Archive | January 27th, 2018

US Decline is Ongoing, Yet America Remains the Undisputed “Military Master”

NOVANEWS

Despite widely held views, American regression has long been taking place.

The United States’ decline can be traced as far back as 1949, when the world’s dominant power unexpectedly suffered the “loss” of China. It was a monumental early blow to US strategic planners, who were carefully executing dreams of unchallenged global dominance.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt had been “aiming at United States hegemony in the post-war world”, as the prominent British historian Geoffrey Warner outlined. Roosevelt was to die less than three weeks before Adolf Hitler shot himself in April 1945, yet such visions were carried forward with zeal.

In 1948 the well regarded US diplomat George Kennan said, 

“We have 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. In this situation our real job in the coming period… is to maintain this position of disparity. To do so, we have to dispense with all sentimentality… we should cease thinking about human rights, the raising of the living standards and democratization” – and we must “deal in straight power concepts”, while not being “hampered by idealistic slogans” about “altruism and work-benefaction”.

Kennan was considered one of the moderate “doves” in US planning circles. This unheralded sphere of conquest was called the Grand Area. Unfortunately for Kennan and colleagues, by the following year [1949], China removed itself from US control in an outcome sorely felt to present.

It occurred when the resurgent Communist Party of China, led by Mao Zedong, overran American-backed Nationalists (Kuomintang) in mainland China. It was an irreversible rout which saw many US sympathizers flee to Taiwan, an island about 700km east of Hong Kong.

The outcome prompted critics of the Harry Truman administration to describe it as “an avoidable catastrophe”. It was preventable in that they felt the US military should have been called upon.

For if a country has unscrupulous aspirations of global dominance, “losing China to Communism” is undoubtedly a catastrophe. It is a revealing term to “lose” a nation with a population at the time of 550 million people – and whose capital Beijing (then Peking) is more than 11,000km from Washington. It stands as a revealing insight into imperialist planning, with similar dogmas prevailing to the current day.

As a young man Truman himself had written about his disregard for the “Chinaman”. Consequently, China’s exit from the US sphere of control grated severely. The American leader later wrote, 

“As long as I am president, if I can prevent it, that cut-throat organisation will never be recognized by us as the government of China”.

By the end of World War II, the US had long been the world’s richest country. The second global conflict finished off lingering effects of the Great Depression, with American industry increasing almost four-fold.

Critically, rivals like Germany, the USSR, Britain, China and Japan were all devastated from invasion, bombing or loss of life.

Christopher Tassava, Associate Director at Carleton College in Minnesota writes

“American leaders determined to make the United States the center of the post-war world economy. American aid or ‘Marshall Plan’ furthered this goal by tying the economic reconstruction of West Germany, France, Great Britain and Japan to American import and export needs, among other factors”.

With their key rivals further tied down to American financial power, the proceeding Cold War was directed against the USSR. In the Western mainstream this was framed as two equals going toe-to-toe – with the US defending earth from Communism’s ravages.

In truth the US was always the much stronger state, enjoying unprecedented wealth, security and scope. It was a level of power that even Hitler, with his wild ambitions for the world, may not have envisaged.

Tanks in Red Square during the August Coup, four months before the USSR collapse, 1991. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Cold War comprised principally of efforts by both superpowers to implement and spread order in their realms of power. The US would control most of the world while the Soviets had to be content with eastern Europe. Things were to change before long, however.

In addition to “losing” China, by the 1950s south-east Asia was sliding from America’s grasp too. It eventually propagated the deadly conflicts in Vietnam and the rest of Indochina (1962-75).

Furthermore, there was the enormous bloodletting in the mid-1960s upon gaining control of “the greatest prize” that was Indonesia – as described by Richard Nixon. These Asian regions are still to recover fully from the effects of American-led aggression and influence.

By about 1975, the US share of global wealth had dropped to 25% – still huge – yet it stood at 50% a generation before. With Europe and Japanese-centric Asia gradually recovering and becoming less reliant on American influence, the industrial world was becoming “tripolar”.

