Archive | December 15th, 2015

Iran: 227 US-made products up for boycott

Iranian vendor stocks his grocery shelves…but perhaps not with US products.


Iran has labeled more than 200 goods made in the US ahead of the much-anticipated lifting of sanctions which could trigger an influx of foreign products. The Trade Promotion Organization of Iran has published the names of 227 goods subject to an import ban and sent the list to authorities in all the 31 provinces across the country in a directive to implement the boycott. The list includes an assortment of goods, including chewing gums, cigarettes and appliances in addition to defense equipment such as tanks and armored vehicles, the Tasnim news agency reported on Monday.The labeling comes in the wake of an order last month by Minister of Mine, Industry and Trade, Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, for a ban on entry of US consumer goods.

In October, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei wrote to President Hassan Rouhani, urging the government to developan “economy of resistance” and check the imports of US-made goods. The Leader wrote the letter to outline his conditional approval of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — Iran’s nuclear accord reached in July with the US, Europe, Russia and China.

Ayatollah Khamenei also instructed the government to stop “unbridled imports” and entry of all goods from the United States when sanctions are lifted.

  • US products often find their way into the Iranian marketplace through back channels. There are other routes such as licensing workarounds and direct trade for goods not covered by US sanctions which result in American products ending up in the Iranian market.
  • US food and beverages such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi have local bottlers and distributors in Iran, but they say they have nothing to do with the American brands.
  • US brands also make up the bulk of contraband cigarettes in Iran. Up to 6-7 billion Marlboro cigarettes, made by Philip Morris USA, are annually smoked in Iran which translates into imports of three truckloads per week.

A senior official said recently Iran had launched a serious campaign to stem the flow of bootleg cigarettes.

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Modern day slavery: Refugees may be forced to work for free on Swedish farms


According to Dagens Nyheter, newcomers seeking asylum in Sweden may be offered volunteer jobs on the Swedish farms. A detailed feasibility study of the new project is expected to be presented in February 2015.

As the refugee crisis in Europe is going on, the EU governments are coming up with more and more crazy ideas of how to integrate the newcomers into the local society.

The Swedish government for instance proposed that migrants seeking asylum in Sweden would be offered to work as volunteers on Swedish farms.

In return, they will receive housing which is expected to be provided by their “employers”, work experience and language skills, the newspaper wrote.

For some reason, the Swedish Government has viewed such a decision as a very profitable one, even despite the fact that the organization of the whole process would already cost Swedish taxpayers about 17,600 kronor (more than $2,000) a month.

The government believes that the Farmers Union opens up fantastic opportunities for the workers and employees, Swedish Minister of Culture Alice Bah Kuhnke said, cited by the DN.

However, Swedish farmers don’t seem to be too excited about the idea of getting a free work force in such a way. Only one in ten of the 170,000 members of the Farmers’ Union said they would not rule out the possibility of taking in such “workers” and hosting them at their homes.

Posted in Europe, SyriaComments Off on Modern day slavery: Refugees may be forced to work for free on Swedish farms

How the “land of the free” became the “home of the slaves”


For 2.3 million Americans – it’s called the war on drugs

Cortland Pfeffer with Irwin Ozborne


“Prisoner number [XX]… It is time to go home.” The most beautiful words she had ever heard. She had dreamt about the day that phrase would be uttered for the past ten years. Today, she will get to see her daughter that has been out of her life and begin the process of reunification.As she takes her first steps outside the prison walls in a decade, it is like stepping into a foreign land. Outside the concrete confinement she is overwhelmed by the simplicity of feeling the fresh breeze, the sunlight, the green grass, and of course her family. Her daughter, mother, and brother await her release in what feels like another world away. Her lower lip starts to tremble uncontrollably – which it always has done when she becomes emotional – only to see her 13-year-old daughter’s lower lip mirror that of her own. Mother-and-daughter are able to embrace for the first time in years as they share an electric bond that cannot be broken, despite so many unanswered questions over the years.

“Why is Mom in jail? Why didn’t I get to have a Mom while growing up? Why wasn’t anyone there to do the things that everyone else enjoyed with their Mom? Where was my Mom all this time?”

These are the questions the little girl repeatedly asked throughout her lifetime without an answer that ever seemed to make sense. She once even wrote a letter to the judge, prior to her mother’s sentencing. It was written in 6 year old writing, in a blue crayon. It said:

“Please help my mommy, I don’t want her to go to jail for a long time. I want her to get better.”

This woman was a prisoner of war — the War On Drugs. Another unnecessary and ineffective war that has destroyed far more lives than it has helped. A war that has built the highest population of incarcerated people per capita in the history of civilization — and yet the enemy (drug use) is at an all-time high.

The War on Drugs is the longest active war in American history and continues to run with no end in sight because it benefits the rich at the expense of the poor. Society’s most vulnerable people are literally being reduced to a number, while corporations, politicians, and congressmen that write the laws of the land are profiting from the lives they are helping to tear apart.

The Great Prison Marketing Scheme:

On June 17, 1971, President Richard Nixon officially declared the War on Drugs:

“America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.”

A war is defined as a conflict between different nations or states or different groups within a nation or state. But, to declare a war on an inanimate object or concept means that there is no clear enemy – hence, no end.

And this is intentional. In fact, it is one of the greatest marketing schemes never told. It is drawn out as follows:

1) The President tells you the greatest risk to our safety is a concept, object, or philosophy (Communism, Drugs, Terror, etc.).

  1. Declares a war that is not really a war (Cold War, Drug War, War on Terror).
  2. The American people are asked to pay the bill because money is not an issue – this is for our safety and security.
  3. They create a special agency that makes their own laws in their war (CIA, DEA, NSA, Homeland Security, etc.)

2) Laws are changed that support fighting this war – leading to mass incarcerations of anyone not in compliance.

3) The prisons become over-crowded, and therefore, private prisons run by corporations need to be built to house prisoners.

  1. Corporations are for-profit, which means more prisoners equals more money
  2. They sign contracts with the government guaranteeing high occupancy rates (usually between 90-100 percent for up to twenty years).
  3. This gives incentives to lock up more people, because they have to pay regardless as to whether or not the bed is filled
  4. The quality of care and supervision is poor, because it is a business and they seek cheap labor and cost-cutting techniques like every business
  5. Corporations then rent prisoners for free labor- also known as slaver.

4) The private prisons then lobby Congress to make stricter laws that enable more people to be locked up.

5) Congress obliges because it helps them win elections and:

  1. Congress makes the laws of the country – and they don’t bite the hand that feeds
  2. Then, since they know the laws, they buy stock in these same private prisons
  3. Profit off their investments

6) Then the war against a concept shifts overseas.

  1. This allows our government to overthrow poor countries under the disguise as a war against our greatest threat.
    1. Allowing to steal natural resources
    2. Install a puppet government that benefits our corporate interests
  2. Politicians that declare war also have stock in Arms manufacturers like General Electric, Raytheon, etc.
    1. More wars means more arms need to be built
    2. They profit off their investments again
  3. In order to overthrow governments without making it obvious to the public, they hire guerilla insurgents to do so.
    1. They train these rebel groups and supply arms
    2. In turn, these groups pay for the arms by supplying illegal drugs

7) The CIA returns these illegal drugs into the inner cities of America.

8) They then arrest people and put them into private prisons (from which they profit), by selling the same drugs they brought into the country (from which they profit) to arm rebel groups to overthrow governments and install puppet governments which support U.S. Corporations and gain further profit (in which the law-makers also have stock interests).

This approach to increasing the prison population has been incredibly successful, with more than a 700% increase in incarceration rates since 1972. It is such a brilliant concept that we have recently followed suit by launching a War on Terror — another war without a clear enemy, against a concept, which will never have a definitive outcome, and which only profits those with heavy stock interests (i.e. John Kerry, US Secretary of State, has made $26 million off his investments directly related to the War on Terror; but that is not a conflict of interest??)This is not freedom, this is fascism.

The US proudly claims to be “Land of the Free” yet it has more people locked up than any other civilization in the history of the world, with the majority of them in there for non-violentdrug offenses. The United States is home to only 5% of the world’s population, but holds almost a quarter of the world’s prison population, while the total correctional population nears 7 million (including people on parole, probation and juvenile detention, but not including detained refugees and military prisoners).

War on Drugs Race

All the drug laws in America have their racist and discriminatory foundations. The first drug-law came in 1875 in San Francisco, which was a banning of Opium Dens as a discrimination against Chinese-American immigrants. National headlines linked cocaine to causing violent behavior in African-Americans and laws were soon put in place. Marijuana was first used recreationally in the Southwestern United States by Mexican immigrants 1920’s, and laws were established that was geared at incriminating Mexicans.

But these were just the early battles before war was officially declared. Today, approximately 12% of the US population is African-American, but they make up 60% of the nation’s male inmates (source: U.S. Department of Justice). There are also more African-American men incarcerated in the U.S. than the total prison populations in India, Argentina, Canada, Lebanon, Japan, Germany, Finland, Israel and England combined, while the US currently has more black men and women behind bars per capita than in the Apartheid-era South Africa. Furthermore, a 2012 registry ofexonerated criminals showed that African-Americans make up 50% of all innocent people imprisoned in the US.

In June of 1971, Nixon declared the War on Drugs making most street drugs illegal with stricter penalties. Two years later, the DEA was created to enforce drug laws and bring those “criminals” to justice.

More arrests, meant more people in jails and prisons. The prisons started to overflow and they need for more prisons arose. Corporations got involved and built private, for-profit prisons. They arrange contracts with the government to remain at high occupancy’s, further incentives for the government to arrest non-violent drug offenders and keep them for longer sentences.

In the notorious, “Kids for Cash Scandal” two judges in Pennsylvania were convicted of taking cash payments from private prisons as bribery to sentence more juveniles to fill their beds. They were locking up kids for minor offenses — such as mocking a school principal on Myspace, or trespassing in a vacant building — changing innocent lives forever, all for sums of money. And these are just the judges that got caught.

The prison industry spends millions of dollars each year lobbying with the US Congress to change and retain laws that allow locking up more and more people for non-violent drug offenses. In turn, many members of Congress – the people who write the laws – have investments in private prisons, encouraging them to keep these laws that help their stock portfolios.

Prison Labor

An increased prison population helps out more than just the prison industry, many other corporations have invested in prison labor. At least 37 states have legalized contracting of US prison labor – a workforce of over 2 million, or around 1 in every 110 Americans – including corporations such as IBM, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Dell, Honeywell, Target, and many more mount their operations inside of prisons.

This is also known as slavery.

In fact, this idea of convict leasing arose after the Civil War. The South was built by stealing Native American land and utilizing free slave labor to build America into one of the wealthiest nations on Earth. But after slavery was abolished and African-Americans were emancipated, the corporations needed cheap labor. Freed slaves started getting charged with petty crimes and sentenced to many years in prison. Once in prison, they were leased to work, picking cotton and building railroads – just slavery with a different name.

Since the Drug War launched in 1971, the prison population has skyrocketed, locking up Americans and, in particular, African-Americans at an alarming rate, to work for free for corporations. As a society, we really have not changed, we have just found new and creative ways to hide our human rights crimes better.

Just Say KNOW

In 1986, Nancy Regan told us to “Just Say No” to drugs. While she was telling us not to do drugs, her husband and president, Ronald Reagan, was making illegal deals to fund illegal wars which brought those same drugs into our inner cities.

The Iran-Contra scandal involved Reagan illegally selling arms to Iran (despite an embargo on arms to Iran) in exchange for payments. This money went to fund the Nicaraguan contra rebel fighters to embark in a guerilla war against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua. The Sandinista government was democratically-elected (which I thought we liked, right?) which overtook a forty-year-old Somoza dictatorship (which is something we don’t like, right?)

The Sandinista government implemented welfare, health, education, and housing reforms. Peasants were granted access to land to help socio-economic growth. Citizens were given freedom of speech, assembly, council and religion.

They also looked to nationalize many U.S. Corporations and give resources back to their people, most notably, the United Fruit Company, a subsidiary of the W.R. Grace Company – a major supporter of the Reagan administration. Since this would cost corporations and investors money, they deemed that the Nicaraguan government were communists and that we needed to protect Nicaragua from this “evil” regime.

The CIA went to extreme efforts, including getting involved in the illegal drug trade of cocaine from the Contras. They shipped crack-cocaine into the major cities as payments for fighting the guerilla war against the Nicaraguan government. The drugs hit the streets and crack was in all the major cities in the 1980s. The media told us the dangers of crack and people agreed a problem had to be “solved” by locking up anyone who uses it.

The Anti-Drug Act of 1986, told us because crack is so much more powerful than powder cocaine that the sentencing must also be more severe.The laws stated that if you had 100-times less crack than powder cocaine, you received similar sentences. For example, if you possessed five grams of crack you faced a mandatory of five-years in prison (you would need five-hundred grams of powdered cocaine for the same sentence).

Former LAPD narcotics officer Mike Ruppert addressed the corruption of the CIA with then-CIA director, John Deutsch, in a 1996 town hall meeting by stating the following:

“I will tell you Director Deutch, as a former Los Angeles Police narcotics Detective, that the Agency has dealt drugs throughout this country for a long time

This was followed by an uproar and applause from the local residents in attendance, which had to be literally silenced before he was allowed to continue.

“Director Deutch, I will refer you to three specific Agency operations known as Amadeus, Pegasus and Watchtower. I have Watchtower documents, heavily redacted by the Agency. I was personally exposed to CIA operations and recruited by CIA personnel who attempted to recruit me in the late seventies to become involved in protecting Agency drug operations in this country. I have been trying to get this out for eighteen years, and I have the evidence. My question for you is very specific sir. If, in the course of the IG’s investigation, you come across evidence of severely criminal activity, and it’s classified, will you use that classification to hide the criminal activity, or will you tell the American people the truth?”

After another large applause and interruption, CIA Director John Deutsch responded by saying:

“If you have information about CIA illegal activity – in drugs – you should immediately bring that information to wherever you want, but let me suggest three places – the Los Angeles Police Department [interrupted by laughter from the residents], the Inspector General, or the office of one of your congresspersons…”

After Congressman Julian Dixon addressed the situation, Ruppert responded with one final blow:

“I did bring this information out eighteen years ago and I got shot at and forced out of LAPD because of it. I’ve been on the record eighteen years non-stop, and I’ll be happy to give you congressmen anything that I have.”

Former LA Police Officer Mike Ruppert Confronts CIA Director John Deutch on Drug Trafficking

Myth: “Bad Guys” Go To Jail

The statistics will tell you about 75% of women in jail have been abused. That number is wrong; the number is closer to 100%. I have worked in jails and in this system for over 18 years now, I have read thousands of charts. Not one of them has a case in which the patient/inmate was not the victim of some sort of trauma.

Studies have lower numbers because the patient/inmate may not report past trauma. That does not mean that it did not occur – either it has been repressed or they do not wish to share due to shame, guilt, or embarrassment. The Hippocampus shuts down during trauma, helping us to forget the actual event. The effects on the brain linger, the neurochemistry of the event has affected us for a lifetime, exposing us to the much higher likelihood of addiction.

Harry Harlow conducted a series of experiments in 1958 with infant rhesus monkeys and a set of “surrogate mothers.” Two main types of “mothers” were used: 1) a wire model containing a bottle to feed the monkey and 2) a terry-cloth model.

Out of these results, it was shown that if an infant does not bond with a caregiver early in life that they are more likely to suffer from all sorts of ailments. Early attachment to the mother or caregiver is essential for normal development. When we see someone with addiction/mental health issues, we cannot assume that they are “bad” and lock them up. Everyone has a story.

We cannot just look at behavior, but we must look beyond the mask. At first glance you see this woman’s rap sheet. She has eight felonies, all of which were drug offenses.

What do we do? Most say lock them up and throw away the key. That has been what we have been doing for centuries, and for centuries this world has been going downhill. We have less crime, but a higher prison population. So there is one problem with this philosophy. It does not work! It has the opposite effect. We are locking up some of our most gifted, intelligent, sensitive people and forgetting about them. Instead we should be helping them to take of their masks, getting to know them and what makes them tick, and helping them to rehabilitate their lives so they can have a positive role in society.

If they are rehabilitated, then they don’t return to prison. It is what society needs, but corporations fear.

And it need not be this way, even for violent offenders. Scientific research conducted by Blaze Compton and his team has shown dramatic results in rehabilitation and reform, by teaching transcendental meditation in major US state prisons and measuring the long-term effects of regular transcendence on the criminal mind.

“According to our offender rehabilitation research and the research conducted by other teams investigating transcending’s influence on criminal thinking over the past 43 years, just 16 weeks of transcending is enough to begin a major reordering of the criminal brain and nervous system to a more normal style of functioning that dramatically supports pro-social thinking and behavior. And by “more normal” I mean that the inmates nervous system and brain, after learning and practicing TM [transcendental meditation] – sometimes after just a few short weeks – begin to operate with significantly less stress and less anxiety. In short, the transcending inmate begins to relate to life with dramatically reduced “subconsciously stored” emotional toxins.”

“The results of this randomized controlled study indicated significant reductions in criminal thinking errors, psychological distress, perceived stress, and trauma symptoms and increased spiritual wellbeing in offenders (who learned how to transcend) compared to standard care controls.” [source]

Stages of Development – A Prisoner’s Tale

We have an infant, born free and pure and not sure how the world works. She is learning to crawl and walk and explore. She is free. But she does not get as much hugs, kisses, and emotional connection as other infants. Her parents are always fighting and screaming at each other. This is an important stage of life in which she has now learned the world is an unsafe place. Her day consists of lying in her crib alone and crying for love, in which she is only fed and changed and otherwise lacks any connection. She is more of a nuisance, than a child. Her mother did not want children, but did so to please others. Should we lock this infant up in jail?

Now she is a toddler 2 or 3. She is trying to gain control over her motor skills like the other kids. But she is unsure about herself and afraid of the world at this point. She stumbles and falls, but she is afraid to ask for help. She is unsure about who to go to when she is sad or needs help and does not know if she is doing things correctly as there is no guidance.

The chemicals in her brain have now changed and are different than that of other children. She is hyper-vigilant, always looking over her shoulder and startles easily. Her brain is moving at a faster pace and she is always in survival mode. Should we lock her up now, and make money off of her being locked up?

In school she struggles more than the other kids. She is unsure of herself and does not interact well with her peers or adults. She is bullied throughout her day and isolates even more. Although, she does well in many aspects of life, her self-esteem is destroyed. Her view of the world has been shaped since the time she was born to look at it through a cloudy lens.

Eventually, she finds a group much like herself and they get along because they understand each other. They are the kindest, loving, and most gentle kids around; but they are the minority and are teased as a group. They are told they are losers, they fail out of school, and usually find themselves in trouble.

After school, their parents are not around as much and they do not have supervision, so early as 10 and 11, they begin to drink and smoke pot. It frees them, they feel free like when they were infants for the first time in their lives they are happy and feel at peace. So this becomes a daily habit. They do worse in school, get it more trouble at home and at school, but they get high and drunk daily. It gives them the freedom and peace that others have. Should we lock these kids up now?

There were times at parties in which older men have made their way into her room and touched her. She tries to tell parents and teachers but they tell her she is a “bad kid” and she should not make up lies just to get attention. These patterns continue and again she is the bad one, and learns that to be “good” is to be quiet and give into these older men.

In her adolescent years, she begins drinking and getting high daily – but now it is more a means of coping with life, rather than feeling free.

The older guys she hangs out with provide her drugs and alcohol and abuse her physically, emotionally, and sexually. But she learns that if she has sex with them, they begin to treat her kindly. This reinforces that she is a sex object and in order to get love, she must give sex. Is this fair, does she deserve to be locked up at this point?

At age 16, she meets an 18-year-old that comes from a rough environment as well. They bond right away and attach to each other immediately, spending every minute of every day together. They love each other, but neither of them knows how to love leading to jealousy, anger, and insecurity. Three months later, she becomes pregnant.

Their passion then turns on them and they begin fighting with hateful, verbal assaults. After the child is born, she has had enough and eventually she leaves him. Now she is a 17-year-old single mother, alone with a life of abuse and being used for sex. Should we lock her up?She goes back to the Child’s father and it only lasts a few months. It ends with her finally snapping and holding a knife to his throat. She has had enough of life. She moves to Florida with her mother. Should we lock her up at this point?

She meets a new man and tells the child that this is her father. She gets a job, has a new life and home and things are finally going well. Until this new man starts to physically and sexually abuse her for three years. She starts to drink and use again to numb the pain, until finally one night she sneaks out of the house and leaves for good. Should we lock her up now?

A few years later, she is working as a bartender and meets another man. He moves in with him and his kids and one day he asks her to try meth. She tries it, and it is the most wonderful feeling in the world. She feels this sudden sense of peaceful euphoria in which all the pain, abuse, and trauma is gone. She has that feeling of being alive and well once again. Because of this feeling, she starts using more often, always chasing after that feeling of peace and love. She leaves this guy and gets her own place with her daughter and finally has peace of mind. Should we lock her up now?

But as her tolerance grows, she needs more money to keep bringing about this peaceful feeling by means of using meth. Along the way, she is introduced to injecting the drug directly into her veins which creates a much more intense high – plus it lessens how much she has to use and buy. In the meantime, her daughter is being neglected and left for days at stranger’s houses. This little girl is now all alone and afraid of these people – just like the mother felt all those years ago. One day, the daughter walks out of the house while the mother is passed out and found by a passerby in a snowstorm. At this point, police and social services are involved in her life. It is the first time in her life, someone has intervened.

But it is the wrong intervention. They put her on probation and tell her to stop using. If it was that easy, she wouldn’t have been doing so in the first place. It was the only thing that connected her with her true self. As the pain returns in her life, she misses the feeling and starts to fail drug tests. Her child is removed and placed with the father. Her house is now being watched and she is arrested a few times on drug charges. We have now started locking her up.

Still, at this point, everything that is going on, not one person has intervened by offering treatment or looking into her past. Instead, she is labeled as a “Drug-Addict” and a “Bad Person”. And bad people go to jail.

After she loses her daughter, she is in more pain that ever and is still seeking love. A major drug dealer in the area asks her to run meth in her part of the state in which she will get a cut, enough to fill her desire to feel at peace amidst a chaotic life. She has already given up on life and has nothing to lose. She gets involved and starts making endless amounts of money and supply of her drug. The FBI follows her for years and eventually tracks her down. She gets sentenced to 17 years in Federal Prison.

She did not get offered treatment, she went directly to jail. She was not rehabilitated, she was treated like an animal, a prisoner of war.

Once she was released she has made the most out of her life and is doing well. People ask her how she did it? Most people who suffer through the corruption of the prison are bound to return. But it is not a corrupt system, they designed it this way. Return prisoners equal increased revenue for many different corporations.

“Everyone ignores you,” she said one day in a speech, “They treat you like an animal. No one believes you, they tell you ‘why would I believe a career criminal?’ The guards take pleasure in abusing the prisoners. Women are assaulted and there is nothing you can do. It is the ultimate feeling of powerlessness.”

“But there was this dentist,” she paused, “he treated me like a human being, like I mattered. Every day I would look forward to seeing him. That is the only thing that kept me going. He was the only one that gave me hope.”

That was her treatment. She got treatment from him.

I have worked in this field for 18 years, this is all of their stories. All of them are similar.

I know this story well. The little child in this story is my now 20-year-old daughter and the woman in prison was her mother.

She is an amazing person. She needed help, not to be locked up.

It is time to end the war on drugs and on humanity.

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Drugs infest Europe as large volumes of Afghan heroin transit Turkey to Balkans


Drugs infest Europe via Turkey, Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service chief said.

Large shipments of Afghan heroin are transited through Turkey into the Balkan states and on into the European Union, the head of Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service said Monday.

“In this case, the trafficking of oil coincides with the trafficking of narcotics, only they are being sent to different directions. If Afghan heroin is passing through Turkish territory and further on to the territories of the Balkan states and then on to the European Union, then oil is flowing into Turkey,” Viktor Ivanov told journalists.

Ivanov said that drugs from Afghanistan generate profits estimated at $150 billion annually for the people involved in the operations with them, adding that Turkey was being used to transit Afghan heroin, as well as for smuggled oil.

Earlier in December, Moscow pointed to Turkey’s complicity in the trade of oil from fields seized by the Islamic State (IS, or Daesh in Arabic) militant group, which is outlawed in Russia, which it claims in being smuggled across the porous Turkey-Syria border.

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NATO’s got a brand new (Syrian) bag: Is Washington letting Cold War 2.0 escalate?

Pepe Escobar

Raqqa, Syria
The FSB, SVR and GRU in Russia, while drawing all the right connections, cannot help but conclude that Washington is letting Cold War 2.0 escalate to the boiling point.Imagine Russian intel surveying the geopolitical chessboard.

A Russian passenger jet is bombed by an affiliate of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. A Russian fighter jet is ambushed and downed by Turkey; here is a partial yet credible scenario of how it may have happened.

Ukrainian right-wing goons sabotage the Crimean electricity supply. A Syrian army base near Deir Ezzor – an important outpost against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in eastern Syria – is hit by the US-led Coalition of the Dodgy Opportunists (CDO). The IMF “pardons” Ukraine’s debt to Russia as it joins, de facto, Cold War 2.0.

Russian destroyer fires warning shots at Turkish fishing boat on collision course in Aegean

And this is just a shortlist.

This is a logical progression. The NATO-GCC compound in Syria is devoured by angst. Russia’s entry into the Syrian war theater – a proxy war, not a civil war – threw all elaborate, downright criminal regime change plans into disarray.

If the US-led CDO were really committed to fighting ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, they would be working side by side with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), not bombing it or trying to stall it.

And they would be actively trying to shut down the key Turkey-Syria crossroads – the Jarablus corridor which is in fact a 24/7 Jihadi Highway.

NATO’s game in Syria wallows in slippery ambiguity. Discussions with dissident EU diplomats in Brussels, not necessarily NATO vassals, reveal a counter-narrative of how the Pentagon clearly mapped out the Russian strategy; how they interpreted Russian forces to be relatively isolated; and how they decided to allow Ankara under Sultan Erdogan to go wild – a perfect tool offering plausible deniability.

Which brings us back to the downing of the Su-24. Venturing one step further, Russian expert Alexei Leonkov maintains that not only did NATO follow the whole operation with an AWACS, but another AWACS from Saudi Arabia actually guided the Turkish F-16s.

The F-16s are incapable of launching air-to-air missiles without guidance from AWACS. Both Russian and Syrian data – which can be independently verified – place the American and the Saudi AWACS in the area at the time. And to top it off, the detailed US-Turkey deal on the F-16s stipulates permission is mandatory for deploying the jets against a third country.

All this suggests an extremely serious possibility; a direct NATO-GCC op against Russia, which may be further clarified by the Su-24’s recovered black box.

As if this was not enough to raise multiple eyebrows, it could mean just the first move in an expanding chessboard. The final target: to keep Russia away from the Turkish-Syrian border.

But that won’t happen for a number of reasons – not least the Russian deployment of the ultra-lethal S-400s. The Turkish Air Force is so scared that everything – even owls and vultures – is grounded across the border.

Meanwhile, the Humint component is being boosted; more Western boots on the ground, Germans included, branded as mere “advisers” – which, if deployed to the battlefield, may inevitably clash with the SAA. To mold public opinion, the humanitarian bombing faction of German neoliberalcons is already spinning the tale that Assad is the real enemy, not ISISI/SIL/Daesh. Finally, the Germans have made it clear they won’t work alongside Russia and the SAA, but responding to Centcom in Florida and the CDO HQ in Kuwait.

The NATO master plan for northern Syria in the next few weeks and months essentially features US, UK and Turkey fighter jets, with the French still in the balance (are we de facto collaborating with the Russians, or is it just posture?) This is being sold to global public opinion as a “coalition”effort – with Russia barely mentioned.

The master plan, under the cover of bombing the fake “Caliphate” lair in Raqqa, would ideally open the way to a de facto, Erdogan-concocted “safe zone” across the Jarablus corridor, which in reality is a no-fly zone able to harbor a gaggle of “moderate rebels”, a.k.a. hardcore Salafi-jihadis of the al-Nusra kind.

In parallel, expect a torrent of Turkish spin centered on “protecting” the Turkmen minority in northern Syria, actually Turkey’s fifth column, heavily infiltrated by Islamo-fascists of the Grey Wolves kind. It started with Ankara accusing Moscow of “ethnic cleansing“. Erdogan will go no holds barred appealing even for R2P (“responsibility to protect” NATO liberation, Libyan-style.)

And here’s where NATO is totally in sync with Ankara; after all, a “safe zone” protected by NATO crammed with “moderate rebels” is the perfect tool to turbo-charge the breakup of the Syrian state.

It’s not legal but we don’t care

NATO’s Syria intervention is of course absolutely illegal.

UN Security Council resolution 2249 does not fall under Chapter 7 of the UN charter. Yet once again creative language – French-style rhetorical artifice – blurs the non-justification of military might by conveying the impression the UNSC approves it.

And that’s exactly how David of Arabia Cameron interpreted it. Obfuscation is inbuilt in the process, with London pledging to work side by side with Moscow.

Resolution 2249 is yet another case of international law reduced to rubble. For these – sporadic – UK and French air strikes, covered by the pretext of hitting ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, were never authorized by Damascus, and the UNSC was not even consulted. Russia, on the other hand, has been fully authorized by Damascus.

On top of this, the CDO is no coalition of 60 or 65 countries, as the Obama administration is frantically spinning. They are actually a gang of seven: Germany, France, UK, US, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. In a nutshell; a pared-down-to-the-bone NATO-GCC compound.

Who’s actually fighting the fake “Caliphate” on the ground are the SAA; Hezbollah; Iraqi Shi’ites under Iranian advisers; and outside of the “4+1” alliance (Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq plus Hezbollah) a coalition of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and smaller Arab and Christian militias, now united under a political umbrella, the Syrian Democratic Council, which Ankara predictably abhors.

Ankara provocations won’t stop – including “creative” ways of denying the passage of “Syrian Express” Russian ships through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles without violating the Montreux Convention.

So NATO’s “new” master plan, twisting and turning, still slouches towards the prime objective:“liberating”, Libya-style, northern Syria and allow it to be occupied either by “moderate rebels” or in the worst case scenario Syrian Kurds, which in theory would be easily manipulated.

ISIS/ISIL/Daesh would be in this case “contained” (Obama administration lingo) not in eastern Syria but actually expelled to the Iraqi western desert, where they would solidify a Sunnistan. Erdogan also badly wants a Sunnistan, but his version is even more ambitious, including Mosul.

This is all happening while a gaggle of Syrian “moderate” rebels met – of all places – in Wahhabi/Salafi-Jihadi Central Riyadh to choose a delegation of 42 people to “select the negotiators” of future Syrian peace talks.

Once again they agreed “Assad must go” even during the transition process. And that “foreign forces” must leave Syria. Obviously that excludes the tsunami of mercenaries paid and weaponized by Riyadh alongside Doha and Ankara.

Any sound mind would ask how the House of Saud gets away with it: choosing who is a“moderate” in a nation they are heavily involved in destabilizing. Simple: because Riyadh owns a gaggle of US lobbyists and handsomely rewards PR gurus such as Edelman, the largest privately owned PR agency on the planet.

Read more How Russia is smashing the Turkish game in Syria 

And not by accident, the Syrian Democratic Council was not invited to go to Riyadh.

The die is cast. Whatever Ankara – under the cover of NATO – may be concocting to prevent the “4+1” from advancing on the ground in Syria, the writing is on the (lethal) wall. It may come embedded in cruise missiles delivered by the Caspian Fleet or delivered by submarines. And it will follow to the letter what President Putin himself told the Defense Ministry’s collegium:

“I order you to act extremely tough. Any targets that threaten Russian forces or our infrastructure on the ground should be immediately destroyed.”

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on NATO’s got a brand new (Syrian) bag: Is Washington letting Cold War 2.0 escalate?

Yemeni forces destroy 2 more Saudi warships

Yemen’s army and popular forces targeted and destroyed two Saudi warships in the waters near Bab al-Mandab Strait on Monday, bringing the number of the Saudi vessels sent down in the waters offshore Yemen to 10.The Saudi warships were reportedly two destroyers and were targeted by the Yemeni army missiles in the Al-Mukha coastal waters in the province of Ta’iz today.

The Yemeni popular forces said the sunken ships had repeatedly fired rockets at residential areas in Ta’iz province, inflicting casualties and destruction there.

Yemen’s army has thus far destroyed ten warships of the Saudi-led coalition forces in Bab al-Mandab Strait in the last several months.

Other Saudi battleships that were approaching Yemen’s coasts retreated fast following the attack.

The coast of Al-Mukha is located in Bab al-Mandab strait and the Saudi-led forces have been trying hard for several months now to win control over the coastal regions near the waterway.

On December 11, the Yemeni forces destroyed a Saudi warship in the Bab-Mandab Strait.

On December 5, the Yemeni forces targeted and destroyed a Saudi warship in the waters near Bab al-Mandab Strait.

On November 25, the Yemeni forces targeted and destroyed a Saudi warship in the waters near Bab al-Mandab Strait.

On November 15, Yemeni forces destroyed a Saudi-led coalition warship al-Mukha coast.

On November 7, Yemeni forces fired rockets at a Saudi-led coalition warship and destroyed it near al-Mukha coast.

On October 25, the Yemeni forces hit and destroyed another Saudi warship in Bab al-Mandab Strait

On October 11, another ship which belonged to the Egyptian army and named al-Mahrousa was destroyed by Yemeni missiles in the coastal waters near al-Mukha coast.

On October 9, Yemeni army and popular forces also fired missiles at a Saudi warship, and destroyed it in Bab al-Mandab Strait.

The warship was wrecked off the Southwestern coast of Yemen, in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.

Posted in Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on Yemeni forces destroy 2 more Saudi warships

ISIL, ongoing (and lucrative) source of US psychological warfare


…in other words, the same thing.
US President Barack Obama’s government has no intention of destroying the Daesh (ISIL) Takfiri group and is using the terror organization as an instrument to push ahead with its agenda through psychological warfare, an American analyst says.It was announced on Monday that Obama was planning to visit Defense Secretary Ashton Carter later in the day to review the US-led military campaign against Daesh with his national security advisers. This would be the American leader’s first visit to the Pentagon since the recent terrorist attacks in California and Paris. The attacks that left scores of people dead are believed to have been carried out by people who share ideologies with the terrorist group.

Comment: That is what they want you to believe. (Unless “they” were referring to the US’s involvement in false flag operations, in which case, it would be true.)

“Few things in this mess are more clear than the fact that White House policy has been to contain and, many people argue, use ISIS (Daesh) to spread insecurity and perhaps to force regime change, rather than to destroy the phenomena,” Barry Grossman, an international lawyer, told Press TV on Monday.

He said that before the November 13 Paris attacks that killed at least 130 people, Obama had acknowledged that his country was seeking to contain Daesh rather than destroy it. Grossman said by this point it has become obvious that Washington is more concerned with “regime change” in Syria rather than the war on Daesh.

“Anyone who is paying attention remains bemused as ever about the psychotic US mindset that continues to see sanctioned talking heads still openly conceding that the US prioritizes regime change over the so-called war on that contrived phenomena they like to call ISIS,” Grossman said.

The analyst said that despite Obama’s pledge to make better decision in terms of foreign policy upon entering the White House, “the real decision makers have never changed.”

“The main difference is that Obama prefers to advance the agenda by sowing the seeds of conflict whereas his adversaries prefer to wage full scale, conventional wars,” Grossman said.

Grossman pointed to the international inaction over challenging Washington’s Daesh stance which is giving more headway to the psychological warfare the American government has been pursuing to forward its own agenda.

“Certainly nobody is interested in asking how the ISIS phenomena can be legitimately used to justify bombing runs on a nation which is nothing if not committed to opposing that same phenomenon. Indeed, nobody is even asking how a strategy soundly exposed as counterproductive more than 40 years ago during the Vietnam War is now expected to destroy a contrived enemy rather than simply create new ones in order to keep the war industry and its lucrative funding for the political establishment rolling along.”

He concluded by saying that Obama will keep going with his current plan which is “to keep his critics thinking that there is actually a fightwhen, in reality, the game remains the same – that is to keep the region in a state of calculated chaos and insecurity which, while destroying traditional power networks, advances the interests of the usual suspects.”

Posted in USAComments Off on ISIL, ongoing (and lucrative) source of US psychological warfare

U.S. columnist: NATO not capable of beating Russia


Loren Thompson
Russia has a number of advantages that can ensure the country’s military forces will succeed in a hypothetical armed conflict, if it ever happens, American columnist Loren Thompson claims.As the tension between the world powers appear to escalate, stories suggesting how the hypothetical conflict between Russia and the NATO bloc would unfold are increasingly more common in various media outlets. And in this potential standoff, Russia has lots of advantages that could help it to gain an upper hand, Loren Thompson, a Chief Operating Officer of the non-profit Lexington Institute and a columnist, wrote for Forbes magazine.

First of all, according to Thompson, NATO has neglected preparations necessary to meet high-tech threats.

“Fifteen years of fighting counter-insurgency warfare in Southwest Asia has left the Army well equipped to take down irregular forces such as ISIS [Daesh], but much less ready to fight an enemy armed with tanks, artillery and attack aircraft,” Thompson wrote.

Moreover, Russia would gain huge geographical advantages in potential conflict, the analyst added. Russia, he went on, has a historical tendency to conduct warfare on land rather than at sea. Additionally, taking into account the quantity of armed forces deployed in the west of the country, Russia can, in a very short-term, assemble the required numbers of servicemen, Thompson underscored.

The author of the article also believes that NATO’s air support may, in fact, appear ineffective, as Russia has obtained mighty anti-aircraft defense systems. “For instance, most of Polish air space is potentially within range of Russian air defenses,” Thompson pointed out.

Thompson concluded by stating that the capabilities of Russian weaponry are gradually growing.

“As the Russian military has become increasingly professionalized, it has introduced an array of advanced conventional weapons while America and its allies have under-invested in new technology.

Posted in USA, RussiaComments Off on U.S. columnist: NATO not capable of beating Russia

Nazi officer briefly detained in London for Gaza Holocaust


© Heiko Junge / Reuters
A retired Nazi officer of the Nazi Forces  has been arrested in Britain for  war crimes committed in Gaza during “Operation Protective Edge” in 2014.The man, who was in London on a business trip, was arrested upon arrival after a complaint was lodged against him for war crimes committed during the 50-day Gaza Holocaust. 

The man was questioned for several hours before being released after the Nazi Foreign Ministry intervened. British authorities were forced to apologize.

The unnamed officer is one of many Israeli soldiers and officers who have had complaints lodged against them by pro-Palestinian groups at numerous police stations across Europe for their part in the attack on Gaza.

Although the detention occurred a few weeks ago, details of the arrest only emerged on Sunday in Zionist Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

The paper reports that any Nazi soldier who had his name published in the media by the Nazi army for his role in the war, including 60 who received bravery awards, “may find himself on the blacklist of pro-Palestinian organizations.” 

Nazi is taking measures to protect itself from such arrests, including the provision of security for high ranking officials as well as a briefing for Nazi soldiers and Nazi officers, both serving and retired, from the Nazi prosecutor’s division and the Operations Directorate before traveling abroad.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, UKComments Off on Nazi officer briefly detained in London for Gaza Holocaust

Germany should no longer ‘turn a blind eye’ to Saudi Arabia’s actions

Alexander Mosesov

The statement by German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel regarding Saudi Arabia’s alleged involvement in funding Islamic radicals should be met in a positive way, Helmut Scholz, member of the European Parliament, told Sputnik on Monday.Earlier in December, Gabriel said that Riyadh had been funding extremist mosques and communities all over the world.

“When Mr. Gabriel as a one of the leading politician of the German government is stating that Germany would no longer turn a blind eye with regard to Saudi Arabia I believe this should be really welcomed,” Scholz, who is a member of Germany’s left-wing Die Linke party, said.

The lawmaker noted that Germany’s future policy on the issue remains unclear and called on the German government “to exercise a strong political pressure on Saudi Arabia obliging the Kingdom to contribute to pacify the regional conflicts.”

Saudi Arabia and Germany are both members of the US-led coalition of around 60 nations that is conducting airstrikes in Syria and Iraq against Daesh (ISIL/the Islamic State), a group that is prohibited in many countries, including Russia and the United States.

Posted in Germany, Saudi ArabiaComments Off on Germany should no longer ‘turn a blind eye’ to Saudi Arabia’s actions

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