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ISIS attacked Syrian positions from US-controlled area, used sophisticated data – Moscow

RT | October 4, 2017

A series of recent Islamic State attacks against Syrian forces used sophisticated intelligence and originated from a US-controlled area near al-Tanf on the Syria-Jordan border, Russia’s Defense Ministry said.

“We have repeatedly pointed out that the major obstacle to the complete elimination of IS (Islamic State, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria lies not in the fighting capability of the terrorists but [in the fact] that American colleagues are supporting them and are ‘flirting’ with them,” the Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said in a statement.

He went on to say that the successful advances of the Syrian Army, supported by the Russian Air Force, as well as the “rapid liberation” of the Euphrates Valley from Islamic State are “apparently at odds with the plans of US colleagues.”

The ministry’s spokesman then said that the recent well-coordinated actions of the terrorists indicate that they possess intelligence data that can only be obtained as a result of air reconnaissance. He noted that all the terrorist attacks originated from the same US-controlled area.

The extremists attempted to carry out an attack against the Syrian governmental forces, which was “coordinated in time and place,” in the Syrian Homs province on September 28, Konashenkov said.

He drew attention to the fact that a large terrorist unit “successfully bypassed” all the Syrian Army’s hidden outposts in the area. That, the official noted, could have been done only if the extremists had precise coordinates of each governmental forces’ position obtained through air reconnaissance data, which were analyzed by some specialists in advance.

The major-general said that, on the same day, the jihadists also attacked the Syrian Army positions along the highway linking the Syrian cities of Palmyra and Deir ez-Zor, which plays a crucial role in supplying the governmental forces in the Euphrates Valley.

The Syrian Army had to “make significant efforts” to repel these attacks, but the terrorists were eventually driven back.

All those attacks “have only one thing in common: all of them originated from a 50-kilometer zone surrounding the city of al-Tanf on the Syria-Jordan border,” Konashenkov said, adding that it is precisely the same area, where the US military mission’s base is located.

In his statement, Konashenkov doubted that all those incidents could be described as just “mere coincidences” by saying that, “if the US side considers such operations as “’unforeseen’ contingencies, the Russian Air Forces in Syria are ready to eliminate” them in an area they control.

It is not the first time, when the Russian officials suspected the US-led coalition of having links to some radical groups in Syria and the Al Nusra Front, a local Al Qaeda branch, in particular.

In early September, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the situation around Al Nusra in Syria remains “highly ambiguous” as it was repeatedly spared in the operations conducted by the US-led coalition and its allies.

On September 20, the Russian Defense Ministry said it obtained data indicating that an offensive launched by Al Nusra terrorists and their allies seeking particularly to capture a unit of the Russian military police was orchestrated by the US security services.

Just four days later, the ministry released aerial images, which they said showed US Army Special Forces equipment in an ISIS-held area to the north of the city of Deir ez-Zor. The US, however, denied having any links to the jihadists.

On October 3, Lavrov once again raised the issue of the US-led coalition’s alleged links to the extremist groups as he criticized the US for playing dangerous games by inspiring “terrorists to attack strategic locations” held by the Syrian governmental forces or staging “fatal provocations against our [Russian] military personnel.”

October 4, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Crazy Imbalance of Russia-gate

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | September 22, 2017

The core absurdity of the Russia-gate frenzy is its complete lack of proportionality. Indeed, the hysteria is reminiscent of Sen. Joe McCarthy warning that “one communist in the faculty of one university is one communist too many” or Donald Trump’s highlighting a few “bad hombres” raping white American women.

It’s not that there were no Americans who espoused communist views at universities and elsewhere or that there are no “bad hombre” rapists; it’s that these rare exceptions were used to generate a dangerous overreaction in service of a propagandistic agenda. Historically, we have seen this technique used often when demagogues seize on an isolated event and exploit it emotionally to mislead populations to war.

Today, we have The New York Times and The Washington Post repeatedly publishing front-page articles about allegations that some Russians with “links” to the Kremlin bought $100,000 in Facebook ads to promote some issues deemed hurtful to Hillary Clinton’s campaign although some of the ads ran after the election.

Initially, Facebook could find no evidence of even that small effort but was pressured in May by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia. The Washington Post reported that Warner, who is spearheading the Russia-gate investigation in the Senate Intelligence Committee, flew to Silicon Valley and urged Facebook executives to take another look at possible ad buys.

Facebook responded to this congressional pressure by scouring its billions of monthly users and announced that it had located 470 suspect accounts associated with ads totaling $100,000 – out of Facebook’s $27 billion in annual revenue.

Here is how the Times described those findings: “Facebook officials disclosed that they had shut down several hundred accounts that they believe were created by a Russian company linked to the Kremlin and used to buy $100,000 in ads pushing divisive issues during and after the American election campaign.” (It sometimes appears that every Russian — all 144 million of them — is somehow “linked” to the Kremlin.)

Last week, congressional investigators urged Facebook to expand its review into “troll farms” supposedly based in Belarus, Macedonia and Estonia – although Estonia is by no means a Russian ally; it joined NATO in 2004.

“Warner and his Democratic counterpart on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, have been increasingly vocal in recent days about their frustrations with Facebook,” the Post reported.

Facebook Complies

So, on Thursday, Facebook succumbed to demands that it turn over to Congress copies of the ads, a move that has only justified more alarmist front-page stories about Russia! Russia! Russia!

In response to this political pressure – at a time when Facebook is fending off possible anti-trust legislation – its chief executive Mark Zuckerberg added that he is expanding the investigation to include “additional Russian groups and other former Soviet states.”

So, it appears that not only are all Russians “linked” to the Kremlin, but all former Soviet states as well.

But why stop there? If the concern is that American political campaigns are being influenced by foreign governments whose interests may diverge from what’s best for America, why not look at countries that have caused the United States far more harm recently than Russia?

After all, Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Wahabbi leaders have been pulling the U.S. government into their sectarian wars with the Shiites, including conflicts in Yemen and Syria that have contributed to anti-Americanism in the region, to the growth of Al Qaeda, and to a disruptive flow of refugees into Europe.

And, let’s not forget the 8,000-pound gorilla in the room: Israel. Does anyone think that whatever Russia may or may not have done in trying to influence U.S. politics compares even in the slightest to what Israel does all the time?

Which government used its pressure and that of its American agents (i.e., the neocons) to push the United States into the disastrous war in Iraq? It wasn’t Russia, which was among the countries urging the U.S. not to invade; it was Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Indeed, the plans for “regime change” in Iraq and Syria can be traced back to the work of key American neoconservatives employed by Netanyahu’s political campaign in 1996. At that time, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and other leading neocons unveiled a seminal document entitled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” which proposed casting aside negotiations with Arabs in favor of simply replacing the region’s anti-Israeli governments.

However, to make that happen required drawing in the powerful U.S. military, so after the 9/11 attacks, the neocons inside President George W. Bush’s administration set in motion a deception campaign to justify invading Iraq, a war which was to be followed by more “regime changes” in Syria and Iran.

A Wrench in the Plans

Although the military disaster in Iraq threw a wrench into those plans, the Israeli/neocon agenda never changed. Along with Israel’s new regional ally, Saudi Arabia, a proxy war was fashioned to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

As Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren explained, the goal was to shatter the Shiite “strategic arc” running from Iran through Syria to Lebanon and Israel’s Hezbollah enemies.

How smashing this Shiite “arc” was in the interests of the American people – or even within their consciousness – is never explained. But it was what Israel wanted and thus it was what the U.S. government enlisted to do, even to the point of letting sophisticated U.S. weaponry fall into the hands of Syria’s Al Qaeda affiliate.

Israel’s influence over U.S. politicians is so blatant that presidential contenders queue up every year to grovel before the Israel Lobby’s conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. In 2016, Donald Trump showed up and announced that he was not there to “pander” and then pandered his pants off.

And, whenever Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to show off his power, he is invited to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress at which Republicans and Democrats compete to see how many times and how quickly they can leap to their feet in standing ovations. (Netanyahu holds the record for the number of times a foreign leader has addressed joint sessions with three such appearances, tied with Winston Churchill.)

Yet, Israeli influence is so ingrained in the U.S. political process that even the mention of the existence of an “Israel Lobby” brings accusations of anti-Semitism. “Israel Lobby” is a forbidden phrase in Washington.

However, pretty much whenever Israel targets a U.S. politician for defeat, that politician goes down, a muscle that Israel flexed in the early 1980s in taking out Rep. Paul Findley and Sen. Charles Percy, two moderate Republicans whose crime was to suggest talks with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

So, if the concern is the purity of the American democratic process and the need to protect it from outside manipulation, let’s have at it. Why not a full-scale review of who is doing what and how? Does anyone think that Israel’s influence over U.S. politics is limited to a few hundred Facebook accounts and $100,000 in ads?

A Historical Perspective

And, if you want a historical review, throw in the British and German propaganda around the two world wars; include how the South Vietnamese government collaborated with Richard Nixon in 1968 to sabotage President Lyndon Johnson’s Paris peace talks; take a serious look at the collusion between Ronald Reagan’s campaign and Iran thwarting President Jimmy Carter’s efforts to free 52 American hostages in Tehran in 1980; open the books on Turkey’s covert investments in U.S. politicians and policymakers; and examine how authoritarian regimes of all stripes have funded important Washington think tanks and law firms.

If such an effort were ever proposed, you would get a sense of how sensitive this topic is in Official Washington, where foreign money and its influence are rampant. There would be accusations of anti-Semitism in connection with Israel and charges of conspiracy theory even in well-documented cases of collaboration between U.S. politicians and foreign interests.

So, instead of a balanced and comprehensive assessment of this problem, the powers-that-be concentrate on the infinitesimal case of Russian “meddling” as the excuse for Hillary Clinton’s shocking defeat. But the key reasons for Clinton’s dismal campaign had virtually nothing to do with Russia, even if you believe all the evidence-lite accusations about Russian “meddling.”

The Russians did not tell Clinton to vote for the disastrous Iraq War and play endless footsy with the neocons; the Russians didn’t advise her to set up a private server to handle her State Department emails and potentially expose classified information; the Russians didn’t lure Clinton and the U.S. into the Libyan fiasco nor suggest her ghastly joke in response to Muammar Gaddafi’s lynching (“We came, we saw, he died”); the Russians had nothing to do with her greedy decision to accept millions of dollars in Wall Street speaking fees and then try to keep the speech contents secret from the voters; the Russians didn’t encourage her husband to become a serial philanderer and make a mockery of their marriage; nor did the Russians suggest to Anthony Weiner, the husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, that he send lewd photos to a teen-ager on a laptop also used by his wife, a development that led FBI Director James Comey to reopen the Clinton-email investigation just 11 days before the election; the Russians weren’t responsible for Clinton’s decision not to campaign in Wisconsin and Michigan; the Russians didn’t stop her from offering a coherent message about how she would help the struggling white working class; and on and on.

But the Russia-gate investigation is not about fairness and balance; it’s a reckless scapegoating of a nuclear-armed country to explain away – and possibly do away with – Donald Trump’s presidency. Rather than putting everything in context and applying a sense of proportion, Russia-gate is relying on wild exaggerations of factually dubious or relatively isolated incidents as an opportunistic means to a political end.

As reckless as President Trump has been, the supposedly wise men and wise women of Washington are at least his match.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

September 23, 2017 Posted by | Russophobia, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fact checking Benjamin Netanyahu’s General Assembly speech

By Adam Garrie | The Duran | September 20, 2017

Yesterday, Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before the United Nations in a speech that served as a kind of appendix to Donald Trump’s controversial, bellicose declaration that was delivered hours earlier.

Both speeches predictably focused on Iran and both leaders told a great deal of untruths and half-truths about the situation. Here are some of the most glaring untruths, followed by a factual explanation of the situation.

1. Iran is “devouring nations”. 

The full quote from Netanyahu is as follows:

“Well as you know, I strongly disagreed. I warned that when the sanctions on Iran would be removed, Iran would behave like a hungry tiger unleashed, not joining the community of nations, but devouring nations, one after the other. And that’s precisely what Iran is doing today.

From the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean, from Tehran to Tartus, an Iranian curtain is descending across the Middle East. Iran spreads this curtain of tyranny and terror over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere, and it pledges to extinguish the light of Israel”.

In reality, Iran occupies zero countries and has not occupied any country in its modern history. By contrast, Israel has occupied part of Syria, the Golan Heights, since 1967. This occupation is condemned by the United Nations and all five permanent members of the Security Council, including the United States.

The other country on Netanyahu’s list that has been occupied by Israel and not Iran is Lebanon. After invading Lebanon in 1982, Israel set up a permanent occupying force in southern Lebanon between 1985 and the year 2000. Israel maintained a presence in the country until 2006, when Israeli forces retreated in the face of strong Hezbollah defences.

Israel continues to occupy Palestine according to the UN and most impartial observers. It previously occupied Egypt, the Jordanian West Bank and in 1981, illegally bombed Iraq.

Iran by contrast has done no such things. The Iranian assistance provided to Syria during the conflict in the country has been done under a legal agreement with Damascus based on mutual friendship and a common cause against Salafist terrorism. Iran’s training of some Iraqi volunteers has been conducted on a similar basis.

By no logical stretch of the English language, could this been seen as “devouring nations”.

2. “We will act to prevent Iran from establishing permanent military bases in Syria for its air, sea and ground forces”

This statement while designed to sound like a defensive measure is actually an admission of a premeditated war crime. No foreign country can use the threat of force to blackmail its neighbours or anyone else when it comes to internal affairs.

If Syria invites Iran to establish some sort of permanent presence in the country, that is a matter which is strictly between Syria and Iran. To use this as a pretext for an act of war, is put simply, a war crime.

3. “Syria has barrel-bombed, starved, gassed and murdered hundreds of thousands of its own citizens and wounded millions more, while Israel has provided lifesaving medical care to thousands of Syrian victims of that very same carnage. Yet who does the World Health Organization criticize? Israel”.

This one is full of outright lies. First of all, prior to the conflict, not only were all Syrians fed, but food prices were subsidised by the government, making nutritious foodstuffs more affordable in Syria than in most parts of the region.

Even today, Syrians are not starving, but due to western backed sanctions, food is more expensive and medicine is both more expensive and more scarce than they were prior to the conflict with Salafist terrorism. None of this has to do with the Syrian government nor its partners who continue to deliver aid.

Syria has not possessed any chemical weapons since 2013. In a joint effort by both Russia and the US, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons certified that by early 2014, there were no chemical weapons left in the Syrian governments hands.

Syria did develop a chemical weapons program in the 1970s in response to intelligence about Israel’s secretive nuclear weapons program.

In spite of this, Syria has never used chemical weapons, not on a foreign power and not internally.

The only chemical weapons in Syria today, are those in the hands of terrorists who are fighting Syria.

In respect of the Israeli hospital program. These hospitals have not been open to ordinary Syrians, let alone to the Syrian soldiers fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Instead, the hospitals have perversely been used to give medical treatment to al-Qaeda and ISIS fighters who are known as some of the most violent terrorists in the world.

4. “Two years ago, I stood here and explained why the Iranian nuclear deal not only doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb, Iran’s nuclear program has what’s called a sunset clause”.

Not only does the JCPOA (aka Iran nuclear deal) prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, but Barack Obama’s administration admitted this openly. The EU and Russia continue to express their support of the deal and the US State Department, EU and UN have all agreed that Iran is in full compliance with the deal.

The only country in the Middle East to develop and maintain nuclear weapons is Israel. Furthermore, Israel obtained its nuclear weapons without international sanction and to this day, refuses to admit to having nuclear weapons. Israel is not a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Israel is one of only four nations in the world to have never signed the treaty.

Israeli historian Avner Cohen as well as the award-winning US journalist Seymour Hersh have confirmed the existence of the so-called ‘Samson Option’, wherein Israel will deploy its nuclear weapons if it feels its security is threatened.

During his speech at the UN, Netanyahu alluded to the ‘Samson Option’ in saying,

“Those who threaten us with annihilation put themselves in mortal peril. Israel will defend itself with the full force of our arms and the full power of our convictions”.

In this sense, Iran has much more to fear form Israel than Israel has to fear from Iran, yet ironically it is Israel that continually protests about its own fears.

CONCLUSION

While Iran hasn’t invaded another country in its modern history, nor has it occupied a single country, Israel has occupied five: Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan. Unlike Iran, Israel has nuclear bombs, unlike every other country in the Middle East.

With this record, it becomes clear who should be afraid of whom.

September 20, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

September 11, 2001: Questions to Ask if You Still Believe the Official Narrative

By Tony Cartalucci | Land Destroyer | September 11, 2017

The attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11) left nearly 3,000 dead in NYC, Washington D.C. and over Pennsylvania. The attacks transformed America into a deepening police state at home and a nation perpetually at war abroad.

The official narrative claims that 19 hijackers representing Al Qaeda took over 4 commercial aircraft to carry out attacks on New York City’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

The event served as impetus for the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan which continues to present day. It also led directly to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Attempts to cite the attack to precipitate a war with Iran and other members of the so-called “Axis of Evil” (Libya, Syria, North Korea, and Cuba) have also been made.

And if this is the version of reality one subscribes to, several questions remain worth asking.

1. Can the similarities between 9/11 and plans drawn up by the US Department of Defense (DoD) and Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) in 1962 under the code name “Operation Northwoods” be easily dismissed? 

The US DoD and JCS wrote a detailed plan almost identical to the 9/11 attacks as early as 1962 called “Operation Northwoods” where the US proposed hijacking commercial airliners, committing terrorist attacks, and blaming Cuba to justify a US military intervention.

Far from a fringe conspiracy theory, mainstream media outlets including ABC News would cover the document in articles like, “U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba,” which would report:

In the early 1960s, America’s top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.

Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.

The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba’s then new leader, communist Fidel Castro.

A full PDF copy of the document is available via George Washington University’s archives and states specifically regarding the hijacking of commercial aircraft:

An aircraft at Eglin AFB would be painted and numbered as an exact duplicate for a civil registered aircraft belonging to a CIA proprietary organization in the Miami area. At a designated time the duplicate would be substituted for the actual civil aircraft and would be loaded with the selected passengers, all boarded under carefully prepared aliases. The actual registered aircraft would be converted to a drone.

The document also cites the USS Maine in describing the sort of event the DoD-JCS sought to stage, a US warship whose destruction was used to maliciously provoke the Spanish-American War. It should be noted, that unlike the DoD-JCS document’s suggestion that airliner-related casualties be staged, the USS Maine explosion killed 260 sailors. It is likely that DoD and JCS would not risk engineering a provocation that leads to major war but allow low-level operators left alive with the knowledge of what they had participated in.

Considering that the US sought to deceive the public in order to provoke an unjustifiable war that would undoubtedly kill thousands or tens of thousands of innocent people, and that other proposals did include killing innocent people, it is worth considering that US policymakers would also be just as willing to extinguish innocent lives when staging the hijacking of aircraft to provoke such a war.

2. Why did US policymakers draw up extensive plans to reassert US global hegemony – including regime change in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen – without any conceivable pretext until 9/11 conveniently unfolded? 

In 2000, US policymakers from the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) sought a sweeping plan to reassert America as a global hegemon. In a 90-page document titled, “Rebuilding America’s Defense: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century” (PDF), a strategy for maintaining what it called “American military preeminence” would be laid out in detail.

It involved global moves the United States – in 2000 – could never justify, including placing US troops in Southeast Asia, building a global missile defense network prohibited by treaties signed during the Cold War, and the containment of developing nations that would eventually end up rolling back US global hegemony in the near future, including Iran, Iraq, China, North Korea, Libya, and Syria.

The report noted the difficulties of proposing and executing the transformations necessary to achieve the objectives laid out in the document. It would be explicitly stated that:

Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.

In fact, the entire body of the document is an uncanny description of the post-9/11 “international order,” an order unimaginable had the events of 9/11 not transpired.

It should also be remembered that wars predicated on 9/11 like the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, were admittedly planned before 9/11 took place.

The Guardian in its 2004 article, “Bush team ‘agreed plan to attack the Taliban the day before September 11’,” would report:

The day before the September 11 attacks, the Bush administration agreed on a plan to oust the Taliban regime in Afghanistan by force if it refused to hand over Osama bin Laden, according to a report by a bipartisan commission of inquiry. The report pointed out that agreement on the plan, which involved a steady escalation of pressure over three years, had been repeatedly put off by the Clinton and Bush administrations, despite the repeated failure of attempts to use diplomatic and economic pressure.

While it seems inconceivable that the American or global public would tolerate the multi-trillion dollar 16 year war that the invasion of Afghanistan has become without the attacks on 9/11, such a war was admittedly in the making – in fact – years before 9/11 unfolded.

Similarly, the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was strongly linked to the aftermath of 9/11, but was likewise decided upon long before 9/11 unfolded.

CNN in its article, “O’Neill: Bush planned Iraq invasion before 9/11,” would report:

The Bush administration began planning to use U.S. troops to invade Iraq within days after the former Texas governor entered the White House three years ago, former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill told CBS News’ 60 Minutes.

This echos similar statements made by US Army General Wesley Clark who repeatedly warned that the US sought global-spanning war post-Cold War to assert its hegemony over the planet, and fully sought to use 9/11 as a pretext to do it.

General Clark would list seven nations slated for regime change post 9/11, including Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen – all nations now either at war or facing war with the United States and its proxies – or in the case of Libya – entirely divided and destroyed in the wake of US military operations.

3. If primarily Saudi hijackers with Saudi money and Saudi organization perpetrated the attacks of 9/11, why has the United States waged war or threatened war with every nation in the Middle East except Saudi Arabia and its allies? 

Not only has the United States made no moves against Saudi Arabia for its apparent role in the 9/11 attacks – spanning the administrations of US President George Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump – the United States has sold Saudi Arabia billions in arms, provided military support and protection to Saudi Arabia’s military and government, partnered with Saudi Arabia in its ongoing conflict with Yemen – all while US government documents and leaked e-mails between US politicians reveal Saudi Arabia is still a state sponsor of Al Qaeda – the organization officially blamed for the 9/11 attacks.

Indeed, a 2012 US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report would explicitly admit:

If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).

The DIA memo then explains exactly who this “Salafist principality’s” supporters are:

The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.

This “Salafist principality” is now known as the “Islamic State,” an affiliate of Al Qaeda still operating with significant state sponsorship everywhere from Syria, Iraq, and Libya, to the Philippines and beyond.

Coincidentally, Saudi-armed and funded terrorists in the Philippines has served as a pretext for US military assets to begin expanding their presence in Southeast Asia, just as the aforementioned 2000 PNAC document had sought.

Additionally, in a 2014 e-mail between US Counselor to the President John Podesta and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it would be admitted that two of America’s closest regional allies – Saudi Arabia and Qatar – were providing financial and logistical support to the Islamic State.

The e-mail, leaked to the public through Wikileaks, stated:

… we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to [the Islamic State] and other radical Sunni groups in the region.

While the e-mail portrays the US in a fight against the very “Salafist” (Islamic) “principality” (State) it sought to create and use as a strategic asset in 2012, the fact that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are both acknowledged as state sponsors of the terrorist organization – and are both still enjoying immense military, economic, and political support from the United States and its European allies – indicates just how disingenuous America’s “war on terror” really is.

If the US truly believed Al Qaeda carried out the deadly attacks of 9/11, why does it count among its closest allies two of Al Qaeda’s largest and most prolific state sponsors?

Together – by honestly answering these three questions – we are left considering the very real possibility that 9/11 was not a terrorist attack carried out by foreign terrorists, but rather an attack engineered by special interests within the United States itself.

If we reject that conclusion, we must ask ourselves why the US DoD and JCS would take the time to draft plans for false flag attacks if they did not believe they were viable options US policymakers might seriously consider. At the very least we must ask why those at the DoD and JCS could be caught signing and dating a conspiracy to commit unspeakable terrorism to justify an unjust war and not only avoid criminal charges, but remain employed within the US government.

We must also ask ourselves why US policymakers would draft long-term plans for reasserting American global hegemony without any conceivable pretext to justify such plans. Even in the wake of 9/11, the US government found it difficult to sell the invasion of Iraq to the American public and its allies. Without 9/11, such salesmanship would have been impossible. In Syria – with 9/11 disappearing into the distant past – US regime change efforts have all but stalled.

Finally, we must find adequate explanations as to why those sponsoring the supposed perpetrators of 9/11 have remained recipients of unwavering American support, weapon sales, and both political and military protection. We must attempt to answer why militants fighting in Syria under the banner of Al Qaeda have been able to openly operate out of NATO-member Turkey’s territory for the past 6 years, side-by-side US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) personnel who are admittedly fueling the conflict with weapons, money, and training “accidentally” ending up in Al Qaeda’s hands.

It is clear – that at the very least – the official narrative in no shape, form, or way adds up. If the official narrative doesn’t add up, what does?

September 11, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

9/11: The Pentagon’s B-Movie

By Graeme MacQueen | Dissident Voice | September 10, 2017

The events that took place in the United States on September 11, 2001 were real and they were extremely violent. As David Griffin has recently shown in detail, they also had catastrophic real-life consequences for both the United States and the world.1

But these events were also deeply filmic (like a film) and they were presented to us through a narrative we now know to be fictional. This “9/11 movie” reveals itself to careful investigators as scripted, directed and produced by the U.S. national security state. The movie does not represent the real world. It violates the rules operative in the real world, including the laws of physics. Audiences will remain in thrall to the spectacle and violence of the War on Terror only as long as they remain mesmerized by the B-movie of 9/11.

The Filmic Nature of the September 11 Events

Many people caught a whiff of Hollywood on September 11, 2001. According to Lawrence Wright (screenwriter of The Siege): “It was about an hour after the first trade centre came down that I began to make the connection with the movie, this haunting feeling at the beginning this looks like a movie, and then I thought it looks like my movie.”2 Steve De Souza (screenwriter, Die Hard I and II) has said: “Well it did look like a movie. It looked like a movie poster. It looked like one of my movie posters.”3

The 9/11 attacks were filmic in at least the following ways:

  • Given the complex and coordinated nature of these attacks, they had been scripted and given a timeline in advance;
  • Given the need to make decisions as the attacks progressed (for example, when an aircraft went off course or was delayed), it is clear that there was a director;
  • Given the overall vision, the need for funds, resources and international coordination over a period of years, it is obvious that there had been a producer; and,
  • Given the numerous roles played in this event (for example, by the “hijackers”), there were undoubtedly actors.

In addition, the event included the key dramatic elements of conflict, violence and spectacle.4 The entire production was filmed from several angles, and the films, sometimes in the rough and sometimes cleverly edited, were shown many, many times all over the world.

Official U.S. sources rapidly acknowledged the remarkably filmic nature of these events. In October, 2001 some two dozen Hollywood writers and directors were assembled “to brainstorm with Pentagon advisers and officials in an anonymous building in L.A.”5 The Army’s Institute for Creative Technologies was the lead organization.6 The assembled group was assumed to have relevant expertise and was asked to brainstorm about what future attacks might look like so that the Pentagon could be prepared. (“We want some left-field, off-the-wall ideas; say the craziest thing that comes into your mind”).7

While the bare fact of this consultation was widely reported by news media, further details about the three-day consultation have been hard to come by. Reporters have had their FOIA requests denied.8

Beneath this consultation lay the “failure of imagination” hypothesis. Although the hypothesis emerged almost immediately after September 11, it was given especially clear expression in a BBC Panorama programme aired on March 24, 2002.9 Steve Bradshaw interviewed representatives of Hollywood and of national security institutions. The Pentagon, we were supposed to believe, is a typical large bureaucracy characterized by inertia. It is unable to imagine, and to rapidly respond to, new and emerging threats. It is stuck in the past. It is also afraid to irritate the general population by appearing to be politically incorrect–by looking, in this case, at Islam as a threat. Fortunately, there are two sets of people with imagination and courage: a small number of people within the national security apparatus who were trying to warn the Pentagon but were ignored, and Hollywood screenwriters and directors, who had imagination, who had some contact with the national security dissidents, and who had the courage to risk being called Islamophobic.3

So the planes of September 11, when they burst on the scene, confirmed the imaginative prescience of Hollywood, supported the courageous faction of the national security apparatus, and embarrassed the national security bureaucracy, which had to lower itself in October, 2001 to meet with the purveyors of fiction in order to stimulate its sclerotic brain.

This failure of imagination hypothesis was supported by statements by George W. Bush10 and, even more famously, by Condoleeza Rice:

I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.11

The hypothesis became more or less official when it was adopted by the 9/11 Commission in its report on the attacks.12

Of course, given the filmic nature of 9/11, it is clear that, according to these official U.S. sources, there was another group — beyond Hollywood and a few national security malcontents — that had imagination, namely al-Qaeda.

Robert Altman (director of MASH, McCabe and Mrs. Miller and many other films) said in 2002 that Hollywood was to blame for the 9/11 events. “The movies set the pattern, and these people have copied the movies… Nobody would have thought to commit an atrocity like that unless they’d seen it in a movie.”13

Presumably, by “these people” Altman meant al-Qaeda. Perhaps it was while munching popcorn and watching a Hollywood movie that Osama bin Laden and his high-level companions got the idea for 9/11? This is possible. But would it not make sense to ask if it is true that the Pentagon has no imagination, and that it was incapable of picturing attacks like those of the fall of 2001?

Collaboration between Hollywood and U.S. government agencies goes back at least as far as WW II. Indeed, a 1943 memo from the OSS (forerunner of the CIA) noted that, “The motion picture is one of the most powerful propaganda weapons at the disposal of the United States.”14 Many Hollywood films and TV programs have, therefore, been supported by the Pentagon, and some have been supported by the CIA. Such support can be crucial for films that require U.S. military assets such as planes and helicopters. But support is not automatic. The script must first be approved, and emendations may be demanded by the national security agency in question. In a recent book on this subject (National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood), authors Tom Secker and Matthew Alford list 814 films and 1133 TV titles that received DOD support.3

Since many of these films are highly imaginative constructions, how can it be that the national security agencies that have helped bring them to fruition have remained trapped in their grey, unimaginative world? Presumably, we are to believe that it is the nature of a bureaucracy to restrict these imaginative insights to one part of the organization — say, the Army’s Institute for Creative Technologies — while neglecting to disseminate them to other parts of the national security state. But is this true?

Those familiar with the History Commons research project on 9/11 will know that it is not true at all. Here are 16 titles from that project (selected from a much longer list) that refer to pre-9/11 exercises and simulations by U.S. government agencies:15

November 7, 1982: Port Authority Practices for Plane Crashing into the WTC

(1998-September 10, 2001): NORAD Operations Center Runs Five ‘Hijack Training Events’ Each Month

1998-2001: Secret Service Simulates Planes Crashing into the White House

October 14, 1998: ‘Poised Response’ Exercise Prepares for Bin Laden Attack on Washington

Between 1999 and September 11, 2001: NORAD Practices Live-Fly Mock Shootdown of a Poison-Filled Jet

Between September 1999 and September 10, 2001: NORAD Exercises Simulate Plane Crashes into US Buildings; One of Them Is the World Trade Center

November 6, 1999: NORAD Conducts Exercise Scenario Based around Hijackers Planning to Crash Plane into UN Headquarters in New York

June 5, 2000: NORAD Exercise Simulates Hijackers Planning to Crash Planes into White House and Statue of Liberty

October 16-23, 2000: NORAD Exercise Includes Scenarios of Attempted Suicide Plane Crashes into UN Headquarters in New York<

May 2001: Medics Train for Airplane Hitting Pentagon

June 1-2, 2001: Military Conducts Exercises Based on Scenario in which Cruise Missiles Are Launched against US [“Osama bin Laden is pictured on the cover of the proposal for the exercise”]

July 2001: NORAD Plans a Mock Simultaneous Hijacking Threat from inside the US

Early August 2001: Mass Casualty Exercise at the Pentagon Includes a Plane Hitting the Building

August 4, 2001: Air Defense Exercise Involves the Scenario of Bin Laden Using a Drone Aircraft to Attack Washington

September 6, 2001: NORAD Exercise Includes Terrorist Hijackers Threatening to Blow Up Airliner

September 9, 2001: NEADS Exercise Includes Scenario with Terrorist Hijackers Targeting New York

It is not necessary to find an exercise here that perfectly matches the attacks of the fall of 2001. The point is that there is far too much imagination and far too much similarity to the actual attacks of the fall of 2001 to support the “failure of imagination” hypothesis. Hollywood participants in the October, 2001 brainstorming exercise, who thought they were being tapped for their imagination, were conned.

Who was better prepared, through both imagination and logistical capacity, to carry out the attacks of the fall of 2001–Bin Laden’s group or the U.S. national security state? The latter had been practising steadily, in relevant scripted training operations, for years, and it had the power and resources to bring the imaginative scenarios to reality. Al-Qaeda was not remotely its match.

Not Just Filmic, But Exclusively Filmic

If this business of the filmic nature of the September 11 attacks involved only Hollywood scriptwriters we might be tempted to regard it as nothing but a minor distraction. But what we find is that even members of the Fire Department of New York, risking their lives at the scene, were shocked by the filmic nature of what they witnessed.16

I thought I was at an event at Universal Studios, on the side, watching a movie being taped.
— EMS Chief Walter Kowalczyk

I remembered hearing Lieutenant D’Avila coming over the radio and saying Central be advised, a second plane just went into the second tower. We ran out and we saw the second plane. It was like watching a movie. It really was.
— EMT Peter Cachia)

I looked over my shoulder and you could see the whole top of the south tower leaning towards us. It looked like it was coming over. You could see the windows pop out just like in the picture, looked like a movie. I saw one floor of windows pop out, like poof, poof. I saw one and a half floors pop out.
— Chief Steve Grabher

The building started collapsing, the north tower started collapsing. It tipped down first and then the thing fell within itself. It was an amazing sight to see. It was really unbelievable. I thought I was watching a movie with special effects.
— EMT Michael Mejias

As I’m looking up at this stuff that’s going on up there now, I just like — I’m saying to myself I’ve seen this in a movie. My whole recollection is going back to a movie or something I saw. I just saw this before.
— Fire Marshal Steven Mosiello

… it looked like a bomb, of course, had gone off, almost like a nuclear bomb. That’s all I could think of. I’ve never been at war. I equated it to being like when I saw something like when I was a kid and I saw Godzilla in the movies or something, when he crushes those buildings and stuff like that, that’s what it looked like to me.
— Firefighter Edward Kennedy

I’m standing on top of the rig between the bucket and the cab, between the ladder and the cab. People were blessing themselves in this gloominess of going down. It was like out of a movie. I couldn’t believe what was going on.
— Firefighter Tiernach Cassidy

I just recall that those first — those first minutes from the time that sound started, the rumbling started to occur and the dust started to fall and then stopped to get gear and equipment from the fire truck and then continue down to West Street and getting there and seeing the crushed fire trucks, crushed cars, vehicles on fire. It was like a movie set.
— Firefighter Daniel Lynch

Then like a Godzilla movie, everybody that had been standing in that little park there across from One Liberty Plaza and had been just looking up and watching the north tower burn just started running eastbound like they were being chased by someone.
— Battalion Chief Brian Dixon

Then, you started to run, your [sic] helping people, helping them run. You saw it, it was amazing… like out of a movie, you know, the cloud’s just chasing you. As you look back, you see it engulf people.
— EMP Peter Constantine

… as I turned on Albany I looked over my shoulder and I saw the big cloud of dust that was already on the ground like just making its way down the block, just like a movie.
— EMS Captain Frank D’Amato

The first thing came in my mind was the movie Armageddon, and this was reality, with the black smoke 30 floors high, debris falling everywhere…. Because I have never seen anything like that in 21 years of emergency work.
— EMT Russell Harris

Then as soon as we got over there, as soon as we got off of the Brooklyn Bridge, the people were running like it was a Godzilla movie, and we had to stop there for a while. People were overcome, were shaken, were scared…
— EMT Christopher Kagenaar

But I ran and ran, and finally I could see the light. When I got to where the tunnel was, I’m looking everywhere. It was just like that movie the day after with the atomic bomb. They drop it and nobody’s left and I’m the only one.
— Paramedic Robert Ruiz

I remember seeing the rubble, seeing the rubble fall and actually start to chase down the street, and, you know, it’s strange because you wouldn’t expect — you wouldn’t expect debris to do that, but it literally traveled, like, you would see these movies with like a tidal wave that flows through the streets and hits down any path it can.
— Rosario Terranova

These comments, selected from a wider set of similar comments, are intriguing, but what is their significance? As we examine them closely we recognize that the September 11 event was not just filmic but exclusively filmic. By this I mean that the narrative presented to us by authorities could not have unfolded outside of a film.

Since at least as early as 1902, when the French film  A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la Lune) took its viewers into space, audiences have been enjoying the ability of movies to deliver dramatic action through special effects, and especially by suspending, fictionally, the laws of physics. This is part of the power of film and there is nothing inherently wrong with it. But it is important to know when we are in the theatre and when we are not.

In the original 1933 film, King Kong, director Merian Cooper was determined to make the appearance of his monster dramatically powerful, and to this end was prepared to change the monster’s size repeatedly to fit particular scenes.

I was a great believer in constantly changing Kong’s height to fit the settings and the illusions. He’s different in almost every shot; sometimes he’s only 18 feet (5.5 m) tall and sometimes 60 feet (18.3 m) or larger… but I felt confident that if the scenes moved with excitement and beauty, the audience would accept any height that fitted into the scene.17

Cooper understood what mattered in a movie. But imagine what would happen if audiences remained convinced by the suspension of the laws of physics after they left the theatre? This, it seems to me, is what has happened with the events of September 11, 2001. Many people are still deceived by the special effects. They are still captured by the movie of 9/11.

Consider two of the most traumatizing elements in the attacks, the disappearance of the Twin Towers and the ensuing debris cloud.

The destruction of the Twin Towers stunned first responders. Their previous experiences, including experiences with high-rise fires, did not lead them to suspect these buildings would come down.

I’ve worked in Manhattan my whole career in high rises and everything else… you looked back, all you see–you know how fast those buildings came down… it just doesn’t click that these buildings can come down… you just couldn’t believe that those buildings could come down… there’s no history of these buildings falling down.
— Lieutenant Warren Smith, 9110223.18

Whoever in their right mind would have thought that the World Trade Center would ever fall down… Nobody in the world, nobody ever would ever have thought those buildings were coming down.
— EMS Captain Mark Stone, 9110076.19

Investigations over the last 16 years have demonstrated that the first responders’ surprise was justified. The explanations offered by official U.S. agencies have been shown to violate basic laws of physics.20

Awed by the spectacle of the Twin Towers coming down, and by the later fall of World Trade 7, we are supposed to forget our high school physics. We are not supposed to notice that the official explanations given to us leave these spectacles every bit as peculiar as King Kong’s ever-changing size.

So this central dramatic element, as edited for TV, interpreted by ponderous official voices, and played repeatedly for a world audience, belonged to the 9/11 movie. Behind the scenes the director had ordered that explosive charges be set in the buildings.

Well over one hundred members of the Fire Department of New York witnessed explosions at the beginning of the so-called collapses of the Twin Towers.21 Their testimony fits with the controlled demolition hypothesis and does not fit with the script of the 9/11 movie. Since promotion of the government’s movie would have been difficult if these voices were heard, they were suppressed.

The second deeply impressive event of September 11, which appears repeatedly in the FDNY musings about the filmic nature of what they witnessed, was the cloud of material that rushed through the streets of Manhattan in the wake of the destruction of each of the Towers. Several films are mentioned by name in this connection, including those featuring Godzilla, King of Monsters, created for Japanese films less than ten years after the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a deliberately provocative meditation on the forces of the nuclear age.22

The FDNY World Trade Center Task Force interviews give a lively sense of what it felt like to be trapped in this debris cloud.18

I’m about ten feet in front of it, running, actually sprinting because I’m an athlete and I’m running… Ash came around another building in front of me, and it caught me in front of me and in back of me, and everything was pitch-black. Where it hit me from the front and the back, it actually lifted me off the ground and threw me. It was like someone picked me up and just threw me on the ground.

Everything was pitch-black. You couldn’t see anything. All I saw was big bolts of fire, fire balls. I could feel the heat around me. It was pitch-black. I couldn’t see anything at all. My lungs, my airways, everything filled up with ash. I couldn’t breathe.
— EMT Renae O’Carroll

All of a sudden the noises stopped, the sound of the building falling stopped. We all turned around and it was dark now. We really couldn’t see… The cloud was in there. All eating the cloud, whatever it was like, very thick. I keep saying it was like a 3 dimensional object. It wasn’t smoke. It was like everything. It was like a sand storm.
— Firefighter Timothy Burke

So I’m running, and people are running in front of me. They stop. They turn around. I think everything’s over with. So I stop, all of a sudden the thing is coming at us. It was like in dark hell, like a nuclear blizzard. I couldn’t explain it. You couldn’t see in front of you. You couldn’t breathe. You’re inhaling. You’re coughing. You’re running. You can’t see anything.
— EMT Mary Merced

You still can’t see it because it’s dark as a mother. You can’t breathe. It’s so heavy with smoke and dust and ash.  I can’t breathe. I have, for lack of a better term, dust impaction in my ears, in my nose. I was coughing it out of my mouth. It felt like I had a baseball in my mouth. I was just picking it out with my fingers.
— Paramedic Louis Cook

As is clear from these testimonies, words like “smoke” and “dust” do not do justice to the cloud in which people were trapped. That is because the clouds were the Towers. Each Tower was converted in less than 20 seconds from a powerful, massive structure over 415 metres (1362 feet) high into cut steel and pulverized matter. While the steel lay on the ground, much of the remainder was rapidly propelled through the streets of Manhattan.

Just as the dramatic tale of building destruction involved deception, so did the equally dramatic tale of this engulfing cloud. This cloud was not the result of a gravitational collapse caused by Muslim terrorists flying planes into buildings. It was the result of an explosive building demolition.

That this cloud could not have been caused in the manner claimed by the official narrative has been argued several times, beginning at least as early as 2003.23 The demonstrations are independent of the proofs of explosive destruction of the buildings.

Credible scientists have calculated the amount of potential gravitational energy in the Twin Towers — the only major form of energy available, according to the official narrative, at the time of the “collapse” since the energy contributed at that point by the fires was minimal and indirect — and have compared it to the amount of energy that would have been required to create the pulverized debris cloud.

Professor emeritus of civil engineering, Robert Korol, has recently discussed this issue.24 He has calculated the gravitational potential energy of each of the Towers at 508.4 x 109 joules. He has calculated the energy required to pulverize the concrete of each Tower at 857.5 x 109 joules; the energy to destroy the perimeter columns at 219 x 109 joules; and the energy to destroy the core columns at 178 x 109 joules. The total energy required for the concrete and columns is 1,254.5 x 109 joules.

Simply put, these figures suggest that it would have taken about two and a half times the amount of energy available through gravity to have destroyed the Towers as witnessed.

Professor Korol’s calculations are based on experimental work he has done in the laboratory, the results of which have been published in peer-reviewed journals. He has pulverized concrete. He has buckled and crushed columns. He has measured the force required in each case. His calculations with respect to the Twin Towers are extremely conservative in that they do not attempt to include all forms of destruction attested, such as pulverizing of walls, furniture and human bodies.

If, moreover, we were to add to his calculations the energy required to propel the pulverized buildings in all directions through the streets of Manhattan, as some authors have done, we would find the impossibility of the official narrative even more striking.25 The comment by the FDNY’s Terranova, quoted earlier–“you wouldn’t expect debris to do that–” is an understatement.

We cannot avoid the conclusion that the gravity-caused debris cloud was exclusively filmic just like King Kong’s fluctuating height. Both honoured the rules of dramatic action by violating the laws of physics.

The apparently fanciful references to Godzilla by first responders are actually perceptive. Gravity was aided by an extremely muscular destructive force. But in Godzilla movies the monster is visible, while the monster of the 9/11 movie was invisible and must be made visible through investigation.

Our Challenge

In the 1958 trailer for the B-movie, The Blob, film-goers are shown sitting in a theatre as a horror movie begins.26 They are frightened, but only in the distant way that film audiences allow themselves to feel frightened by fictional representations. Then we notice the monster (“the Blob”) oozing into the theatre itself. As the movie-goers wake up to this reality and sense the real danger, they tear their eyes from the screen and run from the theatre.

As audiences today watch the War on Terror, hypnotized by the extremist evil-doers, a pitiless oligarchy creeps unseen into the room. Our challenge is to break the spell of the B-movie of 9/11. Only when people sense the genuine danger and leave behind fiction and special effects will they be in a position to deal with the real monster that confronts us.

NOTES

  1. Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2017).
  2. September 11: A Warning from Hollywood,” BBC Panorama (BBC, March 24, 2002).
  3. Spectacle, the visual aspect of dramatic action, was included in Aristotle’s Poetics as an essential element of drama. As for conflict and violence, see Lew Hunter, Lew Hunter’s Screenwriting 434 (New York: Perigee, 1993), pp. 19, 22 ff.
  4. “Hollywood: The Pentagon’s New Advisor,” BBC Panorama (BBC, 2002); Sharon Weinberger, “Hollywood’s Secret Meet,” Wired, March 16, 2007.
  5. Weinberger, “Hollywood’s Secret Meet.”
  6. “Hollywood: The Pentagon’s New Advisor.”
  7. Weinberger, “Hollywood’s Secret Meet.”
  8. September 11: A Warning from Hollywood.”
  9. September 11: A Warning from Hollywood.”
  10. “Press Briefing by National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice,” U.S. government archives, May 16, 2002.
  11. Alec Russell, “9/11 Report Condemns ‘failure of Imagination,’” The Telegraph, July 23, 2004.
  12. Sean Alfano, “Iconic Director Robert Altman Dead At 81,” CBS/AP, November 21, 2006.
  13. “The Motion Picture As A Weapon of Psychological Warfare.” Matthew Alford, National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood (Drum Roll Books, 2017), p. 31. The document itself can be found on the Internet.
  14. History Commons: Military Exercises Up to 9/11,” n.d. before_9/11=militaryExercises&timeline=complete_911_timeline.
  15. The New York Times, having obtained the World Trade Center Task Force interviews from the City of New York through a lawsuit, hosts the documents on its website. The interviews are in the form of separate PDF files. Each file is identified by the interviewee’s name. “World Trade Center Task Force Interviews” (City of New York, 2002 2001).
  16. From an interview with Cooper quoted in “King Kong,” Wikipedia, accessed August 6, 2017.
  17. “World Trade Center Task Force Interviews.” See note 18.
  18. Ibid. (See note 18).
  19. The best summary in recent years is Ted Walter, BEYOND MISINFORMATION: What Science Says About the Destruction of World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2, and 7 (Berkeley, California: Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Inc., 2015).
  20. Graeme MacQueen, “118 Witnesses: The Firefighters’ Testimony to Explosions in the Twin Towers,” Journal of 9/11 Studies, August 2006.
  21. Tim Martin, “Godzilla: Why the Japanese Original Is No Joke,” The Telegraph, May 15, 2014.
  22. The earliest attempt I know of is by Jim Hoffman. See “The North Tower’s Dust Cloud: Analysis of Energy Requirements for the Expansion of the Dust Cloud Following the Collapse of 1 World Trade Center, Version 3.1,” 9-11 Research, October 16, 2003.
  23. Walter, BEYOND MISINFORMATION: What Science Says About the Destruction of World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2, and 7. See Chapter 3, note 13. Full references to Korol’s articles can be found at Adnan Zuberi’s compilation accompanying “9/11 in the Academic Community: Academia’s Treatment of Critical Perspectives on 9/11—Documentary.”
  24. Hoffman, “The North Tower’s Dust Cloud: Analysis of Energy Requirements for the Expansion of the Dust Cloud Following the Collapse of 1 World Trade Center, Version 3.1”; Reijo Yli-Karjanmaa, “Energetic Examination of the Collapse of the North Tower of the WTC, Version 3.1,” June 18, 2005.
  25. Trailer, The Blob, 1958.

Graeme MacQueen was the founding director of McMaster University’s Centre for Peace Studies and, since taking retirement, he has written about the War on Terror. He is the author of the book, The 2001 Anthrax Deception.

September 11, 2017 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Fake 9/11 Activism on 9/11. “Saudi Arabia was Behind the Attacks”

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky | Global Research | September 10, 2017

There is an element of confusion which has served to divide the 9/11 Truth movement. Saudi Arabia is said to have supported the alleged 9/11 highjackers.

What are the implications of “the Saudi did it” narrative?

It is very convenient to say that Saudi Arabia was behind the 9/11 terrorists. Why, because it upholds the official narrative of the 9/11 Commission Report and it whitewashes the US Deep State including its military and intelligence apparatus.

The official narrative –which has been amply refuted– states that 19 Al Qaeda hijackers brought down the WTC towers, i.e Muslims were behind the attack on America, –i.e. it was not an “inside job” or a false flag.

And now what is happening is that Saudi Arabia is blamed for having supported the al Qaeda hijackers.

And if Saudi Arabia is held responsible, pari passu the official narrative holds, namely the hijackers did it with the support of the House of Saud.

And now 9/11 truth activists are holding a demonstration on September 11, 2017 in front of the Saudi embassy in Washington which will receive extensive coverage by the US corporate media.

What this means is that many 9/11 truthers have been sucked into the “Saudi Arabia did it” narrative, which serves to divide the 9/11 Truth movement, while upholding the official narrative, i.e “the CIA, the Pentagon et al were not involved”.

And the families of the victims are waging a legal battle against Saudi Arabia.

Why is this a red herring which serves to perpetuate the “Big Lie”.

Yes, Saudi Arabia is a sponsor of al Qaeda. That is amply documented. But it is a sponsor of al Qaeda on behalf of the US. And this also applies to Saudi support of Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services work hand in glove with the CIA.

But al Qaeda WAS NOT BEHIND THE COLLAPSE OF THE WTC TOWERS. And going after the House of Saud serves a very useful purpose: it whitewashes the US Deep State including the CIA and the Pentagon of any involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

It is fairly well established that the hijackers did not bring down the towers; they were brought down through controlled demolition.

And the hijackers allegedly led by Osama bin laden did not have the ability to implement the pulling down of the WTC buildings, not to mention WTC Building Seven, which collapsed mysteriously in the afternoon of 9/11, with CNN and BCC reporting the collapse 20 minutes before the actual occurrence.

But there is a lot more to the “Saudi did it” saga which serves as a convenient instrument of propaganda.

The two key figures behind this wave of propaganda (initiated in 2014) are former Senator Bob Graham, who led the joint inquiry of the Senate and the House intelligence committees together with Rep. Porter Goss, a career CIA official who was subsequently appointed Director of National Intelligence (DNI) by the Bush administration.

Graham coordinated the drafting and editing of the joint Senate-House report including a 28 classified pages on Saudi Arabia’s alleged role. These 28 pages were eventually declassified.

Framed in a “Tele Novela” style scenario featuring wealthy Saudis in the plush suburban surroundings of Sarasota, Florida two weeks before 9/11, the New York Post described the circumstances of Saudi involvement (quoting the FBI 9/11 Review Commission Report and the 28 pages of the joint inquiry report) in an article entitled How the FBI is whitewashing the Saudi connection to 9/11:

Former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham, who in 2002 chaired the congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11, maintains the FBI is covering up a Saudi support cell in Sarasota for the hijackers. He says the al-Hijjis “urgent” pre-9/11 exit suggests “someone may have tipped them off” about the coming attacks.

Graham has been working with a 14-member group in Congress to urge President Obama to declassify 28 pages of the final report of his inquiry which were originally redacted, wholesale, by President George W. Bush. ….

Sources who have read the censored Saudi section say it cites CIA and FBI case files that directly implicate officials of the Saudi Embassy in Washington and its consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks — which if true, would make 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war by a foreign government. The section allegedly identifies high-level Saudi officials and intelligence agents by name, and details their financial transactions and other dealings with the San Diego hijackers. It zeroes in on the Islamic Affairs Department of the Saudi Embassy, among other Saudi entities.

The [FBI] review commission, however, concludes there is “no evidence” that any Saudi official provided assistance to the hijackers, even though the panel failed to interview Graham or his two key investigators — former Justice Department attorney Dana Lesemann and FBI investigator Michael Jacobson — who ran down FBI leads tying Saudi officials to the San Diego hijackers and documented their findings in the 28 pages. (emphasis added)

While Graham is now heralded by the mainstream media as a 911 Truther, the evidence suggests that immediately in the wake of 9/11, he was involved (together with Porter Goss) in a coverup on behalf of Bush-Cheney.

The 28 pages have nothing to do with 9/11 Truth. This alleged Saudi involvement in the 9/11 attacks has served to precipitate segments of the 9/11 Truth movement into an erroneous and contradictory discourse.

Saudi Arabia may have supported the 9/11 al Qaeda terrorists, but the terrorists did not bring down the WTC towers.

The objective of the Saudi connection propaganda ploy is to ultimately sustain the official narrative which states that Islamic terrorists were behind the 9/11 attacks, which has been disproved by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. 

Even assuming that Al Qaeda were behind the attacks, it is amply documented that al Qaeda, “the Base” was a creation of the CIA and that Osama bin Laden was a CIA intelligence asset. In this regard, Saudi Arabia as well Pakistan were involved in close liaison with the CIA in the recruitment and training of terrorists.

And because Bob Graham accused the FBI and the federal government, the 9/11 Truth movement applauds without realizing that these accusations directed against the FBI are “framed” with a view to sustaining the mainstream 9/11 narrative.

What is at stake is a desperate ploy to uphold the legend that Muslims were behind 9/11 and that Saudi Arabia was behind the terrorists giving them money, with the FBI involved in a coverup, George W. Bush  protecting his Saudi cronies because the Bushes and the bin Ladens were “intimo amigos”.

Below is an excerpt of my April 2015 article Saudi Arabia’s Alleged Involvement in the 9/11 Attacks:

Graham’s staged accusations thereby serve to distract the American public’s attention from the real evidence, amply documented  that the WTC towers were brought down through controlled demolition and that Islamic terrorists were not behind the 9/11 attacks. The issue of Saudi financial support of al Qaeda is not only known and documented since the heyday of the Soviet Afghan war, it is irrelevant in establishing who was behind the terror attacks. Moreover, the contents of the 28 classified pages are known.

In a bitter irony, Graham’s track record (mentioned above) in supporting the official 9/11 narrative on behalf of Bush-Cheney is not mentioned: 

Former Senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who co-chaired a congressional inquiry into 9/11 — separate from the 9/11 Commission — stated, as though now it was obvious, “None of the people leading this investigation think it is credible that 19 people — most who could not speak English and did not have previous experience in the United States — could carry out such a complicated task without external assistance.”

Now, Graham says, a breakthrough may finally be around the corner with the upcoming declassification of the 28 pages of the “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.”

Calling for the official release and publication of the 28 page classified section of the joint inquiry report pertaining to Saudi Arabia is an obvious red-herring. The objective is to confuse matters, create divisions within the 9/11 Truth movement and ultimately dispel the fact that the 9/11 attacks were a carefully organized False Flag event which was used to declare war on Afghanistan as well as usher in sweeping anti-terrorist legislation.

Both the Congressional inquiry as well the 9/11 Commission report are flawed, their objective was to sustain the official narrative that America was under attack on September 11, 2001. And Graham’s role in liaison with the CIA, is “damage control” with a view to protecting those who were behind the demolition of the WTC towers as well sustaining the al Qaeda legend, which constitutes the cornerstone of US military doctrine under the so-called “Global War on Terrorism”.

Without 9/11 and the “Global War on Terrorism”, the warmongers in high office would not have a leg to stand on. In turn, 9/11 Truth is an encroachment which undermines war propaganda and the US-led campaign of Islamophobia, which is sweeping the Western World.  (Michel Chossudovsky,  Saudi Arabia’s Alleged Involvement in the 9/11 Attacks, Global Research, April 14, 2015)

Copyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2017

September 11, 2017 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , , , , | 4 Comments

A New Hole in Syria-Sarin Certainty

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | September 7, 2017

The U.S. mainstream media is treating a new United Nations report on the April 4 chemical weapons incident in Khan Sheikhoun as more proof of Syrian government guilt, but that ignores a major contradiction between two groups of U.N. investigators that blows a big hole in the groupthink.

Though both U.N. groups seem determined to blame the Syrian government, the frontline investigators from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reported that spotters of departing Syrian military aircraft from Shayrat airbase did not send out a warning of any flights until late that morning – while the alleged dropping of a sarin bomb occurred at around dawn.

The report by the U.N.’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic noted that “two individuals interviewed by the OPCW claimed that on the morning of 4 April the early warning system did not issue warnings until 11 to 11:30 a.m., and that no aircraft were observed until that time.”

If the OPCW’s information is correct – that no warplanes took off from the government’s Shayrat airbase until late in the morning – then the Trump administration’s rationale for launching a retaliatory strike of 59 Tomahawk missiles at that airfield on April 6 is destroyed.

But the U.N. commission’s report – released on Wednesday – simply brushes aside the OPCW’s discovery that no warplanes took off at dawn. The report instead relies on witnesses inside jihadist-controlled Khan Sheikhoun who claim to have heard a warning about 20 minutes before a plane arrived at around 6:45 a.m.

Indeed, the report’s account of the alleged attack relies almost exclusively on “eyewitnesses” in the town, which was under the control of Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and allied jihadist groups.

The report also gives no attention to the possibility that the alleged sarin incident, which reportedly killed scores of people including women and children, was a staged event by Al Qaeda to reverse the Trump administration’s announcement just days earlier that it was no longer U.S. policy to seek “regime change” in Syria.

The Khan Sheikhoun incident prompted President Trump to launch the missile strike that, according to Syrian media reports, killed several soldiers at the base and nine civilians, including four children, in nearby neighborhoods. It also risked inflicting death on Russians stationed at the base.

Lost History

In the U.N. commission’s report, the possibility of a staged event is not considered even though the OPCW had previously uncovered evidence that a chlorine-gas attack in the rebel-controlled town of Al-Tamanah, which also was blamed on the Syrian government, was staged by Al Qaeda operatives and their civilian “relief workers.”

OPCW investigators, who like most U.N. bureaucrats have seemed eager to endorse allegations of chlorine-gas attacks by the Syrian government, ran into this obstacle when townspeople from Al-Tamanah came forward to testify that a supposed attack on the night of April 29-30, 2014, was a fabrication.

“Seven witnesses stated that frequent alerts [about an imminent chlorine weapons attack by the government] had been issued, but in fact no incidents with chemicals took place,” the OPCW report stated. “[T]hey [these witnesses] had come forward to contest the wide-spread false media reports.”

In addition, accounts from people who did allege that there had been a government chemical attack on Al-Tamanah provided suspect evidence, including data from questionable sources, according to the OPCW report, which added:

“Three witnesses, who did not give any description of the incident on 29-30 April 2014, provided material of unknown source. One witness had second-hand knowledge of two of the five incidents in Al-Tamanah, but did not remember the exact dates. Later that witness provided a USB-stick with information of unknown origin, which was saved in separate folders according to the dates of all the five incidents mentioned by the FFM [the U.N.’s Fact-Finding Mission].

“Another witness provided the dates of all five incidents reading it from a piece of paper, but did not provide any testimony on the incident on 29-30 April 2014. The latter also provided a video titled ‘site where second barrel containing toxic chlorine gas was dropped tamanaa 30 April 14’”

Some other “witnesses” who alleged a Syrian government attack offered ridiculous claims about detecting the chlorine-infused “barrel bomb” based on how the device sounded in its descent.

The report said, “The eyewitness, who stated to have been on the roof, said to have heard a helicopter and the ‘very loud’ sound of a falling barrel. Some interviewees had referred to a distinct whistling sound of barrels that contain chlorine as they fall. The witness statement could not be corroborated with any further information.”

Although the report didn’t say so, there was no plausible explanation for someone detecting a chlorine canister in a “barrel bomb” based on its “distinct whistling sound.” The only logical conclusion is that the chlorine attack had been staged by the jihadists and that their supporters then lied to the OPCW investigators to enrage the world against the Assad regime.

The coordination of the propaganda campaign, with “witnesses” armed with data to make their stories more convincing, further suggests a premeditated and organized conspiracy to “sell” the story, not just some random act by a few individuals.

The Ghouta Attack

There was a similar collapse of the more notorious sarin incident outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013, which killed hundreds and was also blamed on the Assad government but now appears to have been carried out as a trick by Al Qaeda operatives to get President Obama to order the U.S. military to devastate the Syrian military and thus help Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front to win the war.

You might have thought that these experiences with staged chemical attacks would have given U.N. investigators more pause when another unlikely incident occurred last April 4 in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, which was under Al Qaeda’s control.

The Trump administration had just announced a U.S. policy reversal, saying that the U.S. goal was no longer “regime change” in Syria but rather to defeat terrorist groups. At the time, Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, the Islamic State and other jihadist forces were in retreat across much of Syria.

In other words, the Syrian government had little or no reason to provoke U.S. and international outrage by launching a sarin gas attack on a remote town with only marginal strategic significance.

Chemical attacks, especially the alleged use of chlorine but sarin gas as well, also offer minimal military effectiveness if dropped on a town. Chlorine gas in this form rarely kills anyone, and the international outrage over sarin far exceeds any military value.

But the jihadists did have a powerful motive to continue staging chemical attacks as their best argument for derailing international efforts to bring the war to an end, which would have meant defeat for the jihadists and their international allies.

And, we know from the Al-Tamanah case that the jihadists are not above feeding fabricated evidence to U.N. investigators who themselves have strong career motives to point the finger at the Assad regime and thus please the Western powers.

In the Khan Sheikhoun case, a well-placed source told me shortly after the incident that at least some U.S. intelligence analysts concluded that it was a hastily staged event in reaction to the Trump administration’s renunciation of Syrian “regime change.”

The source said some evidence indicated that a drone from a Saudi-Israeli special-operations base inside Jordan delivered the sarin and that the staging of the attack was completed on the ground by jihadist forces. Initial reports of the attack appeared on social media shortly after dawn on April 4.

The Time Element

Syrian and Russian officials seemed to have been caught off-guard by the events, offering up a possible explanation that the Syrian government’s airstrike aimed at a senior jihadist meeting in Khan Sheikhoun at around noon might have accidentally touched off a chemical chain reaction producing sarin-like gas.

But U.S. mainstream media accounts and the new U.N. report cited the time discrepancy – between the dawn attack and the noontime raid – as proof of Russian and Syrian deception. Yet, it made no sense for the Russians and Syrians to lie about the time element since they were admitting to an airstrike and, indeed, matching up the timing would have added to the credibility of their hypothesis.

In other words, if the airstrike had occurred at dawn, there was no motive for the Russians and Syrians not to say so. Instead, the Russian and Syrian response seems to suggest genuine confusion, not a cover-up.

For the U.N. commission to join in this attack line on the timeline further suggests a lack of objectivity, an impression that is bolstered by the rejection of OPCW’s finding that no take-off alert was issued early on the morning of April 4.

Instead, the U.N. commission relied heavily on “eyewitnesses” from the Al Qaeda-controlled town with unnamed individuals even providing the supposed identity of the aircraft, a Syrian government Su-22, and describing the dropping of three conventional bombs and the chemical-weapons device on Khan Sheikhoun around 6:45 a.m.

But there were other holes in the narrative. For instance, in a little-noticed May 29, 2017 report, Theodore Postol, professor of science, technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, challenged the Syria-government-did-it conclusions of The New York Times, Human Rights Watch and the Establishment’s favorite Internet site, Bellingcat.

Postol’s analysis focused on a New York Times video report, entitled “How Syria And Russia Spun A Chemical Strike,” which followed Bellingcat research that was derived from social media. Postol concluded that “NONE of the forensic evidence in the New York Times video and a follow-on Times news article supports the conclusions reported by the New York Times.” [Emphasis in original.]

The basic weakness of the NYT/Bellingcat analysis was a reliance on social media from the Al Qaeda-controlled Khan Sheikhoun and thus a dependence on “evidence” from the jihadists and their “civil defense” collaborators, known as the White Helmets.

Sophisticated Propaganda

The jihadists and their media teams have become very sophisticated in the production of propaganda videos that are distributed through social media and credulously picked up by major Western news outlets. (A Netflix infomercial for the White Helmets even won an Academy Award earlier this year.)

Postol zeroed in on the Times report’s use of a video taken by anti-government photographer Mohamad Salom Alabd, purporting to show three conventional bombs striking Khan Sheikhoun early in the morning of April 4.

The Times report extrapolated from that video where the bombs would have struck and then accepted that a fourth bomb – not seen in the video – delivered a sarin canister that struck a road and released sarin gas that blew westward into a heavily populated area supposedly killing dozens.

But the Times video analysis – uploaded on April 26 – contained serious forensic problems, Postol said, including showing the wind carrying the smoke from the three bombs in an easterly direction whereas the weather reports from that day – and the presumed direction of the sarin gas – had the wind going to the west.

Indeed, if the wind were blowing toward the east – and if the alleged location of the sarin release was correct – the wind would have carried the sarin away from the nearby populated area and likely would have caused few if any casualties, Postol wrote.

Postol also pointed out that the Times’ location of the three bombing strikes didn’t match up with the supposed damage that the Times claimed to have detected from satellite photos of where the bombs purportedly struck. Rather than buildings being leveled by powerful bombs, the photos showed little or no apparent damage.

The Times also relied on before-and-after satellite photos that had a gap of 44 days, from Feb. 21, 2017, to April 6, 2017, so whatever damage might have occurred couldn’t be tied to whatever might have happened on April 4.

Nor could the hole in the road where the crushed “sarin” canister was found be attributed to an April 4 bombing raid. Al Qaeda jihadists could have excavated the hole the night before as part of a staged provocation. Other images of activists climbing into the supposedly sarin-saturated hole with minimal protective gear should have raised other doubts, Postol noted in earlier reports.

Critics of the White Helmets have identified the photographer of the airstrike, Mohamad Salom Alabd, as a jihadist who appears to have claimed responsibility for killing a Syrian military officer. But the Times described him in a companion article to the video report only as “a journalist or activist who lived in the town.”

Another Debunking

In 2013, the work of Postol and his late partner, Richard M. Lloyd, an analyst at the military contractor Tesla Laboratories, debunked claims from the same trio — Bellingcat, the Times and Human Rights Watch — blaming the Syrian government for the sarin-gas attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013.

Postol and Lloyd showed that the rocket carrying the sarin had only a fraction of the range that the trio had assumed in tracing its path back to a government base.

Since the much shorter range placed the likely launch point inside rebel-controlled territory, the incident appeared to have been another false-flag provocation, one that almost led President Obama to launch a major retaliatory strike against the Syrian military.

Although the Times grudgingly acknowledged the scientific problems with its analysis, it continued to blame the 2013 incident on the Syrian government. Similarly, Official Washington’s “groupthink” still holds that the Syrian government launched that sarin attack and that Obama chickened out on enforcing his “red line” against chemical weapons use.

Obama’s announcement of that “red line,” in effect, created a powerful incentive for Al Qaeda and other jihadists to stage chemical attacks assuming that the atrocities would be blamed on the government and thus draw in the U.S. military on the jihadist side.

Yet, the 2013 “groupthink” of Syrian government guilt survives. After the April 4, 2017 incident, President Trump took some pleasure in mocking Obama’s weakness in contrast to his supposed toughness in quickly launching a “retaliatory” strike on April 6 (Washington time, although April 7 in Syria).

A Dubious Report

Trump’s attack came even before the White House released a supportive – though unconvincing – intelligence report on April 11. Regarding that report, Postol wrote, “The White House produced a false intelligence report on April 11, 2017 in order to justify an attack on the Syrian airbase at Sheyrat, Syria on April 7, 2017. That attack risked an unintended collision with Russia and a possible breakdown in cooperation between Russia and United States in the war to defeat the Islamic State. The collision also had some potential to escalate into a military conflict with Russia of greater extent and consequence.

“The New York Times and other mainstream media immediately and without proper review of the evidence adopted the false narrative produced by the White House even though that narrative was totally unjustified based on the forensic evidence. The New York Times used an organization, Bellingcat, for its source of analysis even though Bellingcat has a long history of making false claims based on distorted assertions about forensic evidence that either does not exist, or is absolutely without any evidence of valid sources.”

Postol continued, “This history of New York Times publishing of inaccurate information and then sticking by it when solid science-based forensic evidence disproves the original narrative cannot be explained in terms of simple error. The facts overwhelmingly point to a New York Times management that is unconcerned about the accuracy of its reporting.

“The problems exposed in this particular review of a New York Times analysis of critically important events related to the US national security is not unique to this particular story. This author could easily point to other serious errors in New York Times reporting on important technical issues associated with our national security.

“In these cases, like in this case, the New York Times management has not only allowed the reporting of false information without reviewing the facts for accuracy, but it has repeatedly continued to report the same wrong information in follow-on articles. It may be inappropriate to call this ‘fake news,’ but this loaded term comes perilously close to actually describing what is happening.”

Referring to some of the photographed scenes in Khan Sheikhoun, including a dead goat that appeared to have been dragged into location near the “sarin crater,” Postol called the operation “a rather amateurish attempt to create a false narrative.”

Now, another U.N. agency has joined that narrative, despite a key contradiction from fellow U.N. investigators.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

September 7, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

The Conflict In Syria Was Always Israel’s War

By Whitney Webb | Mint Press News | September 4, 2017

After years of fomenting the Syrian conflict from the shadows, the U.S. has recently seemed to back away from its push to militarily intervene in the embattled nation, instead choosing to focus its saber-rattling and destabilization efforts on other theaters. The consequence of this has seemingly been the winding down of the long-running conflict, now entering its seventh year.

Buoyed by Russia, Iran and Lebanon, the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad has managed to retake vast swaths of territory, all while surviving and growing stronger over the course of a largely foreign-funded onslaught. As a result, many of the governments that were instrumental in funding and arming the so-called “moderate” opposition have begun to extricate themselves, unwilling to further test the resilience of Assad or the Syrian people.

With some anticipating the long-awaited conclusion of the Syrian conflict, recent threats from Israel’s government to assassinate Assad by bombing his residence seemed to appear out of the blue. According to the Jerusalem Post, a senior Israeli official accompanying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a recent visit to Russia warned the Kremlin that if Iran continues to “extend its reach” in Syria, Israel would bomb the presidential palace in Damascus.

