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Memo to US-led Iraqi coalition: ‘Best way to protect civilians is to stop bombing them’

RT | May 26, 2017

In the 16-year war on terrorism, we have seen the predictable and consistent increase in terrorism, the creation of ISIS, and the expansion of ISIS, says David Swanson, anti-war activist and author of War Is A Lie.

A US investigation found over a hundred Iraqi civilians died in a Coalition airstrike in Mosul in March, but put all the blame on Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

The civilians died when an American airstrike set off a large amount of explosives planted in a building by IS fighters in Mosul’s al-Jadida neighborhood, according to a Pentagon investigation which was made public on Thursday.

RT: The US says ISIS is to blame because its weapons stash was hit. Do you accept that argument?

David Swanson: Obviously, not. And this is the tip of the iceberg. If you look at the reports of known civilian deaths collected by organizations like Airwars, it is thousands every month. If you look at how known named civilian deaths relate to the total, in places that have been scientifically studied, you’ll find the total deaths of civilians is around 5-20 percent. We are talking about tens of thousands every month, ongoing. The discussion in the US always blames someone else or pretends it didn’t happen or delays it with an investigation like this one that is minimally reported when completed, but shuts down the story when it is a big story months or weeks earlier. The discussion in Washington, DC right now is about should we sell weapons to Saudi Arabia because they kill civilians. The US kills civilians, routinely. This is what happens when you bomb cities. This week the International Committee of the Red Cross and Interaction, a group of US human rights groups, put out a report on how you minimize killing people in cities and never once hinted at the possibility of ceasing to bomb cities and included things like live underground, form militias, absolutely outrageous. There is a total acceptance that you are going to go on bombing cities, but could you please do it with a little bit smaller bombs. It is still going to be murder.

RT: According to the Coalition, it simply didn’t know there were civilians inside. How much of an intelligence failure was this?

DS: The suggestion that it was a blatant lie is the obvious conclusion, and if it was not a blatant lie it was negligence in the extreme. These cities are places where people live and to blame someone else for using them as human shields is absolutely not satisfactory. To write off the deaths of anyone who is not a civilian as completely acceptable and not worth any value and not worth counting at all. In most of these places, including Iraq and Syria, the United States and its Coalition allies are killing more than one armed force of non-civilians in these wars. It is absolutely outrageous and passing the blame doesn’t cut it.

RT: Here is an extract from the Coalition statement: “The Coalition takes every feasible measure to protect civilians from harm. The best way to protect civilians is to defeat Islamic State.” Does this mean killing ISIS fighters takes priority over protecting civilian lives?

DS: In the calculation of the Pentagon, yes; in logic and verifiable facts, no. Through the course of this past 16 years of war on terrorism, you have seen the predictable and consistent increase in terrorism, you have seen the creation of ISIS, you have seen the expansion of ISIS. The best way to protect civilians is to stop bombing them, the best way to stop escalating anti-US and Western terrorism is to stop engaging in terrorism at a greater scale. The best way to make people grasp this issue is to tell the names and the stories as you would if it were in Manchester, England, not just the numbers. Treat them as human beings and the killing will stop.

May 26, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

People flee Takfiri ‘invasion’ in southern Philippines

Press TV – May 26, 2017

Hundreds of people have fled the Philippines’ southern city of Marawi as military forces fight to drive Takfiri militants out of the city.

Foreign militants from Indonesia and Malaysia are recruited by a militant group engaged in battles with the Philippine army in Maraqi, on Mindanao Island, Manila’s Solicitor-General Jose Calida said on Friday, in a rare admission of links between domestic and foreign militants belonging to the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday declared martial law on Mindanao, the country’s second-largest island, to stop the spread of Takfiri militancy. He recently revealed that Daesh had planned to establish a permanent base in the southern Philippines and the country was at risk of “contamination.” Daesh is mainly operating in Syria and Iraq.

Daesh has apparently been attempting to exploit the poverty and lawlessness in the southern Philippines to establish a base in Southeast Asia for its Wahhabi extremist ideology.

Malaysian and Indonesian nationals were among six people who were killed on Thursday in battles between the army and the militants in Marawi.

The Philippine army has sent attack helicopters and Special Forces to drive the militants out of the southern city of 200,000 people. A total of 11 soldiers and 31 militants have reportedly been killed in the fighting so far.

“Our troops are doing deliberate operations in areas we believe are still occupied or infested with the terrorists’ presence. I specifically ordered our soldiers to locate and destroy these terrorists as soon as possible,” said Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautista, the head of the Joint Task Force ZamPeLan.

Another military commander, Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., called on locals to help locate the militants and “contribute to the neutralization of these agents of deaths and destruction.”

A raid was conducted on Tuesday to capture Isnilon Hapilon, a leader of a radical faction of a militant group, Abu Sayyaf. The government says Hapilon has been the point man for Daesh in the Philippines and has been collaborating with the leaders of Maute, another militant group.

Calida said Daesh had chosen Hapilon as “their emir, or leader in the Philippines.”

Daesh now in Philippines

Referring to the Maute groups, Calida further said, “Before it was just a local terrorist group. But now they have subscribed to the ideology of ISIS (Daesh).”

Calida said the Maute terrorists “want to make Mindanao part of the caliphate,” referring to shrinking territory in Iraq and Syria that Daesh has overrun.

Maute was blamed for a bombing in President Duterte’s home city of Davao in September last year, which killed 14 people and wounded dozens.

May 26, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Manchester Bomber Was Product of West’s Libya/Syria Intervention

By Daniel McAdams | Ron Paul Institute | May 24, 2017

Here’s what the media and politicians don’t want you to know about the Manchester, UK, suicide attack: Salman Abedi, the 22 year old who killed nearly two dozen concert-goers in Manchester, UK, was the product of the US and UK overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya and “regime change” policy in Syria. He was a radicalized Libyan whose family fled Gaddafi’s secular Libya, and later he trained to be an armed “rebel” in Syria, fighting for the US and UK “regime change” policy toward the secular Assad government.

The suicide attacker was the direct product of US and UK interventions in the greater Middle East.

According to the London Telegraph, Abedi, a son of Libyan immigrants living in a radicalized Muslim neighborhood in Manchester had returned to Libya several times after the overthrow of Muamar Gaddafi, most recently just weeks ago. After the US/UK and allied “liberation” of Libya, all manner of previously outlawed and fiercely suppressed radical jihadist groups suddenly found they had free rein to operate in Libya. This is the Libya that Abedi returned to and where he likely prepared for his suicide attack on pop concert attendees. Before the US-led attack on Libya in 2011, there was no al-Qaeda, ISIS, or any other related terrorist organization operating (at least with impunity) on Libyan soil.

Gaddafi himself warned Europe in January 2011 that if they overthrew his government the result would be radical Islamist attacks on Europe, but European governments paid no heed to the warnings. Post-Gaddafi Libya became an incubator of Islamist terrorists and terrorism, including prime recruiting ground for extremists to fight jihad in Syria against the also-secular Bashar Assad.

In Salman Abedi we have the convergence of both these disastrous US/UK and allied interventions, however: it turns out that not only did Abedi make trips to Libya to radicalize and train for terror, but he also travelled to Syria to become one of the “Syria rebels” fighting on the same side as the US and UK to overthrow the Assad government. Was he perhaps even trained in a CIA program? We don’t know, but it certainly is possible.

While the mainstream media and opportunistic politicians will argue that the only solution is more western intervention in the Middle East, the plain truth is that at least partial responsibility for this attack lies at the feet of those who pushed and pursued western intervention in Libya and Syria.

There would have been no jihadist training camps in Libya had Gaddafi not been overthrown by the US/UK and allies. There would have been no explosion of ISIS or al-Qaeda in Syria had it not been for the US/UK and allied policy of “regime change” in that country.

When thinking about Abedi’s guilt for this heinous act of murder, do not forget those interventionists who lit the fuse that started this conflagration. The guilt rests squarely on their shoulders as well.

May 25, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

A NATO summit for the Donald Trump era

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | May 24, 2017

If the expectation was that US President Donald Trump would outline his strategy toward Afghanistan at the summit meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels (May 25-26), that might not be the case. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in his customary pre-summit press conference at the alliance’s Headquarters, in fact, said the summit’s agenda will focuse on two issues: a) Stepping up of NATO’s contribution to the fight against terrorism. The NATO will not undertake combat missions and its role is to “deal with the root causes of terrorism, training local forces is one of the best tools we have”; and,  b) “Burden sharing”, which meant meeting the pledge that the member countries had made in 2014 to stop the cuts in military budgets, and “gradually increase and move towards” spending 2% of GDP on defence within a decade.

This is essentially a summit to get acquainted with Trump. The US’ allies fervently hope that Trump will give decent burial to his famous description of NATO being “obsolete” and, in particular, pledge loyalty to Article V of the alliance’s charter on collective security. There is bound to be some unease because Trump can be very unpredictable.

Stoltenberg was circumspect about Afghanistan, saying,

  • But the security situation remains challenging. We have recently completed our regular review of our training mission. And our military commanders have asked for a few thousand more troops. We are currently in the process of force generation and I expect final decisions to be taken next month.

It appears that Trump is yet to take a final decision on the US troop level in Afghanistan and/or his strategy toward the war.

Interestingly, during the Q&A, Stoltenberg distanced himself from the allegations in the US media (attributed to senior Pentagon commanders) that Russia has been giving covert support to Taliban to undermine the NATO operations. He said, “We have seen reports, but we haven’t seen fine proof of direct support of Russia to the Taliban.”

Importantly, Stoltenberg added, “We urge Russia to be part of an Afghan-led peace process” to reconcile the Taliban. This is a significant remark, because the NATO secretary-general usually takes his cue from Washington. Can this remark be taken as Stoltenberg’s premonition of some sort of US-Russia cooperation sailing into view over Afghanistan in a near term? It is a plausible assumption, if only because, below the radar, US-Russian cooperation over Syria at the military-to-military level is gaining momentum in the fight against ISIS. The US, it seems, is taking a leap of faith, finally.

Earlier today, addressing the upper house of the Russian parliament in Moscow, Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu made the stunning disclosure that the Russian and American militaries are engaged in discussions about the Syrian situation in a “round-the-clock mode” and are preparing a “joint project” on the hugely controversial southern zone of “deconfliction” where the competing interests of various external protagonists — Israel, Jordan, Iran, US and Hezbollah —  threaten to bring the roof down. (See my earlier blog US, Iran run into each other in Syria.)

To quote Shoigu,

  • We did not halt contacts and cooperation with them (Americans), this is also happening almost in a round-the-clock mode, we are talking with them during the day and the night, and we are meeting at different venues. A great work is underway with them. We would like it to be completed and presented as a project ready for implementation. But we are working with them and working, naturally, on the southern zone of de-escalation.

The “great work” in progress on Syria can stimulate similar cooperation in Afghanistan as well. Indeed, the US and NATO snubbed repeated Russian overtures over the years for cooperation in Afghanistan, including at the level of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization. But Trump is perfectly capable of deciding that Russian help is useful and necessary in Afghanistan in the fight to defeat the ISIS and to bring the war to an end through a negotiated settlement with the Taliban.

By the way, Stoltenberg’s 48-minute press conference in Brussels today was free of any of his past rhetoric against Russia. It will be interesting to see what, if any, Trump will have to say tomorrow on “Russian aggression”, which had been the leitmotif of such high-level NATO events in the recent years during the Barack Obama administration. The video of Stoltenberg’s press conference is here.

May 24, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hassan Nasrallah on the hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners and international hypocrisy

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on May 2, 2017, on the occasion of the Day of the Wounded

Transcript:

[…] Two words on the general situation (in the Middle East).

The first thing to be said about the general situation in the region concerns the struggle for freedom and dignity that 1500 Palestinian prisoners are leading and… we are today on the 16th day of their hunger strike, with a supportive response from the Palestinian street, inside (occupied Palestine) and outside, towards this movement.

As usual, we naturally support and unite with them, and we announce our firm and total solidarity with this action of jihad and strong resistance by Palestinian prisoners for their legitimate and natural demands. But we want to learn from what is happening there.

In this first point concerning the situation of the region, I have two points.

First, I want to learn the lessons on which we can build a permanent political path. Well, on the opposite side, Israel turns a deaf ear… They are not ready to negotiate or to respond to the demands. The demands of the prisoners are not the liberation of Palestine nor the liberation of Al-Quds (Jerusalem). The prisoners’ demands concern the natural rights of all prisoners, humanitarian rights. Israel is turning a deaf ear and, as usual, relies on the passing of time, the weariness, and the withdrawal of Palestinian prisoners, hoping that this movement will be nothing but a vain eruption.

Nothing else can be expected of Israel, the usurping, terrorist, occupying enemy. But look at the rest of the world. Look at the rest of the world. Where are the Arab regimes? Where are the Arab peoples? Where is the Union of Arab Countries? Where is the Organization of Islamic States, the Organization for Islamic Cooperation? Where is the world? Where is Europe? Where is the West? Where is the UN? Where’s the Security Council? All those who often get angry at the most trivial stories that happen in this or that place of the world, where are they? We are on the 16th day, and nothing happens in the world, nothing at all.

For the commemoration of the martyr leaders, I stirred up the roses’ pot, when I said that they brought us, the Arab world and the region, to the point where Palestine became the forgotten cause. This is proof.

Today, tell me where the kings and the Arab presidents are. Soon, it will be said that the Sayed (Nasrallah) attacks the kings and Arab presidents. Where are the Arab regimes? Where is the Union of Arab Countries? Where is the serious reaction, where are the real pressures? The pressure on your American friends, the pressure on your European friends?… Where are the organizations for the defense of human rights? Where is the Arab voice? Where are the Arab media? Where are the Arabic TV channels? Where are the Arabian pens?

If this happens, oh my brothers and sisters, if this was happening in a country that was not allied or aligned with the United States, allied or aligned with the West, you would have seen the whole world rise (of indignation) without sitting back. I do not even say whether it was in Iran, Syria or I do not know where. In any country that is not aligned with the United States and the West, which is not subject to their will and diktat, which is not part of their project, you would have seen the Council of Security, the UN, the White House, foreign ministers, human rights organizations and the whole world stand up. Not on the 16th day, from the first hour. And the state or government that refuses to negotiate with these prisoners and respond to their demands would have been accused of aggression, cruelty, inhuman treatment, oppression, torture, tyranny, and so on.

But it is Israel, the spoiled child of the United States, the advanced military base of the West in our region… (So) no!… Let Netanyahu do what he wants. Let him take his ease, he has all his time. No problem. Just as he had absolutely all the time in the world for the wars against Gaza. He has all his time once again, whether it be for the question of prisoners or any other; for the question of colonies or any other.

Well, if we’re trying to collect comparable evidence, whether it’s less than a year ago, or since 2003, in Iraq, since 2003, Takafi terrorist organizations have carried out thousands of suicide operations, not to mention the others operations, and they killed Shiites, Sunnis, Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, they did not spare anyone in the Iraqi people. And daily massacres, to the point that car bombs have become a normal and natural daily occurrence in Iraq. And the world (whole) remains silent. And the world knows who supports them, who finances them, who protects them, and who helps them in the media so far: there are Arab channels which, in this battle of Mosul, are with ISIS. They are not with the Iraqi government or the Iraqi forces. And the whole world says nothing of all these helpers, supporters, assistants, media protectors, funders and facilitators (of ISIS). Why? Because the Iraqi people must be subjugated, humiliated, silenced and integrated into this (American) project.

Well, let’s consider Yemen. A few days ago, the UN Secretary-General read a speech of mourning, saying that while we are talking, 50 Yemeni children are dying. Well, the whole world speaks of millions of people threatened by famine in Yemen. While the whole world knows who is besieging Yemen, who bombards Yemen, who starves Yemen. Does anyone dare open his mouth (about it)? Does anyone dare to talk?

And if I begin to describe things as they are, I am told that I jeopardize tourism in Lebanon. If I say what the whole world knows, that Saudi Arabia and its allies are besieging, starving and killing the Yemeni people every day and every night, I am accused of jeopardizing tourism in Lebanon. A simple word of truth (is worth this accusation). But a world that remains silent in the face of millions of people dying of hunger, what does the death of thousands of people killed and bombed mean to him, and hundreds of thousands injured? How could they matter to them? Although the whole world and the UN recognize this situation. Simply because it is Saudi Arabia, the ally of the United States, the West, who pays fortunes, the hundreds of billions of dollars that it pays to the United States. And Trump is coming now to take from them the money they have left.

But as for the poor Yemeni people, they have no money to pay to the United States, they have no money to pay to Trump, they have no money to pay to the British prime minister or to the French President so that they move and say “Enough, we will end the siege, the war and the aggression against Yemen.”

Well, let’s look at Syria. A few days ago, a massacre was perpetrated against the inhabitants of Fou’a and Kafraya who left their besieged towns in the Al-Rachidin district at the entrance to the city of Aleppo. A bloodthirsty suicide bomber came with a van, and attacked the bus convoy. What was in the convoy? 5,000 civilians, an overwhelming majority of civilians, most of whom were women and children. In short, the attack caused hundreds of martyrs, wounded and disappeared. What did the world do? What did it do?roo

In the agreement, the Syrian State and ourselves have guaranteed the safety of the evacuees (of the terrorist enclaves of) Madaya, Zabadani, Biqqin, Sarghaya, Blodan and Borj Blodan, so that they be conveyed to a safe point beyond the city of Aleppo. Imagine that a person (there are no suicide bombers in our camp), by mistake, took a machine gun and fired (on their convoy), or fired a RPG rocket on a bus and killed a certain number of persons. Who would have spared us (his condemnations)? Who would have spared the Syrian army, Hezbollah and the parties that guaranteed this agreement? The Security Council, the US, Trump and the whole world would have entered in a great anger, and may even have launched an air attack (against Syria).

So look at the existing situation, the actual situation. Of course, I do not bring anything new. I only want to confirm a long-established idea, which is confirmed every day, every day, every day, in the face of the people opposing our point of view, whom we would like to see bring us the least evidence, the least element (which confirms their vision).

But when the Khan Sheikhoun event happened and the regime was accused of using chemical weapons, well, guys, do an investigation, but they do not want to do anything, no investigation. My dear friends, who proved that the regime really used chemical weapons? Yes, he did (so they say). Well, what is the proof? No one has any evidence. Well, are these images that have circulated, are they made up or is it the truth? Nobody knows. Well, send a commission of inquiry, for example, Russia, Iran, other countries of the world… Oh, we’re just asking for a commission of inquiry, but the US does not want a commission of inquiry. They do not accept inquiry! We just want to know the truth, in order to condemn the criminal who used chemical weapons, whoever he may be. But they refuse any commission of inquiry.

On the contrary, from the very first moment, Trump and the American administration, as usual, established themselves as Attorney General, Investigator, Judge and Executioner, and they came to strike at Shu’eirat airport, and considered to have achieved a great feat. And congratulations began to be fired from all sides, from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, some Gulf countries, political forces (who said) “Congratulations, God bless you and reward you, give you a fine end And increase your resources.” Is it not what they told them?

Well, on what basis? For the one who is targeted here (Bashar al-Assad) is not a collaborator, a follower or a submissive, they want to subjugate, humiliate and break him. This is the equation.

Today, if we came to any corner of a country not aligned with the USA, and imagine there was a city completely besieged, with hundreds of men and women standing under the sun, day and night, to protect a pure man, a great scholar in Bahrain, His Eminence Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassem, and this for 7 or 8 months, soon a year, in a very severely besieged region. It is a forgotten thing, which does not interest anyone in the world. Because these people are in a subdued, aligned, part of the (American) project, and therefore no pressure will be exerted on the issue. Why would they ask them anything? They will be congratulated instead for the beautiful kohl of their eyes, and will be told “Very well, continue.”

That’s it. It is not necessary that I multiply the examples, I was rather long already, but the conclusion that must be drawn is this: O our brothers, O our sisters, O our people (and we express ourselves with experience, and these examples only confirm the idea, which is ours from the beginning), today if our territory is liberated, if our prisoners in the Israeli jails have returned (there are still files awaitng), if our country is free in the face of Israeli threats, no one has played any role in this, neither the UN Council, the US, the West, the Union of Arab International resolutions or anyone at all.

It is thanks to you alone, the noble people, the Army, the People and the Resistance, the martyrs, the wounded. Today, if Lebanon enjoys freedom, dignity and security, it is thanks to your lofty souls, your wounded bodies, the pure blood of your martyrs, and the blood of your bodies, which was poured on the land of that country and in that region. Only, only, only (thanks to you and no one else).

Do not expect anything from this world, this international community, America and the West, do not expect justice, impartiality, or the recognition of truth. That does not mean we do not ask for it, but we do not expect anything. And in any case, we do not regret that they ignore us, that they do not take the required position and that they exert no pressure (on the oppressors). For basically they are the enemy, so beware of them! The basis of our ills is them. The very people we are asking for positions, declarations and measures are the problem at the first level. As for the others, they are merely instruments, they merely follow, they are merely the pawns of a game of chess which serve the projects of domination of our countries. What do they want, friends? They want to plunder our choices, our resources, our oil, our gas, and now they want to plunder us more. We do not have time to talk about the new American policy: more obvious looting, explicit looting.

It is therefore necessary that we rely on our presence in the squares and fields (of battle), on our strength. What I have always said to you today, all the events and developments that are happening, I repeat to you again: we live in a world of wolves. There is no international law, there is only the law of the jungle. The strong eats the weak. If we are weak, we shall be eaten. If we are stronger, the world will respect us.

When we have a weight on equations and interests… This world seeks interests, it does not seek principles or values. Therefore, our strength is there, our interests are there, and our destiny and our future stop at our strength, our unity, our presence, the endurance of our people, the conscience of our (Islamic) Community.

These are the lessons we must learn from what is happening now. […]

Translation: http://www.sayed7asan.blogspot.fr

May 24, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

Independent Journalists Reveal America’s Sinister War in Syria

By Tony Cartalucci – New Eastern Outlook – 24.05.2017

Syria is not experiencing a “civil war.” It is being targeted by both proxy and direct military force organized by the United States and its allies for the explicit purpose of dividing and destroying yet another Middle Eastern nation.

Worse than that, the United States is employing tactics to transform Syria’s heterogeneous multi-ethnic and religious communities into segregated ghettos, and using this as a means of dividing and conquering the nation and even the region.

The US is also widely employing the abhorrent tactics of socioeconomic, psychological, and armed terrorism to break the Syrian people completely and absolutely.

Unlike in Libya and Iraq, however, US plans in Syria have been confounded. And because of this, ample time has elapsed for independent journalists to travel to, record, and report what is actually transpiring versus the intentional, malicious, and continuous lies told by the West’s mainstream media.

One of these journalists is Patrick Henningsen of 21st Century Wire, whose recent trip to Syria had him cross paths and interview others frequently visiting and sharing their experiences and findings from the besieged nation.

The picture painted is one that cannot be ignored.

For those who have already decided to believe the Western media based on “activist accounts,” the accounts provided during a recent audio interview published by 21st Century Wire is at least as equally compelling. However, for those who truly desire to discover the truth, critical thought and additional research will reveal the latter to be telling a truth consistently and intentionally obfuscated by the Western media.

Imperialism’s Fingerprints: Weaponized Ethnic-Segregation

In an interview with British journalist Tom Duggan, the process of terrorists from internationally designated terror organizations like Jabhat Al Nusra and the so-called “Islamic State” targeting communities along sectarian lines is described. While the Western media has confirmed the sectarian nature of the ongoing conflict, what Duggan and Henningsen’s accounts reveal is that Syria was multi-ethnic, with communities enjoying integration and diversity based first on being Syrian, then based on their respective religious and ethnic identities, long before the conflict began.

Intermarriage and sociopolitical exchanges were common before the conflict, and only since 2011 have ethnic and religious tensions begun to expose fault lines within communities based solely on fear created and perpetuated by foreign-backed terrorist organizations like Al Nusra and the Islamic State.

Pointed out was the fact that both US foreign policy regarding Syria and Al Nusra and the Islamic State’s goals, aim to see a Syria divided along sectarian lines.

While Al Nusra and the Islamic State attempt to cut Syria’s sectarian-diverse communities up literally with bullets and blades, the US has over several years repeatedly presented multiple maps of Syria divided into sectarian-based micro-states – effectively eliminating Syria as a functioning and unified nation-state. While the US omits the “secret ingredient” to make its fictional maps a reality, it is demonstrably clear that terrorist organizations are the ones on the ground attempting to draw these new maps.

Libya – besieged, divided, and destroyed by US-led NATO aggression in 2011 – has suffered a similar fate and currently exists as a cautionary example of what may become of Syria should US plans succeed. Libya will no longer contest US special interests geopolitically or otherwise in its current form as a failed, divided, and destroyed state.

The premeditated and systematic nature of this attempted division and destruction of Syria matches verbatim the tactics employed for centuries by the British Empire – and before that – the Roman Empire.

It is a fundamental tactic not of humanitarian-motivated interventionists, but of imperialists. The crass nature of these tactics – simultaneously promoted by the West and designated terrorist organizations – explains why the Western media has attempted to portray Syria as ethnically and religiously divided before the conflict began, rather than as a process of intentional division and destruction unfolding as part of US foreign policy.

Similar tactics have been employed in Iraq as well, with much greater success. And even as far as Thailand in Southeast Asia, the groundwork is being laid for similar tactics to be employed to divide and weaken states targeted by Washington for regime change – highlighting the global nature of America’s neo-imperial proclivities.

Daily Terrorism Carried Out By “Rebels,” Not Against Them 

While the Western media has flooded headlines for years regarding the alleged atrocities carried out by the Syrian government and its allies against so-called “moderate rebels,” it has muted coverage of atrocities committed in turn by militants fighting the Syrian government and its people. These accounts are muted, because while they are technically “reported,” the obvious nature of these atrocities is often glossed over – sometimes even spun or lionized – rather than presented in a the same straightforward manner accusations against Damascus are.

During Henningsen’s interview with Duggan, the destructive and indiscriminate nature of improvised artillery systems used by terrorists in Syria was described. The narrative is one that equals any tale of “barrel bombs” employed by the Syrian government – perhaps even surpassing them – because while the Western media claims the Syrian government is using helicopters to drop ordnance into areas using direct line of sight, improvised artillery used by terrorists called “hell cannons” do not have direct line of sight to their targets.

This means that those using hell cannons have no way of knowing who, or even what they are hitting. They are blindly firing canisters full of deadly shrapnel – according to Western reports – up to a mile away.

The Daily Mail describes the hell cannon as:

Firing improvised explosives with a range of around a mile, this is the homemade weapon of choice of the Free Syrian Army known as the ‘hell cannon’.

The cannon has been widely used during the conflict in besieged cities such as Aleppo and usually fires out highly modified propane gas cylinders. 

The hell cannon could only ever be used as an absolutely indiscriminate weapon. With no way to reliably aim it, and no way to know definitively where rounds are landing, the result is predictable mayhem brought upon government forces and innocent civilians alike. With the vast majority of those living down range from the terrorists’ hell cannons being civilians, not soldiers, the likelihood of innocent people being maimed or killed by them is much higher.

For average readers of reports like the Daily Mail’s, “Syrian rebels strike back with the HELL CANNON: Aleppo fighters build devastating homemade weapon that shoots propane gas cylinders,” five minutes of critical thought will lead them to this conclusion.

Those operating among the West’s media – trained in journalism and in reporting events – when writing articles like those appearing in the Daily Mail, are thus making the conscious decision to intentionally, maliciously, and continuously lie regarding the methods and means used by terrorists they repeatedly refer to as “moderate rebels.” The double standards illustrated by the Daily Mail alone regarding “barrel bombs” versus “hell cannons” indicates concerted and serial attempts to misinform audiences and manipulate public perception.

Similar revelations are revealed during Henningsen’s interview with Duggan regarding the terrorists’ use of hospitals, schools, and mosques as military centers – knowing full well that any attempt by Damascus and its allies to target them would be politically exploited by their Western sponsors both from behind the podiums of public offices and within press rooms across the West.

Perhaps most ironic of all – is that US operations in Syria allegedly targeting terrorists, when hospitals, schools, and mosques are hit – produce admissions from across the Western media that – indeed – terrorists are using such facilities as military bases – admissions the Western media refused to make during the Syrian government’s operations to retake cities like Homs, Hama, and Aleppo.

Keeping an Open Mind

For those attempting to make sense of Syria’s ongoing conflict, or any other conflict being reported on by the Western media – the deep and concerted conspiracy that surrounded the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 alone should provide pause for thought before unquestioningly believing narratives produced from these same collection of Western media sources regarding other conflicts.

There are alternative organizations and media platforms operating in Syria, producing videos, audio interviews, and pages of information on a daily basis giving alternative insight into the conflict that people around the world can watch, listen to, and read. While no one is bound to believe Western or alternative narratives – for those genuinely pursuing the truth – both need to be considered, researched, and vetted factually, rationally, and within a historical and logical context.

Narratives of a “humanitarian” motivated West seeking to end conflict and bring a brighter future to Syria simply do not add up in any context.

The special interests promoting regime change in Syria have a decades-long track record of deceiving the public, dividing and destroying nations, and leaving a path of destruction cutting across entire regions of the planet. While Western audiences are tempted to believe Western narratives regarding Syria in pursuit of US-backed regime change, nations like Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Ukraine smolder in the ruination of Western military intervention. By adding up the big picture, it is clear that alternative media sources are providing invaluable insight into global conflict the Western media has systematically and intentionally covered up for years.

Shifting in the minds of the global public the perceived reputation of Western media organizations versus their demonstrated serial deceptions is the first step toward truly ending conflicts like that raging in Syria, and truly bringing peace and a better future to the people trapped within these conflicts.

May 24, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

‘US military lost track of $1bn worth of weapons’

Press TV – May 24, 2017

The US military has admitted to losing track of around $1 billion worth of weapons in Iraq and Kuwait, according to a US Defense Department audit reviewed by Amnesty International.

In the September 2016 document, which was obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, the Pentagon stated that it “did not have accurate, up-to-date records on the quantity and location” of a large amount of weapons it had moved into Iraq and Kuwait to arm the Iraqi government forces, Amnesty reported Wednesday.

The transfers were part of the Iraq Train and Equip Fund (ITEF) program and following appropriation by Congress of $1.6 billion to allegedly stop Daesh (ISIL)’s advances in 2015.

The items included tens of thousands of assault rifles worth $28 million, hundreds of mortar rounds and hundreds of Humvee armored vehicles.

The Pentagon audit found that personnel in charge of tracking the ITEF weapons often logged them “across multiple spreadsheets, databases and even on hand-written receipts.”

The faulty records-keeping also meant that people in charge of locating the weapons or determining their status would not be able to do so.

According to the document, the Pentagon had no responsibility for tracking the items after handing them over to Iraqi authorities.

This amounts to a clear violation of the department’s own Golden Sentry program, which requires the Pentagon to perform post-delivery checks.

Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty’s arms control and human rights researcher, said the government audit shows how “flawed – and potentially dangerous” the US military’s controlling mechanisms are for overseeing the transfer of weapons in a “hugely volatile region.”

“It makes for especially sobering reading given the long history of leakage of US arms to multiple armed groups committing atrocities in Iraq,” including Daesh (ISIL), he added.

“The need for post-delivery checks is vital. Any fragilities along the transfer chain greatly increase the risks of weapons going astray in a region where armed groups have wrought havoc and caused immense human suffering,” Wilcken further argued.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said June last year that of the thousands of armored vehicles supplied by the US to Iraqi security forces, some 2,300 or two-thirds of them had fallen into the hands ISIL and the group was turning them into moving bombs.

May 24, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

Endgame: Comparing results and intentions in the terrorism narrative

By Kit | OffGuardian | April 27, 2017

Generally speaking, ideas are like plants and animals. Over time, they evolve, things change – we keep what works and throw away what doesn’t. Humans don’t have tails. Dolphins don’t have feet. Moths without camouflage get eaten. Methods and techniques are perfected, and accepted as “the way things are done”.

If you want to move something efficiently, you need wheels. If you want to lift something heavy, you use levers and pulleys. We make knives out of steel because it’s hard and can take an edge. We make clothes out of wool because its warm. Nobody makes teapots out of chocolate.

… and yet terrorists routinely use tools that are not fit for purpose.

As part of examination of the terrorist narrative, it’s time we asked ourselves – what exactly is the goal of “terrorism”?

What do terrorists want?

We’ve all lived with the concept of terrorism for so long now, we have perhaps forgotten what it means. It has become, as all words repeated ad nauseam , a collection of nonsense syllables. It has a cultural and social fog of ephemeral “meaning”, removed from solid language or the idea of definition in the true sense of the word.

For a generation or more a terrorist has simply been a man with a broken ideology, a black balaclava and a homemade bomb. We never give any thought to their ideals or greater plans, because they never have any. They are, in the specific, always insane. Always lone lunatics, depraved beyond reason. And yet, in the collective, they make up a great black-clad mass of “enemy”. A cloud of terrifying “them”, hell-bent on destroying “us”.

In this way terrorism, as a concept, is removed from reality. Inept idiots stuffing their y-fronts with C4 and their shoes with homemade napalm will never coalesce into an army, no matter how many of them there are. And yet somehow we are able to marry these oxymoronic ideas.

The fact that the aims of the movement are never successfully pursued by the individual apparent devotees should give us all pause. We should ask ourselves, as terrorist X kills Y number of people in city Z, what was he trying to achieve?

Terrorism is defined as:

The unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims”

But what are these “political aims”? Historically speaking, there are two categories of goal pursued by behaviours that are traditionally branded “terrorism”. Legislative policy change, and military victory – or “Activism” and “warfare”. Let us compare “terrorism” with each in turn.

Terrorism vs activism: Moral worthiness and good PR

The 20th century was marked with regular domestic political movements of varying size, and varying results. Generally speaking they were concerned with civil rights. Equality. Suffrage. Taxation. Workers’ rights. Religion. Sexuality. The basic ability of a human individual to exist in what is notionally a fair world.

It is commonly recognised that the most effective, and powerful, modus operandi for achieving these domestic political changes is through peaceful protest, industrial action, and non-violent resistance.

Workers, generations past, have simply denied their labour to their employers. In this way, you both make life more difficult for the people in authority and demonstrate the value of your work: “Look,” you say, “your country needs us to run it. Respect our sweat, as it makes the world turn.”

Martin Luther King championed black rights, and civil rights for all, through peaceful marches and eloquent speeches. Make the legal, social, and moral case for change and allow logic and justice to stand up for themselves. There is undeniable power in that. The same can be said for Gandhi.

Movements abstaining from violence retain the moral high ground, win over public support and – most importantly – prevent the state from branding them dangerous criminals, without revealing authoritarian hypocrisy. All of these movements were, eventually, met with state-backed violence and repression. Violent repression of non-violent protest is the greatest argument in favour of change, as it perfectly encapsulates the inherent contempt that power has for justice.

Even the more martial political activists and movements, those who believed in some restricted forms of violence – such as the Malcolm X or the Suffragettes – tended to turn their anger on property and authority… never on civilians.

It is the most basic common sense to realise that political change in the Western world can only be achieved through generating public support. Even unionised industrial action is often criticised in the media for “alienating the public”. You will never generate said support through acts of random, indiscriminate violence.

Further, if the desired “political aims” of terrorist attacks are legislative changes, why do they never articulate these demands? Where, as Bashar al-Assad has asked before, are the leaders, thinkers and ideas? Do ISIS or al-Qaeda or Boko Haram have a political wing, waiting to make laws in a parliament?

No. They exist only as formless threat. They demand our attention, and yet ask no concessions. They have no policies except being the embodiment of “evil”, and take up no position except “anti-West”. Their great goal, their “caliphate”? Nothing but a Mordor-like nightmare world of fiction. A dark dream built on tabloid headlines and fictional currencies and shocking YouTube videos. No diplomats make alliances in ISIS’ name. No lawyers make legal arguments for the state’s existence. No history serves as precedent for this “nation”.

It seems logical, then, to assume that domestic policy changes aren’t the true agenda of most modern “terrorism”. You don’t change systemic Islamophobia, for example, by stabbing a policeman outside the Houses of Parliament.

Terrorism vs Warfare – Victory conditions and choice of targets

Non-state actors, rebels, partisans, revolutionaries, insurgents and guerillas can all fall under the wide umbrella of “terrorists”. However, unlike modern terrorists, these groups have a definitive purpose. Clear-cut victory conditions, and a pragmatic approach to achieving them.

It’s a simple strategic truth, passed down from time immemorial, that a small partisan force cannot face a large occupying force in open battle. Insurgents and guerillas learn to pick their targets with care. Use the landscape to their advantage. Sabotage infrastructure. Assassinate key leaders.

Scottish and Welsh armies ambushed occupying English forces in 14th century. In the American Revolutionary War, the Continental Army performed hit-and-run raids on British foraging parties. French Resistance fighters and Czech partisans used sabotage and targeted key Nazi leaders for assassination during WWII. The North Vietnamese and Afghan soldiers used territorial knowledge to constantly undermine and confound American and Soviet forces trained for more prolonged pitched battles. The list is endless, up to and including Iraq and Afghanistan in America’s perpetual “war on terror”.

If your objective is to drain the resources of an occupying force, you target supply lines and commanding officers. If your aim is to inflict a big impact with limited resources, you target key infrastructure.

The Ukrainian government and associated right-wing militias deliberately cut-off water and power to Crimea and other former-Ukrainian territories in the east of the country. Israel regularly punitively cut-off Gaza’s access to water and power.

These are the basic, horrible, pragmatic facts of warfare.

We are constantly told we are “under threat”, that we are at war with people who “hate our freedoms”. The war on terror has been going on for 16 years, and though we haven’t won…we’re certainly not losing. And that’s almost entirely because the terrorists don’t seem to be trying very hard.

So why don’t terrorists follow these guidelines? Where are the acts of high impact political or industrial sabotage?

If you consider America (along with NATO) as, essentially, one giant Imperial force occupying the majority of the world, what good does blowing up a bus or driving through a crowd really do? It might “terrorise” people, but it doesn’t achieve anything militarily significant. Even if your goal is simply to kill as many people, and do as much damage, as possible.

Take 9/11, for example, as a military attack it was pointless and ineffective. Yes, one could argue that taking out 3 buildings with two planes is unprecedented as far as efficiency goes, but what did it achieve? 3000 dead civilians of no strategic importance. A big hole in the side of the Pentagon where the receipts were kept, and levelling the only 3 buildings in Manhattan that were more valuable as rubble than office space.

Why not fly those planes into nuclear power stations? Imagine 4 different airliners hitting four different nuclear reactors up and down the eastern United States? There are plenty to choose from, and if just 1/4 of them were successful there would have been destruction unmatched in the whole long history of sabotage. Power outages, civilian casualties, mass panic and long-term consequences of incalculable danger. Think Fukushima, only deliberate, and worse, and with a decent helping of American hysteria thrown in.

So why didn’t it happen?

Well, it wasn’t because it didn’t occur to them. In 2002, The Guardian reported on an Al-Jazeera interview with secret al-Qaeda sources inside Pakistan who claimed that nuclear reactors were the “original targets” for 9/11. So why didn’t they hit them? Well, because:

“al-Qaeda feared that such an attack “might get out of hand””

Yes, seriously. You see, they are all for death to America and destroying heretics… but only within reason.

In fact, despite the noted vulnerability of nuclear power stations to potential attack, and despite the CFR’s warnings that US forces had found diagrams of American nuclear power plants” in al-Qaeda materials in Afghanistan” in 2002, it’s been 15 years and there has never been even one successful terrorist attack on any nuclear power station in the Western world.

Likewise dams, airports, television channels, factories and military bases. Western infrastructure has been virtually untouched during this “war”. Arabic and Middle Eastern infrastructure? Markedly less so.

ISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra etc seem to have another “key leader” droned to death every other week. Have there been any terrorist assassination attempts on Western leader’s lives? None at all.

ISIS et al aren’t unaware of these tactics. They use them all the time… just only against the Syrian government.

The argument that modern terrorists would rather target Western “emblems” for “symbolic attacks” is absurd. Firstly the only “emblem” ever really attacked was the World Trade Center, which was never an emblem until after it was on fire. The Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty are both much bigger symbols to the American psyche. Secondly, nobody ever won a war with symbolic attacks.

No, the only rational analysis is that “terrorists” are either completely incapable of doing any real strategic damage to the West, or somehow judge it to be not in their interests to do so.

Conclusions

It’s easy to see the arguments that modern “terrorism” consistently uses tools and approaches proven to hinder the political progress of any movement, whilst engaging in impotent and pointless “military” tactics that offer no real threat to the Western way of life, or national security.

This kind of “Terrorism” is a relatively recent invention – no rational ideologue truly believes he furthers his minority cause by blowing up buildings or hurting civilians. There is not a single case, in the whole of human history, of these tactics working to secure their stated goal.

Let us revisit the above stated definition of terrorism:

The unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims”

Well what “political aims” have ever been achieved by modern terrorism? Is Palestine free? Is the American Empire brought low? Has Israel been annihilated? Obviously not, in fact the one time ISIS did attack the IDF, it was by accident. And they apologised.

Rather, as has been demonstrated repeatedly, terrorist attacks routinely (and notionally accidentally) serve one of three political purposes:

1. Create a reason to push for more centralised power within the attacked state – usually increased state powers of surveillance and/or decreased freedom for the citizenry (see London ’05, Paris ’14).

2. Create casus belli for a military intervention, or all out war, on foreign soil (see 9/11).

3. Undermine the security of a foreign government. Forcing them to commit resources to a war (Afghanistan 79, or Chechnya 2000), or else turn the government’s retaliation into a reason to attack them politically (Syria, Libya).

Throughout history terrorist attacks – from Ireland, to Chechnya, to the Maine, to the Reichstag fire – have tended to serve the interests of established power structures. This almost certainly cannot be accidental.

You could argue this is simply governments being opportunistic, but how fine is the line between taking advantage of an opportunity, and creating one? Indeed, given the compartmentalised, bureaucracy-ridden nature of the corridors of power, is there any reason to think such a line exists at all?

In Afghanistan, Muslim terrorists were funded by the CIA to overthrow the socialist government and undermine the USSR. In Ireland, the republican movement was funded by America. In Chechnya the IIB were funded by the CIA with the aim of Balkanising Russia. The list is endless.

Now, you can either subscribe to the naive “blowback” theory, where the government-created and funded terrorists turn on their creators, or you can assume that the same government which employs terrorists to further their interests overseas, will occasionally do so domestically as well.

With that in mind, it’s easy to conclude that “terrorism” is exactly what it sounds like. It exists, not to win a war or secure a freedom or defend a cause, but simply to scare people. The creation of an American military industrial complex that, at the end of the Cold War, suddenly found itself without an enemy. A sprawling Empire with no Barbarians at the gates.

Genuine attacks by CIA-backed lunatics, contrived false-flags or fictitious media creations… it makes no difference. Terrorism is there to act as a constant pulsing threat at the back of the collective imagination. To threaten us without seriously attacking us. To hate us without ever mortally hurting us. To “target” nuclear facilities… but somehow never quite follow through.

The final, absurd embodiment? ISIS. A scary sounding (English) acronym, scrawled across thousands of black banners and battle-standards. En evil empire of faceless men, tooling around the desert in matching Toyotas. Shooting high-definition recruitment videos with David Lean-esque wide-shots, to the strains of their theme song, to be shown on their own TV channel, complete with animated logo. Editing together jarring torture porn in front of stolen green-screens and uploading them to “ISIS-related” social media accounts that somehow never get closed.

If one true goal of terrorism is to promote fear in the citizenry, then the best defense is to reject fear. If terrorism seeks to make us act impulsively and foolishly, we should instead embrace reason.

How do you stop terrorism? You stop believing what you’re told to believe, and start investigating – every attack that is proved to be false-flag, or shown to have been misrepresented by the media (like the anthrax attacks in 2001, and the Gulf of Tonkin incident) weakens the integrity of future attacks. Every small awakening is a crack in the foundations of this terrible construct.

We need to ask ourselves – who stands to gain from our fear? What interests does public hysteria serve? Who profits from division in the 99%?

A rational and informed populace has only true enemy, and it is not terrorism or any of the other phantom horrors the 1% try to hang in front of our eyes. It is the elite themselves.

April 27, 2017 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Moshe Ya’alon Admits Tacit Israel-ISIS Alliance: Report

American Herald Tribune | April 24, 2017

International media outlets have already reported extensively on Israeli commandos’ missions inside Syria to rescue wounded militants but a senior regime official’s acknowledgement of a link with ISIS is unprecedented.

Ya’alon’s explosive revelation came during an interview reported Saturday on Israeli Channel 10’s website, content portal Mako, which acts as a gateway to Israeli media outlets and websites.

Mako also incorporated footage of the event in the northern city of Afula, during which the former military affairs chief was seen describing an occasion in which Syria-based ISIS terrorists had fired into the Golan Heights.

Golan is a Syrian territory, which Tel Aviv has been occupying since 1967 and lays claim on it as its own property. Save some rare alleged rocket attacks from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, for which ISIS has reportedly claimed responsibility and have not resulted in any human injury or losses, the group has generally refused to target either Israel or the territories under its occupation.

However, Ya’alon said, after opening fire on Golan, ISIS served Tel Aviv with a quick apology, pointing to the alliance between the two, and also suggesting that the group had agreed not to target Israeli interests in line with the rapport.

“On most occasions, firing comes from regions under the control of the (Syrian) regime. But once the firing came from ISIS (ISIS) positions–and it immediately apologized,” he said.

Israeli media outlets, meanwhile, refused to report on the ISIS strike, probably because of either a media blackout or military censorship, reported Tikun Olam, a Seattle-based liberal blog dedicated to outing “the excesses of the Israeli national security state,” which also reported Ya’alon’s remarks.

“In the midst of complaining about the Islamist threat to Israel and the world, Bibi (Benjamin) Netanyahu (Israel’s prime minister) conveniently forgets that his own country enjoys a tacit alliance with ISIS in Syria,” said New York-born Dr. Richard Silverstein, who runs the blog. “It is an alliance of convenience to be sure,” he added.

According to him, Ya’alon has been speaking more candidly about the inner workings of the regime since falling out with Netanyahu and being replaced by successor Avigdor Lieberman.

“But he did reveal how closely tied Israel is to ISIS in Syria,” wrote the blogger, who has also documented Israeli collaboration with al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s Syria branch, which has rebranded itself.

In June 2015, the blog published a story reporting on Israel’s interventions in the foreign-backed militancy in Syria in favor of anti-Damascus militants.

It said Tel Aviv and al-Nusra had forged an alliance, featuring the former’s building camps for terrorists and their families in Israel-held territory, holding regular meetings with terrorist commanders, and providing military and other critical supplies to them.

The report incorporated a video showing Israel’s provision of medical assistance to the terrorists who had been wounded in Syria.

It also cited an incident in which locals had intercepted one Israeli ambulance carrying two wounded ISIS forces, forcing the medics to flee and beating up one of the terrorists to death. The other was also seriously injured when the regime’s forces intervened to saved him.

April 24, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

A talking point for PM Modi in Israel

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | April 23, 2017

The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has written in his latest piece: “Why should our goal right now be to defeat the Islamic State in Syria? This is a time for Trump to be Trump — utterly cynical and unpredictable. ISIS right now is the biggest threat to Iran, Hezbollah, Russia and pro-Shiite Iranian militias — because ISIS is a Sunni terrorist group that plays as dirty as Iran and Russia… Trump should let ISIS be Assad’s, Iran’s, Hezbollah’s and Russia’s headache — the same way we encouraged the mujahedeen fighters to bleed Russia in Afghanistan…”

The daily and the columnist enjoy reputations as old warhorses empathising with Israeli interests. The probability is that Friedman is advancing Israel’s project to refuel the US’ stalled project of ‘regime change’ in Syria. Israel is pulling out all the stops to ensure that the swathe of Syrian territory bordering its ‘occupied territories’ in the Golan Heights remain in the hands of Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Israel nurtured these groups to create a buffer zone between the Syrian territory it illegally occupies and where Damascus’ writ ends.

The Israeli attacks on Syrian forces operating near Golan Heights are becoming more frequent. Another major attack took place two days ago. Every time Israel attacks Syrian government assets, it provides an alibi, but in reality these attacks coincide with Syrian government operations against al-Qaeda and ISIS groups. Clearly, Israel intervenes to protect its al-Qaeda and ISIS proxies.

Friedman’s piece falls into perspective. On two occasions in recent weeks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov voiced unease that the US may rekindle the regime change agenda in Syria and give it precedence over the fight against the ISIS. He said on April 12:

  • US-led coalition only delivered strikes on selected ISIS positions. Jabhat al-Nusra has always been spared. We strongly suspect, and nobody has dispelled this suspicion so far, that al-Nusra is being spared so as to enact Plan B to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s regime. I have mentioned the potential consequences of such an action. We have seen this in Iraq and Libya. I hope that those who can draw lessons from history will prevail.

Two days back, Lavrov again warned against a “return to the old plan for changing the Syrian government.” Of course, the US’ strategy to use ‘jihadi’ groups as geopolitical tools dates back to the CIA’s Afghan war in the eighties. The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has warned repeatedly about such a scenario repeating, with ISIS furthering the US’ plan to weaken Russian influence in Central Asia.

All this draws attention to India’s policies toward Israel. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Israel in June. Modi is on record that one main purpose of his visit is to buttress the interests of Gujarati diamond merchants who have lucrative business dealings with Israel. Presumably, fat cats who thrive on kickbacks from Israeli arms deals and our security experts struggling with the ‘Intifada’ in J&K are also stakeholders in Modi’s Israel trip.

However, Modi should have a frank conversation with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu regarding Israel’s clandestine dealings with the Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Our intelligence agencies are constantly planting stories in the Indian newspapers highlighting the ISIS threat to India’s security, with a focus on the Malabar region. Praveen Swamy of Indian Express has been copiously reproducing such raw intelligence reports. (here, here, here and here) Such sensational reports cannot be totally dismissed as rumor-based fear-mongering garbage propagated by interest groups within the Indian establishment to raise the bogey of a ‘Kerala Islamic State’ (to borrow a colourful expression from Swamy) who aim at Hindu-Muslim polarization in the southern state.

Incidentally, Fox News reported last week that the ISIS is shifting its ‘capital’ from Raqqa to Dier es-Zor to the south, closer to the Israeli border. The American drones spotted ISIS convoys heading for Dier es-Zor but didn’t interdict them –  presumably because of Israeli interests involved. (It is useful to recall that last September, US and Israel had attacked the Syrian military base in Dier es-Zor to ‘degrade’ it just hours before a major ISIS offensive to capture it.)

According to Swamy, our Malabari radicals fighting for ISIS eventually hope to return home to take revenge on the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat. And yet, clearly, ISIS in Syria serves Israeli interests. Suffice it to say, Israel’s unholy alliance with Al-Qaeda and ISIS seriously undermines India’s security interests and it is only proper that Modi makes a strong demarche with Netanyahu regarding Israel’s indirect backing for the radicalization of our region. We can forgo diamond trade but not national security.

April 23, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CNN calls massive car bombing that killed 126 Syrians a “Hiccup”

By Alex Christoforou | The Duran | April 18, 2017

At least 126 people, including 68 children, were killed and dozens of others sustained injuries on bus attack which happened this last Saturday.

Little media attention has been given to the horrific attack which saw a bomber blow up an explosive-laden car, ripping through multiple buses carrying evacuees from Kefraya and Foua villages in Idlib, as they were waiting in al-Rashidin district to enter the city of Aleppo.

CNN reporter Nick Patton Walsh covered the attack, referring to the massive car bombing as a “hiccup”.

68 “beautiful babies” were murdered in this ISIS-Al Qaeda attack.

US President Trump has yet to issue a statement or call for a Tomahawk missile strike against the “moderate rebels”.

US/EU sanctions against ISIS-Al Qaeda sponsors Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have yet to be enforced.

April 19, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

ISIS launches 2nd chemical attack in Mosul in 2 days, injures 6 Iraqi soldiers

RT | April 17, 2017

At least six Iraqi soldiers have suffered inhalation problems following a chemical attack launched by Islamic State on Sunday. This is the second time in two days that the terrorists have used chemical agents to push back government forces in Mosul.

The chemical attack on Sunday occurred in a recently-liberated area of Mosul, where the Federal Police and Rapid Response forces are advancing towards the old city which is still roaming with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) jihadists.

The spokesman for the Joint Operation Command in Iraq, Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, told the Associated Press that six soldiers suffered “breathing problems” from the attack.

The victims are now being treated at a field clinic, the spokesman added. An investigation has been launched to determine what type of gas was used.

Meanwhile, security sources told the AhlulBayt News Agency that missiles were loaded with chlorine and were fired at the al-Abar neighborhood.

This is the second time in as many days that IS terrorists have used chemical weapons in an effort to stop government troops’ advance on the old city.

“The Daesh terrorist gangs tried to block the advance of our forces by using shells filled with toxic chemical material, but the effect was limited,” Iraq’s Joint Operations Command said in a statement, referring to Saturday’s incident on their Facebook page.

The statement added that the attack on Saturday did not cause any deaths, only “limited injuries” to an unspecified number of troops who were immediately treated after being evacuated from the area.

Officers in Iraq’s Federal Police told Reuters that the chemical weapons agents were fired from the Urouba and Bab Jadid districts on Saturday.

Some 400,000 people are trapped in the area controlled by extremists, as Iraqi forces make slow progress in liberating the rest of the city from the jihadists.

The initial operation to liberate Iraq’s second largest city began exactly six months ago on October 16.

After securing the eastern part of the megalopolis earlier this year, fighting in heavily populated west Mosul was expected to turn into a tough challenge for Iraqi forces due to the city’s narrow alleyways and streets which does not allow for armored vehicles and tanks to go through.

While coalition forces have been reporting on their military advances, civilian casualties have been piling up – both at the hands of terrorists and sometimes as a result of indiscriminate shelling by the US-led coalition.

International human rights groups, as well as the Russian Foreign Ministry have warned that the humanitarian plight in war-torn Mosul has “escalated to the limit.” Iraq’s president has described it as a “full-on catastrophe.”

April 17, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment