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US caught in a cleft stick in northern Syria

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | January 20, 2018

The Syrian war is taking a momentous turn with a full-fledged Turkish military operation on the northern Syrian town of Afrin having begun on Saturday. President Recep Erdogan announced today that a ground operation has also been launched alongside artillery bombardment and air strikes. He said an operation against the town of Manbij, some 140 miles to the east, will follow later. (See the Google map here.)

Afrin and Manbij are presently controlled by the Syrian Kurdish forces aligned with the US. The US, which has 5 bases in northern Syria in the territories controlled by the Kurdish militia, has directly helped the occupation of Manbij by the Kurdish militia in 2016. Thus, the Turkish operation signifies a strategic defiance of the US. Washington had repeatedly urged Ankara against making any military moves against the Kurdish militia.

But what finally proved decisive seems to be the US plan to create a 30,000-strong Kurdish force in northern Syria with the intention to use it as a proxy. Erdogan senses that the US is going ahead with the project to create a Kurdish enclave in northern Syria along the Turkish border as a strategic hub for its future interventions in Syria and Iraq. Of course, such a Kurdistan enclave will pose a long-term national security threat to Turkey by giving fillip to Kurdish separatists in Turkey. Erdogan kept pleading with Washington not to align with the Kurds but to no avail and has now decided to take matters into his own hands.

Today’s development may well lead to a confrontation between the US and Turkey. The White House spokesperson had explicitly called on Turkey on Thursday not to undertake any military operations. State Secretary Rex Tillerson telephoned his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday no sooner than it appeared that operations were imminent.

The stance of Iran and Russia is going to be crucial. Iran shares Turkey’s concerns about the US’ alliance with Kurds (who also have links with Israel) and regarding any Kurdistan in the region. Therefore, while Iran may express reservations about the Turkish operation (which is a violation of Syria’s sovereignty notionally), it is unlikely to act against Turkey.

Iran’s focus is on the ongoing Syrian government operations in the northwestern province of Idlib, which is hugely strategic, given its coastline along the Eastern Mediterranean. Russia too is currently focusing on the operations in Idlib, which is adjacent to Latakia province (also along the Eastern Mediterranean) where the Russian naval base at Tartus and the air base at Hmeimim are situated.

Conceivably, there is a tacit understanding that Turkey may not object (except, of course, verbally) to the Syrian operations (supported by the Iran-backed militia and Russia) to crush the al-Qaeda affiliates present in Idlib and secure the big province. The Iranian media reported today that Syrian government forces have captured the strategic Abu al-Dhohour airbase in southeastern Idlib from the al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda affiliate) on Saturday afternoon.

As for the Russian stance, significantly, Erdogan deputed the Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and the head of the National Intelligence Organization Hakan Fidan to fly to Moscow on Wednesday to meet the Russian Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov and the Russian intelligence. Clearly, a high degree of coordination between Moscow and Ankara went into Erdogan’s decision to order the Turkish military operation. Moscow has expressed concern about the Turkish operations and called for restraint but simultaneously also pulled back the Russian personnel in the vicinity of Afrin out of harm’s way.

There is no conceivable reason why Moscow should help the Americans — against the backdrop of the New Cold War. Interestingly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hit hard at the US on Friday alleging that the US is balkanizing Syria. He said this at a press conference at the UN Headquarters in New York. To quote Lavrov, “US has been actually setting up alternative government bodies in large parts of Syria, which is contrary to the obligations in relation to Syria’s territorial integrity they have reaffirmed, committed to, particularly at the Security Council’s meetings. We are concerned about that.”

On January 15 at a news conference in Moscow, Lavrov did some plain-speaking:

We can see the aspirations not for settling the (Syrian) conflict as soon as possible, but for assisting those who would want to launch practical steps to change the regime… The actions, we can see now, demonstrate that the United States does not want to keep territorially integrated Syria. It was only yesterday that we heard a new initiative that the US wants to help the so called forces of democratic Syria to organize some border security zones. In fact, that means separation of a huge territory along the borders with Turkey and Iraq.

How does all this add up? To my mind, both Russia and Iran will simply sit back and watch as Erdogan goes about crushing the US’ main proxy (Kurdish militia) in northern Syria. Indeed, they have nothing to lose if a nasty showdown ensues between the US and Turkey, two big NATO powers. On the other hand, if Turkey succeeds in vanquishing the Kurdish militia, the US will have no option but to vacate northern Syria, which will also work to the advantage of Russia and Iran. Succinctly put, the Trump administration has bitten more than it could chew by its unwise decision to keep the US military presence in Syria indefinitely “to counter Assad, Iran.” Tehran knows fully well that if the US is forced to vacate Syria, the US-Israeli project against Iran will become a joke in the Middle East bazaar.

The coming weeks are going to be crucial. If the US appears helpless while Turkey crushes its allies in Syria, it will be a huge loss of face for the Trump administration regionally. Meanwhile, Turkey is actively cooperating with Russia in preparations for holding a Syrian National Dialogue (of government and opposition representatives) in Sochi on January 29-30. Russia now gets another opportunity to speed up the Syrian settlement.

January 20, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

The less-mentioned lives of Mrs. Krim

By Helena Cobban | Just World News | January 18, 2018

This week, US media have contained many glowing obituaries of a 91-year-old medical researcher called Mathilde Krim, who in the early 1980s played an apparently huge role in publicizing and destigmatizing the then-new disease of HIV/AIDS and in mobilizing funding for NGOs and research centers working to understand the disease and treat its many victims. Dr. Krim died on January 15.

The New York Times, for example, carried this obituary, covering more than half a page, that devoted nearly all its column inches to the many contributions Dr. Krim had made to AIDS research.

What that obit referred to only in passing was the role she had played in immediate post-1945 Europe as a gun-runner for the Irgun– described there only as part of the “Zionist underground” rather than (as would have been more accurate) an already well-known terror group.

Mathilde and JohnsonBut neither the NYT nor any other Western MSM outlet I have seen/heard has made any mention of the role Mrs. Krim played as a very close confidante to Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson during the crucial days leading up to and during Israel’s “Six Day War” of 1967 against its Arab neighbors.

