Archive | January 13th, 2020

Libya: Turkey Transfers Zio-Wahhabi Rebels to Libya for Tripoli Battle

by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Members of Libya's internationally recognized government forces carry weapons in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya October 14, 2019. Picture taken October 14, 2019.

Trump’s Iran ‘Punching Bag’: US Provocations to Continue

by Jack Rasmus

Embracing Palestine: How to Combat Israel’s Misuse of “An…

by Ramzy Baroud

Killing Soleimani Reflects US Desperation in the Middle E…

by Ramzy Baroud & Romana Rubeo

Who Is Archbishop Atallah Hanna, and Why Israel Hates Him

by Ramzy Baroud

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, 500 of the Syrian rebel fighters have already arrived in Libya, with another 1,000 expected to deploy to the North African country in the coming days. 

Turkey is transferring Syrian rebel fighters to Libya to protect the capital city of Tripoli from the forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, Bloomberg News reported on Friday. 

The report, which claims fighters from the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army are deploying to Libya, was later corroborated by several publications, including the Syrian Observation for Human Rights and the Middle East Eye. 

Citing a senior Turkish official, the Bloomberg report alleges that these rebel fighters are being tasked with defending Tripoli, while also coordinating with the forces loyal to Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj and the Government of National Accord. 

The day after the Bloomberg report was released, a couple videos showing Syrian rebel fighters in Tripoli were posted on social media. Both the Government of National Accord and Syrian National Army have since denied the validity of the videos.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, 500 of the Syrian rebel fighters have already arrived in Libya, with another 1,000 expected to deploy to the North African country in the coming days. 

“They are recruiting the fighters from different factions,” the SOHR head Rami Abdel-Rahman told Bloomberg.

In a separate report, the SOHR said these Syrian rebel fighters are receiving US$2,000/month for fighting in Libya against the forces loyal to Field Marshal Haftar. 

Why Libya?

Turkey is arguably the most ardent supporter of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, which is recognized by the United Nations. 

Both Turkey and Qatar back the GNA, while countries like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Egypt support the Benghazi-based Libyan National Army. 

The GNA and LNA have been at war near Tripoli since April, with the Haftar-led forces steadily advancing in different phases of the battle.

However, in mid-December, Haftar announced the final phase of the battle, vowing to capture the city-center of Tripoli.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to prevent Tripoli from falling to the Haftar-led forces after signing a joint military agreement with the GNA. 

The Turkish Parliament will now vote on January 7th about whether or not to deploy their military forces to Libya. 

Eastern Mediterranean Oil

Another reason for Libya’s importance is its offshore oil exploration in the eastern Mediterranean, which Turkey currently has rights to after reaching an agreement with the GNA in early December. 

This agreement between the GNA and Turkey has caused a major uproar in the Mediterranean region, as countries like Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, and Israel have objected to Ankara’s attempts to control the shipping lanes in this part of the sea. 

Greece and Egypt have already bolstered their presence in the Mediterranean, but this has not deterred Turkey, as they have increased their naval deployment around Northern Cyprus. 

While a military confrontation is highly unlikely, these countries are using the Libyan conflict to fight a proxy war for control of this imperative part of the Mediterranean region. 

Posted in Libya, Turkey0 Comments

Trump Sends a “Death Threat” to Iraq’s Prime Minister.

The Primordial Urge to Slay a Hero

By Renee Parsons

Global Research,

The assassination of Major General Qaseem Soleimani, who was already a national hero in Iran, has now achieved the stature of a world class martyr. Carrying a diplomatic passport on his flight into Baghdad, Soleimani was also carrying the Iranian response  to a Saudi initiative for peace.

In contrast, President Donald Trump has revealed more about his own inner angst than he ever intended – or perhaps, being a non-introspective type, what has been revealed may be more than he himself has ever acknowledged.

As events and more of the back story unfold, Trump’s frequently problematic sense of reality may be questioned in view of his astonishing suggestion that he is ‘ready to makea new nuclear deal with Iran, even as he ordered additional sanction against the country.  Prior to Soleimani’s assassination, Trump threatened to kill Iraq Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi.

There is no denying that the nature of the act is right out of the Israel play book of quick and dirty overkill and extermination of humanity as seen in Gaza and Jerusalem on a daily basis.

During a session of the Iraq legislature immediately after the assassination, Mahdi reported that the Americans had “ruined his country” and were now unwilling to repair Iraq’s electric grid and other infrastructure needs. Mahdi did what any self respecting leader would do; he signed a contract with Trump’s favorite trading partner to make the repairs.   China already had an international reputation for providing necessary community infrastructure in Africa and elsewhere – wonder if they might visit Detroit and solve their water quality crisis.

Trump has vehemently opposed Iraq’s deal with China unless Mahdi would guarantee that 50% of Iraq’s oil revenue would go to the US.  Mahdi refused and when he refused to reject the contract, he said that Trump “threatened to unleash huge demonstrations against me that would end my premiership.

Mahdi continued

“Huge demonstrations against me duly materialized and Trump called again to threaten that if I did not comply with his demands, then he would have Marine sniperson tall buildings target protesters and security personnel alike in order to pressure me.  I refused again and handed in my resignation. To this day the Americans insist on us rescinding our deal with the Chinese.”

Mahdi says he was also “threatened with false-flag sniper shootings of both protesters and security personnel in order to inflame the situation” like what took place  in Cairo in 2009, Libya in 2011, and the Maidan in 2014.

“After this, when our Minister of Defense publicly stated that a third party was targeting both protestors and security personnel alike (just as Trump had threatened he would do), I received a new call from Trump threatening to kill both me and the Minister of Defense if we kept on talking about this “third party”.

