The Hospital They Didn’t Bomb

By David McIlwain
Source

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When I first set eyes on Douma Hospital a year ago today, it came as something of a surprise. As the scene of the notorious alleged chemical weapons attack only a month earlier, I was already quite familiar with its emergency ward, shown in “activist videos” around the world.

Viewers of Russian and alternative media also got to see more of the same ward when their reporters visited it soon afterward in search of some verification of the claims before they led to the US-led missile strikes on Damascus of April 14th.

The emergency ward looked like so many others that we’ve seen pictured over the last seven years in those videos “that can’t be independently verified” and – for all we would know – mightn’t even be in Syria, and mightn’t even be in hospitals.

Well, maybe Douma hospital is different because you just can’t miss it – as is clear from my photo! Somehow this public hospital, serving the local community with free healthcare for many years, remained in operation throughout the occupation of Douma by the violent extremists of Jaish al Islam – who were described to James Harkin of the Intercept by local residents as “ruling with an iron fist”. More to the point, the hospital building evidently didn’t come under attack from the Syrian air-force, despite its terrorist occupiers.

Harkin visited Douma looking for evidence to support – or counter – the chemical weapons claims some months after the event, and released a comprehensive analysis of his observations with other analysts in February this year.

His report, and the slickly produced video accompanying it, appeared to pre-empt the final release of the OPCW’s report from their Fact Finding Mission to Douma, conducted in late April 2018. Most significantly the authors of the Intercept’s report concluded that the video scenes taken in Douma hospital’s emergency ward were “likely staged”, but they nevertheless echoed the public conclusions of the OPCW that two chlorine cylinders had been dropped on nearby apartments and killed 35 people.

Both the Intercept’s conclusions and those of the OPCW leadership have now been shown to be not just mistaken but criminal fabrications, following information from the OPCW itself, and analysis from the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media. The details of the engineering assessments of experts from the OPCW who visited the site showed quite unambiguously that it was not just the hospital scenes that were “staged”, but that the Chlorine gas cylinders could not have fallen from the sky, dropped by the Syrian air force. As they described it:

…the dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder having been delivered from an aircraft. In each case the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”

The “alternative hypothesis” being that the cylinders were moved into their respective positions manually – “staged” in other words. The Working Group has drawn the many conclusions that follow from this piece of simple scientific analysis, and very serious consequences must follow for those organizations and governments who collaborated on this massive deception and the war crimes that accompanied it.

That is not the immediate focus of my article, however, which remains on the “unmissable” Douma Central Hospital that wasn’t bombed, and the elaborate campaign of disinformation and lies that has surrounded it. As Western governments and their puppet media once again fire up their “juggernaut of lies” about the Syrian and Russian governments moves to clear the remaining areas of Western Syria from Al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups, the talk of “bombing hospitals” is once again to the fore.

This interview by the ABC’s Fran Kelly with a Dr. Samir Al Taqi from the Orient Research Centre in Dubai gives the essence of the new campaign, both in her questions and his answers. It includes the claim that “twelve hospitals have been destroyed in recent days”.

Not coincidentally, a renewed barrage of disinformation alleging ongoing serious human rights abuses by the Syrian government has been launched by Western media, led by the New York Times former Beirut correspondent Anne Barnard.

As key actors in the development of these false narratives about Syria that saturate our media, James Harkin and his associates, Eliot Higgins from Bellingcat and Eyal Weizman from Forensic Architecture now have a lot to answer for, as their seemingly impartial and honest assessment of the Douma incident is shown to be an elaborate deception, contrived both to suit the interests of the Intercept’s sponsors and to maintain the pretence that this is “investigative journalism” of the best and most trustworthy kind.

But like the deception by the OPCW leadership, who simply omitted that most important part of their investigations in Douma, Harkin has left the six-storey hulk of Douma hospital out of his article, replacing it with a “makeshift underground hospital”:

Douma was a blackened shadow of its former self, many of its buildings still listing or reduced to charred metal and concrete, but a whole new city had been quietly carved out beneath it. Our first stop, a few yards from al-Shuhada Square, was at the mouth of a 3-meter-wide underground tunnel, reinforced with corrugated steel and concrete. It had been constructed by the Islamist rebels several years back, according to a soldier who walked us through it. He told us that hostages held by Jaish al-Islam had done the building. In total, it stretched for more than 5 kilometers and was broad enough to drive a truck through.

The tunnel had been set up to access a makeshift hospital emergency ward, whose spartan facilities were arranged over a single floor underground. Five meters below ground and reinforced by 13 meters of sandbagging above that, the hospital was still functioning when I arrived.

Robert Mackey, talking in the Intercept video also gives the impression that Douma had been mostly reduced to rubble, yet rows of apartment blocks over the street from the hospital are still occupied and little damaged. But the photos Harkin uses to illustrate his report show only the tunnel entrance and a view of Shahada square showing neither the hospital building nor the apartment blocks.

All these elements are visible in my photo, with the Shahada sq monument on the left and the hospital entrance on the right. This doubles as one of the main entrances to the extensive tunnel system, machine excavated and reinforced with prefabricated steel sections.

Giving Harkin and his colleagues the benefit of the doubt is now out of the question, so we can only conclude that his failure to describe or illustrate the Douma hospital building was an integral part of the Intercept’s disinformation package. It was even a fundamental part, and to reveal its un-bombed presence would have blown a hole in the whole pretense of “honest journalism in the fog of war” that the Intercept assumes.

Readers of the article might then have asked, not just why the Syrian or Russian air-force didn’t bomb the hospital, controlled by the militants they were fighting, but why they hadn’t bombed it in the previous five years? Those readers have been told repeatedly that “Assad” wants to kill civilians who support the “rebels”, and destroy their hospitals and schools, so why didn’t he do it here in Douma, which has been one of the most troublesome opposition-held areas close to the capital?

Might those readers then start to wonder if they have been spun a tale by their trusted journalists and that they should listen to some contrary viewpoints?

So for anyone of them listening here, this is the story of the hospital they didn’t bomb, and it’s quite simple. Just like the M10 hospital in Aleppo, used as a center of military and surgical operations by Al Qaeda and the White Helmets, its role as a public hospital serving the local community kept it safe from attack by the Syrian Army.

Contrary to everything the victims of Western media lies have been told, the Syrian army and its allies have gone to extreme lengths to avoid civilian casualties in their campaigns to liberate communities from their violent extremist occupiers. You could say it was all about “winning back hearts and minds”, and the evidence of life now restored in Ghouta and Douma shows that.

Countless Syrian soldiers have lost their lives in this fight to protect those communities from the foreign-funded and armed militants and terrorist groups, and each one is no different from our own citizens who have lost their lives in similar terrorist attacks, but for one thing – they are our terrorists.

