Stop! Decency demands we smoke out the real perpetrators of war crimes against Aleppo and Gaza

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By Stuart Littlewood 

As Western outrage erupts over the relentless destruction of Aleppo and its people, why is there no similar clamour for a halt to the more prolonged pulverising of Gaza and the continuing slaughter of civilians there?

The UK’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, said the other day:

“Russia’s actions in recent weeks have exposed just how hollow Russia’s commitment to the political process is. Today we have seen that commitment for what it really is; a sham….

“I echo the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury who described the destruction of Aleppo as the absolute contempt for the human spirit, for the dignity of the human being…. There can be no military justification for aerial attacks that indiscriminately hit civilians, and their homes and their hospitals.”

Aleppo or Gaza: what’s the difference?

A few days later we were treated to the spectacle of our recently-appointed Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson calling for anti-war protesters to demonstrate outside the Russian embassy in London. Russia, he said, risks becoming a pariah nation and should be investigated for war crimes in Aleppo. He predicted those responsible for war crimes in Syria would eventually face charges before the international criminal court.

Johnson was speaking in a Commons debate in which he apparently rejected the idea of a no-fly zone, warning that we might have to confront and perhaps shoot down Russian and Syrian planes or helicopters that violate the zone. In other words: go to war. “We need to think very carefully about the consequences.” Too right, Boris. All the same, he’s looking at “kintetic” options such as military action as well as intensifying sanctions against the Assad regime and Russia. Perhaps he has forgotten how the last proposal for air strikes in Syria, in 2013, was thrown out by the Westminster Parliament.

One is immediately prompted to ask why Boris Johnson busies himself accusing Russia of war crimes and drumming up demos outside its embassy while remaining stoically silent about the diabolical crimes of top pariah state Israel. Shouldn’t he be at least evenhanded in his criticism of regimes that repeatedly violate all decent norms of human behaviour?

Why won’t Boris go “kinetic” over Gaza?

Israel and its terrorist founders have been slaughtering and robbing the Palestinian people for nearly 70 years. The Tel Aviv regime continues to illegally occupy Palestinian territory and keep its defenceless citizens bottled up in the shredded left-overs of their homeland, and even commits murder and piracy on the high seas to prevent visitors reaching them. Yet we’ve seen no NATO ships or warplanes off the Gaza coast, no no-fly zones imposed over the still-occupied Holy Land, no boots on the ground, and no arms or military advisers for the Palestinian resistance. In fact, nothing that could be described by Boris as “kinetic”.

Israel, whose “absolute contempt for the human spirit” is extremely profitable, simply doesn’t attract the same high-level indignation. So the evil regime’s demolition of thousands of Palestinian homes for so-called administrative and planning reasons, its wholesale destruction of businesses and infrastructure, its excessive violence against non-combatants, its abductions, imprisonments and assassinations, and especially its programme of blitzkriegs on Gaza slaughtering thousands including many hundreds of children, and reducing the place to rubble… they all go unpunished. None of these crimes can be justified on grounds of defence or security. And in the Palestinians’ case they have nowhere to run. They cannot escape. To the best of my knowledge Boris Johnson has never called for those responsible to be brought before the ICC. He hasn’t even threatened sanctions.

Nor is he likely to. For he’s a “very outspoken friend of Israel” according to former ambassador to London Daniel Taub. Yessir, “he is a very enthusiastic supporter, and his relationship with Israel goes back a long way”. Taub also says Johnson’s enthusiasm is such that “he jumped on our idea of an Israeli cultural festival in London, and thanks to his backing it will be happening next year”. We all know how eagerly Britain’s Foreign Office supports the EU-Israel Association Agreement despite Israel’s blatant violation of its key conditions from the very start.

On his visit to Israel last November some Palestinian groups refused to meet Boris after he dismissed British supporters of BDS (that’s the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement) as “lefty academics who have no real standing in the matter and I think are unlikely to be influential… ” BDS is civil society’s non-violent response not just to the international community’s inaction but the major powers’ perverse habit of rewarding Israel for its crimes. Boris said he couldn’t think of “anything more foolish” than to boycott Israel, which he described as “the only democracy in the region, the only place that has in my view a pluralist open society.”

So amusing. But if the boycotts are foolish and ineffectual, as Boris claims, why so many frantic efforts around the world to have BDS outlawed?

Let’s face it. Boris Johnson is a very senior member of the Conservative Party in which 80% of MPs, it is said, are signed-up Friends of Israel. As PM Theresa May recently proclaimed, “the Conservative Party would not be the Conservative Party without CFI [Conservative Friends of Israel].” They wax lyrical about the odious foreign power whose flag they wave in Parliament, as do their fellow stooges in Washington. The insane focus on regime-change in Syria is primarily for the benefit of Israeli expansionism, and the army of highly-placed useful idiots have their orders.

By being part of this grotesque admiration society, and one of Israel’s keenest rewarders, Boris has become the buffoon he always pretended to be. And nudging us towards a second cold war with Russia just to tick another box for Israel’s grisly ambition confirms him as dangerous as well as daft.

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Academic freedom? Thought police come for Prof. Anthony Hall, suspended under Zionist lobby pressure


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Professor Anthony Hall

Investigative reports: Live interview with native American history Professor Anthony Hall who’s been suspended without pay from Lethbridge University in Alberta, Canada targeted by the Israel lobby because somebody shared an anti-Jewish post to his Facebook page.

Professor Anthony Hall from a recent talk: Is War Really A Remedy For Terror? We are lied to by media – 9/11; Native American genocide. Anthony Hall discusses his suspension from University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada – for linking 9/11 attacks to Israelis and Neo-Cons – and the smear done by ‘Canary Mission’ – his outlets – False Flag Weekly News – American Herald Tribune 


Andrea Amelinckx, president of the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association, said the school’s suspension without pay of Anthony Hall, a tenured professor, may have been premature.

“The president’s [Michael Mahon] action violates provincial law and contravenes the university’s contract with its faculty, which provides a process for investigating complaints, such as those alleged against professor Hall, in a fair, speedy, and thorough fashion,” Amelinckx said in a statement Tuesday.

University officials announced the following day the school was suspending Hall without pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation into possible violations of the Human Rights Act.

Amelinckx is calling for quick action on the part of the school.

“We call on the board of governors of the University of Lethbridge to ensure that the allegations that have been made against professor Hall are investigated with the speed and thoroughness they deserve using the legal and contractual procedures already in place in the Post-Secondary Learning Act and the contract with the faculty association,” she said.

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What Police Videos Teach Us About Wars

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By David Swanson

Before people had an easy way to see video footage of police murders, headlines crediting the police with just and noble actions couldn’t be effectively questioned.

We’re still back there in the dark ages when it comes to war murders, but we can overcome the lack of quickly shared videos if we choose to. When the headlines celebrate some sort of “victory” in Mosul or anywhere else, we can point out that the videos of people being blown up in their houses would be truly horrific if we had them. This is not, after all, a point on which there can actually be any question.

The police who murder innocents say they serve a grander purpose of maintaining law and order. Watching the videos of what they do eliminates all possibility of taking that seriously.

The war makers say they serve a grander purpose of . . . well, it depends; sometimes it’s also law and order, other times spreading democracy, other times weapons elimination, other times simply revenge. Imagining the videos we aren’t seeing should help us understand why these justifications do not hold up.

The U.S. has, in recent years, bombed Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. None of them is safer, less armed, more democratic, more peaceful, more prosperous, or less of a threat to others. Quite the contrary. “Defeating” ISIS by bombing people will fuel more suffering and violence, just as “defeating” the government of Saddam Hussein fueled ISIS.

Picture a woman in Mosul who lacks permission to go outside without a male guardian. Now picture that woman’s roof collapsing on her and her children with a thunderous crash and a cloud of dust. Is she better off? Do those who love her appreciate her “liberation”? Would the video be allowed on U.S. media outlets unless we shared it on social media as many times as we do a police video?

“One unfortunate incident.” “Collateral damage.” “A few bad apples.”

No. Police murder routinely and with immunity. Wars murder extensively, immorally, counterproductively, and illegally with immunity. There can be good policing. But there cannot be good war making. It’s all illegal under the U.N. Charter and the Kellogg-Briand Pact. The war on terrorism has been increasing terrorism for years. The U.S. government itself admits it has no idea who most of the people are that it murders with drones.

“So you’re on the side of the criminals.” “You must love ISIS.” “Putin LOVER!”

In fact, this childish retort is more common on the question of war and, tragically, is sometimes fueled by a grain of truth. Even so-called peace groups have fallen for the “pick a side” routine on Syria for years. I know people opposed to U.S. war-making in Syria but not to the U.S. providing weapons to others. I know people opposed to both of those things but not to Syrian government war-making with help from Russia and others. I know people opposed to Syrian and Russian war-making but not to anything directed at overthrowing the Syrian government. I know people in favor of war against ISIS but not against Syria. I know people in favor of any war making armed and funded by Saudi Arabia or Qatar or Turkey but not by the United States or Russia. I could list 18 more variations, all from people claiming — as does the Pentagon — to favor peace.

I oppose war in the way I oppose dueling or blood feuds, not by supporting one side. I oppose the U.S.-led arming of Western Asia the way I oppose pushing heroin in poor neighborhoods, not by wanting particular people to get it all. I oppose murder by police or soldiers in the way that I oppose capital punishment — that is: not because videos make my social media browsing unpleasant, but because people’s lives are being taken.

It’s time we put an end to war as if we could see it.

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US climbs down on Syria

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By M K Bhadrakumar

The Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interview with the French TV this week almost entirely dwelt on the Syrian situation – fighting in Aleppo, in particular. Putin was frank about the US’ doublespeak – especially, its covert dealings with Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, and the calculated hour-long attack by US jets on a Syrian military base two weeks ago in tandem with ground operations by Islamic State fighters. The interview is an eye-opener. (Transcript)

Given the complete breakdown of trust in Russian-American dealings on Syria at the diplomatic and political level, it is hard to see what purpose would be served in the FM-level meeting being scheduled in Lausanne on Saturday, involving Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Russia and the US. (Middle East Eye )

Perhaps, one ray of hope could be that the UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura’s formula that the rebel fighters, including those belonging to Nusra, be allowed safe passage to evacuate from Aleppo with their weapons so that the fighting can somehow be brought to an early end. Russia favors the idea and it seems Turkey is on board, too. Moscow has taken Tehran’s okay as well. If Mistura’s formula takes wings, there could be ceasefire in Aleppo.

But the broad thrust of the Russian-Iranian-Syrian campaign cannot conceivably be anything short of taking control of Aleppo. The one factor that goes in favour of some positive tiding coming out of Saturday’s meeting is that the Obama administration has run out of options on Syria and Washington is under compulsion to be seen as ‘proactive’ on Syria. (Times )

The control of the Syrian air space by Russia means that any military intervention may risk confrontation with Russia. Besides, US-Turkey relations too are on a roller coaster and without Turkey’s cooperation, Americans can’t go very far on Syria. On Wednesday, President Recep Erdogan warned Washington that Turkey will “resort to very serious steps” if the Obama administration drags its feet on the extradition of the Islamic cleric Fetullah Gulen. (Sputnik )

The following excerpts of an Iranian commentary (Fars news agency) bring out the US’ predicament:

  • US officials are terrified to see eastern Aleppo fall into the hands of Syrian armed forces. They are furious about the allied forces of Iran, Syria, Russia and Hezbollah hitting its so-called “moderate rebels,” who are heavily armed and backed by the Pentagon… who have long been working with Al-Nusra and ISIL, shared their western arms supplies with these two groups and staged joint military operations with them everywhere in Aleppo, and every day you see one of them declares formal allegiance to either Al-Nusra or ISIL; the last one was Jund Al-Aqsa half of whom joined Al-Nusra on Sunday and the rest arrived in Raqqa on Wednesday to join the ISIL. The only way to stop the crushing defeat of its terrorists at the hands of the Syrian army and its allies is for Washington to establish a no-fly zone, which they cannot.

Clearly, the threats by US Secretary of State John Kerry to put Russia and Syria on trial for ‘war crimes’ and to impose fresh sanctions against Moscow over the Aleppo fighting, etc. – and, least of all, the veiled threat that US may have a ‘Plan B’ – are turning out to be bluster. With Russia’s decision to establish a full-fledged naval base at Tartus and a “permanent deployment” of Russian air force in the Hmeimin air base, it becomes a high-risk venture for the US to challenge Russian supremacy in Syria. Moscow’s politico-military objective in the 2-3 months that lie ahead will be to forestall even an interventionist US president such as Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, the realignments in regional politics also strengthen Russia’s position. Egypt’s decision to join hands with China and Venezuela to support the Russian resolution on Aleppo at the UN Security Council in the weekend – and, more important, to oppose the French resolution demanding end to air attacks on Aleppo (which Moscow vetoed) – has strained Egypt-Saudi Arabia relations. Since the vote, the Aramco, government-owned Saudi oil company, suspended oil aid to Egypt. The Saudi ambassador to Egypt left Cairo on Wednesday for consultations in Riyadh, prompting speculation about chill in Saudi-Egyptian ties. Russia is due to hold its first-ever military exercise on Egyptian territory next week.

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Only In The World Of American Media Is Syria A Civil War

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By Brandon Turbeville 

To the vast majority of Americans, the Syrian crisis (as well as the state of affairs in Iraq, Libya, Yemen, etc.) is merely a distant blip on a cluttered radar screen. Competing with issues affecting an individual’s daily life like wages, taxes, and free trade, that small portion of the American population who hasn’t completely zoned out of the political and current-events sphere is increasingly overtaken with the necessities of survival. Those who are able to devote enough time to the Syrian crisis are confronted with an unprecedented onslaught of propaganda demonizing the Syrian government and the Syrian president as “killing his own people,” “brutal,” and “genocidal.” The Syrian people are also victims of the propaganda war as being obsessed with religion, divided, and opposed to their government.

As they are presented by the U.S. media, the Syrian people, like most other people across the world are completely dehumanized. In American media, Syrians are not human. They are numbers. 100 died today. 86 died the day before. Syrians are not mothers or sons. They are not fathers or little children, grandparents. They are blips on a screen and data in a spreadsheet. At least, this is how they are presented to an increasingly hardened American public, a nation that is becoming more and more desensitized to death, destruction, and degradation both at home and abroad.

Having recently concluded a trip to the Middle East, I can safely say that the claims made by Western media are the opposite of the truth.

While my visit centered in Lebanon, we had frequent opportunities to talk with ordinary Syrian citizens either visiting Lebanon or fleeing the ravages of the war in their home country. Indeed, Syrians and Syrian refugees were plentiful in Beirut and many would openly speak about the horrors visited upon them by the West’s proxy war and their trials outside Syria.

What is so important about the fact that these Syrians were being interviewed in Lebanon is the unique benefit of talking with someone not living in their home country because one knows with relative certainty that the person speaking has nothing to lose or gain by giving a false perception of the government. After all, one of the frequent accusations leveled by the Western media is that, whenever one speaks to a Syrian actually living in Syria is that they are handicapped by that person’s fear of retribution from the Syrian government. According to this train of thought, if a man criticized Assad in Syria, he might be subject to arrest and then, of course, torture, execution, and “barrel bombs.”

But that is not the case in Lebanon. In Lebanon, even the most vocal anti-Assad Syrian can speak his mind and be safely out of Assad’s reach. Indeed, even out of ear shot by the Syrian government. A Syrian in Lebanon can speak his piece and do so safely in the knowledge that the alleged “brutal dictator” cannot reach him.

That being said, out of all the Syrians I met and spoke to – refugees and visitors, Muslim and Christian, male and female – not one of them supported the “rebels” and all of them – 100% – fully supported their government and Bashar al-Assad. These individuals had nothing but hate for the terrorists and nothing but love for Assad and the Syrian government.

This point needs to be stressed. These individuals were not under threat of a tyrant ready to arrest them if they spoke out against him. They were free of Assad. They could spit on his portrait if they wanted and there is nothing the Syrian government can do to them. Instead, they expressed an incredible amount of pride in their country, their government, and their President.

So, with that in mind, if Assad and the Syrian government are “barrel bombing” their own citizens, committing genocide against the Syrian people, and killing civilians indiscriminately, and if Syrians are free to speak their mind about Assad in Lebanon, why couldn’t I find one Syrian who wanted Assad to “step down” or for terrorists to bring them the “freedom and democracy” the West keeps yapping on about? Perhaps I was looking in the wrong places or perhaps the information coming from Western governments and their media mouthpieces are simply propaganda. Personally, I’ll put my money on the latter.

One striking aspect of Beirut in the context of the Syrian crisis is that one does not necessarily have to seek out the Syrians in order to speak to them. If one only wears a necklace, t-shirt, or bracelet with the Syrian flag, they will come to you. Any indication of solidarity with their country, especially exhibited by a Westerner (even better, an American) and a man who speaks only one word of English will stop whatever he is doing so that he can have a conversation with the foreigner, even if that conversation is done by body language, hand gestures, broken English, interpreters, or Google Translate alone.

Others more skilled in the English language are willing to have long discussions about their experiences, their support for the government, and their hatred for the terrorists infecting their country. They would tell tales of watching people they knew killed in front of them and having lost family or very close friends at the hands of America’s “moderates.” Indeed, in Syria, as well as in the diaspora of the last 5 years, it seems impossible to speak with a single Syrian who has not lost someone close to them.

The sheer magnitude of the crisis is unimaginable in scale, much in the way that the horrors inflicted upon the Syrian people by America’s democracy loving cannibals are beyond the comprehension of most Western audiences. But despite all the bloodshed, loss, and terror perpetrated on Syria by the United States, the Syrian spirit remains and the Syrian people remain some of the kindest, friendliest, and most hospitable people on the face of the earth.

In addition, Syrians remain a seemingly highly informed audience despite the fact that their country has been crippled by warfare for the past five years and that they themselves have been turned into refugees. Knowledge not only of their own situation, but about the players behind it and the developments taking place in Europe and America is common and, while American audiences watch the 24 hours news cycle in utter befuddlement as to the events taking place in Syria, Syrians are profoundly aware of just who is responsible for the crisis their country is facing.

While Americans chalk the crisis up to the “they have been fighting for thousands of years” line or accept the propaganda that Syria is facing a civil war, Syrians know that what they are facing is a proxy war against their government, against their very way of life, and against Russia. Syrians are fully aware of the fact that the terrorists beheading their way across the country are funded by Saudi Arabia, facilitated by Turkey and Israel, and trained by the United States. They are fully aware that there are no “moderates” fighting against the Syrian government and that the United States is responsible for creating the ISIS terror organization it is claiming to fight.

All of this may come as a surprise to Americans but, in Syria, it is well known.

With that in mind, it is an extraordinary thing that Syrians can welcome foreigners visiting their country with such patience and forgiveness. It is truly amazing that Syrian refugees struggling to survive in a foreign country is willing to sit with a citizen of the very country that destroyed his home and killed his family members, smoke hookah with him, and discuss his homeland. It is an unbelievable act of understanding and forgiveness for a man not to judge an American as the enemy and to separate the American people from their government. I was personally struck by the genuine kindness shown to me by people who have been given every legitimate reason to do otherwise.

What the United States is doing to Syria is truly shameful and immoral but, despite the horrors the U.S. and NATO countries have visited upon Syria, the people have refused to give in.

As Mark Twain said,

Damascus has seen all that has ever occurred on earth, and still she lives. She has looked upon the dry bones of a thousand empires, and will see the tombs of a thousand more before she dies.

Judging by the people I met, I am inclined to agree with him.

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom,7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President.

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‘Proportional Response’: Did the White House Just Threaten to Hack Russia?



© Sputnik/ Alexei Druzhinin

Four days after publicly accusing the Russian government of hacking into the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Obama Administration has announced plans for what it terms a “proportional” response.

On Friday, the US Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a statement formally accusing Moscow of attempting to influence the US election by hacking into servers belonging to the DNC. It followed a series of informal accusations against Russia for the hacks, also made without evidence. On Tuesday, the White House offered some idea of how it plans to respond.

“There are a range of responses that are available to the president and he will consider a response that is proportional,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.

“The president has talked before about the significant capabilities that the US government has to both defend our systems in the United States but also carry out offensive operations in other countries.”

Speaking to Radio Sputnik, Ohio State University Professor Emeritus of International Law John Quigley pointed out that the basis for the decision is largely ungrounded.

“Well, it seems a bit ambiguous. The statement said that it is consistent with methods used which is a formulation that falls short of saying that they definitely know what is going on,” Quigley said.

“Speculation a week or so ago was that the United States would not come out with these accusations because it raises the question of what it could do next,” he added. “The likelihood is that it will not do much. I think that probably the president wanted to make this information public but that he doesn’t really have in mind any specific countermeasure.”

The Russian government has dismissed the allegations against it as part of a “hysterical campaign.” Speaking to Russia’s Channel One broadcaster, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated, “When I discussed the issue with US Secretary of State [John] Kerry last time, I told him that we have had some consultations. After all, we also do not want our nationals to engage in cybercrime. This can be turned against Russia.”

“We do not want to cause any damage to other countries as well,” Lavrov detailed, adding, “It is funny, that there is quite a hysterical campaign underway in the context of the elections debates [suggesting] that we have hacked the sites of the Democratic Party and Pentagon.”

Lavrov said that Kerry expressed interest in bilateral consultations over the issue, but apparently the White House derailed the overture.

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Watch Maria Zakharova Tear Anti-Russia/Syria Propaganda Apart…


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Don’t usually share just videos or short posts, but this footage is worth sharing: particularly in the context of yesterday’s post on the escalating anti-Russia campaign in Western media.

In this video, Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Affairs spokesperson, gets visibly annoyed at a journalist who asks her the familiar Washington-scripted question: why is Russia supporting the Assad regime and killing civilians?

Her answer is straight, fluent and pulls no punches; and Zakharova frankly blows away anything coming from Neo-ConSamantha Power or from the US State Department. Her obvious, evident agitation and impatience at the question is also a clear sign of the dire state of Russian/Washington relations at this time over Aleppo, Syria and the nasty propaganda war being waged – and her tone and body language suggests that she, and other Russian officials, are acutely aware that they are being pushed towards a bigger conflict as punishment for interfering with the geopolitical conspiracy in the Middle East.

Watch her words closely, and then compare it to the incoherent nonsense of Samantha Power, the US State Department or the Andrew Mitchell organised House of Commons debate on Tuesday. Watching the footage of Zakharova, it is clear that, not only does she come across as more cogent, fluent and sincere than Samantha Power or US State Department spokespeople ever do, but that she also looks utterly fed up with Washington’s games in Syria. Zakharova doesn’t mince her words.

In response to Samantha Power’s recent tirades about Russian and Syrian “barbarism” in the UN, she was quoted as saying, “When Samantha Power says something, then one wants to cry out of fear for the future of the world…”

Maria Zakharova also recently wrote on Facebook: “Dear Samantha Power, in order to know the meaning of the word “embarrassed,” I highly encourage you to travel to Syria and talk to the people there for yourself. And by that I do not mean the Al-Nusra Front militants, nor the moderate opposition, whose humanitarian situation Washington seems to be so worried about. I likewise am not referring to the Western warriors for justice for Syria. I’m referring to the actual people that continue to live there in spite of the bloody experiment that has been waged on their homeland for over six years, with active participation by Washington.”

Answers like the one Zakharova gave in the video above generally don’t appear in mainstream Western media. Instead we get calls for Russia to be suspended from the UN Security Council.

US officials have in fact said that Russian vetoes are putting the UN Security Council’s ‘legitimacy’ at risk:which is utterly hilarious, considering how the UNSC was so subverted for the sake of regime change in Libya and how the US bypassed the UN entirely to invade Iraq in 2003.

In essence, the complaint is that a non-compliant nation like Russia having a veto power creates impediments to geopolitical schemes: and perhaps ensures some degree of balance on the Security Council. You know, the Balance of Power and all that?

Not that Russia won’t sometimes use it’s veto power to protect its own interests: but that’s what each of the permanent UNSC members does as a matter of course – just look at how many times the US has exercised its veto for the sake of Israel. The United Nations appears to have long since become a redundant, impotent institution, entirely compromised by the UNSC, which Muammar Gaddafi had once called ‘the World Terrorism Council’. The UN was “nothing,” the late Libyan figurehead had said in 2009, “just Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park; we make speeches, that’s all.”

Zakharova also recently warned that if the West forced a regime change in Syria, the country would soon be taken over entirely by terrorist militias, proxy forces and Wahhabist/Salafist jihadists.

This danger should be obvious to anyone but the terminally stupid: Libya and Iraq should’ve been proof enough. The forced removal of the Assad government would put Syria’s ethnic communities in immediate danger, including Christians, Kurds and Alawites. Moreover, the terrorist warfare would then spill quickly into Lebanon and possibly eventually threaten Jordan too: which is why Jordan’s King, despite being a US ally, recently endorsed the Russian intervention in Syria.

The video of Zakharova’s speech and the translation is courtesy of ‘Inessa S on YouTube. 


Also, just to make a personal point here (and this isn’t part of the post, so you don’t have to read it): I was just accused by a couple of people of being ‘pro Russian’ or writing ‘pro Russian propaganda’. It isn’t pro-Russian: it’s pro information and anti misinformation. Sometimes following the information objectively will mean being ‘pro Russian’ in a particular set of circumstances; at other times it will look like being ‘pro American’ or pro European or whatever else – in essence, it isn’t pro anyone, just a case of information and reality.

To highlight how stupid this knee-jerk labelling is, several people angrily called me ‘anti Russian’ in the summer because I wrote about Russian football violence – at least two people unsubscribed from the blog and wrote me angry emails over it. Another handful of people unsubscribed or wrote angry things to me because I had expressed some vague sentiments that were perceived as ‘pro EU’ and therefore made me a “Globalist”.  Stop being stupid – if you can’t deal with grown-up things in grown-up terms, just stick to Teletubbies.

For the record, being pro Russian intervention in Syria and anti the demonisation of Russia in the West is not being ‘pro Russian’ – it is being anti nonsense, anti jihadist caliphate, anti World War III and pro peace, pro Syrian sovereignty, pro stability and pro international law.

Posted in Europe, Russia, Syria, USA1 Comment

Who is Really Behind the US-Based Organization ‘United Against Nuclear Iran’?

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A US-based organization, which calls itself “United Against Nuclear Iran,” (UANI) is trying to portray Iran as a nuclear threat to peace and impose sanctions against Tehran’s economic partners around the world.

In an interview with Sputnik, Rahman Hariri, a foreign relations expert in Tehran, took a closer look at this organization.

“UANI was established in 2008 by Mark Wallace, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey, Richard Holbrooke and Dennis Ross. Mark Wallace is a former US ambassador to the UN, a prominent member of the Republican Party and a personal friend of ex-President George Bush Sr. The organization is presided over by Gary Samore, who once advised President Obama on arms control and weapons of mass destruction. This group is trying to hamper Iran’s economic relations with the outside world with the help of negative media coverage and threats to companies doing business with Tehran,” Rahman Hariri said.

Even though “United Against Nuclear Iran” poses as a nongovernmental organization, its leaders have close links to the White House and the US Congress, and have played a role in Washington’s decision to impose sanctions on Iran.

“Judging by what this organization and its supporters are doing, it looks like they are stoking up anti-Iranian sentiment in the world and undermining the Islamic Republic’s foreign trade, especially after Iran and the P5+1 Group came to a final agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program in July 2015,” Hariri noted.

United Against Nuclear Iran is a nonprofit advocacy group that aims to inform the public about the nature of the political regime now existing in Iran, to raise US and global awareness of the threat a nuclear-armed Iran could pose to the world, and to promote efforts that focus on vigorous national and international, social, economic, political and diplomatic measures in this direction.

“This means that the organization is opposed to Iran’s nuclear program and is working to economically and politically isolate the Islamic Republic and prevent US companies from doing business with Iran even by using threats against the families of US company employees,” Rahman Hariri said.

They make it look as if Iran is posing a triple threat to the world with the development of its nuclear program, human rights violation and sponsoring international terrorism. Who are the sponsors?

Rahman Hariri said that UANI is sponsored by members of the American-Israeli lobby, including the 100,000-strong American-Israeli Public Relations Committee which spends millions of dollars each a year on its efforts to influence US policy.

The list of other sponsors includes the Gulf states, Western and Asian countries, which have always tried to minimize Iran’s trade and military ties with the outside world and who gained much from the international sanctions imposed on Tehran.

These are also the US Republican Party, the anti-Iranian lobby in the US and the EU, the intelligence agencies of the United States, the European Union and of a number of Arab countries. And also big cartels and major US companies which come out against Iran’s nuclear program in a bid to phase out competition and be the only ones working in the country.

Who is behind UANI? Rahman Hariri said that, first and foremost, these are certain political, military and intelligence organizations in the US, as well as the Republicans and members of the Israeli lobby who are against President Obama’s policy and the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Iran and the P5+1 signed last year.

Secondly, this is the US government which, contrary to its officially declared policy, is providing covert support to UANI thus discouraging Tehran from implementing the JCPOA.

“UANI is using diplomatic resources available to it to undermine Iran’s positions in the world and is working hard to intimidate US and foreign companies willing to do business with Tehran,” he noted.

He added that in order to effectively neutralize the destructive work done by organizations like UANI the world needed to strengthen international nongovernmental institutions, pursue a policy of relaxation of global tensions and provide an undistorted picture of Iran in the media and in the minds of millions of people around the world.

Posted in Iran, USA0 Comments

Debate Moderator Distorted Syrian Reality

By Robert Parry 

How ABC News’ Martha Raddatz framed her question about Syria in the second presidential debate shows why the mainstream U.S. news media, with its deep-seated biases and inability to deal with complexity, has become such a driving force for wider wars and even a threat to the future of the planet.

Raddatz, the network’s chief global affairs correspondent, presented the Syrian conflict as simply a case of barbaric aggression by the Syrian government and its Russian allies against the Syrian people, especially the innocents living in Aleppo.

ABC News' chief global correspondent Martha Raddatz.

ABC News’ correspondent Martha Raddatz

“Just days ago, the State Department called for a war crimes investigation of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and its ally, Russia, for their bombardment of Aleppo,” Raddatz said. “So this next question comes through social media through Facebook. Diane from Pennsylvania asks, if you were president, what would you do about Syria and the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo? Isn’t it a lot like the Holocaust when the U.S. waited too long before we helped?”

The framing of the question assured a response from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about her determination to expand the U.S. military intervention in Syria to include a “no-fly zone,” which U.S. military commanders say would require a massive operation that would kill many Syrians, both soldiers and civilians, to eliminate Syria’s sophisticated air-defense systems and its air force.

But Raddatz’s loaded question was also a way of influencing – or misleading – U.S. public opinion. Consider for a moment how a more honest and balanced question could have elicited a very different response and a more thoughtful discussion:

“The situation in Aleppo presents a heartrending and nettlesome concern. Al Qaeda fighters and their rebel allies, including some who have been armed by the United States, are holed up in some neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo. They’ve been firing rockets into the center and western sections of Aleppo and they have shot civilians seeking to leave east Aleppo through humanitarian corridors.

“These terrorists and their ‘moderate’ rebel allies seem to be using the tens of thousands of civilians still in east Aleppo as ‘human shields’ in order to create sympathy from Western audiences when the Syrian government seeks to root the terrorists and other insurgents from these neighborhoods with airstrikes that have killed both armed fighters and civilians. In such a circumstance, what should the U.S. role be and was it a terrible mistake to supply these fighters with sophisticated rockets and other weapons, given that these weapons have helped Al Qaeda in seizing and holding territory?”

Siding with Al Qaeda

Raddatz also could have noted that a key reason why the recent limited cease-fire failed was that the U.S.-backed “moderate” rebels in east Aleppo had rebuffed Secretary of State John Kerry’s demand that they separate themselves from Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, which now calls itself the Syria Conquest Front.

Instead of breaking ties with Al Qaeda, some of these “moderate” rebel groups reaffirmed or expanded their alliances with Al Qaeda. In other words, Official Washington’s distinction between Al Qaeda’s terrorists and the “moderate” rebels was publicly revealed to be largely a myth. But the reality of U.S.-aided rebels collaborating with the terror group that carried out the 9/11 attacks complicates the preferred mainstream narrative of Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin “the bad guys” versus the rebels “the good guys.”

If Raddatz had posed her question with the more complex reality (rather than the simplistic, biased form that she chose) and if Clinton still responded with her recipe of a “no-fly zone,” the obvious follow-up would be: “Wouldn’t such a military intervention constitute aggressive war against Syria in violation of the United Nations Charter and the Nuremberg principles?

“And wouldn’t such a strategy risk tipping the military balance inside Syria in favor of Al Qaeda and its jihadist allies, possibly even its spinoff terror group, the Islamic State? And what would the United States do then, if its destruction of the Syrian air force led to the black flag of jihadist terror flying over Damascus as well as all of Aleppo? Would a Clinton-45 administration send in U.S. troops to stop the likely massacre of Christians, Alawites, Shiites, secular Sunnis and other ‘heretics’?”

There would be other obvious and important questions that a more objective Martha Raddatz would ask: “Would your no-fly zone include shooting down Russian aircraft that are flying inside Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government? Might such a clash provoke a superpower escalation, possibly even invite nuclear war?”

But no such discussion is allowed inside the mainstream U.S. media’s frame. There is an unstated assumption that the United States has the unquestioned right to invade other countries at will, regardless of international law, and there is a studied silence about this hypocrisy even as the U.S. State Department touts the sanctity of international law.

Whose War Crimes?

Raddatz’s favorable reference to the State Department accusing the Syrian and Russian governments of war crimes further suggests a stunning lack of self-awareness, a blindness to America’s own guilt in that regard. How can any American journalist put on such blinders regarding even recent U.S. war crimes, including the illegal invasion of Iraq that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis?

While Raddatz referenced “the heart-breaking video of a 5-year-old Syrian boy named Omran sitting in an ambulance after being pulled from the rubble after an air strike in Aleppo,” she seems to have no similar sympathy for the slaughtered and maimed children of Iraq who suffered under American bombs – or the people of Yemen who have faced a prolonged aerial onslaught from Saudi Arabia using U.S. aircraft and U.S.-supplied ordnance.

Regarding Iraq, there was the case at the start of the U.S.-led war when President George W. Bush mistakenly thought Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein might be eating at a Baghdad restaurant so U.S. warplanes leveled it, killing more than a dozen civilians, including children and a young woman whose headless body was recovered by her mother.

“When the broken body of the 20-year-old woman was brought out torso first, then her head,” the Associated Press reported, “her mother started crying uncontrollably, then collapsed.” The London Independent cited this restaurant attack as one that represented “a clear breach” of the Geneva Conventions ban on bombing civilian targets.

But such civilian deaths were of little interest to the mainstream U.S. media. “American talking heads … never seemed to give the issue any thought,” wrote Eric Boehlert in a report on the U.S. war coverage for “Certainly they did not linger on images of the hellacious human carnage left in the aftermath.”

Thousands of other civilian deaths were equally horrific. Saad Abbas, 34, was wounded in an American bombing raid, but his family sought to shield him from the greater horror. The bombing had killed his three daughters Marwa, 11; Tabarek, 8; and Safia, 5 who had been the center of his life. “It wasn’t just ordinary love,” his wife said. “He was crazy about them. It wasn’t like other fathers.” [NYT, April 14, 2003]

The horror of the war was captured, too, in the fate of 12-year-old Ali Ismaeel Abbas, who lost his two arms when a U.S. missile struck his Baghdad home. Ali’s father, his pregnant mother and his siblings were all killed. As the armless Ali was evacuated to a Kuwaiti hospital, becoming a symbol of U.S. compassion for injured Iraqi civilians, the boy said he would rather die than live without his hands.

Because of the horrors inflicted on Iraq – and the resulting chaos that has now spread across the region and into Europe – Raddatz could have asked Clinton, who as a U.S. senator voted for the illegal war, whether she felt any responsibility for this carnage. Of course, Raddatz would not ask that question because the U.S. mainstream media was almost universally onboard the Iraq War bandwagon, which helps explain why there has been virtually no accountability for those war crimes.

Letting Clinton Off

So, Clinton was not pressed on her war judgments regarding either Iraq or the Libyan “regime change” that she championed in 2011, another war of choice that transformed the once-prosperous North African nation into a failed state. Raddatz’s biased framing also put Republican Donald Trump on the defensive for resisting yet another American “regime change” project in Syria.

Trump was left muttering some right-wing talking points that sought to attack Clinton as soft on Syria, trying to link her to President Barack Obama’s decision not to bomb the Syrian military in August 2013 after a mysterious sarin gas attack outside Damascus, which occurred six months after Clinton had resigned as Secretary of State.

Trump: “She was there as Secretary of State with the so-called line in the sand, which…

Clinton: “No, I wasn’t. I was gone. I hate to interrupt you, but at some point…

Trump: “OK. But you were in contact — excuse me. You were…

Clinton: “At some point, we need to do some fact-checking here.

Trump: “You were in total contact with the White House, and perhaps, sadly, Obama probably still listened to you. I don’t think he would be listening to you very much anymore. Obama draws the line in the sand. It was laughed at all over the world what happened.”

In bashing Obama for not bombing Syria – after U.S. intelligence expressed suspicion that the sarin attack was actually carried out by Al Qaeda or a related group trying to trick the U.S. military into attacking the Syrian government – Trump may have pleased his right-wing base but he was deviating from his generally less war-like stance on the Middle East.

He followed that up with another false right-wing claim that Clinton and Obama had allowed the Russians to surge ahead on nuclear weapons, saying:our nuclear program has fallen way behind, and they’ve gone wild with their nuclear program. Not good.”

Only after attacking Clinton for not being more militaristic did Trump say a few things that made sense, albeit in his incoherent snide-aside style.

Trump: “Now, she talks tough, she talks really tough against Putin and against Assad. She talks in favor of the rebels. She doesn’t even know who the rebels are. You know, every time we take rebels, whether it’s in Iraq or anywhere else, we’re arming people. And you know what happens? They end up being worse than the people [we overthrow].

“Look at what she did in Libya with [Muammar] Gaddafi. Gaddafi’s out. It’s a mess. And, by the way, ISIS has a good chunk of their oil. I’m sure you probably have heard that.” [Actually, whether one has heard it or not, that point is not true. During the ongoing political and military strife, Libya has been blocked from selling its oil, which is shipped by sea.]

Trump continued: “It was a disaster. Because the fact is, almost everything she’s done in foreign policy has been a mistake and it’s been a disaster.

“But if you look at Russia, just take a look at Russia, and look at what they did this week, where I agree, she wasn’t there, but possibly she’s consulted. We sign a peace treaty. Everyone’s all excited. Well, what Russia did with Assad and, by the way, with Iran, who you made very powerful with the dumbest deal perhaps I’ve ever seen in the history of deal-making, the Iran deal, with the $150 billion, with the $1.7 billion in cash, which is enough to fill up this room.

“But look at that deal. Iran now and Russia are now against us. So she wants to fight. She wants to fight for rebels. There’s only one problem. You don’t even know who the rebels are. So what’s the purpose?”

While one can’t blame Raddatz for Trump’s scattered thinking – or for Clinton’s hawkishness – the moderator’s failure to frame the Syrian issue in a factual and nuanced way contributed to this dangerously misleading “debate” on a grave issue of war and peace.

It is surely not the first time that the mainstream U.S. media has failed the American people in this way, but – given the stakes of a possible nuclear war with Russia – this propagandistic style of “journalism” is fast becoming an existential threat.

Posted in Syria, USA0 Comments

U.S. Says Russia Bombed Convoy Even If It Didn’t

Image result for U.S. Russia FLAG
By Brandon Turbeville

Throughout the entirety of the Syrian crisis, Western media outlets have misrepresented facts and presented outright lies to their audiences regarding virtually every aspect of the war but, particularly when it comes to specific occurrences used to gin up support for greater Western intervention in Syria, these outlets kick it up a notch, launching flurries of disinformation and misinformation designed to leave imprints of false narratives in the minds of half attentive audiences.

With the recent bombing of an aid convoy in Urm al-Kubra near Aleppo, the Western media (as well as the governments it speaks for) is conflating the convoy that was attacked with a convoy that never actually entered Syria and which appears to have been attacked by America’s rebels. Now, rogue generals within the U.S. military are declaring that the Russians are responsible for the attack despite having no evidence for their claims. In addition, these generals and the Secretary of Defense are saying that, even if the Russians didn’t drop the bombs, the Russians are guilty of attacking the convoy.

Seriously, they actually said that.

Chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joe Dunford lobbed the first nonsensical claim to the Senate Armed Services Committee when he stated that “There is no doubt in my mind that the Russians are responsible, we just don’t know whose aircraft dropped the bombs.”

Really? How do you know the Russians bombed a convoy if you admittedly don’t know who dropped the bombs?

Dunford even stated “I don’t have the facts.”

It’s good to know that military policy is decided without facts and that determinations are made regardless of them, isn’t it? Dunford’s statement was essentially “We want to blame the Russians and, regardless of who bombed this convoy, we will blame the Russians. Fuck the facts.”

Yet Secretary of Defense Ashton “Ash” Carter (appropriately named “Ash” since that will be all that is left of the world by the time the U.S. Empire is finished provoking every country in the world including nuclear powers) was not to be outdone by Dunford.

“[The] Russians are responsible for this strike whether they conducted it or not because they associated themselves with the Syrian regime,” he said.

Now, that’s an interesting point. Let’s say for the sake of argument that the Syrian “regime” was “killing its own people,” “bombing civilians,” and “torturing” Syrian civilians as the U.S. government claims it is. To be clear, there is no evidence of any of this but, for the sake of argument, let’s say the alternate universe of the Western corporate media and the State Department is reality for a second. If the Russians are then responsible for the behavior of the Syrian government, wouldn’t the United States be responsible for the behavior of the “rebels” because the U.S. is associating itself with them?

Indeed, by the logic of Ashton Carter (an oxymoronic statement to say the least), the United States is responsible for untold executions, implementation of violent Sharia law, genocide, rape, child molestation, beheadings, torture, and, of course, cannibalism. Ironically, whether we follow the logic of Ashton Carter or not, the end result is the same – the United States is indeed responsible for all of these crimes and more in Syria.

The Russians responded with a slight jab at the U.S. government with Igor Konashenkov stating:

Unlike the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Armed Forces, we do have the ‘facts’, that is, data of objective control of the aerial situation in Aleppo on Sept. 19. And these facts unequivocally confirm the presence of an American unmanned fighting air vehicle Predator, launched from the Incirlik air base, in the area of the convoy’s passing by Urum al-Kubra.

Unfortunately, Konashenkov must be unaware that the facts don’t matter to the United States government or to the Western corporate media.

If facts mattered, the fact that there is no evidence of Russian or Syrian or any aerial bombardment of the Syrian Red Crescent convoy would be adequately reported. Indeed, evidence that the bombing was an attack against a completely different convoy than what the American media has painted as the actual victim and the fact that the Western-backed terrorists were the most likely culprits would be discussed all over the airwaves right now.

But, of course, if the facts actually mattered, America’s “moderate” rebels would have never been labeled “moderate,” “peaceful,” or “democratic.” Nor would America have armed “rebels” in the first place. Or invaded Libya. Or Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Unfortunately, however, facts and logic are an endangered species in America these days.

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom,7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 andvolume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President.

Posted in Russia, USA0 Comments

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