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In words and deeds: the genesis of Israeli violence

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | January 16, 2018

Not a day passes without a prominent Israeli politician or intellectual making an outrageous statement against Palestinians. Many of these statements tend to garner little attention or evoke rightly deserved outrage.

Just recently, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, called for more death and injuries on Palestinians in Gaza.

“What is this special weapon we have that we fire and see pillars of smoke and fire, but nobody gets hurt? It is time for there to be injuries and deaths as well,” he said.

Ariel’s calling for the killing of more Palestinians came on the heels of other repugnant statements concerning a 16-year-old teenager girl, Ahed Tamimi. Ahed was arrested in a violent Israeli army raid at her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

A video recording showed her slapping an Israeli soldier a day after the Israeli army shot her cousin in the head, placing him in a coma.

Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, known for his extremist political views, demanded that Ahed and other Palestinian girls should “spend the rest of their days in prison”.

A prominent Israeli journalist, Ben Caspit, sought yet more punishment. He suggested that Ahed and girls like her should be raped in jail.

“In the case of the girls, we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras”, he wrote in Hebrew.

This violent and revolting mindset, however, is not new. It is an extension of an old, entrenched belief system that is predicated on a long history of violence.

Undeniably, the views of Ariel, Bennett and Caspit are not angry statements uttered in a moment of rage. They are all reflections of real policies that have been carried out for over 70 years. Indeed, killing, raping and imprisoning for life are features that have accompanied the state of Israel since the very beginning.

This violent legacy continues to define Israel to this day, through the use of what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe describes as ‘incremental genocide.’

Throughout this long legacy, little has changed except for names and titles. The Zionist militias that orchestrated the genocide of the Palestinians prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948 merged together to form the Israeli army; and the leaders of these groups became Israel’s leaders.

Israel’s violent birth in 1947- 48 was the culmination of the violent discourse that preceded it for many years. It was the time when Zionist teachings of prior years were put into practice and the outcome was simply horrifying.

“The tactic of isolating and attacking a certain village or town and executing its population in a horrible, indiscriminate massacre was a strategy employed, time and again, by Zionist bands to compel the population of surrounding villages and towns to flee,” Ahmad Al-Haaj told me when I asked him to reflect on Israel’s past and present.

Al-Haaj is a Palestinian historian and an expert on the Nakba, the ‘Catastrophe’ that had befallen Palestinians in 1948.

The 85-year-old intellectual’s proficiency in the subject began 70 years ago, when, as a 15-year-old, he witnessed the massacre of Beit Daras at the hands of Jewish Haganah militia.

The destruction of the southern Palestinian village and the killing of dozens of its inhabitants resulted in the depopulation of many adjacent villages, including al-Sawafir, Al-Haaj’s home village.

“The notorious Deir Yasin massacre was the first example of such wanton killing, a model that was duplicated in other parts of Palestine,” Al-Haaj said.

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine at the time was orchestrated by several Zionist militias. The mainstream Jewish militia was the Haganah which belonged to the Jewish Agency.

The latter functioned as a semi-government, under the auspices of the British Mandate Government, while the Haganah served as its army.

However, other breakaway groups also operated according to their own agenda. Two leading bands amongst them were the Irgun (National Military Organization) and Lehi (also known as the Stern Gang). These groups carried out numerous terrorist attacks, including bus bombings and targeted assassinations.

Russian-born Menachem Begin was the leader of the Irgun which, along with the Stern Gang and other Jewish militants, massacred hundreds of civilians in Deir Yassin.

‘Tell the soldiers: you have made history in Israel with your attack and your conquest. Continue this until victory. As in Deir Yassin, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, Thou has chosen us for conquest,” Begin wrote at the time. He described the massacre as a “splendid act of conquest.”

The intrinsic link between words and actions remain unchanged.

Nearly 30 years later, a once wanted terrorist, Begin became Prime Minister of Israel. He accelerated land theft of the newly-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, launched a war on Lebanon, annexed Occupied Jerusalem to Israel and carried out the massacre of Sabra and Shatilla in 1982.

Some of the other terrorists-turned-politicians and top army brass include Begin, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan and Yitzhak Shamir. Each one of these leaders has a record dotted with violence.

Shamir served as the Prime Minister of Israel from 1986 – 1992. In 1941, Shamir was imprisoned by the British for his role in the Stern Gang. Later, as Prime Minister, he ordered a violent crackdown against a mostly non-violent Palestinian uprising in 1987, purposely breaking the limbs of kids accused of throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers.

So, when government ministers like Ariel and Bennett call for wanton violence against Palestinians, they are simply carrying on with a bloody legacy that has defined every single Israeli leader in the past. It is the violent mindset that continues to control the Israeli government and its relationship with Palestinians; in fact, with all of its neighbours.

 

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 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

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

CIA and the Assassination of Leaders Overseas

By Vladimir Platov – New Eastern Outlook – 14.01.2018

The history of the US Central Intelligence Agency is replete with numerous examples of political assassinations, not only in the US, but also of leaders of countries Washington disagrees with. So today, the CIA has actively begun developing various methods for the deliberate elimination of the US’s newest political opponent, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, involving not only special forces in this task, but also the special services of countries that cooperate closely with the CIA.

Evidence of this, in particular, can be found in the $310,000 of the country’s defense budget for 2018, officially laid out by the South Korean government; the cost of eliminating North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un. These funds will be spent on training and equipping a special “decapitation unit” dedicated to the North Korean leadership, the creation of which became known on December 1. The squad will include about one thousand commandos, whose task in the event of a war will be to find and kill Kim Jong-un and other top leaders of the neighboring state. As a source in the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Korea told the newspaper Korea Herald, the squad’s special equipment will include drones, suicide bombers, reconnaissance drones and even heavy grenade launchers. The structure and training plans of the squad are classified, but according to the information of the South Korean media, the soldiers of the new squad will train according to methodology used by the US special purpose team SEAL Team Six, which assassinated Osama bin Laden.

At the same time, it should be remembered that an attempt to create a special squad in South Korea in 1968 with similar goals ended in tragedy. At the time, 31 South Korean criminals were promised a pardon if the squad they formed killed Kim Il-sung. The group underwent intensive training, during which three people were killed, and in the end they were sent on rubber boats to the DPRK, but halfway were recalled. The prisoners were not released, the exhausting training continued, and the date of the new operation was set. In 1971, members of the squad rebelled, killed their instructors, tried to get to Seoul and, when they were blocked by the army, blew themselves up with grenades. The four survivors were later executed. In 2003 the South Korean film “Silmido” was made about this tragic episode.

Such radical plans to get rid of political opponents are hardly surprising, especially when these plans are developed and supervised by the CIA, which is adept in these matters. And it’s no wonder that even the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, spoke in October at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies forum in Washington, saying that if the CIA liquidates the leader of the DPRK, Kim Jong-un, he would not acknowledge involvement of American agents in the assassination.

Everyone knows that in order to maintain their dominance, the US stops at nothing, including the murders of undesirables. During the 50s and 60s, they killed the largest number of foreign leaders and public figures who were fighting not for communism, but for their countries’ national independence. Then came a certain lull, connected both with the policy of “detente” and with scandalous exposures of the CIA’s activities by the Senate Commission of F. Church in 1975. The committee’s conclusions about the illegal activities of American intelligence services (in particular, evidence of murders and numerous attempts on the lives of foreign statesmen) led to the adoption by US President J. Ford of an order banning “officially sanctioned” murders of foreign leaders. However, in 1981 this presidential decree was overturned by Reagan, and the list of victims began to grow rapidly once again.

After numerous media discussions, longstanding interest is not letting up in the secret of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s fast-developing infection and subsequent death with a new form of biological weapon: a cancer virus and the American special services’ involvement in this.

However, another highly strange and inexplicable fact (other than the special operation of the US special services), is that, besides Hugo Chavez, a number of other Latin American leaders, clearly disliked by Washington, “unexpectedly” fell ill with cancer all at the same time. Among them were Argentine President Nestor Kirchner (succeeded by Christine Kirchner), Brazilian President I. Lula da Silva (after whom Dilma Roussef came to power), and Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo (who was overthrown during the CIA’s coup d’état in 2012; shortly thereafter he was diagnosed with cancer). It is also curious that after the conservative and pro-American president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, began peace talks with the partisans of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), he also “unexpectedly” contracted cancer.

Venezuelan writer Luis Brito Garcia counted more than 900 attempts on the life of Cuban leader Fidel Castro organized by the CIA. And in the last years of his life, Castro also suffered a mysterious oncological bowel disease, which struck him after the 2006 “People’s Summit” in the Argentine city of Cordoba.

We also recall the very strange death of former Palestinian President (PLO) Yasser Arafat, who suffered … leukemia in 2004.

It is also not unreasonable to cite WikiLeaks’ revelations that in 2008 the CIA asked its embassy in Paraguay to collect biometric data, including DNA, of all four presidential candidates. With knowledge of a person’s DNA code, it is easy to develop an oncogene for each individual. And if we assume that such data were obtained on the eve of the elections in Brazil, then Dilma Roussef’s cancer, contracted in 2009, fits perfectly into this theory.

So, in addition to forceful options for eliminating political opponents (as, in particular, happened with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein or Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi), it is unlikely that the CIA would be above infecting them with cancer viruses. Moreover, similar experiments have been conducted for a long time in the secret laboratories of the CIA, where they became a “military trophy of the American special services” based on the brutal concentration camp human experimentation of Josef Mengele, and before that “on the experience” of the American, Cornelius “Doctor Death” Rhoads. This pathologist from the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research started work in Puerto Rico and became a “pioneer” in virtually all areas of the creation of new technologies for killing people, from chemical and biological methods to radiation. With funding from the Rockefeller Institute, he conducted experiments in Puerto Rico in the early 30s infecting people with cancer cells, which work was conducted inside a secret “Building No. 439″.

Is cancer the effect of a new weapon of the American intelligence agencies, fitting in well with the “modus vivendi” of the agonizing North American empire? We note only that the disease affected only those politicians whose political direction was contrary to the dominant position of the United States.

The US is on the edge of economic collapse and remains afloat only because it can launch a printing press to re-credit its economy, constantly growing its military budget and secret CIA operations. Therefore, it is entirely logical to assume that “the craftsmen of Langley” found new quick and inexpensive methods of effectively eliminating opponents. The most important advantage of these methods is that they leave no traces, are disguised as cancer or a heart attack and eliminate the possibility of exposure and direct liability.

January 14, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

US Army awards Sikorsky to supply 17 Black Hawk helicopters to Saudi

Press TV – January 13, 2018

The US Army has awarded Sikorsky, a leading American aircraft manufacturer based in Connecticut, a contract worth nearly $200 million to supply 17 Black Hawk helicopters to Saudi Arabia.

The terms of the “firm-fixed-price” agreement between the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, and the army were announced Thursday by the Department of Defense.

Saudi Arabia is expected to receive eight UH-60Ms for the kingdom’s National Guard, while the other nine helicopters will go to the Royal special security forces.

The UH-60M Black Hawk, a medium-lift, rotary-wing helicopter, has been in use by military forces around the world since it was first introduced in 1979.

It has multi-mission capabilities and can be used in combat search-and-rescue, airborne assault, command-and-control, medical evacuation, search-and-rescue, disaster relief and fire-fighting.

Sikorsky will begin work under the $193.8 million deal to manufacture the helicopters with an estimated completion date of the end of 2022.

The deal comes as the US is under pressure to suspend its arms sales to the Saudi regime, which has been waging a deadly military aggression against Yemen since 2015.

At least 13,600 people have been killed since the start of the war.

During his first trip to Saudi Arabia last year, President Donald Trump signed a $110 billion arms deal with the Saudis, with options to sell up to $350 billion over a decade.

Facilitated by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, the massive package includes missiles, bombs, armored personnel carriers, combat ships, terminal high altitude area defense (THAAD) missile systems and munitions.

The announcement generated backlash in Congress, with Republican Senator Rand Paul promising to work to block at least parts of the package.

The Trump administration is looking to loosen restrictions on American arms sales to boost the country’s weapons industry.

The move seeks to ease export rules for military equipment “from fighter jets and drones to warships and artillery,” according to officials familiar with the plan.

January 13, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Terrorists Keep Obtaining Weapons of States in US-led Coalition

 Sputnik – January 11, 2018

It’s been three days since Russia prevented a terrorist attack on its bases in Syria, with terrorists, as unexpected as it may seem, using sophisticated drones to strike the facilities.

Commenting on the issue, Pentagon said that the devices of such kind “could easily be obtained in the open market,” while the Russian Defense Ministry has stated that such technology could be supplied only by an advanced state.

While it is still being investigated, where did the terrorists get the technology? This is not the first time they have gotten access to advanced technologies, sometimes entirely by a chance.

Sputnik recaps the most resonant cases, when terrorist groups in the Middle East got hold of highly sophisticated weaponry.

Syrian MoD Report

In October 2017, the Syrian Defense Ministry released a report with footage of ammunition confiscated from numerous terrorist organizations, including Daesh and al-Nusra Front, now named Tahrir al-Sham, claiming that those weapons had been manufactured in the United States or by its close allies. The report outlined that those groups were supplied with “rockets, rifles, machine guns, anti-air weapons and even tanks” allegedly in exchange for oil from the territories. By a cruel twist of fate, those weapons happened to be a part of the routine “arms delivery” by the anti-Daesh coalition to the “moderate opposition”.

Anti-Aircraft Missiles

In August 2017, the Lebanese army, which has been engaged in rooting Daesh out from a northeastern region of Lebanon bordering Syria, discovered anti-aircraft missiles, among other weapons, in an abandoned area. Moreover, the Lebanese, who have apparently done a great job, uncovered surface-to-air missiles left by al-Nusra Front militants in an area captured by Hezbollah and then taken over by the army. As early as 2013, The New York Times reported that Qatar was sending MANPADS (“man-portable air-defense-system”) to Syria and said that these might potentially go straight to Al-Qaeda to shoot down civilian aircraft.

Rebel-fighters monitor the sky holding a man-portable air-defence system (MANPADS) in the Syrian village of Teir Maalah, on the northern outskirts of Homs, on April 20, 2016.

© AFP 2018/ MAHMOUD TAHA
Rebel-fighters monitor the sky holding a man-portable air-defence system (MANPADS) in the Syrian village of Teir Maalah, on the northern outskirts of Homs, on April 20, 2016.

Humvees

In 2015, Iraqi security forces lost 2,300 Humvee armored vehicles, supplied by the United States, when the northern city of Mosul collapsed. They were designed as a fast means to carry personnel and supplies to the battlefield, but later Daesh re-purposed them into car bombs with improvised explosive devices. Since then, Humvee car bombs became an integral part of the group’s military tactics due to the weapons’ devastating power and the vehicle’s ability to move fast.

Anti-Tank Missiles

By spring 2014, a year after then-President Barack Obama approved the first direct US military aid to rebel groups in Syria, the US-manufactured BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles began to appear in the hands of various anti-Bashar Assad groups. Subsequently, in November 2015, Russian journalists were attacked with the use of those ant-tank missile systems.

Supplies for Kurds

In October 2014, the Pentagon admitted that due to unforeseen circumstances, one of the airdrops initially intended for Kurds in the besieged Kobani, wound up in the hands of Daesh militants. The group immediately issued a video to boast of the newly-acquired weapons, which were meant to destroy them.

Bonus

Probably everyone who has ever watched videos released by the terrorist group Daesh has noticed that jihadists have been driving Toyota trucks. Certainly, cars are not related to “sophisticated weapons,” but many have wondered how the famous car-maker wound up becoming part of the Daesh “brand”. Well, here’s an explanation: when the US State Department decided to send aid to Syrian rebels, their wish-list, among many other things, included 43 Toyota trucks, which would make it easier for them to move on the ground.

READ MORE:

Attackers of Russian Bases in Syria Couldn’t Get Their Location From Net — MoD

US Weapons Went From Syrian Rebels to Daesh in Less than Two Months — Study

January 11, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Drones Attacked Hmeymim Base From ‘Moderate’ Opposition-Controlled Area

Sputnik – January 10, 2018

MOSCOW – The drones that attacked Hmeymim air base earlier this month flew out of the area in the southwest of the de-escalation zone Idlib controlled by the so-called “moderate” opposition, the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper, the official publication of the Russian Defense Ministry, said on Wednesday.

The ministry reported earlier this month that 13 drones had been used in attempted attacks on two Russian military facilities in Syria on January 6. Ten of them targeted the Hmeymim air base and three were sent toward the Tartus naval base.

“According to the Russian Defense Ministry, it was established that the launch of the drones was carried out from the area of ​​the Muazar settlement located in the southwestern part of Idlib de-escalation zone controlled by the armed formations of the so-called ‘moderate’ opposition,” the statement said.

It is noted that in connection with this incident, the Russian Defense Ministry had sent letters to the Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, Gen. Hulusi Akar, and Head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization, Hakan Fidan.”The documents indicate the need for Ankara to fulfill its obligations to ensure compliance with the ceasefire regime by the armed formations under its control and to step up work on the installation of observation posts in Idlib de-escalation zone in order to prevent such attacks by UAVs against any objects,” the statement added.

On Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the country’s forces had taken control over six out of 13 drones, involved in the January 6 attempted attack in Syria. Thus, three UAVs were landed by the Russian forces in a controlled area, three other drones detonated after collision with the ground, and seven other UAVs were destroyed by the Russian Pantsir-S air defense systems. Subsequently, the Pentagon said that the devices and technologies used for the drone attack “easily accessible on the open market.” This statement caused concern of the Russian Defense Ministry.

January 10, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

US spy plane circled between Russian airbase & port facility during Syria drone attack – MoD

RT | January 9, 2018

Moscow has noted “strange coincidences” surrounding a terrorist attack on a Russian airbase and port facility in Syria, in which guided combat drones were deployed by militants. These include a US spy plane spotted in the area.

The Russian Ministry of Defense consciously didn’t point any fingers when talking about the January 6 attack on Russia’s airbase and port facility in Syria, the Tuesday statement said, but added that technology used in the attack was telling.

Advanced training in engineering in “one of the developed countries” would be necessary to program the principal controllers and bomb-release systems of an aircraft-type combat drone, the statement stressed. “Not everyone is also able to get exact [attack] coordinates from the space surveillance data,” it added.

The ministry noted that a US Navy Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft was flying over the region between the Russian bases in Latakia and Tartus for some four hours around the time of the drone attack. An earlier Pentagon statement allowed the Russian military to “take a new look at some strange coincidences” surrounding the incident, it said.

The Saturday attack targeted both Khmeimim Airbase and the maritime logistics facility in the city of Tartus, and involved as many as 13 combat drones. The assault was successfully repelled by the Russian anti-aircraft defense systems and electronic warfare specialists.

It was the first time terrorists had used such a technology in the conflict, the ministry said, adding that the technical assessment showed that the drone could have been obtained “only from a country possessing state-of-the-art technologies.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the US said it was “concerned” over the incident. Pentagon spokesman Maj. Adrian Rankin-Galloway, however, claimed that “those devices and technologies can easily be obtained in the open market.” He later also told Sputnik that the US already saw what it called “this type of commercial UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] technology” being used in Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) missions.

Russia has repeatedly warned that US military supplies aimed at supporting “moderate” Syrian militants eventually end up in the hands of terrorists.

January 10, 2018 Posted by | Deception, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Bolivia Joins Operation Condor Investigation

teleSUR – January 7, 2018

Bolivian President Evo Morales has announced that his country is joining the regional investigation into Operation Condor alongside Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

These latter nations created the Truth Commission to uncover the “Empire’s transgressions” during Operation Condor, the Bolivian head of state tweeted, referring to the United States.

Operation Condor was a covert, multinational “black operations” program organized by six Latin American states (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, later joined by Ecuador and Peru), with logistical, financial, and intelligence support from Washington,” according to J. Patrice McSherry, author of Predatory States: Operation Condor and Covert War in Latin America (2005). Their shared intent was to do away with leftist movements in the region.

Morales said he laments this shared history of human rights violations, but celebrates the “brave and dignified struggle against the military dictatorships.”

For its part, Bolivia suffered under Operation Condor during its nearly 20-year dictatorship between 1964 and 1982.

Nila Heredia, who was named the country’s rights commission representative, said that Bolivia is giving “its full support (to the commission) with its experience (of working on other rights commissions, as well as technical expertise.”

Morales has also announced that Bolivia will host a seminary for experts from the Truth Commission on Feb. 20.

Estimates of the number of those killed or disappeared from the clandestine Operation Condor ranges from 20,000 to 60,000.

January 8, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hollywood raises money for a foreign army

If Americans Knew | January 4, 2018

Once a year, some of the biggest names in Hollywood get together with prominent leaders in business and politics, to raise millions for charity. Some of the celebrities attending this year’s event were Gerard Butler, David Foster, Joanna Krupa, Katharine McPhee, Paul Reubens, Melissa Rivers, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

With performances by Seal, David Foster, and Gene Simmons, the night was truly star studded and spectacular.

In total, 53.8 million dollars were donated (http://iakn.us/2Ct0p68), including 16.6 million by Oracle co-founder and CTO, Larry Ellison, 6 million by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, 5.2 million by GUESS co-founders, Paul and Maurice Marciano, and 5 million by host, and entertainment mogul, Haim Saban.

Past attendees to this event include Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Larry King, and Barbra Streisand.

So what is this worthy cause that garners such glamour and generosity? Feeding the hungry? Curing disease?

No. The purpose of this event is to raise funds for a foreign army.

That’s right. While our own United States veterans are barely scraping by, holding bake sales to afford medical treatments, these celebrities contribute mountains of cash to the Israeli Defense Forces, commonly as the IDF. This is the very same IDF who are responsible for killing over 2000 Palestinian children in the West Bank and Gaza over the last 17 years (http://iakn.us/2CqzLe1). The same IDF who have displaced over 5 million people from their homes (PDF link: http://iakn.us/2F0Hlhk), while destroying hospitals, schools, businesses, and places of worship by the tens of thousands. And the same IDF who repeatedly attacked the USS Liberty in 1967, killing 34 American servicemen and wounding another 174 (http://iakn.us/2Au3aCp).

Now, you may not think that 53.8 million dollars is a lot of money these days, but that is in addition to the more than 10 million dollars of American foreign aid given to the state of Israel every single day
(http://iakn.us/2CUL0N4).

And the kicker is that for these millionaire and billionaire celebrities, these charitable donations – that support a foreign army – are tax deductible (http://iakn.us/2m0n9En).

And it’s not just Hollywood getting this tax break. The “Friends of the IDF” claim to have over 150,000 loyal supporters across 20 chapters throughout the US and Panama (http://iakn.us/2Ct0p68).

—————

Original Article: Los Angeles gala raises $53.8 Million for Israeli soldiers [videos]

https://israelpalestinenews.org/

January 5, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , | 18 Comments

Daesh declares war on Palestine’s Hamas resistance movement

Press TV – January 5, 2018

The Egyptian wing of Daesh Takfiri terrorists has released a new execution video, declaring war on the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement based in Gaza.

The video, released Wednesday, purports to show the execution of a man who Daesh claims cooperated with Hamas’ armed wing.

“Never surrender to them. Use explosives, silenced pistols and sticky bombs. Bomb their courts and their security locations, for these are the pillars of tyranny that prop up its throne,” said one of the militants in the video.

The Egyptian wing of Daesh, known as the Sinai Province, is notorious for its brutal massacres, including the Sinai 2015 plane crash which killed 224 passengers and mass killing of over 300 people at a Sufi mosque in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the deadliest attack in modern Egyptian history.

The video comes as Hamas has been cooperating with Egyptian security forces to restore stability to Sinai, which borders Gaza.

In October, the Palestinian resistance movement arrested four senior Daesh terrorists in Sinai.

In July 2015, Daesh released a video saying that it would overthrow Hamas “tyrants” for their perceived lack of religious rulings in Gaza.

Takfiri groups such as Daesh have never attacked Israel despite operating close to Syria’s borders with the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel is widely believed to be supporting terrorists in Syria by launching airstrikes against various targets there from time to time.

Meanwhile, the US and its allies, which have been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria, have repeatedly been accused of providing logistic support and air cover for Daesh terrorists.

Daesh, however, lost all the territory under its control in Syria and Iraq late last year.

January 5, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Sabotaging Peace in Korea

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | January 3, 2018

It just might be that the two Koreas are figuring out a way to avoid war, much to the anger and chagrin of President Trump and the U.S. national-security establishment, who are obviously increasingly viewing war as inevitable and even in the best interests of the United States.

Why, even the U.S. mainstream press, which oftentimes seems to operate as an ex officio spokesman for the U.S. government, appears irritated over North Korea’s initiation of talks with South Korea. The press describes North Korea’s overtures not as an attempt to avoid war but instead as a cynical attempt to “drive a wedge” between the United States and South Korea.

Actually, it’s President Trump, who is obviously upset that the Koreas are marginalizing him, that is using his ridiculous and dangerous tweeting abilities to further provoke North Korea, with the obvious intent of “driving a wedge” between North Korea and South Korea, a wedge that could conceivably sabotage talks between them.

Let’s first get to the root of the problem in Korea. That root is the U.S. government, specifically the U.S. national-security branch of the government, i.e., the Pentagon and the CIA. That’s the reason there is a crisis in Korea. That’s the reason why war could suddenly break out, killing hundreds of thousands of people and more if it the war turns nuclear.

The U.S. government and its acolytes in the mainstream press say that the problem is with North Korea’s nuclear development program.

Balderdash! The problem is with the Pentagon’s and CIA’s decades-old aim to effect regime change in North Korea, a Cold War aim that they have never been able to let go of. That’s why the Pentagon has some 35,000 troops stationed in South Korea. That’s why they have regular military exercises over there. That’s why they have those bomber fly-overs. They want regime change, bad, just like they still do in Cuba and Iran, and just like they wanted (and got) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Chile, Guatemala, Indonesia, and so many other countries.

That’s why North Korea wants nuclear bombs — to protect its communist regime by deterring the United States from attacking and fulfilling its decades-old aim of regime change. North Korea knows that a nuclear deterrent is the only thing that might deter the Pentagon and the CIA from attacking.

The nuclear deterrent strategy certainly worked for Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Once the Soviet Union installed nuclear missiles in Cuba, that stopped the Pentagon and the CIA from attacking and invading the island again and even caused President Kennedy to vow that the Pentagon and the CIA would not again invade the island.

North Korea also has seen what happens to impoverished Third World regimes that don’t have nuclear weapons, like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. They go down quickly to defeat and regime change at the hands of an all-powerful First World country.

Here’s the big point: Korea is none of the U.S. government’s business. Never has been and never will be. The Korean conflict was always nothing more than a civil war. A civil war in an Asian country is none of the U.S. government’s business. It wasn’t in the 1950s when the war broke out. It still isn’t. Korea is the business of the Korean people.

Keep in mind also that U.S. interventionism into the Korean War was always illegal under our form of constitutional government. The Constitution, which the president, the Pentagon, and the CIA, swear to uphold, requires a congressional declaration of war. There was never a congressional declaration of war against North Korea. That means that U.S. troops and CIA agents had no legal right to kill anyone in Korea, not with rifles, artillery, carpet bombing, or with the use of germ warfare against the North Korean people.

The Pentagon and the CIA claimed that it was necessary to illegally intervene in Korea because the communists were coming to get us. It was a lie, just as the entire Cold War was a lie. It was all just one great big fear-mongering racket to solidify the power and control of the military and intelligence services over the American people.

Those 35,000 U.S. troops in Korea today have no business being there, not only because the communists are still not coming to get us but also because they are simply the outgrowth of the original illegal intervention in the 1950s. The Pentagon has those troops there for one reason and only one reason: No, not to defend and protect the South Korean people, who are of minor importance to U.S. officials compared to the United States, but rather to serve as “tripwire” to guarantee U.S. involvement should war once again break out between the two Koreas.

In other words, no congressional deliberation on a declaration of war on whether to get involved should war break out. No national debate. Once tens of thousands of troops are automatically killed, the United States is, as a practical matter, stuck, trapped, committed. That’s why the Pentagon and the CIA have those troops there — to box in the American people — to deprive them of a choice on whether to get involved in another land war in Asia or not.

That makes U.S. soldiers in Korea nothing more than little pawns. Their assigned role is to die in order to ensure that Congress has no say on whether the U.S. gets involved in another land war in Asia. The Pentagon and the CIA, not Congress, remain in charge.

Why hasn’t the U.S. already attacked North Korea? One big reason: China. It says that if the United States starts the war, it’s coming in on the side of North Korea. China has lots of troops that could easily be sent into Korea to fight against U.S. forces. It also has a nuclear capability that can easily hit the United States.

So, that leaves Trump and his national security establishment doing their best to provoke North Korea into “firing the first shot,” or at least making it look like they have fired the first shot, like what happened at the Gulf of Tonkin or what the Pentagon hoped to accomplish with Operation Northwoods and a concocted war against Cuba.

If Trump can successfully taunt, tease, antagonize, and provoke North Korea into attacking first, then he and his national-security establishment can exclaim, “We’ve been attacked by the communists! We’re shocked! We’re innocent! We have no choice but to protect America by carpet-bombing North Korea again, this time with nuclear bombs.”

And as long as it’s not the United States that suffers the death and destruction, it will all be considered acceptable. Tens of thousands of U.S. troops will be dead. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans will also be dead. Both countries will be devastated. But the United States will remain intact and, equally important, will no longer be threatened by North Korea’s growing nuclear capability. It will all be considered a victory as far as the United States is concerned.

That’s why the South Koreans are smart in agreeing to talk to North Korea. If they were really smart, they would give Trump, the Pentagon, and the CIA the boot. The best thing South Korea could ever do is immediately kick out every U.S. soldier and every CIA agent out of their country. Send them packing back to the United States.

Sure, Trump would be hopping bad, just as the Pentagon and the CIA would be. So what? It would be the best thing that could ever happen to Korea, the United States, and the world.

January 4, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment