagine that [Iraqi fighters] would have got this far forward—despite their brave fighting—without their support.” He then profiled two victims of US-led airstrikes and Iraqi army gunfire, but said they were “forced to help [ISIS], they were used as human shields. ISIS fighters made them run into the line of fire of the advancing Iraqi army.”

CNN (6/26/17, 6/29/17, 7/10/17) likewise didn’t mention US responsibility for civilian deaths, repeating the “ISIS using human shields” justification advanced by all major outlets.

(To be clear, as Amnesty pointed out, ISIS certainly is using civilians as human shields, but this doesn’t nearly account for all casualties: The US and its allies “continued to rely upon imprecise, explosive weapons, ignoring the ever-growing toll of civilian death and injuries.” Similarly, civilians in Aleppo were not allowed to leave by jihadist groups like Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, according to the UN, but Russia and Syria still bombed heavily for years.)

NBC/MSNBC stuck to a similar line. In one nine-minute segment (MSNBC, 7/14/17), Andrea Mitchell didn’t mention Iraqi civilians once, much less their massive death toll—and incidentally painted Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, which killed an estimated half million people, as an unfortunate error, insisting it was full of “tragic miscalculations.”

A separate segment by Richard Engel (MSNBC, 7/14/17) on Pete Reed, an ex-Marine who is treating civilians in Mosul, made no mention of deaths caused by US bombing, instead—as with ABC’s Ian Pannell—framing all the deaths as the sole responsibility of ISIS. After showing a 12-year-old girl blinded by shrapnel, Engel opaquely refers to “an airstrike” that caused the injury, but curiously doesn’t say whose airstrike it was. He then insists the doctor treating her wouldn’t be able to do so under the Islamic State, because she is female—thus turning the treatment of a victim of a US airstrike into evidence of why that airstrike was justified. Everything is reframed as pro–US bombing, even when highlighting the victims of said bombing.

Can one imagine this frame in reporting on Russia’s siege of Aleppo? Can one imagine highlighting Syrian and Russian doctors, treating the very civilians their governments just bombed, in such an uncritical manner? Can one imagine the US media blaming all the deaths caused by Russian bombing as the sole fault of those occupying the city?  Unlike reporting on Aleppo (FAIR.org, 1/4/17), Engel makes no mention of civilian deaths caused by US bombs, no figures, no mention of war crimes, no mention of Trump’s open disregard for civilian casualties. It’s a breathless Pentagon press release that never questions the motives or effect of Trump’s bombing campaign.

Obviously, the two instances aren’t exactly the same, but the stark 180-degree difference in how the Russian and US sieges were covered is an object lesson in nationalistic ethos. Because ISIS is seen as an unmitigated evil, and the US as an unmitigated good, no death toll is too high. Indeed—no death toll is even worth mentioning. The Americans rode in, the baddies got theirs, and any costs to human life US bombing may have caused are incidental and unworthy of mention.

Adam Johnson is a contributing analyst for FAIR.org

This article was first published by FAIR

Trump Finally Stops Arming Terrorists in Syria

Trump Finally Stops Arming Terrorists in Syria

By Matt Agorist

There is no doubt that President Donald Trump has made incredibly tyrannical moves. His foreign policy is a page out of the book of both of his predecessors, Barack Obama and George W. Bush, but even more deadly. That being said, his administration’s decision to halt the covert CIA program of arming ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria is a welcome move to those who’ve been paying attention — namely, because those ‘moderate rebels’ are terrorists.

Trump’s decision to stop using taxpayer dollars to funnel weapons to groups that record themselves beheading children should be praised by the media. Instead, however, it is being lambasted as — wait for it — a pro-Russian move.

It is no secret that much of the opposition forces in Syria are aligned with ISIS. In fact, this move by Trump was actually proposed in legislation by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard in the House and Senator Rand Paul in the Senate.

“For years, our government has been providing both direct and indirect support to these armed militant groups, who are working directly with or under the command of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS, all in their effort and fight to overthrow the Syrian government,” Gabbard said earlier this year.

As the Free Thought Project reported in April, the US knew Al-Qaeda leader al-Zawahiri called on Muslims in Turkey and the Middle East to aid the rebels in the Free Syrian Army. From this day forward, the lines between who Al-Qaeda or the ‘rebels’ actually were — became heavily blurred. But, according to the email, the state department did not care as they knew Al-Qaeda was on their side.

As the email states:

UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05789138 Date: 10/30/2015 AL-ZAWAHIRI URGES MUSLIM SUPPORT FOR OPPOSITION (U) Al-Qaida leader al-Zawahiri called on Muslims in Turkey and the Middle East to aid rebel forces in their fight against supporters of Syrian President Asad in an interne video recording. Al-Zawahiri also urged the Syrian people not to rely on the AL, Turkey, or the United States for assistance.euters)

Once this wire went out to multiple departments in the form of an Ops Alert, apparently there may have been some original concern about Al-Qaeda joining the ranks of the US-supported rebels — who are being used by the American Deep State to destabilize Syria on behalf of special interests. However, Sullivan quickly replied to his master, Hillary Clinton, to let her know that Al-Qaeda “is on our side in Syria.”

It is not some conspiracy theory that the US has been caught time and again putting weapons in the hands of ISIS. It was also not some Pro-Russian move as the WaPo tries to spin it.

President Trump has decided to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, a move long sought by Russia, according to U.S. officials.

Although this move was sought by Russia, it doesn’t make it a pro-Russian move. It makes it a logical one. How on earth can you claim to be fighting ISIS while at the same time arming them?

But, the Washington Post knows no logic — only propaganda — which they laid on thick in the hit piece against the move to stop arming terrorists. In their article, they cite their mythical ‘anonymous’ source, who claims this is a catastrophe.

“This is a momentous decision,” said a current official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a covert program. “Putin won in Syria.”

This line might be considered true if Putin was attempting to do anything other than help the Assad regime — who invited him there — unlike the US.

But the fear mongering doesn’t stop there.

“We are falling into a Russian trap,” said Charles Lister, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, who focuses on the Syrian resistance, reports the Post. “We are making the moderate resistance more and more vulnerable. . . . We are really cutting them off at the neck.”

However, as Congresswoman Gabbard noted, who actually went to Syria to see for herself, there are no moderate rebels.

“The reality is… every place that I went, every person that I spoke to, I asked this question to them, and without hesitation, they said, there are no moderate rebels. Who are these moderate rebels that people keep speaking of?

Regardless of the name of these groups, the strongest fighting force on the ground in Syria is al Nusra, or al-Qaeda and ISIS. That is a fact,” Gabbard said.

By ridiculing the decision to stop the CIA from putting weapons in the hands of terrorists, the WaPo and their ilk in the mainstream media are showing their true colors. They also look utterly ridiculous in their attempt to inject the fake Russian narrative into it as well.

Make no mistake, the corporate media in the United States has an important function in regards to the government and that is to sell you war. When a move is made to ostensibly combat that narrative, they will lash out. Conversely, when people are killed and bombs are dropped, they will respond with praise.

While this move is certainly a beneficial one, it is hardly a game changer as the Pentagon will continue its train-and-equip program in support of the largely Kurdish rebel force that is advancing on Islamic State strongholds in Raqqa and along the Euphrates River valley. Perhaps Trump knew this and this entire fiasco was little more than a dog and pony to distract from the tens of thousands of innocent civilians piling up behind the man who ran on a campaign to get out of Syria and the Middle East altogether.

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Facebook.

This article was first published by Free Thought Project

Unworthy Victims: Western Wars Have Killed Four Million Muslims Since 1990

Unworthy Victims: Western Wars Have Killed Four Million Muslims Since 1990

Landmark research proves that the US-led ‘war on terror’ has killed as many as 2 million people

MuslimLives564

‘In Iraq alone, the US-led war from 1991 to 2003 killed 1.9 million Iraqis’


Last month, the Washington DC-based Physicians for Social Responsibility (PRS) released a landmark study concluding that the death toll from 10 years of the “War on Terror” since the 9/11 attacks is at least 1.3 million, and could be as high as 2 million.

The 97-page report by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning doctors’ group is the first to tally up the total number of civilian casualties from US-led counter-terrorism interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The PSR report is authored by an interdisciplinary team of leading public health experts, including Dr. Robert Gould, director of health professional outreach and education at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, and Professor Tim Takaro of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University.

Yet it has been almost completely blacked out by the English-language media, despite being the first effort by a world-leading public health organisation to produce a scientifically robust calculation of the number of people killed by the US-UK-led “war on terror”.

Mind the gaps

The PSR report is described by Dr Hans von Sponeck, former UN assistant secretary-general, as “a significant contribution to narrowing the gap between reliable estimates of victims of war, especially civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and tendentious, manipulated or even fraudulent accounts”.

The report conducts a critical review of previous death toll estimates of “war on terror” casualties. It is heavily critical of the figure most widely cited by mainstream media as authoritative, namely, the Iraq Body Count (IBC) estimate of 110,000 dead. That figure is derived from collating media reports of civilian killings, but the PSR report identifies serious gaps and methodological problems in this approach.

For instance, although 40,000 corpses had been buried in Najaf since the launch of the war, IBC recorded only 1,354 deaths in Najaf for the same period. That example shows how wide the gap is between IBC’s Najaf figure and the actual death toll – in this case, by a factor of over 30.

Such gaps are replete throughout IBC’s database. In another instance, IBC recorded just three airstrikes in a period in 2005, when the number of air attacks had in fact increased from 25 to 120 that year. Again, the gap here is by a factor of 40.

According to the PSR study, the much-disputed Lancet study that estimated 655,000 Iraq deaths up to 2006 (and over a million until today by extrapolation) was likely to be far more accurate than IBC’s figures. In fact, the report confirms a virtual consensus among epidemiologists on the reliability of the Lancet study.

Despite some legitimate criticisms, the statistical methodology it applied is the universally recognised standard to determine deaths from conflict zones, used by international agencies and governments.

Politicised denial

PSR also reviewed the methodology and design of other studies showing a lower death toll, such as a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, which had a range of serious limitations.

That paper ignored the areas subject to the heaviest violence, namely Baghdad, Anbar and Nineveh, relying on flawed IBC data to extrapolate for those regions. It also imposed “politically-motivated restrictions” on collection and analysis of the data – interviews were conducted by the Iraqi Ministry of Health, which was “totally dependent on the occupying power” and had refused to release data on Iraqi registered deaths under US pressure.

In particular, PSR assessed the claims of Michael Spaget, John Sloboda and others who questioned the Lancet study data collection methods as potentially fraudulent. All such claims, PSR found, were spurious.

The few “justified criticisms,” PSR concludes, “do not call into question the results of the Lancet studies as a whole. These figures still represent the best estimates that are currently available”. The Lancet findings are also corroborated by the data from a new study in PLOS Medicine, finding 500,000 Iraqi deaths from the war. Overall, PSR concludes that the most likely number for the civilian death toll in Iraq since 2003 to date is about 1 million.

To this, the PSR study adds at least 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, killed as the direct or indirect consequence of US-led war: a “conservative” total of 1.3 million. The real figure could easily be “in excess of 2 million”.

Yet even the PSR study suffers from limitations. Firstly, the post-9/11 “war on terror” was not new, but merely extended previous interventionist policies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Secondly, the huge paucity of data on Afghanistan meant the PSR study probably underestimated the Afghan death toll.

Iraq

The war on Iraq did not begin in 2003, but in 1991 with the first Gulf War, which was followed by the UN sanctions regime.

An early PSR study by Beth Daponte, then a US government Census Bureau demographer, found that Iraq deaths caused by the direct and indirect impact of the first Gulf War amounted to around 200,000 Iraqis, mostly civilians. Meanwhile, her internal government study was suppressed.

After US-led forces pulled out, the war on Iraq continued in economic form through the US-UK imposed UN sanctions regime, on the pretext of denying Saddam Hussein the materials necessary to make weapons of mass destruction. Items banned from Iraq under this rationale included a vast number of items needed for everyday life.

Undisputed UN figures show that 1.7 million Iraqi civilians died due to the West’s brutal sanctions regime, half of whom were children.

The mass death was seemingly intended. Among items banned by the UN sanctions were chemicals and equipment essential for Iraq’s national water treatment system. A secret US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) document discovered by Professor Thomas Nagy of the School of Business at George Washington University amounted, he said, to “an early blueprint for genocide against the people of Iraq”.

In his paper for the Association of Genocide Scholars at the University of Manitoba, Professor Nagi explained that the DIA document revealed “minute details of a fully workable method to ‘fully degrade the water treatment system’ of an entire nation” over a period of a decade. The sanctions policy would create “the conditions for widespread disease, including full scale epidemics,” thus “liquidating a significant portion of the population of Iraq”.

This means that in Iraq alone, the US-led war from 1991 to 2003 killed 1.9 million Iraqis; then from 2003 onwards around 1 million: totalling just under 3 million Iraqis dead over two decades.

Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, PSR’s estimate of overall casualties could also be very conservative. Six months after the 2001 bombing campaign, The Guardian’s Jonathan Steele revealed that anywhere between 1,300 and 8,000 Afghans were killed directly, and as many as a further 50,000 people died avoidably as an indirect result of the war.

In his book, Body Count: Global Avoidable Mortality Since 1950 (2007), Professor Gideon Polya applied the same methodology used by The Guardian to UN Population Division annual mortality data to calculate plausible figures for excess deaths. A retired biochemist at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Polya concludes that total avoidable Afghan deaths since 2001 under ongoing war and occupation-imposed deprivation amount to around 3 million people, about 900,000 of whom are infants under five.

Although Professor Polya’s findings are not published in an academic journal, his 2007 Body Count study has been recommended by California State University sociologist Professor Jacqueline Carrigan as “a data-rich profile of the global mortality situation” in a review published by the Routledge journal, Socialism and Democracy.

As with Iraq, US intervention in Afghanistan began long before 9/11 in the form of covert military, logistical and financial aid to the Taliban from around 1992 onwards. This US assistance propelled the Taliban’s violent conquest of nearly 90 percent of Afghan territory.

In a 2001 National Academy of Sciences report, Forced Migration and Mortality, leading epidemiologist Steven Hansch, a director of Relief International, noted that total excess mortality in Afghanistan due to the indirect impacts of war through the 1990s could be anywhere between 200,000 and 2 million. The Soviet Union, of course, also bore responsibility for its role in devastating civilian infrastructure, thus paving the way for these deaths.

Altogether, this suggests that the total Afghan death toll due to the direct and indirect impacts of US-led intervention since the early nineties until now could be as high 3-5 million.

Denial

According to the figures explored here, total deaths from Western interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan since the 1990s – from direct killings and the longer-term impact of war-imposed deprivation – likely constitute around 4 million (2 million in Iraq from 1991-2003, plus 2 million from the “war on terror”), and could be as high as 6-8 million people when accounting for higher avoidable death estimates in Afghanistan.

Such figures could well be too high, but will never know for sure. US and UK armed forces, as a matter of policy, refuse to keep track of the civilian death toll of military operations – they are an irrelevant inconvenience.

Due to the severe lack of data in Iraq, almost complete non-existence of records in Afghanistan, and the indifference of Western governments to civilian deaths, it is literally impossible to determine the true extent of loss of life.

In the absence of even the possibility of corroboration, these figures provide plausible estimates based on applying standard statistical methodology to the best, if scarce, evidence available. They give an indication of the scale of the destruction, if not the precise detail.

Much of this death has been justified in the context of fighting tyranny and terrorism. Yet thanks to the silence of the wider media, most people have no idea of the true scale of protracted terror wrought in their name by US and UK tyranny in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Source: Middle East Eye

The Reign of Propaganda. Unfettered Lies Turned into Self-evident Truths

The Reign of Propaganda. Unfettered Lies Turned into Self-evident Truths

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts,

If truth has a chance it is in a different country than America.

Masters of propaganda from its inventor, Jewish public relations expert Edward Louis James Bernays, to the Nazi Minister of Propaganda Paul Joseph Goebbels, agree that a lie can be turned into truth by constant repetition.

The more pure the lie, the more complete the success in turning it into The Truth. Lies partly based in fact or half-truths open themselves to factual challenge. For a propagandist the best lie is a lie unfettered by even a distant relationship to truth. Such a lie can be turned into such self-evident truth that no evidence is necessary. As Nikki Haley and Hillary Clinton put it:

“Evidence! We don’t need any stinking evidence. We know Russia hacked our election!

For the typical American, who doesn’t know anything, the confidence of the former Secretary of State and “rightful President of the USA” and the confidence of President Donald Trump’s own Ambassador to the United Nations are sufficient to convince them that the lie that Russia stole the US presidency for Trump is true. We all know it. Why? Because we have all heard it endlessly repeated for many months. As one acquaintance said:

“If it were false, surely the media would have exposed it.”

This insouciant naivete is characteristic of Western populations.

As Bernays and Goebbels knew, one good propagandist can control the opinion of the targeted group, whether it is a gender or a nation.

Initially for Benays the targeted group was American women. As a propagandist for an American tobacco company, “the father of spin” promoted female smoking as a sign of feminist independence. He called cigarettes “Torches of Freedom.” He also provided the propaganda that enabled the United Fruit Company to have the US Government overthrow the elected government of Guatemala in 1954.

Goebbels turned Germans into servants of the Third Reich, an accomplishment the neoconservatives have yet to attain in the United States, but they are still working at it.

The neoconservatives, the military/security complex, the Israel Lobby, and the US presstitutes have succeeded in blocking Trump from withdrawing from Syria and from normalizing relations with Russia. They have succeeded in this by using their fabrication, “Russia-gate,” to put President Trump in a box. If Trump now normalizes relations with Russia, it will be presented to the world by the presstitutes as proof that the Putin/Trump conspiracy against Western democracy is real. If Trump were to normalize relations, thereby removing “the threat” that justifies the power and profit of the military/security complex’s budget, he would likely be impeached as a traitor to the USA. Trump’s tweets would be overwhelmed by the onslaught of the presstitutes.

Americans, British, Europeans, Russians, Chinese, Indians, and everyone else need to understand that Washington’s hostility toward Russia is in the service of powerful interest groups. These interest groups are more powerful than the President of the US.

Israel and its design on the Middle East is one of these powerful interest groups. As Admiral Tom Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said,

“No American president can stand up to Israel.”

The neoconservatives, who serve both the Zionist state of Israel and the US military/security complex, are another of the powerful interest groups that constrain the American government. That the neocons are firmly allied with Israel and the military/security complex increases their power and influence. President Eisenhower warned Americans in 1961 in his last public address to the American people that the power of the military/industrial complex made it a threat to American democracy:

Eisenhower’s warning was 56 years ago. With the President of the United States concerned about the military/industrial complex 56 years ago, try to imagine how much more this power is entrenched after the decades of the Cold War and “Soviet Threat.” The power of the military/security complex is the premier power in Washington.

Eisenhower’s speech is the best speech any American President has ever delivered. It is only 14 minutes and 4 seconds long; yet it covers everything. There is awareness that we can be victims of our own success. Whatever their public position, neoconservatives have no alternative but to hate President Eisenhower with a passion, because he compared the threat to America from the military/industrial complex to the threat from the Soviet Union.

Americans need to wise up, as do the Russians, Chinese, Europeans and everyone else over whom the neoconservatives intend to exercise hegemony regardless of the cost. The total budget of the US military/security complex has been estimated at $1.1 trillion, a figure that is 70% of Russia’s estimated 2017 GDP. It is larger than the GDP of Mexico and Turkey. It is 45% of the GDP of France or England, and 32% of the GDP of Germany. There are 195 countries in the world. Only 14 of them have A Gross Domestic Product larger than the budget of the US military/security complex.