Israel’s comments should come as no surprise, however, as the foreign-funded and manufactured conflict in Syria was always Israel’s war. The only real surprise is Israel’s growing isolation in pushing for the further escalation of the conflict.

WikiLeaks sheds light on the origins of the war

Though it has successfully avoided being labeled a major player in the effort to oust Assad, Israel has long been the mastermind of the plan, which stems in large part from the long-standing hostilities between the two nations as well as Israel’s own regional ambitions. State Department diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks have shown that in 2006, five years before the conflict in Syria manifested, the government of Israel had hatched a plan to overthrow the Assad government by engineering sectarian strife in the country, creating paranoia within the highest-ranks of the Syrian government, and isolating Syria from its strongest regional ally, Iran.

Israel then passed this plan along to the United States, which would then involve Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Egypt in fomenting the “breakdown” of the Assad regime as a way of weakening both Iran and Hezbollah — with the effect of empowering both Israel and the Gulf monarchies, two seemingly disparate forces in the region that are becoming increasingly allied.

Leaked emails belonging to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton further reveal Israel’s role in covertly creating the conflict and its clear role in securing the involvement of the U.S. and other nations in executing its plan for Assad’s removal. One email, forwarded by Clinton to her advisor Jacob Sullivan, argues that Israel is convinced that Iran would lose “its only ally” in the region were Assad’s government to collapse.

It further stated that “The fall of the House of Assad could well ignite a sectarian war between the Shiites and the majority Sunnis of the region drawing in Iran, which, in the view of Israeli commanders would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies.” This possible sectarian war was perceived as a potential “factor in the eventual fall of the current government of Iran.”

Another Clinton email released by WikiLeaks stated:

“The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad,

Adding

Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel’s security, it would also ease Israel’s understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly.”

The email also notes:

A successful intervention in Syria would require substantial diplomatic and military leadership from the United States” and states that “arming the Syrian rebels and using western air power to ground Syrian helicopters and airplanes is a low-cost high payoff approach.”

Read the full Wikileaks release below:

Stated plainly, the U.S.’ decision to spend over $1 billion until 2015 to arm Syria’s terrorist-linked “rebels” — and to invoke the assistance of Wahhabi terrorism exporters like Saudi Arabia and Qatar in funneling weapons and funds to these same groups — was spurred by Israel, which not only drafted the original blueprint for the Syrian conflict but guided U.S. involvement by exerting its powerful influence over the foreign policy of that country.

Aiding the Rebels

Israel did more, however, than covertly instigate and guide the funding of opposition “rebels” — having secretly funded and aided opposition groups, including ones with overt terrorist affiliations, over the course of the six-year-long conflict.

Israeli involvement in direct funding and aiding the Syrian “rebels” was suspected for years before being officially made public by the Wall Street Journal in June of this year. The report revealed that Israel, since the beginning of the conflict, had been “supplying Syrian rebels near its border with cash as well as food, fuel, and medical supplies for years, a secret engagement in the enemy country’s civil war aimed at carving out a buffer zone populated by friendly forces.” Israel has also frequently brought wounded “rebels” into Israel for medical treatment, a policy it often touts as a “humanitarian effort.”

These “friendly” forces were armed groups that formed part of or were allied with al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch, known for committing atrocities against thousands of Syrian civilians and slaughtering religious and ethnic minorities. Since 2013, al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups have dominated the “eight-square-kilometer separation zone on the Golan.” Israel has stated officially that these fighters are part of the U.S. coalition-supported Free Syrian Army (FSA). However, it has long been known that the vast majority of the groups comprising FSA have pledged allegiance to the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front, and that those who still fight under the FSA banner meet with al-Nusra on a daily basis.

Israel’s support for terrorist groups went far beyond medical treatment, food supplies and cash. The Israeli army was also found to have been in regular communication with these terrorist groups and even helped “pay salaries of fighters and buy ammunition and weapons.” In addition, when the positions of the “rebel” groups it funded, armed and paid were in danger of being overtaken by Syrian government forces, Israel stepped in to directly bomb Syrian targets. For instance, in June, Israel attacked several Syrian military positions after claiming a stray mortar had landed within the boundaries of the Golan Heights, part of Syria that has long been occupied by Israel. However, the attack tellingly coincided with Syrian army advancements against the “rebel” groups that Israel has long cultivated as part of the so-called “buffer zone.”

Furthermore, Israel has launched attacks inside Syria “dozens and dozens of times,” according to a recent admission by Netanyahu. Earlier this year, Israel also threatened to “destroy” Syrian air defenses after the Syrian army fired missiles at Israeli warplanes striking targets within Syria.

Also very telling has been Israel’s position on Daesh (ISIS). In June of last year, Israel’s military intelligence chief, Major General Herzi Halevi, openly stated that Israel does not want to see Daesh defeated in Syria — expressing concern about the offensives against Daesh territory and lamenting their “most difficult” situation. Prior to Halevi’s comments, Israeli officials had regularly noted that Daesh conquering the whole of Syria would be preferable to the survival of the Assad government. These comments have been echoed by Israeli and NATO-affiliated think tanks, one of which called Daesh “a useful tool in undermining” Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and Russia — despite Daesh’s barbaric tactics, war crimes, enslavement of women and ethnic cleansing efforts.

Israel’s larger geopolitical agenda

Though Israel’s support of Wahhabi terrorists like Daesh (ISIS) and al-Nusra may seem counter-intuitive, Israel’s overarching purpose in expelling Assad from power is based on strategic geopolitical and economic goals that Israel is determined to meet at any cost. While Israel frequently mentions Iran as the pretext for its involvement in Syria, the strongest motivators for Israel’s participation in the destruction of its northern neighbor are oil and territorial expansion.

One of Israel’s clearest reasons for being interested in the destabilization of Syria is its ability to assert further control of the Golan Heights, an area of Syria that Israel has illegally occupied since 1967 and annexed in 1981. Despite filling the area with illegal settlements and military assets, Israel has been unable to convince the international community, and even its close allies such as the U.S., to recognize its sovereignty over the territory. However, the conflict in Syria has proven beneficial to this end, allowing Israel to send even more settlers into the Golan, an estimated 100,000 over five years.

Israel is largely interested in gaining control over the Golan for economic reasons, owing to the occupied territory’s oil reserves, which are estimated to contain “billions of barrels.” Under the cover of the Syrian conflict, the Israeli branch of an American oil company — whose investors include Dick Cheney, Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch — has been drilling exploratory wells throughout the region, as the Heights’ uncertain territorial status prevents Israel from financially exploiting the resource.

Despite the prohibitions of international law, Israel is eager to tap into those reserves, as they have the potential to “make Israel energy self-sufficient.” Israel has even offered, per the Galant plan, to “rebuild” Syria with billions in U.S. taxpayer dollars in exchange for the Golan Heights — though the plan received a tepid reception from all involved parties other than Israel itself.

As its stands, Assad’s removal and replacement with a government friendly to Israeli and Western interests is Israel’s only real means of claiming the Golan Height’s energy resources for itself.

Pawns blocking Israel’s endgame

Aside from the oil and the territory it seeks to gain in the Golan Heights, Israel is also seeking to expand well beyond that territory in order to more widely exert its influence and become the region’s “superpower.” This ambition is described in the Yinon Plan, a strategy intended to ensure Israel’s regional superiority in the Middle East that chiefly involves reconfiguring the entire Arab world into smaller and weaker sectarian states. This has manifested in Israel’s support for the partition of Iraq as well as Syria, abetted by its support for the establishment of a separatist Kurdish state within these two nations.

This goal, in particular, largely explains Israel’s obsession with curbing Iranian influence in the Middle East, whether in Syria or elsewhere. Iran – more than any other nation in the region – is the most likely to threaten the “superpower” status that Israel seeks to gain for itself, as well as Israel’s loss of monopoly as the region’s only nuclear power.

Given Israel’s compound interests in seeing the removal of Assad and the partition of Syria, it is hardly surprising that Israeli political rhetoric has reached new heights of saber-rattling as Tel Aviv becomes increasingly concerned that the conflict it masterminded could backfire. Prior to the explosive comments regarding Israeli threats to bomb Assad’s residence, an anonymous Israeli government minister blamed the U.S. for backing out of Syria, a move he argued sacrificed Israeli interests:

The United States threw Israel under the bus for the second time in a row. The first time was the nuclear agreement with Iran, the second time is now that the United States ignores the fact that Iran is obtaining territorial continuity to the Mediterranean Sea and Israel’s northern border [through Syria].”

Not only that but Israel has recently vowed to “nullify” the ceasefire deal brokered between Russia and the U.S. with Syrian and Iranian support if it fails to comply with Israel’s needs — an ultimatum based on rather subjective terms given that “Israel’s needs” are hardly static. Israel’s response again shows the perception among officials in Tel Aviv that the Syrian conflict is of primary importance to Israeli geopolitical interests.

Furthermore, given that the response suggested so far by Israeli officials – on more than one occasion – has been to assassinate Syria’s democratically-elected President – the contemplated means of Israel “nullifying” the ceasefire deal will likely have explosive implications. Israel — apparently refusing to accept that the conflict it orchestrated is not going, and may not end, as planned — is now willing to escalate the situation militarily, with or without allies, resorting to dangerous brinkmanship with global implications.

September 5, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Putin and Netanyahu: The World’s Most Powerful President Meets the World’s Most Powerful Liar

By Adam Garrie | Global Research | August 28, 2017

There is no doubt that Vladimir Putin is the world’s most powerful President. By comparison, while China’s Xi Jinping is highly powerful and intelligent, China’s leadership retains a collective element while in Russia, Vladimir Putin maintains an unwritten but obvious veto power over all major decisions. In the United States, the very idea that Donald Trump is an all-powerful President is now laughable even to most Americans, including those who support Donald Trump.

By the same extrapolation it is abundantly clear that Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli leader is the world’s most powerful liar. His power comes from the fact that he is in charge of the highest portion of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, including nuclear weapons.

His dishonesty is immediately revealed by his statements about Iran. When speaking in front of the Russian President, Netanyahu said, “… where the defeated Islamic State (Daesh) group vanishes, Iran is stepping in”.

This statement is disingenuous on many levels. First of all, Netanyahu stated to Putin that he felt that Iran is a danger and secondly, that this danger is tantamount to that of Daesh.

Iran has not invaded a country in its modern history and there is no evidence to indicate that this will change. By contrast, Israel occupies Syria and Palestine and formerly occupied Lebanon and Egypt. During the course of Syria’s struggle against Takfiri terrorism, Israel repeatedly bombed Syria illegally. Inversely, Iran’s presence in Syria, like that of Russia, is legal according to international law as it is at the behest of the Syrian government.

Secondly, to equate a state like Iran with Daesh is preposterous. Iran is first of all far more powerful than Daesh has ever been. Daesh is a terrorist group which is quickly crumbling in both Syria and Iraq. Iran is a large state with a professional and highly trained armed forces.

Iran however, uses its military and political influence to fight Takfiri terrorism whose methods, and sinister ideology is anathema to the Iranian Constitution and to the values of the Islamic Revolution.

If one is even slightly interested in fighting Daesh, it logical to thank Iran for its valiant efforts against the wicked group which along with Russia are the only two major non-Arab countries which are combatting a group which has set up base across the Arab world.

During his meeting with Vladimir Putin, Netanyahu also said, “Iran is already well on its way to controlling Iraq, Yemen and to a large extent is already in practice in control of Lebanon”.

This again is a lie. Iran controls Iran and no one else. Iran does not have puppet states in the region in the way that America has had and continues to have puppet states and client states throughout the world. What Iran does have and what it has increasingly, is respect in the Arab world. Iranian forces are in Syria because the Syrian government asked for their assistance in fighting Takfiri terrorism and Iran agreed. Russia finds itself in the same position.

Iran has many supporters and admirers in Baghdad and Iran has helped train Iraqi volunteer units which are fighting and winning the battle against Daesh in Iraq. In Lebanon, Hezbollah is of course a pro-Iranian political party, one which holds two Cabinet level ministers in the Lebanese government. Hezbollah’s military aims are defensive. Their primary goal is to prevent further occupations of Lebanon by Israel. Hezbollah also has worked with the Syrian government to fight Daesh and al-Qaeda.

Israel is a country that has fought wars with all of its neighbours and has occupied most of them. Iran by contrast has occupied none of its neighbours but in the 1980s was the victim of a war that Iraq started with western support. The two situations are objectively incomparable.

One does not have to be ‘pro-Iranian’ to realise this fact. It is a fact that the world acknowledges, including elements of the Arab world which are hostile to Iran.

Vladimir Putin wisely refrained from responding to Netanyahu’s anti-Iranian tirade. The nature of modern Russian diplomacy is to quietly execute its objectives without needlessly entering into arguments with extremists.

Previously, when Netanyahu told historical untruths about Iran, Vladimir Putin did intervene, telling Netanyahu that it is best to focus on modern events rather than ancient history.

Israel’s anti-Iranian rhetoric is increasingly unpopular in the wider world. Even in Europe, most companies and many countries would rather do business with Iran rather than enter into an ideological struggle on Israel’s terms.

Only the United States, Saudi Arabia and Saudi’s client states share Israel’s stance about Iran and none of the Arab countries have the ability or in reality the nerve to start a war with Iran that they would clearly not win.

The great pity is not that Netanyahu continues to tell provocative lies about Iran and the wider region, the pity and the danger is that anyone could still believe him. Iran does not threaten any nation with aggressive war, but if Netanyahu’s impassioned rhetoric foments a war, Iran will defend itself. Those interested in peace ought to ignore Netanyahu and work instead for the important cause of greater peace, cooperation and dialogue, not just in the Middle East but in the wider world.

Copyright © Adam Garrie, Global Research, 2017

August 28, 2017 Posted by | Deception | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Possible Education of Donald Trump

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | August 25, 2017

Despite the chaos and ugliness of the past seven months, President Trump has finally begun to turn U.S. foreign policy away from the neoconservative approach of endless war against an ever-expanding roster of enemies.