It is a chilling, and frankly disgusting thought, that the violent psychopaths of Jaish al Islam who secured their release from the siege of Douma the day after they staged the chemical attack, are now being cheered on by Western NGO’s and media to commit more murders of Syrian soldiers and the villagers they are trying to protect in Idlib. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted this in last week’s briefing:

Over 30 Syrian service personnel died in Idlib last week following a series of heavy attacks by Al-Nusra militants. The terrorists also fired mortars and missiles at towns and villages near the Idlib de-escalation zone, resulting in civilian deaths. According to incoming reports, the terrorist groups there are planning an offensive on Syrian government forces’ positions in the provinces of Hama and Aleppo.

And the “hospitals” that were bombed? Do we really think that the Syrian or Russian air-forces would waste their bombs on civilians, when there are armies of Al Qaeda terrorists attacking Syrian soldiers and villages on the frontline with missiles and car bombs, and even chemical weapons and cluster bombs?

Can we believe anyone who tells us that – now?

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In Countries Destroyed By The West, People Should Stop Admiring The U.S And Europe

By Andre Vltcheck
Source

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It may sound incredible, but it is true: in countries that have been damaged, even totally robbed and destroyed by the West, many people are still enamored with Europe and North America.

For years, I have been observing this ‘phenomena’, even in the most plundered, devastated war zones and slums. Often I was shocked, other times thoroughly desperate. I did not know how to respond, how to react, how to describe what I have been observing.

Then, a few days ago, in Syria, right next to the Idlib battlefield, close to the deadly positions of Al-Nusra Front, in a country where the West and its allies have murdered hundreds of thousands of people, one of my interpreters exclaimed in a ‘patriotic’ outburst: “Look how beautiful this land is! It is almost as beautiful as Europe!”

And at night, another guide of mine began nostalgically recalling his glorious days in Europe, when he could still go there; before the Syrian war began.

An interpreter did not know who Fidel Castro was (I had his portrait, lighting up cigar, as my phone screensaver), but both of them – my local companions at the battle ground – were fluent in Western slang and the worldview. They knew, however, near zero about China.They were patriotic and they fully supported their country, but at the same time they admired the West and Western journalists from the mainstream media – those very same propagandists who helped to bring their beautiful and unique Syria to the state in which it is now.

It all felt schizophrenic, but definitely not new.

I could not take it, anymore. I decided to write this story, despite the fact that it is an intellectual ‘minefield’. I decided to write it, because it is how it is. Because I have to tell it; someone has to. And above all, because it is absolutely essential to combat the crooked selfie image with which the West has been infecting almost all nations of the world, including all those that it has been plundering and raping.

Are we dealing with the so-called “Stockholm Syndrome” here? Most likely, yes. The victim falls in love with her or his tormentor.

For long centuries, the West has been colonizing, usurping, literally terrorizing the entire planet. Hundreds of millions have died as a result of colonialism, neo-colonialism, and imperialism. Wealth, cultural and educational institutions, hospitals, transportation, parks – all that Europe and North America possess to date and boast about, was constructed on mountains of bones, on genocide and unbridled plunder.

That cannot be disputed, can it?

Slavery, mass murder, genocidal expansions; the West robbed the world, and then consolidated its power, promoting its exceptionalism through relentless brainwashing (called ‘education’), propaganda (called ‘information’), and twisted entertainment for the masses that inhabit poor countries (called ‘culture’ and ‘the arts’).

Shockingly and absurdly, Europe and North America are still loved and admired by many, even (or especially) in such places where Western governments and companies plagued everything like locusts, leaving to the locals only burned land, poison and miserable slums.

How is it possible?

For years, I have been working in Africa, a continent which was entirely subjugated by the U.K., France, Germany, Belgium and other European expansionist nations. Africa from where millions of men, women and children were brought in chains to the “New World”, as slaves. Where millions died during the ‘hunt’, where millions died in ‘transit centers’, and then, on the open seas. That’s tens of millions of ruined lives. The complete plunder of the resources, the unimaginable humiliation of the people, broken cultures, genocides and holocaust against local individuals from what is now Namibia, to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Great African heroes like Lumumba assassinated by the Western rulers.

And yet, many Africans see the West as some great ‘example’, as a ‘guiding light’, as a severe but respectable ‘daddy’, who uses the belt when it is necessary, but who also rewards justly those of his ‘children’ who ‘behave properly’.

It is repulsive, but undeniable.

The greatest African writers are now teaching at U.S. and U.K. universities. They have been ‘neutralized’ and ‘pacified’, many of them out rightly bought. In many countries, African judges wear comical white wigs, doing their best to look like their British counterparts. The children of corrupt elites are collecting diplomas from the U.K. and French universities, imitating upper-class European accents.

To behave, to look and sound like the colonizers, is something that brings respect.

The same on the Sub-Continent, of course.

The mannerism among the upper classes in India and Pakistan are those of the U.K. (and lately, of the U.S.). Elites there go out of their way to be more British than the Brits; more Californian than the inhabitants of the U.S. West Coast. Countless private Indian universities call themselves ‘American’ or ‘British’, with ‘Oxford’ or ‘Cambridge’ frequently ‘decorating’ their names.

‘To be accepted’ in Europe or North America is the highest honor, in almost all former colonies, therefore, in almost the entire world.

‘Well groomed’, well-educated and modern Asians, Latin Americans, Africans and the Middle Easterners are expected to ape Westerners; to dress like Westerners, eat (and drink) like the Westerners and to ‘defend the same values’ as them.

In fact, they are expected to be much more Western than the Westerners.

But ‘expected’ by whom? Yes, you guess correctly: very often by their own people!

Ask and many in the ‘South’ will tell you: everything that comes from the West is beautiful, progressive and dandy.

“Every bule is beautiful,” I was informed, recently, by a young indigenous professional lady in the totally environmentally plundered island of Borneo/Kalimantan. Bule is a vulgar, derogatory Indonesian word for the ‘whites’, and literally means ‘albino’. However, the lady was not joking, it was a compliment: she was brought up believing that every bule is actually superior and fine-looking.

In the indigenous Mexican state of Yucatan, right after the elections that brought to power the left-wing President Obrador, I overheard the conversation of a dozen or so upper-class housewives in a Western chain café. Their references were fully European and North American: From vacations in Italy and Spain, to the films they were watching, books they were reading. Europe was their ‘mother-continent’, while Miami, their only true comparison. Before Obrador came to power, indigenous people were increasingly living in misery, their roofs broken, jobs disappearing. But the elites were, as always, in a European state of mind. The real Mexico was not on their radar. It did not matter, or didn’t even exist.

Even some of the poor in the ‘conquered world’ who are actually ‘concerned’ about Western imperialism, see it as an abstract problem.They see it as a strictly political, military or economic issue. The fact that Western imperialism has ‘culturally’ immobilized entire nations and continents is hardly addressed.

Even in those proud countries that are determinedly struggling against Western imperialism – China, Russia, Iran, or Venezuela – the Western narrative of exceptionalism has already managed to cause tremendous damage.

In China, for instance, almost everything ‘Western’ had been, until recently, associated with modernity. Being ‘against the West’ was considered boring, gray and outdated, somehow connected to the ‘Communist propaganda’ of the past (the fact that the ‘Communist propaganda’ was often correct, mattered nothing). This attitude allowed the great infiltration of Chinese universities by Western academia, as well as the injection of Western nihilism into Chinese arts, culture, even way of life. Only recently, has this dangerous trend been reversed, but not after it had already caused great damage.

The admiration of everything Western destroyed the greatest progressive experiment of modern history – The Soviet Union and the so-called “Eastern Bloc”.

The power of negative Western propaganda packaged together with the promotion of extreme individualism, selfishness and consumerism, literally wiped out all internationalist zeal, humanism and higher principles, from the minds of tens of millions of young Czechs, Poles, East Germans, Bulgarians, and even Soviets.

The once proud Communist Eastern Bloc, after liberating dozens of countries from colonialism, after fighting for an egalitarian world, showing solidarity with all oppressed nations, was then gradually defeated by such shallow bullshit as blue jeans labels, the nonsensical lyrics of rock and pop songs (a favorite weapon of the West), greed, religions (another Western weapon), and slogans like ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ (the Western world which has been denying freedom and democracy to almost all countries on our planet, cynically turned the truth upside down, and fooled East Europeans, by skillfully applying centuries long propaganda methods).

In the end, confused and increasingly cynical, what many East Europeans demanded was not ‘freedom’, but more money, more labels, and the ability to join the bloc of the countries that have been plundering the world.

So, what makes the West so successful, when it comes to brainwashing people all around the world? How is it possible after all that banditry, terror and ruthlessness, that most of the oppressed and conquered countries are still showing plenty of respect to the masters that reside in New York, London or Paris?

I believe that if we find the answers to this question, we will be able to save the world, and reverse this deadly trend.

First of all, after interacting with thousands of people in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Oceania and Latin America, I am coming to the conclusion that the West (and Japan) is often admired for the ‘high standards of living’.

In such miserable and collapsed countries like Indonesia, I often hear nonsense like: “European countries are more ‘Muslim’ than we are. They treat people much better than we do.”

Middle and upper class Southeast Asian families are travelling to Netherlands or Germany, and then exclaim after returning home: “Look at their parks, hospitals, bicycle lanes, trams, museums… We have to learn from them! They do so much for improving our world.”

That’s precisely what Africans admire about Europe. That’s how many ‘educated’ Indians or Southeast Asians feel. That’s what Peruvians, Hondurans or Paraguayans love about their Miami.

Are they wrong? Isn’t there, after all, plenty that poor countries could learn from the West?

Yes; definitely they are wrong. Totally wrong!

Let’s see ‘why’?

The West ‘arranged’ the entire world in accordance with its own feudal system of the past centuries. It brought the system of shameless oppressive regime to the global level.

To admire this monstrous and regressive global system would be like admiring the arrangement of European societies some three hundred years ago. It would be essentially like saying: “Look, the aristocracy of France or England was actually quite fine, egalitarian, educated and healthy, and we should learn from how they lived, and copy their examples!”

Of course, the aristocracy, the royalty and the church of Europe has always lived well, even 300 years ago. They had good schools for their children, they had decent medical care, palaces, summer villas, sanatoriums with mineral waters, theatres, lavish parks, and tons of servants.

The only ‘tiny’ problem was that some 95% of the population had to work for the luxury they enjoyed, subsisting in total misery. Plus, of course, those tens of millions of un-people in the colonies were being exterminated like animals.

The same is happening now. The entire Europe (with the exception of the poor people there) has moved to the bracket of new aristocracy, at least comparatively. And the rest of the world is laboring, dying, being raped and plundered, in order to maintain this ‘wonderful-looking’ social-state project of the West. Even the U.S. and its relatively brutal turbo-capitalist model is still ‘socialist’ (for the U.S. citizens), compared to such countries as Indonesia, India, Peru or Nigeria.

Western standards of living cannot be replicated elsewhere. To believe that the West would allow Africans or Southeast Asians to build a social state is naïve, almost intellectually insulting. Singapore, South Korea and Japan are rare exceptions, where the West closed both eyes, for strictly strategic reasons.

In order for the West to prosper, maintaining a super high standard of living, with all the benefits for its citizens, billions of the ‘serfs’ all over the world have to suffer, sacrifice themselves, and work for close to nothing; the more of them that live in hell, the better.

Nature has to be plundered in places like Borneo and Papua, DR Congo and soon in Brazil.

People have to be ruled by pro-Western corrupt oligarchs, and by the military and religious leaders. Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and now Brazil, are perfect countries for the West: they happily and willingly sacrifice their own people, guaranteeing Western prosperity.

You did not know? Nonsense! You did not want to know. All those people who matter are very happy with this arrangement: The Western rulers, citizens of Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, as well as the rulers/elites in the poor countries. The only ones who are truly suffering are those billions of the poor, worldwide, but they matter nothing, and they are not told anything anyway, because the media is in the hands of the West and their lackeys, and so is ‘education’.

And as they are not told anything, they – the wretched of the Earth – are admiring the West, too. They eat Western junk food if they can save few dollars a month, they drink Nescafe instead of their traditional coffee, listen to the shittiest music, watch pirated Hollywood blockbuster movies, wear fake sneakers and jeans, and masturbate to Western porn (if they have internet). They also dutifully follow religions, which were injected and upheld by the West, into their countries.

The poorer the country, the greater appear to be the green hills and pastures of the Western paradise.

And so, it goes on and on.

In India, Indonesia, Uganda, Jordan, Fiji, Honduras, I hear the same crap, from semi-educated, or West-educated local citizens: “People in the West are actually very good people, but their governments are bad.” Are they sure about that? I wonder.

Frankly and honestly, I am tired of this status quo. And I don’t find this amusing at all: hearing admiring statements about European and other Western countries in the middle of the monstrous war zones, famine-stricken areas, brutal mines, on the banks of poisoned rivers and inside the slums.

I am an ‘old-fashioned’ revolutionary. Slaves have to rise and fight, if necessary die for freedom; not to admire their masters and tormentors.

The crimes of the colonialists have to be exposed. The insane arrangement of the world has to be defined and then smashed into pieces.

The cute trams, bicycle lanes, parks, museums, operas, cafes, universities and hospitals in Europe are built on rivers of blood and the bones of ‘The Others’. I said it three years ago on the floor of the Italian Parliament, and I will repeat it again and again, wherever I go.

There is no other topic that matters, right now, on our planet.

Everything is connected to this, including the fear and hate that the West feels and spreads about countries like Venezuela, Russia, China, Iran, South Africa, Syria or Cuba.

They hate us; they hate those who resist, who are standing tall. And they should and will get back the same in return, hopefully, if the truth is pronounced often enough!

Farcical Ceasefire in Yemen Collapsing

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Since agreed on last December, ceasefire existed in name only. Fighting never stopped. It just ebbed around the key port city of Hodeidah before escalating, where things stand now.

Yemen is Washington’s war, the Trump regime bearing most responsibility for what’s going on, wanting endless war, not resolution – if otherwise nearly two decades of war would end.

The Saudis and UAE share responsibility for partnering with US aggression. There’s nothing civil about war in the country, not in any countries Washington attacked.

Peace talks in Sweden last December achieved no breakthroughs, war raging without letup while going on.

The so-called agreement  reached between warring parties wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. Saudi/UAE terror-bombing continued in parts of the country – with full US support, encouragement, and weapons supplied.

According to the New York-based International Rescue Committee (IRC), its board of directors stacked with monied interests, including Obama’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, the former US president at war on Yemen throughout his eight years in office, no-ceasefire/ceasefire is collapsing, saying:

For days, fighting in and around Hodeidah escalate, both sides accusing each other of violations – the Saudis and UAE to blame, acting on orders from Washington, my comment, not the IRC’s.

The group saying last December’s ceasefire is imperiled ignored what existed all along in name only.

Last week, AMN News reported on “intense clashes” in Hodeidah after US/NATO/Saudi/UAE proxies attacked Houthi fighters, the casualty count on both sides unknown.

Violence initiated against the Houthis effectively rendered the so-called ceasefire null and void. Reporting on fighting in and around Hodeidah, Al Jazeera said things agreed on in Sweden were never implemented, including no prisoner exchange or meaningful ceasefire.

Efforts by UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths achieved nothing. Claiming momentum for peace in the country “is still there” was meaningless, deceptive rhetoric, adding:

“More than any time in the past, there is a political will demonstrated by all parties to put an end to this conflict. What we need to see now is the implementation of the provisions of the agreement, fully and rapidly.”

Reality on the ground is polar opposite his assessment  because the Trump regime, calling the shots, wants endless war, not resolution.

Conditions for millions in the country are worse than in any other US conflict theater, the daily death toll mounting exponentially from war, starvation, untreated diseases, and overall deprivation – hundreds of thousands of civilians perishing over the last two decades, mostly during the last four or five years.

Oxfam’s Awssan Kamal calls Yemen “a prison without walls” for its people, the country blockaded and terror-bombed daily. Millions of Yemenis have no safe havens.

They’re severely malnourished, especially young children, countless numbers in the country at risk of perishing from starvation.

The official UN death toll greatly understates the casualty count, mitigating one of the world’s greatest human calamities, courtesy of US imperial designs on the country and region. 

Under Republicans and Dems, Washington is responsible for killing a nation and its defenseless people, victims of its imperial viciousness.

Partition: Bad in Ireland and Palestine, Good in Syria?

By Gavin O’ Reilly
Source

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Ask the question in left-wing circles of what affect partitioning a country along ethno-religious lines at the behest of an imperial power can have and the response will usually be straightforward.

In Ireland, following the 1921 surrender agreement between former revolutionaries and the British government, a six-county statelet was formed in the north-east of the country remaining under British rule and with an inbuilt Unionist majority; the pro-British element descended from English and Scottish colonizers, planted in the region by King James in the 17th century in a bid to displace the native Irish population which had provided so much resistance to British occupation.

The Nationalist population of this British-ruled part of Ireland, those descended from the indigenous Irish and who sought to live in an Ireland free of British rule, suffered systemic discrimination at the hands of this newly-formed British statelet, being denied the same access to housing, education, and employment that was afforded to their Unionist counterparts.

A neo-colonial pro-British state was also formed in the south of Ireland, where secret police and military units intern Irish Republicans through the use of non-jury courts to this day.

In Palestine, following the establishment of the Zionist State in 1948 in line with the UK-authored 1917 Balfour Declaration, more than half a million Palestinians found themselves refugees in their own country overnight; being forced from their homes in order to accommodate Jewish settlers from Europe.

The State of Israel, in a similar vein to the occupied North of Ireland, would also subject its indigenous Arab population to systemic discrimination and would go on to launch several imperialist wars against its Arab neighbors throughout its existence, with the most recent being covert Israeli involvement in the Syrian conflict.

This would all ultimately suggest that partition is a concept that should be universally opposed by anyone claiming to be anti-Imperialist. Right?

Wrong; when it comes to the issue of Syria, many ‘anti-Imperialists’ do a complete U-turn on the position and instead demand that the Arab Republic, along with Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, is divided up to form a US-Israeli backed Kurdish ethnostate.

In July 2012, when the Syrian conflict was its height, units of the Syrian Arab Army withdrew from the predominantly Kurdish Rojava region in the north of the country in order to provide assistance to military units fighting elsewhere in the Arab Republic; besieged at the time by Western-backed terrorists and yet to receive the key support which would later be provided by Iran and Russia.

The withdrawal of the SAA allowed local Kurdish militias to turn Rojava into a de facto autonomous region, with the most prominent of said groups being the People’s Protection Units (YPG), part of the wider Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed anti-government group.

However, whilst US-backed groups elsewhere in the country were supported by the White House with the intention of ousting the government of Bashar al-Assad, the primary reason for Washington’s support of the Kurds was to fulfill the 1982 Tel Aviv-authored Yinon plan.

This document, written by Oded Yinon, a senior advisor to Ariel Sharon, envisaged Israel maintaining hegemonic superiority in the region via the balkanization of neighboring Arab states hostile to Tel Aviv; in Syria, a country long known for its opposition to Zionism, this would entail the creation of a Kurdish state in the north of the country in a bid to undermine the authority of Damascus.

However, despite this US support for Rojava lining up perfectly with the Yinon plan, support for the creation of a Kurdish state within Syria remains widespread amongst Western leftists, with the feminist politics of the YPG endearing itself to Western Anarchists in particular; the lessons of Ireland and Palestine being lost it would ultimately seem.

WMD Take Two: Chemical Weapons Claims in Syria

By Tim Anderson
Source

 

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Millions of words have been written about chemical weapons in Syria, and many people are still confused. How can the average person understand this controversy? Rather than debate each incident, I suggest some basic forensic principles can help us ‘cut to the chase’. In particular, we should ignore the endless partisan stories and pay more attention to the genuinely independent evidence.

I investigated and wrote about the early stages of this issue back in 2013, then published a chapter on it in my 2016 book, The Dirty War on Syria. I concluded that the August 2013 incident in the East Ghouta was fabricated by the anti-government ‘jihadist’ groups, in an attempt to attract greater NATO support, as had happened in Libya.

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In a diplomatic move, Russia persuaded Syria to give up its actual chemical weapon stock (held as a deterrent against Israel) and indeed that stockpile was certifiably destroyed in 2014. But this did not put an end to the allegations. Similar accusations came from the sectarian Islamist groups, particularly in 2017 and 2018, as the Syrian Army drove them out of the country’s cities. Western governments and their media once against raised a ‘weapons of mass destruction’ cry.

First of all, we are entitled to consider the circumstances of all these claims. We must be skeptical because many were fooled by the false claims over ‘weapons of mass destruction’ (WMD) in Iraq. The ‘chemical weapons’ allegations are similar, in that they refer to banned WMDs and seem to provide a pretext for military intervention. These are claims promoted by the same states that ran WMD stories against Iraq. Other extraordinary allegations were argued to justify the NATO bombing of Libya. In each case, exceptional claims have been used to justify (or cover up) what would otherwise be seen as transparent aggression.

Second, regarding Syria, we should note that none of the chemical weapons claims were linked to any conventional military objectives. Such weapons are simply unsuited to urban warfare. This was different from the circumstances of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. There the US helped Saddam Hussein use chemical weapons against Iran’s mass troop movements (‘human waves’), and against the Faili Kurds of Halabja, who were armed by Iran (Harris and Aid 2013; Tan 2008).

I suggest that some standard legal-forensic principles can help us disentangle the claims and counter-claims. These involve (a) identifying interested parties, and discounting their promotional ‘evidence’ as ‘self-serving’; (b) identifying genuinely independent evidence, whether from witnesses or technical experts; and (c) making use of ‘admissions against interest’. These are standard concepts in criminal law.

In practice, it means putting to one side ALL the claims and arguments of interested parties. That is, ignore everything said by the Syrians, Russians, Iranians, and their media; and put aside everything said by the armed groups and their supporters, that includes the governments and media of the USA, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Turkey, and Israel. We also have to ignore paid agents of the warring parties, such as the Aleppo Media Centre (paid by NATO governments), the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (paid by Britain), ‘Bellingcat’ (paid by the US Government) and others. This includes Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, which have both help sell false pretexts for intervention and war. For example, Amnesty International had backed the false ‘incubator babies’ story that helped drive the first Gulf war against Iraq; they backed (but later retracted) false allegations against Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi; and in 2012 they praised the NATO occupation of Afghanistan (Anderson 2018).

What do we have left? Genuinely independent evidence! Let’s look at that in the four most publicized chemical weapons claims: Khan al Asal (2013), East Ghouta (2013), Khan Sheikoun (2017) and Douma (2018).

The first alleged use of sarin gas in Syria was in April 2013 at Khan al Asal, on the western outskirts of Aleppo city. The Syrian government reported to the UN that anti-government armed groups had used sarin gas, killing 25 and wounding dozens more, both soldiers and civilians. In May 2013 investigator Carla del Ponte confirmed that the UN had evidence of the ‘rebel’ use of sarin gas. Also in May 2013 Turkish police reported finding a 2kg canister of sarin, after raiding the homes of Jabhat al Nusra (al Qaeda) members in Turkey (Anderson 2016: 199-201).

The UN eventually sent weapons inspectors to Damascus, in August 2013. However, just as these inspectors arrived in Damascus, a sarin incident was staged in the East Ghouta area. Video and photos were published of sick or dead children, and the armed groups and their sponsors blamed the incident on the Syrian Army. Syria denied it. The armed groups claimed up to 1,400 were killed, but only eight bodies were reported buried. Syrians questioned the origins of the pictured children, as the area in question had long been a war zone and ghost town, with no schools. It was suspected that these may have been kidnapped children (ISEAMS 2013). This incident overshadowed and delayed the Khan al Asal investigation, and led to an international crisis which was partly resolved by the Russian proposal to destroy Syria’s chemical stockpiles.

UN Investigation of this second major allegation, the August 2013 East Ghouta incident, was given priority over the earlier Khal al Asal investigation. Nevertheless, in December 2013 the UN team presented a report on those and other reported incidents of that year. Because of divisions at the Security Council, the investigators were asked to report on the actual incidents, but without seeking to cast blame. They found that chemical weapons had been used on five occasions (Khan al Asal, East Ghouta, Jobar, Saraqueb, and Ashrafieh Sahnaya), and on three of those occasions, they were used against soldiers (UNMIAUCWSAA 2013). Only the armed groups were attacking Syrian soldiers. That finding discredited a key argument from the Obama White House, that only the Syrian government had the capacity to launch a sarin attack.

Two additional independent reports undermined the August 2013 accusations. A January 2014 report by MIT scientists Richard Lloyd and Professor Theodore Postol found that the improvised rockets used had a range of only 2 kilometers and so “could not possibly” have been fired at the East Ghouta site from any of the closest Syrian Army positions, as had been suggested by the White House report. Richard Lloyd had been a UN Weapons Inspector, while Professor Ted Postol had been a forensic advisor to the US military. Their independence was unquestionable. A third independent report came from famous investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. His report (‘Whose Sarin’, December 2013) found that many in the US intelligence community did not believe the White House report, which omitted all reference to the evidence of sarin possessed by Jabhat al Nusra (al Qaeda). “When the attack occurred al Nusra should have been a suspect, but the [Obama] administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad,” wrote Hersh.

MIT a2011

So, when stripped of the clamor from the warring parties and their supporters, the independent evidence of East Ghouta incident of August 2013 lines up against the al Qaeda groups, which controlled much of the East Ghouta area and wanted a pretext for greater military assistance from NATO.

We can apply the same principles to the third highly publicized incident, the alleged sarin attack on Khan Sheikoun (Idlib). This served as the pretext for President Trump’s 7 April 2017 missile attack on Shayrat airbase in Syria. By this time Syria, with help from Russia and Iran, were driving back the armed ‘jihadists’. These groups and their supporters, in particular, the US government and various paid ‘information activists’ claimed it was an attack by the Syrian airforce; the Syrians denied it.

What did the independence evidence say? Once again Professor Ted Postol issued a report, the main focus of which was White House reports from the Trump administration. After analyzing the allegations, video and wind evidence he issued a rebuttal which said: “the nerve agent attack described in the White House report did not occur as claimed. There may well have been mass casualties from some kind of poisoning event, but that event was not the one described by the WHR” (Postol 2017a). Once again Syrians suspected kidnap victims were being used for these ‘false flag’ attacks. Later Postol issued a second and a third report. Taking into account further information argued by the jihadists in Idlib, and other US allies, he concluded: “the WHR was fabricated without input from the professional intelligence community” (Postol 2017b).

Postol 2 e0744

In the Khan Sheikhoun case, US agencies used each other to lend the appearance of ‘corroboration’. So the US and UK funded groups, the White Helmets, provided ‘evidence’ of the Sarin attack to both the UN’s OPCW and to the US group Human Rights Watch (2017). Funded by the UK and US governments, there is substantial photographic and video evidence that The White Helmets are close affiliates of the armed Islamist groups in Syria, including Jabhat al Nusra and ISIS/DAESH (Beeley 2018; Hands Off Syria 2019). However, for the purpose of this analysis, it is sufficient to observe that their major funders are the governments of the UK and the USA, active parties in the war against the Syria Government. That alone disqualifies the White Helmets as a source of independent evidence. Nor is Human Rights Watch (HRW) an independent NGO. It is closely linked to the US foreign policy elite, and its leader Kenneth Roth has issued a series of demonstrably false claims about Syria, during the long war (Anderson 2018).

The OPCW would later report that there had been use of a “sarin like substance” in Khan Sheikhoun (OPCW 2017). However, even here they relied on evidence provided by the White Helmets, as no-one from the OPCW visited the site. This problem was discussed by another clearly independent expert, former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter. Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Ritter had warned that Iraq had no significant weapons of mass destruction. He was ignored then but was later proven correct. In mid-2017 Ritter wrote that the Human Rights Watch claim that “the material cause of the Khan Sheikhoun event is a Soviet-made KhAB-250 chemical bomb” must be false as:

“if a KhAB-250, or any other air delivered chemical bomb had been used at Khan Sheikhoun, there would be significant physical evidence of that fact, including the totality of the bomb casing, the burster tube, the tail fin assembly and parachute” (Ritter 2017).

The OPCW was, therefore:

“in no position to make the claim … [that] a sarin-like substance was used at Khan Sheikhoun, a result that would seemingly compensate for both the lack of a bomb and the amateurish theatrics of the rescuers” (Ritter 2017).

The main reason for this was that there was a broken ‘chain of custody’ in taking samples from the site, out of Syria to the OPCW (Ritter 2017). That act was carried out by the obviously non-independent White Helmets.

We see once again that when the shrill propaganda is removed, and we pay attention to genuinely independent and qualified voices, we can see the makings of another ‘weapons of mass destruction’ scandal. The partisan sources mislead us.

The fourth and final widely-publicized, alleged chemical weapons incident was said to have been carried out just as the Syrian Army was about to liberate the city of Douma from al Qaeda and its allied ‘jihadists’. This was the alleged 7 April 2018 attack on Douma hospital. Notice that the Syrian Army, by this time, with Russian and Iranian help, had been steadily driving the armed groups out of the urban centers. Once again, any military rationale for the use of chemical weapons was absent. Yet that is what the Douma-based ‘Army of Islam’, the banned Jabhat al Nusra and their western sponsors claimed.

Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack white helmets 9166e

Once again the armed groups and their White Helmet partners issued video which showed people rushing around the hospital reception area, washing people including children with water. The White House and associated media and paid agencies (including the BBC, CNN, Bellingcat and the US-based ‘Syrian American Medical Society’) repeated the jihadists’ stories. The ‘Army of Islam’ media group, the Ghouta Media Centre, put out the story that ‘hundreds’ were killed and injured by a “barrel bomb containing sarin” (Embury-Denis 2018). A White House statement duly affirmed:

“The United States assesses with confidence that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons in the eastern Damascus suburb of Duma on April 7, 2018, killing dozens of men, women, and children … information points to the regime using chlorine in its bombardment of Duma, while some additional information points to the regime also using the nerve agent sarin” (White House 2018).

Most western media ran with this. Later the story would be revised to a ‘chlorine bomb’, after a photo of an unexploded tank was shown in a building.

After the Syrian Army took control of Douma, one of the children in that video would denounce the story, saying he was effectively dragged into his unexpected film role and experienced no toxic chemicals. Yet, because he contradicted the jihadists claims, western media suggested he might have been an “unwitting pawn” (Barker 2018). However, as well as this unwilling ‘victim’, no less than twelve hospital staff told media in Damascus that no chemical attack took place. Several of them were flown to The Hague to repeat this evidence. These doctors and nurses said, in various ways, that there had been an extended filmed commotion at reception; but there had been no air attack on the hospital, there were no fatalities and there had been no chemical weapons (RT 2018b). The British Guardian called this an ‘obscene masquerade’, organized by Russia. Western agencies claimed that these witnesses had probably been pressured by the Syrian Government (Wintour 2018). Before this particular controversy is dismissed we might observe that hospital staff in Douma could not have survived had they been government sympathizers. It is well known that both religious minorities and government supporters were murdered by the Army of Islam and Jabhat al Nusra. In that sense, those medical staffs were likely quite independent.

In any case, not long after the area was liberated the UN’s OPCW went in and made their report. First, they found no trace of any nerve agent: “no organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected” (OPCW 2018). So much for the claims from the ‘Ghouta Media Centre’ and the White House. But what about the chlorine backup story? The UN team did find “various chlorinated organic chemicals … from two sites”. However “the FFM cannot confidently determine whether or not a specific chemical was used as a weapon” (OPCW 2018). This report was misused by some media to pretend that the UN group had found that chlorine was used as a weapon. Yet others pointed out that ‘chlorinated organic chemicals’ are found in most households, including as cleaning agents in hospitals. Although under great political pressure in New York, the UN team had rejected the Douma story.

Nevertheless, relying on the general spin over the OPCW report, the BBC (2018) headlined: ‘Douma attack was chlorine gas – watchdog’. This story was a misrepresentation of the OPCW report. It was soon deleted from BBC websites; but not before it had been picked up by several other sites (e.g. MyVueNews 2018).

To wrap up five disgraceful years of chemical weapons propaganda, forensic principles entitle us to look at independent statements, or ‘admissions against interest’, by the warring parties. That includes statements from military leaders in the USA and the UK. US Defence Secretary James Mattis, for example, both before and after the Douma incident, said that he had “no evidence” Syria had used sarin but was relying on media including social media stories. On 3 February 2018 Mattis was reported as saying: “We have other reports from the battlefield from people who claim it’s been used. We do not have evidence of it. We’re looking for evidence of it” (Burns 2018). In April, just days after the Douma claims, he told the US Congress: “We are not engaged on the ground there so I cannot tell you that we have evidence, even though we certainly had a lot of media and social media indicators that either chlorine or sarin were used” (RT 2018a).

Two former British military leaders expressed their incredulity at the Douma claims, even though those claims had been backed by their government. That fact makes them both independent, as well as qualified. Former SAS commander British General Jonathan Shaw asked:

“Why would Assad use chemical weapons at this time? He’s won the war. That’s not just my opinion, it is shared by senior commanders in the US military. There is no rationale behind Assad’s involvement whatsoever. He’s convinced the rebels to leave occupied areas in buses. He’s gained their territory. So why would he be bothering gassing them?” (Basu 2018).

A similar opinion was expressed and developed further by Lord Alan West, former senior British government security advisor and former head of the British Navy:

“Just before he [President Assad] goes in and takes it [the Douma area] all over, apparently he decides to have chemical attack. It just doesn’t ring true, it seems extraordinary because clearly, he would know that there is likely to be a response from the allies … what benefit is there for his military? Most of the rebel fighters, this disparate group of Islamists, have withdrawn, there are a few women and children left around. What benefit is there is doing what he did [sic]? I find that extraordinary. Whereas we know that in the past some of the Islamic groups have used chemicals, and of course there would be huge benefit for them in labeling an attack as coming from Assad, because they would guess quite rightly that there would be a response from the US, as there was last time, and possibly from the UK and France … The reports that came from there were from the White Helmets who, let’s face it, are not neutrals, you know, they are very much on the side of the disparate groups who are fighting Assad” (NewsVoice 2018).

These are genuinely independent assessments from two military experts. ‘Similar fact’ principles of criminal law entitle us to apply their rationales over Douma to the earlier claims made by the same armed groups in the same area, back in August 2013. That is, there is a pattern of behavior from these armed groups, involving repeated fabricated claims, to gain greater outside military support. This ‘similar fact’ pattern increases confidence in the evidence that they have indeed been fabricating their claims against the Syrian Army.

When we remove the clamor from the warring parties, their media, and paid propagandists, the independent evidence points in one direction: every single claim of chemical weapon use by the Syrian Army was a fabrication. As Lord Alan West said, the al Qaeda aligned groups wanted to attract greater western military support. Western governments and media went along with this extended ‘WMD’ hoax. The scandal served to hide naked US-led aggression against Syria. Western audiences were played, for the second time in a decade, over a ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ scam. Most took the bait.

Resisting Tyranny in the New Year

By Stephen Lendman
Source

It’s headquartered in Washington – with branch offices in Tel Aviv, Brussels, Berlin, London, Paris, other European capitals, and elsewhere worldwide.

It’s scourge threatens everyone everywhere, its diabolical agenda hostile to peace, equity and justice, to the public welfare, we the people meaning the privileged class exclusively, ordinary people exploited, not served. 

The rage of ruling authorities in America and its junior partners to dominate and exploit aims to transform all countries into ruler-serf societies, unsafe and unfit to live in – Washington rules overriding international and sovereign state laws, US-controlled NATO operating as a global military, manufactured crises unjustifiably justifying endless wars against invented enemies, nonbelievers eliminated.

When governments fail their people, the way things are today in the West and elsewhere globally, they forfeit their right to rule, civil disobedience an essential tool to invoke for change, popular revolution the only solution.

Nothing else can work. Martin Luther King once said that disobeying unjust laws, accepting punishment, arousing public awareness through nonviolent civil disobedience “express(es) the highest respect for law” the way it should be, serving everyone equitably, adding:

“(N)on-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.” He championed “creative protest,” believing passivity is no option in the face of injustice.

Henry David Thoreau’s essay on civil disobedience, titled “Resistance to Civil Government” said the following:

“The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.”

“All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.”

“Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?”

The state “is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength. I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion…They can only force me to obey a higher law than I.”

Thoreau argued that no one is obligated to surrender their conscience to injustice. What’s fundamentally wrong should be challenged for change.

People have power when they use it, challenging unjust authority a duty, the only way to change the wrongs of ruling authorities.

Resistance is absent in America and other Western societies, Yellow Vest protests in France an exception, what’s needed universally at a time of endless wars, eroding social justice, increasing police state harshness – governments serving privileged interests exclusively at the expense of beneficial social change they abhor.

Electoral participation doesn’t work, voting a waste of time in the West and most elsewhere. Dirty business as usual always wins, notably in America, a money-controlled one-party state with two extremist right wings, pretending otherwise – a fantasy democracy, not the real thing.

Legislators serve powerful interests, laws enacted to serve them. Dominant media support what demands condemnation. Accountability to all segments of society is absent.

Over half of the US electorate abstaining from exercising their franchise is testimony to their powerlessness over how they’re ill-served by ruling authorities in Washington.

Throwing out bums for new ones each election cycle assures when things change they stay the same, the way it is in America, the West, Israel, and elsewhere.

Entrenched power yields nothing unless forced. It’s true in the public and private sectors. Years of labor organizing against long odds in America, taking to the streets, sustaining strikes, boycotts, and other work stoppages, battling monied interests, putting rank-and-file lives on the line for equitable treatment won important labor rights.

When energy waned and union bosses sold out to management, virtually everything gained was lost, organized labor today a shadow of its long ago peak strength.

The same holds in all segments of society, government and the courts in cahoots with dominant monied interests at the expense of ordinary people in America and elsewhere.

Failing to resist what’s intolerable assures unacceptable conditions steadily worsening. Challenging authority is needed, in America most of all.

It’s no simple task at a time when government is the handmaiden of business, public and private corruption extreme, electoral politics deeply flawed, along with growing tyranny, heading toward becoming full-blown if not challenged by popular upheaval, collective resistance, civil disobedience – in big cities and small, urban and rural areas, sustaining a movement for revolutionary change.

It’s unattainable any other way. American exceptionalism, moral superiority, and the indispensable state don’t exist – an increasingly totalitarian plutocracy, not a democracy, permanently at war against invented enemies.

The nation’s resources increasingly go for militarism, warmaking, and corporate handouts, ordinary Americans exploited, not equitably served, things worsening, not improving.

Full-blown tyranny may be another major homeland false flag away, another 9/11 type incident, martial law instituted on the phony pretext of protecting national security at a time the nation’s only threats are invented ones.

As long as dark forces running America go unchallenged, their rage for dominance may doom us all – by enslavement, nuclear armageddon, or ecocide.

The only solution is popular revolution, challenging authority, refusing to accept the unacceptable, defying the status quo for peace, equity and justice for everyone everywhere.

There’s no alternative to living free and safe – polar opposite how things are today. 

America is far and away the most egregious human rights offender in world history, harming more people globally over a longer duration than any other nation.

If not challenged and stopped, we all may be doomed. 

Manufacturing Nonexistent US National Security Threats

By Stephen Lendman
Source

The US needs enemies and threats to unjustifiably justify its belligerent national security state agenda. None exist so they’re invented. 

The Global War on Terror is the greatest hoax in modern times – along with the no-peace/Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Washington’s imperial agenda for unchallenged global dominance is humanity’s greatest threat. 

Countless trillions of dollars are poured down a black hole of waste, fraud and abuse to enrich the nation’s military, industrial, security complex at a time real enemies of the state and foreign threats don’t exist.

Anyone challenging what’s going on risks being treated like a national security threat, including investigative journalists like Julian Assange and whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden for exposing US wrongdoing.

Along with justifiable dissent, their actions are the highest form of patriotism, violating no international, constitutional, or US statute laws.

Am I a threat to national security because of my writing and public remarks? Challenging speech, media, and academic freedoms is what totalitarian rule is all about – backed by police state harshness, defying First Amendment freedoms in America, the most important ones without which all others are threatened.

Because of my passion for truth-telling on vital domestic and geopolitical issues, US intelligence community officials are my most dedicated readers, focusing on everything I write, taking notes, keeping them, sharing them amongst themselves.

Big Brother watches everyone. The DNI, FBI, CIA, NSA, and other US intelligence community members maintain detailed dossiers on virtually everyone involved in what I do, myself included.

Do I threaten US national security? Can the power of the pen match its political, economic, financial, propaganda, and military might?

How? I have no weapons, never owned any, don’t want any, abhor them. I haven’t held or fired a small arm since mandatory military service in the 1950s. 

I get along fine with neighbors and everyone I have contact with. The notion that I might threaten anyone, let alone US might, attributes power to me I don’t have – other than the power of truth-telling, a force to be reckoned with if able to reach millions and arouse them enough to become activists for responsible change. 

Violence is abhorrent in all forms, state-sponsored most of all, the way Washington and its imperial partners operate worldwide. I’m passionately opposed to harm committed by anyone against anyone else, what everyone should oppose.

Armed only with my desktop and commitment to truth-telling, writing daily pro bono, influenced by and connected to no one other than supportive web editors, colleagues, friends, and readers worldwide, I press ahead to inform readers of what I learn and know about the horrors committed by my government, its imperial allies, and corporate crooks, along with major media support for what demands denunciation.

I’m proudly anti-war, pro-peace, equity and justice, supporting democratic values the way they’re supposed to be, along with strict adherence to and enforcement of rule of law principles.

I’m appalled and outraged that the nation I grew up in no longer exists. It’s gone, replace by one-party rule with two money-controlled extremist right wings, waging war on humanity at home and abroad, responsible for raping and destroying one country after another, immune from accountability.

As a boy, adolescent, youth and young man, I felt safe and secure unlike today – never fearing nuclear war and mass destruction the way I do now.

Bipartisan extremists running things in Washington threaten everyone everywhere – an indisputable fact. Their diabolical agenda opposes fundamental freedoms, world peace, equity and justice for everyone.

During the Cold War years, Washington got along with Soviet Russia, even if uneasily at times. Nixon went to China.

Today relations with both countries are more dismal and dangerous than any previous time in memory. Nuclear war is ominously possible by accident or design.

In my 9th decade, I may never live long enough to know how things turn out. Will America be consumed by its arrogance and hubris? Will it destroy planet earth and its life forms?

In the aftermath of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, Jack Kennedy said he “never had the slightest intention of” attacking or invading Cuba.

In office, he transformed himself from a warrior to peacemaker, wanting all US forces out of Vietnam, opposing war instead of wanting it waged, paying with his life for being on the right side of the most vital of all issues – his geopolitical agenda imperfect but world’s apart from the way things are now.

Obama was no Jack Kennedy. Nor is Trump, his regime and Congress infested with neocons,  Dems as ruthlessly dangerous as Republicans.

There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between them on endless wars of aggression, corporate rapaciousness, eliminating social justice, along with destroying fundamental freedoms US power brokers want eliminated – on the phony pretext of protecting national security at a time America’s only enemies are invented ones. Real ones don’t exist.

Bipartisan hardline rule is heading things for full-blown tyranny, along with wanting the message controlled, digital democracy threatened, what totalitarianism is all about, enforced with police state harshness.

Most Americans are none the wiser about the clear and present threats they face. Is catastrophic nuclear war inevitable? Will humanity survive or perish?

Are we doomed because of bipartisan US rage for global dominance. Republicans and Dems want all sovereign independent governments co-opted or eliminated, wars of aggression their favored strategy.

Today is the most perilous time in world history. Daily events should scare everyone. Fantasy democracies in the West masquerade as real ones.

Popular needs increasingly go begging. Poverty is America’s leading growth industry, endless wars the national pastime, waging them for alleged peace GOP and Dem policymakers abhor.

Conquest, occupation, colonization, along with carving up whole continents for profit and control are prioritized. Ordinary people are exploited and abused, not served.

Governance is exclusively of, by, and for the privileged few alone, the rights and welfare of most others long ago abandoned.

Criminality in high places is rewarded, not punished. Protracted main street Depression continues with no end of it in prospect, things worsening for ordinary people, not improving. The wealth divide between high-net-worth households and ordinary Americans is unprecedented and growing.

America is a plutocracy, not a democracy. Policies adopted in Washington and other Western capitals make things worse, not better.

Officials running things are hostile to what all just societies hold dear. Peace advocates and human rights champions are shunned, social democrats like Hugo Chavez vilified and eliminated.

Warmakers win peace prizes. Why not when war is considered peace by US and other Western policymakers.

We the people are them, their cronies, and interests they support, not us. Today’s insanely destructive weapons can and may end life on earth.

Global war can doom us all if waged. Bipartisan enthusiasm for endless wars is why they’re waged, along with hugely benefitting war-profiteers.

Politicians in bed with corporate crooks don’t give a hoot about life, liberty, equity, justice, human welfare, peace and stability. Survival may depend on revolutionary change nowhere in sight. 

US-led Western policymakers turned planet earth into a ticking time bomb set to explode if things continue on their hugely destructive course.

America was never beautiful when I was young. Its agenda today may kill us all.

Peace in our time no longer exists. Bipartisan leadership running the country is its greatest threat.

Upside down reality endangers everyone everywhere. Elections when held are farcical, voting a waste of time when dirty business as usual always wins. 

The only solution is nonviolent revolution. People power alone can save us  – what I strongly support because there’s no alternative to nations free and safe to live in.

If that makes me a threat to national security, bring it on.

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