Anti-imperialism between the NATO and Russia

NOVANEWS

 

We say that we have to get rid of the NATO scourge that we have been in for 65 years but the government is adding the Russia scourge. Yusuf KARATAS The agreement that has long been debated on the purchase of S400 air defence batteries from Russia has been officially announced. According to Russian and Turkish officials’ explanation, Russia’s shipments to Turkey in exchange for $ 2.5 billion for selling the four S-400 batteries will be held in 2020.

The purchase of the S-400s has been presented as an antiimperialist victory, as evidence of the indigenous and national power of the government. Well, is it really like that? Let’s take a closer look at the agreement to find the answer to this question. Turkey wanted to be given the electronic code of the S-400 system that she will purchase. Russia rejected this request. So the installation and maintenance of this defence system will be done by the Russians. It is not just that.

The batteries that will be installed in Turkey will function according to the radar that will be established and controlled by the Russians. Therefore these defence systems cannot be used against the places/countries where Russian radars are not coded as threats. What a great victory, is not it? We are giving Russia a ‘base’ with the hand of the government in exchange for 2.5 billion dollars! There is more than that. It is well-known that Turkey is a NATO member country.

It even sent Turkish troops to war in Korea that it even couldn’t have shown the location of it on a map in 1950 to become a member of NATO, a military alliance that led by the US and western imperialists formed against the Soviets, but then proven that Turkey, in 1952, was a NATO member. Today, including İncirlik and İzmir air bases in Turkey, Konya Main Jet Base Command, NATO has 28 bases and all the equipment modernization and defence systems of the Turkish army have been dependent on NATO (mainly the US) since 1952. That is to say, Turkey, which is the southernmost member of NATO functions as an ‘outpost’ for NATO.

After the collapse of the Soviets, NATO’s “threat” assessment has changed over time, especially with respect to US priorities. So, which country or whom do you think is the biggest threat for NATO today? According to NATO’s “Warsaw Summit” in July 2016, “the most important threat” is Russia! In fact, in this summit, where Turkey was represented by a delegation led by President Erdoğan, the decision that NATO to place AWACS early warning system had already been made in order to monitor Russia’s activities in Syria. Another question is that “What happened back then that Turkey became close enough to Russia, which was declared as the “biggest threat” at the NATO summit, in order to buy defence system from?”

To answer this question, it is necessary to look at the events at the region (Middle East-especially Syria) in the last two years. In September 2015, Russia’s active intervention in Syria provided substantial liquidation of jihadist groups supported by Turkey and Saudi Arabia and enabled the Syrian regime to breathe in that period. At the same time, the US took steps to increase its business alliance with the Kurds (SDG-Syrian Democratic Forces) since there was no other power to support its effectiveness in Syria. However, when the love of overthrowing Assad became a dream, to destroy the Kurds’ achievements in Syria became a question of existence and non-existence for Erdoğan’s power to pursue a policy of liquidation inside.

Nevertheless, the efforts of Erdoğan’s power to persuade the United States (especially for the Rakka operation) were inconclusive. It is exactly one month after the NATO summit in July 2016, in which Russia was declared as the biggest threat, Russia gave permission to Turkey’s Euphrates Shield operation to prevent the merging of Kurdish cantons in Syria (Kobane and Afrin). Russia used Turkey’s Kurdish sensitivity to make it away from NATO-US axis and to attract it to its side. Erdoğan embraced Putin, helplessly. And after Astana summit, and the removal of the jihadists from Aleppo, ‘observer’ mission in İdlib was given to Turkey.

Finally, this cooperation was moved to a new dimension with the S-400 agreement. To sum up, the situation is this: Turkey is a NATO member. NATO sees Russia as the biggest threat. However, Turkey, whose all the defence system is dependent on NATO, is buying a new defence system from Russia (SR-400). But it leaves the control of this defensive system to Russia. And NATO is opposed to the S-400 because it is not compatible with its own system. When we say that we have to get rid of the NATO scourge that we have been in for 65 years, the government is bringing the Russia scourge which is NATO’s biggest rival. It makes the country a playground for these two imperialist powers.

Thus, the anti-imperialism and nationalism of the powers that have created itself with the cooperation of imperialism up to now are only to approach another imperialist from the previous one. As a final word: to get rid of the imperialists and become a truly independent and democratic country, first of all, we need to get rid of the powers whose horizon does not go beyond cooperation!

Posted in USA, Europe, Russia0 Comments

Activists Demand Nazi regime Release Ahed Tamimi

Human rights defenders rally for Ahed Tamimi in Washington, DC’s Union Station. [Staff Photo Phil Pasquini]


Some 50 human rights defenders rallied inside Washington, DC’s Union Station during the Jan. 10 evening commute, calling on Israel to release Ahed Tamimi and all Palestinian children from Israeli prisons and detention centers. At least 400 Palestinian children are presently being held in Israeli jails. Often arrested during the night, no family member is allowed to even speak to the child—who, once in custody, often is subjected to physical, psychological and verbal abuse and humiliation.

Tamimi was arrested in her home in Nabi Saleh in a pre-dawn raid on Dec. 19. The previous day, a video of the 16-year-old slapping an Israeli soldier outside her home, following the point-blank shooting of her 14-year-old cousin in the face by Israeli soldiers, went viral on the Internet.

Chanting “Free, Free Palestine,” “We want justice for Ahed” and “Not another nickel, not another dime—No more money for Israel’s crimes,” many activists held signs reading “Free Ahed” and “Stop the Show Trial.”

An array of groups sponsored the event, including Code Pink, Jewish Voice for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine, American Friends Service Committee, U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights and Veterans for Peace.

—Elaine Pasquini

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Human rights defenders rally for Ahed Tamimi in Washington, DC’s Union Station. [Staff Photo Phil Pasquini]

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Human rights defenders rally for Ahed Tamimi in Washington, DC’s Union Station. [Staff Photo Phil Pasquini].

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Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

Trump is Determined to Provoke War ‘VIDEO’

NOVANEWS
David Cay Johnston: Trump is Determined to Provoke War to Draw Focus from Racist & Erratic Behavior

The New York Times reports that the Pentagon is proposing widening the permissible use of nuclear weapons to include responding to cyberattacks and other non-nuclear attacks to U.S. infrastructure. The Pentagon has already outlined this expanded nuclear strategy in a draft document sent to President Trump for approval. It comes amid a series of moves by the Pentagon and President Trump that have escalated the threat of nuclear war. The Wall Street Journal reports the Pentagon is planning to develop two new sea-based nuclear weapons. The New York Times also reports the Pentagon is conducting a series of war games to prepare for a potential war with North Korea. DN! speaks to Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, who has been covering Donald Trump for nearly 30 years. His latest book is just out, titled “It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America.”

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Why tobacco is legal, but cannabis is not?

NOVANEWS

NOAM CHOMSKY HAS A THEORY
CANNABIS IS THE “SOLAR ENERGY” OF PLANTS

In the 1700s, cannabis and tobacco were both regularly grown crops.

In the 1800s, the same.

In the earliest part of the 1900s, the same.

Cannabis was to use to make rope and clothe and a new method for making it into paper was invented. It was also used – in tincture form, not smoked – as a medicine.

And then, after Prohibition was repealed, it was made illegal and became the biggest make-work program for cops and prison guards imaginable.

Posted in USA, Health0 Comments

Syria’s Kurdish Led SDF: “Border Force” or “Terror Army”?

The US announced that it will train a 30,000-strong “border force” of the Kurdish-led SDF in Northern Syria in a controversial move that was immediately slammed by Turkey as the creation of a “terror army”. President Erdogan has long been opposed to the establishment of a de-facto Kurdish statelet along his country’s southern border, and the US strategy is playing right into his greatest fears. Speaking to his supporters earlier this week, he bellowed that “a country we call an ally is insisting on forming a terror army on our borders. What can that terror army target but Turkey? Our mission is to strangle it before it’s even born.”

Syrian Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad stated that the US-Kurdish move “is an attempt to divide Syria and prolong the crisis in the country”, and President Assad had previously claimed that Kurdish and other forces who cooperate with the Americans are “traitors”. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters during a large press conference that “this causes serious questions, concerning the maintenance of Syria’s territorial integrity”, though reaffirming that the Kurds are still an integral part of the Syrian nation and will nevertheless be represented in some capacity or another at the upcoming Sochi Summit at the end of the month.

The US is coy about its true intentions in building up a massive force that’s expected to be almost 50% larger than its own Border Patrol at home and deployed along the much geographically smaller area of the Turkish border and the so-called “deconfliction line” with the Syrian Arab Army in the Euphrates River Valley, but some observers are seriously concerned that Washington is trying to transform this anti-terrorist militia into a competent anti-state conventional fighting force, pointing to the large amount of weapons and equipment that they’ve received over the past couple of years. Most alarmingly, however, and in a move that could confirm these suspicions, reports have recently piled in that the US secretly gave MANPAD anti-air missiles to the Kurds, which if true would prove that they’re indeed capable of becoming an anti-state threat, whether to the Syrians, the Turks, or possibly even the Russians.

The Kurdish issue thus risks becoming the first post-Daesh crisis in Syria for this very reason, made all the more urgently important because of Turkey’s threats to eliminate the problem before it matures, and all eyes are on President Erdogan to see if he’ll make a move on the northwestern region of Afrin in the two weeks prior to the upcoming Sochi Summit and inadvertently risk subverting it, which might be exactly what the Americans are trying to tempt him into doing.

Posted in USA, Syria0 Comments

Canada Embraces US War Threats against North Korea. “Epic Fail” of Vancouver Group

NOVANEWS

Yesterday (2017-01-16) Canada hosted a meeting of Foreign Ministers to discuss the situation concerning North Korea and nuclear weapons. What it amounted to was a bunch of U.S. sock puppets gathering to display subservience to the incredible double standards and lies promulgated by the U.S. It should be noted that the 20 invitees were the countries that had militarily supported the UN vote as the U.S. took advantage of a boycott by the USSR and the absence of China in order to start the international part of the war in the first place. Except of course, Russia and China, who also participated in the war, with the latter handing the U.S. one of its largest battlefield defeats in the process, were not invited.

As host of the event, Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland welcomed the participants, and in particular noted the presence of “Rex Tillerson, my friend.” She then laid out the clear parameters of U.S. foreign policy, saying

“No true progress can be made in addressing instability in the Korean peninsula until North Korea commits to changing course and verifiably and irreversibly abandoning all of its weapons of mass destruction.”

Umm, where to start? Perhaps we could start with Libya, who voluntarily gave up their nuclear program and ended up on the hit list of a U.S. created no fly zone. Well sure, they had oil, and Chinese investments, and a plan to create a gold based African currency, but really what we wanted was democracy and freedom – you know, the kind that the al-Qaeda group in eastern Libya were attempting to set up.

Or we could go back to Iraq, where there was no nuclear program, no weapons of mass destruction, no al-Qaeda, no Taliban, nothing to do with 9/11. There was only the lying and conniving of the U.S. as it sought to destroy another ‘regime’ – oh, and oil, and a bit of gold, and again the desire to sell oil not using the U.S. petrodollar.

But maybe one should simply look at the incredible double standard of the U.S. As the only country to ever have used nuclear weapons – unnecessarily as current historians indicate (it was about Russia – oh wait, it still is in the global picture – one of Freeland’s favorite bête noires) – a signatory to the NPT which states,

“Article VI – Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

The U.S. has abrogated that section and others on an ongoing basis, with actions against Iran and Russia, and for Israel, indicating as usual that their word is not worth the ink their names are signed with.

Later she commented,

“We in Canada understand…that it is vital that we come together…to confront aggression. Nowhere in the world do we see the proliferation of weapons and materials of mass destruction on the scale of North Korea’s programs.”

First off, “we” do not understand your perspective, other than as a shill for the U.S. empire. North Korea’s nuclear program is miniscule when compared to that of the U.S., Russia, Israel, Pakistan and India (the latter three are also outside the NPT). The U.S. in particular, under both Obama and Trump, have started a huge process of recalibrating their nuclear forces, the largest sector of the U.S. economy.

Freeland continues,

“We cannot stand by and let this threat persist. At stake are the safety and security of all the people of the world.”

Actually, that is true, but not for Freeland’s intentions. Yes, safety and security are at stake but mainly because of the U.S. known “first strike” nuclear planning, their known tendency to bomb the shit out of countries that don’t obey them (thus they become “shitholes”), and the general ignorance, hubris, arrogance, and lack of critical thought in all U.S. state agencies.

Sorry, I interrupted Ms Freeland,

“As a global community we have shown both by word and in deed that we will not accept North Korea as a nuclear threat to the world.”

Yes, in deed “we” certainly have. The U.S. signed on to the Iranian treaty that puts upon Iran the most stringent inspection terms of any IAEA actions in the world. At the same time Trump threatens to pull out of the treaty every six months which effectively kills any desire for other countries to invest in Iran, thus further limiting their economy. At the same time, old sanctions (an act of war in itself) are not removed, and new ones are imposed and threatened.

Did I mention Iraq and Libya? Yes I think I did.

It is the U.S. posturing, its arrogance, superciliousness, and above all its stated first strike nuclear policy that is the greatest threat to world peace today. The global community – in this case in Vancouver consisting of 20 countries, (admittedly a bit better than the 9 that supported the U.S. on the Jerusalem embassy vote) – has not shown anything by word and deed, but generally has been the victim by word and deed of many, many U.S. imperial actions against those that do not kowtow to their military/industrial/corporate/financial/political complex.

More from Freeland,

“Our message is clear. The pursuit of nuclearization will bring you neither security nor prosperity. Investing in nuclear weapons will lead only to more sanctions and to perpetual instability on the peninsula.”

Once again, all too true for the wrong intentions. That instability is brought about by U.S. interference in the region, aimed not so much at North Korea as at China and Russia. The history of South Korea indicates that prosperity is brought about by killing thousands of one’s own citizens who disagree with whichever U.S. supported dictator is in place at the time, supported by Japanese military functionaries, and then said dictators support the large Korean oligarchs – the chaebols – that control the largest businesses of all kinds in South Korea.

That would be North Korea’s fate if it gives up its nuclear weapons – an imposed dictatorship of some kind after another incredibly cruel and brutal U.S. attack . Having suffered complete devastation by the U.S. air force at the end of the Korean war, and now witnessing current actions against Iraq and Libya, the North Koreans would be well advised to keep their nuclear arsenal.

Canada and the U.S. always invoke the “international community” and “global community” aspects of their wishes and desires, wilfully oblivious to the information that indicates that these communities see the U.S. as the largest threat to world peace today. As the U.S. empire continues to slowly degrade itself to the level of a “shithole” country, Ms Freeland, on Canada’s behalf, is very willing to kiss her “friend’s” ass and take Canada down the hole with them.

Posted in USA, Canada0 Comments

Trump’s “Shithole” Countries: US Bans Haiti, Belize and Samoa From Temporary Visas

NOVANEWS

The decision by Homeland Security was announced less than a week after Trump asked why the U.S. had to take in immigrants from “shithole” countries

The Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday that Belize, Haiti and Samoa will no longer be eligible for temporary work visas. The announcement is scheduled to be published by the Federal Register on Thursday, exactly a week after U.S. President Donald Trump referred to African nations and Haiti as “shithole” countries during an Oval Office meeting on immigration reform.    

During the meeting where the president discussed the status of the roughly 800,000 immigrants who had benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, by shielding them from deportation, which was terminated by his administration, Trump had reportedly questioned why the U.S. needs to take in immigrants from “shithole” countries, rather than from countries like Norway sparking criticism by lawmakers and social and political actors who slammed Trump’s racism and overall immigration policies.

The H-2A and H-2B visas given to seasonal workers in agriculture and other industries are available to citizens of 80 countries. Haiti had been included in that list since 2012, after a successful lobbying campaign by humanitarian groups and both Republican and Democratic lawmakers to make Haiti eligible for short-term worker visas that could help Haitians recover from the catastrophic 2010 earthquake.

DHS’s official notice provides reasons for the elimination of each country. In the case of Belize the notice cites concerns over human trafficking and for Samoa it claims the Samoan government does not cooperate in accepting back their nationals once they’ve been ordered to leave the U.S..

For Haiti, the document claims the measure was taken due to a “high rate of overstaying the terms,” and to recipients’ “historically demonstrated high levels of fraud and abuse.”

DHS’s reason to ban Haitians from the visas does not hold up. According to Reuters, a 2016 DHS report claims that only 65 Haitians entered the United States on H-2A visas for agricultural work, and an amount “too low to report” entered on H-2B visas for non-agricultural seasonal work during the 2016 fiscal year.

This is not the first immigration measure taken by the Trump administration that affects Haitians. In November 2017, the DHS announced its decision to terminate the Temporary Protected Status granted to Haiti under the former President Barack Obama on Jan. 21, 2010 as an immediate response to the Jan. 12 earthquake.

The measure had allowed 59,000 Haitians to stay in the U.S. legally but it will expire this Monday, leaving many Haitian immigrants under threat of deportation.

 

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Breaking – Tillerson Unveils ‘New’ US Syria Plan: ‘Assad Must Go!’

Confirming that the US military presence inside Syria had little to do with fighting ISIS, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson unveiled in detail today the real US strategy for Syria: overthrow of the Assad government. 

In a speech at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and introduced by President George W. Bush’s Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Secretary Tillerson vowed that the United States military would continue to occupy Syrian territory until three conditions are met:

First: ISIS must be destroyed. 

This condition is made all the more problematic by the well-reported fact that it is the United States government that at every turn seems to pull ISIS chestnuts out of the fire. From handing them weapons to allowing them to escape when they are trapped in places like Raqqa, it almost seems like the US does not want to really see the end of ISIS.

Second: Assad must go. 

Tillerson’s admission that this is a sine qua non for any US military departure from Syria confirms that the Trump foreign policy is no different from that of Hillary Clinton or her former boss, President Obama. Recall that as part of his “thank you” tour, President-elect Trump reiterated promises made by candidate Trump to break with the past:

We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments. …In our dealings with other countries we will seek shared interests wherever possible…”

It is clear that he lied, as it is reported that he signed off on this new Syria strategy last month at a meeting of his National Security Council.

Secretary Tillerson said today that new elections should be held in Syria and that President Assad should lose:

The United States believes that free and transparent elections … will result in the permanent departure of Assad and his family from power… Assad’s regime is corrupt, and his methods of governance and economic development have increasingly excluded certain ethnic and religious groups… Such oppression cannot persist forever.

Tillerson’s speech reveals that the old myth about the Syrian people “rising up” to overthrow Assad is still very much viewed as Gospel truth in Washington:

…our expectation is that the desire for a return to normal life … will help rally the Syrian people and individuals within the regime to compel Assad to step down.

Translation: we are going to continue to make life miserable for you until you overthrow Assad. Then it will return to “normal.” Presumably the people of Syria understand what “normal” life after a US “liberation” looks like from examples like LibyaIraq, and Ukraine.

Tillerson also made the bizarre assertion that US troops will remain in Syria to prevent the Syrian government from re-establishing control over the parts of Syria abandoned by a defeated ISIS. So the legitimate government of Syria will be prevented by an illegal United States military occupation from reclaiming its own territory? This is supposed to be a coherent policy?

Third: Refugees must be returned to Syria.

Secretary Tillerson said today at Stanford University:

America has an opportunity to help people who have suffered greatly. The safe and voluntary return of  refugees serves the security interests of the U.S. and our allies and partners. We must give Syrians a chance to return home and rebuild their lives.

But the one event that led to the biggest return of refugees back to Syria was violently opposed by the US government: the Syrian government’s liberation of east Aleppo from al-Qaeda control!

For additional consideration:

The US military is busy creating a 30,000-strong Kurdish militia to reportedly guard Syria’s borders with Turkey and Iraq. NATO-ally Turkey is violently opposing US moves to further arm Kurd groups that it considers terrorist.

The discredited “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) is back in Washington begging the Trump Administration to re-open the CIA weapons pipeline. The FSA is perhaps best known for immediately handing any weapons it gets from Washington directly to al-Qaeda in Syria. Will Trump’s neocon-filled ecosphere convince him to once again put some wind in al-Qaeda’s sails?

Will Congress awake from its slumber and finally dust off the part of the Constitution directing the Legislative Branch to decide on matters of war and peace? It’s probably an ill-advised bet, however there are a few whispers on Capitol Hill that a shift in US military focus from anti-ISIS to anti-Assad and anti-Iran might be slightly problematic.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has just unveiled a 100 percent neocon approved “new” US policy for Syria: No more pussyfooting around. We won’t abandon our project in Syria like Obama “abandoned” Libya (presumably, as the neocon myth goes, on the verge of becoming a new Switzerland after its “liberation” only to be thrust back into the mire by Obama’s premature withdrawal).

President Trump is set to out-neocon the neocons with this foolish and destructive policy. The showman is shown to be nothing but a fraud.

Posted in USA, Syria0 Comments

“Two Channels”, Pentagon and CIA: Don’t Be Fooled, the CIA Was Only “Half the Problem” in Syria

This article first appeared on GR in August 2017.

The news that President Trump has halted the CIA program to arm and train rebel groups in Syria should be viewed with caution, as the CIA program only represented half of US involvement in Syria. Even if we take this information as completely accurate, and the CIA will cease to be involved in any covert programs in Syria, there is still a giant arm of US imperialism that is going to be heavily involved in the Syrian conflict for the foreseeable future; namely, the Pentagon.

The notion that the CIA was the only branch of the US establishment involved in the destabilization of Syria is nonsense. The US has always had two operations running simultaneously in Syria, with one being ran by the CIA, and other being ran by the Pentagon. As Reuters reported in an article in May of this year, titled: Syrian rebels say U.S., allies sending more arms to fend off Iran threat, military aid has been provided through “two separate channels:”

“Rebels said military aid has been boosted through two separate channels: a program backed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), known as the MOC, and regional states including Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and one run by the Pentagon.”

These two programs have often clashed, as was the case last year, when militias armed by the CIA fought against militias armed by the Pentagon.

The Pentagon has been as involved in the disastrous operation to arm and train rebels in Syria as the CIA has, and has contributed heavily to the mess on the ground.

In September 2015 for instance, it was reported that a Pentagon-armed group of rebels – named Division 30 – handed over their weapons to al-Qaeda in Syria, a scenario that was a common outcome from many CIA operations as well. The Pentagon, never shy to blow an obscene amount of taxpayers’ money on imperial matters, has already wasted hundreds of millions of dollars training and arming rebels in Syria, yet Trump only wants to increase the US war budget. 

Trump: The Man of the Military 

Trump’s decision to halt the CIA program was hardly surprising, considering the support Trump has received from large sections of the military. A look at the backgrounds of the individuals that Trump has given cabinet positions reveals Trump’s close relationship with the military.

The Secretary of Homeland Security for instance, John Kelly, is a retired Marine Corps General and former Commander of US Southern Command. Trump’s pick for the Director of the CIA is even more telling, as Mike Pompeo has his roots in the military, graduating from West Point in the 1980s:

“Mr. Pompeo graduated first in his class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1986 and served as a cavalry officer patrolling the Iron Curtain before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He also served with the 2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry in the US Army’s Fourth Infantry Division.”

Undoubtedly, there are many good forces in the US military (as in any other large organization), and there is nothing wrong with having a military background. But equally, there is also many nefarious forces in the military, and the influence of military-industrial complex is pervasive, constantly agitating for more imperial wars.

With this context in mind, it is hardly surprising that Trump favours the Pentagon program over the CIA one, especially considering the power struggle taking place between the CIA and the military within the US. It should be highlighted that Trump has notcompletely halted all US programs to arm and train militias in Syria, he has merely shutdown one channel.

Pentagon Using Kurds to Balkanize Syria 

The Pentagon has been heavily involved in arming Kurdish forces in Syria, using them as a tool to attempt to Balkanize and fracture Syria into micro-states. In May of this year, President Trump approved a plan – supported by many in the Pentagon – to arm the People’s Protection Unit (YPG), a Kurdish militia operating predominantly in northern Syria.

The YPG is also the controlling militia in the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes an array of other militias. In addition to providing arms to the YPG, US special forces have been pictured on the ground in northern Syria working in conjunction with YPG fighters.

When most of the public was distracted by the story of Trump halting the CIA program, footage surfaced showing US armed military vehicles passing through Qamishli – a city in northern Syria on the Turkish border – reportedly on route to Raqqa. The recipients of the vehicles are believed to be either the SDF or US forces directly, who are involved in the battle against ISIS in Raqqa.

If (or when) ISIS is defeated in Raqqa, it will be very interesting to see who ends up controlling the city. It is possible that the Pentagon wants to defeat ISIS in Raqqa, and then hand Raqqa to the Kurds – a scenario that many Kurds would only be too happy with. In March of this year, Saleh Muslim, the co-chair of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) – the political affiliate of the YPG – said that once ISIS is defeated in Raqqa, the city should be incorporated into a Kurdish state in northern Syria. 

The Pentagon’s support for Kurdish forces is clearly part of a strategy to break the northern part of the country away from control of the Syrian government in Damascus. A subservient Kurdish state in northern Syria (which would probably join with Kurdish zones in Iraq and other countries in the future) would allow the US to have a permanent military presence in Syria, and easy access to thenatural resources in the Kurdish region.

The creation of Kurdish state in northern Syria would of course cause a severe breakdown in relations with NATO member Turkey, given the views of the current Turkish leadership that is. Turkey considers the YPG to be an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a group Ankara views as a terrorist organization. Turkey has repeatedly denounced US support for Kurdish groups in Syria, with this being a major source of disagreement between the US and Turkey. It is no coincidence that Turkish state media recently published a list of classified US military bases and outposts in northern Syria, with this information revealing the extent to which the US military is embedded in Kurdish-controlled regions in Syria.

The plan to balkanize Syria is well on its way, and the Pentagon is leading the charge. How Russia positions herself in the coming months will be crucial for the future of Syria. 

Posted in USA, Syria0 Comments

U.S. Creates Kurdish/Terrorist “Border Force” in Syria to Define Borders of Kurdistan

For those that hoped Trump would bring a more sensible approach to the Western-induced Syrian crisis, it is almost for certain that those hopes have been officially dashed with the revelation of the Trump administration’s new policy regarding the SDF, Kurds, a new border force, and the logical partitioning plan that is obviously moving forward.

The new plans announced by the United States involve the creation of a “border force” that is expected to contain around 30,000 personnel to be deployed at the borders controlled by the SDF (Syria Democratic Forces). The force will be trained by the United States and will contain members from the SDF and YPG and will see Kurdish members patrolling “Kurdish areas” while Arab members patrol “Arab areas.”

Naturally, the move has angered Turkey since it is opposed to Kurdish nationalism out of fears that it will inspire Kurdish extremists inside Turkey itself. Russia has also condemned the move claiming that it will lead to partitioning. Syria, for its part, has labeled the Trump administration’s plan as an insult to Syria’s national integrity and appears dedicated to Assad’s promise to liberate every inch of Syrian territory.

As Business Insider reports,

The U.S.-led coalition is working with its Syrian militia allies to set up a new border force of 30,000 personnel, the coalition said on Sunday, a move that has added to Turkish anger over U.S. support for Kurdish-dominated forces in Syria.

A senior Turkish official told Reuters the U.S. training of the new “Border Security Force” is the reason that the U.S. charge d’affaires was summoned in Ankara on Wednesday. The official did not elaborate.

The force, whose inaugural class is currently being trained, will be deployed at the borders of the area controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – an alliance of militias in northern and eastern Syria dominated by the Kurdish YPG.

In an email to Reuters, the coalition’s Public Affairs Office confirmed details of the new force reported by The Defense Post. About half the force will be SDF veterans, and recruiting for the other half is underway, the coalition’s Public Affairs Office said.

The force will deploy along the border with Turkey to the north, the Iraqi border to the southeast, and along the Euphrates River Valley, which broadly acts as the dividing line separating the U.S.-backed SDF and Syrian government forces backed by Iran and Russia.

U.S. support for the SDF has put enormous strain on ties with NATO ally Turkey, which views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – a group that has waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey.

Syria’s main Kurdish groups have emerged as one of the few winners of the Syrian war, and are working to entrench their autonomy over swathes of northern Syria.

Washington opposes those autonomy plans, even as it has backed the SDF, the main partner for the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State in Syria.

The coalition said the BSF would operate under SDF command and around 230 individuals were currently undergoing training in its inaugural class.

“Efforts are taken to ensure individuals serve in areas close to their homes. Therefore, the ethnic composition of the force will be relative to the areas in which they serve.

“More Kurds will serve in the areas in northern Syria. More Arabs will serve in areas along the Euphrates River Valley and along the border with Iraq to the south,” the coalition’s Public Affairs Office said.

“The base of the new force is essentially a realignment of approximately 15,000 members of the SDF to a new mission in the Border Security Force as their actions against ISIS draw to a close,” it said.

“They will be providing border security through professionally securing checkpoints and conducting counter-IED operations,” it said, adding that coalition and SDF forces were still engaging Islamic State pockets in Deir al-Zor province.

Source: Activist Post

The “coalition” has stated that the training was already underway. This has prompted a strong response by Turkey. As ABC Australia reports,

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said the US was “playing with fire” by setting a force that would include Kurdish militia.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Washington “is taking worrying steps to legitimise this organisation [YPG] and make it lasting in the region”.

“It is absolutely not possible for this to be accepted,” he said, adding that Turkey “will continue its fight against any terrorist organisation regardless of its name and shape within and outside its borders”.

US support for the SDF has put enormous strain on ties with NATO ally Turkey, which views YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) — a group that has waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey and is considered a terrorist group by the European Union, Turkey and the United States.

Turkey has criticised the US for arming YPG and Arab fighters in the SDF, which drove Islamic State (IS) out of Raqqa and other parts of Syria.

“The US sent 4,900 trucks of weapons in Syria. We know this. This is not what allies do,” Mr Erdogan said.

“We know they sent 2,000 planes full of weapons.”

‘We will tear them down’

Mr Erdogan on Saturday said Turkish forces in Syria would “vanquish” Kurdish militia that control the neighbouring region of Afrin, putting Turkey at odds with US-backed forces.

“God willing, in the coming days, we will continue the operation to purge our southern border from terror,” he said in a speech in the eastern Turkish city of Elazig.

Turkish troops entered Idlib three months ago after an agreement with Russia and Iran for the three countries to try to reduce fighting between pro-Syrian government forces and rebel fighters in the largest remaining insurgent-held part of Syria.

But now they have turned their sights on the neighbouring Kurdish-controlled region of Afrin.

“If the terrorists in Afrin don’t surrender we will tear them down,” Mr Erdogan said.

Rojhat Roj, the YPG spokesman in Afrin, said Turkish forces stationed in Syria shelled several Kurdish villages in the Afrin region on Saturday, without causing casualties.

“From our side, there is no shelling at present,” he added.

Mr Erdogan has said the Kurdish YPG militia is trying to establish a “terror corridor” on Turkey’s southern border, linking Afrin with a large Kurdish-controlled area to the east.

In 2016 Turkey launched its Euphrates Shield military offensive in northern Syria to push back IS from the border and drive a wedge between the Kurdish-controlled regions.

“With the Euphrates Shield operation we cut the terror corridor right in the middle; we hit them one night suddenly,” Mr Erdogan said.

“With the Idlib operation, we are collapsing the western wing,” he said, in reference to Afrin.

The traditional borders of Kurdistan extend from Syria, through Turkey, Iraq and Iran.

Turkey fear Kurdish independence in Syria could spark a new push for independence among ethnic Kurds in Turkey.

Mr Erdogan said Turkey expected support and “strategic cooperation” from the US in their “legitimate efforts” in Syria.

“Despite it all, we believe we have common interests with America in the region and hope we can act in concert,” Mr Erdogan said.

“We expect our friends to display an attitude that befits them in this issue of survival that is so sensitive and so critical for our country.

“During the Afrin operation, I hope these powers will not give rise to error by appearing on the same side as the terror organisation.”

It is, of course, ironic that Erdogan would mention a “terror corridor” as reason for his military operations in Syria since it was initially Turkey who operated the “terror corridor” known as the “Jarablus corridor” that saw ISIS fighters trained in Jordan by the U.S. and NATO pouring into Syria along with foreign terrorists belonging to fighting units of various names (but all extremists, essentially ISIS fighters). Many writers such as myself stated early on that Erdogan was, at best, making a huge strategic mistake in encouraging the destruction of Syria since such a move was likely to stir up Kurdish nationalist sentiment both outside and inside Turkey. Now that Erdogan has risked the stability of his own country on pipe dreams of being the next Ottoman Empire, he is worried that the cards he played on his reckless gamble are not going to pay off. Make no mistake, Turkey is not interested in righting its wrongs but in expanding its territory, defending against the Kurds, and continuing to push an Islamist overthrow of the Syrian government. It’s closer partnership with Russia came only as Erdogan came to understand that the U.S. and its “coalition” had very little concern with the overall aspirations of Turkey.

Russia also condemned the plans. ABC, again, reports,

Chairman of the Defence Committee of Russia’s State Duma Vladimir Shamanov told local media Russia would undertake measures as a response to the US-led coalition’s decision to create the “so-called Border Security Force”.

He said the move “stands in direct confrontation” with Russian interests, and they would take measures to stabilise Syria.

The Syrian government stated that the new American-organized force “represents a blatant assault” on Syrian sovereignty and has referred to the US as an illegal occupying force. It also referred to members of the SDF and new American “border force” as “traitors.”

What is becoming more and more clear is that the United States, GCC, Israel, and NATO have determined that the feasibility of destroying the Syrian government in the same manner as in Libya is becoming less and less plausible by the day. Plan B, however, is the partitioning and the “Federalization” of Syria into several independent countries or one country with several “autonomous” zones headed by a weakened central government incapable of maintaining power and steering the ship of state.

The move to create a “border force” is nothing more than an attempt to solidify the borders of “Kurdistan” in Syria and a possible “Sunnistan” in the east. These plans are not reasonable solutions to a crisis, they are imperialism pure and simple and they have existed for decades. Not only Syria’s allies but the American people must oppose this plan as well.

Posted in USA, Syria0 Comments

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