In those days, Mrs. Krim’s husband (her second) was Arthur B. Krim, a prominent Hollywood lawyer who was Chair of the Democratic National Finance Committee. Conveniently, the Krims had a ranch in Texas right next to Pres. Johnson’s; and it was a barely hidden secret in leading government circles in Israel and the United States at the time that Mrs. Krim was extremely close to Lyndon Johnson.

In the days leading up to the war, the many forms of “signaling” conducted between Washington and Tel Aviv were extremely important. Israel’s Labor Party PM, Levi Eshkol, needed to win support from Washington for the strategy he pursued in the lead-up to this war, which he and his generals were planning in exquisite detail in those days. And he needed reassurances from Washington that Pres. Johnson would back him, before he and his generals finally launched the “blitz” against the Arab armies that destroyed nearly all their capabilities in the first hours of the war. Mrs. Krim was almost certainly one key channel for those messages. She and Johnson were at their ranches together in the days leading up to the war (with several in-person visits and phone calls recorded between them); and then she went to Washington DC when he did, once the war broke out.

Mrs. Johnson, meanwhile, was suffering from what was described as a massive headache, and stayed in Texas.

More details about Mathilde Krim’s relationship with Johnson in that crucial period can be found in Donald Neff’s 1985 book Warriors for Jerusalem: The Six Days that Changed the Middle East. I don’t have a copy to hand but shall look for one shortly.

The huge role that Mrs. Krim played in 1967 is well-known to everyone who has seriously studied US-Israeli relations at that time. After all, she was an integral part of a well-oiled pro-Israeli influence movement at the heart of the US political system, and the DC-Tel Aviv signaling process that she was part of worked strongly in Israel’s favor to transform not just the Middle East but the whole shape of global politics. (It also led to the misery of the people of the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem; Gaza, and the Golan Heights: all of whom continue until today to live under the military occupation rule initiated by that war.)

So surely, that role Mrs. Krim played in the events of May-June 1967 should have received some mention in the news media this week? That it has not, thus far, probably tells us a lot about the extreme skittishness with which the Western MSM continues to address any topics related to the deep entanglement of so much of the US political elite– especially the Democratic Party– with their counterparts in Israel.

January 20, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 3 Comments

Trump versus Wolfowitz

By Deena Stryker – New Eastern Outlook – 19.01.2018

Who today knows the name of Paul Wolfowitz? He was neither a Congressman, Senator, nor governor, yet until this month, official US ‘defense’ policy has borne his name.

A former President of the World Bank and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, following the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the neo-conservative he authored the “Defense Planning Guidance of 1992″, which came to be known as the Wolfowitz Doctrine. Intended to “set the nations direction for the next century,” its first objective was “to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival.” In case the reader didn’t immediately get the message, it is spelled out as deterring’ potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role’ by maintaining ‘unquestioned military superiority and, if necessary, employ[ing] force unilaterally.

Both Colin Powell and President Bush objected to this brash approach to world affairs, so before becoming known as the Bush Doctrine it was rewritten in milder language. Since 2009, at the Foreign Policy Initiative think tank, Wolfowitz has advocated for the troop surge in the Afghanistan War [and direct military strikes in Syria, continuing to lament an “absence of American leadership, as global pressure against the American-led international order intensifies.

Imagine now as candidate for the presidency, a real estate magnate enamored of ‘deals’ declares “Wouldn’t it be better if we could be friends with Russia?” From there, it’s a straight line to a Special Counsel being appointed by the Justice Department to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and President Putin.

Russia went from being a rival to be contained, to an ‘adversary’, then imperceptibly, an ‘enemy’, by supporting two breakaway regions of Ukraine after the US — in full view of the world — used Neo-nazi militias to carry out a coup against a democratically elected president who continued historical close ties with Russia. While loudly defending ‘human rights’, Washington claims that Russian-speaking Ukrainians are not entitled to separate themselves from a regime that flouts Nazi insignia, calls them ‘cockroaches’ (burning some alive), and makes use of their language illegal.

Given these events, could Russia count on that same Kiev government to respect the permanent lease of a naval station in Crimea dating back to Catherine the Great? Or might prudence have dictated it encourage Crimea’s Russian-speaking population to act on its long-held desire to once again be a part of Russia? Could the presence of ‘little green men’ to ensure that a referendum was carried out without interference possibly be construed as an attack? For daring once again to wield sovereignty over a territory that houses its only warm water naval base, Russia has become an ‘enemy’ of the West!

By a large margin, Americans believe that every effort should be made to avoid using nuclear weapons. They do not know that per the twenty-five year old Wolfowitz Doctrine, their country is building a case for nuclear war with the other major nuclear power. Russian ‘behavior’ (the word invariably spoken in the tone of an adult disciplining a child) in its own back yard justifies stationing NATO forces along its entire western border with Europe, then condemning its inevitable military build-up in response: Americans are gradually being accustomed to the idea that the inevitable use of nukes this situation could set off would be merely a temporary detour on the path of human progress.

Aside from ‘invading’ Ukraine’, Russia is guilty of having ‘interfered’ in the American election, now consistently referred to as ‘America’s ‘Democracy’. (Since the highest court baptized corporations as people, allowing them to spend unlimited money to help their candidates win elections, these are now referred to as Democracy with a capital D, the media breathlessly highlighting the amounts candidates raise, rather than the ideas they espouse.) This system had for decades brought to power candidates fully committed to the Wolfowitz Doctrine of unchallengeable American world hegemony. And in 2016, Hillary Clinton was its most fervent adept, consistently attacking the President of Russia.

Since the election, Vladimir Putin’s sin is not to have drawn a sword, but to have perhaps electronically tipped the scale toward peace and cooperation with the US — any other policy being tantamount to treason vis a vis the Russian people.

A century ago, Americans were taught to regard Russia as an ‘evil empire’ for having embraced a political philosophy intended to ensure the well-being of the 99%, (whether or not it succeeded). When, after seventy years of trying, it executed a stunning turnaround, allowing capitalism to flourish (creating many crooks and billionaires in the process), American policymakers could have applauded. Instead, fearing a capitalist Russia as much as a socialist one, the Wolfowitz Doctrine issued a year later, in 1992, called for the US to carve up the world’s largest country into loyal fiefdoms to ensure continuing American world hegemony.

Only now superseded by the Trump Doctrine, its purpose was to “prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union, whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.” This grammatical construction, whether or not deliberate, conveys the fact that Russia’s crime is to possess resources that could enable it to dominate the US. When the Wolfowitz doctrine, intended to ensure that no country is ever able to challenge American hegemony, was leaked to the New York Times, Senator Edward Kennedy described it as “a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept.” Rewritten in softer language, when the US invaded Iraq and Afghanistan — neither of which could possibly challenge American hegemony – in its name, it became known as the Bush Doctrine.

The new version declared:

Our most fundamental goal is to deter or defeat attack from whatever source… The second goal is to strengthen and extend the system of defense arrangements that binds democratic and like-minded nations together in common defense against aggression, build habits of cooperation, avoid the re-nationalization of security policies, and provide security at lower costs and with lower risks for all. Our preference for a collective response to preclude threats or, if necessary, to deal with them is a key feature of our regional defense strategy. The third goal is to preclude any hostile power from dominating a region critical to our interests, and also thereby to strengthen the barriers against the re-emergence of a global threat to the interests of the U.S. and our allies.

Continued uninterruptedly at the cost of thousands of foreign lives, some might see in this doctrine echoes of Hitlers plan for a thousand year Reich, but sadly, most Americans believe their country is ‘generously’ exercising ‘benevolent oversight’ over an innocent, rules-based order of its creation. Ready to condemn Donald Trump’s challenge to the principle of US world dominance, they approve the pursuit of those who, having helped him get elected, are accused of ‘collusion with a foreign power’ (foreign powers having been America’s nemesis since the days of its ‘revolutionary’ separation from Great Britain).

Although Russia and China are the only countries capable of challenging US dominance, they have made no threats. Vladimir Putin’s crime was to have proposed, in a landmark speech to the 2007 Munich International Security Conference, an international architecture in which the four or five regional powers would cooperate on the international stage to ensure peace and prosperity for all.

Stunningly, from the very first paragraph, Donald trump’s security doctrine lifts its principles straight from that speech, calling, exactly like his Russian counterpart, for a world of strong, sovereign, and independent nations, each with its own cultures and dreams, thriving side- by-side in prosperity, freedom, and peace—throughout the upcoming years...”

Since any form of power-sharing contradicts the Wolfowitz/Bush doctrine, the US responded to Putin’s Munich speech by fomenting a series of color revolutions, in Georgia in 2008, and in Ukraine in 2014. Then, it positioned NATO forces along Russia’s entire Western border as a prelude to carving it up before taking on the more formidable other major power, China.

It’s no surprise that candidate Trump’s foreign policy declarations set off a concerted effort to legally sideline him once elected. Erroneously convinced he is the boss, Trump ordered his Security Doctrine to be codified:

China and Russia want to shape a world antithetical to U.S. values and interests. China seeks to displace the United States in the Indo-Pacific region, expand the reaches of its state-driven economic model, and reorder the region in its favor. Russia seeks to restore its great power status and establish spheres of influence near its borders. The intentions of both nations are not necessarily fixed. The United States stands ready to cooperate across areas of mutual interest with both countries.

In addition, after being dismissed as a phenomenon of an earlier century, great power competition returned. China and Russia began to reassert their influence regionally and globally. Today, they are fielding military capabilities designed to deny America access in times of crisis and to contest our ability to operate freely in critical commercial zones during peacetime. In short, they are contesting our geopolitical advantages and trying to change the international order in their favor.

As President Putin in his New Years’ address calls for pragmatic dialogue, Trump formally criticizes ‘authoritarian regimes’, while pursuing that same objective, which if pointed out, would be approved by voters of both parties. Unlike Bush/Cheney/Obama, Trump’s concern is with the pursuit of our commercial interests, rather than with power as an absolute. To secure these interests (while satisfying the arms industry), Trump calls for the United States to overmatch” its adversaries, described as:

.“the combination of capabilities in sufficient scale to prevent enemy success and to ensure that Americas sons and daughters will never be in an unfair fight. Overmatch strengthens our diplomacy and permits us to shape the international environment to protect our interests. To retain military overmatch the United States must restore our ability to produce innovative capabilities, restore the readiness of our forces for major war, and grow the size of the force so that it is capable of operating at sufficient scale and for ample duration to win across a range of scenarios.”

This policy is justified by the desire to “create wealth for Americans and our allies and partners.(‘Enemies’ or even ‘rivals’ are in Trump’s view ‘competitors’, and prosperous states are stronger security partners who are able to share the burden of confronting competitors.”) –In support of this view, America’s ‘Priority Actions’ are:

  • REINFORCE ECONOMIC TIES WITH ALLIES AND PARTNERS: We will strengthen economic ties as a core aspect of our relationships with like-minded states and use our economic expertise, markets, and resources to bolster states threatened by our competitors.
  • DEPLOY ECONOMIC PRESSURE ON SECURITY THREATS: We will use existing and pursue new economic authorities and mobilize international actors to increase pressure on threats to peace and security in order to resolve confrontations short of military action.
  • SEVER SOURCES OF FUNDING: We will deny revenue to terrorists, WMD proliferators, and other illicit actors in order to constrain their ability to use and move funds to support hostile acts and operations.

INFORMATION STATECRAFT

Americas competitors weaponize information to attack the values and institutions that underpin free societies, while shielding themselves from outside information. They exploit marketing techniques to target individuals based upon their activities and interests.

COMMON THREATS. Fair and reciprocal trade, investments, and exchanges of knowledge deepen our alliances and partnerships, which are necessary to succeed in today’s competitive geopolitical environment.

Trump replaces unchallengeable world hegemony with an “America First” foreign policy [that] “celebrates Americas influence in the world as a positive force that can help set the conditions for peace and prosperity and for developing successful societies.”

We are not going to impose our values on others. Our alliances, partnerships, and coalitions are built on free will and shared interests. When the United States partners with other states, we develop policies that enable us to achieve our goals while our partners achieve theirs.

Today, the United States must compete for positive relationships around the world. China and Russia target their investments in the developing world to expand influence and gain competitive advantages against the United States. China is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure across the globe. Russia, too, projects its influence economically, through the control of key energy and other infrastructure throughout parts of Europe and Central Asia. The United States provides an alternative to state-directed investments, which often leave developing countries worse off. The United States pursues economic ties not only for market access but also to create enduring relationships to advance common political and security interests.

PRIVATE SECTOR ACTIVITY AND RULE OF LAW. The United States will shift away from a reliance on assistance based on grants to approaches that attract private capital and catalyze private sector activity. We will emphasize reforms that unlock the economic potential of citizens, such as the promotion of formal property rights, entrepreneurial reforms, and infrastructure improvements—projects that help people earn their livelihood and have the added benefit of helping U.S. businesses. By mobilizing both public and private resources, the United States can help maximize returns and outcomes and reduce the burden on U.S. Government resources.

Here, Trump deliberately misrepresents an adversary: while most African countries welcome the fact that China builds infrastructure without requiring reciprocal purchases (unlike the US), Trump takes advantage of American ignorance to claim that:

Unlike the state-directed mercantilism of some competitors that can disadvantage recipient nations and promote dependency, the purpose of U.S. foreign assistance should be to end the need for it. The United States seeks strong partners, not weak ones. American-led investments represent the most sustainable and responsible approach to development and offer a stark contrast to the corrupt, opaque, exploitive, and low-quality deals offered by authoritarian states.

Continuing an apparent condemnation of authoritarianism, Trumps states that:

Actors have long recognized the power of multilateral bodies and have used them to advance their interests and limit the freedom of their own citizens. If the United States cedes leadership of these bodies to adversaries, opportunities to shape developments that are positive for the United States will be lost. All institutions are not equal, however. The United States will prioritize its efforts in those organizations that serve American interests, to ensure that they are strengthened and supportive of the United States, our allies, and our partners. Where existing institutions and rules need modernizing, the United States will lead to update them. At the same time, it should be clear that the United States will not cede sovereignty to those that claim authority over American citizens and are in conflict with our constitutional framework.

EXERCISE LEADERSHIP IN POLITICAL AND SECURITY BODIES: The United States will strive for outcomes in political and security forums that are consistent with U.S. interests and values, which are shared by our allies and partners. The United Nations can help contribute to solving many of the complex problems in the world, but it must be reformed and recommit to its founding principles. We will require accountability and emphasize shared responsibility among members. If the United States is asked to provide a disproportion- ate level of support for an institution, we will expect a commensurate degree of influence over the direction and efforts of that institution.

Although the menace of Soviet communism is gone, new threats test our will. Russia is using subversive measures to weaken the credibility of Americas commitment to Europe, undermine transatlantic unity, and weaken European institutions and governments. With its invasions of Georgia and Ukraine, Russia demonstrated its willingness to violate the sovereignty of states in the region. Russia continues to intimidate its neighbors with threatening behavior, such as nuclear posturing and the forward deployment of offensive capabilities.

The United States will deepen collaboration with our European allies and partners to confront forces threatening to undermine our common values, security interests, and shared vision. The United States and Europe will work together to counter Russian subversion and aggression, and the threats posed by North Korea and Iran. We will continue to advance our shared principles and interests in international forums.

For Washington bureaucrats, who remain the same from one president to the next, Wolfowitz will always be the law of the land. Trips to Moscow are invariably construed as ‘political’ and criminalized by the FBI. Even at home, Americans are required to signal any encounter with Russians to the FBI! Saudi Arabia can bomb tiny Yemen to smithereens in the biggest ethnic cleansing ever, but talking to Russians can land you in jail. The Republican Party — which had been dragged kicking and screaming behind Trump in the 2016 election, is now vociferously demanding an investigation of the FBI itself, in order to derail its investigation of the President’s Russian ties.

Whether or not one applauds the election of Donald Trump, it should be obvious that if the nuclear great powers do not maintain friendly relations, the future of mankind is in jeopardy. Why should Russia’s ‘behavior’ in its own back yard justify plans for war? Why, instead of praising those who reach out to Russia, is the deep state threatening to ruin their lives? Why do those who hope that President Trump will not challenge North Korea to a nuclear exchange not also worry about the missiles we installed in Europe, to be launched against Russia should a US-dominated Old World decide it’s had enough of Uncle Sam’s ‘solicitude’?

The commercialization of every aspect of their lives has brought much harm to Americans, and now they need to stop focusing on their commercially-oriented president’s puerile tweets, and hope that in foreign policy, he manages to gain the upper hand over Wolfowitz before it’s too late.

January 19, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

A US-Turkish Clash in Syria?

By Pat Buchanan • Unz Review • January 19, 2018

The war for dominance in the Middle East, following the crushing of ISIS, appears about to commence in Syria — with NATO allies America and Turkey on opposing sides.

Turkey is moving armor and troops south to Syria’s border enclave of Afrin, occupied by Kurds, to drive them out, and then drive the Syrian Kurds out of Manbij further south as well.

Says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “We will destroy all terror nests, one by one, in Syria, starting from Afrin and Manbij.”

For Erdogan, the Kurdish YPG, the major U.S. ally in Syria, is an arm of the Kurdish PKK in Turkey, which we and the Turks have designated as a terrorist organization.

While the Kurds were our most effective allies against ISIS in Syria, Turkey views them as a mortal peril and intends to deal with that threat.

If Erdogan is serious, a clash with the U.S. is coming, as our Kurdish allies occupy most of Syria’s border with Turkey.

Moreover, the U.S. has announced plans to create a 30,000-man Border Security Force of Kurds and Arabs to keep ISIS out of Syria.

Erdogan has branded this BSF a “terror army,” and President Bashar Assad of Syria has called BSF members “traitors.”

This U.S. plan to create a BSF inside Syria, Damascus declared, “represents a blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity and unity of Syria, and a flagrant violation of international law.”

Does not the Syrian government have a point?

Now that ISIS has been driven out of Raqqa and Syria, by what authority do U.S. forces remain to arm troops to keep the Damascus government from reimposing its authority on its own territory?

Secretary of State Tillerson gave Syria the news Wednesday.

The U.S. troop commitment to Syria, he said, is now open-ended.

Our goals: Guarantee al-Qaida and ISIS do not return and set up sanctuary; cope with rising Iranian influence in Damascus; and pursue the removal of Bashar Assad’s ruthless regime.

But who authorized this strategic commitment, of indefinite duration, in Syria, when near two decades in Afghanistan have failed to secure that nation against the return of al-Qaida and ISIS?

Again and again, the American people have said they do not want to be dragged into Syria’s civil war. Donald Trump won the presidency on a promise of no more unnecessary wars.

Have the American people been had again?

Will they support a clash with NATO ally Turkey, to keep armed Kurds on Turkey’s border, when the Turks regard them as terrorists?

Are we prepared for a shooting war with a Syrian army, backed by Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Shiite militias from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, to hold onto a fourth of Syria’s territory in alliance with Kurds?

The U.S. coalition in Syria said this week the BSF will be built up “over the next several years” and “be stationed along the borders … to include portions of the Euphrates river valley and international borders to the east and north.”

Remarkable: A U.S.-created border army is going to occupy and control long stretches of Syria’s borders with Turkey and Iraq, over Syria’s objections. And the U.S. military will stand behind the BSF.

Are the 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria really up to that task, should the Turks decide to cleanse the Syrian border of Kurds, or should the Syrian regime decide to take back territory occupied by the Kurds?

Who sanctioned this commitment to a new army, which, if Syria and its Russian and Iranian allies, and the Turks, do not all back down, risks a major U.S. war with no allies but the Kurds?

As for Syria’s Kurds casting their lot with the Americans, one wonders: Did they not observe what happened when their Iraqi cousins, after helping us drive ISIS out of Mosul, were themselves driven out of Kirkuk by the Iraqi army, as their U.S. allies watched?

In the six-year Syrian civil war, which may be about to enter a new phase, America faces a familiar situation.

While our “allies” and adversaries have vital interests there, we do not. The Assads have been in power for the lifetime of most Americans. And we Americans have never shown a desire to fight there.

Assad has a vital interest: preservation of his family regime and the reunification of his country. The Turks have a vital interest in keeping armed Kurds out of their border regions adjacent to their own Kurdish minority, which seeks greater independence.

The Israelis and Saudi royals want the U.S. to keep Iran from securing a land bridge from Tehran to Damascus to Lebanon.

The U.S. War Party wants us to smash Iran and remain in the Middle East forever to assure the hegemony of its favorites.

Have the generals taking us into Syria told the president how and when, if ever, they plan to get us out?

Copyright 2018 Creators.com.

January 19, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Iran rejects Financial Times’ claim on accepting missile talks

Press TV – January 17, 2018

Iran has categorically dismissed a claim by The Financial Times that it accepted to enter negotiations over its national missile program as well as its regional role during a recent meeting over the 2015 nuclear deal in Brussels.

Citing the German Foreign Ministry, the paper reported on Tuesday that German, French, and British foreign ministers — together with Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief — had agreed during recent talks with Iranian officials in Brussels to hold an “intensive and very serious dialogue” on the country’s conventional missile work and regional influence.

The report claimed that the Europeans have stepped up pressure on Iran over such issues as they struggle to respond to President Donald Trump’s latest threat that he would pull Washington out of the nuclear deal if some “disastrous flaws” were not fixed.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi called the daily’s claim “unfounded” and said the country’s “policy and stance concerning its defensive missile program are completely clear and transparent, and that other countries are well aware of that position.”

Everyone knows that Iran’s defense program is not up for negotiation, Qassemi said, stressing that Tehran’s position has not undergone any changes regardless of the smear campaign, threats and standpoints of the US and others.

The Iranian missile work is of completely “defensive and deterrent nature” and is not targeted against any country, Qassemi said, adding that no hollow and baseless claims would change this “principled and substantive” position of the Islamic Republic.

“The Islamic Republic does not allow any interference in its domestic affairs and defensive policies, especially its missile program.”

Further, Qassemi described Iran’s regional policy as “constructive” and “in line with the promotion of peace and stability in the region and the entire world.

“If ill-wishers and extremists are incapable of contributing to regional stability and security, they cannot turn a blind eye to the role played by Iran — which has paid an inestimable price for its engagement in the fight against terrorism, insecurity and instability — and work to increase chaos, insecurity and terrorism in the region,” he added.

The January 11 meeting in Brussels saw Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discuss the implementation of the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, with Mogherini and his counterparts from Germany, France and Britain.

Following the talks, the senior European diplomats lined up to deliver a strong defense of the landmark pact against Trump’s threats, with Mogherini saying the JCPOA “is working” and hailing Tehran’s full adherence to its side of the bargain.

January 17, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , | Leave a comment

What’s Wrong with Liberal Jews?

Progressive except for Palestine

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • January 16, 2018

Jerry Seinfeld, the Jewish American comedian, who was performing in Tel Aviv Israel at the Menora Mavtichim Arena at the end of December, recently made the news over his real live adventure at an anti-terrorism tourism camp. The so-called Counter Terror and Security Academy named Caliber 3 is a tourist training camp near the Efrat settlement south of Bethlehem, which means it is, appropriately enough, actually built on land stolen from the Palestinians. The camp’s website commemorated the Seinfeld visit by posting notice of the participation of “the legendary Jerry Seinfeld and his family,” plus photos, in a vignette that has since been removed.

The Caliber 3 website describes itself as “the leading counter terror and security training academy, run by active members of the IDF.” The day visit includes a “shooting adventure” involving a simulated suicide bombing in a Jerusalem marketplace as well as a terrorist knife attack. The package, which costs $115 per adult and $85 for children, includes sniper training and a demonstration of the use of attack dogs against a terrorist suspect.

The bad guys in the scenarios were inevitably the Palestinians, invariably described as “terrorists,” and the heroes were the Israeli army and police who were, of course, protecting innocent Jewish civilians. Jerry was photographed grinning and his entire entourage cheered and waved to demonstrate what a wonderful time they were having.

Now Jerry Seinfeld is not just a funny man, he is also a hard-core Hollywood-by-way-of-New York liberal and he may actually believe nonsense like Benjamin Netanyahu really wants peace or that a two-state solution for Israel-Palestine would work just fine, not recognizing that that ship has already sailed. Most of his peers in the heavily Jewish entertainment industry are also politically liberal, though they would likely choose to be called “progressive,” the preferred nomenclature since Ronald Reagan made liberal unfashionable.

Jerry is probably full of warm and fuzzy feelings about racial injustice, illegal immigrants and voting rights in America but he is either unaware or indifferent to the fact that a fundamentally racist Israel is preparing to expel or imprison forty-thousand African asylum seekers and that hundreds of thousands of Arabs who are under the life-and-death control of the Israeli security services have no rights whatsoever apart from being tried by military tribunals where the conviction rate is 99%. Nor is Jerry or any of his Hollywood friends likely to stage a benefit for 16 year old Ahed Tamimi, who is in prison in Israel facing a possible life in prison sentence for having slapped an Israeli soldier from a patrol that had invaded her family home in her West Bank village shortly after shooting her cousin in the head.

I have to believe that Jerry doesn’t obsess much over his Israeli hosts having stolen someone else’s land and killing them if they resist. But I also have to believe that if Jerry were to witness a training camp like C-3 in the United States where the shooting of black people or illegal Mexicans were simulated he would no doubt be both outraged and disgusted, even though somehow shooting simulated Arabs and grinning while doing so does not appear to bother him one bit.

Unfortunately, Jerry the Jewish liberal is not that unusual. American Jews, who are the key to the continuing blank check American support of Israel, balk at recognizing the evil that the self-defined Jewish state represents even though both opinion polls and voting patterns suggest strongly that they are predominantly reliably liberal regarding both social and political issues. Israel does, in fact, reject the values of most diaspora Jews while also contradicting the moral and ethical tradition of Judaism itself, which it claims to uphold. It is the antithesis of what many American Jews believe to be the right way to behave.

As a theocracy that acts like every other theocracy, including neighboring Saudi Arabia, Israel exists to promote the interests and well-being of its own co-ethnoreligionists, which means that the concerns of other religious groups or citizens are basically of no interest whatsoever. And Israel is not only a theocracy, it is also a prime model of a national security state where the military and police have a relatively free hand. In its interaction with the indigenous Arabs, Israel is a settler colonial state that regards the original inhabitants as inferior creatures only fit to be ethnically cleansed or, at best, to do menial work for their Jewish masters.

Israel has consequently been called an “apartheid state,” but some observers who actually experienced South African apartheid believe that what is practiced in Israel, where Palestinians are harassed at numerous military checkpoints and are routinely denied building and residency permits to force them to leave their homes, is far, far worse. “Liberal Zionist” Michelle Goldberg, writing recently in the New York Times, put it succinctly: “Supporters of Israel hate it when people use the word ‘apartheid’ to describe the country, but we don’t have another term for a political system in which one ethnic group rules over another, confining it to small islands of territory and denying it full political representation.”

Recently Israel has demonstrated its essential thuggishness by taking advantage of the Trump Jerusalem decision to legalize the expansion of its borders farther into the West Bank while also approving the building of more than 1,100 new houses. It has banned travel to Israel by representatives of twenty international organizations that have been critical of its behavior, including the Quaker American Friends Service Committee that saved many Jews during the Second World War as well as the largely Jewish Code Pink and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).

And the predominantly liberal highly educated and assimilated American Jews who choose to hold their noses and look the other way when Israel misbehaves exact a price on every other American. Lockstep support for Israel costs billions in U.S. Treasury provided and tax-exempt dollars annually, but does even more damage in terms of bad foreign policy choices and loss of respect from other nations due to Washington’s constant protecting of the murderous and corrupt Netanyahu government, defending the indefensible in a client state which contributes absolutely nothing to the well-being of Americans.

And then there are the wars fought at least in part on behalf of Israel, supported enthusiastically by the U.S. media and political class. Most recently, the White House and Israel have entered into a secret arrangement to destabilize Iran, which does not threaten the United States. Such pointless interventionism by Washington in the Middle East derives from the corruption of American politics and politicians due to Jewish money, a process that is currently working its way through various legislatures in seeking to define any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism while also driving the same, labeled “hate speech,” from the internet. At the local level, government job seekers and those applying for public grants must actually agree in writing in some states not to boycott Israel, incredibly imposing rules relating to a foreign government on American citizens.

The recent bad decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem came about mostly due to the millions of dollars that Israeli/American casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson pumped into the Trump election campaign. Adelson, who regrets having once served in the U.S. Army instead of that of Israel, once claimed that the Palestinians exist “to destroy Israel.” He has his Democratic Party counterpart in Hollywood’s Haim Saban, the principal donor to the Hillary Clinton campaign, who has claimed that he is a one issue guy and that issue is Israel.

Indeed, liberal Jews understand perfectly well, just as do most other observers, that the Israel story is a tale of follow the money, even if it is not considered polite to say so. The Jewish oligarch billionaires club – Adelson, Saban, Bernard Marcus, Paul Singer, Larry Ellison – who are to a man obsessed with protecting Israel, work together with major Jewish organizations to dominate the American political class through their largesse. Inevitably, they expect a quid pro quo and they almost always get what they want.

And then there are the venal bootlicking politicians who wallow in Israel-love for tribal reasons, my favorites being Senators Chuck Schumer and Ben Cardin. Schumer has designated himself the “shomer” or defender of Israel in the U.S. Senate, leading one to ask how is it possible that the voters in New York elect someone who says openly that he will protect the interests of another country rather than the United States? And how does such a reptile become Senate Minority Leader? More money assiduously applied to the Democratic National Committee, one suspects.

Allan Brownfeld of the American Council for Judaism describes the situation with considerable clarity. He says Judaism is a religion and Israel is a country. The two should never be confused and active or tacit support for the bad behavior by Israel actually damages the ethical basis of Judaism. American Jews are first and foremost Americans and that is where their loyalty should lie, not with a foreign country.

Gilad Atzmon has a somewhat different take on the dilemma confronting diaspora Jews who are somewhat befuddled, if not completely convinced, by the Israeli government claims that it represents all Jews worldwide. He writes “if Israel defines itself as the Jewish State and decorates its F-35s with Jewish symbols, we are entitled to ask who are the Jews, what is Judaism, what is Jewishness and how all these terms relate to each other! Evidently these questions terrify some Jewish ethnic activists.”

Some would argue that there is growing sentiment among liberal American Jews, particularly the younger ones, to dissociate from Israel and to condemn its behavior. To be sure this would appear to be true, and there are also numerous Jewish dominated “progressive” organizations that are highly critical of Israel’s current government. Many of them are astonishingly ineffective, suggesting that there is a certain ambivalence among the critics. This arises in part, I suspect, because they ultimately want to protect Israel as a Jewish state, only demanding that it somehow behave better and be nice to the Palestinians, but there is no likelihood that that will happen in the foreseeable future given the lack of any significant political party in Israel that would support such a development.

This process of rationalizing ultimately contradictory theses has been described as working from inside the Jewish bubble and is related to the politics of Jewish identity. Groups like Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) do not really see themselves as Americans speaking to other Americans about the impact of Israel on the United States. Instead, they identify as Jews addressing worldwide Jewry over the issue of how to support Jewish supremacy in Israel/Palestine as a sine qua non of Jewish identity while doing what is necessary to avoid unpleasant consequences. The effect of this ambivalence from inside is corrosive, leading some to believe that Jewish gatekeepers will successfully misdirect grassroots movements like Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to make sure that they do no real damage to the Jewish state just as they have already hamstrung groups demanding an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

It has also been observed that Jewish liberals who oppose Israeli policies frequently have more pity for themselves than for the people under Netanyahu’s jackboot and their proposals frequently defer to Israeli interests. And sometimes there are personal interests at stake. Rebecca Vilkomerson of JVP, who was blacklisted by Israel and will be unable to travel there, is married to an Israeli Jonathan Lebowitsch, who is a Solution Architect at Checkpoint, a cybersecurity company with ties to the Israeli military. She is now for the first time living with a reality imposed by the Israeli government that is analogous to what many Palestinians have experienced since 1948, i.e. being unable to go back to the homes that their families have lived in for generations. And she is a Jew who has broken no law, dealing with a Jewish state that is proclaimed to be the “only democracy in the Middle East.”

Other groups like J-Street veer even further in the direction of compromise with Israeli interests, basically wanting a Jewish state that is less offensive to the international audience, with some kind of fantasy concordat with the Arabs that will make the issue of what kind of place Israel really is less visible. Some time ago, I attended a J Street sponsored talk by a retired Israeli general who was supposed to be of the “peace” party. His message: “Iran must be destroyed.”

I used to believe that educating the American public about what is really going on in the Middle East would bring about a change in policy. I don’t believe it any longer because Jews control the media and the message. As Peter Beinart puts it, “In part that’s because establishment Jewish discourse about Israel is, in large measure, American public discourse about Israel. Watch a discussion of Israel on American TV and what you’ll hear, much of the time, is a liberal American Jew (Thomas Friedman, David Remnick) talking to a centrist American Jew (Dennis Ross, Alan Dershowitz) talking to a hawkish American Jew (William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer), each articulating different Zionist positions.”

And beyond the media there is the heavy hand of the agitprop being disseminated by the Trump Administration. U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who recently tried to expunge the word “occupation” from the State Department language describing Israel’s colonization of the West Bank, claimed falsely last week that the Palestinians and their leadership are to blame for the lack of a peace deal with Israel. The statement by Friedman denounced Hamas for praising a drive-by shooting that killed an Israeli Rabbi in a West Bank attack. “An Israeli father of six was killed last night in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists. Hamas praises the killers and PA laws will provide them financial rewards.” Friedman said. “Look no further to why there is no peace.” Friedman supports the fanatical settler movement and has never expressed any sympathy for the far more numerous Palestinian children killed in the past two months by Israeli security forces.

It is undoubtedly true that an increasing number of Jewish American liberals have been troubled by the Israeli police state, which politically has tilted increasingly hard right. Even with an accommodating media, the Israeli refusal to end the occupation of the West Bank and the strangling of the open-air prison that is Gaza have been very visible and have made many question the state’s democratic pretensions. The military domination of a subject population also has a demographic downside in that the land controlled by Israel includes over 6.2 million Palestinian Arabs and about 6.5 million Jews. The Palestinian birthrate is higher than the Jewish birthrate and, in twenty years, Arabs will outnumber Jews in what might be described as Greater Israel, but it is now clear that Israel as it currently sees itself will never grant those Arabs equal rights or give up its attempt to completely dominate the region from the Jordan River to the sea.

Why is all this obsessing over the paradoxical behavior of Jewish liberals important? It is important because American Jews are hugely over-represented in the places that matter: in the media, in entertainment, in politics, in financial services, in the professions, in the arts and in education. It has been my own personal experience that some prominent Jewish critics of Israel resent identical criticism coming from non-Jews and tend to use their resources to marginalize it, frequently alleging that it is motivated by anti-Semitism. That means that the goyim will never be able to shift the press or congress or the White House about how awful the connection with Israel really is, no matter what we say or do, but as soon as Jewish American liberals get on board and convince themselves that they cannot stand any more of the lying about Israel change will come. It is all about Jewish power in America, but this time as a potential positive force. Guys like Jerry Seinfeld will have to figure out that performing in Israel and playing around for a laugh at their counter-terrorist indoctrination centers that simulate shooting Arabs is not exactly acceptable. We might even get Hollywood on board to produce an honest movie about the plight of the Palestinians.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Al-Manar | January 15, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Peter KORZUN | Strategic Culture Foundation | 15.01.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Israeli Security Minister Says EU Ready to Increase Pressure on Iran

Sputnik – January 14, 2018

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Sunday that he believed US President Donald Trump who had promised to waive sanctions against Iran for the last time, also noting that France, Germany and the United Kingdom also started expressing their readiness to increase pressure on Tehran.

On Friday, Trump said that he had extended Iran’s sanctions waivers, stipulated by the Iran nuclear deal, for the last time, calling on the European Union to take part in rewriting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“I definitely believe him [Trump]… We also see that the Europeans start realizing that Iran should change its behavior… I believe the Germans start expressing their readiness to increase pressure on Iran. I think that the British and the French are also moving in this direction,” Erdan said as quoted by Israel’s Army Radio also known as Galei Tzahal.

According to the Israeli minister, Iran’s actions in Syria and Lebanon as well as the country’s ballistic and nuclear programs will convince the European countries that the US president’s plans are reasonable.

“I believe that in 120 days when he [Trump] will have to decide on whether the United States will remain in the agreement [JCPOA] or not, serious changes will take place,” the minister stressed.

In July 2015, the EU, Iran and the P5+1 group of nations comprising the US, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom plus Germany signed the JCPOA. The nuclear agreement stipulates a gradual lifting of sanctions imposed on Tehran in exchange for Iran’s nuclear program program remaining peaceful.

In late October, Trump refused to re-certify the JCPOA, accusing the Islamic Republic of violating the agreement.

READ MORE:

Israel, Middle East Leaders Tried to ‘Trap’ US into War With Iran — Kerry

January 14, 2018 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

US Likely Took Course to Demolish Iran Nuclear Deal – Russia’s Deputy FM

Sputnik – January 13, 2018

Russia, as well as the European Union, remains committed to the Iran nuclear deal, despite the recent US waiver of sanctions against the country.

Moscow would oppose any attempts to undermine the existing nuclear agreement between P5+1 countries and Iran, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has stated.

“The JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] cannot be amended and we will oppose any attempts to hamper it,” Ryabkov said.

The minister went on by saying that Trump’s move raises questions concerning his negotiability on international issues, adding that Moscow will insistently explain to Washington the viciousness of its sanction policy towards both Tehran and Pyongyang.

“We have a very negative stance on yesterday’s decisions and statements announced by Washington, our worst expectations are coming true,” Ryabkov said commenting on Trump’s words, saying that the US thus demonstrate their preference for the use of power to solve issues.

The minister underlined that statements by US President Donald Trump will be very carefully studied in the DPRK and other countries and may influence the existing tensions on the Korean peninsula.

“According to our estimates, our American colleagues act in such a way as to constantly find opportunities to increase tensions on the Korean peninsula. Despite the signs that there has been some shift in the direction toward political dialogue, here we also note intra-Korean contacts, which are very important — despite this, Washington is looking for ways to constantly remind everyone, including in Northeast Asia, that it is committed to pressuring and methods of force, and, using this same American terminology, keeping all the options on the table,” the deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry added.

The diplomat added that there was no sense in overestimating Trump’s decision on waiving the sanctions, as the United States was seeking to undermine the JCPOA and is reinforcing a categorical approach to Iran-related issues.

“The prospect of the US withdrawal from the Iran deal will deliver a very serious blow to the whole system of international agreements and to the enhancing of the nuclear non-proliferation regime,” Ryabkov said.

Speaking about a new deal on Iran, which the US has claimed to elaborate, the minister stressed that Moscow could hardly understand how it might look like.

“We do not understand what our American colleagues mean when they start to negotiate the development of some new agreement, which, as they think, will ‘correct the shortcomings’ of the existing agreement,” Ryabkov said.

“It has been announced in advance that Iran, Russia and China are not invited to negotiations concerning this agreement. This is the US’ decision, the content of the talks and their subject is unclear. But for us, strictly speaking, they are of little interest because the JCPOA is not subject to correction,” Ryabkov stressed.

US Sanctions

“Of course, the decisions on enlargement of the sanction list [as for Iran] by including 14 individuals and entities, including the citizens of foreign states, not only the Iranian institutions and organizations, spark concerns,” Ryabkov has commented on the US sanctions on 14 individuals and entities over Iran’s human rights abuses and ballistic missile program, including the ones from China and Malaysia.

The minister called on the international community to consolidate efforts aimed at securing the Iranian nuclear deal.

“We think that in this context, the international community should double its efforts aimed at consolidation of the approach to the protection of the JCPOA shared by Russia, the Europeans and China in favor of its strict and full implementation by all the participants,” Ryabkov said.

The statement was made in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s announcement on January 12 of his decision to waive sanctions on Iran as required by the JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal. Trump, however, specified it would be the last time he signs the waiver unless the deal is modified.

This move follows the common path the US president took in relation to the Islamic Republic ever since his election campaign. When elected, he reaffirmed opposition to the deal officially in late October 2017, refusing to re-certify it and accusing Tehran of violating the spirit of the agreement.

However, the president still does not contest Tehran’s compliance with the deal at the international level, while at the same time not excluding the possibility of withdrawing from the deal if the agreement is not improved. Other JCPOA signatories have called on the United States to comply with the agreement’s provisions, saying that the deal had yielded results and was non-negotiable.

READ MORE:

Trump Decides to Extend Iran Sanctions Waiver, But for the Last Time — WH

January 13, 2018 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , | Leave a comment

Trump waives Iran nuclear sanctions, but for last time: White House

Press TV – January 12, 2018

US President Donald Trump has reluctantly agreed not to reimpose nuclear sanctions on Iran, but it would be the last time he issues such a waiver, according to the White House.

Trump wants America’s European allies to use the 120 day period before sanctions relief again comes up for renewal to agree to tougher measures, a senior White House official said Friday.

The US Congress requires the president to periodically certify Iran’s compliance with the agreement and issue a waiver to allow American sanctions to remain suspended.

While Trump approved a sanctions waiver, the US Treasury Department announced that it has imposed sanctions on 14 Iranian individuals and companies, including Iranian Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani.

A senior administration official said Trump had privately expressed annoyance at having to once again waive sanctions.

Trump has argued behind the scenes that he sees Iran as a rising threat in the Middle East and the nuclear deal makes the United States look weak, a senior US official said.

The Republican president had privately expressed reluctance to heed the advice of top advisers — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster — recommending he not reimpose the suspended sanctions.

A decision to reimpose sanctions would have effectively ended the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The agreement was reached between Iran and six world powers — the US, the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany.

The deal puts limitations on parts of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program in exchange for removing all nuclear-related sanctions.

Trump had come under heavy pressure from European allies to issue the sanctions waiver.

On Thursday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini together with foreign ministers of France, the US and Germany delivered a strong defense of the deal in separate statements, which were issued following a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Brussels.

January 12, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Trump Plans to Enforce Sanctions on Iranian State Television

Sputnik – January 8, 2018

WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump plans to impose sanctions against Iranian state television as part of his response to Iran’s crackdown on anti-government protesters, media reported on Monday.

The Guardian reported that Trump will not sign a 180-day waiver that has previously postponed the sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) since 2013. The waiver on the sanctions is up for renewal at the end of January.

Several major cities in Iran, including Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan and Rasht, have witnessed anti-government protests since December 28, 2017. Iranians have taken to the streets to protest against unemployment, poverty and the rising cost of living.

Recently, the Pentagon’s chief voiced his support for the protests, saying that the people of Iran had proven that they “aren’t buying” what Tehran is selling, claiming the protests to be the evidence.

Earlier, the Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations claimed that Tehran had “hard evidence” that the violence in the protests was incited from abroad, adding that instigators based in the United States and Europe have been seen inciting violence during the protests.

January 8, 2018 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , | 2 Comments