Archive | April 12th, 2018

“Ground Control to Major Trump”: America’s Attacks and Invasions. “War is Good for Business”


Those who remember the late David Bowies 1969 song Space Oddity can recall the lyrics ‘Ground Control to Major Tom’. Well, almost 50 years later we have what this writer refers to as a ‘War Oddity’.

L. Fletcher Prouty wrote his 1972 book The Secret Team, whereupon he covered his inside witness to how a secret element of our CIA actually ran foreign policies and wars. What I found interesting was his take on the whole Vietnam debacle. In the book Prouty made a cogent point on how this Military Industrial Complex (later renamed by yours truly as the Military Industrial Empire) needed what they called the Vietnam War  to fulfill their thirst for profit making military hardware and supplies. Prouty notes that American businesses were all but knocked out of the lucrative defense contract arena by the end of Eisenhower’s last term, due to the sudden and abrupt swing to ballistic missiles and space during the late 1950s. He goes on to explain that by sending hundreds of thousands of soldiers on the ground in Vietnam and its environs increased the need for more WW2 type munitions and bombers and helicopters… and of course plenty of bombs. The Navy needed those shallow water boats to use on the rivers. To parrot the late General Smedley Butler from his  1935 essay ‘War is a Racket’, many corporate interests made fortunes each time our nation goes to what they sell us as ‘War’.

Fifty years and nothing has changed… and never will! We know from all the audits done from our (illegal and of course immoral) attacks and invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan, how many segments of this Military Industrial Empire made fortunes. Remembering back to Vietnam, each time a Bell Corp. made Helicopter got destroyed, and 5000 were during that time, Bell made from $ 1-2 million per unit of replacement. Of course, to ship over 500,000 troops, clothe house and feed them for their usual one year tour of duty (or sooner if they were killed) some contractors made out like General Butler alluded. We had Iraq War 1 and then Iraq War 2, invading Afghanistan and occupy both countries for decades… what a racket! So, when Trump gets his orders to proceed with new ‘fields of endeavors’ i.e.: Syria (?) more fortunes will be made.. on top of those already seen by the manufacturers of the Apache Helicopter (fully equipped at 56 million dollars), drone aircraft and missiles. Remember folks that this obscene military spending comes out of the pockets of you and me taxpayer… at well over 50 % of our federal tax dollars!!

Whoever coined the phrase ‘War is hell’ was only referring to the suckers on its receiving end, and the poor grunts who we send over to kill and be killed in illegal and immoral actions! It is actually Paradise for those who profit from it.

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Strategy of U.S. Anti-Russia Sanctions Becomes Clearer: Serving American Billionaires


Targeting Russia’s Competing Oil-Gas Giants and Weapons Producers

On Friday, April 6th, Reuters headlined “Russian businessmen, officials on new U.S. sanctions list”, and opened: “The United States on Friday imposed major sanctions against 24 Russians, striking at allies of President Vladimir Putin over Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and other ‘malign activity’. Below are the most prominent businessmen targeted along with their main assets and connections as well as extracts from the U.S. Treasury statement.”

As that Reuters list makes even clearer than before, U.S. economic sanctions against Russia are focused against mainly the following four categories of targets in Russia:

1. Russian competitors to America’s largest international oil companies. These specific U.S. firms were listed, on March 27th, in an excellent article by Antonia Juhasz in Pacific Standard magazine, “INSIDE THE TAX BILL’S $25 BILLION OIL COMPANY BONANZA: A Pacific Standard analysis shows the oil and gas industry is among the tax bill’s greatest financial beneficiaries.” There, they were listed in rank order. For example: the largest such firm, Exxon/Mobil, was given $5.9 billion in “2017 Tax Act Savings,” and the second-largest, Philipps 66, won $2.7 billion in it. The latest round of anti-Russia sanctions focuses clearly against these international U.S. oil firms’ Russian competitors. 

However, previous rounds of U.S. sanctions have especially focused against:

2. Russian competitors of Lockheed Martin and other international U.S. weapons-firms — Russian manufacturers that are selling, to foreign governments, military aircraft, missiles, and other military equipment, on the international markets: competing military products. The competitive purpose of these sanctions is to boost not U.S. international oil-firms, but U.S. international weapons-firms.

3. Russian banks that lend to those firms. Some of these banks have also other close ties to those firms.

4. Russian Government officials, and billionaires, who cooperate with Russia’s elected President, Vladimir Putin. Putin refuses to allow suppliers to the Russian military to be controlled (such as are the military suppliers to America’s Government) by private investors (and especially not by foreigners); he wants the weapons-manufacturers to represent the state, not the state to represent the weapons-manufacturers; i.e., he refuses to privatize Russia’s weapons-producers, and he instead insists that all firms that supply Russia’s military be controlled by Russia’s elected Government, not by any private investors. (By contrast, The West relies almost entirely upon privately owned weapons-makers.) He also prohibits foreign interests from controlling Russia’s natural resources such as oil firms, mining, and land-ownership, and this explicitly applies even to agricultural land. However, most important are Russia’s Strategic Sectors Law (otherwise known as “Strategic Investment Law”), which defines as a “Strategic Entity” and thus subject strictly to control only by the Russian Government and citizenry, four categories: Defense, Natural Resources, Media, and Monopolies. Russia’s refusal to allow U.S. billionaires to buy control over these — to buy control over the Government — is, to a large extent, being punished by the U.S. anti-Russia sanctions. 

Focusing on the latest round: The Reuters article lists the specific main targets of the new sanctions. These targets are, as described by the U.S. Treasury Department, and as quoted by Reuters:

Oleg Deripaska is being designated … for operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation economy.”

Viktor Vekselberg is being designated for operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation economy.”

Kirill Shamalov is being designated for operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation economy.”

Andrei Skoch is being designated for being an official of the Government of the Russian Federation.”

Suleiman Kerimov is being designated for being an official of the Government of the Russian Federation.”

Vladimir Bogdanov is being designated for operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation economy.”

Igor Rotenberg is being designated for operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation economy.”

Those are the ones that the Reuters article specifically listed. In addition, there are:


Andrey Akimov, chairman of the board at Gazprombank

Andrey Kostin, president of VTB bank

*Alexey Miller, chief executive of Gazprom

Mikhail Fradkov, president of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies

Sergey Fursenko, member of the board of directors of Gazprom Neft

Oleg Govorun, head of the Presidential Directorate for Social and Economic Cooperation with the Commonwealth of Independent States Member Countries

Image result for Gazprom

Gazprom is Russia’s oil-and-gas giant; and, likewise in accord with Putin’s demand that national-security industry remain under state-control instead of control by private investors, its controlling investor is the Russian Government. However, a few individuals are listed who are simply Russian Government officials, presumably likewise more cooperative, with carrying out the intentions of the elected President, than the U.S. and its allied governments consider to be acceptable.

Clearly, the special focus of these sanctions is on supporting U.S. international oil firms competing against Russian international oil firms. 

On January 26th, Reuters bannered “U.S. hits Russian deputy minister and energy firms with sanctions”, and opened: 

The United States added Russian officials and energy firms to a sanctions blacklist on Friday, days before details of further possible penalties against Moscow are due to be released.

A Treasury Department spokesperson said the department is “actively working” on reports required under the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Terrorism Act” and aimed to release them consistent with timelines in the legislation.

Trump or his Treasury Secretary were actually responding to pressure from “Democrats” and unnamed others; but, when the final statement from the Treasury was issued on January 29th (and largely ignored by the press), it turned out that no new sanctions were issued, against anyone. The billionaires’ lobbyists had achieved nothing more than to provide (via the anti-Russia verbiage from members of Congress) to the American public, yet more anti-Russia indoctrination in support of America’s war against Russia; but, this time, no real action was taken by the President against Russia. 

On 28 December 2017, the ‘private CIA’ firm Stratfor, which does work for the CIA and for major U.S. corporations, had headlined, “Russia Won’t Sit Still for Additional U.S. Sanctions”, and summarized prior U.S. economic sanctions against Russia:

Since the Soviet period, the United States has targeted Russia with numerous sanctions. The primary ones currently in effect were instituted over human rights violations and the conflict in Ukraine. In late 2012, the United States expanded its Soviet-era sanctions over human rights and approved the Magnitsky Act to punish those deemed responsible for the death of Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky, a whistleblower who investigated Kremlin abuses and a tax-fraud scheme. The act penalizes dozens of people believed to be involved in the case, but the measure has evolved into a platform for the United States and its allies to punish Russia for a much wider scope of human rights abuses. 

The Ukraine sanctions imposed by the United States (and, to a lesser extent, by the European Union, Canada, Australia and Japan) stem from Russian involvement in the conflict there and includes the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Russian support of the previous government, the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and the annexation of Crimea. Those penalties include:

• Limits on debt issuance to Russia’s six largest banks, four primary state oil firms and four state defense firms.

• Sanctions on Russia’s energy industry, prohibiting U.S. firms from providing, exporting or re-exporting goods and technology related to deep-water, Arctic offshore and shale oil and natural gas projects in Russia.

• Bans on subjects receiving dual-use goods by Russia’s primary state defense companies.

• Sanctions (travel and asset freezes) against hundreds of Russian entities and individuals. 

That was a fair summary; but, because Stratfor derives some of its income from the CIA, it stated as being facts, instead of as being lies, that “Sergei Magnitsky [was] a whistleblower who investigated Kremlin abuses and a tax-fraud scheme,” even though Magnitsky actually was never a “whistleblower,” and he was, to the exact contrary, assisting an American hedge-fund operator to illegally avoid $230 million in taxes that were due to the Russian Government and which tax-fraud had been reported not by Magnitsky as any ‘whistleblower’ but instead by, essentially, a bookkeeper, who was afraid of being prosecuted if she didn’t report to the police this tax-evasion that she was working on. Furthermore, Stratfor’s “to punish those deemed responsible for the death of” Magnitsky also is a lie, because the only person who so “deemed” was the American tax-fraudster who had employed Magnitsky. That employer accused Russia’s police of beating to death in prison this criminal suspect, Magnitsky, and he used, as ‘documentation’ for his charges, fake ‘translations’into English of the police documents, and these ‘translations’ were taken at face-value by U.S. and EU officials, who couldn’t read Russian, and who wanted to cooperate with, instead of to resist, the U.S. Barack Obama Administration and the UK David Cameron Administration. 

Image result for Stratfor

Furthermore, Stratfor, when it refers to “human rights violations and the conflict in Ukraine,” is actually referring instead to “the most blatant coup in history”, as the head of Stratfor put it when describing what the Obama regime referred to as the ‘revolution’ that in February 2014 had overthrown Ukraine’s democratically elected Government and that then began an ethnic-cleansing campaign to get rid of the residents in the areas that had voted over 75% for the President whom the U.S.-run operation had overthrown. In fact, U.S. think-tanks criticized Obama for providing insufficient assistance to the newly installed Ukrainian regime’s firebombings of the places where over 90% of the residents had voted for the now-ousted Ukrainian President. And that was entirely typical. This is a sort of ‘philanthropy’ that America’s billionaires receive ‘charitable’ tax-writeoffs for funding (donating to). No matter how aggressive a U.S. President may be against Russia, America’s aristocracy (through their ‘philanthropies’ etc.) complain that it’s not aggressive enough — America’s Government must do yet more, in order to ‘support human rights’ abroad.

So, that’s what America’s anti-Russian sanctions are all about: serving America’s billionaires.

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Iraqis’ Diet Fifteen Years After the Invasion. Travelling Through Baghdad


Some Iraqis might assert that today everything is available in their country. That’s true to a degree; if you exclude self-sufficiency. And trust.

Traveling throughout Baghdad and into the south I recognized the same models of vehicles one finds in the US, along with some Chinese-made trucks. We pick up tasty BBQ chicken from street vendors. Fresh vegetables and fruits, shoes and garments and cosmetics of all varieties and qualities are available; furniture and linens and toys for any age are plentiful, as are electronic goods. Communication by FaceBook and Whatsapp are unregulated. YouTube is heavily used.

You have fast food bistros serving salads and french fries. Pizza is popular, and a few upscale family restaurants moored on the banks of the Tigris are well patronized. You can linger at wifi-connected coffee shops, and find bars and discos open until early morning. Fresh baked fish and roasted chicken plates can be delivered to office or home.

To all appearances the Iraqi economy is just fine, if you observe only consumption habits.

A simple, more accurate way to judge economic conditions is to turn from the sparkling facades of Chevrolet show rooms and decline a pizza lunch to instead stroll through a local supermarket.

Doing so in Iraq, I am reminded what I found 20 years ago inside a Palestinian food store in Al-Bireh village nearby Ramallah. Two-liter soda bottles stacked outside the shop were not only for American teenagers visiting their grandmothers. Soda had become everyone’s preferred beverage. Those columns of orange and green bottles may add color to the street and signal modern tastes and available surplus cash. At what cost?

Leaning closer to examine the labels, I see they’re in Hebrew. With no attempt to camouflage their origin, Israeli products are exported for Palestinian consumption. Inside the shop I note how canned and packaged foods likewise originate in Israel. Why should I be shocked therefore when I find Al-Bireh’s lebaan, yogurt, labeled in Hebrew? Lebaan, the staple of Arab breakfast enjoyed with olives, sliced cucumber and tomato, and unleavened bread, is (was!) the traditional produce of Arab herders and farmers throughout our history. Olives are the last surviving sign of Palestinian agriculture, and this industry too is in decline.

The fate of Palestine’s olive industry is paralleled by Iraq’s date production. Iraq’s legendary 40 million date palms, provenance of California’s successful date production, once Iraq’s primary and unsurpassed export after crude oil, are wasting away today.

Which brings us back to Iraqis’ diet and my visit a few weeks ago to a Baghdad supermarket. I pause on the residential street in Karrada’s middle class neighborhood where I stay, to slip into a food store. Here too the shop’s entrance is constrained by stacks of bottled soda. Pepsi seems the most abundant brand; others with names I do not recognize are plentiful too. Moving into the entranceway, both sides are piled with boxes and trays displaying generous supplies of chips and cookies (labeled in English and Arabic, or English only).

Inside the store, I saunter along one isle perusing canned and bottled items. Pickled olives and mayonnaise, salad dressings, tang and apple juice, cheeses, olive oil, pasta, canned tuna and tea– almost all of them imported. Not Israel here, but Spain, Turkey, Columbia, China, Thailand, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia supply Iraqis with most of their food. Foreign company names appear on all packaged food items I examine. Moreover, prices here (where 1,300 Iraqi dinar = one dollar) differ little from US supermarket rates. The cost of a ‘Pringles’ package or a can of tuna in Baghdad, for example, is what I pay in the U.S.

When we turn to fresh produce, fruits and vegetables, the situation is even more alarming. Here too most produce is imported. Even oranges (in this land of orange trees). Beets and cabbage are marked ‘Iraqi’, but pomegranate, okra, eggplant, bananas, cucumber and other greens are from Jordan, Turkey and beyond. The nicest looking tomatoes (a staple in Iraqi dishes) are foreign produced.

Why these imports when Iraq is still largely rural? Foreign produce is less expensive than that grown by Iraq’s farmers, I’m told. Why? Because they are priced to undercut Iraqi production. Why? Because import licenses are awarded to foreign suppliers. And why is this? Because ministry personnel who negotiate these contracts receive handsome kickbacks. This, at the same time, when: a) electricity supply in Iraq is so weak and unreliable that local production is impossible, and b) ministries responsible for agriculture and manufacturing don’t function in the interests of Iraqi producers. Iraq’s once thriving agricultural base is woefully neglected and derelict.

These conditions are a direct result of government policy and a heavily corrupt bureaucracy. In the case of the bankrupt Palestinian economy, declining production and joblessness are to a large degree imposed by the occupier, Israel, implemented through a compliant Palestinian bureaucracy, oversupplied with wage earners whose disposable income supports a consumption economy and reliance on imports.

In Iraq, the US government still wields enormous influence on Iraq’s administration. From the start of its occupation of Iraq, the U.S. has thwarted attempts to rebuild the nation’s electricity grid and build and install machinery essential to a functioning manufacturing base.

(Significantly, some energy is available to ensure that communications function so that Iraqis can access television and their phone apps. Most homes and small businesses augment a patchy, inadequate government electrical supply with batteries and generators, imported of course.)

These conditions, in both Palestine and Iraq, are bald ‘disaster capitalism’. They exhibit what Naomi Klein identifies in The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Her influential 2007 study was followed in 2015 by Disaster Capitalism, offering irrefutable evidence of these insidious foreign-directed processes which enrich outside powers while directing responsibility onto incompetent corrupt local governments.

At every level, from reliance on underwear for its soldiers to pharmaceuticals to tangy beverages, Iraq’s decline into a consumer nation is unarguably the policy of outside powers. It works with a compliant merchant class of suppliers, happy to take a narrow slice while its foreign partners enjoy the prime cuts. It’s a process well know to every Iraqi.

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Washington’s False Flag: United Nations Confirmed that US Supported Syrian “Rebels” Were Using Chemical Weapons

Image Head of UN Mission Carla del Ponte

This article was first published in April 2017

Washington is Lying.

The Media is Lying.

The Chemical Weapons Attack is being used as a “False Flag”, a pretext and a justification to wage an illegal war of aggression. 

The United Nations in a 2013 report confirms that Syrian opposition “rebels” (supported by Washington) “may have used chemical weapons against [Syrian] government forces.”

The UN report refutes Washington’s allegations that the government of Bashar al Assad was using chemical weapons against his own people. 

What the UN mission findings confirm is that the US sponsored opposition “rebels” largely composed of Al Qaeda affiliated groups, financed and supported by the Western military alliance were responsible for these 2013 chemical weapons attacks.

Moreover, as confirmed in an earlier report, the Al Qaeda rebels were being trained in the use of chemical weapons by specialists on contract to the Pentagon.

Washington (which supports the opposition rebels in the use of chemical weapons) rather than Damascus is responsible for extensive crimes against humanity.


According to the United Nations 2013 mission led by Carla del Ponte:

“evidence from casualties and medical staff indicated that rebel forces in the civil war had used the deadly nerve agent sarin.

‘Our investigators have been in neighbouring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals, and there are strong, concrete suspicions, but not yet incontrovertible proof, of the use of sarin gas,’ said Del Ponte in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.

‘This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities.’

Last night, the UN commission looking into allegations of war crimes in Syria tried to row back on the comments by its human rights investigator, pointing out that conclusive evidence had not been discovered.

However, the White House said it was likely that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, not the rebels, were behind any chemical weapons use. …

Sarin has been classed as a weapon of mass destruction due to its potency and is banned under international law.

US President Barack Obama has said that the use or deployment of chemical weapons in Syria would cross a ‘red line’ that could lead to foreign military intervention. …

The comments by Ms Del Ponte, a member of the U.N. panel probing alleged war crimes in Syria, contradict claims by Britain and the U.S. that intelligence reports showed Syrian soldiers had used chemical weapons.

She said that the United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law. (See Daily Mail Online, May 6, 2013))

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Germany Together with 190 Other UN Member States, Have No Intention of Attacking Syria. Why Has Britain?


Zionist poodle Theresa May

Does the Conservative government of Theresa May imagine that Britain, in 2018, with just one tenth the armed forces of America, is still a global military power?

Does it imagine that the UK has millions to throwaway on a military adventure when our National Health Service is on the point of collapse through lack of funding? When the sick lie on trolleys in hospital through lack of beds? Where our cancer treatment record is still the worst in Europe?

Where our roads are so full of potholes that we are more like a banana republic?

Where the government has cut welfare payments for the sick and disabled?

Where crime and murder in our cities is rising due to cuts in police numbers?

Where knife attacks in London are at a record high?

Where public spending is at an all-time low due to massive government debt?

Yet this Prime Minister, with no military experience whatsoever is prepared to commit the United Kingdom to war? The electorate would not sanction it and neither must Parliament.

  • TOTAL BRITISH ARMED FORCES  =      147,000 (2018)
  • TOTAL AMERICAN ARMED FORCES =   1,430,000 (2018)

Britain has just one (1) outdated, Trident submarine at sea at any one time. Israel has a fleet of four (4) state-of-the-art, German built, Dolphin Class, nuclear-armed submarines with cruise missiles currently assumed active in the Mediterranean and the Gulf.

It is clear that the British Prime Minister is under the covert influence of a political lobby that acts not in British interests but of those whose agenda is to effect regime change, not in Syria but in Iran.  And that puts the UK on a collision course with both the European Union and the UN Security Council.

Theresa May must not be allowed to take military action against Syria upon the request of the erratic Trump administration or under pressure from the unelected CFI Lobby or any other political pressure group.  The consequences could prove disastrous for Britain, and for Europe.

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US Attack on Syria Is Futile but Serves a Purpose

The United Nations Security Council turned down a compromise resolution on Syria, proposed by Sweden and seconded by Russia seeking investigation on the alleged chemical attack in Douma. Five countries supported the resolution with two permanent members – United States and Britain – opposing it. Earlier, a resolution on the same lines which was supported by Russia and China was also opposed by the US and Britain.

This is a significant political and diplomatic victory for Russia insofar as only two other countries joined the US and Britain to oppose the Swedish resolution. Six countries abstained.

The big question is whether this development portends an impending US attack on Syria, bypassing the UN. The UN has refused to confirm there has been any attack at all. Russia and Syrian government insist there has been no attack and have approached the Organization for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for an international investigation. The good thing is that the OPCW is deputing two teams of experts to go to Douma later this week. Russia has offered to give them full security protection.

So Trump has a major decision to make. Logically, punishment follows a crime that has been committed and it seems no crime has been committed. This appears to be a false flag operation – that is, a fabrication with a view to trigger a sequence of events. That was how the US invaded Iraq in 2003 and it is an established fact today that Saddam Hussein did not have any program to develop weapons of mass destruction, as then US Secretary of State Colin Power had misled the UN Security Council. (Powell later admitted that he was misled by his own administration.)

One difference in the present case is that Trump has been on record that he wants the American military presence in Syria to end. That stance and the present threat to launch an attack on Syria are contradictory. Because, a US attack on Syria will have serious repercussions, including possibly a showdown with Russia, which would mean a US drawdown in Syria may not be possible in a conceivable future.

Perhaps, Trump is indulging in doublespeak and the backdrop could be the criticality that has arisen over Robert Mueller’s investigation into his collusion with Russia, which has now dramatically expanded in scope. The FBI raid on the office of Trump’s attorney in the White House is a very serious development. Trump is just inches away from being implicated in the charges against him levelled by porn star Stormy Daniels. The CNN says, “There could be dark and unprecedented times ahead.”

A US attack on Syria can distract attention from the stormy controversy that may arise if at this point Trump axes Mueller and derails the investigation against him. There are precedents when beleaguered American presidents resorted to diversionary tactic. Bill Clinton fired cruise missiles at Kandahar when the scandal over Monica Lewinsky peaked and he was facing the prospect of impeachment.

A US That brings us back to the alleged chemical attack in Douma last weekend. Who would have staged a false flag operation? The finger of suspicion points toward Israel’s role. Israel is desperately keen that the US should have a permanent military presence in Syria. To that end, Israel is fuelling tensions that will take matters to a point that a US withdrawal from Syria somehow gets stalled. This is also the impression conveyed by DebkaFile, the Israeli website with links to the intelligence, which specializes in disinformation tactic.

The coincidental Israeli attack on a Syrian air base on Sunday had all the hallmarks of a deliberate act of provocation. Four Iranian military advisors were killed in the Israeli raid. Israel must be hoping against hope that the Iranians will retaliate, leading to a flare-up where the US would get pitted against Iran at some point. Such subterfuges are typical of Israel’s strategy. The point is, Israelis lacks the capacity on its own to tackle the challenge of the expanding Iranian influence in next-door Syria.

Trump has reportedly cancelled a planned trip to Latin America. The New York Times has reported that Trump is weighing “more robust” military strikes against Syria. No doubt, tensions are rising. To my mind, however, Trump may not order an attack on Syria. Maybe it’s wishful thinking — frankly, I am a man of peace and am terrified of war — but I’ll explain why there is reason to believe still that sanity will ultimately prevail in Washington.

First, a US attack on the Syrian regime at this stage of the 7-year old war doesn’t make sense insofar as it cannot stop President Bashar Al-Assad on his tracks from attaining total victory. Bashar’s victory is a fait accompli. Period.

On the other hand, in order for the Syrian regime to be degraded to a point — like in Libya for example — and deposed from power, there has to be a massive western military intervention, including deployment of ground forces in tens of thousands. That seems improbable, given the level of disenchantment in Europe regarding Trump. So, the US has to go alone — at best with the (British) poodle. In such an enterprise, what does US hope to gain? Again, the chaos that follows will be beyond imagination.

Indeed, the risk of escalation is exceedingly high and that is not in the interests of Trump’s ‘America First’. By the way, hey, what about the “trade war” with China? What about the meet with Kim Jong Un? What about Afghanistan? What about Yemen? Above all, will another Middle Eastern war go down well in the US opinion? Will the US Congress support an attack on Syria when American interests are not directly facing threat?

Finally, the US cannot afford to overlook the explicit – and repeated – Russian warnings at various levels that an American attack on Syria will have grave consequences. Trump would know Vladimir Putin is “smart” and means business when he says something to the effect that Russia will ensure that what happened in Libya does not repeat. (TASS)

However, the Syrian conflict is approaching yet another new flashpoint. Make no mistake, Israel will have to pay a price for the killing of the Iranian 4 military advisors. The powerful Iranian statesman, Ali Akbar Velayati has explicitly stated as much. Indeed, Israel is going to be in real fix if Trump now decides not to attack Syria.

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Syria: Poison Gas – Weapon of Choice for “False News”


Featured image: Photograph of men in Khan Sheikdoun in Syria, allegedly inside a crater where a sarin-gas bomb landed. (Source: Consortiumnews)

Poison gas is not only deadly, it often provokes a slow suffocating death. That, perpetrated on innocent children, is particularly cruel. But when such poison gas attacks are mere false flags, or by the new term, “false news”, and are used to provoke war, perhaps an all annihilating war, then humanity has turned to what it never should have become – a lowly-lowly herd of brainless zombies. Is that what we have become – brainless, greedy, selfish beings, no sense of solidarity, no respect for other beings; I am not even talking about humans, but any living being.

Poison gas, the weapon of choice for fear. Poisoning in Salisbury of the former Russian double-agent, Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, visiting her dad from Moscow. Poisoning with a nerve gas, called Novichok that was allegedly made in Russia. In the meantime, we know that nerve gas made in the former Soviet Union, now non-existent in Russia, was military grade and deadly. The gas used for the alleged attack was not deadly. We also know by now that the UK – all of their highest officials, from PM May down the ladder, lied so miserably that they will have a hard time recovering. It will backfire. The foreign secretary, Johnson boy, pretended their secret bio-gas / bio-weapon laboratory Porton Down, just 13 km down the road from Salisbury, where the pair was allegedly found unconscious on a park bench, assured him the gas was made in Russia. Alas, it was a miserable lie. The laboratory’s chief chemists testified later to the media that they could not be sure that the substance was made in Russia. No, of course not.

In fact, Porton Down, working in close collaboration with the CIA, is a highly sophisticated chemical warfare facility that can easily make the gas themselves – at the grades they please, deadly or not so deadly, if it should serve a “false news” purpose – which this did. In the meantime, as reported today by RT, the entire case has been deconstructed. The components of Novichok are easy to come by, and almost every decent lab can make the poison gas, tailored to its needs.

Were father and daughter indeed poisoned? – This is a legitimate question. Who has seen them since the alleged poisoning occurred on 28 March? – They disappeared from the public eye. Apparently, they are both recovering, Yulia having been released from hospital a few days ago, but has not been seen by anyone in public, nor been able to talk to the media, lest she could say “something” the public is not allowed to know. She is being kept in a secret place. Her father is also recovering and may be released soon – released from where? – Is this all a farce?

An aunt talked to Yulia from Moscow, where she noticed that Yulia was not free to talk. The aunt wanted to visit her niece in the UK but was obviously denied a visa.

Where are father and daughter? – Washington has “offered” them a new home and new identity in the US, to avoid further poisoning attempts… how ridiculous! A blind man or woman must see that this is another farce, or more correctly, an outright abduction. The two won’t have a chance to resist. They are just taken away – not to talk anymore to anyone ever. – That’s the way the story goes. The lies are protected, and the “Russia did it” syndrome will prevail – prevail in the dumb folded public, in the herd of pigs that we all have become, as Goebbels would say.

And the saga continues. The saga to drum up war. That’s the purpose of it all. Nothing else – Russia, the evil nation, led by an evil leader, must be subdued and conquered. But the empire needs the public for their support. And the empire is almost there. It disposes of a vicious media corporate army – that lies flagrantly about anything that money can buy. It’s like spitting in the face of the world, and nobody seems to care, or worse, even to notice.

On the other side of the Mediterranean is Syria. A vast and noble country, Syria, with a leader who truly loves his people and country, a leader who has despite a foreign induced war – not civil war – a proxy war, instigated and funded by Washington and its vassal allies in Europe and the Middle East; Syria, a highly educated socialist country that has shared the benefit of her resources, free education, free medical services, free basic infrastructure, with her people. This Syria must fall. Such strength cannot be tolerated by the all-dominating west. Like Iraq and Libya, also socialist countries once-upon-a-time, and like Syria, secular Muslim nations, sharing their countries wealth with the people, such countries must fall.

According to Pentagon planners and those Zion-neofascist think tanks that designed the PNAC (Plan for a New American Century), as the chief instrument of US foreign policy, we know since Wesley Clark, the former Supreme Allied commander and Chief of NATO in Europe (1997-2000) talked to Democracy Now in 2007, saying that within 5 years seven countries must fall, one of them is Syria.

Since 2011, the Syrian people have been bombarded by US and NATO and Saudi funded terrorists, causing tens of thousands of deaths, and millions of refugees. Now, even more blatantly, US bases are vying to occupying the northern third of Syria, totally illegally, but nobody says beep. Not even the UN.

The recent fake gas attack on Douma outside of Damascus, has allegedly killed 80 to 120 people, mostly women and children. Of course, that sells best in the propaganda theatre – women and children. But there is not proof, none whatsoever. To the contrary. People living in Douma say they haven’t heard of any nerve gas attack. Strangely, like last time, the infamous White Helmets discovered the gas victims, including a gas canister-like bomb laying on a bed, having been shot through the roof of a house… a totally unprofessionally staged event. As Russian military quickly discovered and reported. They called on an independent investigation, one that could not be bought and corrupted by Washington. President Assad invited a team of investigators to inspect the scene.

Instead of heeding this invitation, Trump, the bully, calls Mr. Assad an “animal” and a “monster”, twittering his brainless aggressions throughout the world. Tell you what, Mr. Trump, Bashar al-Assadis a far better human being than you are a monster. You and your dark handlers don’t even deserve being called human. Mr. Assad has regard and respect for his people, attempts to protect them and has so far succeeded with the help of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, recovering the last bits of Syrian territory from the terrorist, except of course, the northern part, where the chief terrorist and the world’s only rogue state has installed itself, the US of A. –  Why in the world would Mr. Assad choose to gas his own people? Especially, when he is winning the war? – People, ask yourself, cui bono (who benefits?) and the answer is simple: The western aggressors, who seek a reason to mass bomb Syria into even more rubble, causing even more death and destitution. And making a shitload of money – as war usually does. That’s who.

While you, Donald, and those monsters that direct you from behind the scenes, have no, but absolutely no respect for your own people, for any people on this globe, for that matter, not even for your kind, for your greed-no-end kind of elite, as you bring the world to the brink of an all-destructive, all killing annihilating war.

Since the other fake event, 9/11, we are, of course, already in a “soft version” of WWIII, but that’s not enough, the United States needs a hard war, so badly it doesn’t shy away from destroying itself. That’s how blinded your own propaganda has made you Americans, you generals, you corporate “leaders” (sic-sic) – and all you Congress puppets. That is the sheer truth. You better read this and wake up. Otherwise your dead sentence is hastened by your own greed and ignorance.

Both Russia and the US drafted each a Security Council Resolution – which of course are both not approved, with Nikki Haley lambasting Russia, accusing them of being responsible for the countless deaths in Syria – pointing again to the children and women, making up the majority. Again, it sells best in the world of psychological propaganda, while evil Nikki Haley knows very well who has caused all these deaths by the millions, destitution and refugees by the millions, tens of millions throughout the Middle East and the world – her own country, directly or through NATO, the European puppets allies and proxy wars, paid and funded by Washington and by elbow-twisting her vassals.

On 9 April – UNSC – while Nikki Haley, repeats and over-repeats her lies and fake accusations, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Mr. Vassily Nebenzia (image on the right), listens. And then in a twenty-minute statement of sheer intelligence, he dismantles all the lies, and lays bare the truth, about all the fakeness being played out internationally. The depth with which he addresses the assembly is concise and so brilliant, none of his UK, French and German counterparts could have ever come close to a statement of this magnitude and excellence. Even Ms. Haley can’t help glancing over ever-so often to Vassily Nebenzia, as he speaks. Her eyes reveal some kind of hidden admiration for what he says. After all, she can’t be as dumb as she is paid for to look and sound.

By now anybody who dares not just reading and listening to the mainstream presstitute “fake news”, but has the courage to dig into the truth news, RT, TeleSur, CGTN, PressTV – and a few others, or websites like Global Research, The Saker Blog, ICH, NEO, Greanville Post CounterCurrent, Dissident Voice and many other trustworthy sources – knows about the lies and the only, but the very only purpose these false flags cum false news serve: Provoking a war with Russia, subjugating and dividing Syria, and the Middle East and the US becoming the hegemonic masters of the universe.

For the simple reason, and hardly anybody talks or writes about it – the US economy is based on war, is based on weapon manufacturing and international banking which finances weapon manufacturing and the exploitation of mineral resources coveted by weapon manufacturing.

The entire war industry with all its associated civil services and industries, of banking, electronics, aviation, mining…. makes up more than half of the US GDP – but of course, it’s never broken down that way. The chosen people will control the world. Well, they do already – financially at least the western part of our globe. But it’s not enough. They will not stop, before they bury themselves in their own-dug graves, or rather in one massive mass-grave. But, please, do take all your fakeness, from money, to lies, to hypocrisy and more lies and coercion and sanctions and blackmail with you – never to surface again. And give peace a chance – for those who survive your (almost) terminal assault on humanity.


Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Vineyard of The Saker Blog; and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on Syria: Poison Gas – Weapon of Choice for “False News”

Syrian Army Captures British Military Men in Eastern Ghouta. Failed US-Zionist Plot to Launch Ground Assault on Damascus


We bring to the attention of our readers this report by Fars News largely based on Middle East news sources, which remain to be fully corroborated.

A number of British military men were held captive by the Syrian army in Eastern Ghouta of Damascus, media reports disclosed on Wednesday, saying that they had infiltrated the region for the last month US plot to attack Damascus in collaboration with terrorists and NATO forces that failed.

The Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news channel’s correspondent in Moscow reported that a number of British forces have been captured during the military operations in Eastern Ghouta.

Earlier reports had disclosed last month that foreign military forces were deployed in Eastern Ghouta of Damascus to launch a ground assault against Damascus in cooperation with the US.

The US and the Nazi regime of ‘Israel’ planned to launch attacks on Damascus from several fronts in collaboration with the NATO and Jordan, but the plot failed after the Syrian army scored rapid, major victories in Eastern Ghouta.

Informed sources disclosed that the US and ‘Israel’ intended to support the terrorists in Eastern Ghouta by airstrikes so that they could capture vast areas of Damascus to pave the ground for the Syrian government’s collapse.

“After the plot was disclosed, the Syrian-Russian military commanders started operations in Eastern Ghouta to repel it,” the sources said.

After the failure of the plot in March, the US and Turkey sought to rescue the foreign militants trapped in Eastern Ghouta of Damascus and take them to Idlib as they were facing the Syrian army’s rapid advances in the region.

After the army’s expanding march in Eastern Ghouta and failure of the US-Nazi plot to conduct an effective offensive on Damascus, the US command centre rushed to evacuate allied militants and agents operating for the Nazi regime, and the Zionist puppet King of Jordan and NATO from the region.

Informed sources then said although the Turkish officials said they were ready to help evacuation of al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at or the Levant Liberation Board) terrorists from Eastern Ghouta to take them to Idlib, this seemed to be a cover as they really meant to rescue their special foreign forces that were among the ranks of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra in Syria. 

“Therefore, the US has ordered Jeish al-Islam, Faylaq al-Rahman and other terrorist groups to allow evacuation of civilians from Eastern Ghouta to army-held regions in a bid to provide the ground for these foreign agents to also leave Ghouta in disguise and enable the Turkish intelligence service to send them to specified regions in al-Tanf and Northern Syria which are under the control of the US troops,” they said.

Yet, the US operations room in al-Tanf base ordered end of all operations by the aforementioned allied forces after the terrorists were defeated in Eastern Ghouta and the collapse of the two towns of al-Nashabiyeh and al-Mohammadiyeh on the first days of the Syrian army’s offensives in Eastern Ghouta.

Also the US CENTCOM urged withdrawal of allied forces from Eastern Ghouta to Arabayn, Zamalka and Douma before dividing Ghouta into three areas to pave the ground for their withdrawal from Ghouta region.

Militants allied to the US troops in Eastern Syria had revealed in March that the US planned to stage the attack in a different region further to the East between the provinces of Homs and Deir Ezzur.

Posted in Syria, UKComments Off on Syrian Army Captures British Military Men in Eastern Ghouta. Failed US-Zionist Plot to Launch Ground Assault on Damascus

False Flag in Syria Sets Stage for Wider War


The US threatened war within hours of an alleged chemical weapons attack taking place in Douma, northeast of Damascus.

The US rush to conflict attempts to sidestep any meaningful investigation into the attack, fitting a larger pattern of Washington and its allies using baseless chemical weapon allegations for wars of aggression stretching back to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

US accusations and threats of war come at a pivotal moment in Syria’s now 7 year conflict in which the Syrian government has finally liberated all territory around the capital from foreign-sponsored militants.

Zero Evidence

To date, all supposed evidence comes from Western-funded militants and their auxiliaries including the US-European government-funded front, the so-called “Syria Civil Defense,” better known at the “White Helmets.” Unverified photographs and video of apparent victims have been the sole sources cited by the US.

The World Health Organization, in a recent statement attempting to bolster these accusations, claims that up to 500 patients appear to have been exposed to chemical poisoning, but would cite its “Health Cluster partners,” the Daily Beast would report.

However, according to WHO’s own website, these partners include Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which in turn, according to MSF’s own website trains and supports the White Helmets. MSF has repeatedly admitted throughout the Syrian conflict that it does not have a presence on the ground in conflict areas and merely provides material support to groups that do.

The White Helmets have been repeatedly caught in the past fabricating evidence and staging scenes for propaganda value. In fact, all evidence suggests the entire purpose of the White Helmets is the production of propaganda.

This culminated in 2016 when the organization inadvertently revealed their theatrical methods during a protest in multiple European cities. They applied red paint and flour to their bodies and posed as victims for European media outlets and local bystanders. The scenes were indistinguishable from daily clips uploaded by White Helmet members allegedly carrying out emergency services in militant-held territory in Syria.

Absent from virtually all of their videos are scenes of actual injuries – open wounds, crushed or severed limbs, burns etc. Videos also lack any context, and are often heavily edited.

One Year Ago – Similar Lies

Previous allegations of the Khan Shaykhun chemical weapon attack the US cited in 2017 ahead of cruise missile strikes on Syria’s Shayrat Airbase, were also baseless.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism (OPCW-UN JIM) report on the alleged attack would admit that no investigators even visited the scene of the attack.

The UN in a news article regarding the report would even claim (emphasis added):

Although it was too dangerous to visit Umm Hawh and Khan Shaykum, the panel considered that sufficient information had been gathered to come to a solid conclusion.

Evidence instead consisted of interviews with alleged witnesses and physical evidence passed to investigators from possible suspects – since even the report itself admitted the possibility of the incident being staged to implicate the Syrian government. The report itself would also cite an absence of a chain of custody for evidence it received, diminishing their probative value. 

Normalizing military aggression based on allegations of chemical attacks in which onsite investigations are not conducted produces the perfect conditions to stage incidents and rush to war.

The US rush to war without even awaiting an incomplete and questionable investigation as carried out by the OPCW-UN JIM in 2017 – indicates that the United States is not interested in, and possibly even attempting to obstruct the truth.

Zero Motivation

Syria and Russia have been conducting security operations around Damascus with particular care, fully acknowledging the level of international scrutiny the Syrian conflict is under, including the conduct of the Syrian government and its allies.

Humanitarian corridors were opened to allow civilians to flee areas where fighting was taking place. Once defeated, remaining militants were even allowed to board buses and escape north to the Syrian-Turkish border.

Not only are the chemical weapons cited by the US ineffective relative to the conventional weapons Syria and its allies have in their possession, the use of chemical weapons in military operations against an all but defeated enemy – considering the political costs of doing so – would be inexplicable.

The US government and the Western media have resorted to assigning essentially cartoon villain motivations to the Syrian government in an effort to explain why – on the verge of victory in Syria – the Syrian government would risk justifying a long sought after US military intervention against Damascus itself.

The US is already illegally operating in and around Syrian territory. This includes the occupation of Syrian territory by US troops east of the Euphrates River. The US has already conducted multiple air strikes on Syrian government targets. In addition to the strike on Shayrat Airbase in 2017, US airpower has repeatedly attacked Syrian troops operating near US positions.

The Grand Finale 

Making it even more inexplicable for Syria’s government to have deployed chemical weapons at this of all junctures – was the recent announcement by US President Donald Trump of interest in withdrawing US troops from Syria.

While some interpreted his announcement as genuine, and suggest the likely staged chemical attack in Douma, Syria was an attempt to draw the US back in, a much more likely scenario is that President Trump simply lied to provide the US with plausible deniability ahead of a premeditated chemical weapons incident the US itself planned.

US policy papers have provided the framework for just such a scheme.

In the 2009 Brookings Institution policy paper titled, “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran” (PDF), everything from supporting terrorists in a proxy war to staged provocations and full-scale war were planned in excruciating detail.

Included among the US policy think-tank’s schemes was the description of a deception similar to the one likely playing out in Syria.

The paper would state (emphasis added):

…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.

For Syria, the “offer” was a US withdrawal and Damascus and its neighbors “given” the responsibility to humanely end the conflict and stabilize the region. The “rejection” inviting the US to intervene is the staged chemical attacks in Douma the US is now citing.

Regarding staged provocations, the Brookings paper mentions them as well, claiming (emphasis added): would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be. Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it. (One method that would have some possibility of success would be to ratchet up covert regime change efforts in the hope that Tehran would retaliate overtly, or even semi-overtly, which could then be portrayed as an unprovoked act of Iranian aggression.)

Nothing could be more “outrageous” or “deadly” than using chemical weapons on civilians.

“The Israel Approach”


In the immediate aftermath of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, Israel launched missiles into Syrian territory, striking Tiyas (T4) Military Airbase.

The same Brookings policy paper would also make specific mention of how this tactic would fit into a wider strategy of drawing a nation further into direct war with the United States itself.

The paper would state  that (emphasis added):

…the most salient advantage this option has over that of an American air campaign is the possibility that Israel alone would be blamed for the attack. If this proves true, then the United States might not have to deal with Iranian retaliation or the diplomatic backlash that would accompany an American military operation against Iran. It could allow Washington to have its cake (delay Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon) and eat it, too (avoid undermining many other U.S. regional diplomatic initiatives).

The report also states (emphasis added):

It would presumably be easier to convince Israel to mount the attack than it would be to generate domestic political support for another war in the Middle East (let alone the diplomatic support from a region that is extremely wary of new American military adventures). 

The same report would also state (emphasis added):

However, as noted in the previous chapter, the airstrikes themselves are really just the start of this policy. Again, the Iranians would doubtless rebuild their nuclear sites. They would probably retaliate against Israel, and they might retaliate against the United States, too (which might create a pretext for American airstrikes or even an invasion).

Clearly these options laid out for Iran in 2009 have been repeatedly used instead against Syria. Among this most recent and unprecedented juncture, these ploys are being used again, in rapid succession and ultimately toward US-led regime change.

America’s Motivation 

The US – since the end of the Cold War – has established a unipolar international order that serves the interests of US corporations and financial institutions and those of Washington’s allies. In a bid to preserve its primacy, the US has pursued a policy of encircling and containing potential competitors – most notably Russia and China. It has done this through economic pressure, covert regime change, overt military invasion and occupation, or usually a combination of all three.

Reordering Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, Central and Southeast Asia over the past two decades was meant to provide America with a united front of client states to wield against a reemerging Russia and a rising China before eventually folding both into its international order as well.However, these efforts have mostly failed. Technology has bridged gaps in economic and military power the US and Europe had previously exploited to achieve centuries of global hegemony over the global East and South.

The US now finds itself mired in a protracted conflict – so far unsuccessful in not only toppling the Syrian government, but also floundering on secondary objectives aimed at Balkanizing the country.

While a US withdrawal from Syria on its own terms will all but admit the end of American hegemony in the Middle East, should it remain and still fail – it will not only accelerate the emergence of a multipolar world order – but one in which the US finds itself an impotent pariah.

US Options 


The US – clearly having failed to sell its case to the global public – may simply launch a limited strike as it did in 2017. The strikes will do little to change the trajectory of American foreign policy objectives and their ultimate failure in Syria. The operation – likely to kill Syrians and even possibly Russians and Iranians – will tentatively provide the US with an opportunity to save face in the wake of its recent and increasingly reckless bluster. 

Syria and its allies will likely weather the attacks – if limited – as they have before, attempting to avoid the desired, wider confrontation the US seeks and letting the clock run out on Washington’s failed proxy war.However, US policymakers may believe that the window of opportunity for the US to reassert itself as global hegemon has yet to close. It may calculate that its desire to carry out a direct military intervention in Syria to finally achieve regime change is greater than Russia and Iran’s willingness to risk direct war with the US to stop it.The US may also be reckless enough to calculate that a limited confrontation directly with Russian assets in Syria would allow Washington to reassert itself in a much more dramatic way – with Russia not willing to escalate the conflict beyond the region. The US may even be willing to sacrifice US warships, aircraft, and ground bases during the ensuing conflict to achieve this goal – believing Russia will limit retaliation to the immediate theater of conflict.However the possibility of these incredibly risky options spiraling out of control and quickly involving Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, and beyond would hopefully make such opinions all but inconceivable – even for increasingly desperate US policymakers.

Syria and its allies have attempted to provide the US with multiple, graceful exits from its failed proxy war. However, it is not the need to save face that now drives US persistence in Syria – it is the fact that withdrawing from Syria now will signify to the world an accelerated, irreversible decline of the American Empire.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on False Flag in Syria Sets Stage for Wider War

Is the US Trying to Turn Zambia into the “African Sri Lanka”?


The recent Mainstream Media speculation about the true state of Zambia’s debt might be manipulated by the US to craft the weaponized infowar narrative that the country’s becoming the “African Sri Lanka”, a misleading perception that would be designed to enflame anti-Chinese sentiment as a prelude to the Indo-Japanese “Asia-Africa Growth Corridor” making decisive inroads in this geostrategically crucial Silk Road transit state.

“Pulling A Mozambique”

The South-Central African state of Zambia is in the news for supposedly having much larger debts than it publicly claims, which are being used as the basis for the IMF to delay extending another loan to it until it restructures its existing debt to China and comes clean about exactly how much it owes and to whom. Neighboring Mozambique has been embroiled in scandal over the past year after it emerged that it owed much more than it previously claimed, and the prevailing narrative now is that Zambia might be “pulling a Mozambique” by basically doing the same thing. Whether true or not, it’s prevented Lusaka from clinching the $1.3 billion “bailout” loan that it’s been seeking, thus unexpectedly throwing it into a state of macroeconomic uncertainty which will inevitably compound its existing political problems with time.

Political And Economic Sensitivities

The country has been in the throes of an off-and-on again low-intensity Hybrid War ever since President Edgar Lungu’s razor-thin victory in the summer 2016 polls, which have since seen him even impose a short-term state of emergency last year in response to a disputed incident that his government claims was proof of the opposition’s intent to overthrow him. Whatever the truth may be, the fact is that Zambia’s political situation is very sensitive right now and any economic reverberations or “credible” speculations thereof from this “Mozambican-like” scandal could embolden the opposition to recommence its destabilization activities. Furthermore, the Zambian economy is already at risk of volatility because of how dependent it is on commodity exports, especially copper, so the government could potentially be facing a serious crisis in the coming weeks if this issue isn’t soon resolved.

The First Modern-Day Silk Road

That said, a “no-strings-attached” “solution” might be presented by China in potentially loaning Zambia the money that the IMF won’t, though this might be exactly the outcome that the US is anticipating from what might end up being nothing more than a “fake news” crisis. Zambia and China enjoy very close ties that were first forged during the middle of the Old Cold War when the People’s Republic built its first-ever Silk Road in the modern era. The TAZARA megaproject is a portmanteau of Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority and was designed to relieve the landlocked country’s economic isolation by connecting its copious copper reserves with the Chinese marketplace. Since then, China’s role in the Zambian economy has only deepened, though it hasn’t been without controversy, especially over the past decade when former President Michael Sata was still alive.

“King Cobra”

This one-term leader served from 2011-2014 but was the main opposition figure for roughly the ten years before then, during which time he earned the nickname of “King Cobra” for the vitriol that he would spew at his opponents, which was sometimes even directed against China. He accused his country’s long-standing strategic partner of vicious neo-colonial exploitation because of how its economic and environmental practices were perceived, and his rhetoric was so harsh at one time that China even threatened to cut off relations with Zambia if he won the 2006 election. His victory in 2011 sent chills through Zambia’s Chinese community because of his hostile attitude towards their country, but he didn’t undertake any radical measures like some people expected and therefore retained the strategic partnership between the two states until his untimely death in 2014.

Lungu’s Lack Of “Wiggle Room”

At that time, Lungu was chosen in a special election to continue serving the remainder of Sata’s term, after which he was elected for his own in 2016. Both were decried as “fraudulent” by the opposition, who have since been agitating to reverse their results by any means that they can, including by filing an impeachment proceeding against him late last month. Given the very narrow margin by which he won the vote almost two years ago, Lungu has very little “wiggle room” and understands the high-pressure predicament that any forthcoming economic crisis could politically put him in, to say nothing of what might happen if the neighboring Congo collapses as a result of its much more violent Hybrid War. It’s under these circumstances that Lungu might solicit China for a loan if one won’t soon be forthcoming from the IMF.

Silk Road Significance

Zambia’s growing economic dependence on China would complement its counterpart’s strategic dependence on it in the framework of Beijing’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) global vision of New Silk Road connectivity that envisions the landlocked South-Central African country becoming a Laotian-like “land-linked” one in forming the key inland junction bridging an array of transnational infrastructure corridors. The country’s logistical significance in connecting both coasts of the continent can best be explained by the below map that outlines the main megaprojects involved:

Africa map

*Red: TAZARA *Green: TAZARA-Katanga-Benguela/TAZARA-North West Railroad-Benguela *Pink: Walvis Bay Corridor *Blue: Zambia-Zimbabwe-South Africa railroad network *Purple: ZaMM (Zambia-Malawi-Mozambique)

Nevertheless, the tightening of relations between these two historic partners would surely be seized upon by the opposition to allege – likely per the “advice” of the US or after mimicking its narratives – that Zambia is becoming the “African Sri Lanka” because of the speculative risk that it could fall into a massive “debt trap” from which it would could only “escape” after “surrendering” its physical Silk Road assets. Suffice to say, this unfounded but fear mongering storyline might be all that it takes for the political demagogues to marshal a critical mass of “protesters” (rioters) and destabilize the state.

The Indo-Japanese Switcheroo

The “constructive chaos” that the US has become infamous for employing could cynically be wielded to deprive China of its irreplaceable transit state in the South-Central African Silk Road by virtue of indefinitely destabilizing Zambia, but a far more “forward-focused” strategy than simply spoiling China’s connectivity vision would  be to replace it with its Indo-Japanese “Asia-Africa Growth Corridor” competitor. The interlinked megaprojects that Beijing has a stake in could still proceed and continue to be invested in by China even if the present government is replaced by another Sata-like one as a possible result of this manufactured crisis, but the difference would be that any unfriendliness by the state towards China (even if just rhetorical to satisfy a campaign promise) would by default lead to growing relations with Beijing’s Indo-Japanese “Lead From Behind” rivals.

These could take the form of both Great Powers jointly financing the remainder of these megaprojects or even seeking to displace China entirely in some or all of them if this strategy is taken to its extreme. The furthest that it could go is if a veritably anti-Chinese government comes to power in Zambia and “nationalizes” Beijing’s investments or creates such “legal” difficulties to its operations there that it’s forced to sell its companies and retreat from the market. That, though, is unlikely to happen right away and without some form of struggling that could possibly see China “calling in its debts” and inadvertently fulfilling the “neo-colonial role” that it’s been accused of, thus potentially turning the Indo-Japanese “switcheroo” scenario into a fait accompli. The whole point of putting this multifaceted pressure on China is to get it to overreact and fall for this trap.

Concluding Thoughts

It’s too early to assess the veracity of the reports about Zambia’s purportedly massive secret debt, but there’s a high likelihood that this scandal – whether real or imagined – will grow to have anti-Chinese implications on one way or another, whether by blaming Beijing for the existence of off-the-books loans if they’re eventually proven or by claiming that China is engaging in naked “neo-colonialism” if it loans the country even more money in the event that the IMF refuses. Both possible narratives share a common basis in advancing the weaponized infowar storyline that China is turning Zambia into an “African Sri Lanka” by “capturing” it in a “disastrous” “debt trap” irrespective of the infrastructural dividends that it has to show for it. In addition, this could be exploited to enflame already high anti-Chinese sentiment in the country and therefore threaten the government.

The US is anticipating that the end result of any sustainable pressure campaign against the authorities will be Zambia’s geostrategic “rebalancing” towards the Indo-Japanese “Asia-Africa Growth Corridor” in order to offset its supposed “dependency” on China’s New Silk Road. This outcome could be advanced whether or not President Lungu remains in office because he could either make such a move as a symbolic “concession” to the opposition or an anti-Chinese government that potentially replaces him could do so to an even more extreme degree.

Both India and Japan are already gearing up to make inroads in this geostrategically crucial transit state, and the developing combination of political and economic crises might be taken advantage of by them to improve their future standing in the state.  Whether Zambia manages to artfully “balance” between these two “blocs” remains to be seen, but what’s undoubtable is that the country is becoming more important than ever in the New Cold War.

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