Resistance report: New ceasefire stops Syrian Army offensive while Washington-Tehran row grows stranger by the day

August 07, 2019

Resistance report: New ceasefire stops Syrian Army offensive while Washington-Tehran row grows stranger by the day

by Aram Mizraei for The Saker Blog

This week saw the Syrian Army re-commit to the previously undertaken Northwestern Syria offensive as they attacked and liberated several villages after a few weeks of relative calm across the battlefield. While terrorists still roam freely across Idlib and Hama, this offensive could be pivotal to the war effort as the aim would be to eliminate the jihadist presence in Latakia and Hama. Sputnik News Agency, citing a Syrian Arab Army source reported that Syrian Army forces are working to control the strategic hills near Kabani (Latakia) before they launch a large-scale attack.

[Excerpts from the Sputnik report] “Work is being done to control a range of strategic hills in the area and on the axes of the Zuwayqat Mountain and Height 1154,” the Syrian Army source said, adding that taking control of these sites will pave the way for the military to capture Kabani.

Kabani, situated at a high mountain top has been a constant thorn in the side of the Syrian Army and its allies as they have for years tried and failed every time to capture this town. Due to Kabani’s high elevation, the Syrian Arab Army has struggled to break through the jihadist defences, despite their constant airstrikes on the town.

[Update] Unfortunately, on Friday, the Syrian Army announced once more that the Syrian Army will agree on a ceasefire in Idlib if the militants retreat from the 20-km-long demilitarized zone in northwestern Syria. According to a military source near the front-lines, the Syrian Army is willing to halt their hostilities if the militants agree to fulfil their obligations as part of the September 17, 2018 ceasefire agreement. I am willing to bet my life that they wont, and that once more Damascus’ and Moscow’s generosity will be taken advantage of. The source said that the Syrian Army is giving the militants one last chance to salvage the September 17 deal; if they do not withdraw from the area, the military will resume their operations.

Moreover, Moscow has given their Turkish partners 24 hours to withdraw their allied militants from the demilitarized zone in northwestern Syria or else the Syrian Army will resume their offensive. Unsurprisingly, the Tahrir Al-Sham terrorist outfit has refused to do so, proving once more that any kind of negotiation with these base animals is useless.

Elsewhere, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was allegedly invited by Iranian Press TV to be interviewed, an offer that Pompeo accepted, stating that he would “happily go to Tehran and willingly appear on Iranian television to explain US reasoning behind its sanctions against the Islamic Republic.”

His response was met positively by several important people in Iran. Member of Parliament Ali Motahari welcomed Pompeo’s offer saying that “In my opinion, this is a good opportunity, but the interview shouldn’t be one-sided in which Pompeo [only] speaks. The interviewer must bring up issues skillfully in a way that would [prove] US [lack] of logic,”said Motahari in an interview with a local media.

Even though I personally don’t believe this would happen, one would wonder as to why Pompeo would agree to such an interview. The obvious reason for me and many others would be to spread propaganda in a desperate attempt to reach out to the ones that suffer the most from the sanctions against Iran. Pompeo also likened a trip to Tehran to how Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif communicates with the American public during his trips to the United Nations in New York. He went on to claim that Zarif is “no more in charge of what’s going on in Iran than a man in the moon. At the end of the day, this is driven by the ayatollah. He will be the ultimate decision-maker here.”

Having said this, only a week later Pompeo tweeted that Mohammad Javad Zarif was now the target of fresh US sanctions, since Zarif apparently is a “chief apologist” for the Islamic Republic, and is “just as complicit in the regime’s outlaw behaviour as the rest of @khamenei_ir’s mafia”. One of the most dangerous potential conflicts in this world is being “debated” on Twitter by the chief men responsible, as Zarif and Pompeo frequently trade blows on the social media platform. One can’t help but think that it was only bound to happen as the mutually hateful Washington-Tehran relationship continues to reach new heights.

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‘This Yellow Vest carnage’ more ‘French exceptionalism’

 

July 23, 2019

by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog (cross-posted with PressTV by permission)

‘This Yellow Vest carnage’ more ‘French exceptionalism’

(Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea, and elsewhere. He is the author of “I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China.”)

At a recent demonstration against the recently fired, third-ranking French civil servant (the president of parliament), who had been caught enjoying jumbo lobster and 1,000-euro bottles of wine with his friends on the taxpayer’s centime, I chatted with a former political prisoner.

It may surprise some that he was a Westerner. The West is, of course, exceptional: everyone else has political prisoners, but there isn’t a single one in the free, free West.

He had just spent four months in prison for protesting with the Yellow Vests. In a story which appears trite but which I believed – given the fact that testimony by police cannot be questioned in France’s judicial system – he said that it was the protester next to him who had thrown something at the cops and not him. There was no falsehood in the intense bitterness with which he said, “Four months in prison – I wish that I actually had thrown it!”

He showed me the many scars and permanent knots on his wrists and forearms – defensive wounds caused by protecting himself from fiercely-armed, well-protected and ruthless riot police. I praised his sacrifice for the common good, but I did not tell him that this was exceptional: in the past eight months I had heard many similar stories. Just last weekend I saw children getting tear gassed, and yet another woman shot in the eye with a rubber bullet.

This is carnage, pure and simple, and it happens all around France every Saturday starting around 11 am.

The biggest complaint of the Yellow Vests these days may not be against the French model of government, but towards a Western Mainstream Media which acts as if such carnage doesn’t exist.

If the world believed that the French system of governance was exceptional, then the repression of the Yellow Vest movement should forever silence that false claim. It has been eight months: their media system obviously cannot report on domestic political repression, and their political system can obviously perpetuate domestic repression with an impunity unparalleled in the world. In no other country has such regular, political repression occurred this century.

This ability to inflict such record-breaking repression while talking passionately about liberté – and being believed at home and abroad! – is the true “French exceptionalism”, and it is nothing to boast about or emulate.

Western propaganda has shut down all criticism of French repression in favor of hysterical and one-sided coverage of the protests in Hong Kong. Another widespread belief among Westerners is that they are exceptional in that their systems don’t permit the creation of “propaganda”, whereas that is the only thing the journalists of most other nations can do, especially nations like Russia, Iran, Syria, etc.

One thing about exceptionalists is their certainty of its permanence: it seems that once one is exceptional, one can never stop being exceptional, no matter how immorally one acts. Exceptionalism, once bestowed by God, can never be subject to a Day of Judgment, apparently. It’s a, uh, “unique” view….

Undoubtedly, the necessarily corollary to exceptionalism’s assertion that “We are different” is rarely stated but extremely important in order to understand the exceptionalist’s mindset, and it is: “while all the rest of you idiots are all the same”.

Those in the developing world are told that there is an enormous difference between Belgians and the English, for example. Even though the former is merely a peninsula of the latter, what a mighty chasm separates the Danes and the Germans! Yet in France all Blacks are just that – Blacks – even though they hail from parts as varied as West Africa, Madagascar and the Caribbean. In the US all Latinos – whether from the southernmost tip of Tierra del Fuego or Boston – are painted with the same brush. Of course, in both countries Muslims are certainly all “Arabs”. This total nonsense illustrates an obsessive self-esteem which necessarily strains cooperation, diplomacy and true tolerance.

