Yemen: «Wearing a School Uniform Is No Longer a Dream»

By OCHA

In Yemen, 24 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection. Of them, 17.8 million people lack access to safe water and sanitation. As a result, people are resorting to unimproved water sources and lack adequate sanitation. This increases the risk of diarrheal disease, which in turn leads to deteriorating nutritional status and, in some cases, greater risk of death. Although trucked or bottled water may offer relatively safer water sources, prices have risen considerably – up to 45 per cent in some areas.  

But not having access to clean water impacts not just people’s health, but their ability to lead a normal life. Rashad, a villager Najd Al-Barad, tells us that his village had seen many instances where women had to leave the house to bring water for their family, often leaving babies unattended. Because the journey is often very long, they would come back to find that their babies had passed away. Similarly, young children are often forced to help their parents carry clean water and every day, and as a result they often miss school.

The Yemen Humanitarian Fund (YHF) has been providing vital funds to local partners to bring clean water to local communities. On World Water Day, Amani and Abdullah’s story tell us how access to clean water can be truly life-changing.

Amani’s story

Amani [1] is a 9-year old girl from a marginalized group living in Shareef, a village of Alzubia which has been hit by drought most of the year and is far away from the nearest water well. People use donkeys or travel long distances on foot to fetch water.

Amani told us how she would feel sad seeing young girls wearing school clothes and laughing on their way to school while she was walking long distances with her daily companion, the family donkey, to look for water: “If my family did not need me to collect water every day, I could go to school and prove that marginalized people can study and succeed like the rest of the children”.

But things for Amani have changed. Her village was one of those selected by Al-Atta for Relief & Development (ARD), a Yemen-based development association, to be equipped with water networks thanks to funding from the YHF. A representative from ARD explained to Amani that the project would bring water to the village and promised her to help her enroll in school despite her late age. Amani was shocked and did not believe this was possible.

During the project implementation, ARD staff got in touch with Amani’s family and the village school, and they were able to persuade the school to accept her as a regular student. Amani is now studying in the first grade and no longer dreams of wearing school uniform and going with her classmates on the school road. Now her dream is to continue studying as a doctor in the future to prove that marginalized girls can do just as well as other girls.

Abdullah’s story

“My wife and children used to spend most of the day going back and forth carrying heavy buckets and jerry cans filled with water on their heads or on our poor donkey”, Abdullah [2], 50 years-old and father of nine children, told us. He lives in the Najd Al-Barad village, Al-Maqatera district of Lahj governorate, and they did not have direct access to clean, potable water.

“My children could not go to school because they were too busy helping us bring water to our house for our basic needs”. Because men would be busy working most of the day or in other governorates looking for job opportunities, women and children would be the ones carry the burden of walking about three-hours distance to bring the water. Things changed with the intervention of Nahda Makers Organization (NMO), a humanitarian organization operating in Yemen.

The village of Najd Al-Barad, where Mr. Rashad and Mr. Abdullah live, was one of the areas where NMO, with funding from the YHF, rehabilitated water systems. NMO replaced the old submersible pump, rebuilt the diesel generator and provided all needed equipment to restore the network. Most importantly, NMO established a community water committee and trained its members to manage, operate, and maintain their water supply scheme to ensure the sustainability of the project.

Now, more than 13,000 people have direct access to water. “Finally, the water reaches my house and all of my children go to school”, Mr Abdullah told us. “The water reaches most of the villages in Najd Al-Barad and the people can now go on with their lives without worrying about going back and forth from one village to another in order to fill a 10-litre jerrycan”.

[1] [2] Names have been changed.

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America Needs a Stronger Defense Industry? Trillions Down the Hole of Military Spending

Global Research, March 20, 2019

Post-WW II, America’s only enemies were and remain invented ones. 

No real ones existed since Nazi Germany and imperial Japan were defeated – none anywhere, clearly none today!

Yet the US consistently pours countless trillions of dollars down a black hole of endless waste, fraud and abuse – global militarism and belligerence supported by the vast majority of Republicans and undemocratic Dems, at the expense of world peace, equity and justice.

Trump regime director of trade and industrial policy Peter Navarro is a militant right-wing.

He’s part of the cabal in Washington, wanting US-controlled puppet rule replacing independent governments in China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and elsewhere.

He favors whatever it takes for the US to achieve dominance. The NYT gave him feature op-ed spaceto promote greater military spending at a time it should be slashed.

He lied claiming “(i)nvesting in the (defense) sector means more jobs at home and improved security abroad. He lied saying “(i)n terms of economic security, the Trump defense budget is helping to create good manufacturing jobs at good wages.”

He lied claiming increased “arms sales (abroad) not only help create good jobs at good wages in America…they also enhance America’s capacity to bolster and stabilize our regional alliances, even as they may reduce the need to deploy more American soldiers overseas.”

He lied saying “our defense industrial base (is) the unshakable foundation of both economic and national security.”

Dwight Eisenhower’s warning about military-industrial complex dangers went unheeded, saying:

“The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

He called it a “potential enemy of the national interest…a distorted use of the nation’s resources…fail(ing) to comprehend its grave implication…(affecting our) livelihood (and) the very structure of our society,” adding:

“Every gun that is made, every war ship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, from those who are cold and not clothed.”

In an article titled “The War Business,” the late Chalmers Johnson said the following:

“(M)unitions and war profiteering have (become) the most efficient means for well-connected capitalists to engorge themselves at the public trough.”

“To call these companies ‘private,’ though, is mere ideology. (Weapons and) munitions making in the United States today (and related industries profiting from them are) not really private enterprise. It is state socialism,” adding:

“When war becomes the most profitable course of action, we can certainly expect more of it,” sacrificing a free society for private interests reaping short-term gains.

George Washington warned about “overgrown military establishments,” calling them “inauspicious to liberty.”

Perpetual wars now rage for illusory peace, what ruling authorities in Washington abhor – along with democratic governance they tolerate nowhere, especially at home.

US elections are farcical when held. With attribution to redoubtable activist Emma Goldman, if they changed anything, they’d be outlawed.

Economist, activist writer opponent of the military, industrial, security complex, Seymour Melman wrote extensively on the topic, dispelling state-sponsored/media promoted myths.

Discussing what he called “the Grip of a Permanent War Economy,” he explained the following:

“(A)t the start of the twenty-first century, every major aspect of American life (has been) shaped by our Permanent War Economy.” Its horrific toll includes:

  • a de-industrialized nation, the result of decades of shifting production abroad, leaving unions, US workers and communities “decimated;”
  • government financing, promoting and pursuing “every kind of war industry and foreign investing by US firms” – war priorities taking precedence over essential homeland needs;
  • America’s “permanent war economy…has endured since the end of World War II…Since then, the US has been at war – somewhere – every year, in Korea, Nicaragua, Vietnam, the Balkans, – all this to the accompaniment of shorter military forays in Africa, Chile, Grenada, Panama,” and endless aggression in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Palestine, Somalia, Yemen, Central Africa, and increasingly against perceived homeland threats;
  • “How to make war” takes precedence over everything, leaving no “public space (for) improv(ing) the quality of our lives;”
  • “Shortages of housing have caused a swelling of the homeless population in every major city (because) state and city governments across the country have become trained to bend to the needs of the military…;”

The nation’s deplorable state is characterized by growing millions of poor, disadvantaged, low income, uneducated, and “disconnected (people) from society’s mainstream, restless and unhappy, frustrated, angry, and sad;”

“State Capitalism” characterizes America’s agenda – partnering with business, running a permanent war economy for greater power and wealth, ill-served by pure evil leadership, at war on humanity at home and abroad.

US rage for global dominance comes at the expense of a nation in decline, lost industrialization, crumbling infrastructure, millions of lost jobs offshored to low-wage  countries, growing millions at home uncared for, unwanted, ignored, and forgotten to assure steady funding for bankers, warmaking, and other corporate predation – at the expense of ordinary people everywhere.

Melman explained that investing in domestic needs, developing the nation and its people, achieves a far greater bang for the buck than resources spent for militarism and warmaking.

They’re parasitic, unjustifiable, illegal, immoral, and eventually self-destructive – why the US has been in decline for decades while China, Russia, and other nations are growing and developing productively.

Unlike America’s permanent war agenda, wanting its will forcefully imposed on other nations, they wage peace and mutual cooperation with other nations.

Along with equity and justice for all everywhere, what’s more important than that!

*

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

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Why Calling US a ‘Democracy’ Is Both False & Dangerous to Do

Why Calling US a ‘Democracy’ Is Both False & Dangerous to Do

ERIC ZUESSE | 15.03.2019 | WORLD / AMERICAS

Why Calling US a ‘Democracy’ Is Both False & Dangerous to Do

It’s false because it is definitely untrue, and that’s not merely because America has a higher percentage of its residents in prison than does any other nation on this planet, but also because the only scientific studies that have been done of the matter show — they prove scientifically — that the US is a dictatorship by its very wealthiest residents, against all the rest of the population. Traditionally, that’s called an “aristocracy,” not a democracy, but ever since Mussolini in the 1920s, it came to be called “fascism,” which is the successor to “feudalism” and thus is merely the modernized form of feudalism. What used to be called by such terms as “monarchy” or “aristocracy” is thus now called “fascism” but the leopard is the same regardless of what it is labeled, and what it really is a dictatorship. Mussolini sometimes instead called fascism “corporationism” and it certainly is today’s United States Government, even if some people choose to call it ‘democracy’. It’s what the US Government has been scientifically proven to be: dictatorship, by the richest few (the controlling owners of the international corporations), against the entire public.

But even worse than being only false, calling the US a ‘democracy’ is also itself extremely dangerous to the entire world, and here is why:

Every time that the US perpetrates a coup (such as it’s trying now to do against Venezuela) or a military invasion (such as it did to Iraq 2003 and Libya 2011 and Syria 2012- and to Yemen 2015-, and many others) the US regime and its propagandists call it an action ‘for humanitarian purposes’, and for regime-change ‘to bring democracy and human rights’ to that country, and it’s always lies, which wouldn’t even be believed by anyone who knows that the US itself is actually a dictatorship, which it is. So, the lie of calling the US a ‘democracy’ is actually okaying a lying dictatorship by using, for it, the term “democracy,” which this particular dictatorship chooses to refer to itself, for PR purposes.

Calling the US a ‘democracy’ is to support this government that the entire world (in the only polls that have been done of the matter) recognizes to be the most aggressive and dangerous regime on Earth. To smear the good name of “democracy” that way, by calling the world’s most rapacious Government a ‘democracy’, is to assist in corroding that high term of praise, “democracy,” and turning it instead into an insult, which applies to what is actually the globally recognized most aggressive and dangerous nation on this planet.

The United States of America used to be a limited democracy, but now it’s no longer even that, and to call it a ‘democracy’ at all is not only false, but it encourages the world’s most dangerous and harmful regime and sets it as a model for other nations. To encourage evil by lying to say it’s not that but is instead good, is itself evil, or else rabidly ignorant and deceived; but, in any case, it is a very wrong thing to do.

On March 7th the liberal US billionaire who owns Bloomberg News was so much opposed to the over-the-top, far too overtly fascist, billionaires who now control the country, so that Bloomberg News headlined “Pence Asked Merkel to Provoke Russia by Sending Warships to Crimea”, and their reporters opened:

The US leaned on German Chancellor Angela Merkel last month to conduct a naval maneuver in Russia’s backyard aimed at provoking President Vladimir Putin, according to three people familiar with the talks. At a Feb. 16 meeting at the Munich Security Conference, US Vice President Mike Pence urged Merkel to send German warships through a narrow channel between the Crimean peninsula and mainland Russia to show Putin that Western powers won’t surrender their access to those waters, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The German leader refused, they said.

On March 8th, RT (a reliably truthful news-site that the US regime calls ‘fake news’ because it reports truths the US rulers don’t want the public to know) headlined “Caving in to the US? Brussels kills its own money laundering ‘blacklist’ after Washington criticism” and reported that the US regime objected to the EU’s European Commission including in its proposed list of 11 additional money-laundering centers four US territories, after which “the Council of the European Union, which consists of the ministers representing all 28 EU members, justified its decision to reject the document with the arguments that seemed strikingly similar to those employed by the US Treasury.” Page 11 of the European Commission’s 36-page detailed explanation of its proposed list said: “Based on the review of additional information sources, the Commission’s analysis has concluded that 11 additional jurisdictions present strategic deficiencies for the purposes of Article 9 of Directive (EU) 2015/849. Those jurisdictions are the following: Afghanistan, American Samoa, Guam, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, US Virgin Islands, Samoa.” The objective of the additions was to make more difficult the laundering of proceeds from crime. A legal advisory from a law firm representing US international corporations explained that “The US Treasury Department has objected to the inclusion of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands on the grounds that the European Commission did not follow the methodology used by FATF in developing its own list of high-risk third countries, and that FATF standards apply to all US territories.”

Supposedly, the methodology of FATF was more ‘transparent’ than that set forth in the European Commission’s 36-page detailed explanation of its proposed 11 additions. The European Council arrived at its rejection of the 11 additions to the list on the grounds that “The consultation ended on 28 February 2019, with the required majority of delegations having declared their intention to object to the delegated act in question, in particular on the basis that the act was not established in a sufficiently transparent way.” The European Council thus accepted without question the US regime’s undocumented allegation that the US regime’s chosen methodology is more ‘transparent’ than the European Commission’s is. In a press release, the European Council justified its decision on the grounds that it “cannot support the current proposal that was not established in a transparent and resilient process that actively incentivises affected countries to take decisive action while also respecting their right to be heard.” In short: BS. How can either the US regime, or the one in the EU, reasonably claim to be ‘transparent’? It’s ridiculous. That’s merely a relationship between the imperial nation and its vassal-states. They’re all dictatorships, they’re a hierarchy of dictatorships. But only the US dictatorship has been scientifically proven.

Anyone who opposes America’s dictatorship of the world will call the US regime what it is: a dictatorship. This cat is now out of the bag and roaming wildly, almost everywhere, trying now even for Venezuela, the Kerch Strait and the South China Sea. (Calling the South China Sea and Kerch Strait ‘disputed waters’ is like calling the surrounding waters of the US ‘disputed waters’; but only the international bully-regime is deliberately trying to “provoke” other nations in order to get them to buckle to its international dictatorship — which is the US regime, which regime Obama had called “the one indispensable nation,” meaning that all others are ‘dispensable’. It’s clearly not only Trump that’s the problem. It’s the regime, which is the dictatorship, and it outlasts any particular ruler.)

The US is no democracy. It clearly is a dictatorship, by its richest. To call that a ‘democracy’, is to insult democracy itself. Maybe America’s actual rulers would therefore like that.

Senate Set to Rebuke Trump on Support for Saudi Arabia

Source

By Staff, Agencies

The Senate is set to break with the administration’s support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen on Wednesday, likely handing President Trump his second setback from Capitol Hill this week.

“The resolution we will vote on in the Senate tomorrow to end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen is enormously important and historic. This war is both a humanitarian and a strategic disaster, and Congress has the opportunity to end it,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a statement.

Three Senate aides said that they expect a resolution to come to the floor Wednesday that will call on Trump to withdraw any troops in or affecting Yemen within 30 days unless they are fighting al-Qaeda.

The resolution would need only a simple majority to pass the Senate, which approved a similar resolution in December. The resolution would need to pass the House before heading to Trump’s desk, where he has said he would veto the measure.

With Republicans holding 53 seats in the Senate, Democrats would need to win over at least four Republicans and keep their entire caucus united in order to pass the resolution. The 2018 resolution passed with 56 votes.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), one of the co-sponsors of the resolution, said that he expected the vote would be “tight” but predicted that supporters would again be able to pass the resolution, as reported by The Hill.

“It’s going to be tight,” he said late last week. “But you know nothing has happened to peel Republicans away.”

The Wednesday vote will come a day before the Senate likely hands a second setback to Trump, with the chamber scheduled to take up a resolution of disapproval on his emergency declaration. If both measures pass Congress it would pave the way for the president to have to use back-to-back veto measures to defeat legislation.

The House passed its own Yemen resolution last month but it ran into a procedural roadblock in the Senate after the parliamentarian determined that it was not privileged, the status that lets supporters pass the measure with only a majority support in the Senate.

Supporters have brought up the resolution under the War Powers Act, which gives it a privileged status that allows it to be fast-tracked through Congress and avoid the 60-vote legislative filibuster in the Senate.

Tensions over Saudi Arabia have been running high on Capitol Hill since last year’s slaying of US resident and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, which opened up a gap between the administration and lawmakers on the issue.

Members of the Trump administration briefed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday evening about an investigation, ordered by members of the panel last year, into Khashoggi’s murder.

But Republicans on the committee appeared underwhelmed by the meeting, indicating that they didn’t learn new information.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the panel, called the briefing a “waste of time,” while Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) added that lawmakers “learned very little.”

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Jewdas Lies Again

March 11, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

jewdas.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

In August 2017 Jewdas,  a bunch of self- proclaimed ‘alternative’ Diaspora Jews were exposed as merely a brand of dishonest Zionist merchants. They picketed my concert at the Vortex and handed out flyers presenting a pile of fabrications and misquotes attributed to me.

They were filmed and exposed as liars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKMITv5ZPdw

Watch Jewdas lying through their teeth…

But Jewdas did not learn their lesson. They are attempting to repeat their failure. This time they call to Shut Down Nazi Apologist Jazz with a plan to picket my concert at the Vortex on Friday.

I am not a Nazi apologist. I am an opponent of all forms of racism and discrimination. Jewdas does not even attempt to explain why they call  me a ‘Nazi apologist,’ Instead they provide a  link to a Zionist write-up on Rationalwiki that is in itself a set of quotes taken out of context in an intentionally misleading manner. Here is Rationalwiki’s takedown of me:  “Atzmon has been accused of denying the Holocaust; he objects to this. ‘I have never denied the Holocaust or any other historical chapter,’ he says. ‘I also find the notion of ‘holocaust denial’ to be meaningless, and on the verge of idiotic.’

Here is the actual quote of my talk delivered in Freiburg, Germany in 2011. “Needless to say, I have never denied the Holocaust or any other historical chapter. I also find the notion of ‘holocaust denial’ to be meaningless, and on the verge of idiotic. However, I do indeed insist, as I did here today, that history must remain an open discourse, subject to changes and revision, I oppose any attempt to seal the past, whether it is the Nakba, the  Holocaust, the Holodomor or the Armenian genocide. I am convinced that an organic and ‘elastic’ understanding of the past is the true essence of a  humanist discourse, universalism and ethics.”https://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/gilad-atzmon-being-in-time.html)

One may wonder, if there was any truth in their  claim, why those Zionists and their so-called ‘alternative’ twins see the need to attribute to me fabricated quotes and misquotes in an attempt to deceive? One possible answer is that I brought to light a truth which they can’t handle let alone suppress.

In my work I repeatedly argue that history must be open to discussion. Revisiting and rethinking history is at the core of universal ethical thinking and the aspiration for a better future! If the English speaking empire had been brave enough to face its past conduct, it might have saved itself from repeating its crimes in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. If Israel and its Lobby were honourable enough to examine Jewish history, it would probably attempt to prevent its enthusiastic Lobby from causing more harm. If Jewdas were simply able to re-visit its recent past or just watch the above expose of themselves caught in their lies, one would think they would want to avoid re-exposure as an authoritarian intolerant Jewish thought police dedicated to harassing a non-political music venue.

Given Britain’s present economic and political woes, perhaps the Jewdas warriors for their own particular brand of correct ‘alternative’ Jewish thought would be wise to support elementary freedoms and civilized debate. Jewdas might even wish to allow the Brits a night off from the toxic political environment to just enjoy music. The music might even soothe the self-righteous arrogance of those whose satisfaction is gained by calling me and others names.

 Defy the oppressive, duplicitous and dictatorial forces. Join us at the Vortex this weekend

To Book on line:

Fri March 15 click here

Sat March 16 Click here

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Arms sales to Middle East increase dramatically, research shows

Saudi Arabia’s arms purchases grew by 192 percent over 2014-2018 (AFP)

By 

in

New York, United States

Arms flows to the Middle East grew by 87 percent in the past five years and now account for more than a third of the global trade, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a report on Sunday.

The defence think tank’s annual survey showed that Saudi Arabia became the world’s top arms importer between 2014-18, with a growth of 192 percent compared to the preceding five years.

Egypt, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq also ranked in the top 10 list of global arms buyers.

The report shows how the United States and European nations sell jets, jeeps and other gear that is used in controversial wars in Yemen and beyond, SIPRI researcher Pieter Wezeman told Middle East Eye.

“Weapons from the US, the UK and France are in high demand in the Gulf, where conflicts and tensions are rife. Russia, France and Germany dramatically increased their arms sales to Egypt in the past five years,” said Wezeman.

The growth in Middle Eastern imports was, in part, driven by the need to replace military gear that was deployed and destroyed in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya, said Wezeman.

It was also driven by tensions and a regional arms race, he added.

Exporting American’s gun problem? The proposed rule that has monitors up in arms

Read More »

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Israel are readying for a potential conflict with Iran, said the 12-page report. Since 2017, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and others have rowed with Qatar in a rift, which, at times, looked like it could turn violent.

Between 2014-18, Saudi received 94 combat jets fitted with cruise missiles and other guided weapons from the US and Britain.

Over the next five years, it is set to get 98 more jets, 83 tanks and defensive missile systems from the US, 737 armoured vehicles from Canada, five frigates from Spain, and Ukrainian short-range ballistic missiles.

Between 2014-18, the UAE received missile defence systems, short-range ballistic missiles and some 1,700 armoured personnel carriers from the US as well as three corvettes from France, the report says.

Qatari imports grew by 225 percent over the period, including German tanks, French combat aircraft and Chinese short-range ballistic missiles. It is set to receive 93 combat aircraft from the US, France and Britain and four frigates from Italy.

Iran, which is under a UN arms embargo, accounted for just 0.9 percent of Middle Eastern imports.

For Wezeman, “the gap is widening” between Iran and its foes across the Gulf, which have more advanced weapons.

US remains top arms seller

The US has kept its position as the world’s top arms seller. Its exports grew by 29 percent these past five years, with more than half of its shipments (52 percent) going to customers in the Middle East.

British sales grew by 5.9 percent over the same period. A total of 59 percent of UK arms deliveries went to the Middle East — most of it combat aircraft destined for Saudi Arabia and Oman.

Arming governments in the turbulent Middle East is increasingly controversial in the West, said Patrick Wilcken, an arms control specialist with Amnesty International, a UK-based rights watchdog.

He pointed to cases where sales are merited – such as re-tooling Iraq’s army after it lost much of its hardware and territory during the so-called Islamic State (IS) group’s surprise attack in 2014.

But, more often, western arms end up being used in human rights abuses, he added, pointing to Egypt’s crackdown on opponents, Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land and the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

He blasted the “hypocrisy” of western governments not following their own rules by continuing to supply authoritarian leaders who commit wartime abuses or violations against their own people.

“A critical problem for the region is the emergence of armed groups like IS,” Wilcken told MEE.

A critical problem for the region is the emergence of armed groups like IS

– Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty International

“In Yemen, totally unaccountable militias are being armed and supported by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which is setting the scene for a future period of instability and human rights violations.”

The problem has not gone unnoticed in western capitals.

In the US, lawmakers in both houses have passed resolutions to end US support for the Saudi-led coalition, though US President Donald Trump has vowed to veto the document if it reaches his desk.

In Britain, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for a ban on arms exports to Saudi. Last month, a parliamentary committee concluded that the UK was on “the wrong side of the law” by arming Riyadh.

In October, Amnesty released a report about French-built armoured vehicles being used by Egyptian government forces to “disperse protests and crush dissent” in crackdowns between 2012-2015.

Germany, however, has taken a stand. This week, it extended until the end of March a unilateral freeze on arms supplies to Saudi over its war in Yemen and the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

This has caused a rift with Britain and France, its partners in European defence projects, as it puts a question mark over orders, including a $13.1bn deal to sell 48 Eurofighter Typhoon jets to Riyadh.

Jeff Abramson, a scholar at the Arms Control Association, an advocacy group, said the US should follow Germany’s example.

“Instead of being challenged, the US continues to claim a larger share of an expanding global arms market,” Abramson told MEE.

“As such, the US should take the lead in promoting responsible behavior, rather than encouraging trade to repressive and irresponsible regimes, such as those in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”

Other findings

The report made other interesting findings.

These past five years, Turkey has increased exports of armoured vehicles, missiles and other gear by 170 percent, becoming the world’s 14th most important arms exporter and the second biggest in the Middle East, after Israel.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE were among Turkey’s top three importers of weapons in the past five years, despite Ankara being at odds with its customers over Khashoggi and the blockade on Qatar.

Continuing to buy arms from Turkey may be a bid by Riyadh and Abu Dhabi to keep ties with Ankara on track despite the rift, said Wezeman.

Also, Algeria increased its arms imports by 55 percent over the past five years, with shipments from Russia, China, Germany and elsewhere.

This made it the world’s fifth biggest arms importer despite only having a $168bn economy.

Algeria buys arms for military prestige, to tackle militants from neighbouring Libya and because of its “long-standing rivalry with Morocco”, said Wezeman.

Sipri measures the volume of deliveries of arms, not the dollar value of deals. The volume of deliveries to each country tend to fluctuate, so it presents data in five-year periods that a give a more stable indication of trends.

Syria Accuses US Stole 40+ Tons of Its Gold

Syria Accuses US Stole 40+ Tons of Its Gold

ERIC ZUESSE | 08.03.2019 | WORLD / MIDDLE EAST

Syria Accuses US Stole 40+ Tons of Its Gold

The Syrian National News Agency headlined on February 26th“Gold deal between United States and Daesh” (Daesh is ISIS) and reported that,

Information from local sources said that US army helicopters have already transported the gold bullions under cover of darkness on Sunday [February 24th], before transporting them to the United States.

The sources said that tens of tons that Daesh had been keeping in their last hotbed in al-Baghouz area in Deir Ezzor countryside have been handed to the Americans, adding up to other tons of gold that Americans have found in other hideouts for Daesh, making the total amount of gold taken by the Americans to the US around 50 tons, leaving only scraps for the SDF [Kurdish] militias that serve them [the US operation].

Recently, sources said that the area where Daesh leaders and members have barricaded themselves in, contains around 40 tons of gold and tens of millions of dollars.

Allegedly, “US occupation forces in the Syrian al-Jazeera area made a deal with Daesh terrorists, by which Washington gets tens of tons of gold that the terror organization had stolen, in exchange for providing safe passage for the terrorists and their leaders from the areas in Deir Ezzor where they are located.”

ISIS was financing its operations largely by the theft of oil from the oil wells in the Deir Ezzor area, Syria’s oil-producing region, and they transported and sold this stolen oil via their allied forces, through Turkey, which was one of those US allies trying to overthrow Syria’s secular Government and install a Sunni fundamentalist regime that would be ruled from Riyadh (i.e., controlled by the Saud family). This gold is the property of the Syrian Government, which owns all that oil and the oil wells, which ISIS had captured (stolen), and then sold. Thus, this gold is from sale of that stolen black-market oil, which was Syria’s property.

The US Government claims to be anti-ISIS, but actually didn’t even once bomb ISIS in Syria until Russia started bombing ISIS in Syria on 30 September 2015, and the US had actually been secretly arming ISIS there so as to help ISIS and especially Al Qaeda (and the US was strongly protecting Al Qaeda in Syria) to overthrow Syria’s secular and non-sectarian Government. Thus, whereas Russia started bombing ISIS in Syria on 30 September 2015, America (having become embarrassed) started bombing ISIS in Syria on 16 November 2015. The US Government’s excuse was “This is our first strike against tanker trucks, and to minimize risks to civilians, we conducted a leaflet drop prior to the strike.” They pretended it was out of compassion — not in order to extend for as long as possible ISIS’s success in taking over territory in Syria. (And, under Trump, on the night of 2 March 2019, the US rained down upon ISIS in northeast Syria the excruciating and internationally banned white phosphorous to burn ISIS and its hostages alive, which Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama had routinely done to burn alive the residents in Donetsk and other parts of eastern former Ukraine where voters had voted more than 90% for the democratically elected Ukrainian President whom Obama’s coupin Ukraine had replaced. It was a way to eliminate some of the most-undesired voters — people who must never again be voting in a Ukrainian national election, not even if that region subsequently does become conquered by the post-coup, US-imposed, regime. The land there is wanted; its residents certainly are not wanted by the Obama-imposed regime.) America’s line was: Russia just isn’t as ‘compassionate’ as America. Zero Hedge aptly headlined “’Get Out Of Your Trucks And Run Away’: US Gives ISIS 45 Minute Warning On Oil Tanker Strikes”. Nobody exceeds the United States Government in sheer hypocrisy.

The US Government evidently thinks that the public are fools, idiots. America’s allies seem to be constantly amazed at how successful that approach turns out to be.

Indeed, on 28 November 2012, Syria News headlined “Emir of Qatar & Prime Minister of Turkey Steal Syrian Oil Machinery in Broad Daylight” and presented video allegedly showing it (but unfortunately providing no authentication of the date and locale of that video).

Jihadists were recruited from throughout the world to fight against Syria’s secular Government. Whereas ISIS was funded mainly by black-market sales of oil from conquered areas, the Al-Qaeda-led groups were mainly funded by the Sauds and other Arab royal families and their retinues, the rest of their aristocracy. On 13 December 2013, BBC headlined “Guide to the Syrian rebels” and opened “There are believed to be as many as 1,000 armed opposition groups in Syria, commanding an estimated 100,000 fighters.” Except in the Kurdish areas in Syria’s northeast, almost all of those fighters were being led by Al Qaeda’s Syrian Branch, al-Nusra. Britain’s Center on Religion & Politics headlined on 21 December 2015, “Ideology and Objectives of the Syrian Rebellion” and reported: “If ISIS is defeated, there are at least 65,000 fighters belonging to other Salafi-jihadi groups ready to take its place.” Almost all of those 65,000 were trained and are led by Syria’s Al Qaeda (Nusra), which was protected by the US

In September 2016 a UK official “FINAL REPORT OF THE TASK FORCE ON COMBATING TERRORIST AND FOREIGN FIGHTER TRAVEL” asserted that, “Over 25,000 foreign fighters have traveled to the battlefield to enlist with Islamist terrorist groups, including at least 4,500 Westerners. More than 250 individuals from the United States have also joined.” Even just 25,000 (that official lowest estimate) was a sizable US proxy-army of religious fanatics to overthrow Syria’s Government.

On 26 November 2015, the first of Russia’s videos of Russia’s bombing ISIS oil trucks headed into Turkey was bannered at a US military website “Russia Airstrike on ISIS Oil Tankers”, and exactly a month later, on 26 December 2015, Britain’s Daily Expressheadlined “WATCH: Russian fighter jets smash ISIS oil tankers after spotting 12,000 at Turkish border”. This article, reporting around twelve thousand ISIS oil-tanker trucks heading into Turkey, opened: “The latest video, released by the Russian defence ministry, shows the tankers bunched together as they make their way along the road. They are then blasted by the fighter jet.” The US military had nothing comparable to offer to its ‘news’-media. Britain’s Financial Times headlined on 14 October 2015, ”Isis Inc: how oil fuels the jihadi terrorists”. Only America’s allies were involved in this commerce with ISIS — no nation that supported Syria’s Government was participating in this black market of stolen Syrian goods. So, it’s now clear that a lot of that stolen oil was sold for gold as Syria’s enemy-nations’ means of buying that oil from ISIS. They’d purchase it from ISIS, but not from Syria’s Government, the actual owner.

On 30 November 2015 Israel’s business-news daily Globes News Service bannered “Israel has become the main buyer for oil from ISIS controlled territory, report”, and reported:

An estimated 20,000-40,000 barrels of oil are produced daily in ISIS controlled territory generating $1-1.5 million daily profit for the terrorist organization. The oil is extracted from Dir A-Zur in Syria and two fields in Iraq and transported to the Kurdish city of Zakhu in a triangle of land near the borders of Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Israeli and Turkish mediators come to the city and when prices are agreed, the oil is smuggled to the Turkish city of Silop marked as originating from Kurdish regions of Iraq and sold for $15-18 per barrel (WTI and Brent Crude currently sell for $41 and $45 per barrel) to the Israeli mediator, a man in his 50s with dual Greek-Israeli citizenship known as Dr. Farid. He transports the oil via several Turkish ports and then onto other ports, with Israel among the main destinations.

After all, Israel too wants to overthrow Syria’s secular, non-sectarian Government, which would be replaced by rulers selected by the Saud family, who are the US Government’s main international ally.

On 9 November 2014, when Turkey was still a crucial US ally trying to overthrow Syria’s secular Government (and this was before the failed 15 July 2016 US-backed coup-attempt to overthrow and replace Turkey’s Government so as to impose an outright US stooge), Turkey was perhaps ISIS’s most crucial international backer. Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s leader, had received no diploma beyond k-12, and all of that schooling was in Sunni schools and based on the Quran. (He pretended, however, to have a university diploma.) On 15 July 2015, AWD News headlined “Turkish President’s daughter heads a covert medical corps to help ISIS injured members”. On 2 December 2015, a Russian news-site headlined “Defense Ministry: Erdogan and his family are involved in the illegal supply of oil”; so, the Erdogan family itself was religiously committed to ISIS’s fighters against Syria, and they were key to the success of the US operation against Syrians — theft from Syrians. The great investigative journalist Christof Lehmann, who was personally acquainted with many of the leading political figures in Africa and the Middle East, headlined on 22 June 2014, “US Embassy in Ankara Headquarter for ISIS War on Iraq – Hariri Insider”, and he reported that the NATO-front the Atlantic Council had held a meeting in Turkey during 22-23 of November 2013 at which high officials of the US and allied governments agreed that they were going to take over Syria’s oil, and that they even were threatening Iraq’s Government for its not complying with their demands to cooperate on overthrowing Syria’s Government. So, behind the scenes, this conquest of Syria was the clear aim by the US and all of its allies.

The US had done the same thing when it took over Ukraine by a brutal coup in February 2014: It grabbed the gold. Iskra News in Russian reported, on 7 March 2014, that “At 2 a.m. this morning … an unmarked transport plane was on the runway at Borosipol Airport” near Kiev in the west, and that, “According to airport staff, before the plane came to the airport, four trucks and two Volkswagen minibuses arrived, all the truck license plates missing.” This was as translated by Michel Chossudovsky at Global Research headlining on 14 March, “Ukraine’s Gold Reserves Secretly Flown Out and Confiscated by the New York Federal Reserve?” in which he noted that, when asked, “A spokesman for the New York Fed said simply, ‘Any inquiry regarding gold accounts should be directed to the account holder.’” The load was said to be “more than 40 heavy boxes.” Chossudovsky noted that, “The National Bank of Ukraine (Central Bank) estimated Ukraine’s gold reserves in February to be worth $1.8 billion dollars.” It was allegedly 36 tons. The US, according to Victoria Nuland (Obama’s detail-person overseeing the coup) had invested around $5 billion in the coup. Was her installed Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk cleaning out the nation’s gold reserves in order to strip the nation so that the nation’s steep indebtedness for Russian gas would never be repaid to Russia’s oligarchs? Or was he doing it as a payoff for Nuland’s having installed him? Or both? In any case: Russia was being squeezed by this fascist Ukrainian-American ploy.

On 14 November 2014, a Russian youtube headlined “In Ukraine, there is no more gold and currency reserves” and reported that there is “virtually no gold. There is a small amount of gold bars, but it’s just 1%” of before the coup. Four days later, Zero Hedge bannered “Ukraine Admits Its Gold Is Gone: ‘There Is Almost No Gold Left In The Central Bank Vault’”. From actually 42.3 tons just before the coup, it was now far less than one ton.

The Syria operation was about oil, gold, and guns. However, most of America’s support was to Al-Qaeda-led jihadists, not to ISIS-jihadists. As the great independent investigative journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva reported on 2 July 2017:

“In December of last year while reporting on the battle of Aleppo as a correspondent for Bulgarian media I found and filmed 9 underground warehouses full of heavy weapons with Bulgaria as their country of origin. They were used by Al Nusra Front (Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria designated as a terrorist organization by the UN).”

The US had acquired weapons from around the world, and shipped them (and Gaytandzhieva’s report even displayed the transit-documents) through a network of its embassies, into Syria, for Nusra-led forces inside Syria. Almost certainly, the US Government’s central command center for the entire arms-smuggling operation was the world’s largest embassy, which is America’s embassy in Baghdad.

Furthermore, On 8 March 2013, Richard Spenser of Britain’s Telegraph reported that Croatia’s Jutarnji List newspaper had reported that “3,000 tons of weapons dating back to the former Yugoslavia have been sent in 75 planeloads from Zagreb airport to the rebels, largely via Jordan since November. … The airlift of dated but effective Yugoslav-made weapons meets key concerns of the West, and especially Turkey and the United States, who want the rebels to be better armed to drive out the Assad regime.”

Also, a September 2014 study by Conflict Armaments Research (CAR), titled “Islamic State Weapons in Iraq and Syria”, reported that not only east-European, but even US-made, weapons were being “captured from Islamic State forces” by Kurds who were working for the Americans, and that this was very puzzling and disturbing to those Kurds, who were risking their lives to fight against those jihadists.

In December 2017, CAR headlined “Weapons of the Islamic State” and reported that “this materiel was rapidly captured by IS forces, only to be deployed by the group against international coalition forces.” The assumption made there was that the transfer of weapons to ISIS was all unintentional.

That report ignored contrary evidence, which I summed up on 2 September 2017 headlining “Russian TV Reports US Secretly Backing ISIS in Syria”, and reporting there also from the Turkish Government an admission that the US was working with Turkey to funnel surviving members of Iraq’s ISIS into the Deir Ezzor part of Syria to help defeat Syria’s Government in that crucial oil-producing region. Moreover, at least one member of the ‘rebels’ that the US was training at Al Tanf on Syria’s Jordanian border had quit because his American trainers were secretly diverting some of their weapons to ISIS. Furthermore: why hadn’t the US bombed Syrian ISIS before Russia entered the Syrian war on 30 September 2015? America talked lots about its supposed effort against ISIS, but why did US wait till 16 November 2015 before taking action, “’Get Out Of Your Trucks And Run Away’: US Gives ISIS 45 Minute Warning On Oil Tanker Strikes”?

So, regardless of whether the US Government uses jihadists as its proxy-forces, or uses fascists as its proxy-forces, it grabs the gold — and grabs the oil, and takes whatever else it can.

This is today’s form of imperialism. Grab what you can, and run. And call it ‘fighting for freedom and democracy and human rights and against corruption’. And the imperial regime’s allies watch in amazement, as they take their respective cuts of the loot. That’s the deal, and they call it ‘fighting for freedom and democracy and human rights and against corruption around the world’. That’s the way it works. International gangland. That’s the reality, while most of the public think it’s instead really “fighting for freedom and democracy and human rights and against corruption around the world.” For example, as RT reported on Sunday, March 3rd, about John Bolton’s effort at regime-change in Venezuela, Bolton said: “I’d like to see as broad a coalition as we can put together to replace Maduro, to replace the whole corrupt regime,’ Bolton told CNN’s Jake Tapper.” Trump’s regime wants to bring clean and democratic government to the poor Venezuelans, just like Bush’s did to the Iraqis, and Obama’s did to the Libyans and to the Syrians and to the Ukrainians. And Trump, who pretends to oppose Obama’s regime-change policies, alternately expands them and shrinks them. Though he’s slightly different from Obama on domestic policies, he never, as the US President, condemn’s any of his predecessors’ many coups and invasions, all of which were disasters for everybody except America’s and allies’ billionaires. They’re all in on the take.

The American public were suckered into destroying Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011, Syria in 2011-now, and so many other countries, and still haven’t learned anything, other than to keep trusting the allegations of this lying and psychopathically vicious and super-aggressive Government and of its stenographic ‘news’-media. When is enough finally enough? Never? If not never, then when? Or do most people never learn? Or maybe they don’t really care. Perhaps that’s the problem.

On March 4th, the Jerusalem Post bannered “IRAN AND TURKEY MEDIA PUSH CONSPIRACY THEORIES ABOUT US, ISIS: Claims pushed by Syrian regime media assert that US gave ISIS safe passage out of Baghuz in return for gold, a conspiracy picked up in Tehran and Ankara”, and simply assumed that it’s false — but provided no evidence to back their speculation up — and they closed by asserting “The conspiracies, which are manufactured in Damascus, are disseminated to Iraq and Turkey, both of whom oppose US policy in eastern Syria.” Why do people even subscribe to such ‘news’-sources as that? The key facts are hidden, the speculation that’s based on their own prejudices replaces whatever facts exist. Do the subscribers, to that, simply want to be deceived? Are most people that stupid?

Back on 21 December 2018, one of the US regime’s top ‘news’-media, the Washington Post, had headlined “Retreating ISIS army smuggled a fortune in cash and gold out of Iraq and Syria” and reported that “the Islamic State is sitting on a mountain of stolen cash and gold that its leaders stashed away to finance terrorist operations.” So, it’s not as if there hadn’t been prior reason to believe that some day some of the gold would be found after America’s defeat in Syria. Maybe they just hadn’t expected this to happen quite so soon. But the regime will find ways to hoodwink its public, in the future, just as it has in the past. Unless the public wises-up (if that’s even possible).

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