In 1979, the US was dealt another hammer blow when Iranian nationalists overthrew the Western-backed dictatorship of the Shah. It is another “loss” that is continually felt, with Iran enduring almost unremitting American pressure ever sense. 

Later, the Soviet Union’s demise in the early 1990s witnessed much nonsensical triumphalism from Western elites. There was talk of “a noble phase” and a final victory for “Western values” over the scourge of Communism.

In the post-USSR era, the old American pretexts of global defense from “Soviet aggression” could no longer be used to dupe the public. Now, the ruse put forward when illegally attacking other nations was “promoting democracy” and to defend “human rights and civilized values”, as Tony Blair put it.

The true reasons such as controlling resources and destroying independent nationalism remained unmentioned. Little attention was paid to the words of those like Harvard professor Samuel P. Huntington, who said in 1999 of the US, 

“In the eyes of many countries it is becoming the rogue superpower”, and “the single greatest threat to their societies”.

These views were confirmed by various international opinion polls this century, on the subject of “the greatest threat to world peace”.

With Western politicians publicly appraising themselves for the USSR’s downfall, it was not long after that the US was losing control of Latin America too. Subjected to brutal US-initiated conflicts and dictatorships for decades, the Latin American people were making serious efforts to rid themselves of outside control.

Some of this American decline has plainly been self-inflicted. Estimates suggest the disastrous George W. Bush-Barack Obama wars in the Middle East cost between $4 trillion to $6 trillion. Even to the planet’s richest nation, no laughing matter.

One of Osama bin Laden’s chief aims was to lure America into drawn-out conflicts, thereby inflicting financial ruin. Bin Laden continues to score victories from his watery grave. Now, current president Donald Trump is upping the ante in Afghanistan at a continued price. American troops are forecast to remain on Afghan soil for another decade.

It is worth remembering that the US still remains the unchallenged military master; no other country comes close to matching the might of its armed forces. The US military outlay will increase by over 10% to $700 billion (its 2016 expenditure was $611 billion). Also in 2016, China was second on the global arms list at $215 billion.

The incoming price is unlikely to affect the super wealthy, but tens of millions of Americans will again bear the brunt of a long-held plutocracy.

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Trump’s Announced Strategy for Occupying Syria

NOVANEWS

“The President has committed, as a matter of strategy, that we will not leave Syria. We are not going to declare victory and go. And that is not my opinion; that’s the President’s strategic judgment. We’re going to stay for several reasons: stabilization and assistance in the vital north and northeast, protection of our allies the Syrian Democratic Forces, who have fought so valiantly against ISIS in the northeast, try to work to help transform the political structures in that area to a model for the rest of Syria, and capable of being credibly represented in a new Syrian state; but for other reasons as well, including countering Iran and its ability to enhance its presence in Syria, and serving as a weight or force helping us to achieve some of those broader objectives.”

That’s as spoken by David M. Satterfield, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, and Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, U.S. Department of State, 11 January 2018, addressing the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on the topic of “U.S. Policy Toward Syria.” You can see it in this clip from C-Span.

His statement hasn’t been reported in U.S. newsmedia; so, it’s still news; and this means that it’s news to the American people, and to all others who, though this news wasn’t reported to them, trust U.S. media to report any important American news (such as this U.S. Government policy-statement to the U.S. Senate certainly is). 

Parts of this clip have been reported by the independent journalist Mutlu Civiroglu on twitter, and, from there to reddit, and also at Russia Defense Forum, and at the excellent general news site Signs Of The Times, where I came upon it, and whose reporter Joe Quinn contrasted this statement with a tweet from Donald Trump as a Presidential candidate on 5 Sep 2013:

“Again, to our very foolish leader, do not attack Syria — if you do, many very bad things will happen & from that fight the U.S. gets nothing!”

The many people who had voted for Trump because of such anti-neoconservative (otherwise-called anti-imperialist) statements from him as that (and which thus also caused neocons to gang up against him in 2016 and publicly to support the overtly neocon Hillary Clinton instead), can reasonably raise the question as to whether a country in which people (such as Trump has done on this matter) routinely lie their way into elective offices, constitutes a democracy, or is instead actually a dictatorship of lies, by liars — and, if it’s the latter, then the inevitable questions are: 1: Whom are those liars actually serving; and, 2: Are the media also serving those same people and therefore hiding such crucial news as this U.S. Government policy-statement certainly is.

Furthermore, anyone to whom this official statement that was made to U.S. Senators on January 11th by the U.S. Government comes as news (and as news which still hasn’t yet been reported — much less debated — in America’s existing ‘news’ media) might reasonably cease subscribing to and paying and otherwise subsidizing those fake ‘news’ media, and instead start to seek out and subsidize honest ones such as the present site where you’re now reading this important news, so as not to be drowned by the propaganda and deceptions from whomever the people are who hide from the public the real news (such as this). Whereas the mainstream media, and even small media that serve the same owners, attack ‘fake news’, they’re actually reporting a lot of fake news themselves, and are hiding this fact from their subscribers. That fact presents a challenge to each person in their audience, as to whether to do whatever that individual can, to overcome this regime, and how to do it.

Just in case it might possibly be the case that U.S. and allied newsmedia have, ever since January 11th, failed to report this important news due only to their incompetence instead of in order to suppress it, the present news-report, including its links, and most especially the link here to the C-Span clip, is being submitted free of charge to all of them, so as to inform them all, of this important news; so that, going forward from now, all newsmedia that fail to report it are definitely suppressing it, and so that every reader who somehow does encounter it, can know with certainty, that the ‘news’media that don’t are actively and intentionally suppressing this news-item. All newsmedia are now being informed of, and linked to, that C-Span clip; so, all of them now know of its existence and can write about it. And, of course, everyone knows of its importance; so, there will be no excuse for not reporting on it, at least from the present time forward.

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Ireland to Discuss New Bill Criminalising Trade with Nazi Jewish Settlements

NOVANEWS
Ireland to Discuss New Bill Criminalising Trade with Israeli Settlements
 

Featured image: Illegal construction work of settlements in the West Bank on 22 February 2017 (Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency)

Ireland is set to discuss a new bill that seeks to prohibit the import and sale of goods originating in illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian Territory.

Independent Senator Frances Black, yesterday, launched the “Control of Economic Activities (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018”, which is scheduled for debate in Seanad Éireann on Wednesday 31 January 2018.

According to a press release announcing its launch the bill “seeks to prohibit the import and sale of goods, services and natural resources originating in illegal settlements in occupied territories”.

“Such settlements,” said the statement, “are illegal under both international humanitarian law and domestic Irish law, and result in human rights violations on the ground”.

Despite the illegality of the import and sale of goods from Israeli settlements, the statement points out that Ireland is still providing “continued economic support through trade in settlement goods”.

Drafters of the bill revealed that the legislation had been “prepared with the support of Trócaire, Christian-Aid and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), and applies to settlements in occupied territories where there is clear international legal consensus that they violate international law”. They insisted that the “clearest current example of these violations were the expansion of settlements in the Palestinian West Bank, which have been repeatedly condemned as illegal by the UN, EU, the International Court of Justice and the Irish Government”.

Speaking in advance of the bill’s introduction, Senator Black said:

“This is a chance for Ireland to stand up for the rights of vulnerable people – it is about respecting international law and refusing to support illegal activity and human suffering.”

Black said he is “passionate about the struggle of the Palestinian people”. He insisted that “trade in settlement goods sustains injustice” and explained that “in the occupied territories, people are forcibly kicked out of their homes, fertile farming land is seized, and the fruit and vegetables produced are then sold on Irish shelves to pay for it all”.

The bill is seeking more than mere denunciation of Israeli settlements and is trying to get governments around the world to treat settlements as illegal. Black pointed out that six years ago the Irish Government criticised the relentless progress of Israeli settlements, but they have failed to do anything about it since.

“In years since then it has only gone one way, with settlements expanding, more Palestinian homes being demolished and land being confiscated. It’s clear that empty promises have not worked but nothing has been done. Ireland needs to show leadership and act” Black protested.

The Occupied Territories Bill 2018 will be debated at Second Stage in Seanad Éireann on Wednesday and will be streamed live on Oireachtas TV. It has been co-signed by Seanad Civil Engagement Group Senators Alice-Mary Higgins, Lynn Ruane, Grace O’Sullivan, Colette Kelleher and John Dolan, as well as Senator David Norris.

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A Tribute to Robert Parry: Independent Journalism at Its Best

NOVANEWS

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

 

Journalism lost one of its most valuable investigators when Robert Parry died from pancreatic cancer on January 27, at the age of  68. He was the first reporter to reveal Oliver North’s operation in the White House basement (AP, 6/10/1985), and the co-author of the first report on Contra drug-smuggling (AP12/21/1985). He did some of the most important work investigating the 1980 Reagan campaign’s efforts to delay the return of US hostages held in Iran, a scandal known as the October Surprise.

After breaking his first big stories with the Associated Press, Bob moved on to Newsweek and then later PBS‘s Frontline. Frustrated with the limits and compromises of corporate media—he was once told that a story on Contra financial skullduggery had to be watered down because Newsweek owner Katharine Graham was having Henry Kissinger as a weekend guest (Media Beat4/23/98)—Bob launched his own online outlet, Consortium News.

“He was a pioneer in bringing maverick journalism to the Internet,” FAIR founder Jeff Cohen wrote after Bob’s death. “Bob was a refugee from mainstream media who, like Izzy Stone, went on to build an uncensored and uncensorable outlet.”

Bob believed deeply in journalism, both as a vital force for shaping the world and as a moral imperative. In a moving tribute to his father, Nat Parry (Consortium News1/29/18) wrote that one of his earliest memories

was of my dad about to leave on assignment in the early 1980s to the war zones of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala, and the heartfelt good-bye that he wished to me and my siblings. He warned us that he was going to a very dangerous place and that there was a possibility that he might not come back.

I remember asking him why he had to go, why he couldn’t just stay at home with us. He replied that it was important to go to these places and tell the truth about what was happening there. He mentioned that children my age were being killed in these wars and that somebody had to tell their stories. I remember asking, “Kids like me?” He replied, “Yes, kids just like you.”

FAIR was blessed to have Bob not just as an inspiration and ally but as an occasional contributor. As a practitioner of journalism at its best, his insights into what happened when journalism went wrong were always valuable. In gratitude and fond memory, we offer some excerpts from a small part of an enduring body of work.

***

Even Nixon, the grand strategist, could never have guessed how well his plans would have worked out a quarter century later—and how much of his chip-on-the-shoulder paranoia would still resonate today in a powerful conservative press establishment.

In the 25 years since Nixon started “pushing” this project, the conservatives have constructed a truly intimidating media machine. It ranges from nationwide radio talk shows by Rush Limbaugh and scores of Limbaugh-wannabes, to dozens of attack magazines, newspapers, newsletters and right-wing opinion columns, to national cable television networks propagating hard-line conservative values and viewpoints, to documentary producers who specialize in slick character assassination, to mega-buck publishing houses that add footnotes to white-supremacist theories anti a veneer of respectability to journalistic fabrications, and even to narrowly focused organizations that exist simply to hurt the surviving mainstream journalists who still won’t toe the line.

This conservative media machine now rivals—and may well surpass—the power and the influence of the old-line press. Both directly and indirectly, this right-wing media machine holds sway over much of the national agenda, deciding which ideas and individuals are accepted and which are marginalized.

”The Rise of the Right-Wing Media Machine” (Extra!3–4/1995)

The [Wall StreetJournal editorial page, of course, was not alone in missing or misreporting aspects of Iran-Contra–connected investigations, nor in exaggerating the Whitewater affair. But the Journal’s editorial page stands out as a master of journalistic hypocrisy in the two controversies. On Iran/Contra, the Journal exploited its national influence to hamper and harass investigators and journalists examining serious crimes, including—by the Journal’s own belated admission—drug-trafficking, money-laundering and obstruction of justice. On Whitewater, conversely, the editorial page has served as the principal sounding board for baseless rumors.

”Hast Seen the Whitewater Whale?” (Extra!9–10/1995)

Image on the right: Colin Powell touring the conquered nation of Panama.

Colin Powell in Panama

[Colin] Powell’s justification for the cold-blooded murder of unarmed Vietnamese civilians is chilling. It is not only “brutal”—no need for a question mark—to murder an unarmed civilian in the manner Powell described; it is a war crime. Further, the killing is not excused by the fact that American soldiers, including Powell’s friends, were dying in combat. The death of American soldiers was exactly the rationale used by Lt. William Calley for the slaughter of hundreds of Vietnamese villagers, including babies, in My Lai.

The Powell memoirs offer similar defenses for the practice of applying Zippo lighters to the hooches of Vietnamese civilians during his first tour in Vietnam, as an adviser to South Vietnam’s army, in 1963. But when journalists who yearned for Colin Powell read his memoirs, they took almost no note of Powell’s stunning lack of compassion when civilians were dying: whether Vietnamese, Nicaraguan, Panamanian or Iraqi.

”Powell Media Mania,” with Norman Solomon (Extra!1–2/1996)

When Gary Webb revived the Contra/cocaine issue in August 1996 with a 20,000-word, three-part series entitled “Dark Alliance” (8/18–20/1996), editors at major newspapers already had a powerful self-interest to slap down a story that they had disparaged for the past decade.

The challenge to their earlier judgments was doubly painful because the [San JoseMercury News’ sophisticated website ensured that Webb’s series made a big splash on the Internet, which was just emerging as a threat to the traditional news media. Also, the African-American community was furious at the possibility that U.S. government policies had contributed to the crack-cocaine epidemic.

In other words, the mostly white, male editors at the major newspapers saw their preeminence in judging news challenged by an upstart regional newspaper, the Internet and common American citizens who also happened to be black. So even as the CIA was prepared to conduct a relatively thorough and honest investigation, the major newspapers seemed more eager to protect their reputations and their turf.

”America’s Debt to Gary Webb” (Extra!3–4/05)

Tactical retreats by “humbled” pro-war columnists focused on US ineptness in waging the war, not on the illegality, immorality and insanity of invading a major Arab country that wasn’t threatening the United States. By failing to expand the criticism of Bush beyond success or failure, the mainstream US news media continued to embrace implicitly Bush’s assertion of a special American right to attack wherever and whenever the president says.

It was still out of bounds to discuss how the Iraq invasion violated the Nuremberg principle against aggressive war and the United Nations Charter, which bars attacking another country except in cases of self-defense or with the approval of the UN Security Council. To one extent or another, nearly all major US news outlets had bought into the imperial neoconservative vision of an all-powerful United States that operates outside of international law.

”Journalists ‘Humbled’ but Unrepentant,” with Sam and Nat Parry (Extra!11–12/07)

Ultimately, the GOP cover-up strategy proved highly effective, as Democrats grew timid and neoconservative journalists—then emerging as a powerful force in the Washington media—took the lead in decrying the October Surprise allegations as a “myth.” The Republicans benefited, too, from a Washington press corps that had grown weary of the complex Iran/Contra scandal. Careerist reporters in the mainstream press had learned that the route to advancement lay more in “debunking” such complicated national security scandals than in pursuing them.

”Debunking the Debunkers of the October Surprise” (Extra!3/13)


Oliver Stone Leads Tributes to Robert Parry as Shady US Lobbyists PropOrNot Dance on His Grave
Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews
How the Washington Post Became the US Military-Industrial Complex’s Chief Propagandist
Backlash Against Russian ‘Fake News’ Is Shutting Down Debate for Real
America’s “Righteous” Russia-gate Censorship. “Russia Bashing All the Time”
A Liberal Pillar of the Establishment – ‘New Look’ Guardian, Old-Style Orthodoxy

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Thatcher – and Many Still Active Tories – Did Support Apartheid

NOVANEWS
 

I am delighted that Sir Patrick Wright, former head of the Diplomatic Service, has confirmed that Margaret Thatcher did support apartheid. There has been a polite media airbrushing of this aspect of Tory history. For the first two years of my life in the FCO I spent every single day trying to undermine Thatcher’s support for apartheid. As I published last year of the FCO’s new official history:

Salmon acquits Thatcher of actually supporting apartheid. I would dispute this. I was only a Second Secretary but the South Africa (Political) desk was just me, and I knew exactly what was happening. My own view was that Thatcher was a strong believer in apartheid, but reluctantly accepted that in the face of international opposition, especially from the United States, it would have to be dismantled. Her hatred of Mandela and of the ANC was absolute. It is an undeniable statement that Thatcher hated the ANC and was highly sympathetic towards the apartheid regime.

By contrast the Tory FCO junior ministers at the time, including Malcolm Rifkind and Lynda Chalker, shared the absolute disgust at apartheid that is felt by any decent human being. The Foreign Secretary, Geoffrey Howe was somewhere between these two positions, but very anxious indeed not to anger Thatcher. South Africa was an issue in which Thatcher took an extreme interest and was very, very committed. Not in a good way.

British diplomats were almost banned from speaking to any black people at all. Thatcher favoured the Bantustan or Homelands policy, so an exception was made for Gatsha Buthelezi, the Zulu chief who was regarded as anti-ANC and prepared to oppose sanctions and be satisfied with a separate Zulu “homeland” for his Inkatha movement and essentially accept apartheid exclusions. That may be unfair on him, but it was the policy of the UK government to steer in that direction. Our Consulate General in Johannesburg was permitted to talk to black trades unionists, and that was our main angle in to the black resistance movement. These contacts were made by the excellent Tony Gooch and Stuart Gregson, and before them the equally excellent Terry Curran, then my immediate boss in London. Neither Terry nor Tony were “fast-track” public school diplomats. None of those talked to black South Africans at all.

I flew off the handle when I discovered, when dealing with the accounts of the Embassy in Pretoria/Capetown (a migratory capital), that the British Ambassador, Patrick Moberly, had entertained very few black people indeed in the Residence and the vast majority of Embassy social functions were whites only. In 1985 most of the black people who got in to the British Ambassador’s residence in South Africa were the servants. I recall distinctly the astonishment in the FCO that the quiet and mild-mannered young man at the side desk had suddenly lost his rag and got excited about something that seemed to them axiomatic. Black people as guests in the Residence in Pretoria? No, Craig, I was told, we speak with black people in Johannesburg. Different culture there.

Wright’s account collaborates mine both in general and in detail, eg on being banned from any contact with the ANC. Eventually we managed, as a tentative first step and unknown to No.10, to arrange a meeting, ostensibly by accident in the margins of a conference, between myself and a brilliant young man from the newly launched trades union federation named Cyril Ramaphosa. I wonder what happened to him? I was the recipient of his justified ire at Tory government policy.

Tories who actively supported apartheid are still very influential in the Tory party, notably the St Andrews Federation of Conservative Students originating group, including Michael Forsyth. Even David Cameron’s contacts with South Africa in this period are a very murky part of his cv. It is important the Tories are not allowed off the hook on this. The moral taint should rightly be with them for generations.

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Nazi regime Seeks to Use Free Syrian Army to Establish 40km Deep ‘Safe Zone’ in Southern Syria

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Israel Seeks to Use Free Syrian Army to Establish 40km Deep ‘Safe Zone’ in Southern Syria

Israel is using several Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups in a three phases-plan to impose a 40km-deep ‘safe zone’ in southern Syria, the Intercept reported on January 23.

According to the report, Israel already accomplished the first phase of its plan and it is currently working with different Israeli and American NGOs to accomplish the second phase. The goal of this effort is to push Lebanese Hezbollah and the Iranian-backed forces 40km away from the Israeli border. An unnamed officer of the FSA told the Intercept that Israel is even willing to push these forces “as far back as Hama.”

A unnamed Syrian Arab Army (SAA) source revealed to the intercept that a small group of Israeli Army and intelligence personnel entered the western Dara countryside in July 2017 and met with commanders of the two FSA groups – Liwa Jaydour and Jaysh al-Ababil.

In September 2017, another meeting between Israeli representatives and commanders of Liwa Jaydour, the Golan Knights and the Syrian Revolutionaries Front took place in the border town of Rafid in the southern Quneitra countryside, according to the Intercept.

Israel Seeks To Use Free Syrian Army To Establish 40km Deep 'Safe Zone' In Southern Syria – Report

Abu Ahmad, a Syrian opposition activist, confirmed to the Intercept that several FSA groups in southern Syria are currently getting money and weapons from the Israeli side, especially after the US Military Operation Center (MOC) in Jordan had suspended its military support for FSA groups.

“Jordan stopped sending them weapons, so they turned to Israel instead,” Abu Ahmad told the Intercept.

The Intercept report also revealed that the Israeli Army started training and equipping a border police force of around 500 FSA fighters from the Golan Knights group as a part of the second phase of the Israeli safe zone plane. This border force is expected to patrol the separation of forces line from south of the government-held Druze town of Hadar through FSA-held towns of Jabata Khashab, Bir Ajam, Hamadiyah, and Quneitra, all the way to Rafid in the southern Quneitra countryside, according to the report.

This was not the first time when the coordination between Israel and FSA groups in southern Syria became public. On December 2, 2017 the Syrian pro-opposition news outlet Enab Baladi revealed that the FSA and the Israeli Army are preparing a joint attack on the ISIS-affiliated Khalid ibn al-Walid Army in the western Daraa countryside.

The FSA-Israeli joint attack may be launched in the end of January, according to several oppositions sources, and it’s possible that this effort is a part of Israeli’s safe zone plane.

Israel could indirectly control the FSA groups in southern Syria and eliminate the ISIS threat in the western Daraa countryside. Hwever, it will be much more complicated to establish a 40km-wide safe zone in southern Syria because the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) controls large parts of Daraa governorate, including more than half of the city of Daraa.

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US Supports Kurds in Northern Syria: Turks React. Is America at War with Turkey?

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The Operation Olive Branch in northern Syria started five days ago. Five days ago the Afrin region became a possible hotbed of a full-scale conflict between the Turkish troops aided by the armed fighters of the Free Syrian Army and the US-backed Kurdish units which had been dominating the area. The operation started with shellings and airstrikes of the Turkish artillery and AF and later grew into a full-blown invasion.

According to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, one of the incentives for Ankara to invade Syria was a possible threat of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), characterized as a “terror army”, which could initiate an offensive on the territory of Turkey. Quite peculiar is that this army is armed with equipment supplied by Washington, and trained by American military instructors who still may be in the ranks of the SDF.

Recently, there emerged footages showing a downed Turkish helicopter and a damaged tank both hit with shots of US-made weapons.

Obviously, this brought to the agenda a possible direct confrontation between Ankara and Washington and urged the presidents of the two countries to exchange rather harsh statements regarding the crisis (12).

But what do Turks think about the conflict and the US involvement in Kurdish support? As there have been no large polls conducted yet on this topic, a short analysis of online activity may shed the light upon the current trends in the Turkish society.

One of the best examples are comment sections to news or articles about the operation. They contain an outstanding amount of aggressive comments addressed to the United States. For instance, these ones were written under the same news piece on the US warning to stop supplies to Kurdish units:

“Americans should do the right thing after all the mistakes they have done”

“If they want to stay alive they should stop the supplies”

“No matter how many of you there are, come, what’s needed will be done. USA, come too”

Hurriyet readers express the same point of view:


“Not Turkey nor Syria matter to the US. They only want to secure their profit in the Middle East. Fight against terrorists must continue till none of them lives”

Posts on Twitter mostly represent the same negative attitude towards Washington’s policy.

“US statements on Afrin come one after the other. As I understood, they said they would stop supporting PYD but they never will! They dress PYD militants as civilians and make it look like Turkey kills civilian population”

“Here is the two-faced US. Yesterday: – We are against the Afrin operation. Today: If PYD enters Afrin we’ll cut the support. Hey, who are you trying to fool?”

And as for Facebook, one may come across such polls like this one:


What do you think about US aiding Kurdish terrorists?

  • Washington supports terrorists all over the world!
  • Our “ally” USA is not our friend. All ties with Washington must be disrupted.
  • Such support must be stopped immediately!
  • I support [it]. PYD/PKK are not terrorists

And they are followed by angry comments:

Posted in USA, Syria, TurkeyComments Off on US Supports Kurds in Northern Syria: Turks React. Is America at War with Turkey?

Hollywood’s Pro-Soviet Propaganda vs. The “Russia Probe” ‘Video’

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First published by GR in May 2017

This title might surprise you.

But at the height of the Second World War, America and the Soviet Union were allies.

And Hollywood as of June 1941 was involved in producing a very different type of war film.

The United States’ attitude towards the Soviet Union shifted on 22nd of june 1941, when Hitler began sending his Panzers towards Moscow, and after December ’41 the alliance between the two opposite systems was a necessity. So, the American’s perceptions of the Soviet Union had to be shaped overnight so that FDR could receive popular support for entering the war on the Soviet Union’s side. The responsibility for such a task was put on the back of the oWI (office of War Information). Understanding the relationship between this agency and Hollywood can help shed light the objectives of pro-Soviet films released between 1942 and 1945. (Andrei Cojoc)

North Star 1943, starring Anne Baxter, Walter Houston, Dana Andrews and Walter Brennan.

According to Andrei Cojoc, “The highlight of the movie is the resistance fight of the heroic villagers, portrayed by an all American cast”.

The movie was decidedly pro-Soviet, pro-Communist describing Nazi repression in rural Ukraine. A variation of  “The International” was used as background music: “Comrades our people are at war… The Germans are 50 miles away.”

There was no “Russia Probe” in 1943.  “I am a guerrilla fighter of the Soviet Union”.

The Soviet people were described as freedom fighters. “It is our land, we swear to give our lives…”

Hollywood was recounting the courageous battle of villagers against Nazi Germany with the support of the Red Army and how the heroic Soviet peasantry was resisting Nazi occupation.

Every major studio (except Paramount) submitted its share of pro-Soviet movies: Samuel Goldwin’s North Star (1943), MGM’s Song of Russia (1943), United Artist’s Three Russian Girls (1943), Warner’s Mission to Moscow (1943), RKo’s Days of Glory (1944), Columbia’s Boy from Stalingrad (1943) and Counter Attack (1945). The three most important pillars of pro-Soviet propaganda emerged in 1943: The North Star, Song of Russia and Mission to Moscow. (Ibid)

Produced by Samuel Goldwyn, the Screenplay was written by Lillian Hellman. The concluding words of Marina (Ann Baxter) shed a light of hope:

“We will make this the last war, We will make a Free World for All Men. The Earth belongs to us, the people, if we fight for it and we will fight for it…” (1.44′)

Author’s conclusion:

Dump Russia-Gate and the Russia Probe,

Restore sanity in US foreign policy, reestablish diplomatic dialogue with Moscow, say no to World War III.

Wishful thinking? Enlist Hollywood in waging a “propaganda for peace”

North Star 1943. MGM View Movie in full 1.46′


original

America’s hegemonic project in the post 9/11 era is the “Globalization of War” whereby the U.S.-NATO military machine —coupled with covert intelligence operations, economic sanctions and the thrust of “regime change”— is deployed in all major regions of the world. The threat of pre-emptive nuclear war is also used to black-mail countries into submission.

This “Long War against Humanity” is carried out at the height of the most serious economic crisis in modern history.

It is intimately related to a process of global financial restructuring, which has resulted in the collapse of national economies and the impoverishment of large sectors of the World population.

The ultimate objective is World conquest under the cloak of “human rights” and “Western democracy”.

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