Middle East Intrigue. Riyadh Accuses Iran and Hezbollah of Sowing Strife, War on Lebanon and Iran?

Global Research, November 09, 2017

Lebanon’s PM Hariri

On November 4, Lebanese PM Saad Hariri resigned, claiming an Iranian-backed Hezbollah plot to assassinate him. Utter nonsense. Something else is going on.

Hariri lied accusing Iran and Hezbollah of sowing strife in the Middle East, seeking “to destroy the Arab world.”

His resignation wasn’t voluntary. He was pushed, the Saudis behind it, demanding what he couldn’t refuse.

Riyadh accused Lebanon and Iran of declaring war on the kingdom. Its aggression on Yemen achieved nothing but mass slaughter of civilians, vast destruction, and humanitarian crisis conditions.

Its attempt to bully Qatar into submission failed. So has its support for ISIS and other terrorists in Syria and Iraq.

Iran and Damascus are rising regionally, Russia a key player. Riyadh’s strategic plan failed, maybe a key reason behind crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s purge, Hariri’s forced resignation, and hostile accusations against Lebanon and Iran – along with Bin Salman’s power play.

Is Riyadh shifting its troublemaking from Syria to Lebanon and Iran? Is Hariri dismissal tied to what’s going on?

Are America and Israel involved? Will Lebanon and Iran be the region’s next battlegrounds?

On November 8, Israeli military intelligence linked DEBKAfile, falsely claimed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) “have been pumping fresh supplies of new surface missiles to Yemen by sea,” adding:

“Iranian experts have managed of late to lengthen the range of the ballistic missiles shipped to Yemen.”

Tight US/Saudi blockade on the country prevents weapons, munitions and related items getting in, currently blocking everything, including all humanitarian aid.

A previous article discussed Riyadh and Israel colluding against Iran and Lebanon, likely intending greater regional violence and destabilization, a Israeli diplomatic cable to its embassies revealed, calling for ramping up pressure on Hezbollah and Iran.

Is it part of a sinister plot to stoke further regional violence and turmoil?

Beirut believes Riyadh may be holding Hariri under house arrest, along with purged Saudi princes and ministers.

“Lebanon is heading towards asking foreign and Arab states to put pressure on (the) Saudi(s) to release Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri,” an unnamed senior government official told Reuters, adding:

“(R)estricting (his) freedom in Riyadh is an attack on Lebanese sovereignty. Our dignity is his dignity. We will work with (foreign) states to return him to Beirut.”

Lebanese President Michel Aoun wants him returned to explain his announced resignation. He has extensive business interests in the kingdom, including with a construction company founded by his father, Rafik.

The company, Saudi Oger, did extensive development work in the country, falling on hard times because of low oil prices, weakening economic conditions.

Reportedly the company owes around $3.5 billion to Saudi banks. An anonymous kingdom source claimed Hariri’s resignation is connected to the unpaid debt, saying:

He was summoned to Riyadh to be held “captive with the rest of the detained princes and businessmen to blackmail him (to) force him to bring back the funds he has abroad, particularly those not linked to Lebanon” – a different twist on what’s going on with him, if true.

Most important geopolitically involves heightened tensions following Riyadh accusing Iran and Lebanon of declaring war on the kingdom.

Is war on Iran and/or Lebanon likely? Whatever happens ahead, the region remains highly unstable and in play for whatever dark forces intend to try next.

A Final Comment

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia ordered its nationals to leave Lebanon immediately, others told not to travel there. On November 5, Bahrain issued a similar warning. Is something disruptive planned? We’ll know more in the days ahead.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

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

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

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Russian Foreign Ministry on Syria and US Threats Against RT and Sputnik News

Stephen Lendman

 

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova’s weekly press briefings are refreshingly straightforward and candid – polar opposite State Department baloney, ducking tough questions, suppressing hard truths.

Despite significant progress in freeing Syria from US-supported terrorists, they remain disruptive, why combating them will continue until they’re eliminated. Russia is committed to the task. In contrast, America supports the scourge it pretends to oppose, terror-bombing civilian targets, destroying vital infrastructure, seeking regime change, Russia committed to prevent it.

Zakharova blasted Washington’s meddling in Russia’s internal affairs, while falsely claiming Moscow interferes in America’s. “(I)t is hard to understand why the United States believes it possible to meddle in the life of other states,” she said.

It’s easy to understand, given Washington’s consistent interference in the internal affairs of countries worldwide, demanding their subservience to US interests, smashing unwilling ones, threatening others.

Demanding a company providing services to RT America register as a foreign agent is unacceptable, Zakharova stressed, more serious than a double standard, violating constitutionally guaranteed press freedom America preaches but doesn’t practice.

Demanding RT disclose its “corporate data, including…the staff list and employees’ personal information, may constitute an actual threat in the current witch-hunt climate in the United States,” Zakharova explained.

RT is a legitimate, highly respected news service, not Russian propaganda as Washington claims.

“There is not a single item of the so-called fake news distributed by the Russian television channel in the US,” said Zakharova. Washington’s intelligence community found no evidence suggesting it.

Unjustifiable criticism of RT and Sputnik News persists. They’re not foreign agents. “(A) huge number of Russian-language information sources, including those in the US that have an audience in Russia, receive funding from the US,” Zakharova explained.

“However, so far they have not been qualified as foreign agents; they withhold their sources of funding and do not register as foreign agents.”

Russia strictly complies with all international laws and regulations, including its media. Any hostile US actions against its broadcasters will be responded to proportionately, Zakharova stressed. “The clock is ticking,” she added.

Putin promised a “tit-for-tat response.” If RT and/or Sputnik broadcasts are blocked in America, its media will be targeted the same way, denied access to a Russian audience.

CNN is ripe for targeting, the most untrustworthy name in news worldwide, a propaganda service, not a legitimate news organization.

On Friday, Moscow accused CNN International of violating Russian media law, breaching the terms of its operating license, an explanation demanded. It’ll be closely monitored and action taken if violations continue.

A statement by Russia’s Federal Service and Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) said the following:

“Violations of Russian law on mass media have been registered in the activity of the TV channel CNN International, which envisages administrative liability under the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation. The representatives of the TV channel have been summoned to Roskomnadzor for consideration of administrative cases.”

Roskomnadzor’s spokesman Vadim Ampelonsky cited systematic CNN violations of Russian law, the broadcaster ordered to correct them.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called increasing pressure on and unfounded accusations against RT and Sputnik in America “unacceptable.”

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

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman)

Can a Nation Be Mentally Deranged? Apparently so. America is Exhibit A, run by recklessly dangerous lunatics

Can a Nation Be Mentally Deranged?

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Apparently so. America is Exhibit A, run by recklessly dangerous lunatics no matter which right wing of its duopoly governance holds power. Clear proof is overwhelming.

Madness defines US policy. The nation is permanently at war on humanity, naked aggression by any standard, smashing one nonbelligerent nation after another, threatening others, responsible for millions of casualties, more daily, endless mass slaughter and destruction in multiple theaters, exploiting its own people viciously, serving its privileged class exclusively at the expense of most others.

America is on a slippery slope toward unthinkable nuclear war – North Korea, Iran, Russia and China prime targets.

It’s inevitable if the madness continues. Washington’s quest for unchallenged global dominance is humanity’s greatest menace, a doomsday scenario threatening life on earth. Will it end with a bang, not a whimper?

North Korea is in the eye of the storm, Trump making reckless threats, his latest tweeting: “Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at UN. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!”

This man’s sensibility is off its moorings, his reckless remarks typical of street bullies, not presidential leadership.

He ordered or allowed saber rattling off North Korea’s coast in international waters, far north of the 38th parallel.

B-1B Lancer bombers were escorted by F-15 warplanes in a belligerent show of force, threatening Pyongyang, likely daring it to respond in kind.

The DPRK threatens no one. America threatens everyone, its hostile saber rattling the latest example. It followed Trump belligerently warning Kim Jong-un he’ll “be tested like never before,” calling him a “madman.”

Who’s the real madman? It’s not Kim

US to Plunder Afghanistan’s Mineral Riches

Sourcs

By Stephen Lendman,

Endless US aggression in Afghanistan has nothing to do with combating terrorism (America supports it), everything to do with controlling the country, using it for oil and gas pipelines, part of encircling Russia and China with US military bases, and plundering vast Afghan mineral riches – likely worth trillions of dollars, a prize corporate predators covet.

They include barite, chromite, coal, cobalt, copper, gold, iron ore, lead, enormous amounts of highly-valued lithium and other rare earth metals vital for high tech products, natural gas, oil, precious and semi-precious stones, potash, salt, sulfur, talc, zinc, among other minerals.

The nation is a resource treasure trove, a key reason why US occupation is permanent, unjustifiably justified by war, the idea not winning it, just waging it endlessly, a forever war.

On Thursday, Trump met with US-installed puppet president Ashraf Ghani, developing Afghan resources discussed, code language for plunder by US corporate predators.

A White House statement said

“(t)hey discussed economic development issues, including how American companies can help quickly develop Afghanistan’s rich rare earth mineral resources.”

“They agreed that such initiatives would help American companies develop materials critical to national security while growing Afghanistan’s economy and creating new jobs in both countries, therefore defraying some of the costs of United States assistance as Afghans become more self-reliant.”

Translation: Ghani agreed to let US corporate predators plunder his country, helping America’s economy, not Afghanistan’s, doing nothing to improve the lives of its people, exploiting them instead.

If Ghani balks at any time, he’ll be removed and replaced by a more compliant puppet, the way imperialism works.

The scheme has nothing to do with defraying the enormous cost of endless war, everything to do enriching US corporate predators, along with controlling Afghan mineral riches.

Pre-9/11, Taliban officials met with US oil giant Unocal in Houston regarding construction of a trans-Afghan pipeline.

The 1999 US Silk Road Strategy Act aimed to develop US regional business opportunities, along with undermining, destabilizing, and isolating Russia, China and Iran – a new Great Game to control vital resources in this strategic part of the world.

Clinton administration talks with Taliban officials broke off in 1999, resumed by Bush/Cheney, again ending unsuccessfully.

The rest, as they say, is history, 9/11 followed, four weeks later Afghanistan attacked, a war planned months in advance.

Another key reason for launching it was reviving opium production, largely eradicated by the Taliban, a key source of income for the CIA, Western banks and other financial interests, besides organized crime.

Things are virtually never as they seem, the public lied to about bin Laden, a CIA asset when alive before perishing from illness in December 2001, the 9/11 mother of all false flags, and why America launched war on humanity in its wake, beginning in Afghanistan following the Clinton administration’s rape of Yugoslavia.

Trump continues what his predecessors began, escalating wars he inherited, threatening North Korea with likely catastrophic war if launched, Iran on his target list, maybe Russia and China to follow.

Today is the most perilous time in world history, things worsening, not improving.

Hawkish generals in charge of US warmaking threaten humanity’s survival, nuclear war an ominous possibility, a doomsday scenario if launched.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

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

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

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Deplorable Ignorance and Indifference of Most Americans

Source

Deplorable Ignorance and Indifference of Most Americans

Stephen LENDMAN

Americans are the most over-entertained, uninformed people on the planet – mostly know-nothings about domestic and geopolitical issues mattering most.

A new Gallup poll provides more evidence – 58% of respondents supporting war if peaceful methods with North Korea fail.

Americans are so out-of-touch with reality they have no idea that the Trump administration ruled out dialogue with Pyongyang or why.

They have no understanding of what nuclear war means, endangering the lives and welfare millions of people in North and South Korea, others potentially in Japan and cross-border in China.

They fail to grasp the possibility that war on the DPRK could invite China’s intervention to protect its security, Russia possibly getting involved for the same reason.

They can’t comprehend the legitimate threat North Korea faces. Lacking powerful weapons invites hostile US intervention, all sovereign independent countries threatened by Washington’s rage for dominance, vulnerable to mass slaughter and destruction like other nations America attacked.

Nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities aren’t a protective shield from US aggression, but they greatly diminish the odds of a preemptive attack – the sole reason Pyongyang wants them, for defense, not offense, their right under international law.

Scoundrel media mind manipulation has most Americans fooled most of the time – why Washington gets away with ravaging and destroying one country after another with shamefully little public opposition.

Most Americans are ignorant about what’s going on or indifferent to oppose publicly it like during the Vietnam era.

Anti-war fervor made a difference. Americas took to the streets nationwide. University faculty members across the country held “teach-ins,” instructing students about the immorality of US war and the political background of its involvement.

Thousands attended rallies in Washington and elsewhere. In November 1969, half a million massed in the nation’s capital against Southeast Asia war. Resistance leaders urged young men to burn their draft cards.

On April 4, 1967, one year to the day before his state-sponsored assassination, Martin Luther King delivered his powerful anti-war “Beyond Vietnam” address in New York’s Riverside Church – calling America “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”

Now it’s much worse than then, America at war in multiple theaters directly and with proxy terrorist fighters, threatening war on other nations, risking nuclear war on the Korean peninsula – besides possible confrontation with Russia and/or China.

Gallup showed most Americans prefer war to anti-war resistance, the earlier spirit against US aggression gone.

Only 39% of respondents oppose attacking North Korea. Would they send loved ones to fight? Would they go themselves? Gallup didn’t ask to find out.

Northern Army Terrorist Gangs in Syria Supported by Washington

Source

By Stephen Lendman

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, US-supported al-Nusra allied with other terrorist gangs into a so-called Northern Army, comprised of thousands of fighters. More on this below.

Developments show the urgency of expediting de-escalation zones, strengthening ceasefire conditions, and improving the humanitarian situation as soon as possible, she stressed.

Besides supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups, along with terror-bombing Raqqa and other areas, massacring civilians and destroying infrastructure, Washington is waging information war on Syria.

Last week, the State Department repeated fabricated accusations, claiming Syrian use of CWs, despite no evidence suggesting it, plenty showing toxic agents used by US-supported terrorists numerous times.

Washington is trying to “torpedo” peaceful conflict resolution, Zakharova explained – based on unanimously adopted Security Council Resolution 2254.

It calls for ceasefire and diplomatic conflict resolution – opposing sides (excluding terrorist groups) initiating a political process toward establishing “inclusive and non-sectarian governance” within six months by Syrians alone, free from outside interference.

New elections would follow in 18 months, along with drafting a new constitution, likely little different from the current one – overwhelmingly approved by national referendum in February 2012, with revisions from its initial draft.

According to General Igor Korobov, head of the Main Directorate of Russia’s General Staff, dozens of terrorist gangs banded together to form a Hayat Tahrir ash-Sham group with over 25,000 fighters – US-supported al-Nusra playing the “key role” with over 15,000 foot soldiers.

ISIS numbers exceed 9,000, according to Korobov. Heavily armed by foreign sources, they’re a “formidable foe,” using “bee swarm” tactics.

They involve “chaotic shelling and surprise attacks on the Syrian military, carried out by small, but well-coordinated mobile units,” Korobov explained.

They’re well-equipped with “state-of-the-art armaments, intelligence and electronic warfare, and improvised toxic substances.”

Drones are used for reconnaissance and attacking Syrian forces.

“Armored vehicles and artillery are deployed in residential areas near hospitals, schools, mosques and other socially significant facilities to avoid destruction by airstrikes,” he explained.

Civilians are used as human shields, Korobov adding

“(w)e’re dealing with a strong and dangerous enemy, which poses a threat not only to the Middle East, but to the other regions of the world.”

“Our task is to inflict the maximum damage on the terrorists on Syrian soil.”

After six-and-a-half years of US aggression on Syria for regime change, resolution remains a distant objective – significant progress made, but endless fighting continues.

The original source of this article is Global Research

NATO Chief Calls for Removing Nonexistent Russian Forces from Ukraine

Source

Stephen Lendman)

On Monday, US-appointed NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed “unwavering support” for the illegitimate, US-installed putschist regime – while visiting Kiev.

During a joint press conference with US-anointed, illegitimate president Petro Poroshenko, he voiced concern about continued hostilities in Donbass – irresponsibly blaming Russia, ignoring Kiev regime high crimes.

Addressing illegitimate parliamentarians, he said the only way to resolve ongoing conflict is for Russia to withdraw its “thousands of troops” from eastern Ukraine.

Where are they? No one can find them. How can “thousands” of Russian forces stay concealed? It’s easy when when they’re nowhere on Ukrainian territory – not now or earlier.

Stoltenberg lied, representing US interests, supporting conflict, abhorring resolution.

“I am convinced that an investment in Ukraine’s security is an investment into the security of NATO and its member states that pays off,” he blustered.

How since neither NATO or Ukraine faces any security issues except ones they invent?

Stoltenberg called for full implementation of Minsk ceasefire terms, failing to explain Kiev and US-led NATO alone violate them.

Commenting on the situation in Ukraine, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov expressed concern about Kiev plans for NATO membership, what’s unacceptable to Moscow, given its 1,500 km land and sea border with Russia.

“(F)or many years, Russia has been voicing concern over NATO moving its military infrastructure facilities closer to our borders,” Peskov stressed, adding:

There are no Russian military personnel in Ukraine, not now, earlier, or intending to be deployed to the country. Claims otherwise are false.

Last February, Poroshenko said he plans a referendum on joining NATO, an easily rigged ploy if held to portray the illusion of public support for what he, his regime, Washington and NATO want.

Putin earlier accused Kiev of using pseudo-Russian threats to manipulate public opinion and EU politicians. Peskov explained the regime’s only plentiful export commodity is “Russophobia.”

US-led NATO special forces train Ukraine’s military for aggression against Donbass. According to Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) authorities, Kiev’s military violates Minsk terms daily, 28 times on Monday alone, shelling residential areas with artillery, mortars, tank, and other fire.

Unauthorized “foreign instructors” were spotted in Donbass, maybe there to choose targets for Kiev aggression.

Conflict resolution is unattainable because Washington wants Donetsk and Lugansk freedom fighters eliminated – for complete control over the country, the most important central Europe one.

Russia is justifiably concerned about hostile forces on its borders. Ongoing low-level conflict could escalate to something much more serious if not contained.

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

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman)

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