Archive | February 11th, 2017

US Special Forces on the Ground in Syria: US-Backed Advance on Raqqah ISIS Stronghold. What Is Going On?

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isis-flags

The US-baсked Syrian Democratic Forces, predominantly Kurdish YPG units, have been developing an advance in the eastern countryside of the ISIS self-proclaimed Syrian capital of Raqqah.

The decision to flank the ISIS stronghold from eastern direction followed a failed attempt of the US Special Forces and some SDF units to infiltrate the area of the strategic Tabqa dam.

De-facto, this meant that the US-led forces were not able to achieve their strategic goal west of Raqqah. However, the SDF announced the end of the 2nd and the start of the 3rd stage of the Operation Wrath of Euphrates.

The goal of the 3rd stage is to further isolate the ISIS-held city, including seizing the road to Deir Ezzor. If the SDF captures the road, ISIS units in Deir Ezzor will be cut off from their allies in Raqqah. This will decrease significantly the terrorist group’s ability to redeploy reinforcements from one front to another. Nevertheless, this is under a big question. The US strategists are well known due to their will to keep open exit roads for ISIS terrorists in besieged cities in Syria and Iraq. If the road remains open, ISIS units will likely flow from Raqqah to Deir Ezzor, escalating confrontation with the Syrian army in the besieged city.

While the new US administration is considering a new plan of the Raqqah operation, SDF representative, Rojda Felat, has already claimed that the SDF will need more heavy military equipment, including battle tanks, to storm the city. In other words, the YPG wants to get more equipment to increase its military capabilities. But this doesn’t mean that the group will throw all what it has to storm Raqqah.

Indeed, the fate of Raqqah depends on the decision of the US administration on the issue. Earlier this month, Lieutenant General Jon Davis emphasized that the US would need not only additional airstrikes.

There are already between 300 and 500 US Special Forces troops and unknown number of French and German special forces. This number will likely be increased to retake the ISIS capital in Syria. It could indicate that the Pentagon is going to involve US and NATO forces during the operation, repeating the Mosul case. The real role of the SDF is now unclear. In any case, its goal will be to show that its “local Syrian forces” storm the ISIS stronghold.

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Amnesty International’s “Kangaroo Report” on Human Rights in Syria

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amnesty-international

Introduction

Amnesty International (AI) has done some good investigations and reports over the years. This has won them widespread support.  However, less well recognized, Amnesty International has also carried out faulty investigations contributing to bloody and disastrous actions. One prominent example is in Iraq, where AI “corroborated” the false story that Iraqi soldiers were stealing incubators from Kuwait, leaving babies to die on the cold floor. The deception was planned and carried out in Washington DC to influence the public and Congress. 

A more recent example is from 2011 where false accusations were being made about Libya and its leader as Western and Gulf powers sought to overthrow the Gaddafi government. AI leaders joined the campaign claiming that Gaddafi was using “mercenaries” to threaten and kill peacefully protesting civilians. The propaganda was successful in muting criticism. Going far beyond a UN Security Council resolution to “protect civilians”, NATO launched sustained air attacks and toppled the Libyan government leading to chaos, violence and a flood of refugees. AI later refuted the “mercenary” accusations but the damage was done.

The Sensational New Amnesty International Report

On 7 February Amnesty International released a new report titled “Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison”. It has received huge uncritical review in mainstream and liberal media.

Like the Iraq/Kuwait incubator story and the Libyan ‘mercenary’ story, the “Human Slaughterhouse” report is coming at a critical time. The consequences of the AI report are to accuse and convict the Syrian government of horrible atrocities against civilians.  AI explicitly calls for the international community to take “action”.

As will be shown below, the AI report is biased and partial. To the extent that it is resulting in a widespread kangaroo conviction of the Syrian government, the AI release can be called a “Kangaroo Report”.

Problems with the Report

1) The Amnesty International report on Syria violates their own research standards.  As documented by Prof Tim Hayward here, the Secretary General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty, claims that Amnesty does its research in a very systematic, primary, way where we collect evidence with our own staff on the ground. And every aspect of our data collection is based on corroboration and cross-checking from all parties, even if there are, you know, many parties in any situation because of all of the issues we deal with are quite contested. So it’s very important to get different points of view and constantly cross check and verify the facts.’ As documented below, the Amnesty report fails on all counts: they rely on third parties, they did not gather different points of view and they did not cross-check.

2) The report conclusions are not based on primary sources, material evidence or their own staff; they are solely based on the claims of anonymous individuals, mostly in southern Turkey from where the war on Syria is coordinated.

3) Amnesty gathered witnesses and testimonies from only one side of the conflict: the Western and Gulf supported opposition. For example, AI consulted with the Syrian Network for Human Rights which is known to seek NATO intervention in Syria. AI “liased” with the Commission for International Justice and Accountability. This organization is funded by the West to press criminal charges against the Syrian leadership. These are obviously not neutral, independent or nonpartisan organizations. If AI was doing what the Secretary General claims they do, they would have consulted with organizations within or outside Syria to hear different accounts of life at Saydnaya Prison.  Since the AI report has been released, the AngryArab has published the account of a Syrian dissident, Nizar Nayyouf, who was imprisoned at Saydnaya. He contradicts many statements in the Amnesty International report. This is the type of cross-checking which Amnesty International failed to do for this important study.

4) Amnesty’s accusation that executions were “extrajudicial” is exaggerated or false. By Amnesty’s own description, each prisoner appeared briefly before a judge and each execution was authorized by a high government leader. We do not know if the judge looked at documentation or other information regarding each prisoner. One could argue that the process was superficial but it’s clear there was some kind of judicial process.

5) Amnesty’s suggestion that all Saydnaya prisoners are convicted is false.  Amnesty quotes one of their witnesses who says about the court: “The judge will ask the name of the detainee and whether he committed the crime. Whether the answer is yes or no, he will be convicted.” This assertion is contradicted by a former Saydnaya prisoner who is now a refugee in Sweden. In this news report the former prisoner says the judge “asked him how many soldiers he had killed. When he said none, the judge spared him.” This is evidence that there is a judicial process of some sort and there are acquittals.

6) The Amnesty report includes satellite photographs with captions which are meaningless or erroneous. For example, as pointed out by Syrian dissident Nizar Nayyouf, the photo on page 30 showing a Martyrs Cemetery is “silly beyond silly”. The photo and caption show the cemetery doubled in size. However, this does not prove hangings of prisoners who would never be buried in a “martyrs cemetery” reserved for Syrian army soldiers. On the contrary, it confirms the fact which Amnesty International otherwise ignores:  Syrian soldiers have died in large numbers.

7) The Amnesty report falsely claims, based on data provided by one of the groups seeking NATO intervention, “The victims are overwhelmingly ordinary civilians who are thought to oppose the government.”  While it’s surely true that innocent civilians are sometimes wrongly arrested, as happens in all countries, the suggestion that Saydnaya prison is filled with 95% “ordinary civilians” is preposterous. Amnesty International can make this claim with a straight face because they have effectively “disappeared” the reality of Syria. Essential facts which are completely missing from the Amnesty report include:

a) western powers and Gulf monarchies have put up billions of dollars annually since 2011 to fund, train, weaponize, provide salaries and propaganda in support of a violent campaign to overthrow the Syrian government;  b) tens of thousands of foreign fanatics have invaded Syria;

c) tens of thousands of Syrians have been radicalized and paid by Wahabi monarchies in the Gulf to overthrow the government;

d) over 100 THOUSAND Syrian Army and National Defense soldiers have been killed defending their country. Most of this is public information yet ignored by Amnesty International and other media in the West. They have done a massive distortion and cover-up of reality.

8) Without providing evidence, Amnesty International accuses the highest Sunni religious leader in Syria, Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, of authorizing the execution of “ordinary civilians”. The Grand Mufti is a personal victim: his son was murdered by terrorists near Aleppo. Yet he has consistently called for reconciliation. Following the assassination of his son, Grand Mufti Hassoun gave an eloquent speech expressing forgiveness for the murderers and calling for an end to the violence. What does it say about Amnesty International that they make these kind of specific personal accusations, against people who have personally suffered, yet provide zero evidence?

9) Amnesty uses sensational and emotional accusations in place of factual evidence. The title of the report is  “Human Slaughterhouse”. What goes with a “slaughterhouse”?  Why of course ….. a “meat fridge”!  The report uses the expression “meat fridge” seven separate times, presumably in an attempt to buttress the association.  Even the opening quotation is hyperbolic: “Saydnaya is the end of life – the end of humanity”.  This report is in sharp contrast with fact-based objective research and investigation; it is closer to perception management and manipulation.

10) Amnesty International accusations that the Syrian government is carrying out a policy of “extermination” are contradicted by the fact that the vast majority of Syrians prefer to live in government controlled areas. When the “rebels” were finally driven out of East Aleppo in December 2016, 90% of civilians rushed into government controlled areas. In recent days, civilians from Latakia province who had been imprisoned by terrorists for the past 3 years have been liberated in a prisoner exchange. The following video shows the Syrian President and first lady meeting with some of the civilians and gives a sense of the joy.

11) The Amnesty report is accompanied by a 3 minute cartoon which gives the false narrative that Syrian civilians who protest peacefully are imprisoned and executed. The cartoon is titled “Saydnaya Prison: Human Slaughterhouse”. Apparently Amnesty International is in denial of the fact that there are many tens of thousands of violent extremists in Syria. They set off car bombs, launch mortars and otherwise attack civilian areas every day. While there are mistakes from time to time, and also cases of corruption and bribery, it makes no sense that Syrian security or prison authorities would be wasting time and resources with non-violent civilians when there are tens of thousands of foreign sponsored actual terrorists in the country. The AI accusation is also contradicted by the fact that there are many opposition parties in Syria. They compete for seats in the National Assembly and campaign openly for public support from both the right and left of the Baath Party.

12) The Amnesty claim that Syrian authorities brutally repress peaceful protest is also contradicted by the Syrian reconciliation process. For the past several years armed opposition militants have been encouraged to lay down their weapons and peacefully rejoin society. This is largely unreported in western media because it contradicts the false stereotype presented by Amnesty International and western media in general. A recent example is reported here.

13) The Amnesty report cites the “Caesar” photographs as supporting evidence but ignores the fact that nearly half the photographs show the opposite of what was claimed. The widely publicized “Caesar photographs” was a Qatari funded hoax designed to sabotage the 2014 Geneva negotiations as documented here .

14) The Amnesty report makes many accusations against the Syrian government but ignores the violation of Syrian sovereignty being committed by western and Gulf countries. It is a curious fact that big NGOs such as Amnesty International focus on violations of “human rights law” and “humanitarian law” but ignore the crime of aggression, also called the crime against peace.  According to the Nuremberg Tribunal, this is “the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” Former Nicaraguan Foreign Minister and former President of the U.N. General Assembly, Father Miguel D’Escoto, is someone who should know. He says, “What the U.S. government is doing in Syria is tantamount to a war of aggression, which, according to the Nuremberg Tribunal, is the worst possible crime a State can commit against another State.” Amnesty International ignores this.

Background and Context

The co-author of this Amnesty International report is Nicolette Waldman (Boehland). She was uncritically interviewed on DemocracyNow on 9 February. The background and previous work of Waldman shows the inter-connections between influential Washington “think tanks” and the billionaire foundation funded Non Governmental Organizations that claim to be independent but are clearly not. Waldman previously worked for the “Center for Civilians in Conflict”. This organization is directed by leaders from George Soros’ Open Society, Human Rights Watch, Blackrock Solutions and the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). CNAS may be the most significant indication of political orientation since it is led by Michele Flournoy, who was predicted to become Secretary of Defense if Hillary Clinton had won the election. CNAS has been a leading force behind neo-conservatives plan to escalate war in Syria. While past work or associations do not always define new or future work, in this case the sensational and evidence-free accusations seem to align with neoconservative political goals.

Conclusion

Amnesty International has previously published false information or “corroboration” which justified western aggression against Iraq and Libya. This seems to be the same role they are playing now in Syria.

The Amnesty International report is a combination of accusations based on hearsay and sensationalism. Partially because of Amnesty’s undeserved reputation for independence and accuracy, the report has been picked up and broadcast widely.  Liberal and supposedly progressive media outlets have dutifully echoed the dubious accusations. In reality this report amounts to a Kangaroo court with the victim being the Syrian government and people who have borne the brunt of the foreign sponsored aggression. If this report sparks an escalation of the conflict, which Amnesty International seems to call for, it will be a big step backwards not forward ….just like in Iraq and Libya.