Washington’s wars in the Middle East involve many interests, including mundane ones such as who controls pipeline locations and energy flows. It also involves Israel’s interests. Twice Israel has sent its army into southern Lebanon for the purpose of occupying and annexing the water resources of southern Lebanon, and twice the militia Hezbollah has defeated and driven out the Israeli army, the fighting capability of which is overrated. Hezbollah receives financial and military support from Syria and Iran. Using their neoconservative allies and the orchestrated-by- propaganda American hatred of Muslims, Israel intends to use the US military to put Syria and Iran in the same state of chaos as Iraq and Libya. If deprived of outside support, Hezbollah can finally be defeated by the Israeli army. With Syria and Iran in chaos, the Russophobic neoconservatives can send jihadism into the Russian Federation to break up the biggest constraint on US unilateralism.

If we consider the combined power of these interest groups—the US military/security complex with an annual budget greater than the GDP of most countries, the neoconservatives with their ideology of US world hegemony and alliance with both Democratic and Republican parties, and Israel which has the US government in its pocket and brags about it—how is it possible for President Trump to do as he said he would do and normalize relations with Russia and withdraw from the US interventions in the Middle East? The prospect of Trump succeeding is remote.

If the Russian government fails to understand that President Trump is not the one who is in charge, Russia will be destroyed along with America and the rest of the world.

It Took Obama More Than Two Years to Kill This Many Civilians. It Took Trump Less Than Six Months.

It Took Obama More Than Two Years to Kill This Many Civilians. It Took Trump Less Than Six Months.

By Andrea Germanos,

Civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria from coalition strikes were roughly 80 per month during the Obama White House, compared to roughly 360 per month during Trump’s administration

A new investigation shows that President Donald Trump‘s bombing campaign against ISIS (the Islamic State) over several months has already led to nearly as many civilian deaths as those overseen by the Obama White House over several years.

According to an Airwars investigation conducted for The Daily Beast, at least 2,300 civilians were killed by coalition strikes from 2015 until the end of Obama’s term earlier this year. But as of July 13, roughly six months into Trump’s presidency, over 2,200 civilians have likely died from coalition strikes.

That translates to roughly 80 civilian casualties each month in Iraq and Syria during the Obama White House; during Trump’s short tenure in the White House, it’s been roughly 360 per month.

Samuel Oakford writes,

“Airwars estimates that the minimum approximate number of civilian deaths from Coalition attacks will have doubled under Trump’s leadership within his first six months in office.”

The reason for the trend may be attributed to the result of new war plan to defeat ISIS. It includes a shift to what Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis called “annihilation tactics” to defeat ISIS fighters and the president’s having “delegated authority to the right level to aggressively and in a timely manner move against enemy vulnerabilities.”

In March, the

“month after Mattis delivered the new plan, U.S.-led forces likely killed more civilians than in the first 12 months of Coalition strikes—combined,” Oakford writes.

Mattis argues that there have been no changes to the rules of engagement. Ned Price, spokesman for the National Security Council under the Obama administration, pushed back, telling Airwars:

“There is a tremendous disconnect between what we’ve heard from senior military officials who are saying there has been no change in the rules of engagement and clearly what we are seeing on the ground.”

Human rights watchdogs, the U.N.-appointed Commission of Inquiry for Syria and Amnesty International among them, have been concerned about the increase in civilian casualties.

Top Coalition commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend has shot back against their accusations. “Show me some evidence of that,” he said, referring to U.N. investigator Paulo Pinheiro‘s statement that the U.S.-led coalition is responsible for a “staggering loss of civilian life” in Raqqa, Syria. To Amnesty’s claim that the coalition is linked to “relentless unlawful attacks” on civilians in west Mosul, Iraq, Townsend said,

“I would challenge the people from Amnesty International, or anyone else out there who makes these charges, to first research their facts and make sure they’re speaking from a position of authority.”

Arguing about whether or not there was a change in the rules of engagement is not helpful, said Andrea Prasow, deputy Washington director at Human Rights Watch, to Airwars.

“The bottom line is more civilians are dying. Whatever the reason, that should concern the U.S. greatly,” she said.

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Venezuela: Once Again, Interference From the USA in Latin America

Venezuela: Once Again, Interference From the USA in Latin America

By Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey,

Remember the attempted coup d’état in Venezuela in 2002, which failed miserably as Hugo Chavez thrashed his treacherous assailants like a Grand Master of Chess humiliating a rookie with a fool’s mate in three seconds flat? Well ladies and gentlemen they are trying it on again, this time using traitors inside Venezuela (“Opposition”) to create chaos.

Fraudulent manipulation by Western stooges

This week (on Sunday) the “Opposition” organized an illegal and unofficial public consultation on Government plans to appoint a new Constituent Assembly with powers to substitute the National Assembly, giving it the possibility to alter the constitution. The other side of the coin is that the National Assembly is a bastion of Opposition members blocking Government measures, willfully sabotaging the process of Government and creating chaos to then blame the Government of President Nicolas Maduro of mismanagement.

In the 2015 legislative election, 7.7 million of Venezuela’s 19.5 million voters favored Opposition parties to the ruling PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela). In this week’s unofficial election, 7,186,170 people voted, 96 per cent of these against the Government plans. However the Venezuelan Opposition and their masters in Washington have to understand that an illegal vote by 28 per cent of the electorate does not constitute a valid constitutionally-backed position or statement. It is a protest vote by those who fear they will lose their vested interests and this affirmation is backed up by the fact that most Venezuelans back the PSUV.

The Venezuelan Government has accused the Opposition of staging an illegal act which anyway is fraught with fraud, manipulation and violation of the principles of a democratic vote. Of the 102,000 registered Venezuelan voters abroad, some 600,000 voted, for instance. Jorge Rodríguez, leader of PSUV, declared that there is evidence that some people voted seven times, others 14 times.

European Union duped, swallowed nonsense hook, line and sinker

He states that the western observers, including the EU, were duped into thinking that “voters” was the same thing as “votes”. They fell for the Opposition swansong hook, line and sinker, including outrageous acts such as adding 50,000 votes to the result in the State of Aragua, a practice which was allegedly commonplace among Opposition campaign managers.

Communication from the Government of Venezuela

Venezuela repudiates erratic US communiqué

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela repudiates the unusual communiqué published by the White House, 17/07/2017.

It is a document never seen before, because of its low level and poor quality, and makes it difficult to understand the intentions of the aggressor country intellectually. Obviously, the United States government is accustomed to humiliating other nations in its international relations and believes that it will receive the subordination it is accustomed to. The gap that the United States government is digging into its relations with Venezuela hampers a rational prediction of its actions for the entire international community.

The United States government unabashedly shows its absolute partiality with the violent sectors and extremists of Venezuelan politics, who favor the use of terrorism to overthrow a popular and democratic government.

The moral ruin of the Venezuelan opposition has dragged President Trump to commit an open aggression against a Latin American country. We do not know who could have written, let alone authorized, a communiqué of so much conceptual and moral poverty.

The thin democratic veil of the Venezuelan opposition has fallen, and reveals the brutal interventionist force of the US government, which has been behind the violence suffered by the Venezuelan people in the last four months.

This is not the first time we have denounced and confronted threats as wild as those contained in this unusual document.

We call upon the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean and the free peoples of the world to understand the magnitude of the brutal threat contained in this imperial communiqué and to defend sovereignty, self-determination and independence, fundamental principles of international law.

The original constituent power is contemplated in our Magna Carta and it is only up to the Venezuelan people. The National Constituent Assembly shall be elected by the direct, universal and secret vote of all Venezuelans and all Venezuelans, under the authority of the National Electoral Council as contemplated by our legal system. It is an act of political sovereignty of the Republic, nothing and nobody can stop it. The Constituent Assembly Goes Ahead!

Today the Venezuelan people are free and will respond united before the insolent threat posed by a xenophobic and racist empire. The anti-imperialist thinking of the Liberator is more valid than ever:

“The United States seems destined by Providence to infest America with misery in the name of freedom” Simón Bolívar

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked largely on various publications, TV stations and media groups that include the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He is currently the Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects that fight against gender violence, sexism, racism and homophobia. Twitter: @TimothyBHinchey; timothy.hinchey@gmail.com

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