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US Military Reverses Course, Won’t Ban Use of Cluster Bombs

Sputnik – 30.11.2017

The US had planned to end its use of cluster bombs, a type of explosive that ejects smaller submunitions to kill personnel and obliterate vehicles, by 2019, but on Thursday, the Pentagon approved a new policy reversing this promise.

US President George W. Bush declared in 2008 that US would stop using cluster bombs by 2019. On Thursday, though, the Pentagon declared that the weapons have a legitimate use in military operations.

When deployed, cluster bombs scatter hundreds or thousands of bomblets across swaths of territory than can encompass several football fields. The bombs are notorious for failing to explode during the initial weapon deployment — leaving mine-like explosives that can blow up decades later. Anywhere from two to 20 percent of the bomblets released in modern cluster bombs fail to detonate on first use, according to Legacies of War, a Washington-based non-profit.

The United Nations-backed Convention on Cluster Munitions banning the weapons took effect in 2010. More than 100 nations have become signatories to the agreement. The US, Israel, China, Russia, Brazil, Pakistan and India, though, opposed the treaty. These nations are believed to produce or stockpile cluster munitions in significant quantities.

Under the policy approved Thursday, the US will authorize military commanders to use cluster munitions at their discretion until a better option becomes available that reduces the humanitarian hazards, the Associated Press reports.

The policy, laid out in a memorandum written by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, states that “cluster munitions are legitimate weapons with clear military utility.”

Although the Pentagon “seeks to field a new generation of more highly reliable munitions, we cannot risk mission failure or accept the potential of increased military and civilian casualties by forfeiting the best available capabilities.”

“This isn’t surprising,” Luke O’Brien, member of the Military Writers Guild, tweeted Thursday.

​Time-sensitive moving targets that may be difficult to track as well as large formations of hostile troops are two examples cited by the Pentagon as viable military applications of cluster munitions. The Pentagon contends that if it stopped using cluster bombs it would have to resort to other weapons that could do even more damage to civilians located near where the bombs are dropped.

Cluster bombs have been used recently in Yemen, where the world’s most pressing humanitarian crisis rages.

In other countries such as Laos, which saw sustained use of cluster bombs in military operations for many years, hundreds of civilians continue to die every year from stepping on undetonated bomblets, and public education campaigns must be run to teach children to avoid the brightly colored bobbles if they encounter them. Although the US bombing of Laos ended over 40 years ago, an additional 20,000 people have died from unexploded cluster bombs found in agricultural fields since the war ended, rendering crucial farmland off limits in a country where the majority of the population relies on subsistence farming.

November 30, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , | 3 Comments

Confronting the Threat of Ethnic Bioweapons

By Tony Cartalucci – New Eastern Outlook – 29.11.2017

The United States Air Force’s 59th Medical Wing’s molecular biology branch recently was revealed to have been collecting specifically Russian RNA and synovial (connective) tissue samples, prompting fears in Russia of a possible US directed ethnic-specific bioweapons program.

TeleSUR’s article, “‘Ethnic Bomb’ Feared as US Air Force Confirms Collection of Russian DNA,” would report:

Russia has raised its concerns over attempts by the U.S. military to collect DNA samples from Russian nationals, noting the potential use of such biological samples for the purpose of creating new genetic warfare weaponry.

The U.S. Air Force has sought to calm the Kremlin’s concerns, noting that the samples would only be used for so-called “research” purposes rather than for bioterrorism.

Addressing Russian reports, U.S. Air Education and Training Command spokesperson Captain Beau Downey said that his center randomly selected the Russian people as a source of genetic material in its ongoing research of the musculoskeletal system.

The report would also state that:

However, the usage of Russian tissue samples in the USAF study fed the long-brewing suspicion that the Pentagon is continuing in its hopes to develop an alleged “biological weapon” targeting specifically Russians.

Russian President Vladimir Putin would be quoted as stating:

Do you know that biological material is being collected all over the country, from different ethnic groups and people living in different geographical regions of the Russian Federation? The question is – why is it being done? It’s being done purposefully and professionally.

And while the US military attempted to brush off the notion that any sort of ethnic-specific bioweapon was being researched, the notion of such a weapon is not far fetched at all.

US policy papers have included them in America’s overall long-term geopolitical and military planning for nearly two decades, and the US Air Force itself has produced papers regarding the various combinations such weapons could manifest themselves as.

There is also the disturbing history of Western-aligned nations having pursued ethnic-specific bioweapons in the past, including the Apartheid regime in South Africa which sought to use its national vaccination program as cover to covertly sterilize its black population.

US Policy Papers Have Discussed Ethnic-Specific Bioweapons  

In the Neo-Conservative Project for a New American Century’s (PNAC) 2000 report titled, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” (.pdf) it states (emphasis added):

The proliferation of ballistic and cruise missiles and long-range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will make it much easier to project military power around the globe. Munitions themselves will become increasingly accurate, while new methods of attack – electronic, “non-lethal,” biological – will be more widely available. (p.71 of .pdf)

It also stated:

Although it may take several decade for the process of transformation to unfold, in time, the art of warfare on air, land, and sea will be vastly different than it is today, and “combat” likely will take place in new dimensions: in space, “cyber-space,” and perhaps the world of microbes. (p.72 of .pdf)

And finally:

And advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool. (p.72 of .pdf)

More recently – in 2010 – the US Air Force in a counterproliferation paper titled, “Biotechnology: Genetically Engineered Pathogens” (PDF),  would list multiple ways such weapons could be deployed (emphasis added):

The JASON group, composed of academic scientists, served as technical advisers to the U. S. government. Their study generated six broad classes of genetically engineered pathogens that could pose serious threats to society. These include but are not limited to binary biological weapons, designer genes, gene therapy as a weapon, stealth viruses, host-swapping diseases, and designer diseases. 

The paper discusses the possibility of a “disease that could wipe out the whole population or a certain ethnic group.” While the paper claims its purpose is to study such weapons as a means of developing defenses against them, America’s history as a global military aggressor and the sole nation on Earth to have ever wielded nuclear weapons against another nation-state suggests a high likelihood that if such weapons can be produced, the US has already stockpiled them – if not already deployed them.

South Africa’s Project Coast Then and Biotech Now 

The notion of the West using such weapons already has an alarming precedent. Regarding South Africa’s Apartheid regime – the United Nations’ report titled Project Coast: Apartheid’s Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme would explain (emphasis added):

There was some interaction between Roodeplaat Research Laboratories (RRL) and Delta G [biological and chemical weapon laboratories respectively], with Delta G taking on some of RRL’s biochemistry projects and RRL doing animal testing of some Delta G products. One example of this interaction involved anti-fertility work. According to documents from RRL [Roodeplaat Research Laboratories], the facility had a number of registered projects aimed at developing an anti-fertility vaccine. This was a personal project of the first managing director of RRL, Dr Daniel Goosen. Goosen, who had done research into embryo transplants, told the TRC that he and Basson had discussed the possibility of developing an anti-fertility vaccine which could be selectively administered—without the knowledge of the recipient. The intention, he said, was to administer it to black South African women without their knowledge.