A difference between US and French claims for their own exceptionalism is that the US believes it is exceptional lock, stock and barrel, yet the French are more likely to claim their “cultural exceptionalism”.

It takes a bit of experience here to figure that out, but what they mean is that “White French culture” is exceptional: any influences from the nearby Muslim world, or anything their neo-imperial subjects might bring, or even the neighbouring Anglo-Saxon world – all are second-rate and somehow corruptive of an exceptionally wonderful culture which must never change.

What especially galls nations like Iran and many, many others regarding French exceptionalism are two things:

France claims to especially honor human rights… and yet how do we explain the the Yellow Vest repression? This was after we were told to believe that their bombs in Libya, their guns in the short-lived Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and their rapes in the Central African Republic are “humanitarian interventions”. We also were disgusted by the deification of the dangerous magazine Charlie Hebdo, which made millions by publishing Islamophobic pictures but never publish an anti-Jewish one.

It boggles to mind to think of the weight of the cognitive dissonance which France’s political and cultural elite must bear in their minds: they regularly imprison hundreds of protesters in the morning, and then in the afternoon talk about France being a beacon, champion and even the inventor of human rights.

It is simply intolerable to get lessons on human rights from a nation which so clearly violates them; it is intolerable because all nations must converse diplomatically, and yet France believes they can continually disrespects everyone else’s intelligence and get away with it.

Secondly, Iran is a nation which has been under hot and cold war for 40 years, therefore they have been truly living in wartime conditions, forced to have a true state of emergency in the past, and endure vast suffering caused by an illegal, homicidal blockade which aims to provoke either civil war or all-out war. France, however, suffers none of these hardships, and yet are more homicidal by multiple orders of magnitude.

How can Iran have such a very poor image and France such a positive image, given the former’s unjust handicaps and the latter’s lack of restraint, common decency and refusal to cooperate? Part of it is Iranophobic propaganda, and the other part is propaganda which champions the alleged legitimacy of “French exceptionalism”.

However, current anthropological scholarship is finally shedding their West-centric blinders to realise that France is not at all the “birthplace of human rights”: the conception of individual rights in today’s West was yet another resource stolen from the American Indians, namely the Iroquois Confederacy in the northeastern US. This fascinating subject, which academics simply must study,certainly seems logical – where was the conception of individual freedom in France’s long history of an absolute monarchy which was as absolute as anywhere in Europe? They obviously learned it from someone else, namely the Indians they came into contact with. To me, the Iroquois seemed to be about as freedom-loving as your average, ever-roaming Iranian nomad, but the point here is not to make exceptional claims about who invented human rights – the point is: the French did not invent them, as they claim.

It is inherent in countries which assert their exceptionalism – and perhaps in all Western Liberal Democracies – to deny shared authorship of the world’s many fine ideas and concepts, as they endlessly promote individualism and do not prize the communal, collective spirit.

I can report that those incredibly brave Yellow Vests who are still protesting – in the face of all the guaranteed state violence – repeatedly tell me what respect they have for Iran and its modern governmental system. They routinely tell me what shame they have in their own government. Indeed, the Yellow Vests are the new, courageous political vanguard of France. Unlike the French 1%’s support of aristocratic Western Liberal Democracy, Yellow Vests display French values which are in common with those around the world: solidarity, bravery, faith and self-sacrifice.

If the Yellow Vests could ever win political or cultural power they would certainly end the hypocrisy of “French exceptionalism”, which they correctly see as an unwanted yoke which only perpetuates France’s ongoing domestic repression.

The French have a fine saying: “One time does not make a custom.”

However, eight months does. The Yellow Vests obviously cannot be distracted with the false pride of “French exceptionalism” – they are busy defending themselves from the carnage such arrogance inevitably provokes.

The Saker interviews Stephen Karganovic

The Saker

The Saker interviews Stephen Karganovic

June 30, 2019

The Saker: Please introduce yourself and your past and present political activities.

Karganovic: My name is Stephen Karganovic. My background is Serbian, Russian, and Polish. On my father’s side I have been able to trace family roots to the town of Khmelita, Smolensk district. In the first half of the 19th century Yuri Karganovich held the by then probably obsolete office of стольник (stolnik) in the regional town of Iskorosten. Perhaps because of my ethnically ecumenical background, I prefer to identify myself simply as an Orthodox Christian. I am a law school graduate, also with a degree in philosophy. I have never engaged in political activities as such. What interests me are issues with a moral dimension, and if they also happen to impinge upon politics, so be it.

The Saker: You are one of the best “Srebrenica specialists” out there. So, could you please in your own words describe, step by step, what actually took place in Srebrenica from the moment the Bosnian-Muslims raided the Serbian villages around Srebrenica to the moment the grand “genocide” strategic psy-op was launched.

Karganovic: I became interested in what happened in Srebrenica in July of 1995, during the Bosnian war, when in 2001 at the Hague I became involved in the defense of a Bosnian Serb officer accused of war crimes before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. I was in America, of course, while the war was going on and knew nothing of Srebrenica at that time. Neither did I have any axe to grind in the controversies that sparked that conflict. I was raised and educated in the United States, had a very vague concept of my ethnic background(s), and neither I nor my family had suffered any detriment at the hands of the other contending parties, so I had no motive to favor one side or disfavor another. As we sifted through the evidence in order to construct a defense, I noticed that the prosecution’s case consisted of broad allegations and was bereft of specific facts to support the grave charges laid against the defendant, which included genocide, an accusation that takes much highly technical evidence to prove. As I witnessed firsthand the unconventional legal procedures of the Hague Tribunal, which is a polite way of saying its complete alienation from the traditions of civilized jurisprudence, I became shocked. There did not seem to be much substance to the charge sheets. The remark once made by a hubristic US judge that “we can convict a ham sandwich,” which sounded flippant to me when I read it many years ago, ultimately received its full embodiment in the operation of the Hague Tribunal, and I had a ring-side seat to watch that professionally unedifying show.

I went on to work in several other defense teams at the Hague in cases that were not related to Srebrenica. But to make the long story short, I quickly realized that Srebrenica was the mainstay of the Hague Tribunal, or ICTY, and that officially confirming the “genocide” and “8,000 men and boys” version of the narrative was its principal mission. I was bothered to see defendants convicted to decades-long imprisonment on the most heinous of charges and flimsiest proof, and a nation tarred with the most serious crime under international law, based on improvised and fabricated “evidence” that would not stand up in any non-political domestic court. So, I began to pay special attention to Srebrenica and to use the resources available to me at the Hague Tribunal to collect all the data I could lay my hands on about what happened there.

In 2008 at the Hague, under the laws of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, I founded a non-government organization “Srebrenica Historical Project,” dedicated to a contextual, multi-disciplinary study of this issue. Our goal is to get to the bottom of what happened, and how and why. Our colleagues, whose research articles you can read on our website, are of diverse ethnic backgrounds and professional profiles. Almost none are Serbian. They have in common a critical approach and a desire to factually deconstruct what the late Prof. Edward Herman aptly called “the greatest triumph of propaganda at the close of the twentieth century.” He was referring to Srebrenica, of course.

Instead of my presenting a possibly subjective account of what happened in Srebrenica, I recommend visiting our website. Our many authors give, I think, persuasive and factual answers to most Srebrenica questions.

The Saker: What has the impact of Srebrenica been on the Serbian people and the Serbian state? Who has benefited most from this?

Karganovic: Srebrenica’s impact has been to bewilder the Serbian people, who are under the firm impression that they are victims, not perpetrators, of genocide. After bewilderment came indignant rejection of the Srebrenica smear. Western governments and the Soros organization have invested huge sums in Serbia into propping up a bevy of phony “NGOs” with the principal task of indoctrinating the public in the Srebrenica genocide guilt complex. Their efforts have been a dismal failure, notwithstanding the country’s demoralized state and the covert support of Serbia’s quisling governments. The goal, of course, is to further morally break down and emasculate the Serbian nation, to lay on them a paralyzing guilt trip and to render them submissive and obedient, apologizing and atoning forever for acts of moral turpitude that, unlike the Germans, they did not commit. So far, that particular “use of Srebrenica,” as Diana Johnstone would put it, has been a resounding flop.

But another, and very lethal, use of Srebrenica has been a huge success. The Srebrenica narrative is the foundation stone and chief rationale of the “right to protect” (R2P) doctrine of cynical, predatory imperialist interventions that have destroyed and devastated a dozen mostly Muslim countries and claimed several million innocent Muslim lives. R2P’s phony rationale is the supposed failure in July of 1995 of Western countries and NATO to act robustly to prevent the “Srebrenica genocide.” Srebrenica as a metaphor for unbridled imperialist aggression has indeed been a slaughterhouse for Muslims, but not in Bosnia in 1995.

The Saker: Can you outline what is currently happening in Serbia? We hear of a possible conflict with the US-backed Kosovo Albanians, of a possible EU and/or NATO membership? What is really taking place?

Karganovic: In response to your question about what is happening in Serbia (I am in America right now) I will quote from an email that I received today from a friend who teaches at a university abroad but is currently on holiday in Serbia: “There are heavy rains and floods here – Belgrade has been flooded twice – with torrents sweeping away cars as if they were mere toys. There is general chaos in the entire country, and everything is falling apart. But the gang in charge are celebrating themselves as saints and saviors, and there seems to be nothing of greater importance to Serbs than to put on the shackles of the European Union!”

That is admittedly a pessimistic assessment, but I believe it to be close to the truth. Slavic nations generally are not politically sophisticated and can easily be fooled and manipulated by savvy conmen. The Ukraine is a notorious example. Serbs are not far behind; they have the political acumen of seven-year-olds. I read somewhere that young Germans nowadays watch Hitler’s histrionics and wonder how their parents and grandparents could have been so simpleminded as to put their faith in that buffoon and accept his leadership. Future generations of Serbs will undoubtedly be reviewing the performance of the loathsome character who is running their country into the ground today and will wonder how their parents and grandparents could possibly have tolerated his obnoxious misrule.

As for the news of conflict with US-backed Albanians in Kosovo, on the part of the quisling regime there is neither the will nor the means to enter into such a confrontation. The regime was installed in order arrange for Serbia’s legal renunciation of Kosovo and its capos are well aware that reneging on that commitment will have for them most unpleasant consequences. As for actually opposing anything, Serbia no longer has an army worthy of the name, hence no means with which to effectively assert or defend its interests. It is at the mercy of foreign imperialists and their bought and blackmailed local agents. NATO membership seems definitely on the horizon because incorporation in today’s Axis is an essential component of the planned Ostfront war, as much today as it was in 1941.

The Saker: What about Montenegro? Has the Empire been successful in breaking off Montenegro from Serbia and is what is happening nowadays with Montenegro similar to what the Empire did in the Ukraine? I hear that an “independent Montenegrin Orthodox Church” is being prepared, is that true? How toxic/important is this development (assuming it is true)?

Karganovic: The only reason that Montenegro is not labeled “Europe’s last dictatorship,” but Byelorussia is, is that unlike Lukashenko its blackmailed dictator Djukanovic is a servile Western lapdog. With many criminal indictments in Italy waiting to be activated against him at the slightest hint of disobedience, for drug, cigarette, and human trafficking, he has no choice but to be one.

The similarities between the “nation-building” procedures in the Ukraine and Montenegro are striking. What this refers to is the artificial insemination of the target population with a phony, completely fabricated identity entirely at odds with their genuine history and culture, all to their detriment and in the service of their geopolitical manipulators’ and enemies’ agenda. We already know the Ukrainian story and need not repeat it here. The Montenegrin story is precisely analogous. Since subservient local chieftains receive memos telling them what they are expected to do, one may safely assume that in one of those memos delivered to Djukanovic he was instructed to initiate the setting up of a non-Serbian Montenegrin identity in order to fragment and undermine Serbian ethnic and cultural space even further. He obeyed.

The result today are regime-sponsored and condoned anti-Serbian excesses that closely compete with those of the Ukrainian looneys and often boggle the imagination. A recent example is an Instagram message by a certain Mirna Nikcevic, a counselor at the Montenegrin embassy in Ankara, where she wrote contemptuously of the crowd of Montenegrin Serbs that gathered around the cathedral of Christ the Savior in Podgorica to protest the regime’s plan to take over the temples of the canonical Orthodox church and hand them over to a schismatic pseudo church it had set up, that she would “cram the assembled cattle [meaning Montenegrins asserting their Serbian heritage – S. K.] into the church and set it on fire.” That most undiplomatic remark was mildly reproved by Djukanovic’s foreign ministry, but it accurately reflects the dementia of his partisans.

An “independent” Montenegrin church, as a fitting complement to the country’s statehood and alleged ethnic specificity, was in fact created a few years ago in a way that even the Ukrainian lunatics, who serve as the model for Djukanovic and his crew, would have difficulty topping. This “church” founded by atheists (which is what former Communist youth leader Djukanovic admittedly is) was set up as an NGO and registered as such in a Montenegrin police station. Recognizing the autocephaly of the Ukrainian pseudo-church was a piece of cake for the corrupt ecumenical patriarch in Constantinople compared to his forthcoming task of legitimizing the Montenegrin sect. He will have to figure out how to do it when he gets the memo from NATO that this is the next thing that is expected of him. (It is true that the ecumenical Patriarch informed Djukanovic a few days ago that Montenegro never had an autocephalous church and never will have one. But the fickleness of the Patriarchate is legendary. With a little pressure here, and some financial inducement there, the latter having worked miracles in the Ukrainian affair, a canonical rationale for a flip flop can surely be found.) Toxic is one word for the phenomenon of using Orthodox church institutions for the self-destruction of Orthodoxy. Ominous is another word for it and, as sheikh Imran Hosein would say, it is a reliable sign of akhir al-zamaan.

The Saker: Who won the Yugoslav civil war, if anybody? Here forget about Slovenia – please focus on Croatia and Bosnia.

Karganovic: The war was won, in a manner of speaking, by the globalist power centers which engineered the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. They got what they wanted, feeble and dependent statelets run by their hired hands instead of a unified country with weight in world affairs, which at home did not even perform badly. The losers were all the citizens of the former Yugoslavia without exception, not only those who perished in senseless mayhem instigated by foreign agents and executed by domestic fools, but also the miserable survivors who must now live in the resulting neo-liberal hellholes.

The Saker: Are there any Serbs left in the former UN Protected Areas in what is Croatia nowadays and, if yes, how do they live?

Karganovic: Yes, there is a very small number of Serbs left in present-day Croatia, their share in the total population hovering around the 3% mark, drastically down from a quarter of the population before the slaughter in the Nazi-satellite “Independent State of Croatia” during World War II. They are mostly elderly, waiting to die hopefully natural deaths, if permitted by their Croatian fellow citizens.

The Saker: Are there any Serbs left in the Muslim-controlled areas of Bosnia today?

Karganovic: Yes, they are a whopping and largely disenfranchised 5% of the population of that section of the country. For purposes of comparison, in the capital of Sarajevo, where before the outbreak of the hostilities in 1992 there were about 150,000 Serbs, there are now only a few thousand left.

The Saker: How much autonomy does the Republika Srpska have today? Focus on this: are the Serbs in Bosnia safe or at they at risk?

Karganovic: The Republika Srpska, which is the Serb-run entity within Bosnia and Hercegovina under the Dayton Agreement signed to end the war in 1995, is continually struggling to preserve the autonomy guaranteed to it under international law. Above the local authorities, there is a “High Representative” of the “international community” who is really the official in charge in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has arrogated to himself vast arbitrary powers to interpret laws, set up institutions, and dismiss democratically elected officials he deems unsuitable. It is a replication of the British colonial system. The Srebrenica genocide matter is being used as a pretext to dispute Republika Srpska’s legal and moral right to exist. No one is entirely safe in present-day Bosnia and Hercegovina.

The Saker: How do you see the future of Kosovo in general and of the Serbian minority in Kosovo specifically?

Karganovic: Until the results of NATO aggression in 1999 are annulled Kosovo will have no future, except as a narco and human organ trafficking pseudo state. Albanians are fleeing en masse the utterly incompetent and corrupt terror regime that was installed by NATO occupiers twenty years ago. The land is saturated with the depleted uranium munitions left over from the three-month NATO bombing campaign and is scarcely fit for human habitation. If you go to Kosovo, I would recommend you make your visit brief and bring your own canned food, avoiding contaminated local ingredients. Babies and animals are being born with hideous defects. Few people are aware of this, but Kosovo was targeted with the highest concentration of depleted uranium and other toxic substances during NATO’s 1999 “liberation war.” Being the majority of the population, Albanians are now paying a heavy price for NATO’s generous favors. Meanwhile, since Kosovo is a pot of gold in terms of its mineral and other resources, the chief liberators Wesley Clark and Madeleine Albright have made a financial killing by awarding themselves juicy business opportunities, while the “philanthropist” George Soros has his eye set on the enormously valuable Trepča mining complex. International corporations will get their choice pickings. Meanwhile, Albanians are dying of cancer and desperately moving out. There is a small remnant of Serbs still living in Kosovo which is spiritually and culturally their Holy Land. The future of that scene of ghastly crimes against humanity is in God’s hands.

The Saker: How many Serbs were displaced in total by the war and where do they reside nowadays?

Karganovic: Estimates are not reliable, but about a quarter of a million are thought to have been displaced from Croatia and as many from Kosovo. A further unknown number sought in Serbia safety from the war in Bosnia. We cannot be sure of the numbers, but we do have striking pictures which portray an exodus of biblical proportions.

The Saker: Are the Serbian refugees from Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo a major factor in Serbian politics? If yes, how, if not, why?

Karganovic: They are not a factor at all. They are not allowed to interfere with the policies pursued by the Western-installed Serbian political elite.

The Saker: Do you think that the US and/or NATO have the stomach to use force against Serbia if the Serbs move to protect the Serbian minority in Kosovo?

Karganovic: It is a moot question because the hypothetical situation envisaged by the question is unlikely to occur.

The Saker: What happened to Bishop Artemie and why did the Serbian Orthodox Church yield to the Empire’s pressure and took away his diocese of Kosovo? How is he now and how can the readers find out more about him?

Karganovic: In essence, the American ambassador in Belgrade told the Serbian Patriarch that Bishop Artemie was an obstacle to “normalization” in Kosovo and that it was highly desirable for him to be removed. Within four days, Bishop Artemie was dismissed on trumped-up financial malfeasance charges which after a decade have not been proved in a court of law. His ouster seems to have been a blessing in disguise. He is now leading a thriving “diocese in exile,” where he is joined by most of his Kosovo clergy and monastics. Catacomb parishes, as he aptly calls them, of the exiled diocese are springing up all over Serbia and countries with a Serbian diaspora. The diocese that was contemptuously cast away by the servile, ecumenist leadership of the Serbian Church has now become its salt, providing much needed spiritual nourishment to Orthodox believers. It is living proof of God’s ability to confound the adversary’s most carefully laid plans and to transform them for the good.

The Saker: What should Russia do to help Serbia? What is, in your opinion, the “solution” to the Serbian drama in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo?

Karganovic: That is an overtly political question and as I said, I don’t do politics. I will just say that what Russia can and should do is to never abandon Serbia. That will at the same time be the solution to the drama that you mention. But none of that will be purely the work of human hands.

 

Our Reality Can Beat Up Your Reality. Spreading False News Stories on Iran

Taxpayer-Funded Propaganda for Trolls, by Trolls

Global Research, June 17, 2019

Twitter has declared victory over disinformation, deplatforming thousands of pro-Iranian Twitter accounts this week to coincide with US Secretary of State “Rapture Mike” Pompeo’s evidence-free declaration that Iran had attacked two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. But the mass deletion is merely an effort to distract from the implosion of two anti-Iran troll campaigns dedicated to smearing pro-peace Americans, both tacitly Twitter-approved. And there’s plenty more where those came from. As US media and politicians continues to hyperventilate about Russian bots, who’s the real troll-master?

Pompeo was out front with the blame hours after the attack, absent a shred of proof beyond unspecified “intelligence” and a few other dubious incidents in the Middle East that the US has previously pinned on Iran (also absent a shred of proof). But even mainstream media has initially been reluctant to take his word for it, mostly because the narrative is so improbable – Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe was in Tehran when it happened, promising to make the “utmost effort” to de-escalate tensions, when, as if on cue, one Japanese ship and another carrying Japanese cargo were hit? What are the odds?

When even CNN acknowledged that the attack “doesn’t appear to benefit any of the protagonists in the region,” and Bloomberg admitted “Iran has little to gain” from blowing up the ships of its esteemed guest, Pompeo clearly understood another route of influence was required. Who better to call in for reinforcements than Twitter, which has demonstrated time and again its willingness to serve the US’ preferred narrative with mass deplatformings? 4,779 accounts believed to be “associated or backed by Iran” were removed – less than an hour after Pompeo’s declaration of Iranian guilt – for nothing more than tweeting “global news content, often with an angle that benefited the diplomatic and geostrategic views of the Iranian state.” This was deemed “platform manipulation,” and therefore unacceptable.

One troll down, thousands more to go

Tweeting with an angle that benefits the diplomatic and geostrategic views of the American state, however, is perfectly acceptable – at least, it wasn’t Twitter that brought the “Iran Disinformation Project” crashing to a halt earlier this month. The State Department officially ended its @IranDisinfo influence operation after the social media initiative, ostensibly created to “counter Iranian propaganda,” went rogue, smearing any and all critics of Trump’s hawkish Iran policy as paid operatives of the Iranian government. Human rights activists, students, journalists, academics, even insufficiently-militant American propagandists at RFE/RL, Voice of America and other US-funded outlets were attacked by @IranDisinfo – all on the US taxpayer’s dime.

Congress only learned of the project in a closed-door hearing on Monday, when the State Department confessed the troll campaign had taken $1.5 million in taxpayers’ money to attack those same taxpayers – all in the name of promoting “freedom of expression and free access to information.” The group contracted to operate Iran Disinfo, E-Collaborative for Civic Education, is run by an Iranian immigrant and claims to focus on strengthening “civil society” and “democracy” back home, though its work is almost exclusively US-focused and its connections with pro-war think tanks like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies have alarmed congressional staffers.

“What rules are in place to prevent state-funded organization from smearing American citizens? If there wasn’t public outcry, would the Administration have suspended funding for Iran Disinfo?” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) tweeted after the mea culpa meeting. While the State Department was long barred from directing government-funded propaganda at its own citizens, that rule was quietly repealed in 2013 with the passage of the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act, which gave its narrative-spinners free reign to run influence operations at home. And while the Pentagon is technically forbidden from running psychological operations (“psy-ops”) against American citizens, that rule goes out the window in case of “domestic emergencies” – and the domestic emergency declared by then-President George W. Bush days after the September 11 terror attacks remains in effect, 18 years later.

Trump’s favorite anti-Iran troll

Nor was the State Department’s trolling operation the only anti-Iran psy-op to be unmasked in recent weeks. Heshmat Alavi, an anti-Iranian columnist promoted by the Trump administration and published in Forbes, the Hill, and several other outlets, was exposed by the Intercept as a propaganda construct operated by the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a controversial Iranian exile group often called a cult that has only recently lobbied its way off the US’ terror list. The MEK is notorious for buying the endorsement of American political figures, and national security adviser John Bolton, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani are among those who have spoken at its events.

Heshmat Alavi’s stories were used to sell Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran deal to the Washington Post and other more reputable outlets, as well as to promote the MEK as a “main Iranian opposition group” and viable option for post-regime-change leadership of Iran – even though it is very much fringe and hated by the majority of Iranians for fighting on the side of Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. Indeed, Alavi’s relentless advocacy for the MEK may have scared off a few of the sites that initially published his work.

None of the editors who’d published Alavi’s work had ever spoken to him and none could provide the Intercept with any evidence that he was not, in fact, “a persona run by a team of people from the political wing of the MEK.” Defectors confirmed that Alavi is a small part of a massive US-directed propaganda campaign.

“We were always active in making false news stories to spread to the foreign press and in Iran,” a Canadian MEK defector told the Intercept, describing a comprehensive online propaganda operation run out of the group’s former base in Iraq that sought to control the narrative about Iran on Facebook and Twitter. Alavi may be gone, his account quietly suspended by Twitter in the wake of the Intercept’s unmasking and his stories pulled from Forbes and the Diplomat, but there are more where he came from. The Intercept delivered Twitter all the evidence they needed to take down the MEK’s trolling network, a swamp of “coordinated inauthentic behavior” in which Alavi was a prominent node, but the social network sat on its hands.

Friends funding fiends

Add to this toxic US-approved stew the Israeli astroturf operation Act.IL, which in 2018 took $1.1 million from Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs to troll Americans critical of Israeli policies, including its hostility toward Iran. Initially founded to combat the Iran nuclear deal, the Ministry’s mission has pivoted to combating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, for which it receives significant US funding (Israeli Lt-Gen Gabi Ashkenazi admitted in 2012 that American taxpayers contribute more to the country’s defense budget than Israeli taxpayers). Act.IL boasts it has gotten Americans fired from their jobs, and the app encourages users to accuse American students and journalists who support BDS of antisemitism, mass-report their posts, and otherwise engage in what would be called “coordinated inauthentic behavior” if any other country did it.

Act.IL is by no means the only Israeli trolling campaign aimed at American eyeballs, either. Psy-Group, the Israeli private intelligence company that infamously pitched a social media influence operation to the Trump campaign, ran a multi-pronged online smear operation to influence a local election in California in 2017 and has pitched dozens more. The Israel on Campus Coalition attacks pro-Palestinian student activists and professors through coordinated social media campaigns, while The Israel Project operates a network of Facebook groups whose admitted purpose is to smuggle pro-Israeli propaganda into users’ newsfeeds by concealing it among bland inspirational messages.

Such clear-cut deception by state-sponsored actors is a blatant violation of Facebook’s policies as they’ve been applied to other users, but the site claims the Israeli groups are kosher. Yet of the pro-Iran accounts deleted by Twitter, one “set” included 248 accounts “engaged with discussions related to Israel specifically” – these were shut down for nothing more than their country of origin, even as inauthentic accounts run by Israel were given carte-blanche to spew propaganda. Twitter and Facebook don’t mind being weaponized in the propaganda wars, as long as they’re working for the “right” side.

As 21st century wars are fought more and more in the informational sphere, the brightly-colored propaganda posters of the previous century have been replaced with relatively sophisticated social media influence operations. What Pompeo can’t accomplish by lying to the American public, the State Department will attempt to achieve through the slow and steady drip of disinformation.

US politicians, meanwhile, remain so fixated on the “Russian trolls stole the election!” narrative they’ve been flogging for the last three years that the Senate last week unanimously passed a bill to restrict entry to any foreign national convicted of “election meddling,” a toothless piece of legislative virtue-signaling that reveals their utter disconnection from reality. It’s more than a little ironic that they’d embrace and even pay for foreign meddling as long as they believe the trolls are working for them.

As Friedrich Nietzsche said,

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.” Or a troll.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This article was originally published in abbreviated form on RT.

Helen Buyniski‘s work has been published at RT, Ghion Journal, Progressive Radio Network, and Veterans Today, among other outlets. A journalist and photographer based in New York City, Helen has a BA in Journalism from New School University and also studied at Columbia University and New York University. Find more of her work at http://www.helenofdestroy.com and http://medium.com/@helen.buyniski, or follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23. She is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

All images in this article are from the author

What will Putin tell Erdogan and what was Netanyahu notified? ماذا سيسمع أردوغان من بوتين وماذا تبلّغ نتنياهو؟

What will Putin tell Erdogan and what was Netanyahu notified?

مايو 9, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The newspapers and media sites are filled with analyses and information attributed to “informed” sources about linking the Israeli raids on Syria with the Turkish seeking for a safe zone agreed upon with the Americans, and considering the ongoing movement in the southern and northern of Syria a way to weaken it by getting Iran and Hezbollah away from it, and the arrangement of the Turkish-Kurdish relationships under American-Russian consent. Those also support their conclusions with what they called the Russian silence towards the Israeli raids in the light of the resumption of the meetings between Israeli and Russian military delegations on one hand, and in the light of the American-Turkish agreement after a dispute on a safe zone and the Kurdish positive position towards it on the other hand.

After scrutiny, it can be said that these conclusions are a complementary part of the Israeli attacks and the Turkish threats. They aim at decreasing the threats resulted from the American withdrawal, to fill the gap resulted from it, and the seeking to distort the scene that foreshadows of the victory of the Syria and its president. The Turkish- Israeli alternation to occupy the political and military media scene under US sponsorship is an interpretation of that. To imagine that Russia is seeking to get the Israeli satisfaction after taming the Israeli military and deterring it is illogic especially at the time of the American withdrawal, and the focus on the Russian messages reported by the Israeli press to avoid the military and security tampering in Syria give signs for those who do not want to be victims of the media campaign. The scrutiny in the concept of the safe zone raises a fundamental question about how to set it through Turkish military incursion that is considered by Syria an aggression and occupation, and which is totally different from the Turkish presence in Idlib which was covered after the battle of Aleppo two years ago by Russia and Iran according to Astana path. Therefore, does Turkey have the will to prevent the Syrian army from the deployment in the areas from which the Americans withdraw through air embargo in the light of the Russian presence? And will Astana path remain after that?

What has been promoted by the “informed sources” means neglecting the facts of the past two years, If Turkey was in a state that can be adequate with American coverage, Astana path that culminated the defeat of Turkey and its armed groups in Aleppo would not be exist, and if Israel was in a state of being exclusive and sufficient with American coverage, the prevention of entering the Syrian airspace which culminated with the defeat of the armed groups backed by Israel in the Syrian south would not be achieved, as the situation of the Americans in Tanf base while they were seeing the strongholds of the armed groups in Ghouta falling in front of the strikes of the Syrian army without doing nothing, although their connection with Tanf base across the desert was dividing Syria into two parts. This was before the talk about the US withdrawal and before the achievement of the Russians, so how can Russia accept the division of Syria? in other words “the open war”, and how can Russia accept to end the alliance with Iran, Syria, and the resistance forces and take the risk of the defeat of its presence in the region while it is winning for fear of bothering Turkey or Israel, although it did not do so while they were at the peak of their strength.

Today the Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet the Turkish President Recep Erdogan in order to discuss the issue of the safe zone. Erdogan will hear decisive Russian words about respecting the Syrian legitimacy represented by the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and the Syrian army and refusing any military presence on the Syrian territory without that legitimacy. He will also hear clear words about the sticking to the unity and the sovereignty of Syria and about the controls governed by the path of Astana and the impossibility to violate them. Netanyahu heard the words of President Putin reported by the Russian officials that the Israeli movement will lead to a confrontation that will end with Israeli collision with Russia. So every party should be aware of its responsibilities and as long as the meeting will end with a clear statement it would be an appropriate opportunity for those who want to verify from that.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

ماذا سيسمع أردوغان من بوتين وماذا تبلّغ نتنياهو؟ 

يناير 23, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– تملأ الصحف والمواقع الإعلامية تحليلات ومعلومات منسوبة لمصادر «مطلعة» تدور حول ربط الغارات الإسرائيلية في سورية بالسعي التركي لمنطقة آمنة متفق عليها مع الأميركيين، واعتبار الحركة الجارية في جنوب سورية وشمالها لإضعاف مشروع الدولة السورية، وصولاً لإخراج إيران وحزب الله، وترتيب العلاقات التركية الكردية، بتوافق أميركي روسي، ويورد أصحاب «المصادر المطلعة» استنتاجاتهم بما يسمّونه الصمت الروسي على الغارات الإسرائيلية في ظل عودة اللقاءات بين وفود عسكرية إسرائيلية وروسية، من جهة، ومن جهة مقابلة بالتوافق الأميركي التركي بعد خلاف شديد على المنطقة الآمنة، والإعلان الكردي الإيجابي تجاهها.

– التدقيق في سياق المنطق الذي تُبنى عليه هذه الاستنتاجات، يمكن النظر إليها كجزء متمّم للاعتداءات الإسرائيلية والتهديدات التركية، الهادفتين لامتصاص بعض المخاطر المترتبة على الانسحاب الأميركي ومحاولة تقاسم ملء الفراغ الناتج عنه، والسعي لتطويق وقتل المناخ الذي يوحي بانتصار الدولة السورية ورئيسها، والتناوب التركي الإسرائيلي برعاية أميركية لتقاسم المسرح الإعلامي السياسي العسكري ليس إلا ترجمة لهذا البعد، فتخيّل روسيا العائدة لطلب الرضا الإسرائيلي بعد ترويض العسكرية الإسرائيلية وردعها، هو خروج عن المنطق، وأن يحدث هذا في زمن الانسحاب الأميركي، محض خرافة، والتمعّن في الرسائل الروسية التي نقلتها الصحافة الإسرائيلية تحذيراً من التمادي في اللعب العسكري والأمني داخل سورية، يقدم الكثير لمن يريد ألا يكون ضحية الحملات الإعلامية، والتدقيق في مفهوم المنطقة الآمنة يطرح سؤالاً جوهرياً حول كيفية إقامتها، بتوغل عسكري تركي تعتبره سورية عدواناً واحتلالاً، وهو مختلف كلياً عن الوجود التركي في إدلب الذي حاز بعد معركة حلب قبل عامين الغطاء الروسي الإيراني وفقاً لمسار أستانة، وهل تملك تركيا القدرة والإرادة على منع الجيش السوري من الانتشار في المناطق التي سينسحب منها الأميركيون بحظر جوي، في ظل الوجود الروسي، وهل يتبقى شيء من مسار أستانة إذا تم ذلك؟

– ما تسوقه «المصادر المطلعة» لا يعني إلا القفز فوق ما تقوله وقائع السنتين الماضيتين، لجهة أن تركيا لو كانت بوضع يتيح الانفراد، أو الاكتفاء بتغطية أميركية، لما كان مسار أستانة، الذي توّج هزيمة حلب لتركيا وجماعاتها المسلحة، وأن «إسرائيل» لو كانت بوضع يتيح لها الانفراد الموازي، أو الاكتفاء بتغطية أميركية، لما كان الامتناع عن دخول الأجواء السورية، الذي توّج هزيمة الجنوب السوري للجماعات المسلحة المدعومة من «إسرائيل»، كما كان الحال الأميركي في قاعدة التنف وهم يرون معقل الجماعات المسلحة في الغوطة يتهاوى أمام ضربات الجيش السوري تحت أنظارهم، من دون أن يقدموا لها شيئاً وهي التي كان اتصالها بقاعدة التنف عبر الصحراء يشطر سورية إلى شطرين، وكل ذلك جرى والأميركيون كانوا ما قبل حديث الانسحاب، والروس كانوا ما قبل تذوق طعم الإنجاز، فكيف يُعقل أن تقبل روسيا عملياً بتقسيم سورية، وتقاسمها بما يعني بقاء الحرب فيها مفتوحة، وهل تفك عقد التحالف مع إيران وسورية وقوى المقاومة، وتخاطر بهزيمة حضورها في المنطقة وهي تنتصر، خشية إغضاب تركيا و»إسرائيل»، وهي لم تفعل ذلك وهما في ذروة القوة، ترتضي فعله وهما مهزومتان؟

– اليوم سيستقبل الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين الرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان، والهدف التركي هو بحث المنطقة الآمنة، وسيسمع أردوغان كلاماً روسياً حاسماً حول احترام الشرعية السورية التي يمثلها الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد والجيش السوري، ورفض أي وجود عسكري على الأرض السورية خارج نطاق هذه الشرعية، وسيسمع كلاماً واضحاً وحاسماً عن التمسك بوحدة وسيادة سورية، وعن الضوابط التي تحكم مسار أستانة واستحالة التسامح مع انتهاكه، كما وصل لمسامع نتنياهو ما قاله المسؤولون الروس نقلاً عن الرئيس بوتين، بأن الحركة الإسرائيلية ستدفع المنطقة إلى مواجهة ستؤدي إلى تصادم إسرائيلي مع روسيا، وعندها يجب أن يكون كل طرف مدرك مسؤولياته، وثبات كلام الرئيس بوتين لكليهما يكفي إثباته بما يُقال لأحدهما، وطالما أن اللقاء اليوم سينتهي ببيان يمكن قراءة ما بين سطوره، سيكون مناسبة للإثبات والنفي لكل الذين يريدون التحقق.

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The BBC: The Most Potent State Propagandist

The BBC: The Most Potent State Propagandist

By Dr. David Halpin,

Blatant disinformation spews from the western media. And law is never mentioned. Sen.Mark Rubio can threaten a most cruel assassination of Nicolas Maduro, whilst Trump, Bolton (1) and Pence promise that ‘everything is on the table’. Psychopaths join together very easily and according to Hare (2) they make up about 4% of all populations worldwide. 

What the voters in all those ‘democratic’ nations fail to realise is that the characteristics of the psychopath make for an easy ascent of the greasy pole. Charm, lying and an able tongue are a few.

But how are they sustained? How do they escape preventive detention?

Of course, the ‘media’ is key. It works on the in-built prejudices of the subject populations, which it helps to generate. It makes sure they are not informed and that the big lies sink in with ease. I recall reading that the Third Reich found value in the polished, cunning British propaganda.

The reporting of the Syrian ‘civil war’ by the BBC is a prime example. In these islands the BBC/State Propagandist is ace.

To respond to it one needs to listen to the audio or watch the television so one can laboriously record the words. At one time the flagship programme, Today, produced a transcript of the whole three hours. With word recognition technology that would be easy to revive but that will not happen. The fact is that in every hour of its national and World Service Broadcasts there is cardinal omission, usually of the victim nation’s voice, distortion or frank lies. There is much more, and the BBC is skilled at inserting important nuances. As a lonely individual in an ocean of lies, it is impossible to keep up.

Here are a few fragments of its recent output.

a.

Dear Mr Landale, 8-02-19

I saw you speak on the BBC1 evening news about 4 days ago. Venezuela, in spite of its vast mineral wealth, has been destabilized. Corruption by the rich and perhaps poor governance are two factors, but another are the sanctions installed in 2015 by the USA against international law. We know the latter is worse than hollow.  I do not know whether other countries have been strong armed in collaborating with these sanctions as with Iran.

I believe you did not mention sanctions in your piece.  BBC coverage of this country in these last few weeks has been unbalanced.  Will Grant in Cuba does better. (Ed. He does not it seems)

yours sincerely David Halpin FRCS

No reply

b.

Malaysia’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, said the country stood by its decision to bar Israeli athletes.

“If hosting an international sporting event is more important than standing up for our Palestinian brothers and sisters who get murdered, maimed and tortured by the Netanyahu regime, that means Malaysia has truly lost its moral compass,” he said in a statement. (3)

The British State Broadcaster could not say these truths to the millions. No coverage by the BBC.

c.

Chris Mason

Chris Mason (image on the right, from his twitter account), a BBC Westminster correspondent is engaging. He was speaking of the critical reaction to the loss of Shamima Begum’s third baby in a refugee camp in Syria. She had gone to live with the ‘jihadis’ at age 15 with two girlfriends. Home Secretary Sajid Javid had stripped British citizenship from her. (It emerged he had done the same to two other women previously.)

He failed to say that the UK had supported some of these super-terrorists who came from outside Syria. The PM and the then Foreign Secretary had both stated their intention of ‘toppling Assad’. The aim of this proxy destruction of an ancient country was clear. So their shunning of this young woman and her three dead babies was a montrous hypocrisy. The BBC did its duty and joined in. And massaged it further by speaking of the UK giving £170 million ‘to Syria’.

At another time it reported that a UK government spokesman said the death of any child was “tragic and deeply distressing for the family”. As it was to the hundreds of dear children and their mothers who fleeing from the manufactured war drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. Or those that were blown apart or maimed by the ‘jihadis’ as ordered by Saudi Arabia and its slaves to money.

The BBC pumped out massive black propaganda to justify the illegal wars on Iraq and Libya, and continues to distort completely the maelstrom of suffering and destruction brought by plan to Syria. The journalist, Robert Stuart, ‘contended that sequences filmed by BBC personnel and others at Atareb Hospital, Aleppo on 26 August 2013 purporting to show the aftermath of an incendiary bomb attack on a nearby school are largely, if not entirely, staged.’ His evidence is here. (4)

The BBC distracts with much ‘entertainment’, including sport, and now has trailers with fast changing mindless images. It appears to be attempting to further shrink thought and morality. The other night at a Comic Relief show in a theatre with a largely female audience, three naked men were on the stage. They kept swapping balloons from their chests to genitalia, and turned to present their ugly backsides to a largely embarassed audience.

There are peerless BBC programmes. Among them are Countryfile, which centres on farming and the beauty of the British Isles, and Call the Midwife. This recalled the caring spirit and the energy of the young NHS. Within its ranks there are moral, imaginative and very talented people. But they cannot have much influence on the output.

The ether is dominated by the psychopath with talk of endless aggressive war including sanctions, as with the collective, long and increasing punishment of two million people in Gaza.

Please someone, take Bolton and show him a tight flower bud in midwinter and later as it emerges in all its beauty and intricacy. Take Trump, alone, and see the mother suckling her tiny baby. An ultimate symbol of peace.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

David Halpin FRCS is a retired orthopaedic and trauma surgeon who yearns for peace and especially in Palestine. He has also spent much time, with a few others, pleading for an inquest on Dr David Kelly, which uniquely has never happened. The NHS is his other major concern. His woodlands that he planted give some peace.

Notes

1. http://members5.boardhost.com/xxxxx/msg/1552205009.html Bolton given “Defender of Israel” award from Zionist lobby that helped elect him

2. http://www.minddisorders.com/Flu-Inv/Hare-Psychopathy-Checklist.html

3. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sport/paralympics-malaysia-stripped-of-right-to-host-world-11172762

4. https://bbcpanoramasavingsyriaschildren.wordpress.com/2016/03/28/bbc-trust-no-evidence-that-presenters-facebook-images-brought-bbc-into-disrepute/

Featured image is from Media Lens

Behind the «Israeli» Acknowledgment of Syria Strike

3 hours ago

Fatima Haydar

In a rare acknowledgement, the “Israeli” entity confirmed Saturday that it had conducted an airstrike on Syria, targeting Damascus airport.

At his weekly cabinet meeting, “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, confirmed that the “Israeli” Occupation Forces had conducted an air raid, saying that “Just in the past 36 hours, the air force attacked Iranian depots full of Iranian weapons in the Damascus International Airport”.

Retired Lebanese Major General and political researcher, Hisham Jaber, highlights some key issues regarding the “Israeli” airstrike on Syria.

Maj. Gen. Jaber indicated that it is “a normal thing that ‘Israel’ issues a confirmation –regardless of it being false – regarding the strike. After all, Syria had already announced, on Saturday, that Syrian air defenses had intercepted an air raid carried out by the ‘Israeli’ entity.”

The “Israeli” entity typically refrains from commenting on individual airstrikes in Syria, but does generally acknowledge that it carries out raids against “Iranian- and Hezbollah-linked targets” in the country.

In this context, Maj. Gen. Jaber slammed these “Israeli” allegations saying, “It is one thing for ‘Israel’ to claim hitting Iranian and Hezbollah targets – which is not true at all – for wherever there are Syrian troops, Iranian advisors are present”.

The “Israeli” acknowledgement came at a time when the IOF had announced it has completed the so-called “Northern Shield” tunnel digging operation, amidst intensive reports on “Israeli” media speculating why Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah hasn’t commented on the ongoing events.

“Regarding the tunnels, irrespective of their presence or absence, it has been said that tunnel digging breached United Nation’s resolution 1701. But what is important is knowing the exact date these tunnels had been allegedly dug, if any,” said Gen. Jaber.

He went to explain that, “Had these alleged tunnels been dug by the Resistance between the years 2000 (the end of the ‘Israeli’ aggression) and 2006, then they did not breach any resolution, since UN resolution 1701 had not been declared at that time,” adding that “We are free to do whatsoever on our land”.

Maj. Gen Jaber pointed out that the aforementioned issue should have been stated bluntly by the Lebanese State when faced with the UNIFIL’s statement regarding the tunnel digging.

However, the retired army general posed a critical question , asking, “if it has been proved that the digging took place after 2006 and the tunnels were in fact a breach of 1701 on Lebanese soil, then how many times has ‘Israel’ breached that same resolution by trespassing Lebanese air, land and sea?”

“This is the end point. This is where the issue stops! We have nothing further to add,” Gen. Jaber proclaimed, adding,

“The Resistance is not obliged to adhere to ‘Israeli’ declarations as to publicize the number of their missiles and where they are kept. It’s is totally absurd! It’s not our job to reassure the ‘Israelis’ if we have or haven’t acquired ballistic missiles.”

Furthermore, the retired army general explained that the Resistance possessed “enough” missiles and

“‘Israel’ should stop targeting Syria under the pretext of preventing Hezbollah from acquiring more missiles via Syria”.

A final point regarding the alleged tunnels, Maj. Gen. Jaber asserted that “the Resistance’s stance regarding that issue is wise. And it doesn’t want to get caught in a give-and-take situation with the ‘Israelis’”.

Source: Al-Ahed News

Eisenkot’s Legacy in Confronting Lebanon: Restraint & the Growing Capabilities of the Resistance

Jihad Haidar

The retirement of every chief of staff of the “Israeli” army, with some exceptions such as the resignation of Dan Halutz following the 2006 defeat in Lebanon, is normally accompanied by propaganda and theatrical displays.

Putting that aside, we find that Gadi Eisenkot’s retirement from his post, his exit from military service and the succession of Aviv Kochavi coincide with major strategic and practical developments surrounding the Zionist entity.

At the level of the theatrical display, Eisenkot was keen to appear in the media, trying to showcase what he called achievements against the axis of resistance. To this end, he conducted a series of interviews that grabbed headlines and newspaper articles in a celebratory manner. What made the “Israelis” really happy during Eisenkot’s term was that he did not involve them in any war with regional foes – especially since the public is aware that the internal front will be one of its main arenas in any broad confrontation.

In the past four years, however, it has been become apparent that “Israel” – during Eisenkot’s term – has adopted a “brinkmanship” policy in the hope that it will extract concessions from Hezbollah and restraint it in case Tel Aviv opted to launch an aggression. It is well known that one of the conditions for a successful “brinkmanship” policy is that one side succeeds in persuading the other that it is prepared to go to the limit. But Hezbollah faced this policy with a firm stance forcing “Israel” to retreat and back down. Although “Israel” had many reasons for the operational initiative, the political and security decision makers backed down due to their concerns over the price of any military confrontation. In light of this, “Israel’s” messages of intimidation turned into additional victories for Hezbollah enhancing the resistance’s deterrence force. As such, the enemy became more exposed.

In this regard, the enemy tries to mislead when praising calm with Lebanon, especially since it did not want this calm, which formed an umbrella for the resistance to continue to accumulate and develop its military and missile capabilities. At the very least, Tel Aviv was seeking a similar version of what was happening in Syria. It terms of ambition, “Israel” aims to exploit Hezbollah’s preoccupation with countering Takfiri terrorism, to attack it, destroy its strategic capabilities or restrict it. Thereby giving “Israel” a wide margin in attacks at the local and regional levels.

On the other hand, calm was a demand for the resistance for several reasons. First, the resistance does not adopt an open war strategy with the “Israeli” entity. It has its other strategy in the struggle with the enemy in Palestine. Second, it provides it with the opportunity to continue to build and develop its defensive, deterrent and offensive capabilities. And this is what happened. And third, it is a demand of the Lebanese people as it is a gateway to building and resolving crises.

A quick glance back reveals that these demands and objectives have been achieved to a very large extent, distinguishing Lebanon from all of its Arab neighbors. The negatives that it is currently grappling with are the result of the performance of the ruling political class at the economic, political and social levels.

It is clear that if the chief of staff of the “Israeli” army had to speak objectively, in response to the army’s command, Syria has won, and the threat of rebuilding the Syrian army is again on the horizon. Hezbollah along with Syria triumphed and removed an existential danger threatening it and the people of the region. The axis of resistance triumphed in the battle regionally. All “Israeli efforts to drain Hezbollah and divide Syria have failed.  The resistance succeeded in developing its military and missile capabilities. In light of this, Hezbollah’s Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announced that the group succeeded in acquiring precision rockets. “Israel” recognizes the effects of the rockets as dangerous to regional equations and its strategic depth. However, the effects of possessing precision missiles are more significant than the effects of the tens of thousands of rockets themselves.

Source: Al-Ahed News

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