Archive | November 7th, 2015

US Supplying ISIS with Aircraft Downing Weapons

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ISIS Trojan Horse Middle East Monitor
By Stephen Lendman 

On November 4, the Wall Street Journal headlined “US, Allies to Boost Aid to Syria Rebels” – aka ISIS and other takfiri terrorists, US proxy foot soldiers, imperial death squads, no so-called “moderates” among them.

The Journal stopped short of explaining it, instead saying “(s)hipments of arms (and) supplies are aimed at pressuring Assad while countering Russia (and) Iran.”

Longstanding US plans call for regime change in Syria, eliminating its independent government, replacing it with one Washington and Israel control, raping the country, balkanizing it, and exploiting its people – at the same time, creating endless violence, instability and chaos like what’s happening in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and virtually everywhere America shows up, the greatest menace to peace in world history.

According to the Journal, increased weapons shipments to anti-Assad elements aim to “challenge the intervention of Russia and Iran on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, US officials and their counterparts (from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf States) in the region said.

Obama declared proxy war on Russia after pledging to avoid it. He’s playing with fire. Putin is determined to eliminate the scourge of terrorism in Syria, and by implication perhaps regionally and beyond. That puts him on a collision course with Washington, wanting its proxy death squads protected and used destructively.

The more heavily armed ISIS and other takfiris become, the harder Russian aircraft will likely target them. Expect the battle to liberate Syria to continue for as long as it takes to achieve.

According to the Journal, “(i)n the past month of intensifying Russian airstrikes, the CIA and its partners have increased the flow of military supplies to rebels in northern Syria, including of US-made TOW antitank missiles, these officials said.”

“Those supplies will continue to increase in coming weeks, replenishing stocks depleted by the regime’s expanded military offensive. An Obama administration official said the military pressure is needed to push Mr. Assad from power.”

Shoulder-launched, man-portable, surface-to-air missiles (SAMS) defense systems (Manpads) are being supplied. “Those weapons could help target regime aircraft… and could also help keep Russian air power at bay,” said the Journal, citing unnamed US officials.

Manpads are relatively inexpensive, easy to operate and able to down low-flying aircraft. Helicopters are most vulnerable. So are fixed-wing planes during takeoffs, landings, and when operating at low altitudes.

Military aircraft systems alert pilots when missiles target them. Countermeasures to avoid being struck include evasive action, infrared flares and lasers.

Russian planes are safe at high altitudes. Special precautions are taken to protect them during takeoffs and landings.

So far, Putin outwitted Obama in Syria, effectively challenging his dirty game. He’s determined to eliminate the scourge of terrorism and keep it from spreading, especially to Central Asia and Russia.

He supports Syrian sovereignty, strongly against letting outside powers determine its fate, for its own citizens alone to decide, free from foreign interference.

On September 30, the die was cast when he intervened, a righteous mission fully in accord with international law – polar opposite US aggression throughout the region and beyond.

Obama didn’t wage war on Syria to quit. Putin didn’t intervene responsibly to back off in the face of US pressure, threats and anti-Russian propaganda. Expect him to stay the course with plenty of effective military muscle – impressive enough to make Pentagon commanders leery about challenging him.

A proxy state of war between America and Russia now exists – a hugely dangerous situation, risking possible direct confrontation between the world’s two nuclear superpowers.

Expect Putin to go all-out to avoid it. Put nothing past neocon lunatics in Washington – willing to risk destroying planet earth to own it.

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Cops Who Killed 6-yo Boy Lied About his Dad Having a Warrant & Gun – He Had Neither

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Cops-Who-Killed-6-yo-Boy-Lied-About-his-Dad-Having-a-Warrant

By Johnny Liberty

Marksville, LA – On Tuesday, November 3rd, 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis was tragically gunned down after being unwittingly thrust into a police pursuit. Now, officials are acknowledging that there may have been no justification for the officers’ actions.

Initial reports claimed that Jeremy’s father, 25-year-old Chris Few, was being served a warrant by Ward 2 City Marshals. However, police now admit that Few was not only unarmed when officers opened fire, but may not have had a warrant at all.

During a press conference Thursday afternoon, Louisiana State Police Col. Mike Edmonson said:

“We have no evidence of any gun found in his car,” When asked about Few’s alleged warrant Col. Edmonson replied; “I am not aware of one but I have not been provided with anything that says otherwise.”

Upon being reached for comment regarding the existence of warrants for Mr. Few, the Clerk of Court for the City of Marksville stated they had “nothing” and that they had never had any warrants out on him, according to KATC TV.

Chris’ step-father, Morris German, has also been vocal in his disbelief of the original police account. He said that he strongly doubted his stepson was armed and that he could not believe he would flee authorities with his son in the vehicle.

“I can’t see him doing that with his son in the car,” He said. “That doesn’t sound like him at all.”

Officers initially claimed that Chris had backed up into a police cruiser several times when the chase ended on Martin Luther King Drive, but officials agree there is no evidence that this took place prior to officers opening fire. The Louisiana State Police are now investigating the incident and reviewing footage of the incident from a body camera one of the officers was wearing according to a source for WAFB.

The emergence of these details (while unsurprising to those that have followed the cases of Zachary Hammond and Samuel Dubose) certainly leave one with more questions than answers. There is no doubt that many of the deadly shootings we are currently seeing are a result of the 2014 supreme court decision (Plumhoff v. Rickard) which authorized the use of deadly force to end police pursuits.

Sadly, we are now witnessing the outcome of this decision. According to Avoyelles Parish Coroner Dr. L.J. Mayeux, Jeremy was shot by police five times and died from wounds to his head and chest. His father was also severely wounded and is currently in critical condition.

As history shows us. When agents of the state are given blanket authority to gun citizens down with impunity, the end result will always be tyranny. Is this the future we want for our children?

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Chinese Hackers? US Propagandists Should Look in the Mirror

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By Eric Draitser 

Like millions of Americans, this past week I was sitting on my couch, drinking a cold beer, watching Game 1 of the World Series – professional baseball’s hallowed championship. Suddenly the satellite feed went out, the screen went dark. Naturally, as FOX Sports scrambled to get their live feed fixed, many of my fellow Americans took to twitter to speculate as to what had caused the outage. I was, sadly, unsurprised to see that the most common joke people were making was that China must have hacked the World Series.

On the one hand, it is understandable given the barrage of propaganda about Chinese hackers as a threat to corporate and national security; seemingly every week there is a new news item highlighting the great red cyber-menace. On the other hand, it is a perfect illustration of the hypocrisy and ignorant arrogance of Americans who, despite being citizens of unquestionably the most aggressive nation when it comes to both cyber espionage and surveillance, see fit to cast China as the real villain. It is a testament to the power of both propaganda and imperial triumphalism that a proposition so disconnected from reality, and bordering on Orwellian Doublethink, is not only accepted, but is ipso facto true.

But there is a deeper political and sociological phenomenon at play here, one that begs further exploration. How is it that despite all the revelations of Edward Snowden regarding US intelligence and military snooping capabilities across the globe, Americans still cannot accept the culpability of their own government and corporate interests – the two work hand in hand – in global cyber-espionage? Even if they explicitly or implicitly know about the NSA, CIA, DIA, and Pentagon programs (among many others), their instinctive reaction is to blame China. Why? The answer lies in the complexity and effectiveness of the anti-China propaganda.

In his landmark book Public Opinion, the renowned writer, commentator, and theoretician of propaganda, Walter Lipmann, defined the term “stereotype” in the modern psychological sense as a “distorted picture or image in a person’s mind, not based on personal experience, but derived culturally.” In other words, the stereotype is an image in our mind’s eye, one that is constructed by outside forces; it is information filtered through a particular societal or cultural framework that then creates a picture of how something is to be understood. Lipmann went further, noting that carefully constructed propaganda could be used to shape stereotypes, thereby allowing the powers that be the ability to construct and manipulate information and narratives.

And this is precisely the phenomenon at work here. By repeating it endlessly, the US political and corporate media establishment have successfully convinced Americans that China is the real threat when it comes to cyberspace, playing on the stereotype of Chinese people in general, and the People’s Republic of China specifically. But, I would argue something far different: rather than seeing China as a threat, perhaps Americans, and westerners generally, should shine a light on what their own countries are doing, thereby gaining a broader perspective on the issue. For China’s moves in this field pale in comparison to those of the US, and are clearly a response to them.

China and the US: Comparing the Rap Sheets

The corporate media is replete with stories of Chinese hacking of US institutions. From alleged Chinese hacking of the University of Virginia employees connected with US government programs directed at China, to the infamous breach of the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management which resulted in the theft of the personal information of more than 20 million Americans, such stories help to construct an image of China as the world’s leading hacker-state. This week it is Chinese hackers targeting health care providers, last year it was stealing the secrets of Westinghouse and US Steel, and literally dozens of other such examples.

The purpose of this article is not to deny the veracity of these reports; I’m not a computer expert, nor do I have access to the information that an expert would need in making a determination. Instead, my purpose here is to show the grossly unbalanced, and utterly dishonest, way in which the issue is presented to Americans especially, and to probe why that might be. For any fair and balanced approach to the issue would present the simple fact that the US is the world leader in cyber-warfare, having actually conducted what are to date the only recorded live uses of cyberweapons.

Take for instance the joint US-Israel developed Stuxnet virus, a pair of highly complex and severely destructive, computer viruses launched at Iran’s nuclear facilities. According to a group of independent legal experts assembled at the request of NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence, the Stuxnet cyberattack was “an act of force.” Their report noted that “Acts that kill or injure persons or destroy or damage objects are unambiguously uses of force [and likely violate international law].”

Indeed, the US and its Israeli partners launched the very first true cyberweapon. As cyber security expert Ralph Langer wrote inForeign Policy in 2013:

Stuxnet is not really one weapon, but two. The vast majority of the attention has been paid to Stuxnet’s smaller and simpler attack routine — the one that changes the speeds of the rotors in a centrifuge, which is used to enrich uranium. But the second and “forgotten” routine is about an order of magnitude more complex and stealthy. It qualifies as a nightmare for those who understand industrial control system security… The “original” payload… attempted to overpressurize Natanz’s centrifuges by sabotaging the system meant to keep the cascades of centrifuges safe.

Essentially, the US and Israel employed the world’s first cyberweapon without even fully knowing the potentially destructive consequences. As the virus migrated out of the Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz and onto the internet, innumerable variables could have come into play, with the potential for disastrous outcomes.

But of course Stuxnet was not alone. The US and Israel also deployed both the Gauss and Flame viruses, two more sophisticated cyberweapons designed to cause major damage to online infrastructure. The Gauss virus, discovered by Kaspersky labs, one of the world’s most highly respected cyber-security firms, was designed to steal sensitive data such as financial records. According to the US officials who spoke with the Washington Post, the Flame virus was a: massive piece of malware [which] secretly mapped and monitored Iran’s computer networks, sending back a steady stream of intelligence to prepare for a cyberwarfare campaign… “This is about preparing the battlefield for another type of covert action… Cyber-collection against the Iranian program is way further down the road than this.” said one former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official, who added that Flame and Stuxnet were elements of a broader assault that continues today.

Clearly the US and Israel were not merely interested in surveillance and information-gathering, but actually having the ability to manipulate and destroy vital computer infrastructure in Iran. Any reasonable reading of international law should hold that such actions are, in fact, an act of war, though of course war with Iran has not come to pass. But just the very use of such sophisticated weapons, far more elaborate, technical, and dangerous than mere hacking by humans, should call into question the weepy-eyed condemnations of China for its alleged stealing of corporate and government information.

And then of course there is the seemingly endless supply of revelations from Edward Snowden regarding the US surveillance infrastructure, how all-encompassing it truly is, how it is used to manipulate political outcomes, how it is used as a weapon against foreign governments, and much more.

Just to name a few of the countless programs and initiatives of the NSA and the surveillance state designed to capture information for political purposes:

PRISM – allows “The National Security Agency and the FBI [to tap] directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, emails, documents, and connection logs.”

BLARNEY – “Gathers up metadata from choke points along the backbone of the internet as part of an ongoing collection program the leverages IC (intelligence community) and commercial partnerships to gain access and exploit foreign intelligence obtained from global networks.”

Boundless Informant – “Details and even maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks.”

US & UK Target G20 Leaders – “The documents suggest that the operation was sanctioned in principle at a senior level in the government.”

US Spied on EU Offices – “America’s National Security Agency (NSA) not only conducted online surveillance of European citizens, but also appears to have specifically targeted buildings housing European Union institutions… in addition to installing bugs in the building in downtown Washington, DC, the European Union representation’s computer network was also infiltrated.”

But of course, the US has also specifically, and successfully, trained its cyber-espionage and cyber-warfare sights on China itself. Thanks to Snowden, we now know that US intelligence repeatedly hacked into Beijing’s Tsinghua University, China’s top education and research institute. As revealed in the South China Morning Post:

The information also showed that the attacks on Tsinghua University were intensive and concerted efforts. In one single day of January, at least 63 computers and servers in Tsinghua University have been hacked by the NSA… The university is home to one of the mainland’s six major backbone networks, the China Education and Research Network (CERNET) from where internet data from millions of Chinese citizens could be mined. The network was the country’s first internet backbone network and has evolved into the world’s largest national research hub.

But it wasn’t only Tsinghua University that was targeted. Snowden also revealed that Chinese University in Hong Kong was the victim of US hacking; the university is home to the Hong Kong Internet Exchange, the city’s central hub for all internet traffic. In addition, it came out that US intelligence has repeatedly hacked into Chinese mobile phone companies, spied on users, and stolen data, including text messages. These are, of course, only what we know about thus far from the Snowden revelations. The scope of US hacking operations against China is not known, but could be safely assumed to be far-reaching.

In fact, the depth of US hacking and other intelligence operations targeting China, including those taking place inside China itself, has been alluded to repeatedly. The New York Times noted in August 2015 that the Obama administration was cautious about any retaliation against China for the breach of the Office of Personnel Management because “Intelligence officials say that any legal case could result in exposing American intelligence operations inside China — including the placement of thousands of implants in Chinese computer networks to warn of impending attacks.”

It is clear that what we do know about US cyberwar programs and tactics is really only the tip of the iceberg. It is likely that Washington has myriad other China-specific hacking programs and initiatives, including the much discussed attempts to subvert the oft referenced “Great Firewall of China.” Put simply, the US is engaged in the most sophisticated forms of hacking and cyber-subversion, and much of it is directed at China (and Russia and Iran). This should now be beyond question.

Keep this information in mind the next time another story about Chinese hackers attacking US interests runs in the corporate media. While the hack may or may not be true, it is the context within which such actions take place that really needs to be understood.

There is a cyberwar going on, of this there can be no doubt. But who’s got the biggest guns? And who fired the first shot?

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Failed Syrian rebel training program cost US taxpayers $2 million per fighter

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Obama ISIS Ebola
RT 

Newly acquired documents show the Pentagon spent nearly $400 million, or $2 million per fighter, on its failed train-and-equip program, according to USA Today. The Pentagon claims the actual cost was $30,000 per trainee.

USA Today reported the train-and-equip program was abandoned after the department had already spent $384 million on it. “Of the 180 Syrians vetted, trained and equipped, 145 fighters [remained] in the program,” the report stated. Of those 145 fighters, 95 were in Syria.

When asked to comment on the findings, the Pentagon disputed that it had spent $2 million per fighter, saying the actual cost was far lower – $30,000 per trainee. They added that the “vast majority” of the funds had gone to buying weapons, equipment, and ammunition, of which some is still in storage.

“Our investment in the Syria train and equip program should not be viewed purely in fiscal terms,” Navy Commander Elissa Smith told the news outlet in an email. Smith said some of those trained fighters had been calling in air strikes, and that ammunition designated for trainees had been given to other forces fighting the Islamic State instead.

According to the documents outlining the program’s $501 billion budget, $204 million was supposed to be spent on ammunition, $77 million on weapons, $62 million on mobility, $47 million on services, $46 million on construction, $40 million on strategic lift/shipping, $13 million on equipment, $6 million on communications, and $6 million on facilities and maintenance.

The program was intended to graduate 3,000 trained and equipped New Syrian Forces fighters in 2015, and 5,000 annually afterwards, to combat Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). However, President Barack Obama abandoned the program earlier this fall.

In documents and interviews, USA Today was able to confirm that two of the four training camps designed for the program never hosted even a single recruit.

In September, it was revealed that one group of trainees had surrendered one quarter of their US-supplied weapons, ammunition, and vehicles in exchange for safe passage through territory held by another rebel group, considered to be extremist.

While the training has stopped, the US will continue to give equipment and weapons to the leaders of ‘vetted’ groups of rebels who are already fighting IS “so that over time they continue to re-claim territory,” Smith told USA Today.

The rebel training program’s $500 million budget was in addition to the $42 million the Pentagon had already spent in 2014 to set it up.

The findings come as the Obama administration announced it was set to deploy up to 50 US special operations troops in northern Syria to assist in the fight against IS. It marked the first time the administration openly said it would send ground forces into Syria.

The Associated Press reported the White House has put no timetable on how long the American forces will stay in Syria, although Obama has previously said he expects the campaign against IS to last beyond his presidency.

Obama inherited two military conflicts and will hand off a third to his successor. He recently announced plans to maintain a troop presence in Afghanistan beyond 2015.

In July, the National Priorities Project, a non-profit, non-partisan federal budget research group, reported that America’s war in Afghanistan has cost taxpayers roughly $4 million an hour. Their research found more than $700 billion has been spent on the war since the George W. Bush administration authorized the invasion in 2001, including more than $35 billion in fiscal year 2015.

The initial budget for the Afghan war was over $20 billion for 2001/02. The budget dropped to $14 billion over the next two years as spending shifted to the war in Iraq. Expenditures on the Afghan war took a back seat to Iraq war spending before ballooning to more than $100 billion in 2010, when the cost of the Iraq war began to decline. Spending in Afghanistan continued to top $100 billion annually until 2013, when it began falling by increments of $10 billion, finally reaching its current budget of $35 billion.

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The “War On Terror” Is The Hoax Foundation Of “The Police Spy State”

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Global Research
Les coûts de la « War on terror »

The “war on terror” was a hoax. Americans were deceived by policymakers, who are pursuing a hegemonic agenda. The American people were too trusting and too gullible and, consequently, Americans were easily betrayed by Washington and by the presstitute media.

The consequences of the deceit, gullibility, and betrayal are horrendous for Americans, for millions of peoples in the Middle East, Africa, Ukraine, and for Washington’s European vassals.

The consequences for Americans are an aborted Constitution, a police/spy state and rising resentment and hatred of America around the world.

The consequences for peoples in Somolia, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, Palestine, and Ukraine have been massive deaths and dislocations, infrastructure destruction, internal conflicts, birth defects, invasions, bombings, drones. Millions of peoples have been murdered by Washington’s pursuit of hegemony, and millions have been turned into refugees.

The consequences for Washington’s European vassals is that the millions of refugees from Washington’s wars are now overrunning Europe, causing social and political discord and threatening the European political parties that enabled, and participated in, Washington’s massive war crimes in eight countries.

The populations of the eight countries and Washington’s vassals are stuck with the consequences of Washington’s evil, vicious, and illegal actions. And Americans are stuck with the police/spy state and militarized police who murder three Americans each day and brutalize countless others.

The countries we have destroyed have no recourse to restitution.

Our European vassals will have to provide from their own pockets for the refugees that Washington’s wars are sending to them.

As for Americans, they seem to have settled into acquiescence to the brutal police/spy state that has crowded out freedom and democracy.

But Americans could do something about it.

It is a proven fact that the police/spy state rests on a foundation of lies and deceptions, and these lies and deceptions are now known. Even George W. Bush has admitted that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. Thousands of independent experts consisting of physicists, nanochemists, structural engineers, highrise architects, fire fighters and first responders, and military and civilian pilots have provided the detailed explanations of September 11, 2001, that Washington failed to provide. Today not even an idiot believes the official explanation. The corrupt neoconservative Bush regime created a false reality and sold it to a trusting population that was anxious to prove its patriotism.

The American electorate knew that the Bush/Cheney regime had deceived them about many things, and the people, believing Obama’s promises of change, put him in office to rectify the situation. Instead, Obama protected the criminal Bush/Cheney regime and continued with the neoconservatives agenda.

We don’t have to stand for this. We can turn off Fox “News,” CNN, NPR and all the rest of the presstitutes who lie for a living. We can cease purchasing the useless newspapers. We can demand that the police/spy state that was created entirely on the basis of lies and deceptions be rolled back.

Who can possibly believe that the massive PATRIOT Act was written so quickly in the aftermath of 9/11? It is not possible that every member of Congress and the staff does not know that such a massive document was sitting on the shelf waiting its opportunity.

Who can possibly believe that a handful of Saudi Arabians acting without the support of any state and any intelligence service could outwit the entire apparatus of the American National Security State and inflict a humiliating defeat on the world’s only superpower?

9/11 is the worst national security failure in world history. Who can possibly believe that not a single one of the national security officials who so totally failed in their responsibilities was held accountable for their failures that brought total humiliation to the proud United States?

Who can possibly believe that the Bush regime’s invasion and destruction of Iraq was a response to 9/11 when Bush’s Treasury Secretary publicly stated that the invasion of Iraq was the topic of the Bush regime’s first cabinet meeting long prior to 9/11?

Are the American people really such washed-up sheeple, such cowards, that they acquiesce to a police/spy state, the foundation of which consists of nothing but lies told by criminals and repeated endlessly by whores pretending to be journalists?

If so, the American people are not a people who any longer matter, and they will continue to be treated by Washington and by their local police as people who do not matter.

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Who Will Blink in Syria? Russia? Or the US?

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By Paul Larudee 

The first to die will be US troops. Russians will be made to appear as the killers, but the agents will probably be ISIS, Al-Qaeda (aka al-Nusra), Turks, or the Americans themselves. I’m not ruling out that the Russians might actually do the job, especially if the Americans order their 50 soldiers to the most likely Russian bombing targets and then dare the Russians to hit them. But most likely, the US will do the job itself and not take a chance that the Russians might miss.

Those dead American soldiers are needed as bargaining chips so as to up the ante. Next, Russians have to die, with or without a mutual secret agreement to that effect.

The strategy is based upon the assumption that if the stakes become high enough, the other side will back down. It is called brinkmanship, and its best known example was the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. One or both sides may believe that they are bluffing, but if their bluff is called are they really going to back down? Or are they going to up the ante so much that they end up in a real war, where they are required to respond to the other’s actions with ever-escalating effect?

I do not think the Russians will blink. They have had enough of American encroachment. They will not stand for further NATO poaching of their erstwhile Warsaw Pact allies, and certainly not in Ukraine, which is to Russia roughly as Canada is to the US. Similarly, the port of Tartus in Syria is Russia’s only Mediterranean naval base, and Syria is currently its only ally in the Arab world. Russia has much more at stake than the US, and is therefore much less likely to back down. In fact, Russia has clearly made a major commitment to the preservation of Syria, and waited a long time before doing so, which is another sign that they will not shrink soon from their decision to stay the course.

On the American side, the stakes are much less well defined. Syria is part of the post-USSR assertion of US global dominance, as advocated mainly by the neoconservative strategic movement, closely allied with Israeli and Zionist interests, which benefits from the Israel Lobby clout in the US. From its base in the Congress and the National Security Agency, this movement has made inroads into the intelligence services, the State Department and the Department of Defense, mainly at the top echelons. (Elected and appointed positions are the most vulnerable to lobbyist penetration.)

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the neocons argued that the US should use its military might to mold the world into US-controlled fiefdoms. Plans for such domination have been variously described in the “Clean Break” proposal, the “Project for a New American Century”, and the “New Middle East”. They begin with the destruction (aka “regime change”) of seven Middle Eastern countries, of which Iraq and Libya are considered successfully catastrophic outcomes, and a model for what is to be done to Syria.

Part of the purpose is to remove “bad examples” of nations that refuse to open their economies to U.S. exploitation and to accept US direction of their foreign policy, regardless of their own national interests. Iran and Syria are current examples of such countries, as were Libya and Iraq prior to their destruction. If these objectives happen to coincide with the Israeli policy of destroying the countries in its neighborhood, we may be forgiven for thinking that this is not mere coincidence.

Also on the American side, the stakes are ruled to a greater extent by domestic politics. Having championed the cause of regime change in Syria, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are loathe to appear weak or indecisive, and thus vulnerable to Republican criticism. In any case, they rely heavily on the Israel Lobby, which appears willing to sacrifice America’s fortune and youth on the altar of Israeli interests.

Despite these considerations, the American motives are not as strong as those of Russia. The problem is, neither is American leadership. There is a clear way out of this confrontation, with a face-saving agreement, if only the US will allow it to happen. It is for Russia and the US to cooperate in eliminating ISIS, al-Qaeda and their allies, cutting off US support for these terrorist organizations, forcing US allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and others to do the same, and jointly convening a peace conference that brings indigenous Syrian groups together to negotiate an agreement that allows all sides to claim victory (even if it is something of a charade, as are most such agreements).

Brinkmanship is unnecessary. It is dangerous, and it is not a solution. Vladimir Putin is ready to achieve a negotiated outcome that protects Russia’s interests and ends US encroachment. Assad has never been an enemy of the US, and he is the current choice of the vast majority of the Syrian people, whether enthusiastically or reluctantly (as in most countries). The United States will be able to claim victory over its terrorist enemies as well as a compromise over the form of government in Syria, and a new positive working relationship with Russia. The Israelis will be upset that we have not done enough killing for them, but they will get over it, in the same way that they are reluctantly learning to live with the US-Iran settlement on nuclear development.

It shouldn’t be a question of who blinks first, but of having the option to continue blinking at all.

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Nazi forces kill Palestinian woman, 72, after alleged car attack

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Nazi forces shot and killed an elderly Palestinian woman after an alleged vehicle attack in Halhul, north of Hebron on Friday.

A spokesperson at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem told Ma’an that the woman, aged 72, was dead upon arrival at the hospital.

Nazi media reported that the woman attempted to run over Nazi soldiers in Halhul and was shot and seriously wounded by RACIST Nazi forces.

The victim was identified as Tharwat al-Sharawi, 72. Her husband, Fouad, was killed by Nazi forces during the 1st Intifada 1987.

Two Palestinian youths who were standing at a gas station nearby were injured as Nazi gunfire shattered the car’s windows.

Both youths were taken to the al-Ahli hospital in Hebron to treat their injuries, which were described as moderate.

Al-Sharawi was the 74th Palestinian to be killed since the beginning of last month, the majority of whom were shot dead by Nazi forces during alleged, attempted, and actual attacks on Nazi military.

On Wednesday, Ibrahim Skafi, 22, was also shot dead by Nazi forces in Halhul after a vehicular attack that left a 20-year-old border policeman seriously injured.

The town of Halhul, north of Hebron city, was sealed by Nazi forces following the attack.

Recent attacks come as Nazi Gestapo intelligence said earlier this week that a recent lull in violence was unlikely to be long-term, citing high levels of frustration among the Palestinian public.

Tharwat al-Sharawi, 72.

 

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Zionist Sisi army shoots, kills Palestinian fisherman off Gaza coast

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Zionist Sisi military forces shot and killed a Palestinian fisherman off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday afternoon, the Ministry of Health in the besieged enclave said.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson of the ministry, said Firas Mohammad Miqdad, 18, from Rafah was shot in the abdomen by Zionist Sisi forces while at sea and died from his injuries.

It is unclear why Egyptian forces opened fire.

In May, Zionist Sisi naval forces opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip, injuring a fisherman from Rafah.

Zionist Sisi regime upholds an Nazi military blockade on Gaza, keeping borders largely closed and limiting imports, exports, and the freedom of movement of its residents.

The threat from Zionist Sisi forces comes as Palestinian fishermen already face daily risks in order to make a living, including routine harassment from Nazi naval forces, confiscation of boats and materials, detention, and potentially death.

Nazi forces reportedly fired towards Palestinian fishing boats on a daily basis last week, according to documentation by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

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The Downed Russian Plane in Sinai: Preliminary Thoughts

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Global Research
Kolavia Flight

It is too early to draw definitive conclusions about the tragic plane crash of the Russian civil airliner 7K9268 in Sinai in which at least 224 people lost their lives. But that does not mean that one should refrain from drawing a preliminary analysis.

We live in a time when the corporate media intentionally obscures the facts and when US-supported terrorists in Syria place women in large cages above buildings as human shields in order to avoid Russian bombings. This leaves us with little choice but to try to make sense of events ourselves.

It was a mere several hours after the tragic air crash of the Russian airliner, that Debka File, an Israeli right-wing website with a mixed record, run by a former Israeli intelligence operative, claimed that the plane was shot down by a missile fired by ISIS. Debka also claimed that Russia sought to obscure the location of the crash and falsely claimed that the plane went missing near Cyprus.

This seems unreasonable. Firstly, it would make little sense for Russia to obscure a fact that can be easily discovered. Secondly, Russia would have every interest in exposing the truth about the crash as soon as possible and not working to further disinformation.

At that stage, it was equally probable that the crash was an accident or a terror attack.

However, it was later discovered that the pilot did not call to report a technical failure.  This indicates that the event likely caught the pilot by surprise, leaving no time for response. Most accidents or mechanical failures would probably give the pilots enough time to report the incidence. According to reports, the plane did not suffer from a technical malfunction as reported earlier. ISIS claimed responsibility for the crash but its claim is not a proof in itself. ISIS would naturally seek to claim responsibility for such an action, therefore demonstrating its power to strike back at Russia.

The video of the plane being shot down by a missile may or may not have been released by ISIS but even if it was, that does not mean that ISIL brought it down. The Russian airline flew at 10,000 meters above ground and ISIL would need a sophisticated surface-to-air missile since a man-portable anti-aircraft missile will be unlikely to hit the plane. Such missiles are currently probably not in the hands of jihadist fighters in Sinai. Surface-to-air missile could be smuggled in from Libya, but such a transfer would probably become known within a very short period of time, as the Bedouin track nearly everything that takes place in the area and rumors spread quickly. Also, operating it would requite a high level of expertise that jihadist fighters in Sinai probably do not possess.

Egypt rushed to deny that the crash was a terrorist attack and later said that one should wait until the investigation is complete. This is understandable.

Egypt is interested in good relations with Russia and in tourism from Russia and the possibility of a terrorist attack was too scary to consider. Egypt may have also been embarrassed by the fact that it does not have full control over Sinai as terrorist groups that operate there have attacked police stations in the past.

Moreover, in Sinai where bribery is very common, it is possible that a person managed to make his way to the plane while it was still at the airport and plant a bomb there or damage the plane in such a way that it would later crash. Such a scheme, however, would possibly require the collaboration and participation of the security guards of the airport and of the Egyptian police. Egypt is generally naturally embarrassed about the corruption that exists among some of the police.

By now, it appears that Russian investigators have generally ruled out mechanical errors and believe that the plane was brought down due to an external factor. The plane appeared to have broken apart in the air.

Based on what we know so far, a reasonable scenario, and it is of course not proven at this stage, is that someone managed to plant a bomb on the plane before it took off. Engaging in such a sophisticated plot would serve several purposes. First, it would be difficult to trace the cause of the crash until several days later if the cause will ever be found. Secondly, it is easier to bring down a plane in that way than by a missile. These advantages would only be doubled if the kind of bomb placed was not a regular bomb but one that would cause the plane to unravel due to sophisticated technology that does not leave the traditional traces of fire.

If the above is true, it is possible that the high expertise demanded from those who planted a bomb or several in such a way that they will not be discovered by the security crew nor would the cause be evident, could only take place with the help of highly skilled professionals, who may have not come from the ranks of jihadist fighters in Sinai. Since it is seems that the plane broke up in air and yet no traces of explosion can be seen, it should not be ruled out that exceptionally advanced technology was used and that such a technology was unlikely to be in the hands of ISIL.

In 1976, two bombs exploded in the Cubana flight 455 a short while after it took off. The pilot attempted bravely to save the plane and landed it in the sea but all 73 passengers were killed, among them 24 members of the Olympic fencing team. The action was carried out by CIA-sponsored Cuban terrorists and led by Luis Posada Carriles, who was trained with explosives by the agency.

In 1985, Luis Posada Carriles was indicted in Venezuela for the action. He escaped shortly after and went on to work for the CIA. He now has found refuge in Miami. The only trial he faced in the US was for the minor charge of infringing immigration rules.

The Cubana 455 incident is significant as it proves that the CIA had no moral qualms sending people to plant bombs on civilian planes. It is reasonable to fear that what was true for the US when dealing with tiny Cuba may also be true for the US when dealing with the Russian Federation which poses far more of a challenge to the hegemony of the former. There is the possibility, which cannot be proven at this stage but should be raised, that CIA-sponsored terrorists planted an advanced bomb on the Russian airliner in the airport on the night before it took off and used a unique technological devise that could result in the plane breaking apart and does not leave signs of a fire.

This would serve to pay back Russia for its operations in Syria and to prolong the investigation onto its causes while even provoking Russia into action and in turn presenting it as irrational and whimsical. Bringing down a civilian plane would be in the interest of the US, as it may turn the Russian public, pained and shocked by the heavy toll of civilians, against Putin and against the war in Syria. Indeed, since John McCain unabashedly recommended arming rebels with surface-to-air missiles to bring down Russian military planes in Syria, it should not be ruled out, based on the senator’s statement, that Western intelligence agencies brought down a Russian airliner.

If in the coming days it becomes clear that the plane exploded due to bombs placed on it, it is not impossible that those who planted the bomb received help and training from the CIA. Bringing down planes while leaving no clear traces that point to the cause of the wreckage would serve as an ideal modus operandi for the US in its war against Russia. The mysteriously absent lack of evidence would not allow Russia to blame a particular actor while the crash would intensify pressure on Putin to end his operations in Syria and would create despair and panic in Russia. It would also provoke Russia to act hurriedly in response while then its actions would later be seen as provocations that came out of the blue.

Suggesting such a scenario may seem wild and irresponsible, and it should not be claimed as fact, but in light of Senator McCain’s own words, it is possible. The anti-Russian hysteria in the US that suggests that the US intends to intensify its encirclement of Russia and the fact that the US is already arming jihadist rebels in Syria and sponsored terrorists who brought down planes in the past mean that such a scenario should be investigated and considered. Of course, nothing can be said with certainty until the investigation is complete. But the latest crash of a Russian-built plane in South Sudan is worrying due to the proximity of events.

In light of the possibility that many Americans are probably convinced that Russian planes are faulty and continue to crash for no reason due to the sense of superiority with which they view the country, Americans would be served well if they would educate themselves on the history of the US bringing down civilian planes, which also include the Iran Air 655, as most are probably convinced that only bearded terrorists conducted such actions.

One would hope that exhaustive investigations would shed more light on the matter.

Posted in RussiaComments Off on The Downed Russian Plane in Sinai: Preliminary Thoughts

The Blood on Obama’s Hands: Kunduz Hospital Attack Designed “to Kill and Destroy”

NOVANEWS
Global Research
AFGHANISTAN-US-OBAMA

“Patients burned in their beds, medical staff were decapitated and lost limbs, and others were shot by the circling AC-130 gunship while fleeing the burning building.”

So reads the opening of an initial review issued Thursday by Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders—MSF), documenting the horrifying October 3 US airstrike on the charitable agency’s hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

While spelling out the carnage inflicted upon wounded men, women and children as well as doctors, nurses and other medical staff that day, the report adds to the already overwhelming evidence that the attack was neither an accident nor a case of “collateral damage,” but rather a deliberate war crime ordered by the Pentagon to further US military objectives in Afghanistan.

Among the new information provided by the report is that, after repeatedly providing the Pentagon, the US Army in Kabul as well as the Afghan authorities with the coordinates of the well-known medical facility, MSF staff at the Kunduz hospital received a phone call two nights before the attack from a US government official in Washington. He asked whether it “had a large number of Taliban ‘holed up’ there.” The official was told that the hospital was functioning normally and at full capacity, with some wounded Taliban fighters among the patients.

The hospital, the report states, was well-lit and clearly marked, with MSF insignia on its roof. Based on interviews with some 60 staff members, the report establishes that there were no armed individuals in the facility and, indeed, there had been no fighting, gunshots or explosions in the vicinity of the hospital in the evening preceding the attack.

The attack by the slow-moving, propeller-driven AC-130 gunship lasted between an hour and an hour and 15 minutes, with the plane continuously circling the hospital, hitting it with its multiple rapid-fire cannon, precision bombs and missiles.

“The view from inside the hospital is that this attack was conducted with a purpose to kill and destroy,” Christopher Stokes, MSF’s general director, told reporters at a press conference in Kabul on Thursday. “A mistake is quite hard to understand and believe at this time.”

The MSF report gives a chilling sense of the brutality of this crime. It recounts that the first area to be hit was the Intensive Care Unit, where immobile patients, including two children, were killed outright or burned to death in their hospital beds.

The operating theaters were then destroyed, with at least two patients killed as they lay on operating tables.

“An MSF nurse arrived at the administrative building covered from head to toe in debris and blood with his left arm hanging from a small piece of tissue after having suffered a traumatic amputation in the blast,” the report recounts.

Staff members described people being mowed down as they tried to flee the airstrike. “MSF doctors and other medical staff were shot while running to reach safety in a different part of the compound,” the report adds.

“One MSF staff member described a patient in a wheelchair attempting to escape from the inpatient department when he was killed by shrapnel from a blast,” the report states. “Other MSF staff describe seeing people running while on fire and then falling unconscious on the ground. One MSF staff was decapitated by shrapnel in the airstrikes.”

The US airstrike turned what had been the principal medical facility for over one million people in northeastern Afghanistan into hell on earth. In addition to wantonly killing patients and medical staff, it left the region’s entire population without badly needed medical care.

There are two plausible theories that have been advanced to explain the attack. The first, based on reporting by AP, indicates that the strike was ordered out of suspicion that a Pakistani intelligence officer who was coordinating operations with the Taliban was present in the hospital. In other words, mass murder against innocent civilians was carried out as part of a “targeted assassination” against one man.

The other explanation is that the US military decided to obliterate the hospital because it was treating wounded Taliban fighters.

In either case, under international law the attack constitutes a war crime, the kind of offense for which Nazi officers were tried and convicted at Nuremberg.

But not so under the legal rationales for US criminal aggression fashioned under the Obama administration.

As the four-part series, “The Pentagon’s Law of War Manual,” being finalized on the World Socialist Web Site today establishes, the pseudo-legal doctrine that has been crafted for the US military, while giving a formal nod to international law’s prohibition against targeting civilians, makes clear that in practice such attacks are not only allowed but encouraged.

“Civilians may be killed incidentally in military operations; however, the expected incidental harm to civilians may not be excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage from an attack,” the law of war manual states. In other words, the US military is allowed to kill civilians, and the greater the military objective, the more innocent men, women and children, not to mention doctors, nurses and patients, may be slaughtered.

Similarly, while stating that “feasible precautions” should be taken to “avoid” civilian casualties, the manual goes on to affirm that, if US commanders determine that “taking a precaution would result in operational risk (i.e., a risk of failing to accomplish the mission) or an increased risk of harm to their own forces, then the precaution would not be feasible and would not be required.” This is a clear mandate to US military officers to wipe out however many civilians they deem necessary to “accomplish the mission” or reduce their own casualties.

No doubt, within the US chain of command, such calculations were made to arrive at the decision to order an AC-130 to slowly and deliberately reduce a civilian hospital to rubble, killing at least 30 patients and medical staff and wounding many others.

The responsibility for this crime lies not merely with the crew of the flying gunship, the commanders on  the ground in Afghanistan or the top brass of the US military. It extends to the top of the US political establishment, including President Barack Obama and his top aides, who have done so much to make murderous violence around the world routine, from aggressive war, to drone assassinations to cold-blooded massacres.

The White House and the Pentagon have thus far stonewalled MSF’s demand for an independent investigation into the Kunduz hospital massacre.

Even more telling, Joanne Liu, president of MSF, reported this week that the agency had appealed to some 76 governments seeking support for an impartial investigation, but had received none. “The silence is embarrassing,” Liu told Reuters.

Behind this apparent indifference by capitalist governments around the globe to the horrors unleashed by the US military in Kunduz lies the recognition that this attack constituted not the exception, but the rule, not the product of a “tragic error” or “collateral damage,” but the inevitable expression of  the criminality of American imperialism.

Posted in USA, AfghanistanComments Off on The Blood on Obama’s Hands: Kunduz Hospital Attack Designed “to Kill and Destroy”

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