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“Poor” G7 Just Cannot Disarm Yet!

By Andre Vltchek | CounterPunch | April 15, 2016

They met in Hiroshima, Japan, in the first city on Earth that had been subjected to nuclear genocide. They were representing some of the mightiest nations on Earth: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States – the so-called Group of Seven (G7). And at the end of their encounter, they called for “a world without nuclear weapons”.

I am talking about the foreign ministers of seven countries with the largest economies on Earth.

Read carefully the names of these countries, one by one! For decades and centuries, the world has been trembling imagining their armed forces and corporations. Lashes administered by their colonial rulers have scarred entire continents, tens of millions were enslaved, and hundreds of millions killed, billions robbed.

Even now, if we all listen carefully, we can clearly hear the victims screaming, in agony: the native people of Canada and United States, the colonized people of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. For centuries, the entire world has been in shackles, on its knees, humiliated, plundered and destroyed.

G7! How many billions of victims from all corners of the world, made those countries so ‘grand’?

To ensure that the pillage could continue uninterrupted, the West together with those “honorary whites” (a term that the South African apartheid regime invented exclusively for the Japanese people) created several aggressive and belligerent pacts, including NATO, calling them, of course, “defensive” alliances. It came as no surprise: remember that in the lexicon of the Empire of Lies, war is called peace, while aggression is always defined as defense. But this I have already described in detail, in my 820-page book “Exposing Lies of the Empire”.

Now foreign policy tsars of the “G7” were standing shoulder to shoulder again, in Hiroshima, of all places, and only a few days after the 71st anniversary of the nuclear blast. Making predictable declarations and self-glorifying speeches.

The weather was good, partly sunny, with excellent visibility. But was the world really able to see through the thick fog of Machiavellian cynicism and lies, dispersed all over the Planet by those grinning rulers of the world?

On April 11, 2016, the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) issued a written declaration on nuclear disarmament:

“We reaffirm our commitment to seeking a safer world for all and to creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons in a way that promotes international stability”.

Seriously? No one around those ministers fell; nobody was seen to be rolling on the floor, shaking from uncontrollable laughter. Obviously, a joke repeated thousands of times loses its luster.

But that was not all. The text of the declaration continued:

“This task is made more complex by the deteriorating security environment in a number of regions, such as Syria and Ukraine, and, in particular by North Korea’s repeated provocations.”

What exactly were we reading? What was between the lines? Were we being told that the United States needs all of its 6,970 nuclear weapons to antagonize Syria and North Korea, while sustaining the fascist regime in Ukraine?

Just to put things into perspective: two Communist countries with nuclear capability have really negligible stockpiles of nuclear weapons, compared to the West and G7. China has 260 and North Korea (DPRK) approximately 15. In comparison, France has 300 and the U.K., 215.

In 2016, the population of China stands at 1.382 billion, while that of France is less than 65 million. China has more than 21 times more people to defend, but despite that, France has more nuclear weapons.

The comparison gets even more ridiculous between North Korea and the U.K.

The figures quoted above are the latest “official” statistics, taken from the World Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Report, updated as recently as on March 2, 2016.

It would also be appropriate to recall that North Korea has never invaded any foreign country. Also China (PRC), apart from two brief border clashes, has never been involved in any large-scale military conflict. Not once has it colonized or destroyed a foreign land. Both France and the U.K. have been plundering on all of the planet’s continents, for centuries. Later, in the 20th Century, the United States ‘took over’ the reigns of imperialism from the old and ‘traditional’ European colonialist empires.

One statement is actually correct: there is that deteriorating security environment in a number of regions, but only due to the covert as well as direct aggressions of NATO and the G7 countries.

But it would be even more honest to declare: “We are sorry, we really cannot disarm, because if we would, it would become much more difficult to loot and to control the world.”

Before dispersing, the G7 party did what its members enjoy doing the most: lashing at China.

As Reuters reported:

“Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies said they strongly opposed provocation in the East and South China Seas, where China is locked in territorial disputes with nations including the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan… Earlier on Monday, the G7 foreign ministers said after meeting in the Japanese city of Hiroshima that they opposed “any intimidating coercive or provocative unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions”.”

The US is habitually implementing that ‘good old’ British ‘divide and rule’ strategy. In Asia, it uses its ‘client’ states, particularly the Philippines, Japan and South Korea to isolate and provoke both China and DPRK. This policy is so dangerous that many here believe that it could eventually trigger the Third World War.

This time, China has fired back, almost immediately. At a news briefing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang declared:

“If the G7 wants to continue playing a major role in the world, it should take an attitude of seeking truth from the facts to handle the issues the international community is most concerned with at the moment.”

The Western military build-up in the Asia Pacific region, the military maneuvers conducted jointly by the US and South Korea, as well as the continuous militarization of Japan, are definitely some of the topics that are making most of the Asian continent both ‘concerned’ and frightened.