This change has occurred largely behind the scenes and has been obscured by Trump’s own bellicose language, such as his vow to “win” in Afghanistan, and his occasional lashing out with violence, such as his lethal Tomahawk missile strike on a Syrian airfield.

Some Trump advisers also have downplayed the current shift because it may fuel the Democrats’ obsession with Russia-gate as a much-desired excuse to impeach Trump. Every peaceful move that Trump makes is called a sop to Russia and thus an excuse to reprise the dubious allegations about Russia somehow helping to elect him.

Yet, despite these external obstacles and Trump’s own erratic behavior, he has remained open to unconventional alternatives to what President Obama once criticized as the Washington “playbook,” i.e. favoring military solutions to international problems.

In this sense, Trump’s shallow understanding of the world has been a partial benefit in that he is not locked into the usual Washington groupthinks – and he personally despises the prominent politicians and news executives who have sought to neuter him since his election. But his ignorance also prevents him from seeing how global crises often intersect and thus stops him from developing a cohesive or coherent doctrine.

Though little noted, arguably the most important foreign policy decision of Trump’s presidency was his termination of the CIA’s covert support for Syrian rebels and his cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin to expand partial ceasefire zones in Syria.

By these actions, Trump has contributed to a sharp drop-off in the Syrian bloodshed. It now appears that the relatively secular Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad is regaining control and that some Syrian refugees are returning to their homes. Syria is starting the difficult job of rebuilding shattered cities, such as Aleppo.

But Trump’s aversion to any new military adventures in Syria is being tested again by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is threatening to attack Iranian and Hezbollah forces inside Syria.

Last week, according to Israeli press reports, a high-level delegation led by Mossad chief Yossi Cohen carried Netanyahu’s threat to the U.S. government. The Israeli leader surely has raised the same point directly in phone calls with Trump.

Tiring of Bibi

I was told that Trump, who appears to be growing weary of Netanyahu’s frequent demands and threats, flatly objected to an Israeli attack and brushed aside Israel’s alarm by noting that Netanyahu’s policies in supporting the rebels in Syria contributed to Israel’s current predicament by drawing in Iran and Hezbollah.

This week, Netanyahu personally traveled to Sochi, Russia, to confront Putin with the same blunt warning about Israel’s intention to attack targets inside Syria if Iran does not remove its forces.

A source familiar with the meeting told me that Putin responded with a sarcastic “good luck!” and that the Russians thought the swaggering Netanyahu appeared “unhinged.”

Still, a major Israeli attack on Iranian positions inside Syria would test Trump’s political toughness, since he would come under enormous pressure from Congress and the mainstream news media to intervene on Israel’s behalf. Indeed, realistically, Netanyahu must be counting on his ability to drag Trump into the conflict since Israel could not alone handle a potential Russian counterstrike.

But Netanyahu may be on somewhat thin ice since Trump apparently blames Israel’s top American supporters, the neocons, for much of his political troubles. They opposed him in the Republican primaries, tilted toward Hillary Clinton in the general election, and have pushed the Russia-gate affair to weaken him.

President Obama faced similar political pressures to fall in line behind Israel’s regional interests. That’s why Obama authorized the covert CIA program in Syria and other aid to the rebels though he was never an enthusiastic supporter – and also grew sick and tired of Netanyahu’s endless hectoring.

Obama acquiesced to the demands of Official Washington’s neocons and his own administration’s hawks – the likes of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, CIA Director David Petraeus, his successor John Brennan, and United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power.

The Syrian conflict was part of a broader strategy favored by Washington’s neocons to overthrow or cripple regimes that were deemed troublesome to Israel. Originally, the neocons had envisioned removing the Assad dynasty soon after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, with Iran also on the “regime change” menu. But the disastrous Iraq War threw off the neocons’ timetable.

‘Regime Change’ Chaos

The Democratic Party’s liberal interventionists, who are closely allied with the Republican neocons, also tossed in Libya with the overthrow and murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Then, weapons from Gaddafi’s stockpiles were shipped to Syria where they strengthened rebel fighters allied with Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and other Islamist groups.

Faced with this troubling reality – that the U.S.-backed “moderate rebels” were operating side by side with Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate and its allies – Washington’s neocons/liberal-hawks responded with sophisticated propaganda and devised clever talking points to justify what amounted to indirect assistance to terrorists.

The “regime change” advocates portrayed a black-and-white situation in Syria with Assad’s side wearing the black hats and various anti-Assad “activists” wearing the white hats (or literally White Helmets). The State Department and a complicit mainstream media disseminated horror stories about Assad and – when the reality about Al Qaeda’s role could no longer be hidden – that was spun in the rebels’ favor, too, by labeling Assad “a magnet for terrorists” (or later in cahoots with the Islamic State). For years, such arguments were much beloved in Official Washington.

But the human consequences of the Syrian conflict and other U.S.-driven “regime change” wars were horrific, spreading death and destruction across the already volatile Middle East and driving desperate refugees into Europe, where their presence provoked political instability.

By fall 2015, rebel advances in Syria – aided by a supply of powerful U.S. anti-tank missiles – forced Russia’s hand with Putin accepting Assad’s invitation to deploy Russian air power in support of the Syrian army and Iranian and Hezbollah militias. The course of the war soon turned to Assad’s advantage.

It’s unclear what Hillary Clinton might have done if she had won the White House in November 2016. Along with much of the U.S. foreign policy establishment, she called repeatedly for imposing a “no-fly zone” in Syria to stop operations by the Syrian air force and Russia, a move that could have escalated the conflict into World War III.

But Trump – lacking Official Washington’s “sophistication” – couldn’t understand how eliminating Assad, who was leading the fight against the terrorist groups, would contribute to their eventual defeat. Trump also looked at the failure of similar arguments in Iraq and Libya, where “regime change” produced more chaos and generated more terrorism.

Pandering to Saudis/Israelis

However, in the early days of his presidency, the unsophisticated Trump lurched from one Middle East approach to another, initially following his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s grandiose thinking about recruiting Saudi Arabia to an “outside-in” strategy to settle the Israel-Palestine conflict, i.e., enlisting the Saudis to pressure the Palestinians into, more or less, letting Israel dictate a solution.

Kushner’s “outside-in” scheme was symbolically acted out with Trump making his first overseas visit to Saudi Arabia and then to Israel in May. But I’m told that Trump eventually cooled to Kushner’s thinking and has come to see the Israeli-Saudi tandem as part of the region’s troubles, especially what he views as Saudi Arabia’s longstanding support for Al Qaeda and other terror groups.

Perhaps most significantly in that regard, Trump in July quietly abandoned the CIA’s covert war in Syria. In the U.S., some “regime change” advocates have complained about this “betrayal” of the rebel cause and some Democrats have tried to link Trump’s decision to their faltering Russia-gate “scandal,” i.e., by claiming that Trump was rewarding Putin for alleged election help.

But the bottom line is that Trump’s policy has contributed to the Syrian slaughter abating and the prospect of a victory by Al Qaeda and/or its Islamic State spinoff fading.

So, there has been a gradual education of Donald Trump, interrupted occasionally by his volatile temper and his succumbing to political pressure, such as when he rushed to judgment on April 4 and blamed the Syrian government for a chemical incident in the remote Al Qaeda-controlled village of Khan Sheikhoun.

Despite strong doubts in the U.S. intelligence community about Syria’s guilt – some evidence suggested one more staged “atrocity” by the rebels and their supporters – Trump on April 6 ordered 59 Tomahawk missiles fired at a Syrian air base, reportedly killing several soldiers and some civilians, including four children.

Trump boasted about his decision, contrasting it with Obama’s alleged wimpiness. And, naturally, Official Washington and the U.S. mainstream media not only accepted the claim of Syrian government guilt but praised Trump for pulling the trigger. Later, Hillary Clinton said if she were president, she would have been inclined to go further militarily by intervening with her “no-fly zone.”

As reckless and brutal as Trump’s missile strike was, it did provide him some cover for his July 7 meeting with Putin at the G-20 summit in Germany, which focused heavily on Syria, and also for his decision to pull the plug on the CIA’s covert war.

Saudi-backed Terror

I’m told Trump also has returned to his pre-election attitude about Saudi Arabia as a leading supporter of terror groups and a key provocateur in the region’s disorders, particularly because of its rivalry with Iran, a factor in both the Syrian and Yemeni wars.

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Though Trump has recited Washington’s bipartisan (and benighted) mantra about Iran being the principal sponsor of terrorism, he appears to be moving toward a more honest view, recognizing the falsity of the neocon-driven propaganda about Iran.

Trump’s new coolness toward Saudi Arabia may have contributed to the recent warming of relations between the Sunnis of Saudi Arabia and the Shiites of Iran, a sectarian conflict dating back 1,400 years. In a surprising move announced this week, the two countries plan an exchange of diplomatic visits.

Even in areas where Trump has engaged in reckless rhetoric, such as his “fire and fury” warning to North Korea, his behind-the-scenes policy appears more open to compromise and even accommodation. In the past week or so, the tensions with North Korea have eased amid backchannel outreach that may include the provision of food as an incentive for Pyongyang to halt its missile development and even open political talks with South Korea, according to a source close to these developments.

On Afghanistan, too, Trump may be playing a double game, giving a hawkish speech on Monday seeming to endorse an open-ended commitment to the near-16-year-old conflict, while quietly signaling a willingness to negotiate a political settlement with the Taliban.

One alternative might be to accept a coalition government, involving the Taliban, with a U.S. withdrawal to a military base near enough to launch counterterrorism strikes if Al Qaeda or other international terror groups again locate in Afghanistan [likely an air base from which to threaten Iran – Aletho News ].

Many of Trump’s latest foreign policy initiatives reflect former White House strategist Steve Bannon’s hostility toward neoconservative interventionism. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former Exxon-Mobil chief executive, also shares a more pragmatic approach to foreign affairs than some of his more ideological predecessors.

Albeit still in their infancy, these policies represent a new realism in U.S. foreign policy that, in many ways, paralleled what President Obama favored but was often unwilling or unable to see through to its logical conclusions, given his fear of Netanyahu and the power of the neocons and their liberal-hawk allies.

Still, some of Obama’s most important decisions – not to launch a major military strike against Syria in August 2013 and to negotiate an agreement with Iran to constrain its nuclear program in 2013-15 – followed a similar path away from war, thus drawing condemnation from the Israeli-Saudi tandem and American neocons.

As a Republican who rose politically by pandering to the GOP “base” and its hatred of Obama, Trump rhetorically attacked Obama on both Syria and Iran, but may now be shifting toward similar positions. Gradually, Trump has come to recognize that the neocons and his other political enemies are trying to hobble and humiliate him – and ultimately to remove him from office.

The question is whether Trump’s instinct for survival finally will lead him to policies that blunt his enemies’ strategies or will cause him to succumb to their demands.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel’s Alarm over Syrian Debacle

By Daniel Lazare | Consortium News | August 22, 2017

There’s a rumor going around that the Syrian civil war is finally winding down and that the Baathist government is nearing its goal of driving out thousands of ISIS-Al Qaeda head-choppers financed and supplied – directly or indirectly – by the U.S., Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the other Persian Gulf oil monarchies.

 (Screenshot from White House video)

It would be good news if true. But most likely it’s not. While one stage in the Syrian conflict is coming to an end, another is beginning, and this time the results could be even worse.

The reason is Israel, until now the odd man in the latest Mideast wars. Despite intervening sporadically on the rebel side in Syria, the Jewish state generally held itself aloof from the conflict in the belief that events were breaking its way regardless of whether it stepped in or not. After all, why go to war when your enemies are doing a fine job of tearing each other apart on their own?

With President Bashar al-Assad expected to step down eventually, Israel figured that it only had to wait and watch as a hostile regime collapsed under its own weight as it thrashed about unable to restore order to Syria. Never in the Arab-Israeli hundred years’ war had Israel seemed stronger and the Arabs weaker and in greater disarray.

But then the unthinkable happened. Assad not only survived but prevailed. Backed by Russia, Iran and the Lebanese Shi‘ite militia Hezbollah, he has bottled up Al Qaeda in East Ghouta and Idlib province in the extreme northwest and is racing to lift ISIS’s siege on Deir-Ezzor along the Euphrates. If successful, the effect will be to clear a path straight through to the Iraqi border some 30 miles to the east.

U.S. military enclaves may remain in the northeast and in the southern border town of Al-Tanf. But it’s hard to see how they’ll have much of an impact as the Damascus regime tightens its grip on the country as a whole.

Israeli Outrage

But rather than making a wider war less likely, the upshot is to make it even more. Having bet on the wrong horse, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now finds himself facing a nightmare scenario in which Iran takes advantage of Assad’s winning streak to extend its reach from Iraq and Syria into Lebanon beyond. It’s not just a question of political influence, but of the emergence of a powerful Iranian-led military bloc.

Eleven years after fighting a vicious 34-day war in southern Lebanon, Israel thus finds itself facing not only Hezbollah but the Syrian Arab Army, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards, and Iraqi Shi‘ite militias – all backed by Russian military might – in a front extending across its entire northern border. All are battle-hardened after years of combat, better armed, better led, and more self-confident to boot. Israel finds itself confronting a new threat that is many times more powerful than Hezbollah (or Syria) alone.

Israeli consternation is not to be underestimated. One news outlet says the official attitude is one of “grave concern” while an anonymous government minister heaped blame on the U.S. for sacrificing Israeli interests:

“The United States threw Israel under the bus for the second time in a row. The first time was the nuclear agreement with Iran, the second time is now that the United States ignores the fact that Iran is obtaining territorial continuity to the Mediterranean Sea and Israel’s northern border. What is most worrisome is that this time, it was President Donald Trump who threw us to the four winds – though viewed as Israel’s great friend. It turns out that when it comes to actions and not just talk, he didn’t deliver the goods.”

Netanyahu is meanwhile off to the Black Sea resort of Sochi to confer with Russian President Vladimir Putin while, in Washington, Israeli military and intelligence officials are meeting with top Trump officials such as National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and special Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt.

Israel has also engaged in saber-rattling with regard to a missile factory that it says Iran is building in the Syrian port city of Baniyas. Gadi Eisenkot, the Israeli military’s chief of staff, said that stopping efforts by Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah to equip themselves with accurate missiles capable of striking deep inside the Jewish state “is our top priority.”

Adds Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s hard-right defense minister: “We know what needs to be done….  We won’t ignore the establishment of Iranian weapons factories in Lebanon.”

Neocon Chorus

Words like that should not be taken lightly. Meanwhile, influential neoconservatives are joining the me-too chorus. At the Atlantic Council – the hawkish Washington think tank partly funded by the United Arab Emirates and pro-Saudi interests that functioned as an arm of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign – former Obama administration official Frederic C. Hof recently argued that the U.S. wouldn’t be in such a pickle if it had invaded Syria years ago:

“A Syrian opposition recognized by Washington in December 2012 as the ‘legitimate representative of the Syrian people’ should have been tasked with preparing for post-ISIS governance, and assisted to that end by an American-organized, multi-national effort. An all-Syrian stabilization force should have been built in a protected eastern Syria to pacify the area, facilitate humanitarian aid, and spur reconstruction.”

But now the U.S. is seemingly “indifferent” to what comes next once Islamic State is gone. As a consequence, Hof said, the Trump administration is effectively “install[ing] Iran as Syria’s suzerain, with the Assad entourage sifting through the country’s ruins for spoils and setting the stage for successive waves and varieties of extremism arising in response.” The only solution, according to Hof, is a radical strategic change “to prevent Iran and Assad doing their worst for the security of the United States, its allies, and its partners.”

With the Zionists and their neocon yes-men agreeing that something must be done, it seems that something WILL be done sooner rather than later.

Of course, a few complications could get in the way. One involves Russian President Vladimir Putin who, despite his close alliance with Assad, enjoys a solid working relationship with Israel and is none too eager to see war break out between the two countries. Another is the Syrian government in Damascus, which, under the leadership of the careful and cautious Assad, is none too eager to rush into a conflict that could conceivably prove even more ruinous than the one it is trying to finish up.

A Sick Kingdom 

But even sober politicians like Putin and Assad may be unable to cope with the forces raging across the Middle East. The sectarian war that the Saudis unleashed more than a decade ago with U.S, help shows no signs of letting up. The kingdom is mired in an anti-Shi‘ite crusade in Yemen that it is desperate to escape, but doesn’t know how. It has suppressed a Shi‘ite uprising in Awamiyah, a city of 25,000 people in its own oil-rich Eastern Province, killing dozens according to Iranian sources and flattening an entire neighborhood, but dissent continues to bubble up ominously.

Saudi Arabia also has imposed an economic blockade on Qatar, and it is backing a repressive regime in Bahrain that has imposed a reign of terror on the country’s 70-percent Shi‘ite majority. Riyadh continues to engage in a dangerous war of words with Iran, which the royal family believes is engaged in an Elders of Zion-like Shi‘ite conspiracy to dismember the kingdom and wrest away control of Mecca and Medina.

The more paranoid Saudi leaders become, the more threatening Saudi Arabia grows – and the more resolved Iran becomes to make the most of its victory in Syria by fulfilling the ancient Persian goal of opening a corridor to the Mediterranean Sea. Aggression on one side leads to counter-aggression on the other, a process of mutual escalation that seems impossible to reverse.

Finally, there is the question of political stability – or, rather, an increasing lack thereof. In Iran, newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani is locked in a growing confrontation with hardline Shi‘ite Islamists with little appetite for compromise.

In Saudi Arabia, power is in the hands of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, a rambunctious 31-year-old who launched the disastrous war in Yemen in March 2015 – and then disappeared on a vacation in the Maldives as U.S. officials tried desperately to reach him by phone – and who more recently unveiled an ambitious economic reform program that so far has done nothing to stem the kingdom’s alarming decline. Despite vows to diversify the economy, non-oil revenue actually shrank by 17 percent this spring while foreign reserves have fallen by nearly a third since 2014. But that didn’t stop MbS, as he’s known, from committing himself to $110 billion in U.S. arms purchases in May or his father, King Salman, from spending a reported $100 million on a summer vacation in Morocco.

Saudi Arabia is thus becoming the sick man of the Middle East, one whose collapse could trigger a “geopolitical tsunami” sweeping across much of the region.

Trump’s Imbalance

Then there is the United States, where politics are even more unsettled. As President Trump careens from one disaster to another, foreign policy has grown both unpredictable and bellicose. One day, America’s second popular-vote-losing president in 16 years is calling for regime change in Tehran, the next he’s threatening Pyongyang with “fire and fury,” and then he’s blustering about some unspecified “military option” with regard to Venezuela.

The fact that Trump has so far demonstrated little follow-through is hardly reassuring. Sooner or later, rash rhetoric can only lead to rash actions, if not on America’s part then someone else’s. The shakier Trump grows, the greater the likelihood that he will engage in some risky adventure in order to strengthen his grip.

A number of forces are thus converging: political instability in Tehran, Riyadh and Washington, a growing thirst for more war on the part of Israel and the U.S. foreign-policy establishment, and a growing defensiveness on the part of a “Shi‘ite crescent” stretching from Yemen to southern Tehran. The United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and others have already plunged Syria into death and destruction by sponsoring a murderous Sunni Salafist assault on one of the most diverse populations in the Middle East. The big question now is whether, with Israeli help, they are about to impose another.

Given the vicious cycle of violence in the Middle East, one that the U.S. has done its level best to worsen at every step of the way, it’s hard not to believe that even worse may be ahead.


Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).

August 22, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Syria: As the War Continues, WMD Lies Linger

A special investigation team collects evidence

A special investigation team collects evidence
By Tony Cartalucci – New Eastern Outlook – 18.08.2017

Despite the now historical lies exposed in the wake of the devastating US invasion and occupation of Iraq beginning in 2003, the United States has attempted to use similar lies regarding weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) repeatedly as a pretext for similar wars including in neighboring Syria.

The Syrian government – perhaps in an effort to head off another round of accusations,  threats, and direct military aggression carried out by the US – is leveling accusations against the United States itself and terrorist organizations it has funded, armed, and backed for the past 6 years of using chemical weapons – primarily to create a pretext for wider war.

Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad stated at a press conference that the April 2017 Khan Shaykhun, Idlib chemical attack was staged by US-backed militants, including members of the so-called “White Helmets,” a US and European funded front posing as humanitarian workers but who serve as auxiliaries for listed terrorist organizations including Al Qaeda and its various Syrian affiliates.

As the Syrian military retakes territory from foreign-backed militants, munition warehouses and stockpiles, including those used for the production and deployment of chemical weapons for staged attacks, are being systematically uncovered. In them, chemical weapons – both lethal and nonlethal – provided by the United States and its allies are being discovered.

Mekdad would also point out that the use of chemical weapons by foreign-backed militants did not serve any sort of tactical purpose, but was instead being used as a form of blackmail.

While Western-dominated “international” institutions will likely not accept any evidence provided by the Syrian government – the Syrian government’s narrative emerges as a far more logical explanation for the last 6 years of conflict and accusations made regarding chemical weapon use.

Chemical Weapons are Political, Not Tactical 

Despite claims by the Western media made in an attempt to enhance US lies regarding WMDs, chemical weapons are particularly ineffective on the battlefield – with conventional weapons being many times more effective.

This was revealed in detail by a study produced by the United States itself, conducted by the US Marine Corps regarding the devastating Iran-Iraq War fought between 1980-1988 which saw the extensive use of chemical weapons.

wm2

It goes without saying that gas masks were a must during the Iran-Iraq war of the mid 80s

The document titled, “Lessons Learned: The Iran-Iraq War” under “Appendix B: Chemical Weapons,” provided a comprehensive look at the all-out chemical warfare that took place during the 8 year conflict. Several engagements are studied in detail, revealing large amounts of chemical agents deployed mainly to create areas of denial.

The effectiveness and lethality of chemical weapons is summarized in the document as follows (emphasis added):

Chemical weapons require quite particular weather and geographic conditions for optimum effectiveness. Given the relative nonpersistence of all agents employed during this war, including mustard, there was only a brief window of employment opportunity both daily and seasonally, when the agents could be used. Even though the Iraqis employed mustard agent in the rainy season and also in the marshes, its effectiveness was significantly reduced under those conditions. As the Iraqis learned to their chagrin, mustard is not a good agent to employ in the mountains, unless you own the high ground and your enemy is in the valleys.

We are uncertain as to the relative effectiveness of nerve agents since those which were employed are by nature much less persistent than mustard. In order to gain killing concentrations of these agents, predawn attacks are best, conducted in areas where the morning breezes are likely to blow away from friendly positions.

Chemical weapons have a low kill ratio. Just as in WWl, during which the ratio of deaths to injured from chemicals was 2-3 percent, that figure appears to be borne out again in this war although reliable data on casualties are very difficult to obtain. We deem it remarkable that the death rate should hold at such a low level even with the introduction of nerve agents. If those rates are correct, as they well may be, this further reinforces the position that we must not think of chemical weapons as “a poor man’s nuclear weapon.” While such weapons have great psychological potential, they are not killers or destroyers on a scale with nuclear or biological weapons.

According the US military’s own conclusions, the use of chemical weapons only enhance conventional warfare, but are not suitable for wiping out large swaths of enemy troops. Conventional weapons are deemed far more suitable for waging modern war.

The effectiveness of chemical weapons is such that the Syrian government could never justify their use, balancing their limited benefits against the knowledge the US was specifically seeking to use their use as a pretext for direct military intervention.

Thus, neither the Syrian government nor the foreign-backed militants it is fighting would benefit from their use in turning the tide of any specific battle, but should the US use chemical weapon deployments as a pretext, could intervene directly against the Syrian government, delivering victory to foreign-backed militants.

In essence, the only beneficiary of chemical weapon use by any side in Syria would be special interests in the US seeking regime change in Damascus.

Not only are outright lies regarding WMDs a known tactic repeatedly abused by the United States government worldwide, it has been caught repeatedly using this tactic in Syria. The number of ambiguous, unsubstantiated, or proven-false accusations made by the United States as it seeks a pretext for wider and more direct military intervention have multiplied over time as US-backed militants are pushed off the battlefield.

US Provocations, Lies, and Chemical Weapons 

Suspicious circumstances and familiar propaganda and diplomatic tactics were used by the US to rush the world to war – first in 2013 when an alleged chemical attack was carried out at the edge of Damascus. The attack followed multiple claims in 2012 by the US that the Syrian government was preparing such an attack, followed by threats of direct military intervention if the Syrian government did so.

This came at a time when it became apparent that quick regime change in Syria similar to that carried out by the US in Libya in 2011 was not possible and that only through direct military intervention would the US be able to topple the Syrian government.

In response, Syria relinquished its chemical weapons under a Russian-brokered deal, confirmed by UN inspectors. Despite this, chemical weapons continued turning up on the battlefield – followed by repeated attempts by the US to expand direct military intervention within Syrian borders each and every time.

No logical explanation has ever been provided by the United States – either by its politicians or its policymakers – as to why the Syrian government would repeatedly use ineffective chemical weapons in battles it was already winning with far more effective conventional weapons – and risk US military intervention.

Conversely, many of these attacks are carried out in areas held by terrorist organizations with direct access to the borders of their foreign sponsors. The more recent April 2017 alleged attack in Khan Shaykhun took place within the Idlib Governorate, directly on the border with NATO-member Turkey who has armed, supplied, and provided direct military support for Al Qaeda and its affiliates since the conflict began in 2011.

Consider the Source

The city of Idlib occupied by radical Islamists

The city of Idlib occupied by radical Islamists

Idlib has been controlled by Al Qaeda for years with even the New York Times and LA Times finally admitting as much.

The New York Times in a piece titled, “In a Syria Refuge, Extremists Exert Greater Control,” would admit:

“Idlib Province is the largest Al Qaeda safe haven since 9/11,” Brett H. McGurk, the United States envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State, said last month. “Idlib now is a huge problem.”

The LA Times in a piece titled, “Humanitarian groups fear aid is being diverted to terrorist group after militant takeover of Syrian province,” would reveal that torrents of supplies provided by the US, Europe, and their regional allies are still being poured into a city quite literally occupied by Al Qaeda, stating (emphasis added):

The recent takeover of the Syrian province of Idlib by an extremist organization has created a dilemma for the United States and other countries that send humanitarian aid to civilians and military aid to various rebel factions fighting the Syrian government.

It has become impossible to provide assistance without inadvertently supporting Al Nusra Front, a former affiliate of Al Qaeda that has been deemed a terrorist group by the U.S. government.

In reality, Al Qaeda’s domination of a region allegedly held by “rebels” provided billions in supplies, weapons, vehicles, training, and even direct military support by the West could only happen if Al Qaeda itself was receiving even more in state sponsorship – or were the recipients of this aid all along.

Both the New York Times and the LA Times in their articles, lace it with language meant to disarm readers from truly understanding the full scope of what the US has done in Syria. Claiming that the Al Nusra Front is a “former affiliate of Al Qaeda,” for instance, is supposed to create in the minds of readers the notion that they are no longer Al Qaeda, or terrorists when they are in fact very much still both.

The LA Times would even go as far as suggesting Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front would provide Western-backed organizations with “independence and neutrality.”

The LA Times also claims:

But cutting off the aid could spur a humanitarian disaster among the estimated 2 million civilians who live in Idlib and derail efforts to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Efforts to “topple Syrian President Bashar Assad,” however, can only be done with an armed opposition – and as both the New York Times and LA Times admit, the only armed militants left in Syria are Al Qaeda.

What both newspapers are actually saying is that Al Qaeda has been cornered in Idlib where the US and its allies are still flooding with support, and that support quite literally for Al Qaeda will continue in an effort to topple the Syrian government.

This means that the process of fabricating chemical weapon attacks and using it as a pretext to directly intervene – on behalf of Al Qaeda – will continue as well, either to topple the government outright, or create a safe-haven protected by the US military for Al Qaeda in Idlib.

It is in this context then, that “humanitarian organizations” in Al Qaeda-held Idlib are claiming they are being targeted by chemical weapons allegedly deployed by the Syrian government.

The Syrian government and its allies have all but won the conflict and they have done so using conventional military weapons. They are also attempting in every way to expose these lingering and repetitive lies regarding WMDs wielded by the US, by inviting UN inspection teams to further explore newly liberated Syrian territory and further confirm that the Syrian government did indeed give up its chemical weapons as it agreed to in 2013.

August 18, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment