Trump Has Now Committed Himself to Reversing Obama’s Syria-Policy

Trump Has Now Committed Himself to Reversing Obama’s Syria-Policy

ERIC ZUESSE | 26.06.2017 | WORLD

Trump Has Now Committed Himself to Reversing Obama’s Syria-Policy

Right after the U.S. government shot down a Syrian government plane in Syria, the Russian government broke off the coordination of its operations along with the U.S. and America’s allied forces in Syria (otherwise known as «deconfliction of forces» there), and warned that:

«In areas where Russian aviation is conducting combat missions in the Syrian skies, any flying objects, including jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River, will be followed by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets» — meaning ordered out, or else immediately shot down.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Marine Corps General Joseph F. Dunford, spoke at the National Press Club in Washington later that day. Only a video from the National Press Club is, as of yet, available of this important event (the first post-warning top U.S. government official public statement about it), no transcript yet; but here is what Dunford said (and the time he said it in the video), which struck this reporter as being important in his comments, at this historic moment when the likelihood of a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia — World War III — was higher than it has been ever since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis between U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and U.S.S.R. Premier Nikita Khrushchev:

9:00- «prosecute the defeat-ISIS campaign in Syria, which is the reason why we are in Syria»

He said that to «defeat ISIS» is «the reason», not «a reason», we’re there. Very important word-choice. Profoundly meaningful in this context.

His stating that «the reason why we are in Syria» is to «prosecute the defeat-ISIS campaign in Syria», means that we are not in Syria in order to overthrow and replace Syria’s government — that we are not there in order to conquer Syria. That’s not «the reason», nor even «a reason», we’re there. People who have been following the Syria-war matter closely over the past few years will find this a shocking assertion from the U.S. government, because it is such a stark contrast to U.S. President Barack Obama’s constant demands that «Assad must go». And, it is being made not by Trump’s U.N. Ambassador, nor by any other mere mouthpiece, but instead by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, who would not be saying it unless he had just previously communicated directly with the President after that extremely grave Russian warning. Trump, it now seems, knows that this is serious, and by allowing his CJCS to go public with this, he is overriding here the many neocons whom he has appointed to lead the Defense Department. Dunford represents the President, not merely the military of which the President is the Commander-In-Chief. (Dunford’s role, as CJCS, is purely advisory, both to the President and to the Secretary of Defense, but he is «the principal military advisor to the President, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense».) That clause in a sentence — and especially its «the» instead of an «a» — means more than most officials’ entire speeches do.

12:25- «Even as we support their [the anti-Assad Arabs’ and the Kurdish] efforts to seize Raqqa, there is an ongoing effort, led by the State Department [Trump’s least neocon people] to put together a governance body so that as soon as Raqqa is seized, there is effective local governance, that governance will leverage Arab leaders who are from Raqqa and it will also establish a local security force made up of local personnel».

Those «Arab leaders who are from Raqqa» will be raging for revenge against ISIS and any other fundamentalist-Sunni group that had grabbed Raqqa away from the protection of those residents by Syria’s government and subjected them to such hell for so long; and, so, when they «establish a local security force made up of local personnel», that «security force» will certainly not be favorable toward either the jihadists — all of whom are fundamentalist Sunnis — nor toward any Kurds who want to break up Syria, such as the formation of a Kurdish republic would necessarily entail.

He was then asked about a forthcoming September Kurdish referendum on establishing a Kurdistan, which would mean breaking up one or more of three nations: Syria, Turkey, and Iraq. His answer focused only on Iraq, but no Kurdistan which is in only one of those three nations would be acceptable to Kurds, and so his answer needs to be understood in that light:

13:05: «Our stated objective at this point is a stable secure and sovereign Iraq and we are supporting Iraqi security forces in defeating ISIS inside of Iraq, and I think that the issue of a Kurdish referendum is one that will have to be worked out between President Barzani and Prime Minister Abadi and the Iraqi people».

This means that Trump respects the sovereignty of each individual nation. He is asserting this in specifically the case of Iraq. But its meaning reverberates clearly also in Damascus, and in Istanbul, just as well as it does in Baghdad. It means: no Kurdistan.

The CIA, and Israel, and DC’s think-tanks such as the Brookings Institution, are all neoconservatives who favor breaking up Syria, and as part of that, establishing an independent Kurdistan across all three countries.

Trump’s Pentagon, under the neocon James Mattis, had blatantly violated Syria’s sovereignty on Syrian soil. But now, in Dunford’s totally unhedged statements, immediately after the U.S. government had perpetrated that blatant violation, Trump’s own Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was, effectively, committing the man whom he directly advises on military-strategic matters, this President, against the neoconservatives whom this same President had brought in to run his Pentagon. On strategic matters, the Joint Chiefs Chairman stands even closer to the Commander-in-Chief than does the Secretary of Defense or, sometimes, even, than does the National Security Advisor (the neocon H.R. McMaster, who has thus-far been loudly silent on this matter).

A 3PM update on June 19th, the day of Russia’s warning — an update by this reporter to my news earlier that day which was headlined «Russia Announces No-Fly Zone in Syria — War Against U.S. There» — provided the earliest-published indications that Trump had turned away from the neocons whom he himself had appointed; and, here is that update, to provide broader context for Dunford’s remarks:

UPDATE: 3PM in NYC:

Al Masdar News, the go-to site for the latest news regarding the Syrian war, headlines, as of 3PM Eastern time, «Pentagon changes disposition of US-led coalition aircraft in Syria», and reports, from several reliable sources, such as Joseph Dunford, the head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, indicate a U.S. climb-down, and a desire to cooperate with Russia in Syria. If this is not a lie (as so much from the U.S. government has turned out to be), then the U.S. will stop protecting its jihadists in Syria; and, consequently, the war in Syria will end on terms which are suitable to Syria, Russia, and Iran, but which have not heretofore been acceptable to the U.S.-Saudi (and other fundamentalist Sunni) coalition.

The signs, at least as of 3PM, are that Trump will quit the war against the Syrian government, regardless of how much this might disappoint the Sauds (and the Israelis). Looking at the way the Western press are reporting on the matter, they’re going to allow him to withdraw as quietly as possible. So, as soon as Russia made clear that it’s willing to go all the way to defeat the U.S.-Saudi-Sunni-fundamentalist invasion, the West, apparently, will simply quit. All the jihadists in Syria will soon be scrambling to escape from there. Without U.S. protection, they can’t win. But will Russia, Iran, and Syria, simply kill them all, right there? If not, then those jihadists will end up going back ‘home’, wherever that might happen to be, and far more dangerous in those countries than they had been there before.

However, some in the U.S. press are still continuing on with beating the war-drums against Syria. An example is the hyper-neoconservative newspaper the Washington Post,owned by Jeff Bezos, the chief owner and founder of Amazon — that’s the company which supplies cloud computing services to the Pentagon. The WP has subsequently been beating the drums for WW III.

In an editorial on June 19th«What happens after the Islamic State is defeated in Iraq and Syria?» Bezos’s hired editorial writers condemned «the drive by Iran and Russia, along with their Syrian and Iraqi Shiite clients, to dominate the space that will be left when the Islamic State is driven from its capital of Raqqa in eastern Syria», as if Raqqa weren’t sovereign Syrian national government territory, but instead was just a spot of land that the U.S. has some kind of legal authority over — an authority to dictate to the sovereign Syrian government about that spot of land.

To back that editorial up by ‘news’, his hired team of ‘reporters’ headlined on June 21st«U.S. on collision course with Syria and Iran once de facto Islamic State capital falls», again as if Raqqa were U.S. instead of Syrian territory and Iran isn’t defending Syria and U.S. attacking it; and they went on to report (from unnamed «senior White House officials» who are obviously selected neocons in the Trump Administration): «Officials said Syrian government claims on the area would also undermine progress toward a political settlement in the long-separate rebel war against Assad, intended to stabilize the country by limiting his control and eventually driving him from power». Here were ‘reporters’, for Bezos’s ‘news’paper, enabling unnamed U.S. officials to propagandize to the ’news’paper’s dupes or subscribers, that the Syrian government had only «claims on the area», instead of sovereignty over the area and over the entirety of Syria.

Basically, what has happened is that the neoconservatives are still being allowed to allege through all their media, that the U.S. government has sovereignty over the entire world, even after Russia has finally told the U.S. regime: no further in Syria — if you dare, it will be war between Russia and the United States: WW III.

Trump speaks out of both sides of his mouth but Washington promotes only the neocon side; and, now that Russia has issued a warning that the Washington Post’editorial called «bluffing», and that CNBC’s ‘reporter’ called ‘bluster’, the world will see whether Trump is as stupid as America’s unfortunately now permanent neoconservative government thinks he is. If Trump’s Chairman of the joint Chiefs of Staff — who is neither an unnamed ‘senior White House official’ nor yet demonstrably a person who would lie for Trump — is to be believed, then Trump isn’t quite so stupid as that. The question right now is: Is the American public so stupid as to believe ‘news’media and ‘reporters’ such as that?

Resist This: the United States is at War With Syria

JUNE 21, 2017

Photo by Debra Sweet | CC BY 2.0

The United States is at war with Syria. Though few Americans wanted to face it, this has been the case implicitly since the Obama administration began building bases and sending Special Ops, really-not-there, American troops, and it has been the case explicitly since August 3, 2015, when the Obama administration announced that it would “allow airstrikes to defend Syrian rebels trained by the U.S. military from any attackers, even if the enemies hail from forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.” With the U.S. Air Force—under Trump, following Obama’s declared policy—shooting down a Syrian plane in Syrian airspace, this is now undeniable.  The United States is overtly engaged in another aggression against a sovereign country that poses no conceivable, let alone actual or imminent, threat to the nation. This is an act of war.

As an act of war, this is unconstitutional, and would demand a congressional declaration. Will Trump ask for this? Will any Democratic or Republican congresscritter demand it? Is the Pope a Hindu?

Would it make any difference? Why should Trump bother? Obama set the stage when he completely ignored the War Powers Act, the Constitution, Congress, and his own Attorney General and legal advisers, and went right ahead with a war on Libya, under the theory that, if we pretend no American troops are on the ground, it isn’t really a war or “hostilities” at all. Which I guess means if the Chinese Air Force starts shooting down American planes in American airspace in defense of Black Lives Matter’s assault on the White House, it wouldn’t really be engaging in an act of war.

It’s impossible to overstate the danger in these executive war-making prerogatives that Obama normalized—with the irresponsible connivance of his progressive groupies, who pretend not to know where this would lead: In 2012, referring to the precedent of Obama’s policies, Mitt Romney said: “I don’t believe at this stage, therefore, if I’m president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force. The president has that capacity now.” Following Obama, for Trump, and every Republican and Democratic president, it now goes without saying.

As an aggressive, unprovoked war, this is also illegal under international law, and all the political and military authorities undertaking it are war criminals, who would be prosecuted as such, if there were an international legal regime that had not already been undermined by the United States.

Syria is now under explicit attack by the armed forces of the U.S., Turkey, and other NATO states. Sixteen countries have combat aircraft buzzing around Syrian airspace under the effective command of the United States, and a number of them have attacked Syria’s army.

Americans, and certainly self-identified “progressives,” have to be crystal clear about this: American armed forces have no right to be in Syria, have no right to restrict the Syrian government from using any of its airspace, or to prevent it from regaining control of any of its own territory from foreign-backed jihadi armies.

The Syrian state and its allies (Iran and Russia), on the other hand, are engaged in the legitimate self-defense of a sovereign state, and have the right to respond with full military force to any attack on Syrian forces or any attempt by the United States to balkanize or occupy Syrian territory, or to overthrow the Syrian government.

So please, do not pretend to be shocked, shocked, if Syria and its allies fight back, inflicting American casualties. Don’t pose as the morally superior victim when Americans are killed by the people they are attacking. And don’t be preaching about how everyone has to support our troops in a criminal, unconstitutional, aggressive attack on a country that has not threatened ours in any way. American soldiers and pilots executing this policy are not heroes, and are not fighting to protect America or advance democracy; they are criminal aggressors and legitimate targets. In response to American aggression, the Syrian Army has every right to strike back at the American military apparatus, everywhere. Every casualty of this war, however big it gets, is the ethico-political responsibility of the attacking party – US. The first responsibility of every American is not to “support our troops,” but to stop this war. Right now. Before it gets worse

It’s quite obvious, in fact, that the United States regime is deliberately making targets of its military personnel, in the hopes of provoking a response from Syrian or allied armed forces that will kill some Americans, and be used to gin up popular support for the exactly the kind of major military attack on Syria and/or Russia and/or Iran that the American people would otherwise reject with disgust. Anyone who professes concern for “our troops” should be screaming to stop that.

It’s also quite clear now, that the War on ISIS is a sham, that ISIS was always just a pretext to get the American military directly involved in attacking the Syrian army and destroying the coherence of the Syrian state. If the U.S. wanted to defeat ISIS, it could do so easily by coordinating their actions with, and not against, the forces who have been most effectively fighting it: the Syrian Arab Army, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah.

Instead, it’s attacking the Syrian army precisely because it has been defeating ISIS and other jihadi forces, and regaining its own territory and control of its own border with Iraq. The U.S. does not want that to happen. At the very least—if it cannot immediately engender that massive offensive to overthrow the Baathist government—the U.S. wants to control part of the border with Iraq and to occupy a swath of eastern Syria. It wants to establish permanent bases from which to provision and protect jihadi armies, achieving a de facto partitioning of the Syrian state, maintaining a constant state of armed attack against the Damascus government, and reducing Syria to a weakened, rump state that can never present any effective resistance to American, Israeli, or Saudi designs on the region.

This is extremely dangerous, since the Syrians, Russians, and Iranians seem determined not to let this happen. Trump seems to have abrogated authority to his generals to make decisions of enormous political consequence. Perhaps that’s why aggressive actions like the shoot-down of the Syrian plane have been occurring more frequently, and why it’s not likely they’ll abate. There’s a dynamic in motion that will inevitably lead each side to confront a choice of whether to back down, in a way that’s obvious, or escalate. Generals aren’t good at backing down. A regional or global war is a real possibility, and becomes more likely with every such incident.

Though most American politicians and media outlets do not want to say it (and therefore, most citizens cannot see it clearly enough), such a war is the objective of a powerful faction of the Deep State which has been persistent and determined in seeking it. If the generals are loathe to back down in a battle, the neocons are adamant about not backing down on their plans for the Middle East. They will not be stopped by anything less than overwhelming popular resistance and international pushback.

The upside of these attacks on Syrian forces is that they wipe the lipstick off the pig of the American project in Syria. Everyone—European countries who profess concern for international law and stability, and the American people who are fed up with constant wars that have no benefit for them—can see exactly what kind of blatant aggression is unfolding, and decide whether they want to go along with it.

In that regard, any self-identified “liberal” or “progressive” American—and particularly any such American politician—who spent (and may still spend) their political energy attacking Bush, et. al., for that crazy war in Iraq, and who goes along with, or hesitates to immediately and energetically denounce this war, which is already underway, is a political hypocrite, resisting nothing but the obvious.

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Yemen Images Saudi Arabia Doesn’t Want You To See

Batool Ali is six years old, though you would never guess that from her huge, haunted eyes and emaciated frame. Ribs jutting out over her distended belly, Batool weighs less than 16 kilograms (35 pounds). She is one of nearly half a million children in Yemen suffering from severe malnutrition.

Posted June 24, 2017

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

Click for Spanish, German, Dutch, Danish, French, translation- Note- Translation may take a moment to load.

The Reason Behind the US Government’s Secret Hatred of Europeans

The Reason Behind the US Government’s Secret Hatred of Europeans

ERIC ZUESSE | 21.06.2017 | WORLD

The Reason Behind the US Government’s Secret Hatred of Europeans

The reason for the US government’s hostility — at least since 4 February 2014 —toward Europeans, has been a mystery, until now.

This hostility wasn’t even publicly recognized at all, until it leaked out, on that date, from a tapped phone-line of arguably the most powerful person at the US State Department, the person whom American President Barack Obama had personally entrusted with running his Administration’s most geostrategically sensitive secret foreign operations (and she did it actually throughout almost the entirety of Obama’s eight years in office, regardless of whom the official US Secretary of State happened to be at the time): Victoria Nuland.

Her official title was «Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs» and she was appointed to that post by the President himself, but nominally she reported to him through the Deputy Secretary of State William Joseph Burns, who reported to the Secretary of State, who, in turn, reported to the President.

She ran policies specifically on Ukraine (and, more broadly, against Russia). In the famous leaked phone call that she made on 4 February 2014 to the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, she instructed him to place in charge of Ukraine’s government, once America’s coup in Ukraine would be completed (which then occurred 18 days later and overthrew the democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, entirely in violation of Ukraine’s own Constitution), «Yats» or Arseniy Yatsenyuk. He did, immediately after the coup was completed, receive this crucial appointment — basically, the power to control all other top appointments in the new Ukrainian government. With this appointment, the coup, which had started by no later than 2011 to be planned inside the US State Department, was effectively completed.

In this phone call, Nuland said «F—k the EU!» and no one, at the time, paid much attention to what this outburst was all about, but only that it sounded shockingly undiplomatic. Finally, however, clear evidence has now emerged, concerning what it was actually about.

This crucial evidence consists of a refusal (at long last) by both Germany and Austria, to ratchet-up further, as the US regime now demands, economic sanctions against Russia, sanctions that are a key part of America’s plan ultimately to conquer Russia — a plan that’s been carried out consistently by all US federal governments since the moment, on the night of 24 February 1990, when US President George Herbert Walker Bush himself secretly announced it to West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and afterward to other US vassal-heads-of-state — that, though the Soviet Union was already irrevocably in the process of ending the Cold War against the US and its allies, the US and its allies would secretly continue that war, henceforth, against Russia, until Russia itself would be conquered. He was implicitly informing them, there, that the Cold War, on the US side, wasn’t really about ideology (capitalist versus communist), but instead, was actually a long war for conquest, of the entire world (now it would be to strip Russia of its allies, and then to go in for the kill), by the US aristocracy and its vassal aristocracies (whom those European leaders represented).

On 15 June 2017, the Associated Press headlined «Germany, Austria slam US sanctions against Russia», and reported that both of those US vassal-nations, while paying obeisance to the imperial master, were not going to proceed further all the way to destruction of their own major oil and gas companies, in order to please that master:

In a joint statement, Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern and Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it was important for Europe and the United States to form a united front on the issue of Ukraine, where Russian-based separatists have been fighting government forces since 2014.

«However, we can’t accept the threat of illegal and extraterritorial sanctions against European companies», the two officials said, citing a section of the bill that calls for the United States to continue to oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would pump Russian gas to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea. Half of the cost of the new pipeline is being paid for by Russian gas giant Gazprom, while the other half is being shouldered by a group including Anglo-Dutch group Royal Dutch Shell, French provider Engie, OMV of Austria and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall. Some Eastern European countries, including Poland and Ukraine, fear the loss of transit revenue if Russian gas supplies don’t pass through their territory anymore once the new pipeline is built.

Gabriel and Kern accuse the US of trying to help American natural gas suppliers at the expense of their Russian rivals. They said the possibility of fining European companies participating in the Nord Stream 2 project «introduces a completely new, very negative dimension into European-American relations».

Currently, and for a very long time, the leading energy-supplier to the EU has been Russia, in the forms of oil and, especially, natural gas, both of which are transported into the EU via an extensive network of pipelines, most of which travel through Ukraine, which is a major reason why the US rulers wanted to take over Ukraine — in order to stop that, or at least to cause a necessity for Russia to build alternative pipelines (which the US regime would likewise do everything to block from happening) — but now both Germany and Austria are saying no to this US effort.

The US regime wants fracked US natural gas to fill an increasing portion of Europe’s needs, and for natural gas from US-allied fundamentalist Sunni royal regimes to fill as much of the rest as possible, so as to squeeze-out the existing top supplier, Russia. (Until recently, the plan was for US ally Qatar, owned by the Thani royal family, to become Europe’s main supplier, via pipelines which would traverse through Syria, for which reason Syria needs to be conquered (so that those pipelines through Syria can be built, perhaps even by American firms). However, the Sauds, who usually run US foreign relations — often with assistance from the Israeli regime, which is far more popular in the United States and also in Europe (and thus serves as the Sauds’ agents in the US and Europe) — have now blockaded Qatar because of Qatar’s insufficient compliance with the Sauds’ demand for total international isolation of Iran and of any other nation where Shia are or might become dominant. (For example, the Sauds bomb Yemen to impose fundamentalist Sunni leadership there and kill the Shia population.) And, so, now, after the break between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, even more than before, the main beneficiaries of cutting off Russian gas-supplies to the EU would be US fracking companies.

However, the big European oil and gas corporations would then play a smaller role in the European market, because those firms have mutual commitments with Gazprom and other Russian giants. The only big winners, now, of increased sanctions against Russia, would thus be US firms.

«Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, and not for the United States of America», Kern and Gabriel said.

Europe already has suffered considerable economic harm from complying with the US on taking over Ukraine, and from absorbing millions of destitute and alien refugees from Syria, Libya, and other countries where the US CIA, and other agencies, fomented the «Arab Spring» to unlock, in those countries, the oil and gas pipeline potential, which, if controlled by the US, would go to US oilfield-services firms such as Halliburton, and not to European ones such as Schlumberger.

Kern and Gabriel — and the local national aristocracies (respectively Austrian, and German) whom they represent — are now speaking publicly about the limits beyond which they will not go in order to obey their US masters.

Consequently, back in February 2014, when the European aristocracies complied with the US aristocracy’s coup in Ukraine even though knowing full well that it was a barbaric and very bloody coup and nothing ‘democratic’ such as the US-manufactured story-line alleged it to have been, those aristocracies accepted the heist because they thought and expected to be cut in on enough of the looting of Ukraine so as to come out ahead on it. But that’s no longer the case. Because of the Sauds’ campaign against the Thanis (the owners of Qatar), the gang are starting to break up. The US gangsters are no longer clearly in control, but are being forced to choose between the Sauds and the Thanis, and have apparently chosen the Sauds. The Sauds financed the 9/11 attacks in the United States, but are the largest foreign purchasers of US-made weapons.

The US aristocracy hate Europeans because the US aristocracy are determined to conquer Russia, and because Europeans aren’t fully cooperating with that overriding US government goal — many EU billionaires want deals with Russia, but America’s billionaires are determined instead to take over Russia, and so the US (and the Sauds) might be losing its traditional support from the EU.

International affairs — US, Russia, Sauds, Thanis, Iran, Germany, UK, etc. — are in unpredictable flux. But Europe seems gradually to be drifting away from the US

And resistant European aristocrats seem to be digging in their heels on this. Here is a translation of a report dated June 17th from the most reliable source of news regarding international relations, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, or «German Economic News»:

Eastern Committee: US sanctions against Russia are a threat to Europe

German Economic News | Released:17.06.17 00:36 Clock

The Eastern Committee of the German economy is indignant at the new US sanctions against Russia.

The German companies have sharply criticized the US sanctions against Russia. «The sanctions plans of the US Senate are deeply alarming and, in principle, a threat to the European and German economy», said Klaus Schäfer, Deputy Chairman of the Eastern Committee of the German Economy, on Friday evening in Berlin. «America first is a new dimension to open up international markets to US providers at the expense of European jobs. Furthermore, we consider an extraterritorial application of economic initiatives generally wrong, «he said. In the Eastern Committee, the German companies active in Eastern Europe are organized. The federal government had also clearly criticized the sanction decision.

«Every further turn at the sanctioning screw increases the danger of new trade wars and the uncertainty of the world economy», warned Schäfer. The solution of the Ukraine conflict is not a step closer. A de-escalation on all sides was necessary. He pointed out that the US-Russia trade represented only one-tenth of the EU-Russia trade. «We pay the price of sanctions to Europeans», he criticized. «Implementation of the planned sanctions would make Europe more difficult to provide with favorable energy and inevitably lead to higher prices».

The most remarkable thing about this intensification of economic aggression by the US aristocracy against some of the European aristocracies, is that instead of the aggression being spearheaded this time by the US President, it’s being spearheaded by an almost unanimous US Senate: 97 out of the 100 US Senators voted for this bill. One cannot, this time around, reasonably blame «Donald Trump» for this ‘nationalism’ — it is instead clearly a Cold War, this time, by the US aristocracy (who are represented by the US government), against some European aristocracies, which are paying insufficient obeisance to the demands by the imperial aristocracy: the US gang.

Whereas, at the time of the US coup in Ukraine, the EU swallowed in silence their shock at how brutal and bloody it had been, and stayed with the Americans because the Americans claimed that the takeover would benefit European aristocracies too (‘expand the EU’), the lie about that is now clear to all (and Ukraine has been too wrecked by America, to be of much use to anyone but the Americans as a staging base for their missiles against Moscow), and therefore «the Western Alliance» might finally be breaking up.

The vassal-governments have put up with a lot from the US aristocracy, such as when German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone was revealed to be tapped by America’s NSA, and the case was quietly dropped because, «Prosecutors say they can find no actionable evidence to support claims German chancellor’s mobile phone was tapped by US National Security Agency» even though everyone knew that the refusal by Germany’s prosecutors was based upon a lie, and that Germany «remains heavily reliant on the US», and that the US government’s knowing everything that German politicians do, provides against those politicians a blackmail-potential against themselves, that cannot be taken lightly. On the other hand, perhaps there now exists a countervailing force that can outweigh even considerations such as that. Maybe Germany’s billionaires have, somehow, finally become able to turn the tide on this.

They Were ‘Grilled Alive’: US Government Exposed Running Nazi-Like Torture Program in Yemen

The US is once again facing allegations of torture, this time during the interrogation of detainees in more than a dozen secret prisons in Yemen.

Global Research, June 24, 2017
Free Thought Project 22 June 2017

An unprecedented report from the corporate press claims U.S. forces have participated in extreme torture and abuse of detainees accused of affiliation with Al Qaeda in Yemen — including “the ‘grill,’ in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire,” the Associated Press finds.

A network of secretive prisons in southern Yemen provide the backdrop for the alleged barbaric acts allegedly carried out by forces from the U.S. and United Arab Emirates — many of those detention facilities remain hidden in plain sight.

That some of the covert prisons sit inside military bases might not be much of a shock, but others are located in ports, an airport, private villas, and even a nightclub — and all, according to the AP, remain untouchable by the embattled Yemeni government.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden weighed in on the new revelations, tweeting,

American officials unsurprisingly balked at the accusation troops have participated in the astonishingly heinous behavior described in the AP’s report.

Reports the AP:

“Senior American defense officials acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses. Interrogating detainees who have been abused could violate international law, which prohibits complicity in torture.

“The AP documented at least 18 clandestine lockups across southern Yemen run by the United Arab Emirates or by Yemeni forces created and trained by the Gulf nation, drawing on accounts from former detainees, families of prisoners, civil rights lawyers and Yemeni military officials. All are either hidden or off limits to Yemen’s government, which has been getting Emirati help in its civil war with rebels over the last two years.”

Notably, this is the first ‘official’ acknowledgment the United States participates in interrogations inside the borders of Yemen.

Forces transported some detainees to an Emirati base in Eritrea, according to Yemen Interior Minister Hussein Arab.

Unnamed and unverifiable U.S. defense officials told the Associated Press ‘senior U.S. military leaders’ have been aware of alleged torture taking place in Yemen for some time — but have investigated the charges, and apparently found nothing amiss, as U.S. troops, they claim, were never present during detainee torture.

Perhaps beyond tellingly, neither the AP nor the anonymous officials elucidated on whether the lack of U.S. troop presence during the alleged grilling alive of detainees meant senior military leaders indeed discovered forces from other nations roasting people alive and said nothing, or that the torture allegations were completely baseless.

Those defense officials further

“told AP that American forces do participate in interrogations of detainees at locations in Yemen, provide questions for others to ask, and receive transcripts of interrogations from Emirati allies.”

Torture this horrific, if proven true, harkens immediately back to Bush-era implementation of barbaric human rights violations by the CIA — which included waterboarding and other acts the agency, itself, knew to be utterly inefficacious — which temporarily halted adherence to the law and all semblance of ethics under the premise of extracting information from detainees following the attacks of 9/11.

“We always adhere to the highest standards of personal and professional conduct,” chief Defense Department spokeswoman, Dana White, told the AP on perusal of its report. “We would not turn a blind eye, because we are obligated to report any violations of human rights.”

In a statement, the UAE government also balked, insisting,

“There are no secret detention centers and no torture of prisoners is done during interrogations.”

“The UAE was one of the countries involved in the CIA’s torture and rendition program,” reminds New York University Professor of Law Ryan Goodman. “These reports are hauntingly familiar and potentially devastating in their legal and policy implications.”

To repeat, the U.S. Department of Defense must report violations of human rights — yet the vagueness of the claim senior military brass investigated allegations of excruciating torture, but would only offer that U.S. troops had not been present. Without further explanation, that detail could indicate a troubling sin of omission — in short, a failure to report violations of human rights.

UAE runs ‘secret torture prisons’ in Yemen as US Interrogating

Source: Middle East Press

Not one of the dozens interviewed by the AP accused U.S. troops of witnessing torture, but the malicious, degrading, deplorable, torturous abuses described by former inmates of the secret prisons would seem impossible to have taken place without their cognizance.

AP continues:

“At one main detention complex at Riyan airport in the southern city of Mukalla, former inmates described being crammed into shipping containers smeared with feces and blindfolded for weeks on end. They said they were beaten, trussed up on the ‘grill,’ and sexually assaulted. According to a member of the Hadramawt Elite, a Yemeni security force set up by the UAE, American forces were at times only yards away. He requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.

“‘We could hear the screams,’ said a former detainee held for six months at Riyan airport. ‘The entire place is gripped by fear. Almost everyone is sick, the rest are near death. Anyone who complains heads directly to the torture chamber.’ He was flogged with wires, part of the frequent beatings inflicted by guards against all the detainees. He also said he was inside a metal shipping container when the guards lit a fire underneath to fill it with smoke.”

As in the first revelations on the renewed use of the gross physical and psychological abuses comprising torture, human rights advocates admonished such practices cannot be carried out without the broad knowledge of military and intelligence officials at the scene — particularly not for the duration described.

“It would be a stretch to believe the US did not know or could not have known that there was a real risk of torture,” Amnesty International Director of Research in the Middle East, Lynn Maalouf, told the Associated Press. Amnesty called for a swift investigation by the United Nations into the torture allegations against the UAE and other possible participants or knowledgeable parties.

Torture has been championed as acceptable by the president and other U.S. officials, despite its illegality internationally — almost exclusively as a tool of the War on Terror to extract information from prisoners — but torture has been proven repeatedly to be ineffective for that very purpose.

At least 2,000 people have vanished in Yemen — their families left agonizing over their fate, tragically wondering whether a torturous interrogation took their lives.

“Wives, mothers, and daughters in the north and south of Yemen want to know whether their husbands, sons, and brothers are all right, if they are even alive,” noted Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, after issuance of a similar report on torture in Yemen by her organization, on Thursday.

“Yemen, the UAE, Houthi-Saleh forces, and any other party disappearing people should immediately inform families of where their loved ones are and release those held arbitrarily.”

Despite denial of allegations by the United States military and government of the United Arab Emirates, the report from the Associated Press most likely will be remembered as the beginning of yet another torture scandal embroiling perpetually-ethicless entities during a complex and violent conflict — one, again, involving the U.S., which fights for freedom and against terror by, apparently, eviscerating freedom and waging terror.

Featured image: Free Thought Project

Breaking: US Shoots Down Syrian Fighter Jet

The US has shot down a Syrian fighter jet. Apparently the downing of the plane took place in Raqqa province, but as usual there are discrepancies in the reports coming out. Press TV is saying that the Syrian plane was engaged in an anti-ISIS operation.

The Guardian, on the other hand, is saying that the Syrian plane “dropped bombs near US-backed fighters in Syria.”

RT is reporting as follows:

The US-led coalition has downed a government warplane in southern Syria, the Syrian army and coalition have announced in separate statements. The Syrian military added that the plane’s pilot is now missing.

According to the Syrian statement, the plane was carrying out operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in the countryside around Raqqa when it was targeted, leading to a crash and the loss of the pilot, who is currently missing.

Meanwhile, a reporter for the L.A. Times has posted a tweet that includes a press release from the US Coalition:

BREAKING: US F/A-18 fighter jet shot down Syrian SU-22 attack plane dropping bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqa. Yet another escalation.

This would appear to be the latest attempt to partition Syria. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, seem well on their way to defeating ISIS in Raqqa. The Coaliton press release, pictured above, talks about a “show of force” aimed at stopping “the initial pro-regime advance” toward an SDF-controlled area, in this case the town of Ja’Din. This would tend to suggest that any future efforts by the Syrian Army to re-establish national sovereignty in this part of the country will be met with US airstrikes.

You can go here to see a map of the area in question. The map is a close-up of north-central Syria. If you click to enlarge, you will see the city of Raqqa in the northeast. Navigate south and west of there and you will come to the town of Ja’Din. The map shows Syrian government forces stationed nearby in the town of Ber Adad. According to a report by South Front, the government forces in Ber Adad are making an effort to advance to “the strategic town of Resafa,” which is also shown on the map, just to the southeast of Ja’Din.

The image below is a Google map showing the location of Resafa.

 photo resafa_zpsb1gafqnh.gif

The US Coalition would seem to be well-placed to partition off a good portion of northern Syria–probably under the guise of establishing an independent Kurdish state. Keep in mind also, however, that the US has set up a military base at Al-Tanf, in the vicinity of the Syria-Iraq-Jordan border–a situation that theoretically could lead to a pretty thorough dismemberment of Syria, which would of course be a great delight to Israel.

And yet another US military base is now being set up in Tabqah, according to a report here. By my count, this will make the third US military base in Syria, the bases in Al-Tanf and Al-Zkuf comprising the other two. Here is what South Front is reporting on the new base at Tabqah:

The new base will be located in the military housing area, the Mohammed Fares school as well as the military and security buildings in the third district of the town. US forces reportedly intend to build a command center and residential buildings for its troops. According to opposition sources, USA wants to adopt the new base in Tabqah town as a long-term base in Syria.

How much are these new mlitary bases costing the US taxpayer at a time when the US debt stands at nearly $20 trillion? All for Israel.

By the way, for what it’s worth (no pun intended), the US debt hit the $19 trillion mark in February of 2016, roughly 14 months ago. According to the US debt clock, we are now at $19.9  trillion, and rapidly closing in on the $20 trillion milestone.

This shoot-down of a Syrian jet represents “yet another escalation,” as the L.A. Times reporter put it. What appears to be looming now is a de facto, if not a formal, partitioning of the country. By the way, South Front, citing “unconfirmed reports from Kurdish sources,” is also reporting on an agreement said to have been reached between the US and Kurdish forces, according to which US forces will be allowed to stay in Kurdish-held areas for the next 10 years in return for US military assistance.

Trump threatens Cuba with ‘regime change’

On Friday, speaking to Cuban-American exiles in Miami, Florida, Donald Trump ordered tighter restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba and a clampdown on US businessmen doing business with companies allegedly controlled by the Cuban military.

Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba. Our policy will seek a much better deal for the Cuban people and the USA,” said Trump.

Trump called Raul Castro’s government brutal and vowed to liberate the island nation. “With God’s help a free Cuba is what we will soon achieve,” he thundered.

It is best for America to have freedom in its hemisphere whether in Cuba or Venezuela,” he added.

The Castro regime has sent arms to North Korea and fueled chaos in Venezuela. It has supported human trafficking, forced labor and exploitation across the globe,” added Trump.

It would be talking to Holy Cow to remind Donald Trump that Washington has been arming Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and Egypt which are using them against Palestinian, Syrians, Yemenis and Lebanese. In 2016, Human trafficking in the United States rose 35.7 percent from the previous year.

US, the self-appointed champion for human rights around the globe – is also the worst human rights abuser when it comes to minors. According to the Family Research Council:

Each year, right under our noses, 100,000 American children are victimized by sex traffickers. Make no mistake, this is not a problem that’s just “over there.” These heinous crimes are happening in our own backyards”.

In 2007, UNICEF reported that the US and Britain  are the worst nations for children to live among the industrialized nations.

Cuban-American Israel-Firsters Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) are allegedly the authors of Trump’s anti-Havana rant.

Since Barack Obama’s historic visit to Cuba in March 2016, a lot of people felt happy believing that finally the five-decade old American crusade against Castro dynasty came to an end. But now they’re disappointed to find out that the ‘crippling sanctions’ against Cuba, like Iran, are still in force.

Washington lifted some travel restrictions against Cuban citizen. The US released the Cuban-Five in exchange for American Jew spy Alan Gross. US State Department even took-off Cuba from list of countries sponsoring terrorism. Iran and N. Korea are still on that list while Israel which had committed most terrorist acts against the US, never made to the list.

Commenting on Trump’s rant, Ellie Schwartz (Jew) at the Latin America Working Group (LAWG) said:

The way forward for US-Cuba relations is to not simply relax travel and trade restrictions, but to end the embargo once and for all. After half a century, it is clear that the embargo is a failed policy. It has done nothing to accomplish its primary goal of regime change. The embargo has not improved Cuban lives; it has succeeded only in further snubbing the Cuban people it claims to help. If Trump truly sought a better deal for the Cuban people, he would support continued engagement, trade, and travel to Cuba, and thereby increase opportunity for all.”

Both Cuba and Venezuela have no diplomatic relations with the Zionist entity. Both countries have recognized a separate Palestinian state. Cuban president Fidel Castro and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez have paid state visits to Iran. Iranian president Dr. Hassan Rouhani has also visited both Cuba and Venezuela.

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