Archive | June 26th, 2019

Nazi Soldiers Abduct Nine Palestinians, Illegal Colonists Puncture Tires

NOVANEWS

Nazi soldiers abducted, on Monday at dawn, at least nine Palestinians, including a woman and a journalist, from their homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank, while many illegal colonialist settlers wrote racist graffiti and punctured tires, near Ramallah.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that several Nazi army jeeps invaded the Ramallah city, especially at-Tira neighborhood, before the soldiers abducted Ahmad al-Wawi and Mohammad al-Faqeeh.

It added that the soldiers also invaded Qarawat Bani Zeid village, north of Ramallah, and abducted Assem Omar.

Also in Ramallah, several illegal colonialist Nazi settlers infiltrated into Sinjil town, north of the city, and punctured the tires of ten Palestinian cars.

The assailants also wrote racist graffiti on the walls of a few homes in the town, before fleeing the area.

In occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers invaded the home of a former political prisoner, identified as Yazan Mohsin, in Abu Dis town, east of the city, and abducted him.

The soldiers also stormed and ransacked several apartment buildings, and stores, in the al-Ram town, north of Jerusalem.

In Hebron city, in southern West Bank, the soldiers abducted Fuad Rashid Skafi, in addition to a journalist, identified as Amer Tawfiq Abu Hlayyil, was taken prisoner from his home in Doura town, southwest of Hebron.

The soldiers invaded several neighborhoods in Hebron city, in addition to the towns of Beit Ula, Etna, Beit Awwa, Deir Samit and Tarqoumia, and installed many roadblocks on northern and southern roads of Hebron city, in addition to the towns of Halhoul and Sa’ir.

The soldiers stopped and searched dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

In Bethlehem, the soldiers invaded homes, and abducted Yousef Kawazba, from his home in the city, in addition to Baha’ Mheisin Abu Yabis, 26, from his home in the Deheishe refugee camp, south of the city.

In Tubas, in northeastern West Bank, the soldiers abducted a woman, identified as Kifah Ahmad Bisharat, from his home in Tammoun town, south of the city.

It is worth mentioning that the abducted woman is a mother of two children, and the sister of two young men who were killed by the army.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Nazi Soldiers Abduct Nine Palestinians, Illegal Colonists Puncture Tires

Palestine: Boy loses leg after Nazi soldier shot him as he retrieved football

NOVANEWS
14-year-old Palestinian boy was forced to undergo a leg amputation after Nazi soldier shot him as he retrieved a football near the Separation Wall in the West Bank

A 14-year-old Palestinian boy was forced to undergo a leg amputation after Nazi soldier shot him as he retrieved a football near the Separation Wall in the occupied West Bank.

According to Defence for Children International (DCIP), 14-year-old Mahmoud Salah from Al-Khader village was playing football with friends on the evening of 21 May, when he went to fetch the ball.

Nazi soldier then shot him in the leg with live ammunition, after which, the boy testified, “two soldiers approached and kicked him”.

Collected by an ambulance some 45 minutes after being shot, Mahmoud lost consciousness en route to hospital. When he regained consciousness the next day, DCIP reported, “Mahmoud was guarded by soldiers and learned that he had undergone two surgeries”.

“Medical staff informed him that his left leg had been amputated below the knee due to irreversible tendon damage”.

The grim update from the international children’s rights NGO also related a serious injury inflicted on another Palestinian child by Nazi forces.

On 24 January, an undercover Nazi Gestapo agent shot 14-year-old Mohammad Qawasmeh in Shuafat refugee camp, occupied East Jerusalem, as the boy was on his way to buy groceries.

“As a result of my injury, I underwent surgery, during which doctors removed my spleen and stitched up my stomach, kidney and diaphragm. I stayed in the intensive care unit for four days,” Mohammad stated.

During his hospital stay, “Mohammad was guarded by Israeli border police and one of his arms was handcuffed to the bed”. Four days after being shot, Israeli forces interrogated Mohammad and accused him of throwing Molotov cocktails.

READ: Israel forces kill 11 Palestinian children in first three months of 2019

“Mohammad denied the accusations”, DCIP reported, “and refused to sign a statement in Hebrew that the interrogator had ordered him to sign”. He was released from detention on 31 January, and remained in hospital until 3 February for further treatment.

According to DCIP, since 2014 “Israeli forces have increasingly targeted Palestinian children with intentional lethal force, often in the context of protests”.

Between January and May 2019, DCIP has “documented 55 cases of Palestinian children injured by live ammunition at the hands of Israeli forces”.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Palestine: Boy loses leg after Nazi soldier shot him as he retrieved football

Trump Stopped Strike on Iran, but Tensions Continued to Grow ‘Video’

NOVANEWS
Iran

Tensions continued to grow in the Persian Gulf region after the shoot-down of a $110 million U.S. RQ-4A Global Hawk surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps over the Straight of Hormuz on June 20.

According to the Iranian side, the UAV was in Iranian airspace off the shores of the district of Kouhmobarak when it was hit by a surface-to-air missile launched by the Khordad-3 air-defense system. On June 21, Tehran showcased vestiges of the downed UAV. The fact that Iranian forces were able to detect and reach the crash site first might lend credibility to their version of events.

Despite this, Washington insisted that the UAV was shot down over international waters describing the incident as an act of aggression. The U.S. military revealed that the downed RQ-4A was a part of the U.S. Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance program. Global Hawk variants developed under this program were designed to provide the Navy with real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities over vast ocean and coastal regions.

On June 21, U.S. President Donald Trump claimed that he ordered a strike on Iranian targets, but called off the decision 10 minutes prior. On June 22, the President threatened Iran with additional sanctions adding that the possibility of military action “is always on the table.”

Anonymous sources told the Washington Post that Trump had approved a cyber attack on missile and rocket control systems of the IRGC. The supposed attack was reportedly conducted on June 20 by the U.S. Cyber Command in coordination with the military’s Central Command. According to the sources, the attack was in the works “for weeks if not months.” Nonetheless, there has been no evidence or official confirmation of such developments.

The US has few real options to demonstrate its military might in the region without the risk of provoking an open hot conflict which, according to recent US actions, Washington appears unwilling to commit to, at least for now.

At the same time, the Washington establishment and its local allies continue their diplomatic and propaganda campaign in order to justify increasing sanctions pressure upon Iran.

As reported by the Middle East Eye on June 21, speaking on condition of anonymity, a “senior British official” claimed that an unnamed Saudi intelligence chief and the Kingdom’s senior diplomat Adel al-Jubeir pleaded with British authorities to carry out limited strikes on Iranian military targets. According to the official, the failed Saudi lobbing effort took place only a few hours after U.S. President Donald Trump claimed to have aborted his planned attack against Iran.

The Saudi-led coalition showcased remains of the projectile Ansar Allah (the Houthis) used in the recent attack on Abha International Airport. The remains, which were inspected by U.S. envoy to Iran, Brian Hook, identified the projectile as being a cruise missile.

The characteristics of the fuselage and fins appear to be similar to that of the Soviet Kh-55 cruise missile. One of the photos shows the remains of the missile’s engine, identified as an TJ-100 turbojet, produced by Czech’s PBS Velká Bíteš.  This engine is not known to have been used in any other missile. While the cruise missile may have been designed after the Kh-55, it remains unclear if it was developed and manufactured by Ansar Allah without external support.

In 2017, Ansar Allah claimed to have launched what looked like an Iranian Soumar cruise missile, another missile developed after the Kh-55, at the Barakah nuclear power plant in the UAE. Irregardless, if Ansar Alalh’s claim is to be believed, it could make for an explanation as to how the Yemeni group and its backers gained familiarity with the design of the missile.

It’s possible that the US will increase support to the Saudi invasion of Yemen in the framework of its on-going standoff with Iran in the region.

Posted in USA, IranComments Off on Trump Stopped Strike on Iran, but Tensions Continued to Grow ‘Video’

Palestine: Why the Nazi regime Won’t Win Its Next War

recent piece by veteran and award-winning Israeli military correspondent Ron Ben Yishai on the Hebrew language version of Ynet provides us with fascinating insight into the current situation facing Israel’s military.  The logic behind Ben Yishai’s opinions are rather stunning given Israel’s current situation with its neighbours in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.

Here are some quotes from a translated version of the article entitled “Why do we not win the next war?” which opens with the observation that “Israel will not be defeated in the next war, but it will not win”:

Whether it is a battle in Gaza, the Third Lebanon War or the First Lebanon War (or Lebanon), or a possible combination between them, we are destined to end it without a clear decision, with a sense of sourness, when the enemy emerges from the rubble, shaking the dust.

We will achieve a deterrence that will last a few years, and the end of hostilities agreed upon by international mediators will be reasonable for us, but the absence of a clear military and conscious victory in the battlefield erodes deterrence, and consequently shortens the lull until the next major military confrontation.

The author goes on to discuss the meeting held by Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi in which the concept of a military “victory” was discussed and what the IDF needs to achieve in the next war so that there will be a clear definition of who is the “winner” and who is the “loser”.

A Palestinian youth is dragged away from a protest by Israeli troops in Hebron. Photos of his December 7 arrest sparked outrage in the Muslim world.

The author then discusses the concept of the military and victory that developed in Israeli society after the Yom Kippur War in October 1973.  In that war, the author observes that Israel was subject to heavy losses because of the arrogance of the IDF’s Intelligence Directorate, the lack of preparedness of the IDF forces and poor management of the campaign.  Yet, despite these negative aspects of the Yom Kippur War, in the minds of the Israeli public, the battle became a “crushing physical and mental victory” and the leadership of both Jordan and Egypt concluded that Israel was there to stay and that they could not be defeated using a conventional military campaign.

Ben Yishai observes that the Yom Kippur War has resulted in two phenomena in Israeli society:

1.) A weakening of Israeli’s concerns about the continued existence of their state which has resulted in the state’s security apparatus being regarded as less of a “holy cow”.

2.) An increase in Israeli’s concerns about casualties among its soldiers and a hysteria over the issues of the IDF members that are POWs and MIAs.

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The author believes that these two phenomena have created processes in Israeli society that harm the nation’s national resilience and are sabotaging Israel’s ability to “win wars and deter our enemies“.  He states that the disproportionate level of sensitivity regarding Israeli POWs and MIAs has ad two negative effects:

1.) It has undermined the willingness of the nation’s decision makers to take risks when they have to make decisions regarding the approval of military operations.

2.) It has created a situation where military commanders are forced to protect the lives of the military personnel under their command in preference to carry out a winning mission.

According to the author, in the Second Lebanon War, military operations were carried out with a “lack of professionalism and understanding by the statesmen as well as the military” which resulted in a situation where the evacuation of the IDF’s casualties took precedence over carrying out military operations and that the conclusion of the battle was less than conclusive, an issue that was worsened by the fact that the definitions of the war were both vague and unclear.  Here is another quote which explains this conundrum:

“It is possible to explain the inability and desire of the Israeli public to accept the loss and loss of life of the soldiers in the loss of faith in the political leaders and in the criticism that the media constantly and unjustly depicts IDF commanders at all levels, indirectly causing the commanders, To confront bereaved families who accuse them of losing loved ones.

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Most of the bereaved families understand that the commander shares the grief and suffering as much as the loss, but recently the phenomenon of families escalating the grief and rage into a stubborn vengeful pursuit aimed at hurting the commander or the commanders who sent him in good faith to a mission from which he has not returned.”

Ben Yishai states that this new reality in Israeli civil society has resulted in a situation where Israelis are “slowly but surely destroying the ability, initiative and creativity of field commanders”, a reality that will make it increasingly difficult to win the next war(s).  He also notes that the societal need to return all POWs, MIAs and bodies of soldiers at any cost has created a situation that has motivated Israel’s enemies to continue to kidnap IDF personnel and Israeli civilians which strengthens their position in the eyes of their own people.

Let’s close this posting with a final quote from the article:

The appearance of weakness undermines Israel’s deterrence and gives strategic hope to our enemies that in the long run they will be able to erase Israel from the map of the Middle East as a sovereign entity.

The radical Shiite axis, the Palestinian terrorist organizations, and the Salafi-Jihadist Sunni Islam – all understood that they could not destroy Israel with one or two violent military moves, and therefore they went on to wage a war of strategic attrition against us. Therefore, any violent round or war whose results are inconclusive in favour of Israel is seen as another nail in the closet of the Zionist entity…

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To defeat once and for all this strategy of attrition and the motivation that motivates it, Israel must win militarily and cognitively in each of the warring conflicts that will come. Any major violent confrontation in the future must end in an unequivocal Israeli physical and conscious victory, until our enemies despair of the prospect of annihilating us even by attrition.

It is interesting to see that, despite its extremely powerful and well-equipped military, Israel has a significant vulnerability to its enemies.  This viewpoint is particularly pertinent given the status of Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq after the military interventions by the United States and its coalition partners and the fact that the final results of the military actions over more than a decade in two cases have been far from conclusive, largely because conventional and modern military forces like those of Israel and the United States are ill-equipped to fight unconventional wars with enemy forces that can inflict significant casualties, casualties that are poorly received by the civilian populations of most Western nations.  Additionally, as Ron Ben Yishai so profoundly noted, in our new reality, any war that has inconclusive results is viewed as a win by the “other side”.

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Putin-Erdogan Agreement Falls Apart as Russians Realize That Arming the Turks is Insane

The author is the longest serving foreign correspondent covering Russia. He published his fascinating memoirs in December of 2018. They are full of insights into what has really been going on in Moscow over the past 30 years. RI wrote about it here. He is the author of 12 books, 3 of them about Russia.


Just three and a half years ago, on January 20, 2016, the Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan had good reason to congratulate himself. He had successfully arranged a scheme of payoffs for two men who were intimate advisors to the presidents of the United States and Russia — at the very same time. They were Lieutenant-General Michael Flynn, the National Security Advisor to Donald Trump; and Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Vladimir Putin.

<figcaption>Putin and Erdogan</figcaption>
Putin and Erdogan
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No one had pulled off the simultaneity before; but it was short-lived. Flynn was forced to resign after just 24 days in office and charged with lying to the FBI. He subsequently pleaded guilty and is now facing a prison sentence. Investigation of his lucratively paid lobbying for Turkey is still under way.

Peskov remains in his Kremlin office, as he has for the past seven years. However, the Defence Ministry led by Sergei Shoigu and the General Staff headed by General Valery Gerasimov, have rebelled against Peskov’s line with Putin, ending for all practical purposes the terms of agreement Putin and Erdogan signed last September for a Turkish protectorate of Idlib governorate in northwestern  Syria.

History is repeating itself. A newly published book, The Thirty-Year Genocide, Turkey’s Destruction of its Christian Minorities, 1894-1924, is the most detailed record to date of the policies of the Ottoman sultanate and its successor, the nationalist government led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, to destroy the entire populations living on Turkish territory of Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians. The 650-page work explains region by region, year by year, what the Turkish methods of ethnic cleansing were, and why. “The Armenians were the main victims of Turkish atrocity,” the authors, Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi, write, “in terms of the numbers slaughtered in 1894-96 and 1915-1916. Certainly, the Turks appear to have hated them the most.”

Left to right: front cover of The Thirty-Year Genocide, released on April 24 by Harvard University Press; Lieut-Gen. Michael Flynn during the US presidential election campaign of 2016; President Erdogan with Dmitry Peskov.

The book also documents the continuous efforts of successive Turkish regimes to erase all trace of their genocidal policy. The military archives remain closed; the non-military state documents have been edited so that they “contain almost no direct evidence of Turkish culpability… Knowing that they were ordering or engaged in criminal activity, the political leaders in Constantinople and in the provinces, often in real time, ordered all copies of telegrams destroyed after reading. Sometimes they transmitted instructions orally, to avoid leaving paper trails, or used euphemisms to camouflage their intentions and deeds.”

The evidence on which this history is based has been compiled by cross-checking Turkish records against German, Austrian, American, British, French and other foreign sources. “We realize that a great deal is missing. This was, after all, the intention of those covering their tracks.”

Why read this history in Moscow today? One reason is that the intention of Turkish state policy to destroy Christian populations and to expand Turkish state power into the territories cleansed thereby is an ongoing one, just as it remains Turkish state policy to dissemble and deceive outsiders that this is so. Syria, Cyprus, Iraq, Kosovo and Albania are contemporary cases in point.

Another reason is that over the 30-year genocide period documented, both Tsarist Russia and Communist Russia were the strongest defenders of the region’s Christians, and the most steadfast enemies of the Turkish state. Only very briefly, in 1920-21, did the Kremlin support Kemal’s (Ataturk) Turkish nationalist movement when, for strategic reasons, he was judged capable of obstructing the British and French attempts to attack southern Russia.

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A 1920 cartoon, when Lenin’s policy was to covertly arm the Ataturk-led nationalists against the Sultan’. The caption reflects the Russian policy and traditional Russian public opinion.: “Behold  the cowardice of the Turk, and the prowess of our lad.”

Arming the enemy of my enemy was a short-lived Russian ploy then. If arming Turkey today with the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile system is the Kremlin’s ploy today, with the same strategic purpose, relearning this history will illustrate just how deceptively, and also how briefly, the Turks can be expected to serve Russian interests.

The outcome of World War I, as the Turks interpreted it, was that their army had not been defeated in the field, nor had they surrendered. Instead, they thought they had survived the onslaught of the western powers, whose plots to carve up Turkish territory had been liquidated.  The mass murders and forced  deportations, which started in 1894 and continued until 1924, were the requirements of territorial and wartime defence — so Turkish officials kept telling the western powers and also their own people. The toll was colossal.

The number of Armenians killed “exceeded one million, perhaps substantially.” Another quarter of a million fled, most of them to Russia. The killing of Greeks didn’t start in 1894; it accelerated during the war, reaching its climacteric between 1919 and 1924. The estimates are about one million dead by murder and privation; another 1.2 million forced to flee to the Greek mainland. The estimate of Assyrian lives destroyed is at least 250,000 out of a total of 619,000. Altogether, Morris and Ze’evi calculate, “the Turks and their helpers murdered, straightforwardly or indirectly through privation and disease, between 1.5 and 2.5 million Christians between 1894 and 1924.” The Christian population of the Ottoman Empire had been 20 percent of the total at the end of the nineteenth century; by 1924 this had been brought down to just 2 percent. Conversely, the Moslem population rose from 80 to 98 percent.

The main local helpers in the killing were the Kurds; the Turkish Army also hired Bedouin Arabs, Caucasian tribesmen (Chechens, Circassians), and Balkan Moslems to do the dirty work.  The French ended the period making a deal with Ataturk to withdraw their forces from Turkey and from protecting the Armenians and Greeks in return for railroad and mining concessions. The US did a deal to save Greek tobacco industry workers in Smyrna on whom the American cigarette companies depended. US missionaries reported in horror what was happening; as did Major-General James Harbord, head of an American military mission to Turkey in September 1919. “Never…has the Turk done other than destroy wherever he has conquered”, Harbord wrote to Washington. US diplomats and journalists from the New York papers invited to make inspection tours of western Turkey, judged the Armenians were getting their payback for attempts to create their own state in eastern Turkey.

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Winston Churchill, at the British Admiralty when his Gallipoli invasion force was defeated by Ataturk in 2015,

was Secretary of State for War in 1919 and 1920 (pictured right). His policy was to acquiesce in Ataturk’s genocidal policies in order to encourage him to fight against the Bolsheviks in the Caucasus and Azerbaijan. When Ataturk died in 1938, Churchill commented: “The tears which men and women of all classes shed upon his bier were a fitting tribute to the life work of a man at once the hero, the champion, and the father of modern Turkey. During his long dictatorship a policy of admirable restraint and good­will created, for the first time in history, most friendly relations with Greece.”

“What’s the magic number at which ethnic cleansing becomes hardcore genocide?” a Russian analyst has asked rhetorically in order to make the point that the answer is one of political partisanship, because both victimizers and victims have perpetrated  genocide in one period of their history or another. That, he added, “has very little to do with any detailed and dispassionate statistical and comparative analysis of the historical facts. Instead, it’s all about my genocide being so much bigger than yours…”

Morris and Ze’evi stick to the historical facts. “Since the bouts of atrocity were committed under three very different ideological umbrellas, we must resist the temptation to attribute what happened to an aberrant ideology or to an evil faction or person.” They also conclude that the state killing and cleansing policy has prevailed, not because the Turkish propaganda is believed outside the country, but because the western powers and Russia have their own reasons of state for looking the other way.

Looking the other way is now Kremlin policy towards Turkish military operations. In Cyprus, where until recently Russia has supported the Cypriot Government’s defence against Turkish  occupation of the north of the island, the new line is to tolerate Turkish expansion into the waters of the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), to the east and west of the island coast.  Ambassador Stanislav Osadchiy told Haravghi, the Cyprus Communist Party newspaper,  last week, “the increase of tension is not a solution. This is why we believe that each side must avoid such steps that aggravate the situation in the Mediterranean.” He also said he is opposed to any step “that undermines the situation required for a resumption of the talks for a Cyprus settlement.” He meant the Cypriots shouldn’t defend themselves.

The Turkish seabed drilling vessel Fatih. Turkish notices to mariners last month have declared the intention to drill in waters off Paphos on the southwest coast of Cyprus between May 3 and September 3.  Earlier Turkish announcements have identified the C

Looking the other way in the border areas between Turkey and Syria has been the Kremlin line since last September. On September 17, in Sochi, Putin signed with Erdogan what was described as the “Memorandum of Understanding on Stabilization of the Situation in Idlib’s De-escalation Zone”.   This allowed Turkey to ignore Syria’s western and northern borders and reinforce Turkish occupation of the Syrian province of Idlib. “Russia and Turkey have reaffirmed their commitment to fight terrorism in Syria in all its forms and guises,” Putin and Erdogan agreed on paper. On the ground this meant the Kremlin was accepting the continuing Turkish campaign to take over deployment, armament and operations of opposition Arab groups in Idlib. A deadline of October 10 was set in the Memorandum for the Turks to disarm the Arabs inside the de-escalation line and halt their attacks on Russian and Syrian Army positions outside the line. Nothing of the sort occurred; the Turks have had no intention to abide by the deadline; Putin has looked the other way.

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That is until last month when re-armed Arab units escalated their attacks from Idlib into the adjoining areas, west, south and east, of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo.

The Russian Army newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) reported that Idlib is now “a huge military camp”.  The Russian military command has responded by launching intensive air attacks and by covering new advances on the ground by the Syrian Army. Unsaid by the General Staff, unacknowledged by the Kremlin, the Putin-Erdogan Memorandum is a dead-letter. History is repeating itself.

Posted in Russia, TurkeyComments Off on Putin-Erdogan Agreement Falls Apart as Russians Realize That Arming the Turks is Insane

NSA Gave Zionist regime Access to All US Citizens

US also cooperated with helping Israelis conduct targeted assassinations against Hezbollah, no surprise there

Frustrated by a legal ban on sharing intelligence with Israeli operatives conducting targeted assassinations against Hezbollah, the NSA crafted a loophole giving them total access even to US citizens’ data, leaked documents show.

The Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU), the NSA’s counterpart in Tel Aviv, convinced the Americans to circumvent the legal prohibition on providing surveillance data for targeted assassinations during Israel’s 2006 war with Lebanon, according to the newest revelation from the archives obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

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Using the familiar rationale of “terrorism” to excuse cooperation they knew was illegal, the NSA and ISNU found a workaround using the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that provided the Israelis with all the intel they needed, according to an October 2006 article in the NSA’s internal publication.

To ISNU, this prohibition [on sharing data for targeted killings] was contrary not only to supporting Israel in its fight against Hizballah but overall, to support the US Global War on Terrorism,” said an article in SIDToday.

Its author, whose name is redacted, details the “late-night, sometimes tense discussions” he had with ISNU officials who believed they deserved an exemption from the US prohibition on abetting targeted killings.

The documents don’t include details of what “arrangement” was eventually worked out with the ODNI, but the Israeli military used American data to lay waste to Lebanon’s civilian population, much like the tech-enhanced US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, whose kill-counts swelled with civilian victims after they received access to NSA targeting data.

Israel repeatedly, and in some cases egregiously, violated the laws of war,” Human Rights Watch reporter Nadim Houry told the Intercept, adding that the Israelis “engaged in indiscriminate aerial attacks” and cluster bombing against “civilian infrastructure that was not tied in any way to the armed conflict.”

This ‘strategy‘ had a name – the “Dahiyeh doctrine” – and Israeli officials admitted it was deliberate, but despite this brutality, they were unable to win the war. A leaked presentation about the NSA-ISNU relationship notes that “public confidence in IDF erodes” and “IDF image damaged” after the seemingly-outmatched Hezbollah fighters were able to keep the Israelis at bay. Nevertheless, the IDF was, according to the presentation, “Gearing up for Round II.

Apparently unsatisfied with the legal loophole the Americans had created for them, the Israelis sought and received full access to the NSA’s massive surveillance data troves after the war. A 2009 memorandum of understanding officially gave ISNU unrestricted access to the NSA’s raw intelligence data – including the phone and internet records of American citizens and citizens of third-party countries. Only American officials’ data was excluded, on an honor-system basis (with ISNU instructed to “destroy upon recognition” any records originating with a government official). Almost no strings were attached to this bonanza – the Israelis could even release the identities of Americans whose information had been scooped up in the dragnet, as long as they asked the NSA for permission first, and could pass the data on to anyone at all if the names were redacted.

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While a leaked presentation calls ISNU “NSA’s most valued third party partner,” it also suggests there was “high anxiety” among the Israelis “heavily reliant” on NSA data for support. One slide reads “What Did ISNU Want? Everything!!!” and complaints about the Israelis’ “robust” spying on Americans crop up frequently in the Snowden archives. The NSA did not seem to mind, because the Israelis were very, very grateful for all the information.

Throughout all of my discussions – no matter what the tone or subject – ISNU stressed their deep gratitude for the cooperation and support they received from the NSA,” the SIDToday article reads.

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Let’s Be Honest – Stalin Was Less of a Criminal Than Churchill, Truman, and LBJ

“It’s time to recover the truth about Stalin and the USSR from a cesspool of hostile propaganda”

 

We have long maintained that the truth about the USSR, in general, and particularly the Stalin period, has long been the object of the most cynical, mean-spirited, and comprehensive propaganda effort ever seen in the annals of history.

<figcaption>Churchill murdered 100s of 1000s of defenseless German women and children in fire bombing raids when Germany had already lost the war.  He was a monster. </figcaption>Churchill murdered 100s of 1000s of defenseless German women and children in fire bombing raids when Germany had already lost the war. He was a monster.
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For reasons of sheer class interest among the plutocrats of the West, the business elites that still rule most of the so-called “capitalist democracies,” the demonization of Stalin was a necessity, a campaign only briefly interrupted by World War Two and quickly resumed literally a few hours after its ending.

The Western elites —with the American ruling circles in the lead—correctly saw an enemy in Stalin. They could not bribe him and they could not intimidate him. Nor could they easily topple him, as they had done (and still do) countless times with weaker, “inconvenient leaders.” What’s more, Stalin was at the helm of a powerful nation and titular leader of an ideology directly opposed to their indispensable economic system. Occasional diplomacy aside, they hated him. He and his nation stood in the way of their plans for global hegemony. So the the venom had to flow and did—abundantly. And in that sordid enterprise the capitalist elites found countless allies, not to mention the usual battalions of ignorant, useful idiots.

As any propaganda student will attest, when vilifying a nation’s policies and social values, it’s far easier (and effective) if the propagandist aims the Big Lie machine at its leader. As we have seen in recent times with Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Bashar al-Assad, Fidel Castro, Iran and North Korea’s leaders, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, and finally Putin—among many others (the empire is never lacking in “dangerous enemies”)—the character assassination of a leader is an old tactic to prepare the perennially benighted home population for an attack on the targeted nation.

From this perspective it’s not difficult to see that if the Ministry of Truth could swiftly complete the total demonization of Vladimir Putin—a figure in good standing merely 3 years ago—and not even an avowed socialist, one can only imagine what outrageous fabrications they could have concocted (and did) to cordon off the image of Stalin, an outspoken communist, over several decades. This made eminent sense to the West’s doctrinal gatekeepers. Given the identification of Stalin’s long rule with the Soviet Union at its most embattled, the blackening of Stalin’s name served an important purpose: it provided the Western propagandists an invaluable shorthand—an “irrefutable symbol” of communism’s putative evil—to block the very idea of genuine socialism as an option for humanity.

The preceding is obviously not to argue that Stalin was a flawless leader, or a saint who just happened to have a powerful army, or that he didn’t make some serious mistakes. He did. However, the most elementary fairness demands that we ask, which world historical figure confronted with enormously difficult choices emerges today (barring self-serving ideological propaganda) unscathed from close and impartial examination?

Judging Stalin by the context in which he had to act, and even more important, the purposes he served, he was arguably no worse, morally, than most Western leaders, and by any rational measure, probably a damn sight better.  For who are these distinguished gentlemen who have led the West for over a century now?

Churchill, the most revered member in the club, was an unapologetic racist and imperialist who in the 1920s endorsed the policy of RAF bombing and gassing Iraqi villages (Mesopotamia) into submission, for for failure to pay their assigned tribute. JFK, Lyndon Johnson, and Nixon pursued an illegitimate, barbaric, genocidal war in Vietnam that remains one of the horrors of modern imperialism. Truman dropped the bomb on the Japanese as a way to keep the Soviets “in line,” making America so far the only nation to have used nuclear weapons on a civilian population. And during the postwar, the US tentacles, chiefly acting through the CIA and its clients, have managed to murder and repress tens of millions of people around the globe—in all latitudes and scores of nations, from the Philippines, to Indonesia to Chile, to Nicaragua, to Iran, the Congo, Korea, the entire Middle East, literally bathed in blood—always in pursuit of geostrategic advantage, and the suppression of popular democracy in order to better permit the continuation and maximization of corporate profit. So much for the inherent perfidy of communism and angelic innocence of capitalism.

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The record is by now so huge and consistent, the hypocrisy so staggering, that we can state categorically there is not a single case in which America has used its immense diplomatic and military power to back a genuine democratic leader (such people are immediately branded “communists” and dealt accordingly) or assisted people struggling for freedom from class oppression. It’s a vile and hypocritical record that continues to this day, thanks to the complete brainwash to which the American population has been subjected as a measure of pre-emptive pacification. The whole thing is amply documented so there’s no point in even trying to refute it.

In any case, recovering the truth about Stalin and the USSR from the cesspool of hostile propaganda in which the enemies of socialism situated it, assisted by the perennially misguided and often fanatical anti-communist and especially anti-Stalinist leftists, is no task for the weakhearted.

That’s why we salute our colleagues at Russia Insider, and its editor, Charlie Bausman, in particular, for their decision to publish Grover Furr.  Letting this scholar speak to a larger audience is a badly needed blow for truth —especially in the current context of reckless warmongering on Russia’s and China’s doorstep. The Big Lie must be defeated if a lasting peace is ever to be attained by humanity.

Posted in USA, Russia, UKComments Off on Let’s Be Honest – Stalin Was Less of a Criminal Than Churchill, Truman, and LBJ

Would American Military Might Survive a Fight With a Real Opponent?

fascinating recent study by Christopher Dougherty entitled “Why America Needs a New Way of War” at the Center for a New American Security or CNAS looks at a thought-provoking reality; what if the United States lost its next war.  While its so-called wins since the end of the Second World War have been, at the very least, contestable (think Korea, Vietnam and both Afghanistan and Iraq that have been dragging on for nearly two decades), this study looks at the implications of an American loss in a large-scale war with a great power, a battle that will be far different than the relatively small scale regional wars fought in the last half of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first century.

There is no doubt that Americans (and many others around the world) have grown accustomed to America’s military superiority and its ability to both deter potential opponents and police the world at the same time.  That said, even though the United States has the world’s most powerful and expensive armed forces in the world as shown here:

image

…and here:

image

…according to the author, the possibility of an American defeat is real and growing.  Gone are the days of U.S. military dominance that was prevalent in the post-Cold War era.  While both Russia and China have been developing new concepts and strategies for defeating the United States, they have been able to offset their respective weaknesses by using both time and a lack of geographic proximity.  This has allowed both nations to develop strategies that will allow them to attack vulnerabilities in American military operations by avoiding what would be considered to be a “fair fight”.

Here is a quote from the author that succinctly outlines the problem facing Washington:

“Unfortunately, the DoD’s responses to the many challenges posed by the emerging security environment have thus far been piecemeal and lethargic, largely because the Pentagon has failed to fully grasp the systemic nature and fundamental implications of the problem it faces: The American way of war that emerged following the Cold War will not work in an era of great-power competition.  It rests on a foundation of strategic and operational assumptions that were the product of an anomalous historical period of unchallenged U.S. military dominance.  The assumptions from that period are now deeply flawed or wholly invalid and must be updated for an era of great-power competition.

This has led to the situation in which U.S. armed forces are the most powerful in the world by a wide margin, and yet they increasingly run the risk of losing a future war with China or Russia.  The root of the problem is the DoD’s unwillingness thus far to fully come to grips with the reality that its principal competitors are no longer regional threats such as the Iraqs and Yugoslavias of the world, but rather great powers with advanced military forces and the ability to match U.S. escalation.” (my bolds)

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Let’s look at the current “way of war”.  Here are the steps that are currently used by the United States to wage war against an adversary:

1.) Maintain a “tripwire” forward presence for peace-time shaping operations.

2.) Increase presence during crises through “flexible deterrent operations (FDOs).”

3.) Rely on basing access and overflight from allies, partners, and other states in the theater.

4.) Exploit sanctuary in the homeland and other theaters to deploy forces without threat from enemy attack.

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5.) Build up and sustain expeditionary forces in the theater over weeks or months, and marshal forces at concentrated land and sea bases and staging locations close to enemy territory.

6.) Conduct extensive intelligence preparation of the battlespace.

7.) Commence offensive operations at the time and place the United States chooses.

8.) Attack regime targets and command, control, communications, computing, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR).

9.) Establish aerospace, information, and maritime dominance throughout the theater.

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10.) Attack the adversary’s fielded forces and critical infrastructure to degrade its forces, erode its will to fight, and systemically disrupt the cohesion of the regime and its military.

11.) Conduct ground operations once enemy forces are heavily outnumbered, degraded, and disorganized.

12.) Combine precision firepower with rapid maneuver—enabled by information dominance and mostly secure lines of logistics—to fix and annihilate enemy forces and seize key terrain with minimal U.S. casualties.

13.) Exploit other levers of power (diplomacy, information and economics) for coercive leverage (think sanctions).

This model of war has worked well in the post-Cold War era when most of America’s adversaries were rogue states that were relatively weak militarily, particularly when compared to the United States.  This model may not work as well in the case of a war fought with a larger and more powerful military peer since it will require the Joint Force to deploy large forces to deter its much larger adversary in a scenario where there is competition for the status of a “great power”.  The author notes that this is particularly evident in the very rapid modernization of China’s People’s Liberation Army which now presents an even more striking challenge to America’s global dominance. He also states that both China and Russia have developed strategic counterpoints to America’s preferred model of warfare. that of the expeditionary model which requires the marshalling of hundreds of thousands of military personnel and accompanying materiel over a period of weeks or months.  As well, the mere presence of U.S. forces in a particular region of the world will no longer deter aggression. It has become a rather subtle change; rather than “will the United States intervene” it has become a “can the United States intervene?”.

Given the close and lasting economic, political and cultural relationship between Russia and China as well as between both nations and their geographic neighbours, the situation has become far more complex than it was three decades ago when the Soviet Union imploded.  The United States military is no longer the only “big kid on the block” and cannot count on its traditional allies to back it in a war against one of the great powers given the interrelationships between Russia, China and the rest of the world.

Here is a summary of what a war with China or Russia would look like:

“Absent changes to U.S. force posture and operational concepts, the opening rounds of war with China or Russia are likely to have more in common with 1941 than 1991. China and Russia have witnessed the folly of ceding the initiative to the United States and will orient their strategy and operations toward preventing an effective U.S. response. Both likely will attempt to leverage non-military aspects of power—particularly information operations—and covert, clandestine, and sub-conventional forms of coercion to confound U.S. indications and warning and set the battlespace and terms of engagement to their advantage. Should these efforts succeed, China and Russia may be able to achieve their objectives without resort to combat, or at least direct conflict with the United States. Should these efforts fail, China and Russia would be able to dictate the terms of the fight to a large extent, at least initially.

Rapid, and possibly preemptive attacks against U.S. and allied C4ISR would leave U.S. commanders scrambling for situational awareness and a means to coordinate an effective response. These attacks may be limited and non-kinetic to avoid escalation, or they may be broader and destructive to achieve a knockout blow or, failing that, signal willingness and capability. In any case, the United States would not be dictating the scope, scale, location, or timing of the conflict. Amid the resultant chaos, China and Russia may seek to seize key objectives and offer to negotiate an end to hostilities in order to undermine the political will of the United States and its allies and partners. Both powers may contrast this diplomatic offer with implicit or explicit threats of escalation to further strain a U.S.-led coalition.

As opposed to methodically building a coalition and marshaling overwhelming force as in the Gulf War, U.S. political leaders and commanders might resemble their World War II counterparts—looking to stem the bleeding, keep critical allies and partners onside, and counterpunch until they can stabilize the situation. The ability of China and Russia to expand and escalate these conflicts using both military and non-military means would complicate U.S. efforts to seize the initiative through vertical or horizontal escalation.” (my bolds)

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It sounds rather grim, doesn’t it?

Let’s close with this quote from the author:

“Today, the global order is weakening. Many in the United States and allied and partner nations only see the costs and burdens of this order in the form of military obligations, regulations, and multilateral organizations. The benefits are often diffuse and the original catastrophes that spurred its creation are increasingly lost in the mists of history. Meanwhile, China seeks to create an alternative Sino-centric order in Asia, and Russia seeks to undermine the U.S.-led order at every turn. Should these efforts prove successful, it could mark a return to the harsh zero-sum competitions between political-economic blocs that led to global cataclysms in the past. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the history of the early 20th century may not be repeating itself today, but it certainly appears to be rhyming.”

There is one thing that we can count on; we are entering a new multipolar geopolitical reality, a reality that could well mean the defeat of the world’s current leading military power.  The old ways of fighting a war are no longer valid and, until Washington comes to the realization that their strategy no longer works, there is a great risk that the United States could find its position at the top of the world’s “military heap” under significant threat.

Posted in USAComments Off on Would American Military Might Survive a Fight With a Real Opponent?

Russians Help Iranians Dig in as Final Battle Against Great Satan Looms

The Russian General Staff has reinforced the air defences for Russians at the Iranian nuclear reactor complex at Bushehr, on the Persian Gulf, according to sources in Moscow. At the same time, Iran has allowed filming of the movement of several of its mobile S-300 air-defence missile batteries to the south, covering the Iranian coastline of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. More secretly, elements of Russian military intelligence, electronic warfare, and command and control advisers for Iran’s air defence systems have been mobilized to support Iran against US and allied attacks.

The range of the new surveillance extends well beyond the S-300 strike distance of 200 kilometres, and covers US drone and aircraft bases on the Arabian peninsula, as well as US warships in (and under) the Persian Gulf and off the Gulf of Oman. Early warning of US air and naval-launched attacks has now been cut below the old 4 to 6-minute Iranian threshold. Counter-firing by the Iranian armed forces has been automated from attack warning and target location.

<figcaption>Darius, summon the Scythian military advisers.</figcaption>
Darius, summon the Scythian military advisers.
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This means that if the US is detected launching a swarm of missiles aimed at Iran’s air-defence sites, uranium mines, reactors, and military operations bunkers, Iran will launch its own swarm of missiles at the US firing platforms, as well as at Saudi and other oil production sites, refineries, and pipelines, as well tankers in ports and under way in the Gulf.

“The armed forces of Iran,” said a Russian military source requesting anonymity, “have air defence systems capable of hitting air targets at those heights at which drones of the Global Hawk series can fly;  this is about 19,000 to 20,000 metres. Iran’s means of air defence are both foreign-purchased systems and systems of Iran’s own design; among them, in particular, the old Soviet system S-75 and the new Russian S-300. Recently, Iran transported some S-300’s to the south, but that happened after the drone was shot down [June 20]. Russian specialists are working at Bushehr now and this means that the S-300’s are also for protection of Bushehr.”

Flight distance between Bushehr and Bandar Abbas is about 570 kms. From Bandar Abbas southeast to Kuhmobarak, the site of the Iranian missile firing against the US drone, is another 200 kms.

Last Thursday, June 20, just after midnight, a US Global Hawk drone was tracked by Iran from its launch at an airbase in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), south of Dubai. The take-off and initial flight route appear to have been more than 300 kms from Iranian tracking radars. Four hours later, the aircraft was destroyed by an Iranian missile at a point at sea off Kuhmobarak. Follow the route tracking data published by the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif here.


KEY: blue line=drone flight path; yellow line=Iranian Flight Information Region (FIR); red line=Iranian territorial waters; green line=Iranian internal waters; yellow dots=Iran radio warnings sent; red square=point of impact. Source: Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif: https://twitter.com/The US claims the point of impact was outside the red line.

Additional tracking data on the US drone operation have been published in a simulation by the Iranian state news agency, Fars.  The news agency claims the successful strike was by the Iran-made Khordad missile, an S-300 copy; the altitudehas not been reported (design ceiling for the aircraft is 18,000 metres).    

The US aircraft turns at the easternmost point of its route, at the Strait of Hormuz. Source: https://twitter.com/
Missile impact destroys the US drone off Kuhmobarak, inside the red line of Iranian territorial waters. Source: https://twitter.com/

The Russian military source says there is now active coordination between Russian and Iranian military staffs. “About coordination, of course there is participation of Russia in intelligence-sharing because of Bushehr and ISIS. We have a long and successful partnership with Iran,  especially in terms of fighting against international terrorism.” Two days after the drone incident, Russian specialist media publishedIranian video footage of the movement of S-300’s on trailer trucks.  This report claims that although the S-300’s are wheeled and motorized for rapid position changes, the use of highway transporters was intended to minimize road fatigue on the weapons.

Iranian military sources have told western reporters they have established “a joint operations room to inform all its allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan of every step it is adopting in confronting the US in case of all-out war in the Middle East.”

Maps published to date in open Russian military sources show the four main anti-air missile defence groups (PVO) on Iranian territory, and the strike range of their missiles. The 3rd and 4th PVOs are now being reinforced to oppose US reinforcements at sea and on Saudi and Emirati territory.

Key: yellow=units of the main air-defence (PVO) groups; split blue circles=military bases; blue diamond=nuclear industry sites; red rings=kill range for missiles; solid red=command-and-control operations centres. Source: Anatoly Gavrilov, “Before the storm”, National Defence,April 2019

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The weaknesses and vulnerabilities of Iranian defences against US air attack are, naturally, state secrets. The open-source discussion by Russian air-defence expert Anatoly Gavrilov can be followed here. According to Gavrilov writing in March, the expected plan of US attack will be the use of precision missiles and bombs at “primary targets…plants for the production and processing of nuclear fuel, uranium mines, production for its enrichment, refineries, other industrial centers. But initially [the objective] will be to suppress (completely destroy) the air defense system. The mass use of cruise missiles for various purposes and guided aircraft bombs will disable the control system of Iran’s troops and suppress the system of reconnaissance and anti-aircraft missile fire. In this case, the task of the attacking side will be the destruction in the first two or three days of 70% to 80% of the radar, and after that, up to 90%… manned aircraft will begin to bomb only after the complete suppression of the air defense system. The West protects its professional pilots, and it does not matter that the civilian population of Iran will also suffer.”

The main Iranian vulnerability facing American attack, reports Gavrilov, is less the range,  volume and density of firepower with which the Iranians can respond than the relatively slow time they have shown to date for processing incoming attack data, fixing targets, and directing  counter-fire. “In today’s conditions of organization and conduct of rapid air combat, a high degree of automation of the processes of collection, processing, transmission and exchange of radar information, development of solutions for repelling strikes,  and conducting anti-aircraft missile fire is extremely necessary.”

RANGE AND ALTITUDE OF MAIN IRANIAN AIR DEFENCE WEAPONS 

Horizontal axis, range in kilometres for each identified weapon; vertical axis, altitude of interception. Source: Anatoly Gavrilov, National Defence, April 2019

Gavrilov does not estimate how far the Iranians have been able to solve by themselves, and with Russian help, the problems of automation and coordination of fire. To offset whatever weakness may remain, he recommends specific technical contributions the Russians can make. These include the technology of electronic countermeasures (ECM) to jam or deflect US targeting signals and ordnance guidance systems.

While Gavrilov believes the Iranian military have already achieved high enough density of fire against incoming weapons, he isn’t sure the range and altitude of Iranian radars will be good enough to match the attack risks. To neutralize those, he recommends “Russian-made electronic warfare systems. The complex of EW systems is able to significantly reduce the ability of attack aircraft to search for, detect and defeat ground targets; disrupt the onboard equipment of cruise missiles in the GPS satellite navigation system; distort the readings of radio altimeters of attack aircraft, cruise missiles and UAV’s [unmanned aerial vehicle, drone]…”

In briefings for sympathetic western reporters, Iranian commanders are emphasizing the Armageddon option; that is, however weak or strong their defences may prove to be under prolonged US attack, the Iranian strategy is not to wait.  Their plan, they say, is to counter-attack against Arab as well as American targets as soon as a US missile attack commences; that’s to say, at launch, not inflight nor at impact.

Left: Kremlin photograph of the Security Council meeting at the Kremlin on the afternoon of June 21. Source: http://en.kremlin.ru/ Right: Major General Mohammad Baqeri, Iran’s armed forces chief of staff.

The day following the US attack and Iranian success, President Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of his regular Security Council members in Moscow. The military were represented by the Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu. The US attack on Iran was the main issue on the table. “The participants,” reported the Kremlin communiqué, “discussed, in particular, the developments in the Persian Gulf. They expressed serious concern over the rising tension and urged the countries involved to show restraint, because unwise actions could have unpredictable consequences in terms of regional and global stability.”

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Unpredictable consequences in Russian is being translated in Farsi to mean the cessation of the oil trade in the Persian Gulf.  “As oil and commodities of other countries are passing through the Strait of Hormuz, ours are also moving through it,” Major General Mohammad Baqeri, the Iranian chief of staff, said on April 28.    “If our crude is not to pass through the Strait of Hormuz, others’ [crude] will not pass either.”

Posted in Iran, RussiaComments Off on Russians Help Iranians Dig in as Final Battle Against Great Satan Looms

Was There Ever an Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program?

NOVANEWS

A review of the evidence points to Israeli and MEK disinformation, not an open-and-shut case.

This incisive article was first published in May 2018

Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which has set the stage for another Iran crisis, has opened a new round of domestic political struggle, as Democrats in Congress, the anti-Trump television networks, and the tattered remains of the old anti-war movement try to push back.

But that effort has a fatal weakness at its core. It concedes to Trump and opponents of the Iran deal an effective argument: that the Iranians have been lying when they say they’ve never had a covert nuclear weapons program. The theme of Iran’s duplicity has been the emotional core of the assault on the JCPOA. It is no accident that the title and consistent theme of Benjamin Netanyahu’s melodramatic YouTube slideshow was “Iran lied.”

As I detail in my investigative history of the Iran nuclear issue, the Obama administration itself fell for a false narrative about a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program allegedly in operation from 2001 to 2003. After Netanyahu’s April 30 show, former secretary of state John Kerry tweeted:

“Every detail PM Netanyahu presented yesterday was every reason the world came together to apply years of sanctions and negotiate the Iran nuclear agreement—because the threat was real and had to be stopped.”

But a far more effective counter would have been the truth—that the long-accepted accusation about Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program is the product of an elaborate disinformation operation based on documents forged by Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence agency.

In mid-2004, the CIA acquired a massive set of documents that were said to have come from a secret Iranian nuclear weapons research program. Bush administration officials leaked a sensational story to selected news outlets about the intelligence find, describing to the New York Times what that newspaper described as Iranian drawings “trying to develop a compact warhead to fit atop its Shahab missile.” The same story of Iran mating a nuclear weapon to its longer-range ballistic missile was given to the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

But both the real provenance of the apparently incriminating documents and specific details about the documents themselves indicate that they are fraudulent. A major clue about the papers’ true origins was made public in November 2004, when Karsten Voigt, the coordinator for German-North American cooperation in the German Foreign Office, was quoted by the Wall Street Journal warning that the documents had been provided by “an Iranian dissident group,” and that the United States and Europe “shouldn’t let their Iran policy be influenced by single-source headlines.”

Voigt was clearly suggesting that the mysterious documents had come from the Iranian regime-hating MEK (Mujahideen-e-Khalq)—not from someone in the purported Iranian arms program. But no one in the corporate media universe followed up with Voigt, and it was not until 2013, three years after he’d retired from the Foreign Office, that he agreed to give this writer the story behind his warning.

Voigt recalled how senior officials of the Bundesnachtrichtendienst, or BND, the German foreign intelligence agency, had told him just days before the Wall Street Journal interview that they were upset Secretary of State Colin Powell had referred publicly to “evidence” that Iran had tried to design a new missile to carry a nuclear weapon. Voigt explained that the documents to which Powell was alluding had been turned over to the BND by an Iranian who had been a sometime source—but not a BND spy, contrary to later accounts in the Wall Street Journal and Der Spiegel.

In fact, he said, the BND did not regard the source as trustworthy, because they knew he was a member of the MEK, the exiled armed Iranian opposition group. The MEK is listed by the State Department as a terrorist organization because of its assassination of U.S. officers during the Shah’s regime and its bombings of public events after the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The MEK also carried out “special operations” for Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq against domestic opposition during the Iran-Iraq war, and after that had been used by Israel’s Mossad to “launder” information that it wanted to make public but didn’t want attributed to Israel, according to two Israeli journalists. The MEK had pinpointed the location of Iran’s Natanz enrichment facility in August 2002. But it had gotten the satellite intelligence from Mossad, as Seymour Hersh reported in his 2005 book Chain of Command.

Two years before Voigt’s conversation with BND officials, then-BND director August Hanning personally warned CIA director George Tenet to be cautious about using the testimony of the infamous Iraq “Curveball” source regarding Iraqi bioweapons because it could not be independently confirmed. Other BND analysts said that “Curveball” was unreliable. Powell had nevertheless used the information in his infamous United Nations speech justifying the coming invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Two years later, BND officials were afraid history was about to be repeated in Iran. Germany had just joined France and Britain in reaching an accord with Tehran, which was aimed at averting a U.S. move to take the Iran file out of the IAEA and create a new crisis at the UN Security Council over the issue of the nuclear program.

But it wasn’t just the provenance of the MEK documents that was suspect. Their authenticity was never clearly established by the CIA, which could not rule out the possibility of falsification, according to the Washington PostMohamed ElBaradei, then director-general of the IAEA, was put under heavy political pressure by a U.S.-led coalition to publish a report endorsing those documents as evidence against Iran. But Elbaradei responded to the pressure by declaring in an October 2009 interview,

“The IAEA is not making any judgment at all whether Iran even had weaponization studies before because there is a major question of authenticity of the documents.”

Benjamin Netanyahu gave the public its first view of the documents on which the Bush administration had heavily relied to sway Elbaradei, showing in his slideshow a surprisingly crude schematic drawing of a Shahab-3 missile reentry vehicle with a circle representing a nuclear weapon. What is important to note about that image is that the shape of the reentry vehicle is the “dunce cap” shape of the original missile that Iran had acquired from North Korea in the mid-1990s. As early as 2000, the CIA’s national intelligence officer on Iranian missiles testified that Iran had already begun redesigning the Shahab-3 missile for better performance. But the outside world was in the dark about what the redesign would look like until the new missile was given its first test flight in August 2004. That test revealed that the redesigned reentry vehicle had a “tri-conic” or “baby bottle” shape.

However, the 36-page document of which the image shown by Netanyahu was a part, called “Implementation of Mass Properties of Shahab-3 Missile Warhead with New Payload,” was dated March-April 2003—long after the redesign of the reentry vehicle had taken place—as the IAEA’s May 2008 report shows on page two of its annex. The inescapable conclusion is that the authors of those drawings were not working for a project of the Iranian Defense Ministry but for a foreign intelligence agency, which guessed wrongly that the shape of Iran’s missile would not change fundamentally.

Lastly,* we have “Project 5,” another alleged project listed in the Iranian weapons program documents, supposedly involving uranium ore mining and conversion of uranium ore for enrichment. One of the sub-projects, designated “Project 5.15”, was for “ore concentration.” But when the IAEA accessed the original documents from Iran in response to its questions, it found that the contract for a “Project 5.15” for ore concentration had been signed not by a secret nuclear weapons project but by the civilian Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, which was in fact responsible for all activities relating to Iranian uranium ore mines.  Furthermore, the IAEA found that the project document had been signed in August 1999—two years before the start date of the alleged secret nuclear weapons research project.  When this writer confronted former IAEA Deputy Director Olli Heinonen about the contradiction, he admitted that he could not explain it.

The Israeli role in the creation of evidence of Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions didn’t end with the papers delivered by the MEK. In 2008-09, Israel turned over more alleged Iranian documents to the IAEA, including a report on experiments with “multi-point initiation” of a nuclear explosion, which Netanyahu emphasized in his recent YouTube presentation. The IAEA and the U.S.-led coalition of states that dominated it of course refused to identify the member state that had provided those documents, but ElBaradei revealed in his memoirs that the state was indeed Israel. 

The historical impact of the Israelis getting U.S. national security, political, and media elites to accept that these fabrications represented genuine evidence of Iran’s nuclear duplicity can hardly be understated. It has unquestionably been one of history’s most successful—and longest running—disinformation campaigns. But it worked without a hitch, because of the readiness of those elites to believe without question anything that was consistent with their perceived interests in continued enmity toward Iran.

Posted in IranComments Off on Was There Ever an Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program?


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