Ceasefire in Syria doesn’t include USA backed terrorist groups ISIS or Jabhat al-Nusra, what could possibly go wrong?

A lot riding on Syria ceasefire deal, but little hope

KILIS, Turkey — The details of a temporary ceasefire secured by the U.S. and Russia in Syria. Secretary of State John Kerry said overnight in Germany that the pause in fighting would go into effect in a week.

The deal will allow food and humanitarian aid to reach Syrians starving in areas under siege by the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, much sooner, however — as soon as Friday, a U.S. official told CBS News’ Margaret Brennan.

This is the first ceasefire agreed on by all the countries involved in the Syrian civil war. But CBS News correspondent Holly Williams, reporting from Kilis, Turkey, on the Syrian border, says its success is still doubtful, because the Russians say they’ll continue their airstrikes against terrorist groups, which they’ve said in the past while also targeting America-backed rebels.

Syrian civilians are once again paying with their blood as the regime — backed by the Russians — claws back territory from rebel fighters. Russian airstrikes, which only started in September, seem to have tipped the balance in Syria’s five-year-long civil war, giving the regime the upper hand.

This week, regime forces launched an assault on the town of Tel Rifaat, which had been a stronghold for the rebels, some of whom had been armed by the U.S.

Abdul Karim Bahloul, who ran a school in Tel Rifaat, told CBS News as he crossed the border into Turkey that the Russian and Syrian “shelling and airstrikes are random.”

“Homes are destroyed, and children’s bodies lie in shreds on the ground,” Bahloul said.

Syrian regime forces, with help from their other vital ally, Iran, have also nearly encircled Aleppo, which was Syria’s most populous city before the war began.

If the ceasefire plan doesn’t succeed, 300,000 civilians could be completely cut off in Aleppo, as they were in the town of Madaya under a siege by the regime. More than 40 people there have starved to death.

Even if the ceasefire does take hold, it won’t include extremist groups like ISIS and al-Nusra, so the bloodshed is unlikely to stop any time soon.

Tens of thousands of Syrians have fled the latest offensive, trying to cross the border to the safety of Turkey. But Turkey already has more than 2 million Syrian refugees and is reluctant to take any more.

Europe needs to take control over NATO before they drag us into a world war

NATO may join US war in Syria: Carter

NATO mulls joining US-led coalition in Syria, Iraq: Carter

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter says the NATO military alliance may join a coalition purportedly targeting Daesh Takfiri militants in Syria and Iraq.

“Thanks to the leadership of NATO Jens Stoltenberg we are exploring the possibility of NATO joining the coalition as a member itself,” Carter said on Thursday after a meeting with the coalition members in Brussels.

All of NATO’s 28 members are individually part of the US-led coalition that has been conducting air raids in Syria since 2014.

On Thursday, Stoltenberg said NATO had deployed three military vessels to the Aegean Sea to carry out reconnaissance and surveillance operations for what he called countering human trafficking amid the refugee crisis in Europe.

“This is about helping Greece, Turkey and the European Union with stemming the flow of migrants and refugees and coping with a very demanding situation,” he said.

On the sidelines of the Brussels meeting, Carter also met with Saudi Defense Minister and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, whose country is also a member of the coalition.

This picture taken on Feb. 11, 2016 shows a general view of the proceedings during the Global Coalition meeting at NATO headquarter in Brussels. ©AFP

Peter Cook, Carter’s spokesman, said Saudi Arabia proposed to expand its role in the US-led air campaign.

Riyadh has expressed readiness to deploy special forces to Syria if the US-led coalition decides to deploy ground troops. Bahrain and the UAE also followed in Riyadh’s footsteps and hinted at their preparedness for similar deployments.

The United States has praised the deployment plan, which has, in turn, drawn an angry reaction from Damascus and its allies.

On Thursday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned that the involvement of foreign troops in Syria would only lead to a “new world war.”

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has also vowed that his country would send any aggressor home in “coffins.”

The new pledges for military deployments in Syria come amid militant losses on various fronts and Syrian army gains.

Members of the US-led coalition are staunchly opposed to the Damascus government and support militants fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria has reportedly claimed the lives of more than 470,000 people and displaced almost half of the country’s population.

“Jewish” terror state attacks shepherds and farmers east of Rafah

IOF attacks shepherds and farmers east of Rafah

GAZA, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Friday morning opened fire at Palestinian shepherds and farmers in a border area south of the Gaza Strip.

Eyewitnesses said that Israeli soldiers at a military border post opened fire at Palestinian citizens working lands and grazing cattle east of Rafah area.

Luckily, no one was injured in the gunfire attack.

The IOF opens fire at Palestinian farmers almost on a daily basis, and has caused injuries to several of them in previous incidents.

Apartheid in action, israel company ‘prices staff by ethnicity’

Anger as Israel company ‘prices staff by ethnicity’

Woman cleaning

A flyer for a cleaning company in Tel Aviv has sparked anger and soul-searching after pricing its staff on the basis of their ethnicity, it seems.

Israeli journalist and political blogger Tal Schneider posted a photograph of the leaflet to her Facebook account with the statement “Blatant racism permeates Israel, pricing workers by race”, The Times of Israel reports. The leaflet appears to show different pricing levels based on the ethnic origin of cleaners, with an African cleaner rated at 49 shekels ($12.60; £8.70); while an East European cleaner is priced at 52 shekels without Israeli citizenship and 69 shekels ($17.75; £12.25) with full documentation.

According to the Jerusalem Post newspaper, the company appears to be playing on fears among some Israeli citizens of hiring staff of Arab ethnicity. “Don’t want to hire an Arab for security reasons?” and “Are you tired of employing illegal foreign workers and getting fined?” the paper quotes the Hebrew-language leaflet as reading, following up these questions with the words “There’s a solution!”. When contacted by the Mako website, a spokeswoman from the unnamed company said that the different rates were not illegal, and European workers cost more because they are “better workers“.

Schneider’s Facebook post was met with a mixed response. One reader commented with the soul-searching “Shame on what this country has become”, while another joked that he was a white African coming from Eastern Europe and would therefore command the highest rate as a cleaner. But one commentator concludes: “Everyone here is saying racism, but in the end, if all three of them were standing across from you, no matter what the price, you would pick the one that has the citizenship.”

America’s Love Affair With Nuclear & Radioactive Weapons

America’s Love Affair With Nuclear & Radioactive Weapons

The United States would have the world believe that it is in mortal danger should nations like Iran or North Korea obtain operationally effective nuclear weapons. We are told that there is a grave risk of these weapons being used against another nation and that the US (with the support of the “international community”) must confront these government, and if possible undermine and overthrow them. Why?

Since a nation has already used nuclear weapons against another state, ironically enough that nation being the United States itself, we already know the devastating effects of nuclear weapons. Besides the immense, indiscriminate initial blast, nuclear weapons also produce a persistent radioactive threat amid the fallout afterwards.

The fallout and the catastrophic effects it has on human health for years afterward make nuclear weapons particularly horrifying and abhorrent. The United States didn’t drop only one nuclear bomb on another nation, Japan, it dropped two. The data collected in the aftermath of these attacks have helped form our collective fear of these weapons.

Ironically the US is using the fear its own nuclear warfare has created as leverage to wage still more war.

Depleted Uranium – All the Fallout, None of the Bang 

But what if the catastrophic human health effects of fallout could be achieved without the immense, city-flattening initial explosion? What if you could use a weapon to induce long-term spikes in cancer and birth defects without the political ramifications of dropping a nuclear bomb on a population? Some readers may be tempted to cite “dirty bombs,” and they would be partially correct. But there is another correct answer. Depleted uranium or DU ammunition.

Depleted uranium is one of the densest materials munitions can be made out of. Because of their density, they are able to penetrate armor other rounds cannot. DU was initially conceived as an additional deterrence, a weapon of last resort in the event of a full-scale Soviet invasion of Western Europe during the Cold War.

Because of the overwhelming number of tanks the Soviet Union possessed, it was believed extraordinary measures would be needed to even the odds, even at the cost of radioactive contamination of the battlefield.

The catastrophic effects of littering the battlefield with contaminated ammunition possessing a half-life of several billion years was a risk NATO was willing to take to ensure the survival of Western Europe. How then, did this weapon of last resort become a weapon commonly used?

The first Gulf War in 1990, Operation Desert Storm, included the heavy use of this doomsday contingency. The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) in their recent piece titled, ““The most toxic war in history” – 25 years later,” would note:

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the start of Operation Desert Storm, the combat phase of the Gulf War. Precipitated by Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait in August 1990, the conflict was the first to see the widespread use of depleted uranium (DU) ammunition. US and UK forces subsequently acknowledged firing a combined 286,000kg of DU – the vast majority of which was fired by US Abrams and M60 tanks, and A10 and Harrier aircraft.

ICBUW would also note that the use of DU has impacted both soldiers who used the weapons as well as civilians trapped on or near battlefields they were used on.

Latinos Health included in one of their recent articles the following caption:

The Czech military is testing all of its soldiers that served in the Balkans for possible signs of Balkan Syndrome, an unexplained condition that is thought to be caused by depleted uranium used in NATO ammunition. Recent media reports claim that scientists have found evidence of Uranium 236 in blood samples from soldiers who served in the Gulf War, where depleted uranium ammunition was also used.

It should strike people as disturbing that the United States poses as the greatest advocate against weapons of mass destruction and a champion for preserving the lives and wellbeing of innocent people affected by war, all while using weapons of mass destruction, repeatedly, at the expense of innocent lives affected by their various wars.

DU has turned up in both Iraq wars, NATO’s intervention in the Balkans and in Afghanistan. Courts around the world have ruled in favor on several cases regarding the effects of DU, including a British Gulf War veteran who became ill because of the radioactive weapons.

The BBC would report in their story, “Gulf soldier wins pension fight,” that:

A former soldier is believed to be the first veteran to win a war pension appeal after suffering depleted uranium poisoning during the first Gulf War.

A tribunal in Edinburgh found in favour of Kenny Duncan from Clackmannanshire who became ill after his service in the Middle East.

He had helped move tanks destroyed by shells containing depleted uranium.

One can only wonder how many nameless, faceless and voiceless civilians living on or near former battlefields have also been affected like Mr. Duncan from Clackmannanshire, who will never receive the assistance needed to recover from what America’s indiscriminate and unnecessary use of radiological weapons has done to them and their communities.

While it is hopeful seeing mounting awareness and subsequent pressure being applied to the United States and other governments around the world who might also consider using this weapon and others like it, we are still faced with the problem that the US, essentially the worst violator when it comes to nuclear and radiological weapons, poses as the primary advocate policing the world against them.

Not only is the US guilty of immense hypocrisy, it has managed to hijack what are supposed to be “international institutions” to help perpetrate this hypocrisy. This is yet another example of just how important it is to establish a true balance of global power through a multipolar system of sovereign nations, in place of the “international order” that currently exists, which sidesteps nation sovereignty and empowers global criminality rather than stopping it.

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Palestinian groups submit evidence of israel’s war crimes to ICC

Palestinian groups submit evidence of Israeli war crime to ICC

houses and buildings destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in Palestine.File photo of houses and buildings destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in Palestine.

Four Palestinian human rights organisations have submitted a second communication to the International Criminal Court in the Hague to prosecute Israel for crimes it committed against Palestinian civilians during its war on the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights, Al-Haq and Aldameer said in a joint statement yesterday that they provided evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Rafah between 1-4 August 2014.

The organisations said “the Israeli army has committed gross and systematic violations of the rules of international humanitarian law in Rafah which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, through the organised targeting of Palestinian civilians, infrastructure and property and the killing of 255 Palestinians, including 212 civilians”.

“The Israeli army launched in August 2014 reprisals against the Palestinians, in response to the abduction of one of its soldiers in the town of Rafah,” Israeli sources said the army official had been killed, they explained.

Israel accuses Hamas of holding the body of army soldier, Hadar Goldin, who went missing on that day. The movement has neither confirmed nor denied the claims.

According to the statement, the four groups seek to assist the prosecutor in establishing that there is a reasonable basis to conclude that high-ranking Israeli military officials committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during “Operation Protective Edge” in Rafah between 1-4 August 2014.

Israel waged a 51-day war on the Gaza Strip which led to the killing of 2,320 Palestinians, including 578 children and 489 women, as well as wounding more than 11,000 people according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health


A Brutal Assessment of USA Elections from Abroad

A Brutal Assessment of US Elections from Abroad

It’s come to my attention that André Vltchek, writing in Pravda, has demystified the entire US presidential election scam in a piece titled “Please do not poison my brain with the US elections.”  Americans should understand how our elections are seen by people abroad.

To my American friends I feel your pain, political phone calls will disrupt everything you do until the election in November, when you will be asked to step into a polling booth to vote for a lesser evil, which often seems like a choice between Hitler and Satan.  You will hold your nose and wretch, finally writing in the name of a person who has no chance, because that person has a heart and integrity.

To my friends abroad, I feel your pain, suffering through another phony election for president of the USA.  Unlike most citizens of The Empire, you have an understanding that the winner of the election will be a regent for the true rulers, the international bankers and their supportive capitalist apparatus that have so much influence over your life.

I read the foreign press daily to view opinions which do not get into the controlled US mainstream press.  Having traveled abroad in Europe and Asia I’ve got to know people who, after learning that I was open to criticism of my country, leveled with me about how the USA is seen by the common people of the world.  It’s not a pretty picture.

People in foreign lands will not speak openly with Americans, generally assuming Yankees are brainwashed from birth and cannot speak objectively about very much at all of importance.

Most world leaders and governments are generally controlled by the same forces which control The Empire and do not represent their own populations, although their establishment opinions are the ones corporate media dish out for the masses to consume.

The world press is generally controlled by the same forces which control The Empire.  The exceptions are that some criticism of The Empire is allowed in the foreign press.  For example, the BBC and Reuters allow some criticism of the USA, but in their case cover up for the UK (they concealed the role of their government in the invasion of Iraq as much as the US press covered up for the US role in that war crime, while allowing some criticism of President Bush and his regime, although much of it too little and too late).

And so it is that people all over the world are getting a similar version of the US election for president as Americans are getting, blasting 24/7 on TV sets that there are massive differences in the candidates and the fate of the world depends on the outcome which will put a wonderful person into the White House.

Vitchek points out that this is wild fiction, insisting:

I see no need to know who, from all those already pre-approved by the Regime and therefore allowed to ‘compete’, is going to get nominated by his or her political gang, and who will be finally mounting the saddle of that static wooden horse which is as a rule galloping nowhere, inspires no one and only jumps around crushing with its heavy murderous horseshoes everything and everyone who dares to demand true freedom.

He continues:

The West created elections so that the elites from within the white race, as well as the white race in general, could justify the brutality with which they have been ruling the world. They need to feel that they are fulfilling the wishes of the world, or at least of their own citizens.

The moneyed and bellicose clans always get elected; there are ways to assure it.

As to the value of presidential power, Vitchek relates:

The Regime has nothing to do with those ‘elected leaders’; it only produces them, as it produces ISIS, or propaganda or Western supremacist feelings. They are simply screened by the system, then pitched against each other like fighting roosters, then paraded as some religious symbol with hardly any power.

He adds, of the power of the voters:

They can choose the face, like in some violent video game. The engine, the system behind that face (or call it a mask), is permanent. It does not change.

The contest is about distraction, Vitchek says:

It is simply designed that way: concentrate on games, pop and junk, as well as elections, and forget about the big picture – what the Empire is doing to our World.


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