All anti-government jihadists in Syria are US supported terrorists

Refuting the Myth of Moderate Rebels in Syria

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

All anti-government jihadists in Syria are US supported terrorists, used as imperial foot soldiers against the country’s sovereign independence. 

No so-called moderate rebels exist, one of many Big Lies about Washington’s war since launched in March 2011, now in its eighth year, with no prospect for near-term resolution – because the US wants endless war and regime change.

Washington, NATO, Turkey, the Saudis and Israel want pro-Western puppet rule replacing overwhelmingly popular Bashar al-Assad and his government.

Russia’s good faith efforts so far failed to find common ground for ending years of war. Given Washington’s rage for toppling Assad, it could continue years longer.

Afghanistan is the prototype for endless US wars of aggression, forever war in the country, raging unresolved in its 18th year with no prospect for ending it.

Syria and US wars in other theaters follow the same pattern. All US wars launched post-9/11 continue because Republicans and undemocratic Dems oppose resolution – in deference to America’s military, industrial, security, media complex.

Russia’s involvement in Syria prevented the US from gaining another imperial trophy, along with its aim to isolate Iran ahead of a similar campaign to topple its sovereign independent government.

The Islamic Republic is Israel’s main regional rival, forthrightly opposed to its mistreatment of Palestinians and Washington’s imperial agenda.

It’s why the US targeted its government for regime change since its 1979 revolution, Trump regime hardliners more hellbent for it than their predecessors.

They’re waging intense sanctions war against Iran’s economy and population – perhaps intending hot war if current tactics fail like every time before.

Tehran is aiding Syria combat US supported terrorists, Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) military advisors alone involved, operating from Syrian bases, not Iranian ones as Israel and the US falsely claim.

The battle to liberate Idlib province from US supported terrorists remains to be waged, their last major stronghold in the country.

Perhaps it’s imminent in the coming days. On Saturday, SouthFront reported that Syrian forces are “preparing to launch limited military operation(s) in greater Idlib…respond(ing) to the repeated violations of the Russian-Turkish deconfliction agreement.”

According to Russian General Vladimir Savchenko, head of its reconciliation center in Syria, since the September 17 Russia/Turkey Idlib demilitarized zone agreement, “more than 530 violations” by US-supported terrorists were documented.

They killed 25 Syrian soldiers, wounding another 67, including five civilians. They’re using Idlib as a platform to launch terrorist attacks – supported and encouraged by Washington and its imperial partners.

On Friday, AMN News reported that Syrian forces attacked al-Nusra and allied terrorists in Idlib, responding to their attack, killing and wounding government forces.

Fars News reported that al-Nusra and allied terrorists “intensified attacks on Syrian army (forces from Idlib’s) demilitarized zone.”

On Saturday, RT explained that (US-supported) al-Nusra and likeminded jihadists in Idlib “unit(ed) under (a) single anti-Assad command, eroding whatever thin line ever existed between the so-called ‘moderate’ militants and hardcore jihadists.”

RT stopped short of explaining that all anti-government jihadists in Syria and elsewhere regionally are “hardcore” terrorists. No so-called  “moderate rebels” exist.

Most anti-government jihadists are recruited from scores of countries, deployed to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and wherever else Washington wants them used as imperial proxies.

All ongoing US wars of aggression in multiple theaters are waged this way. The idea of using jihadists originated in the 1980s against Soviet Russia in Afghanistan, mujahideen fighters recruited by the CIA, today’s Taliban the US considers terrorists.

In 1985, meeting with their leaders in the White House, Ronald Reagan called them “the moral equivalents of America’s founding fathers.”

Liberating Idlib and remaining Syrian territory from the presence of US-supported terrorists requires force, the only language they understand.

The history of war in Syria shows the only times diplomacy worked was after military action weakened terrorists enough to know continuing to fight meant their demise.

Delaying Idlib’s liberation has given al-Nusra and other jihadists time to more heavily arm, likely increase their ranks, dig in, and prepare for whenever an assault on their positions begin by government forces.

Liberating the province is long overdue – essential for Syria to be free from the scourge of US-supported terrorists, key as well for Russian airpower to be heavily involved in the campaign.

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

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SYRIAN WAR REPORT – NOV. 16, 2018: U.S. EXPOSES ASSAD’S ‘EVIL PLAN’ TO HURL MIDDLE EAST INTO CHAOS

South Front

On November 15, US Ambassador to Syria James Jeffrey exposed an evil plan of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to create ISIS and to hurl the Middle East, particularly Syria and Iraq, into chaos.

“We also think that you cannot have an enduring defeat of ISIS until you have fundamental change in the Syrian regime and fundamental change in Iran’s role in Syria, which contributed greatly to the rise of ISIS in the first place in 2013, 2014,” Jeffery said during a press briefing.

“The Syrian regime produced ISIS,” the diplomat added saying that the actions of the Damascus government created an opportunity for ISIS to grow.

By these remarks, Mr. Jeffrey just re-invented an old-fashioned propaganda narrative used by the so-called Syrian opposition to explain how it appeared that the main forces opposing the Assad government in Syria is ISIS and al-Qaeda. Then, Western-sponsored pro-opposition media outlets were claiming that the Assad government is somehow guilty that the main opposition to it is the internationally recognized terrorist groups.

In 2018, this narrative became useful for Washington to justify its further military presence in the war-torn country. The US-led coalition is contributing significant efforts to combat ISIS in its last real stronghold in the country – in the Hajin pocket – in a way that would not deliver significant damage to the terrorist group. However, the multi-month operation to defeat ISIS in Hajin cannot last endlessly. Therefore, some new formal pretext to keep troops in Syria will be very useful.

The real goals of the US are to limit the influence of Russia in the region and to assist Israel in its long-standing standoff against Iran.

Meanwhile, in the area of al-Safa where ISIS cells are also presented the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has also temporarily halted its advance on the terrorist group. This time due to poor weather conditions.

The new SAA push designed to put an end to ISIS presence in al-Safa started on November 11. Since then, the SAA had advanced several km deep into the ISIS-held area and captured several new positions. Should the weather improve, the SAA will continue its advance on the terrorists’ positions.

In the so-called Idlib de-escalation zone, northern Hama has been the most hot point where violations of the ceasefire have been reported several times. Particularly, Jaish al-Izza and other militant groups once again attacked SAA positions from the directions of al-Lataminah and al-Zakat.

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Middle East: Who is Actually Fighting Terrorism? Not the USA That’s For Sure

.Middle East: Who is Actually Fighting Terrorism

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Terrorist organizations the Islamic State (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda suffered a catastrophic defeat in the Middle East, which was brought about with active support from Russia. However, evidence shows that not only has the terrorist threat not been completely eliminated but instead it has transformed into new, on their own unprecedented and dangerous forms. Alexander Bortnikov, Director of the FSB, addressed the issue by stating that the unification of ISIS and Al-Qaeda is viewed by Moscow as a fairly serious possibility, fraught with numerous negative consequences. According to Bortnikov, there are a number of indicators that point to their possible unification.

And this is a serious statement made, besides, by an experienced professional and expert on terrorism. In fact, until recently, the world media outlets, especially Western ones, have, for reasons unknown, been writing about disagreements and even conflicts between the two terrorist organizations. But then again, this behavior is understandable, as the West, specifically the United States, was at the foundation of these terrorist organizations by providing money and arms to them.

It is well known that Al-Qaeda was created to fight the Soviet troops that entered Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia’s Osama bin Laden was CIA’s appointee and mercenary. He headed this lawless organization, but later completely fell out with his American friends. But the Saudi Arabian proved his usefulness afterwards by becoming the scapegoat for the tragic event that took place in the US on September 11 in 2001. The American society is still unsure as to who was actually behind the attack. At any rate, in this particular case, a famous Latin phrase seems apt “Cui prodest? Cui bono? Who benefits?” These infamous attacks were, after all, followed by loud assertions by the US that they had the legitimate right to go to war anywhere and at any time. And then the flames of war engulfed the Middle East and North Africa; the US anti-ballistic missile defense systems, against enemies unknown, were stationed any and everywhere, and the United States installed military bases in 140 countries.

The creation of ISIS was also initiated by Americans, and only Americans, which occurred after its completely unprovoked invasion of Iraq. As a result Iraq’s state structures were dismantled, the manufacturing and agriculture sectors destroyed, and infrastructure demolished. The US military commanders had colluded with Iraqi officers to betray Saddam Hussein and capitulate without a fight. Naive Iraqis trusted their American allies, who had betrayed them on more than one occasion, at their word, and followed through with the plan expecting to receive thirty pieces of silver for betraying their country. But, as the Bible says, traitors are not paid, as a rule. Afterwards, these embittered Iraqi officers created the armed organization the Islamic State of Iraq, which later allied itself with like-minded Syrians to form ISIS.

However, Washington, Pentagon and the CIA quickly found common ground with this new terrorist organization and the Heads of the re-established Caliphate. They began to supply it with unlimited funds (undoubtedly with active participation by the Monarchies of the Persian Gulf) and the latest weapons, all the while putting their own plans in motion, which included unlawfully removing Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad from power. If not for the decisive and principled war waged against terrorism by Russia, Washington and its accomplices in the terrorist organizations would have succeeded in drowning the Middle East in blood.

The West accuses Russia and the rest of the world of all the deadly sins, but, as a rule, fails to present any proof to support their accusations, because conventional truth and real life do not fit into their framework of lies and deception. There is more than enough evidence pointing to an alliance between the United States and the terrorists, and to the US support for thugs and insurgents. Here is the most recent proof that came from Syria.   Syrian Armed Forces together with the National Peace Council are continuing to collect weapons, ammunition and medicine, left by insurgents in Jubata al-Khashab and Beit Jinn (near the Quneitra Governorate). The trophies do not only include American weapons and ammunition, such as machine guns, sniper rifles, TOW anti-tank missiles, but also medical equipment. For instance, an ambulance manufactured in the USA, oxygen tanks and ECG – EKG equipment were found. It is clear that the US cannot forgo even the slightest opportunity to earn money by selling modern weaponry, generously paid for by the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, to terrorists and thugs. And to rephrase the Russian saying “for some war is suffering, for the US, an opportunity to reap its benefits”.

At every nook and corner, Western media outlets praise the United States for their efforts, affectionately described as a tireless battle against the Hydra of terrorism. But we have already ascertained who raised this monster and supplied it with weapons. This begs the question “How is it that they are fighting so selflessly?”.   According to a study, published by the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs, nearly half a million people died in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of the so-called War on Terror declared by the US, that began after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The report states that approximately 7,000 US servicemen died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Incidentally, there is still no clear and definitive answer as to who had instigated these criminal acts.

In the study, the number of casualties listed is around half a million, but experts claim that the actual number is far higher. For example, over the last two years, which saw the previous report published, the number of casualties stood at no fewer than 110,000 people.  Although the US society, media and lawmakers often tend to overlook the War on Terror, the increasing death toll speaks to the fact that the war is not abating but instead continuing to intensify.

The author of this study, Neta Crawford, said that many of those, deemed by the US and local forces as militants, were most likely civilians.  We will probably never know the actual number of casualties. The estimate also does not include the people who died indirectly as a consequence of war, because of destroyed infrastructure, worsening economic conditions, and people abandoning their homes.

By analyzing the statement, made by Alexander Bortnikov, we can state, in full confidence, that recent events taking place in the Middle East may be rightfully interpreted as clear signs of closer relations between ISIS and Al-Qaeda. ISIS, which was considerably weakened in Syria and Iraq, and lost significant ground in North Africa, has recently tamed its aggressive rhetoric towards Al-Qaeda. And, seemingly, the leaders of the two terrorist organizations could, at some stage and under certain conditions, unify, at least in part, their forces or stage joint operations.

This forecast is also supported by the fact that Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri, the leader of the terrorist organization banned in Russia, expresses a somewhat moderate stance in comparison to that espoused by Osama bin Laden. Al-Zawahir’s statements encourage convergence of various jihadi movement from all over the world for the sake of the struggle to establish Sharia law. These words, for one, could be interpreted as an extension of a hand of friendship to ISIS and other terrorist groups. Despite armed conflicts between the Al-Qaeda and ISIS groups, many terrorists, guided by self-interest, changes on battle fields and many other reasons, switch from one terrorist organization to another.  Incidentally, terrorist organizations are merging in the infosphere, where these groups are actively seeking new recruits and spreading ideology of Islamic fundamentalism.

Hence, the appearance of a new terrorist monster, which will start operating in regions such as Afghanistan, Central Asia and Indonesia, is a distinct possibility in the near future. Indonesia’s Minister of Defense, Ryamizard Ryacudu, has emphasized that terrorists are enemies of Islam, and their actions do not reflect traditional teachings, Antaranews reports. “Terrorism is not Islam, Islam is different. Terrorists harm Islam,” the Minister of Defense stated.

Viktor Mikhin, corresponding member of RANS, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
https://journal-neo.org/2018/11/17/middle-east-who-is-actually-fighting-terrorism/

‘Entire Families Wiped Out’: U.S. Airstrikes Killed Many Civilians In Syria

Source

Raqqa’s first responders use a digger to push through the rubble of a building likely destroyed in an airstrike carried out by the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.

On a busy street corner in Raqqa, Syria, a digger pushes through the rubble of a building hit by an airstrike. Onlookers shield their mouths and noses from the dust and stench of corpses of those who perished beneath.

Just streets away, three recovery workers pull out the delicate skeletons of two children from under the debris of a partially collapsed home. And across the city, in what was once Raqqa’s public park, men unearth more bodies from a mass grave.

“Raqqa did not deserve this destruction,” says Yasser al-Khamis, who leads the city’s emergency response team. “Of course, we understood its fate because it was the capital of ISIS, but we were hoping that the civilian death toll would be lower.”

One year after the U.S.-led military campaign against ISIS ended in Raqqa, Khamis’ team is still recovering the remains of the battle’s casualties. This grim, daily work is revealing a civilian death toll that is dramatically higher than the assessment offered by the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.

The rescue workers’ findings, which they document in meticulous notes shown to NPR, point to an offensive that killed many more civilians than it did ISIS members, and where the majority of those civilians likely died in American airstrikes.

The U.S.-led coalition against ISIS has so far verified 104 unintended civilian casualties caused by its attacks in Raqqa and is investigating more cases, coalition spokesman Army Col. Sean Ryan tells NPR.

“With new information being submitted to the CivCas [civilian casualties] team by a multitude of sources every month, the numbers will presumably go up,” Ryan adds.

The workers in Raqqa, however, estimate the real tally is much higher — likely in the “thousands.”

Since January, the rescue team has uncovered more than 2,600 bodies. Through their identification process, they say they have found that most of the bodies were civilians killed in coalition airstrikes during the battle for Raqqa between June and October 2017.

Formally called the First Responders Team, the group receives funding from the U.S. government, but the assistance is limited. Its approximately 37 members work long hours for little pay — some are volunteers — and say their efforts are slowed by a lack of heavy machinery needed to access the bodies.

With many more corpses still under rubble, the rescue workers estimate it will take another year to clean the city of the dead.

Faster strikes and artillery barrages

Raqqa served as the capital of ISIS’ self-proclaimed caliphate for almost four years after the militant group seized the city in 2014.

The U.S.-led coalition’s offensive on Raqqa came after several years of fighting the extremist group in Iraq and other parts of Syria.

While campaigning for president, Donald Trump vowed to “bomb the s*** out of” ISIS.

In the months following his January 2017 swearing-in, conflict analysts reported increases in both the numbers of U.S. airstrikes and of civilians reported killed in the attacks.

President Trump reportedly handed decision-making power for major bombardments to the military, enabling airstrikes to be more easily called in by commanders on the ground during a battle.

In May 2017, Defense Secretary James Mattis told CBS News the U.S. was accelerating and intensifying the campaign against ISIS, and added, “We have already shifted from attrition tactics … to annihilation tactics.”

In Raqqa, the consequences of the “annihilation tactics” are still keenly felt.

According to Airwars, an independent research group monitoring the anti-ISIS conflicts in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. was responsible for about 95 percent of the airstrikes and all of the artillery barrages in Raqqa. The U.K. and France also participated in the offensive.

A view of a destroyed Raqqa neighborhood.

Ruth Sherlock/NPR

Data given to Airwars by the U.S. military’s central command show the coalition launched at least 21,000 munitions — airstrikes and artillery — in the city in little over four months.

“Entire families have been wiped out”

By the end of the campaign, Raqqa was a wasteland of smashed concrete; its residential tower blocks were flattened and schools and hospitals toppled. A United Nations study found that over 80 percent of the city — originally home to some 220,000 people — is damaged or destroyed.

Many residents say they lost loved ones in the strikes.

Mohanned Tadfi, 41, recently buried his mother, his brother, his sister-in-law and seven nieces and nephews. “Ten people,” he says. “A plane came and hit the house and the building of five floors fell on their heads.”

Tadfi says his brother Latuf had found it too hard and dangerous for his family to leave. “ISIS was executing anyone from his neighborhood who tried to escape. And in any case, our mother is diabetic and can’t walk well, and it was too difficult [to] carry her because the bridges out of the city had been bombed.”

The family stayed in their basement apartment as the war intensified around them. The Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S.-backed militia, was closing in on the neighborhood and the family thought the fighters would soon capture the area from ISIS.

On Sept. 5, 2017, just after a muezzin in a nearby mosque called the end of noon prayers, an airstrike hit the building where Tadfi’s family was. Another brother, Raed Tadfi, went to deliver insulin for their mother. He found Latuf dead on the steps and the building collapsed behind him.

Days later, SDF fighters seized control of the neighborhood. Tadfi says he and his brother asked the militia for access to the house. “Please, there are children under the rubble. My brother’s children, young kids. Maybe even just one of them is still alive!” he recalls asking them.

But they were told the area was too dangerous for civilians. It wasn’t until three months later that Tadfi was finally able to recover his loved ones. He hired a flatbed truck and took them away to graves he says he dug with his own hands.

The Tadfis’ story is one of the cases being looked at by Donatella Rovera, a senior crisis response adviser for Amnesty International who has spent much of the last year in Raqqa. She compiles witness testimonies and analyzes war damage to buildings as part of an ongoing investigation to determine how many civilians were really killed in the coalition attacks.

The building in Raqqa of the former home of Latuf Tadfi and his family, which relatives say was hit by a U.S.-led coalition airstrike.

Ruth Sherlock/NPR

“This is one case of many that I have been investigating where entire families have been wiped out in places where they thought they would be safe,” she says, standing beside the wreckage of the Tadfis home.

Determining casualties

In a statement responding to NPR, Col. Ryan, the spokesman of the Combined Joint Task Force, said the coalition conducted “thorough assessments” to ensure it didn’t accidentally kill civilians. “The majority of strikes were executed as planned, but to say this was perfect execution from all sides is meaningless and we understand mistakes were made.”

He said the coalition was “fighting a ruthless enemy that was systematically killing innocent civilians and unfortunately some were unintentionally killed trying to liberate them, something we tried to avoid.”

Rovera doesn’t dispute that ISIS tried to prevent civilians from leaving. But, she says, the military knew that before the battle and did not adjust their attack plan accordingly.

Her investigation so far suggests that “many hundreds” of civilians were killed in the Raqqa offensive, which she says prioritized speed, even in densely populated neighborhoods.

Testimony Rovera gathered from embedded journalists and SDF militia sources suggests that strikes sometimes came “within minutes” of a local commander choosing a target.

Bodies recovered at a mass grave site that rescuers discovered in Panorama park in Raqqa, Syria. Rescuers say the remains included militants and civilians. Ruth Sherlock/NPR hide caption

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Ruth Sherlock/NPR

Bodies recovered at a mass grave site that rescuers discovered in Panorama park in Raqqa, Syria. Rescuers say the remains included militants and civilians.

Ruth Sherlock/NPR

“If they had had observation for an adequate period of time, they would have realized that there were civilians in those buildings,” she says. “Yes, the war probably would have taken more time. But more lives would have been saved.”

The rescue unit says it determined most of the more than 2,600 recovered bodies were civilians in a few different ways. ISIS combatants often dressed a specific way and carried an ID card, the workers say. Other characteristics, such as victims’ age and gender and testimony from families, also help in the team’s documentation.

Rescuers say they recognize airstrike scenes from the scale of the destruction.

Airwars puts the civilian death toll in the Raqqa offensive at 1,400, but it believes the number could be higher. It gathers data largely remotely, through communication with sources and information from social media, and has not been able to verify every reported case.

“We expected a significantly higher portion of civilian harm reports to be determined as credible, since in Raqqa really the only player causing the destruction was the coalition,” says Chris Woods, the director of Airwars.

He explains that the coalition has assessed and accepted only a fraction of the casualty reports from Raqqa than it did from the major campaign to drive ISIS from Mosul, Iraq, from October 2016 to July 2017.

“That suggests a political dimension to the decision-making process,” he says. “We can’t think of another explanation for that discrepancy.”

Rovera, the Amnesty International adviser, says it is imperative that coalition forces send ground investigators into Raqqa. “Having dropped the bombs from the sky they should now be sending their investigators on the ground now to establish the facts of what was the impact of those strikes on the civilian population,” she says.

Col. Ryan from the coalition said the existing coalition forces in Syria are not a trained investigative force and taking them away “from their mission is not advisable as the fight against this ruthless enemy continues.”

For now, Raqqa’s people are left to count their dead largely alone, while the U.S. and other powers strike elsewhere in Syria.

Thanking vets for their “service” – why?

The Saker

November 15, 2018

Thanking vets for their “service” – why?

[This article was written for the Unz Review]

Depending on the context, the small word “why” can be totally innocuous or it can be just about the most subversive and even sacrilegious word one can utter.  This is probably why I love this word so much: it’s ability to unleash tremendous power against all sorts of sacred cows and unchallenged beliefs.  So,today I want to ask everybody why so many people feel the need to thank veterans for their “service”?

But first, let’s debunk a few myths:

First, let’s begin by getting myth #1 out of the way: the notion that US Americans don’t like wars.  That is totally false. US Americans hate losing wars, but if they win them, they absolutely love them.  In other words, the typical US reaction to a war depends on the perceived outcome of that war. If it is a success they love it (even if it is a turkey-shoot like Desert Storm). If it is a deniable defeat (say the US/NATO air operations against Serbian forces in Kosovo or the total clusterbleep in Grenada) they will simply “forget” it. And if it is an undeniable defeat (say Iraq or Afghanistan) then, yes, indeed, most US Americans will be categorically opposed to it.

 

Next is myth #2: the truth is that no US serviceman or woman has fought a war in defense of the USA since at least WWII (and even this one is very debatable considering that the US forced Japan to wage war and since the attack on Pearl Harbor was set-up as a pretext to then attack Japan). Since 1945 there has not been a single situation in which US soldiers defended their land, their towns, their families or their friends from an aggressor. Not one! All the wars fought by the USA since 1945 were wars of aggression, wars of choice and most of them were completely illegal to boot (including numerous subversive and covert operations). At most, one can make the argument that US veterans defended the so-called “American way of life,” but only if one accepts that the said “American way of life” requires and mandates imperialist wars of aggression and the wholesale abandonment of the key concepts of international law.

Finally, there is the ugly dirty little secret that everybody knows but, for some reason, very few dare to mention: the decision to join the (all volunteer) US military is one primarily based on financial considerations and absolutely not some kind of generous “service” of the motherland for pure, lofty, ideals.  Yes, yes, I know – there were those who did join the US military after 9/11 thinking that the USA had been attacked and that they needed to help bring the fight to those who attacked the USA.  But even with a very modest degree of intelligence, it should have become pretty darn obvious that whether 9/11 was indeed the work of Bin Laden and al-Qaeda or not (personally I am absolutely certain that this was a controlled demolition) – this atrocity was used by the US government to justify a long list of wars which could not have possibly had anything to do with 9/11. Hey, after all, the US decided to attack Iraq (which self-evidently had nothing to do with 9/11) and not the KSA (even though most of the putative hijackers were Saudis and had official Saudi backing). Besides, even if some folks were not smart enough to see through the lies and even if THEY believed that they joined the US military to defend the USA, why would the rest of us who by 2018 all know that the attack on Iraq was purely and solely based on lies, “thank” veterans for stupidly waging war for interests they cannot even identify? Since when do we thank people for making wrong and, frankly, immoral decisions?!

Veterans of foreign wars? Wait, I was not aware that there were any other types of vets!

Now let’s look at another basic thing: what is military service? The way I see it, military personnel can roughly be split into two categories: those who actually kill people and those who help those who kill people kill people. Right? If you are a machine gunner or a tank driver, then you personally get to kill people. If you are a communications specialist, or a truck driver, or an electrician, you don’t get to kill people yourself, but your work is to make it easier for those who kill people to kill people. So I think that it would be fair to say that joining a military, any military, is to join an organization whose main purpose is to kill people. Of course, that killing can be morally justifiable and, say, in defense of your country and fellow citizens. But that can only be the case if you prepare for a defensive war and, as we all know, the USA has not fought such a war for over 70 years now. Which means that with a few increasingly rare exceptions (WWII veterans) ALL the veterans which get thanked for their service did what exactly? If we put it in plain English, what fundamental, crucial decision did ALL these veterans make?

In simple and plain English, veterans are those who signed up to kill people outside the USA for money.

Sorry, I know that this sounds offensive to many, but this is a fact. The fact that this decision (to join an organization whose primary purpose is to murder people in their own countries, hundreds and thousands of miles away from the USA) could ALSO have been taken for “patriotic” reasons (i.e. by those who believed in what is most likely the most lying propaganda machine in history) or to “see the world” and “become a real man” does not change the fact that if the US military offered NO pay or benefits, NO scholarships, NO healthcare, etc. then the vast majority of those who claim that they joined to “serve” would never have joined in the first place. We all know that, let’s not pretend otherwise! Just look at the arguments recruiters use to convince people to join: they are all about money and benefits! Need more proof? Just look at the kind of social groups who compose the bulk of the US military: uneducated, poor, with minimal career prospects. The simple truth is that financially successful folks very rarely join the military and, when they do, they usually make a career out of it.

As somebody who has lived in the USA for a total of 21 years now, I can attest that folks join the military precisely for the same reasons they enter the police force or become correctional officers: because in all those endeavors there is money to be made and benefits to enjoy. Okay, there must be, by definition, the 1% or less who joined these (all violent) careers for purely lofty and noble ideals. But these would be a small, tiny, minority. The overwhelming majority of cops, correctional officers and soldiers joined primarily for material and/or financial reasons.

By the way, since that is the case, is it not also true that the soldier (just like the cop or the correctional officers) has ALREADY received his/her “gratitude” from the society for their “service” in the form of a check? Why do folks then still feel the need to “thank them for their service”? We don’t thank air traffic controllers or logging workers (also very tough careers) for their service, do we? And that is in spite of the fact that air traffic controllers and logging workers did not choose to join an organization whose primary goal is to kill people in their own homes (whether private homes or national ones) which is what soldiers get paid for.

Let me repeat that truism once again, in an even more direct way:

veterans are killers hired for money.  Period.  The rest is all propaganda.

In a normal sane world, one would think that this is primarily a moral and ethical question. I would even say a spiritual one. Surely major religions would have something relevant and clarifying to say about this? Well, in the past they did.  In fact, with some slight variations, the principles of what is called a “just war” have been known in the West since at least Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas.  According to one source they are:

  • A just war can only be waged as a last resort. All non-violent options must be exhausted before the use of force can be justified.
  • A war is just only if it is waged by a legitimate authority. Even just causes cannot be served by actions taken by individuals or groups who do not constitute an authority sanctioned by whatever the society and outsiders to the society deem legitimate.
  • A just war can only be fought to redress a wrong suffered. For example, self-defense against an armed attack is always considered to be a just cause (although the justice of the cause is not sufficient–see point #4). Further, a just war can only be fought with “right” intentions: the only permissible objective of a just war is to redress the injury.
  • A war can only be just if it is fought with a reasonable chance of success. Deaths and injury incurred in a hopeless cause are not morally justifiable.
  • The ultimate goal of a just war is to re-establish peace. More specifically, the peace established after the war must be preferable to the peace that would have prevailed if the war had not been fought.
  • The violence used in the war must be proportional to the injury suffered. States are prohibited from using force not necessary to attain the limited objective of addressing the injury suffered.
  • The weapons used in war must discriminate between combatants and non-combatants. Civilians are never permissible targets of war, and every effort must be taken to avoid killing civilians. The deaths of civilians are justified only if they are unavoidable victims of a deliberate attack on a military target.

Modern religions for war

(Check out this article for a more thorough discussion of this fascinating topic)

Now Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas are hardly heroes of mine, but they are considered as very authoritative in western philosophical thought. Yet, when checked against this list of criteria, all the wars fought by the USA are clearly and self-evidently totally unjust: all of them fail on several criteria, and most of them (including the attack on Iraq and Afghanistan) fail on all of them!

But there is no need to go far back into the centuries to find authoritative western thinkers who clearly denounce unjust wars.  Did you know that the ultimate crime under international law is not genocide or crimes against humanity?

Robert H Jackson

Nope, the supreme crime under international law is the crime of aggression. In the words of the chief American prosecutor at Nuremberg and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Robert H. Jackson, the crime of aggression is the supreme crime because “it contains within itself the accumulated evil” of all the other war crimes.  He wrote:

To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

So from the 4th century through the 20th century, the people of the West always knew what a just war was, and they fully understood that starting such a war is the supreme evil crime under international law. But this goes beyond just major wars. Under international law, the crime of “aggression” does not only refer to a full-scale military attack. Aggression can be defined as the execution of any one of the following acts:

  • Declaration of war upon another State.
  • Invasion by its armed forces, with or without a declaration of war, of the territory of another State.
  • Attack by its land, naval or air forces, with or without a declaration of war, on the territory, vessels or aircraft of another State.
  • A naval blockade of the coasts or ports of another State.
  • Provision of support to armed bands formed in its territory which have invaded the territory of another State, or refusal, notwithstanding the request of the invaded State, to take, in its own territory, all the measures in its power to deprive those bands of all assistance or protection.

Finally, it is important to note here that by these authoritative legal definitions, every single US President is a war criminal under international law! This, in turn, begs the question of whether all the wars fought by US soldiers since 1945 were indeed waged by a legitimate authority (as mentioned by Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas above)? How can that be when the Commander in Chief himself is a war criminal?

Let’s sum it up so far:

we have folks who agree to become killers (or killer-assistants), who do that primarily for financial reasons, who then only participate in illegal and immoral wars of aggression and whose commander in chief is a war criminal.

And they deserve our gratitude why exactly?!

Maybe because so many veterans have been hurt, maimed, traumatized? Maybe because once they leave the armed forces, they don’t get the social and medical support they need? Perhaps merely because wars are horrible? Or maybe because the veterans were lied to and deceived? Or maybe because some (many?) of them did try to stay human, honorable and decent people in spite of the horrors of war all around them? When we think of the horrendous unemployment, homelessness and even suicide figures amongst veterans, we cannot but feel that these are people who have been lied to, cheated and then discarded like a useless tool. So maybe saying “thank you for your service” is the right thing to say?

Nope! These are all excellent reasons to feel compassion and sympathy for veterans, yes. But not gratitude. There is a huge difference here. Everybody, every human, and I strongly believe every creature deserves compassion and sympathy. But it is one thing to say “I feel compassion for you” and quite another to say “thank you for what you did” because that implies that the deed was a moral, good, ethical deed, and that is entirely false.

Major General Smedley Butler put it best when he wrote:

War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war, a few people make huge fortunes.

If we agree that war is, indeed, a “racket” and that it is conducted “for the benefit of the very few” then it would make sense for these “very few” to express their gratitude to those whom they hired to enrich them.  And, in fact, they do.  Here is the best example of that:

Corporation for war

(well, that at least makes sense!)

Of course, Google is no more dependent on wars of aggression than any other US corporation.  The very nature of the US economy is based on war and has always been based on war.  The so-called “American way of life” but without wars of aggression has never been attempted in the past, and it won’t be attempted for as long as the USA remains the cornerstone of the AngloZionist Empire and the world hegemony it seeks to impose on the rest of mankind.  But until that day arrives the “American way of life” will always imply wars of aggression and the mass murder of innocent people whose only “sin” is to dare to want to live free and not be a slave to the Empire.  If you believe that those who dare to want to live free in a truly sovereign country deserve to be murdered and maimed, then yes, by all means – thank the veterans from the bottom of your heart!

But if you don’t believe this, offer them your compassion, but not your gratitude for their crimes.

The Saker

War Criminals in High Office Commemorate the End of World War I

Global Research, November 12, 2018

In a bitter irony, several of the World’s leaders who were “peacefully” commemorating the end of World War I in Paris including Trump, Netanyahu, Macron and May are the protagonists of war in Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen. 

To put it bluntly they are war criminals under international law.

They have blood on their hands.

What on earth are they commemorating?

In the words of Hans Stehling: “As We Honour the 15 Million Dead of 1914-1918, a Demented US President Flies into Paris with Plans to Attack Iran” [with nuclear weapons] (Global Research, November 12, 2018)

Lest we forget: War is the ultimate crime, “The Crime against Peace” as defined under Nuremberg.

 The US and its allies have embarked upon the ultimate war crime, a Worldwide military adventure, “a long war”, which threatens the future of humanity.

The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest. 

The War to End all Wars??? 

One hundred years later: What’s happening NOW in November 2018?

Major military and covert intelligence operations have been launched in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The U.S. military agenda combines both major theatre operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states, not to mention economic warfare.

In the course of the last seventeen years, starting in the immediate wake of 9/11, a series of US-NATO led wars have been launched: Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Yemen, resulting in millions of civilian deaths and countless atrocities. These wars have been led by the US and its NATO allies.

It is all for a good cause:

“Responsibility to Protect”(R2P),

“Going after the bad guys”,

Waging a “Global War on Terrorism”.

It just so happens that “Outside Enemy Number One” Osama bin Laden was recruited by the CIA.

And the Bush and the Bin Laden families are friends.

Image: Osama bin Laden with Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski (circa 1979

Confirmed by the Washington Post Osama’s brother Shafiq bin Laden was meeting with George W Bush’s Dad, George H. Walker Bush at a Carlyle business meeting at the Ritz Carleton in New York on September 10, one day before 9/11:

It didn’t help that as the World Trade Center burned on Sept. 11, 2001, the news interrupted a Carlyle business conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel here attended by a brother of Osama bin Laden. Former president Bush, a fellow investor, had been with him at the conference the previous day. (WaPo, March 16, 2003)

Now does that not sound like a “conspiracy theory”? While Osama was allegedly coordinating the attack on the WTC,  his brother Shafiq was meeting up with the President’s Dad, according to the Washington Post.

In turn, according to the Wall Street Journal “The bin Laden family has become acquainted with some of the biggest names in the Republican Party…” (WSJ, 27 September 2001)

Here is a rather “believe it or not” concept: if the US were to boost defence spending to go after Osama bin Laden (Enemy Number One), the bin Laden family would benefit so to speak because (in September 2001) they were partners of the Carlyle Group, one the World’s largest asset management companies:

Waging War on The Bad Guys 

Amply documented, the “Bad Guys”, namely Al Qaeda and its various affiliates including ISIS-Daesh are constructs of Western intelligence (aka so-called “intelligence assets”).

In recent developments, the US and Israel are threatening Iran with nuclear weapons. U.S. and NATO ground forces are being deployed in Eastern Europe on Russia’s immediate doorstep. In turn, the U.S. is confronting China under the so-called “Pivot to Asia” which was launched during the Obama presidency.

The US also threatens to blow up North Korea with what is described in US military parlance as a “bloody nose operation” which consists in deploying “the more usable” low yield B61-11 mini-nukes which are tagged as “harmless to civilians because the explosion is under ground”, according to scientific opinion on contract to the Pentagon.

The B61-11 tactical nuclear weapon has an explosive capacity between one third and twelve times a Hiroshima bomb.

Hiroshima, August 7, 1945

Flashback to August 6, 1945, the first Atomic Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Up to 100, 000 people were killed in the first seven seconds following the explosion.

But it was “collateral damage”: In the words of President Harry Truman:

Truman globalresearch.caThe world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians.

What is at stake is a global criminal undertaking in defiance of international law. In the words of the late Nuremberg Prosecutor William Rockler:

The United States has discarded pretensions to international legality and decency, and embarked on a course of raw imperialism run amok.” (William Rockler, Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor)

We will recall that the architect of Nuremberg, Supreme Court Justice and Nuremberg Prosecutor Robert Jackson said with some hesitation:

We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well.”

Does this historical statement apply to Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu and Margaret May?
In defiance of Nuremberg, the US and its allies have invoked the conduct of “humanitarian wars” and “counter-terrorism” operations, with a view to installing “democracy” in  targeted countries.
And the Western media applauds. War is now routinely heralded in news reports as a peacemaking undertaking.

War becomes peace. Realities are turned upside down.

These lies and fabrications are part of of war propaganda, which also constitutes a criminal undertaking under Nuremberg.

The US-NATO led war applied Worlwide is a criminal endeavor under the disguise of “responsibility to protect” and counter-terrorism. It violates the Nuremberg Charter, the US constitution and the UN charter. According to former chief Nuremberg prosector Benjamin Ferencz, in relation to the 2003 invasion of Iraq:

“a prima facie case can be made that the United States is guilty of the supreme crime against humanity — that being an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.”

Ferenz was referring to “Crimes against Peace and War” (Nuremberg Principle VI): which states the following:

“The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

(a) Crimes against peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
(b) War crimes:
Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.
(c) Crimes against humanity:
Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.”

“(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).”

The original source of this article is Global Research

 

Facing Propaganda The dirty war on Syria مواجهة بروباغندا الحرب القذرة على سوريا

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