Does any precedent exist, outside of a formally declared war, where the leader of one country personally threatens the life of the leader of another country? This sounds more serious than just a “bad hair” day but rather that someone was off their meds. As Trump frequently demonstrates a bombastic nature with a non-functioning filter to refine his every whim and thought, he has more recently exhibited a deep dark side that has emerged for many Americans to witness.

The nature of the Act itself, the sheer violence of obliterating another human being beyond recognition, appeared to not be enough to satisfy the President’s inner lustful rage.  He continued over the weekend to issue a score of irrational threats to Iran and unfounded accusations about Soleimani who is now acknowledged as architect of the successful campaign to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.  Despite the false bravado, Trump’s media blast was less a show of strength and courage than a horrifying display of one soul’s malevolent nature.

Forty two hours after the assassination, Trump appeared before the VFW’s National Conference where, in a massive disconnect from reality, he suggested:  “I withdrew the US from a horrible one sided nuclear deal and Iran is not the same country any more; that I can say.  We’ll see what happens but we’re ready to make a real deal; not a deal that was done by the previous administration which was a disaster.“ Is it rational to consider a new nuclear deal with Iran after having just assassinated that country’s most revered military leader?

By Wednesday, in an awkward and somewhat bumbling public appearance from  the White House, Trump appeared short of breath and nervous as he spoke the same belligerent rhetoric but in a more mellow tone.   He again raised the possibility of a new nuclear deal with Iran:  “We must all work together to make a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place” and “The US is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it” as if the assassination was a long ago forgotten kerfuffle.

As Trump continued to pound on Soleimani in death about destabilizing the Middle East, every word he uttered about terrorists could be easily applied to the US, to himself or to Barack Obama or GW for their never-ending campaign to preserve The Empire.

With a penchant for over-exaggeration, Trump claims that the “US has achieved energy independence” as if it is a done deal.   “We are now the number one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world.  We are independent and  “we do not need Middle East oil.” So let’s take him at his word that the US has truly achieved  long term reliable energy  independence; then let’s immediately initiate an exit strategy from Afghanistan, Iraq,  Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and where ever else US troops are protecting pipelines.

The Iranians are long term, big picture thinkers and they might see the wisdom of going through the motions of a new deal with the US but the smart money is on a covert act  that will claim a fitting justice for Soleimani as it is time for Israel to fight its own battles.

Posted in Middle East, USA, Iraq0 Comments

Iraq Remains US Occupied Territory, “We’re Not Leaving Unless…” Say Trump

By Stephen Lendman

In response to the Trump regime’s assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi deputy PMU head Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Iraq’s prime minister and parliament called for expelling US troops from the country.

They’re a hostile force wherever based, their presence making peace and stability unattainable.

Iraqis want them out of their country. Trump and hardliners surrounding him refuse to go, the country now occupied US territory.

Their presence is all about colonizing Iraq, permanently occupying its territory, controlling its hydrocarbon and other resources, along with using its military bases in the country as platforms for endless regional wars against invented enemies.

As president and commander-in-chief of US armed forces, Trump serves the interests of America’s military, industrial, security complex, Wall Street, Big Oil, and other corporate interests — at the expense of world peace, equity, justice, the rule of law, and other democratic values he and most others in Washington disdain.

Last week, Trump threatened tough sanctions on Iraq if US troops are expelled, saying:

“We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it,” adding:

He’ll impose “sanctions (on Iraq) like they’ve never seen before ever.”

According to former Iraqi official Fadhel Jawad, Baghdad can expel US forces because their presence isn’t based on legislation or a formal agreement.

Iraqi geopolitical analyst Sajad Jiyad explained that US forces violated the country’s constitution and statute laws “many times,” clear just cause for expelling them, adding:

“It’s a case of will the government be bold enough to take the initiative, or does it want to draw this out and pass the buck around?”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Trump regime “warned that the US could shut down Iraq’s access to the country’s central bank account held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.”

It “manag(es) the country’s finances, including revenue from oil sales. (Losing access) could restrict Iraq’s use of that revenue, creating a cash crunch in (its) financial system.”Counterproductive US Imperial Policies. The Risks of Global Warfare?

According to Shwan Taha, chairman of Iraqi investment bank Rabee Securities, “(t)he Fed…has a (financial) stranglehold on the (country’s) entire economy.”

Baghdad needs to free itself from petrodollar bondage by conducting bilateral trade with other nations in its own currency and theirs.

It needs to pursue stronger relations with Russia, China, and other nations on a mutually cooperative basis, freeing itself from US control.

Otherwise, it’ll remains hostage to US imperial whims and will, a colonized nation, not a sovereign independent one.

US relations with Iraq and other countries it occupies is based on an unacceptable master/vassal arrangement.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mahdi wants Pompeo to begin the process of withdrawing Pentagon forces from the country — details to be worked out through bilateral talks in Baghdad.

According to a statement from his office, Mahdi told Pompeo to “send delegates to Iraq to prepare a mechanism to carry out the parliament’s resolution regarding the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq,” adding:

US “forces had entered Iraq and drones are flying in its airspace without permission from Iraqi authorities and this was a violation of the bilateral agreements.”

During a Friday press conference in Washington, Pompeo rebuffed the request, saying:

“Our mission (in Iraq) is very clear. (We’re) there to perform a training mission to help the Iraqi security forces be successful and to continue the campaign against ISIS (sic),” adding: “We’re going to continue that mission.”

Trump called withdrawing US forces from Iraq “the worst thing to happen to” the country. “(T)his isn’t the right” time.

