The Syrian Russian Turksih Idlib Stand-Of – Erdogan’s Last Stand?

February 06, 2020

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

Even though the Syrian Army, with the aid of its international friends and allies, especially Russia, has been able to score many victories and liberate most of Syria’s major cities from the control of terrorist groups, the fight is far from over.

Before the situation in the American-controlled North-East is addressed, the Western regions, including Idlib and its surrounds must be put back fully under the legitimate government control.

As a matter of fact, politically speaking, the situation now is perhaps more complex to deal with than nine years ago when the “War on Syria” took form. Almost exactly nine years ago, the enemies of Syria combined efforts to launch a joint attack. United only by their hatred for Syria, they had diverse agendas, but they combined efforts in order to capitalize on each other’s strengths. The Wahhabi version of Islamists, headed by Saudi Arabia, joined hands with the Muslim Brotherhood version headed by Turkey and financed by Qatar, and they all joined hands with NATO, Israel and Lebanese ultra-right militia among other vendetta groups, for the single purpose of deposing President Assad and replacing the legitimate secular Syrian Government with one that is sectarian and pliable to the will of the Western roadmap.

They failed.

They failed in achieving their combined objectives and some of the armies they created, such as Jaysh Al-Islam, headed by former Syrian Army officer Zahran Alloush, ceased to exist. Alloush was killed in a Syrian Army attack in December 2015, but the casualties also included conspirators who were sidelined and lost their careers; the most prominent of which is Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, who was perhaps the single biggest architect of the attack on Syria.

The tides began to turn in favour of Syria after the Syrian Army scored its huge victory in the Battle of Qusayr in mid-2013. This was a decisive battle that basically disabled the terrorists from linking the Damascus province with their northern supply lines. Without this victory, in retrospect, it would be arguable if Syria would have been able to earn much support from Russia; if any at all. Syria had to show a fighting spirit, resolve, determination and respect for her to reach such an echelon. After all, Russia does not only by tradition honour and respect those who stand up with dignity against all odds, but on the geopolitical scene, and after decades of being sidelined by the Western bloc, any Russian global move had to be fully and thoroughly assessed before any venture was to be undertaken.

It was crucial for Russia therefore, and for President Putin in particular, to ensure that the presence of Russian troops in Syria had very high chances of success.

The fragmentation of Syria’s enemies began to take form before Russian action in the skies and on the soil of Syria. The Saudi’s first and biggest disappointment was when the USA refused to level Damascus to the ground after Prince Bandar orchestrated the alleged Ghouta chemical attack in September 2013. That was Bandar’s last draw after the loss of Al-Qusayr and his attempts to blackmail Putin by threatening him to unleash Islamists in Chechnya.

From that point in time onwards, the Saudi role in the “War on Syria” dwindled and came to an end with the demise of Alloush. But as the tensions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia emerged in 2017, Qatar remained “represented” via its ally Turkey.

Erdogan was initially determined to victoriously pray at the Omayyad Mosque in Damascus early in the piece. But he is still determined to get a bite of the cherry, a consolation prize, despite all the setbacks that his former camp has endured.

After Turkey downed the Russian Su-24 in November 2015, the relationship between Turkey and Russia reached its nadir. But the pragmatist Erdogan soon apologized to Putin and eventually reached an agreement about how to deal with the deadlock situation in Idlib.

But Erdogan is not coming clean about his commitment to what became to be known as the Sochi Agreement. https://thedefensepost.com/2019/10/22/russia-turkey-syria-mou/.

Erdogan defiantly continues to wear the hat of a fully-fledged NATO member, a close friend and ally of Russia, the leader of the nation that is desirous to enter the EU, an Islamist who wants to rebuild the Ottoman Empire, and a nationalist who is willing and able to deal with Kurdish issue. What he does not see is that whilst those antics gain him popularity amongst sympathetic Muslim supporters, on the international scene, he is increasingly making a mockery out of himself.

His clear-to-see contradictions seem mind-boggling, but to the pragmatic Erdogan who is trying as hard as he can to be Sultan, his mind is fixated on Islamism and nationalism, and he is performing as if he has found himself a Fatwa that permits him to dance to the tunes of the devil to reach his ultimate objectives.

Among other things, to Putin, Erdogan portrays himself as Russia’s friend who is reconsidering his alliance with the US and even wants to buy Russian S-400 defence missile systems. To America, he remains as a NATO member and an American ally who wants to buy America’s latest state-of the-art F-35 fighter jets. On one hand, he makes verbal attacks against Israel, but continues to opt to have strong diplomatic ties with that state. He pledges support for the Palestinian cause but offers no evidence to put his words into action.

If Erdogan truly deserves any recognition and respect at all, it would have to be for his ability to meander his way through and survive amongst all the contradictions that he has deliberately and systemically implanted along his path.

He could be running out of options; at least in Syria, but this doesn’t stop him from making yet more contradictory statements within a few days of each other. By the end of January 2020 he threatened to take a new offensive in Syria over the Russian-backed Syrian Army offensive in Idlib. https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202001311078189883-erdogan-threatens-new-offensive-in-syria—report/ A few days later, he made a U-turn and declared that he will not allow the situation in Idlib to sour his relationship with Russia. https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202002041078225599-turkey-will-not-escalate-tensions-with-russia-over-syrias-idlib—erdogan/?fbclid=IwAR1X6tQuRrWsX5iQ3kJCJaxFoR11cnfJpj–VlYhuUu9ZXLK6OQal0kiHaw But in between the two statements which are only four days apart, the Syrian Army has shelled Turkish positions and purportedly killed six Turkish soldiers and injured about a dozen. Whilst such an unprecedented incident should have sent Erdogan firing up as one would expect, according to Palestinian veteran journalist, Abdul Bari Atwan, this wasn’t to happen this time.

In a translation-worthy article, Russia and Syria have decided to take action in Idlib and they are no longer waiting for Erdogan to abide by his promises and agreements.

Atwan’s article’s title translates as: “What does the Syrian shelling of Turkish troops in Sarakob and the killing of six Turkish soldiers signify? And, what is the Russian message to Erdogan? And, did the Russians and the Turks tear up the Sochi Agreement? And, who will emerge as a winner in the bone-crushing battle in Idlib?”

According to Atwan’s analysis, the Syrian shelling of Turkish positions signaled the end of the line of joint Russian-Syrian patience with Erdogan’s lack of commitment to the Sochi Agreement. Atwan argues that opinion polls within Turkey indicate that Erdogan does not have the support of escalating in Syria and neither that of sending troops to Libya for that matter.

Did Atwan see the end of the line of Erdogan’s lies and contradictions this time? I personally hope he did. I must admit that in my previous analysis I have predicted several times that Erdogan had made his final and detrimental mistake . Somehow he always manages to slither out of the hole he was in and keep going.

Has he made his final and lethal mistake or is he going to relent and let Syria be?
Time will tell.

Bibi in Banderastan, or the importance of words

Bibi in Banderastan, or the importance of words

[this column was written for the Unz Review]

Israeli Prime Minister made it to Kiev today, where he was greeted by the (pseudo) “traditional” Ukronazi slogan “Glory to the Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!”. For somebody like me who dislikes Zionism and Nazism just about the same, it was a sweet irony to see an Israeli Prime Minister officially traveling to the Nazi-occupied Ukraine to commemorate the massacre of Jews at Babii Iar greeted by the very same slogan which the Jews murdered at Babii Iar heard from their Banderite executioners while they were being shot.

STOP!

Do you already hear the choir of voices protesting: how can anyone expecting to be taken seriously write a paragraph about the civil war in the Ukraine with all the following words: Ukronazi, Zionism, Nazism, Nazi-occupied, Jews and Banderite?

That is a very good question.

But I have a better one!

How can anyone expecting to be taken seriously write a paragraph about the civil war in the Ukraine WITHOUT all the following words: Ukronazi, Zionism, Nazism, Nazi-occupied, Jews and Banderite?

Let’s begin with the first question. The obvious implied criticism behind the first question, is very simple and it assumes that there is a profound and inherent contradiction between everything Nazi and Jews/Zionism. Speaking about a “Nazi Jew” or a “Nazi Zionist” is just as nonsensical as speaking about dry water or and diamonds raining from the sky!

Except that both dry water and diamonds raining from the sky do exist in real nature, so let’s not jump to conclusions too fast and see which contradictions are real, and which ones are only apparent.

I won’t even go into the (deliciously controversial) topic of the historical fact of the collaboration of the German National Socialists with various Zionist organizations which, rather naively, thought that a nationalist like Hitler would understand their own nationalism and help them to emigrate to Palestine. But this goes even further than that as Hannah Arendt said, in her superb book “Eichmann in Jerusalem” (see excerpt here or, even better, read the full book (for free!): various Jewish organizations continued to work with/(for?) the Nazis well into the so-called “Holocaust”.

[Sidebar: to be honest, I don’t think that we, safely sitting in the comfort of our homes, should be too quick to condemn these Jewish organizations. Yes, of course, many of them were “naive” (and I am being polite here), but others must have realized that European Jews are in a great deal of danger and must be evacuated at any cost and if the only way to achieve such an evacuation was to deal with the Nazis, then so be it! This is no different than offering a bribe to a jail guard to obtain some kind of favor. Thus I think that Jewish organizations which today categorically deny having collaborated with the Nazis are mistaken on not one, but two grounds: first, the truth is coming out and it is impossible to suppress it and, second, there is nothing shameful in swallowing your disgust to save a person. Except that for the racially deluded minds of modern Zionists, such an admission would take the air out of their silly notion of racial superiority. Hence the categorically crimethink nature of speaking about this]

No, what I want to suggest here is very different: in our 21st century, most of the 20th century terminology has lost its meaning. What is a liberal (no, not Hillary!)? What is a Communist (no, not Obama!)? What is a Christian (no, not the Pope!)? What is a democrat (no, not Kamala Harris!)? What is a patriot (no, most definitely not Trump!)? What is a tyrannical dictator (nope, not Putin!)?

You think that I am being facetious here?

Then explain to me how a rabidly Takfiri regime like the one in Saudi Arabia can get help from Zionist Israel? Or how the “democratic West” gave its full support to Takfiris in Chechnia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya and Syria? How is it that during the so-called “Global War on Terror”, (which was supposed to be officially waged against al-Qaeda and its various local subsidiaries, in retaliation for 9/11) the various Takfiri groups only got stronger? Yet what we really see is that the US provides training, financing, coordination and even close air support for pretty much every al-Qaeda type out there?

There are two phenomena which explain this gradual dissolution of meanings into meaningless and insipid categories: first, the correct meaning of many terms has been covered by a thick layer of ideological imperatives and, second, most 21st century politicians couldn’t care less what any word really means. All they care about is framing the discussion in a way which makes it easy for them to obfuscate their numerous crimes.

The truth about the Ukraine is very simple: yes, there are bona-fide Nazis in the Ukraine and, yes, they have a lot of influence due to their quasi monopoly on violence and total collapse of the state. True, these hardcore Ukronazi freaks are a rather small minority, but one which is well organized, well funded and fully prepared to use violence.

Jewbanderite

There are also a lot of Zionists in the Ukraine. And while these folks silently hate each other, they hate (and fear!) Russia much, much more; just like mobsters can fight each other, but can unite against any common threat (such as, say, an honest police chief).

Oh, and yes, there are also plenty of very influential Jews in the Ukraine (Kolomoiskii and Zelenskii being the two best known ones right now) and they have the full backing of the AngloZionist Empire and all of the Zionists interests in the West. And I think that most folks fully understand that. The real reason behind all the protests about me using terms such as “Ukronazi” stems from a very different cause.

The problem is that you get a lot of ruffled feathers when you suggest that the USA, which is supposed to be some kind of “land of the free and the home of the brave” aka “the indispensable nation” is found in bed with the self same folks who the US propaganda machine paints as arch-villains: Nazis, of course, but also Takfiris. As for the Zionists, it would be wrong to say that the US of A is “in bed” with them. No, it’s even worse: the much-maligned and ridiculed term of ZOG (as in “Zionist Occupation Government”) is much more accurate, but it offends those who rather think of themselves as “rulers of the world” than the voiceless serfs of a regime of foreign occupation!

US Americans love to thump their chests while mantrically chanting some nonsense along the lines of “USA is number 1!” and they get really mad when they are told that “the party is over” which I did in this article in which I wrote:

Both US Americans and Europeans will, for the very first time in their history, have to behave like civilized people, which means that their traditional “model of development” (ransacking the entire planet and robbing everybody blind) will have to be replaced by one in which these US Americans and Europeans will have to work like everybody else to accumulate riches

And, just by coincidence, Paul Craig Roberts recently wrote an article entitled “American Capitalism Is Based On Plunder” in which he explained that US foreign policy is basically driven by a plunder imperative and that if that imperative cannot be realized abroad, it will be implemented at home (I wonder if he will be accused of being anti-American or even of “Communism”? It is quite striking to see a paleo-conservative like Paul Craig Roberts basically paraphrasing Lenin and his statement that “imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism” (a historical truism which the western propaganda system is doing its best to bury, obfuscate, ridicule and the like).

Writing things like these typically result in a barrage of ad hominems which, by itself, is quite telling (usually the same 2-3 folks, some probably remunerated for their efforts) There is a Russian saying that “the hat of the head of the thief is burning” (see here for an explanation of this rather weird expression) and this is exactly what is happening here: the folks protesting the loudest are always the ones who are most unwilling to stop the planetary plunder, messianic arrogance and imperial hubris in which they were raised. It is not only their livelihoods which are threatened by such talk, but even their very identity. Hence the very real and very high level of rage they feel.

Finally, there are all the Nazi sympathizers who absolutely hate Jews and for whom any notion of Nazi and Zionist collaboration are just as much a case of crimethink as it is for Zionist Jews to admit that they have collaborated with bona fide Nazis many times in the past.

However, if we set aside silly ideological shackles, we can immediately observe that the kind of ideology of racial superiority which the Nazis are known for can also be found in the Judaic (religious) and Zionist (secular) ideologies. In fact, both National-Socialism and Zionism are just two amongst many more types of European nationalisms which have their root in 19th century ideological categories.

Let’s try a different approach: what do Ukie “dobrobats”, al-Qaeda forces in Syria, KLA units in Kosovo and Israeli settlers in Palestine have in common? Correct! They are all first and foremost *thugs* who all prey on the weak and defenseless. In other words, they are the perfect tool to force civilians to surrender and accept some kind of foreign rule. That foreign rule is, in each case, the one of the AngloZionist Empire, of course. This, in turn, means that their official ideologies are almost irrelevant, because in reality they are all servants of the Empire (whether they understand it or not).

Conclusion one: it’s all a big lie!

Yes, it is a big lie. All of it. And this is how we end up with an Israeli Prime Minister who, by any criteria, is not only a Fascist, but also a Nazi as long as we make it clear that his brand of Nazism is a Jewish one, not a Germanic one. And it’s not just Bibi Netanyahu who does not mind dealing with Ukronazis, so the the the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine (see here for details). As for the said Ukronazis, they are now trying hard to deny that Bandara and his gang massacred Jews during WWII. As for Zelenskii, he is most definitely not a Nazi, but he has already caved in to the Ukronazi ideology (i.e. a form of Nazism which substitutes myths about “ancient Ukrs” to the more traditional Germanic myths about the Aryan-Germanic “race”). Then there is Kolomoiskii who is simply a typical Jewish mobster who has no personal ideology whatsoever and who has no love for the bona fide Ukronazis, but who is being very careful about how to purge them from power lest they beat him yet again. And above them all, we have the leaders of the Empire who use ideological categories as slurs but who don’t give a damn who they back as long as it is against Russia.

Against this background it is worth asking a simple question: do these words even matter? Do they still have any kind of meaning?

Conclusion two: yes, words do still matter!

I believe that they do, very much so! This is precisely why the legacy corporate ziomedia and those brainwashed by it freak out when they see expressions such as “AngloZionist”,“Ukronazi” or even the rather demure “Israel Lobby”. When somebody comes up with a powerful and correct descriptor, say like “ZOG” – the propaganda machine immediately kicks into high gear to shoot down in flames whatever author and article dared to use it. In fact, there are at least two types of wannabe word censors which typically show up:

TYPE ONE: the real McCoy. These are the sincere folks (whether of the Nazi or Zionist persuasion) who are truly outraged and offended that such “hallowed” words as Nazi/Zionist (pick one) can be combined with “abominations” such as Nazi/Zionist (pick the other one). These are all the Third Reich nostalgics, the defenders of a “White Christian West” and all the rest of them neo-Nazis.

TYPE TWO: the paid trolls. These are the folks whose task it is to obfuscate the real issues, to bury them under tons of vapid ideological nonsense; the best way to do that is to misdirect any discussion away from the original topic and sidetrack it into either a barrage of ad hominems or ideological clichés.

Seriously, what we are witnessing today is a new age of censorship in which government and corporations work hand in hand to crush (ban, censor, demonetize, algorithmically purge and otherwise silence) all those who challenge the official ideology and its many narratives. It would be naïve to the extreme to assume that the so-called “alternative media” and blogosphere have been spared such an effort at silencing ideological heresies.

Next time these self-appointed enforcers of the politically correct doxa come out, try this experiment: when you read their comments, don’t just look at what they write, but also try to guess why they write what they write and then mentally place a T1 or T2 sign next to their comments and you will soon see that they follow a careful pattern 🙂

The Saker

Syria News Briefs: SDF Child Soldiers, Landmines, and Economy

Source

 

Syria SDF YPG Asayish Recruiting Child Soldiers Kurds
US-run ‘SDF’ continues to kidnap Syrian children to make them ‘soldiers.’

In Syria news briefs today, two children were injured in another landmine blast; a child fleeing from US ‘SDF’ criminal militia was shot to death; Reconciliation continues; an increase in olive production is expected.

Two children were injured by shrapnel from another exploding landmine left behind by terrorists in al Swaiaa, Deir Ezzor. They are expected to recover. Despite the UN Mine Action Service has signed an MoU to assist the Syrian government more than a year ago, terrorists’ buried landmines continue to kill and maim.

Also on 21 August, Syria continued with its Reconciliation program. In Homs, 115 men had their legal statuses settled, upon turning themselves in, and handing over their weapons, so they could “return to their normal lives.”

Syria’s Ministry of Agriculture announced the expectation of olive and olive oil production to be increased this year. Since last year, when crops were decreased because farmlands were injured by terrorists, the Ministry has engaged in rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance to return to normal production. The expected output is 830,000 tons of olives, and 150 tons of olive oil.

olive economy sanctions syria

The vilest of news from Syria, on 21 August, will never be reported in NATO media. The US-run ‘SDF‘ murdered a Syrian child who attempted to escape kidnapping. Three of his family members were also shot by these separatist-terrorists, trying to protect him.

The murdered child was 13 years old Osama Obeid, who lived in the village of al-Gharb in Hasaka. The ‘SDF‘ stormtroopers have been raiding homes in Hasaka countryside, to kidnap young men and children to incarcerate them in “coercive recruitment camps” — brainwash centers to force Syrian children to become armed terrorists.

Syria SDF YPG Asayish Recruiting Child Soldiers Kurds
Syria SDF YPG Asayish Recruiting Child Soldiers Kurds
child-soldier
kidnapped-girls-soldiers

The YPG precursor to the ‘SDF’ criminals promised to end their war criminal activity of creating ‘child soldiers,’ back in 2014. NATO media swooned, then, and swooned again late June, when an ‘SDF commander’ was invited to the UN to sign an agreement to end the destruction of children’s psyches.

How utterly shameless that that which should be considered normal among civilized human beings should be lauded, instead.

NATO media supporting the US-sponsored ‘SDF’ against Syria has a two-pronged effect: The ability to subsequently ignore more war crimes, and to feed into the wretched western colonial mindset, attracting the Lilliputian serfs to support the attempted destruction of the sovereignty of Syria.

This insidious propaganda permits western media to ignore the murder of Osama Obeid, 13, who tried to escape kidnapping, as they have ignored the ‘SDF’ torching thousands of hectares of wheat and barley farmland in Syria, and as they have ignored the attempt of ‘ethnic cleansing‘ of Syrians in Qamishli.

Syriac Qamishli Church Explosion - Syria

Do an internet search, “Syria news,” and you will not find a single western medium to report on Tuesday’s murder of the Syrian child, nor anything except ongoing, anti-Syria war propaganda.

The time is past overdue for westerners to stop being colonial serfs, to stand upright, on hind legs, and to acknowledge that Syria continues to fight terrorism on behalf of humanity.

— Miri Wood

NB: Today is the anniversary of the Ghouta massacre, committed by the FSA moderate terrorists who admitted having received their chemical weapons from “Prince Bandar [who should have instructed the killers in their proper usage so as not to have slaughtered some of their own, also].”

US Imperialism in Syria: Daesh, ‘SDF,’ White Phosphorus, Hostages

Source

Syria

The one and only flag of the Syrian Arab Republic

US and allies have been busy accelerating their war crimes against Syria over the last two days. White phosphorus and “regular” bombings, ambushes and beheading, Syrian IDPs held hostage are not considered newsworthy by NATO media. More shameless, though, are ‘independent’ media increasingly normalizing geopolitical Newspeak.

On 2 March, the US – led fascist coalition, created by Obama and continued by Trump, again bombed al Baghouz — this time a farming village — in Deir Ezzor, with white phosphorus. Un-shockingly, AFP was (safely) on hand to take photos, while omitting the phosphorus bombs, and waxing poetic on the devastation.

Despite ”sanctions”-related telecommunications problems in Syria, AFP reporter claimed that family members in France had spoken with their French terrorist relatives in al Baghouz.
US Coalition doubles down on war crimes, again bombing al Baghouz with white phosphorus. Photo courtesy SANA.

On 3 March, US’s multi-billion dollar subsidized ally, Israel, bombed Quneitra, Syria.

Israeli media are under the fist of IDF censors, who prefer to first report on their military war crimes via reporting on reports of others.

Also on 3 March, rabid Erdogan continued to show his commitment to the [unilateral] ‘Idlib de-escalation zone’ agreement when his sponsored takfiri attacked Syrian Arab Army outposts.

Massive funeral services were held today, 4 March, for the martyred SAA soldiers slaughtered while defending their country from US-backed terrorists.

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The martyrs helped to repel al Qaeda killers from planned attacks against civilians in Hama and Lattakia.

The swine in the UN somehow are oblivious to the worth of Erdogan’s guarantees for the “Idlib de-escalation zone.”

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‘Erdoğan thinks he’s a Muslim Caliph’ President Assad

On 30 January, US acting ambassador to the UN, Jonathan Cook, threatened Syria that the US was ready to hold Syrian IDPs hostage, in Rukban camp, near al Tanf. This imperialist threat has been activated: Though Syria has opened two humanitarian corridors — Jalib and Jabal al Ghurab — illicit American troops refuse to allow convoys to transport out of the open-air jail. There are approximately 40,000 Syrian hostages in this camp.

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Photo & caption 13 January 2019. “EPA” is a photo agency founded by AFP and 6 other European news agencies.

Such heinous crimes against humanity against Syria, and there is no MSM reporting on any of them. Instead, a Google search has three smarmy propaganda pieces:

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Filthy anti-Syria propaganda offered by sewage media.

The ever-feculent BBC writes of British and Dutch human garbage in Syria as though reporting on a romantic honeymoon. Dutch takfiri Yago Riedijik is interviewed showing excellent telecommunications, despite US economic terrorism and US sponsored terrorists blowing up power plants, both of which make electricity and internet sporadic and undependable for ‘ordinary’ Syrians.

Dutch terrorist Yago Riedijik interviewed by rancid BBC, without a hiccough. This rabid dog is a captive in an American jail…in Syria.

Al Jazeera – owned by the Gulfie gas station toilet, Qatar, which has spent billions toward the final solution against Syria — spent most of its report pretending that the “SDF” is not a US-created international wetworkers militia, and normalizing an American colonel in Syria.

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al Khanzeera quoted American illegal/ military terrorist in Syria

ABC News won the Scum Award, for its description of foreign human garbage Mark Taylor, as “serving with the Islamic State group,” as though he were volunteering as diaper-changer for seniors in nursing homes. Every faction of al Qaeda in Syria — FSA, Nusra, ISIS — has been whitewashed by warmongering media whose countries have armed these savages.

New Zealand human garbage whined to ABC that he was “only” a guard for ISIS. Poor baby..

There is no such thing as a “Kurdish jail” in Syria. There are Syrian jails, or there are makeshift jails created by illegal American troops in Syria. This rabid New Zealander dog was freely interviewed in Qamishli, where, on 8 September 2018, “the traitorous and treacherous faction of Kurds” owned by the US, ambushed and slaughtered 13 members of the SAA military security.

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Imagine American soldiers slaughtered in the US, their bodies dumped & the world writing about “moderate American opposition.”
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Liters of blood of the Syrian martyrs….

Most appalling of vicious, separatist propaganda came from the too many ‘independent’ news sites that have been consistently pro-Syria, and consistently anti-NATO “regime change” obliteration. It is inexcusable for any of them to ever cite “SOHR” as credible. “SOHR” is one man, Abdul Rahman, funded by British intelligence.

While he freely admits he has not been in Syria since 2000, he leaves out the part about “fleeing” another trial involving fraud. Syria, after all, remains that paradoxical Utopia in which there is no crime, yet the jails runneth over.

Syria

Worse, still, is the legitimization of the faux “Syrian Defense Forces.” This geopolitical scam was created under the Obama regime, which had planned to turn Syria into Libya, Part II, after FSA terroristsaccidentally bombed themselves with chemical weapons, in Ghouta, 2013, because

They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them.  When Saud Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people he must give them to those who know how to use them.”

The Syrian Arab Republic immediately joined the OPCW, forcing the US to switch gears: Several wetworkers — American, British, Japanese — masquerading as “humanitarians” and/or “journalists” were killed off by other foreign wetworkers as cover for the United States to launch a coalition of war criminals to bomb Syria, as the US never keeps its bargains (see “Cue the Illegal Orangettes,” here).

Syria
President Obama, 10 September 2014, addressed the world, live, to announce the creation of international war criminals. Trump has continued the Nobel Laureate’s work.

The US created al Qaeda. The US created ISIS.

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US created “ISIS

The US created the “SDF,” because wetworkers cannot be killed as photo ops, indefinitely, lest the pool dry up. The above hyperlinked report includes multiple pictures of “SDF” members: Swedes, Brits, Irish, American (included in Americans was a former juvenile delinquent, alcoholic, druggie who bragged that he had “literally done nothing” “but jack off” before joining the US-SDF).

Consider that NATO forces have occupied Syria’s al Tabqa Dam, since February 2013. First it was occupied by NATO created and armed “FSA,” then came the utterly absurd story that US-ISIS chieftains had sought ‘sanctuary’ there, magically wresting control from FSA. In March 2017 came the psyop that the US-SDF had taken control from the US-ISIS which had taken control from the US-FSA.

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al Tabqa Dam.

That Syria has invited the world to take back its particles of human garbage dumped there, does not change the fact that only Syria has the legal authority to arrest criminals in its country. When the “SDF” announces that it has released 283 ISIS prisoners — because ‘they had no blood on their hands’ — this is actually the US admitting it abducts people in Syria, and that it still runs ISIS terrorists against the SAR.

It is an extension of its ongoing imperialist aggression in the Republic, no different than in 2017, when the US signed an agreement with the US for US troops in Syria.

Lest these facts intrude upon the impolite self-soothing of western serfs whose superiority complexes have them always supporting balkanization — under cover of ”rights” of various ethnic groups in othercountries — we chastise their silence when Sheikh al Bouti, of Kurdish origins, was martyred by US sponsored terrorists.

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Sheikh Muhammed Saeed Ramadan al Bouti.
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Sheikh al Bouti with President al Assad and Syria’s Grand Mufti.

We also paraphrase Hillel: That which is military aggression and terrorism in western countries, is also military aggression and terrorism in Syria.

 Miri Wood

NB: It has been noted that a certain social medium’s algorithms take umbrage at headlines with “US” and “ISIS,” censoring such reports and/or suspended accounts that have the temerity to share them.

 

How Syria Won The Revolution; The Jihadi Factor

 

February 06, 2019

By Ghassan and Intibah Kadi

How Syria Won The Revolution; The Jihadi Factor

The “War on Syria” has had many unintended twists and turns that were unforeseeable at the time it began. The plotters had no reason to believe they were going to lose, and the defenders had no option other than doing all they could and risk and sacrifice all that was dear and precious.

However, as frontlines are now being redrawn in Syria in preparation for the final showdown, a recapitulation of the events of the last eight years reveals that Syria did in fact end up having a revolution, but the group that embarked on the initial alleged revolution, the Free Syria Army (FSA) is nowhere to be seen.

This brings us back to the initial “Anti-Syrian Cocktail” that I wrote an article about back in early 2011; http://intibahwakeup.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-anti-syrian-cocktail-by-ghassan-kadi.html. The ring leader was Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, son of then Crown Prince Sultan, and the man who hoped he would be the first grandson of founding King Abdul-Aziz to become king. In two subsequent articles, “The Anti-Syrian Politics” (http://intibahwakeup.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-anti-syrian-politics-by-ghassan.html) and “The Anti Syrian Vendetta”, http://intibahwakeup.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-anti-syrian-vendetta-by-ghassan.html the articles focused on how Bandar tried to raise the largest army he could conjure, and with virtually bottomless funds, he put together a very loosely-united cocktail of groups who had nothing in common other than their hatred towards Syria.

In more ways than one, pre-King Faisal Saudi Arabia kept to itself. Founder, King Abdul-Aziz who died in 1953, had the doctrinal substance that would have exported Wahhabism to neighbouring Muslim countries, but his main concern was to bolster his domain over his new kingdom and give it a strong foundation that would secure its longevity. His successor son Saud was infamous for his orgies and debauchery. He capitalized on the spoils of the new-found wealth and did not have any agenda other than indulging in earthly pleasures. It wasn’t until he was deposed and replaced by his brother Faisal in 1964 that Saudi Arabia had a king who was a fundamentalist and also desirous of spreading Wahhabism to the outside Muslim World.

And when the “War on Syria” began, and long before the identity of the would be willing fighter was well defined, I predicted in the same above-mentioned articles that a widely diverse coalition of enemies of Syria were banding together, using Muslim fundamentalism as a recruitment drive, and as the fundamentalist factor became clear for all to see, it eventually transpired that Qatar became a new kid on the block in providing bigtime funding to a number of terror organizations operating in Syria.

They were all not only united by their hatred for Syria, but also specifically to the Assad legacy; particularly due the fact that the Assads are Alawites, and in their eyes, infidels. Their main objective was to topple President Assad and ensure that Syria was ruled by an anti-Iranian Sunni fundamentalist government.

Bandar had no qualms at all about uniting the ununitable. To Bandar however, it was not about a war of ideologies, and he was no strict Muslim. To Bandar, the “War on Syria” was about power and curbing Iran’s influence in the region. That said, he found in the already-existing numerous Jihadi armies excellent tools and pawns to use. In doing so, he did not foresee the many fault lines emerging in his fragmented army, let alone seeing any reason to worry about such cracks because, in the beginning he seemed to be going from strength to strength, with a seemingly huge chance of success. When he presented his plan to his American masters, he received the thumbs up.

Like all other early indigenous writers who supported Syria from day one of the onslaught, we all took the optimistic view and kept reiterating that victory was certain, but only a question of time. We were mindful of the importance of keeping spirits up and boosting morale, and being optimistic about turns in events and alliances that were to Syria’s advantage. In retrospect however, up until the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) first substantial win of the battle of Qusayr in mid 2013, more than two years into the war, the Jihadis, combined, were winning the war and closing in on key government positions right across the Syrian terrain; including the main cities.

So how did events turn around and how did the “War on Syria” turn against the plotters?

To be able to predict what was to happen was unthinkable in hindsight. It is only now that we can sit and make sense by harking back at the events of the last few years.

It would be virtually impossible to work out which came first, the chicken or the egg, but there is no doubt at all that the resilience of Syrian people and the SAA played the most significant role. But that role could have been reversed had the plotters been better able to play their game to their advantage.

Fortunately the plotters didn’t, but had they played down the role of Jihad and tried to capitalize on political reform, they would have perhaps been better able to achieve their insidious objectives.

Before the war, Syria was fraught with corruption and there were many reasons to call for reform. Agitators aside, was why the initial demonstrations in Daraa were conducted under this banner. It was under this guise also that the infamous FSA was formed as a splinter group of the regular SAA. Virtually all of the FSA officers and soldiers were SAA defectors.

For a while, a fair while, and long before ISIS and Al-Nusra came to prominence, the FSA was the major fighting force against the regular army (SAA).

During those initial months, it was very difficult to convince sympathizers of the so-called Syrian opposition that this was not a civil war, that it was not about reform, and that it was simply a conspiracy against Syria, planned and orchestrated by her regional and international adversaries, using and employing Islamist Jihadists and their supporting nations. The reason behind this difficulty was because those fundamentalist fighters were nowhere to be seen.

This was why many activists, including some prominent pro-Palestine Western activists, were adamant in their support of the “revolution” and genuinely believed that it was a popular revolt seeking reform and political plurality among other things.

In hindsight now, looking back at it all, had the mastermind plotters seen the benefit in the reform/freedom guise, had they had the wisdom and foresight in weighing out their benefits of overtly importing and arming fundamentalist fighters as against focusing their efforts on duping the public and generating real and genuine dissent amongst Syrians to their government, they might have succeeded in creating a revolution that served their agendas.

After all, it would have been conceivable for the plotters to promote misinformation and make it look plausible and endorsable. There is another chicken and egg scenario here. Did the plotters import Jihadi fighters because they weren’t able to mobilize enough Syrians against their government, or did Syrians support their government because the plotters brought in foreign Jihadi fighters?

Whichever one came first here, the chicken or the egg, neither one of them had to cross the road for the people of Syria to ask questions in order to see that what they were witnessing was not a revolution as touted by world media; especially the Western media and their Arab cohorts such as Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya.

Perhaps the plotters’ biggest failure was in being unable to hide their intentions and disguise in a manner that reflected to Syrians that there was indeed a popular and genuine reform-based revolution in their country for them to join.

 

In other words, by allowing the so-called civil war/revolution to show its brutal and ugly fundamentalist sectarian face, the plotters turned many Syrian sympathizers and many other would-be supporters against them. And this was how secular free-minded Syrians flocked together in support of their legitimate secular government; whether they believed that reform was necessary or otherwise. This was the reason why genuine supporters of reform and patriots who are in positions of political opposition to the government all banded together to fight the real enemy. This of course bolstered not only the government’s position, but also that of the SAA and this played a significant role in creating a much more resolute and united Syria.

The plotters also failed in being able to produce a charismatic figure head for the “revolution”. All the while secular Syrians looked up to President Assad and the First Lady; two figure heads charming in every way, and with the power to unite by leading by example.

Of significance also was the fact that the disunited “Anti-Syrian Cocktail” was bound to fragment sooner or later; not only on strategic and doctrinal lines, but also on matters of power sharing, loyalty, and splitting of spoils. To this effect, clashes between different fundamentalist organizations became daily events.

Later on, as the turn of events presented to the plotters and their henchmen that victory was impossible, especially after Russia entered the ground and sky, their infighting morphed into that of survival and hope for better positions on either reconciliation tables or on disengagement talks, or both. Those Jihadi versus Jihadi battles in latter times continued to rage culminating recently in a total takeover by Al-Nusra of all other terror groups in Idlib.

Whilst I have always reiterated in previous articles that there was hardly any difference at all between the numerous fundamentalist Islamic Jihadi organizations, the Wahhabi faction that is loyal to Saudi Arabia has lost abysmally to the Qatari/Turkish led Muslim Brotherhood (MB) faction which is now in full control of the last bastion left for terrorists west of the Euphrates, and specifically in Idlib and surrounds.

With this, Erdogan feels that he still has a finger in the pie before final negotiations commence about the future of the terrorist enclave. Whether those delay tactics work or not for Erdogan, whether they preclude the need for a military resolution is yet to be seen. Any such resolution however will give Erdogan a form of a consolation prize, a humble victory that he badly seeks in Syria after all of his initial gambles went terribly wrong.

At this juncture, we must pause and ask what became of the movement that allegedly represented the passion of Syrians for secular and democratic reform. Where is the FSA now?

If the news about Al-Nusra’s total control of the Idlib region is accurate, we must then assume that the FSA is no longer in existence, because prior to the recent upheaval between Al-Nusra and other brigades in the region, the presence of the FSA was restricted to this area.

Ironically, the FSA has had a late resurgence not too long ago before Al-Nusra wiped out all rival militia, but Erdogan seems to have pulled the plug on the FSA, but for some reason, there is nothing I can find in the news from the region, or anywhere for this matter, to confirm this conclusion or debunk it.

What is clear is that the FSA, the only dissenting player that had in the very early beginnings a miniscule semblance of secular Syrian dissent, perhaps the only player that could have potentially turned into a popular revolution, has been disempowered and dismantled by the same demonic forces that created it and funded it.

Either way, whether Erdogan has done the dirty on the FSA or not, the FSA lost its position and clout when its role was overtaken by the many Islamist terrorist organizations. It tried hard to maintain its presence even though many of its rank-and-file rejoined the SAA, whilst others changed uniform and joined Al-Nusra, but the short of it is that the FSA has become a spent force.

Syria had many problems before the war and continues to grapple with some of them. Wars of such devastating magnitude almost invariably leave behind not only a trail of mess and destruction, but also a countless number of corrupt officials and profiteers. Every dog has its day, and the cleanup will soon begin.

But the irony is that with the “War on Syria”, the lines have been drawn and Syrians now know well who is with them and who is against them, domestically, regionally and internationally. They know what alliances they need to nurture and which others to seek. They know what political system they want and which they totally refute. They have chosen and fought for a government they were told decades ago that it came to power by a popular revolution back in March 1963, and later on reformed by Hafez Assad’s “corrective movement” of November 1970, but the choice Syrians made from 2011 onwards was their own, and they upheld it with tears and blood.

Syria has gone the full circle against her enemies and against archaic and brutal dogmas. It seems that Syria has truly ended up having a revolution after all, a real revolution, and that real revolution has won. There is a great opportunity now to rebuild the nation, to rebuild it on wholesome, principled, virtuous and sound foundations.

The Price Of Bin Salman’s Head

Will MBS in this instance become the West’s new Saddam?

Image result for MBS,trump

October 25, 2018

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

With the ever-changing and escalating aftermath of the Khashoggi disappearance episode, there remain many fixed marks that are interesting to identify.

But before we do, we must stop and briefly look at the official American, Turkish and Saudi stands on this issue.

The Americans are best seen to be playing yoyo with their Saudi “friends”. One moment they seem to be totally abandoning them and sending them spiraling down in a free-fall, and the next moment they lift them up, clutch them, and give them a sense of safety. Notwithstanding that on the 3rd of October, and just before the Khashoggi story hit the media frenzy, Trump reiterated that Saudi Arabia would not last two weeks without America’s support, and what followed was a series of fluctuations and backflips on the American side. At the time of promising severe measures against the Saudis, Trump said that this will not mean canceling the arms deal with Saudi Arabia. And when Pompeo visited Al Saud to talk to the royals, leaving the Kingdom of Sand with an understanding that his boss Trump articulated by hinting at vindicating the royals and putting the blame on some rogue elements, America turned again supporting Turkish investigations and awaiting their outcome, but just before Erdogan’s speech of the 23rd of October, Trump reiterated that he was prepared to accept the Saudi Government denial of involvement.

And speaking of Turkish investigations, the highly awaited Erdogan speech ended in a pop and a fizzle, and was nothing short of a domestic propaganda speech that had no conclusions and did not provide any evidence as to the details of Khashoggi’s disappearance and alleged murder. And “alleged” it remains until a body is found and identified by an independent reliable coroner.

The speech was not endorsed by America, and America was for a few hours or so once again looking sympathetic towards the Saudi royals, but less than 24 hours later, Trump was talking about the “worst cover-up in history”.

There is no need to flood this article with easy-to-find references to substantiate the above.

Back to Erdogan later.

These swings that are extremely bizarre and hypocritical even by American standards make one wonders what kind of relationship do Saudis and Americans have.

To understand the underlying nature of this relationship, having a look at the events of the last ten years or so are revealing enough without having to dig deeper into history.

To this effect, I am not talking about the strategic alliances, defense agreements, the importance of oil to both countries, the world and the Israeli role in all of this. I am not talking about the Saudi obsession with Iran either. What I am talking about is the personal human relationships between the Americans and Saudis as human beings and how they view each other as men; this is about the personal love-hate-respect-loath relationship between American policymakers and their Saudi counterparts.

This “relationship” is not a simple one. It is embroiled by deep cultural differences and belief systems. Having lived and worked in Saudi Arabia, I can understand the Saudi mindset more than many, but anyone who has had the same “privilege” that I had living there would concur, albeit not necessarily be prepared to sit down and write about it.

In case the reader is unfamiliar with the predominant Saudi mindset, speaking generally of course, allow me to pin point certain pertinent aspects of it:

1. Contrary to the word of the Holy Quran and which clearly states that God chose the Arabic language for the religion of Islam, Saudis believe otherwise. They believe that Islam was God’s gift to them.

2. Saudis also believe that God also gave Arabia another gift; petrol, and the biggest national reserve of them all … perhaps.

3. Al-Saud believe they have been afforded the God-given mandate to rule Arabia at the time when petrol became such an important commodity for the rest of the world.

4. Finally, the above “privileges” give Saudis, especially members of the Royal Family, an illusion of being above others. And this mindset views other nations from the perspective that Saudis are the rich masters of the world and that they have the power and ability to employ members of those other nations to “serve” them.

When I lived and worked in Saudi Arabia, Saudis did not work. They had jobs, but they never really worked. Apart from the security apparatus whose job is mainly to protect the status quo of the Royal Family, the only other real working job that Saudis had was taxi driving. But that was what poor and uneducated Bedouins did.

All other jobs from garbage collectors to doctors to dockyard engineers were contracted to expats from different regions of the world. Professional jobs that needed communication and fluency in the Arabic language were given to Lebanese, Syrians, Palestinians, Jordanians and Egyptians. Blue collar jobs were given to Yemenis and Arabs of the above nationalities without tertiary education. High ranking professional jobs that did not require fluency in Arabic were given to Americans and Europeans.

This mentality produced a generation or two or three of Saudis who are filthy rich, overweight, and engrossed with self-grandeur and superiority that was fed time and time again by their financial prowess.

But this is not restricted to Saudis only. Arabs of the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait all have that same superiority disease. Qatar that has a Qatari population of less than 200,000 has a population of over one and a half million expats to “serve them”. This is exactly how they see it; themselves being masters, and expats beings serving serfs.

In recent times, the Saudi and Gulf youth have increasingly been gaining tertiary education qualifications, receiving generous government scholarships and immediate employment following graduation. The Saudi Government protects its people by imposing quota rules on the percentage of Saudi employees in companies as well as the public sector of course. However, this fact has not been reflected in the work load they perform. These educated Saudis sit at the head of governmental positions and companies in tokenistic managerial supervisory roles over an entire staff of foreign professionals. They often try to assert their positions and feed their egos by yelling and barking irrelevant, and often laughable orders, at their employees and junior staff. And even if they are not in managerial roles, they will still be around the foreign professionals, leaving all the work for them to do and doing nothing themselves.

Saudi professionals I “worked with” were living examples for me to learn this mindset. They did not lift a finger, but when a report was submitted by either myself or other expats around me, a Saudi name had to appear as its senior author, and he received all the accolade.

Saudis genuinely believe that they can buy anything and anyone with money, including buying the stature of being a leading nation.

And if, hypothetically-speaking, the Saudis were to contract a Western company to build them a space ship and send a man to Mars, they will regard this as a Saudi achievement. Surprised? Well, just have a look at Dubai’s “achievement” in building Burj Khalifa, the tallest building on earth.

Once again, that Saudi mentality is not any better or worse than the general oil-rich Arabian one. They are all almost identical.

At a deep and subtle level however, the Saudis (and Gulfies in general) know well that in the eyes of the Empire and its cohorts, they are perceived as a bunch of “uncivilized camel riders” who happen to be horribly rich by sheer luck. They know that they are not really regarded as true allies of the West, but as its milking cow; and some Saudis and Gulfies are trying to change this image.

None tried harder than Prince Bandar Bin Sultan.

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Prince Bandar Bin Sultan was Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Washington from 1983 to 2005. He became the Saudi royal who best understood the Western mind and how the West regarded the Arab World, and especially Saudi Arabia. He had his own evil agenda he wanted to use to catapult himself into ascending to the throne as the first grandson of founding King Abdul-Aziz.

He was a close personal friend of the Bushes and many others in the previous and successive American administrations. And, if America ever had a Saudi Prince that American lawmakers could speak to and reciprocate understanding with, it was Bandar Bin Sultan.

He was banking on the fact that his father, Sultan, had been in line for the throne for decades and was Crown Prince ever since King Abdullah took the throne in 2005. But to Bandar’s disappointment, his father died in 2011, before King Abdullah who died in 2015.

As Bandar Bin Sultan was grooming himself to become king after his father, his knowledge of the Western mind and closeness to many key people in the United States led him to realize that he had to present himself as a competent and reliable partner in order to be respected.

Bandar wanted to demonstrate his personal character worth to his American allies by plotting the “War on Syria”. That war was his pet project and his license to achieve equality with his American friends. But Bandar fell on his sword when Syrian resistance proved to be much stronger than his ambitions, and not long after his failed desperate attempt to persuade America to attack Syria after he blamed the Syrian Army for a chemical attack that he staged in East Ghouta in September 2013, Bandar disappeared, vanishing into oblivion.

With the rapid and unprecedented changes in the line of Saudi throne succession that followed Prince Sultan’s death, and which eventually presented Mohamed Bin Salman (MBS) as the new Saudi strong-man Crown Prince, the young prince had big shoes to fill. Haunted by the image, ambition and failures of Bandar, MBS had a bigger “obligation” to prove his worth to his American “allies”.

The war on Yemen was MBS’s own “love-child”. He wanted to kill two birds with one stone; overcoming the Houthis, and proving to America that he is reliable in curbing Iran’s regional influence. He was hoping he could prove that his army was able to fight and win a war against Iran itself. He thus gave his war a name akin to American military operations; “Operation Decisive Storm”. Sounds a bit like “Operation Desert Storm”, does it not? In doing this, he wanted to put himself on par with great military leaders and score a quick and decisive victory in Yemen. Three years later, he cannot even hold his own borders.

