CIA’s eternal military occupation and crimes

From Space4Peace, Organizing Notes

By Bruce Gagnon
May 1, 2017

I recently bought this book and immediately began to read it.  Douglas Valentine has been writing about the CIA’s role in counterinsurgency for many years.  That word, to be properly understood though, needs much more definition.

Valentine undertook a detailed study and analysis of the CIA’s ‘Phoenix‘ program of counterinsurgency in Vietnam.  He interviewed many of the key players who created and directed Phoenix.  Then Valentine took what he learned from the Vietnam program and shows how it has been refined and implemented in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and more recently in Ukraine.  He illustrates how the mainstream media plays its role in furthering CIA lies and ensuring a docile American public.

Here are a few illustrative bits from the book:

This [American] ruling class within the National Security Establishment, represented most perfectly by Hillary Clinton, knows that its enemies, foreign and domestic, must be suppressed ideologically as well as militarily.  Thus they have embraced the Phoenix concept of employing implicit and explicit terror to control, organize and pacify societies.

The success of the Phoenix doctrine is most evident in the ability of its advocates in the ruling class to corrupt Congress and force it to divert massive amounts of public money into the militarization of foreign and domestic policy.

Now that the corrupt and corrupting Phoenix institutional structure is firmly in place in America, it is only a matter of time until we enter the next Phoenix phase of explicit terror here at home.

The CIA and the media are part of the same criminal conspiracy.

The CIA was protecting the major opium producers in the Golden Triangle [during the Vietnam War], just like they’ve been protecting the major drug dealers in Afghanistan for the last fifteen years. They were funneling heroin and opium to their warlords in South Vietnam as a payoff for advancing the US policies that were detrimental to their own country.

The truth about US wars is less about combating Islamic terrorism or ‘protecting the homeland’ than it is about the dark side of the American psyche, rooted in slavery and the genocidal conquest of a continent.  For American businessmen, the global War on Terror with its relentless bombing campaigns and extra-legal methods shrouded in official secrecy, translates into big profits.

The Afghan people hate the Americans more and more, year after year.  And that makes the CIA happy, in so far as it spells protracted war and increased profits for its sponsors in the arms industry.

Afghan anger means more resistance.  And more resistance provides a neat pretext for the eternal military occupation of a disposable nation strategically located near Russia, [Iran] and China.

But it also means spiritual defeat for America, as it descends ever further into the black hole of self-deception, militarism and covert operations.

Valentine names the names of those who developed this global counterinsurgency operation.  He also names some of the ‘progressive’ activists and alternative media that play ball with the ruling oligarchy here at home by taking money to run their operations.

The book is endorsed by highly respected figures like NSA whistleblower John Kiriakou, academic Peter Dale Scott who came up with the tag ‘deep state’ and the truth-telling Robert Parry at Consortium News (which happens to be one of my favorite sources for news and analysis).

If you want to see the big picture of US empire, understand how it works, understand who many of the insiders are (or have been), and get a glimpse into what is coming to America in the near future – then I highly recommend this book.

http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2017/05/cias-eternal-military-occupation-and.html

Pentagon once again hides the real number of civilian casualties in Syria and Iraq

Global Research, May 03, 2017
Inside Syria Media Center

he Combined Joint Task Force, in its monthly assessment of civilian casualties from the U.S. coalition’s operations against ISIS acknowledged at least 352 civilians had been killed in U.S.-led strikes in Iraq and Syria since the operation began in 2014.

According to The Guardian, however, the Pentagon put civilian deaths in strikes on ISIS way lower than outside groups. Such a conclusion was made due to the latest data published by Airwars monitoring group. Airwars estimated that 3,164 civilians had been killed by the US-led coalition’s indiscriminate air strikes since the beginning of the ‘counter-terrorism’ operation in Syria and Iraq. Earlier, Airwars reported that only in March this year, as a result of the numerous coalition’s attacks, the number of civilian casualties increased to 1,782.

According to Amnesty International, the likely civilian death toll in Syria from air strikes by Coalition forces between 23 September 2014 and August 2016 was in the range of 804 to 1,213. It was also reported that such an impressive number of victims was caused by inaccurate air strikes, erroneously carried out mainly not at the positions of terrorists, but at residential areas and civil infrastructure.

In this regard, it becomes clear why the command of the international coalition deliberately hides the real number of victims in Iraq and Syria. Having officially acknowledged the deaths of such an impressive number of civilians, Washington will be forced to acknowledge the low level of training of the U.S. Armed Forces in fighting terrorism.

The White House can’t allow this. Now all its efforts are directed to a show of force such as the previous strikes at the Syrian Shayrat airfield. Moreover, in order to maintain the image of a superpower, Washington is ready to neglect even the lives of helpless civilians.

There is no doubt that it is difficult for Washington to hide the real number of casualties among civilians during its military operation in Syria and Iraq. To try and mitigate the reaction of the world community, the Combined Joint Task Force can only dose the ‘new information’ about the victims and demonstratively express its deepest sympathies to the families and others affected by the coalition’s air strikes.

Anna Jaunger is a freelance journalist from Inside Syria Media Center.

Breaking. Russia setting up military installations in northeastern Syria, in YPG-held area

Global Research, May 03, 2017
South Front 2 May 2017
Video on South Front website

A number of Russian troops and vehicles have entered the area of the Afrin Canton controlled by fighters of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), according to photos and videos appearing online.

Pro-Kurdish media activists speculate that the Russian military is going to set up a military base or even a “joint military base” in the YPG-held area near the border with Turkey.

According to more neutral sources, Russian military servicemen are setting up two posts near the border in order to monitor possible clashes between Kurdish militias and the Turkish military.

This comes amid increasing US military activity along the Syrian-Turkish border. According to Kurdish sources in northeastern Syria, US troops have been patrolling the Kurdish-held areas bordering Turkey. Thus, US troops are a buffer force that should prevent Ankara from combating Kurdish militias in Syria.

The YPG which is a branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and a core of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), is described by Turkey as a terrorist group.

In the province of Raqqah, the SDF is very close to capturing the whole area of the town of Tabqah from ISIS. When Tabqah is secured, the SDF, supported by the US-led coalition’s air power, artillery, and military advisors, will focus on securing the Tabqa dam and will continue attempts to further isolate Raqqah.

Earlier this week, western backed militant groups captured Al-Humaymah southwest of Deir Ezzor. This operation was part of the broader effort aimed at expanding control along the Syrian-Iraqi border.

With the collapsing of ISIS defenses in central Syria and in the area of the Iraqi city of Mosul, various factions involved in the Syrian conflict have increased efforts aimed at gaining control of as many important areas as possible.

While there is little doubt that the SDF, with significant US military assistance, will be able to seize Raqqah one day, the Deir Ezzor countryside and areas along the Syrian-Iraqi border will remain contested between US-backed forces and the Syrian government.

Fighting between government troops and ISIS terrorists continued near the Talilah crossroad east of Palmyra. ISIS has been conducting harassment operations against the Syrian Arab Army in the area in order to prevent a possible government advance along the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor road.

Government forces, led by the Republican Guard, continued military operations against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies in the district of Qaboun in eastern Damascus. Government troops there are seeking to divide the pocket into two separated parts. This will be a major move, if accomplished, on the way to a full liberation of the area from militants.

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May 2, 2017: Russian adviser killed by sniper in Syria

May 2nd, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

A Russian military adviser has been killed in Syria as a result of sniper fire. This has been reported by the Russian Defense Ministry.
“As a result of shelling against Syrian troops by a militant unit, Russian military advisor Lt. Col. Alexei Buchelnikov has been killed.” 
Buchelnikov was in Syria as part of a group of Russian military advisers, fulfilling teaching objectives for the Syrian army.

Foreign Ministry briefing: Syria, Deir ez-Zor, the White Helmets, and what democratization means to the West

If our Western colleagues continue to talk about the democratisation of the Middle East and North Africa, knowing that they cannot retrace their steps, maybe we should choose a simpler solution, that is, change the definition of democratisation?

Maybe we should write an article for Wikipedia saying that democratisation as understood in the West amounts to total destruction of states, and provide the numerous examples? 

From the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation
April 27, 2017
Spokesperson Maria Zakharova

Excerpts:

The situation in Syria

The situation in Syria is still a focus of our attention. We anxiously monitor reports about the situation in Syria. Unfortunately, there is still plenty of cause for concern.

On April 25, it was reported that Turkish jets carried out a series of strikes on the positions of Kurdish self-defence detachments near Mount Karachok in northeastern Syria and near Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. I would like to remind you that Kurdish detachments are the most effective fighting force in the war against ISIS terrorists in northeastern Syria. We were greatly disturbed by reports of Ankara’s operations. There is reason to believe that if it was not for the hasty US attack on Syria’s Shayrat Airbase, which was outside the bounds of international law, Turkey would not have carried out the recent strikes. It is necessary to put an end to arbitrariness on Syrian soil. We urge all international and regional partners to respect the sovereignty and independence of Syria and Iraq, as well as of other countries.

I would like to draw your attention to another issue. The targets that the Turkish Air Force hit in Syria included media facilities: a local TV and radio broadcasting station. Reports say some of your colleagues from the media centre of Kurdish self-defence forces were killed, among others. I would like to see the reaction of the relevant organisations and the journalistic community.

Syria’s government forces are successfully advancing on the positions of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists. The offensive in the north of Hama Province is moving forward. Despite the fierce resistance put up by Nusra and its allies, the large towns of Halfaya and Taybat al-Imam have been liberated. At present, the army is exploiting its strategic success, advancing toward the border of Hama and Idlib Provinces.

On April 19 and 21, Russian Aerospace Forces aircraft destroyed Jabhat al-Nusra’s large training camps in Idlib Province. The strikes were carried out with coordinates received from the so-called competing group, Jaysh al-Izzah.

The dynamic of events in Syria underscores the pressing need for an international meeting on Syria in Astana. The next meeting is scheduled for May 3-4. We hope that the Astana process will help record positive trends in the development of the situation in Syria, prevent the deterioration of the military-political situation and help the Syrian parties in search of compromise solutions, which would put an end to the protracted intra-Syrian confrontation and prevent terrorists from gaining full control of Syria and the entire Middle East region.

 

The humanitarian situation in Deir ez-Zor

Improving the humanitarian situation in Syria and providing aid to those in need is one of Russia’s priorities in Syria.

We have often talked about the Russian military’s contribution to achieving this goal. They deliver food, water and basic necessities to the Syrian people, often at the risk of their lives.

The situation in Deir ez-Zor, where about 200,000 people have been under ISIS siege for over three years now, is also the focus of our attention. Russian airplanes regularly deliver humanitarian aid to the besieged people by using parachute platforms, including aid that the Syrian authorities receive from the UN. The most recent aid delivery – 21tonnes of food – was made on April 24-25.

According to the UN, more than a half of Syria’s population – 13.5 million people, including 6.5 million children – need humanitarian aid; 11.5 million people need medical care and 12.1 million have no access to drinking water.

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Russian Foreign Ministry: comments on French report, calls again for onsite OPCW investigation in Syria and an end to “dishonourable political games”

From the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation
April 27, 2017

A report by the French intelligence services containing France’s conclusions about the alleged use of chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun in Idlib Province, Syria, has been released in Paris. France is the third country after Turkey and Britain to have conducted a probe into the chemical attack. The impression is that the above countries either do not trust the OPCW or are trying to steer its investigation in a particular direction.

Even the initial analysis of the five-page French document has raised quite a few questions. First, it begs the question as to the circumstances under which France has obtained samples that it claims were taken directly at the scene of the incident. If they were taken by the French intelligence services themselves, it means they have free access to an area controlled, according to the report, by the armed groups of Syrian opposition forces linked to al-Qaeda. If the samples were obtained from a different site located, for example, on the territory of one of Syria’s neighbours, the credibility of the analysis carried out by France would immediately be called into question.

It should be said again that in keeping with the international rules, the integrity of samples taken for analysis must be ensured all the way from the scene of an incident to the laboratory.

In a bid to prove that sarin gas that was allegedly used in Khan Shaykhun was produced in Syria, the contributors to the report refer to the sarin gas formulation, saying it points to the use of the techniques developed in Syrian laboratories. It remains unclear why they are so confident since Syria has never possessed sarin gas as a finished product – they had only the precursor ingredients for this gas, the entire arsenal of which was taken out of Syria in 2014. The mobile installations that could be used to synthesise sarin have been destroyed and this has also been confirmed by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The only evidence produced by the report’s authors is the alleged similarity between the results of the analysis that has recently been carried out and those obtained by France in 2013 when it tested samples taken at the site of another incident that was also associated with the use of sarin gas. However, this argument looks inconclusive because in 2013 the UN mission failed to either independently confirm the information contained in the French report about the incident in Saraqeb or check on compliance with the procedure for ensuring the integrity of evidence, including during the transportation of the samples taken at the scene of the incident. The only material evidence which the contributors to the report refer to is a hand-grenade filled, judging by the photograph, with sarin gas, which was allegedly dropped from a Syrian helicopter. Using a grenade to deliver sarin gas is something altogether new and, as far as we know, without precedent in the history of chemical weapons. To put it mildly, this exotic chemical piece of ammunition is not safe for those who use it.

In short, there are many obvious discrepancies which testify to the poor quality of the investigation. The only real possibility of establishing the truth would be to send the OPCW fact-finding mission to Khan Shaykhun and the Shayrat Airbase, where sarin gas that has been used in Khan Shaykhun was allegedly stored, to conduct a field investigation, using all the procedures provided for in the Chemical Weapons Convention and this mission’s mandate. It is also important that the make-up of the mission fully complies with Paragraph 8 of the mandate, under which the geographical basis for forming groups of experts should be as representative as possible. Only in this case, all the countries will be able to give credence to the conclusions of the international probe.

This was the aim of the draft proposal submitted recently by Russia and Iran at a special session of the OPCW Executive Committee. Regretfully, it has been vetoed primarily by Western countries, including France, which has carried out its own investigation – as an alternative to an unbiased international probe – and, frankly speaking, in terms of its professionalism, it was not perfect.

We are calling again to abandon the dishonourable political games involving the Syrian chemical track record and take the steps which Russia has been insisting on for three weeks now, that is, to send a group of specialists directly to Khan Shaykhun and the Shayrat Airbase which will include  representatives of countries not blinded by the hatred of the legitimate Syrian Government.

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2739484

Syria chemical weapons attack: without any in situ inspection, OPCW attests “incontrovertible sarin exposure”

Global Research, April 22, 2017

Without Any In Situ Inspection, OPCW Confirms Sarin Exposure During the Explosion That Took Place in Idlib (Syria) Last April 4th

On April 19, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), confirmed that “the analysis indicate that the victims were exposed to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance” during the events occurred in Idlib, Syria, last April 4th (see full text of the press release issued a the end of this note).

The explosion that took place in Syria last April 4th has been followed 48 hours later by a missiles strike of United States, with 59 Tomahawk missiles sent to the Syrian aerial base to which, in accordance to United States intelligence report (see full text), the alleged “chemical weapon attack” has been carried out by Syrian airforces. This strike constitutes a clear violation of United Nations Charter, as no military action can be taken without prior approval of UN Security Council. See on this particular point the analysis published by Professor Marko Milanovic (University of Nottingham) entitled: “The Clearly Illegal US Missile Strike in Syria” published by EJIL-Talk.

A well known scientist from MIT (Massachusetts), Theodor Postol has analyzed the intelligence report issued by United States, and has expressed some doubts about the United States thesis and conclusions on direct responsibility of Syria (see Postol´analysis published by GlobalResearch in which we read that:

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Russian Foreign Ministry criticism of OPCW session on Syrian chemical attack: no evidence collected at location, no investigation at the site, no interest in the truth, serious damage and disruption to OPCW work

From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

April 20, 2017

Comment by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov for TASS on the OPCW Executive Council session

The outcome of today’s vote at a special session of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Executive Council shows that the Western group of countries and some of the states that joined it are not interested in establishing the truth. They failed to demonstrate their willingness to take the only right step in this situation, specifically, to send a team of investigators to the scene of the chemical incident in Khan Sheikhun and to the Al-Shayrat air base, from which the alleged “chemical attack” was supposedly carried out, as they claim. Those countries continue to stick to their line, disregarding any argument, and continue to impose on the international community the same pseudo conclusions that they pushed on the UN Security Council.

They do not need the truth. For them, everything has been settled: Damascus is to blame, according to them, and Moscow, they say, is just obscuring the matter, preventing the OPCW from doing its job.

However, without collecting evidence at the location and establishing the facts, all their accusations against the legitimate government of Syria remain groundless. The West always has its own “pocket” specialists on hand, who are ready to write any report at the first signal and fit pseudo evidence into pre-formulated conclusions. Today, our diplomats in The Hague and the Russian Defence Ministry’s official representative talked about this amply and convincingly.

We are grateful to the countries that supported the joint Russian-Iranian draft solution. We heard many reasonable arguments in statements by representatives of the countries that abstained from voting.

And we strongly condemn the irresponsible stance of those that voted against it. The Western group has once again revealed the essence of its destructive approach.

These countries caused serious damage to the reputation and authority of the OPCW. By disrupting this badly needed process, they have again complicated the search for a way out of the Syrian crisis.

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2734389

U.S. coalition kills Syrians in air strike on Syrian city

Global Research, April 23, 2017
Inside Syria Media Center

As a result of the air strike of the international coalition led by the United States 5 civilians were killed in the city of Al Tabqah. The strike was aimed at supporting the offensive of the Kurds.

At the moment, Kurdish militia units have advanced deeply into the city of Al Tabqah and significantly squeezed the ISIS fighters. It is reported that the Kurds have already captured a local radio station. The militiamen also repulsed the terrorists’ attack on the previously liberated airport near the city.

The attack on Al Tabqah is now in full swing. Kurds have every chance to win and it remains a mystery why the United States carried out the useless air strike.

Sophie Mangal is a co-editor at Inside Syria Media Center.

Khan Sheikhoun, Syria: The nerve agent attack that did not occur

Global Research, April 19, 2017
Washington’s Blog 18 April 2017

Analysis of the Times and Locations of Critical Events in the Alleged Nerve Agent Attack at 7 AM on April 4, 2017 in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria

This analysis contains a detailed description of the times and locations of critical events in the alleged nerve agent attack of April 4, 2017 in Khan Shaykhun, Syria – assuming that the White House Intelligence Report (WHR) issued on April 11, 2017 correctly identified the alleged sarin release site.

Analysis using weather data from the time of the attack shows that a small hamlet about 300 m to the east southeast of the crater could be the only location affected by the alleged nerve agent release. The hamlet is separated from the alleged release site (a crater) by an open field. The winds at the time of the release would have initially taken the sarin across the open field. Beyond the hamlet there is a substantial amount of open space and the sarin cloud would have had to travel long additional distance for it to have dissipated before reaching any other population center.

Video taken on April 4 shows that the location where the victims were supposedly being treated from sarin exposure is incompatible with the only open space in the hamlet that could have been used for mass treatment of victims. This indicates that the video scenes where mass casualties (dead and dying) were laid on the ground randomly was not at the hamlet. If the location where the bodies were on the ground was instead a site where the injured and dead were taken for processing, then it is hard to understand why bodies were left randomly strewn on the ground and in mud as shown in the videos.

The conclusion of this summary of data is obvious – the nerve agent attack described in the WHR did not occur as claimed. There may well have been mass casualties from some kind of poisoning event, but that event was not the one described by the WHR.

The findings of this analysis can serve two important purposes:

  1. It shows exactly what needs to be determined in an international investigation of this alleged atrocity. In particular, if an international investigation can determine where casualties from the nerve agent attack lived, it will further confirm that the findings reported by the WHR are not compatible with the data it cites as evidence for its conclusions.
  2. It also establishes that the WHR did not utilize simple and widely agreed upon intelligence analysis procedures to determine its conclusions.

This raises troubling questions about how the US political and military leadership determined that the Syrian government was responsible for the alleged attack. It is particularly of concern that the WHR presented itself as a report with “high confidence” findings and that numerous high-level officials in the US government have confirmed their belief that the report was correct and to a standard of high confidence.

Methodology Used in This Analysis

The construction of the time of day at which particular video frames were generated is determined by simply using the planetary geometry of the sun angle during the day on April 4. The illustration below of the sun-angle geometry shows the Day/Night Sun Terminator at the location of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4. The angle of the sun relative to local horizontal is summarized in the table that follows the image of the planetary geometry along with the temperature during the day between 6:30 AM and 6 PM.

The next set of two side-by-side images shows the shadows at a location where a large number of poison victims are being treated in what appears to be the aftermath of a poisoning event. The shadows indicate that this event occurred at about 7:30 AM. This is consistent with the possibility of a nerve agent attack at 7 AM on the morning of April 4 and it is also consistent with the allegation in the WHR that an attack occurred at 6:55 AM on that day.

The timing sequence of the attack is important for determining the consistency of the timelines with the allegations of a sarin release at the crater identified in the WHR.

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