Rewarding Jihadists for Terrorism

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Even ideological extremists need monetary and other incentives to carry out CW and other atrocities.

According to ISIS documents obtained by RT Arabic, their fighters were paid for their services – in silver for CW attacks wrongfully blamed on Damascus, gold for downing a helicopter, cars for taking down an aircraft, incentives to try harder – payments for “fight(ing) the enemies.”

Even ideologically driven jihadists need motivation. Financial ones work best, the same way they do for individuals involved in legitimate work.

According to Iraqi Lt. Col. Jaber Asaad, evidence “confirms that the group possessed chemical weapons that are banned throughout the world.”

They include sarin, chlorine, and other toxins, supplied by foreign countries, transported to Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, used as US-supported weapons of war.

“A huge number of (ISIS and other jihadists) arrived in Iraq (and Syria) from other countries. You can talk about hundreds of thousands of people, including the families of terrorists – wives and children who were smuggled illegally into” these countries, largely from Turkey and Jordan, perhaps from Israeli occupied Golan as well,” Asaad explained.

The US wages all its wars of aggression without mercy. Unofficial rules of engagement permit anything goes – fundamental rule of law principles flagrantly violated.

Throughout the history of US wars, notably during and since WW II, the Pentagon used and continues using banned chemical, biological, radiological incendiary and cluster munitions.

Radioactive, chemically toxic and poisonous depleted uranium, white phosphorous able to burn flesh to the bone on contact, and other illegal weapons are also used.

In all its war theaters, Washington flagrantly breaches international, constitutional and US statute laws pertaining to warfare. 

Notably US operations repeatedly breach the 1945 Nuremberg Principles, prohibiting “crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Fourth Geneva protecting civilians in times of war, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, prohibiting crimes of war, against humanity and genocide.

Coverup and denial is official US policy. A Pentagon statement lied, saying “(a)s a matter of policy, the coalition will not publicly discuss the use of specific weapons and munitions in operations.” 

“However, every weapons system in the US inventory undergoes a legal review to ensure the weapon complies with the Law of Armed Conflict.”

State-sponsored deception is also longstanding US policy. Since WW II, notably post-9/11, US crimes of war and against humanity far continue to exceed serious wrongdoing by other nations.

Under Republicans and undemocratic Dems, America is an outlaw state. Its endless wars of aggression threaten everyone everywhere.

It opposes the rules-based international order – threatening mass destruction by asserting the preemptive right to use nuclear weapons, even against non-nuclear states.

Its “peace” agenda features endless wars of aggression. Its rage for dominance may kill us all.

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U.S. in “Military Crisis”, Could Lose War to Russia and China: Report Warns

US in “Military Crisis”, Could Lose War to Russia and China: Report Warns

November 15, 2018

The United States is facing a national security and military crisis and could lose in a war against Russia or China, a bipartisan congressional panel warned in a report on Wednesday (Nov 14).

The National Defense Strategy Commission evaluated the Trump administration’s 2018 National Defense Strategy, which ordered a vast reshaping of the US military to compete with Beijing and Moscow in an era of “great-power competition”.

Meanwhile, according to the commission, China and Russia are seeking regional hegemony in an attempt to project military power globally and pursuing defense buildups aimed squarely at the United States.

“America’s military superiority – the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security – has eroded to a dangerous degree,” the commission said.

In the report, the commission found America’s focus on counter-insurgency operations this century resulted in it slipping in other warfighting areas such as missile defense, cyber and space operations, and anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare.

“The United States has significantly weakened its own defense due to political dysfunction and decisions made by both Republicans as well as Democrats;” thus, creating “a crisis of national security for the United States,” the report added.

The commission also said that American influence across Asia and Europe is being steadily eroded and military balances have shifted in “decidedly adverse” ways that have raised the risk of conflict.

“The US military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict,” the commission added.

The report concludes that the Defense Department isn’t financially or strategically set up to wage two wars at once and could even lose a war against China or Russia individually.

Though the Pentagon this year has a budget of more than US$700 billion, far more than Russia and China combined, the commission said the sum is still “clearly insufficient” to meet the goals laid out in the NDS.

Commissioners made a series of recommendations including a 3-5 per cent annual increase in the defense budget.

SourceAgencies

 

Mega Srebrenica in Iraq Causes Mostly a Yawn

Astute News

One would think that the report of a few days ago about the gruesome discovery of mass graves in Iraq and many thousands of apparent civilians buried in them would cause at least a genuine stir, if not a semblance of moral outrage in the Western world, known to be hugely sensitive to the unjustified loss of innocent human life. As even the BBC could not marginalize or ignore in its 6 November 2018 news report, about 200 mass graves containing the remains of an estimated 12,000 victims have been unearthed in western Iraq, where until recently ISIS forces held sway.

It might be noted in passing that ISIS killing fields in Iraq (never mind the controversy under whose auspices ISIS had been set up and for what purposes, here and here) dwarf both quantitatively and qualitatively the globally famous Srebrenica massacre of July 1995. The alleged toll…

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Russia Hosts Milestone Conference on Afghanistan to Kick-Start Peace Process

By Peter Korzun
Source

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There’s a first time for everything. On Nov. 9, a Taliban delegation attended a one-day diplomatic conference in Russia to explore potential solutions for a peaceful settlement. It was the first time the Taliban had ever taken part in such a high-level international event that brought together India, Pakistan, Iran, China, and five countries from Central Asia. The US was invited as an observer but did not attend.

Russia hopes “to open a new page in the history of Afghanistan through joint efforts,”according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. He believes that the participation of both Afghan leaders and the Taliban was an important contribution that helped to create a favorable environment for kick-starting direct talks.

The US efforts to involve the Taliban in the negotiations not been successful thus far. Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan and Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has held meetings with the Taliban in Qatar, but to no avail. The US is not happy with the “Moscow format” talks on Afghanistan, especially with the Taliban present, but nothing can be done about it — Moscow is spearheading the Afghan peace process. Russia was the first to get the Afghan delegates and the Taliban into the same room and at the same round table, with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov seated between them. As CNN put it on Nov. 9, “Taliban Representatives in Moscow Signal Russia’s Rising Diplomatic Clout.”

Kabul was not officially represented at the Moscow conference. Instead, it sent a delegation from Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (AHPC), a semi-official body that oversees peace efforts but does not represent the government. It did not prevent the members of AHPC from communicating President Ashraf Ghani’s offer to launch peace talks without preconditions. In February 2018, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani devised a peace offer for the Taliban that included readiness to both recognize the movement as a political party as well as to engage in unconditional talks with that group.

The Taliban officials refused to hold direct talks with the government in Kabul but they reaffirmed their readiness to discuss Afghanistan’s future with the United States. They are demanding a US withdrawal from their country and the adoption of a new constitution “based on the principles of Islamic religion.”

This one-day event was not intended to be a diplomatic breakthrough, but Moscow demonstrated its ability to act as an effective mediator between the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government — a mission the US has so far failed to accomplish. As a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Russia has become a major contributor to the Shanghai Organization’s rising prominence, promoting the credibility of the peace efforts undertaken by the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group. Afghanistan has an observer status in the SCO — a group that can turn the peace process into a multilateral effort. This will weaken US clout in the region but will stop the fighting.

The Moscow conference also demonstrated that Russia has become a potentially vital bridge between the Taliban, the Afghan government, and the US at a time when Washington is seeking to end this war that is sapping its resources and proving a distraction from its other efforts, such as setting up a major anti-Iranian military alliance in the Middle East (Arab NATO). Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai believes Russia can play a decisive role in ending America’s longest war. As the participants of the “Moscow format” talks agreed, the Russian-brokered consultations will continue. After all, Russia, the Taliban, and the Afghan government all face a common enemy — the Islamic State.

Criminal war, poverty at the heart of European & US migration turmoil

By Finian Cunningham
Source

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Europe has certainly adopted more fortress-like controls against would-be refugees. A concomitant rise in anti-immigrant political parties has in turn fueled popular resentment towards EU institutions.

But the debate requires much more than “moral appeals.”

A recent study entitled ‘Building Walls’ puts the growth of EU internal and external border barriers into stark perspective. In the 1990s, there were two border walls. Now the number has grown to a total of 17, with most of the structures built over the past three years.

Ten countries out of 28 EU member states have built physical barriers to control migrants entering from outside the bloc. They include Austria, Spain, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia and Latvia.

The authors of the above report call the structures “edifices of fear” and make the startling comparison to the Berlin Wall that separated East and West Germany until its dismantlement in 1989. EU states have built border barriers equivalent to the length of six Berlin Walls.

The report also reproaches the proliferation of “mental walls” across EU member states with the rise of what it calls “far-right” and “racist” political parties. There are now, it is claimed, 10 EU states in which “xenophobic” parties have significant government or parliamentary representation.

However, the problem with a report like this is that it provides no practical solutions to the immense political and social challenges stemming from phenomenal migration. The United Nations high commissioner for refugees estimates that a record number of 68.5 million people worldwide are forcibly on the move from their origins, many of them trying to reach Europe.

We can perhaps agree that in recent years that the EU has faced an unprecedented influx of asylum seekers and would-be refugees. That, in turn, has engendered political and social tensions, as well as anti-immigrant parties and anti-EU popular sentiments.

The authors of ‘Building Walls,’ however, largely base their appeal on moral arguments in favor of accepting migrants in the context of human rights. They call on EU governments to reject “racist discourse of the extreme right” and “to reverse the policies that lead us to walling ourselves in and defending a fortress in which the privileged and secure live.”

That recommendation reveals an abject naivety. Millions of EU citizens would not consider themselves “privileged and secure,” as the authors claim.

In the 58-page report, there is this tiny mention of the real issues at stake. “Civil society and political parties should rigorously study the structural causes of 68.5 million people having to flee their homes by force, in order to implement prevention policies based on global economic justice and to prevent war and armed conflict.”

Indeed, “structural causes” need scrutinizing. These issues should be comprehensively explored if a proper understanding and solution to the problem are to be achieved. Such an approach would also go some way to addressing the concomitant issue of anti-immigrant politics and resentment towards the EU status quo.

Here is where disclosure by the ‘Building Walls’ study is pertinent. The publisher, the Transnational Institute, based in Amsterdam, isfunded in part by liberal financier George Soros. The billionaire hasdeclared himself an advocate for open borders and promoting the rights of refugees. Some critics see Soros’ agenda as something more sinister than mere philanthropy. He is accused of trying to undermine national sovereign controls over migration. In Hungary, from where Soros migrated years ago to the US, the government of Viktor Orban has even gone as far as banning organizations funded by the billionaire.

t seems significant that the ‘Building Walls’ report deals with the whole matter of refugees and migration from the premise of acceptance. It avoids tackling the phenomenon with an analysis of structural causes, even though the authors briefly mention the key issues of poverty and war.

The expansion of walls across the EU and the increase in refugees are correlated with the spate of illegal wars the United States and its NATO allies have fomented in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia over the past three decades. The wars are the cause, the refugees are the effect.

The main migration routes to Europe via the Mediterranean and Balkans follow the pattern of wars that the US and its NATO allies have waged, overtly and covertly, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, among other countries. The opening of these routes then draws in migrants from many other countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Indisputably, the US and EU are both complicit in perpetrating criminal wars which have unleashed the unprecedented numbers of migrants seeking refuge in Europe.

Added to that are international neoliberal economic policies pushed by Washington and the EU, which have impoverished African nations, leading to environmental crises and communities being displaced.

The same structural causes apply to the migrant caravan heading towards the US from Central America. For decades, Washington has ransacked its “backyard” with counterinsurgency warfare and sponsoring repressive regimes, which have in turn led to the spawning of criminal gangs and mass poverty. Any wonder then that droves of desperate people decide to flee to somewhere they perceive as relatively safe.

The other side of the coin is poverty and bankrupt economics in the EU, as well as the US. For decades, governments have been crushing their own people with brutal austerity and grinding poverty. The gulf between a tiny wealthy elite and the mass of impoverished society has exploded. The hardship and misery under Western corporate capitalism has understandably engendered huge insecurity and anxiety within populations. Such sentiments feed into reactionary politics and are susceptible to perceiving foreigners as threats.

Having said that, it should be recognized that resident communities in Europe or the US have a valid grievance about abrupt cultural changes. It seems inappropriate to dismiss objections as merely “racist” or “xenophobic.” Why should settled populations have to deal with a sudden influx of foreigners?

Making moral appeals for tolerance towards refugees is futile. It does not address the structural cause of problems, or practical solutions.

We need to engage the issue of refugees and migration directly with policies based on structural analysis.

European governments along with Washington have to be held accountable for the criminal wars they have inflicted. That at least means paying financial reparations for the reconstruction of nations blown apart by militarism. Stop the wars, pay for damages and reconstruction, and the refugee problem is largely curbed.

On economics, the real problem is the bankrupt capitalist system. It impoverishes billions of people, both within so-called developed countries and elsewhere, leading to mass migration and deep rancor in destination countries.

If European countries or the US were run on a more democratic, productive and socially beneficial economic system, instead of neoliberal austerity exploiting inequality, then much of the public resentment and fear of foreigners would not be such a concern. And anti-immigrant political parties would have much less of a constituency. Thus, stop economically crushing people with bankrupt economics, and many of the social and political problems of xenophobia and populist revolt would diminish.

Imperialist wars and destructive capitalism are the root problems. We’d better deal with them.

Khashoggi, Ben Barka & PressTV’s Serena Shim: A 4-part series

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

November 11, 2018

In October of 1965, 2014 and 2018 three journalists were prominently assassinated: Mehdi Ben Barka, Serena Shim and Jamal Khashoggi. Most readers likely don’t know the first two, while the entire world seems to know about the last one.

This is a 4-part series which explains what Jamal Khashoggi represented ideologically, the relevance of his ideology in the modern Islamic World, the perhaps-unexpected similarity of his ideology with the Western World, and why – even more unexpectedly – the world is still talking about Khashoggi six weeks after his death.

Why do so few remember Mehdi Ben Barka or care about Serena Shim even though they did far more for the People than Khashoggi ever did?

There is a quick answer to this question: Khashoggi remains in the spotlight because the House of Saud killed a Western journalist.

The location and details, or Khashoggi’s birthplace and background, are totally subservient to the fact that he worked for a top Western media and that he was blindly and foolishly loyal to their ideology. A Western journalist cannot be killed without media campaigns and even serious bilateral repercussions, but Khashoggi was no regular freelancer – he was a prominent editorialist at the United States’ 2nd-most important newspaper, the neoconservative The Washington Post.

Anyone familiar with American media knows that The New York Times and The Washington Post essentially set the agenda of discussion in the country. All of America’s other media – with such dwindled newsrooms and so much free, terrible content – have their low-wage 20-somethings essentially re-report what these two media put on their front pages. Television news, even at the very top channels, often starts with “The Washington Post reported that….”

So, forget everything else: kill a member of The Washington Post and it is certain to be huge news for a long time…because they will ensure that it stays in the national headlines.

Given that the US runs the Anglophone world, and add in that other Western nations (such as France) are constantly paying more attention to the US than their own backyards, and this all explains why the world is still talking about Khashoggi – if you think that the US isn’t the primary decider of what’s on the average screen, think again.

Why not Shim and Ben Barka? They believed in and reported from the ‘wrong’ view – class

However, kill a journalist who doesn’t work for the US and their interests and the Western media says,

“Who cares?”

That was the case with PressTV’s Serena Shim in 2014. She was born and raised in the US, half-Lebanese, a mother of two, and was doing ground-breaking, extremely brave reporting about Turkey’s collusion with Western NGOs to get terrorists across their border to Syria. She reported on PressTV about being threatened with assassination by the Turkish secret service two days before her suspicious death, and the West said…essentially nothing. Not their media, nor even the US government, even though Shim was a lifelong American citizen.

Or what about Morocco’s Mehdi Ben Barka? It’s no exaggeration to say that he was the most widely influential Muslim thinker and activist of the 1950s and 1960s. Ben Barka was the organiser of the Tricontinental Conference in Havana, an update of the famed Bandung Conference, and the last great gathering of international leftism. We are in desperate need of another anti-imperialist conference, and another Ben Barka: he was the man who truly did bridge the gap between African, Asian and Latin American leftists, but he also could have done the same for the Muslim and European worlds. Just as East Asia had China, and then Korea, and then Vietnam, Ben Barka would have taken what happened in Algeria to Morocco – one of the few fundamentally key Muslim nations, historically – but he was abducted off Paris streets just before the start of the Tricontinental. Who killed him, why won’t France open up their archives, what is his legacy, why doesn’t Western media do more reports on the annual October demonstrations in Paris (and who is wiping my annual reports from Google and YouTube?!) to keep his flame alive in the public mind? To all that the West says…nothing.

Both Shim and Ben Barka combine to disprove many unstated claims of the West: that they care about all journalists equally, that they care about Western journalists regardless of their political persuasion, that their presses are free, and that their leadership respects a free press more than in other nations.

Ben Barka was the son of the policeman and a math teacher before he got involved in politics. Serena Shim had chosen a career in journalism, but hardly a ladder-climbing one – working for Iranian government media would only land you a job in a top Western media if you then turned around and denounced Iran.

Khashoggi came from a totally different background: his grandfather made his family billionaires via the connections provided by his job – doctor to the king. Those billions helped future family members become prominent artists, journalists and intellectuals by purchasing gallery space, column space and bookshelf space. Jamal truly grew up among the political and cultural elite of Saudi life.

Khashoggi graduated from (the hardly prestigious, given his wealth and connections) Indiana State University, and did not even get trained as a journalist but got a degree in business administration. It is being widely misreported, even by places like Al-Jazeera, that he studied journalism, but Indiana State doesn’t even have a journalism program (top-notch work there, guys – score one for PressTV). “Business administration” says a lot about his intellectual orientation and his plans as a young man (to manage his millions).

But Khashoggi was so elite that he just had to ask to become king of the Saudi journalism sphere – he procured not one but two appointments to the newspaper Al Watan. After all, he had access to all the Saudis movers and shakers, was extremely close with Osama Bin Laden and was a high-level official at Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Washington for two years.

All this explains why reading Khashoggi is to read a guy who essentially says, “What I’m writing here is going to be made into public policy” – and he means it and is right! For a journalist – who could ask for more? Contrarily, Ben Barka was hounded out of Morocco and nobody picked up on Shim’s reporting that UN World Food Organisation trucks headed for Syria were filled with people who looked and dressed like Takfiri terrorists.

Despite his influence and responsibility, Khashoggi’s journalism did not attempt to voice the needs of the People of Saudi Arabia. In his journalism he admitted his social station divorced him from their common experience. What is far worse is that after such admissions he simply dropped the subject – he never questioned his privilege nor the system that maintained it.

Even more so than a guy like The New York Times’ unbearable Thomas L. Friedman, who married into billions and is similarly influential in shaping policy discussions in the US, Khashoggi’s writing combines an aristocrat’s air of unquestionable authority with the certainty that the sun could never and should never set on his totally unmerited entitlements.

Khashoggi is being portrayed as some sort of dissident, but it’s absolutely not the case: he spilled tankers of ink showing that he was 100% supportive of the Saudi (monarchical, and thus anti-democratic) system – the only question was “which monarch”? He ran afoul of the wrong one, but his proffered solution was only another monarch, and one who could have just as easily vivisected him in a Turkish embassy.

Just ask his kids – his sons recently told CNN“Jamal was never a dissident. He believed in the monarchy that it is the thing that is keeping the country together.”

Like all far-right proponents – not just monarchists – Khashoggi’s proffered solutions only suggested looking backward and deeper into his own tiny tribe – the 1% of Saudi Arabia. But Arabia is not all Saudi…and that is what Khashoggi’s journalism explicitly fought against – reflecting the democratic will of the Arabian Peninsula.

The outrage in the West should be over their support for such an elitist, out-of-touch, anti-democratic reactionary…and yet HE is now the poster child for freedom of the press?

No. We have Serena Shim – too many Serena Shims – for that. We will have more Serena Shims.

I regret that even this series talks about Khashoggi and not Shim and Ben Barka from this point forward, because they certainly deserve it, and because the Mainstream Media never does that. They were the dissidents, the real reformers, the true martyrs.

Jamal Khashoggi was not a victim but a willing, favoured participant in a system of exploitation and repression which he desperately wanted to uphold – read some Khashoggi and that will be clear. So why does the West support such a person?

Khashoggi: Cultural colonist extraordinaire, but the Muslim World doesn’t want more Westernization

Khashoggi obviously represented something which The Post wanted to promote. That is hardly an epiphany, but Khashoggi gives us a chance to examine exactly what that was on an ideological level. Such understanding will grant us better understanding of Western policy and political culture; it also allows us to fully compare “Khashoggi-Thought” with the ideologies of previous decades and centuries, and also with other ideologies available and being promoted in 2018.

Certainly, these intellectual currents are what are the most important to grasp when discussing Khashoggi. The media prefers to focus on that which is not relevant to our daily lives and struggles – the sensational and gruesome details of the killing, and the soap opera of the House of Saud’s latest, never-ending, internecine power struggles.

It is very telling that there has been essentially no discussion of Khashoggi’s actual ideas, writings and morals. The unsaid implication in the West, then, is that he was “one of us” – i.e. he thought like a Westerner and supported Westernization.

And he certainly bent over backwards to show them how much he wanted Saudi Arabia to exactly emulate the West. Khashoggi only wrote about 20 columns for The Washington Post and three of them were literally titled, “What Saudi Arabia could learn from…”, concluded by “Queen Elizabeth II”, “South Korea”, and even the Hollywood movie the “Black Panther”. A fourth carried the same message: “Why Saudi Arabia’s crown prince should visit Detroit”. Not only is that lazy and unoriginal headline writing, but it’s basically advertising (for Westernization) instead of journalism.

In his work at Al-Arabiya (the Saudi answer to Al-Jazeera) which published his columns from 2012-16, the publication most often cited by Khashoggi seems to be The Economist, capitalist newsmagazine nonpareil.

The West is mourning Khashoggi because they knew what they had: a Westerner in sheik’s clothing.

But what did Jamal Khashoggi really believe, this journalist for whom we are spending so much time, energy and consideration, for whom column inches are devoted to instead of Shim and Ben Barka? Illuminating these great unsaids is the goal of this series, which analyzes and quotes from Khashoggi’s writings at The Washington Post and Al-Arabiya.

And here is the quick upshot: Khashoggi ticked the three main ideological boxes a Saudi Arabian (or any Muslim) needs in order to win a prominent place in Western media:

Firstly, he despised Iran, by far the Muslim country which has most successfully rebelled against the West’s dictates, and was also an anti-Shia sectarian of the highest and most disgusting order.

Secondly, he was the foremost promoter of what I accurately term “Liberal Democratic Salafism”. That’s an incredibly stupid ideology which combines 1%-focused West European/bourgeois democracy with (Islamic) monarchism, but that’s exactly what he promoted. For this he was hailed as a “reformer” because…the West is full of monarchy-loving, backwards-looking Liberal Democratic Salafists whose only difference is that their Salafism is of the Christian variety.

Thirdly and lastly, “Liberal Democratic Salafism” combined with neoliberal capitalism is what made Khashoggi the prototypical fake-leftist of the monarchical Muslim World. Western 1%ers adored Khashoggi because the extremely limited and bourgeois changes he advocated would inevitably lead to mass privatization, thus giving Western high finance control over the single most powerful economic tool in the world today – Saudi oil. Handing over your country to such interests in the name of “reform” is obviously catastrophic, anti-socialist, unpatriotic, and fake-leftism.

Why care about Khashoggi at all? It’s no revelation to find out that he was a reactionary tool of the West, but how many people appreciate that “reactionary” in the Western and Islamic Worlds are not worlds apart, but fundamentally identical?

Clarifying what Khashoggi truly represented allows us to identify, call attention to, and fight against these reactionary forces, and also to appreciate the truly modern, cooperative, socialist-inspired world that Mehdi Ben Barka, Serena Shim and countless unheralded others have worked and died for.

***********************************

This is the 1st article in a 4-part series which examines Jamal Khashoggi’s ideology and how it relates to the Islamic World, Westernization and Socialism. Here is the list of articles slated to be published, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Khashoggi, Ben Barka & PressTV’s Serena Shim: A 4-part series

Khashoggi Part 2: A ‘reformer’…who was also a hysterical anti-Iran warmonger?

Khashoggi Part 3: ‘Liberal Democratic Salafism’ is a sham, ‘Islamic Socialism’ isn’t

Khashoggi Part 4: fake-leftism identical in Saudi Arabian or Western form

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

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Important for DPR & LPR People – Their Determination by Coming to the Elections by Ruslan Ostashko

November 10, 2018

Translated and captioned by Leo. Make sure to press CC for English captions.

The closer we get to the planned elections in the Republics of Donbass, the louder Ukraine and its Western sponsors are screaming. Like, the declaration of will is illegal, because it is not provided by the Minsk agreements. For this, Russia is pressuring its own line, from which it is not going to back up on.

Diplomatic picks between the West and Russia are growing as they approach November 11. Here is from a recent article:

“OSCE Special Representative, Martin Saidik, believes that the elections scheduled for November 11 in the self-proclaimed republics of Donbass do not correspond to the ‘spirit nor letter of the Minsk agreements.’”

Let me remind you, the OSCE is the very organization whose deaf-blind and silent observers that are still unable to notice that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are constantly violating the truce. In response to attacks from this organization and other Western structures, the Russian representative stressed that the elections are legitimate.

“The election of the heads of the self-proclaimed republics in the Donbass does not contradict the Minsk agreements, as they deal only with local government bodies,” said Russia’s permanent representative of the Minsk agreement, Boris Gryzlov.

He noted that “this is not the election of local governments, written in the Minsk agreements, it is the election of heads and people’s councils in the republics of Donbass, necessary for the management of territories, ensuring the daily lives of people in this situation.”

Gryzlov did not miss the opportunity to kick the “Ukraine is Europe” supporters. He recalled that it was Kiev that for more than three years has been delaying a political settlement of the conflict.

In general, there’s nothing new. It is worth noting here that in order to confirm the position of the Republics of Donbass, which Russia shares, we need a high voter turnout. Actually, we have absolutely no difference for whom the inhabitants of the DPR and the LPR will vote for, the main thing is for them to come. It is no secret how much the people of Donbass are tired of this sluggish war and the general situation of uncertainty. The elections will be a step towards resolving this situation – making changes.

You can, of course, criticize the authorities of the Republics, which did not allow some candidates to be elected before, but, by and large, doesn’t have a big impact. It is important that the residents of both Republics confirm their determination to build their lives according to their own project, which is radically different from the Ukrainian “Svidomo” (national conscious).

The activity of people on tragic occasions like the funeral of the murdered head of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, shows that this determination has not gone away. Remember how many people were parting with the leader of the Republic? [Estimates of 200,000 – ed]

Now it is time to show the same unity for a much more positive reason. If the residents of Donbass appear in large numbers at the voting stations, they will again hit the “Ukraine is Europe” tales about the “Russian occupation”. And our diplomats will receive another argument that can be beat on the tinsel of “partners”, pointing to the high involvement of the residents of the DPR and the LPR in democratic procedures.

By the way, whoever is shoved as president of Ukraine, the transparency and the number of irregularities in the elections in Donbass can later be later compared with similar parameters of the expression of will of Ukrainians “who have not yet escaped from Sumeria”. I believe that the comparison will be in favor of Donetsk and Lugansk, and not Kiev.

In short, elections are necessary for the Donbass, these elections are important, and I hope that the people are aware of this, and therefore will appear at the voting stations. Ukrainian Nazis will not gain power over the DPR and LPR by force under any circumstances – this is already clear. But in the modern world, it would be nice to back up strength with support of the will of the citizens. It is never bad to have this kind of extra support.

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