In more ways than one, in as much as the Saudis and Gulfies have the afore-mentioned superiority complex, ironically they also possess a huge inferiority complex. They try to prove their own worth by bragging their “friendship” with America, and when President Trump made his first formal visit as President to Saudi Arabia, he was greeted like no other visiting foreign dignitary anywhere in the past. Only Elizabeth Taylor could claim such a reception as Hollywood’s version of Cleopatra.

Trump’s visit was Saudi Arabia’s greatest moment of “pride”.

But even on much smaller matters, Saudis and Gulfies brag their Western employees and they have a special liking for white blue-eyed Westerners. With thousands of Americans and Westerners working in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, it would be rare, if not impossible, to find a black American/Westerner; especially if the post involves being in the public view. And this is because, if you are a Saudi employer and you need a Westerner to fill the position of a public relations officer, you would want a white, blue-eyed person on that desk and not a black person. After all, a black Westerner could be mistaken for a Sudanese, a Somalese or a member of any other “inferior” African nation; as perceived in the eyes of the Saudis/Gulfies.

Back to the Khashoggi debacle and the role of Erdogan. As mentioned above, in his Tuesday the 23rd of October speech, Erdogan did not supply the goods, and it was time for America to pull the rug from underneath his feet, reclaim control of the narrative, and draw the Saudi yoyo back up again to give the Saudis a bit of a breather; until further notice. America can neither afford to keep the fate of the Khashoggi story in Erdogan’s hands any more than it can afford to lose the Saudi milking cow. But the human relationships between Americans and Saudis are now perhaps at their worst, and mostly for the Saudis. The Saudis have again failed the validity and fortitude test and they know they have taken a back step that needs many years, perhaps decades to recover from. In the eyes of the Americans, their credibility as partners and viability as capable men has suffered a big time blow.

The biggest twist perhaps in the Khashoggi debacle is that the Saudis have always felt that they were entitled to the same level of impunity the West affords to itself. After all, this was how Al-Saud got away with persecuting dissent, imposing undemocratic laws, and exporting Wahhabi ideology and the terror acts that come with it. Needless to mention the biggest human tragedy of them all; inflicting war crimes in Yemen, killing tens of thousands and inflicting starvation and disease upon millions others.

But when America lifted the blanket of impunity on the Saudis over the Khashoggi story leaving them out on their own to face the consequences of their crimes for a change, the Saudis indeed did not survive for more than two weeks.

Just imagine how would the world popular opinion could be manipulated if leading Western media outlets suddenly “decide” to start reporting the Yemeni tragedy and the role of Saudi Arabia in creating it, and specifically the role of MBS in creating this tragedy. Will MBS in this instance become the West’s new Saddam?

MBS has been named, his Foreign Minister desperately tried to isolate him from the Khashoggi story, but it is up to America and its “fake news” media to decide whether or not MBS is implicated, and the more they implicate him, the deeper America can dig into his pocket. And as this article was getting ready to be submitted for publishing, MBS himself broke his silence proclaiming that the murder of Khashoggi was a heinous crime and that those responsible will be punished.

Either way, when the Saudis return to the negotiating table with their American “partners”, MBS will not only be facing a bill for American protection of Saudi Arabia per se, but also a bill for protecting his own personal aspirations to become king as well as protecting his own head. He must prepare himself to expect a hefty price of his own head. What will that price be is yet to be seen.

israel (apartheid state) lobby wants Saudis to get away with Khashoggi murder

Israel lobby wants Saudis to get away with Khashoggi murder

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, right, chats with Jordan’s King Abdullah at the Future Investment Initiative conference, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 23 October. The economic forum is the kingdom’s first major global event since the Saudi crown prince was implicated in the killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

Amr Nabil AP Photo

With ever more gruesome details emerging about the slaying and dismemberment of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, fingers of blame are pointing squarely at Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

This is a huge problem for Israel and its lobby who see the Saudi de facto ruler – commonly referred to in English-language media by his initials MBS – as their key regional ally.

Until the 2 October killing in Istanbul, the Saudi autocrat had been feted by European royalty, American politicians and pundits, and Silicon Valley billionaires.

But following the Khashoggi killing, many are running for cover, especially one of the Saudi crown prince’s most egregious cheerleaders, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.

Friedman and company had been marketing MBS as a “reformer.”

Israel lobby stalwart and longtime US “peace process” steward Dennis Ross even dubbed the prince “a Saudi revolutionary.”

This was all in keeping with a tradition – which as Georgetown University in Qatar professor Abdullah Al-Arian documented goes back decades – of US elites greeting every new Saudi ruler as a “reformer.”

This ruse operates as cover and justification for a deep US alliance with a regime whose brutality and abuses have always gone unchecked.

But the ruse can only work if the Saudis keep their side of the bargain, by refraining from actions that fall outside the elite consensus of acceptable and marketable behavior.

Killing thousands of children in Yemen and starving millions more, beheading dozens of people each year and funding jihadist groups to sow chaos across the region can all be tolerated by the US and Europe, because such atrocities are seen as necessary to keep the Saudi regime in power, or essential to implement Western “foreign policy.”

Murdering and dismembering a Washington Post columnist inside a Saudi diplomatic mission, however, just goes too far and hits too close to home.

“Now, as Saudi Arabia struggles to rebut accusations that Crown Prince Mohammad was complicit in the grisly killing of a Saudi dissident, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the prince’s other allies across the region are starting to worry that damage to him could upend their own plans and priorities,” The New York Times acknowledged on Monday.

“Kid gloves”

But amid the howls of outrage, there are still quite a few voices cautioning against being too hard on MBS, because of his value to Israel.

As BuzzFeed noted on 18 October, Israel, Saudi Arabia’s “unofficial ally,” has remained “noticeably quiet” about Khashoggi’s killing.

The Israelis are “in a very difficult position,” Dan Shapiro, President Barack Obama’s ambassador to Israel, told the publication. “They count very much on Saudi Arabia,” which is “central to their strategic concept of the region.”

Indeed, Israel and Saudi Arabia are staunch allies, sharing an enmity towards Iran.

The Saudi crown prince’s pro-Israel leanings and attacks on the Palestinians last spring greatly boosted his stock with Israel and its lobby.

But a Saudi Arabia weakened as a result of the Khashoggi affair would “undermine Arab cover provided by the kingdom for [President Donald] Trump’s efforts to impose a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that would favor Israel at the expense of the Palestinians,” James Dorsey, of Israel’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, warned in a commentary Tuesday.

Given what Israel hopes to gain from its relationship with Saudi Arabia, some are arguing that it should stand by the Saudi crown prince no matter what.

Haaretz commentator Tzvia Greenfield counseled that even if MBS ordered the murder of Khashoggi, “it’s necessary to treat the suspect with kid gloves.”

“For 50 years we’ve prayed for a key Arab leader who agrees to sign a significant pact with Israel. Such a leader has finally arrived,” Greenfield stated, adding that calls to remove MBS “are destructive.”

“Quiet diplomacy”

That view is shared by Israeli political and military elites, according to The Times of Israel, which noted that Israeli officials are likely engaged in “quiet diplomacy” in support of Saudi Arabia.

“Israel’s knowledge of the Middle East is highly respected in large parts of the world, including in Europe, and therefore Israeli warnings of the impact of moving away from Saudi Arabia are very important,” Dore Gold, former director-general of Israel’s foreign ministry, told The Times of Israel.

But Gold cautioned that such work should be done behind the scenes, according to the publication.

Martin Indyk, another long-time US “peace process” diplomat who launched his career from a think tank founded by the Israel lobby group AIPAC, has also gone into damage control mode on behalf of the Saudis.

Indyk told Bloomberg television that the Saudis should try to change the subject from Khashoggi.

Given that the US has made Saudi Arabia a “pillar” of its anti-Iran strategy, Indyk said, “we have to find a way to get the Saudi leadership, particularly Mohammad bin Salman, the crown prince, to take an active role, not only in terms of saying there will be a thorough, transparent investigation – we should aim for that, we’re not going to get it – but also in terms of switching the channel, in making the focus something positive.”

Indyk suggested that MBS could announce “getting out of Yemen,” or releasing some female political prisoners as a way to change the subject.

MBS needs to “do something to double down on his positive reform agenda to make it clear that there’s a reason to be supporting him,” Indyk urged.

In other words, Indyk is hoping that the old rules can quickly be restored: where Saudi leaders pretend to be “reformers,” and US elites pretend to believe them, and that this would rescue MBS.

Josh Block, the head of another lobby group, The Israel Project, took to Twitter to call Khashoggi “a radical Islamist terrorist ally who was close to Osama bin Laden, ISIS, Hamas and wanted to overthrow the Saudi ruling royals, who oppose both the Sunni terrorists, sponsored by Turkey and Qatar, as well as Iran’s Shia terrorist armies and allies.”

Without going as far as openly defending the killing of Khashoggi, Block nonetheless minimized it by claiming that the columnist was a “bad guy prob[ably] killed by bad guys.”

In other words, there’s nothing to see here.

Block also echoed Riyadh’s crude propaganda that the press reports detailing Khashoggi’s killing were part of a plot sponsored by powers hostile to Saudi Arabia, which he characterized as one of several “Western-oriented Arab regimes.”

Changing Saudi lobby

As’ad AbuKhalil, a professor at California State University, Stanislaus, took early note of the Israel lobby’s defense of Saudi Arabia and its crown prince.

AbuKhalil told The Electronic Intifada that the aggressive mobilization reflects the elevated status of the Saudi lobby as a result of its alliance with Israel.

“Until this decade, lobbying for Saudi Arabia has been an American affair largely relying on oil companies, arms manufacturers and former politicians,” AbuKhalil explained.

But in the last 10 years, groups including SAPRAC and the Arabia Foundation “came along at a time when there was more acceptance of lobbying with a Saudi face, and this is part of the crowning of the Saudi-Israeli alliance.”

“Arab lobbying in Washington, DC, cannot occur without the blessing of the Israel lobby, and this is true of the Qatari lobby, the Lebanese lobby, the Egyptian lobby and the Saudi lobby,” AbuKhalil said.

Can all this effort save MBS from the storm over Khashoggi?

“The Israel lobby is really nervous,” AbuKhalil said. “The Israel lobby wants to save that prince so badly, but there is so much outrage in US media and in Congress.”

AbuKhalil thinks much of the advocacy for MBS is being done behind the scenes. Nonetheless, he sees the Saudi crown prince as solidly entrenched internally, with little chance of being overthrown by a royal family whose influential members the crown prince has totally sidelined.

“The only way it’s going to happen is if the US decides to get rid of him,” AbuKhalil said. “The Israelis don’t want to abandon him either, and so his best bet is to get even closer to Israel.”

“That’s why I predict [MBS] may go to the Knesset next year,” AbuKhalil said, a reference to former Egyptian ruler Anwar Sadat’s dramatic 1977 trip to the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem that cemented Egypt in the US-Israeli camp.

 

Saudi Arabia—not Iran—is the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world today

The Real Largest State Sponsor of Terrorism

 by Adam Weinstein

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Sau

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in the Oval Office at the White House, March 14, 2017.

Saudi Arabia—not Iran—is the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world today and Wahhabism remains the source of most radical Islamic extremism. For years Iran has borne the unenviable title of “world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism.” However, out of the 61 groups that are designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. State Department, the overwhelming majority are Wahhabi-inspired and Saudi-funded groups, with a focus on the West and Iran as their primary enemy. Only two are Shi’a—Hezbollah and Kataib Hezbollah, and only four have ever claimed to receive support from Iran. Nearly all of the Sunni militant groups listed receive significant support from either the Saudi government or Saudi citizens.

The Great Compromise

Wahhabism is an ideology of compromise between the ambitions of the zealot and the needs of the ruler. Wahhabism can be thought of as a religio-political subcategory of the Salafi approach to Islam. Salafis get their name from the al-salaf al-salih or “pious companions” of Muhammad whose practices they claim to imitate. What distinguishes Wahhabism from Salafism is that the former is dependent on the House of Saud for its power whereas the latter is a phenomenon that exists globally.

The 18th century partnership of tribal leader Ibn Saud and cleric Abd al-Wahhab wedded two parallel sources of legitimacy in Arabia—religion and tribal kinship. The clerics known as ulema received their authority from God and then conferred it upon the Saud clan themselves. In exchange the ulema are protected from the risks that come with governance. Wahhabis must be distinguished from jihadi Salafis because Wahhabism is inextricably linked to the Saudi state and therefore not revolutionary in nature. The Royal family walks a tightrope between the liberalization necessary for economic development and strong political ties with the West, and the more conservative demands of the Wahhabi movement. One such demand is to turn a blind eye to the sponsorship and export of terrorism and jihad in South Asia, the Middle East, and even the West.

Exporting Jihad And Buying Friends

Some contend that Wahhabism and Saudi Arabia are being used as scapegoats when in fact the real causes of Islamist terrorism are far more complex. Mohammed Alyahya made just this argument in his New York Times article “Don’t Blame ‘Wahhabism’ for Terrorism.” The crux of the argument is that “most Islamist militants have nothing to do with Saudi Wahhabism.” For example, he asserts that the Taliban are Deobandis which is “a revivalist, anti-imperialist strain of Islam that emerged as a reaction to British colonialism in South Asia” and al Qaeda “follow a radical current that emerged from the Muslim Brotherhood.” While a nuanced understanding of the causes of terrorism is important, it must not lead policymakers to ignore an obvious source.

It is certainly true that not all Sunni extremist movements find their roots in Wahhabism. Al Qaeda was inspired by the anti-state Islamist literature of Muslim Brothers like Hassan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb. But organizations and movements evolve. The al Qaeda we know today is very much a product of the more extreme elements of the Wahhabi movement that is tolerated and promoted by Riyadh. However, it is Pakistan rather than the Arab world, which is the true ground zero of Saudi Arabia’s export of extremism. An invasive strain of Saudi-sponsored Salafism, often referred to as the Ahl-e-Hadith movement, has spread throughout Pakistan, all the while the fundamentalist Deobandi movement is increasingly supported by Gulf donors. According to a U.S. government cable, “financial support estimated at nearly 100 million USD annually was making its way to Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith clerics in the region from ‘missionary’ and ‘Islamic charitable’ organizations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ostensibly with the direct support of those governments.” This fusion of Salafism and Deobandism occurs at the expense of indigenous South Asian interpretations of Islam like the Sufi-oriented Barelvis.

The close relationship between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan began as early as the administration of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. According to a recently available CIA report, in 1975, Bhutto “obtained assurances of generous aid from Saudi Arabia” during a state visit. In exchange for such support Pakistan “furnished military technicians and advisers to the armed forces of Saudi Arabia.” Other CIA documents reveal that during Zia ul-Haq’s military dictatorship, Pakistan viewed the Soviet presence in Afghanistan beginning in 1979 as an existential threat. So Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency was more than enthusiastic to train Pashtun mujahideen to fight the Soviets with Saudi and U.S. assistance.

Saudi officials naturally garnered greater respect from Pakistani officers than their American counterparts due to the revered status of the Kingdom as caretaker of the two holiest sites in Islam. The U.S. also underestimated the extent to which Pakistani officers would develop sympathies for the militants they spent years training. The ISI became an intermediary between Saudi Arabia and militant Islamic groups across South Asia. During the 1990s, the ISI shifted its focus towards Kashmir and the Punjab in an effort to counter perceived Indian aggression. But the deep connections fostered between the ISI and various militants resurfaced after 9/11 when their focus pivoted back to Afghanistan.

Meanwhile the ISI fought some militant groups while allowing others like the Haqqani Network to remain powerful. When Osama bin Laden was discovered in Pakistan, the U.S. ramped up drone strikes against safe havens, and the ISI retaliated by releasing the name of the CIA’s Islamabad bureau chief which resulted in numerous death threats. Since 9/11, Gulf dollars have continued to bolster extremist groups inside Pakistan even as Pakistani civilians die by the thousands from suicide operations linked to Saudi-sponsored madrasas.

In exchange for tolerating Gulf-sponsored terrorism Pakistani leaders get security. While in power they have an unofficial army of militants they can call upon to deal with anything from Baluchi separatists to keeping India on its toes. Once they leave power they have an escape hatch to protect them and their family. When Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was found guilty of corruption, kidnapping, and hijacking, in the summer of 2000, Saudi Arabia accepted him to live in exile. Benazir Bhutto’s notoriously corrupt widow and ex-president, Asif Zardari, went on a “self-imposed exile” to the U.A.E. throughout 2016. And the former president and general, Pervez Musharraf, is currently hiding out in Dubai to avoid prosecution for treason charges.

But the export of extremism from Saudi Arabia is not always by design. In his history of Pakistan, Ian Talbot argued that “the exposure of the lower-class Pakistanis to the Islamic heartland further encouraged a mindset favourable to Islamization, although Zia was to find that its impact on sectarianism was to prove unpredictable and potentially destabilizing.” Saudi Arabia fears the effects of its own radicalization and recently deported 40,000 Pakistani workers over concerns of terrorism. Today South Asia is rocked by sectarian violence from the mountainous peaks of Kabul to the tropical markets of Karachi and posh hotels of Mumbai. This February, suicide attacks killed hundreds across Pakistan. The province of Sindh begged the central government to shut down Gulf-funded seminaries. Islamabad declined.

Controlling The Message

The internet age rendered in-person missionary work by Saudi clerics less relevant. The radical messages of Saudi preachers and their protégés can be viewed on mobile phones across the world. Students filter into the seminaries in Mecca and Medina and return to teach at the hundreds of madrasas spread across the world. These representatives of the Kingdom do not always preach a militant message. Sometimes, and perhaps more dangerously, they preach an apologist one.

In 2008, popular Indian televangelist Zakir Naik called 9/11 an “inside job” done by the Bush administration to defame Islam. He also commented that “If he [Osama bin Laden] is terrorizing America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, I am with him.” Despite these comments Naik went on to win the King Faisal International Prize for his “service to Islam.” The conspiracy theories he peddles are crucial to Saudi Arabia’s standing among the Muslim masses that are not necessarily prone to violence. However, conspiracy theories that brush aside the problem of extremism within the Kingdom are nothing new. Rumors about U.S. involvement in the seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca led to an attack on the U.S. embassy in Islamabad in 1979 resulting in the death of two U.S. citizens.

Meanwhile Saudi Arabia spends millions on public relations firms in Washington D.C. every year in order to ensure it is not viewed as a state sponsor—or even enabler—of terrorism. The Kingdom attempts to contain the effects of its own hate preachers by campaigning to distance itself from the most egregious acts of terrorism in the Muslim world while still embracing a Salafi message. All the while in D.C. the Kingdom scrambles to disassociate itself not only from terrorism but from extremism altogether.

A Complicated Relationship

Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull once asked President Obama “aren’t the Saudis your friends?” Obama famously replied “it’s complicated.” It is complicated. How can Saudi Arabia possibly serve as an effective partner against terror when its internal security is dependent on the continued export of terrorism? The answer is that for both Saudi Arabia and the U.S. the other has always been the perceived lesser of two evils.

In the early 1930s when U.S. companies first began to explore the Saudi oil market they were favored by the Royal family over the British who were viewed as imperialists disguised as businessmen. This enemy-of-my-enemy partnership grew closer during the Cold War and the goal to contain the Soviets was described as the “complementary foreign policy” of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia in a 1983 CIA memorandum. The fact that Saudi Arabia promoted a resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism in order to counter the Soviet Union did not alarm the U.S. intelligence community. Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution in Iran cemented Saudi Arabia’s position as the lesser of two perceived evils.

When the Gulf War incited harsh criticism of the Royal family for hosting non-Muslim soldiers they responded by coopting the majority of Wahhabi scholars into official government positions. Those who were too extreme for government work were encouraged to go abroad. The “28 pages”  report detailing connections between the Saudi government and 9/11 hijackers proved once and for all that it wasn’t only private Saudi citizens who provide financing and manpower to radical terrorist organizations but the government itself. But Saudi Arabia claims it too is in a fight against radical extremism. Yet the majority of terrorist attacks in the Kingdom remain directed at the Shi‘a minority in the Eastern Province and Western targets. In fact, the U.S. State Department website explicitly warns citizens in Saudi Arabia to avoid “places where members of the Shia-Muslim minority gather.”

Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad recently wrote in Politico that the Saudis claim to have adopted a  new “policy of honesty” and admitted to him that in the past they had funded extremists. However, partial confessions and lukewarm commitments to fight terrorism are a pillar of Saudi diplomacy. After 9/11, the Saudi government made some effort to share intelligence and set up rehabilitation facilities for low-risk terrorists. But this was largely a show of good will that produced few long-term gains in the war on terrorism. The infamous “Podesta emails” confirm that the U.S. intelligence community believes Saudi Arabia and Qatar are now  “providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL.” The export of fanaticism and terrorism is a necessary release valve so that the fragile equilibrium of Saudi society does not implode.

One Terrorism Policy

When the late Taliban commander, Mullah Mansoor, was killed in May of last year, it was his recent trip to Iran that became the focal point of discussion. For years, however, Washington all but ignored that the vast majority of the ammonium nitrate used to construct IEDs that delimb American soldiers in Afghanistan comes from Pakistan. In 2007, at the height of the war in Iraq, the U.S. military estimated that 45% of all foreign terrorists targeting U.S. troops were Saudi. Now the debate in Washington is whether to designate Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as terrorist organizations. The Muslim Brotherhood has rarely engaged in terrorism and the IRGC’s main focus appears to be Iranian dissidents abroad and fighting ISIS in Syria. Meanwhile the metastasization of Gulf-sponsored terrorist networks continues unabated. Counterterrorism policy has been reduced to a popularity contest rather than an assessment of real threats.

The U.S. must stop treating implicit and explicit state sponsors of terrorism differently. Saudi Arabia’s compartmentalized efforts at containing rather than eradicating extremism should not be lauded as a genuine partnership. States that clandestinely sponsor terrorism, albeit sloppily, must be held to the same standards as those that openly provide support. Counterterrorism strategists must adopt a long-horizon approach and recognize that state sponsors of terrorist groups are responsible for the consequences even when those organizations inevitably go rogue and turn on their benefactor. And just as Pakistan paid a heavy price for tolerating Saudi support for Wahhabi terror, the U.S. and the West are starting to feel the brunt of their own negligence of Riyadh and Doha’s love affair with terrorists.

Indeed, the very phrase “biggest state sponsor of terrorism” is best removed from diplomatic vocabulary altogether because so long as it shines the spotlight on only one country, others will hide in its shadow.

Adam Weinstein is a veteran of the Marine Corps, where he served in Afghanistan, and a policy research intern at the National Iranian American Council. He tweets at @AdamNoahWho.

No scruples whatsoever, UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia dictatorship rose nearly 70%:

UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia rose nearly 70%:

UK increased weapons sales to Saudi Arabia by two thirds: Report

A British Royal Air Force (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft perform a fly-past during the Farnborough Airshow, south west of London, on July 17, 2018. (Photo by AFP)A British Royal Air Force (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft perform a fly-past during the Farnborough Airshow, south west of London, on July 17, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia had increased in 2017 by two thirds, according to British media reports.

From 2016 to 2017, UK military sales to the Saudis went up by two thirds, Sky News reported on Thursday.

The UK sold at least £450 million more to Saudi Arabia in 2017 than 2016, with the true figure likely to be higher, Sky News said.

Earlier reports said the UK had almost doubled its arms sales from £820 million in 2016 to £1.5 billion in arms licenses in 2017.

Sky News reported that the UK issued 126 licenses relating to military goods in 2017, with a value of £1.129 billion – according to Department of International Trade figures.

This is compared to 103 licenses relating to military goods in 2016, with a value of £679 million, it said.

Reports of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia come out as business figures pull out of an upcoming investment conference scheduled to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 23.

The so-called Future Investment Initiative Summit, which has been dubbed Davos in the Desert, has been cancels by governments, executives and chiefs of international companies after the scandalous incident involving the disappearance of Saudi-national  Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, who was a dissident journalist, entered the Saudi embassy in Istanbul and never came out, according to Turkish police.

The incident sparked huge global outcry, resulting in widespread international criticism of the rulers of Saudi Arabia, particularly MBS.

UK trade secretary Liam Fox was among the main international figures who cancelled the Saudi summit over the humiliating Khashoggi incident.

Saudis humiliation in Yemen

Saudi Arabia has also been facing humiliating criticism over its brutal aggression in Yemen. Thousands of innocent civilians, including women and children, have died as a result of the brutal Saudi-led campaign in Yemen.

Campaigners have called on major arms suppliers to Saudi Arabia, the British government included, to stop selling weapons to the kingdom.

“The humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen is the worst in the world. UK-made fighter jets and bombs have played a central role in the destruction,” said Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade, an organization which works to abolish the international arms trade.

Human rights advocates say the UK is complicit to Saudi Arabia’s atrocities against the impoverished Yemeni nation.

“The humanitarian disaster that has been inflicted on Yemen is a man-made one, and the UK government is complicit. It’s time for the UK government to end the arms sales and end its uncritical support for the Saudi dictatorship.”

#Khashoggi -VT Sources: Trump, Pompeo Have Had Murder Audio for 4 Days and Lied and Lied and Lied

VT Sources: Trump, Pompeo Have Had Murder Audio for 4 Days and Lied…

US Intelligence Contractors (NSA) monitoring the comm spectrum in Istanbul listened to the murder in “realtime”

Editor’s note:  VT has known about these recordings all along as has President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo.  While defending Saudi Arabia and, in Trump’s case, lying about how much business the US does with the Saudi’s, which isn’t all that much, Trump had long ago listened to Khashoggi being tortured and hacked to pieces.

He listened to the tape over and over and lied about it anyway, lied about everything, all the while, Saudi Arabia has gone to Iran and asked them to join against the US if Trump even opens his mouth.

The issue, of course, is that Saudi Arabia does business with Trump, he has licenses to run covert high level whore houses and gambling dens inside Saudi Arabia, an attempt on their part to prevent the huge river of cash normally flowing to the UAE where Saudi’s go to drink and party, filling the 5 star hotels.

The enlightened new prince, with Trump and Kushner’s help, was going to keep the drugs and whores close to home, saving Saudi Arabia billions.

You see, Saudi Arabia spends far more on whores than it does planes and tanks, but that’s another story, one Khashoggi was going to tell.

From the Guardian:

  • Audio reportedly proves Khashoggi was tortured then killed
  • Trump points to Saudi role as important strategic partners
Donald Trump says the US has asked Turkey for an audio recording of Jamal Khashoggi’s death which reportedly proves he was brutally tortured before his premeditated murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Turkish officials said the audio recording had been handed over to the US and Saudi Arabia. But on Wednesday, Trump told reporters: “We’ve asked for it … if it exists” – before adding that it “probably does” exist.

Trump had previously suggested he believes the denials of responsibility from the Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and warned against a rush to judgement.

On Wednesday, Trump denied he was covering up for the Saudi royals but at the same time pointed to their importance as strategic and commercial partners.

“I’m not giving cover at all. And with that being said, Saudi Arabia has been a very important ally of ours in the Middle East. We are stopping Iran,” he told reporters.

But Trump’s defence of the Saudi royals has become increasingly difficult as Turkish government leaks and press reports have revealed more details about the grisly nature of Khashoggi’s fate and the involvement of Saudi operatives close to the Saudi crown prince.

read more at UK Guardian

Trump’s Alliance with Body-Choppers, Death Squads and Child Killers: Saudi Arabia, Brazil and israel (apartheid state)

James Petras
Axis of Logic
Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018
Introduction
In recent weeks the White House has embraced the contemporary version of the world’s most murderous regimes. President Trump has embraced the Saudi Arabian “Prince of Death” Mohammad bin Salman who has graduated from chopping hands and heads in public plazas to dismembering bodies in overseas consulates – the case of Jamal Khashoggi.The White House warmly greeted the electoral success of Brazilian Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, ardent champion of torturers, military dictators, death squads and free marketers.President Trump grovels, grunts and glories before Israel, as his spiritual guide Benjamin Netanyahu celebrates the Sabbath with the weekly murders and maiming of hundreds of unarmed Palestinians, especially youngsters.

These are President Trump’s ‘natural allies’. They share his values and interests while each retains their particular method of disposing of the cadavers of adversaries and dissenters.

We will proceed to discuss the larger political-economic context in which the trio of monsters operate. We will analyze the benefits and advantages which lead President Trump to ignore and even praise, actions which violate America’s democratic values and sensibilities.

In conclusion, we will examine the consequences and risks which result from Trump’s embrace of the trio.

The Context for Trump’s Tripler Alliance
President Trump’s intimate ties with the world’s most unsavory regimes flows from several strategic interests. In the case of Saudi Arabia, it includes military bases; the financing of international mercenaries and terrorists; multi-billion-dollar arms sales; oil profits; and covert alliances with Israel against Iran, Syria and Yemen.

In order to secure these Saudi assets, the White House is more than willing to assume certain socio-political costs.

The US eagerly sells weapons and provides advisers to Saudi’s genocidal invasion, murder and starvation of millions of Yeminis. The White House alliance against Yemen has few monetary rewards or political advantages as well as negative propaganda value.

However, with few other client states in the region, Washington makes do with Prince Salman ‘the salami slicer’.

The US ignores Saudi financing of Islamic terrorists against US allies in Asia (the Philippines) and Afghanistan as well as rival thugs in Syria and Libya.

Alas when a pro-US collaborator like Washington Post journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated, President Trump was forced to adopt the pretense of an investigation in order to distance from the Riyadh mafia. He subsequently exonerated butcher boy bin Salman: he invented a flagrant lie-blaming ‘rogue elements’ in charge of the interrogation — read torture.

President Trump celebrated the electoral victory of Brazilian neo-liberal fascist Jair Bolsonaro because he checks all the right boxes: he promises to slash economic regulations and corporate taxes for multi-national corporations. He is an ardent ally of Washington’s economic war against Venezuela and Cuba. He promises to arm right-wing death squads and militarize the police. He pledges to be a loyal follower of US war policies abroad.

However, Bolsonaro cannot support Trump’s trade war especially against China which is the market for almost forty percent of Brazil’s agro-exports. This is especially the case since agro-business bosses are Bolsonaro’s principal economic and congressional supporters.

Given Washington’s limited influence in the rest of Latin America, Brazil’s neo-liberal fascist regime acts as Trump’s principal ally.

Israel is the White House’s mentor and chief of operations in the Middle East, as well as a strategic military ally .

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel has seized and colonized most of the West Bank and militarily occupied the rest of Palestine; jailed and tortured tens of thousands of political dissidents; surrounded and starved over a million Gaza residents; imposed ethno-religious conditions for citizenship in Israel, denying basic rights for over 20% of the Arab residents of the self-styled ‘Jewish state’.

Netanyahu has bombed hundreds of Syrian cities, towns, airports and bases in support of ISIS terrorists and Western mercenaries. Israel intervenes in US elections, buys Congressional votes and secures White House recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.

Zionists in North America and Great Britain act as a ‘fifth column’ securing unanimous favorable mass media coverage of its apartheid policies.

Prime Minister Netanyahu secures unconditional US financial and political support and the most advanced weaponry.

In exchange Washington considers itself  privileged to serve as foot solders for Israeli targeted wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia . . . Israel collaborates with the US in defending Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. Netanyahu and his Zionist allies in the White House succeeded in reversing the nuclear agreement with Iran and imposing new and harsher economic sanctions.

Israel has its own agenda: it defies President Trump’s sanctions policies against Russia and its trade war with China.

Israel eagerly engages in the sales of arms and high-tech innovations to Beijing.

Beyond the Criminal Trio
The Trump regime’s alliance with Saudi Arabia, Israel and Brazil is not despite but because of their criminal behavior. The three states have a demonstrated record of full compliance and active engagement in every ongoing US war.

Bolsonaro, Netanyahu and bin Salman serve as role models for other national leaders allied with Washington’s quest for world domination.

The problem is that the trio is insufficient in bolstering Washington’s drive to “Make the Empire Strong”. As pointed earlier, the trio are not completely in compliance with Trump’s trade wars; Saudi works with Russia in fixing oil prices. Israel and Brazil cuts deals with Beijing.

Clearly Washington pursues other allies and clients.

In Asia, the White House targets China by promoting ethnic separatism. It encourages Uighurs to split from China by encouraging Islamic terrorism and linguistic propaganda. President Trump backs Taiwan via military sales and diplomatic agreements. Washington intervenes in Hong Kong by promoting pro-separatist politicians and media propaganda backing ‘independence’.

Washington has launched a strategy of military encirclement and a trade  war against China. The White House rounded-up Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and South Korea to provide military bases which target China. Nevertheless, up to the present the US has no allies in its trade war. All of Trump’s so-called Asian ‘allies’ defy his economic sanctions policies.

The countries depend on and pursue trade with and investments from China. While all pay diplomatic lip service and provide military bases, all defer on the crucial issues of joining US military exercises off China’s coast and boycotting Beijing.

US efforts to sanction Russia into submission is offset by ongoing oil and gas agreements between Russia, Germany and other EU countries. US traditional bootlickers like Britain and Poland carry little political weight.

More important US sanctions policy has led to a long-term, large-scale strategic economic and military alliance between Moscow and Beijing.

Moreover Trump’s alliance with the ‘torture trio’ has provoked domestic divisions. Saudi Arabia’s murder of a US resident-journalist has provoked business boycotts and Congressional calls for reprisal. Brazil’s fascism has evoked liberal criticism of Trump’s eulogy of Brasilia’s death squad democracy.

President Trump’s domestic electoral opposition has successfully mobilized the mass media, which could facilitate a congressional majority and an effective mass opposition to his pluto-populist (populist in rhetoric, plutocrat in practice) version of empire building.

Conclusion
The US empire building project is built on bluster, bombs and trade wars. Moreover, its closest and most criminal allies and clients cannot always be relied upon. Even the stock market fiesta is coming to a close. Moreover, the time of successful sanctions is passing. The wild-eyed UN rants are evoking laughter and embarrassment.

The economy is heading into crises and not only became of rising interest rates. Tax cuts are one shot deals – profits are taken and pocketed.

President Trump in retreat will discover that there are no permanent allies only permanent interests.

Today the White House stands alone without allies who will share and defend his unipolar empire. The mass of humanity requires a break with the policies of wars and sanctions. To rebuild America will require the construction, from the ground-up, of a powerful popular movement not beholden to Wall Street or war industries. A first step is to break with both parties at home and the triple alliance abroad.

Trump Spins Cover-up For Saudi Killing

By Finian Cunningham

Senior congressional lawmakers are calling for a radical overhaul in US relations with Saudi Arabia. But Trump’s indulgence to let Saudi rulers off the hook shows the strategic alliance is too important for US’ power interests.

Some 22 US senators have invoked the Global Magnitsky Act which could trigger economic sanctions against Saudi Arabia over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Current and former senators are saying the alleged murder in a Saudi consulate in Turkey on October 2 is a “turning point” for Washington’s decades-old alliance with Riyadh.

Former Republican Senator Bob Graham told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour the Saudi relationship is “perfidious” and harmful to America. He referred in particular to what he called was Saudi state complicity in the 9/11 terror incidents in 2001, when nearly 3,000 US citizens were killed.

Graham said the US must use Magnitsky laws to punish Saudi Arabia over the disappearance and murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and to not “capitulate to economic blackmail.” The latter point was an implicit reference to President Trump saying earlier he was reluctant to cancel weapons sales to Saudi Arabia worth $110 billion.

The original Magnitsky Act, signed into law in 2012, was designed to punish Russia with sanctions over alleged human rights abuses. In 2016, it was expanded to place the rest of the world under US authority as well. Its targeting of Russia has been disputed as a controversial political weapon, not reflecting actual human rights abuses. Nevertheless, the law has international application against any foreign government or individual deemed by the US congress as a violator of human rights.

In the case of Saudi Arabia and the missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi that would seem to be a clear incident meriting Magnitsky-type sanctions.

But whether US legislators actually follow through with threats to punish Saudi Arabia and its rulers is a moot question. The pressure is certainly on Washington to do so. If Russia has been targeted with several rounds of sanctions under the Magnitsky Act, over questionable allegations of corruption, then surely the Saudis should be in the firing line for official US censure.

The apparent murder of 59-year-old Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate is such a shocking crime. All the more pressing is that he was a legal resident of the United States – having gone into self-imposed exile from his native Saudi Arabia last year – and he was a prominent columnist for the Washington Post.

Khashoggi was well-connected in Washington with various establishment think-tanks and other media circles. His critical writing on the Saudi rulers and in particular dubious reforms being carried out by heir to the throne Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had a receptive audience among lawmakers and policy makers who have been growing skeptical of Riyadh’s value to the US.

Turkish criminal investigators gained access to the Saudi consulate this week – 13 days after Khashoggi went missing. Media reports say the Turks have found forensic evidence to prove the journalist was killed in the building, consistent with what Turkish government sources had been leaking over the past two weeks.

The dramatic capitulation by the Saudi rulers is a sign that the game is up for their stonewalling tactics. Against all the evidence, the Saudis had been maintaining that Khashoggi left the consulate building unharmed the same day that he arrived on October 2. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman even stated this version in a high-profile interview with Bloomberg on October 5.

This week it was reported that the Saudis were preparing to admit that Khashoggi was murdered by an unauthorized team of Saudi interrogators who flew to Istanbul to intercept him. It is claimed that the interrogation “went wrong” and resulted in his death.

It’s such a preposterous switch in the official narrative. After all the dissembling and lies up to now, Riyadh has no credibility. Also, why did the 15-man Saudi team reportedly arrive in Istanbul on two private jets connected to the Saudi monarchy, reportedly equipped with bone saws and forensic expertise, evidently for the purpose of disposing of Khashoggi’s body?

Turkish investigators say they will release a full report at the end of this week. Already they are disclosing that evidence they gathered this week confirms audio and videotapes that Khashoggi was murdered.

The Washington Post has reported US intelligence intercepts which show the Saudi leadership were involved in a plot to apprehend Khashoggi. In other words, the whole barbaric affair goes right to the top of the House of Saud.

Shamefully, however, what is emerging is a cover-up in spite of the graphic evidence. That cover-up began hours before the Turkish investigators arrived at the consulate on Monday evening, when Trump told US media he had spoken with Saudi King Salman. Trump said he believed the king’s denials of knowing anything about a premeditated crime. He also gave credence to the idea it could have been “rogue killers” who were responsible.

Saudi media are now reporting that the 15-man team that flew from Riyadh to Istanbul will be questioned over the death. What this means is the hit squad are being made scapegoats and the Saudi rulers will be whitewashed of culpability.

The cover-up may not be easy, however. There is a lot more evidence to come out from Turkish and American intelligence on communications leading up to the abduction and murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Because of his media and policy establishment connections in the US, it can be expected that the whole affair will not be easily brushed aside. Also, US political and media opponents of Trump will use the matter as another means of attacking his presidency – albeit in this case, arguably, rightly so.

Still, it is doubtful this is a “turning point” in the US-Saudi alliance. Khashoggi has indeed strong advocates in Washington, and there is a growing movement among lawmakers disdainful of Saudi conduct with regard to the horrific war in Yemen.

But as the cover-up attempt by Trump shows there is a deep and inviolable strategic bond between the US and the oil-rich kingdom, going all the way back to when former president Franklin D Roosevelt formed his historic pact with the Saudi state founder King Abdul Aziz Al Saud in 1945.

The alliance goes way beyond merely supplying oil to the US, which has in fact declined in importance. It involves vital interests of maintaining the dollar as the global exchange currency for oil trade, massive annual purchases of American weapons, the Saudis funding CIA clandestine operations around the world, and the projection of US imperialist power across the geo-strategically critical Middle East.

Of course, the US should move to sanction Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi killing – and much else besides – if its rhetoric about human rights had any substance. But as Trump’s unseemly spinning of Saudi cover-up indicates, the US-Saudi relationship is unlikely to change. It is inviolable for American power interests, and Saudi despotism is too important to fail, no matter what crimes are committed.

Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.

This article was originally published by RT” –

Trump Rejects Halting Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia as ’Punishing Ourselves’

Saudi Arabia, UAE Fail to Halt UN Yemen Human Rights Inquiry

Saudi Arabia, UAE Fail to Halt UN Yemen Human Rights Inquiry
Jason Ditz

In a 21-8 vote, the UN Human Rights Council has agreed to extend the inquiry into human rights violations committed during the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Saudi Arabia and its allies in the United Arab Emirates both condemned the news.

Such votes happen every year around the UN General Assembly meeting, with the Saudis trying to limit such votes and insisting that any investigations are only going to “deepen divisions” in Yemen.

The council spent several days debating the matter, with those in favor of more investigations, led by the Netherlands and Canada, winning out handily, while many other nations chose to abstain.

British officials say that they were comfortable letting the investigation continue, but that subsequent reports need to focus on condemning the Shi’ite Houthi movement instead of criticizing the Saudis for their massive civilian death toll from airstrikes.

Yemen doctors despair as babies starve in ‘orphaned province’

Yemen doctors despair as babies starve in ‘orphaned province’
A Yemeni child suffering from malnutrition receives treatment at a hospital in the northern district of Abs, in Yemen's Hajjah province

A Yemeni child suffering from malnutrition receives treatment at a hospital in the northern district of Abs, in Yemen’s Hajjah province

At Nasr Hospital’s emergency room in the Yemeni city of Daleh, a little boy struggles to breathe. He is too tired, or too hungry, to cry.

Born with a degenerative neurological disease, his muscles have atrophied to nothing, his tiny joints visible through his pale skin, his stomach distended.

The child’s body cannot retain even water, so nurses have resorted to putting him in diapers.

And doctors say there is nothing they can do.

The boy is one of an estimated five million Yemeni children who may not see their next birthday in a war the UN children’s fund has described as a “living hell” for minors.

The UN has warned that international aid agencies are losing the fight against famine in Yemen, where 3.5 million people may soon be added to the eight million Yemenis already facing starvation — more than half of them children.

Mahmud Ali Hassan, director of Nasr Hospital, does not mince words. Life for his patients, he says, is “pure misery”.

“We need help. We need real help.”

South of rebel-held Sanaa and north of the government bastion of Aden, Daleh is, in the words of its residents, a forgotten city.

– ‘Desperate need’ –

The war between Yemen’s government, backed by a Saudi-led regional military coalition, and Huthi rebels linked to Iran has left an estimated 10,000 dead since 2015 and triggered what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Another 2,200 have died of cholera, according to the World Health Organization, nearly one-third of them under the age of five.

A hospital staffer stands next to a Yemeni child suffering from malnutrition while lying on a bed at a hospital in the northern district of Abs in the northwestern Hajjah province

A hospital staffer stands next to a Yemeni child suffering from malnutrition while lying on a bed at a hospital in the northern district of Abs in the northwestern Hajjah province

In government-held Daleh, medics at Nasr Hospital are desperately looking for ways to treat patients — most of whom have not yet learned to read, tie their shoelaces or even walk — as supplies dwindle and hunger spreads.

A sign outside Nasr Hospital reads “funded by the World Health Organization”. The hospital is a lifeline for three provinces with a combined population of more than 1.5 million.

“We take cases from Daleh as well as Ibb and Lahaj,” said Hassan.

“Most cases we receive are malnourished children. We get three to four cases a day. The ward is always full. It’s full right now.”

In a lime green onesie, another malnourished baby wails as doctors hook him up to a nasal cannula — the tube used to deliver oxygen to patients in respiratory distress.

His diaper is multiple sizes too big.

“We are in desperate need of medical supplies,” Hassan told AFP.

“We need orthopaedic equipment, and everyone says they’re trying — the government coalition and other sides — and yet we haven’t gotten supplies yet.”

– ‘Nowhere to be seen’ –

Dr. Ayman Shayef, head of the emergency room at Nasr, says three to four children die under his watch every week of preventable causes, mainly linked to neo-natal care.

“We have serious issues with the total absence of pre-natal care and the inability to open an obstetrics department,” Shayef said.

“We’ve also seen a rapid rise in malnutrition cases.

A Yemeni child suffering from malnutrition is weighed at a hospital in the northern district of Abs in the northwestern Hajjah province

A Yemeni child suffering from malnutrition is weighed at a hospital in the northern district of Abs in the northwestern Hajjah province

“Daleh is an orphaned province. We need help. We need support for pre-natal care, malnutrition ”

In addition to the war, the rising cost of living in Yemen — long the most impoverished country in the Arab world — the depreciation of the local currency and blockades have left millions unable to feed themselves and their children.

Katba Ahmed made the trip to Nasr to help a close friend care for her sick child.

“A bag of flour is 18,000 riyals ($72). And with four people at home, how long do you think that’s going to last, with breakfast, lunch and dinner?” Katba said.

And the food baskets sent in by international organisations, Katba says, are nowhere to be seen in her neighbourhood in Hajja province.

“Where do they go? Why don’t we get any baskets?” she says. “Why should we be deprived? Why should we be humiliated?”

The US Isn’t Just Backing the Yemen War – It’s Helping Trap Those Forced To Flee

yemen-refugees-muslim-ban-civil-war-civilians

Shutterstock

 by Khury Petersen-Smith

By now, the images are infamous: stunned, bloodied Yemeni children arriving at the hospital after their summer camp bus was bombed by Saudi aircraft. The United States is deeply implicated in that August 9 attack, which killed 54 people – most of them children

Fragments from the bomb bear the labels of U.S. weapons manufacturers. The indefensible nature of the bombing – there were no combatants anywhere in sight – has garnered headlines and even attention on Capitol Hill, opening a new conversation about US involvement in the years-long siege of Yemen by a coalition headed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The coalition frames its war as an intervention on behalf of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, the man they recognize as the legitimate president of Yemen. Saudi Arabia and the UAE claim to be targeting the Houthis, the opposition group on the other side of Yemen’s civil war that controls the country’s capital, and that has alleged ties with Iran. The images from the school bus attack, however, reveal the actual targets of the coalition’s air power.

While both the Houthis and the coalition take actions with destructive consequences for Yemen’s population, the overwhelming blame for the devastation and the humanitarian crisis lies with the United States, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The United States is supplying the aircraft to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the precision munitions they’re dropping, intelligence and midair refueling of the coalition war planes. The United States also continues to carry out military operations in Yemen directly, with its own special forces and air strikes. But even when American personnel are not personally dropping the bombs, they seem to be involved in all of the other steps of the coalition’s operations.

On the same day of the attack on the school bus, and not far away, US personnel were finishing up another, quieter activity that has received far less attention.

From August 5 through 9, a unit of the Wisconsin National Guard that was assigned to US Army Central conducted a week-long training with members of the Royal Army of Oman’s Border Guard Brigade in Haima, Oman. The exercises were part of Oman’s militarization of its border with Yemen – with funding and other assistance from the United States.

In other words, not only is the United States, helping the coalition bomb Yemeni civilians. It’s helping trap the refugees fleeing that bombing.

Walls around the world

Before, it was clear that the American government wanted no Yemeni refugees in the United States. Yemen has been listed in all three iterations of the Trump administration’s anti-Muslim travel ban. That was unjust enough. In Oman, the United States is helping to prevent Yemenis from leaving their country at all.

In August, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – its military budget – for the fiscal year of 2019. The Act calls on the Secretary of State to certify that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are taking steps to minimize civilian casualties, among other measures to assuage qualms that Congress may have about continuing the US midair refueling program.

The restrictions laid out in the Act have come into the spotlight as Trump has signaled his refusal to abide by them, sparking a dispute between members of Congress and the White House about who has the authority to make decisions about foreign affairs – a fight that has been fueled by the horrendous school bus bombing.

But the same Act also quietly expands the list of countries that the United States supplies aid to for the purpose of militarizing their borders. A provision was added to the military budget in 2016 that appropriates such funding to “certain foreign countries for border security operations.” The list of countries – each of which is eligible for up to $150 million in the program – includes Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan. The 2019 budget includes Pakistan and Oman.

What do these states have in common? They share borders with countries from which millions of refugees emerge or flow through. Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon and Jordan neighbor Libya, Syria and Iraq. Pakistan borders Afghanistan.

Oman’s steps to “secure its border” sound familiar. In a trend taken up by states around the world – and championed by the White House – Oman is building a wall. Construction began five years ago and is slated to continue for another three years.

The US has promised $2.5 million in aid to Oman for 2019 in a package under the heading “Peace and Security.” And a flurry of meetings between US and Omani officials suggest deeper coordination could be underway.

In March, Defense Secretary Mattis met with Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said and Defense Minister Badr bin Saud al Busaidi in Muscat to discuss enhancing military cooperation. At the end of July, Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi traveled to Washington and met with Mattis at the Pentagon, Secretary of State Pompeo, and members of Congress. Conversations focused on the bilateral relationship in regard to the ongoing crisis in Yemen.

And then there was the joint training in Haima.

Beyond the Bombings

Migration is difficult for Yemenis. Yemen was the poorest country in the Middle East before the war began in 2015. While there are more than 2 million internally displaced people in Yemen, poverty prevents Yemenis from leaving the country.

Despite the many obstacles, more than 190,000 Yemenis have fled to neighboring countries according the UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency. Many of those who have left are in Oman, so the measures the country is taking with its US ally will put up new obstacles to would-be refugees.

Remarkably, despite the nightmarish conditions that the United States, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have made in Yemen, it’s also the case that more than 280,000 people – mostly from the Horn of Africa – have sought refuge in Yemen. The measures that the United States is supporting with its allies, then, are not only devastating Yemenis. The cruelty of those actions extends to refugees from outside of Yemen who are now effectively stuck in the same conditions that are displacing – but imprisoning – Yemenis.

The wars that the United States is carrying out and supporting include wars on the freedom of movement and those who seek to exercise it. From the caging of children and adults at the border with Mexico to the bombing of children in Yemen with American weapons, this summer has demonstrated to the world that the United States isn’t only driving people from their homes – it’s preventing them from escaping to safety.

It is significant that US support for the Saudi bombing is getting more critical attention. But from walls to travel bans, our government’s disastrous activities extend beyond the bombings alone. We need to identify and expose Washington’s many attacks on people around the world – and resist them all.

Khury Petersen-Smith is the Michael Ratner Middle East Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

This article was jointly produced by Foreign Policy In Focus and In These Times. Reprinted with permission from Foreign Policy In Focus.

israel (apartheid state) helping Saudi dictatorship with genocide in Yemen

Mercenaries Leading Assault on Yemen Port City Were Trained by IDF in Israel 

 

Foreign mercenaries, trained covertly at secret IDF camps in the Negev desert, are now leading the new assault on the Yemen port city of Hodeida, an assault that observers warns threatens to dramatically worsen Yemen’s already catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

Foreign mercenaries, trained covertly at secret IDF camps in the Negev desert, are now leading the new assault on the Yemen port city of Hodeida, an assault that observers warns threatens to dramatically worsen Yemen’s already catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

TEL AVIV – A new report from the Emirati news website Al-Khaleej Online has revealed that many of the mercenaries leading the assault against the Yemeni port city of Hodeida were trained in Israel by Israeli soldiers, shedding light on Israel’s covert role in the war in Yemen.

According to U.S. officials close to the House Intelligence Committee with knowledge of the operation, hundreds of mercenaries from various nationalities that fight on behalf of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Yemen had recently received “instance combat training” at training camps in the Negev desert that were created through a secret agreement was reached between the UAE and Israel. Mercenaries at the camp were trained under the “personal supervision” of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

The camp’s creation was spearheaded by UAE Security Adviser Mohammed Dahlan, who has personally overseen the recent hiring of a fresh force of foreign mercenaries, the majority of whom are Colombian or Nepalese, to fight on the UAE’s behalf in Yemen.

Dahlan, a Palestinian, was a central figure in the U.S.-backed plot funded by the United Arab Emirates to arm and train militias to overthrow Hamas after they won Gaza elections in 2007. Dahlan has since lived in exile in the UAE where he has developed a close relationship to the Emirati royal family and now serves as one of their advisers. Dahlan also has close ties to Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

The report noted that Dahlan had personally visited the training camps in Israel on more than one occasion in order to supervise the training received by mercenaries from the IDF. Al-Khaleej’s sources also stated that Dahlan had chosen the Negev desert as the site for the camps due to the similarities the region shares with Yemen in terms of its climate, environment and tribal structure.

These mercenaries, trained at IDF-led camps in Israel and funded by the UAE, are now leading the renewed assault on the Yemeni port of Hodeida, which began earlier this week on Tuesday. The UAE/Saudi Arabia coalition had previously launched an assault in Hodeida in June but that effort failed to make headway despite the coalition’s superior firepower. The new assault was launched after the coalition recently succeeded in cutting off the main road between Hodeida and the Yemeni capital of Sana’a.

Over 90% of Yemen’s food is imported through Hodeida, prompting  the UN and several NGOs to warn that any disruption to food and fuel supplies coming through the Hodeida port “could cause starvation on an unprecedented scale” as the country’s humanitarian crisis – a direct consequence of the coalition’s actions – is now more dire than ever.

An Open Secret: Israel’s Covert Involvement in Yemen’s War

Notably, the revelation of the Israel-based UAE mercenary training camps is not the first indication of covert Israeli involvement in the Yemen conflict. Indeed, when the war first began in 2015, the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE were known to use Israeli-made weapons.

In addition, paperwork seized by the Saudi Embassy in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a that same year revealed that the U.S. was seeking to build a military base near Yemen’s Bab al-Mandab strait in order to “ensure the security of Israel,” suggesting a strong motive for the U.S.’ and Israel’s support for the coalition.

More recently, rumors about new Israel-Saudi weapons deals, including alleged plans to sell Saudi Arabia the Iron Dome missile defense system, have received press attention, suggesting that the covert sale of Israeli weapons to the Saudi-led coalition continues to the present.

Al-Khaleej Online had previously reported that Israel had covertly sold weapons and ammunition to the Saudis, including internationally prohibited weapons that have since been used in the coalition’s brutal bombing campaign in Yemen that consistently targets civilian infrastructure. Just last month, 43% of the coalition’s targets were civilian structures, despite the fact that the U.S. now directly aids the coalition in choosing its strike targets as part of an alleged effort to reduce civilian casualties in the war.

While Israeli involvement in the war in Yemen has thus far been covert, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated last month that he would consider sending Israeli troops to Yemen to fight on behalf of the Saudi-led coalition if the Yemeni resistance gained control over the strategic Bab al-Mandab strait, which serves as a chokepoint on Saudi oil exports and other important Red Sea commerce.

Given Israel’s support for countries involved in genocidal wars in the past and its own treatment of Palestinians, it is unlikely that Israel’s government would feel constrained by any moral dilemmas if it chose to formally join the coalition’s war in Yemen despite the humanitarian crisis that war has provoked.

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen, considered the worst in the world, has brought 17.8 million Yemenis to the brink of starvation including 5.2 million children. In addition, 66,000 children in Yemen die annually from preventable diseases due to the coalition’s blockade of Yemen which has also allowed the worst cholera outbreak in history to proliferate.

Despite the huge death toll that has resulted from the coalition blockade and airstrikes, the “mastermind” of the conflict, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, has vowed to continue to target Yemeni civilians, including women and children, in order to “leave a big impact on the consciousness of Yemenis [for] generations.”

Source: www.mintpressnews.com

White Helmets Readying Movie Sequel in Idlib

white-helmets

September 20, 2018

The White Helmets scum are readying a sequel to their heinous massacre in Khan Sheikhoun, 4 April 2017.  SANA has just posted a chilling, very large, breaking news ticker, and in red, from the Russian Foreign Ministery. Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization is supplying armed groups in Syria with chemical weapons, including sarin gas.

Though threats of a demonic, murderous sequel have been ongoing since soon after the original White Helmets sarin hoax was produced, the threats have been accelerating at an accelerated rate, since early this year. It now appears that the tripartite aggressor warmongers of the UN may be displeased even by the colonialist support of de Mistura, for the Russian-Erdoganstan agreement for a ‘demilitarized area’ to protect the mostly foreign, criminally insane terrorists in and around Idlib.

Should the current threat go live, prepare for the White Helmets to again share videos of mostly women and children who will have been slaughtered for another snuff porn video (somehow, “the regime” which has successfully liberated Aleppo and Douma from terrorist demons, never seems to hit the terrorists when the White Helmets cameras are rolling). Over recent weeks, these ghouls have kidnapped dozens of Syrian children.

Should this unfathomable atrocity occur, please be mindful that the Oscar-winning, stethoscope-less, ignorant of CPR & spinal precautions fake responder White Helmets who are largely funded by British intelligence and the CIA, shoved their original, cobbled Khan Sheikhoun video into the Orwellian memory hole. They did this to erase evidence that their victims were killed by a poison, given via forced ingestion.  This evidence was primarily seen in comparing the agonal breathing of babies and children with the same agonal breathing seen in the deadly rabbit demonstration in Turkey, 21 December 2012.

Unlike seizure activity, the death throes of agonal breathing can not be faked. This is why the necrophiliac and pedonecrophiliac White Helmets merely showed the dozens of corpses — again, mostly women and their children — in their repulsively horrific Douma production.

Should this planned atrocity be committed, and should sarin actually be used, please be mindful of two things: 1. The original sarin hoax began in Israel, April 2013, to sabotage any UN investigation into chemical weapons use by terrorists against the SAA and the Syrian civilian population. 2. The White Helmets and various takfiri affiliates are savages too primitive to use sarin without self-harm. When they tried to upgrade from weapons grade chlorine to HCN, in Ghouta 2013, they killed so many of their own that they complained that Prince Bandar should not give them such weapons without proper instructions.

white-helmets
The savages are forced to shower & shave before doing UN & State Dept photo ops, but this is their accurate look.

Should sarin actually be unleashed on hostages — mostly women and children, but also some of the 100s of men recently abducted in Idlib on suspicion of willingness to join Reconciliation — this will mean that highly skilled operatives with the best of chemical and biohazard protection, will be the Dr. Mengeles committing the atrocities; the Nusra White Helmets will only come to do their fake ‘rescue’ garbage.

Such an unspeakable horror previously occurred in April 2014, when a genetically altered Clostridium tetani bioweapon was tested on the Syrian Arab Army’s Regiment 74, stationed in Tel el Jabya. All but one soldier was massacred (likely he had a natural immunity, as he was beheaded for having the temerity of not being murdered). On 24 April, a ghastly video showing the primitive savages walking through the corpses of the martyred soldiers was proudly uploaded to the internet.

As it provided essential evidence, it too, was shoved down the Orwellian memory hole.

 

— Miri Wood

Yemen’s Descent into Hell

Yemen’s Descent into Hell

Children playing with toy guns on a street in Sanaa (Vladimir Melnik via Shutterstock)Children playing with toy guns on a street in Sanaa (Vladimir Melnik via Shutterstock)

by Rajan Menon

It’s the war from hell, the savage one that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, along with seven other Middle Eastern and North African states, have been waging in Yemen since March 2015, with fulsome support from the Pentagon and American weapons galore. It’s got everything. Dead children in the dozens, a never-ending air campaign that pays scant heed to civilians, famine, cholera, you name it. No wonder it’s facing mounting criticism in Congress and from human rights groups. Still, ever since President Donald Trump (like Barack Obama before him) embraced the Saudi-led coalition as this country’s righteous knight errant in the Middle East, the fight against impoverished Yemen’s Houthi rebels — who have, in turn, been typecast as Iran’s cats-paw — has only grown fiercer. Meanwhile, the al-Qaeda affiliate there continues to expand.

For years now, a relentless Saudi air campaign (quite literally fueled by the U.S. military) has hit endless civilian targets, using American smart bombs and missiles, without a peep of protest or complaint from Washington. Only a highly publicized, completely over-the-top slaughter recently forced the Pentagon to finally do a little mild finger wagging. On August 7th, an airstrike hit a school bus — with a laser-guided bomb made by Lockheed Martin — in northern Yemen, killing 51 people, 40 of them schoolchildren. Seventy-nine others were wounded, including 56 children. Soon after, a U.N. Security Council-appointed group of experts issued a report detailing numerous other egregious attacks on Yemeni civilians, including people attending weddings and funerals. Perhaps the worst among them killed 137 people and wounded 695 others at a funeral in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, this April.

The attack on those schoolchildren and the U.N. report amplified a growing global outcry against the carnage in Yemen. In response, on August 28th, Secretary of Defense James Mattis let it be known that the Trump administration’s support for the Persian Gulf potentates’ military campaign should not be considered unreserved, that the Saudis and their allies must do “everything humanly possible to avoid any innocent loss of life.” Considering that they haven’t come close to meeting such a standard since the war started nearly five years ago and that the Trump administration clearly has no intention of reducing its support for the Saudis or their war, Mattis’s new yardstick amounted to a cruel joke — at the expense of Yemeni civilians.

The Statistics of Suffering

Some appalling numbers document the anguish Yemenis have endured. Saudi and Emirati warplanes officially have killed — and it’s considered a conservative estimate — 6,475 civilians and wounded more than 10,000 others since 2015. Targets struck have included farmshomesmarketplaceshospitalsschools, and mosques, as well as ancient historic sites in Sana’a. And such incidents haven’t been one-off attacks. They have happened repeatedly.

By April 2018, the Saudi-led coalition had conducted 17,243 airstrikes across Yemen, hitting 386 farms, 212 schools, 183 markets, and 44 mosques. Such statistics make laughable the repeated claims of the Saudis and their allies that such “incidents” should be chalked up to understandable errors and that they take every reasonable precaution to protect innocents. Statistics compiled by the independent Yemen Data Project make it clear that the Gulf monarchs don’t lie awake at night lamenting the deaths of Yemeni civilians.

Saudi Arabia and its partners have accused the Houthis, the rebels with whom they have been in such a deadly struggle, of also attacking Yemeni civilians, a charge Human Rights Watch has validated. Yet such a they-do-it-too defense hardly excuses the relentless bombing of non-military sites by a coalition that has overwhelming superiority in firepower. Houthi crimes pale by comparison.

And when it comes to the destruction of civilian lives and livelihoods, believe it or not, that may be the least of it. Take the naval blockade of the country by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that cut the number of ships docking in the Houthi-controlled port of Hodeida from 129 between January and August 2014 to 21 in the same months of 2017. The result: far less food and medicine entered the country, creating a disaster for Yemenis.

That country, the Arab world’s poorest, has long relied on imports for a staggering 85% of its food, fuel, and medicine, so when prices soared, famine spread, while hunger and malnutrition skyrocketed. Nearly 18 million Yemenis now rely on emergency food aid to survive: that’s an unbelievable 80% of the population. According to the World Bank, “8.4 million more are on the brink of famine.” In December 2017, following a barrage of bad publicity, the Saudi-Emirati blockade was eased marginally, but it had already set in motion a spiral of death.

The blockade also contributed to a cholera epidemic, which the shortage of medicines only exacerbated. According to a World Health Organization report, between April 2017 and July 2018, there were more than 1.1 million cholera cases there. At least 2,310 people died from the disease, most of them children. It is believed to be the worst cholera outbreak since statistics began to be compiled in 1949. At 800,000 cases between 2010 and 2017, Haiti held the previous record, one that the Yemenis surpassed within half a year of the first cases appearing. The prime contributors to the epidemic: drinking water contaminated by rotting garbage (uncollected because of the war), devastated sewage systems, and water filtration plants that stopped running due to lack of fuel — all the result of the horrendous bombing campaign.

Wartime economic blockades starve and sicken civilians and soldiers alike and so amount to a war crime. The Saudi-Emirati claim that the blockade’s sole purpose is to stanch the flow of Iranian arms to the Houthis is nonsense, nor can it be considered a legitimate act of self-defense, even though it was instituted after the Houthis fired ballistic missiles at the airport in the Saudi capital and the residence of that country’s monarch. (Both were shot down by Saudi air defenses and were clear responses to coalition airstrikes on Houthi-held territory that killed 136 civilians.) By the standards of international humanitarian law or simply common sense, choking off Yemen’s imports was a disproportionate response, and clairvoyance wasn’t required to foresee the calamitous consequences to follow.

True to form, President Trump’s U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, echoed Saudi charges that the Houthi missiles were Iranian-supplied Qiam-1s and condemned that country’s interference in Yemen. Given the scale of destruction by a foreign coalition using armaments and technical assistance provided by the United States (and Britain), her comments, in less grim circumstances, would have been laughable.

Those American-supplied weapons have included cluster munitions, which pose a particular hazard to civilians because, when dropped from a plane, their devastating bomblets often disperse over enormous areas. (Such bombs are banned under a 2008 treaty signed by 120 countries that neither Riyadh nor Washington has joined.) In May 2016, the Obama White House confirmed that it had stopped sending such weapons to Saudi Arabia, which then continued to use Brazilian-made variants. However, other American arms have continued to flow to Saudi Arabia, while its warplanes rely on U.S. Air Force tankers for mid-air refueling (88 million pounds of fuel as of this January according to a Central Command spokeswoman), while the Saudi military has received regular intelligence information and targeting advice from the Pentagon since the war began. And with the advent of Donald Trump, such military involvement has only deepened: U.S. Special Operations forces are now on the Saudi-Yemen border, helping to find and attack Houthi redoubts.

In June 2018, ignoring U.S. opposition, the Saudi coalition heightened the risk to Yemeni civilians yet more by launching an offensive (“Golden Victory”) to capture the port of Hodeida. (So much for the Pentagon’s standard claim that supporting the war gives the U.S. influence over how it is waged and so limits civilian casualties.) Saudi and Emirati airpower and warships supported Emirati and Sudanese troops on the ground joined by allied Yemeni militias. The advance, however, quickly stalled in the face of Houthi resistance, though only after at least 50,000 families had fled Hodeida and basic services for the remaining 350,000 were disrupted, creating fears of a new outbreak of cholera.

The Roots of War

Yemen’s progression to its present state of perdition began as the Arab Spring’s gales swept through the Middle East in 2011, uprooting or shaking regimes from Tunisia to Syria. Street demonstrations grew against Yemen’s strongman, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and only gathered strength as he attempted to quell them. In response, he allied ever more strongly with Saudi Arabia and the United States, alienating the Houthis, whose main bastion, the governate of Saada, abuts the Saudi border. Adherents of Zaydi Islam, the Houthis played a pivotal role in creating a political movement, Ansar Allah, in 1992 to assert the interests of their community against the country’s Sunni majority. In an effort to undercut them, the Saudis have long promoted radical Sunni religious leaders in Yemen’s north, while intermittently raiding Houthi territories.

As a Houthi rebellion began, Saleh tried to make himself an even more indispensable ally of Washington in its post-9/11 anti-terrorist campaigns, notably against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a growing local franchise of al-Qaeda. For good measure, he joined the Saudis in painting the Houthis little more than tools of an Iran that Washington and Riyadh both loathed. When those powers nonetheless came to see the Yemeni autocrat as a political liability, they helped oust him and transfer power to his deputy, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Such moves failed to calm the waters, as the country started to disintegrate and Saudi-U.S. efforts to consolidate the transition from Saleh to Hadi unraveled.

Meanwhile, regular American drone strikes against AQAP angered many Yemenis. In their eyes, not only did the attacks violate Yemen’s sovereignty, they intermittently killed civilians. Hadi’s praise for the drone campaign only discredited him further. AQAP’s power continued to grow, resentment in southern Yemen rose, and criminal gangs and warlords began to operate with impunity in its cities, highlighting the Hadi government’s ineffectuality. Neoliberal economic reforms only further enriched a clutch of families that had long controlled much of Yemen’s wealth, while the economic plight of most Yemenis worsened radically. The unemployment rate was nearly 14% in 2017 (and exceeded 25% for young people), while the poverty rate rose precipitously, as did inflation.

It was a formula for disaster and when Hadi proposed a plan to create a federal system for Yemen, the Houthis were infuriated. New boundaries would, among other things, have cut their homeland off from the Red Sea coast. So they gave up on his government and girded for battle. Soon, their forces were advancing southward. In September 2014, they captured the capital, Sana’a, and proclaimed a new national government. The following March, they occupied Aden in southern Yemen and Hadi, whose government had moved there, promptly fled across the border to Riyadh. The first Saudi airstrikes against Sana’a were launched in March 2015 and Yemen’s descent to hell began.

The American Role

The commonplace rendition of the war in Yemen pits a U.S.-backed Saudi coalition against the Houthis, cast as agents of Iran and evidence of its increasing influence in the Middle East. Combatting terrorism and countering Iran became the basis for Washington’s support of the Saudi-led war. Predictably, as this cartoonish portrayal of a complicated civil war gained ground in the mainstream American media and among Beltway pundits (as well, of course, as in the Pentagon and White House), inconvenient facts were shunted aside.

Still, all these years and all those dead later, it’s worth considering some of those facts. There are, for instance, significant differences between the Houthis’ Zaydi variant of Shia Islam and the Twelver Shiism dominant in Iran — and some similarities between Zaydis and Sunnis — which makes the ubiquitous claims about a Iran-Houthi faith-based pact shaky. Moreover, Iran did not jump into the fray during the violent 2004-2010 clashes between Saleh and the Houthis and did not have longstanding ties to them either. In addition, contrary to the prevailing view in Washington, Iran is unlikely to be their main source of weaponry and support. Sheer distance and the Saudi coalition’s naval blockade have made it next to impossible for Iran to supply arms to the Houthis in the volume alleged. Besides, having pillaged various military bases during their march toward Aden, the Houthis do not lack for weaponry. Iran’s influence in Yemen has undoubtedly increased since 2015, but reducing the intricacies of that country’s internal crisis to Iranian meddling and a Tehran-led Shiite bloc expanding from Syria to the Arabian Peninsula amounts to, at best, a massive oversimplification.

The obsession of Trump and his key advisers with Iran (a remarkable number of them are Iranophobes) and The Donald’s obsession with plugging American arms makers and hawking their wares helps explain their embrace of the House of Saud and continuing support for its never-ending assault on Yemen. (Jared Kushner’s bromance with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman undoubtedly played a part as well.) None of that, however, explains the full-scale American backing for the Saudi-led intervention there in the Obama years. Even as his administration denounced Bashar al-Assad’s slaughter of Syrian civilians, his officials seemed unmoved by the suffering war was inflicting on Yemenis. In fact, the Obama administration offered $115 billion worth of weaponry to Riyadh, including a $1.15 billion package finalized in August 2016, when the scale of Yemen’s catastrophe was already all too obvious.

In recent years, opposition to the war in Congress has been on the rise, with Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Ro Khanna playing prominent roles in mobilizing it. But such congressional critics had no effect on Obama’s war policy and are unlikely to sway Trump’s. They face formidable barriers. The mainstream narrative on the war remains powerful, while the Gulf monarchies continue to buy vast quantities of American weaponry. And don’t forget the impressive, money-is-no-object Saudi-Emirati lobbying operation in Washington.

That, then, is the context for the Pentagon’s gentle warning about the limits of U.S. support for the bombing campaign in Yemen and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s subsequent certification, as required by Congress, that the Saudis and Emiratis were taking perfectly credible action to lower civilian casualties — without which the U.S. military could not continue refueling their planes. (Mattis “endorsed and fully supported” Pompeo’s statement.)  As the fifth anniversary of this appalling war approaches, American-made arms and logistical aid remain essential to it.  Consider President Trump’s much-ballyhooed arms sales to the Saudis, even if they don’t total $100 billion (as he claimed): Why then would the Saudi and Emirati monarchs worry that the White House might actually do something like cutting off those lucrative sales or terminating the back-end support for their bombing campaign?

One thing is obvious: U.S. policy in Yemen won’t achieve its declared goals of defeating terrorism and rolling back Iran. After all, its drone strikes began there in 2002 under George W. Bush. Under Obama, as in Pakistan and in Afghanistan, drones became Washington’s anti-terrorist weapon of choice. There were 154 drone strikes in Yemen during the Obama years according to the most reliable high-end estimates, and civilian casualties ranged between 83 and 101. Under Trump they soared quickly, from 21 in 2016 to 131 in 2017.

The reliance on drone attacks has bolstered al-Qaeda’s narrative that the American war on terror amounts to a war on Muslims, whose lives are deemed expendable. And so many years later, in the chaos of Yemen, the group’s power and reach is only growing. The U.S.-backed, Saudi-led intervention is also likely to prove not just self-defeating but self-prophetic. It seems to be cementing an alliance between Iran and the Houthis who, though they have been pushed out of Aden, still control a big chunk of Yemen. Meanwhile, in a move that could make the war even deadlier, the Emiratis appear to be striking out on their own, supporting secession in southern Yemen. There’s not much to show on the anti-terrorism front either. Indeed, the Saudi coalition’s airstrikes and U.S. drone attacks may be moving Yemenis, enraged by the destruction of their homes and livelihoods and the deaths of loved ones, toward AQAP. In short, a war on terror has turned into a war of and for terror.

In Yemen, the United States backs a grim military intervention for which — unless you are a weapons company — it is hard to find any justification, practical or moral. Unfortunately, it is even harder to imagine President Trump or the Pentagon reaching such a conclusion and changing course.

Reprinted, with permission, from TomDispatch.

Rajan Menon, a TomDispatch regular, is the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Professor of International Relations at the Powell School, City College of New York, and Senior Research Fellow at Columbia University’s Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. He is the author, most recently, of The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention. Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Books, Beverly Gologorsky’s novel Every Body Has a Storyand Tom Engelhardt’s A Nation Unmade by War, as well as Alfred McCoy’s In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power, John Dower’s The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II, and John Feffer’s dystopian novel Splinterlands. Copyright 2018 Rajan Menon

US, UK, Saudis, and UAE Want Yemenis to Starve

US, UK, Saudis, and UAE Want Yemenis to Starve

By Stephen Lendman,

 

Famine stalks Yemen because of US/UK supported bombing raids coupled with a naval blockade – ignoring the laws of war. 

On Thursday, UN humanitarian official in Yemen Lise Grande said war in the country continues taking an “incalculable human” toll, adding:

Conditions “deteriorated dramatically in (recent) days. Families are absolutely terrified by” endless terror-bombing and shelling, countless numbers losing the struggle to survive daily.

On Friday, AP News reported that starving Yemenis in parts of the country are eating “leaves of a local vine, boiled into a sour, acidic green paste” – providing stomach filler but little else.

Yemen’s Aslam district health facilities are overwhelmed with starving, emaciated adults and children, including “(e)xcruciatingly thin toddlers (with) eyes bulging,” suffering from endless war, trauma, lack of food, and other essentials to life and well-being.

The same is true in many other communities throughout the country, devastated by endless US/UK orchestrated, Saudi-led aggression and blockade.

Countless numbers of Yemenis are extremely malnourished, starving.

After three-and-a-half years of endless war, thousands of Yemenis perished, no one keeping count of the mortality rate.

UN figures willfully distort and understate the human toll, worsening daily with no prospect for conflict resolution.

An unnamed mother spoke for countless others, saying she has no money to buy food, medicines or anything else for her children.

Availability of essentials to life in many parts of the country is woefully inadequate or nonexistent.

According to Yemeni health official Mekkiya Mahdi,

“(w)e are in the 21st century, but this is what the war did to us.”

In numerous villages and surrounding areas in parts of the country, most everyone is living off leaf paste, she said, adding “I go home, and I can’t put food in” the mouths of my family or myself.

Countless numbers of Yemenis are dying daily from war, related violence, untreated diseases, and starvation. Hundreds of thousands more are close to perishing. Millions may die if war continues for years.

The Trump regime and its imperial partners oppose conflict resolution while falsely claiming otherwise.

On Tuesday, Mike Pompeo deceived Congress, claiming the Saudi and UAE regimes “are undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure” – a bald-faced lie.

On Wednesday, a Pompeo press statement turned truth on its head, claiming the Trump regime considers “ending the conflict in Yemen…a national security priority,” adding:

The US is “work(ing) closely with the Saudi-led coalition to ensure Saudi Arabia and the UAE maintain support for UN-led efforts to end the civil war in Yemen, allow unimpeded access for the delivery of commercial and humanitarian support through as many avenues as possible, and undertake actions that mitigate the impact of the conflict on civilians and civilian infrastructure.”

Fact: Cold hard reality is polar opposite Pompeo’s willful Big Lie.

His spokeswoman Heather Nauert compounded the deception, saying the Trump regime is “implementing measures to protect civilians in Yemen” – they don’t give a damn about in the country or anywhere else.

Trump and UK regime hardliners are facilitating daily slaughter, starvation, and overall deprivation, supporting endless aggression and genocide, opposing diplomatic conflict resolution.

On Friday, Supreme Revolutionary Committee of Yemen chairman Mohammed Ali al-Houthi said Saudi and UAE warplanes intend attacking food storage facilities in Hodeidah, falsely claiming they’re used to store weapons.

The port city is the country’s main entry and distribution point for food, medical supplies, fuel, and other essentials to life.

On Wednesday, UNICEF said millions of Yemeni children are gravely harmed by severe malnutrition, starvation, lack of medical care, and displacement.

Its Yemen representative Meritxell Relano called the country “a living hell for its children.”

“(E)very year in (the country), 66,000 children under age five are dying of preventable diseases (alone)…(h)alf of them (perishing) during birth or in the first month of life (from) diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition related causes.”

Conditions are “catastrophic.” The lives and welfare of millions of Yemenis hang in the balance, countless numbers losing the struggle to survive, enduring extreme pain and suffering most people can’t imagine.

Yemen is ground zero for opposition to peace and indifference to human lives and welfare by the Trump regime and its imperial partners in high crimes.

Other US-led wars of aggression are just as contemptuous of rule of law principles and human life.

No nation more grievously violates the high-minded standards it professes to honor and respect than America.

Under Republicans and undemocratic Dems, it’s a ruthlessly vicious rogue state, exceeding the worst high crimes of all others.

It’s responsible for millions of deaths post-9/11 alone, accountability not forthcoming because the UN and world community do nothing to demand it.

*

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

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