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Mainstream Media: All the Fake News That’s Fit to Print

NOVANEWS

21WIRE’s #FakeNewsWeek Awareness Campaign

fake news

In response to the establishment media’s contrived ‘fake news’ crisis designed to marginalise independent and alternative media sources of news and analysis, 21WIRE is running its own #FakeNewsWeek awareness campaign, where each day our editorial team at 21st Century Wire will feature media critiques and analysis of mainstream corporate media coverage of current events – exposing the government and the mainstream media as the real purveyors of ‘fake news’ throughout modern history…

Understanding the complex relationships that make up human endeavors permeates every aspect of society and politics. The ability to be informed about events is a basic motivation to search out news about what is exactly happening in the world we all live in.

Journalism purports to report the first draft of history. In practice, the press and media coverage is systemically bereft of relevant facts and completely void of objectivity. The currency of the realm is trust for all journalists. Their collective credibility is bankrupt for a very simple reason; their newscasts are based upon lies, newspeak and intentional deception.

1 Fake News Media Propaganda copy

Carlin Romano in We Need ‘Philosophy of Journalism, asks an essential question that is not at all addressed by the Fourth Estate: “How can it be that journalism and philosophy, the two humanistic intellectual activities that most boldly (and some think obnoxiously) vaunt their primary devotion to truth, are barely on speaking terms?”

Essentially, every component of the mainstream media multiplex is foremost a business. The business model is to operate under the aegis of monopolies. Even a casual observation of the interlocking ownership of big media must acknowledge that the concentration of likeminded Oligopolists are in unison to construct a consortium of predisposed narratives that has nothing to do with seeking the truth.

When the term Pressitude is used to characterize the profession, the uninformed or limited literate news consumers often find comfort in turning on their network disinformation program. Those who take pride in obtaining their news from ‘papers of record’ like the New York Times and the Washington Post rely upon a different motivation. Their aversion to any source that contradicts the establishment worldview is so painful to consider that they adopt a feeble rationalization for self-preservation, which demands rejection of any argument, verifiable facts or documented evidence that challenges their scripted storyline of reality.

The example of Sharyl Attkisson, and Judith Miller, have been treated differently by their own employers. The first demonstrating courageous investigative reporting; whereas the second produced a fabricated account that deceived the public about nonexistent WMDs in Iraq. Attkisson was ostracized, while Miller is now a FOX News contributor.

Miller’s Pulitzer Prize, awarded while employed by the NYT – is no badge of honor. The term Yellow Journalism is most closely associated with Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. Their sensational duelling newspapers and extra editions shared the “Fake News” prototype during the late 19th century and early 20th century. What once was conveyed by a cartoon image is now a 24/7 cable news cycle. Granted, the 21st century is different, but the spin and outright lies follow the same pattern of misinformation. Deception, falsification and distortion are absorbed as nonchalantly as a My Pillow advertisement that inundates the propaganda that masquerades as news.

The orthodox version of American media journalism was crafted under the guidance of William S. Paley of CBS, setting the highest standard for news reporting at that time. Names like Edward R. Murrow, Elmer Davis, William L. Shirer, Charles Collingwood, Howard K. Smith and Eric Sevareid are icons in the industry. For those who contend that this era invented “The most trusted man in America” Walter Cronkite, one must not forget that the broadcast news division ran budget deficits, while the parent network was most profitable.

1 Edward Bernays
Yet for all the celebrated accolades that CBS News coveted, the underlying message behind the script was Edward Bernays’ propaganda. Fast forward to the internet age and you find that these one-time news bureaus no longer control their monopoly over the news cycle.

Immediacy in information dissemination no longer guarantees accuracy in the report anymore than corporatist editing ensures the believability of the popularly accepted viewpoint. Nevertheless, the predominant originator of “Fake News” comes from a far more sinister source; government brainwashing. Indeed, at the very core of vast news media apparatus are state-sponsored operatives and embeds. Any pretense that there is any independence within establishment media outlets is a symptom of the chronic idiocy within the popular culture. Inserting the government fake news version, using unreliable sources to shape an echo chamber of official fiction is the paradigm for mass indoctrination. Controlling gatekeepers to filter out any conflicting accounts uses both covert and overt censorship. The flagship news purveyors devote their resources to discredit genuine freelance reporting from any ideological perspectives. Mainstream Media (MSM) has the mission to smear any alternative news source and label them as disrepute journalists.

The American Press Institute states that Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth. Then refines this criterion by adding conditionality to the standard: “Journalism does not pursue truth in an absolute or philosophical sense, but in a capacity that is more down to earth.”

By inserting a subjective value element, any reasonable expectation that the work product is trustworthy is suspect. It becomes the task of the reader or viewer to critically analyze the underlying bias and intention to inculcate the culture.  When Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase, “The medium is the message,” he was foreseeing the extent of the newspeak affixed within the medium was not fully appreciated.

Corporations select journalists for their adherence to nihilism in reporting. The MSM’s denial of objective facts and practicing deception by generating actual fake news has produced generations of naïve, ill-informed and confused souls – placing a purdah veil over the heads of trendy clones, fostering the shearing of the sheeple society.

Escaping this planet of press corps apes requires a withdrawal from the sophism. The coordinated accusations of “Fake News” attacks by the dinosaur media upon autonomous internet reporting is a sure sign that suppressing truth to power is the only storyline that matters to these secular relativists and muckraking crusaders to maintain their stranglehold on headline sound bites.

The selection agenda which determines what constitutes news is an editorial function that bears witness to the parameters for public conditioning. All other reporting is declared as ‘conspiracy theory.’ Even a casual assessment of the foreign press provides a contrast to the perception spin machine from K Street or Madison Avenue. As the monopoly media manipulation resorts to their faux news narrative, astute observers understand that their broadcast lies are the real Fake News.

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Amnesty Fake News on Syria. “Human Rights” as a Pretext for Criminal Invasions

NOVANEWS
 
fake news

The U.S Empire, which serves narrow oligarch[1] special interests, rather than broad-based national interests, always uses the banner of “human rights” as a pretext for criminal invasions, but the invasions, at least since 9/11, are NEVER about human rights.

Quite the opposite.

Recently, as an example, U.S coalition warplanes deliberately, and criminally, bombed bridges and water lines serving the city of Raqqa, Syria, all for the benefit of the U.S terrorist proxies occupying and terrorizing the city.

Order Mark Taliano’s Book directly from Global Research

Targeting civilians for death and destruction is U.S military strategy, well-honed during previous illegal invasions of other countries, including Iraq and Libya.

If the criminal cabal driving the Empire’s mass-murdering, country and international law-destroying overseas holocaust did use human rights as a reason for invasion, then it would be invading itself. The US has among the highest rates of incarceration[2] in the world, stratospheric child-poverty rates[3], a foreign policy consisting of war crimes, and a well-honed apparatus for torturing[4] people globally etc.

But the fake “humanitarian” pretexts regularly fool and tame the MSM–consuming masses, thus engineering consent for more war crimes of the highest order.

A recently-released Amnesty International Report[5] – based on hearsay, and fabricated in the U.K — fails all tests of validity, but nonetheless serves the Pentagon’s strategy of “information dominance”[6], codified in U.S law with the passage of HR5181[7], which provides a framework for “countering” and “refuting” narratives that do not align with U.S propaganda narratives.

All of the war lies about Syria, covered and repeated incessantly by MSM fake news, have been discredited.  Assad is not a brutal dictator.  He does not willfully bomb his own people.  He does not “kill his own people”, nor does he gas his own people. And so the next Big Lie is the Amnesty fake news story, dutifully reported and legitimized, of course, by MSM fake news.

— Prof Tim Anderson

The Amnesty lie serves to obscure the increasingly obvious real story about Syria, including the nature of the West’s terrorist proxies,[8] and the crimes[9] that they commit.

The criminal narratives of the warmongering oligarch class need to be replaced with on-the-ground real news about Syria, and the real news tells us that Syria is winning the battle against the NATO et al. terrorists.  This should be cause for celebration[10].

[7] Mark Taliano, Voices From Syria, Global Research Publishers, 23

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Eleven Ominous Signs That We Are Racing Towards War with Iran

USA Iran

War with Iran is in the cards as the administration of US President Donald Trump takes an overly aggressive stance against the Islamic Republic. Without doubt, the 2016 US presidential election left the nation deeply divided and polarized. Trump has been in office for around 3 weeks and there are still many people protesting against him. His brash style and EOs (Executive Orders) have some horrible unintended consequences, such as his 90-day immigration order (called a “Muslim ban” by some) resulting in a 5-year-old getting handcuffed and separated from his parents. Amidst all of this engineered disorder, there is a serious danger lurking: Trump is taking the US on a sure course to war with Iran. Trump said on numerous occasions throughout his campaign that he would not rule out the use of nuclear weapons, and on Feb. 2nd 2017 he warned Tehran that “nothing is off the table.”

Why Iran?

Before we get to the all the signs indicating that war with Iran is on the books, it is important to remember why the US and its masters are targeting Iran. Firstly, Iran has become the arch-enemy of the Saudi-Israeli alliance because it is the one country militarily and economically strong enough to challenge their dominance of the Middle Eastern region. There is no love lost between Israel and Iran, who have traded insults and threats for decades; meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Iran are home to the 2 sides of the Sunni-Shia conflict within the Muslim world (Saudi Arabia – Sunni, Iran – Shia). Trump is a Zionist down to his very bone marrow and DNA, and evidently also afraid to take on the Saudis who were conspicuously omitted from EO immigration ban of 7 nations.

Secondly, Iran has been openly supportive of the fight against Zionism (by funding Hezbollah in Lebanon) and against the Sunni extremist group ISIS (the pet Frankenstein of the US). The US now under Trump has accused Iran as being the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world, but this is completely untrue. Iran has been a counterweight to radical Sunni Islam, extremism and violence.

Anthony Freda Art

Thirdly, Iran has forged a tight alliance with Russia and China in defiance of the Zionist-Anglo-American New World Order which seeks to impose a unipolar One World Government on the world, with the international bankers at the helm. Iran remains one the few countries in the world without a Rothschild-owned central bank. It refuses to bow to the will of the US or to allow the US to place its imperial military bases within its territory.

The following 11 signs below show that war with Iran is, unfortunately, shaping up to fast become a reality unless people quickly wake to to the game plan:

War with Iran Sign #1: Which Path to Persia? US follows the Zionist Think Tank Plan

The Brookings Institution is another PNAC-neocon-Zionist (and with links to Zbigniew Brzezinski) think tank which drives US foreign policy. In its 2009 analysis paper Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran, it advocated the US make a deal with Iran, then renege on the deal (making it look like Iran was refusing something very reasonable), and then attack Iran with support from the international community:

 … any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context — both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer — one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal. – pg. 39

(Hat tip to Tony Cartalucci for alerting people to this years ago.)

War with Iran Sign #2: Iran on the “Muslim Ban” List but Saudi Arabia Is Not on the List

I have talked about the so-called “Muslim ban” in an earlier article where I made the point that technically it’s not a Muslim ban. However, here I want to emphasize that if the real point of the travel ban were to stop terrorists, then why on Earth is Saudi Arabia not on the list? Trump referenced 9/11 when talking about this travel ban, and even according to the official 9/11 narrative (a fairy tale no doubt, but this is what some people believe), Saudi Arabia was the source of 15 of the 19 alleged hijackers! However, the US and Saudi Arabia have many deals involving weapons, oil, petrodollars, US military bases, funding and training of ISIS and more, so I guess it’s a little too truthful and inconvenient to put them on the list. Ditto for Israel. Saudi Arabia and Israel export the most terrorism, but it’s Iran that makes it on the list …

War with Iran Sign #3: Iran Dumps the US Dollar

The US economic system is propped up by the petrodollar, i.e. the willingness of foreign nations to transact oil in US dollars, which means they have to hold, use and exchange US dollars, which keeps up a global demand for them. The US has benefited greatly from this system. When many transactions are in US dollars, and the US controls how many dollars are in circulation, (and therefore what each dollar is worth), they can actually control what they owe or are owed. Iran has formally announced it is ditching the US dollar for oil transactions as of March 21st, 2017. This is massive news! Many have reported that the real reason for the invasion of several Middle Eastern countries over the last 2-3 decades was due to their desire to abandon the petrodollar (e.g. with Libya’s gold in 2011).

April 21 2017 – Trigger Event for the US Dollar? (Ad)

War with Iran Sign #4: National Security Advisor Flynn Puts Iran “On Notice” for Missile Test (Lie #1)

Trumps’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn tried to argue that a recent ballistic missile test conducted by Iran violated the P5+1 and United Nations backed nuclear deal. Flynn tried to claim that it broke UN Resolution 2231 which is known as JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). It states:

 Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology, until the date eight years after the JCPOA Adoption Day or until the date on which the IAEA submits a report confirming the Broader Conclusion, whichever is earlier.

Tehran confirmed the launch but denied it had broken any agreement, because the ballistic missile involved was conventional and not nuclear, and so not subject to the Security Council resolution. “The missile issue is not part of the nuclear deal,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Iran’s missiles are “not designed for the capability of carrying a nuclear warhead” but rather are “designed to carry a normal warhead in the field of legitimate defense,” he said.

Wars are usually started with deception and lies. This assertion by Flynn – who produced no evidence to back up that Iran was using a nuclear missile not a conventional one – is the first lie on the way to what the globalists want: war with Iran.

War with Iran Sign #5: US Lies About Destroyed Saudi Frigate (Lie #2)

The second lie came with the White House attributing a missile attack on a Saudi ship by Yemeni Houthi Rebels. Press Secretary Sean Spicer falsely accused Iran of attacking a US naval vessel. There’s just a few (gigantic) problems with this accusation, which is actually a bald-faced lie. Firstly, the vessel was actually a Saudi ship, not a US ship. Secondly, the attackers were Houthi rebels from Yemen, not Iranians. Thirdly, the White House produced no evidence that Iran was assisting the Houthi rebels. Saying that Iran attacked a US ship when the Houthi attacked a Saudi ship is a complete and utter lie.

War with Iran Sign #6: Iran is World’s “Biggest State Sponsor of Terrorism” (Lie #3)

New Secretary of Defense General ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis come out with lie #3 on the way to war with Iran, by calling the Islamic Republic the “biggest state sponsor of terrorism.” Unfortunately for him Saudi Arabia and Israel (as mentioned earlier) are already vying for that title, behind the USA itself. Just check out how many countries the CIA has destabilized through subversions, coups and assassinations.

War with Iran Sign #7: Iran Hit with New Sanctions

Trump hit Iran with new sanctions on Feb. 3rd, 2017. However, although Trump and some of his cabinet are vehemently anti-Iran, the sanctions were already in place before he came to office:

The White House said on Friday that the Iran sanctions were “in the pipeline” before Trump was sworn in as president on January 20, but were activated in light of recent events. “These kinds of sanctions don’t happen quickly but I think the timing of them was clearly in reaction to what we’ve seen over the last couple days,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters. “We knew we had these options available to us because they had been worked through the process … They were in the pipeline.”

War with Iran Sign #8: New US Ambassador to UN Haley Takes Strong Anti-Russian Stance

Trump continues to defend Putin and Russia, although his cabinet and staff apparently haven’t gotten the message. Russia and Iran are, of course, in a binding military alliance along with China, so to attack any of them is to attack all of them. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley used her opening speech at the UN to trot out the same old lies, read from the anti-Russia playbook and condemn Russia for its supposed “annexation” of Crimea – you know, the one where over 96% of Crimeans voted voluntarily to rejoin Russia. She even tweeted her a portion speech (above) just to make sure her masters saw she was dutifully toeing the line.

The disputed South China Sea area.

War with Iran Sign #9: New Secretary of State Tillerson: US Should Prevent China from Using South China Sea

The Trump Administration’s warmongering is not limited to Iran and Russia. China has also been on the receiving end of some threats. Secretary of State and oil man Rex Tillerson stated that China should not be given access to the artificially created islands in the South China Sea (despite the fact they claim ownership over that area, and the US clearly has none). This is what Tillerson said:

The island building in the South China sea itself, in many respects, in my view, building islands and then putting military assets on those islands, is akin to Russia’s taking of Crimea … we’re going to have to send China a clear signal that first, the island building stops, and second, your access to those island is also not going to be allowed.

War with Iran Sign #10: Trump Strategist Steve Bannon: There Will be a War with China in the Next 10 Years

Many consider chief strategist Steve Bannon the brains behind Trump. In the quotes below, he essentially calls Trump a tool and prophesies that there will be a war with China in the next 5-10 years:

“Trump is a blunt instrument for us … I don’t know whether he really gets it or not.” – Bannon to Vanity Fair

Here is Bannon on Breitbart Radio:

Bannon: “There are now some 89 million members of the Chinese Communist Party … [who still believe that] political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. Once you understand that, you understand why they are trying to build these islands in the South China Sea, why they are rattling their arms and aiming at Taiwan.”

Radio host: “We’re going to war in the South China in 5-10 years, aren’t we? …”

Bannon: “Absolutely, and that’s one of the reasons why I have to give a tip of the hat to this (Obama) Administration for sending a carrier to the South China Sea …” – Bannon on Breitbart Radio

Bannon was referring to Obama’s Pivot to Asia which began the encircling of China.

War with Iran Sign #11: Unified Trident – US War Games Off Iranian Coast

To top it all off, 4 countries (US, UK, France and Australia) conducted a joint naval operation named Unified Trident just off the Iranian Coast. A British Navy commander tried to claim the timing and location of this was just coincidental:

“It’s not a show of force to the Iranians at all,” Wallace said. “The reason we are doing this exercise, and I’ll stress this over and over again, is because it’s easier to do here than it would be anywhere else. It’s a key opportunity to bring ships together, to exercise together and to operate together. The fact that it’s in the [Persian] Gulf is coincidental, really.”

The signs are ominous that the long-held agenda of initiating war with Iran is speeding up under Trump. With enough public awareness of the agenda, and the lies used to promote it, it can be stopped. Otherwise, similar to Syria, it may be used to trigger World War 3, since any conflict with Iran will necessarily bring the US, Russia and China into direct military confrontation.

 

Sources:

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Neocon Iran-Contra Elliot Abrams for Key Deputy Secretary of State Position?

NOVANEWS
elliott-abrams1

Elliot Abrams

Trump is considering him for the department’s number two position – perhaps an especially powerful one while Rex Tillerson transitions from Big Oil to diplomacy.

Trump transition advisor James Carafano believes Abrams is “pretty close to being named” – best known for his role in the 1980s Iran-Contra affair.

It involved covertly selling arms to Iran to fund Contra anti-Sandinista terrorists in Nicaragua. The Boland Amendment prohibited it.

For his role in the scheme, Abrams was indicted for lying to Congress, pled guilty to two lesser offenses of withholding information from Congress to avoid a trial, possible conviction and imprisonment.

On Christmas night 1992, GHW Bush pardoned him and other Iran-Contra defendants – their high crimes forgiven, not forgotten.

In 1998, Abrams and other PNAC members urged “decisive action” to replace Federal Republic of Yugoslavia President Slobodan Milosevic with pro-Western leadership. The nation’s 1999 rape followed, one of many Clinton administration high crimes.

The same year, Abrams was one of 18 PNAC signatories in a letter to Clinton, urging war on Iraq and removal of Saddam Hussein, calling him a “hazard (to) a significant portion of the world’s supply of oil.”

In the GW Bush administration, he was one of its architects. He drafted a proposal for seizing Iraq’s oil fields. The US installed puppet regime maintained control.

During Reagan’s two terms, Abrams held three State Department positions, including Assistant secretary for Inter-American Affairs from July 17, 1985 – January 20, 1989.

He later served as GW Bush’s Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor, supervising White House Middle East policy.

He was instrumental in the aborted two-day coup attempt to replace Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez with puppet leadership serving US interests.

In 2007, he was part of a black operation to destabilize Iran, using disinformation and manipulation of its currency, aiming for regime change.

He was a Project for the New American Century (PNAC) signatory (now called the Foreign Policy Initiative), established in 1997, comprised of neocon extremists, dedicated to seeking US global dominance through endless wars of aggression.

He’s currently connected to the neocon American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Heritage Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations, and various other hardline groups.

He’s a notorious Zionist zealot, opposed to sympathies toward Palestinians, fundamentally against Israeli concessions to achieve conflict resolution.

He’s interventionist, pro-endless wars of aggression, advocating nation-building, what Trump said he opposes.

If appointed State’s number two, will neocon foreign policy continue unabated? Will endless imperial wars rage?

Will confrontation with China and Iran follow, risking possible nuclear war? Will hope for improved relations with Russia be dashed? Will Congress prevent it anyway?

Will dirty business as usual remain unchanged, especially US imperial madness, or will Trump manage to go another way?

America needs more peacemakers, fewer warriors. It’s not the way things usually work out.

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The Russia Review Act: Senate Aims to Block Trump From Lifting Sanctions on Russia

NOVANEWS
trump_putin

In late January, Senate Republicans John McCain and Rob Portman strongly opposed lifting sanctions on Russia, McCain saying:

“I hope President Trump will put an end to this speculation and reject such a reckless course. If he does not, I will work with my colleagues to codify sanctions against Russia into law.”

Portman claimed lifting them would damage US leadership and credibility. After 24 years under the Clintons, Bush/Cheney and Obama, they’re damaged beyond repair.

US sanctions on Russia were illegally imposed for political reasons, no others – part of longstanding US Russia bashing, with strong bipartisan support.

On Wednesday, bipartisan Senate sanctions oversight legislation on Russia was introduced – sponsored by neocons Lindsey Graham (R. SC) and Ben Cardin (D. MD), co-sponsored by a rogue’s gallery of bipartisan senators, including GOP and Democrat leaders.

Called the “Russia Review Act,” it establishes a review process, giving congressional members oversight over whether to maintain or lift sanctions, preventing unilateral Trump action.

It requires the White House to submit a report, explaining why it seeks sanctions removal, a 120-day review period following, giving Congress final say on whether to maintain or ease sanctions in question.

The new measure follows earlier introduced legislation, titled “Countering Russian Hostilities Act of 2017,” introduced by McCain and Graham. If enacted, likely tough new sanctions on Russia will be imposed.

Perhaps other anti-Russia legislation will follow, whether veto-proof remains to be seen. Clearly, Congress is going all-out to obstruct any attempts by Trump to improve relations with Moscow.

If he ignores congressional action and acts unilaterally, an unlikely prospect, he could be impeached and removed from office – a first in US history if occurs. The closest example was Nixon’s resignation to avoid impeachment.

Separately, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly calling Putin “a killer,” saying:

“We consider such words from the Fox TV company to be unacceptable and insulting, and honestly speaking, we would prefer to get an apology from such a respected TV company.”

O’Reilly responded dismissively, saying he’s “working on that apology, but it may take a little time. You might want to check with me around…2023.”

Putin is no “killer.” He’s a preeminent world leader, a peacemaker, polar opposite a long line of US warrior presidents, waging endless wars on humanity, responsible for millions of casualties.

Posted in USA, RussiaComments Off on The Russia Review Act: Senate Aims to Block Trump From Lifting Sanctions on Russia

Iran has been “Implacable in the Rejection of Washington’s Destructive Role in Syria”

iran syria

Professor Tim Anderson is a distinguished author and senior lecturer of political economy at the University of Sydney, Australia.  In an interview with Khamenei.ir, he answers questions about the Syrian crisis, the Astana peace talks as well as the role of Iran, Russia and Turkey in the peace process.

The following is the full text of the interview:

How would the “Astana Talks” help solve the crisis in Syria?

I believe the Astana talks provide another opportunity for the terrorist groups and their backers to give up their useless and destructive path. What has been most significant is that those armed groups which have chosen to attend must confront Syria, Russia, Iran and Turkey, with the USA, al Saud, Qatar, Britain and France excluded. That is a step closer to reality, as the latter group has only played a destructive role, up until now, while the former group is dominated by those in alliance with the Syrian alliance. Turkey alone at Astana represents the sponsors of the al Qaeda groups. Further, the NATO-GCC terrorists come as armed groups and not with the pretence of being a political ‘opposition’. If the armed groups (e.g. ‘Jaysh al Islam’) agree to put down their arms, that will leave the banned terrorist groups more isolated. If they do not agree, no-one can say they were not given an opportunity. What I call the Syrian Alliance (principally Syria, Hezbollah, Iran and Russia) will be seen to have made every effort to avoid bloodshed.

Has Turkish involvement been helpful in recent months?

A. The practical benefit of Turkey’s recent engagement was seen in the relatively orderly evacuation of east Aleppo. That helped a more rapid liberation of that part of the city, with the deportation of several thousand terrorists and their families to their temporary position in Idlib, and the freeing of around 90 thousand civilian hostages. Turkey’s role in that effective surrender was important, as the Turkish state had become the chief sponsor of the armed groups. On the other hand, it seems likely that Turkey’s leadership also backed subsequent attacks on Syria by DAESH (for example in Deir Ezzor) and the al Nusra-led groups (though they have been busy killing themselves in Idlib, as a result of recriminations over their defeat in Aleppo), in an attempt to strengthen Mr. Erdogan’s hand against Russia, Syria and Iran at the Astana talks. Turkey’s leadership has been forced to the diplomatic table, both by military defeats of its proxy armies on the ground and through the important strategic relationships Turkey maintains with Russia and Iran. The Syrian Government, at this stage, has no real relationship with Turkey’s Government; but some sort of relationship between these neighbors must be rebuilt. Unfortunately for the people of Turkey, the violent recriminations seen in Idlib (it is said that almost 2,000 have been killed by the sectarian infighting) seem likely to keep passing into Turkey, as the terror groups are driven out of Syria.

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Why do Syrian negotiators in “Astana Talks” want rebels to lay down their arms in exchange for an amnesty deal? Is it legitimate?

A. It is certainly true that many Syrian resent the amnesties given to former Syrian fighters, whom they regard as mercenaries and terrorists. We know that the [Persian] Gulf monarchies and some NATO states have paid them higher salaries than Syrian soldiers, with DAESH fighters on the highest salaries. Many Syrians regard these traitors as no better than their foreign terrorist partners. However the Syrian Government’s practice, at least since 2012, has been to remove as many Syrians as possible from the conflict through a ‘reconciliation’ process, recognizing that they must address a post-war legacy of bitterness. Many thousands have already taken advantage of this process. For the same ‘reconciliation’ reasons the Syrian Army has not ‘carpet bombed’ al Qaeda held areas such as Douma in rural east Damascus. The bloodshed must be minimized. The post war ‘reconciliation’ challenge that the government of President Bashar al Assad must face is similar to, but much greater than, the healing process attempted by his father after the Muslim Brotherhood’s failed insurrection in Hama, back in 1982.

A member of the rebel delegation in “Astana Talks” told AFP on Monday that the group would agree to have Russia serve as a guarantor of the current ceasefire but not Iran; why are they so hostile toward Iran?

A. This seems a combination of the recognition of simple power politics, combined with al Saud style sectarian ideology. The sectarian groups, with little skill in politics or diplomacy, must recognize the military power of Russia, while hoping that Russia will eventually withdraw. Iran, on the other hand, is seen as central to the region and is constantly demonized in pseudo-religious terms by al Saud’s Wahhabi clerics.

There is another factor. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, since 1978, has been implacable in its support of Syria and in the rejection of the destructive role of Washington in the region. The Government of Russia, on the other hand, while maintaining support for international law and the rejection of terrorism, has seemed more diplomatically flexible. Russia constantly refers to the USA – the chief architect of all the Middle East wars and the massive terrorism – as its ‘partner’, in an attempt to resolve wider issues of geo-politics. As part of this approach Moscow has paid perhaps exaggerated attention to armed groups which have very little support within Syria. The latest version of that effort includes the circulation of a text (apparently created with very little Syrian involvement) which appears to suggest some drastic changes to Syria’s constitution. While such ideas (removal of the Presidential system, federalization, removal of the ‘Arab’ status of the Republic) may come to nothing, if and when they subjected to a Syrian vote, the process does seem to be testing the limits of diplomacy. It is not clear to what extent the Syrian Government would accept any such proposals. At worst this might maintain unrealistic expectations on the part of the armed groups and their sponsors; at best it might encourage a face saving retreat, helping resolution of the conflict.

Professor Tim Anderson is a distinguished author and senior lecturer of political economy at the University of Sydney, Australia. 

Government propaganda and NGO misinformation have coloured the story of the war on Syria from its inception. Stepping in to set the record straight, Dr. Tim Anderson explores the real beginnings of the conflict, the players behind it, and their agenda in his new book, “The Dirty War on Syria: Washington, Regime Change and Resistance.”

ISBN Number: 978-0-9737147-8-4

Year: 2016

Pages: 240

List Price: $23.95

Special Price: $15.00 

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BREXIT: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights to Become “Civil Maybe’s”

brexit

Last year a coalition of 175 civil society organisations criticised Britain for an “increasing concern that the UK’s political rhetoric will, if not checked, threaten the coherence and credibility of the post-second world war human rights settlement.” They were not wrongThen, the United Nations stated that a “high proportion of the 132 recommendations from the last UN hearings in 2012 have not been implemented by Britain.”

For anyone waiting for politician’s to work together to make Britain great again after Brexit, don’t hold your breath. The politicians are not in control of proceedings. Britain will not join the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement (such as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), jurisdiction of the European court will end and with it uncontrolled immigration from the EU. Brexit means Brexit. Maybe, maybe not.

Critics will change their tune from “the lack of a plan” to “the wrong plan”. The noise will continue for years to come. The Tories will fight each other, Labour will do the same, and will effectively hand the Tories with another victory at the next election whilst providing no real opposition.  No other political party of note will rise. The centre ground is abandoned even though both claim it and one-party politics will reign for years to come. Maybe.

One thing we can be sure of is that a secretive network of business lobbyists who have cast their dark shadow over American politics and way of life, with tentacles reaching deeply into the British Conservative party are planning and plotting a Brexit that plays directly into their hands. Brexit is their big opportunity. And that is a definite.

Human Rights legislation, as the government have already confirmed, will be replaced with a “British Bill of Rights” and long, hard fought over civil rights and civil liberties will become ‘civil maybe’s’. Surveillance is a good example. Britain is already the most surveilled country not just in the western world but the entire planet due to its scale and sophistication not yet acquired by other countries. Privacy is no longer a civil liberty but is now shrouded in ambiguous laws, in other words a ‘civil maybe’.  The government does not design or manufacture surveillance systems, corporations do. Hundreds of private companies and government agencies have access to your personal data. You as a citizen no longer know what privacy you are entitled to.

A new type of politics is being fostered that will be even more destructive to the welfare of what was once considered a free and open society. Another example is the NHS. The NHS is not being made more efficient by government to save money, it is being starved of cash to create a crisis that allows private corporations to solve the problem and profit from it. Health care in Britain is no longer a civil right because it depends on what you are suffering from and where you live and if the NHS has enough resources to apply it to you personally – now your health service is a civil maybe.

Not sure if access to healthcare in Britain is a civil right? “If you are ill or injured, there will be a national health service there to help; and access to it will be based on need and need alone – not on your ability to pay, or on who your GP happens to be or on where you live.” – The New NHS: Modern, Dependable – Government White Paper, December 1997. “If the right to health is considered as a fundamental human right, significant differences in access to health care and the health status of individuals must be seen as violations of the principle of equality” – Implications of a Right to Health – Virginia A. Leary, 1993.

It is important to distinguish the difference between “civil rights” and “civil liberties.” The legal area known as “civil rights” has traditionally revolved around a basic right to be free from unequal treatment based upon certain proscribed protected characteristics such as race, gender, disability, etc, in environments such as employment and housing. “Civil liberties” are different because they protect basic rights and freedoms that are guaranteed. These are explicitly identified in the Bill of Rights (in Britain, originally 1689) and the Bill of Rights (of America), and Civil Liberties and Justice and Convention of Human Rights (of the European Union) or interpreted through the years by courts and lawmakers. Civil liberties more or less revolve around:

  • Freedom of speech
  • The right to privacy
  • The right to be free from unreasonable searches of your home
  • The right to a fair court trial
  • The right to marry
  • The right to vote

With Brexit the corporations now have the upper hand as never before and the list of rights and liberties we are rightly accustomed to are now under attack as they have been for about two decades.

The American government under Trump now have the corporations in government, turning government itself into a kind of new corporation, which is now staffed, run and managed by business executives and lobbyists. These same corporations have an eye on Britain and an eye on reducing civil rights and civil liberties to achieve their aims.

Two years ago, the UK was well known to have reached Victorian-style inequality, housing the poorest people in western Europe, a claim never strongly denied by politicians that remains unchallenged to this day.

The right to housing is recognised in a number of international human rights instruments. Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises the right to housing as part of the right to an adequate standard of living.

The Homelessness Act 2002 is an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom. It amends the Housing Act 1996 and sets out the duties owed by local housing authorities to someone who is homeless or even threatened with homelessness. In 2005, the government of the day stated that “Every person has the right to a secure home; there is no place for homelessness in today’s society.”

In 2010 a change of government occurred with a typically Thatcherite ideology. Today, homelessness is now a part of every day life. It has a number of descriptions to camouflage the reality. We have statutory homelessness (quarterly gov’t statistics), hidden homelessness (unofficial estimates), squatting, sofa surfing and sleeping rough. You could include ‘temporary accommodation’ as the right to housing includes the right to a permanent place to live. Hundreds of thousands are affected.

As it turns out Homeless.Org estimates that 14 per cent of the adult population of Britain have personally experienced homelessness. The biggest reason (followed by not being wanted in the household) was that an Assured Tenancy agreement came to an end. The average age of homelessness is 35 and sleeping rough has doubled from 2010 to 2015 (last known reliable data).

Homelessness in all its forms, no matter how described, is now no longer a civil right but a civil maybe. You can either afford it or you can’t. The law no longer protects the very people it was designed to protect even though the law exists.

Thatcher and Reagan successfully colluded to deregulate the financial services industry, this is why property has been fully ‘financialised’ by the banks and we have a housing crisis in the first place.

Prior to 1984, a person could not be held by police for longer than 24 hours without a criminal charge being made against them. Successive government’s have eroded this civil right. Since then we have managed to allow indefinite detention of non British citizens ‘suspected’ of committing terrorist acts, where there was not enough evidence to proceed to a court of law. This civil right is no longer a right – indeed it is barely a maybe.

In September 2015 David Cameron said “Magna Carta is something every person in Britain should be proud of, its remaining copies may be faded, but its principles shine as brightly as ever, in every courtroom and every classroom, from palace to parliament to parish church. Liberty, justice, democracy, the rule of law – we hold these things dear, and we should hold them even dearer for the fact that they took shape right here, on the banks of the Thames.”

Hear, Hear you say. With some irony just one week later David Cameron authorised and then announcedthe execution without trial of two British citizens. Irrespective of your views about Briton’s heading off to Syria or wherever and fighting as Jihadists or whatever, it was never David Cameron’s legal right to assassinate anyone, let alone British citizens without trial. Cameron even achieved this without permission in another sovereign state. This act is known as ‘extra-judicial killing’ and is illegal by any definition internationally. Just because the American’s do it, doesn’t make it lawful. The right to life is now no longer a civil liberty, it is now a civil maybe.

In 2013 the Coalition government and parliament approved legislation to apply Secret Courts in civil cases.  What this meant was that if a citizen takes the British government or its officials to court in cases such as; torture, rendition, or a whole host of other reasons, the government is able to present evidence to the judge which the claimant, defendant, media and public will never be privy to.  These secret courts allows government to resist scrutiny in such cases.

The British Army’s most senior lawyer said “The justice and security bill has one principal aim and that is to cover up UK complicity in rendition and torture. The bill is an affront to the open justice on which this country rightly prides itself and, above all, it is an affront to human dignity.”

The right to a fair trial is no longer a civil right but a civil maybe. In this case, so is torture and kidnapping by the state, as the state has deemed it necessary to protect its actions against laws that have protected its citizens for centuries. The American administration finds kidnap, rendering and torture to their liking – it still doesn’t make it right or lawful no matter how you argue otherwise. One should not forget that GCHQ were caught spying on client/legal privilege in these very same cases – also illegal and a clear breach of civil liberty.

George Monbiot recently wrote – “Trump’s extraordinary plan to cut federal spending by $10.5tn was drafted by the Heritage Foundation (a corporate ThinkTank), which called it a “blueprint for a new administration”. Vought and Gray, who moved on to Trump’s team from Heritage, are now turning this blueprint into his first budget. This will, if passed, inflict devastating cuts on healthcare, social security, legal aid, financial regulation and environmental protections; eliminate programmes to prevent violence against women, defend civil rights and fund the arts; and will privatise the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Trump, as you follow this story, begins to look less like a president and more like an intermediary, implementing an agenda that has been handed down to him.”

The Snoopers Charter, The Trade Union Bill, The Heath & Social Care Act and many more pieces of legislation implemented in a drip, drip fashion is simply the growing attack from all shades of the political sphere on established laws made for the good of the community that benefits big business.

Henry Porter, one of the organisers of the Convention on Modern Liberty, said that there was “little doubt that there is a crisis of liberty in Britain”.

Shami Chakrabarti, former head of Liberty once said in 2009 “This attack on our freedoms under this government threatens us all.” She is now in the House of Lords and “sold out” on our civil liberties after it emerged that Labour would abstain on a key vote on the Investigatory Powers Bill that will definitely affect us all and benefit big money.

This is the road Britain is heading down because government officials lost control to their corporate paymasters a few years back just as they did four decades ago in America. The difference was that Britain had some sort of shield provided in large part by the EU. Corporations see Civil Rights, Civil Liberties and Human Rights as an obstruction, hence Theresa May’s confirmation that Human Right’s Laws will be replaced.

The Americanisation of Britain is now in its final stage. Individualism is to reign. Social democracy is coming to an end – the rule of law to be determined by corporations. Far from ‘taking back our country’, we are now going to hand it on a platter to the corporations.

Posted in UKComments Off on BREXIT: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights to Become “Civil Maybe’s”


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