Archive | September 16th, 2015

Lavrov: US knows ISIS positions, refuses to bomb

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by Joaquin Flores –
“Lavrov: Russia has information that the US knows the position of the IS, but does not bomb them”
Russia has information that the US know the specific location points of the “Islamic State” (extremist organization banned in Russia), but did not give an order to strike on the positions “of the IS,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
In the program “Sunday times” on “Channel 1” Lavrov said that the US government “was not originally very careful in creating a coalition, or conspired towards goals that were not the declared ones.” 
According to the foreign minister, the coalition was created spontaneously, “within just a few days it was announced that it includes a number of countries and then begun strikes.” 
Lavrov said that the analysis of aviation operations in countries included in the coalition, “creates a strange impression,” – as if in addition to fighting “the IS” “there is something else which is a concern of the coalition.”
The minister said: “I hope not to disappoint anyone in saying that some of our colleagues from the incoming coalition of countries have information on where exactly and on what positions are “IS” or other subdivisions, and the commander of the coalition (the United States ) does not give consent to striking them. “

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Guatemala protests signal new resistance

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Guatemala protests signal new resistance

A mural by Diego Rivera of the 1954 U.S.-engineered coup against Árbenz.

Many protests in Guatemala demanded President Otto Pérez Molina’s ouster. Photo: Getty Images

On Sept. 6, after massive demonstrations of upwards of 200,000 people that began last April, right-wing Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina was ousted amid revelations of his direct involvement in an extensive customs-fraud scandal. His vice-president, Roxana Baldetti, was forced to resign in May, being linked to the same fraud scandal.

Pérez had no other choice but to step down, since the Congress voted to remove his immunity as head of state and proceed to  impeachment. He is now under house arrest, as thousands of documents in evidence are being prepared for his trial.

Pérez is not being prosecuted for a much greater crime, his role as a military general directing the genocidal massacres of indigenous people in the 1980s under dictator Ríos Montt. Progressive forces in Guatemala are calling for Pérez to face those charges as well.

The current popular protests surprised many political observers, with some in the press comparing them to the actions that sparked the Guatemalan revolutionary struggle of 1944-1954. Those protests provided the impetus for major land and social reforms against the feudal oligarchy, until all was crushed in a 1954 U.S.-backed coup.

Today, Sept. 6, national elections are taking place against the unusual backdrop of political drama surrounding Pérez Molina.

The polls are open for already-scheduled elections of all national offices of president, vice-president, all 158 deputy seats in the unicameral Congress, 338 municipal districts (corporaciones), and 20 seats in the Central American Parliament.

Despite the popular mobilization that drove Pérez out for fraud, today’s elections are not expected to yield a new government leadership that will fight the deep-rooted crisis of poverty, drug trafficking and organized crime that wrack the country and region.

It is common knowledge that many in the government and state apparatus—including some of the 14 presidential candidates—have ties to crime syndicates and the military that waged repression on the people for more than 30 years and reached a terrifying scale in the 1980s.

One of them, nationally known comedian Jimmy Morales is running on behalf of the Frente de Convergencia Nacional (National Convergence Front – FCN), an extreme right-wing party led by ex-military generals.

Another front runner, Manuel Baldizón, is the most powerful corporate and political figure in Petén, the northern third of Guatemala. He and his party’s leaders of Renewed Democratic Freedom (LIDER) are under investigation for extensive electoral-finance fraud and other charges. Candidate Zulia Ríos is the daughter of the former dictator Ríos Montt. If no candidate wins 50 percent plus one vote, a runoff will take place Oct. 25.

The present is tied to the genocidal past

Repression against the indigenous and popular movements was Guatemala’s hallmark after the reversal of the 1944-1954 “Guatemalan Revolution.” It was a period of radical land and social reforms against the feudal oligarchy.

Before the 1944-1954 reforms, United Fruit Company was for decades the largest landowner in Guatemala and enjoyed total control of the economy. It paid virtually no taxes while it amassed super-profits, dictated slave wages for workers and peasants, and kept up to 88 percent of its land uncultivated as landless peasants starved.

From 1931 to 1944, Guatemalan military dictator Jorge Ubico provided the favorable climate for United Fruit. But national turmoil among all classes—from liberal elites to the worker and peasant masses—forced Ubico’s overthrow in 1944. Students played a major role in the mass demonstrations.

An extremely high concentration of wealth among the top 1 percent, along with United Fruit, included 75 percent of the land.

President Juan José Arévalo was the first of two presidents in the 1944-1954 reform era. He began a series of labor and other measures that were radicalized by his successor, Jacobo Árbenz Guzman.

In a bold measure that is remembered today, Árbenz, elected in 1950, authored and signed Decree 900 accelerating the land reform and expropriating United Fruit’s unused land. Between 1952 and June 1954—just before Árbenz’s overthrow—1.4 million acres were distributed to the poor.

More than 500,000 peasants of the majority indigenous country—22 Maya ethnic groups, plus Garífuna and Xinca—benefited from the land expropriations.

With U.S. interests directly threatened and the fear of Guatemala’s regional influence, the Eisenhower administration unleashed a demonization campaign against Árbenz, accusing his government of being Communist.

During the 1950s witch-hunt at home and abroad, such a charge allowed Washington to prepare the terrain for a military coup. The Central Intelligence Agency, under Director Allen Dulles, had already overthrown the Iranian government of Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953, who had nationalized the British and U.S. oil properties.

John Foster Dulles, then U.S. secretary of state, and his brother Allen Dulles, as well as other Eisenhower officials, had close ties to United Fruit Company.

With a U.S.-trained army that invaded from Honduras, Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas overthrew Árbenz’s government.

The reforms were quickly overturned, and from 1960 to 1996, a bloody civil war was launched against the popular insurgent movement of indigenous peasants, workers and students that had arisen.

It was a war of extermination, with 200,000 Guatemalans massacred wholesale. Over 600 rural indigenous villages were eliminated in a terrifying series of bombings and ground operations.

The brutality reached a fever pitch under the military dictatorship of General Efraín Ríos Montt, from 1982 to 1983. His rise came under the auspices of the Reagan regime, which pumped tens of millions of dollars to back the Salvadoran and Guatemalan military dictatorships in order to destroy those countries’ liberation movements.

In the early 1980s, when the Reagan regime was hampered by congressional blocking of funds, Israel stepped in to provide the Guatemalan army training and its own U.S. Huey and Bell helicopters equipped with heavy-caliber machine guns.

Pérez Molina as general, like his overseer Ríos Montt, has direct responsibility for massacres that took place.

An extremely shocking scenario of the repression is described by investigative journalist Allan Nairn, in a 2013 interview on the U.S. radio program, Democracy Now, with Amy Goodman. Nairn covered the first trial of Ríos Montt, later convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity.

“AMY GOODMAN: Talk about how this campaign, this slaughter, was carried out and how it links to, well, the current government in Guatemala today.

“ALLAN NAIRN: The army swept through the northwest highlands. And according to soldiers who I interviewed at the time, as they were carrying out the sweeps, they would go into villages, surround them, pull people out of their homes, line them up, execute them. A forensic witness testified in the trial that 80 percent of the remains they’ve recovered had gunshot wounds to the head. Witnesses have—witnesses and survivors have described Ríos Montt’s troops beheading people. One talked about an old woman who was beheaded, and then they kicked her head around the floor. They ripped the hearts out of children as their bodies were still warm, and they piled them on a table for their parents to see. …

“AMY GOODMAN: So let’s take this to the current day, to the president of Guatemala today, because at the same time you were interviewing these soldiers, you interviewed the Guatemalan president—at least the Guatemalan president today in 2013.

“ALLAN NAIRN: Yes, the senior officer, the commander in Nebaj, was a man who used the code name “Mayor Tito,” Major Tito. It turns out that that man’s real name was Otto Pérez Molina. Otto Pérez Molina later ascended to general, and today he is the president of Guatemala. So he is the one who was the local implementer of the program of genocide which Ríos Montt is accused of carrying out.”

Ríos Montt, who was finally tried and convicted for the massacre of 1,711 Ixil Mayan villagers, received an 80-year sentence on May 10, 2013. However, 10 days later, in a display of blatant impunity, the Constitutional Court overturned his conviction on procedural grounds. A retrial was ordered for this year, but it has been delayed again.

On Aug. 25, the Guatemalan court ruled that Ríos Montt be tried behind closed doors, with no journalists present, due to a diagnosis of dementia.

The people forced Ríos Montt to face justice and the indigenous survivors courageously exposed his crimes. The unprecedented ouster of Pérez Molina is an inspiring victory for the people and signals the resurgence of a new movement for social justice, in a country that has suffered so severely by U.S. imperialism and its military puppets.

