Archive | November 29th, 2015

NATO’s Terror Convoys Halted At Syrian Border

NOVANEWS

nato-eagle-background

By Tony Cartalucci

For years, NATO has granted impunity to convoys packed with supplies bound for ISIS and Al Qaeda. Russian airstrikes have stopped them dead in their tracks. If a legitimate, well-documented aid convoy carrying humanitarian supplies bound for civilians inside Syria was truly destroyed by Russian airstrikes, it is likely the world would never have heard the end of it.

Instead, much of the world has heard little at all about a supposed “aid” convoy destroyed near Azaz, Syria, at the very edge of the Afrin-Jarabulus corridor through which the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) and Al Qaeda’s remaining supply lines pass, and in which NATO has long-sought to create a “buffer zone” more accurately described as a Syrian-based, NATO-occupied springboard from which to launch terrorism deeper into Syrian territory.

The Turkish-based newspaper Daily Sabah reported in its article,Russian airstrikes target aid convoy in northwestern Syrian town of Azaz, 7 killed,” claims:

At least seven people died, 10 got injured after an apparent airstrike, reportedly by Russian jets, targeted an aid convoy in northwestern Syrian town of Azaz near a border crossing with Turkey on Wednesday.

Daily Sabah also reported:

Speaking to Daily Sabah, Serkan Nergis from the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) said that the targeted area is located some 5 kilometers southwest of the Öncüpınar Border Crossing.

Nergis said that IHH has a civil defense unit in Azaz and they helped locals to extinguish the trucks. Trucks were probably carrying aid supplies or commercial materials, Nergis added.

Daily Sabah’s report also reveals that the Turkish-Syrian border crossing of Oncupinar is held by what it calls “rebels.” The border crossing of Oncupinar should be familiar to many as it was the scene of Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle’s (DW) investigative report where DW camera crews videotaped hundreds of trucks waiting at the border, bound for ISIS territory, apparently with full approval of Ankara.

The report was published in November of 2014, a full year ago, and revealed precisely how ISIS has been able to maintain its otherwise inexplicable and seemingly inexhaustible fighting capacity. The report titled, ‘IS’ supply channels through Turkey,” included a video and a description which read:

Every day, trucks laden with food, clothing, and other supplies cross the border from Turkey to Syria. It is unclear who is picking up the goods. The haulers believe most of the cargo is going to the “Islamic State” militia. Oil, weapons, and soldiers are also being smuggled over the border, and Kurdish volunteers are now patrolling the area in a bid to stem the supplies.

The report, and many others like it, left many around the world wondering why, if the US is willing to carry out risky military operations deep within Syrian territory to allegedly “fight ISIS,” the US and its allies don’t commit to a much less riskier strategy of securing the Turkish-Syrian border within Turkey’s territory itself – especially considering that the United States maintains an airbase, training camps, and intelligence outposts within Turkish territory and along the very border ISIS supply convoys are crossing over.

Ideally, NATO should have interdicted these supply convoys before they even crossed over into Syria – arresting the drivers and tracking those who filled the trucks back to their source and arresting them as well. Alternatively, the trucks should have been destroyed either at the border or at the very least, once they had entered into Syria and were clearly headed toward ISIS-occupied territory.

That none of this took place left many to draw conclusions that the impunity granted to this overt logistical network was intentional and implicated NATO directly in the feeding of the very ISIS terrorists it claimed to be “fighting.”

Russia Steps In

Obviously, any nation truly interested in defeating ISIS would attack it at its very source – its supply lines. Military weaponry may have changed over the centuries, but military strategy, particularly identifying and severing an enemy’s supply lines is a tried and true method of achieving victory in any conflict.

Russia, therefore, would find these convoys a natural target and would attempt to hit them as close to the Syrian-Turkish border as possible, to negate any chance the supplies would successfully reach ISIS’ hands. Russian President Vladmir Putin noted, regarding the Azaz convoy in particular, that if the convoy was legitimately carrying aid, it would have been declared, and its activities made known to all nations operating military aircraft in the region.

The trucks hit in the recent airstrikes, just as they were during the DW investigation, were carrying concrete and steel, not “milk and diapers” as the West would lead audiences to believe. That the supplies were passing through a “rebel” controlled crossing means that the supplies were surely headed to “rebel” controlled territory – either Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front in the west, or ISIS in the east.

Russian airstrikes insured that the supplies reached neither.

Strangling NATO’s Terrorists at the Border

Russia’s increased activity along the Syrian-Turkish border signifies the closing phases of the Syrian conflict. With Syrian and Kurdish forces holding the border east of the Euphrates, the Afrin-Jarabulus corridor is the only remaining conduit for supplies bound for terrorists in Syria to pass. Syrian forces have begun pushing east toward the Euphrates from Aleppo, and then will move north to the Syrian-Turkish border near Jarabulus. Approximately 90-100 km west near Afrin, Ad Dana, and Azaz, it appears Russia has begun cutting off terrorist supply lines right at the border. It is likely Syrian forces will arrive and secure this region as well.

For those that have criticized Russia’s air campaign claiming conflicts can’t be won from the air without a ground component, it should be clear by now that the Syrian Arab Army is that ground component, and has dealt ISIS and Al Qaeda its most spectacular defeats in the conflict.

When this corridor is closed and supplies cut off, ISIS, Nusra, and all associated NATO-backed factions will atrophy and die as the Syrian military restores order across the country. This may be why there has been a sudden “rush” by the West to move assets into the region, the impetus driving the United States to place special forces into Syrian territory itself, and for Turkey’s ambush of a Russian Su-24 near the Syrian-Turkish border.

What all of this adds up to is a clear illustration of precisely why the Syrian conflict was never truly a “civil war.” The summation of support for militants fighting against the Syrian government and people, has come from beyond Syria’s borders. With that support being cut off and the prospect of these militants being eradicated, the true sponsors behind this conflict are moving more directly and overtly to salvage their failed conspiracy against the Syrian state.

What we see emerging is what was suspected and even obvious all along – a proxy war started by, and fought for Western hegemonic ambitions in the region, intentionally feeding the forces of extremism, not fighting them.

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Colombian President Expresses Concern Over Killing in Venezuela

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Colombia
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ country is home to the most politically moti-vated killings in Latin America, but like his close ally, the United States, he wouldprefer to talk about Venezuela.

"What happened in Venezuela of course deserves the condemnation of the whole world,” Santos said Friday during a visit to Monteria in Northern Colombia. “This murder has no justification, we hope the case is investigated thoroughly and those responsible
are tried. We hope that the upcoming elections will not lead to violence. Venezuela
needs transparent elections without violence.”

Venezuelan opposition politician Luis Manuel Diaz was shot dead Wednesday while on   the campaign trail. Reports suggest a man with a gun approached the stage after a    public meeting Diaz had been speaking at.

The Venezuelan government is currently investigating the killing.

While any death is deplorable, Santos’ linking of Diaz’s death with the Dec. 6 parli-amentary elections in Venezuela is not only premature—there is no evidence as yet    that it was a politically motivated killing—but rich for a president of a country    where politicians, particularly those on the left,are routinely threatened and killed.

In the lead-up to Colombia’s last elections in October, no less than seven candidateswere murdered, while another 157 politicians were threatened with violence.

RELATED: Violence and Fraud Put Colombian Elections at Risk

Violence has been a constant threat in the buildup to elections in Colombia. During  Colombia's 2011 regional elections, 41 politicians were killed; in the 2007, 21 candidates were killed; and in 2003, no fewer than 29 candidates were killed, according toa tally from the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.Such electoral violence has been goingon for years. In 1990, Colombia saw the high-profile killing of leftist politician   Bernardo Jaramillo Ossa.The Patriotic Union’s presidential candidate was shot in coldblood in Bogota while campaigning, one of hundreds of the party’s members killed for daring to challenge the right at the ballot box.

ANALYSIS: Colombia's Patriotic Union: A Victim of Political Genocide

The myriad of murders and violence in Colombia throughout the years has gone largely unnoticed by mainstream media, however, with news outlets and Santos himself choosing to focus on Venezuela instead.

John Kirby, for instance, a U.S.State Department spokesperson, said the death of Diaz“was the deadliest of several recent attacks and acts of intimidation aimed at oppos-ition candidates.”

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez has condemned those comments, calling the attempt to link the murder “with Venezuela’s electoral process” a product of “despe-ration and bad faith.”

PSUV leader Jorge Rodriguez holds up an image of Luis Manuel Diaz who was killed in  undetermined circumstances, Caracas, Venezuela, Nov. 26, 2015. | Photo: AVN

The unstated implication, from the U.S. and Santos alike, is that the killing of Diazhas something to do with Venezuela’s ruling leftist government, which has noted that it would have little to gain from making a martyr of a minor opposition figure.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro opened a speech at a rally on Friday by reaffirm-ing his government’s commitment to investigate the murder.

ANALYSIS: What the Media Won't Admit About the Venezuelan Opposition Death

That commitment stands in contrast to Colombia, at least according to human rights   organizations.

“In Colombia, nominally Latin America's oldest democracy, the rule of law continues  to be weak and impunity reigns,” states Amnesty International. Indeed, “A culture of impunity, in which human rights abuses like displacement, targeting killings, and    disappearances remain unpunished, has existed in Colombia for decades. Impunity, more than any other factor, has been responsible for prolonging the human rights crisis.”

While Santos’ concern for Venezuela’s democracy is noted, it would seem he has some  work to do in his own country.

​WATCH: Venezuela: UNASUR Calls for Probe Into Politician's Murder

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UK: Support Street Culture in Birmingham, Don’t Strangle It

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Stop the Criminalisation of Street Culture in Birmingham

Labour-led Birmingham City Council have introduced plans to make it a criminal offence punishable by fines of up to £1000 and a criminal record to play musical instruments or sing songs on the streets if any amplification is used. The proposed ‘Public Space Protection Order’ (PSPO) would also apply to political protestors such as the Friends of the Library of Birmingham Campaign who use microphones to make speeches during rallies and protests, and religious groups.

When Birmingham Bobby PC Ian Northcott borrowed a busker’s guitar and gave an impromptu version of ‘Wonderwall’ on the city’s streets, a YouTube video of the incident went viral and became a feel-good international news story about the breaking down of barriers between the police and the public and the power of street music to create a sense of urban community. PC Ian Northcott went on to use his raised public profile to raise money and awareness for Socks and Chocs, a charity that provides food and clothing to vulnerably housed and homeless people.

Under Birmingham’s proposals the ‘Busking Bobby’ would have been committing a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £1000 and a criminal record. Far from building good relationships between the police and the community, under these new powers police would be potentially be required to arrest any buskers breaching the PSPO doing damage to to the reputation of the police in the community. At time when police and local authority budgets are under pressure, the PSPO would waste the police’s time by requiring them to arrest people for playing music and singing songs rather than doing vitally important police work and keeping people safe.

As well as being an attack on cultural, political and religious freedoms these draconian new powers are totally unnecessary. Birmingham City Council have a wide range of existing powers that could and should be used against the small minority of street performers and street preachers that cause a persistent nuisance.

The Keep Streets Live Campaign successfully opposed policies that criminalised street culture in Liverpool, York and Canterbury and went on to work with the councils in those cities to introduce policies that support a vibrant street culture. We call upon Birmingham to abandon its plans to introduce a PSPO and to work with the local busking community, business groups, Musician’s Union, Keep Streets Live Campaign and other affected parties to agree a best practise guide that promotes harmonious relationships in the city, encourages and actively supports the artists and musicians who animate the city’s streets helping to make Birmingham the vibrant city of culture that it is.

 

 Albert Bore
Leader of Birmingham City Council
James McKay
Cabinet Member Inclusion and Community Safety Birmingham City Council
Head of Regulatory Services Birmingham City Council
Jacqui Kennedy
Don’t Banish the Buskers – Support A Vibrant Street Culture in BirminghamWe believe Birmingham City Council’s proposals to introduce a city-wide PSPO are a similarly disproportionate and unwarranted attack on the civic culture of that great city.

We call upon the local authority to abandon its plans to introduce a PSPO and instead to work alongside the local busking community, business groups, Musician’s Union, Keep Streets Live Campaign and other affected parties to agree a Best Practise Guide that promotes harmonious relationships in the city between buskers, preachers and protesters and those with whom they share the streets and targets enforcement against those people who are causing genuine issues.

Yours…

Sammi Ibrahem, Sr

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ISIS-Linked Autocrats to Host British Navy

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Image result for British Navy PHOTO
By Caleb Maupin 

US and British leaders love to invoke the concept of human rights when promoting their latest neoliberal crusade. UN Ambassador Samantha Power’s career has consisted almost entirely of this strategy: creating human rights propaganda, demonizing countries that assert their independence and justifying the next NATO bombing campaign.

One great example of the human rights hypocrisy of western leaders can be found in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Bahrain is not a democracy, but an autocratic monarchy. The constitution ensures members of the ruling Al-Khalifa family the final say on all matters. The country is rated by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and other humanitarian and international legal organizations as one of the most repressive societies on earth. According to Human Rights Watch, “Torture is a regular part of the legal process in Bahrain.”

Half of Bahrain’s population are not citizens, and have no rights at all. Guest workers from the Philippines and Southeast Asia live as modern-day slaves. Even among the Bahraini citizens, there are conditions described in testimony to the US House of Representatives as similar to apartheid. Shia Muslims, who constitute a 70% majority of the country’s population, are routinely discriminated against.

In 2011, when people in Bahrain revolted as part of the Arab Spring, they were rounded up and tortured. After Saudi Arabia sent in its troops to defend the monarchy and put down the mass uprising demanding democracy, a number of Bahraini dissidents were “disappeared” and later killed without even a trial.

A Hotbed of Terrorism and Hate

The crimes of the Al-Khalifa family that rules Bahrain are not only domestic. Bahrain has a made a point of sending weapons and funding to anti-government fighters in Syria. As Syria grows more unstable, and ISIS has emerged, horrifying the world with its criminal acts of terrorism, the Bahraini autocracy continues to send weapons and money to jihadist groups.

Abdul Rahman al-Hamd, a leading influential Bahraini Salafist religious leader, relocated to Syria in 2013 in order to join anti-government terrorism. Members of the Bahraini parliament have very publicly delivered funds and money to armed Salafi terrorists in Syria on multiple occasions. It has been established that training camps for Salafi terrorist groups exist within Bahrain itself.

A significant number of Bahrainis are known to be members of ISIS. Abu Hamza al-Bahraini, a 23-year-old Bahraini also known as Ali Yusuf, very publicly participates in ISIS terrorism on social media. Social media has also widely circulated a photo of an ISIS flag being displayed at the largest mosque in Bahrain on the Islamic Holiday of Eid.

The repression of the majority Shia population in Bahrain, universally condemned by the world, is consistent with the Bahraini foreign policy of supporting Salafi terrorists. In Saudi Arabia and the aligned surrounding countries including Bahrain, children are taught to view Shia Islam as a “Jewish Conspiracy Against The King.” The jihadists in Syria, including the Al-Nusra Front and ISIS, call for slaughter of the “Shia apostates.”

Takfiri fighters, armed with weapons manufactured in the United States and supplied by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Turkey, and Jordan, openly intend to slaughter Shia Muslims. Many takfiri, Salafi, and Wahhabi fighters believe that if they kill seven Shias they will be guaranteed admission to paradise.

The primary ideological motivation for the amassing of takfiri terrorists in Syria is contempt for the country’s Alawite religious minority. Bashar Assad and many leading members of the ruling Baath Arab Socialist Party in Syria are Alawites. Takfiris, Wahhabis, and Salafis consider Alawites to be “Shia apostates” worthy of execution.

A Terror-Linked Apartheid Regime

The Kingdom of Bahrain hosts of the Fifth Fleet of the US Navy. When Baghdad was ripped to shreds with “shock and awe,” the cruise missiles were fired from aircraft carriers that had docked in Bahrain. The Pentagon’s forces of destruction, no longer officially operating within the borders of Saudi Arabia, are stationed in the tiny Kingdom of Bahrain.

The British Navy has announced that it is also setting up shop in the terrorism-linked autocracy. Soon, the US Fifth Fleet will be joined by a division of Her Majesty’s Navy.

Extremely anti-democratic practices, hatred and repression of Shia Muslims, and violent terrorism are not things that western leaders proclaim to believe in. As they seek to isolate and attack countries like Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, People’s Korea, China, Russia, and Iran, they pretend to be believers in “freedom,” “human rights,” and “equality.” Furthermore, they claim to be fighting a “war against terrorism,” and seek to protect their citizens and the world from the menace of takfiri terrorists like ISIS.

However, western leaders have done everything they can to prop up the terrorism supporting the repressive, autocratic, apartheid regime in Bahrain.

Consider these facts the next time you see western leaders on TV, lecturing the world about human rights and terrorism.

Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College.

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Did Erdogan Order Prominent Turkish Lawyer’s Assassination?

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Image result for Erdogan CARTOON
By Stephen Lendman

Turkey under Erdogan is a fascist police state. Anyone criticizing regime policy risks harassment, arrest, indictment on phony charges, imprisonment or death. Fundamental freedoms don’t exist.

Prominent Turkish attorney/Kurdish rights supporter Tahir Elci headed southeastern Diyarbakir province’s bar association.

On Saturday, local hospital sources confirmed he died from gunshot wounds to his head, a clear indication he was assassinated. In October, he was detained for publicly saying the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) isn’t a terrorist organization – then released awaiting trial.

He faced imprisonment for speaking freely – the most fundamental right in all free and open societies without which all others are endangered.

Regime-controlled prosecutors accused him of spreading terrorist propaganda. He was killed while making a statement to the press.

Was it state-sponsored to silence him? Turkey is unsafe to live in for anyone criticizing regime policies. Opposing Erdogan’s agenda publicly is considered treason. Following Elci’s murder, protests erupted, attacked violently by police, continuing into the night as this is written.

Separately, Turkish police in Ankara pepper-sprayed supporters of wrongfully arrested journalists Can Dunbar and Erdem Gul for doing their jobs. Criticizing rogue regime policy subjects anyone to arrest, prosecution and imprisonment.

About 1,000 protesters chanted: “Shoulder-to-shoulder against fascism.” Large crowds gathered near Dunbar’s Cumhuriyet Istanbul office in solidarity with both journalists. “Free press cannot be silenced,” they chanted.

Some accused Erdogan and complicit AKP officials of supporting ISIS terrorists. Clear evidence proves it.

Dunbar is Cumhuriyet editor-and-chief, Gul its Ankara bureau chief – both men arrested and imprisoned awaiting trial for publishing photographic evidence of Turkish intelligence smuggling heavy weapons to ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria.

They’re charged with treason and espionage for reporting important truths the whole world has a right to know. Not in police state Turkey, tolerating no opposition or exposure of state crimes.

Opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP) deputy Utki Calorpzer said “(j)ournalism is being put on trial with these arrests and the Turkish press is being intimidated.”

Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party co-chairwoman Figen Yuksekdag said “(a)ll opposition press organizations that are abiding by the ethics of journalism and trying to do their journalism are under threat and under attack.”

“This dark operation aimed at covering the crimes that those trucks carried and the crimes which are continuing to be committed will not be successful.”

Opposition lawmaker Baris Yarkadas said Erdogan “does not want any journalist to see what kind of a calamity (he created) for Turkey…” Cumhuriyet’s Friday headline read: “Black day for the press.”

Erdogan said both men would “pay a heavy price.” Arriving for his court appearance, Dundar spoke candidly, saying “(t)here is a crime that has been committed by the state that they are trying to cover up.”

“We are being charged with being spies. The president is saying that we are traitors to the state. We are not spies. We are not traitors. We are not heroes. We are journalists.”

Interviewed by RT International, Haberdar newspaper editor-in-chief Said Sefa said “(w)e as journalists can no longer investigate.”

According to opposition lawmaker Mehmet Ali Edeboglu, “(e)vents covered in the international media can be completely underreported in Turkey. The reason for that is a crackdown on journalism. If a media company criticizes the government it is seen as treason.”

A Final Comment

CNN interviewed Erdogan instead of refusing to give him airtime, letting him rant freely, including lying about the downed Russian aircraft entering Turkish airspace.

“(I)f there is a party that needs to apologize, it is not us,” he blustered.” He vowed to down any Russian aircraft allegedly entering Turkish airspace – lunacy if he pulls this stunt again, unlikely with S-400 defense systems deployed, able to target and destroy any threat to Russian air or ground forces.

Erdogan vowed an automatic military response if Russia downs a Turkish aircraft in Syrian airspace. He recklessly ordered one once. Putin won’t tolerate a repeat incident.

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Terrorism, tyranny and the end of freedom

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Avant Charlie: Flemming Rose and The Danish Cartoon Crisis
By Sam Gerrans | RT 

Are the powers-that-be using crises such as recent events in Paris to drive through a tyrannical agenda?

Rahm Emanuel – Obama’s former Chief of Staff – once famously said “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste – it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before”.

He was not saying anything new. He was simply rehashing something self-evident to those who deal in strategy rather than hysteria, and passing off as his own something said years before by Churchill.

Today, the world is hysterical about the recent serious crisis in Paris.

Naturally, these terrorist actions are tragedies for those individually impacted by them. But strategically, they are opportunities for “things you think you could not do before.”

A substantial minority of people have now got the point that since “a serious crisis” is so useful to those who rule us, our rulers will not only sit around waiting for things to happen which they can use, they will also initiate such things.

It was the events in New York on 9/11 – in which the laws of physics were apparently suspended – which allowed the Patriot Act to be pushed through and the Plan for a New American Century to be enacted.

But it took several years before opinions unencumbered by official propaganda percolated through society.

Due to the proliferation of social media, that same process of dissemination and cross-pollination of cynicism towards the official version of events was in full sway only a matter of minutes after the Paris bombings were announced.

And while the larger portion of the herd is running about crying out for someone to save it and the architects of policy are calmly ramming through their agenda, the new challenge is how to clamp down on dissent from media orthodoxy.

So what’s coming down the pike?

First off: boarder crackdowns. The Guardian recently noted that: “EU interior and justice ministers are to meet in Brussels where they will discuss tightening checks on all travelers at the external borders of the 26-nation Schengen zone as an emergency measure.

“Cazeneuve called on his fellow ministers to agree on a Europe-wide passenger information register, improved controls along Europe’s external borders, and better coordination against arms trafficking.”

“France has been calling for these measures for more than 18 months, and some progress has been made,” he said. “But it is not fast enough, and it does not go far enough … Everyone must understand Europe has to organize, recover, defend itself against the terrorist threat.”

The Independent informs us that EU ministers (i.e. those bureaucrats none of us voted for and whose power structure mirrors that of the Soviet Union’s Politbureau) are considering setting up their own “CIA-style intelligence agency”.

The current stampede will also help push through other items already openly on the agenda.

In the UK, for example, the government is busy enacting a bill to give police access to everyone’s entire internet history.

Richard Berry, the National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman for data communications, told the newspaper: “We essentially need the ‘who, where, when and what’ of any communication – who initiated it, where were they and when it happened.”

In short: the police want access to your entire life.

Where this is going is total surveillance, general suspicion, and the removal of the velvet glove from the hand of power to reveal the iron fist which was there all along – all served up in the form of a palliative citing the need to protect us from an outside threat.

From Nero to Bush, nothing changes – except who benefits.

So who does benefit?

Western media are intractably incurious on such questions, barely daring to stray beyond the prescribed narrative and sternly serving up Pentagon press releases as news.

A notable exception is political journalist and author Gearóid Ó Colmáin.

Interviewed by RT, Ó Colmáin stated boldly what many have already surmised but had been denied a platform beyond social media to express.

The points Mr. Ó Colmáin makes include the fact that the war against Syria is orchestrated by NATO; that it has been conducting attacks against the civilian population of that country for four years now, and that this itself is a “terrorist campaign”.

He states that there is a worldwide war the object of which is to make the world’s population submit to a “global order” – a war which serves the interests of what he rightly calls a “tiny and particularly tyrannical ruling elite.”

He says:

“There is no War on Terror. There is a war which is being waged using terrorist proxygroups and they are being used against nation states who are resisting U.S. and Isra-eli hegemony. And they are also being used as a means of disciplining the work forcesin Europe. In a period of  mass unemployment and  austerity, you now  have terrorist attacks being committed by terrorists funded, armed and trained by Western intellige-nce agencies.There is no such thing as ISIS.ISIS is a creation of the United States.”

Finally, someone tells it like it is.

The powers-that-be are going to try to shut people like Gearóid Ó Colmáin up. And they are going to use the very “terrorism” that Mr. Ó Colmáin accuses them of creating to do it.

By means of apparently supernatural prescience the UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron anticipated just such a problem.

In July, 2015, Cameron set out plans to deal with people who question the official line. He is particularly concerned to contain – and we assume later to criminalize – “ideas” which are “based on conspiracy”.

Cameron asserts: “In this warped worldview, such conclusions are reached – that 9/11 was actually inspired by Mossad to provoke the invasion of Afghanistan; that British security services knew about 7/7, but didn’t do anything about it because they wanted to provoke an anti-Muslim backlash.”

In the meantime – as the Independent informs us – France has declared a “state of emergency for three months, allowing authorities to shut down websites and giving police sweeping new powers.”

Those powers “include the ability to put people under house arrest without trial and to block websites.”

As Orwell tells us in 1984: “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

And the “ruling elite” Ó Colmáin refers to is in the process of conflating such revolutionary acts with “terrorism”.

While people at Mr. Cameron’s level and above understand perfectly well how power works, if those whose interests Cameron represents get their way, we the people are to be forced by law to believe the type of foolishness which benefits precisely those interests Ó Colmáin had the forthrightness to identify.

If facts are thought so fragile they need laws to enforce their acceptance, once they are enacted it is time to stop pretending we are free and face reality: We are living under tyranny.

Given the right “serious crisis” of the kind Mr. Emanuel so enthusiastically embraces, the herd can doubtless be stampeded over the cliff of any form of resistance to the political will to drive such new laws through. And once such a principle is accepted, there is no philosophical barrier to expanding it.

The loss of what we thought of as our rights will be achieved under the cloak of what works best: appeals to decency and reasonableness and the need to protect the innocent.

While men such as Ó Colmáin are working to awaken the people to the specter of open tyranny, history and experience are against him.

Gustave Le Bon in his seminal work on realpolitik, The Crowd (1895) wrote: “Whoever can supply them [the masses] with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.”

By that measure, Ó Colmáin will be thought a terrorist, and those who condemn him hailed as defenders of freedom.

Le Bon believed that the majority respects only tyranny and force and spurns freedom.

We are in the process of learning if he was right.

 

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Ukraine threatens permanent economic blockade against Crimea

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Logo of the All-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda"
By Roger Annis 

Western news media and governments are keeping hush about an economic blockade by Ukraine against Crimea that is starting to appear permanent.

TASS reports today that at least one of the electricity lines from Ukraine to Crimea that was sabotaged by right-wing extremists during the weekend of Nov 20-21 has been repaired. But no electricity is flowing to Crimea from Ukraine. The information comes from Russian Deputy Energy Minister Andrey Cherezov.

“We have information that the repair work on the Kakhovka-Titan power line has been completed,” he said. “Switching this line on would make it possible to supply about 150-200 megawatts from Ukraine to Crimea. But such hope is lost. Accordingly, all measures in Crimea are aimed at ensuring a minimum level of electricity supply to consumers.”

Kakhovka-Titan is a 220-volt line that supplies electricity to the Crimean border cities of Armyansk and Krasnoperekopsk. Much of its power goes to two districts of the Kherson region of Ukraine.

Kakhovka-Titan is one of four transmission lines that were sabotaged by rightist bombs. At the time of the sabotage, Ukraine’s electricity utility said it could restore one of the four lines in 24 hours and all four of them within days. But the Ukraine government is allowing a handful of extremists on the damaged sites to block repair crews.

On Thursday, Russian Emergency Situations Ministry sent an additional 300 mobile generators to Crimea to provide power for critical facilities.

Crimea consumes an average of 1,000 megawatts of electricity per day, according to the Russian Energy Ministry. Emergency power backups are meeting only 30 per cent of normal demand.

An electrical cable under the Kerch Strait from Russia to Crimea was already under construction before last weekend’s sabotage. The construction is now on emergency pace. The cable is being laid in two stages. The first stage will deliver app 400 MW of power before the end of December. The second stage will bring an equal amount by summer 2016.

Another energy project already on the drawing table is a natural gas pipeline under the Kerch Strait, due to open in 2018. It will power several natural gas electricity generating stations to be built in Crimea.

Western media and governments see nothing, say nothing

The Crimea emergency is going largely unreported in the West. Where it is mentioned, it is pictured as a tit-for-tat game between Ukraine and Russia.

The first report in Canada’s largest daily newspaper, the Toronto Star, was published on Nov 27, six days following the attacks that cut Crimea’s electricity supply from Ukraine. The Star report is taken from the New York Times.

The Times article is a shortened version of a longer article that appeared two days earlier, both written by the newspaper’s Moscow bureau journalist Neil MacFarquhar. He traveled to southern Ukraine.

MacFarquhar describes the terrorist action by the Ukrainian extremists as a “standoff between Moscow and Kiev, with each side finding new ways to increase the tension daily”.

Ukraine’s government has not lifted a finger against the vigilante road blockade of food shipments to Crimea which extreme-rightists began on September 20.

Following the latest outrageous attack, the regime in Kyiv began on November 23 to block all commercial transport to and from Crimea. This is described by the Times thusly: “Ukraine seeks to avoid further Russian aggression to stymie its political and economic stability, and an already unpopular government does not want to go against public sentiment.”

Interestingly, MacFarquhar provides an interpretation of the claim in most Western media that the vigilante actions against Crimea are being perpetrated by “Crimean Tatars”. He writes:

In Kiev, the main driver of the confrontation seems to be the leaders of the Tatar community who were exiled by Russia after it annexed the peninsula and who are now in Parliament as allies of President Petro O. Poroshenko… [1]

Here around Chongar, however, Tatar activists were not much in evidence. They seemed to have been assigned logistical tasks like providing food and housing for the men guarding road checkpoints and the fallen pylons. The fighters were mostly veterans from the east [Ukraine] who did not want to go back to civilian life.

MacFarquhar describes one of the Western media’s “Tatar activists”:

“The people of Crimea are not supposed to feel like they live in a resort while the country [Ukraine] is at war,” said Oleksiy Byk, 34, a chunky, bearded veteran who serves as the area spokesman for the Right Sector, a right-wing Ukrainian organization violently opposed to any accommodation with Russia.

Mr. Byk said he used to fight the separatists [sic] in the east, but after the ceasefire negotiated under the Minsk peace accords [in February 2015] finally took hold in September, he and many other hard-core fighters gravitated to the area just north of Crimea. They are spoiling for a fight, since Ukraine rejects Russia’s March 2014 annexation [sic] of the Black Sea peninsula as illegal.

Ukraine pours on the rhetoric

In its latest, self-destructive measure for the Ukrainian economy (and against the Ukrainian people), the government in Kyiv announced on November 25 that all air travel to and from Russia will be severed. Last month, Ukraine banned landing and takeoff rights for Russian airlines, prompting a move in kind by Russia.

Ukraine’s government has also announced that it wouldn’t buy gas anymore from Russia. But that statement is posturing which followed the decision by Russia’s Gazprom on Nov 25 to cease gas deliveries due to non-payment. The government is effectively bankrupt, living on borrowed money from the IMF. A declaration of default on the international loans it owes is expected.

The Donetsk People’s Republic has taken emergency measures to protect coal stocks and electricity infrastructure in the aftermath of the sabotage directed at Crimea, reports DAN news service. Prime Minister Aleksandr Zakharchenko has assumed direct responsibility over the measures.

The DPR has also halted coal shipments to Ukraine. This began in response to non-payment of bills, but has now also become a gesture of disapproval of Ukraine’s failure to restore electricity service to Crimea and of solidarity with the people of the peninsula.

(See a photo gallery on TASS of Crimea’s electricity situation , here. )

Notes:

[1] Tatar civil organizations in Crimea utterly deny the claims in Western media that the Tatar figureheads in Kyiv who have accepted appointments to the Rada by Petro Poroshenko’s political machine– Mustafa Djemilev and Refat Chubarov—are “leaders” of Crimean Tatars. They say the two represent the viewpoints of only a small section of Tatars. The two figures have been denied entry to Crimea since the secession referendum of March 2014 because they refused to renounce inciting civil war on the peninsula.

Read also:

State of emergency in Crimea after right-wing extremists in Ukraine blow up electricity lines to the peninsula, by Roger Annis

Posted in UkraineComments Off on Ukraine threatens permanent economic blockade against Crimea

Is David Brooks Pushing For Another Vietnam?

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By Chris Rossini 

A few years ago, New York Times columnist David Brooks wanted the U.S. government to wave its magic wand and turn the Syrian civil war into a Vietnam for Iran:

We should be trying to turn the Syrian civil war into Iran’s Vietnam. We should make them waste money and effort trying to back their client… I’m thinking that maybe it’s time for a more active U.S. role. I have no clue how to do that.

Brooks was apparently modest enough to admit that he had “no clue” as to how the U.S. should mold Syria to achieve such a nefarious goal.

Well, a few years have now gone by, and Brooks has experienced his eureka moment! He apparently tuned into a warmongering speech from Hillary Clinton and now (at long last) has a clue:

Clinton… gestured to the reality that you can’t really deal with ISIS unless you are also willing to deal with Assad. Assad is not some secondary threat who we can deal with after we’ve tamed the ISIS monster. Assad created the failed state and the power vacuum that ISIS was able to fill.

Some of Clinton’s specific prescriptions were a little too limited and Obamaesque for my taste (she didn’t even call for more American Special Operations forces to improve the bombing campaigns, though she said she would be open to it).

Aha! Brooks, who wanted to turn Syria into Iran’s Vietnam, has changed to turning it into America’s Second Vietnam! Brooks wants American troops in there fighting both ISIS and Assad. He’s come to the conclusion that it is America that should “waste money and effort”!

But wait! There’s more:
The grand strategy of American policy in the Middle East, therefore, should be to do what we can to revive and reform Arab nations, to help them become functioning governing units.

The “grand strategy”?

America has destroyed Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, leaving them in virtual chaos with nothing resembling “functioning governing units.” Syria needs to be number four on the lucky list?

That begins with stepped-up military pressure on ISIS. But it also means going hard on Assad, creating no-fly zones for sanctuaries for Syrian refugees to limit his power, ratcheting up pressure on Iran and Russia to force his departure.

Brooks no longer wants a Vietnam for Iran, but a second one for the U.S. In addition to American troops, he wants the U.S. to create a no-fly zone in Syria that would put America in a direct confrontation with Russia (a country that has a nuclear arsenal that’s just as large as America’s).

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Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar

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By Dave Lindorff 

“US forces would never intentionally strike a hospital.”

— US Commander of NATO Forces in Afghanistan Gen. John Campbell

After weeks of lies, the Obama administration and the Pentagon, unable to find any way to explain their murderous hour-long AC-130 gunship assault on and destruction of a Doctors Without Borders-run hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, have turned to a new lie: they bombed the wrong building.

Gen. John Campbell, commander of NATO forces (sic) in Afghanistan, citing the results of a just-released Pentagon study of the Oct. 3 incident which killed 30 medical personnel and patients and left the only hospital in the region a smoking ruin, now says that the American mass-slaughter flying machine bombed “the wrong target,” hitting the hospital instead of a “nearby building,” supposedly a government structure from which Taliban were said to be firing.

Campbell said the hospital attack, which would be a grave war crime if intentional, was simply “the direct result of avoidable human error, compounded by process and equipment failure,” he said, adding, “US forces would never intentionally strike a hospital.”

Grim guffaws could be heard around the world, if not, perhaps, among the assembled hack reporters, who in dutifully transcribing the general’s remarks for their articles failed to first check their history. Had they even made a cursory search, they’d have discovered that hitting hospitals is something the US military does routinely and with alacrity.

Indeed the Kunduz attack isn’t even the first time a Doctors Without Borders hospital has been struck by US bombs. Back on July 20, 1993, when US forces were busy blowing up Somalia, they bombed Digfer Hospital, the largest hospital in the capital city of Mogadishu, seriously damaging the facility where a number of DWB physicians were working, and killing three patients. At the time, a U.N. official explained that the hospital had been targeted because gunmen loyal to warlord coup-leader Gen. Mohammad Farah Aidid were hiding there. (If that were the reason, that attack would have been a war crime.)

But it’s not just Doctors Without Borders-run hospitals that the US attacks.

During the Vietnam War in the 1960s and early 1970s, the US was widely known to be routinely targeting hospitals. The worst example of this criminal behavior was during the notorious 1972 Christmas Bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong, the two largest cities in northern Vietnam, ordered by then President Richard Nixon and his National Security Advisor and fellow war criminal Henry Kissinger when peace talks with the North Vietnamese broke down. In complete disregard for civilian lives, both cities were relentlessly attacked for days, both by small planes and, carpet-bombing B-52s. A total of 20,000 tons of bombs was dropped on the two cities, leveling them. Included in the targeting of those 20,000 bombs was Vietnam’s largest healthcare facility, Hanoi’s 1,150-bed Bach Mai Hospital, hit by B-52s and essentially destroyed. Other hospitals were also leveled in the round-the-clock onslaught.

But that was just the biggest hospital strike of that war.

During Senate committee testimony about the US conduct of the war back in 1973, according to a contemporary report inNewsweek magazine, Vietnam veterans testified over and over that no restrictions were placed on them regarding the bombing and shelling of North Vietnamese and Viet Cong hospitals. In fact one witness, Alan Stevenson, a San Francisco stockbroker who had been an Army intelligence specialist in 1969, said that following orders, he had “routinely listed hospitals among targets to be struck by American fighter planes.” He testified, “The bigger the hospital, the better it was,” since larger hospitals were generally guarded by brigade-sized forces.

Despite clear Geneva Convention rules outlawing the targeting of hospitals — even those treating enemy combatants — the US military’s fondness for hospitals as targets continued after Vietnam. In 1999, NATO (US) warplanes bombed a hospital in Belgrade, Serbia, killing four people, in what, as always, was characterized by the Pentagon as a “technical error” in which laser-guided “smart bombs” had allegedly turned out to be so stupid that they overshot their targets by over a quarter of a mile.

Four years later, during the early “shock-and-awe” part of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, US aircraft bombed a maternity hospital run by the International Red Crescent, killing several people and injuring 27, including medical personnel. That time the Pentagon didn’t even claim it was a mistake, simply saying, “Coalition (sic) forces target only legitimate military targets and go to great lengths to minimize civilian casualties and damage to civilian facilities.”

Now perhaps some readers might want to cut the Pentagon and the White House some slack like our corporate media scribes and say, well, maybe these horrors were all mistakes. But first consider how much respect the US Army had for the sanctity of hospitals under the Geneva Conventions for the conduct of war when they stormed Ramadi General Hospital, the largest hospital in western Iraq, on July 5, 2006. As justification, they claimed it was being used to treat injured insurgents (a protected action under Geneva rules). The US troops harassed the medical staff, frightened and interrogated sick and injured patients, dragged injured fighters out of their beds and detained them, destroyed medical equipment and medicines, and occupied the hospital for some time, before finally leaving. Similar criminal hospital invasions by US forces occurred during the 2006 revenge assault by US Marines that leveled the city of Fallujah.

Finally, before anyone accepts the latest lie concerning the Pentagon’s “investigation,” claiming that the attack on the Kunduz hospital was just a matter of mixing up buildings and coordinates, know that no other building in Kunduz had that hospital’s unique cross-shaped roof layout, or the clear markings and banners delineating it to passing aircraft as a hospital. Furthermore, claiming that it was a targeting error, and claiming that the US “would never intentionally strike a hospital,” were only Gen. Campbell’s fourth and fifth lies. The general in fact has an impressive history of lying about this issue.

Back on Oct. 4, a day after the Kunduz hospital attack, the general said: “U.S. forces conducted an airstrike in Kunduz city at 2:15am (local), Oct 3, against insurgents who were directly firing upon U.S. service members advising and assisting Afghan Security Forces in the city of Kunduz. The strike was conducted in the vicinity of a Doctors Without Borders medical facility.” The only true fact in that statement of his was the time of the airstrike.

On Oct. 5, a day later, when that first lie wasn’t working, he changed his story, saying, “We have now learned that on October 3, Afghan forces advised that they were taking fire from enemy positions and asked for air support from U.S. forces. An airstrike was then called to eliminate the Taliban threat and several civilians were accidentally struck. This is different from the initial reports, which indicated that U.S. forces were threatened and that the airstrike was called on their behalf.” Again the general was lying. US aircraft do not respond to direct call-ins for bombing strikes by Afghan government forces.

So a day later on Oct. 6, the general changed his story again at a Senate Armed Services Committee, saying: “On Saturday morning our forces provided close air support to Afghan forces at their request. To be clear, the decision to provide aerial fire was a U.S. decision, made within the U.S. chain of command. A hospital was mistakenly struck. We would never intentionally target a protected medical facility … I assure you that the investigation will be thorough, objective and transparent.” That last line was probably his biggest whopper.

Mainstream reporters haven’t pressed this serial liar about his ever-changing alibis, but someone should.

Doctors Without Borders is denouncing the Pentagon report and the general’s explanation, saying that it raises far more questions than it answers and doesn’t square with the facts of what happened. The organization continues to demand an independent international investigation under UN auspices into the Kunduz bombing — something that the US is refusing to permit.

But even without such an honest investigation, it should be obvious that the proper answer Gen. Campbell, if he had a shred of integrity, should be giving to the question of what happened in Kunduz under his authority is: “We’re the exceptional nation. We bomb hospitals. Got a problem with that?”

Posted in USA, AfghanistanComments Off on Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar

Nazi War on Journalism ”VIDEO”

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JERUSALEM 

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Nazi War on Journalism ”VIDEO”

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