Fact: US troops in Iraq have nothing to do with combatting the scourge of ISIS Washington created and supports.

Fact: Their presence has everything to do with controlling the country and its resources, along with using Pentagon bases in its territory as platforms for endless regional wars.

Iraqis want freedom from US occupation. The Trump regime refuses to go. Pentagon forces are unlikely to be withdrawn any time soon.

Iran’s UN envoy Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh believes the Trump regime’s assassination of Soleimani and Muhandis pushed the envelope closer to ending US occupation of Iraq.

On Saturday, prominent Iraqi PMU commander Taleb Abbas Ali al-Saedi was lethally shot in Karbala, a city southwest of Baghdad — by an unknown gunman, according to Iraqi media, US dirty hands likely responsible.

Separately according to Iran’s Tasnim News, UK envoy to the Islamic Republic “Rob Macaire was arrested for hours for his involvement in provoking suspicious acts in a gathering held in front of Tehran Amir Kabir University on Saturday,” adding:

He’s accused of inciting students involved in protesting Iran’s announced accidental downing of a Ukraine airliner, US dirty hands perhaps responsible for orchestrating what happened.

“(F)reed a few hours later,” Macaire faces further questioning for his unacceptable actions.

Britain is no friend of Iran, partnered with Washington’s aim for regime change.

The presence of US and allied forces in the region assures endless wars, related violence, instability, and human misery — why it’s crucial to be rid of them.

Posted in USA, Iraq0 Comments

Ukraine Airliner Tragedy: Memories of Iran Air Flight 655 Shootdown, Cubana Flight 455 Attack

By Brett Wilkins

Global Research,

On July 3, 1988 the US guided missile destroyer USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655, an Airbus A300 flying in Iranian airspace and carrying 290 civilians from Tehran to Dubai via Bandar Abbas, killing all aboard.

***

“I’ll never apologize for the United States of America, ever; I don’t care what the facts are,” said Vice President George H. W. Bush after the US Navy shot down Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988, killing 290 innocent people, including 66 children.

It’s too early to tell whether or not Iran shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 shortly after the Boeing 737-8KV took off in Tehran on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board. One thing seems almost certain—if Iran did shoot down the plane, it was by accident. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Boris Johnson, his British counterpart, both claim to have intelligence and other evidence that Flight 752 was hit by one or more surface-to-air missiles, while US President Donald Trump opined that “somebody could have made a mistake on the other side.” It’s practically impossible to imagine a scenario in which Iran would intentionally target a Ukrainian commercial flight; fortunately, cool heads seem to be prevailing ahead of investigations of the incident.

‘I’ll Never Apologize for the United States of America’

For many Iranians, the Tehran tragedy brought back painful memories of a similar incident from more than 30 years ago during a period of similarly heightened tensions between the United States and Iran. On July 3, 1988 the US guided missile destroyer USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655, an Airbus A300 flying in Iranian airspace and carrying 290 civilians from Tehran to Dubai via Bandar Abbas, killing all aboard. The victims included people from six countries, including 66 children. The US maintains this was an accident, while Iran accused the US of an intentional act of state terrorism.

According to the official US account, the Vincennes’ crew misidentified the civilian airliner, claiming its flight profile was similar to that of the US-made F-14 Tomcat fighters sold to the Imperial Iranian Air Force during the last years of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s dictatorship. The latter years of the Iraq-Iran war—which began in 1980 after the US encouraged Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to invade his much larger neighbor — saw periodic skirmishes between US and Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz. On the morning of July 3 a US helicopter came under small arms fire from Iranian patrol boats; the Vincennes gave chase into Iranian waters, where it fired two surface-to-air missiles at the doomed airliner.

Serious questions were raised by the US account of the incident. First, the Vincennes’ Aegis Combat System, a state-of-the-art computer and radar tracking and guidance system, indicated the plane was climbing and not descending as an attacking F-14 would. Second, Flight 655 was transmitting the correct transponder “squawk” code for a commercial airliner, while maintaining radio communication in English with nearby air traffic controllers. Third, Iran argued that even if the plane had been a fighter jet, the US had no right to shoot it down, as it was in Iranian airspace and its flight path couldn’t possibly indicate an attack profile as it was climbing when attacked.US Downing of Iranian Airliner Gone From History

The Reagan administration told lie after lie about the incident. It claimed the Vincennes was in international waters at the time of the attack It was not. It said the ship acted in self defense against the “descending” plane; Flight 455 was climbing when it was shot down. It also claimed the flight had strayed from its usual route. It did not. It told the United Nations that the Vincennes was rushing to defend merchant shipping from Iranian attack, a complete fabrication.

President Ronald Reagan swiftly apologized to Iran for the incident, while Vice President George H.W. Bush—who was running for president that year—shocked the world with his response to his country’s mass killing of 290 innocent civilians. “I’ll never apologize for the United States of America, ever,” he said on August 5. “I don’t care what the facts are.”

A subsequent Pentagon investigation concluded that Flight 655 “was on a normal commercial air flight plan profile, in the assigned airway, squawking Mode III (civilian), on a continuous ascent in altitude from take-off at Bandar Abbas to shoot-down.” In 1996, the United States agreed to pay over $60 million, or just over $213,000 per passenger, to families of Iran Air Flight 655 victims, without admitting any legal liability.

For the sailors of the USS Vincennes, praise, not punishment, was the order of the day. All received combat action ribbons, while the ship’s air warfare coordinator was awarded a commendation medal for the “heroic achievement” of “quickly and precisely completing the firing procedure” that shot down Flight 655. Captain Will Rogers III was honored with the Legion of Merit for his “outstanding service.”

‘A Bus with 73 Dogs’

While Iran Air Flight 655 was almost certainly a tragic accident, an earlier attack on a commercial airliner closer to home bears much more sinister US fingerprints.

On the balmy afternoon of October 6, 1976, Cubana de Aviación Flight 455, a DC-8 carrying 73 passengers, many of them teenage members of Cuba’s junior Olympic fencing team, took off from Barbados bound for Jamaica. The plane made a brief stop in Trinidad and Tobago, where two anti-Fidel Castro terrorists planted a pair of bombs, cleverly hidden inside a camera and a tube of toothpaste, aboard the plane. They exploded shortly after takeoff, blasting a hole in the plane and sparking a fire as it plunged into the sea. There were no survivors of what was, until September 11, 2001, the worst-ever act of airborne terrorism in the Western Hemisphere.

Shortly after the attack, one of the terrorists, Hernán Ricardo, phoned Orlando Bosch, a CIA-backed, Miami-based Cuban exile militant who, along with fellow anti-Castro terrorist and longtime CIA agent Luis Posada Carriles, planned the bombing. “A bus with 73 dogs went off a cliff,” Ricardo told Bosch. “All got killed.”

The CIA, under its new director at the time—none other than George H. W. Bush—knew as early as June 1976 that Cuban exiles were plotting to blow up a Cubana airliner, but did not warn Havana. Ricardo and his accomplice Freddy Lugo were arrested in Trinidad and Tobago. They confessed to the bombing and fingered Bosch and Posada Carriles as the masterminds of the attack. The four men were jailed in Venezuela but Bosch and Posada Carriles escaped. They eventually made their way back to Florida, where they were welcomed as heroes—the city of Miami even declared an official Orlando Bosch Day—and protected by Bush, who was now president. This, despite the Justice Department calling Posada Carriles, the hemisphere’s most wanted terrorist, “an unrepentant criminal and admitted mastermind of terrorist plots and attacks.”

Bosch and Posada Carriles lived out the rest of their lives in sunny South Florida while relatives of Flight 455 victims waited for justice that was never delivered. Posada Carriles pursued a successful art career while Bosch made frequent media appearances, always insisting that “there were no innocents on that plane.” Roseanne Nenninger Persaud of Guyana, whose 19-year-old brother Raymond died on Flight 455, told the New York Times in 2006 that the perpetrators of the bombing should be “treated like [Osama] bin Laden.”

“If this were a plane full of Americans, it would have been a different story,” she said.

Posted in Iran, Ukraine0 Comments

U.S. Now at War Against Iraq and Iran

By Eric Zuesse

On January 9th, Iraq’s Prime Minister and Parliament again ordered all American troops out, but on January 10th the AP headlined “US dismisses Iraq request to work on a troop withdrawal plan” and reported that the U.S. State Department “bluntly rejected the request, saying the two sides should instead talk about how to ‘recommit’ to their partnership.” It was not a “request” from Iraq; it was a command from them; and the U.S. and Iraq relate as conqueror and conquered, not as “partners.” Consequently: the U.S. Government, now that it has been so unequivocally ordered to leave, is back again, unequivocally, to its invader-occupier role in Iraq. 

The AP report went on to say that, “The request from Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi pointed to his determination to push ahead with demands for U.S. troops to leave Iraq.” Again there was that false word “request.” The AP report said that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asserted, in reply, “Our mission set there is very clear. We’ve been there to perform a training mission to help the Iraqi security forces be successful and to continue the campaign against ISIS, to continue the counter-Daesh campaign.” Though that’s the invader-occupier’s excuse, the reality is that the U.S. needs Iraq in order to invade Iran, which is the U.S. Government’s objective, though not overtly stated. Iraq: America’s Other “Longest War”

Already, America’s assassination in Iraq of Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani on January 3rd is an enormous act of war against Iran. It is intended to obliterate Iran’s main strategist, and this successful attack against Iran inside Iraq is a devastating first strike, by the U.S. Government against Iran.

So: now, the U.S. is at war against both Iraq and Iran.

Posted in Middle East, USA, Iran, Iraq0 Comments

“This Plane Was Designed by Clowns, Who Are Supervised by Monkeys” – Shocking Boeing Emails Reveal Contempt for Management, FAA

By Zero Hedge

Global Research,

We have never heard a more damning description of the relationship between a corporation and its regulators than a line that has been plucked from a batch of company emails that Boeing has just handed over to the FAA (and which the FAA has, apparently, leaked to the press).

Per the New York Times:

“This airplane is designed by clowns, who are in turn supervised by monkeys…”

In recent weeks, a series of reports claiming Boeing neglected to turn over critical information to the FAA regarding the development of the 737 MAX 8, Boeing’s new “workhorse” model that has been grounded around the world for the last 10 months, after a pair of suspicious crashes raised suspicions of possible flaws in the plane’s anti-stall software.

According to more than 100 pages of internal company communications (which were apparently withheld from the FAA during the certification process for the jet) Boeing employees could be heard mocking federal rules, openly discussing their deception of regulators, and joking about the MAX’s potential flaws.

The most shocking messages were sent by Boeing pilots and other employees who can be seen discussing software issues and problems with the flight simulator software for hte MAX, which is particularly disturbing since it was issues with the plane’s MCAS software that were found to have contributed to two avoidable crashes and the brutal deaths of 346 people.If It’s a Boeing, I’m Not Going

In one message, one Boeing employee openly admits to deceiving the FAA on behalf of the company.

“I still haven’t been forgiven by God for the covering up I did last year,” one of the employees said in messages from 2018, apparently in reference to interactions with the Federal Aviation Administration.

In another, a group of Boeing test pilots agreed that they wouldn’t want their families flying with pilots trained on the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight simulator.

Would you put your family on a Max simulator trained aircraft? I wouldn’t,” one employee said to a colleague in another exchange from 2018, before the first crash. “No,” the colleague responded.

As the New York Times explains, the release of these communications, both emails and instant messages, is “the latest embarrassing episode for Boeing in a crisis that has cost the company billions of dollars and wreaked havoc on the aviation industry across the globe.”

When allegations that Boeing withheld “damning” information from the FAA first surfaced late last year, Peter DeFazio, the chairman of the House Transportation Committee, blasted the company in a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

“These messages indicate that Boeing withheld damning information from the FAA, which is highly disturbing,” Peter DeFazio, Chair of the U.S. House of Representatives transportation committee, wrote in a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Friday.

It should go without saying that these messages “threaten to complicate Boeing’s relationship with the FAA” at a time when it’s still unclear when the MAX might be cleared to fly again.

Yet, as we mentioned above, this is only the latest and perhaps most jarring of a string of revelations citing internal documents and communications. Forget “regulatory capture” – a term that’s often used to criticize the revolving-door nature of Wall Street compliance officials and the regulatory agencies supposed to keep their firms in line – this is regulatory irrelevance.

And any Boeing shareholders who experienced an escalating dread as they read this post – it’s okay, you can relax.

Because once again, the market just doesn’t care. Plane crashes have been normalized in 2020, and so, apparently, has gross incompetence and contempt for both government regulators and the broader public.

Posted in Campaigns, Education0 Comments

The War in Libya: The Cease-Fire Initiative of Erdogan and Putin

By Hassan Mansour

Global Research,

Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin issued a joint statement in which called the Prime Minister of the Libyan Government of National Accord, Fayez Sarraj, and the leader of the Libyan National Army, strongman Khalifa Haftar, for a cease-fire.

The counterparts took this initiative in different ways: Sarraj happily agreed, and Haftar did not respond so clearly.

On January 9, the Libyan National Army spokesperson, Major General Ahmed Al-Mismari, released a statement on the Turkish- Russian initiative. His speech contained unusual details worth analysing.

First of all, Al-Mismari said that the Libyan army supports the Russian President’s proposal. It should be noted that the General did not mention Recep Erdogan during his speech.

The hostility of the spokesperson is clearly due to the fact that Turkey is actually participating in the Libyan civil war. The Turkish parliament approved sending Turkish troops to Libya to support the GNA in Tripoli, and Turkey has been deploying its forces in the African country. In addition, earlier, Ankara repeatedly supplied arms and military equipment to Sarraj, including drones in violation of international sanctions, as evidenced by a leak from documents between the Libyan Central Bank and the Turkish military company SSTEK. It is known that the GNA spent more than $ 600 million on the illegal purchase of arms and military equipment from Turkey.

Furthermore, Al-Mesmari indicated that the Libyan National Army would continue the military operation to liberate Tripoli from the terrorists anyway. Thus, he made it clear that Sarraj’s government is not politically independent because it cooperates with illegal armed groups and therefore can not participate in a political settlement in Libya.

The Libyan National Army’s response to the Turkish and Russian leaders’ proposal demonstrated the real position of the Libyan Army regarding the settlement of the Libyan conflict. Despite respecting the initiative of the Russian authority, Haftar clarified that retreat is not possible as long as the capital is controlled by a group of criminals and terrorist groups led by the National Accord Government.

Posted in Libya, Russia, Turkey0 Comments

Turkish-backed GNA Leader Fayez al-Sarraj Is on the Verge of Losing Tripoli

By Paul Antonopoulos

Global Research,

Italy, Russia and Turkey have been pressing for an end to the war in Libya between the Parliament-backed Libyan National Army (LNA) and the Turkish-backed Muslim Brotherhood Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli. Pressure to put an end to the LNA offensive was received by General Khalifa Haftar, who continues to advance on jihadist forces loyal to the GNA, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin made a joint statement to “declare a sustainable ceasefire, supported by the necessary measures to be taken for stabilizing the situation on the ground and normalizing daily life in Tripoli and other cities,” with the ceasefire to begin at midnight on Sunday. The Libyan general also had a private meeting on Wednesday with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who called on Haftar to order the cessation of military action, as according to Conte, the only viable solution is a political solution.

Although the LNA’s efforts to liberate Libyan territory from the GNA began in April, it slowly grinded down to a halt and stalemate. However, Erdoğan in a gross miscalculation that left him isolated and with no international support, set tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean alight when him and GNA leader, Fayez al-Sarraj, an ethnic Turk himself, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in late November 2019 that redrew maritime borders that massively infringed on Greece’s maritime space.

Haftar took every advantage of the renewed tensions between Turkey and Greece and successfully swayed Athens to withdraw relations with the internationally recognized GNA and back the LNA. This was important as Greece became the first NATO and EU member to openly back the LNA, sparking a new offensive by the LNA against the GNA. Since the signing of the memorandum between Erdoğan and Sarraj, Egypt has not only provided weaponry and equipment to the LNA, Cairo has threatened to attack Turkey if it involves itself in Libya just as the United Arab Emirates continues to conduct airstrikes against the GNA.Erdogan Opened a Pandora’s Box in Libya that Will be Difficult to Close

The LNA with renewed and strengthened international support just days ago liberated the symbolic city of Sirte, the birthplace of Libya’s historic leader, Muammar Gaddafi. This is a major blow as the LNA has now also officially reached Tripoli and is only a few kilometres from the center of Libya’s capital. The simultaneous operations have meant that the GNA, whose forces just days ago beheaded an LNA scout in similar fashion to ISIS barbarity, is not only feeling pressure in the capital, but LNA forces have continued their offensive beyond Sirte and are now only 100 kilometers from Misrata. This will surely divide GNA forces considering many of the militias fighting in Tripoli on the side of the GNA are originally from Misrata, the first major city to fall during the NATO-backed destruction of Libya in 2011.

Saraj had contacts with top European Union officials this week, who also called for an end to armed violence, however they failed to convince Haftar to end military operations. Turkey has already sent military supplies, military advisers and Syria-based jihadists to Libya. Any ceasefire will only allow GNA forces to regroup and resupply while the LNA would lose its momentum with the massive advances they are currently making.

Russia has little influence over the LNA and there is no incentive for the LNA to accept the ceasefire. In Syria, Russia has strongly supported Damascus economically and militarily, while Turkey has supported jihadist groups. However, Syria is not Libya, with the LNA relying on Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It is for this reason that Haftar has unconditionally rejected the call for a ceasefire as they have vowed to defeat Turkish-backed forces unconditionally. The LNA is more heavily reliant on air support and intelligence from the Abu Dhabi, and material support and intelligence from Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Putin, despite making the joint statement for a ceasefire with Erdoğan, likely would have known the LNA were going to reject the ceasefire request. It is likely that Putin did so as an act of good will to preserve the strengthening Russian-Turkish economic and cultural relations just as the Turkstream pipeline was inaugurated on Wednesday. Therefore, Putin made the call for a ceasefire knowing full well it would be rejected. As the LNA continues to approach Misrata, it is likely the militias originally from Misrata will leave Tripoli for their own hometown, further weakening the GNA’s defences in Tripoli, which will lead to the LNA liberating the capital city. Haftar will not surrender his advantage for a ceasefire with forces who are serving Turkish interests and behead their soldiers in an ISIS-like fashion.

Posted in Libya, Turkey0 Comments

The Deep State “Entrapment of President Trump”: Competing Factions within the Military intelligence Complex

By Junaid S. Ahmad

Global Research,

What we witnessed last week was unprecedented in international affairs: the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Suleimani, as well as a senior Iraqi military commander. Why did Trump decide to engage in this lawless, reckless act? Was it just because he hated the Obama-era nuclear accord that he unlawfully withdrew from? It is a little more than that, and requires some background.

For Trump, this goes all the way back to his campaign and his first meeting with the Pentagon generals in his Oval Office. One of the reasons he was elected was because he spoke openly about ending useless wars, bringing troops home, etc. The Pentagon generals met him only once in his Oval Office in the White House, and furious at his views, demanded that all future meetings take place in ‘the Tank’ – what they call the Pentagon. There, they felt they would be in charge and Trump would have no choice but to take orders.

What has happened during the past three plus years is a slow-motion coup d’etat against Trump since even before he entered office by the military-intelligence apparatus, or the Deep State, in alliance with the most nefarious sections of the Democratic Party. The contempt for Trump has had nothing to do with his vile racism, xenophobia, pathological lying, and imbecilic threats and tweets.

However, it did have to do with the veil of a multicultural, melting pot liberal Western order that he completely tore apart through his domestic bravado.

Internationally, it was somewhat the opposite. That entailed Trump’s campaign promises to end these endless, meaningless wars, make ‘deals’ with the North Koreans and start removing all these costly global US military bases, including in the Middle East.

This is what made elite political discourse in the US under Trump anything unlike in the 21st or 20th century. One has to go back to the US Civil War in the 1860s to find such intra-elite factional infighting.

When a former CIA director goes on national TV in the US and calls a sitting president’s behavior as treasonous – the crime for treason being the death penalty – one knows that there are significant factions of the permanent military-intelligence complex, the Deep State, that have the CIA director’s back. Otherwise, such a remark by a CIA Director about the President of the United States would be unthinkable.

The intense frustration of the intelligence agencies at not being able to first oust Trump first for the absurd ‘Russiagate’ investigations lasting more than two years, and now a ‘Ukrainian-gate’ phone call scandal, has left them hopelessly restless.

Nevertheless, that does not imply that their incredible pressure on Trump on foreign policy has not coerced the president to accede to their demands some of the times. Whether it was halting any further diplomatic negotiations with North Korea, withdrawing from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, etc. as quickly as possible – the Deep State conveyed to Trump in no uncertain terms that these were ‘no-go’ areas for him and to not even try to interfere in these matters.

Like the emperor Constantine feeling besieged by his time’s new wave of mass conversion to prophetic, revolutionary Christianity, the emperor finally decided: why fight them, just join them! Hence, you had the conversion of Christianity, a prophetic moral-ethical emancipatory force, to Christendom – an empire of and for the powerful. Trump has effectively done the same thing in his last year in office, hoping he can adequately placate the Deep State so that this time (unlike in 2016) the latter doesn’t object to his potential re-election this year.

While the war hawk on steroids John Bolton, whose fantasy was wiping Iran off the map, had a short shelf-life in Trump’s administration, there still remains a Secretary of State who’s equally reckless, idiotic, and dangerous.

Mike Pompeo, along with a small neo-con faction of the Deep State, wanted Qasim Suleimani out of the picture for a variety of reasons.

First, Suleimani understood the American forces in West Asia all too-well having worked closely with them both in defeating Taliban and ISIS forces – and Suleimani’s knowledge of the American military’s modus operandi was ‘too close for comfort.’Trump Regime Planning War on Iran Based on Big Lies and Deception?

Second, whether you liked him or hated him, Suleimani was undoubtedly the most formidable commander (regardless of his country of origin) over the past decade in leading and guiding forces in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen – and perhaps other places as well – in defeating salafi jihadis of the Al Qaeda and ISIS types. This fact is not merely some regional Shia hagiography of the man. This is the CIA’s own assessment.

Third, because of his mastery in the battles against and defense from these salafi jihadi forces – routing them out everywhere they may crop up – Suleimani therefore became to be perceived as a threat to complete American hegemony over the world’s most energy-rich region. If a commander from a nation that the US despises the most can accomplish virtually any victory he so desires, plans for US domination of the oil resources and profits in the region, with ‘futures derivatives’ on the stock market on the price of oil in the pipeline, then the risk (of keeping this character in the picture) was deemed to great to Uncle Sam’s policy of ‘what we say goes’ here and everywhere.

And fourth and relatedly, if it is true that the Iraqi Prime Minister had received messages from the Saudis about wanting to open up diplomatic channels with Tehran, since even MBS realized by now that he is not invincible and may even be dispensable for the Americans – then this same zealous faction of Pompeo-led neocon fanatics of the Deep State perceived this to be the absolute anathema to all of their designs over the region. In fact, it was precisely the prestige and influence of Suleimani that was needed by both the Iraqis and Saudis to make any such talks meaningful and substantive. The insane levels of contempt demonstrated toward Iran by this neo-con faction is not without any merit, I suppose. It is not Iran’s human rights abuses or theocratic rule that bothers them. What irks hawkish planners in DC is Iran’s independence and assertion of its own sovereignty since 1979, not playing the game like they should be like the surrounding quisling client regimes of the American empire.

Nevertheless, the devil here is most certainly in the details – because the details reveal plenty. So Gen. Suleimani, who for all effective purposes was considered to be the second highest/most respected government official in Iran, was assassinated by a drone attack by the US in a so-called ‘partner country’ (Iraq) at the Baghdad airport, along with a senior Iraqi commander as well. Let us be clear: these are not paramilitary or militia leaders subject to an American targeted assassination program. These are senior government officials.

In an interview with one of the world’s most highly respected scholars of international law, and a world-renowned public intellectual for peace and justice, Richard Falk notes that no matter how incredibly dangerous moments sometimes reached during the Cold War, it was utterly unimaginable that the US (or the USSR) would directly, themselves, assassinate a senior serving government official of the other nation. Proxy wars would be fought between the two from Afghanistan to Southern Africa, but such a flagrant act, if done by the US to the USSR, for example, would probably have precipitated a nuclear response. That is how unthinkable it was to do such a blatantly unlawful act of, basically, international terrorism directed toward government officials.

To my knowledge, such were the tactics of the anarchists of the late 19th and early 20th century who had their own justifiable reasons for targeting certain oppressive rulers, czars, and state torturers. But of course, with regard to states and their behavior, we have something called the United Nations as well numerous treaties and conventions of which the US is a signatory – but is now catching up with Israel in casually and routinely violating both international and US domestic law on at least a weekly basis. In fact, it’s become so evident that the US has degenerated into a lawless, rogue state that even the normally docile Congress is finally saying wait a minute, the President will need our authorization before he undertakes such an illegal international assassination again, and may even have the courage to play its constitutional role in declaring war first before allowing the executive branch to execute it.

And so what makes this whole dangerous psycho-drama even more interesting is the Iranian response to this unprecedented dastardly act against a government servant revered in his country and beyond – at the very least for fighting off salafi jihadis trying to infiltrate every country in the region. Tehran said it would respond, it informed Baghdad about what it would do, and then did it.

Iranian ballistic missiles targeted  Western-based military bases in Iraq to make three points:

a) we don’t have to target the bases right on our border, our missiles can go way further than that;

b) let’s see how great those missile defense systems of the Americans are, which were unable to intercept a single one of the ballistic missiles even though the Pentagon admits that it knew this was being planned; and

c) unlike arrogant hegemonic powers who could care less about ‘collateral damage,’ our assault was a symbolic one to just send a message, not to harm or injure a soul.

Can anyone recall when is the last time a country harmed or bombed in some capacity by the US had the will power to respond in this way outside of the context of full-scale war? Twenty-four Pakistani soldiers were killed in the Salala massacre, Pakistan being a so-called ‘non-NATO ally’ – and the US even refused to issue an apology, causing the US ambassador to Pakistan to, in principle, resign. Pakistan is a country of 220 million with nuclear weapons and a military that dwarfs Iran’s. But we could not even imagine even ‘returning the favor’ – even symbolically. Our constant mantra is that ‘we’ll be bombed to the stone age’ for any independence and self-respect we demonstrate.

For DC think tankers, chicken hawks, and their stooges across the Global South, the fact that the longest war in US history against one of the poorest countries in the world could not even be won, forget about the mess created in the Middle East with American actions only leading to the strengthening of new players on the bloc, such as Iran, Russia, and China – the fact that Iran had the audacity to retaliate like this should all speak for itself.

Rather, even more significant is President Trump’s speech the next day after the Iranian ballistic missile attacks. After blabbering for around seven minutes about how Iran is so horrible and that the US has big and tall weapons, during the last 1-2 minutes, he goes on to say that the US and Iran have a lot in common in fighting ISIS, should cooperate on various fronts, and that the US desires peace. If Trump goes, we will certainly miss these schizophrenic comedy acts!

It was clear that the dominant factions of the Deep State and their Wall Street friends conveyed the message loud and clear: Pompeo, please move to the side, and we will take over now. And now Trump will listen to them and tell Pompeo to take a break and go play some golf. The dominant factions of the Deep State realize that the neocon games of setting fire to the Middle East, and especially unleashing full Iranian and Iranian-backed force throughout the region, not to mention its utter and unshakeable control over the Strait of Hormuz, will wreck the global economy within a matter of days.

The second chance given to the neo-cons to try to pull off a ‘re-mapping’ of the Middle East has failed. The American empire is slipping and fading away, slowly and gradually but surely. If you give the war hawks a third chance, that decline won’t be so gradual. The American Deep State, with any of the sensible generals and politicos within it, have to make a decision whether their imperial landing (ending) will be a soft one or a hard one.

Posted in USA0 Comments

ISIS and the Nazi regime Praise Trump’s Assassination of Iranian Top General Soleimani

ISIS and Israel Praise Trump’s Assassination of Iranian Top General Soleimani

By Sarah Abed

Global Research,

Ten days have passed since US President Donald J. Trump ordered the assassination of Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force (IRCG) Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Soleimani had just arrived at Baghdad International airport from Damascus at the invitation of Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi for a declared diplomatic peace mission to lessen tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. 

The White House was provided with important details from Israeli intelligence and carried out the airstrike without congressional support or knowledge and without providing a shred of evidence that Soleimani was planning attacks on American’s and US embassies.

The lie that was told to the American public (and by extension the world) by the Trump administration is that Soleimani was an imminent threat and was planning terror missions targeting American’s, US soldiers, and US embassies, and in order to thwart his plans the US had to act quickly and assassinate Iran’s top military official.  During President Trump’s speech to the nation on Wednesday he accused Soleimani of directing recent attacks against US personnel in Iraq which injured four and killed one American.

In an interview with Fox News that aired on Thursday, Pompeo said

“There is no doubt that there were a series of imminent attacks that were being plotted by Qassem Soleimani,”

He went on to say,

“we don’t know precisely when, and we don’t know precisely where, but it was real.”

Maybe it’s just me, but without having any specifics whatsoever Pompeo’s statements do not make Soleimani sound like a “real” threat, if anything this solidifies the notion that the White House used a lie that lacks any evidential backing to bring us inches away from war with a nuclear regional power.

Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi called the assassination of Soleimani and al-Muhandis an act of aggression against Iraq and the Iraqi people, and a flagrant violation of Iraqi sovereignty, and stated it was a dangerous escalation. Since then US troops have been asked to leave Iraq but the request has fallen on deaf ears. Iraq does not want to become a battlefield for war between the United States and Iran.Trump Reviewing Target Lists as Iran War Threat Mounts

Lt. General Soleimani was an instrumental figure in the fight against Daesh in Syria and Iraq and saved countless Christian and Muslim lives by thwarting missions that put their civilian lives in danger. However, as is the case in many of Washington’s manufactured pretexts used to justify unwarranted wars and invasions, heroes are vilified and terrorists (along with their sponsors) are revered.

It’s particularly interesting to see ISIS, Israel, and the United States on the same side when it comes to Soleimani’s death. A weekly ISIS newspaper called al-Naba praised the assassination and called it “divine intervention” “an act of God” and stated that Soleimani’s death will assist their efforts to regroup in Iraq. It’s blatantly obvious that ISIS saw him as a deterrent while Washington painted him to be the “number one terrorist”. This further illustrates how Washington’s alleged “war on terror” is nothing more than an excuse to invade countries and control their natural resources all while bolding Israel.

The United States has essentially been at war with Iran since the US-backed Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi was overthrown in 1979 and has engaged in acts of war against Iran through economic sanctions and other means throughout the years.

In 2018, President Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and reinstated crippling sanctions under its maximum pressure campaign. After waiting a year for the United States to come back to the nuclear deal or negotiate new terms, or at the bare minimum for the European nations that are signatories on the deal to offer sanctions relief to no avail, Iran started scaling back its commitments under the nuclear deal every sixty days.

Clearly the current administration does not intend to come back to the JCPOA, nor do they intend on lifting harsh sanctions, nor do they want to negotiate changes to the existing deal or propose a new nuclear deal till the JCPOA expires.

In response to Soleimani’s assassination, Iran fired 15 ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases which housed not only Iraqi but US soldiers as well, one military base was specifically targeted because that’s where the attack against Soleimani was initiated. US officials and Pentagon officials believe that Iran deliberately avoided incurring any loss of life. Iran’s intention was not to kill American’s but instead to show its target accuracy, and Washington’s inability to protect their bases and that US defense and interception systems are not as effective as they boast, also that Iran is willing to take measured and calculated retaliation when it deems necessary.

De-escalation soon followed with neither side interested in further military action, President Trump opted for more harsh sanctions and called for NATO to step up their involvement in the region.

Iran has claimed responsibility for the tragic unintentional downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane which took the lives of 176 civilians aboard. A series of unfortunate events led to this grave human error which was due to heightened tensions between the United States and Iran.

Since this admission, protestors have taken to the streets to demand that President Hassan Rouhani step down, without delay President Trump and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu publicly stated their support for the protestors.

Washington and Tel Aviv’s ultimate goal remains regime change, whether it’s done internally or externally, ousting the current Iranian administration and installing a puppet leader is of top priority. Iran wants to limit US presence in the region and stands in the way of US expansion, hegemony, and control of resources. Iran’s opposition to the Israeli occupation of Palestine is another reason why the US has incessantly vilified Iran on the global stage and labelled them as their number one enemy.

Posted in Middle East, USA, ZIO-NAZI, Iran, Iraq0 Comments

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