From Fort Russ
UN Security Council meeting
April 7, 2017
Video from C-SPAN
1:45:50 – 1:57:26
Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar al Ja’Afari
“At the outset, my delegation wishes to thank both the Russian Federation and Bolivia that joined us in calling for the convening of this urgent meeting.
I have a question at the very outset to the under-Secretary General who stated that Syrian Arab Republic perpetrated an act of aggression without defining that act by the terms of the Charter of the United Nations.
The United States at 3:42 at dawn today, April 7, 2017, waged a barbaric, flagrant act of aggression against a base of the Syrian Arab Air Force in the central area of the country using a number of missiles which led to a number of martyrs, many injured, including women and children, and wide-ranging material damage.
This treacherous act of aggression is a grave violation of the Charter of the United Nations as well as all international norms and laws.
The United States attempted to justify it with empty pretexts, fabricated arguments, claiming that the Syrian Arab Army had used the chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun, without genuine knowledge of what happened, without identifying who was responsible, the very same pretexts shouted out by terrorist organizations as well as their handlers in Washington and in ___Riyadh, ____Tex Aviv, London, and Paris, as well as their media.
The Syrian Arab Republic has stressed that the Syrian Arab Army does not have chemical weapons in the first place, and that it would never use such weapons in any of its operations against armed terrorist groups, that it condemns the use of such weapons as being unjustified under any conditions.
Let me stress that it is well-known that those weapons had been used and stockpiled in many parts of Syria by terrorist armed organizations in cooperation, or rather with a wink and a nudge, by some ruling regimes in the region and outside, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some European states.
They completely ignore all the facts and documented information on the use of chemical weapons by terrorists in many parts of the Syrian Arab Republic.
This aggression would surely send erroneous messages to these terrorist groups, emboldening them to use chemical weapons in the future and to continue perpetrating terrorist acts against the Syrian civilians. Jabhat al Nusra and ISIL, both terrorist organizations, and associated terrorist organizations, following this aggression, did wage many attacks on many parts of Syria. The Syrian Arab Army and its allies in the war against terrorism are confronting them, despite attempts to support them. The American aggression is under this umbrella.
This condemnable aggression is a grave extrapolation of the same erroneous American strategy that began six years ago: one of providing all forms of assistance to what the United States called moderate armed opposition groups. This strategy harms counterterrorism by the Syrian Arab Army and its partners. It makes the United States of America a partner of ISIL and Jabhat al Nusra and other terrorist groups that since day one of the unjust war against Syria have attacked army positions and military bases as well as the infrastructure.
Let me recall in this Council that the United States of America leads a purported alliance against ISIL. However, the real achievements of that coalition is to kill civilians and to strike at infrastructure in Syria. Its real objective is to weaken the Syrian Arab Army and its allies when confronting terrorist groups. In this regard, we see the air strike by the aircraft of this coalition illegally against the Syrian Arab Army in the Jabal Tharda in the city of Deir Ezzor on 17 September 2016 in an attempt to protect ISIL elements falling between Syrian and Iraqi territory and opening a corridor for them.
Today’s aggression aimed at saving the Jabhat al Nusra following the grave damage that was done to them by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies in the center of the country following their attack on cities and peaceful villages in the region.
Let me also stress that media reports tell us that the U.S. Congress some time ago approved a law allowing the U.S. administration to send manpads to armed terrorist groups in Syria.
We have warned only two days ago in this very Council that these colonialists, permanent member states in the Security Council, the three colonialists have a renewed appetite to renew their lies and their stories that have been spread by the United States and the United Kingdom 14 years ago in this very hall to justify the destruction and occupation of Iraq using a major lie – being WMDs. Perhaps history has come full circle now in a regrettable scenario when we saw Secretary of State Colin Powell at the time trying to delude the international community and the United Nations to justify the aggression of his country against Iraq by talking about highly credible information.
Today the United States of America in its policy, in an attempt to justify its aggression against Syria, is using fabricated information provided by the Jabhat al Nusra terrorists.
This aggression incontrovertibly proves that Syria has been correct: that successive American administrations will not change their sterile policies, which is to target states to make peoples kneel to their will and spread hegemony around the world.
International public opinion, the people of the free world, have no doubt that the successive United States, UK, and French administrations for decades have not cared for democracy or freedom or human rights, indeed, let alone the welfare of people or their security and stability. These are just pretexts to wage war, to occupy other states, to divide them, to control their wealth and energy resources.
What is truly disgusting today is that these governments that supported the Wahhabi thinking, the terrorist extremist ideology of the House of Saud since its creation, is today orchestrating terrorism and investing in it without any care for the lives of people, even their own peoples when terrorism reaches their own threshold because of these wrong and hypocritical policies.
The Syrian Arab Republic strongly condemns the active aggression by the United States of America which is counter to the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, indeed with the status of the United States as a permanent member of the Security Council which is responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security. Let alone that these aggressions really promise total chaos in many parts of the world and will make the law of the jungle the only way to deal with the regional and economic crises without any heed to the Charter of the United Nations.
When you kill millions of innocents starting in South Asia all the way through Latin America, what was your position? A member from France spoke on the issue and spoke about exceptions.
You should not be the exception.
You should be made accountable for the killings in July of 2017 [2016?] of hundreds by your war planes.
You in the international coalition must be held accountable for the killing of 800 civilians in Syria at the beginning of 2017.
You must be made accountable for your support of armed terrorist groups and their political cover there, too, as they continue their terrorist acts.
The government of the Syrian Arab Republic, proceeding from its belief that all efforts must be mobilized to counteract terrorism, as it respects the rules of international law, the Charter of the United Nations, calls on the Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities according to the Charter to condemn this act of aggression and to ensure that it shall not be repeated.
It is an act that threatens peace and security in the region and the world.”
January 6, 2017
Europe is preparing to counter a perceived ‘Russian military threat.’ NATO countries in the East of the continent are awaiting the arrival of thousands of American soldiers as a part of a US-led battle group. The troops will be stationed along the Russian border from Estonia to Bulgaria.
However, ships carrying the first batch of troops were greeted in a German port by signs reading “Army Go Home.”
Scores of protesters marched through Bremerhaven, urging an end to the Alliance’s saber rattling…
In an interview with RT aired January 9, author and journalist David Swanson said
“…members of the Department of so-called Defense in Washington DC are almost openly talking to the media about profit being the motive for stirring up hostility with Russia. But this sending of thousands of troops – US and German – to Poland and countries on Russia’s border along with tanks and equipment – this is being done in the name of “defense against Russian aggression.” So unless you’re [the Pentagon] able to pretend there has been Russian aggression, you’re not going to be able to continue this; all this aggression has to be ‘defensive’. If Russia says otherwise, then what Russia is saying must be fake news.”
The Resolve cargo ship arrived on Wednesday, while two more vessels – Freedom and Endurance – are expected in Germany on Sunday, Deutsche Welle reported. The unloading of the ships began on Friday, with the heavy equipment to be transported to Poland via rail and road.
The US plans to deliverer a total of 87 Abrams M1A1 tanks, 20 Paladin artillery vehicles and 136 Bradley fighting vehicles to Eastern Europe, according to Reuters. Four thousand American troops will reportedly be spread across Poland, the Baltic States, Bulgaria and Romania where they’ll remain on rotation basis.
Polish and US troops are scheduled to hold joint “massing” drills in Poland later this month, which NATO says is aimed at reassuring its European allies in the face of what it calls aggressive Russian behavior.
The 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, with 50 Black Hawk helicopters, 10 CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 1,800 personnel, as well as a separate aviation battalion with 400 troops and 24 Apache helicopters are also scheduled for deployment in Eastern Europe.
“The best way to maintain the peace is through preparation,” US Major General Timothy McGuire explained, adding that the deployment is about “just showing the strength and cohesion of the alliance and the US commitment to maintain the peace on the continent.”
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will host troops from Germany, Canada and the UK, with each nation sending up to 1,000 servicemen.
NATO calls it military buildup near Russia’s borders a defensive measure, claiming it is justified after Moscow’s reunion with Crimea in 2014 and its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis. Russia views the military bloc’s actions aggressive and said the massive military is undermining the security balance on the European continent.
In November 2016, the Pentagon shipped more than 600 containers of ammunition for Army and Air Force units in Europe, according military.com, marking the largest single shipment of US ammunition in more than two decades, the website reported.
Moscow has responded by stationing its most modern weaponry and armaments on its western borders, including the enclave region of Kaliningrad, and staging large-scale military drills on its own territory.
Washington opted to speed up the deployment of its troops to Eastern Europe after Donald Trump’s win in the presidential election.
Trump, who is to be inaugurated on January 20, has been calling for improved relations with Russia and has voiced skepticism towards NATO, saying European powers would have to contribute a bigger part of the budget if they wanted to continue relying on US protection.
From the Intercept
by Jon Schwarz
Before a preseason game on Friday, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” When he explained why, he only spoke about the present: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. … There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Almost no one seems to be aware that even if the U.S. were a perfect country today, it would be bizarre to expect African-American players to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Why? Because it literally celebrates the murder of African-Americans.
Few people know this because we only ever sing the first verse. But read the end of the third verse and you’ll see why “The Star-Spangled Banner” is not just a musical atrocity, it’s an intellectual and moral one, too:
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
“The Star-Spangled Banner,” Americans hazily remember, was written by Francis Scott Key about the Battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the War of 1812. But we don’t ever talk about how the War of 1812 was a war of aggression that began with an attempt by the U.S. to grab Canada from the British Empire.
However, we’d wildly overestimated the strength of the U.S. military. By the time of the Battle of Fort McHenry in 1814, the British had counterattacked and overrun Washington, D.C., setting fire to the White House.
And one of the key tactics behind the British military’s success was its active recruitment of American slaves. As a detailed 2014 article in Harper’s explains, the orders given to the Royal Navy’s Admiral Sir George Cockburn read:
Let the landings you make be more for the protection of the desertion of the Black Population than with a view to any other advantage. … The great point to be attained is the cordial Support of the Black population. With them properly armed & backed with 20,000 British Troops, Mr. Madison will be hurled from his throne.
Whole families found their way to the ships of the British, who accepted everyone and pledged no one would be given back to their “owners.” Adult men were trained to create a regiment called the Colonial Marines, who participated in many of the most important battles, including the August 1814 raid on Washington.
Then on the night of September 13, 1814, the British bombarded Fort McHenry. Key, seeing the fort’s flag the next morning, was inspired to write the lyrics for “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
So when Key penned “No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,” he was taking great satisfaction in the death of slaves who’d freed themselves. His perspective may have been affected by the fact he owned several slaves himself.
With that in mind, think again about the next two lines: “And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave / O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
The reality is that there were human beings fighting for freedom with incredible bravery during the War of 1812. However, “The Star-Spangled Banner” glorifies America’s “triumph” over them — and then turns that reality completely upside down, transforming their killers into the courageous freedom fighters.
After the U.S. and the British signed a peace treaty at the end of 1814, the U.S. government demanded the return of American “property,” which by that point numbered about 6,000 people. The British refused. Most of the 6,000 eventually settled in Canada, with some going to Trinidad, where their descendants are still known as “Merikins.”
Furthermore, if those leading the backlash against Kaepernick need more inspiration, they can get it from Francis Scott Key’s later life.
By 1833, Key was a district attorney for Washington, D.C. As described in a book called Snowstorm in August by former Washington Post reporter Jefferson Morley, the police were notorious thieves, frequently stealing free blacks’ possessions with impunity. One night, one of the constables tried to attack a woman who escaped and ran away — until she fell off a bridge across the Potomac and drowned.
“There is neither mercy nor justice for colored people in this district,” an abolitionist paper wrote. “No fuss or stir was made about it. She was got out of the river, and was buried, and there the matter ended.”
Key was furious and indicted the newspaper for intending “to injure, oppress, aggrieve & vilify the good name, fame, credit & reputation of the Magistrates & constables of Washington County.”
You can decide for yourself whether there’s some connection between what happened 200 years ago and what Colin Kaepernick is angry about today. Maybe it’s all ancient, meaningless history. Or maybe it’s not, and Kaepernick is right, and we really need a new national anthem.
Posted under Fair Use Rules.
Supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have stormed Baghdad’s highly fortified, US established Green Zone, also home to the US Embassy, uninvited, the biggest in the world.
All staff of the Japanese, French, British, Australian, Jordanian, Emirates and Saudi Arabia Embassies have moved in to into the American Embassy, it is being reported.
Entrances have been reported sealed and tight security imposed to protect the Iraq Central Bank and other government banks, says an unconfirmed report. However, the Guardian contradicts stating that: “A guard at a checkpoint said the protesters had not been searched before entering. About ten members of the armed group loyal to Sadr were checking protesters cursorily while government security forces who usually conduct careful searches with bomb-sniffing dogs stood by the side.” (1)
Moreover: “Rudaw TV showed protesters chanting and taking selfies inside the parliament chamber where moments earlier MPs had been meeting.”
As Al Jazeera explains: “It is the climax of weeks of political turmoil in Iraq that has seen MPs hold a sit-in, brawl in the parliament chamber and seek to sack the speaker, stalling Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s efforts to replace party-affiliated ministers with technocrats.”
The further chaos comes just two days after US Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Baghdad in a situation so chaotic for the US’ puppet government that as the New York Times described it (28th April 2016) “ … the political situation in Iraq has become so fluid that Mr. Biden’s team has sometimes been unsure whether officials he planned to meet with would still be in office when he arrived.”
America’s fortress Green Zone has been breached with thousands of protestors breaking in, with one shouting: “You are not staying here! This is your last day in the Green Zone”, according to Al Jazeera (2) who reported that in Parliament: “ … some rioters rampaged through the building and broke into offices, while other protesters shouted: “peacefully, peacefully” and tried to contain the destruction …”
Barbed wire was pulled across the road leading to the Green Zone exits: “preventing some scared lawmakers from fleeing the chaos.”
The hated US imposed and fortified Zone – which was simply central Baghdad for all to wander under Saddam Hussein has finally been breached after thirteen years. Where another period of chaos will end, who knows, but meanwhile diplomats cower in the US Embassy, as factions Iraqis patience finally runs out over the tragedy and disaster that is the US and UK’s illegally imposed “New Iraq.”
“Iraq’s are very quick to revolt”, former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Tareq Aziz, told me in an interview before the invasion, listing the years and the fate of those the uprisings had been against. The decimation since has delayed a further one, but it seems it’s time has arrived.
As for the outcome, updates follow. As we have wondered before in these columns, Embassy roof time for the residents and guests of the US Ambassador – again? Vietnam’s spectre hovers?
How much more can one country endure?
More than 60 years ago, millions of people above the 38th parallel died, were literally slaughtered by the US-led coalition.
After that, after its victory, the North Korea was never left in peace. The West has been provoking it, threatening it, imposing brutal sanctions and of course, manipulating global public opinion.
Why? There are several answers. The simple one is: because it is Communist and because it wants to follow its own course! As Cuba has been doing for decades… As several Latin American countries were doing lately.
But there is one more, much more complex answer: because the DPRK fought for its principles at home, and it fought against Western imperialism abroad. It helped to liberate colonized and oppressed nations. And, like Cuba, it did it selflessly, as a true internationalist state.
African continent benefited the most, including Namibia and Angola, when they were suffering from horrific apartheid regimes imposed on them by South Africa. It goes without saying that these regimes were fully sponsored by the West, as was the racist madness coming from Pretoria (let us also not forget that the fascist, apartheid South Africa was one of the countries that was fighting, on the side of the West, during the Korean War).
The West never forgot nor ‘forgave’ the DPRK’s internationalist help to many African nations. North Korean pilots were flying Egyptian fighter planes in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. The DPRK was taking part in the liberation struggle in Angola (it participated in combat operations, alongside the People’s Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FAPLA)), it fought in Rhodesia, Lesotho, Namibia (decisively supporting SWAPO) and in the Seychelles. It aided African National Congress and its struggle against the apartheid in South Africa. In the past, it had provided assistance to then progressive African nations, including Guinea, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Mali and Tanzania.
The fact that people of the DPRK spilled their blood for freedom of the most devastated (by the Western imperialism) continent on earth – Africa – is one of the main reasons why the West is willing to go ‘all the way’, trying to “punish”, systematically discredit, even to liquidate this proud nation. The West is obsessed with harming North Korea, as it was, for decades, obsessed with destroying Cuba.
The West plundered Africa, an enormous continent rich in resources, for centuries. It grew wealthy on this loot. Anybody who tried to stop it, had to be liquidated.
The DPRK was pushed to the corner, tormented and provoked. When Pyongyang reacted, determined to protect itself, the West declared that defense was actually “illegal” and that it represented true “danger to the world”.
The DPRK refused to surrender its independence and its path – it continued developing its defensive nuclear program. The West’s propaganda apparatus kept going into top gear, spreading toxic fabrications, and then polluting entire Planet with them. As a result, entire world is convinced that the “North Korea is evil”, but it has absolutely no idea, why? Entire charade is only built on clichés, but almost no one is challenging it.
Christopher Black, a prominent international lawyer based in Toronto, Canada, considers new sanctions against the DPRK as a true danger to the world peace:
“Chapter VII of the UN Charter states that the Security Council can take measures against a country if there is a threat to the peace and this is the justification they are using for imposing the sanctions. However, it is not the DPRK that is creating a threat to the peace, but the USA which is militarily threatening the DPRK with annihilation. The DPRK has clearly stated its nuclear weapons are only to deter an American attack which is the threat to the peace.
The fact that the US, as part of the SC is imposing sanctions on a country it is threatening is hypocritical and unjust. That the Russians and Chinese have joined the US in this instead of calling for sanctions against the US for its threats against the DPRK and its new military exercises which are a clear and present danger to the DPRK is shameful. If the Russians and Chinese are sincere why don’t they insist that the US draw down its forces there so the DPRK feels less threatened and take steps to guarantee the security of the DPRK? They do not explain their actions but their actions make them collaborators with the USA against the DPRK.”
US/NATO Threatens the DPRK, China and Russia’s Far East
The US/NATO military bases in Asia (and in other parts of the world) are actually the main danger to the DPRK, to China and to the Russian “Far East”.
Enormous air force bases located in Okinawa (Kadena and Futenma), as well as the military bases on the territory of the ROK, are directly threatening North Korea, which has all rights to defend itself and its citizens.
It is also thoroughly illogical to impose sanctions on the victim and not on the empire, which is responsible for hundreds of millions of lost human lives in all corners of the Globe.
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”. Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. Point of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.
By Eric Zuesse
Posted on Fort Russ, February 16, 2015
Little attention is generally paid to the connection between the February 2014 coup in Ukraine, and Crimea’s breakaway from Ukraine. The testimony that will here be cited helps fill this in. An attorney in the federal prosecutor’s office at the time of the coup refers to the longtime national socialist, Andriy Paribiy, as having been the key person behind the coup. In the new regime, Paribiy became appointed to become the chief of national security, and the top person overseeing the war against “ATO” ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’ to exterminate the residents in the formerly Ukrainian area, Donbass, the area which had voted 90% for the overthrown President Viktor Yanukovych, and which consequently rejected this new regime, which Washington violently imposed to replace him.
Andriy Paribiy was the co-founder (along with Oleh Tyahnybok) of the Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine, which the CIA had persuaded to change its name to “Freedom” or “Svoboda” in order not to offend Westerners with its origin as a native Ukrainian version of Hitler’s National Socialist Party of Germany. Polonskaya said: