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Is Iran in Our Gun Sights Now?

By Pat Buchanan • Unz Review • July 21, 2017

“Iran must be free. The dictatorship must be destroyed. Containment is appeasement and appeasement is surrender.”

Thus does our Churchill, Newt Gingrich, dismiss, in dealing with Iran, the policy of containment crafted by George Kennan and pursued by nine U.S. presidents to bloodless victory in the Cold War.

Why is containment surrender? “Because freedom is threatened everywhere so long as this dictatorship stays in power,” says Gingrich.

But how is our freedom threatened by a regime with 3 percent of our GDP that has been around since Jimmy Carter was president?

Fortunately, Gingrich has found a leader to bring down the Iranian regime and ensure the freedom of mankind. “In our country that was George Washington and … the Marquis de Lafayette. In Italy it was Garibaldi,” says Gingrich.

Whom has he found to rival Washington and Garibaldi? Says Gingrich, “Maryam Rajavi.”

Who is she? The leader of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, or Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, which opposed the Shah, broke with the old Ayatollah, collaborated with Saddam Hussein, and, until 2012, was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State.

At the NCRI conference in Paris in July where Gingrich spoke, and the speaking fees were reportedly excellent, John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani were also on hand.

Calling Iran’s twice-elected President Hassan Rouhani, “a violent, vicious murderer,” Giuliani said, “the time has come for regime change.”

Bolton followed suit. “Tehran is not merely a nuclear weapons threat, it is not merely a terrorist threat, it is a conventional threat to everybody in the region,” he said. Hence, “the declared policy of the United States of America should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran.”

We will all celebrate in Tehran in 2019, Bolton assured the NCRI faithful.

Good luck. Yet, as The New York Times said yesterday, all this talk, echoed all over this capital, is driving us straight toward war. “A drumbeat of provocative words, outright threats and actions — from President Trump and some of his top aides as well as Sunni Arab leaders and American activists — is raising tensions that could lead to armed conflict with Iran.”

Is this what America wants or needs — a new Mideast war against a country three times the size of Iraq?

After Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, would America and the world be well-served by a war with Iran that could explode into a Sunni-Shiite religious war across the Middle East?

Bolton calls Iran “a nuclear weapons threat.”

But in 2007, all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies declared with high confidence Iran had no nuclear weapons program. They stated this again in 2011. Under the nuclear deal, Iran exported almost all of its uranium, stopped enriching to 20 percent, shut down thousands of centrifuges, poured concrete into the core of its heavy water reactor, and allows U.N. inspectors to crawl all over every facility.

Is Iran, despite all this, operating a secret nuclear weapons program? Or is this War Party propaganda meant to drag us into another Mideast war?

To ascertain the truth, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee should call the heads of the CIA and DIA, and the Director of National Intelligence, to testify in open session.

We are told we are menaced also by a Shiite Crescent rising and stretching from Beirut to Damascus, Baghdad and Tehran.

And who created this Shiite Crescent?

It was George W. Bush who ordered the Sunni regime of Saddam overthrown, delivering Iraq to its Shiite majority. It was Israel whose invasion and occupation of Lebanon from 1982 to 2000 gave birth to the Shiite resistance now known as Hezbollah.

As for Bashar Assad in Syria, his father sent troops to fight alongside Americans in the Gulf War.

The Ayatollah’s regime, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Basij militia are deeply hostile to this country. But Iran does not want war with the United States — for the best of reasons. Iran would be smashed like Iraq, and its inevitable rise, as the largest and most advanced country on the Persian Gulf, would be aborted.

Moreover, we have interests in common: Peace in the Gulf, from which Iran’s oil flows and without which Iran cannot grow, as Rouhani intends, by deepening Iran’s ties to Europe and the advanced world.

And we have enemies in common: ISIS, al-Qaida and all the Sunni terrorists whose wildest dream is to see their American enemies fight their Shiite enemies.

Who else wants a U.S. war with Iran, besides ISIS?

Unfortunately, their number is legion: Saudis, Israelis, neocons and their think tanks, websites and magazines, hawks in both parties on Capitol Hill, democracy crusaders, and many in the Pentagon who want to deliver payback for what the Iranian-backed Shiite militias did to us in Iraq.

President Trump is key. If he does the War Party’s bidding, that will be his legacy, as the Iraq War is the legacy of George W. Bush.

Copyright 2017 Creators.com.

July 20, 2017 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Thought Crimes On The Left

“You can trust yourself to know who to collaborate with and in what areas; this notion that you cannot safely collaborate with the right is based on the false premise that we’re all too stupid and inept to make distinctions…” – Caitlin Johnstone

By Stuart Davies | MintPress News | July 18, 2017

A few days ago, MintPress News published a rather nasty hit piece by Yoav Litvin titled “The Green Party – Marks in a Media Con Job“, originally printed in CounterPunch a few days earlier. Litvin’s original post in CounterPunch was followed two days later by a very similar hit piece by Joshua Frank, ridiculously titled “On Caitlin Johnstone and David Cobb’s Attempt to Destroy the Green Party.”

Both articles attacked the popular progressive blogger/journalist Caitlin Johnstone, who has made a name for herself of late in international left/progressive circles for her acerbic, witty iconoclasm and pungent political analyses.

Naturally, most of those who have an appreciation for some of the excellent points that Johnstone has made in her (thus far) brief period of popularity will not agree with her thinking in every circumstance. But many of the ideas and opinions she expresses obviously resonate with considerable numbers on both the left and the right, and it is worth examining some of those ideas to get an inkling of what has gotten these two men so bent out of shape.

It seems a safe bet to disregard Litvin’s gratuitous and irrelevant sneering at Johnstone’s slim journalistic track record prior to making a big splash in social media more recently – that surely does not merit such a mean spirited attack. Ostensibly, their venom is primarily due to the fact that Johnstone has called for (an explicitly limited) collaboration with individuals on the alt-right on specific issues such as deep state lies and propaganda spewed out in the corporate media.

Both Litvin and Frank characterize those on the right with whom Johnstone has indicated a willingness to engage in limited collaboration as “alt right fascists” or the “racist far-right”. Neither of them hesitates to tar Johnstone, and anyone on the left who share her views, including David Cobb, with the most extreme rightward bigotry expressed by such limited allies on the alt right – in spite of the fact that Johnstone makes it very explicit what the parameters of her agreement (and disagreement) are with such characters.

“… there is still a lot of stigma attached to the notion of collaborating with the other side of the ideological spectrum… My own work gets criticized by establishment loyalists in this way on a daily basis; they point to the fact that I oppose things like US interventionism in Syria and the establishment narrative about Russia and then use the fact that the anti-establishment right opposes these things as well to imply that this makes me identical to the most vitriolic white supremacists of the alt-right.

… (limited collaboration) doesn’t mean we have to embrace all the beliefs of the anti-establishment right, nor does it mean we’ve got to collaborate with all of them… You can trust yourself to know who to collaborate with and in what areas; this notion that you cannot safely collaborate with the right is based on the false premise that we’re all too stupid and inept to make distinctions…”

Never mind that Johnstone isn’t the first to advocate working with elements of the right where there is common ground  – Ralph Nader made a similar case in the past, and the remarkable success of Bernie Sanders’ campaign was in large part due to his focus on issues that resonated across the political spectrum.

I have no recollection of anyone at CounterPunch coming unglued over that sort of common sense political pragmatism when Nader or Sanders called for it. Nor was there any attempt to advance the ludicrous premise that advocating such an odd political alliance amounts to embracing a full blown “red/brown” (left/fascist) alliance, or is the result of Russian influence – exerted by the Kremlin moving into the media vacuum left when the western media consolidated into one homogenous corporate mass.  So perhaps we should look elsewhere for clues as to what is getting these boy’s knickers in a knot.

In truth, what seems to really rub these self-appointed arbiters of (allegedly) leftist purity the wrong way is that Johnstone has come right out and called bullshit on a few key sacred propaganda cows. She has made the mistake of pointing out some of the lies that have been relentlessly rammed down the throats of the public regarding recent events in Syria, for example. She names names and blames western corporate co-opted governments and their colleagues in the corporate media for these misinformation campaigns.

What else are we to infer when Litvin attempts to substantiate his assertion that Johnstone is “promoting racists” with this link? In fact, this is a video about a fraudulent propaganda campaign pushed by CNN, which uses a young Syrian girl to mislead the American public about events there.

More revealing yet is when Frank uncorks here:

“So why is Cobb, and many others, so ga-ga over Johnstone? Could it be that she echoes Kremlin talking points and bogus conspiracies every chance she gets, exciting leftists looking for easy answers to today’s complex problems? Ding Ding. Of course, there’s much, much more. Despite the overwhelming evidence that DNC staffer Seth Rich wasn’t murdered for releasing emails, Johnstone has stood her conspiratorial ground. She’s also written for 9/11 Truth sites, so one can assume she is at the very least sympathetic to their fruitless cause.”

Ah, there it is! There are the narratives that must be defended by left gatekeepers everywhere! So, so reminiscent of the familiar conspiracy baiting style of the old CounterPunch.

Apparently, anyone who does not buy the blatant deep state lies regarding the two publicized chemical weapons attacks in Syria – promulgated by the Obama or Trump administration and relentlessly echoed in the corporate media – has been suckered by “bogus conspiracies and Kremlin talking points”.

In point of fact, I have noticed that Kremlin talking points often lack clarity, depth, and detail on certain issues. They might want to consider taking lessons from a few individuals in the west who have brilliantly researched and explicated some of these subjects. Unfortunately for those who peddle the pathetic lies of the corporate empire, facts matter to at least some of the public. When it comes to analyzing the question of these chemical weapons attacks, we not only have our own critical thinking abilities, we also have some excellent homegrown sources of information to draw on, such as Pulitzer prize winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh and former Pentagon chemical weapons expert Theodore Postol, professor emeritus of science, technology, and national security policy at MIT. Litvin and Frank apparently prefer the fact free version of events offered by Niki Haley, the NY Times, and CNN.

Whether it is the well coordinated deep state propaganda campaign on events in Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Libya, the US, or elsewhere in the world, we have a fine crop of genuine left/progressive journalists with a commitment to discerning and telling the truth. On the matter of the “white helmet samaritans” propaganda, for example, we have Vanessa Beeley, as well as Eva Bartlett, or Mnar Muhawesh, John Pilger and Abby Martin.

Conspiracy theories, you say? Why bother with theories when you have a plethora of cold, hard, facts? But facts which contradict the official narrative on any subject are clearly meant to be viewed as “conspiracy theories” by our corporate masters. They remind us of this via their henchmen that permeate the corporate media, and those liberally salted within the ranks of the progressive media as well. Caitlin Johnstone’s offense is that she has gone beyond the pale with her defiant challenging of certain sacred cows of the corporate state, and that is an offense that must not go unpunished.

Stuart Davies is a writer and artist, a lifelong resident of the left coast living in Southwestern Oregon.

July 20, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

Deconstructing Trump’s Iran sanctions

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | July 20, 2017

There is an old impish yarn that Moses was stunned to see the two cats he’d put in the Ark trooping out with a bunch of kittens at the end of the tumultuous existential journey. Seeing the old sage’s puzzled look, the adult male shot back, ‘You thought we were fighting?’ This in some ways captures the noisy, implausible games that Iran and the United States play with each other, growling at each other and making us feel worried at times.

President Donald Trump is having a difficult time to differentiate his Iran policies from Barack Obama’s. The Trump administration has twice certified to the Congress that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal – an agreement he vowed to tear up. But, while doing so on Monday, with an eye on the Israeli lobby, it separately imposed sanctions against a clutch of Iranian personalities and entities – so that the optics look appropriately ‘tough’.

Tehran had conveyed a red line to Washington in the weekend that there shall be no sanctions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (which is spearheading Iran’s operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria). The Trump administration understood perfectly well what it implied – namely, that things can overnight hot up for the US on the ground on the Syrian-Iraqi theatre. (For the uninitiated, IRGC-backed militia and American military advisors tacitly collaborate in the liberation of Mosul.)

Tehran understands that Trump is a bluff master. Read the Iranian Foreign Ministry statement here. Clearly, no one is losing sleep in Tehran. Iran’s missile programme is indigenous; nor will US sanctions frighten IRGC’s elite Qud’s Force under the command of its charismatic general Qassem Soleimani to give up the ‘axis of resistance’ in Syria and Lebanon (and Gaza.)

In fact, Majlis passed a finance bill Tuesday increasing the budget allocation for the missile programme and Quds Force each by $260 million.

The Middle East is witnessing a long sunset of the US hegemony. And Iran senses it. So, Tehran is playing its cards astutely through an admixture of strategic defiance and taunts with unspoken overtures seeking meaningful conversation.

Read the transcript, here, of a fascinating interview by National Interest magazine with Iranian FM Mohammed Javed Zarif who is visiting New York. (Zarif already addressed the CFR and was interviewed by CNN’s Fareed Zakariah and the PBS, amongst others.)

Indeed, Zarif virtually choreographed an Iran policy for Trump. Look at his tantalizing remarks:

  • “It took the U.S. longer to clear the purchase of Airbus airplanes than it took for the purchase of Boeing airplanes.”
  • “If it comes to a major violation, or what in the terms of the nuclear deal is called significant nonperformance, then Iran has other options available, including withdrawing from the deal.”
  • “We need to be more careful about the signaling, because we’ve seen that wrong signaling in the past few weeks in our region, particularly after the Riyadh summit, has caused a rather serious backlash in the region—not between U.S. allies and Iran, but among U.S. allies.”
  • “At this stage we are content with simply implementing that (nuclear) agreement… we wanted that agreement to be the foundation and not the ceiling. But in order for that to serve as a solid foundation, we want to make sure that the obligations by all sides have been fully and faithfully implemented. And if we get that, then we have an opening to further progress.”
  • “We don’t see the situation in our region as a winning or losing battle… we believe that the situation in today’s world is so interconnected that we cannot have winners and losers; we either win together or lose together. Obviously, if an administration or a government or a country defines its interests in terms of exclusion of others, then it is defining the problem in a way that is not amenable to a solution.”
  • “We have had a consistent policy of fighting extremism and terrorism, whether it was in Afghanistan during the reign of the Taliban, or, even during the time that the United States was in occupation of Iraq, against terrorist elements who were instigating terror inside Iraq.”
  • “Well, it all depends on the approach that the United States will try, the current administration will try to adopt vis-à-vis Iran. It has to look at Iran as the only country in the region where people stand in line for ten hours to vote. It has to put aside those self-serving assumptions that some members of this administration have repeatedly stated.”
  • “We have a very sober understanding of the situation in the region where we are located, and we hope that the United States can also have such a sober understanding.”

Iran is doing just fine. The genius to optimally put diplomacy to use, with maximum cost-effectiveness, has been Iran’s strategic asset in the politics of the Middle East.

July 20, 2017 Posted by | Warmongering | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

150 French Jews move to Israel

MEMO | July 20, 2017

Some 150 French Jews have moved into an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank, according to Arutz Sheva.

The settlers landed on Tuesday night as part of a programme by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), the second such arrival this month. Last week, 200 settlers arrived at Ben Gurion Airport; the largest group scheduled to arrive this summer.

Samaria Regional Council Head Yossi Dagan congratulated Tuesday’s arrivals.

“You have done the most Zionist thing. You left your families, homes, and language to move to Israel,” he said.