Nuclear Dome, Hiroshima, Japan

Predictably, the DPRK remained the main punch bag of the G7. The ministers never explained exactly why the world should be petrified of North Korea. Such fear should apparently be taken for granted, especially after the long decades of intensive and vicious Western and South Korean propaganda.

But back to the statement of the ministers:

“We condemn in the strongest terms the nuclear test on January 6 and the launch using ballistic missile technology on February 7, March 10 and March 18 conducted by North Korea. It is profoundly deplorable that North Korea has conducted four nuclear tests in the 21st century.”

Of course, building defenses against the combined NATO and G7 aggressions is one of the most deplorable crimes, it calls for capital punishment!

Shamelessly, after spreading verbal toxins, all seven ministers went to the grounds of the monument and museum dedicated to the victims of “Hiroshima A-bomb”.

The Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida led the pack. Under the bizarre leadership of his government, Japan has been doing its absolute best to betray Asia, and to antagonize its neighbors. In the most servile and shameful way, it has fully accepted the Western dictates, increased the volume of its own hysterical propaganda campaign against China and DPRK, and has begun to bolster its military.

Why? Just to please its masters, those ‘noble and superior Westerners’!

By now, Japan is not even what its Prime Minister Shinzō Abe wants the world to believe that it is: a conservative nation governed by a nationalist government.

Japan has no spine, just as it has no foreign policy. It fully takes orders from the United States. And as I was told repeatedly by one of the employees of the NHK: “No major media outlet in Japan would dare to broadcast anything important, related to international affairs, that hasn’t appeared previously on at least one of the major US networks.”

Looking at Japan’s past, “conservative nationalists” used to be, for instance, some of the greatest writers like Yukio Mishima, a man who ended his life in 1970 by committing a ritual suicide, protesting Japan’s unabashed submission to the West. Japan’s Prime Minister Abe is definitely a ‘conservative’, but is he really a Japanese nationalist? He is defending the interests of Washington much more than those of his own country. Perhaps, “honorary white and one of G7 leaders” would be the most fitting term to define him.

Now, according to the official NATO website: “Japan is the longest-standing of NATO’s “partners across the globe”.

It is also one of the nations that are shamelessly plundering the world through its brutal corporations.

***

And so they stood there – seven ministers from some of the most aggressive countries on Earth.

They stood on the turf that was, more than 70 years ago, burned to ashes, in just a few seconds after the nuclear explosion.

They said again and again how much they would like to disarm, how much they would like to see the world free of nuclear weapons.

What they didn’t say was that they never would disarm, voluntarily.

And they never clarified how they actually made it to that exclusive G7 club: because of the unbridled plunder during their colonial history, and because of the modern-day global corporate pillage, as well as their mining and oil “investments”. And of course because of the “world order”, imposed by force and all sorts of weapons, nuclear and conventional, on the rest of the Planet.

Instead of Group of Seven, this pack should be simply called ‘GS’ – the Group of Shame.

The ministers stood for some time in front of the flame burning at the monument to Hiroshima A-bomb victims. They posed for the cameras. Then they went away, sat down at some table, and wrote the official declaration on nuclear disarmament, ‘explaining’ why they cannot abandon their tools of coercion. And that declaration turned out to be nothing more than yet another monumental pile of lies!

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and Fighting Against Western Imperialism.

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

UK not going to Libya … but has boatload of crack troops quietly floating around Med

RFA Mounts Bay, a Bay class auxiliary landing ship dock of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. © Graeme Main

RFA Mounts Bay, a Bay class auxiliary landing ship dock of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. © Graeme Main / Wikipedia
RT | April 15, 2016

UK officials deny troops will go to Libya, refusing to comment on current SAS operations. Yet a shipload of commandos, intelligence operators and landing craft specialists is quietly positioned within striking distance of the war-torn North African state.

The existence of the 150-strong amphibious Special Purpose Task Group (SPTG) was revealed on Thursday by the IHS Jane’s defense website, which claims to have seen a Royal Marines briefing document.

While it is normal for Royal Navy vessels to have a ‘ship’s company’ of commandos aboard, the SPTG is an unusual case.

Quietly formed in December 2015, the unit consists of a company of Royal Marine Commandos and attached personnel from army commando artillery and engineer units.

It also has soldiers from the 17 Port and Maritime Regiment – an army unit which contains landing craft specialists – and marines from the shadowy 30 Commando military intelligence unit which specializes in “information exploitation.”

The SPTG departed Southampton’s Marchwood military port in January aboard the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) landing vessel Mounts Bay for what the briefing document terms “contingency operations in the Mediterranean.”

On Tuesday the Mounts Bay was reported to be in Gibraltar for routine maintenance, so it did not have to leave its area of operations to return to the UK.

Between setting sail and docking in Gibraltar, the MOD claims the ship was carrying out anti-trafficking operations in the Aegean by “identifying smugglers taking migrants to Greece and passing the information to the Turkish coastguard so they can intercept these boats.”

In earlier reports, the presence aboard the RFA Mounts Bay – or even existence – of the SPTG do not appear or have not been mentioned. The unit was only added to the Royal Navy’s standing deployment Wikipedia page on Thursday.

However, the special purpose of the Special Purpose Task Group is not entirely clear given the range of warfighting equipment on-board.

Before maintenance at Gibraltar’s Gibdock, a local newspaper reported that up to 42 land vehicles were unloaded from the ship which is apparently charged with seaborne anti-people-smuggling operations.

The images of the unloading also appear to show a military crane and an Oshkosh bulk fuel transporter being lifted from the Mounts Bay onto a ferry.

The deployment has been reported during a row between MPs about what the UK’s plans for Libya are.

It had been thought that the arrival in Tripoli in March of the new UN-brokered unity government could see UK troops deployed as part of a 6,000-strong Italian led brigade – a move blasted by both politicians and high-ranking military veterans of 2011 Libyan war.

On Thursday the Libyan united government publicly turned down UK troops out of fear that Western backing would make them appear to be foreign puppets and that outside forces would serve to unite warring militias.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been asked for comment.

On Thursday, the outspoken chair of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Crispin Blunt, argued that government should come clean on the presence of UK Special Forces in Libya and attacked Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond for being “less than candid” about UK military activity there.

While the government refuses to comment on Special Forces operations as matter of policy, it was reported by the Guardian on 25 March that leaked conversations between King Abdullah of Jordan and senior US Republicans confirmed the SAS’s presence in Libya since at least January 2016.

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , | 1 Comment

Saudi gave grant money to Malaysia PM: FM Jubeir

Press TV – April 15, 2016

The Saudi foreign minister admits that the kingdom gave nearly USD 700 million to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has faced corruption charges since the huge grant came to light last year.

Adel al-Jubeir said Friday that the $681 million (£479 million) Riyadh offered to the premier was a “genuine donation with nothing expected in return.”

Last July, the Wall Street Journal revealed for the first time that some $700 million had been transferred to Najib’s private accounts before the 2013 general election. The report suggested that the money came from a state development fund.

At the time, Najib was already engulfed in a scandal surrounding state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and deposits into his private accounts worth around $680 million.

However, Malaysia’s attorney general cleared Najib of any criminal wrongdoing earlier this year, saying the $681 million transferred into his account back in 2013 was from the Saudi royal family and was personal donations.

According to the attorney general, Najib had returned USD 620 million of the money to the Saudi royal family in August 2013, about five months after the transfer.

The Malaysian opposition has challenged the attorney general’s ruling, arguing that the transfer of personal donations did not rule out corrupt motives or transactions.

On Friday, Saudi foreign minister said, “We are also fully aware that the attorney general of Malaysia has thoroughly investigated the matter and found no wrongdoing.”

The remarks by Jubeir came after leaders from across Malaysia’s political spectrum called for the ouster of Najib after he returned from a four-day visit to Saudi Arabia back in March.

The Malaysian premier came into office in 2009 promising a government free of corruption and a more relaxed rule.

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Corruption | , , | 1 Comment

Turkish Delight in Washington’s Patronage

By Brian Cloughley | CounterPunch | April 15, 2016

On March 26 President Erdogan of Turkey “harshly criticized” foreign diplomats for being present at the trial of two journalists in Istanbul. At a meeting of businessmen he erupted in fury and expostulated that “The consul-generals in Istanbul attended the trial. Who are you? What business do you have there? Diplomacy has a certain propriety and manners. This is not your country. This is Turkey.”

President Erdogan had made it clear that “this is Turkey” by declaring, before the trial even began, that the accused journalists will “pay a heavy price” for reporting that his National Intelligence Agency (MİT) had been smuggling weapons to rebel groups in Syria. Naturally, there was international interest in such a judicial process and, as is usual around the world, foreign diplomats attended the hearing in order to report to their governments the facts of the case as presented in court.

But the President of Turkey informed the world that diplomats accredited to his country are not expected to be present in his country’s law courts to witness judicial proceedings. He went even further by telling foreign diplomats in Istanbul that they “can move inside the Consulate building and within the boundaries of the Consulate. But elsewhere is subject to permission.”

Mr Erdogan is telling the world that international law means nothing to him. He rejects with contempt the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations which lays down that in all countries foreign diplomats are to be granted “freedom of movement and travel” provided, of course that these should be “subject to laws and regulations concerning zones, entry into which is prohibited or regulated for reasons of national security.”

Prohibited zones do not include courts of law. And the trial of the journalists, who had been in solitary confinement for half their 90-day detention, has nothing to do with national security — only national dishonesty.

Western media reporting of Mr Erdogan’s violation of international rules and values has been low-key to the point of self-induced evaporation and there has been little condemnation of his open scorn for the basic principles of diplomatic conduct — and none at all from the Consul General of the United States in Istanbul, Mr Charles F Hunter, on whose website on the day of Mr Erdogan’s abusive outburst the main headline was:

WORLD ERUPTS OVER

RUSSIA’S UNJUST SENTENCE

OF UKRAINIAN PILOT

Mr Hunter wrote that “the global community has been quick to condemn the 22-year sentence handed out by a Russian court to Ukrainian pilot and parliamentarian Nadiya Savchenko,” which was absolute nonsense, because even the western media had not given the trial much cover. Not only that, but Mr Hunter omitted to mention that Savchenko’s status as a “parliamentarian” had been granted by the Ukrainian government after the prosecution had begun. Ms Savchenko had never set foot in Ukraine’s parliament, but Wikipedia, an easily manipulated online information site, describes her as “a Ukrainian politician and former Army aviation pilot in the Ukrainian Ground Forces.”

As part of the anti-Russian propaganda campaign about Savchenko, US State Department spokesman John Kirby stated that Russia has “blatant disregard for the principles of justice,” which is an absurd declaration, coming from the nation that for fifteen years has maintained a prison camp in a colonial enclave in Cuba in which not a single wretched captive has been permitted access to the process of international law. It’s a bit much, too, coming from a nation that refuses to release the thousands of photographs that were taken of torture by its soldiers.

Some photos were published in the media, but the really horrible ones have never been seen, except by some selected Senators and Members of Congress who were sworn to secrecy.

The US Supreme Court agreed with the “the judgment of the President and the Nation’s highest-ranking military officers that disclosure of the photographs at issue here would pose a substantial risk to the lives and physical safety of United States and allied military and civilian personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Given the policy of the US Establishment — the President, the Congress and the Supreme Court — concerning the importance of concealing disgusting and potentially embarrassing facts it is not surprising that there has been no criticism in Washington of President Erdogan for his persecution of journalists who revealed embarrassing facts about his illegal action in supplying Syrian-based terrorist groups with weapons, or about his insulting diatribe concerning the presence of a US diplomat at their trial.

On March 18 the UK’s Independent newspaper reported  that “the President of Turkey has said democracy and freedom have ‘absolutely no value’ in the country after calling for journalists, lawyers and politicians to be prosecuted as terrorists.”  But this means nothing to the US or British governments which both support President Erdogan without demur.  While at the recent (and totally useless) summit on nuclear security in Washington on March 31, five days after he insulted their country, Mr Erdogan met with both the president and vice president of the United States.

Following the meetings, the Voice of America reported that President Obama “assured his Turkish counterpart of American commitment to the security of Turkey” and “extended condolences to Erdogan for a terrorist attack earlier in the day in the Kurdish-majority south-eastern city of Diyarbakir.”  And Vice President Biden “reaffirmed the close alliance between the United States and Turkey . .  [and] discussed ways to further deepen our military cooperation.”  So Mr Erdogan felt free to continue his anti-democratic diatribes after he returned home.

Like many national leaders who have managed to get to a rank and position whose demands vastly exceed their modest capabilities, Mr Erdogan continued to justify his erratic behaviour by abusing “those who attempt to give us lessons in democracy and human rights.”  On April 4 he said that the press was free in Turkey and claimed that some publications had branded him a “thief” and a “killer” without being shut down and that “Such insults and threats are not permitted in the West.”

Then he said that Turkey’s Constitutional Court had ‘betrayed its very existence’ because it had ordered release from pre-trial custody of the two journalists who, as noted above, he had declared would “pay a heavy price” for reporting that his Intelligence operatives had been smuggling weapons to rebel groups in Syria.

Turkey is in chaos.  As Human Rights Watch records, its ruler “ has demonstrated a growing intolerance of political opposition, public protest, and critical media. Government interference with the courts and prosecutors has undermined judicial independence and the rule of law.”

When they met with President Erdogan, neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden offered the mildest criticism of him for his hysterical outbursts rejecting democracy and international law.

Perhaps their advisers pointed out to them that Mr Erdogan had a reasonable point to make, in that “those who attempt to give us lessons in democracy and human rights must first contemplate their own shame.”

A History of the Pakistani Army by Brian Cloughley

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Red-handed: UK military trained Saudis as they rained fire on Yemen, says Reprieve

RT | April 15, 2016

UK military personnel have delivered a series of three-week courses on “international targeting” to the Saudi forces currently engaged in pummeling Yemen, a Freedom of Information (FoI) request shows.

The revelations were made following a request by the human rights NGO Reprieve. The organization is now urging the UK government to stop providing military support.

While the MoD has long claimed its role is purely advisory, the revelations lay bare the closeness with which the two countries operate.

It now appears courses were being run by RAF officers as recently as 2015 on “international targeting” over three separate three-week blocks.

This included training on the Storm Shadow missile, which is launched from aircraft to destroy enemy bunkers.

Gunnery instruction on targeting and locating enemy gun batteries was also carried out by a seven-strong detachment of personnel from the Royal Artillery.

The artillery team delivered 52 hours of training to Saudi gunners and included a senior major, a captain, a sergeant major and a sergeant.

The MoD said the course had been delivered to “a mixed group of soldiers and officers” from the Royal Saudi Land Forces RSLF) field artillery.

Saudi personnel have also visited the UK for training.

The military said their personnel were not involved in “carrying out strikes, directing or conducting operations in Yemen or selecting targets, and are not involved in the Saudi targeting decision-making process.”

They stressed, as they have on numerous occasions, that the UK military “provide guidance on best practice techniques, including advice to help continued compliance with international humanitarian law.”

Reprieve case worker Omran Belhadi said: “Claims by ministers that Britain is helping the Saudi government abide by the law are disingenuous.”

He pointed out that legal training on rules of engagement and the laws of war did not seem to have sunk in if, indeed, it was delivered.

“Extensive British ‘targeting training’ has done nothing to prevent the bombing of schools, hospitals and weddings, and the deaths of thousands of Yemeni civilians,” Belhadi told the Guardian.

April 15, 2016 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Aeroflot to cut Airbus & Boeing orders after Transaero takeover

RT | April 15, 2016

Russian flagship airline Aeroflot may cut back on new aircraft from Boeing and Airbus after inheriting 35 airliners from bankrupt rival Transaero, says the company’s Deputy CEO Giorgio Callegari cited by Bloomberg.

State-run Aeroflot plans to take over leases on 16 Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A321 single-aisle aircraft as well as operate 19 Boeing 747 and 777 wide-bodies which were in service with Transaero.

Aeroflot is reviewing the order for 22 Airbus A350s and the same number of 787 Dreamliners manufactured by Boeing.

“It would be inaccurate and unprofessional to say that if I put 19 wide-bodies into my group then the plan stays the same. It cannot be,” said Callegari, adding that the overall fleet plan needed corrections and updates.

The 19 planes Aeroflot will get from Transaero are to be deployed on routes to Russia’s Far East, including Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, and the Kamchatka peninsula.

They’ll be operated under the Rossiya brand, around which Aeroflot is consolidating regional operations, though some of the jets will also provide charter services in collaboration with Russian tour operators.

The company doesn’t need the four new Boeing 747-8s ordered by Transaero, according to the CEO.

Transaero, once the second biggest airline in Russia, filed for bankruptcy in October 2015. The company was unable to service its debts including leasing obligations of about $4 billion.

As part of the takeover of some of Transaero’s routes and aircraft, Aeroflot is obliged to save as many jobs as possible at the bankrupt airline.

READ MORE: Transaero, Russia’s biggest private airline files for bankruptcy

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | Leave a comment

China investments in US to double

Press TV – April 14, 2016

A report by researchers from Rhodium Group as well as the National Committee on US-China Relations showed that investments by China in the US for 2015 stood at $15 billion. However, this could see a major rise as more Chinese companies are expected to bring in their capital to the US.

By the end of 2015 more than 1,900 Chinese-affiliated companies were operating in the US across more than 80 percent of its congressional districts and employing some 90,000 people, said the report.

The study showed that only an eighth of China’s $120 billion in outward investment last year went to the US.

Nevertheless, the amount invested in American businesses is growing rapidly as Beijing wants to shift the economy toward technology, services and greater consumer spending.

More than $5 billion in US deals have been completed in the first three months of this year alone, reported Russia Today on its website.

The study found that last year New York saw the most Chinese investment at $4.1 billion topping California’s $1.8 billion. New York has benefited from deals related to tourism and financial services.

Over the past 15 years, Chinese firms invested $70 million in Californian food and agriculture companies while total investment in the sector across the US reached $7.4 billion, RT added.

The report further added that California will be a top destination in coming years for a variety of Chinese investment in the US, which could reach $200 billion by 2020.

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Economics | , | Leave a comment

Evidence Points to the CIA Targeting Assad, Not Daesh in Syria

Sputnik | April 14, 2016

The Syrian ceasefire is hanging in the balance, former Republican congressman Ron Paul and political analyst Daniel McAdams note in their Liberty Report; however, Washington continues to push ahead with its military program aimed at training and arming the so-called Syrian rebels.

To complicate matters further, there is enough evidence that the moderates have repeatedly teamed up with al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front on the ground, calling it a “marriage of necessity.”

Even State Department spokesman Mark Toner has recognized that “there is some co-mingling” of al-Qaeda militants and the US-backed Syrian rebels.

Commenting on the issue, Daniel McAdams, the Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, referred to the Wall Street Journal article that shed some light on Washington’s plans to send various types of anti-aircraft weapons to Syrian rebels.

“Throughout this ceasefire the US is taking the opportunity to provide a lot of arms to the so-called moderates — three thousand tons by one estimate. But the logic is insane: [these arms] only will be available if the ceasefire fails. That is like telling a kid: ‘You only get a cookie if you don’t eat your broccoli’,” McAdams noted.

But what looks even more suspicious is that the CIA has been supplying advanced anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems to the Syrian rebels. There is no doubt that these types of weapons are primarily aimed against Bashar al-Assad’s tanks and aircraft, not at Daesh’s Toyota trucks.

“The CIA agenda is definitely not anti-ISIS [Daesh], it’s primarily anti-Assad. And I think that is evident by the kinds of weapons they provided. They provided TOW missiles which are only effective against the Syrian government’s tanks. The Manpads, the shoulder fired missiles, which shot down two Syrian Air Force planes over the past couple of weeks. And even the Soviet-era “Grad” rockets, which are used to fight against the Syrian [Arab] Army. So, the types of weapons, I think, tell us a lot about what the CIA is focused on,” McAdams remarked.

Therefore, the CIA is turning a blind eye to the fact that the Syrian rebels and al-Nusra Front’s terrorists are “co-mingled.”

There is yet another issue that prompts concern: it seems that the CIA and the Pentagon have two different agendas regarding Syria.

To add to the confusion, the CIA is supporting one faction of the Syrian rebels, while the Pentagon is backing another group of fighters.

It turns out that in February, 2016 the CIA-armed group Knights of Righteousness was attacked by the Pentagon-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in Syria.

“One hand of our government does not even know what the other hand is doing,” Dr. Ron Paul noted.

The former US congressman expressed his concerns regarding Washington’s unstoppable militarism in the region.

“What if what we are doing is making things worse — worse for us, worse for the people, worse for the cause of peace?” Paul asked.

However, this question remains largely neglected by the US policymakers. The lessons of the past remain unlearnt and what Washington is doing right now in Syria and Iraq is “the reactivation of the militarism,” he stressed.

The former Republican congressman emphasized that while pursuing the idea of regime change overseas, the US establishment is not bothered by the fact that the nations’ current governments may be better than anything Washington is going to suggest.

“We are sending more weapons in [Syria] because the foreign policy remains the same: it is a militant foreign policy of intervention, it’s based on the assumption that we are responsible for the world at large, that we are policemen of the world, and chaos would break out if we weren’t there to bring about order. And all you have to do is look at history and look at the Middle East, chaos, you know, follows our interventions,” Paul underscored.

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Activists were preventing war crimes by blockading world’s biggest arms fair – judge

RT | April 15, 2016

5710de0dc3618801288b4599Eight activists standing trial for disrupting the world’s biggest arms fair, held in London last September, have been found not guilty. The court ruled they were acting to prevent a greater crime, according to an anti-arms trade group.

In his ruling, the judge said there was clear, credible and largely unchallenged evidence of wrongdoing at Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI), according to Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT).

He said there is “compelling evidence” that arms sold at DSEI are used for repression and human rights abuses.

Ham & High reporter Rachel Roberts said the judge dismissed the argument, put forward by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), that a not guilty verdict will “open floodgates” to anarchy in the UK.

Instead he accepted that all eight defendants acted reasonably and proportionally to try and prevent the sale of illegal arms and war crimes, Roberts tweeted.

The ruling is a victory for anti-arms trade activists, who sought to highlight the UK’s complicity in war crimes committed by repressive regimes around the world.

The eight activists issued a statement through CAAT in which they called on the public to join the campaign to shut down DSEI.

“Over the week, we have put DSEI and the arms trade on trial and we have proven them to be illegitimate. Our only regret is that we didn’t succeed in shutting down DSEI,” they said.

“Our thoughts are with the people who suffer as a result of the arms trade and the survivors of repressive regimes, torture, war and conflict. We call on more people to join us in our efforts to shut down DSEI 2017 and take collective action to end the arms trade.”

The campaigners were arrested after blocking the road leading to the arms fair last September, preventing tanks and weaponry from entering.

The activists used the defense of necessity, insisting their actions were justified because they intended to prevent greater crimes taking place around the world.

CAAT said the trial highlighted UK complicity in war crimes in Yemen, where the British military is offering support to the Saud-led coalition waging war against Houthi rebels.

It also raised awareness about British complicity in human rights abuses in Bahrain and the slaughter of Kurdish civilians by Turkey, according to the group.

2015’s DSEI event featured stalls from more than 1,500 exhibitors, including arms giants Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Finmeccanica and others.

Customers included representatives from Saudi Arabia, Israel, Bahrain and Egypt.

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russia Proposes International Observers at Turkish-Syrian Border – Lavrov

Sputnik – 15.04.2016

Russia proposes deploying international observers at Turkey’s border with Syria to monitor the situation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

“Since Turkey itself denies the very existence of the problem, we suggest, not formally at this point, a draft resolution or another decision so that Turkey invites independent international observers to its territory to monitor the actual situation on the border,” Lavrov told reporters.

Russia hopes that the West will be able to get clear answers from Ankara regarding the possibility of deploying observers, he said.

“US officials assure us that they are also concerned about the problem on the border and are working with Ankara to solve it,” Lavrov added.

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Syrian Elections: A Triumph of Democracy and Anti-colonial Resistance

By Gearóid Ó Colmáin | April 14, 2016

The parliamentary Syrian elections taking place in Syria this week prove once more the indomitable resilience of the Syrian people, who are resisting one of the most brutal neo-colonial wars in modern history. Since foreign backed, unknown snipers opened fire on protesters and police on the 17th of March in the city of Daraa, the people of Syria have been defending their country from an armed invasion of brutal, and drugged, Takfiri death squad – all financed by Israel, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and NATO.

The objective of the terrorist invasion of Syria is to conquer the country, by pitching Sunni fanatics against their Shia and Christian brethren. The broader goal of NATO’s genocidal war is to balkanize the proud, multi-cultural and highly united, Arab nationalist states. This strategy of chaos is being carried out in accordance with Israel’s geopolitical objectives in the Middle East, which requires breaking up and destroying all Arab nations contiguous to Israel; this ensures the regional and global supremacy of the Jewish State. It is a long and dirty war, one which could drag on for several decades.

Zionism’s plans for the region are incontrovertibly demonstrated by two documents in particular: the 1982 paper published by the Israeli government official Oded Yinon entitled ‘A Strategy For Israel in the 1980s’, and the 1996 US neo-con document ‘A Clean Break: a New Strategy for Securing the Realm’. Both these testaments prove that Israel intends to destroy all countries who refuse to submit to Zionism’s regional hegemony. Syria has always been at the forefront of anti-Zionist resistance.

The elections today prove to the world once more that Syria is a democracy, and that it is far more democratic than any of the countries waging war against it. The will of its people is sovereign, inalienable and inviolable. Most importantly, the elections cogently illustrate the triumph of national liberation over neocolonialism, of  people-power over tyranny.

There are well-intentioned youths in Paris demonstrating for democracy against anti-popular legislation and the power of money over politics. But these youths have no understanding of the real reasons why their liberties and social security are being stolen from them. They have no idea of the genocide the French and American governments are orchestrating throughout the Southern Hemisphere nations of this planet. They have no idea that they are being led by the same ‘intellectuals‘ who support this colonial war against Syria.

If the ‘nuit debout’ democracy movement in Paris is to become radical, to demand real social change, it will be that moment when they wave in solidarity the flags of the Syrian Arab Republic in Place de la Republique, and proclaim that Syria is a democracy and that the French people must call for ‘regime change’ here and not in Damascus. Until people understand who the real tyrants are, there will be neither peace nor justice in the world.

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | Leave a comment

The ‘Credibility’ Illusion

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | April 14, 2016

What surprised me most about the Iraq War wasn’t how wrong the expectation of happy Iraqis showering American troops with flowers was or even how badly the war would turn out – all that was predictable and indeed was predicted. But what I didn’t expect was that the U.S. government would ever admit that there were no WMD stockpiles.

I assumed that the U.S. government would do what it usually does: continue the lie to protect its “credibility.” Because that is what “credibility” has become, powerful institutions and people maintaining the aura of being right even when they’re completely wrong.

There is even a national security argument to be made: If the U.S. government must justify its actions to the American people and the world with propaganda themes, it can’t simply admit that previous ones were lies because then it would lose all “credibility.” The next time, the public might not be as open to the propaganda. The people might catch on.

And that would present a problem to the U.S. government, which feels it needs the approval or at least the confused acquiescence of the American people and to a lesser extent the world before charging off to war or starting some expensive confrontation with a foreign power.

So, in a sick kind of way, it makes more sense to stick with the lie and rely on a corrupted mainstream media to hold the line. Anyone who dares challenge the falsehoods then can be discredited or marginalized.

That’s why I was surprised when the U.S. government admitted that there were no WMD stockpiles in Iraq and no active nuclear-weapons program, either. I was expecting that President George W. Bush’s team would assemble some buckets of chemicals found at Baghdad swimming pools – pile them up in front of a credulous media – and announce, “we got here just in time!”

After all, the U.S. government rarely corrects its misstatements and outright lies, no matter how significant they may be. For instance, there’s never been a formal admission that the Gulf of Tonkin claims, which launched the Vietnam War, were false.

On a smaller scale, I encountered something similar when I was covering the U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983. The Reagan administration massively exaggerated the discovery of some useless World War I era rifles in a musty-smelling warehouse to claim that the little Caribbean island was about to be transformed into the hub of terrorism for the Western Hemisphere.

As absurd as the claim was, it worked well enough amid a well-staged propaganda campaign complete with American students kissing the tarmac when they returned to the United States and members of Congress waving around some Grenada government contracts — in Russian.

Dig in the Heels

We are now seeing similar dig-in-the-heels strategies regarding Syria and Ukraine. Though I’m told that U.S. intelligence knows that the Obama administration’s propaganda is no longer operative on the 2013 sarin gas attack outside Damascus and the 2014 shoot-down of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine, the storylines won’t be retracted or corrected.

To do so – to say that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces weren’t responsible for the sarin attack and that the Russians weren’t behind the MH-17 catastrophe – would destroy the propaganda narratives that have been useful in justifying the shipment of arms to Syrian rebels and the launching of a new Cold War against Moscow.

If the American people and the world public were informed that they had been misled on such sensitive topics – and that the real guilty parties might include people getting American support – that could devastate U.S. government “credibility” and disrupt future plans.

Therefore, mounting evidence that Assad didn’t cross President Obama’s “red line” against using chemical weapons on Aug. 21, 2013, must be brushed aside or forgotten.

In a classic show of cognitive dissonance, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg recently reported that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Obama that U.S. intelligence had no “slam dunk” evidence of Assad’s guilt. But Goldberg then continued his long article on Obama’s foreign policy as if Clapper’s warning never happened and as if Assad were indeed guilty.

Since then, major American columnists writing about Goldberg’s article have simply ignored the Clapper revelation, which tended to confirm earlier reporting at some independent Web sites, including Consortiumnews.com, and by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, who traced the sarin to a likely operation by Islamic radicals aided by Turkish intelligence. But those Assad-didn’t-do-it reports were almost universally ignored, except for the occasional ridicule.

The problem for the columnists – and for the rest of Official Washington’s insider community – was that Everyone Who Mattered had already declared as flat fact that Assad crossed Obama’s “red line” with the sarin attack. So what would happen to their “credibility” if they admitted that they were wrong again, since many also had been famously wrong about Iraq’s WMD?

Plus, who could force these Important People to face up to their own misfeasance and malfeasance? Does anyone expect that Secretary of State John Kerry, who sought war against Syria in retaliation for the sarin attack, will retract what he claimed repeatedly that “we know” about Assad’s guilt? What would that do to Kerry’s “credibility”?

Kerry also was on the front lines pointing the finger of blame at Russia for the MH-17 shoot-down on July 17, 2014. He rushed off to the Sunday TV shows just three days after the tragedy over eastern Ukraine that killed 298 people and made the case that Moscow and the ethnic Russian rebels were to blame.

A source who had been briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts in that same time frame was telling me that it was already clear to them that an element of the Ukrainian military was responsible. But hanging the slaughter of all those innocents around Russian President Vladimir Putin’s neck was just too tempting – and served U.S. propaganda needs to get Europe to join in economic sanctions against Russia and to let the U.S. government rev up a new and costly Cold War.

Going Dutch

But those U.S. propaganda desires have put the Dutch in a difficult spot, since they are leading the investigation into the crash which departed from Amsterdam and carried many Dutch citizens en route to Kuala Lumpur. Part of the Dutch problem is that Dutch intelligence has confirmed that the only Buk or other anti-aircraft missiles in eastern Ukraine capable of hitting a commercial airliner at 33,000 feet belonged to the Ukrainian military.

Recently, the Obama administration also had to decide how to respond to a letter from Thomas Schansman, the father of the only U.S. citizen killed in the crash, Quinn Schansman. In a letter dated Jan. 5, 2016, Schansman asked Secretary Kerry to release the radar and other evidence that he claimed to have in summer 2014 that supposedly showed where the missile was fired, a basic fact that the Dutch investigation has yet to nail down.

One of the many anomalies of the MH-17 case was Kerry’s assertion within three days of the crash that the U.S. government had precise information about the launch but then has left Dutch investigators struggling to figure out that detail for nearly two years.

On July 20, 2014, Kerry appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and declared, “we picked up the imagery of this launch. We know the trajectory. We know where it came from. We know the timing. And it was exactly at the time that this aircraft disappeared from the radar.”

At a news conference on Aug. 12, 2014, Kerry made similar claims: “We saw the take-off. We saw the trajectory. We saw the hit. We saw this airplane disappear from the radar screens. So there is really no mystery about where it came from and where these weapons have come from.”

As the months wore on – passing the first anniversary of the crash and then after last October’s inconclusive report by the Dutch Safety Board – Thomas Schansman finally reached out to Kerry directly with his Jan. 5 letter. More weeks and months passed before Schansman received Kerry’s reply on March 24, although the letter was curiously dated March 7.

The letter offered no new information as Kerry stuck to the old story. Recently, I was told that a possible explanation for the delay in the letter’s delivery was that a discussion was underway inside the Obama administration about whether to finally come clean about MH-17 even if that would clear Russia and the ethnic Russian rebels and shift the blame onto a rogue or poorly disciplined unit of the Ukrainian military.

But the decision was made to stand pat, the source said, explaining that otherwise “the narrative would be reversed,” throwing the U.S.-backed Ukrainian government on the defensive and negating some of the propaganda advantages gained against Russia.

Plus, if the U.S. government admitted that it had played such a cynical propaganda game, which also smacks of obstruction of justice by giving the actual culprits nearly two years to make their escape and cover their tracks, there would be a loss of “credibility” in Washington.

Apparently, it made more geopolitical sense to keep the heat on Russia and then to lean on the Dutch authorities to fit their investigative findings around the needs of the NATO alliance. That is, after all, how the U.S. government usually operates. It’s also why I was so surprised that the truth finally was told about Iraq not possessing the WMD.



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 and barnesandnoble.com).

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment