US Support Lets Global Terrorism Flourish

US Support Lets Global Terrorism Flourish

by Stephen Lendman

America created ISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups. It maintains support for the scourge it claims to oppose.
Its so-called war on terrorism is a fabricated hoax. The way to defeat it isn’t by terror-bombing cities to rubble on the phony pretext of combating it.
It’s by ending support. Without it from America, NATO, Israel and other regional rogue states, these groups will wither and fade away.
Instead, they flourish because Washington uses them as imperial foot soldiers. Instead of cooperating with Russia in combating them, America and its rogue allies continue supplying them with weapons, munitions and other material support.
At her weekly press briefing, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova praised the constructive conflict resolution approach shown by Syria.
Opposition representatives aren’t cooperating, she explained, saying:
“We unfortunately must note – and this is obvious – that not all parties are pleased with the fact that the political process has restarted.”
“We regularly record attempts to stymie its progress through certain representatives of the opposition who are continuing to make all sorts of preconditions verging on ultimatums.”
“The militants are continuing to receive arms and ammunition, new members of criminal groups and, above all, funding from abroad.”
Zakharova blasted America, Britain and France for “refus(ing) to condemn the bloody terrorist attacks in Damascus (earlier) in March and the suppression of these events, as well as of the use of chemical agents by ISIS terrorists in Syria and Iraq…”
They reject “tak(ing) effective steps to confront the terrorist threat, which remains extremely high.”
“Clearly, not all parties want peace in Syria,” she stressed. Without naming names, she means America, Britain, France, Israel, other regional rogue states and terrorists they support.
She expressed outrage over new US sanctions on eight Russian companies for engaging in what the State Department calls “proliferation” activity with Iran, Syria and North Korea, saying:
“This step runs counter to the statements we hear from Washington that emphasize the fight against terrorism, in particular in Syria, where it has gained a foothold.”
“On the contrary, it is completely at odds with such declarations and undermines the prospects of setting up comprehensive multilateral cooperation to destroy Islamic State and other terrorist groups that pose a threat to all countries, including the US.”
Talks to resolve Syria’s conflict began in 2012. Multiple rounds in Geneva from then to now failed – no breakthroughs achieved, no face-to-face negotiations.
Ongoing Geneva IV and Astana, Kazakhstan talks remain stalemated. Syrian army-rebuffed attacks by US-supported terrorists trying to reach central Damascus aimed to undermine peace efforts.
Despite years of futility, chief Syrian negotiator Bashar al-Jaafari stressed his delegation will never cease working for resolving years of conflict diplomatically.
Yet he said continued “terrorist attacks…are pushing everybody towards a total failure and fiasco in the political and diplomatic process.”
He blasted the illegitimacy of US troops and terror-bombing in northern Syria, explaining government and allied forces, greatly aided by Russian airpower, alone are combating terrorism.
America’s “assault on Raqqa is unlawful if not coordinated with Damascus,” he stressed.
Washington wants Raqqa destroyed, not liberated, the same strategy employed in attacking Mosul.
Endless US wars continue in multiple theaters, Trump as committed to militarism and aggression as his predecessors. 
Prospects for resolving conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere are dim. War profiteers want them continued endlessly.

Washington is Killing More Civilians than Terrorists in the Middle East

Washington is Killing More Civilians than Terrorists in the Middle East

 

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Iran under Trump

All revolutions are constantly in evolution – on a never-ending quest for legitimacy and self-improvement. The revolution that gave birth to the Islamic Republic of Iran is no different.

Iran under Trump

Some experts argue that the Islamic revolutionary order had been solidified by the Iran-Iraq war [1980-1988], which was fueled by western states and Arab monarchies. The conflict that served to reaffirm the revolution’s anti-imperialist zeal also charted the course for Tehran’s national security agenda.

In the years that followed, the isolated, Shiite-majority state emerged as a regional powerhouse, mastering the process of mobilizing and fighting alongside external ‘non-state actors’, to keep Washington’s dogs of war away from its borders.

The last two decades, defined by the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the war effort against the Damascus government, only reaffirmed Tehran’s chosen path, hardening its resolve.

In many respects, the arrival of Donald Trump is simply a continuation of this process, reassuring the Iranian public and political establishment that their decades-long approach towards Washington’s regional agenda has always been spot-on.

And while Trump’s election polarized the western world, it served to strengthen the unity of the Iranian nation and bridge any existing gaps between the country’s reformist and conservative camps.

“Thank you, Mr. Trump”

During the 38th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution on February 7, the Supreme Leader, His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, mockingly addressed the Trump administration’s hostile stance towards Tehran.

“Thank you, Mr. Trump, for showing the true face of America,” Sayyed Khamenei said.

Iranian president Sheikh Hassan Rouhani also addressed the crowds gathered to laud the Revolution.

“We are not after tensions in the region and the world,” he said. “We are united in the face of bullying and any threat.”

Interestingly, the nationwide rallies, which came at a time of sharp anti-Iranian rhetoric in Washington, further highlighted Tehran’s ability to exercise restraint and its constant readiness for dialogue.

According to the New York Times, the national holiday was marked “with far less of the usual vitriol for the United States.”

“Most notably, there were no missiles on display, as had been customary in previous years,” NYT’s Thomas Erdbrink writes.

“[Tehran] does not want any confrontation with the US. Don’t be surprised, we have no interest with tensions,” said the Iranian political analyst Farshad Ghorbanpour.

Of course, all of this should hardly come as a surprise, given that the Islamic Republic has absolutely nothing to gain by ratcheting up tensions across the region.

Trump’s approach

It is very difficult to understand President Trump’s reasoning behind his decision to slap fresh sanctions on Iran. It is equally difficult to analyze the key components of the Trump administration’s foreign policy agenda, especially with respect to the enduring climate of instability in the Middle East.

Despite the fact that Trump’s campaign rhetoric often promised to undo the Iranian nuclear agreement, no concrete steps have been taken in this regard. Suggestions that the American president could simply tear up the multilateral accord reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries should be taken with a grain of salt, given that such a move lacks any semblance of serious international support.

Instead, the Trump administration appears to believe that a new round of negotiations with Tehran over its growing role in the region, which includes its alliances with Damascus and Hezbollah, is still possible. Trump’s reset with the Arab monarchies and ‘Israel’ is designed to send a message that his administration is unwilling to accept the new realities on the ground, particularly in Syria, where a long-term Iranian presence is looking increasingly likely.

Recent ‘Israeli’ airstrikes, which struck targets deep in Syrian territory, as well as the deployment of hundreds of additional American soldiers to Syria, suggest that Trump wants to be heard, and that the current state of affairs in the Middle East is not acceptable for the US president.

But the sheer notion that Tehran would be willing to negotiate over its regional alliances – one of the defining features of its national security policy since the early years of the Islamic Revolution – has been dismissed as a nonstarter in Iran.

To what degree this lack of common ground, combined with the increasingly desperate Tel Aviv and Riyadh may contribute to further regional instability, is still an open question.

A senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment and professor at Georgetown University, Karim Sadjadpour, offers a pessimistic outlook of the future.

“In Donald Trump’s first term, there is a serious possibility of a military conflict, whether intentional or inadvertent, between the United States or ‘Israel’ and Iran,” Sadjadpour, who also reports on Iran, writes for The Atlantic.

And a combination of mistrust, aggressive action and isolated incidents could set the course towards a direct military confrontation, which, needless to say, is clearly not in any regional or international player’s interest at the moment.

Al-Ahed News

25-03-2017 | 07:44

USA wants to keep troops in Libya & Iraq for years on the pretence of fighting terrorism

US Will Keep Ground Troops in Libya

Mattis Wants Troops in Iraq ‘For Years’

Commander: Troops Needed to ‘Degrade’ ISIS Forces

In a press briefing at the Pentagon today, African Command leader Gen. Thomas Waldhauser announced that the US intends to keep ground troops in Libya for the foreseeable future to support “friendly forces,” and to “degrade” the ISIS forces that remain in the country.

Waldhauser did not specify how many US troops are in Libya now, or how many will stay, but did estimate that there were less than 200 ISIS fighters left in Libya. The US had announced the end of the anti-ISIS campaign in Libya back in December, but never fully withdrew from the country.

The US forces were in Libya trying to help the “unity” government defeat ISIS in the city of Sirte. US officials repeatedly claimed the city was totally surrounded, and that no ISIS fighters would get away, though when the fighting finally ended, a substantial number of ISIS fighters did in fact get away.

Waldhauser hinted that the US operations in Libya would primarily be airstrikes going forward, saying that the US needs to have troops on the ground for “precision airstrikes” and “close-air support operations.” He added that the last US airstrikes, in January, involved US troops meeting face-to-face with allies on coordinating the strikes.

Insists Keeping Troops in Iraq Is in the ‘National Interest’

With US officials still hopeful that Iraq’s ongoing offensive in Mosul is the beginning of the end of ISIS’ presence in that country, top Pentagon officials, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, are also eager to point out that it’s not going to mean the end of the US military presence in Iraq.

In comments to Congressional committees over the course of the week, Mattis was very clear about the need to keep US troops in Iraq, calling it a “national interest” and insisting US forces need to stabilize Iraq, while downplaying the idea that this would be nation-building.

It’s not going to be a short process either. While Mattis wasn’t very specific on how long this post-ISIS US military presence would last, he made it clear that it would be “years,” and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Joe Dunford said the same thing later.

Pentagon officials have been insisting since last year that the deployment to Iraq this time is more or less permanent. That they are couching this as a matter of “years” now does not necessarily mean that the timespan is going to be finite, but that they don’t want to admit, believing the war is closer to ending, that they intend to stay in an open-ended manner.

Illegal U.S. Occupation Forces in Syria and Iraq: Pentagon Intends Establishing “Interim Zones of Stability”

Illegal U.S. Occupation Forces in Syria and Iraq: Pentagon Intends Establishing “Interim Zones of Stability”

By Stephen Lendman,

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Addressing members of America’s imperial war coalition in Washington Wednesday, Rex Tillerson said Washington intends establishing “interim zones of stability” in Syria and Iraq – without further elaboration.

US-installed Iraqi puppet leader Haider al-Abadi was pressured to let US forces operate in Iraqi territory.

He’s silent on relentless Pentagon terror-bombing, massacring Mosul civilians, ones escaping saying they fear US warplanes as much as ISIS.

Pentagon special forces and marines in Syria are “invaders,” operating illegally, Bashar al-Assad explained. They’re aiding anti-government terrorists pursue US regime change plans.

No-fly or safe zones in foreign countries are illegal without Security Council authorization – not forthcoming with near certain Russian and likely Chinese veto power. US pressure will likely get Abadi to go along. If not, expect a new puppet leader installed to replace him.

Assad rejects them, earlier saying they won’t protect civilians. Domestic safety is only possible when peace, stability and security are restored. Safe zones imposed by foreign powers are illegal and unrealistic.

Why were Syrians displaced in the first place, he asked? For two reasons, he explained:

— “terrorist acts and support from the outside,” as well as

— “the (US) embargo on Syria,” creating enormous hardships for ordinary people through much of the country.

Syrians will again be safe when terrorism is defeated, the embargo lifted, and illegal sanctions rescinded.

Longstanding US/Israeli plans call for redrawing the Middle East map, including partitioning Iraq and Syria – governments in both countries, Iran and Lebanon replaced by pro-Western puppet regimes.

Turkey wants northern Syria and Iraq annexed. Establishing safe zones in either or both countries would require thousands of troops for enforcement.

Last November, Trump endorsed the idea, deplorably saying

“(b)uild a big, beautiful safe zone, and you have whatever it is so people can live, and they’ll be happier.”

Hillary Clinton earlier urged establishing a no-fly zone, the same scheme she used to launch US-led NATO aggression on Libya.

Russia rejects what Assad and his government oppose. CENTCOM commander General Joseph Votel supports safe zones in “areas that have already been secured,” he said.

Nothing is secure in war theaters. Baghdad is repeatedly targeted by car-bombings and other terrorist attacks, taking a horrendous human toll.

Endless US imperial wars rage in Syria, Iraq, the horrendous human toll harming civilians most.

All US wars are based on Big Lies, waged for imperial conquest and dominance, unrelated to humanitarian intervention, liberating oppressed people or democracy building.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago

From Paris to London: Another City, Another Attack with Elements from «ISIS» Playbook

Patrick Cockburn

In the immediate aftermath of what police are describing as a terrorist incident in and around Parliament, at least three facts stand out suggesting that the attacks are similar to those carried out over the last two years by “ISIS” supporters in Paris, Nice, Brussels and Berlin.

UK's Big Ben

The similarities with the events today are in the targets of the attacks which in all cases were ordinary civilians, but the means of trying to cause mass casualties differs. In Nice, Berlin and London no fire arms were used by the attackers, while in Paris and Brussels there was a coordinated assault in which guns and explosives were employed.

In Nice on 14 July 2016 a truck killed 86 people and injured hundreds, driving at speed through crowds watching a firework display on the Promenade des Anglais until the driver was shot dead by police. “ISIS” claimed that he was answering their “calls to target citizens of coalition nations that fight ‘ISIS'”. Britain is a member of the coalition with aircraft and Special Forces troops in action against “ISIS” in Iraq and Syria.

“ISIS” claimed responsibility for a lorry which drove into a Christmas market in 19 December 2016, killing 12 and injuring dozens. As with Nice, this appears to resemble what happened on Westminster Bridge, going by first reports.

The overall location of the attacks today may be significant and would fit in with the way that “ISIS” normally operates when carrying out such atrocities. This is to act in the center of capital cities or in large provincial ones in order to ensure 24/7 publicity and maximize the effectiveness of the incident as a demonstration of “ISIS’s” continuing reach and ability to project fear far from its rapidly shrinking core areas in Syria and Iraq.

“ISIS” is sophisticated enough to know that such attacks carried out in news hubs like London or Paris will serve their purposes best. In cases of attack with a knife or a vehicle then “ISIS” would not need to provide more than motivation, though individuals seldom turn out to have acted alone. It may no longer have cells in Europe capable of obtaining fire arms or making bombs.

It could be that the attacks were carried out by another group, the most obvious candidate being one of the affiliates of al-Qaeda in Yemen. Syria or elsewhere. On 11 March 2017 Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda, carried out two bombing attacks in Damascus, killing 59 people, mostly Shia pilgrims from Iraq visiting holy sites. But the Syrian arm of al-Qaeda, while carrying out suicide bombings against targets in Syria, has previously avoided doing so abroad in order to make itself more diplomatically palatable than “ISIS”.

Could the attacks on Westminster Bridge and in Parliament be linked to the siege of Mosul where “ISIS” has lost the east of the city and half the west since an Iraqi army offensive started o n17 October? “ISIS” has traditionally tried to offset defeats on the battlefield, by terrorist attacks aimed civilians that show they are still very much a force to be feared. The same logic led to the ritual decapitation, drowning and burning of foreign journalists and domestic opponents.

The most likely speculation at this early stage is that the attacks in London are inspired or directed by “ISIS”, but there is too little evidence to make the connection with any certainty. “ISIS” often holds off claiming such atrocities for several days to increase speculation and intensify terror.

Source: Independent, Edited by website team

23-03-2017 | 11:22

US Strikes on Mosul Kill 230 Civilians Overnight

US Strikes on Mosul Kill 230 Civilians Overnight

Over 130 Civilians Killed in Attack on a Single Building in Western Mosul

As the US airstrikes in the Iraqi city of Mosul are increasingly concentrated around densely populated neighborhoods in the city’s west, the death toll from those airstrikes in spiraling rapidly out of control, with the most recent figures out of the area suggesting around 230 civilians were killed overnight in US and coalition strikes in just a single neighborhood.

That’s an enormous toll, of course, but is reported from several sources telling largely the same story, including that a single US airstrike against a large building full of civilians in Mosul killed over 130 people, while the other 100 or so were killed in the surrounding area.

Central Command said that they were “aware of the loss of life” and were carrying out “further investigation,” while insisting that all of their strikes against Mosul overnight “comply with the Law of Armed Conflict.” Centcom’s official report for the overnight strikes claimed they’d hit “11 fighting positions” and didn’t mention killing hundreds of civilians.

Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported that the civilian death toll was mostly women and children, saying that the bulk of the bodies were pulled from just three adjoining residences in the Jadida neighborhood. They speculated the civilians were “human shields” for ISIS snipers in the area.

That would be an awful lot of human shields, of course, and there wouldn’t be much point of stashing them inside buildings where the US forces clearly either didn’t know where they were or didn’t feel it amounted to a deterrent to bombing those buildings anyhow.

If the toll is ultimately confirmed by Centcom, which is a huge “if” given how often well documented incidents never end up on their official reports, it would roughly double the number of civilians the US has admitted to killing in Iraq and Syria over the ISIS war. NGOs have suggested the US strikes have killed well over 2,000 civilians already, and that’s not including last night’s massive toll.

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