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US missile systems in Japan may have offensive purpose & be controlled by Washington – Moscow

RT | January 15, 2018

The US-made Aegis missile-defense system deployed in Japan could be used for offensive purposes and fall under full control of Washington, the Russian foreign minister warns.

The deployment of the American Aegis Combat System, designed to provide defense against short to intermediate-range ballistic missiles, casts a shadow over Russia-Japan relations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during his annual Q&A on Monday. Moscow has serious concerns over its purpose and who will be behind the operational control of the missile system in Japan. Despite Tokyo’s assertions, Moscow remains unconvinced.

“We have data that the system that will be deployed in Japan is based on universal launchers, which can use assault weapons,” the foreign minister stated. He added that Washington has never given control over its weapons to the country of deployment and this time will be no exception.

“We have heard that it will be Japan that will allegedly operate this system, and the United States will have nothing to do with it, but we have serious doubts that it is so.”

The statement comes on the heels of a report, which states that the stationing of the Aegis system is allegedly aimed at curbing Russia and is intended as a deterrent against its nuclear missiles, Japanese media say, citing an unnamed official.

Last month, Tokyo decided to boost its ballistic missile defense system and approved the purchase and deployment of two Aegis Ashore batteries – expected to become operational by 2023 – at a cost of around $2 billion.

Moscow has repeatedly stressed that it is eager to engage in dialogue over the stationing of US missile defense systems overseas, to make sure they will not “become a serious destabilizer” of the international climate, according to Lavrov. Despite US claims that the weapons are not directed against Russia, Moscow has “plenty of evidence that all this is not so.”

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

THIS IS NOT A DRILL!(?) – What Happened in Hawaii?

corbettreport – January 14, 2018

So with false ballistic missile alerts causing panic and disruption across the state, everyone is left asking “What the hell just happened in Hawaii?” A simple mistake? Secret intercept? Government psyop? Drill gone almost live? Something else entirely?

SHOW NOTES: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=25731

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Video | | 1 Comment

Intra-Korean Talks: Who Got Whom To Blink First?

By Andrew KORYBKO – Oriental Review – 15/01/2018

Intra-Korean talks resumed in the run-up to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and immediately following Trump’s threatening tweet about his big nuclear button.

The American President claimed in a later tweet that his tough stance was the reason why Kim Jong-Un decided to return to the negotiating table, but the truth is that North Korea did this immediately following news that the US and South Korea delayed a planned military drill until after the upcoming Olympic Games. In hindsight, it’s possible that Trump’s “nuclear brinksmanship” on social media was meant to divert the attention of the global masses from this ‘politically inconvenient’ fact and provide a ‘face-saving’ distraction from a pragmatic move that could have otherwise misleadingly been painted by his opponents as “backing down”.

As it stands, Trump believes that the implementation of his “Madman Theory” in practice is the reason why it was Kim who backed down, not himself, while Kim seems to think that his year of successful nuclear and missile tests was responsible for the US taking the first step in de-escalating the situation by delaying its upcoming military exercises with South Korea. Both sides can brush off any criticism over who blinked first by actually embracing this charge and justifying it on the basis of being in the “Olympic spirit”, thereby turning any potential attack into a soft power advantage if they’re clever enough.

It’s highly likely that this incipient “détente” will only last until the end of the Olympics, if at all, but there’s also the chance that it could provide China with a golden opportunity to make progress in mediating the crisis on the peninsula. Beijing has previously called for a so-called “double freeze”, or the simultaneous suspension of US-South Korean military drills and North Korean nuclear & missile tests, which is actually what in fact has just temporarily happened despite none of the parties openly recognizing this. Depending on the outcome of the intra-Korean talks, South Korean President Moon Jae-In might even feel encouraged to revive last year’s campaign pledge to initiate a “New Sunshine Policy” towards North Korea.

The challenge to this happening has always been the US, which has sought to provoke North Korea over the past year in order to provide South Korea with the ‘plausible pretext’ for shelving this policy and agreeing to more THAAD deployments on the peninsula, so it remains to be seen whether America will ruin the possibly positive progress that both sides might make. Even if it tries to, however, then it’ll be important for North Korea not to take the bait, since this “goodwill gesture” could build enormous trust and confidence in the South Koreans and show them that Pyongyang is serious about abiding by China’s “double freeze”, which could conceivably enter into effect so long as Seoul is convinced to continue delaying military drills with the US or outright suspending them like Beijing proposed.

To revisit the analysis’ original question, it can be argued in conclusion that neither Trump nor Kim backed down in paving the way for the intra-Korean talks, but that both have an interest in making it seem like their rival was the one who did, though the ultimate judge of character will be in seeing which of the two subverts the “Olympic spirit” either during the games or afterwards in returning to the status quo of much-ballyhooed rhetorical hostility.

The post presented is the partial transcript of the CONTEXT COUNTDOWN radio program on Sputnik News, aired on Friday Jan 12, 2018.

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

US creates rift among Russia, Turkey and Iran

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | January 15, 2018

Five days after Turkey summoned the US charge d’affaires in Ankara to convey its concerns over the US’ continuing support for the Kurdish militia in Syria with weapons and training, President Recep Erdogan threatened on January 15 that it is resolute about thwarting the attempt by Washington to consolidate the emergence of a Kurdish enclave in northern Syria under American protection.

Erdogan said that the Turkish military has completed its preparation to move against the Kurdish militia in their canton of Afrin, in northwestern Syria, and Manbij, in northern Syria. He added, “The operation may start any time. Operations into other regions will come after,” noting that the Turkish army was already hitting the Kurdish positions. Erdogan said, “America has acknowledged it is in the process of creating a terror army on our border. What we have to do is nip this terror army in the bud.”

On January 14, the Turkish Foreign Ministry also issued a statement saying Turkey had reiterated on numerous occasions that it was “wrong and objectionable” to cooperate with the Syrian Kurdish militia. “On the other hand, the establishment of the so-called ‘Syria Border Protection Force’ (by the US) was not consulted with Turkey, which is a member of the (US-led anti-terrorist) coalition,” the statement said. It was also unknown which coalition members approved this decision, the ministry said. “To attribute such a unilateral step to the whole coalition is an extremely wrong move that could harm the fight against Daesh,” it added.

On another plane, what emerges is that the US ploy to create misunderstanding between Moscow and Ankara by stage-managing the drone strike recently at the Russian bases in Syria from Idlib province close to the Turkish border has flopped. Erdogan telephoned President Vladimir Putin last week to talk things over and the latter since then openly endorsed the assessment by the Defence Ministry in Moscow that the drone technology used in the attack was far too sophisticated to be handled by terrorist groups without the support of an advanced country. In effect, Moscow hinted at an American conspiracy.

At a press conference in Moscow today, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also hit hard on the US’ gameplan in northern Syria. For the first time, he made the specific allegation that Washington is working on the “separation of a huge territory along the borders with Turkey and Iraq” from the rest of Syria. Analysts have estimated that the area works out to a quarter of Syrian territory. Lavrov hinted that Moscow, Tehran and Ankara are in consultation on the issue. As he put it, “We, like our Turkish and Iranian partners, like many others, I am sure, are expecting detailed explanations from the US.”

Meanwhile, Tehran has also voiced concern over the American (and Turkish) moves in northern Syria. The Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani warned of the dangers posed to the regional states by the occupation of Syria. “Any political or military action to target a part of the Syrian territories which are under the terrorist groups’ control or occupation of the Syrian lands by foreign forces runs counter to people’s interests, is considered as a threat to the regional countries and doomed to failure,” Shamkhani warned.

However, a military confrontation between Turkey and the US is unlikely to happen. Erdogan is good at brinkmanship. Nonetheless, his future course of action will bear watching. The point is, Turkey also has its own agenda in northern Syria and may well use the presence of Kurdish militia forces along its border regions as a pretext for staging new military operations in northern Syria. Equally, Turkey still has an ambivalent relationship with some of the extremist groups operating in Idlib.

All in all a complicated matrix is developing in northern Syria where Russia, Turkey and Iran have convergence as regards their opposition to the US attempt to bolster the Syrian Kurds’ control of vast territories in the region. But, having said that, Russia and Iran (and Syrian government) also disapprove of any independent Turkish military action in northern Syria. On the other hand, they also harbor misgivings about Turkey’s continuing links with some terrorist groups present in Idlib (which also have had US backing.)

The Syrian government’s best hope – as indeed Russia and Iran’s – would lie in weaning away the mainstream Kurdish groups from the orbit of US influence to engage them constructively as participants in a peace process. But Turkey brands the Kurdish groups as terrorists and threatens to attack them. Damascus has repeatedly questioned the Turkish moves with regard to Afrin.

In such complicated circumstances, it remains to be seen how the proposed Syrian Congress of National Dialogue could be held in Sochi, as planned, in end-January. The expectation was that the congress would pave the way for the drafting of a new constitution for Syria. To be sure, these contradictions will be exploited by the US to create rifts between Turkey and Russia (and Iran.) The US design is to keep Syria weak and divided for a foreseeable future so that its occupation of a big swathe of land in the strategic northern regions bordering Turkey and Iraq goes unchallenged and the Russian plans to push ahead a settlement in Syria somehow within this year get thwarted.

The good part is that the recent disturbances in Iran do not seem to have affected Tehran’s resolve to help Syrian government forces regain the lost territories. In fact, Shamkhani made his remarks (cited above) during a meeting with the Syrian Parliament Speaker Hammoudeh Sabbagh in Tehran on Monday. (FARS )

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

BBC Betrays the Most Basic Journalistic Principles When It Comes to Syria

By Jeremy Salt | American Herald Tribune | January 15, 2018

Lies, deceit and forgeries have always been part of war, truth being ‘the first casualty.’ But in the past two decades the falsifications of war have reached unparalleled heights, thanks to technology. The lies told by the American, British, Australian and allied governments ahead of and during the attack on Iraq in 2003 reached heights which one would have thought could not be surpassed. But then came Libya and the black mercenaries, the soldiers fed Viagra, all lies. Topping this, for the past seven years, we have had Syria and its ‘revolution’, photo-shopped, faked and staged from beginning to end with the connivance of the mainstream media.

With isolated exceptions in the Anglo-American media (the US, Britain, France, Australia and Canada) there has been no reporting of the Syria crisis as such. There has only been propaganda, surging forward in wave after wave. It is not enough to say that the credibility of the media has never been lower. Insofar as these wars in the Middle East are concerned, with the exception of a tiny handful of correspondents who occasionally correct the imbalance, it has no credibility at all.

Relying on ‘rebels’ and ‘activists’ and refusing to air the perspective of the Syrian government the media has spun a web of deceit designed to justify and perpetuate ‘western’ aggression against yet another Arab country, this time not through an open military attack, as in Iraq or Libya, but through armed terrorist proxies who have carried out a campaign of murder and mayhem across the country.

There are no ‘moderates’ amongst these groups, not by any reasonable standards. The US Vice President Joe Biden let the cat out of the bag in 2014 when he said there were no moderates in their ranks. They might fight among themselves over territory, arms, money and control but they have the same ideology as the official enemy, of themselves and ‘western’ governments, the Islamic State: extirpation of the Shia and the Alawi and the establishment of a takfirist Islamic regime in Damascus top their agenda. This is what the ‘west’ is supporting in Syria.

The latest issue fed into the headlines is the ‘siege’ of the population of the East Ghouta region, on the outskirts of Damascus, by the ‘regime’, with harrowing stories of children starving or denied hospital care fed into the news cycle. The ‘regime’ is held responsible, not the Jaysh al Islam takfiri collective which John Kerry described in 2016 as a ‘sub group’ of the ISIS and Jabhat al Nusra. These groups, armed and financed by outside governments, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have taken over large parts of East Ghouta and are holding the population hostage. The Syrian government has the responsibility of suppressing them, and in the conflict civilians are dying. This is the cause of the ‘siege’ of East Ghouta and the notion that the people there genuinely support these takfiri groups is as fanciful as the idea that they did in East Aleppo. It was also presented by the media as being under siege by the ‘regime’ but when it was finally liberated from the takfiris its people were literally dancing in the streets with joy. It will be the same in East Ghouta when these groups are sent on their way.

Now we hearing that the ‘regime’ is using chemical weapons in East Ghouta. According to the BBC news web site (‘Syrian war: Reports of chlorine gas attack on rebel-held Eastern Ghouta’, January 13), ‘people’ in the region reported smelling gas after a missile attack. A ‘health worker’ was quoted. An ‘aid worker’ said ten hospitals were affected. There is nothing here of any substance, no evidence of a chlorine attack and no attempt by the BBC to confirm what it has been told.

The BBC makes marvellous wildlife documentaries and excellent feature films but in its reporting of the Syrian conflict it has completely betrayed the most basic journalistic principles of objectivity and balance. Along with the rest of the media it runs whatever the ‘rebels’ and ‘activists’ choose to tell it. The allegation that goes into the headlines, is not substantiated but fulfills the central task not of reporting but of smearing the Syrian government, which never gets the opportunity to state its case beyond ‘the Syrian regime denies the allegations.’  This symbiotic game between terrorist groups and the media has been in motion for the past seven years. Through its false reporting the media has supported the war on Syria and must share the responsibility for the massive death and destruction that has ensued.

Of all media outlets the BBC has less credibility than most when raising the issue of chemical weapons attacks. In 2013 it was involved in the fabrication of one such alleged attack, on a school in Aleppo. The children and young men moaning on the floor with shaving cream on their faces and theatrically created burns and patches of skin hanging from their bodies were ludicrously bad actors. ‘Dr.  Roula’, the woman speaking to the camera, turned out to be Roula al Hallam, the daughter of a member of the Syrian opposition in exile. The precedent for this performance is the blubbering young woman who told the story of babies being thrown out of their incubators by Iraqi soldiers after the invasion of Kuwait in 1991. She turned out not to be a hospital nurse but the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US. This piece of theatre was produced by a Washington PR firm.

‘Dr Roula’s’ original statement (August 29) that this seemed to be a napalm attack had been changed to ‘chemical weapon’ by the time it was broadcast a few hours later (August 30). The film was the same, she was the same ‘Dr Roula’ but the words coming out of her mouth were not the same.

The timing of this fabrication was central to the story. On August 21, the very same day that UN chemical weapons inspectors were arriving in Damascus, the Syrian government was accused of orchestrating a chemical weapons attack in the Ghouta region, outside the city, that allegedly killed hundreds of people. On August 26 the napalm/chemical weapons attack was allegedly carried out on the Aleppo school. On August 29/30 the allegations were broadcast twice by the BBC, with ‘napalm’ changed to ‘chemical weapon’ in the second broadcast. Later in the day (August 30) the House of Commons voted on military intervention in Syria. The Cameron government lost the vote but only narrowly (285-272). The fabricated BBC report seems to have been aired with the intention of pushing the Commons vote across the line.

The attack in the Ghouta region around Damascus was never followed up by the media once the Syrian government had been smeared and set up for military attack. The identity of the children whose bodies were shown (sometimes the same bodies in different locations) remains a mystery. They were used for propaganda before disappearing forever. The takfiris have recently massacred hundreds of Alawis in the Latakia governorate and had kidnapped scores of women and children: according to Mother Agnes, the nun who did what the media should have done by trying to find the truth, some of the mothers identified the children at Ghouta as theirs.

The evidence of scientists and journalists, notably Seymour Hersh, showed, with no room for doubt, that the chemicals were fired from positions held by the takfiris. Barrack Obama had declared that a chemical weapons attack would be his ‘red line’ and the takfiris had set out to push him across it. The apparent involvement of other governments in this provocation was something else the media did not follow up.

After the New Yorker showed no interest in his story, Hersh took it to the London Review of Books, where it was published. When he exposed the falsity of a second alleged attack, in Khan Shaikhun, in April, 2017, he had to find a publisher in Germany (Die Welt). The truth-telling Hersh found a rapidly diminishing appetite for his truths in the mainstream even though, without any doubt, he is an outstanding investigative reporter,  all the way back to his exposure of the My Lai massacre during the US war on Vietnam (and neighboring countries). While Trump bombed a Syrian air base near Khan Shaikhun, Obama pulled back at the last minute. According to Hersh, senior intelligence figures knew the Syrian government was not behind the alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus but ‘how can we help this guy Obama when he and his cronies in the White House make up the intelligence as they go along.’

The war on Syria goes on. It is not over as many have said: but for outside intervention it never would have started. Even though ISIS has been virtually destroyed in Syria, thus fulfilling the rationale for its forces being there, the US is refusing to leave. It has been playing a double game, declaring war on the ISIS while clandestinely cooperating with it in various ways. It wanted a Salafist principality in eastern Syria and the Islamic State gave it one. ISIS fighters criss-crossed the Syrian desert, towards Mosul and Palmyra, without the US intervening, although satellite reconnaissance would clearly have shown these lines of pickup trucks kicking up the summer dust. US Special Forces passed through Islamic State positions on the way to Deir al Zor, the US shipped takfiri fighters out of Raqqa with their families and the US has been training takfiris rebranded as ‘rebel’ fighters at its Al Tanf base.

Far from withdrawing from Syria the US is entrenching itself even deeper. It is not there for the Kurds or the good of the Syrian people. It is there for itself and most probably for Israel, which has spent the past year preparing for its next war, most probably against Lebanon in the first place, and admits to at least 100 missile strikes against Syria. The US is not leaving Afghanistan either. Indeed, it is not shutting down or drawing down anywhere, but strengthening its global position to cover any possibilities arising in its rivalry with Russia and China. This is the vise in which Syria is now caught.

The empty rhetoric of supporting only ‘rebels’ against terrorists continues. If the collective of takfiri groups known as Jaysh al Islam is not officially designated as a terrorist group that is because when Russia proposed, in November, 2016, that it be added to the UN sanctions list, the US, France and the UK used their vetoes to block the move. They provide the political support for this group, Saudi Arabia and other countries the money and the weaponry needed to hold the people of East Ghouta hostage. These are the real realities of the ‘siege’ of this district.


Jeremy Salt is a former journalist, turned academic. He is based in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Bilkent University, Ankara where he teaches courses in modern Middle Eastern history and propaganda. His most recent book is “The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands” (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.)

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

The shameful intelligence leaks confirmed what we already knew

Dr Amira Abo el-Fetouh | MEMO | January 15, 2018

We did not need media leaks to reveal that an officer in Egypt’s intelligence agency, Captain Ashraf El-Kholi, was telling presenters on Egyptian TV channels what they should say about Donald Trump’s announcement concerning Jerusalem Published by the New York Times and broadcast by Egypt’s Mekameleen television station, the leaks merely confirmed what we already knew about Egyptian media outlets being fully mobilised to push the US-Israeli viewpoint.

Egypt’s media has become just like all state institutions in the country; it is under the control of the army. Companies owned by the intelligence agency have bought most of the satellite TV stations, in addition to establishing a new satellite network, DMC. In doing so, it has taken complete control of the media and has not limited itself to instructing those working in the sector on specific policies of the government, as happened in the past. Now, the state has completely monopolised an important sector that shapes public opinion and forms the sentiments of an entire nation, which has been spoon-fed what the Israeli enemy wants.

Herein lies the danger and catastrophe, as the nation’s constants have changed. The enemy has become the friend and vice versa. This was exposed by the leaks. TV presenters were told to explain to the people that there is no difference between Jerusalem and Ramallah, in an attempt to quell their anger and fill them with a sense of desperation and defeat. These journalists and presenters were told to say that they cannot fight Israel directly and that they must put poison in honey in order to achieve their goals.

The presenters must do this in such a way that it seems that they are trying to preserve the blood and lives of the Palestinians, because if there is another Palestinian uprising the victims — they didn’t say martyrs — will be Palestinians and not Israelis. They must also say that they want to resolve the Palestinian issue permanently and that a new uprising would be in favour of the Islamists and Hamas, who will rise once again after a decline.

This is what the intelligence officer was dictating to various presenters and this is what they want the people to believe. The purpose of this is to play with the people’s doctrinal and national constants in order to redirect the conflict compass from Israel, the nation’s traditional enemy, towards the Islamist trend, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, of which they consider Hamas to be a part, and which the intelligence agency labels as a terrorist organisation.

Unfortunately, they were successful with this ploy, and not just with a small section of society who have been brainwashed by this false and corrupt media that is being managed by intelligence officers.

I am not concerned with who leaked the recording or who benefits from these leaks. I am not concerned with whether this is a result of a conflict amongst the various branches of the deep state. All of this will pull us into a cycle of questions until we doubt the leak itself, and this is what the government wants to happen, in order to divert us from the essence of what was said in the disgraceful recordings.

As such, I pay no attention to what is being said about the conflict between the military intelligence and general intelligence branches, as over 20 of their senior officers were retired in the past year alone. The general intelligence agency is currently controlled by Al-Sisi’s son, who also took it upon himself to form a parliament made up of individuals completely loyal to the government, as admitted by Hazem Abdel Azim, who was associated closely with the government and in charge of the youth in Al-Sisi’s election campaign in 2014.

I am more concerned about the deterioration and decline of Egyptian intelligence. The image in the minds of Egyptians about this sovereign agency is far from the truth. Many novels, shows and movies have been written about the agency’s heroic stories and exposure of espionage within Egypt, or the spies planted in Israel. The most famous of these shows are perhaps “Raafat Al-Haggan” by Mahmoud Abdel Aziz and “Dumou fi Oyoun Waqiha” (Tears in Shameless Eyes) by Adel Imam, as well as the movies “El-Soud Ela Al-Hawia” (The Climb into the Abyss) by Mahmoud Yasin and “Mohema fi Tal Abib” (Mission in Tel Aviv) by Nadia Al-Jundi. All of these have planted in our minds the heroics of the Egyptian intelligence agents and how they were able to infiltrate the Israeli Mossad spy agency.

Regardless of the credibility of all of these stories, all intelligence agencies around the world are tasked with preserving the security of the state and the safety of its territories, not dictate to TV presenters what they should and should not say. However, this is the situation in Egypt after the 2013 coup and after the conflict compass stopped pointing at Israel, with which the country is currently enjoying — if that’s the right word — a lukewarm peace. Instead, it is pointed at the Muslim Brotherhood, which the deep state in Cairo wants to eliminate from its roots and present it as a sacrifice to Donald Trump, who remains the biggest enemy of Islam and Muslims.

Video: Leaked tapes reveal Egypt’s support for Trump’s Jerusalem decision

Egypt: media blackout on Palestinian reconciliation talks

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russian Journalists Blow Lid Off Alleged US Terrorist Training Network in Syria

Sputnik – January 14, 2018

Two Russian Syria-embedded journalists have put together a damning firsthand report on the true purpose of the secrecy-laden US military mission at At-Tanf, southern Syria.

The Pentagon was forced to go into full public relations mode late last month amid fresh allegations by the Russian General Staff that US instructors were providing training assistance for some 350 ex-Daesh (ISIS) militants at the US Army’s al-Tanf garrison in the southern Syrian province of Homs. Chief of Staff General Valery Gerasimov accused Washington of intending to use the militants to create a so-called ‘New Syrian Army’, a military formation aimed at further destabilizing the war-torn country after Daesh had been defeated.

A Pentagon spokesperson soon responded, telling Sputnik that Moscow’s allegations were “false and absurd,” and stressing that the US and its allies engage in capturing and killing Daesh, not training them.

In a special investigative report for Russia’s Federal News Agency, embedded Syria correspondents Igor Petrashevich and Roman Martynovich made their way south to try to figure out what was really going on in the US-occupied area with their own eyes.

Al-Tanf, a settlement situated near Syria’s border with Iraq and Jordan, is one of three official border crossings between Syria and Iraq, and the main border checkpoint along the Damascus-Baghdad highway. Intense fighting for the area took place in the spring and summer of 2017, as US-allied militia attempted to solidify their foothold in southern Syria. However, a Syrian Army counteroffensive backed by Russian air power stopped the militants’ advance, prompting them and their US-led coalition allies to secure a patch of territory running about 55 km deep into Syria.

Late last month, General Gerasimov pointed to al-Tanf as being one of two staging areas for the continuation of an armed struggle against the Syrian government by the jihadists, with the other located at Shaddadi camp, under the control of Kurdish forces operating in Syria’s north. According to the general, the al-Tanf militants, many former members of Daesh, were brought into the area by US special forces from Deir ez-Zor province, where Daesh had suffered total defeat.

According to Petrashevich and Martynovich, the presence of these former Daesh fighters made local residents wary of helping them to make their way into the US military-administered enclave. “A young man named Marshod warned our correspondents about this and said that two of his own attempts to make his way to a nearby village beyond the line of demarcation led to threats against his life from militants guarding the enclave’s inner perimeter.”

Undeterred, the journalists continued their investigation via interviews with eyewitnesses and representatives of the Syrian military stationed in the region.

There May Be Close to Four Times as Many Militants as Previously Estimated

Although the Russian military conservatively estimated the presence of roughly 350 Daesh militants at al-Tanf, Syrian military sources speaking to Patrashevich and Martynovich explained that the number may, in fact, be upwards of 1,200 fighters, some 200 of them Daesh jihadis brought to the area by US special forces, mostly from Deir ez-Zor province. Other forces include the so-called ‘New Syrian Army’, the Forces of Martyr Ahmad al-Abdo (formally part of the Free Syrian Army), and the Martyrs of Islam Brigade (an Islamist group). According to the Syrian military, these forces’ armament includes large-caliber mortars, anti-tank missiles, tanks and other heavy weaponry.

The New Syrian Army, commanded by one Mekhenda Talla, reportedly has a strained relationship with the other formations, who cooperate with his forces only on a for cash basis.

“In general, the relationship between the militants from the individual groups is quite tense, as civilian testimony makes clear,” Patrashevich and Martynovich wrote. “One local, a man named Amjad Sahim, who managed to escape the US-controlled territory to neighboring Damascus Governate, told us that he and his brothers witnessed clashes between the NSA forces moving toward the border and former Daesh fighters attempting to leave the area into Jordanian territory. As a result of the clashes, the small group of Daesh terrorists was completely wiped out.”

Furthermore, the journalists’ Syrian Army source said that other members of the US-led coalition were also deployed in the area, with about 400 mercenaries, intelligence operatives and members of the special forces of the UK, France, Jordan, and possibly other countries, operating in the region. These forces’ arsenal includes HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems, as well as anti-aircraft artillery, tasked with defending the US base.

‘Passive Reserve’ of 5,000 More Jihadists

Local freelance journalists told Patrashevich and Martynovich that in addition to the so-called ‘active reserve’ of militants, the US and its allies also has a passive one.

“While the main jihadists are based at the US Armed Forces base and receive a monthly allowance, another 5,000 Islamists reside at the Rukban refugee camp, some still armed and in contact with their field commanders. Last November, militants began voicing their dissatisfaction with the noticeable decline in US funding. As a result, the al-Tanf base’s command, fearing military insurrection, decided to pay out a severance payment of several thousand dollars to each fighter, and gave them the right to remain inside the enclave in the tent camp zone.”

As for the New Syrian Army, their job, according to a Syrian Army serviceman stationed near the front line, includes guard duty at checkpoints along the makeshift border, and defense of the perimeter of the al-Tanf base and the Rukban camp. Talla’s troops maintain discipline over the other units via payments for the performance of various duties.

Life in Region a Living Hell for Civilians

Speaking to locals, Patrashevich and Martynovich were told that the jihadists’ presence in the region has had a severe impact on civilian life. In the town of Al-Qaryatayn, the correspondents met with Farah Alhamsih, a young woman who had lived outside al-Tanf before managing to escape the area once it fell under US and jihadist control.

According to Alhamsih, while some militants engaged in “building homes or carried out shooting practice, most of them, left almost without a livelihood, robbed local houses, or trucks passing along the Damascus-Baghdad highway.” According to the eyewitness, while US forces first tried to exert pressure on the radicals or even evict them from the Rukban camp, they eventually gave up, closing their eyes to their criminal activities.

Last fall, a group of some 300 Daesh militants carried out an offensive toward Al-Qaryatayn, successfully avoiding the Syrian Army’s hidden outposts using coordinates Moscow and Damascus later alleged were obtained through aerial reconnaissance provided by the US. Although the offensive was stopped, the Syrian military has concerns that new attacks may be in the offing. Furthermore, US and jihadi occupation of the area put important roads, including the Homs-Deir ez-Zor and Damascus-Palmyra highways, as well as strategically important oil and gas fields, under threat.

Russian officials have also voiced concerns about the state of the Rukban refugee camp, the Russian Center for Reconciliation describing the situation there as being close to ‘catastrophic,’ and the US military closing access to the camp to the UN and other humanitarian organizations. Thus far, Patrashevich and Martynovich recalled, “any attempts by Syrian government convoys or pro-Russian forces to come close to the enclave have been met with airstrikes by the US coalition.” This includes incidents in May and June 2017.

Sahim, the local man now living in Damascus Governate, confirmed to the journalists that the humanitarian situation in the US-occupied territory is approaching desperate, with basic foodstuffs and other necessities unavailable, while militants have seized local wells, selling water to locals at marked up prices.

“When I was very thirsty, I had to spend a fortune. A bottle of water which could earlier be bought for 50 lira is sold by the terrorists for 500. And people buy it. What else could they do? Many parents tried to save their children. I know several local families who gave away their girls for marriage just to get them out of the area,” Sahim recalled.

The eyewitness added that when locals tried to organize to get the attention of US military command about arranging the supply of necessities, their requests fell on deaf ears. This, combined with the lack of any effort to rein in the militants, has given rise to anti-American sentiments, as well as hopes for cooperation with the Syrian government or even representatives of the Russian military.

The Russian Center for Reconciliation has offered to assist refugees from the Rukban camp. Despite the absence of any security guarantees from the US side, and the presence of roaming jihadist militants in the region, last month, Center representatives assisted in the evacuation of a small group of refugees from the camp. The reporters captured the evacuation on video.

For now, Patrashevich and Martynovich noted, the fate of the occupied Syrian enclave is in American hands. So long as the illegal US occupation of the border area continues, Damascus will not be able to rest easy with regard to the security of its southern territories.

January 15, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments

Sweden Starts Anti-‘Fake News’ Body for Mental Defense Against ‘Russian Threat’

Sputnik | January 15, 2108

In a build-up prior the forthcoming general election in September 2018, the Swedish government is planning to set up a new authority responsible for psychological defense. The perennial and widely speculated upon “Russian threat” has once again been used as a bogeyman.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, who presented the idea of a new authority tasked with the nation’s psychological defense at the national People and Defense security conference, said it would safeguard the people’s will for peace and resilience in times of war, as well as ensure the public’s right to accurate public information, deterring potential disinformation campaigns.

“We will not hesitate to expose those who are still trying to do something like this. We know that operations are underway at the moment,” Löfven said in his speech in Sälen, specifically pointing out Russia, which he also called a “large and important neighbor in the East.” “However, we cannot rule out that there may be others,” he said, adding that Sweden was “well prepared to face the new threats.”

Previously, the Nordic nation’s psychological defense has been safeguarded by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB). The new authority will specifically focus on foreign indoctrination operations as part of Sweden’s “total defense.”

“Our election system is robust. Our intelligence services warn of suspicious operations in advance. Several authorities have received increased funding to further hone their ability. But more must be done. So to those considering influencing the election outcome in our country: Stay out!” Löfven thundered.

“Russian hacking” became part of the Swedish narrative about a year ahead of the elections. Already in January 2017, the very same Löfven groundlessly speculated that Russia would try and influence the Swedish parliamentary election.”There is nothing that indicates that future Swedish elections will be peaceful,” Löfven was quoted as saying.

Columnist Patrik Oksanen, who suggested that Sweden was engaged in an information war as early as 2015, argued that Russia’s aim is to have a direct ruling on who is fit to occupy key posts, in attempt to “restore its natural influence.” In late 2017, Oksanen went on so far as to accuse the Swedish establishment of “running Russia’s errands,” suggesting there were “Putin’s lackey’s” both left and right.

“So what can we expect from the 2018 election year? The structure of Russian influence in Sweden is established, the temperature is set to increase, Oksanen wrote in his recent opinion piece in the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, titled “We have to protect ourselves mentally against Russia.”

The accusations, however, were brushed aside by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as ludicrous.

“I am sure that those who are aware of the situation understand how laughable this is,” Lavrov said.

At present, no start date for the new authority has been set. In a follow-up to upping the “total defense” strategy, however, leaflets “If the war comes” will be distributed among Swedish households for the first time in 30 years.

​In addition to instructing Swedes on handling war and terror, the new edition of the brochure will have an emphasis on psyops.

The first edition of “If the war comes” was developed by the Swedish Defense and was first distributed among all Swedish households During World War II in 1943. The circulation of the information booklet ceased in the 1980s, only to resume in 2018. By the end of June, 4.7 million Swedish families will have received the pamphlet from the MSB with detailed instructions on how to deal with terrorist attacks, natural disasters, war and, not least, “fake news.”

“Previously, the focus was entirely on war. Today’s society is totally different. There is a more complex threat of climate change, terrorist attacks, pandemics and indoctrination,” Christina Andersson, tasked with the preparation of the brochure, told the Aftonbladet daily.

At the same time, Swedes’ concern about military threats in the country are abating. Today, only 28 percent of Swedes feel worried, which is a marked drop from 34 percent in 2016, national broadcaster SVT reported.

READ ALSO:

Money Rains Over Swedish Mainstream Media to Stop ‘Fake News,’ ‘Russian Trolls’

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

LAST STEP IRAN: What Our Recent Protests Were Really About

By Hamed Ghashghavi | 21st Century Wire | January 15, 2018

TEHRAN, Iran — Two weeks ago, the first demonstration was held in Mashhad and the main reason was people’s total dissatisfaction of credit institutions and banks, which took their money as a hostage for several months.

Some months ago, I witnessed myself people protesting peacefully in front of Iran’s Parliament and Central Bank. Actually, banks in Iran have effective powers (sometime more than European banks), and the interest rates are between 15 to 25%, invested in boondoggle building projects and other matters that normally they should not! We see similar situations the world over.

We can never deny that citizens, including myself, are facing financial problems due to the situation of the country. Essentially, after president Rouhani’s government has invested most of its time and energy on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ‘Iran nuclear deal’, he had promised the public that Iran’s economic and financial crisis will be resolved after that deal, however, this crisis is still escalating.

Of course the American and European embargoes have partly influenced that economic crisis, but it seems that this has been exacerbated by the inefficiency of the Rouhani Administration. For years, the Supreme Leader has been speaking about the ‘Resistive Economy’ (Economy of Resistance), and the importance of the internal economy (an indigenous one based on nation’s production and employment) while many officials, particularly in Rouhani government, believe the best solution is to be more in touch with European and American economies.

So after the Supreme Leader Sayed Ali Khamenei issued the principles of that Economy of Resistance, authorities began to repeatedly use that expression in their interviews and speeches which urged the Supreme Leader to choose “Economy of Resistance: Production and Employment” as the name of current year in Persian calendar.

Since that deal, many European companies such as Peugeot, Citroen, TOTAL and other leading Europe-based trans-national corporations have come to Tehran and signed multiple contracts with both governmental and non-governmental sides. Practically, and as the Supreme Leader has affirmed, these contracts have been only signed and nothing has changed on the ground. Besides, people have realised that Rouhani’s promises have not been fulfilled. Even if there were any economic advantages out of this deal, the benefits were for the big companies and not the middle class.

These days I hear even some friends saying that European states would like to stay committed to JCPOA, and so I would like to add this point toward European attitude on that issue:

Francesco Condemi, a French documentary filmmaker in his work entitled “L’affaire Peugeot (2013)” has affirmed that the Zionist Lobby in France has been putting a lot of pressure on Peugeot Company to cut its ties with Iran Khodro (Branded as IKCO, an Iranian multinational automaker headquartered in Tehran). Consequently, this emphasises that the Europeans are not committed to any kind of deal with Iranians and moreover, once their interests are threatened, they are the first to turn against you.

Not only based on that documentary and statistics, but also according to FranceTV analysts after France itself, Iran is world’s greatest market for their products, while over in Europe – French cars are a mere ‘third priority’ behind German and Italian cars, which are superior in quality.

Holding a peaceful demonstration in Iran is a guaranteed right as the constitution stipulates. None of the first demonstrations witnessed in the beginning were violent – not until our enemies’ agent provocateurs infiltrated events and began burning the national flag and martyrs’ portraits, attacking some military and government buildings and damaging public places and even setting fire to them. All of this only served to distract the focus of the demonstrations from their original raison d’etre.

In the recent presidential elections, 73.03% Iranian people participated, showing they support the Islamic Revolution and recognise the main reason for Iran’s stability and security in such a region is the Supreme Leader’s wisdom.

And honestly, what percentage of American and European citizens participate in their elections?

For those who are not aware of how Iran’s politcal system is designed, here are some useful infographics to help explain:

Sayed Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, in a public speech, on 15 February 2017, said (translated from Farsi):

“I say that to country’s officials, if people participate in 22 Bahman (The date on the Persian calendar coinciding with the anniversary of the February 11, 1979, Islamic Revolution) demonstration, it does not mean that they’re satisfied with what we do, people are gluttonous, they are gluttonous based on many issues happening in the country, people don’t like discrimination, anywhere they see some discrimination they feel bad and suffer, the same when they see hypothyroidism, the same when they see (authorities) being indifferent about their problems, when they see the things not advancing, they’re gluttonous. 22 Bahman has to be counted separately, people’s resistance against an enemy ambush to swallow Iran is one thing, which has been illustrated in 22 Bahman, and their expectation from us, the country’s officials – is another thing!”

“If people took to the streets on 22 Bahman it does not mean that they are satisfied with what the government does. The Supreme Leader added, “People’s grievances cannot be ignored: recession, unemployment, and inflation are important issues.”

He also said,

“One European official said to one of our officials that if it was not for the JCPOA, a war on Iran would be certain. This is just a lie! Why are they talking about war? Because they want to engage the minds of the people in war; however, the real war is an economic war – sanctions and ruining the levels of employment activity and technology industries within our country. They draw our attention to a military war so we may forget about these other wars. A real war is a cultural war.”


French mountebank Bernard-Henri Lévy prancing around the MENA region from one war to next, in the service of terrorists.

Undoubtedly, the right of people to demonstrate peacefully is an essential one, but we should be careful of foreign infiltration. We cannot forget what has happened and still is happening in Ukraine, Georgia and some other countries around Eastern Europe. In addition to that we discovered the media manipulation on Libya and Syria by people like French self-styled ‘philosopher’ Bernard-Henri Lévy, and colour revolution engineer George Soros, and their various fabricated Arab Spring narratives in places like Libya. We witnessed the same in Syria, as media operatives made-up the girls and boys as if they have been brutally wounded by Syrian Army, or in Ukraine when we saw similar events on the Maidan. To them, the media is a tool they use to conjure fabricated ‘revolutions’ for a global audience.


A warning to the world: if you see this man, Bernard-Henri Lévy, you can be sure that trouble is around the corner.

During the recent events in Iran, the western Mainstream Media has utilised the same videos from different Iranian cities. BBC Persian, VOA Persian and Manoto were all trying to stimulate chaos in any possible way. It is worth mentioning also that almost 200 Persian-language television channels were founded after the 2009 presidential elections. Like the Gulf-based Arab channels did with Syria, these channels continually provoke people to reject their government by calling them to demonstrate and come to streets. In addition, they brainwash the minds of the Iranians through TV series and movies that attack our cultural lifestyle, values and conventions. The TV series and movies in which we can’t understand who has sexual relation with whom, or if a woman is pregnant as result of having sex with her husband or boyfriend, while constantly promoting various types of intellectual and sexual perversions.

All of these international channels are backed and financed by Western powers, often used as tools of the British and American intelligentsia. Besides, so-called ‘civil society’ NGOs like Brookings Institution’s Centre for Middle East Policy (Saban Centre), International Republican Institute, Freedom House, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Albert Einstein Institution, Council on Foreign Relations, American Enterprise Institute and many others – are all trying their best to interfere in Iranian affairs on some level.

Trump & others, in the name of ‘human rights’, are working hard to create chaos in Iran, whilst they ignore their worldwide crimes, killing, massacring, torturing, doing genocides, raping, violating, and stealing the wealth and resources of poor nations.

On one hand, we can see how Iranians, people and elites, condemn the violence, while on another hand they are against the corrupted authorities who have to pay the price – and people must see the result of this as the Leader said. Nevertheless, many officials including Major General Mohsen Rezaee view that we should not put the infiltrated anti-governmental individuals with the peaceful citizens in the same basket. Those peaceful people request to have a better economic situation, which is a legitimate and fundamental right.

Definitely, Iran, Russia, Syria, Iraq and Hezbollah have defeated the American’s so-called “War on Terror” and the new US-led project for the Middle East which began on 9/11. All extremists sectarian Wahhabi groups failed to fulfill the American dream of further breaking up the region. Accordingly, creating chaos in Iran is their last step, but, fortunately, the Iranian people are wise enough to confront these conspiracies.


Western media refused to show massive nationwide pro-government demonstrations in early January because these did not fit their western ‘regime change’ narrative.

It is significant that pro-government demonstrations are occasionally held in democratic states such as Iran. People have taken to streets, despite the extremely cold and snowy weather, to slam the anti-government violent activities taking place. However, Western and Saudi mainstream media did not cover these pro-Leader and pro-Islamic Republic demonstrations – as they themselves, the West and Saudi monarchs – don’t have such a popularity or passion in their own countries. Remarkably, one of the people’s slogans condemning foreign agents infiltrated in initial protests was,

“WE THE PEOPLE TAKE CARE OF STOPPING THE ANTI-REVOLUTION DEMONSTRATION AND YOU THE OFFICIAL TAKE CARE OF ECONOMIC PROBLEMS.”

Here are numerous examples of such demonstrations during these past weeks:

Anniversary of December 30, 2009 pro-government rally in Iran , some photos of 2009 rally

(Dec. 29): Tabriz, (Dec. 30): Tehran 1, Across the Country 1, Qom, Tehran 2, Across the Country 2,

Pro-government rallies after recent events: Zanjan (Jan. 1), Across the country 1 (Jan. 2), Across the country 2 (Jan. 2), People appreciating police forces in Azadshahr of Mashhad (Jan. 2), Across the country 3 (Jan. 3), Tehran after Friday prayer (Jan. 5), Past Friday prayer in Tehan (Jan. 5), Across the country 4 (Jan. 4), Across the country 5 (Jan. 4), Across the country 6 (Jan. 7)

Rasht,
Mashhad 2, Isfahan, Tehran 2, Ahavz, Ilam and Bodschurd. . .

Double Trouble: US and Saudi Hegemony

US military bases have formed a strategic envelope around Iran, as well as the strategic positioning many US-backed and funded terrorist and extremist groups – such as Al-Qaeda on the Eastern borders, and ISIS on Western borders. However, recent victories by Syria and Iraq, with support from Iran, have proven these Western and Gulf-backed terrorist groups to be a complete failure, and in their failure – have instead strengthened Iran.

Supreme Leader Sayed Ali Khamenei has mocked US president Donald Trump and said that he would fail in his hardline stance against Iran, just as his “smarter” predecessor Ronald Reagan did before him. “Reagan was more powerful and smarter than Trump. He was a better actor in making threats. He also moved against us and shot down our plane,” Leader Khamenei emphasised.

We knew that last year’s ISIS attack in Tehran was funded and sponsored by Saudi government and even before that Bin Salman said “we will bring war into Iran”. And as we look at the recent events in Iran, most related hashtags were tweeted from Saudi Arabia. No surprise there.

As I’ve been asked by many friends about the current status of former president Ahmadinejad, I add this point as a big FORMER fan of this man – I can imagine how understanding of Iran’s domestic policies is difficult for the foreign audience and that is why Western mainstream media is regularly confused about it. That’s why in my last article I explained about the succession of Iran’s presidents and I suggest to those who would like to know why and how Ahmadinejad fits into this series of events, to please take a read to the related part of this article.

We all know that judiciary power in Iran is politically independent as we witnessed many relatives of officials as Hashemi Rafsanjani’s son (Mehdi)’s, president Rouhani’s brother (Hossein Feridon), vice-president Jahangiri’s brother (Mehdi), Ahmadinejad’s deputy (Mohammad Reza Rahimi) were all convicted of corruption and are currently jailed.

Ahmadinejad has recently started to attack judiciary power because his close friends have been arrested or jailed, in Iranian news agencies or websites, except one or two, until now there is no confirmed information about Ahmadinejad’s arrest or his probable involvement in recent provocations. But once again as a big FORMER fan of Mahmoud, (and himself he knows how much I loved him and he was a very important figure for me) I hope this news to be true as this ex-great man became very selfish and arrogant.

And lastly, a surprising point: after Trump’s stupid decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing that Holy City as a capital of an inhumane and absolute criminal entity – the whole world was talking about Palestine, but now after Iran’s recent events, who is still talking about Palestine? This demonstrates the power of distraction.

We’ll finish by quoting Iran’s Supreme Leader and his reaction from to recent events (from Jan 9). The Leader of the Revolution discussed the ‘triangular model’, or the international pyramid hierarchy scheme, used to describe who was responsible for the flow of money and carrying out the orchestrated events in Iran recently.

The hierarchy of the pyramid/triangle is listed from top (1) to bottom (3) in Ayatollah Khamenei’s own words:

  1. “The plot was made by Americans (US) and Zionists. They have been plotting for many months to initiate riots in small cities and eventually move towards the center.”
  2. “Money was provided by a wealthy government near the Persian Gulf. Well, these plots are costly. The Americans are not willing to spend money while such accomplices are already there.”
  3. “The third side of the triangle consists of the US submissive henchmen: Mohajhedeen-E-Khalq Organization, the murderous MEK [aka MKO].”

“The rulers in the United States, firstly, know that they didn’t achieve their goal: they might try to repeat it, but they know that can never achieve it. Secondly, they damaged us during these days, they know there will be some sort of retaliation.”

“The vast manifestations arising from millions of Iranians against recent riots is no ordinary event. Nowhere, in this world, have we witnessed the same exact phenomena. I am well informed on this. This great, coherent people’s movement against the enemies’ conspiracy, with such organization, awareness, and enthusiasm is unique among the world, and it continues for forty years now.”

“It’s not simply a question of a number of years. It is a fight of a nation against an anti-nation; a fight of Iran against anti-Iran; a fight of Islam against anti-Islam: this has always existed and will persists.”

“All actions that the enemies have waged against us, during the past forty years, are counter-attacks against the Islamic Revolution. The revolution uprooted the enemies’ political position in the country; now they (the enemy) uses counter attacks, frequently, and is defeated each time. The enemy acts and cannot advance because of the resistance: the strong national and popular barrier.”

“Once again, the nation with its full power tells the United States, the UK and their Londoners, ‘they couldn’t make it happen this time, and will never achieve their goals.’”

“Various analyses were proposed during these days. All these analyses had a common point: the point which allows the righteous and truthful desires of the people to be distinguished from and the brutal and destructive movements of another group. The two must be distinguished,”

“That a person is deprived of a right and objects to it: or that protesters – hundreds of people — come together and gather to express their concerns, is one thing; and that a number of the people from this gathering misuse this motive–to insult the Quran, to insult Islam, to insult the flag, to burn the Mosque, commit sabotage or set the country on fire–is another thing. The two should not be mixed.”

“The people’s wants, appeals, or protests have always existed in this country, and persist today. Well, like these problematic financial institutions, some of the institutes have been problematic and have made some people very dissatisfied.”

“These appeals must be dealt with and heard out. They must be answered as much as possible,”

All of us — I do not say “others must follow”— I myself am responsible; all of us “must follow this approach.”

“I would like to add that these events had a distinct triangle pattern or scheme. Events did not emerge overnight; but they have been carefully organized. My observances are based on information from sources of intelligence: some are made obvious by their own statements, some have been obtained through intelligence operations.”

“They were prepared months ago. The media of the MEK admitted to this; they said, recently, that they were in contact with Americans some months ago, to carry out U.S.’ orders: to organize riots, meet with this or that person, find individuals inside the country to help them fan out to the people. And that it was they who initiated this.”

“They began with a slogan [to catch attention] in opposition to high prices. Well, this is a slogan that everyone likes. They wanted to attract some people with this message, then enter the arena themselves to pursue their evil goals and attract followers. What people did here is this: First, some people came to streets–though not a big number–, however, just as they understood the real intentions behind, the people separated their lines.”

“On the one hand, the rioters shouted ‘my life be sacrificed for the sake of Iran,’ on the other hand, they burned the flag of Iran! The fools did not understand that these two actions simply cannot go together. Well, we hope that you (MEK) die for Iran! But, when have you stood up to the enemies of Iran? Those who have always stood against the enemy of Iran are the devout, believing, and revolutionary people. Who were the 300,000 martyrs of the Holy Defense era? They were these believing and revolutionary men who defended their country. When have you (MEK) died for Iran, that you shout ‘my life be sacrificed for the sake of Iran’?”

“Well, the United States is now angry, extremely furious; it’s not angry with only me; it’s angry with everyone and everything: angry with the Iranian people, angry with the government, and angry with the Revolution of Iran because it was defeated by this massive, retaliatory movement.”

“Now, the US officials have started to talk nonsense; the president of the United States says the Iranian government fears its very own people! No, the Iranian government was born by their people; it is for their people, is created by the Iranian people, and relies upon them. Why should it fear their own people? If the people were not there, no Islamic government would exists!”

“He [Trump] says that the Iranian government is afraid of U.S.’ power. So, if we are “afraid” of you, how did we expel you from Iran in the late 1970’s and expel you from the entire region in the 2010’s?”

“The rulers in the United States, firstly, know that they didn’t achieve their goal: they might try to repeat it, but they know that can never achieve it. Secondly, they damaged us during these days, they know there will be some sort of retaliation. Thirdly, this man who sits at the head of the White House— although, he seems to be a very instable man–he must realize that these extreme and psychotic episodes won’t be left without a response.”

In his final statements Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of the Revolution, reminded his audience: “Those who like to make friends with U.S. agents–whether outside or whether, unfortunately, some inside–they also know that this system is strongly standing and will resolve all weaknesses and problems with God’s grace.”

***

Author Hamed Ghashghavi is a polyglot researcher on North American and Western European Studies, as well as a linguist and documentary filmmaker & editor, based in Tehran.

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Foreign Ministry: US Announcement of Forming Armed Militia in North-eastern Syria Violates Syria’s Sovereignty, Int’l Law

Al-Manar | January 15, 2018

The Syrian Arab Republic strongly condemned the US announcement of forming an armed militia in the north-eastern Syria as a blatant breach of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and a flagrant violation of the International law, an official source at the Foreign Ministry said Monday.

The source added that the US step came within the framework of its destructive policies which aim at fragmenting the region, fueling tensions and conflicts and hindering solutions to its crises as it clearly shows its hostility towards the Arab Nation in order to implement the US-Zionist scheme.

It said that the Syrian Arab Republic urges the international community to denounce this American step and take action to put an end to the domination mentality and arrogance which govern the US Administration’s policies, warning of its negative consequences on international peace and security.

The Ministry considered any Syrian citizen who takes part in the US-backed militia as a traitor to the Syrian state and people and will be treated as one, adding that these militias will hinder reaching to a political solution to the situation in Syria.

The source concluded by renewing the Syrian people and army’s steadfastness and determination to thwart this conspiracy, end the presence of the US, its agents and tools in Syria, establish full control over the entire Syrian territory and preserve the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and the unity of its people.

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

The CIA’s 70-Year History of Disinformation: How the CIA Funded the Opinion Magazines in Europe

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | January 15, 2018

When an intelligence agency arranges to disseminate fake news it is called “disinformation” and it is a subset of what is referred to as covert action, basically secret operations run in a foreign country to influence opinion or to disrupt the functioning of a government or group that is considered to be hostile.

During the Cold War, disinformation operations were run by many of the leading players in both the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and in the opposition Warsaw Pact. Sometimes the activity and the sponsorship were clearly visible, as when Radio Free Europe and Radio Moscow would exchange barbs about just how bad daily life was in the opposition alliance. Sometimes, however, it took the form of clandestinely placing stories in the media that were clearly untrue but designed to shift public perceptions of what was taking place in the world. The Vietnam War provided a perfect proxy playing field, with stories emanating from the U.S. government and its supporters presenting a narrative of a fight for democracy against totalitarianism while the Communist bloc promoted a contrary tale of colonial and capitalist oppression of a people striving to be free.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) inherited the mantle of covert action operations as a legacy from its OSS predecessor, which had had considerable success in conducting disinformation operations during World War 2. But there was from the start considerable opposition to continuing such programs as they were both expensive and subject to devastating blowback when they were identified and exposed. In Western Europe, powerful domestic communist parties were quick to publicize U.S. intelligence missteps, but nevertheless the ability to manipulate the news and information media to place stories critical of the Soviets and their allies led to major programs that funded magazines and books while also seeking to acquire a cadre of journalists that would produce pieces on demand proved too tempting to ignore.

There has been considerable ex post facto examination of the CIA’s use of covert funding mechanisms including the Congress of Cultural Freedom to fund writers and magazines in Europe, the best known of which were The Paris Review and Encounter out of London. As there was a low intensity war going on against communism, a conflict which many patriotic writers supported, funding magazines and finding contributors to write appropriate material was relatively easy and hardly challenged. Some senior editors knew or strongly suspected where their funding was coming from while some did not, but most didn’t ask any questions because then as now patrons of literary magazines were in short supply. Many of the writers were in the dark about the funding, but wrote what they did because of their own personal political convictions. The CIA, seeking value for money, would urge certain editorial lines but was not always very aggressive in doing so as it sought to allow the process to play out without too much interference.

Opinion magazines were one thing, but penetrating the newspaper world was quite a different story. It was easy to find a low or mid-level journalist and pay him to write certain pieces, but the pathway to actual publication was and is more complicated than that, going as it does through several editorial levels before appearing in print. A recent book cites the belief that CIA had “an agent at a newspaper in every world capital at least since 1977” who could be directed to post or kill stories. While it is true that U.S. Embassies and intelligence services had considerable ability to place stories in capitals in Latin America and parts of Asia, the record in Europe, where I worked, was somewhat mixed. I knew of only one senior editor of a major European newspaper who was considered to be an Agency resource, and even he could not place fake news as he was answerable both to his editorial board and the conglomerate that owned the paper. He also refused to take a salary from CIA, which meant that his cooperation was voluntary and he could not be directed.

CIA did indeed have a considerable number of journalist “assets” in Europe but they were generally stringers or mid-level and had only limited capability to actually shape the news. They frequently wrote for publications that had little or no impact. Indeed, one might reasonably ask whether the support of literary magazines in the fifties and sixties which morphed into more direct operations seeking journalist agents had any significant impact at all in geopolitical terms or on the Cold War itself.

More insidious was so-called Operation Mockingbird, which began in the early 1950s and which more-or-less openly obtained the cooperation of major American publications and news outlets to help fight communist “subversion.” The activity was exposed by Seymour Hersh in 1975 and was further described by the Church Commission in 1976, after which point CIA operations to influence opinion in the United States became illegal and the use of American journalists as agents was also generally prohibited. It was also learned that the Agency had been working outside its founding charter to infiltrate student groups and antiwar organizations under Operation Chaos, run by the CIA’s controversial if not completely crazy counterintelligence Czar James Jesus Angleton.

As the wheel of government frequently ends up turning full circle, we appear to be back in the age of disinformation, where the national security agencies of the U.S. government, including CIA, are now suspected of peddling stories that are intended to influence opinion in the United States and produce a political response. The Steele Dossier on Donald Trump is a perfect example, a report that surfaced through a deliberate series of actions by then CIA Director John Brennan, and which was filled with unverifiable innuendo intended to destroy the president-elect’s reputation before he took office. It is undeniably a positive development for all Americans who care about good governance that Congress is now intending to investigate the dossier to determine who ordered it, paid for it, and what it was intended to achieve.

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

US Urges EU to ‘Fix’ Iran Deal: Brussels Between a Rock and a Hard Place

By Peter KORZUN | Strategic Culture Foundation | 15.01.2018

President Trump said it was the final waiver extending Iran nuclear deal. He did it with strings attached. The president’s demands include: immediate inspections at sites by international inspectors and “denying Iran paths to nuclear weapons forever” (instead of 10 years as stipulated under current law). New sanctions were issued against 14 people and entities involved with Iran’s ballistic missile programs and a crackdown on government protesters. The president wants the deal to cover Iran’s ballistic missile programs.

Restrictive measures were extended three times last year. And Donald Trump never certified the agreement. Senator Bob Corker, the current chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations, said “significant progress” had been made on bipartisan congressional legislation to address “flaws in the agreement without violating US commitments.”

According to President Trump, there are only two options: either the deal is fixed or the US pulls out. This time he wants to pass the buck, emphasizing that the decision to do it the last time is explained by his desire to secure the agreement of US European allies to fix what he calls “the terrible flaws” of the Joint Commission Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the Iran nuclear deal. Europeans have 120 days to define their position. From now on, Europe is facing a real hard choice: it’s either dancing to the US tune or being adamant in its support for the deal. The latter will bring it closer to Russia.

Germany said on Jan.12 that it remained committed to the deal and that it would consult with “European partners to find a common way forward”. The European Union remains committed to support the implementation of the JCPOA.

The US plan hardly has a chance of success. Even if Europe joins the US, which is not the case, at least for now, the introduction of any changes to the deal requires the consent of other participants: Russia, China and Iran. Tehran has taken a tough stance, flatly refusing any talks on changes.

Another element of US proposal is also a tall order. The president wants a separate follow-on deal on Iran with the EU “to enshrine triggers that the Iranian government could not exceed related to ballistic missiles.” The consent of other participants is not needed but a separate agreement will bury the JCPOA as the provisions of the two deals will contradict each other. Iran will have to pull out and it will not be its fault and responsibility.

A unilateral US withdrawal is the most feasible option. But it will provoke an international outcry. It’s better to face the consequences being a member of an international coalition. So, the US is aggressively pursuing its goals. The stakes are high and Europe will have to make its choice. If it does not back the deal, its image as a reliable partner will be damaged internationally. The EU has economic interests in Iran. It’ll lose a lot pulling out from the JCPOA. On the other hand, Europe is not at all happy at the prospect of deteriorating relations with the United States.

There is another important aspect not to be forgotten. It’s a win-win situation for Moscow. Russia does not want the Iran deal threatened. Its contribution into it was important enough. But if Brussels succumbs to pressure, it’ll be a political win for Russia to bolster its image as a reliable partner remaining faithful to its obligations. Even with the JCPOA in place, some restrictions on economic and military cooperation remain in force. If the US tears up the deal, there will be no formal obligation to comply with them. Tehran will be pushed to develop even closer ties with Moscow and Beijing.

If the EU stands tall and has it its way, the US European partners may not back the United States in the United Nations, undermining what is called “Western unity”. Brussels and Moscow will get closer. Iran will become a field for cooperation. The process of rapprochement will be spurred if the US imposes restrictive measures on European companies participating in joint projects with Russia, such as Nord Stream-2, for instance. That’s how US sticking with tough stance on Iran may backfire. Acting high and mighty on international stage does not always bring the desired results. Taking well-thought-out foreign policy moves as elements of grand strategy does pay off but the US prefers to act otherwise. By doing so, it risks shooting itself in the foot.

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment