Michael Fallon “Britain will support illegal U.S. action during next Chemical Weapons false flag in Syria”

Britain will support US if it attacks Syria over chemical weapons says Defence Secretary

Syria Air strikesGETTY

Britain will support US if it attacks Syria over Chemical weapons usage

The White House has said it has “potential” evidence the Syrian military is preparing for another chemical attack against rebel forces and warned the .

Sir Michael said that Britain had backed the US administration of President Donald Trump when it mounted missile strikes against the regime following a chemical attack last April and was prepared to do so again.

 

Assad: Chemical attack in Syria was ‘100% fabricated’

The Syrian president believes it was made up by the US

Syrian dictator Bashar AssadGETTY

Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has been accused of using chemical weapons on rebels

“As always in war, the military action you use must be justified, it must be legal, it must proportionate, it must be necessary. In the last case it was,” Sir Michael told the Radio 4 Today programme.

“If the Americans take similar action again, I want to be very clear – we will support it.”

 

Theresa May’s Dirty DUP Deal, 1 billion pounds worth of tax payers moneys used to support Conservative Party

Theresa May’s Dirty DUP Deal

Theresa May has finalized a shameful and disgraceful deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party to help her cling on to power and prop up her minority Tory Government. Never in Mrs. May’s wildest nightmares could she have imagined when she called the ghastly 2017 General Election in a naked power grab for a landslide majority, she would be returned to 10 Downing Street having lost seats with a share of the national vote only 2% higher than Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, and no majority of her own to govern effectively in the House of Commons.

So she has had to buy votes from one of the most right-wing, racist, homophobic, sexist, Islamophobic, sectarian and backwards parties in all of the UK. What can one say about the DUP? They are a freak circus of inarticulate, antediluvian bigots who exist in the stone ages. The DUP have a long history of close links and associations with the Protestant colonist terrorist «loyalists» of Northern Ireland. The loyalist terrorists started the conflict in Northern Ireland not the IRA. It was the virulently anti-Catholic sectarian DUP and their allies in the loyalist terrorist groups such as the UVF, UFF and UDA who waged a vicious campaign of violence, civil disobedience and discrimination against the Roman Catholic, Irish nationalist minority in Northern Ireland from the early 1960s onwards in much the same way white supremacists in the United States fought against the Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King.

The DUP under their abominable Cult leader, the maniac «Reverend» Ian Paisley, opposed every single initiative and proposal to bring peace between the warring communities of Northern Ireland up until 2007 when Ian Paisley was able to become First Minister. Paisley’s road to Damascus was about forty years in the making and because of him and his politics of bigotry/fear and his methods of whipping up the uneducated Protestant loyalist masses, quite a lot of innocent people lost their lives during that period. The members of the DUP are quite a motley crew. We have the former DUP Leader and First Minster Peter Robinson and his wife Iris. Mrs. Robinson had to resign her seat in disgrace from the House of Commons and her membership of the DUP was terminated when it came to light she had an extramarital affair with a 19-year-old in 2008 and she and her husband were faced with allegations of financial impropriety related to the affair.

The Robinsons were also major culprits in the 2009 Parliamentary expenses scandal. Mr. Robinson has had a long history of being involved with loyalist terrorists and was involved in a financial scandal of his own while stating that he: »wouldn’t trust Muslims devoted to Sharia Law, but I would trust them to go down to the shops for me». Another DUP MP a Mr. Sammy Wilson has been embroiled in a racist scandal of his own. Ironically for the DUP which is militantly anti-gay quite a few of their members are repressed homosexuals. Then we have their current leader a Ms. Arlene Foster who gave away half a billion pounds in public money to her cronies in the infamous «Cash for Ash» scandal. If this had happened in China, Ms. Foster would be in jail, not handed a further 1 Billion Pounds of public money by Theresa May to waste, as she wasted the last Half a Billion Pounds.

These are Mrs. May’s new British Government partners, her «strong friends» in the DUP, whom she has said share «many values» with her own Tory Party. The price for propping up and keeping in power the shameful, arrogant, lightweight Theresa May has been 1 Billion Pounds in taxpayers money (mainly English taxpayers money). Mrs. May has in effect bought votes in the House of Commons. During her appalling General Election campaign Mrs. May repeatedly said there was no «magic money tree» to end austerity for the police, nurses, doctors, teachers, ambulance drivers, social services and other critical public service workers. Yet, very conveniently, she has found a «magic money tree» to give the DUP a further 1 Billion Pounds to waste as they wasted almost Half a Billion Pounds in the «Cash for Ash» scandal. This woman May is pathetic and must go! There are many factors regarding the Tory-DUP deal which have severe implications nationally and internationally:

1.) By once again putting short-term political expediency above the national and international interest Theresa May is risking peace and stability in Northern Ireland. It took a lot of hard, commendable, noble work from the Conservative Prime Minister John Major and the Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair to bring to an end the violence and mayhem of Northern Ireland’s conflict. The superb John Major and equally brilliant Jonathan Powell have rightly pointed out that Mrs. May risks undoing all that painstakingly difficult work by aligning herself and her minority Tory Government with one party in the factional tribalism of the sectarian dysfunction that is Northern Ireland politics. The devolved consociational Stormont administration brought about by the Good Friday Agreement which governs at a provincial level in Belfast is still not up and running after six months in the abyss due to Foster’s arrogance (similar to Theresa May) and her wasting of Half a Billion Pounds.

2.) By aligning herself with such a reactionary and toxic party Mrs. May also risks undoing the work of David Cameron in detoxifying the Conservative Party brand and making it more acceptable to a more socially liberal and progressive population in England.

3.) By buying off votes in the House of Commons Mrs. May risks further inflaming social tensions between the constituent members of the UK and aggravating tensions within Britain’s Muslim community due to the DUP’s long track record of Islamophobia. Already the Welsh and Scottish administrations are asking if 1 Billion Pounds can be found for Northern Ireland what about Wales and Scotland? What about ending austerity in England? Mrs. May’s «cheap talk» as John Major correctly put it will be seen for just that. May repeatedly said during the General Election money could not be found for ending austerity in England, yet magically, she has found the money to end austerity in Northern Ireland.

4.) The Tory-DUP deal will have ramifications for what kind of Brexit is finally negotiated. The DUP are virulently anti-EU and want the hardest possible Brexit minus a hard border between Northern and Southern Ireland. As Mrs. May is now heavily dependent on their number for votes on Brexit legislation this will have real implications for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

5.) By bringing into the heart of the British Government an aggressively Islamophobic, anti-Muslim party, Mrs. May risks undermining the claim by NATO, the West and the United States that its «war on terror» in places such as Syria and Iraq is not a war on Muslims. The Muslim community in Britian is already feeling vulnerable and unfairly targeted through such Government surveillance programmes such as PREVENT. With the DUP having a say over security legislation and other matters this could risk further inflaming tensions with British Muslims and undermine the credibility of British military campaigns in places such as Syria and Afghanistan

 

Understanding Russia: The Continuum of History

June 20, 2017

by Yameen KhanUnderstanding Russia: The Continuum of History

The United States is actively committed to bring Russia into submission via encirclement and a two pronged attack.

NATO’s expansion of bases in vassal states right up to Russia’s borders, coupled with an attempt at encroachment in Syria, should allow The Hegemon to undermine Russia’s underbelly from the Caucasus to Central Asia.

To understand how Russians usually respond to Western power a little time travel, starting 1219 AD, is more than useful.

This was a time when a cataclysmic event left deep scars on the Russian character; an abiding fear of encirclement, whether by nomadic hordes then or by nuclear missile bases today.

Russia then was not a single state but consisted of a dozen principalities frequently at war with each other. Between 1219 and 1240 all these fell to the Genghis Khan hurricane, whose lightning-speed cavalry with his horse-borne archers, employing brilliant tactics unfamiliar to Europeans, caught army after army off guard and forced them into submission.

For more than 200 years Russians suffered under the Golden Horde of the Mongol – named after their great tent with golden poles. They left the Russian economy in ruins, brought commerce and industry to a halt, and reduced Russians to serfdom. Asiatic ways of administration and customs were superimposed on the existing Byzantine system.

Taking full advantage of its military weakness and of its reduced circumstances, Russia’s European neighbors started to help themselves to its territory, starting with German principalities, Lithuania, Poland, and Sweden. The Mongols couldn’t care less so long as they received their tribute. They were more concerned with their Asiatic dominions.

Still, European cities did not match the riches of Samarkand and Bukhara, Herat and Baghdad, whose incomparable wealth and splendor outshone wooden-built Russian cities.

Russia’s greatest fear begins here – crushed between their European foes to the West and the Mongols to the East. Russians were to develop a paranoid dread of invasion and encirclement which has tormented their foreign relations ever since. Hardly ever has an experience left such deep and ever-lasting scars on a nation’s psyche as this cataclysm did on Russians. This explains, among other things, their stoical acceptance of harsh rule at home.

And then came Ivan III – the man who freed the Russians from the Golden Horde.

Muscovy then was a small provincial town overshadowed by and subservient to its powerful neighbors. In return for allegiance and subservience locals were gradually entrusted with more power and freedom by the unsuspecting Mongols. Over time the Principality of Muscovy grew in strength and size, eventually to dominate all its neighbors.

In 1476 Ivan refused to pay the customary tribute to the grand Khan Ahmed. In a fit of rage Ivan trampled the portrait of Ahmed and put several of his envoys to death.

The showdown came in autumn 1480 when the Khan marched with his army to teach a vassal a lesson, but was astonished to find a large well-equipped force awaiting him on the far bank of the River Ugra, 150 miles from Moscow. For weeks the two armies glowered at one another, neither side wanting to make the first move.

The stakes were clear. Ivan did not need to cross the river. He would change the course of history if he did not lose. A stalemate could become a turning point in history.

For Ahmed Khan there is no choice. He must cross the river and engage. Win or die like Tariq ibin Ziyad in 711 AD, another age and time, when a brilliant Arab general landed on the ‘rock of Hercules’ subsequently called by Arab Historians ‘Jabal Tariq’, meaning the ‘mountain of Tariq’ and later anglicized as Gibraltar.

Tariq, by one master stratagem, with a much smaller force (12,000 against 90,000 Spaniards) at the Battle of Guadalete defeated Roderic and thus opened the road for the subsequent Arab commanders to march all the way to Tours in France.

With the arrival of winter, the river began to freeze. A ferocious battle appeared inevitable. And then something extraordinary happened. Perhaps a miracle. Without warning both sides turned and fled in panic. Despite their inglorious act, the Russians knew that their long subservience was over.

The Khan had lost his stomach for a fight. The once invincible Mongol might had evaporated. Their centralized authority in the West had now collapsed, leaving three widely separated khanates (Kazan, Astrakhan and Crimea) as their last remnants of the once mighty and the largest contiguous land empire in history.

It was in 1553 when Ivan the Terrible, a successor of Ivan III, thirsting for revenge, stormed the fortress of Kazan on the upper Volga, slaughtered its defenders and thus ended the Mongol rule. Two years later the Khanate of Astrakhan, where the Volga flows into the Caspian met with similar fate.

Starving Napoleon’s army

Fast forward to June 1812, and the fateful day, the 24th , when Napoleon’s Grande Armée crossed the Neman River in an attempt to engage and defeat the Russian army.

Napoleon’s aim was to compel Tsar Alexander I of Russia to stop trading with British merchants through proxies and bring about pressure on the United Kingdom to sue for peace. The overt political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia (as the US claims of Eastern Europe today). Thus the campaign was named the Second Polish War to gain favor with the Poles and provide a political pretense for his actions.

The real aim was domination of Russia.

The Grande Armée was massive; 680,000 soldiers. Through a series of marches Napoleon rushed the army rapidly through Western Russia in an attempt to bring the Russian army to battle, and in August of that year winning a number of minor engagements and a major battle at Smolensk.

Any invading army must consider war in Russia as a war at sea. It is futile to occupy land or city or cities. The aim of an invading force must be to destroy the military machine of Russia. The aim of Russian commanders has always been to survive and use its vast land mass to exhaust its enemy, learn from him and defeat and annihilate him with his own tactics and stratagems, only better executed.

Napoleon engaged the Russian army for a decisive battle at Maloyaroslavets. The Russians would not commit themselves to a pitched battle. His troops exhausted, with few rations, no winter clothing, and his remaining horses in poor condition, Napoleon was forced to retreat.

He hoped to reach supplies at Smolensk and later at Vilnius. In the weeks that followed the Grande Armée starved and suffered from the onset of “General Winter”. Lack of food and fodder for the horses, hypothermia from the bitter cold and persistent attacks upon isolated troops from Russian peasants and Cossacks led to great losses in men, and a general loss of discipline and cohesion in the army.

When Napoleon’s army crossed the Berezina River in November, only 27,000 fit soldiers remained. The Grand Armée had lost some 380,000 men dead and 100,000 captured. A riveting defeat.

All those Afghan overt – and covert – wars

Four centuries after the cataclysm of the Mongol invasion, the Russian Empire had been steadily expanding at the rate of 55 square miles a day – or 20,000 square miles a year. At the dawn of the 19thcentury only 2,000 miles separated the British and the Russian empires in Asia.

Both the Russians and the East India Company (as in the British Indian Empire) sent their officers, businessmen in disguise, as Buddhist priests or Muslim holy men, to survey uncharted Central Asia.

One such chap was Captain Arthur Connolly of the 6th Bengal Light Cavalry in the service of the British East India Company. The East India Company was the British version of America’s Halliburton.

Connolly ended up beheaded as a spy by the orders of Alim Khan, the Emir of Bukhara. It was Connolly who coined the expression “The Great Game”, which Kipling immortalized in his novel “Kim”.

By the end of the 19th century the Tsars’ armies had swallowed one Khanate after another and only a few hundred miles separated the two empires. In some places the distance was only twenty miles.

The British feared that they would lose their Indian possessions – the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ – to the Tsar; and two theories emerged to defend the frontiers of British India.

The ‘forward policy’ and its proponents (hawks, today’s US neocons) argued to stop the Russians beyond India’s frontiers by getting there first, either by invasion, or by creating compliant ‘buffer’ states, or satellites, astride the likely invasion route.

But there were those who did not buy this proposition and did not believe that the Russians would invade India. The opponents of the ‘forward policy’ argued that India’s best defense lay in its unique geographical setting – bordered by impassable mountain ranges, mighty rivers, waterless deserts, and above all warlike tribes.

A Russian force which reached India surmounting all these obstacles would be so weakened by then that it would be no match for the waiting British Army. Therefore, it was more sensible to force an invader to overextend his lines of communications than for the British to risk theirs. And above all this policy was cheaper.

NATO today has a forward policy of deploying troops all over Eastern Europe and creating bases around Russia in an effort to encircle it. The final straw for the Russian Federation has been the occupation of Ukraine, by proxy, by Washington.

Guess who won the policy debate in 19th century Britain? The hawks (the US neocons of today), of course.

In 1838 Lord Auckland decides to replace the current Emir of Afghanistan, Dost Muhammad Khan with Shuja-ul-Mulk.

One could easily replace Dost Muhammad of Afghanistan in 1838 with today’s Gaddafi of Libya or Saddam Hussein of Iraq or Bashar al-Assad of Syria. Or Putin of Russia. Or anyone who becomes an obstacle to the West’s geopolitical, geoeconomic domination.

And yet the British suffered a massive defeat after a year’s occupation of Afghanistan. The only soldier who eventually reached Jalalabad was William Brydon. The Afghans may have spared him so he would be able to tell the tale of this horrific defeat.

You would think the British would have learned from history. Not at all. They did it again.

Tension between Russia and Britain in Europe ended in June 1878 with the Congress of Berlin. Russia then turned its attention to Central Asia, promptly sending an uninvited diplomatic mission to Kabul.

Sher Ali Khan, the Emir of Afghanistan (the son of Emir Dost Muhammad Khan) tried unsuccessfully to keep them out. Russian envoys arrived in Kabul on July 22, 1878, and on August 14, the British demanded that Sher Ali accept a British mission too.

The Emir not only refused to receive a British mission under Neville Bowles Chamberlain, but threatened to stop it if it were dispatched. Lord Lytton, the viceroy, ordered a diplomatic mission to set out for Kabul in September 1878 but the mission was turned back as it approached the eastern entrance of the Khyber Pass, triggering the Second Anglo–Afghan War.

After several defeats in various battles except one, and thus abandoning the provocative policy of maintaining a British resident in Kabul, the British were forced to withdraw.

One would think the British would have enough sense to cease with the stupid policy of occupying Afghanistan. Not at all. They tried it for the third time.

The Third Afghan War began on May 6, 1919 and ended with an armistice on August 8, 1919. An Afghan victory, again.

The British finally abandoned their forward policy. It had failed – just as the American neocons “policy” is failing.

And yet, roughly 60 years later the Russians would don the madman’s (British) hat and on December 25th, 1979, launched a vertical envelopment and occupied Kabul.

Their main aim was the airbase at Shindand, about 200 miles as the crow flies from the Straits of Hormuz, the choke point of the Persian Gulf, through which at the time 90% of the world’s oil was flowing.

They placed 200 Bear Bombers – the equivalent of the US B-52’s – as if sending a message to President Carter: “Checkmate”. A certain game was over – and a covert war was about to begin.

As our historical trip takes us from The Great Game to the Cold War, by now it’s more than established that the United States took on the mantle of the British Empire and filled in the power vacuum left by the British. If Connolly were to come back during the Cold War he would be right at home – as the Cold War was a continuation of the Great Game.

In between, of course, there was a guy named Hitler.

After Napoleon, it was Hitler who considered the Russians as barbarians and despite a nonaggression pact invaded Russia.

The Second Great European War (GEW II) was in fact fought between Germany and the USSR. Germany deployed 80% of its economic and military resources on its Eastern Front compared to 20% against the rest of the allies on the Western Front, where it was merely a ‘fire brigade operation’ (Hitler’s words).

Paul Carell describes the moment when, at 0315 on June 22nd 1941, the massive ‘Operation Barbarossa’ over a 900-mile front went under way.

“As though a switch had been thrown a gigantic flash of lightening rent the night. Guns of all calibres simultaneously belched fire. The tracks of tracer shells streaked across the sky. As far as the eye could see the front on the Bug was a sea of flames and flashes. A moment later the deep thunder of the guns swept over the tower of Volka Dobrynska like a steamroller. The whine of the mortar batteries mingled eerily with the rumble of the guns. Beyond the Bug a sea of fire and smoke was raging. The narrow sickle of the moon was hidden by a veil of cloud. Peace was dead.”

Bagration revisited

Russians are masters of Sun Tzu: “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

These principles were recently applied in Ukraine and Crimea. For background, one just needs to study the battle of Kursk as well as Operation Bagration.

The Soviet military doctrine of maskirovka was developed in the 1920s, and used by Zhukov in the 1939 Battles of Khalkhin Gol against Japan.

The Field Regulations of the Red Army (1929) stated that:

“Surprise has a stunning effect on the enemy. For this reason all troop operations must be accomplished with the greatest concealment and speed.”

Concealment was to be attained by confusing the enemy with movements, camouflage and use of terrain, speed, use of night and fog, and secrecy.

Operation Bagration – the Soviet destruction of the German Army Group Centre – was, arguably, the single most successful military action of the entire war. This vital Soviet offensive is symptomatic of the lack of public knowledge in the West about the war in the East. Whilst almost everyone has heard of D-Day, few people other than specialist historians know much about Operation Bagration.

Yet the sheer size of Bagration dwarfs that of D-Day.

“Army Group Centre was really the anchor of that whole German front,’ writes Professor Geoffrey Wawro, ‘blocking the shortest path to Berlin; and the Russians annihilated it at the same time as we were landing on D-Day and marching on, liberating Paris and then heading towards Germany. But the scope of the fighting was much bigger in the East.

You had ten times as many Russians fighting in Bagration as you had Anglo/American/Canadian troops landing on the Normandy beaches.

And you had three times as many Germans in action fighting trying to hold up the Russian advance as you had defending the Atlantic Wall.

So, it’s a perfect encapsulation of the problem (of lack of appreciation of the scale of fighting on the Eastern Front). I mean, think about it, when D-Day and Bagration jumped off, the allied armies in Normandy and the Russian armies on the Eastern Front were equidistant from Berlin, and in the German view they were sort of equal threats.

After Operation Bagration, Russia is seen as being the principal threat because they just kicked down the door altogether and reoccupied all the ground that was lost in 1941. They take most of Poland and they move into East Prussia and they’re at the very gates of Berlin while we’re still slogging our way through Normandy and towards Paris.”

Operation Bagration was a colossal victory for the Red Army. By the 3rd of July Soviet forces had recaptured Minsk, capital of Belorussia, a city which had been in German hands for three years. And by the end of July the Red Army had pushed into what had been, before the war, Polish territory, and had taken Lwow, the major cultural center of eastern Poland.

Before Operation Barbarossa, the German High Command masked the creation of the massive force arrayed to invade the USSR and heightened their diplomatic efforts to convince Joseph Stalin that they were about to launch a major attack on Britain.

Maskirovka (deception) was put into practice on a large scale in the Battle of Kursk, especially on the Steppe Front commanded by Ivan Konev.

The result was that the Germans attacked Russian forces four times stronger than they were expecting.

The German general Friedrich von Mellenthin wrote, “The horrible counter-attacks, in which huge masses of manpower and equipment took part, were an unpleasant surprise for us… The most clever camouflage of the Russians should be emphasized again. We did not .. detect even one minefield or anti-tank area until .. the first tank was blown up by a mine or the first Russian anti-tank guns opened fire”.

Broadly, military deception may take both strategic and tactical forms. Deception across a strategic battlefield was uncommon until the modern age (particularly in the world wars of the 20th century), but tactical deception (on individual battlefields) dates back to early history.

In a practical sense military deception employs visual misdirection, misinformation (for example, via double agents) and psychology to make the enemy believe something that is untrue. The use of military camouflage, especially on a large scale, is a form of deception.

The Russian loanword maskirovka (literally: masking) is used to describe the Soviet Union and Russia’s military doctrine of surprise through deception, in which camouflage plays a significant role.

There are numerous examples of deception activities employed throughout the history of warfare, such as: feigned retreat leading the enemy, through a false sense of security, into a pre-positioned ambush; fictional units creating entirely fictional forces or exaggerating the size of an army; smoke screen – a tactical deception involving smoke, fog, or other forms of cover to hide battlefield movements; Trojan Horse – gaining admittance to a fortified area under false pretenses, to later admit a larger attacking force; strategic envelopment – where a small force distracts the enemy while a much larger force moves to attack from the rear (that was a favored tactic of Napoleon’s).

And that brings us to Syria, and its importance to Russia.

The deep state in Washington wants to keep the entire spectrum from the Levant to the Indian sub-continent destabilized – shaping it as the platform to send sparks of terrorism North to Russia and East to China. At the same time the US military will keep a physical presence (if China, India and Russia will allow it) in Afghanistan, from where it can survey the Eurasian land mass. As a master geopolitical chess player, Putin is very much aware of all this.

Syria is right at the underbelly of Russia and would be strategically important if it were in the hands of remote-controlled thugs like Ukraine is today. It has the potential to destabilize Russia from the Caucasus to Central Asia – generating as many Salafi-jihadi terrorists as possible. The region from the Caucasus to Central Asia holds about 80 million Muslims. Russia has enough reasons to stop US advances in Syria and Ukraine. Not to mention that in Iraqi Kurdistan the Pentagon is aiming to build a mega base, a springboard to create mischief in Central Asia for both Russia and China, in the form, for instance, of an Uyghur uprising in Western China, like it has done in Ukraine for Russia.

Once again; it may be helpful to look back to the continuum of history. It tells us these current efforts to encircle and destabilize Russia are destined to fail. (edited by Pepe Escobar)

Selected bibliography:

Carell, Paul: Hitler’s War on Russia (George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd., London, 1964).
Fraser-Tytler, W.K.: Afghanistan: A Study of Political Developments in Central Asia (Oxford University Press, London, 1950).
Hopkirk, Peter: Foreign Devils on the Silk Road: The Search for Lost Cities and Treasures of Chinese Central Asia (First Published by John Murry (Publisher), 1980; First issued as an Oxford University Press, paperback 1980, Oxford).
Tzu, Sun: The Art of War (Edited with an introduction by Dallas Galvin; Translated from Chinese by Lionel Giles, First Published in 1910, Produced by Fine Creative Media, Inc. New Yor
Gibbon, Edward: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume III (Random House Inc. Manufactured in the United States by H. Wolf).
Weatherford, Jack: Genghis Khan and the making of the Modern World (Three Rivers Press, New York).
Wawro, Geoffrey: WW2.com (Professor of Military History at the University of North Texas).

Palestinian Christians Send Open Letter to World Council of Churches

Posted on June 16, 2017

Palestinian Christians have published an open letter to the World Council of Churches asking that the international ecumenical body recognize Israel as an apartheid state.

“As we meet this month in Bethlehem in occupied Palestine, we are still suffering from 100 years of injustice and oppression that were inflicted on the Palestinian people beginning with the unjust and unlawful Balfour declaration,” the letter begins.

The document makes no specific reference to Christian Zionism, but it does assert that Palestinians are suffering “because of one political declaration from a Western empire, based on a twisted theological premise,” and calls upon the WCC to “take the strongest theological stand against any theology or Christian group that justifies the occupation and privileges one nation over the other based on ethnicity or a covenant.”

The phrase “twisted theological premise” is a pretty good way of characterizing Christian Zionism, and I probably couldn’t have come up with a better descriptor myself.

Additionally, the letter makes reference to two other documents, one of them being the Amaan Call, issued by the WCC ten years ago following a meeting held in Amaan, Jordan. The other document mentioned is the Kairos Palestine document, a letter signed by Palestinian Christians and published in 2009.

This latest letter urges Christians of conscience not to “hide behind the cover of political neutrality,” and also calls upon the WCC support the BDS movement.

The WCC is scheduled to hold a meeting next week in Bethlehem.

The Friends of Sabeel of North America is calling upon members of the public to sign onto the letter. I reproduce the letter in full below. You can go here to sign onto it.

***

 

Letter from Palestinian Christians to the World Council of Churches

Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. (Isa. 1:17)

Background

As we meet this month in Bethlehem in occupied Palestine, we are still suffering from 100 years of injustice and oppression that were inflicted on the Palestinian people beginning with the unjust and unlawful Balfour declaration. The injustice was intensified through the Nakba and the influx of refugees, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza, the fragmentation of our people and land through policies of isolation and confiscation of property, and the building of Jewish-only settlements and the apartheid wall.

We are still suffering because of one political declaration from a Western empire, based on a twisted theological premise. Even some churches and Christian leaders supported the establishment of the colonial state in our land, and totally ignored—even dehumanized—the nation, our people who had already existed here for centuries and paid the price for atrocities committed in Europe.

Hundred years later, with thousands of lives lost, towns and villages razed from the face of the earth (though not our memory), millions of refugees, thousands of homes demolished, and continued incarceration of prisoners, our Nakba continues.

A hundred years later and there is still no justice in our land! Discrimination and inequality, military occupation and systematic oppression are the rule. Today, we stand in front of an impasse and we have reached a deadlock. Despite all the promises, endless summits, UN resolutions, religious and lay leaders’ callings, Palestinians are still yearning for their freedom and independence, and seeking justice and equality. Humanly speaking, we have reached the “moment of impossible,” as Emeritus Latin Patriarch Sabbah said recently.

Could it be that we have reached this “impossible moment” because things were built from the very beginning—a hundred years ago—on an unjust premise? Should we expect that such an unjust declaration will create anything but strife and destruction?

Today is also an opportunity to remember the 10-year-old Amman Call. We are thankful to those who stood with us back then in costly solidarity—those who stood for truth and justice. We are also concerned that 10 years later the situation is still deteriorating. Like other initiatives advocating end of occupation, the Amman Call did not achieve its goals in building and achieving just peace. We must ask ourselves today why that is.

We are also concerned by Israel’s systemic assault on Palestinian creative resistance, and on our partners worldwide who use this method to pressure Israel to end the occupation. Many new laws were issued in Israel and around the world to oppose this creative non-violent resistance unlawfully, and to stop all effort toward peace. Not only is this an attack on the freedom of conscience and speech but it is also an assault on our right and duty to resist evil with good. Israel is even now trying to prevent pilgrims from visiting Bethlehem, the city of Emmanuel!

While we are grateful for the ‘costly solidarity’ articulated in the Amman Call and exercised by many churches around the world, we are concerned that some churches have weakened their positions in the last 10 years as a result of Israeli pressure. Many still hide behind the cover of political neutrality, not wishing to offend their partners in religious dialogue.

Finally, we meet in an environment of religious wars and persecution in our region. Religious extremism is on the rise, and religious minorities have paid a painful price. We thank you for your efforts toward the refugees and toward ending the conflicts in our region. We also thank you for your support of persecuted Christians in places like Iraq and Syria.

Our Call

“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness (Justice), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me”. (Matthew 5:10-11)

As we stand in front of this “impossible moment,” it gives us no pleasure to say that “we told you so” eight years ago when we declared the moment as a Kairos moment! We stand facing the impossible, but we have not lost hope, since as followers of the Risen One, we are the people of hope. However, we need you and we need you now more than ever. We need your costly solidarity. We need brave women and men who are willing to stand in the forefront. This is no time for shallow diplomacy Christians. We urge you to hear our call and adopt the following:

1. That you call things as they are: recognize Israel as an apartheid state in terms of international law and in agreement of what a person like Desmond Tutu said and as the UN ESCWA report said: “Israel is guilty of imposing an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people.. We are disturbed by the fact that states and churches are dealing with Israel as if the situation were normal, ignoring the reality of occupation, discrimination, and daily death in the land. Just as churches united to end apartheid in South Africa and whereby the WCC played a courageous and pivotal prophetic and leadership role, we expect you to do the same!

2. That you unequivocally condemn the Balfour declaration as unjust, and that you demand from the UK that it asks forgiveness from the Palestinian people and compensates for the losses. We ask that churches and Christians support the Palestinians in their request for justice.

3. That you take the strongest theological stand against any theology or Christian group that justifies the occupation and privileges one nation over the other based on ethnicity or a covenant. We ask that you adopt and live the theology suggested by Kairos Palestine and that you organize conferences to bring awareness toward this end.

4. That you take a stand against religious extremism and against any attempt to create a religious state in our land or region. We ask that you support us in combating the foundations of extremism and that you seek our council when acting against religious extremism so that you do not jeopardize and harm our standing here.

5. That you revisit and challenge your religious dialogue partners, and that you are willing to even withdraw from the partnership if needed, if the occupation and injustices in Palestine and Israel are not challenged.

6. That you lead campaigns for church leaders and pilgrims to visit Bethlehem and other Palestinian cities on this side of the wall in cooperation with Palestinian tourist and pilgrimage agencies, in response to recent attempts by Israel. We ask that you publicly challenge any attempt by Israel or other Christians that discourage pilgrims from visiting Palestinian places.

7. That you defend our right and duty to resist the occupation creatively and non-violently. We ask that you speak in support of economic measures that pressure Israel to stop the occupation and that you support atheltic, cultural, and academic measures against Israel until it complies with international law and UN resolutions urging the ending of its occupation, apartheid, and discrimination, and accepts refugees to return to their homeland. This is our last peaceful resort. In response to Israel’s war on BDS, we ask that you intensify that measure.

8. That you create lobby groups in defense of Palestinian Christians. We ask that you publicly and legally challenge Christian organizations that discredit our work and legitimacy.

9. We therefore propose as a matter of the greatest urgency that you create a strategic program within WCC similar to the program “To Combat Racism” to lead efforts to lobby, advocate, and develop active programs toward justice and peace in Palestine and Israel and maintain the presence of the Palestinian Christians through supporting their organizations, church work, and peaceful efforts.

As faithful witnesses, we acknowledge, affirm, and continue the long-standing prophetic tradition, especially the one started by the Amman Call and articulated in the Kairos Palestine document. We fully grasp the pressure church leaders are facing here and abroad not to speak the truth, and it is because of this that we are raising this call.

Things are beyond urgent. We are on the verge of a catastrophic collapse. The current status quo is unsustainable. This could be our last chance to achieve a just peace. As a Palestinian Christian community, this could be our last opportunity to save the Christian presence in this land. Our only hope as Christians comes from the fact that in Jerusalem, the city of God, and our city, there is an empty tomb, and Jesus Christ who triumphed over death and sin brought to us and to all humanity, new life.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Cor. 4:8-9)

12 June 2017

Signed By:

Jerusalem
Arab Catholic Scouts Group
Arab Orthodox Society, Jerusalem
Caritas, Jerusalem
Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees—Middle East Council of Churches
Greek Catholic Sayedat AlBishara Association
International Christian Committee
Laity Committee in the Holy Land
National Christian Association
Pontifical Mission Palestine
Sabeel—Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center
Seeds of Better life
Union of Arab Orthodox Club, Jerusalem
Young Men’s Christian Association—YMCA
Young Women’s Christian Association—YWCA

 

Gaza
NECC office

 

Bethlehem (NCOB) Network of Christian Organizations in Bethlehem
The East Jerusalem YMCA—Beit Sahour Branch
The Arab Educational Institute
Holy Land Trust, Bethlehem
Wi’am Center, Bethlehem
Saint Afram Assyrian Society
Holy Land Christians Ecumenical Foundation, Bethlehem
Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI)
Arab Orthodox Club, Beit Sahour
Arab Orthodox Club, Beit Jala
Arab Orthodox Club, Bethlehem
The Arab Orthodox Charitable Society, Beit Sahour
Bethlehem Bible College
Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies
Alternative Tourism Group, ATG, Beit Sahour
Senior Citizen Charitable Society
Environmental educational Center, Beit Jala
Saint Vincent Charitable Society, Beit Jala
Shepherds’ Children Society, Beit Sahour
Kairos Palestine

 

Click here to add your signature to the letter

Iran 1953: State Department Finally Releases Updated Official History of Mosaddeq Coup

Formerly Secret Documents from State, CIA Provide New Information about Covert Operations Planning and Implementation Plus Contemporaneous Analyses Long-Awaited Volume Supplements Earlier Publication that Whitewashed U.S., British Roles

Global Research, June 17, 2017

The State Department today released a long-awaited “retrospective” volume of declassified U.S. government documents on the 1953 coup in Iran, including records describing planning and implementation of the covert operation. The publication is the culmination of decades of internal debates and public controversy after a previous official collection omitted all references to the role of American and British intelligence in the ouster of Iran’s then-prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq. The volume is part of the Department’s venerable Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series.

For decades, neither the U.S. nor the British governments would acknowledge their part in Mosaddeq’s overthrow, even though a detailed account appeared as early as 1954 in The Saturday Evening Post, and since then CIA and MI6 veterans of the coup have published memoirs detailing their activities. Kermit Roosevelt’s Countercoup is the best known and most detailed such account, although highly controversial because of its selective rendering of events. In 2000, The New York Times posted a 200-page classified internal CIA history of the operation.

Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, (undated photo).

In 1989, the State Department released what purported to be the official record of the coup period but it made not a single reference to American and British actions in connection with the event. The omission led to the resignation of the chief outside adviser on the series, and prompted Congress to pass legislation requiring “a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record” of U.S. foreign policy. After the end of the Cold War, the CIA committed to open agency files on the Iran and other covert operations, and the State Department vowed to produce a “retrospective” volume righting the earlier decision.

But it took until 2011 for the CIA to – partially – fulfill its commitment, and even then it was only in the form of a previously classified segment of an internal account of the coup that for the first time included an officially released explicit reference to the agency’s role in “TPAJAX,” the U.S. acronym for the operation. Roughly two years later, after years of research by historian James C. Van Hook, as well as internal negotiations between State and CIA over access to the latter’s records, the Office of the Historian at the Department produced a draft of the retrospective volume, which then had to await top-level clearance.

What explains the refusal by two governments to acknowledge their actions, and the inordinate delays in publishing this volume? Justifications given in the past include protecting intelligence sources and methods, bowing to British government requests and, more recently, avoiding stirring up Iranian hardline elements who might seek to undercut the nuclear deal Iran signed with the United States and other P5+1 members in 2015.

While the volume’s contents still are being sifted through, here’s a description from the Preface:

This Foreign Relations retrospective volume focuses on the use of covert operations by the Truman and Eisenhower administrations as an adjunct to their respective policies toward Iran, culminating in the overthrow of the Mosadeq government in August 1953. Moreover, the volume documents the involvement of the U.S. intelligence community in the policy formulation process and places it within the broader Cold War context. For a full appreciation of U.S. relations with Iran between 1951 and 1954, this volume should be read in conjunction with the volume published in 1989.

“This is going to be an important source for anyone interested in the tortured relationship between Washington and Tehran,” said Malcolm Byrne, who runs the National Security Archive’s Iran-U.S. Relations Project. “But the fact that it has taken over six decades to declassify and release these records about such a pivotal historical event is mind-boggling.”

As Archive staff make their way through the hundreds of records in the volume, we will update this posting with highlights.

Read the volume:

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Iran, 1951-1954 (2017)
Editor: James C. Van Hook

 

 

 

 

 

All images in this article are from the original source .

Is Michael Foster a Chameleon?

June 13, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

By Gilad Atzmon

The utterly repellent Michael Foster who has spent the last 2 years waging a relentless campaign against Jeremy Corbyn has now apparently become a Corbyn supporter.  Foster now admits that he was “wrong on Corbyn.”  The Jewish labour donor used the notorious Zionist Times of Israel to “tip his hat to the leader’s success”

In a spectacular admission that portrays total cultural and political  detachment Foster says,  “I was wrong on that his brand of leadership and socialism would not appeal.”

The samecharacter who a year ago professed that he despised Corbyn  and labelled his supporters “Sturm Abteilung” (Nazi stormtroopers) has convenientlychanged his spots.

However, don’t let the sly Foster mislead you. Foster is not a chameleon. He didn’t transform into a British patriot who cares for the working people or the resurrection of the NHS. Foster is a Jewish ethnic campaigner. Foster is interested in only one thing: Jewish tribal interests.    

“To the future, Jeremy (note the shift to personal language) from my point of view has two things that matter to me, to deal with. He must continue to stamp out any sign of anti Semitism within Labour; and he must on that score make i think more of an effort, both private and public to meet with, and meet the legitimate fears of, the Jewish Community.”

And now the warning: “Jeremy’s legitimacy as a leader of all factions within Britain will in part depend on him achieving this. He can make the Jews of Britain feel safe, without in any way abandoning his strong and righteous belief in the need for a self governing and free, Palestinian homeland.”

Can he? Will the Fosters of this world let Corbyn be? Will they let him support Palestine and denounce Israeli brutality? Seemingly Foster and the Jewish lobby have yet to read the picture. Corbyn’s success means thatalthough every Jewish institution in the kingdom was determined to destroy him, Corbyn was able to prevail by turning Labour into a popular movement. He is likely to becomePM within a year.

Corbyn proved that Western politics can survive without an injection of shekels. This is must be devastating news for the Lobby, for AIPAC, ADL, BOD, LFI, CFI, Criff and for the Michael Fosters. However, for the rest of us, it is  encouraging news, it arouses a spirit of emancipation.

Gilad’s Being in Time can be ordered on Amazon.co.uk  & Amazon.com  and on Gilad’s site  here.

Evidence of fakery in BBC “Saving Syria’s Children” is now undeniable

Evidence of fakery in BBC “Saving Syria’s Children” is now undeniable

By Catte | OffGuardian | June 14, 2017

For nearly two years now we have been following the dedicated work of Robert Stuart in exposing the possible fabrications behind the infamous BBC Panorama documentary “Savin Syria’s Children.” On June 11 he gave a public presentation summarising his work to date, which is also available as a PDF. As an overview of the evidence in the case, it is well worth reading. You can download it HERE. And below are some of the highlights.

First a brief reminder of the back story:

On August 29 2013, as the UK Parliament was about to vote on possible military action against the Assad government in Syria, the BBC’s 10 o’clock news aired a segment titled Syria crisis: Incendiary bomb victims ‘like the walking dead’ in which it was claimed a Syrian fighter jet had dropped an incendiary bomb containing a “napalm-type” substance on the playground of the Urm al-Kubra school near Aleppo. The BBC claimed its own team “inside Syria filming for [the documentary series]Panorama” had been witnesses to the victims arriving at the Atareb hospital, and it aired a segment of footage showing incoming casualties.This footage later formed the basis for the documentary “Saving Syria’s Children.”

The discrepancies and other problems surrounding this footage and the BBC documentary are legion. We have documented some of them here and here and here, and Robert Stuart’s blog offers a detailed database that puts it beyond doubt the BBC has not been entirely honest about the origins of and motives behind this film.

Stuart’s PDF highlights some additional areas of interest:

The reality of the alleged injuries

The injuries visible in the BBC footage have been questioned by medical professionals:

Can our readers see any sign of injury on this – thankfully – healthy-seeming little baby, let alone ’80% burns”?

Number and identity of victims

In a real event the number of victims, their names, backgrounds and photos should be reasonably consistent. Wide disparities would be hard to reconcile with something happening in the real world. Especially so in this case, given the people giving us the figures were allegedly there on the scene either treating the victims hands-on or filming it begin done. You’d expect a pretty clear and definite report on the numbers treated in the quite small Atareb hospital. But this doesn’t seem to be the case:

How is it that Dr Ahsan, who was right on scene, first claimed there were “25” victims, but in a later interview almost doubled the number to “40”, while Ian Pannell claimed there were “30” victims treated at Atareb that day, and Rola Hallam’s Hand in Hand For Syria website trumped them all, claiming “50” of the victims were brought to Atareb?

Did neither Dr Ahsan nor Ian Pannell, nor the Hand In Hand for Syria website make any effort to obtain a definitive account of the numbers they treated? Were they just grabbing figures at random?

Chronology

It ought to be possible, in today’s interconnected age, to determine when an event occurred with a maximum disparity of – say – one or two hours if the event occurred in a remote rural location and much less if it was in an urban setting with numerous witnesses. Of course some variation in the accounts of those present is to be expected, because humans are fallible and the events themselves are traumatic and confusing. But even so there is a minimal standard of consistency we need to demand.

Yet look at the huge disparity of timings offered up about this event:

The fact that different sources can place the alleged attack on the Url al-Kubra school as much as six hours apart is very hard to reconcile with any form of veridical reality.

Let’s remember there was a BBC camera crew right there to record these events. Even allowing for shock and confusion, we might expect Ian Pannell, the producer, and his award-winning cameraman, Darren Conway to pin down the timing pretty firmly. But Pannell says the events happened at “around 5:30”. Conway says “I don’t know, it was somewhere between 3 and 5.”

I don’t know”? “It was somewhere between...”? “Around 5:30”? This isn’t quite the stringent attention to detail we might expect from professionals in a war zone. Surely they can pin it down a bit closer than that? How come Pannell has ended up thinking it was at least two and a half hours later than the earliest time given by Conway? Didn’t they discuss the timing with one another after the event? Don’t they have phones or watches? Doesn’t any of their footage have a time code?

Dr Saleyah Ahsan

Dr Saleyah Ahsan, one of the two British medical personnel to appear in the Panorama documentary, and filmed attending to the alleged victims, is a former British Army captain, trained at the elite Sandhurst military academy, who served in Bosnia and went out to Libya to “support the revolution”, before staying on to give medical service to the “fighters” (presumably the NATO-backed “rebels”).

I’m sure we can all agree this is definitely not the profile of someone in Military Intelligence.

Interestingly, her ex-CO now runs medical simulation training exercises, as Saleyah herself revealed in passing when she was sent to cover the exercises by BBC Newsnight

The below images are of FAKE INJURIES provided by professional medical simulation firms. You might argue they look more convincing than anything seen on the BBC Panorama program.

Dr Rola Hallam & her shadowy dad

Saleyah’s connections are as curious as those of the other British doctor present during the filming of alleged casualties at the Atareb hospital, Dr Rola Hallam, executive on the board of the Hand in Hand For Syria charity, and whose father Dr Mousa al-Kurdi, may or may not be connected with the self-styled “Syrian National Council”, a supporter of the terrorists/“rebels” and a barely-concealed front for western-backed interests in Syria. He certainly seems to be no friend of the current Syrian president.

We say “may or may not be connected with the SNC”, because Rola Hallam is on record denying her father is a member of the SNC, while her colleague seems to be of a different opinion:

These women clearly need to work harder at co-ordinating their narrative.

* * *

The evidence for some form of fakery here is now undeniable. Not only are some of the major players shown to be previously involved in pro-western regime change narratives and/or politically active in the bid to unseat Assad, but the footage taken by the BBC itself shows clear signs of being less than real. The alleged injuries look questionable, not simply to lay people but to medical professionals. The narrative is inconsistent, the timing extremely convenient for the pro-west, pro-NATO agenda.

What does this mean in a wider context? If the BBC and elements of the British medical profession have – as seems highly possible – colluded to produce fake news of a fake event, how should we view other such convenient narratives involving alleged loss of life, implicating acknowledged enemies of the West, and seeming to justify more wars of intervention, more surveillance, more curbs on our freedom? What if an event were to happen in future in – say – Berlin, New York, London, Melbourne that has all the same hallmarks of questionable-seeming injuries, vague timelines, vague or poorly sourced victim-lists, and a seemingly pre-prepared perp that plugs right in to the west’s current hate-list or perpetual war agenda?

How parochial or racist is it for us to to assume fakery is a priori impossible when the victims are mostly white and have Facebook pages?

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