Israeli Immigration Minister Sofa Landver has also hailed the continued arrival of French Jews as “a Zionist and principled Aliya [Jewish immigration] that has contributed and will continue to contribute greatly to the State of Israel.”

French Jewish immigration has surged since 2012 with a record of 7,800 people settling in Israel in 2015 alone. Over ten per cent of the Jewish community in France have moved to Israel since 2000, half in the past five years, according to the Jewish Agency.

Earlier this month, the grand rabbi of the orthodox Satmar Hassidic group in New York called for Jews not to settle in Israel because the state was secularising Jewish immigrants. The Satmar group has been fiercely anti-Zionist since its inception, and is raising money to fund Jewish community projects in France to dissuade them from moving to Israel.

Read Also:

Expel 100,000 Palestinians and annex settlement says Israeli Minister

July 20, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , | 2 Comments

‘Maintain public confidence’: Obama’s plan to defend from election cyberattacks

RT | July 20, 2017

The Obama administration quietly set up an interagency task force to deal with possible physical and cyber disruptions of the 2016 US presidential election, but believed most cyber incidents would be “unsubstantiated or inconsequential.”

Time magazine, which obtained and published the 15-page Concept of Operations document on Thursday, wrote that the plan was put in place to counter “Russian hacking.” The actual word “Russia” appears nowhere in the document, however.

The planning document, which Time dated to October 2016, shows that the Obama administration set up the Cyber Unified Coordination Group (UCG) to coordinate the response of various federal agencies to “reports of cyber incidents impacting election infrastructure.”

In addition to a lot of training, advice and interagency communication, the first specific action the agencies were instructed to take was to “develop integrated public relations guidance that seeks to maintain public confidence in the electoral system” ‒ a task that fell on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Public Affairs. The Department of Justice, Director of National Intelligence, and the FBI were supposed to assist with that task.

Any public statements “should be developed to avoid inadvertently calling into doubt the integrity of the voting process and to avoid negative impacts to voter turnout,” the document said.

The FBI was to set up a national command post at its headquarters in Washington, DC, from which it would monitor reports from the entire country from 6am to midnight on Election Day. The FBI would also establish Cyber Incident Command Center (CICC), starting on November 7.

A cyber threat intelligence center was to work with the intelligence community to “aggregate relevant intelligence and information to build and maintain a common threat and incident picture” that would then “set cyber incidents in the context of adversary activity across all domains to draw connections and implications,” the document says.

Cyber Action Teams (CAT) were set up at 26 FBI field offices and one overseas location, ready to deploy in case of a serious incident. Six interagency coordination calls were scheduled for Election Day, once every three hours between 6am and midnight.

The coordination mechanism was supposed to stay in effect until November 11, to “address any post-election cyber incidents (e.g. planted stories calling into question the results).”

For all the concern about potential cyberattacks on the US election systems, however, the document noted that “the vast majority of cyber incidents will be assessed as ‘baseline’ or ‘low’ on the schema,” based on DHS intelligence assessments.

“These are unsubstantiated or inconsequential events, or events that are unlikely to impact health or safety, national security, economic security, foreign relations, civil liberties, or public confidence,” the document explained.

July 20, 2017 Posted by | Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Which European Nation Suffers From The Most Drug-Induced Deaths?

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | July 19, 2017

As highlighted by the latest edition of the European Drug ReportEstonia is the country with the most drug-induced deaths per million population in Europe.

Infographic: Drug deaths in Europe | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

At 103 – 82 above the EU average – only Sweden comes close with 100 deaths. However, at the other end of the scale, as Martin Armstrong at Statista points out, Portugal, where drugs were decriminalised back in 2001, had only 6 per million people.

Looking outside of Europe, Estonia’s problems are pulled into sharp relief by the rate in the United States. In 2016, there were a staggering 185 deaths per million.

July 20, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Real actions, not sanctions, needed to save public health in Syria

By Dr Alexander Yakovenko | RT | July 20, 2017

The humanitarian situation in Syria remains complex. According to the UN, 13.5 million Syrians – or more than half of the country’s population – need assistance. Of the UN 2017 humanitarian appeal for Syria of $3.4 billion, so far $702 million has been allocated by donors.

The Syrian public health system, which was once considered the best in the region, has now significantly deteriorated and its state is of particular concern.

The population has limited access to medical and sanitary services, and the immunization against the primary diseases remains very low. As of the end of June, 17 cases of poliomyelitis were registered in the country. The threat of an epidemic remains high. Due to the lack of clean drinking water, outbreaks of dysentery, cholera and typhoid fever are ever more possible.

According to WHO, as a result of the ongoing armed conflict up to two-thirds of the medical workers have left the country. In public hospitals, people are treated mostly by inexperienced graduates of medical schools. Due to under-funding, many centers for primary health care are closed, especially in rural areas. The issue of the destruction of medical institutions in Syria, as well as their “militarization” (used for military purposes by terrorists and opposition), remains subject to politicization and bias.

The definitive catastrophe of Syria’s public health is being averted for now only due to the remaining network of non-governmental commercial medical institutions, which despite having been seriously affected, continue to function. However, due to the high cost, many Syrians can’t afford to visit private practitioners.

The situation in the national pharmaceutical industry, which until 2011 was one of the most developed in the region, is indicative of this crisis. More than 90 percent of the required medicines were manufactured domestically. There were 63 pharmaceutical plants in Syria producing 6,000 types of products. As a result of the conflict, the production of medicines has decreased by 70-75 percent.

US and EU sanctions against Syria that prevent the import of drugs to the country remain one of the biggest problems. Hospitals badly need anesthetics, antibiotics, serum, medicines for chronic non-infectious diseases, medical equipment. Some medication is available, but at prices that are inaccessible to most of the population. Even in the absence of a direct prohibition on the supply of medicines and medical equipment, unilateral restrictions do not allow carrying out banking operations.

What is needed now is for the international community to focus on this dire situation and make a concerted effort to help Syria save its public health sector. Good will and real assistance, not sanctions, will help define the future for the Syrian people.

Dr Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Deputy foreign minister (2005-2011). Follow him on Twitter @Amb_Yakovenko

July 20, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | | Leave a comment

CONFIRMED: Trump’s cessation of arms to Salafists had nothing to do with Russia

By Adam Garrie | The Duran | July 20, 2017

Today, Russia’s Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that the issue of America ceasing to arm Salafist jihadist groups in Syria such as the FSA was not discussed in any way during Donald Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin.

This conforms to the analysis first published yesterday in The Duran :

“While the Washington post calls this a win for Russia, in reality this will not directly effect Russia one way or another. It is however, a win for Syria.

By most reasonable accounts, the conflict in Syria could have ended far earlier if not for the CIA and other US actors arming, funding and training Salafist jihadist fighters in Syria (often referred to as moderate rebels by the western mainstream media).

As even the Washington Post admits, almost in a gloating fashion, arming such jihadists was a flagship policy of the United States under Barack Obama.

This will take a substantial deal of pressure off the Syrian Arab Army and their fight against remaining terrorists in Syria.

Ever since Trump took office, the general trajectory of US meddling in Syria shifted from arming jihadists to arming, funding and working in close military coordination with Kurdish forces.

Today’s revelation simply affirms what was long the apparent on the ground policy of the United States since February of 2017.

It is key to remember that even after this announcement, the US presence in Syria is still illegal according to international law…..

At present, there is no overt linkage to these events and Donald Trump’s meeting at the G20 summit with Vladimir Putin. …

This contradicts the assumptions made in the Washington Post that somehow the move was a “victory for Putin” or that it represented Trump capitulating to a Russian demand.

The Washington Post’s assertion that Trump’s decision was “sought by Moscow” is patently misleading and that is being charitable.

Furthermore, under Donald Trump, the United States was moving in this direction since February when it became clear that the new US administration sought to shift the focus of it’s Syria policy from arming jihadists to arming secular Kurdish forces, a move which is still illegal according to international law and opposed by a vast majority of Syrians.

While Russia, Syria and Iran have all warned that any state or non-state actors funding, arming or aiding Salafist terrorists under the guise that they are ‘moderate’ will harm Syrian and wider global security, Russia has not ever attempted to dictate US policy nor has Russia issued any threats or even suggestions to the United States on how to frame its foreign alliances.

Once again, western mainstream media totally distort Russia’s foreign policy statements in order to make Donald Trump look weak or compromised.

July 20, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

‘Trump decision to end CIA covert ops in Syria will be severely attacked by Neocons’

RT | July 20, 2017

In 2014 – 2015, $500 million of US taxpayer’s money was spent on training 54 so-called ‘moderate rebels’, most of whom immediately turned their weapons over and joined Al-Nusra or Al-Qaeda, explains investigative journalist Rick Sterling.

A Washington Post article published on Wednesday says that, according to US officials, Donald Trump decided to phase out the covert CIA program to arm and train rebels in Syria in favor of working with Russia.

However, the White House has declined to confirm the details.

RT: If this report is accurate and Trump decided to shut down CIA training of rebels in Syria, how might that affect the situation on the ground?

Rick Sterling: It’ll be a significant step. One thing that should be pointed out is that the US, through the CIA, or the Defense Department, the arming of extremist groups is illegal under international law. It has been a tremendous waste of money; between 2014 – 2015, $500 million of US taxpayer funds were spent to train a grand total of 54 so-called moderate rebels, most of whom immediately turned the weapons over and joined Al-Nusra or Al-Qaeda. That has been the real effect of it. The money and the training the CIA has provided has primarily helped Al-Qaeda. So stopping that will be a very good thing.

RT: Assuming it’s true, why do you think the White House would decline to confirm the report?

RS: I think that is indicative of the battle underway over US foreign policy. Already in the Washington Post report today, the people they quote, such as Charles Lister, are very negative on it. Lister says something like Trump’s falling into a “Russian trap.” They basically want to prolong the conflict in Syria. Lister works at the Middle East Institute, which receives significant funding from military industrial corporations, such as Raytheon. They don’t want the war and the conflict to end – they want to prolong it and even escalate it. This move from people who are little more rational in government is something that needs to be supported strongly. It is a positive step, but it is going to come under severe attack now. Trump is going to come under attack, and the decision may be undermined or sabotaged. So that is something else we need to be looking out for and hopefully guarding against.

RT: This isn’t the first time US officials and the president have issued conflicting messages. Why isn’t there a common line coming out of Washington?

RS: The mainstream media, unfortunately, has had a campaign attacking Trump’s foreign policy. The only time they cheered Trump was when he launched the missile attacks on April 6. As it subsequently turned out that US intelligence knew the Syrian government did not launch chemical weapons in the town of Khan Shaykhun – that is according to Seymour Hersh…. Hersh is one of the foremost, most well-known and regarded investigative journalist from the US, his findings have been basically censored from the mainstream media. So most people don’t know about them.

Trump went to Mike Pompeo, the CIA Director and asked him point blank right after the event happened on April 4 – find out who is responsible. Pompeo came back and said: “It was the Syrian government.” That was Trump’s basis for launching the attacks. Subsequently, it’s come out that US intelligence knew the Syrian government was not responsible. So there is the CIA – they basically supplied the rationale for Trump to launch the attacks that killed 14 people, including nine civilians. That is the only time Trump has been really hailed and given credit in the US mainstream media. This plan now, or the news the CIA Train and Equip Program is being shut down, that is a very good thing. We can expect it to be severely attacked by neoconservatives, who want to prolong and even escalate the conflict much against the interests of the American people, and obviously supremely against the interests of the people of Syria and the region.

July 20, 2017 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , , | 3 Comments