Archive | December 18th, 2017

Food and medicine can’t get past the Saudi blockade on Yemen, but Nikki Haley thinks missiles can

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Nikki Haley once again pushing for war against Iran–this time making an argument that is not only flawed but nonsensical

By Adam Garrie | The Duran 

Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s Ambassador to the United Nations, has given an extraordinary “press conference”, even by her habitually outrageous standards.

First all, it was hardly a “press conference” as Haley did not answer any of the questions posed to her. Instead, she merely assured journalists that she has evidence to back her up position, although it is not clear what this evidence might look like.

Haley’s position is that since the outbreak of the current crisis in Yemen, beginning in March of 2015, Iran has been supplying Yemen’s Ansar Allah Movement, more commonly known [in western media] as the Houthis, with the missiles they have sporadically used to target Saudi Arabia and allegedly the UAE.

There is a fatal flaw in this line of thinking however. Saudi Arabia has, since the beginning of the conflict, controlled all air and sea traffic coming into Yemen, while monitoring the region with the latest US made technology.

Yemen has subsequently been surrounded by a Saudi Naval blockade, Saudi borders through which nothing can pass and Omani borders through which there is no evidence of anything passing and which in any case, border areas which do not belong to Ansar Allah fighters, but instead have fluctuated between the Hadi government based in Aden, al-Qaeda terrorists and ISIS terrorists.

Not only has the Saudi blockade caused a man made famine which itself has resulted in a mass outbreak of the disease Cholera, but even the UN has found it difficult to convince the Saudis to allow basic medicine, bottled water and dried foods into the always poor and now starving nation.

But for Nikki Haley, who gave her press conference standing in front of what appeared to be a rusty missile casing–it all makes perfect sense. In Haley’s parallel universe, an aid ship with UN flags cannot bring bottles of water and jars of medical pills to Yemenis, but somehow Iranian ships bearing humongous missiles have easily passed through the Saudi blockade undetected.

There is simply no logic to the argument, no matter how it is interpreted.

Even a journalist at Haley’s “press conference” asked how the US can verify the provenance of the missiles and in particular when they were sent to Yemen. She had no answer apart from effectively saying ‘trust us–we know’.

The fact, as the Ansar Allah themselves have always maintained, is that the missiles which they occasionally launch are taken from Yemeni military bases which Ansar Allah have controlled for approximately two years. Video footage of the missile strikes is consistent with these statements.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has Tweeted the following photo, comparing Haley’s accusations against Iran to Colin Powell’s infamous accusations against Iraq, saying that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction which he did not possess.

In reality, Haley’s statement is even more ludicrous as there is physically no way for Iran to transport missiles or anything else for that matter, to Yemen without being seen and almost certainly stopped by the Saudi blockade, a blockade which started in March of 2015, nearly four months before the JCPOA even came into effect.

This last point is crucial as Haley’s allegations rest on the fact that in delivering missiles to the Ansar Allah, Iran is in violation of the terms of the JCPOA, a longstanding US allegation that has been rejected by the EU as a whole, as well as individual parties to the agreement: Germany, France, Britain, China, Russia and the United Nations.

Haley of course repeated what for most American neo-cons is a standard line that Iran sponsors terrorism and is “behaving badly” in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. If fighting groups like ISIS(Daesh) and al-Qaeda is bad behaviour, the mind simply boggles. The closest Iran is to terrorism is fighting terrorism on the field of battle and advising Iraqi and Syrian partners on how better to do such.

Nikki Haley has proved once again that her aptitude is low, her ethics are non existent and her intelligence is a void.

The fact that she is an Ambassador to the UN but acts increasingly like a hybrid of a Secretary of State combined with a Defense Secretary, is a deeply worrying prospect for all those concerned with global peace and stability.

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Why America’s Law Enforcement Empire Resembles Secret Police in a Dictatorship

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By Philip M. GIRALDI | Strategic Culture Foundation 

Secret police are characteristic of dictatorships, or so goes the conventional thinking on the subject. Police in democracies operate for the most part transparently and within a set of rules and guidelines that limits their ability to gratuitously punish citizens who have done nothing wrong. If a policeman operating under rule-of-law steps out of line, he can be held accountable. That is also conventional thinking.

But what happens when an ostensibly “democratic” police force becomes corrupted and starts doing things that are outside its zone of responsibility, and does so to benefit a political relationship that will in turn protect those who have broken the law under cover of carrying out their official duties? That is the characteristic of what we have been calling a “deep state,” where forces drawn generally from the political class and security services conspire together to control what the public is allowed to know while also manipulating nuisances like elections to make sure that the “correct” outcome emerges.

Indeed, deep state operating in a democracy or republic is far more dangerous that the secret police in a dictatorship. That is because in a system where the forces of the state are all-powerful, nearly everyone expects that what they read and what the government says is all a lie. In a democratic system there is what intelligence officers would refer to as plausible denial, which means that even when the government is behaving very badly much of the public will believe that it is acting honorably because they want to trust that the system works. And when the deep state includes management of the media, many citizens will likewise believe what they are reading or hearing is honest reporting, even when it is not.

Due to the events of the past year in particular, many Americans have become convinced that there now exists something like a secret police operating in the United States that is a fusion of some political dealmakers with certain politicized elements in the intelligence and security services. However one regards President Donald Trump and his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, there is nevertheless something odd in terms of how they have been investigated and, in the case of Flynn, legally entrapped to convict him of lying to the FBI to force him to cut a deal with the Special Counsel inquiry headed by Robert Mueller.

Consider how, even though meeting with Russians is not illegal, Trump and his associates have been subjected to secret investigation of their Russian ties for nearly two years without any revelations apart from the fact that it was Israel, not Russia, that colluded to undermine White House policy. FBI Director James Comey’s antics during the primaries and electoral campaign, in which he first exonerated and then complained about Hillary Clinton while at the same time validating a dossier full of largely questionable information about Donald Trump’s dealings with Russia provides clear evidence of an organization that has lost its bearings and has become a politicized agent of an incumbency that has itself become corrupted and believes itself to be above the law. And then there is the Central Intelligence Agency’s own John Brennan working with the FBI to undermine the Trumps, illegally digging up dirt from the liaison intelligence partners in Europe and the Middle East.

America’s law enforcement empire has all the characteristics of secret police in a dictatorship. It is not transparent in its actions, has a history of bending the rules to obtain convictions, and its officers are rarely held accountable. It has also been politicized. And to be sure, one should recognize that there are two additional factors driving the growth and transformation of the national security state in the U.S. First is the intense dislike that the top levels of the American intelligence and police agencies have for Donald Trump personally, a contempt that Trump himself has largely earned by his scorn for much of the government that he inherited. Second is the “trust the authorities” culture that has grown up since 9/11, reinforced by fearmongering on the part of the government to justify executive overreach and enabled through anti-terror legislation that has unleashed the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency (NSA) to act with impunity while suffering no consequences whatsoever.

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Biden was wrong: Intel agencies find no evidence of ‘Russian meddling’ in Italian polls

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Italian intelligence services did not find evidence to back up allegations voiced by former US Vice President Joe Biden. He claimed Moscow had meddled with Italy’s polls before and plans to do it again.

Two Italian intelligence agencies did not find any evidence of the alleged Russian interference into last year’s constitutional reform referendum, despite conducting “attentive monitoring” of possible foreign meddling, ANSA news agency reported. The chiefs of the Internal Information and Security Agency (AISI) and the External Intelligence and Security Agency (AISE), Mario Parente and Alberto Manenti, respectively, faced the parliamentary intelligence committee this week.

The parliamentary hearings were triggered by an article by Biden, dubbed, “How to stand up to the Kremlin,” published earlier in December by the journal Foreign Affairs. Among the numerous accusations, largely repeating the mainstream media “Russian meddling” narrative, Biden claimed that Moscow interfered in the Italian Constitutional referendum and warned about alleged meddling in the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections.

“A Russian effort is now under way to support the nationalist Northern League and the populist Five Star Movement in Italy’s upcoming parliamentary elections,” Biden stated, without providing any proof to back up the claim. The allegations prompted an angry response from the parties accused of getting Russian support.

Matteo Salvini, leader of the Northern League (Lega Nord), said that Italy’s ruling Democratic party “lost the referendum and will lose the elections, because the Italians have good sense, and not because Putin wants it,” as quoted by La Repubblica.

The 5 Star Movement responded to Biden by stating that “we all must respect the vote” and “know how to lose.” President Barack Obama’s former deputy simply did not get over the Democrats’ defeat last year, and was seeking to blame the Russians for everything he didn’t like, the party said in a Facebook post.

“Today, Biden says it is Russia’s fault, as he says it is Russia’s fault that Trump won and his party lost. Biden goes further and says Russia is helping the 5 Star Movement. He does not provide any evidence, this is unacceptable,” the post reads. The party’s candidate for prime minister, Luigi di Maio, dismissed Biden’s allegations as “fake news,” stating that millions of Italians voted ‘No’ during the referendum on their own, without “being paid by the Russians.”

The 2016 Constitutional referendum was aimed at reorganizing the Italian Senate and redirecting more powers from the regions to central government. The reform, however, failed spectacularly, as nearly 60 percent of Italians voted against it, prompting the resignation of then-PM Matteo Renzi, who currently leads the Democratic Party.

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US House passes bill scrutinizing Iran plane sales

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US lawmakers on Thursday approved a bill that will bring the sales of American planes to Iran under the close scrutiny of the Congress.

The bill passed 252-167 — all but four Republicans supported it, and they were joined by 23 Democrats.

It would require the Treasury Department to report to Congress on Iranian purchases of US aircraft and how those sales would be financed.

The key company that would be the primary target of the bill would be US aviation giant Boeing. In December 2016, Boeing sealed deals with Iran’s flag-carrier airliner Iran Air over sales of 80 jets valued at $16.6 billion. They include 50 narrow-body Boeing 737 passenger jets and 30 wide-body 777 aircraft.

US media reported that the new Congress bill had once again brought into the spotlight the question whether undermining plane sales to Iran would break US commitments under the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Republicans argued that the legislation would not bar any aircraft sales to Iran. Instead, it would require the Treasury Department to notify Congress about the activities of the Iranian company that purchases the planes, as well as the financing used for the deal, according to a report by the Washington Examiner.

House Democrats maintained that the bill might provoke Iran to abandon the nuclear agreement, however, by interfering with their ability to work with US corporations as promised under the pact.

“[This bill] would impose a new condition,” Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said on the House floor. “A new condition which would require certification by [the executive branch] and all of the process which would ensue. It is not a stretch, in fact it is fairly clear, that if [this bill] were to pass, the Iranians and others could credibly claim that we have violated our obligations under the JCPOA,” Himes was quoted as saying by the Washington Examiner.

Iran sealed the JCPOA in 2015 with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, Britain, France, Russia, and China – plus Germany.

Based on it, Iran would restrict certain aspects of its nuclear energy activities. In return, the parties that signed the JCPOA with Iran – the P5+1 – would act to lift the economic sanctions imposed against the country – generally described as the toughest in modern history.

Iran has previously announced that the US was falling short of its commitments toward the JCPOA by failing to remove the sanctions against the country and even by moving to impose new sanctions against it.

This is while the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – which reports Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA – has for multiple times emphasized that the country is fully implementing its commitments toward the nuclear deal.

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Al-Houthi Hits back at US Claims on Iran Missile Supply

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Head of Yemen’s Revolutionary Council, Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi
Al-Manar 

Head of Yemen’s revolutionary Committee, Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi hit back at US claims that Iran had been supplying Yemeni revolutionaries with missiles.

“Had we imported Iranian missiles, then we would have boosted our air-defense system,” Al-Houthi said on his Twitter account.

“What’s ironic is that the US is the side who is supplying the Saudi-led aggression with banned weapons that have been killing the Yemeni people,” Al-Houthi said, stressing that the US has failed in Yemen.

Yemen has been since March 2015 under a brutal aggression by Saudi Zio-Wahhabi led coalition, in a bid to restore power to fugitive C.I.A puppet Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis have been injured and martyred in Saudi Zio-Wahhabi led strikes, with the vast majority of them are civilians.

However, the allied forces of the Yemeni army and popular committees established by Ansarullah revolutionaries have been heroically confronting the aggression with all means, inflicting huge losses upon Saudi Zio-Wahhabi led forces.

The Saudi Zio-Wahhabi led coalition – which also includes Zio-Wahhabi regimes of UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jewish DOG of Jordan, Sudan and Kuwait – has been also imposing a blockade on the impoverished country’s ports and airports as a part of the aggression.

Posted in USA, Iran, Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on Al-Houthi Hits back at US Claims on Iran Missile Supply

$200bn to reconstruct war-torn Syria… the US and its partners should pay

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$200bn to reconstruct war-torn Syria… the US and its partners should pay

Aleppo, Syria © Karam Almasri / Global Look Press
By Finian Cunningham 

With Syria’s nearly seven-year war now virtually over, the process of rebuilding the devastated country comes to the fore, with the financial cost of that effort put at $200 billion. Who pays for it?

When you view the ruins of Aleppo alone, Syria’s second biggest city, plus the carnage across the entire country, from towns, villages, bridges, roads, public utilities, hospitals, schools, and so on, the real figure for reconstruction could be far higher than $200 billion.

Then there is the inestimable cost of human suffering and families decimated. All told, the reparations could amount to trillions of dollars.

Syria’s war was no ordinary civil war, as Western mainstream media tended to mendaciously depict it.

From the outset, the conflict was one of an externally driven covert war for regime change against the government of President Bashar Assad. The Arab Spring unrest of 2011 provided a convenient cover for the Western plot to subvert Syria.

The United States and its NATO allies, Britain, France, and Turkey, were the main driving forces behind the war in Syria, which resulted in up to 400,000 deaths and millions of citizens displaced from their homes. Other key regional players sponsoring the campaign against the Syrian government were Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel.

Most of the militants who fought in Syria to overthrow the state authorities were not Syrian nationals. Self-styled jihadists from dozens of countries around the world made their way to Syria, where they were funded, armed and directed by covert forces from Western and Arab states.

The barbarian-like gravitation to Syria indicates the degree to which the effort to overthrow the Syrian government was orchestrated by foreign powers.

This was a planned, concerted project for regime change. The systematic violence imposed on Syria was very arguably due to an international criminal conspiracy perpetrated by the US and all of the above “partners.” The case can, therefore, be made for criminal responsibility.

That, in turn, means that financial reparations and damages can be sued by the Syrian state against those foreign powers which waged the war, albeit indirectly through proxy militant groups.

The bitter irony though is that the US and its Western allies are reportedly using Syria’s war-torn plight as leverage to pursue their political objective of ousting Assad. What these powers could not achieve on the battlefield with their terrorist mercenaries they now seem to be pursuing through their dominance over international financial institutions.

The Washington DC-based International Monetary Fund estimates the reconstruction of Syria’s devastated infrastructure will cost $200 billion. (As noted above, that’s probably a gross underestimate.)

As Bloomberg News reported last week: “The US and its European and Arab partners have for years insisted that Assad must go and are now using the carrot of funding for rebuilding the shattered nation in a final attempt to pressure the Syrian leader. The International Monetary Fund estimates the cost of reconstruction at $200 billion, and neither of Syria’s main allies, Russia and Iran, can afford to pick up the bill.”

It’s a moot point whether Russia and Iran cannot afford to help rebuild Syria. Who’s to say that those two powers along with China and other Eurasian nations could not club together to create a reconstruction fund for Syria, independent of Western countries and their Arab client regimes?

However, regardless of the source of funding for Syria, what Russia, China, Iran and other key international players should push for at the United Nations and other global forums such as the Non-Aligned Movement is the repudiation of Western efforts to link financial aid to future political change in Syria.

Alexander Lavrentiev, Russia’s envoy steering the peace process in Syria, has reiterated Moscow’s position that the political outcome for Syria must be determined by the Syrian people alone, free from external influence. That is also the position of several UN resolutions.

Lavrentiev says Bashar Assad should be free to run in next year’s presidential election if he chooses to and that it is unacceptable for the US and its allies to try to use financial aid as a bargaining tool.

“It’s a simplistic approach when some Western countries say that they’ll give money only when they see that the opposition comes to power or their interests are fully accommodated,” said the Russian envoy.

It’s not merely unacceptable for such Western conditioning. It’s outrageous. Far from quibbling about financial aid to Syria, the debate should be broadened out to hold governments to account for the destruction and loss of life in Syria.

To establish responsibility is not a mystery. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey are known to have poured money and weapons into dozens of jihadist-styled groups, including Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al Islam under the umbrella of the Islamic Front or Army of Conquest. The precise distinction – if any – between these groups and the internationally proscribed terror organizations of Nusra Front (Hayat Tahrir al-Sham) and Daesh (Islamic State) is elusive and probably negligible.

American, British and French special forces are known to have trained militants under the faux banner of “moderate rebels” and “Free Syrian Army,” even when there is evidence these same groups were cooperating with Al-Qaeda-type extremist networks. Under President Barack Obama, the US government funneled $500 million into training “rebels” in Syria. Trump earlier this year closed down CIA training operations. This is, in effect, an admission of culpability by Washington of fueling the war.

The Americans and British forces were up to recently training the militant group Maghawir al Thawra at Al Tanf base on the Syrian-Iraqi border. The American government also funded another jihadist group Nour al-Din al Zenki, which came to notoriety in a video showing their members beheading a Palestinian boy.

Weapons caches recovered by the Syria Arab Army after the liberation of ISIS strongholds in Deir ez-Zor also show stockpiles of US-made arms and other NATO munitions, including anti-tank missiles.

The Western governments openly funded the fake emergency responders – the so-called White Helmets – who worked hand-in-hand as a propaganda front for Al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front.

There have been systematic links between Western governments, their regional client regimes and the terror proxies who carried out the dirty war on their behalf in Syria over the past seven years.

It is an insult upon injury for Western governments to impose constraints on financial aid to Syria. Furthermore, the economic costs of reconstruction should not be levied on the Syrian people. Those costs should be paid in full by Washington and its partners who engaged in a criminal war on Syria.

Surely, Syria, Russia, Iran and other allied governments should form an international prosecution case for war crimes.

Not only should Washington, London, Paris and others be made to pay damages. Political and military leaders from these countries should be placed in the dock to answer personally for crimes against the Syrian people. To allow impunity is to let Washington and its rogue cohorts keep repeating the same crimes elsewhere, over and over.

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Who Killed Journalist/Blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta and Why…?

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Three men were charged two weeks ago with the murder of the Maltese investigative journalist/blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was murdered in a car bomb on the 16th October.

George and Alfred Degiorgio, aged 55 and 53, and Vincent Muscat, 55, who have all pleaded not guilty. They are also accused of possessing the bomb-making materials and weapons.

Galizia, who had been a journalist for various publications, ran the Running Commentary blog in Malta, which for many years investigated and reported corruption among various politicians and high-profile figures.

Referred to by Politico as a “one-woman Wikileaks”, Galizia had a reputation for relentlessly pursuing incriminating information on a number of powerful people and criminal activities in Malta and, among other things, she played a significant role in exposing the Panama Papers and Malta’s central role in the business of tax havens. Malta has been labelled “Panama in the EU” and has appeared on a blacklist published by the EU.

The lists of people inconvenienced by her work aren’t limited to Malta.

Her son – who had to experience the horror of finding his mother’s scattered body parts after the explosion in her car – has talked about the “gang of crooks” who had been harassing Galizia for some time and who, according to him, “conspired with politicians in Malta to financially cripple my mother with one vexatious lawsuit after another”. This allegedly included London-based lawyers.

Writing on Facebook he said: “She was also targeted because she was the only person doing so. This is what happens when the institutions of the state are incapacitated: the last person left standing is often a journalist. Which makes her the first person left dead.”

Her death obviously brings to mind other murders carried out against journalists in recent years, including the murder of Serena Shim.

Needless to say, when an investigative journalist/blogger is killed by a bomb in her car, it doesn’t take much of a leap of imagination to move on to conspiracy theories. There are serious doubts about the official investigation (which included the FBI) and its conclusions; and there are various conspiracy theories being forwarded.

One of these that I have found of particular interest is the claim that Galizia was investigating Maltese connections to fuel-smuggling from Libya in the weeks before her death. This diesel-smuggling operation involves Libyan traffickers and criminal networks in the post-Gaddafi failed-state and Sicilian/Italian organised crime. People involved in the investigation into her death say she was looking into this operation prior to her murder.

Curiously, she had been entirely pro the 2011 Libyan intervention and was in fact something of a cheerleader for the uprising against Gaddafi. From her articles, it is clear that she saw the Arab Spring in both Syria and Libya as a genuine, popular uprising against a dictatorship and not as a foreign-backed proxy regime-change operation. Which is odd for a whistleblower and investigative journalist; particularly given the reports of alleged French secret agents having used Malta as a base for going to and from Libya in their clandestine operations to incite the 2011 ‘Civil War’ in that country (somehting I covered in the e-book here).

Malta was also crucial in the Lockerbie bombing case and played a key role in fabricating the evidence against Abdelbasset Megrahi – and thus in the years of sanctions against and ostracisation of the former Libyan Republic.

On that front, I’m choosing to assume that she simply came to a different opinion than mine or was gleaning her views from very different sources to mine. In fairness, if you were only looking at the street-level events of the Arab Spring protests – and not at what was going on behind the scenes or in geo-political terms – then you would easily come to the conclusion that the dictators were simply refusing to heed to the will of the people.

From a certain perspective, that’s a true reading anyway – the vast majority of protesters in those countries weregenuinely marching for change, democracy and to be free of decades-long dictatorships and regimes.

Either way, her looking into the current fuel-smuggling operation may well have been what provoked her murder.

But, as many are pointing out, it could’ve really been any number of things and involving any number of conspirators. There was no shortage of people who might’ve wanted her out of the picture. And the real question is whether the official investigation is itself a cover-up operation or whether it has any real intention of uncovering and revealing the true perpetrators.

The fact that we’re talking about Malta is significant, because Malta is a hub for organised crime, corruption, shady financial dealings, and is also known for being a cardinal centre for powerful secret societies (including the infamous Knights of Malta, whose members include high-level politicians, businessmen, industrialists, religious figures, and Jimmy Savile) and a major centre for Freemasonry.

William Cooper, in his book Behold a Pale Horse, describes the Knights of Malta as “a world organization with its threads weaving through business, banking, politics, the CIA, other intelligence organizations, P2, religion, education, law, military, think tanks, foundations, the United States Information Agency, the United Nations, and numerous other organizations. The world head of the Knights of Malta is elected for a life term, with the approval of the Pope. The Knights of Malta have their own Constitution and are sworn to work toward the establishment of a New World Order with the Pope at its head. Knights of Malta members are also powerful members of the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) and the Trilateral Commission.

There are lots of strange things about Malta, including its vast network of underground tunnels (Crusader-era tunnels) and temples linked to the Knights of Malta, including apparently the oldest underground temple in the world.

Which makes it possible that the bomb-plot against her involved a convoluted coming-together of different interests.

In that scenario, it would suit any potential cover-up to pin our attention on something like the Libyan/Italian smuggling business and not on any potentially more widespread or damaging groups of interests that might include high-profile figures or agencies.

That being said, it could be argued that more powerful or influential interests could’ve had her killed a long time ago if she was being a genuine nuisance to them: whereas lower-level mafia or criminal networks would be more likely to just kill someone off if they were becoming a problem.

Also, as far as I am aware, Galizia didn’t write about any of those more occult or ‘Illuminati’-esque subjects, but stuck to the meat-and-potatoes of exposing general corruption and high-level financial crime.

In any case, whatever official conclusion the official investigation comes to (even if it is the whole truth), it is safe to say most people won’t be convinced and will continue to wonder who was behind the horrendous murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

________________

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‘No Evidence’ Russia Threatens Undersea Cables Despite UK Defense Chief’s Claims

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The chief of the UK defense staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, has said NATO needs to protect its undersea cables from attack by Russia. Sputnik spoke to Steffan Watkins, a Canadian-based open-source intelligence analyst who monitors military naval movements, who said there was no evidence Russia planned any hostile action.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach said the UK economy would be “immediately and potentially catastrophically” hit if one of the many undersea cables linking Britain to the rest of the world were disrupted.

The cables, which lie on the ocean floor, ensure communications flow freely to and from the UK.

Sir Stuart pointed the finger directly at Moscow, claiming they were probably plotting to damage the undersea cables.

​Steffan Watkins, a Canadian-based open-source intelligence analyst who monitors military naval movements, said undersea cables were the backbone of the worldwide telecom infrastructure and there were also unmarked military communications cables.

“Sabotage of the world’s undersea telecom infrastructure is not a threat specific to Russia, yet it is being treated as such in the Western media, due to statements leaked by anonymous Pentagon officials in 2015. There has been no evidence provided by any government or non-government agency that shows Russia is planning on cutting any cables, other than anonymous Pentagon officials leaking those accusations to the media, conveniently right before requesting more money, from the Senate Armed Services Committee,” Mr. Watkins told Sputnik.

Russian Ship Which Surveys Seabed

Russia launched the oceanographic vessel, Yantar, in 2015 and it has been surveying large areas of the world’s seas.

“I have reviewed the majority of Yantar’s path at sea since she was commissioned, and it seems like the Russian Navy is surveying the bottom of the ocean, along shipping lanes, and other locations that are important to them, and their allies. They have stopped over areas believed to have Syrian telecom cables, and after they were done, emergency repairs were needed by the Syrian authorities. Did the Yantar expose a tap that had been placed on Syrian telecom cables by another state?” Mr. Watkins told Sputnik.

​”Yantar also positioned itself in the Persian Gulf near Iran, near the location of a cable thought to have an outage before they got there.  Did they show up to repair it, or assess the damage to the cable?  Was the cable damaged as part of another nations’ covert operations? The Yantar’s operations are secret but their movements frequently are not and can be tracked using commercial AIS transponder methods; without evidence from The Pentagon showing some proof of tapping/cutting plans, it’s just more conjecture and fake news,” he told Sputnik.

‘Russian Economy Relies on These Cables’

“It is the job of the military to anticipate all threats, no matter how minor, before a conflict occurs, and hopefully avoid that conflict. Maybe someone figured out this was a potential threat, and explored how much of a threat it could be. The US Navy has good reason to think the Russian Navy could destroy the world’s cable infrastructure, because it could. However, there is a difference between what is possible, and probable. Russia, and every country in the world participating in our global economy, rely on these cables. The US military, or any military, could destroy telecom cables too. I’m much more concerned with terrorism, and cable landing sites are extremely vulnerable to terrorist attack, since such an attack could happen today or tomorrow. The threat of a Russian military operation cutting the worlds’ communication lines is not something that keeps me up at night,” Mr. Watkins told Sputnik.

​”In the initial leak by the Pentagon in 2015 they mentioned the Russians were looking for military secret cable networks. Those networks would be fair military targets in a time of conflict, and would disrupt American military operations globally, not the internet. I believe it is much more likely that the Pentagon wants to get the world worried about the Russians cutting their internet, because it’s easier to explain than their own vulnerable networks,” he told Sputnik.

“It’s much more likely the Russian Navy in a conflict would want all the cables mapped out so they knew which cables to cut to cripple American military communications networks. I believe the Pentagon is much more concerned with their own mesh of secret and uncharted cables that criss-cross the oceans of the world. Public commercial cable networks are already mapped and that information is readily available in the industry; the Russians don’t need to survey them, they can just read a nautical chart,” Mr. Watkins told Sputnik.

‘Crippling Blow’ to UK

In a report for center-right UK think tank Policy Exchange, Conservative MP Rishi Sunak said an attack on the UK’s undersea communications cables could deal a “crippling blow” to Britain’s security and economy.

​”It is not satellites in the sky, but pipes on the ocean floor that form the backbone of the world’s economy,” said Admiral James Stavridis, a former US Navy officer and NATO supreme allied commander, who wrote the foreword to the report.

Adm. Stavridis claimed China, Iran and Russia all posed a threat to the cables.

Posted in Russia, UKComments Off on ‘No Evidence’ Russia Threatens Undersea Cables Despite UK Defense Chief’s Claims

US Creates New Syrian Army Putting Peace Process in Jeopardy

NOVANEWS
Image result for CIA Creates New Syrian Army CARTOON
By Peter KORZUN | Strategic Culture Foundation 

The US-led coalition is training militants at the Syrian Hasakah refugee camp located 70 kilometers from the border of Turkey and 50 kilometers from the border of Iraq. The New Syria Army is being formed at the location to fight the Syrian government forces in southern Syria. The US Special Operations Forces (SOF) are playing the main role in the process. According to Russia’s Center for Reconciliation of Warring Parties, most of these militants come from Islamic State and Al Nusra Front terrorist groups. Around 750 fighters from Raqqa, Deir-ez-Zor, Abu Kamal and the eastern territories of the Euphrates, including Islamic State terrorists who flew Raqqa in October, are going through the training process.

In November, Russia accused the US of establishing a training camp for militants near Rukban to form a new “moderate” opposition.

The location of the US military base, in Rmeilan district, the Hasakah province, was reported by Anadolu news agency, which unveiled a list of ten US outposts located in areas controlled by Kurdish militias in the provinces of Aleppo, Hasakah and Raqqa. The American forces are strategically placed so as to prevent Syria’s government troops from retaking territory in the northern and southeastern regions.

Washington tried to prevent US media from reprinting the story, after it had already appeared in the Turkish media.

The US deployed SOF to northern Syria this summer. The base in Rmeilan has an airfield through which cargo aircraft deliver weapons to the fighters – one of the two major arms routes into the country, along with a land route from Iraq. No doubt, the military bases in Syria are set up in violation of international law on the territory of a sovereign country that has never taken any offensive action towards the US.

The infrastructure and the formation of the New Syrian Army are signs that Washington views Syria as part of a broader front against the influence of Russia and Iran. The US-allied Syrian Kurds are tough fighters when it comes to defending their territory but it may not be the case when it comes to other areas. The Kurds-dominated Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) group has already reached its geographical limits, and will not risk losing its most valuable lands through overstretching its forces. The US needs other groups to rely on and it’s not too selective while recruiting the fighters to fill the ranks.

Obviously, the new armed force will be used to conduct offensive operations outside the SDF-controlled areas. In late November, the US said it suspended supplying arms to the Syrian Kurds to avoid further aggravation of tensions with Turkey. Arming a new force manned by Sunni Arabs will not create problems to negatively affect the relationship with the Sunni NATO ally.

Another consideration – the Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf monarchies will be willing to contribute. The US has just displayed an array of Iranian weapons collected from the Yemen battlefield, including remains of the Iranian-made short-range Qaim ballistic missile fired from Yemen on Nov. 4 at the international airport outside the Saudi capital of Riyadh. The weapons were exhibited on Dec.14 for the first time at a US base outside Washington (the warehouse at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling) as “concrete proof” of Iran’s violation of UN resolutions. All of the recovered weapons were provided to the United States by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Under UN Resolution 2231 endorsing the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran is banned from supplying, selling or transferring weapons outside the country unless approved by the UN Security Council. A separate resolution bans the supply of weapons to Yemen’s Houthis. Members of Congress, the press and representatives of foreign governments could inspect them. The move is clearly designed to make other countries support actions undertaken to confront Iran in the Middle East.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, seized the opportunity to call for an international coalition to counter Iran’s influence in the Middle East, while accusing it of “fanning the flames of conflict” in the region. The US is going to “build a coalition to really push back against Iran and what they’re doing“, Haley said, without going into specifics. Saudi Arabia welcomed the ambassador’s comments on Dec.14, saying it condemned “the Iranian regime for its flagrant violations of the international resolutions and norms“. The UAE, which is part of the Saudi-led coalition, said the evidence provided by the US “leaves no doubt about Iran’s flagrant disregard for its UN obligations, and its role in the proliferation and trafficking of weapons in the region“. Symbolically, a new round of UN-brokered Syria peace talks in Geneva ended without results on the very same day – Dec.14.

The events in Iraq also add to the picture – the US is preparing for confrontation with Iran. A confrontation with Iran in Syria would be synonymous with the new phase of war in the region, leaving a far greater impact than a mere upgrade of the Syrian conflict.

The creation of the new army at a time the hopes are high that the Astana and Geneva peace talks will achieve progress is a very worrisome event. Instead of diplomatic initiatives, the US prefers to launch war preparations. Even talking with Russian officials, it’s always about de-escalation, never about peace process. Creating the new army is an attempt to make Syria remain fragmented into multiple, semiautonomous parts, defying central authority. The money spent on the new force cannot go down the drain. The newly created army will move to capture new territories and inevitably escalate violence. While calling for peace in Syria, the US is preparing for war, which may spark pretty soon.

Posted in USA, Syria1 Comment

4 Palestinians killed by Nazi Gestapo in clashes over Trump decision on Jerusalem

NOVANEWS

Four Palestinians have been declared dead by the Palestinian Health Ministry in the West Bank and Gaza, after a day of violent clashes with Nazi forces on Friday across the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and besieged Gaza Strip.

The ministry reported that 18-year-old Muhammad Amin Aqel al-Adam succumbed to his wounds on Friday evening after he was shot multiple times by Nazi forces in the central West Bank town of al-Bireh, after an alleged stabbing attempt against soldiers.

Al-Adam was a resident of the town of Beit Ula in the western Hebron district of the southern West Bank

In the Jerusalem area town of Anata, in the central West Bank, 29-year-old Bassel Mustafa Muhammad Ibrahim succumbed to his wounds shortly after being shot in the chest by Israeli forces during clashes in the town.

In the Gaza Strip, Nazi forces killed two Palestinians and injured hundreds others during clashes that broke out along the border between the besieged coastal enclave and the 1948 occupied Palestine.

Yassir Sokhar, 31, a resident of the al-Shujaiyya neighborhood of eastern Gaza City was shot during clashes and declared dead by the ministry of health in Gaza.

The fourth slain Palestinian was identified by the ministry as Ibrahim Abu Thurayya, 29, who was shot in the head during clashes.

Ibrahim Abu Thurayya

Tributes to Abu Thurayya — who was wheelchair-ridden after losing both his legs during Nazi Holocaust on the Gaza Strip in 2008 — popped up across social media, as Palestinians widely circulated a video of him calling on Palestinians to protest against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Hundreds of Palestinians across the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza had been injured with live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets on Friday during clashes with Nazi forces in protest of Trump’s decision last week.

Friday’s events brought the death toll over the past week to 10 — six Palestinians had previously been killed by Nazi forces over the past week, four in airstrikes and two in clashes.

Palestinians have vowed to continue protesting Trump’s unprecedented decision, which Palestinian and Arab leaders warned would cause instability and unrest in the region.

Trump’s announcement was the first step to a drastic abdication of longstanding US policy that has largely adhered to international standards on ‘Israel’-Palestine, which maintains that East Jerusalem is an intricate part of occupied Palestinian territory and the capital of any future Palestinian state, despite Israel’s annexation of the territory.

The fate of Jerusalem has been a focal point of the ‘Israeli’-Palestinian conflict for decades, with numerous tensions arising over Nazi threats regarding the status of non-Jewish religious sites in the city, and the “Judaization” of East Jerusalem through settlement construction and mass demolitions of Palestinian homes.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on 4 Palestinians killed by Nazi Gestapo in clashes over Trump decision on Jerusalem


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