At the time, the technology appears not to have been sufficiently mature to realize the Apartheid regime’s ambitions. However, the technology not only exists today, there are examples of it being used to spectacular effect – so far for good – but could just as easily be used for bad.

The above mentioned US Air Force paper would go into detail regarding each weapon it listed, including one called gene therapy:

Gene therapy might just be the silver bullet for the treatment of human genetic diseases. This process involves replacing a bad gene with a good gene to normalize the condition of the recipient. Transfer of the “healthy” gene requires a vector to reach its target. Vectors commonly used are “viruses that have been genetically altered to carry normal human DNA” such as “retroviruses, adenoviruses, adeno-associated viruses, and herpes simplex viruses.”

Gene therapy has already been used during clinical trials to permanently cure everything from blood cancers to rare genetic disorders. The New York Times, in an article titled, “Gene Therapy Creates Replacement Skin to Save a Dying Boy,” would report on one of the latest breakthroughs using the technology, stating:

Doctors in Europe used gene therapy to grow sheets of healthy skin that saved the life of a boy with a genetic disease that had destroyed most of his skin, the team reported on Wednesday in the journal Nature. This was not the first use of the treatment, which adds gene therapy to a technique developed to grow skin grafts for burn victims. But it was by far the most body surface ever covered in a patient with a genetic disorder: nine square feet.

One could imagine a malicious weapon used in reverse to knock out the genes that maintain healthy skin, causing a victim’s skin to blister and fall off.

In utilizing gene therapy as a weapon, the US Air Force report would note:

Gene therapy is expected to gain in popularity. It will continue to be improved upon and could unquestionably be chosen as a bioweapon. The rapid growth in biotechnology could trigger more opportunities to find new ways to fight diseases or create new ones. Nations who are equipped to handle biotechnology are likely to consider gene therapy a viable bioweapon. Groups or individuals without the resources or funding will find it difficult to produce this bioweapon.

Regarding “stealth viruses,” a variation of the weaponized gene therapy technique, the report states:

The basic concept of this potential bioweapon is to “produce a tightly regulated, cryptic viral infection that can enter and spread in human cells using vectors” (similar to the gene therapy) and then stay dormant for a period of time until triggered by an internal or external signal. The signal then could stimulate the virus to cause severe damage to the system. Stealth viruses could also be tailored to secretly infect a targeted population for an extended period using the threat of activation to blackmail the target.

With gene therapies already approved for sale in the European Union and the United States, and with more on the way, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that covert, weaponized gene therapies are also either already developed and waiting, or already deployed as “stealth viruses.”

Developing and Deploying

The US maintains a global network of military medical laboratories and research centers.

In addition to the 59th Medical Wing involved in collecting Russian genetic material, the US covers the entire Southeast Asian region from Bangkok, Thailand with its Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFIRMS).

While it publicly claims it exists to, “to conduct state of the art medical research and disease surveillance to develop and evaluate medical products, vaccines, and diagnostics to protect DOD personnel from infectious disease threats,” its personnel, equipment, and research could easily be used for dual purposes in creating any of the above stated, so-far “theoretical” ethnic-specific bioweapons.
The US Embassy in Thailand website states that AFIRMS is the largest of a global network of military medical laboratories, claiming:

AFRIMS is the largest of a global network of US Defense Department Overseas Medical Research Laboratories—with sister laboratories in Peru, Kenya, Egypt, and the Republics of Georgia and Singapore. USAMD-AFRIMS has nearly 460 staff members (predominantly Thai and US) and an annual research budget of approximately $30-35 million.

With labs in South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia – and through the use of subcontractors – the US military has access to a variety of genetic materials and facilities to conduct research and develop all of the weapons its own policy papers have described.

Through US State Department-funded programs, the US could easily create “vaccine” campaigns and “clinics” to deliver the above described bioweapons in a variety of ways.

Fighting in the Dark and Shedding Some Light 

The US Air Force’s paper would also point out:

Biological warfare attacks may resemble a natural disease outbreak phenomenon and it would be very difficult to trace back to the source, thereby discounting the perpetrator’s actions.

And indeed, nations without the ability to independently sequence, detect, and react to ethnic-specific genetic bioweapons could already have been targeted, or could be targeted at any moment without any means of even knowing, let alone reacting.

On the other hand, nations with not only a well-developed biotech industry, but also with military labs focused on both detecting and launching biological warfare with such weapons – it would be like fighting a war against a blindfolded enemy.

To remove the blindfold, governments and military institutions around the world, as well as communities and local institutions, would need to develop and have access to a quick and efficient means to sequence DNA, spot abnormalities, and develop possible corrective gene therapies to repair or “patch” malicious weaponized DNA introduced into a population.

Biological warfare surveillance would need to be done not only across a nation’s population, but also across its food and water supply as well as its livestock, wildlife, and insect populations. Genetically modified crops have been designed to target and turn off genes in insects and could just as easily be used to target human genes.

In Science Daily’s article, “Crops that kill pests by shutting off their genes,” it states:

Plants are among many eukaryotes that can ‘turn off’ one or more of their genes by using a process called RNA interference to block protein translation. Researchers are now weaponizing this by engineering crops to produce specific RNA fragments that, upon ingestion by insects, initiate RNA interference to shut down a target gene essential for life or reproduction, killing or sterilizing the insects.

Studies are still ongoing to determine what harm genetically modified organisms (GMOs) – in their current state – are doing to human health. Spotting and reacting to subtle, weaponized GMOs will be even harder.

The use of genetically engineered mosquitoes to deliver “vaccines” presents another possible vector for weaponized biotech. The increasingly “global” nature of many vaccination programs is also a looming danger – particularly since these programs are directed by primarily Western powers – many of whom protected, cooperated with, and even aided and abetted the South African Apartheid regime, including with its various weapons programs.

Biotech is not merely a matter of economics. It is a matter of national security. Allowing foreign corporations representing compromised or nebulous foreign interests to produce vaccines for human or veterinary uses or to alter the genomes of a nation’s agricultural crops for whatever perceived benefits cannot outweigh the possible and actualized threats.

In a world where warfare extends into cyber and genetic space, nations that lack independent human healthcare systems capable of producing their own vaccines or managing their own biodiversity find themselves as defenseless as nations without armies, navies, or air forces. However impressive a nation’s conventional military capabilities are, lacking proper planning and defenses regarding this new and expanding biotech threat mitigates all possible advantages and maximizes this fatal weakness.

If genetics is a form of living information, then concepts familiar to IT security experts may prove useful in explaining how to safeguard against malicious “code” introduced into our living systems. The ability to “scan” our DNA and spot malicious code, to remove or patch it, and to develop safeguards against it, including “backing up” individual genomes biologically and digitally will not entirely prevent biological weapons from creating damage, but will mitigate their impact – transforming a possible extermination of an entire ethnicity or race to a containable, relatively minor outbreak.

Unlike nuclear weapons, research and development of these biotech tools is accessible to virtually any national government and even to many private institutions. Integrating biotech into a nation’s national security planning and implementation is no longer optional or speculative. If the tools to manipulate and target genes for good already exist, then the tools to abuse them also exist.

