Afghans Fear US Army, NATO Operations More Than the Taliban

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On Wednesday, 12 civilians were killed and 16 wounded in American airstrikes in Afghanistan’s eastern province Logar. Afghan politicians commented to Sputnik Afghanistan on the issue, noting that civilians fear US army and NATO operations more that the Taliban.

On Wednesday, 12 civilians were killed and 16 wounded in an American airstrike in Dasht-e-Bari, an area of the city Pul-e-Alam, the capital of Logar province, according to Afghan broadcaster 1TV.

US media also reported on the incident, saying that 11 civilians were killed, including eight women.

The Afghan and American forces apparently came under fire from the Taliban while an American helicopter attempted to make a “precautionary landing because of a maintenance issue,” The New York Times quotes Capt. Bill Salvin, a spokesman for the United States military in Afghanistan, as saying.The allied forces have called for air support and another aircraft bombed the house from where militants allegedly fired at the helicopter.

“Three families were living in the house which was bombed; 11 people, including eight women, were killed,” the newspaper quotes Hawas Khan Kochai, a resident of the Dasht e Bari area, as saying by phone.

“We recovered all the bodies with an excavator after several hours, but two children are still missing,” he added.

The incident comes days after 13 civilians were killed in an air raid in the western province of Herat.

Haji Ullah Gol Mujahid, a military expert and member of the Afghan parliament from Kabul province, commented to Sputnik Afghanistan on the incident, saying that Afghan civilians fear the US army more than the Taliban.

“After the defeat of the Taliban, Afghan people did not want the war to continue, but it was still going on because of the US operations in the country: they have been breaking into houses, bombing settlements and even striking weddings and have been blaming it on the Taliban,” he told Sputnik.

The politician further recalled that 150 civilians have been killed in Nangarhar province, while similar incidents happened in Helmand province.

“Nobody wants the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan. The Afghans have not seen anything good from the Americans and they don’t want them staying on their land any longer,” he concluded.

Obaid Kabir, one of the leaders of the Afghanistan Solidarity Party, told Sputnik that his home country is now “in the mill, stuck between three millstones.””This is all being done by American occupiers, their allies, the puppet government in Kabul, the Taliban and Daesh,” he told Sputnik.

The Taliban, he said, is the brainchild of the US and Pakistani intelligence, thus it will only continue to strengthen.  The movement, he said, has now found other patrons. However Afghan residents see no difference between the US and the Taliban: all of them eat out of the same dish, and ordinary Afghans are left to suffer.

A recent report of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) recorded a 43 percent increase in civilian casualties from aerial operations during the first six months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, documenting 232 civilian casualties (95 deaths and 137 injured), with substantial increases in deaths among women and children

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NATO ‘s War Crimes: The Crime of Propaganda

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1335 Journal NEO CollageThe NATO military alliance is a world encompassing threat. It is now conducting various forms of hybrid warfare against Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and most of Africa. They have destroyed directly or are largely responsible for the destruction of the socialist nations of the USSR, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and too many to name in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Destruction is the fate that each nation on earth can expect unless it pays homage and obeisance to these neo-feudal overlords who promise protection in return for national servitude, in return for the complete surrender of their people and natural resources to increase the rate of profit for the capital that controls the NATO military machine. For NATO is first and foremost the armed fist not only of the United States and its allies as nations, but is the armed fist of the capitalists of those nations who are prepared to strike against any nation, capitalist or socialist, that stands in their way of obtaining profit.

The primary concern they have, in order to preserve their control, is for the preservation of the new feudal mythology that they have created; that the world is a dangerous place, that they are the protectors, that the danger is omnipresent, eternal, and omnidirectional, comes from without, and comes from within. The mythology is constructed and presented through all media; journals, films, television, radio, music, advertising, books, the internet in all its variety; all the information systems available are used to create and maintain scenarios and dramas to convince the people that they, the protectors, are the good and all others are the bad. We are bombarded with this message incessantly. They have succeeded into luring us to all their communication platforms, so that no one is able to ignore the constant flow of information into their consciousness and their subconscious. They have us locked to our screens. They have our attention. They have us hypnotised and under this state of hypnosis we are fed so many images we cannot take any of them in and so we drown in the river of information washing over us, barely able to breathe, unable to think, blind from looking.

The use of propaganda, and by propaganda I mean here the use of lies, inventions, fabrications, distortions and misrepresentations of reality in order to evoke an emotional response in the receiver of the desired type and desired action to follow, is a primary pillar of the mythology they create. The immediate means of delivery is through the news media. To turn on the television these days to watch the political, national and world “news” is a surreal experience. You have a dissociative experience as the presenters present not “news” but carefully crafted scripts inventing scenarios out of whole cloth that have nothing to do with what is really happening in any given situation. Even the weather “news” is moulded to keep mention of abrupt climate change to a minimum and sports “news” seems like a rehearsal for war news to come as our team smashes their team with our catastrophic weapons, erases them from the earth, never to play again.

But whatever form the propaganda takes it is a crime against the people, a crime against the republic, a crime against democracy, and since it is a part of the hybrid warfare campaign being conducted and because it is used to provoke a large aggressive general war, it is a war crime.

It is a crime against the people because the people are in essence the state, the nation. The leaders of our nations are merely our representatives placed in positions of power through various, more or less “democratic” mechanisms to act for our benefit, on our behalf. But when these leaders instead represent secret cabals of financiers and industrialists who want to use the government machinery for their private benefit against the interests of their people then they have betrayed the people, have sold them out to the highest bidder. Their lies flow from this betrayal for if their wars were just they would not need to use propaganda. But their wars are not just, they are the actions of gangsters writ large and so to get the people to go along, to fool them, they, by necessity, have to lie to the people.

It is a crime against democracy for the same reason, for democracy means that representatives of the people put in positions of power have a duty to inform the people honestly on all issues, to present all the facts and arguments, and most importantly, fulfil their duty to preserve the peace and to seek peaceful resolutions of differences between nations. But again, their wars for the profit of a few are always against the interests of the people and so the lies become part of the system of control, and with each lie the grave of democracy is dug deeper and deeper.

It is a crime against the republic because the republic is the people ruling themselves, in the name of the people, not the people ruled by a monarch or emperor, who rule in their own name. So when the leaders of a republic lie to the people of the republic they repudiate the republic and act against its interests and for the private interests of those who control them. They subvert the republic and destroy it.

It is a war crime because propaganda is used to provoke war, to sustain war, to turn other people, declared to be the enemy, into beings that need to be killed. It robs them of their humanity, of their kinship with us, their desires and dreams, and makes them into vermin to be destroyed with ease and even joy in the killing. It turns us into salivating monsters calling for death of the other and cheering when the bombs explode; turns us all into the Hilary Clinton lunatic who cackled like some satanic demon as she watched a great man cut to pieces before her eyes.

I could give dozens, hundreds, thousands of examples of how the propaganda is being used. The New York Times, BBC, CNN, CBC and the rest of the western media are full of it every day and every day worse than the day before, against Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Syria Venezuela, all the known targets. We all sense that the intensity if it is increasing, the vitriol becoming more hysterical and absurd with every headline.

The journalists who write these propaganda pieces and the presenters who read them on television are among the worst of criminals as they sit there looking attractive, with their fake smiles and fake concern, while taking lots of money to lie to our faces every day. It takes a very low person to sit there and lie to their fellow citizens so easily. It takes someone who has no sense of morality whatsoever. One could say they are sociopaths. But criminals they are and they deserve to be in the dock with the leaders that hand them the scripts they read so willingly.

For propaganda is a threat to peace itself. It is not only necessary to eliminate nuclear weapons and armies, it is also necessary to eliminate the psychological weapons that are used to justify, provoke and prolong war. Lenin once said that “disarmament is an ideal of socialism” and it was, we must not forget, the USSR that developed ideals of international peace and responsibility for wars of aggression. The successor state of Russia still relies on these principles.

On the second day of the creation of Soviet power the Decree on Peace was issued that made it a matter of state policy that aggressive war is a crime. Up until then it was assumed that nation states had an inherent right to go to war for their own interests. War propaganda is a way of preparing for aggressive war and consequently is a war crime. This was confirmed at the Nuremberg Tribunal in 1946.

This was echoed in the Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations of November 3, 1947 that denounced war propaganda;

“The General Assembly condemns all forms of propaganda, in whatsoever country conducted, which is either designed or likely to provoke or encourage any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression.”

A Soviet draft definition of aggression presented to the General Assembly in 1957 defined war propaganda as ideological aggression. Their draft stated that a state has committed ideological aggression when it “encourages war propaganda, encourages propaganda for the use of atomic or other weapons of mass extermination and stimulates nazi-fascist views, racial or national superiority, or hatred and disdain for other peoples.”

But before that the Supreme Soviet on March 12, 1950 passed a law on the defence of peace that stated:

“The Supreme Soviet of the USSR is guided by the high principles of the Soviet peace policy, which seeks to strengthen peace and friendly relations between the peoples, recognises that human conscience and the concept of right of the peoples, who, during one generation suffered the calamities of two wars, cannot accept that the conduct of war propaganda remain unpunished, and approves the proclamation of the Second World Congress of the Partisans of Peace, who expressed the will of the entire progressive mankind concerning the prohibition and condemnation of criminal war propaganda.

“The Supreme Soviet decrees,

  1. To recognise that war propaganda under whatever form it is made, undermines the cause of peace, creates the threat of new war and is the graves crime against humanity.

  2. To bring to court person guilty of war propaganda and to try them as having committed a most grave criminal offense.”

The western powers blocked a Russian UN resolution at that time to denounce war propaganda even though it was in accord with the principles of the United Nations Charter which makes it a duty of all member states to preserve the peace. The west relied on arguments of “free speech” arguments that do not hold water since war propaganda is not designed to enlighten people but to twist their minds into thoughts of hatred and war.

The Rome Statute today contains a clause that arguably encompasses these principles in Article 5, dealing with aggression, though this clause is not yet in effect. It is one of the grave problems with the International Criminal Court, that aside from being controlled effectively by the US and European Union for their purposes, its statute does not include a specific section on war propaganda. But then the United States and its allies prevented the inclusion of such a clause just as they prevented the adoption of the resolution at the UN in the 1950’s so that they could continue using war propaganda as part of their arsenal of world control.

So, the criminal dossier against NATO grows with the crimes committed. One day we can hope that those responsible for the war propaganda used against us will face the peoples’ justice but in the meantime we have to be aware that when we are confronted with it, when we open a newspaper, turn on the television, or radio, click that link on the internet, we are the victims of a war crime, the use of war propaganda as part of the crime of aggression, each and every one of us. And if that does not make you angry then what hope is there for peace in this world?

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

NATO’s Militarization of Scandinavia: Time to Ring the Alarm Bells

NATO’s Militarization of Scandinavia: Time to Ring the Alarm Bells

Much has been said about NATO reinforcements in the Baltic States and Poland perceived in Moscow as provocative actions undermining security in Europe, while very little has been said about gradual but steady militarization of Scandinavia. The theme does not hit headlines and it is not in focus of public discourse but one step is taken after another to turn the region into a springboard for staging offensive actions against Russia.

Ørland in southern Norway is being expanded to become Norway’s main air force base hosting US-made F-35 Lightnings – the stealth aircraft to become the backbone of Norwegian air power. Norway has purchased 56 of such aircraft. F-35 is an offensive, not defensive, weapon. The nuclear capable platforms can strike deep into Russia’s territory.

Providing training to Norwegian pilots operating the planes carrying nuclear weapons, such as B61-12 glider warheads, constitutes a violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968. Article I of the NPT prohibits the transfer of nuclear weapons from NWS (nuclear weapons states) to other states: «Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices». Article II requires NNWS (non-nuclear weapons states) not to receive nuclear weapons: «Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transfer or whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices». How can Russia be sure that these aircraft don’t carry nuclear weapons when there is no agreement of any kind in place to verify compliance with the NPT?

Ørland is located near Værnes – the base that hosts 330 US Marines. In May, the base hosted the biennial NATO military exercise «Arctic Challenge Exercise 2017» to involve over 100 planes from 12 nations. It was the first time a US strategic bomber (B-52H) took part in the training event.

The choice of the base was carefully calculated to keep the planes away from the reach of Russian Iskander missiles (500 kilometres) but no location in Norway is beyond the operational range of Kalibr ship-based sea-to-shore missiles and aircraft armed with long-range air-to-surface missiles.

In June, Norway’s government announced that the decision was taken to extend the rotational US Marine Corps force stationed at Værnes through 2018. The move contradicts the tried-and-true Norwegian policy of not deploying foreign military bases in the country in times of peace.

Also in June, the United States, United Kingdom and Norway agreed in principle to create a trilateral coalition built around the P-8 maritime aircraft to include joint operations in the North Atlantic near the Russian Northern Fleet bases.

Norway is to contribute into NATO ballistic missile defense (BMD) system by integrating its Globus II/III radar in the Vardøya Island located near the Russian border just a few kilometers from the home base of strategic submarines and 5 Aegis-equipped Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates. The radar construction is underway. The Vardøya radar can distinguish real warheads from dummies. Another radar located in Svalbard (the Arctic) can also be used by US military for missile defense purposes.

The country’s ground forces are stationed in Lithuania as part of a NATO multinational force under German command.

Sweden, a close NATO ally, has been upgrading its military with a sharp hike in spending. Last December, the Swedish government told municipal authorities to prepare civil defense infrastructure and procedures for a possible war. The move was prompted by the country’s return to the Cold War-era ‘Total Defense Strategy’. In September, 2016, 150 troops were put on permanent service on the island of Gotland to «defend it from Russia». Sweden maintained a permanent military garrison on Gotland for hundreds of years until 2005.The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) has ordered a review of 350 civilian bunkers on the island. The shelters are designed to protect people against the shock wave and radiation from a nuclear detonation, as well as chemical and biological weapons.

In March, Stockholm announced plans to reintroduce compulsory military service abandoned in 2010. The conscription will come into force on January 1, 2018.

Sweden said in June it wishes to join a British-led «Joint Expeditionary Force», making Swedish participation in a general European war all but inevitable.

This month, the Swedish military announced plans to conduct its largest joint military exercise with NATO in 20 years. Called Aurora 17, the training event is scheduled for September. The drills will take place across the entire country but focusing on the Mälardalen Valley, the areas around cities of Stockholm and Gothenberg and on the strategic island of Gotland. More than 19,000 Swedish troops will take part along with 1,435 soldiers from the US, 270 from Finland, 120 from France and between 40-60 each from Denmark, Norway, Lithuania and Estonia.

In June, Russian President Putin warned «If Sweden joins NATO this will affect our relations in a negative way because we will consider that the infrastructure of the military bloc now approaches us from the Swedish side».

All these facts and events summed together demonstrate that militarization of Scandinavia is progressing by leaps and bounds to undermine the security in Europe. No hue and cry is raised in the Russian media but the developments are closely watched by Moscow. Visiting Finland on July 27, President Putin said Russia was «keeping an eye on certain intensification in the movement of military aircraft, ships and troops. In order for us to avoid negative consequences, situations that no one wants, we need to maintain dialogue». He also stressed readiness for dialogue with neutral countries that border the Baltic Sea like Finland which is not part of the NATO military alliance.

The facts listed above show the situation is grave enough to top the agenda of the NATO-Russia Council. But it’s not the case as yet. Last year, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the current President of Germany who was Foreign Minister at the time, slammed NATO for «saber-rattling and war cries» and provocative military activities in the proximity of Russia’s borders. He called for an arms control deal between the West and Russia. Fifteen other members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) joined Steinmeier’s initiative: France, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Portugal.

Actually, the initiative to relaunch the negotiation process does not belong to Germany. Russia’s proposal to discuss a new European security treaty was rejected by the West. The draft document was published in 2009. In March 2015, Russia expressed its readiness for negotiations concerning a new agreement regarding the control of conventional weapons in Europe.

Moscow has never rejected the idea of launching talks to address the problem. It does not reject it now. The NATO-Russia Council could make a contribution into launching discussions on the matter. It has not done so as yet. Actually, nothing is done to ease the tensions in Europe and the Scandinavian Peninsula in particular. Meanwhile, the situation is aggravating misunderstandings and whipping up tensions

 

NATO Chief Calls for Removing Nonexistent Russian Forces from Ukraine

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Stephen Lendman)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three Countries, Three Continents, One Western Imperial Project

[ Ed. note – An excellent comparative analysis of US regime change operations in three different countries–Syria, Libya, and Yugoslavia. Writer Neil Clark discovers a seven-step process that the regime-changers seem to have employed in all three cases. ]

By Neil Clark

A resource-rich, socialist-led, multi-ethnic secular state, with an economic system characterized by a high level of public/social ownership and generous provision of welfare, education and social services.

An independent foreign policy with friendship and good commercial ties with Russia, support for Palestine and African and Arab unity – and historical backing for anti-imperialist movements.

Social progress in a number of areas, including women’s emancipation.

The above accurately describes the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the Syrian Arab Republic. Three countries in three different continents, which had so much in common.

All three had governments which described themselves as socialist. All three pursued a foreign policy independent of Washington and NATO. And all three were targeted for regime change/destruction by the US and its allies using remarkably similar methods.

The first step of the imperial predators was the imposition of draconian economic sanctions used to cripple their economies, weaken their governments (always referred to as ‘a/the regime’) and create political unrest. From 1992-95, and again in 1998, Yugoslavia was hit by the harshest sanctions ever imposed on a European state. The sanctions even involved an EU ban on the state-owned passenger airliner JAT

Libya was under US sanctions from the 1980s until 2004, and then again in 2011, the year the country with the highest Human Development Index in Africa was bombed back to the Stone Age.

Syria has been sanctioned by the US since 2004 with a significant increase in the severity of the measures in 2011 when the regime change op moved into top gear.

The second step was the backing of armed militias/terrorist proxies to destabilise the countries and help overthrow these “regimes”. The strategy was relatively simple. Terrorist attacks and the killing of state officials and soldiers would provoke a military response from ‘the regime, whose leader would then be condemned for ‘killing his own people’ (or in the case of Milosevic, other ethnic groups),  and used to ramp up the case for a ‘humanitarian intervention’ by the US and its allies.

In Yugoslavia, the US-proxy force was the Kosovan Liberation Army, who were given training and logistical support by the West.

In Libya, groups linked to al-Qaeda, like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, were provided assistance, with NATO effectively acting as al-Qaeda’s air force

In Syria, there was massive support for anti-government Islamist fighters, euphemistically labelled ‘moderate rebels.’ It didn’t matter to the ‘regime changers’ that weapons supplied to ‘moderate rebels’ ended up in the hands of groups like ISIS. On the contrary, a declassified secret US intelligence report from 2012 showed that the Western powers welcomed the possible establishment of a Salafist principality in eastern Syria, seeing it as a means of isolating ‘the Syrian regime’.

The third step carried out at the same time as one and two involved the relentless demonisation of the leadership of the target states. This involved the leaders being regularly compared to Hitler, and accused of carrying out or planning genocide and multiple war crimes.

Milosevic – President of Yugoslavia – was labelled a ‘dictator’ even though he was the democratically-elected leader of a country in which over 20 political parties freely operated.

Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi was portrayed as an unstable foaming at the mouth lunatic, about to launch a massacre in Benghazi, even though he had governed his country since the end of the Swinging Sixties.

Syria’s Assad did take over in an authoritarian one-party system, but was given zero credit for introducing a new constitution which ended the Ba’ath Party’s monopoly of political power. Instead all the deaths in the Syrian conflict were blamed on him, even those of the thousands of Syrian soldiers killed by Western/GCC-armed and funded ‘rebels’.

The fourth step in the imperial strategy was the deployment of gatekeepers – or ‘Imperial Truth Enforcers’ – to smear or defame anyone who dared to come  to the defence of the target states, or who said that they should be left alone.

The pro-war, finance-capital-friendly, faux-left was at the forefront of the media campaigns against the countries concerned. This was to give the regime change/destruction project a ‘progressive’ veneer, and to persuade or intimidate genuine ’old school’ leftists not to challenge the dominant narrative.

Continued here

U.S–Led NATO’s Tree Of Lies

U.S–Led NATO’s Tree Of Lies

By Mark Taliano,

On the heels of an evidence-free “atrocity” allegation leveled against Syria and Syrians, yet another in a long list of stories used as fake pretexts to escalate criminal warfare and support international terrorism, U.S-led NATO is finding it increasingly difficult to climb down from its tree of lies.

Despite its best efforts, and increasingly creative cover stories, the West’s on-going support for terrorists in Syria most recently emerged when it refused to designate a newly-branded al Qaeda-affiliated group – Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) – as a terrorist group.

In Canada, a May 15, 2017 CBC report, entitled “Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate escapes from Canada’s terror list” notes that

(t)he reasons for the reluctance to list the new al-Qaeda formation may have to do with one of its new members, the Nour ed-Dine Zenki Brigade, a jihadi group from the Aleppo governorate.

The Zenki Brigade was an early and prominent recipient of U.S. aid, weapons and training.

Zenki was cut off by the State Department only after Amnesty International implicated them in killings of Orthodox Christian priests and members posted a video of themselves beheading a young boy.

For the U.S. to designate HTS now would mean acknowledging that it supplied sophisticated weapons including TOW anti-tank missiles to “terrorists,” and draw attention to the fact that the U.S. continues to arm Islamist militias in Syria.

In other words, if the West were to acknowledge that HTS (al Qaeda) is a terrorist group, then the Western war criminals would be admitting to their own complicity. And NATO, like the CIA, tries conceal its criminality beneath the cover of “plausible deniability” whenever possible.

All of this is consistent with the West’s on-going propaganda campaign against Syria.  The fake stories, the false flags, and the evidence-free demonization campaigns have been known and documented for years. Prof. Tim Anderson’s new e-book, “Countering War Propaganda of the dirty war on Syria” documents it all in an easy-to-read infographic format.

All of this underscores the West’s on-going support for international terrorism in its campaign of globalized war and poverty.

And all of this highlights the irony that the same terrorist group that supposedly flew airplanes into the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon – al Qaeda – is U.S –led NATO’s proxy in Syria.

The US Without NATO Could Mean No Wars and Terrorism in the World

The US Without NATO Could Mean No Wars and Terrorism in the World

By Masud Wadan,

NATO was primarily founded by the US with then-12 members in 1949 as a bulwark against Soviet aggression. NATO’s mission terminated following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of Warsaw pact in 1991. At that time, there was no giant beyond Soviet Union to take up position, though the US scrambled to keep NATO running, otherwise the disbandment of NATO could mean a recipe for the US’s shrinking of supremacy over the world.

The other advantage by maintaining NATO is that it is a combined force that allows US to hold an overall grip on the European region. NATO involves 25 European member states among others while the European Union and the NATO have 22 members in common. In this row, France, Britain and the US are nuclear powers.

According to NATO treaty’s article 5,

if a member of the organization faces direct incursion from outside powers, the rest of members shall spring into its defense.

The most spectacular example and the only tragedy ever seen that represents this article was 9/11 attacks. The NATO powers were, indeed, on their own to go for helping the US, yet the enormity of world trade center’s havoc earned their sympathy to join US forces in the invasion of Afghanistan.

NATO’s latest mission began in 2003 in Afghanistan where it deployed thousands of troops through International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). By the term NATO, the finger is pointed at those few member states that really run things and hold a massive stake on the ground. The US and UK are the only two spearheads when it comes to the Afghan war. The rests below these two in the list are just operating under NATO with far fewer troops or some may even contribute to appease the US.

The US deployed NATO forces in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Indian Ocean, of which Uzbekistan demanded several million dollars as payment for exploitation of its soil against Afghanistan.

The second to US at the helm of NATO is the UK. This leading NATO member played more like an influential conduit for the passage of NATO’s proposals and plans into the European Union. But this trend seems to start faltering after the revolutionary Brexit referendum in the UK last year. Although the NATO and UK officials have ruled out a likely split of UK from the NATO following Brexit, it is presumed that the deadlock would start to loom in the longer term – if not in near one.

NATO binds its members to dedicate at least 2 percent of their GDP for defense spending, while only five members including the US, the UK, Greece, Poland and Estonia are less or well above the target. Amazingly, the powerful economies such as Germany and France are falling short in this area.

As aftereffect of the Brexit referendum, the UK could lose the most senior military position of Deputy Supreme Allied Commander which it held for more than 60 years. The deputy leadership among other key roles could possibly slip to France.

The other turning point triggered by Brexit is the EU’s intention to speed up the creation of independent military headquarters outside NATO. This idea, however, was frequently downplayed and turned down by the UK which it saw as a threat to the role of NATO. The UK had said last year it would veto such a proposal, because it may possibly undercut UK’s vigorous engagement in NATO.

Image result for jens stoltenbergGiven the pre-emptive use of force, NATO’s chief Jens Stoltenberg last year in a meeting in Brussels urged allies to keep anti-Russian sanctions alive. He said:

“The international community must keep pressuring Russia to respect its obligations”.

If it sees all this allegations to be hurled at Russia over Ukraine’s standoff, then NATO too has to end a protracted and costly war in Afghanistan, which Russia terms as “offensive”.

It was until Russia’s annexation of Crimea when NATO and Russia led easy marriage and would strike several cooperation deals. In the wake of Crimea’s annexation – whose reason was inferred as Russia’s fear over NATO’s plan to build military headquarters there – the organization froze relationship with Russia.

As a major determinant of NATO, Germany press for exercising of sanctions against Russia at a time this country is Russia’s largest trade partner, followed by France and Italy. By all this, we discover that the NATO and the EU go on the same trajectory after the latter approved anti-Russian bans and embargoes over Ukraine’s crisis which was sparked by NATO in the first place. While others believe the EU is NATO in the guise of a Union.

Given the EU’s drastic need for Russia’s energy resources as well as the broad Russian markets for European products, the EU, more or less, is eager to cut the intensity of sanctions and edge it towards the end. Moreover, the German businessmen and economists have vocalized opposition to further and tougher sanctions on Russia.

On the heyday of NATO deployments and engagements in Afghanistan, some wrecked sectors of this victimized country were shared out among a number of members for the purpose of revival. The US assumed the training and strengthening of the Afghan Army, Japan was handed over the “Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration” (DDR) project, Germany undertook training of the Afghan police, the UK picked war on narcotics and stationed only in southern Helmand province despite having second highest number of troops following the US, and Italy took on the responsibility of the justice sector reform.

Fewer would fit into their tasks, as Japan had no servicemen or armed forces at the time to forcefully disarm the militias. And the UK’s failure to tackle narcotics is largely on display in the eyes of world as Afghanistan still ranks the first for feeding world habits of addiction, let alone the booming drug business worldwide. Lastly, Italy was a poor choice for the justice sector’s reform thanks to being a big law-breaker and Mafia country in the Europe.

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On the Syrian side, the latest chemical attack bears out the fact on the collusion and conspiracies of critical NATO members behind peppering of blames on Assad’s regime. First the US used every effort at disposal to direct the blame on Syrian government. Later the UK’s – also first in toeing the US’s line – foreign minister Boris Johnson meaninglessly called off an official trip to Russia allegedly over this country’s involvement in Syria and the gas attack. In third place, France inconsiderately released a report blaming Syrian government for chemical gas attack without a shred of evidence.

All these concurred attacks come as the international neutral investigators as well as Russian team sought to inspect the chemical attack for findings, but they said the US blocked them from participating in a formal investigation.

If it was not for NATO or concerted conspiracies, the UK’s Boris Johnson or French report had nothing to do with a far-regional chemical weapon attack, even if it was perpetrated by very Assad’s government.

The NATO’s pro-war European members are the cornerstone of the US’s decision-making process on waging a war or invading a country. North Korea, for example, might be on the brink of bursting into a war with US. Apart from South Korea’s opposition to the US-DPRK’s likely armed strife, the US might still strongly hesitate to instigate another endless conflict without consent of leading NATO members, importantly because it is unwilling to bear the brunt of costs and arms alone, and that’s why compelling of the NATO members to raise defense spending matters.

Back in 2003, France and Germany stood critical to the US war plans against Iraq. The Wall Street Journal at that time accused Germany of actively promoting American defeat. It concluded by declaring

“What President Bush calls ‘a coalition of the willing’ will become America’s new security alliance”, even though the two states continued to take several diplomatic initiatives to avert a military strike against Iraq which were not well covered in media.

The same year, French president Jacques Chirac and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin presented a joint declaration by France, Germany and Russia calling for extended weapons inspections in Iraq. It said:

“There is still an alternative to war. The use of violence can only be the last resort”.

It was a riposte to President Bush’s remarks just a week earlier that said,

“The game is over”.

After NATO representatives from Germany, France and Belgium vetoed military preparations for the protection of Turkey in case of war in Iraq, President Bush publicly accused Berlin, Paris and Brussels of “damaging NATO”.

Most NATO allies were distaste to the US’s invasion of Iraq, because the ploy to draw them into this [Iraq] war was not as elaborate as that of Afghanistan [9/11 attacks] and unconvincing for the European members. More than a decade later now, we notice a U-turn or a fair degree of rotation in some European and NATO members’ posture towards globalization of war and warmongering. It can be concluded that if major aides of the US – the UK, France and Germany – withhold military and non-military support to this superpower, the peace may descend into the earth over the long haul.

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