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Attorney General refuses to say whether UK has ‘blanket’ drone policy

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Reprieve

The British Attorney General has today refused to say whether the Government has a ‘blanket’ or ‘case-by-case’ policy on carrying out targeted killings in countries with whom the UK is not at war.

Jeremy Wright was answering questions from MPs on the Justice Select Committee, who questioned him over the UK’s adoption of a US-style drone programme, as recently announced by the Prime Minister.

However, Mr Wright refused to give further details on the nature of the legal advice he had provided to his Government. Asked by Richard Arkless MP, “is the advice that you’ve delivered to the Government in relation to these drone strikes, will that be conducted on a case by case basis or are you giving them blanket authority to do this again if the circumstances arise?” he responded, “that’s another nice try… but I can’t I’m afraid go into the detail of the advice that I gave.”

The Attorney General also said there was a need to rethink what “imminence” means in relation to self-defence.

Commenting, Kat Craig, legal director at human rights charity Reprieve said: “It is alarming that the Attorney General does not feel the need to tell MPs or the public even the most broad details about the UK’s kill policy. All we currently know, is that the Prime Minister thinks he can authorise the killing of anyone, anywhere, without any parliamentary or judicial oversight. The UK appears to be going down the US route of a counter-productive, secret drone war which does more harm than good. When even US generals are warning that the drone programme causes more problems than it solves, it beggars belief that the British Government is adopting the model in full. We need a real debate, and for that we need the Government to come clean about this policy.”

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Meet Corbyn, Britain’s new Leader of the Opposition

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By Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey – Pravda 

Jeremy Corbyn has the Establishment on both sides of the Atlantic shaking in their boots. Representing a breath of fresh air, promising change and hope, the new leader of Britain’s Labour Party also represents a stand against austerity and a sensible economic policy which aims to stimulate the economy instead of stifling it.

The first act by Jeremy Corbyn after being elected on Saturday September 12 as Leader of Britain’s Labour Party (winning in the first round with almost 60 per cent of first-preference votes) was to send an e-mail to all Labour Party members and supporters promising to include them and their wishes in his policy-making process, asking them to forward questions to place to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, at Prime Minister’s Questions next Wednesday.

For Jeremy Corbyn, being Labour leader is about the opportunity to serve and to create viable public services. Indeed, his record presses all the right buttons for the socially leaning members of the public. And those who understand the first thing about economics.

Policy issues and some predictions

Let us take a look at the policies Jeremy Corbyn has supported and this will explain why he will cause concern and will be demonized by the media who will classify him as a dangerous radical who is unelectable and unstatesmanlike. The reason why, as we shall see, is that his policies go against the grain of government by proxy for the lobbies to which politicians today are connected and which place them in office or else close ranks around them when they are elected.

For a start, Jeremy Corbyn questions the pan-national weapons lobby called NATO, whose collective member states’ budget is a staggering one point two thousand billion USD each and every year – four times the amount it would cost to eradicate poverty, worldwide, forever. How Constitutional is it for any of the countries to have their foreign policy dictated by such a lobby? Predictably, the national security button will be pressed as enemies and dark forces are invented to justify NATO’s existence and new members are sought to bolster its budget and cater for the lobbies for which NATO is the cutting edge. Dictatorship of the Lobbies through the manipulation of fear.

Jeremy Corbyn opposed the war in Afghanistan (a foreign policy catastrophe in which the Taliban are paid not to attack), opposed the war in Iraq (another disaster which totally destabilized a sovereign state, murdered a million people and saw the creation of Islamic State), he opposed the war in Libya (another huge mistake) and opposes war in Syria. He is also Vice-Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and a member of Amnesty International.

He was a campaigner against apartheid, worked to free the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six, people wrongly convicted as IRA bombers. Needless to say, the media will have a heyday over this but then again, what is wrong with working to free people who have been wrongly convicted?

Jeremy Corbyn understands that austerity shrinks the economy, destroying jobs, taking away workers’ rights gained over the last century and favors an approach which combats tax evasion, bringing more money into the treasury. In fact, his policies would bring in an extra 100 billion pounds in the short term. He plans a public investment scheme to create housing and plans to take rail franchises back into the public sector and supports renationalizing the energy sector. Strongly opposed to tuition fees, Jeremy Corbyn wants to create a National Education Service. A service, not a business.

On foreign policy, he rightly saw that the Ukraine crisis was caused by NATO’s attempt to expand eastwards. As regards Israel, he realizes that no progress is going to be made until talks are held between Israel, Hamas and Hezbollah and he opposed sanctions against Iran.

Who is Jeremy Corbyn?

Born in 1949, he began his working career in the National Union of Public Employees, becoming an organizer for the Union. From here he went on to the National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers, was a member of a District Health Authority and was elected to Harringay Council, which he represented from 1974 to 1983 and was Secretary of the Islington Borough Labour Group.

He was elected as a Member of Parliament for Islington North in 1983 and has since been re-elected seven times. The Member of Parliament who claims the least expenses, he has served on the London Regional Select Committee, the Social Security Select Committee and the Justice Select Committee; he is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Chagos Islands, on Mexico and Vice-Chair of the Group on Latin America and on Human Rights; he is member of the Groups on Bolivia, Britain-Palestine, Great Lakes and the International Parliamentary Union, among others. He is a vegetarian, an animal rights campaigner and supports the LGBT community.

For those who wish to see a health service run by a fascination with the bottom line, in which the haves get treated and the have-nots get second class treatment, for those who wish to see the education sector turned into a business in which you get a degree if you can pay and if you cannot, then you don’t get a chance, for those who wish to see train services cancelled, energy bills skyrocketing, for those who wish to be afraid to step outside the home after six o’clock, Jeremy Corbyn is a direct threat.

The question is, is Britain ready for Jeremy Corbyn?

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Al Aqsa Under Attack: The NY Times Blames Its Youthful Defenders

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Image result for AQSA PHOTO
By Barbara Erickson

Tensions are running high at Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque, and The New York Times can tell us where to place the blame: It’s not the fault of extremists who plan to destroy the landmark, according to the Times, nor is it recent Israeli moves to restrict Muslim access to the site; it is the fault of hot-headed Palestinian youth.

In a story today and in a similar article last July Isabel Kershner points directly to these young people as the source of trouble in clashes with police. This is how the police have framed the issue, and Kershner gives prominence to their claims.

The Times story contrasts with reports from international media and Palestinian sources. From these accounts we learn that the youths were volunteer guards helping defend the holy site against Israeli incursions and that police stormed the mosque while Muslims were inside, beating and injuring worshippers and damaging prayer rugs and other articles. We also learn that these actions prompted even Arab nations on good terms with Israel to speak out in protest.

Kershner quotes Palestinian Liberation Organization secretary Saeb Erekat and a Hamas spokesman who condemn the Israel invasion of the mosque, but she fails to tell readers that both Jordan and Egypt, two nations friendly to Israel, also protested, along with the Arab League and the United Nations representative for peace talks.

The Al Aqsa Mosque has stood at its site in Jerusalem for a thousand years and is revered by Muslims everywhere, but Jews also consider the area as holy ground, where the Second Temple once stood. Extremists openly call for the destruction of both Al Aqsa and the even more ancient Dome of the Rock, which dominates the Jerusalem skyline. They plan to raze the edifices and replace them with a Third Temple.

The Times story fails to acknowledge these real threats that cause anguish among the followers of Islam. It has also neglected to report on Israel’s numerous efforts to restrict Muslim prayer at the mosque and the increasing presence of Jewish worshippers, who are protected by troops when they visit the compound.

Muslims know that another holy site, the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, has been divided between a Muslim and a Jewish section, and that Israeli officials often choose to ban Muslims from entering altogether. This month, worshippers have been excluded from the Hebron mosque for six entire days.

Kershner reports that Muslims charge Israel with plans to divide the Al Aqsa compound, but she says that this is “an assertion vehemently denied by Israel.” Missing from her article is the history of Hebron and the restrictions Israeli authorities frequently impose on Muslim worshippers in both sites.

In recent weeks, for instance, Israel has prevented women from entering the Al Aqsa area, retained the identify cards of worshippers, allowed Jewish extremists to enter the mosque compound for “tours,” restricted the entry of students attending schools in the Al Aqsa compound and confiscated land in an Islamic cemetery next to the mosque.

After the latest incursion, the director of the mosque compound, Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, said that Israel occupation authorities “have imposed their sovereignty over [the mosque compound] by power of force.” Israel controls who enters and exists, he said, and officials use force against anyone who challenges them.

This is a cry of alarm from a site revered by millions of Muslims throughout the world, but it found no mention in the Times. Instead, we receive the Israeli spin on this tragic saga as the newspaper glosses over the expansionist aims of a Zionist state.

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Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Navy Set to Order American Littoral Combat Ships

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Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime has selected a variant of a warship Lockheed Martin is building for the US Navy as the frigate for the kingdom’s Eastern Fleet modernization program, a source told Defense News.

The frigates sale will be the cornerstone of the modernization of the Royal Zio-Wahhabi Navy’s eastern fleet and its aging US warships in the Arabian Gulf.

A letter of request from the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Navy that detailed requirements for the program was signed in early August, the source said, and the Saudis have asked the US Navy and Lockheed to complete a letter of agreement by November, Defense News reported.

The deal calls for four frigates capable of hosting Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters.

Zio-Wahhabi regime and US officials also are finalizing a $1.9 billion deal to buy 10 MH-60R helicopters, which can be used for anti-submarine warfare and other missions. Lockheed is in the process acquiring Sikorsky.

The ships are also expected to be fitted with a vertical launch system that can accommodate surface-to-air missiles.

The entire Eastern Fleet expansion program is expected to cost between $16 billion and $20 billion and also includes patrol boats, three maritime patrol aircraft, and 30 to 50 unmanned aerial vehicles, Defense News Reported.

The four large frigates are expected to take up about 20-25% of the total cost. Saudi Zio-Wahhabi earlier this year budgeted $3.5 billion for the program, money that needs to be spent in calendar 2015.

The deal, if finalized, would mark the first international sale of a US littoral combat ship.

The Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Navy’s expansion program has been in the works for years, but US sources say Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime concerns about Iran have accelerated the effort.

In July, world powers and Iran reached a deal aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions. Regional neighbors worry about the threat posed by a financially strong Iran.

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Assad Must Go? No, American Arrogance Must Go!

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By Andrew Korybko – Sputnik

The US’ obsessive insistence that “Assad must go” is the most dangerous expression of American arrogance in years.

White House Press Secretary Joshua Earnest channeled President Obama’s famous chant that “Assad must go” when he claimed during a regular press briefing that:

“The international community has decided that it’s time for Assad to go. He clearly has lost legitimacy to lead. He has lost the confidence of those citizens of his country — at least the ones that — or I guess I should say particularly the ones that he is using the resources of the military to attack.”

The arrogance on display is both stupefying and dangerous. The problem in Syria isn’t, nor ever has been, President Assad – it’s always been the US’ arrogance in dictating demands and then militarily enforcing them after they’ve been rejected.

American Arrogance

Syria’s ills are directly traceable to the failure of American foreign policy in the Mideast. The US rabidly went on a regime change streak that began during the Bush years, with former Supreme Allied Commander of Europe for NATO General Wesley Clarkrevealing in his 2007 memoirs that a senior general showed him a memo and said:

“‘Here’s the paper from the Office of the Secretary of Defense [then Donald Rumsfeld] outlining the strategy. We’re going to take out seven countries in five years.’ And he named them, starting with Iraq and Syria and ending with Iran.”

Earlier that year, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote an expose in The New Yorker in which he detailed, among other proposed regional regime change specifics, that the Bush Administration was planning to use the Muslim Brotherhood to launch a Gulf-funded sectarian war against the Syrian government.

At the time, the reason was supposedly because of Damascus’ closeness to Tehran, but later information as reported by The Guardian reveals that the decision to build a Friendship Pipeline between Iran, Iraq, and Syria in 2010, and Damascus’ rejection of a similar one from Qatar, likely had a lot to do with why the anti-government terrorist plan was pushed forward for activation the year after.

Beginning in 2011, the Mideast was rocked by the so-called “Arab Spring”, which Russian General Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov would in hindsight categorize as a theater-wide Color Revolution during an official conference on the topic last year in Moscow.

What the US had wanted to do is overthrow all of the Mideast’s republics (even those allied with the US such a Egypt) in order to bring a transnational Muslim Brotherhood clique to power in each of them that would thus make it a lot easier to control the entire region.

Think of it as the neocons’ version of a 21st-century communist party, but directed towards control of the Mideast and not Europe (which has the EU for that).

The Gulf Monarchies were not targeted because of their staunch pro-American allegiance and the potential that any domestic disruption would have in upsetting the US’ economic interests there.

Between the pro-American Gulf Monarchies and the pro-American EU thus lay a handful of republics that weren’t so firmly under the US’ sway (or not at all influenced by it like Syria), so in order for the US to securely control the broad swatch of Afro-Eurasia stretching from Iceland to Yemen, it needed to overthrow those governments, ergo the “Arab Spring” Color Revolutions.

The People’s Will

But something went wrong as it always does with the US’ plans, and it was that the Syrian people wholeheartedly rejected the Muslim Brotherhood’s ploy at regime change, instead favoring to preserve the secular and multicultural society that Syrian civilization is historically known for.

For this simple reason, the Color Revolution attempt was a dismal failure from the very beginning, hence why the US and its allies (notably Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia) sought to transform it into an Unconventional War by arming their proxies and ordering them to escalate their soft coup attempt into a hard one.

The resultant Hybrid War that’s been raging for the past four and a half years is thus a manifestation of the US’ geopolitical obsession for regime change. Far from realizing that the people had resoundingly rejected such an approach from the very beginning, the US and its allies dug in by reinforcing their proxy elements inside the country and allowing foreign fighters to flood into Syria via the Turkish border.

Amidst this external onslaught being launched against them, the Syrian people continued to bravely soldier on and democratically show the rest of the world that they supported their government.

A constitutional referendum in 2012 passed by an 89% margin and with the participation of 57% of the population, while President Assad was reelected in 2014 with 88.7% of the vote in which 73% of the electorate took part.

Both sets of numbers trump the civil society participation and political legitimacy of Western countries and their leaders, and as President Assad once said, there is no way he could remain in office during this war if he didn’t truly have the support of the vast majority of the population.

It’s also telling that most of the country’s refugees haven’t fled the country, but have instead decided to stay in their homeland and seek safety under the protection of the Syrian Arab Army, which currently provides security to around 80% of Syria’s citizens.

Be that as it is, the US and its allies stubbornly ignored the people’s will, and instead continued to blindly pump weapons and fighters into the country in clear confirmation of the adage that insanity is “repeating the same thing over again but expecting different results”.

Ground Zero In The War On Terror

All of those fighters and weapons that the US and its allies were shipping into Syria were bound to lead to some major problems, chief among them the rise of ISIL, but this was actually predicted and supported by the US government a couple years ago. Judicial Watch published a declassified report that it received in May from a Freedom Of Information Act request that proves that the Pentagon’s Defense Information Agency thought that:

“If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

This bombshell dovetails with what Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad recently said in an interview where he accused the US of using terrorism to promote regime change in his country. President Putin followed up at the CSTO summit by warningcountries of the risks inherent in employing double-standards towards terrorists and directly or indirectly using them to further certain tactical objectives.

In order to stem the tide of terror that the US unleashed in the Mideast, Russia is rapidly moving forward with assembling an inclusive anti-ISIL coalition, and President Putin is expected to use his keynote speech at the UN General Assembly later this month to make his case that the situation is far too pressing to care about regime change, and that the world must unite in supporting Syria as it fights on its behalf on the frontlines against terror.

American arrogance got the world into this mess, but if you ask Russia, it’ll be Syrian humility that gets it out in one piece.

Read more:

EU Migrant Crisis: Coincidence or Plot Aimed at Starting Military Operation in Syria?

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Zio-Nazi Lobby, Neocon Media Continue Campaign Against Iran

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By Richard Silverstein

michael gerson

The dust has barely settled on Pres. Obama’s Congressional victory regarding the Iran nuclear deal, but the Israel Lobby and its assets in the media world refuse to give up, despite their loss.

The Washington Post, known for its hawkish editorial positions on Middle East issues and Israel in particular publishes Michael Gerson, a resident neocon evangelical (one-quarter Jewish, no less), who was George Bush’s chief speechwriter for five years.

Gerson just published a doozy of an attack piece on Iran full of exaggerations, distortions and outright falsehood. But one element in particular cries out for exposure. Ripping a page from George Jahn’s book (see below), Gerson writes this:

As President Obama was busy twisting congressional arms to prevent repudiation of the agreement, the Iranian regime has been systematically humiliating him.

Almost immediately, bulldozers began sanitizing the Parchin nuclear complex, where Iran is suspected to have researched the weaponization of nuclear technology…

Let’s unpack the lies in this passage.  First, Parchin is not, nor ever was a “nuclear complex.” There were claims offered by unnamed “intelligence sources” to the IAEA that Iran did research on nuclear triggering devices at Parchin. In its report, the IAEA says such claims have been made about Parchin. But that report makes clear that there has never been any proof offered to substantiate this claim. So what we know for sure is that Parchin has been a military site for 85 years. That is all that we know.

When George Jahn made the same claim in a story he wrote for the AP, Muhammad Sahimi and I and a dozen or more other journalists and analysts took him to task for this and other mistakes he made in his report (and this wasn’t the first time he’d made such blatantly false claims and errors). As a result, AP buried the original story by changing its original URL. That is now the link for a correction published by the news agency:

In a story Aug. 19 about an arrangement over alleged past nuclear weapons work between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, The Associated Press erroneously referred to Parchin as a “nuclear site. In fact, it’s a military site where some believe nuclear work occurred.

Apparently Gerson, stuck in his neocon bubble, never got the memo.

The op-ed further mangles the truth in this passage:

Ten days after the deal was announced, Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani flew to Moscow (in defiance of a U.N. travel ban) to meet with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and President Vladimir Putin. In short order,Iranian and Russian military forces began arriving in Syria

It’s true that Soleimani did travel to Russia and hold such meetings. And new Russian military equipment and forces began arriving in Syria after that. But there has been no escalation in Iranian involvement in Syria. Iranian forces did not “begin arriving in Syria” after the visit to Moscow. There have been Iranian forces there for several years. But there has been no increase as Gerson implies. The link, that he offers to support his claim, is to a NY Times article which highlights Russia’s escalating presence in Syria, but says nothing about any similar Iranian development. Therefore, Gerson’s narrative that Iran is thumbing its nose at the U.S. president, who hasn’t manned up against this perfidious enemy, is ludicrous.

Here is another unsubstantiated Gerson claim:

[In the aftermath of the deal] Iran is effectively announcing that it will be more aggressive in the region after the deal, not less.

On the contrary says Barbara Slavin of the Atlantic Council, quoting an Iranian academic close to the Rouhani government:

Contrary to the impression many in Washington seem to have that Iran will inevitably double down on intervention in regional conflicts, some members of the Iranian policy elite are advocating retrenchment to focus on repairing Iran’s sanctions-battered economy, according to Nasser Hadian, a Tehran University professor of political science who is close to the government of President Hassan Rouhani.

In a new paper to be presented Sept. 14 at the Atlantic Council… Hadian wrote that a “pro-minimal engagement” camp is arguing that Iran should reduce its intervention in neighboring states to “a bare minimum.”

Hadian does not identify who is in this camp, telling Al-Monitor that those having these views have not yet chosen to make them public. But he said that they include “key figures … among conservatives, radicals, reformers, the military, research institutions, and secular and religious people.”

So Michael Gerson, who knows gornisht fun gornisht about the views of Iran’s leaders tells us the Iranians want to take over the world, or at least their own little part of it. While an Iranian political scientist with close connections to the country’s leadership tells us the exact opposite. Gee, I know who I’d believe.

Let’s hope the editors at the Post are as diligent as those at AP in correcting their columnists errors. Especially ones like this which poison political debate on an issue critical to world peace and U.S.-Iran relations.

Gerson may want to brush up his nuclear “Shakespeare by talking with former Israel Atomic Energy Commission director-general, Uzi Elam, who wrote a new op-ed in Haaretz, All in All, a Good Agreement (behind Hebrew paywall–there is a way to circumvent it). Among the points Elam makes in favor of the agreement is that in the fifteen years it is in effect Iran will not have enough uranium to produce “a single bomb.”

Posted in USA, IranComments Off on Zio-Nazi Lobby, Neocon Media Continue Campaign Against Iran

Propaganda against Iran – Same as Iraq ‘VEDIO’

NOVANEWS

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem, Sr

Image result for FOX TV LOGO
By Brandon Martinez 

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, CampaignsComments Off on Propaganda against Iran – Same as Iraq ‘VEDIO’

Who is fighting the war on terror?

NOVANEWS
Russia, Syria and Iran flags

By Lawrence Davidson

Varying goals

Back on 1 May 2015 I wrote an analysis on Changing alliances and the national interest in the Middle East”. In this piece, I made the argument that, at least since September 2001 and the declaration of the “war on terror”, the defeat of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates has been a publicly stated national interest of the United States. This certainly has been the way it has been presented by almost continuous government pronouncements and media stories dedicated to this “war” over the years.

Given this goal, it logically follows that, with the evolution of Al-Qaeda-like organisations such as the so-called Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, those who also seek the destruction of such groups are America’s de facto allies in the “war on terror” and warrant our assistance. Likewise, those who openly or clandestinely support these religious fanatics are opponents of a central US national interest, and their relationship with the United States should at least be open to review.

Then came the shocker. Who has been and continues to actively oppose these Al-Qaeda derivatives with soldiers on the ground? It turns out to be, among others, Iran, Hezbollah and Bashar Assad’s Syrian government. Who are clandestinely aiding the Al-Qaeda enemies of Washington? It turns out to be Israel and Saudi Arabia. As I explain in my original analysis, this latter development has much to do with the fact that both the Israelis and the Saudis have decided that regime change in Syria is a high priority, even if it means Islamic State and Al-Nusra end up taking over Syria and, as Robert Parry puts it in Madness of blockading Syria’s regime”, “chopping off the heads of Christians, Alawites, Shi’is and other ‘heretics’ and/or Al-Qaeda having a major Mideast capital from which to plot more attacks on the West”.

Has the US government, or for that matter the US media, brought this anomalous situation to the attention of the general public? No. Has Washington altered its policies in the region so as to ally with the actual anti-Al-Qaeda forces? Not at all. Why not? These are questions we will address in the Conclusion of this analysis. However, first we must look at a recent complicating factor.

Russia to the rescue

This screwball situation has now taken yet another turn. The Russian government, which also sees Al-Qaeda and its affiliates as a growing threat, has decided that the US will not meaningfully act against the religious fanatics now threatening Syria – a country with which it, Russia, has strong ties. Having come to this conclusion, Moscow has decided to take the initiative and increase its military assistance to Damascus. According to a New York Times (NYT) article of 5 September 2015, this includes bringing into Syria as many as a thousand military advisors and support staff. Russia already has a naval base at the port city of Tartus. Now it is establishing a presence at the main airbase outside the city of Latakia.

All of this has raised alarms in Washington. Secretary of State John Kerry, who has met several times with Russian officials about the Syrian civil war, was reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer on 10 September 2015 to have called his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, to tell him that the Russian moves will only increase the level of violence rather than help promote a negotiated settlement. If this report is accurate, Kerry must have come across as rather lame. After over four years of protracted internecine slaughter, over 4 million refugees and numerous failed attempts at a negotiated a settlement, all one has as a result is the growth of rampaging religious fanatics who now control much of Syria and part of Iraq as well. It might just be the case that Moscow has come to the conclusion that a negotiated settlement is not possible, and what one really needs is a military victory that destroys organisations such as Islamic State and Al-Nusra.

Oddly, the US government seems to be alarmed at this prospect. No doubt this is because Moscow sees no reason to displace its ally, Bashar Assad, while “regime change” is a cause celebre for US and Israeli leaders. Washington has gone so far as to request NATO-affiliated countries to deny Russian transport planes permission to overfly their territory on their way to Syria. At least one such country, Bulgaria, has done just that. Fortunately, this does not really hamper the Russian effort. Iran, another enemy of Al-Qaeda, has granted permission for the overflights, thus opening up a convenient and more or less direct route for the Russian supply line.

Conclusion

The goal of destroying Al-Qaeda-like organisations is, supposedly, what the “war on terror” is all about. Nonetheless, the US government’s policies in this regard are inconsistent. Does the US want to destroy Al-Qaeda and its affiliates or not? The answer is, mostly, yes. However, something often holds the government back – something that the Russians don’t have to contend with.

That something breaks down into three parts: (1) longstanding, conservative Washington-based special interest lobbies, the most powerful of which is sponsored by Israel; (2) the pro-war neo-conservative elements within American society that often cooperate with these lobbies; and (3) an American military bureaucracy parts of which are committed to maintaining a system of land, air and naval bases situated mostly in dictatorial Middle East states hostile to both Russia and Syria. It is this combination of forces that prevents meaningful changes even as evolving realities would seem to demand them.

In other words, while Israel and Saudi Arabia can act in ways they consider to be in their national interests, their agents and allies in Washington exercise enough influence to discourage US policy makers from doing the same thing when it comes to the Middle East. That is why Washington is not pointing up the fact that two close “allies” are helping the same sort of people who attacked the World Trade Centre, while simultaneously chastising the Russians for actually acting forcefully against those same terrorists.

The inability to adjust to changing realities is a sure sign of decline, particularly for a “great power”. And, unfortunately that seems to be the situation for the US. At least at this point, one can only conclude that the Obama administration’s ability to secure the Iran nuclear agreement is an isolated example of realism. Current US policy toward Syria shows that Washington has not made the turnaround leading to a permanent clear-sighted ability to assess national interests in the Middle East.

Posted in USAComments Off on Who is fighting the war on terror?


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