November 29, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | | 1 Comment

Will those supporting Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ reconsider?

By Yassir Al Zaatara | The New Khalij | November 27, 2017

Leaked information about Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” varies in some details, but the one thing that is consistent is that there will be no more on offer than autonomy for parts of the West Bank, without Jerusalem. There will be no Palestinian sovereignty and no return of the refugees, not even compensation for them, although there will be talk about linking autonomous areas with Jordan in a federal arrangement. In the meantime, relations between Israel and Arab states will be formalised.

What will be discussed when marketing the “deal”, of course, is that this solution is not the end product, and that the so-called “final status” issues, especially Jerusalem, will be left for another time after the neighbours are more reassured about each other’s intentions. Meanwhile, everyone knows that the plan is based on making the status quo permanent in due course, because no one in Israel wants to give up Jerusalem, nor allow the return of any Palestinian refugees.

This reminds me of the paradox of former minister Tzipi Livni’s response to Saeb Erekat mentioned in the well-known negotiation leaks, when the Palestinian official told Livni that the then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had agreed to the return of 10,000 refugees in what were called, rather euphemistically, “reunions”. She insisted that this was Olmert’s personal opinion and that the number of people who will return to Israel is nil.

The details of the deal are of no concern, but what is, is that those involved in marketing and supporting such a proposal — and pressing for its acceptance by Palestinians and Arabs — are in more need of advice than the others for two reasons. The first is that such an agreement will be practically impossible to pass, even though it might seem possible to get through some of its early stages; and second, their position will be harmful to them.

In the first context, keep in mind what Netanyahu said a few days ago about it being the Arab people who reject normalisation of relations with Israel, not the regimes; this is true to a large extent. The people generally do not approve of Israel’s existence in principle, even if they accept the Arab Initiative, which proposed giving the Israelis 78 per cent of historic Palestine. Things will get more difficult when discussing a much worse proposal which involves the effective abandonment of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The people’s position on normalisation means that the new game will not pass. The stance of the Egyptian people after nearly four decades of the Camp David Treaty is the best evidence of this; there is also the position of the Jordanians 25 years after signing the Wadi Araba peace deal with Israel.

That is not all. The Palestinian people will not be silent about eradicating their cause in such a miserable way, and they will rise again, and the Jordanians will not accept the federalism being spoken of. It all, in any case, assumes that the Palestinian resistance forces will agree to the new proposal, which they won’t, or at least the majority of them won’t. Those in the Arab world who try to market the Trump deal will clash with their people if they go ahead and back a proposal to wipe out the Palestinian cause.

As a backdrop to all of this, it is clear that America and Israel will continue to be keen on keeping the regional conflicts going so that only Israel will remain as a strong and cohesive state, which everyone then seeks to befriend. Will those involved in supporting the Trump plan reconsider their positions? I hope so.

Translation by MEMO

November 29, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Israelis and redefining sovereignty

By Ahmed Jamil Azam | Arabi21 | November 28, 2017

The events currently occurring in the Palestinian arena, specifically the American vision for the Palestinian issue, are similar to a huge marketing campaign, as well as the sanctions that will be imposed on anyone who refuses the marketed product. This is despite the important fact that the product being marketed is not even ready yet.

The Israelis want to market a new idea, or rather, a new old idea. This idea suggests that there are various forms of sovereignty and that this could be proposed to the Palestinians. This is reminiscent of the Israelis’ past proposal of what they called functional sovereignty.

The American team responsible for the peace process is composed of a group of Zionists supporting settlements in the occupied West Bank. Therefore, it is not surprising that since the formation of the American administration we have been witnessing efforts to empty the settlement process of any content that includes any Israeli withdrawal or settlement dismantlement. Hence, this team is doing three things: buying time for the Israeli occupation and its settlement expansion, marketing ideas requiring the Palestinians to back down from the idea of an independent state, and thirdly, marketing the division of peace in the Middle East into two tracks: Arab-Israel peace and Palestinian-Israeli peace.

According to Al-Monitor, which operates mainly from Lebanon and publishes material in Arabic, Hebrew and English, the American Ambassador (a Jewish Zionist) to Tel Aviv, David Friedman, the American consulate in Jerusalem, in cooperation with the US Special Representative for International Negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, are making great efforts to propose a vision that has a regional context. What Benjamin Netanyahu is doing is trying to achieve normalised relations, as well as economic, political and military relations with Arab countries allowing him to establish Israeli influence in the region in the future. Of course, there is no reference or hints of this goal, but any amateur researcher in international relations who reads the Israeli theories, especially those of the Likud Party, and is familiar with the basics of international relations, especially the realism theory, would realise these are their goals.

Instead of announcing these goals, they announce the importance of an Arab-Israeli alliance against terrorism and Iran. According to Al-Monitor, which quoted Israeli diplomats, Netanyahu is currently looking into how he can pay the lowest price to market the idea of Arab-Israeli normalisation, along with other basic ideas, such as not withdrawing from the West Bank and maintaining full security control over it. Therefore, he proposed the idea of autonomy, but called it a different name, considering it another kind of sovereignty.

If the American initiative is ever announced, it will basically say: The Palestinians must accept the status quo in return for some facilitations in their living conditions and formal changes. The Palestinians declare their state on paper, and they can declare similar things, but will not have Israeli recognition, nothing will change on the ground, and it must be within restrictions that do not include requesting international recognition or prosecuting the Israelis in the International Criminal Court.

The Israelis raised the idea of ​​”functional sovereignty” in Jerusalem, during the Camp David and Taba negotiations of 2000 and 2001. It can basically be called “extensive administrative powers”, and nothing more. Nowadays, similar ideas are being marketed, but only in the West Bank.

We are not certain the Americans will reach the stage of declaring an initiative. If they do announce an initiative, it will be recognition of the Likud and Israeli initiatives for autonomy, as proposed in ideas raised in the 1970s during the Egyptian-Israeli negotiations.

Even if, for the sake of argument, we assume there are some Arab states that would accept these new ideas of an entity less than a Palestinian state and the return of the refugees, which is not yet certain, it will be the Palestinians who make the decision, specifically Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Based on all past experiences, the Palestinians will not agree to any solution that does not include a Palestinian state, and Abbas will reject such a proposal.

There is much room for speculation about future scenarios, including holding the Palestinians responsible for the failure, reaching a temporary agreement (Oslo 2) that involves the beginning of Arab-Israeli normalisation and making minor changes to the status of the Palestinians, or new negotiations (which the Palestinians have rejected with[out] freezing settlement expansion). However, despite this, we are certain that the majority of the world superpowers are dealing with the possibility of reaching a final agreement as something far-fetched.

The Palestinians, more than anyone else, need a strategy that includes a hint to their alternative plan if a solution is not reached.

Translation from Arabic by MEMO.

November 29, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , | 3 Comments

Egypt slams Israeli minister’s call to resettle Palestinians in Sinai

MEMO | November 28, 2017

Egyptian authorities have criticised the Israeli Minister of Social Equality Gila Gamliel over her recent statements, in which she called for an alternative Palestinian state to be established in the Sinai Peninsula.

Egypt’s foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, denounced today Gamliel’s statements stressing that Egypt firmly rejects any kind of “talk or thoughts” that undermine Egypt’s territorial sovereignty.

“The Egyptian domestic affairs should not be included in any statements by foreign parties most importantly when these statements touch Egyptian sovereignty,” Shoukry said in a press conference.

Shoukry noted that the Egyptian authorities have conveyed Cairo’s rejection on Gamliel’s statements to the Israeli ambassador in Cairo, adding that her comments “were made a long time ago.” He also denied summoning the Israeli ambassador.

“The Egyptian land in Sinai, which was watered with the blood of our sons and martyrs, is not something that can be given away or allowed to be attacked,” the Egyptian minister added.

An official source at the Egyptian foreign ministry told Quds Press that officials believe that the recent mosque attack is an Israeli attempt to empty Sinai from its original residents to build a Palestinian state in as an alternative for the two-state solution in the West Bank.

The Egyptian official noted that the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv has asked Israel for clarifications on Gamliel’s comments, noting that the Israeli government had stressed that the statements “were personal comments and did not represent government policy.”

On his part, the Egyptian MP, Mostafa Bakry, told Quds Press that the Israeli statements were linked to the recent terrorist attack in Sinai.

Last week, Gamliel said during her visit to Cairo that “it is impossible to create a Palestinian state except in Sinai.”

Rejecting a Palestinian state in the West Bank, she noted that “a Palestinian State is a dangerous idea for the State of Israel,” she explained, stressing: “Between the River Jordan and the [Mediterranean] sea there cannot, and must not, arise a Palestinian state.”

“This call could be unacceptable to the international community and the Arab countries, which are neighbours to Israel, but it is based on our primary and historic right to the land of Israel,” the Israeli minister reiterated.

November 28, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Canada’s Unraveling Web of Deceit. Terrorism and War Propaganda

By Mark Taliano | Global Research | November 28, 2017

Now that Syria and its allies in the Axis of Resistance have done the world a favour by destroying most of the West’s terror proxies in Syria, the Canadian narrative is falling apart.

In 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau described the terrorists in this manner:

“The so-called Islamic State are terrorists, criminals, thugs, murderers of innocents and children and there’s a lot of labels for them.”[1]

He was right that there are a lot of labels for them. But some labels have been conspicuously absent from the Canadian narrative, and these are the most accurate of all: “proxies”, “assets”, “strategic assets”, “allies”.

These “criminals, thugs, and murderers” are also Canada’s proxies in the Middle East and beyond, and the Canadian government needs to take ownership for its criminality.

Canada’s Public Safety Minister, Ralph Goodale, for his part, recently claimed that chances for rehabilitating these people are “pretty remote”, and that pursuing charges against these people is “difficult”.[2]

Conspicuously absent from Goodale’s explanation of why it is difficult to prosecute these individuals is the previously mentioned stumbling block. If the terrorists are Canada’s assets, as they are, then prosecuting them would necessarily reveal the government’s guilt.

Consider the case of Swedish national Bherlin Gildo.[3]  In 2015, Gildo’s terror trial in the U.K. collapsed because the British intelligence agency M16 was supporting the same terrorists that Gildo was reportedly fighting for.

The Canadian government’s web of criminal war propaganda is unraveling at the seams. If the press was free, and not an appendage of the government’s criminal apparatus of deception, more Canadians might be aware of this.

Notes

[1] Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press, “Trudeau: ISIS Just ‘Terrorists’ And ‘Thugs,’ Not A State.” HuffPost, 29 March, 2016.(http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/03/29/trudeau-isis-terrorists-calgary-interview_n_9568642.html) Accessed 27 November, 2017.

[2] Rachel Aiello, Ottawa News Bureau Online Producer,“Chance of reintegrating Canadian ISIS fighters ‘pretty remote’: Goodale.” CTV News, November 26, 2017. (https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/chance-of-reintegrating-canadian-isis-fighters-pretty-remote-goodale-1.3693559) Accessed 27 November, 2017.

[3] Stuart J. Hooper, “Terror Trial Collapses: Suspect Fighting For MI6 SUPPORTED Fighting Group.”21st Century Wire, 4 June, 2015. (http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/06/04/terror-trial-collapses-suspect-fighting-for-mi6-supported-group/) Accessed 27 November, 2017.

November 28, 2017 Posted by | Deception, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman on Syria, Lebanon and Other Issues

By Stephen Lendman | The People’s Voice | November 28, 2017

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (MZ below) believes the “presence of ISIS in Syria is coming to an end” – maybe so but the US-supported terrorist threat in the country remains, not ending as long as Washington wants war, not peace.

MZ stressed that US-led forces “provid(e) cover to the extremists, ISIS in particular.” Surprisingly, the BBC reported their evacuation from Raqqa under US-led “supervision.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry accused Washington of supporting ISIS and other terrorists while claiming to be combating them.

“(N)ot only (did US-led aerial operations refuse) to launch strikes on the terrorists, but also created obstacles for the Russian Aerospace Forces as they tried to attack the targets in the specified area,” MZ explained.

Russian operations are key to Syria’s liberating struggle – Washington’s rage for endless war and regime change the greatest obstacle.

MZ: “I would like to digress and speak from the heart for a moment. I will say it in plain Russian without any professional jargon.”

“It’s about (Washington) providing cover to the terrorist militants. We provide numbers and facts. We talk about trends in fighting terrorism, and we analyze how the militants and terrorists were withdrawn, shielded and emboldened by the US-led coalition.”

This type straight talk is absent in the West, the BBC report a rare exception, nothing from US media on what’s going on – supporting US aggression, blaming victims for its high crimes.

MZ criticized Defense Secretary James Mattis’ Big Lie – claiming US forces in Syria have UN permission to be there. No such permission exists, no Security Council authorization.

Americans and their rogue allies are hostile invaders, aggressors, massacring civilians, destroying vital infrastructure, pretending to be combating terrorists they support.

Washington “intends to hold part of Syrian territory for as long as (it) wish(es). The goal behind this approach is to achieve the desired settlement result by force,” said MZ – aiming to oust Assad and destroy the country’s sovereignty.

Moscow is following events in Lebanon, in the wake of PM Saad Hariri’s forced resignation and detention under house arrest in Riyadh.

On Friday, Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil met with Sergey Lavrov in Moscow.

“Russia’s position on Lebanon remains unchanged. We strongly support the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of this friendly country and we believe that the Lebanese people should resolve all issues on their national agenda on their own, and we are against any outside interference that threatens to upset the existing political and religious balance in Lebanon,” said MZ.

US-led NATO troops are cooperating with ISIS in northern Afghanistan, MZ explained, “transporting” them aboard “unidentified helicopters… providing them with weapons…”

“Once again, this raises questions about the true aims of the foreign military presence in Afghanistan,” MZ stressed.

She commented on increasing opium production in the country. A UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said it nearly doubled since last year.

Pre-9/11, the Taliban eliminated most of it. Production flourishes in areas under US occupation. ISIS fighters sell it to raise revenues.

“The opiate industry in Afghanistan has become a key source for fueling terrorist activities, which further destabilizes that country and beyond,” said MZ.

Russophobia is active in Madrid, regime officials falsely accusing Moscow of involvement in Catalonia’s declaration of independence.

“Remarks by Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis that Russia allegedly seeks to weaken Spain are particularly dismaying,” said MZ.

She blasted his spurious accusation, “picked up from dubious sources,” she said.

Along with other issues, MZ commented on Russia’s lower house State Duma legislation regarding foreign media in the country – creating a legal framework for responding to Washington forcing RT America to register as a foreign agent.

Russia was “forced to… reply to the openly repressive (US) actions,” MZ explained.

US hostility toward Russia is greater than any previous time in memory, risking conflict between the world’s dominant nuclear powers, a potential doomsday agenda Washington appears to be pursuing.

-###-

Stephen Lendman can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

November 28, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Saudi Coalition Crumbles In Yemen: Sudanese Mercenaries On Front Lines, Foreign Officers, Proxies In Revolt

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | November 26, 2017

Most Americans might be forgiven for having no clue what the war in Yemen actually looks like, especially as Western media has spent at least the first two years of the conflict completely ignoring the mass atrocities taking place while white-washing the Saudi coalition’s crimes. Unlike wars in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, which received near daily coverage as they were at their most intense, and in which many Americans could at least visualize the battlefield and the actors involved through endless photographs and video from on the ground, Yemen’s war has largely been a faceless and nameless conflict as far as major media is concerned.

Aside from mainstream media endlessly demonstrating its collective ignorance of Middle East dynamics, it is also no secret that the oil and gas monarchies allied to the West are rarely subject to media scrutiny or criticism, something lately demonstrated on an obscene and frighteningly absurd level with Thomas Friedman’s fawning and hagiographic interview with Saudi crown prince MBS published in the New York Times.

Saudi Arabia’s hired help in Yemen: Sudanese fighters headed to the front lines. Image souce: al-Arabiya

But any level of meticulous review of how the Saudi coalition (which heavily involves US assistance) is executing the war in Yemen would reveal a military and strategic disaster in the making. As Middle East Eye editor-in-chief David Hearst puts it, “All in all, the first military venture to be launched by the 32-year-old Saudi prince as defense minister is a tactical and strategic shambles.”  

And if current battlefield trends continue, the likely outcome will be a protracted and humiliating Saudi coalition withdrawal with the spoils divided among Houthi and Saudi allied warlords, as well as others vying for power in Yemen’s tenuous political future. But what unsurprisingly unites most Yemenis at this point is shared hatred for the Saudi coalition bombs which rain down on civilian centers below. For this reason, Hearst concludes further of MBS’ war: “The prince, praised in Western circles as a young reformer who will spearhead the push back against Iran, has succeeded in uniting Yemenis against him, a rare feat in a polarized world. He has indeed shot himself, repeatedly, in the foot.

So how has this come about, and how is the war going from a military and strategic perspective?

First, to quickly review, Saudi airstrikes on already impoverished Yemen, which have killed and maimed tens of thousands of civilians (thousands among those are children according to the UN) and displaced hundreds of thousands, have been enabled by both US intelligence and military hardware. Cholera has recently exploded amidst the appalling war-time conditions, and civilian infrastructure such as hospitals and schools have been bombed by the Saudis. After Shia Houthi rebels overran Yemen’s north in 2014, embattled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi vowed to “extract Yemen from the claws of Iran” something which he’s repeatedly affirmed, having been given international backing from allies in the West, and a major bombing campaign began on March 2015 under the name “Operation Decisive Storm” (in a cheap mirroring of prior US wars in Iraq, the first of which was “Desert Storm”).

Saudi Arabia and its backers fear what they perceive as growing Iranian influence in the region, something grossly exaggerated, and seek to defend at all costs Yemeni forces loyal to President Hadi. The coalition includes Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Egypt, Sudan, and the US and UK, and the Saudi initiated war has also lately received behind the scenes political support from Israel, something recently confirmed by Israeli officials. Concerning the supposed Iran threat in Yemen, an emergency session of the Arab League recently doubled down on its shared commitment to wage war against Iranian interests after it blamed Tehran for a November 4 ballistic missile attack from Shia Houthi rebels against the Saudi capital, which Iran denies playing a role in.

But the Saudi coalition is now in shambles according to a new Middle East Eye investigation. The report highlights some surprising facts long ignored in mainstream media and which give insight into how the Saudi military campaign is likely to end in total failure as “more than two years into a disastrous war, the coalition of ground forces assembled by the Saudis is showing signs of crumbling.”

Below are 5 key takeaways from the full report.

1) Saudi coalition ground forces have a huge contingent of foreign fighters, namely Sudanese troops with UAE officers, suffering the brunt of the battle on the front lines.

Sudanese forces, which constitute the bulk of the 10,000 foreign fighters in the Saudi-led coalition, are suffering high casualty rates. A senior source close to the presidency in Khartoum told Middle East Eye that over 500 of their troops had now been killed in Yemen.

Only two months ago, the commander of the Sudanese Army’s rapid support force, Lieutenant General Mohammed Hamdan Hamidati, quoted a figure of 412 troops killed, including 14 officers to  the Sudanese newspaper Al Akhbar. “There is huge pressure to withdraw from this on-going fight,” the Sudanese source told MEE. A force of up to 8,000 Sudanese troops are partly led by Emirati officers. They are deployed in southern Yemen as well as to the south and west of Taiz in al Makha.

2) Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has been dubbed “president of the mercenaries” for accepting over $2.2 billion from Saudi Arabia and Qatar in order to provide canon fodder for the Saudi ground war in Yemen in the form of thousands of young Sudanese troops, but he’s threatening revolt. To escape his untenable position, he is reportedly seeking help from Putin.

At home, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir is also having second thoughts. He remembers the lifeline he got when Riyadh deposited $1bn in Sudan’s Central Bank two years ago, followed by Qatar’s $1.22bn. But he hardly enjoys being known as “president of the mercenaries,” and he has other relationships to consider.

On Thursday, Bashir became the latest of a procession of Arab leaders to beat a path to Vladimir Putin’s door. He told the Russian president he needed protection from the US, was against confrontation with Iran, and supported the policy of keeping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power. This follows an incident at home, which was variously described as espionage and a coup attempt. Taha Osman Ahmed al-Hussein was dismissed as the director of the Office of the Sudanese President after he was discovered carrying a Saudi passport and a residency permit for the UAE. He was caught maintaining secret contact with both.

3) Saudi-backed Yemeni fighters are increasingly mutinying and fear local mass push back from Yemen’s civilian population due to the unpopular bombing campaign.

Mutiny is also stirring in the ranks of Yemenis who two and a half years ago cheered the Saudi pushback against the Houthis who were trying to take over the entire country.

The Saudi relationship with Islah, the largest group of Yemeni fighters in the ground force employed by the coalition, has at best been ambivalent. The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s closest partner in Yemen, Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, is openly hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Yemeni party… They [Islahi leadership] are feeling the political price they are paying for supporting a campaign that turned in Yemeni eyes from liberation to occupation… Enough is enough. The regional Islahi leadership are now talking of starting direct negotiations with the Houthis, a senior Islah source told MEE.

4) Saudi proxy fighters are at war with each other: an Emirati-backed militia fighting under the Saudi coalition is assassinating other members of the Saudi coalition in what’s increasingly an internal coalition civil war. 

They are also paying a physical price. A number of Islahi sheikhs and scholars as well as Salafis who rejected Emirati leadership have been killed or targeted by assassination attempts. The list is growing: there have been assassinations of Khaled Ali al-Armani, a leader in the Islah Party, on 7 December 2016; Sheikh Abdullah Bin Amir Bin Ali Bin Abdaat al-Kathri, on 23 November 2017 in Hadhramaut; Abdelmajeed Batees (related to Saleh Batees) a leader in the Islah Party on 5 January 2017 in Hadhramaut; Mohammed Bin Lashgam, Deputy Director of Civil Status, on 17 January 2017; Khaled Ali al-Armani, a leader in the Islah Party, on 7 December 2016…

“The Emiratis do not conceal their hostility to Islah. Islahi sheikhs and scholars are being assassinated, and this is being co-ordinated by the pro-Emirati militia. In addition, the UAE is clearly enforcing the blockade of Taiz, and withholding support for our fighters in the city,” the source said.

5) Oman is entering the fray, which will further fragment the Saudi coalition as rivalries for territorial control develop.

As if the balance of competing outside forces  in Yemen is not complicated enough, enter Oman. Oman, too, regards southern Yemen as its backyard. It is particularly worried about the takeover of a series of strategic ports and islands off Yemen by the Emiratis. A Qatari diplomatic source described this as the Emiratis’ “seaborn empire,” but the Omanis are upset by this too.

The Omanis are understood to be quietly contacting local Yemeni tribal leaders in south Yemen, some of them separatist forces, to organize a more “orchestrated response” to the militias paid for and controlled by Abu Dhabi.

Like the proxy war in Syria, it appears that Gulf/US plans have backfired, and we are perhaps in for a long Saudi coalition death spiral fueled by delusion and denial. Sadly, it is primarily Yemeni civilians and common people in the region that will continue to bear the brunt of suffering wrought by such evil and delusional stupidity.

November 28, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Why Saudi Public Relations Are So Disastrous

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 27.11.2017

What a disastrous past week it’s been for Saudi Arabia’s international public relations. It’s hard to imagine how it could possibly become more ignominious or cringe making for the House of Saud.

But of course, how could it be otherwise? When the oil-rich kingdom is run by a father-and-son clique, cosseted by venal super-wealth, and ruled by patronage, pampered by cowering flunkies. In addition, obsessed with an obscurantist Wahhabi sectarian hatred, and to cap it all, indulged by an ignorant American president who himself shares dynastic family ambitions.

Last week’s roll call of PR disasters included the Syrian peace process getting underway in earnest, in spite of Saudi efforts to derail. Secondly, Lebanon appears to have stabilized politically with the return of its Prime Minister Saad Hariri, again in spite of Saudi attempts to sabotage the government in Beirut. And thirdly, most shamefully, the shocking images of emaciated children in Yemen have shown the world the sickening reality of the Saudi-led blockade on that war-stricken country.

Let’s start with the tale of two summits. While Russian President Vladimir Putin was last week hosting his Syrian, Iranian and Turkish counterparts in the Black Sea city of Sochi in a major diplomatic boost for a peaceful end to the Syrian war, at the same time the Saudi rulers were convening something lackluster and frankly, irrelevant, by comparison.

The Saudis held a summit in Riyadh for the so-called Syrian “opposition” comprising the discredited political talking heads of sundry terror groups that have ravaged Syria for the past nearly seven years. Disgracefully, the UN envoy Staffan de Mistura was present in a vain bid to lend some ersatz credibility to the terrorist apologists.

Putin, and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan joined political forces to push for a comprehensive peace settlement in Syria “determined by the Syrian people alone without external interference”. Whereas at the Saudi conference of has-been Syrian opposition figures, who have been living a charmed life in exile in Saudi Arabia, there were the tired-old, futile calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to quit as leader.

With the Syrian War near over and with Assad’s state forces dominant over the foreign-backed insurgents, no-one can take the demand for Assad to stand down as serious. It’s a pipe-dream that the Saudis still keep puffing on. Not even Washington and its NATO allies bother to make this demand seriously any more.

In a nutshell, the Saudi rulers are seen to be left holding the putrid remnants of their defeated regime-change intrigue in Syria.

Moving on to the debacle over Lebanon. Again, Saudi machinations were seen here to have turned pear-shaped. After nearly two weeks of trying to arm-twist Lebanese premier Saad Hariri to resign and thereby collapse the coalition government in Beirut with Shia group Hezbollah, Hariri returned last week to his country.

In the meantime, Lebanon has rallied across sectarian lines to unite against Saudi interference – the exact opposite of what the Saudi rulers were agitating for. The whole Saudi-inspired attempt to sabotage Lebanese politics and even incite a sectarian war in the country has ended up only strengthening the country and in particular elevating Hezbollah as a defender of the nation’s sovereignty.

The Saudi paymaster had wanted Sunni politician Saad Hariri to resign as prime minister. His resignation was broadcast on Saudi television on November 4 after Hariri had been summoned to Riyadh and where he inexplicably stayed for the next two weeks. According to the Saudi-inspired script, Hariri said his life was in danger from an assassination plot by Hezbollah and its Shia ally Iran. Hezbollah and Iran scoffed at that claim as ridiculous. Lebanese President Michel Aoun, from the Christian constituency, also dismissed Hariri’s sensational claims.

Last week when Hariri returned to Lebanon, he abruptly reversed his resignation decision, saying now that he would remain in the prime minister’s post. The bizarre images of Hariri looking relaxed at a military parade in Beirut marking Lebanon’s independence day last Wednesday were a stupendous rebuttal of Saudi-orchestrated fear-mongering that this was a man whose life was purportedly under threat.

The Saudi reckless attempts at destabilizing Lebanon not only spectacularly backfired. Their interference in the sovereign affairs of Lebanon has earned the Saudis the scorn of Lebanese and Arab people across the entire region.

As if those PR cock-ups weren’t bad enough, then the world was shocked by images out of Yemen showing skeletal children starving to death from the Saudi blockade on the country. Also, caught on the hook of Saudi barbarity were the US and Britain which have been supplying the Saudi regime with weapons and logistics in its nearly three-year war on the poorest nation of the Arab region.

The Saudis imposed a total sea, air and land blockade on Yemen on November 6 following a ballistic missile attack near the Saudi capital by Houthi rebels from Yemeni territory. The Houthis say they are taking the war to Saudi Arabia because of the latter’s aerial bombing campaign which has targeted civilians. For the Saudis to respond by imposing collective punishment through a blockade on vital aid entering into Yemen is a gross violation of humanitarian law – a war crime.

Nearly two weeks of this total blockade provoked the UN and other international aid agencies to issue dire warnings that millions of Yemenis are facing starvation. So bad is the international image of the Saudis that the US State Department was motivated to urge its client regime to relent on the suffering it was inflicting. At the end of last week, the Saudi rulers claimed that they were lifting the blockade on Yemen’s airports and sea ports. The UN and aid agencies still said the dubious Saudi lifting of blockade would not alleviate the suffering.

How could any country preside over such a week of horrible public relations? What is it about the Saudi rulers that make them so incorrigibly incompetent, so barbaric and so self-defeating?

Several factors combine to make the Saudi rulers a perfect shit-storm.

The House of Saud is a family-run crony dynasty. That’s not new. But over the past year or so, the present rulers have consolidated absolute power to a father-and-son clique, headed by ailing King Salman (82) and the precocious 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. These scions of intoxicating hyper-wealth live in an ivory tower within an ivory tower.

The Saudi system of governance never had accountability except within its own arcane crony inner-circle. Now it has even less accountability. It’s therefore not hard to imagine how the Saudi rulers are prone to making ever-more foolish foreign policy calculations. The war on Yemen was “masterminded” by the ambitious, insecure Crown Prince trying to prove his mettle, when he probably never had any competence to begin with. The guy probably reads intricate regional politics through the prism of one of his puerile computer games.

Secondly, the Saudi rulers, present and past, are guided by an obsessive sectarian Wahhabi hatred towards Shia Islam. All policy decisions are made out of an irrational abhorrence towards Shia Iran, and any ally of Iran, from Hezbollah to Syria. The reasons for this obsessive hatred are rooted in an obscurantist religious belief that Shia Islam is “heretical”. That antipathy is also fueled by an insecure sense of envy and nemesis that Iran’s relatively progressive politics are more legitimate and appealing to the masses in the Middle East than the feudalist monarchy of the Saudis. In any case, to construct foreign policy relations on the basis of a Medieval-like worldview is inevitably problematic, to say the least, in the 21st Century.

A third reason why the Saudis are so incorrigibly inept is because the rulers are indulged by American and European governments and the Western media. Admittedly, some Western media outlets have belatedly given some coverage to the horror inflicted on Yemen.

Nevertheless, the media coverage is still shamefully muted considering the scale of suffering and crimes perpetrated. We are talking about a genocide unfolding in Yemen imposed by the Saudi rulers with the support of their American and British patrons. Yet in spite of this utter barbarity, Western media remain relatively mute. Contrast the Western media reporting on Yemen with the hysterical coverage they were giving to the Syrian city of Aleppo last year when the Syrian army and Russian forces were moving in to liberate that city from a siege by foreign-backed militants.

Western indulgence of the Saudis – in the form of low-key hypocritical media coverage – emboldens these despots to embark on their reckless and ruinous schemes.

None is more to blame for Western indulgence than the British and American governments who have plied the Saudi regime with billions of dollars-worth of warplanes and bombs over the past three years in the war on Yemen. Despite the evidence of war crimes against civilians, Washington and London maintain the despicable, risible fiction that all is ethical and legal.

Topping the Western indulgence of the Saudi despots is US President Donald Trump and his businessman son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is his unelected “top aide” on Middle Eastern affairs. Every recent PR disaster by the Saudis has been encouraged and approved by Trump who seems to run the White House as if it were a family business dynasty. Both Trump and Kushner are regarded as having very limited knowledge about history and geopolitics. Dumb and Dumber, in short.

Trump’s dispatch of 36-year-old gormless Kushner to delve into Middle East affairs and to pander to the whims of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is certainly a major factor in why the House of Saud keeps making foreign policy like operating a wrecking ball.

When House of Trump pairs up with House of Saud, no wonder then that it’s a super-sized PR fiasco.

November 27, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The US-Saudi Starvation Blockade

By Pat Buchanan • Unz Review • November 24, 2017

Our aim is to “starve the whole population — men, women, and children, old and young, wounded and sound — into submission,” said First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill.

He was speaking of Germany at the outset of the Great War of 1914-1918. Americans denounced as inhumane this starvation blockade that would eventually take the lives of a million German civilians.

Yet when we went to war in 1917, a U.S. admiral told British Prime Minister Lloyd George, “You will find that it will take us only two months to become as great criminals as you are.”

After the Armistice of Nov. 11, 1918, however, the starvation blockade was not lifted until Germany capitulated to all Allied demands in the Treaty of Versailles.

As late as March 1919, four months after the Germans laid down their arms, Churchill arose in Parliament to exult, “We are enforcing the blockade with rigor, and Germany is very near starvation.”

So grave were conditions in Germany that Gen. Sir Herbert Plumer protested to Lloyd George in Paris that morale among his troops on the Rhine was sinking from seeing “hordes of skinny and bloated children pawing over the offal from British cantonments.”

The starvation blockade was a war crime and a crime against humanity. But the horrors of the Second World War made people forget this milestone on the Western road to barbarism.

A comparable crime is being committed today against the poorest people in the Arab world — and with the complicity of the United States.

Saudi Arabia, which attacked and invaded Yemen in 2015 after Houthi rebels dumped over a pro-Saudi regime in Sanaa and overran much of the country, has imposed a land, sea and air blockade, after the Houthis fired a missile at Riyadh this month that was shot down.

The Saudis say it was an Iranian missile, fired with the aid of Hezbollah, and an “act of war” against the kingdom. The Houthis admit to firing the missile, but all three deny Iran and Hezbollah had any role.

Whatever the facts of the attack, what the Saudis, with U.S. support, are doing today with this total blockade of that impoverished country appears to be both inhumane and indefensible.

Almost 90 percent of Yemen’s food, fuel and medicine is imported, and these imports are being cut off. The largest cities under Houthi control, the port of Hodaida and Sanaa, the capital, have lost access to drinking water because the fuel needed to purify the water is not there.

Thousands have died of cholera. Hundreds of thousands are at risk. Children are in danger from a diphtheria epidemic. Critical drugs and medicines have stopped coming in, a death sentence for diabetics and cancer patients.

If airfields and ports under Houthi control are not allowed to open and the necessities of life and humanitarian aid are not allowed to flow in, the Yemenis face famine and starvation.

What did these people do to deserve this? What did they do to us that we would assist the Saudis in doing this to them?

The Houthis are not al-Qaida or ISIS. Those are Sunni terrorist groups, and the Houthis detest them.

Is this now the American way of war? Are we Americans, this Thanksgiving and Christmas, prepared to collude in a human rights catastrophe that will engender a hatred of us among generations of Yemeni and stain the name of our country?

Saudis argue that the specter of starvation will turn the Yemeni people against the rebels and force the Houthi to submit. But what if the policy fails. What if the Houthis, who have held the northern half of the country for more than two years, do not yield? What then?

Are we willing to play passive observer as thousands and then tens of thousands of innocent civilians — the old, sick, weak, and infants and toddlers first — die from a starvation blockade supported by the mighty United States of America?

Without U.S. targeting and refueling, Saudi planes could not attack the Houthis effectively and Riyadh could not win this war. But when did Congress authorize this war on a nation that never attacked us?

President Obama first approved U.S. support for the Saudi war effort. President Trump has continued the Obama policy, and the war in Yemen has now become his war, and his human rights catastrophe.

Yemen today is arguably the worst humanitarian crisis on earth, and America’s role in it is undeniable and indispensable.

If the United States were to tell Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that we were no longer going to support his war in Yemen, the Saudis would have to accept the reality that they have lost this war.

Indeed, given Riyadh’s failure in the Syria civil war, its failure to discipline rebellious Qatar, its stalemated war and human rights disaster in Yemen, Trump might take a hard second look at the Sunni monarchy that is the pillar of U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf.

Copyright 2017 Creators.com

November 27, 2017 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Ignoring Washington’s Role in Yemen Carnage, 60 Minutes Paints US as Savior

By Adam Johnson | FAIR | November 20, 2017

In one of the most glaring, power-serving omissions in some time, CBS News 60 Minutes (11/19/17) took a deep dive into the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and did not once mention the direct role the United States played in creating, perpetuating and prolonging a crisis that’s left over 10,000 civilians dead, 2 million displaced, and an estimated 1 million with cholera.

Correspondent Scott Pelley’s segment, “When Food Is Used as a Weapon,” employed excellent on-the-ground reporting to highlight the famine and bombing victims of Saudi Arabia’s brutal two-and-a-half year siege of Yemen. But its editors betrayed this reporting—and their viewers—by stripping the conflict of any geopolitical context, and letting one of its largest backers, the United States government, entirely off the hook.

As FAIR has previously noted (10/14/16, 2/27/17), US media frequently ignore the Pentagon’s role in the conflict altogether. Pelly did not once note that the US assists Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign with logistical support, refueling and the selling of arms to the tune of $400 billion.  The US also routinely protects Saudi Arabia at the UN from condemnation—a shield that may have vastly prolonged the war, given that it signals the support of the most powerful country on Earth.

Meanwhile, Iran’s involvement in the conflict—which, even by the most paranoid estimates, is far less than the United States’—is placed front and center as one side of the “war.” The conflict is framed in hackneyed “Sunni vs Shia” terms, with Saudi Arabia unironically called the “leader of the Sunni world” and Iran the “leader of the Shia world.” A reductionist narrative that omits that Sunnis have fought alongside the Houthis, and the fact that Saudi bombs kill members of the marginalized, mostly Sunni Muhamasheen caste, who are neither “led” by Saudi Arabia nor part of the “Shia world.”

This cartoon dichotomy is the extent of the context. Saudi Arabia is rightly singled out as the primary aggressor (though a dubious comparative body count of 3,000 killed by Saudis vs. 1,000 by Houthis is proffered that is far lower than the UN’s January 2017 estimates of 10,000 total civilians killed), but who the Saudis’ primary patrons are—the United States and Britain (and Canada, too)—is simply not mentioned. One would think, watching Pelley’s report, it was a purely regional conflict, and not one sanctioned and armed by major Western superpowers to counter “Iranian aggression.”

To compound the obfuscation, 60 Minutes doesn’t just omit the US role in the war, it paints the US as a savior rescuing its victims. The hero of the piece is American David Beasley, the director of the UN’s World Food Programme, the organization coordinating humanitarian aid. “The US is [the World Food Programme]’s biggest donor, so the director is most often an American. Beasley was once governor of South Carolina,” Pelly narrates over B-roll hero shots of Beasley overseeing food distribution.

Beasley, in his sit-down interview, bends over backwards to downplay Saudi responsibility, insisting at every turn that “all parties” are to blame:

You see it’s chaos, it’s starvation, it’s hunger, and it’s unnecessary conflict, strictly man-made. All parties involved in this conflict have their hands guilty, the hands are dirty. All parties.

The spin that the crisis is the fault of “all parties” is understandable from a US-funded de facto diplomat, charged with providing some cover for a major regional ally. But the premise that “all parties” are causing the famine is never challenged by Pelley. It’s taken as fact, and the piece moves on.

It’s part of a broader trend of erasing American responsibility for the conflict and resulting humanitarian disaster. The Washington Post ran an editorial last week (11/8/17) and an explainer piece Saturday (11/19/17) detailing the carnage in Yemen, neither one of which bothered to mention US involvement. American complicity in the war is so broad in scope, it merited a warning last year from the US’s own State Department they could be liable for war crimes—yet it hardly merits a mention in major media accounts. The war just is, a collective moral failing on the part of “all parties”—irrational sectarian Muslims lost in a pat “cycle of violence” caricature.

As momentum builds in Congress, animated by grassroots anti-war activists, to push back against the war and hold US lawmakers accountable, how the US contributes to the death and disease in the Arabian peninsula is of urgent political import. By erasing the US role in the war, CBS producers obscure for viewers the most effective way they can end the war: by pressuring their own lawmakers to stop supporting it. Instead, viewers are left with what filmmaker Adam Curtis calls “Oh, dearism”: the act of feeling distressed but ultimately helpless in the face of mindless cruelty—perpetrated, conveniently, by everyone but us.


You can send a message to 60 Minutes at 60M@CBSNews.com (or via Twitter: @60Minutes).

November 27, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

JFK Files Reveal US Planned to Buy Soviet Planes to Carry Out False Flag Attacks

Sputnik – November 20, 2017

The recently released batch of files related to the Kennedy assassination includes a curious document revealing secret plans by the US government to purchase or build Soviet aircraft for the purpose of staging false flag attacks on the US or its allies, thus giving Washington the pretext it needed to go to war with Moscow or its allies.

According to the partially declassified document, a March 22, 1962 meeting attended by the Special Group Augmented (SGA), a high-level Kennedy administration committee charged with overthrowing the Cuban government, included a discussion on the different possibilities for obtaining Soviet planes.

The SGA group, which formally included Attorney General Robert Kennedy, CIA Director John McCone, National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lyman Lemnitzer, could also be attended by Secretary of State Dean Rusk and President Kennedy himself.

The document fragment lists various Soviet aircraft, including MiG-17 and MiG-19 fighters, as well as the Il-14 military cargo transport, and how much time and money it would take to reproduce them to withstand distant observation and/or up close examination. Another option, according to an analysis by the CIA cited by the document, was to try to obtain the planes via defecting pilots, or purchasing them from non-Soviet Bloc countries; these options were deemed problematic. The document also explains why the Soviet planes are so desirable, including their possible use to stage false flag attacks against the US to justify a US military response.

“There is a possibility that such aircraft could be used in a deception operation designed to confuse enemy planes in the air, to launch a surprise attack against enemy installations or in a provocation operation in which Soviet aircraft would appear to attack US or friendly installations in order to provide an excuse for US intervention,” the document reads.

Finally, the fragment explains that “if the planes were to be used in such covert operations, it would seem preferable to manufacture them in the United States.”

It’s not clear whether the document was connected to Operation Northwoods, a proposed Pentagon and Joint Chiefs of Staff false flag operation calling on the CIA and other agencies to stage terrorist attacks against US civilian and military targets and blame it on the Cuban government, thus justifying a war against Cuba. According to US political historian Robert Dallek, the idea within the Kennedy administration to manufacture or otherwise obtain the Soviet aircraft was hatched by CIA Director McCone.

November 20, 2017 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment