U.S State Department’s collective madness: Launch military strikes against Syrian army

Global Research, June 18, 2016
Consortium News 18 June 2016

More than 50 U.S. State Department “diplomats” sent a “dissent” memo urging President Obama to launch military strikes against the Syrian army, another sign that Foggy Bottom has collectively gone nuts, writes Robert Parry.

Over the past several decades, the U.S. State Department has deteriorated from a reasonably professional home for diplomacy and realism into a den of armchair warriors possessed of imperial delusions, a dangerous phenomenon underscored by the recent mass “dissent” in favor of blowing up more people in Syria.

Some 51 State Department “diplomats” signed a memo distributed through the official “dissent channel,” seeking military strikes against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad whose forces have been leading the pushback against Islamist extremists who are seeking control of this important Mideast nation.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before Congress on Jan. 23, 2013, about the fatal attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. 2012. (Photo from C-SPAN coverage)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before Congress on Jan. 23, 2013, about the fatal attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. 2012. (Photo from C-SPAN coverage)

The fact that such a large contingent of State Department officials would openly advocate for an expanded aggressive war in line with the neoconservative agenda, which put Syria on a hit list some two decades ago, reveals how crazy the State Department has become.

The State Department now seems to be a combination of true-believing neocons along with their liberal-interventionist followers and some careerists who realize that the smart play is to behave toward the world as global proconsuls dictating solutions or seeking “regime change” rather than as diplomats engaging foreigners respectfully and seeking genuine compromise.

Even some State Department officials, whom I personally know and who are not neocons/liberal-hawks per se, act as if they have fully swallowed the Kool-Aid. They talk tough and behave arrogantly toward inhabitants of countries under their supervision. Foreigners are treated as mindless objects to be coerced or bribed.

So, it’s not entirely surprising that several dozen U.S. “diplomats” would attack President Barack Obama’s more temperate position on Syria while positioning themselves favorably in anticipation of a Hillary Clinton administration, which is expected to authorize an illegal invasion of Syria — under the guise of establishing “no-fly zones” and “safe zones” — which will mean the slaughter of young Syrian soldiers. The “diplomats” urge the use of “stand-off and air weapons.”

These hawks are so eager for more war that they don’t mind risking a direct conflict with Russia, breezily dismissing the possibility of a clash with the nuclear power by saying they are not “advocating for a slippery slope that ends in a military confrontation with Russia.” That’s reassuring to hear.

Risking a Jihadist Victory

There’s also the danger that a direct U.S. military intervention could collapse the Syrian army and clear the way for victory by Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front or the Islamic State. The memo did not make clear how the delicate calibration of doing just enough damage to Syria’s military while avoiding an outright jihadist victory and averting a clash with Russia would be accomplished.

Video of the Russian SU-24 exploding in flames inside Syrian territory after it was shot down by Turkish air-to-air missiles on Nov. 24, 2015.

Video of the Russian SU-24 exploding in flames inside Syrian territory after it was shot down by Turkish air-to-air missiles on Nov. 24, 2015.

 

Presumably, whatever messes are created, the U.S. military would be left to clean up, assuming that shooting down some Russian warplanes and killing Russian military personnel wouldn’t escalate into a full-scale thermonuclear conflagration.

In short, it appears that the State Department has become a collective insane asylum where the inmates are in control. But this madness isn’t some short-term aberration that can be easily reversed. It has been a long time coming and would require a root-to-branch ripping out of today’s “diplomatic” corps to restore the State Department to its traditional role of avoiding wars rather than demanding them.

Though there have always been crazies in the State Department – usually found in the senior political ranks – the phenomenon of an institutional insanity has only evolved over the past several decades. And I have seen the change.

I have covered U.S. foreign policy since the late 1970s when there was appreciably more sanity in the diplomatic corps. There were people like Robert White and Patricia Derian (both now deceased) who stood up for justice and human rights, representing the best of America.

But the descent of the U.S. State Department into little more than well-dressed, well-spoken but thuggish enforcers of U.S. hegemony began with the Reagan administration. President Ronald Reagan and his team possessed a pathological hatred of Central American social movements seeking freedom from oppressive oligarchies and their brutal security forces.

During the 1980s, American diplomats with integrity were systematically marginalized, hounded or removed. (Human rights coordinator Derian left at the end of the Carter administration and was replaced by neocon Elliott Abrams; White was fired as U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, explaining: “I refused a demand by the secretary of state, Alexander M. Haig Jr., that I use official channels to cover up the Salvadoran military’s responsibility for the murders of four American churchwomen.”)

The Neocons Rise

As the old-guard professionals left, a new breed of aggressive neoconservatives was brought in, the likes of Paul Wolfowitz, Robert McFarlane, Robert Kagan and Abrams. After eight years of Reagan and four years of George H.W. Bush, the State Department was reshaped into a home for neocons, but some pockets of professionalism survived the onslaughts.

Former Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams, who was a leading neocon inside President George W. Bush's National Security Council.

Former Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams, a leading neocon.

While one might have expected the Democrats of the Clinton administration to reverse those trends, they didn’t. Instead, Bill Clinton’s “triangulation” applied to U.S. foreign policy as much as to domestic programs. He was always searching for that politically safe “middle.”

As the 1990s wore on, the decimation of foreign policy experts in the mold of White and Derian left few on the Democratic side who had the courage or skills to challenge the deeply entrenched neocons. Many Clinton-era Democrats accommodated to the neocon dominance by reinventing themselves as “liberal interventionists,” sharing the neocons’ love for military force but justifying the killing on “humanitarian” grounds.

This approach was a way for “liberals” to protect themselves against right-wing charges that they were “weak,” a charge that had scarred Democrats deeply during the Reagan/Bush-41 years, but this Democratic “tough-guy/gal-ism” further sidelined serious diplomats favoring traditional give-and-take with foreign leaders and their people.

So, you had Democrats like then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (and later Secretary of State) Madeleine Albright justifying Bill Clinton’s brutal sanctions policies toward Iraq, which the U.N. blamed for killing 500,000 Iraqi children, as “a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.”

Bill Clinton’s eight years of “triangulation,” which included the brutal air war against Serbia, was followed by eight years of George W. Bush, which further ensconced the neocons as the U.S. foreign policy establishment.

By then, what was left of the old Republican “realists,” the likes of Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft, was aging out or had been so thoroughly compromised that the neocons faced no significant opposition within Republican circles. And, Official Washington’s foreign-policy Democrats had become almost indistinguishable from the neocons, except for their use of “humanitarian” arguments to justify aggressive wars.

Media Capitulation

Before George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, much of the “liberal” media establishment – from The New York Times to The New Yorker – fell in line behind the war, asking few tough questions and presenting almost no obstacles. Favoring war had become the “safe” career play.

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as "shock and awe."

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as “shock and awe.”

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as “shock and awe.”

But a nascent anti-war movement among rank-and-file Democrats did emerge, propelling Barack Obama, an anti-Iraq War Democrat, to the 2008 presidential nomination over Iraq War supporter Hillary Clinton. But those peaceful sentiments among the Democratic “base” did not reach very deeply into the ranks of Democratic foreign policy mavens.

So, when Obama entered the White House, he faced a difficult challenge. The State Department needed a thorough purging of the neocons and the liberal hawks, but there were few Democratic foreign policy experts who hadn’t sold out to the neocons. An entire generation of Democratic policy-makers had been raised in the world of neocon-dominated conferences, meetings, op-eds and think tanks, where tough talk made you sound good while talk of traditional diplomacy made you sound soft.

By contrast, more of the U.S. military and even the CIA favored less belligerent approaches to the world, in part, because they had actually fought Bush’s hopeless “global war on terror.” But Bush’s hand-picked, neocon-oriented high command – the likes of General David Petraeus – remained in place and favored expanded wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama then made one of the most fateful decisions of his presidency. Instead of cleaning house at State and at the Pentagon, he listened to some advisers who came up with the clever P.R. theme “Team of Rivals” – a reference to Abraham Lincoln’s first Civil War cabinet – and Obama kept in place Bush’s military leadership, including Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense, and reached out to hawkish Sen. Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State.

In other words, Obama not only didn’t take control of the foreign-policy apparatus, he strengthened the power of the neocons and liberal hawks. He then let this powerful bloc of Clinton-Gates-Petraeus steer him into a foolhardy counterinsurgency “surge” in Afghanistan that did little more than get 1,000 more U.S. soldiers killed along with many more Afghans.

Obama also let Clinton sabotage his attempted outreach to Iran in 2010 seeking constraints on its nuclear program and he succumbed to her pressure in 2011 to invade Libya under the false pretense of establishing a “no-fly zone” to protect civilians, what became a “regime change” disaster that Obama has ranked as his biggest foreign policy mistake.

The Syrian Conflict

Obama did resist Secretary Clinton’s calls for another military intervention in Syria although he authorized some limited military support to the allegedly “moderate” rebels and allowed Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to do much more in supporting jihadists connected to Al Qaeda and even the Islamic State.

Syrian women and children refugees at Budapest railway station. (Photo from Wikipedia)

Syrian women and children refugees at Budapest railway station. (Photo from Wikipedia)

Under Secretary Clinton, the neocon/liberal-hawk bloc consolidated its control of the State Department diplomatic corps. Under neocon domination, the State Department moved from one “group think” to the next. Having learned nothing from the Iraq War, the conformity continued to apply toward Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Russia, China, Venezuela, etc.

Everywhere the goal was same: to impose U.S. hegemony, to force the locals to bow to American dictates, to steer them into neo-liberal “free market” solutions which were often equated with “democracy” even if most of the people of the affected countries disagreed.

Double-talk and double-think replaced reality-driven policies. “Strategic communications,” i.e., the aggressive use of propaganda to advance U.S. interests, was one watchword. “Smart power,” i.e., the application of financial sanctions, threats of arrests, limited military strikes and other forms of intimidation, was another.

Every propaganda opportunity, such as the Syrian sarin attack in 2013 or the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shoot-down over eastern Ukraine, was exploited to the hilt to throw adversaries on the defensive even if U.S. intelligence analysts doubted that evidence supported the accusations.

Lying at the highest levels of the U.S. government – but especially among the State Department’s senior officials – became epidemic. Perhaps even worse, U.S. “diplomats” seemed to believe their own propaganda.

Meanwhile, the mainstream U.S. news media experienced a similar drift into the gravity pull of neocon dominance and professional careerism, eliminating major news outlets as any kind of check on official falsehoods.

The Up-and-Comers

The new State Department star – expected to receive a high-level appointment from President Clinton-45 – is neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who orchestrated the 2014 putsch in Ukraine, toppling an elected, Russia-friendly president and replacing him with a hard-line Ukrainian nationalist regime that then launched violent military attacks against ethnic Russians in the east who resisted the coup leadership.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

When Russia came to the assistance of these embattled Ukrainian citizens, including agreeing to Crimea’s request to rejoin Russia, the State Department and U.S. mass media spoke as one in decrying a “Russian invasion” and supporting NATO military maneuvers on Russia’s borders to deter “Russian aggression.”

Anyone who dares question this latest “group think” – as it plunges the world into a dangerous new Cold War – is dismissed as a “Kremlin apologist” or “Moscow stooge” just as skeptics about the Iraq War were derided as “Saddam apologists.” Virtually everyone important in Official Washington marches in lock step toward war and more war. (Victoria Nuland is married to Robert Kagan, making them one of Washington’s supreme power couples.)

So, that is the context of the latest State Department rebellion against Obama’s more tempered policies on Syria. Looking forward to a likely Hillary Clinton administration, these 51 “diplomats” have signed their name to a “dissent” that advocates bombing the Syrian military to protect Syria’s “moderate” rebels who – to the degree they even exist – fight mostly under the umbrella of Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and its close ally, Ahrar al Sham.

The muddled thinking in this “dissent” is that by bombing the Syrian military, the U.S. government can enhance the power of the rebels and supposedly force Assad to negotiate his own removal. But there is no reason to think that this plan would work.

In early 2014, when the rebels held a relatively strong position, U.S.-arranged peace talks amounted to a rebel-dominated conference that made Assad’s departure a pre-condition and excluded Syria’s Iranian allies from attending. Not surprisingly, Assad’s representative went home and the talks collapsed.

Now, with Assad holding a relatively strong hand, backed by Russian air power and Iranian ground forces, the “dissenting” U.S. diplomats say peace is impossible because the rebels are in no position to compel Assad’s departure. Thus, the “dissenters” recommend that the U.S. expand its role in the war to again lift the rebels, but that would only mean more maximalist demands from the rebels.

Serious Risks

This proposed wider war, however, would carry some very serious risks, including the possibility that the Syrian army could collapse, opening the gates of Damascus to Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front (and its allies) or the Islamic State – a scenario that, as The New York Times noted, the “memo doesn’t address.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Secretary of State John Kerry before meetings at the Kremlin on Dec. 15, 2015. (State Department photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Secretary of State John Kerry before meetings at the Kremlin on Dec. 15, 2015. (State Department photo)

Currently, the Islamic State and – to a lesser degree – the Nusra Front are in retreat, chased by the Syrian army with Russian air support and by some Kurdish forces with U.S. backing. But those gains could easily be reversed. There is also the risk of sparking a wider war with Iran and/or Russia.

But such cavalier waving aside of grave dangers is nothing new for the neocons and liberal hawks. They have consistently dreamt up schemes that may sound good at a think-tank conference or read well in an op-ed article, but fail in the face of ground truth where usually U.S. soldiers are expected to fix the mess.

We have seen this wishful thinking go awry in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine and even Syria, where Obama’s acquiescence to provide arms and training for the so-called “unicorns” – the hard-to-detect “moderate” rebels – saw those combatants and their weapons absorbed into Al Qaeda’s or Islamic State’s ranks.

Yet, the neocons and liberal hawks who control the State Department – and are eagerly looking forward to a Hillary Clinton presidency – will never stop coming up with these crazy notions until a concerted effort is made to assess accountability for all the failures that that they have inflicted on U.S. foreign policy.

As long as there is no accountability – as long as the U.S. president won’t rein in these warmongers – the madness will continue and only grow more dangerous.

[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Democrats Are Now the Aggressive War Party” and “Would a Clinton Win Mean More Wars?’]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon andbarnesandnoble.com).

The race for Raqqa – Could two world powers meet in battle over ISIS HQ?

Global Research, June 08, 2016
Activist Post 7 June 2016

The Syrian military is quickly closing in on Raqqa, one of the last ISIS strongholds in the country, and is expected to reach the city within a matter of weeks or even days where a major battle between government and terrorist forces is inevitable. Recently, the Syrian military liberated a number of areas in eastern Syria near the Taqba airbase, another site that is expecting liberation in the next few days. The Syrian military has already reached the edge of Raqqa province.

Raqqa has acted as the ISIS capital since the mysterious appearance of the group two years ago and has gone virtually untouched as the Syrian military has been bogged down in major cities and western/central areas of the country in their fight against the Western-backed terrorists. Notably, despite its rhetoric of fighting to “degrade and destroy” ISIS, the U.S.-led coalition has yet to bomb Raqqa.

Fresh on the heels of a major public relations victory in Palmyra, however, the Syrian military is now marching toward Raqqa and, if successful, it will score one of the biggest victories in the five-year war. This is not only because the de facto ISIS capital will be eliminated or because the SAA will gain more territory, it is because the liberation of Raqqa will be yet another example of how the Syrian military will have accomplished in weeks what the United States and coalition members have claimed may take a decade to do. It will be another instance where the lack of will on the part of the United States to actually destroy Daesh is put on display for the rest of the world, either causing the U.S. to look weak in the eyes of the world or exposing it for actually supporting the terrorist organization to begin with. Regardless, the victory for the Syrian government will be twofold.

That is, unless the U.S. gets there first . . . .

The U.S. Interest In Raqqa – A Sudden Shift

The U.S. has been using the presence of ISIS in Syria as an excuse to bomb, send Special Forces, publicly support terrorists, and possibly invade since the Western-backed terror group appeared on the scene two years ago. Yet, despite its rhetoric, the United States and its coalition have not bombed Raqqa and have largely abstained from bombing (see here and here) any other terrorist group. Instead, the U.S. has focused on bombing Syrian military targets, civilians and civilian infrastructure (see here also), and acting as a deterrent to the Syrian military’s movement in many “rebel-held” areas of the country.

Now, however, the United States seems to have great interest in Raqqa as it aids its loose collection of terrorists, fanatical Kurds, and Arabs known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in “battles” around the ISIS capital.

So why the sudden interest in Raqqa? It’s fairly simple. The United States sees clearly that the Syrian military and its Russian allies are going to liberate Raqqa soon enough and the U.S. does not want to suffer another public relations setback. A defeat for ISIS is thus a humiliation for the United States. That fact alone should raise some eyebrows.

Regardless, the United States would like to have its own “victory” in Raqqa before the Syrians and the Russians can have theirs. If the SDF is able to “take” Raqqa, the U.S. will then be able to shout from the rooftops that America has liberated Raqqa and defeated ISIS in its own capital.

The U.S. also has another goal in Raqqa – the theft of more Syrian territory by using its proxy forces going by the name of the SDF. Whether or not ISIS proper is in control of Raqqa is merely a secondary concern for the United States. If the SDF succeeds in imposing control over the city and the province, then the West will have succeeded in cementing control over the area in the hands of its proxy terrorists once again, but with yet another incarnation of the same Western-backed jihadist fanaticism. The U.S. can then use the “moderate rebel” label to keep Russia and Syria from bombing the fighters who merely assumed a position handed to them, albeit through some level of violence, by ISIS.

The Meeting In The Middle

With the situation as it stands, there is now the very real possibility of some type of major confrontation taking place in Raqqa that could very well have international ramifications. On one hand, there is the Syrian military, backed by the Russian Air Force and Russian Special Forces heading East to Raqqa while, on the other side, there is the SDF, backed by the U.S. Air and Special Forces, heading West toward Raqqa. Both sides are in a race to gain control over the ISIS capital, gain territory, and declare a victory for the world to see. But what if they arrive in Raqqa at the same time?

In other words, there is a distinct potential that, in the race for Raqqa, the Syrian/Russian alliance might find itself face to face with the possibility of direct military conflict with the U.S./SDF (terrorist) alliance. At that point, the question will be who, if either, will back down? If both forces decide to push forward, the result could be devastating not only for Syria but for the rest of the world.

Regardless of what happens, it is important to remember that the Syrian military is acting entirely in self-defense both against the terrorists posing as “rebels” and the United States. Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah have all been invited in to Syria, acting legally and with the assent of the Syrian government, while the United States and its coalition are once again acting completely outside of international law in an attempt to shore up its terrorist proxies; and, once again, the United States and its coalition of the willing is pushing the patience of the rest of the world.

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1and volume 2The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

Kosovo: Hillary Clinton’s legacy of terror

Global Research, May 26, 2016
Antiwar 24 May 2016

The “liberation” of Kosovo unleashed radical Islamism in Europe

Kosovo is Clinton Country: a 10-foot-high statue of Bill overlooks “Bill Clinton Boulevard” in the capital city of Pristina. Hillary is also memorialized in what has become the crime capital of Europe: right off the street named for her husband is a store named “Hillary,” featuring women’s clothing modeled after the putative Democratic party nominee for President. Pantsuits figure prominently. As Vice puts it: “While former President Bill Clinton has had a boulevard named after him, it’s without a doubt that his wife’s the real star out here.” Why is that?

As Gail Sheehy pointed out in her biography of Hillary, it was Mrs. Clinton who hectored her husband into bowing to a chorus of neoconservative and liberal interventionist voices and finally giving the order to bomb the former Yugoslavia. Traveling to Kosovo when Serbs in the northern part of the country were demanding some form of local autonomy to stave off violent attacks by Kosovar ultra-nationalists, Mrs. Clinton reassured her hosts that the US would stand behind Pristina: “For me, my family and my fellow Americans this is more than a foreign policy issue, it is personal.” She then physically embraced Kosovo President and Mafia chieftain Hacim Thaci – who has since been credibly accused by the Council of Europe of stealing human organs from Serb victims and selling them on the black market.

Hillary owns Kosovo – she is not only personally responsible for its evolution from a province of the former Yugoslavia into a Mafia state, she is also the mother of the policy that made its very existence possible and which she carried into her years as Secretary of State under Barack Obama.

As the “Arab Spring” threatened to topple regimes throughout the Middle East, Mrs. Clinton decided to get on board the revolutionary choo-choo train and hitch her wagon to “moderate” Islamists who seemed like the wave of the future. She dumped Egyptian despot Hosni Mubarak, whom she had previously described as a friend of the family, and supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s bid for power. In Libya, she sided with Islamist rebels out to overthrow Moammar Ghaddafi, celebrating his gruesome deathby declaring “We came, we saw, he died.” And in Syria, she plotted with Gen. David Petraeus to get around President Obama’s reluctance to step into the Syrian quagmire by arming Syrian rebels allied with al-Qaeda and other terrorist gangs.

The Clintonian legacy of enabling Islamist terrorists extends to present day Kosovo, where the New York Times has revealed an extensive network of ISIS-affiliated madrassas – indoctrination centers – funded by the Saudis, the Qataris, and the Kuwaitis. The Times reports:

“Every Friday, just yards from a statue of Bill Clinton with arm aloft in a cheery wave, hundreds of young bearded men make a show of kneeling to pray on the sidewalk outside an improvised mosque in a former furniture store.”

“The mosque is one of scores built here with Saudi government money and blamed for spreading Wahhabism” in the 17 years since the war ended with Kosovo’s independence, says the Times.

“Since then – much of that time under the watch of American officials – Saudi money and influence have transformed this once-tolerant Muslim society at the hem of Europe into a font of Islamic extremism and a pipeline for jihadists.”

Kosovo is jihadi heaven. The Times informs us that “Over the last two years, the police have identified 314 Kosovars – including two suicide bombers, 44 women and 28 children – who have gone abroad to join the Islamic State, the highest number per capita in Europe.”

The Wahabist ideology carried by radical imams is directly financed by the Saudis, the Qataris, the Kuwaitis, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. All of these countries, by the way, are major donors to the Clinton Foundation.

Hillary Clinton’s Islamist-friendly foreign policy created a terrorist base in Kosovo, and her friends the Saudis are instrumental in setting up the conditions whereby ISIS has gained a foothold in the heart of Europe. At sprawling Camp Bondesteel, where US troops have been stationed since the “liberation,” radical imams recruited three Kosovar employees, including Lavdrim Muhaxheri, who is today a commander of the Islamic State: his claim to fame is that he was videotaped executing a Syrian by blowing him to bits with a rocket-propelled grenade. (“I did not do anything less or more than what KLA soldiers did during the war,” he declared in an interview with an Albanian newspaper.)

Hillary Clinton and Hashim Thaci

After ignoring the problem for years, the authorities are making a show of rounding up terrorist suspects: five were recently arrested and given long sentences, but there are hundreds more where that came from.

Kosovo today is a fulcrum of terrorism, violence, crime, and virulent nationalism. The Parliament is in chaos as Albanian ultra-nationalists demanding union with Albania shut down sessions with smoke bombs and mob action. This is the legacy of the Clintons in the Balkans: a terrorist state run by Mafia chieftains that has become the epicenter of radical Islamism in the midst of Europe.

This is “blowback” with a vengeance, and Hillary Clinton and husband Bill have their fingerprints all over this outrage: but of course the “mainstream” media isn’t holding them to account. The Times story on the rise of ISIS in Kosovo never mentions the dubious duo, and is vague when it reports on the three employees of Camp Bondesteel who wound up in Syria’s terrorist camps. Who are the other two besides Muhaxheri? Did  they receive any military trainingThis Reuters report confirms that NATO brought Muhaxheri to Iraq, where he worked for two years at a military base.

And there’s more where he came from. As Reuters informs us:

“Thousands of Kosovars have moved on from Bondsteel to work with U.S. contractors on bases in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade, earning the kind of money they can only dream of in Kosovo.”

The terrorist pipeline runs from Kosovo, to Iraq and Afghanistan, and then on to Syria – where they fill the ranks of ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Could there be a more perfect illustration of how the principle of “blowback” works, and how we’re creating an army of Frankenstein monsters?

All this brings back memories  of Antiwar.com’s first days: this site was born as a protest against US intervention in the former Yugoslavia. Back then we warned again and again (and again!) about the specter of Islamist extremism as the energizing ideology of the Albanian separatists, both in Kosovo and Bosnia.

We were right on target.

That’s the great advantage of being a regular reader of Antiwar.com – we bring you the news before it happens. That’s years before it happens.

But we can’t continue to do it without your support – your financial assistance is critical to our continued existence.

Unlike the War Party, we here at Antiwar.com don’t get seven-figure donations from big foundations, foreign countries, or anybody else for that matter. We depend on you – our readers and supporters – for the funds we need to do our work…

The original source of this article is Antiwar

Are US-backed Iraqi militias committing ethnic cleansing under the cover of fighting Daesh?

From Sputnik

25.05.2016) Get short URL
Iraqi forces and affiliated Shiite militias are accused of ethnic cleansing and mass atrocities in Iraq, under the cover of fighting to liberate territory from Daesh.

On Monday, the Iraqi Army announced plans to begin an offensive to retake the city of Fallujah from Daesh forces. The heavily-populated Iraqi city was the first to fall to the extremist group in 2014, but in recent months Iraqi forces have been able to sharply reduce the militants’ stronghold over the city.

The city also played site for one of the bloodiest battles following the US-led invasion of Iraq, leading to mass casualties of US service members and leaving a once-prominent city in ruins.

Following the ouster of Saddam Hussein, Fallujah, like many other multicultural cities in the country, descended into sectarian strife leading then-Senator Joe Biden to call for the partitioning of Iraq in 2006.

The Sunni-dominated city faced the worst of the systematic effort to expunge loyalists of Saddam Hussein’s secular Ba’ath Party, in a process now known as de-baathification, from positions within the Iraqi government, including ordinary social sector positions in education, medicine, and engineering.

The once prominent Sunni middle class found themselves the subject of persecution at the hands of the Shia-led government, and violent Shiite militias, notably Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army.

The widespread alienation of Sunnis and the repeated violent tides of ethnic cleansing by Shiite militias forced many secular Sunnis into league with the violent Daesh extremist group, whose Iraqi branch is now dominated by a cadre of former Saddam Hussein loyalists.

With the government unravelling in Iraq, and the violent Mahdi army once again threatening to seize control of the country, the situation has been described as waves of ethnic cleansing by competing and increasingly extremist sectarian militias – the Mahdi Army, supported by Iraqi forces on the Shia side, and Daesh, along with al-Qaeda, on the Sunni side.

In this descent into social cataclysm, the Iraqi army, along with loosely-affiliated Shia militias, looks to ‘liberate’ Fallujah, using American weapons and support, but with many residents of the Daesh-occupied city fearing another violent round of ethnic cleansing. On Tuesday, Loud & Clear’s Brian Becker sat down with Iraqi-American and foreign policy analyst Raed Jarrar to discuss the latest offensive.

Has the offensive on Daesh-controlled Fallujah begun?

“The news coming from Iraq indicates that there are no signs that the offensive has begun yet, but the Iraqi government has announced its intentions to start an offensive,” explained Jarrar. “US sources have been denying that any operations have started taking place so there is some confusion about that.”

The foreign policy analyst observed that people remaining in Fallujah are frightened by the Iraqi forces and affiliated militias, who they believe will use the presence of Daesh as a cover for ethnic cleansing.

“Militias affiliated with the Iraqi forces have made shocking announcements of late, calling Fallujah a cancer that has to be cut out, and these proclamations are concerning because the militias have committed war crimes when they attacked towns controlled by ISIS in the past,” said Jarrar. “There is a real concern that the anticipated attacks on Fallujah will follow the pattern of abuses committed by Iraqi forces and affiliated militias in the past.”

What do they mean by ‘liberating’ Fallujah? Ramadi was ‘liberated’ but there was nothing left.

“There was a report by Human Rights Watch that came out last year that was titled ‘After Liberation Came Destruction.’ The word liberation is a very problematic word in this context,” said Jarrar. “Human Rights Watch reported the premeditated and systematic way that Iraqi forces and militias took towns back from ISIS and destroyed towns, committing ethnic cleansing. They targeted some ethnicities against other ethnicities, demolished homes of some sects and kept homes of other sects.”

“I expect that this is just another campaign of ethnic cleansing and they are using ISIS as a pretext to enter these towns and bombard them,” said Jarrar. “This is a premeditated policy of destruction and ethnic cleansing that the Iraqi government has been following since 2003.”

Where should forces attack to get a handle on the unravelling situation in Iraq?

“From my point of view, that is not the discussion that we should be having. It is not about which city to bombard first or what city to allow the US and its allies to bomb first,” said Jarrar. “That is why I wanted to comment on the word ‘liberate,’ because it implies that there is a legitimate force that will come in to kick out an illegitimate group. That is not the situation in Iraq. Iraq has many extremist and violent groups, including the government forces.”

“If the United States wants to give good advice to Iraq, then we need to start by stopping support to groups and the Iraqi government, that have been committing mass violations of human rights, funding these groups is illegal under US and international law,” said Jarrar. “We continue to give funds and weapons to groups committing atrocities in Iraq.”

Jaraa claimed that a more meaningful solution to the ongoing sectarian violence in Iraq and throughout the region, would be to focus on policies of division and persecution that pit groups against each other, likening the violence committed by Shia militias to that committed by Daesh, which he referred to as a similar force on the Sunni side.

“The idea of getting rid of all these things will not include dropping more bombs on Iraq, it will not make the country more peaceful and it will not make these groups more moderate. It will actually make more death and destruction and that is what the US has been doing in Iraq since 1991,” stated Jarrar.

Daesh is blocking Fallujah residents from leaving while the Iraqis demand that they leave – what will happen to the civilians?

“They are the ones that pay the hefty price and many of them have been paying a heavy price, not as a consequence of violence, but because that is the actual goal of violence – displacement,” explained Jarrar. “The Iraqi militias, especially those affiliated with the Iraqi government, have been implementing a plan of systematic displacement to gain more territory for their own group.”

“This is a different analysis than you receive in the mainstream media that the violence is part of the medicine, part of the solution, and the US has to support attacks on Fallujah and Mosul because this is the way to get rid of the bad guys and liberate these towns,” explained Farrar.

“That is not what is going on in the real world. In the real world this is more violence that has illegitimate agendas to displace more Iraqi and create more sectarian enclaves,” he said.

http://sputniknews.com/news/20160525/1040198115/iraq-shia-sunni-daesh-fallujah.html

On Ukraine’s support of ISIS

Posted on Doubting Steven
Source: Medium.com

2-29-16

Since complete international isolation of Islamists isn’t achieved, any military confrontation with ISIS would be inefficient. Meanwhile Middle Eastern terrorism gets support not only of Islamic countries but also of those ones that pretend to belong to European democratic community. Also this community seems to consider that relations with terrorist structures of such countries as Ukraine are a common thing. At any rate, neither Berlin, nor Paris, nor Rome have ever condemned Kiev or called to do away with the Dudayev battalion (an armed group of radical Islamists mainly consisting of Chechens but also including militants from other Caucasian regions, and some Ukrainians) or the Sheikh Mansur battalion (seceded from the Dudayev battalion, placed not far from the Mariupol city in south east of Ukraine). No one also demanded to eliminate either Hizb ut-Tahrir organization banned by the majority of civilized governments, the ultra-radical UNA-UNSO, or the Right Sector. However all those organizations have been openly fraternizing with ISIS and even blew horn about it until recently.
The leader of the UNA-UNSO Dmytro Korchynsky and his Right Sector counterpart Oleksandr Muzychko succeeded in Middle Eastern bridge building. The first one thought that terrorists had been the only Kiev’s allies in its fight against Russia and called Islamists for ‘taking a good aim’ at Russians. The other one was one of a general connecting links between Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and Islamists and liked to vaunt of success in dealing with ISIS. They say that the information about sale of Israeli and Soviet missiles and allegedly nuclear weapons elements to Daesh leaked to mass media due to his excessive garrulousness. However, after his death (which has been considered no-coincidence — he was killed during Ukrainian police-involved shooting) the leaks to the media died out. Some people believe that all relations with Ukrainian group of ISIS and its Syrian leaders have been monopolized by power structures annoyed with public rodomontade of Muzychko and his ‘associates’.
It is clear that there is no trustworthy information in this respect. This is just a buzz. But there is no smoke without fire. They say that regular (!) contacts with ISIS are under the jurisdiction the Verkhovna Rada MP and the Minister of the Interior’s adviser Anton Herashchenko (!) famous of his proposal to publish personal data of Russian pilots in Syria, so that the militants could have the opportunity to take revenge.
Apropos, Ukraine being represented by the secretary of the National Security and Defence Council Oleksandr Turchinov occurred to be nearly the only state applauding the attack on the Russian Su-24M bomber by the Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter. By doing so Kiev has distinctly defined which side it’s been standing and whom it’s been supporting. The speech of Ukroboronprom Deputy Director General responsible for Foreign Economic Activity Denis Gurak that Ukraine and Turkey had reached agreement on joint projects in many fields of defense industry, in particular aerospace, aviation, armor sectors and boosting security and protection in the Black Sea waters refers to the same.
On top of that Ukraine has given Turkey all scientific resources in the field of nuclear research remaining since Soviet times. Thus Ukrainian engineers of carbon-uranium commercial reactors meant for production of weapons plutonium participate in research works organized in Turkish Nuclear Research and Training Center. In this way, Islamists can gain access to technology of making plutonium nuclear bomb through the agency of Turkey!
It’s a remarkable fact that a representative of Syrian Turkomans Alparslan Çelik who is deemed to be responsible for the murder of the Russian pilot expresses thanks to Ankara and both ISIS and Ukrainian authorities as well in his appeal to Turkish government.
His appeal was detected by Anonymous Group on one of Islamist sites نداء الى تركيا و داعش و اوكرانيا.
There is every ground to believe that the alliance between Kiev and jihadists exists and that both sides have been actively engaging. For Ukraine, ISIS is a considerable leverage in its confrontation with Russia and an inexhaustible source of ‘black’ money at the same time. In particular ISIS supplies Ukraine with hit men from Turkey, Syria, Iraq and some former socialist republics for military conflicts in the territory of Novorossia. The most illustrative example of illegal export is a confession of the Kuwait ISIS group Osama Hayat of the deal to buy Chinese MANPADs FN-6 in Ukraine designed to engage low flying targets with maximum altitude of 3.8 km, which they conveyed through Turkey to Syria. The money was transferred through a Turkish bank.
The Islamic State has also created several bases for terrorists’ training (according to various opinions, the largest training camps have been located in the Dnipropetrovsk suburbs and Perevalnoye place) and ‘recreation camps’, where it is possible to buy legal Ukrainian IDs. In the view of the visa-free regime for Ukrainians, those jihadists with new legal status obtain a very easy access to the Western countries. As a result, Ukraine turns into a terminal for Islamists in their way to Europe and transient center for committing acts of terrorism in Russia and other countries.

More evidence U.S. created ISIS terrorist organization

From DONi Press

February 24, 2016

In one of the biggest scandals to ever break loose in American politics, secret documents prove the USA created ISIS, knew of it’s potential as a human weapon of mass destruction and was fully aware of arms being smuggled from Libya to Syria.

The documents were released in response to a court order in accordance with a May 15, 2014, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against both the DOD and State Department seeking communications between the two agencies and congressional leaders “on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi.”

A document from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), dated September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack, details that the attack on the compound had been carefully planned by the BOCAR terrorist group “to kill as many Americans as possible.”

The document was sent to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Obama White House National Security Council.

The heavily redacted Defense Department “information report” says that the attack on the Benghazi facility “was planned and executed by The Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman (BCOAR).”  The group subscribes to the Al-Qaeda ideology. The attack was planned ten or more days prior on approximately 01 September 2012.

The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for U.S. killing of Aboyahiye ((ALALIBY)) in Pakistan. Leaving many to speculate that the USA was fully aware of the planned attack and did nothing about it out of incompetence or in a desire to seek political gain from another terrorist incident.

The DOD documents also contain the first official documentation that the Obamaadministration knew that weapons were being shipped from the Port of Benghazi to rebel troops in Syria. An October 2012 report confirms: Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria.

The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles. During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria.

The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo. The Defense Intelligence Agency document further details: The weapons shipped from Syria during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s and 125mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.

The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 Sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles [200 ea – 125mm and 200ea – 155 mm.] The heavily redacted document does not disclose who was shipping the weapons, leading many analysts to conclude the only reason for not stating who shipped the arms is to protect the USA itself, who obviously was supplying ISIS with weapons itself.

US behind the ISIS

Another DIA report, written in August 2012 (the same time period the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by Al-Qaeda and other extremist Muslim groups: “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.”

The growing sectarian direction of the war was predicted to have dire consequences for Iraq, which included the “grave danger” of the rise of ISIS: The deterioration of the situation has dire consequences on the Iraqi situation and are as follows: This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al-Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters.

ISIS could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory. Some of the “dire consequences” are blacked out but the DIA presciently warned one such consequence would be the “renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena.”

To translate this in everyday terms, the US knew this would fuel terrorism in the region and continue to serve as an excuse to prolong corporate involvement in the region for enrichment financially of US interests. It essentially nurtured, created and armed ISIS as a way to prolong US involvement in managing the conflict.

The intelligence documents are as informative for what is withheld or blacked out explains ex-CIA Agent David “Dave” Simpson in Donetsk. “By laying the information out and looking at the age old  intelligence analyst tool of “who Profits?” we can connect the dots directly from ISIS’s leadership straight to 1600 Pennsylvania Blvd and the White House. Nothing on this level happens without Presidential approval.”

Simpson further stated, ” These documents implicate both Obama and Clinton in funding and manipulating terrorism for the USA’s own twisted world agenda rooted in oligarch greed, what Americans choose to do about it is sadly less certain.”

 

DONi News Agency, David “Dave” Simpson, former CIA agent

Sources:  

http://www.usapoliticstoday.com/breaking-declassified-docs-show-that-oba…

http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-de…

http://www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/pgs-394-398-396-from-jw-v-…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQuceU3x2Ww

https://dninews.com/article/intelligence-briefing-us-created-isis-terrorist-organization

Saudi troops into Syria: The “gates of Hell” will be open in the coming months. Three possible scenarios

Global Research, February 15, 2016
Elijah J M 14 February 2016

There are three possible scenarios in Syria

Participation of [Saudi] Arab troops  in Syria is not excluded.

A high-ranking officer within the joint operations room in Damascus, which includes Russia, Iran and Syria and Hezbollah said,

“ there are three possible scenarios in Syria:

The first is the [Saudi] Arab ground troops would enter Syria from the Turkish borders, in the area under the so-called “Islamic State” group (ISIS) on the long bordering front from Jarablus to Al-Ra’ee. This can be possible and quickly achievable if a kind of an agreement is reached between Turkey and ISIS. After all, the Jihadist group has to face either the Turkish-Arab forces – that could allow a possible exit – or the Russian-Iranian-Hezbollah forces where there will be no exit”.

The second scenario is through the Jordanian borders East of Syria up to Raqqa. A longer road but would allow Saudi Arabia to bring its logistic and armoured support to push all the way to the ISIS-controlled land. In both scenarios, these troops, Arabs or Turkish-Arabs, would not clash or contact or even walk into the Russia-Damascus and allies military operational stage.

The third scenario is that the Saudi are boosting the moral of the Jihadist by advertising a possible intervention so these don’t surrender easily and hold the ground for as long as possible.

The source said:

“Any scenario is linked to the will of the United States to be engaged in a war in Syria. This is exactly what the Saudi officials said. The U.S. is sending the Awacs aircraft because any U.S direct intervention on the ground is totally excluded. This could be the U.S. contribution, along the diplomatic effort in Geneva. Never the less, we build our military reaction based on the strong possibility that the Arab ground troops are most likely to invade Syria. These forces, under the title of defeating ISIS, won’t reach Raqqa overnight. Logistic support and troops movement from Jordan into Syria require between 3 to 4 months to be completed. These forces, in this case, are expected to advance from Jordan, into al-Badiyah and continue up north toward Raqqa, the northern Syrian city, as a possible scenario. Any potential contact with the Syrian forces could lead to a larger war”.

We do not exclude the fact that Saudi Special Forces could act behind ISIS lines to guide airtrikes or carry small scale attacks. None the less, these forces cannot contribute to defeat ISIS but in directing specific targets. Any attack that could weaken ISIS is considered to our advantage. The U.S. led coalition can bomb ISIS any time but no ground troops would be welcome. Moreover, no jet is allowed to enter the Syrian space without prior coordination with Russia, otherwise it will be considered as a potential target. This is also another fact to consider. Therefore, no one is willing to see a large scale war, mainly President Obama who has avoided to be entangled in the Syrian war for the last two years.

Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev said,

“all parties should sit down at the negotiating table instead of causing an outbreak of a new world war”, rumbling the drum of war in Syria. The Russian warning came after the confirmation of a spokesman for the Saudi Defense minister Ahmad Asiri “the Saudi Kingdom has announced the establishment of the new Islamist alliance to fight terrorism and is ready to carry out air and ground operations within the international coalition led by the United States in Syria.”

The aim of the [Saudi] Arab forces is to divide Syria is two parts: “Gharbistan” (western) and “Sharqistan”(Eastern) similar to what happened in Berlin after World War II.

In the first part, the Syrian army will continue fighting al-Qaeda and its allies with the support of Russia.

While in the second part, the [Saudi] Arabs would establish their forces to impose a political change and could destabilise the regime. In the meantime, the regime forces are at 60km from Raqqa, while, Turkey is at 180 km from ISIS main city. Therefore, if the idea to defeat ISIS is genuine, the U.S led coalition doesn’t need to intervene and walk all this distance from Turkey or Jordan to Raqqa. However, The race to Raqqa is declared, with the possibility or without the possibility of an [Saudi] Arab-Turkish intervention.

According to the source

“the gates of hell will be open in the next 3 months in Syria against al-Qaeda and its allies and also against ISIS. As agreed in Geneva between Russia and the United States, any cease-fire shall not include Jihadists and their allies. If Syrian opposition groups do not disengage from al-Qaeda, they will be considered legitimate targets because they become united as one group and will be dealt with accordingly”.

Al-Qaeda in Syria, known as Jabhat al-Nusra, is part of Jaish al-fateh, a coalition of many Syrian groups operating in northern Syria. Al-Qaeda and Jihadist movements are sending reinforcement to northern Aleppo in the last 48 hours, but used to maintain a strong presence around Nubbl and Zahraa, the two cities that Russia and its allies brock the siege imposed for over three and a half years. Al-Qaeda fighters pulled back toward the north of Aleppo fighting in Tal-Rifaat and others toward the south of Zahraa where they are fighting in Andan and Hay’yan.

According to the source, human and signal intelligence confirmed that

“Saudi Arabia has asked Syrian opposition associated and not-associated with al-Qaeda not to waive any proposition in the Geneva negotiations and not to hand over any city in Syria without fighting. Time is crucial and Saudi Arabia will continue its military support to the opposition, waiting for a new U.S. to be elected. The battle is expected to be more intense where everybody is holding the ground which indicates that the war is still far form being over”

original article in Arabic

http://www.alraimedia.com/ar/article/special-reports/2016/02/14/657188/nr/syria

http://www.globalresearch.ca/saudi-troops-into-syria-the-gates-of-hell-will-be-open-in-the-coming-months-three-possible-scenarios/5507857

“It was you who created ISIS!”; John Kerry almost beaten up in Rome

From Fort Russ

Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
4th February, 2016

The voyage of US Secretary of State to Italy almost ended in him getting a black eye. Having arrived on the Apennine Peninsula to talk about the victories of American democracy around the world, Kerry was not expecting such a warm reception.
Officially the purpose of the visit of the Secretary was a “small group meeting of the international coalition to combat “Daesh”. During his visit, he met with Italian foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, representatives from 23 countries and authorized persons of the EU. What they said actually, for me personally, is a mystery, because to discuss their “coalition successes” would take two seconds: “We fight? Fight! Thanks everybody, all are free to leave.”
Although, it’s likely that they discussed the cost of increasing support to “moderate opposition”, the kind like Jabhat al-Nusra, reducing the debit on the loan and everything. Kerry, as I see it, passionately spoke about the necessity of completing an unconditional victory over Assad, called to democratise the whole of Syria and not to pay attention to victims among civilians as a result of the “accurate” bombing of the coalition forces. But what do I know.
The most interesting thing happened at a joint press conference between Kerry and Gentiloni. When the Secretary of State said all of his memorized phrases on combating international terrorism and the Assad regime, and the Ministers were about to leave the room, suddenly one of the journalists sitting in the front row raised a banner denouncing the U.S. policy rhetoric, shouting at him “It was you who created ISIS!” and tried to charge at him with her fists.
Naturally, the woman was immediately pounced on by the carabinieri, a scuffle ensued. But she quickly left the room.
To be honest, I am saddened. Saddened by the fact that temperamental Italian women who spoke the truth in the face of even the US Secretary of State, was so quick to shut up. Even more frustrating is the fact that brave Italian macho kept silent in a rage and allowed the women to be insulted. It would be great if at least one of them completed the plans of the Italian journalist and gave John Kerry a black eye. It’s the least they could have done.

Syria ‘negotiates’ with new attacks on terrorist supply routes

Global Research, February 02, 2016
Moon of Alabama 1 February 2016
531px-Syrian_Arab_Army_Flag.svg

The Syrian Arab Army launched a significant new offensive in north Aleppo today. It is another move in the battlefield negotiations that will decide this war.

The likely objective of the offensive is the creation of a corridor from north-west Aleppo to the besieged towns of Nubol and AlZaraa. The towns are under siege from Jahat al Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria) and Ahrar al-Sham and are regularly shelled. Such a corridor would also cut through the insurgents main supply route from south-west of Aleppo to Turkey.

The offense has been in preparation for some time and runs in parallel (vid) with other operations in Latakia near the Turkish border, east of Aleppo and in the south. To protect against any Turkish adventure Russia beefed up the available air power. Four brand new Russian Su-35S multi-role fighters arrived in Syria. Russia would like to demonstrate their capabilities. Nine Syrian Mig-29 fighters have been upgraded (recom. reading) with new active electronically scanned (AESA) radars and new missiles. They now fly protective cover for Russian and Syrian ground attack fighters and helicopters against Turkish air interdiction. Syrian T-72 tanks have been upgraded with new defense measures against U.S. anti-tank weapons.


Map by @PetoLucembiggerfull HD

Throughout the last weeks several thousand newly trained troops arrived in the government held north Aleppo industrial zone. These have now launched the fresh attack in the north western direction (red arrows on the map) and already captured several villages. The attack was prepared by massive ground attack airstrikes which hit the frontline positions of the foreign supported insurgents’  as well as their ammunition transports (vid). (Interestingly the destroyed convoy was on a narrow, small road. That proves that major supply roads are no longer available or safe for the insurgents.)

The attack today forestalled planned counterattacks by various insurgent groups and Jabhat al-Nusra. The attacked insurgent units issued urgent requests for reinforcements.

There have been significant skirmishes between Turkey and Syria/Russia in the last days. Turkey claimed that Russian jets intruded its airspace which the Russians denied. It is quite possible that small intrusion happen as the Russian and Syrian ground attack jets bombard insurgents near the Turkish border in Latakia. But the Turks now have to watch out for ready-to-shoot Russian and Syrian air superiority fighters who only wait for a chance to avenge the earlier Turkish ambush of a Russian plane.

Today Turkish artillery fired (vid) against Syrian army positions in Latakia. The 1998 Turkish-Syrian Adana agreement which provided for largely demilitarized Syrian side of the border up to a depth of fifteen kilometer is clearly no longer in effect. Syrian artillery is active against insurgent groups which hide in “refugee camps” near the border. The Turks claim that these are ethnic Turkmen civilians but the video showing the damage in such a camp was released (vid) with the insignia of Jabhat al-Nusra. Some other fighters in the area are Turks from the fascist MHP party.

When the Syrian army and its supporters have cleared the Latakia area near Turkey Russia will install a new far reaching radar and a listening post on one of its hilltops. Such a station will allow the observance of all air and sea movements for hundreds of kilometers into Turkey. It will be part of the price Turkey and NATO have to pay for the ambush of the Russian plane.

Some people think that Turkey would invade Syria if the Kurds move further into the supply corridor north east of Aleppo the Islamic State uses for its dealing with Turkey. I very much doubt such a move as any intrusion into Syria would risk open war with Russia. The Turkish army would only launch that war under a explicit, written order. NATO would not support such a move and Erdogan alone would carry the full responsibility. Most Turkish people are well aware of the economic losses that follow Erdogan’s aggressive policies and would likely not support such a hopeless adventure.

Erdogan’s grandstanding and interference is no longer effective. The current UN talks in Geneva between the Syrian government and a Saudi supported group of the radical insurgents are a side show. The real  negotiations are on the battlefield and there the Syrian government and its supporters continue to improve their already superior position.

The Paris meeting of conspirators in support of Syria’s “moderate terrorists”: talks filled with sinful crime.

Global Research, January 24, 2016
New Eastern Outlook 24 January 2016

On January 20th a cabal of dependencies of the United States of America, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, France, and Italy, met in Paris to discuss war on Syria. One of a series of such meetings with a changing list of participants, it included the defence ministers of the countries supporting various proxy forces attacking Syria, either posing as “rebels” or allied with the American created and supported force ISIS. It was in fact a meeting of conspirators planning a war of aggression. There is no other way to put it. This was a criminal act under international law and another dramatic repudiation of the United Nations and everything the United Nations Charter stands for.

One nation that was not invited was Canada, a snub that has caused consternation among the war party in Canada, but is likely the result of the new prime minister’s pledge to withdraw Canadian forces from action in Syria and Iraq. The new Canadian government has not in fact withdrawn its small forces as promised but no doubt the Americans are doubtful of the new government’s reliability as a partner in crime and wanted to slap down the new government for daring to make even a mild move towards peace in our time.

The Canadian government’s pledge to withdraw its forces was a result of campaign promises made during the October elections in Canada where these military adventures are unpopular with large sections of the population which sees them as wasting their tax money fighting wars for American interests and domination of the world. The fact that such operations are not only illegal under international law but also under Canadian law as set out in the National Defence Act, and, therefore, should never have been conducted in the first place, is, inexplicably, never mentioned by any Canadian government figure, major political party or any of the tightly controlled and coordinated media, because, of course, law means nothing to criminals.

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The Paris meeting was a criminal act, a war crime in fact, since the only international body that has the right to determine if, when and how military forces is to be applied in any situation is the United Nations Security Council. Any military action taken outside the mandate of the Security Council is prohibited and the Rome Statute, the statute that governs the International Criminal Court, defines such a meeting as a conspiracy to commit aggression, the worst of all war crimes, because it leads to all other war crimes that necessarily follow an act of aggression.

But the Paris meeting is not the first step in furthering this conspiracy to commit acts of aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria. The first act was the attack made on Syria by the United States in 2011 after it and its co-conspirators attacked and destroyed Libya using the same proxy forces, the same techniques, and the same propaganda to mislead the public. Many of the same mercenaries, and thugs that they used against Libya were quickly reassigned and sent into Syria through Turkey, and Jordan where they soon linked up with armed groups from Iraq now known as ISIS. The United States, Turkey, Britain, France, and Saudi Arabia, brag about their open support for these groups, and have confessed that they have sent in their own special forces to “train” them. This act of aggression against Syria continues to escalate and came close to succeeding until Russia, at the request of the besieged government of Syria, decided to deploy its air forces in Syria in order to crush these American and allied proxy forces.

The reaction here in the west since September when the Russians began their very effective air operations has been a seething anger from Washington, to London, from Paris to Berlin, from Riyadh to Istanbul. The failure of the American attempt to conquer Syria will mean the failure of the American plan to kick Russia out of the Mediterranean, a failure to control the land routes from there to Iran for an eventual attack on Iran itself, an operation that cannot be mounted from the Persian Gulf, and a failure to place its forces on the southern flank of Russia in preparation for a pincer thrust into Russia from the south and the western plains of Poland and Ukraine. Others cite gas pipelines and war profits as reasons, but these are secondary to the principal strategy of the domination of Eurasia by the United States and those hoping to be thrown some scraps from the spoils, like the jackals they are.

None of these countries have any legal or moral right to attack Syria under the guise of going after ISIS, or Islamic State as they now call it. To obtain that right they would first have to be asked by the Syrian government for their assistance. The Syrian government does not want their “assistance”. They do not want their war. But these criminal nations refuse to talk to the Syrian government and insist on its overthrow and they refuse to take their case before the Security Council because they know they have no case and Russia and China will oppose their criminal plans. So they evade the United Nations and once again, create ad hoc “coalitions” of the criminal minded, who have no respect for international law, their own laws, the sovereign rights of the Syrian nation, or their own platitudes about peace and “human rights.”

The criminal nature and intent of the meeting was openly declared in the press conference after the meeting by the US Defense Secretary Carter who called for more forces to be gathered to “eject jihadist fighters from their headquarters in Raqqa, Syria and Mosul, Iraq and to maintain that planned defeat.” The latter phrase must be interpreted as meaning a permanent occupation of the region by American and allied forces. To back this up the America Army’s 101st Airborne Division has been assigned the role of re-entering Iraq. It seems Iraq will have no choice in the matter as the Americans continue their drive to establish a new protectorate out of western Iraq and eastern Syria which they can then use to control the region and attack Iran. Further meetings are to be held in Brussels in a few weeks.

In the meantime Russia continues to try to achieve a negotiated resolution of the war in compliance with international law and a further meeting of the Russian and American foreign ministers will be held in Geneva to discuss it but there is little hope of those talks going anywhere since the two countries approach the problem from completely opposite positions; the Russians on the basis of the national sovereignty of Syria and the recognition of the existing government as the only legitimate government, the Americans on the basis that might makes right and Syria must submit to its will. For them, international law and national sovereignty are phrases empty of all meaning.

And once again, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court remains in her office in The Hague, completely inert as nations that are within her jurisdiction plan these crimes. She has charged several African leaders for much less but then those prosecutions serve the interests of the same powers she should be prosecuting. She doesn’t even hold a press conference condemning these meetings, actions and plans for more war and insisting that these criminals adhere to international law. Nothing is said. Nothing is done. The ICC is shown to be as useless as the Security Council.

It is the Americans and their allies who are responsible for all the dead and dying in Syria, and it is they who “brought forth the monstrous mass of earthly slime, puft up with empty wind and filled with sinful crime” that is ISIS and it is clear that they will continue to use this monster of their creation as a device to escalate the war against Syria and increase their crimes but who, aside from the Syrian people, Russia and Iran can stop them? And so, the war will continue, the misery it brings will continue, and those responsible will continue to meet in beautiful settings, enjoying the fine things their crimes bring, bragging that they are saving the people from the very “terrorists” they created and control.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto, he is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and he is known for a number of high-profile cases involving human rights and war crimes, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.