Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

The Tip of the Radiation Disaster Iceberg

By John Laforge | CounterPunch | August 31, 2018

The World Nuclear Association says its goal is “to increase global support for nuclear energy” and it repeatedly claims on its website: “There have only been three major accidents across 16,000 cumulative reactor-years of operation in 32 countries.” The WNA and other nuclear power supporters acknowledge Three Mile Island in 1979 (US), Chernobyl in 1986 (USSR), and Fukushima in 2011 (Japan) as “major” disasters. ¶ But claiming that these radiation gushers were the worst ignores the frightening series of large-scale disasters that have been caused by uranium mining, reactors, nuclear weapons, and radioactive waste. Some of the world’s other major accidental radiation releases indicate that the Big Three are just the tip of the iceberg.

CHALK RIVER (Ontario), Dec. 2, 1952: The first major commercial reactor disaster occurred at this Canadian reactor on the Ottawa River when it caused a loss-of-coolant, a hydrogen explosion and a meltdown, releasing 100,000 curies of radioactivity to the air. In comparison, the official government position is that Three Mile Island released about 15 curies, although radiation monitors failed or went off-scale.

ROCKY FLATS (Colorado), Sept. 11, 1957: This Cold War factory produced plutonium triggers for nuclear weapons 16 miles from Denver. It caused 30 to 44 pounds of breathable plutonium-239 and plutonium-240 to catch fire in what would come to be known as the second largest industrial fire in US history. Filters used to trap the plutonium were destroyed and it escaped through chimneys, contaminating parts of Denver. Nothing was done to warn or protect downwind residents.

WINDSCALE/SELLAFIELD (Britain), Oct. 7, 1957: The worst of many fires burned through one reactor igniting three tons of uranium and dispersed radionuclides over parts of England and northern Europe. The site was hastily renamed Sellafield. Another large radiation leak occurs in 1981and leukemia rates soared to triple the national average.

KYSHTYM/CHELYABINSK-65 (Russia), Sept. 29, 1957: A tank holding 70 to 80 metric tons of highly radioactive liquid waste exploded, contaminating an estimated 250,000 people, and permanently depopulating 30 towns which were leveled and removed from Russian maps. Covered up by Moscow (and the CIA) until 1989, Russia finally revealed that 20 million curies of long-lived isotopes like cesium were released, and the release was later declared a Level 6 disaster on the International Nuclear Event Scale. The long covered-up explosion contaminated up to 10,000 square miles making it the third- or 4th-most serious radiation accident ever recorded.

SANTA SUSANA (Simi Valley, Calif.), July 12, 1959: The meltdown of the Sodium Reactor Experiment just outside Los Angeles caused “the third largest release of iodine-131 in the history of nuclear power,” according to Arjun Makhajani, President of the Institute for Energy & Environmental Research. Released radioactive materials were never authoritatively measured because “the monitors went clear off the scale,” according to an employee. The accident was kept secret for 20 years.

CHURCH ROCK (New Mexico), July 16, 1979: Ninety-three million gallons of liquid uranium mine wastes and 1,000 tons of solid wastes spilled onto the Navajo Nation and into Little Puerco River, and nuclear officials called it “the worst incident of radiation contamination in the history of the United States.” The Little Puerco feeds the Little Colorado River, which drains to the Colorado River, which feeds Lake Mead—a source of drinking water for Los Angeles.

TOMSK-7 (Russia), April 7, 1993: In “the worst radiation disaster since Chernobyl,” Russian and foreign experts said a tank of radioactive waste exploded at the Tomsk nuclear weapons complex  and that wind blew its plume of radiation  toward the Yenisei River and 11 Siberian villages, none of which were evacuated.

MONJU (Japan), Dec. 8, 1995: This sodium-cooled “breeder reactor” caused a fire and a large leak of sodium coolant into the Pacific. Liquid sodium coolant catches fire on contact with air and explodes on contact with water. Costly efforts to engineer commercial models have failed. Japan’s Monju experiment was halted in 2018 after over 24 years of false starts, accidents and cover-ups.

TOKAI-MURA (Japan), Sept. 30, 1999: A uranium “criticality” which is an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction caused a “neutron burst” that killed three workers and dispersed neutron radiation throughout the densely populated urban area surrounding the factory.

Not to be slighted, deliberate contamination has also been enormous: Five metric tons of plutonium was dispersed over the earth by nuclear bomb testing, and other nuclear weapons processes; Over 210 billion gallons of radioactive liquids were poured into the ground at the Hanford reactor complex in Washington State; and 16 billion gallons of liquid waste holding 70,000 curies of radioactivity were injected directly into Idaho’s Snake River Aquifer at the Idaho National Lab.

Sources. 

Nuclear Roulette: The Truth About the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth, by Gar Smith (Chelsea Green, 2012)

Mad Science: The Nuclear Power Experiment, by  Joseph Mangano (OR Books 2012)

In Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age, by Stephanie Cooke (Bloomsbury, 2009)

Criticality Accident at Tokai-mura, by Jinzaburo Takagi (Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, 2000)

Nuclear Wastelands: A Global Guide to Nuclear Weapons Production & Its Health & Environmental Effects, by Arjun Makhijani, et al (MIT Press, 1995)

The Nuclear Power Deception, by Arjun Makhijani & Scott Saleska (Apex Press, 1999)

Nuclear Madness, Revised, by Helen Caldicot (Norton, 1995).

Multiple Exposures: Chronicles of the Radiation Age, by Catherine Caufield  (Harper & Row, 1989).

Greenpeace Book of the Nuclear Age, by John May (Pantheon, 1989).

Deadly Defense: Military Radioactive Landfills, edited by Dana Coyle, et al (Radioactive Waste Campaign 1988)

No Nukes, by Anna Gyorgy (South End Press, 1979).

John LaForge is a Co-director of Nukewatch, a peace and environmental justice group in Wisconsin, and edits its newsletter.

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Nuclear Power, Timeless or most popular | , | 14 Comments

Corbyn and the Jewish Question

By Gilad Atzmon | August 31, 2018

It doesn’t take a genius to detect the present volatile state of British Jewish institutions. To the outside observer, some of the actions of Britain’s so-called Jewish ‘leaders’ may seem to be a form of collective insanity. Yet, the Brits do not seem to be at all impressed. They are perplexed by the self-propelled collective hysteria. Naturally, many Brits do not agree with Corbyn on issues; some may not agree with his pacifist politics, others see him as a naïve delusional lefty, a few are upset by his association with controversial characters, but no one except a few Israel firsters sees Corbyn as a crazed ‘anti-Semite,’ let alone as a Hitler type who puts Jewish life under an “existential threat.” While it isn’t clear whether Corbyn can unite the Brits against their horrid government, it is increasingly likely that the Zionist lobby has the capacity to unite the Brits behind Corbyn. A comment on twitter the other day noted that “not supporting Corbyn at this point is an act of treason.”

This week the ex-chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, became completely unhinged; comparing Corbyn to Enoch Powell’s “rivers of blood” speech. In an interview Rabbi Sacks maintained that Corbyn “undermines the existence of an entire group of British citizens by depicting them as essentially alien.” What had Corbyn said that provoked such an extreme reaction from the celebrity rabbi?  Apparently, in 2013 Corbyn criticised British Zionists by suggesting that they have two problems. “One is they don’t want to study history and, secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony.”

This raises some obvious questions: 1. What is it in Corbyn’s statement that sparked Rabbi Sacks’ outburst, and 2. How is it possible that when Corbyn speaks about Zionists, Rabbi Sacks hears ‘Jews’?

One possibility is that in Rabbi Sacks’ mind, Jews and Zionists are one and the same. After all, Rabbi Sacks believes that “anti Zionism is the new anti-Semitism.”  The rabbi freely associates ‘Zionists,’ ‘Semites’ and ‘Jews.’ Someone should remind the rabbi that the suggestion that ‘Jews’ and Zionists are somehow the same might fall within the  IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitsm. According to the definition, manifestations of anti-Semitism “might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity.” In his interpretation of Corbyn’s words, Rabbi Sacks seems to expand the term ‘Zionists’ into meaning ‘Jewish collectivity.’ I am afraid that our ex-chief rabbi may have fallen into the IHRA trap, something you might expect from a Talmudic Jewish scholar but not from an Oxford graduate.

The truth of the matter is that Corbyn has managed to touch the most sensitive Jewish collective nerve. In Corbyn’s universalist egalitarian offering there is no room for tribal exceptionalism. In Corbyn’s universe, Jews are just ordinary people and not God’s chosen people. Corbyn’s ‘for the many not the few’ doesn’t conform to chosenism, Jewish or identitarian. But we can see that this universalist perception of the ‘many’ is interpreted by British Jewish leadership as a casus belli – a call for a war.

Corbyn’s reference to Zionists’ ‘lack of British irony’ touched the rawest Jewish nerve. He stumbled upon the Jewish ‘assimilation complex.’

Since the emancipation of European Jewry, a 19th century political transition, Jews have been struggling to define their identity and role in the wider society. Emancipation invited assimilation, it offered Jews the ability to become an indistinguishable part of the ‘many,’ but this transformative shift would have entailed a loss of Jewish identity. This dilemma is known as the ‘Jewish Question.’ Zionism was initially an attempt to resolve the Jewish question and the assimilation dilemma. It offered Jews the ability to be ‘people like all other people’ but in a different place. Zionism promised to take the Jews away while allowing Jews to assimilate, although as a distinct nation amongst nations. Zionism gave Jews a way to resolve the tension between assimilation and preservation. The Jews were saved the danger of integrating into their host nations and allowed to preserve many if not most of their cultural traits, as Israel proves on a daily basis.

The Jewish fear of assimilation is not a secret. Golda Meir who served as Israel’s Prime Minister at the time of October War (1973), believed that Jews who assimilate are essentially partners to the Nazis, since through assimilation they are exterminating the continuation of the Jewish people. For Meir, mixed marriages, and not the Arabs, were the greatest danger to the Jewish people. With Meir’s anti assimilationist view in mind, it is clear why Corbyn’s traditional socialist view of ‘the many’ poses an existential danger to those who insist upon being ‘the few.’ Corbyn’s well meaning invitation to the Jews and everyone else to fully integrate into British society is interpreted by Zionist Jews as a threat of extermination (to use Golda Meir’s loaded terminology).

Rabbi Sacks’ reaction, however, takes us to a new level in our understanding of the Zionist mindset. The rabbi actually accused Corbyn of implying that “Jews are not fully British.” But that was not what Corbyn said or implied. He suggested that “Zionists” are not exactly British, a statement that poses no problem for most Zionists since they openly and voluntarily swear allegiance to another state, one that is nationalist, racist and expansionist and shares few, if any, values with Britain or the West.

In order to grasp Rabbi Sacks’ recent outburst we may have to appeal once again to the famous French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan’s astute observation: “unconscious is the discourse of the Other.” The unconscious, according to Lacan, is the fear that the Other, in this case, the gentile, the humanist or shall we say Corbyn and the Brits see you truly. It is the tormenting thought that the Goy may be able to detect the lie. It is the unbearable anxiety that the Brits know that British Zionists aren’t exactly Brits, they are deeply devoted to another state and its foreign interests, they never assimilated and do not plan to assimilate in the near future. The Lacanian unconscious is the fear that a Goy may stand up one day and decide to call a spade a spade or, way more disturbing, refer to a celebrity ex-chief rabbi as a  “far right extremist,” as Trade Union activist Eddie Dempsey suggests in the video below:

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | 3 Comments

Israel threatens to use nuclear weapons to ‘wipe out’ its enemies

MEMO | August 31, 2018

Standing next to a secretive Israeli atomic reactor earlier in the week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to “wipe out” his enemies. In a speech that many will see as the Jewish state breaking its long silence over the possession of nuclear weapons, the Likud leader warned that it has the means to destroy its enemies.

“Those who threaten to wipe us out put themselves in a similar danger, and in any event will not achieve their goal,” he said on Wednesday during a ceremony to rename the complex, near the desert town of Dimona. The site has long been suspected to be the location where Israel has been developing nuclear weapons.

Iran hit back by describing Netanyahu as a “warmonger”.  The threat “atomic annihilation” against the Islamic Republic was denounced as “beyond shameless in the gall”.

“Iran, a country without nuclear weapons, is threatened with atomic annihilation by a warmonger standing next to an actual nuclear weapons factory,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on his official Twitter account.

Zarif also commented on Israel’s nuclear programme saying: “As the world marks Int’l Day against Nuclear Tests, let’s remember that only nuclear bombs in our region belong to Israel and the US; the former a habitual aggressor & the latter the sole user of nukes. Let’s also remember that Iran has called for Nuclear Weapon Free Zone since 1974.”

Israel has never acknowledged possessing nuclear weapons, instead maintaining a policy of “strategic ambiguity”. Foreign reports have put the size of Israel’s nuclear arsenal in the dozens to hundreds of weapons.

Earlier this month a science journal published by Princeton University’s Science and Global Security journal claimed that Israel conducted illegal nuclear test in contravention of international law.

Netanyahu’s remarks came as Israel lobbies world powers to follow the US in exiting a 2015 international deal with Iran that capped the Islamic Republic’s nuclear capabilities.

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, War Crimes | , , | 3 Comments

Political reformers will wallow in futility until they take aim at the real enemy

By Greg Felton | August 31, 2018

According to the Russian proverb, “Repetition is the mother of learning.” This positive message of perseverance and practice is doubtless known to every Russian schoolchild; however, it is a lost on reform-minded American politicians. Those who promise and fail to bring about fundamental reform show little capacity to learn from their failure. Instead, they chant the same slogans and pious incantations and start over as if nothing had happened, as if the promise to reform were enough. This fixation with rhetoric over realism gives rise to another saying: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”

Those who pay the price for this insanity are Americans­­ desperate for someone, anyone, to provide a viable alternative to the oligarchic establishment that has turned their country into a police state. Repeated failures are debilitating and disillusioning because they end up destroying hope and perpetuating oligarchic power. Two events illustrate this.

The first took place on Jan. 22, 2009, when President-elect Barack Obama signed an executive order that, among other things, made good on a bold campaign promise to close the Guantánamo Bay torture/detention facility. Throughout out his two terms in office, Obama made this promise repeatedly as if repetition would make it come about. Obama did so even as he approved the Pentagon’s appropriations for the coming fiscal year, knowing full well that it included Congressional obstructions to closing it. To register his disapproval, to say nothing of his acquiescence, Obama appended signing statements to the appropriations orders. Typical is this one from Dec. 31, 2011:

I have signed the [National Defense Authorization Act] … despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists. … Section 1027 renews the bar against using appropriated funds for fiscal year 2012 to transfer Guantanamo detainees into the United States for any purpose. I continue to oppose this provision, which intrudes upon critical executive branch authority to determine when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees, based on the facts and the circumstances of each case and our national security interests. (emphasis added)

According to Obama, the failure to close the facility was Congress’s fault, but since he tolerated Congressional obstruction, his protestations meant little. To make matters worse, Obama knew all along he had executive authority to close down Guantánamo Bay with or without Congress’s approval, as he implied at a December 2015 press conference:

I think we can make a very strong argument that it doesn’t make sense for us to be spending an extra $100 million, $200 million, $300 million, $500 million, a billion dollars, to have a secure setting for 50, 60, 70 people. And we will wait until Congress has definitively said no to a well-thought-out plan with numbers attached to it before we say anything definitive about my executive authority here. (emphasis added)

Congress had “definitively said no” numerous times, so this feint towards collaborative problem-solving amounted to empty posturing. Obama’s real opposition was not Congress but those who used Congress to sabotage the closure of Guantánamo Bay, which just happens to hold alleged terrorists associated with the Sept. 11, 2001, attack.

The second failed promise of reform is most commonly associated with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. On Oct. 18, 2016, less than a month before the election, he announced plans to take action against lobbyists and the unseemly undemocratic power they wield in Washington D.C. Among other things, Trump planned to broaden the definition of “lobbyist” to include consultants and advisors, prevent lobbyists from raising campaign contributions and “bar senior executive branch officials from ever lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.” He saw such people as undemocratic and corrupt, especially the deep-pocketed foreign and domestic interests associated with the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation.

Trump’s campaign rallying cry for this reform was, “It’s time to drain the swamp,” and he seemed to be the ideal person to do it: an outsider who earned the Republican nomination because the party was so intellectually ossified and riddled with incompetents, it was incapable of putting forward a credible candidate. Even though the metaphor of a swamp for Washington D.C. is technically inaccurate, the image of a disease-generating wetland swarming with dangerous, predatory creatures was successful because it depicted the public’s long-standing image of the federal government.

“Drain the Swamp” is not unique to Trump or his party, though. On May 21, 2018, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Shumer used “swamp” against Trump in the run up to the mid-term elections: “The swamp has never been more foul, or more fetid, than under this president.” This, in turn, hearkened back to Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s 2006 invocation to “drain the swamp” of Republican government. There are still other repetitions, one going back to Benito Mussolini!

Like Obama’s crusade to close Guantánamo Bay, Trump’s crusade to drain the swamp failed. This was to be expected. In 2000, independent presidential candidate Pat Buchanan gave the definitive explanation: ‘’Neither Beltway party is going to drain this swamp: it’s a protected wetland; they breed in it; they spawn in it.” There can be little doubt who Buchanan meant by “they”. Time and again on the public affairs show The McLaughlin Group, he spelled it out in unambiguous language, as in these excerpts:

  • “There are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in The Middle East – the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the United States.” (Aug. 26, 1990)
  • “Capitol Hill is Israeli occupied territory.” (June 15, 1990)
  • “If you want to know ethnicity and power in the United States Senate, 13 members of the Senate are Jewish folks who are from 2 percent of the population. That is where real power is at….” (Feb. 2, 2007)

Israel’s Proxies in Congress:

Note that almost all these legislators are Democrats.
Source:
www.investmentwatchblog.com/89-of-our-senators-and-congress-hold-dual-citizenship-citizenship-with-israel (March 21, 2018).

Buchanan’s observations are common knowledge, as is the fact that U.S. politicians prostrate themselves annually before the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and that scores of legislators are Israel/U.S. dual citizens. Obama’s and Trump’s reforms did not and could not succeed because the U.S.’s Zionist overlords did not allow it. Closing Guantánamo Bay and bringing its inmates to U.S. prisons would have drawn attention to the U.S.’s sadistic treatment of Muslims to cover up Israel’s role in the Sept. 11 attacks. In the swamp, Israel-firsters are the apex predators and overwhelmingly support the Democratic Party, so Trump’s promise to drain the swamp was a non-starter because it posed an existential threat to Israel.

It’s worth remembering that Trump was not Israel’s choice to be its new American satrap. The swamp had to co-opt him, and it did so successfully. Even though he ran on a campaign of ending counterproductive military aggression, in April 2017 and April 2018 Trump bombed Syria for Israel and received widespread approval in the pro-Israel mass media. He also reversed decades of U.S. policy by acceding to Zionist demands that the U.S. move its embassy to Jerusalem, thereby violating long-standing international law. The appointments of Zionists Mike Pompeo to Secretary of State and John Bolton to National Security Advisor in 2018 essentially confirmed his political surrender to the “swampocracy”.

Unless, a reformer is prepared to attack the impediments to reform instead of talking about its symptoms, any talk of fighting corruption or injustice is a cruel joke. One courageous, principled reformer who stands up to the Zionist imperial machinery is British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. For his efforts, he is vilified and subjected to Zionist-led subversion within his party, but despite these and other vilifications, like the empty, fabricated epithet “anti-Semite,” he will not back down. North Americans have nobody like Corbyn to look up to. It seems that only when politicians are about to leave office and have nothing to lose do they find the courage they lacked when their political careers mattered. As I wrote in The Host & The Parasite––How Israel’s Fifth Column Consumed America:

On May 20, 2004, retiring Sen. Ernest Hollings unleashed a fusillade from the Senate floor denouncing the coercive and corrosive power of The Lobby: “You can’t have an Israel policy other than what AIPAC gives you around here… I can tell you, no President takes office—I don’t care whether it is a Republican or a Democrat—that all of a sudden AIPAC will tell him exactly what the policy is, and Senators and members of Congress ought to sign letters… I didn’t like to keep it a secret, maybe; but I can tell you now, I will challenge any one of the other 99 Senators to tell us why we are in Iraq, other than what this policy is here. It is an adopted policy, a domino theory of The Project For The New American Century.” (p. 482)

Taking aim at the Zionist infrastructure entails an element of personal and professional risk, but the price for acquiescence is slavery. Americans, and Canadians, will not regain control of their countries until Zionists are recognized as the enemy, and that entails not letting them get away with conflating “Zionist” with “Jew,” squawking “anti-Semitism” or invoking the “Holocaust ®”. In the next part, I will show how this admonition applies even more strongly to political activists, who seem to prefer flogging their own biases to working for the common good.

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | 2 Comments

Iran’s Long-Range Missile Defense System to Be Operational Soon: Commander

Al-Manar | August 31, 2018

The commander of the Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base (the central headquarters of Iran’s Air Defense) said a domestically made long-range missile system will come into service by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2019).

“(Iran’s) air defense industry is completely self-sufficient today,” Brigadier General Alireza Sabahi Fard said in a speech, addressing a congregation of worshipers in Tehran on Friday.

“We have reached the stage of designing and producing indigenized air defense systems, (passing through) the stage of reverse engineering and manufacturing components,” he added.

“Today, our country has achieved self-sufficiency in producing short, medium and long-range ground-to-air missiles,” the commander said.

He further said that the Iranian people will hear good news that a long-range missile system will be coming into service later this year.

Iranian military experts and technicians have in recent years made great headway in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the armed forces self-sufficient in the arms sphere.

Iranian officials have repeatedly underscored that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, including its missile power, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will never be subject to negotiations.

Back in February, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei called for efforts to maintain and boost Iran’s defense capabilities, hitting back at the enemies for disputing the country’s missile program.

“Without a moment of hesitation, the country must move to acquire whatever is necessary for defense, even if the whole world is opposed to it,” Ayatollah Khamenei said on February 18.

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | | 2 Comments

Is the Next US Aggression on Syria Already Scheduled?

Photo credit: Atılgan Özdil, Anadolu Agency
The Saker • Unz Review • August 31, 2018

The things that please are those that are asked for again and again
Horace

Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran
John McCain

President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price…
Donald Trump

It is difficult to have a dialogue with people who confuse Austria and Australia
Vladimir Putin

Bis repetita

It appears that we are coming back full circle: the AngloZionists are again, apparently, preparing to use the very same White Helmets (aka “good terrorists”) to execute yet another chemical false flag attack in Syria and again blame the government forces for it. The Russians are, again, warning the world in advance and, just as last time, (almost) nobody gives a damn. And there are even reports that the US is, yet again, considering imposing a (totally illegal) no-fly zone over Syria (I have not heard this once since Hillary’s presidential campaign). And just like last time, it appears that the goal of the US is to save the “good terrorists” from a major governmental victory.

It appears that my prediction that each “click” brings us one step closer to the “bang!” is, unfortunately, coming true and while the Empire seems to have given up on the notion of a full-scale reconquest of Syria, the Neocons are clearly pushing for what might turn out to be a major missile strike on Syria. The fact that firing a large number of missiles near/over/at Russian forces might result in a Russian counter-attack which, in turn, could lead to a major, possibly nuclear, war does not seem to factor at all in the calculations of the Neocons. True, the Neocons are mostly rather stupid (as in “short-term focused”) people, with a strong sense of superiority and a messianic outlook on our world. However, it baffles me that so few people in the US and the EU are worried about this. Somehow, a nuclear war has become so unthinkable that many have concluded that it can never happen.

The other thing which the Neocons seem to be oblivious to is that the situation on the ground in Syria cannot be changed by means of missile strikes or bombs. For one thing, the last US attack has conclusively shown that US Tomahawks are an easy target for the Syrian (mostly antiquated) air defenses. Of course, the US could rely on more [advanced] AGM-158 JASSM which are much harder to intercept, but no matter what missiles are used, they will not effectively degrade the Syrian military capabilities simply because there are so few lucrative targets for cruise missile strikes in Syria to begin with. Considering that the US knows full well that no chemical attack will take place (or even could take place, for that matter, since even the US have declared Syria chemical weapons free in 2013) the White House might decide to blow up a few empty buildings and declare that “the animal Assad” has been punished I suppose. But even if completely unopposed a US missile attack will make no military sense whatsoever. So this begs the question of what would be the point of any attack on Syria? Sadly, the rather evident answer to that is that the upcoming missile strike has less to do with the war in Syria and much more to do with internal US politics.

Russian and Syrian options

There are a few differences too. The biggest difference is that this time around the Russian naval task force in the eastern Mediterranean is much bigger than last time: 15 ships including two advanced frigates, the Admiral Grigorovich and the Admiral Essen (see a detailed report here: https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/russia-sends-largest-naval-fleet-ever-to-syrian-waters/ ) and two 636.3-class advanced diesel-attack submarines. That is a lot of anti-ship, anti-air and anti-submarine firepower and, even more crucially, a lot of advanced early warning capabilities. Since the Russian and Syria air defense networks have been integrated by single automated fire system this means that the Syrians will very accurately “see” what is taking place in and around the Syrian airspace (this is especially true with the Russians keeping their A-50U AWACs on 24/7 patrol).

What has me most worried are the various reports (such as this one) which says that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last week that “Moscow would be held responsible” if any chemical attack occurs. If by “Moscow will be responsible” the crazies in Washington DC mean “morally responsible”, then this is just the usual nonsense. But I am afraid that with certified nutcases like Bolton and Pompeo in charge, the US might be considering attacking Russian personnel in Syria (not necessarily at the well defended Khmeimin or Tartus bases). These guys could easily target various installations or Syrian military units where Russian personnel are known to be deployed and declare that they were not deliberately targeting Russians and that the Russians hit were “clearly involved” with the Syrian chemical weapon forces. The US has already targeted Russian nationals for kidnapping and detention, they might start killing Russian nationals next and then place the responsibility for these deaths on the Kremlin. You don’t think so? Just think “Skripal” and you will see that this notion is no so far fetched.

The Russians do have options, by the way. One thing they could do is place 6 (modernized) MiG-31s on quick alert in southern Russia (or, even better, in Iran) and keep a pair of them on combat air patrol over Syria (or over Iran). Combined with the “eyes” of the A-50U, these MiG-31s could provide the Russians with a formidable capability, especially against the US B-1B deployed in Qatar or Diego Garcia. So far, the MiG-31s have not seen action in Syria, but if intercepting a large number of cruise missiles becomes the mission then they would offer a much more flexible and capable force than the very small amount of Su-35 and Su-30 currently based in Khmeimim.

But the key to protecting Syria is to beef-up the Syrian air defenses and early warning capabilities, especially with advanced mobile air defense systems, especially many short-to-medium range systems like the Tor-M2 and the Pantsir-S2. Until this goal is achieved, the US and Russia will remain in a most dangerous “Mexican standoff” in which both parties are engaged in what I call a “nuclear game of chicken” with each party threatening the other side while counting on its own nuclear capability to deter a meaningful counter-attack or retaliation. This is extremely dangerous but there is very little Russia can do to stop the US leaders from coming back to that same strategy over and over again. So far the Russians have shown a truly remarkable level of restraint, but if pushed too far, they next step for them will be to retaliate against the US in a manner which would provide them with what the CIA calls “plausible deniability” (I discussed this option over a year ago in this article). If attacked directly and openly the Russians will, of course, have no other option left than to hit back. And while it is true that the Russian forces in and near Syria are vastly outnumbered by US/NATO/CENTOM forces, the Russians have a massive advantage over the US in terms of long range cruise missiles (see Andrei Martyanov’s analysis “Russia’s Stand-Off Capability: The 800 Pound Gorilla in Syria” for a detailed discussion of this topic).

None of the above is new, the world has been been stuck in this situation for well over a year now and there still appears to be no end in sight. Unfortunately, I can only agree with Ruslan Ostashko: only a massive military defeat or a no less massive economic collapse will stop the folks who “who confuse Austria and Australia” to give up their insane quest for world hegemony by violence.

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 6 Comments

Tehran Slams French FM’s Remarks on Iranian Missile Program

Al-Manar | August 31, 2018

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi criticized French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s Thursday remarks about Iran’s missile program and said such “unwarranted concerns” are rooted in his “wrong perceptions” of the program.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly declared its clear and transparent stance on unwarranted concerns rooted in some countries’ wrong perceptions and ignorance,” Qassemi said in a statement on Friday.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always shown that it has never been fearful of dialogue and negotiation and that it believes in it,” he said.

However, in a situation that the outcome of all efforts of Iran and other world powers (the 2015 nuclear deal) is violated by “the bullying and excessive demands” of France’s partners, there is no reason for Iran to trust and negotiate on “unnegotiable issues”, the spokesman added.

“The world and the French statesmen are well aware that Iran’s regional policy is in line with regional and international peace and security and the fight against terrorism and extremism, and if such a campaign is not pleasant to some countries that basically create tensions and crises, they can reform their policies,” he went on to say.

The remarks came after Le Drian warned Thursday that Iran “cannot avoid” talks on its ballistic missile program and role in Middle East conflicts, as European powers work to rescue the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iranian officials have repeatedly underscored that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, including its missile power, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will be never subject to negotiations.

The European Union has vowed to counter US President Donald Trump’s renewed sanctions on Iran, including by means of a new law to shield European companies from punitive measures.

Trump on August 6 signed an executive order re-imposing many sanctions on Iran, three months after pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.

He said the US policy is to levy “maximum economic pressure” on the country.

Trump also restated his opinion that the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was a “horrible, one-sided deal”.

On May 8, the US president pulled his country out of the JCPOA, which was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).

Following the US exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 1 Comment

Turkey & Qatar are being punished for refusing to do Washington’s bidding on Iran

By Dan Glazebrook | RT | August 31, 2018

For years, Turkey and Qatar were at the vanguard of the Western imperial project in the Middle East. Having had their fingers burnt in Syria, however, they’re refusing to facilitate Washington’s Iran plans – and paying the price.

Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia in May last year – his first foreign trip as president – was significant for two main reasons: first, the $110 billion arms deal it produced, and secondly, the regional blockade of Qatar it heralded. This was widely seen as having been greenlighted by Trump during his visit. The impact of the blockade – implemented by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt – was, however, immediately mitigated by increased trade with Iran and Turkey in particular, limiting its overall impact.

This month’s attack on the Turkish economy, however, has had far more devastating results. Trump’s tweet on August 10 – announcing a doubling of steel and aluminum tariffs on an economy already hit hard by his trade war – sent the Turkish currency into freefall. By the end of the day’s trading, it had lost 16 percent of its value, reaching a nadir of 7.2 to the dollar two days later; before his tweet, it had never fallen below six to the dollar. Trump’s move came on the back of Federal Reserve policies that were already threatening to provoke financial crises in over-indebted emerging markets such as Turkey. These are harsh punishments for countries long considered prime US allies in the region.

I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018

A NATO member since 1952 (following Turkish involvement in the Korean war on the side of the US), Turkey has hosted a major US airbase at Incirlik since 1954. This has been essential to US operations in the region, and even housed the US nuclear missiles which triggered the Cuban missile crisis. Incirlik was crucial to the US-UK bombing of Iraq in 1991, and, although the Turkish parliament narrowly prevented its use for the 2003 redux, Turkey has been the launchpad for subsequent US strikes both in Iraq and in Afghanistan.

Qatar, meanwhile, is, to this day, run by the family – the al-Thanis – appointed as Britain’s proxies in the 19th century. Granted formal independence only in 1971, the country has remained deeply tied into Western foreign policy since then. Both its ‘post-independence’ rulers were educated at the UK’s Sandhurst military academy, and it, like Turkey, hosts a major US base, while its ruling family, like those of the other Gulf monarchies, are dependent on Western arms transfers to maintain their power. In 2011, Qatar played a major role in NATO’s Libya operation, providing airstrikes, military training, $400 million of funding to insurgent groups, and even ground forces – not to mention the major propaganda role played by the Qatari-owned network Al Jazeera.

Then, in mid-2011, both countries threw themselves headlong into the war to overthrow the Syrian government. Turkish President Erdogan had previously enjoyed relatively warm relations with his Southern neighbor, but at some stage decided that the Western-backed rebellion was going to win, and he wanted in on it. Turkey’s collaboration was crucial for the London-Washington Syria project, not only to give it a semblance of regional legitimacy, but more importantly because its 800km border with the country was to be the conduit for the tens of thousands of armed fighters on which the insurgency would depend.

Unwilling – and, following the decimation of their armies in Iraq and Afghanistan, probably unable – to provide the ground forces necessary to destroy the Syrian Arab Army themselves, the ‘regime-change regimes’ of the West relied on states like Qatar and Turkey to act as intermediaries to facilitate weapons transfers, provide finance and smooth the passage of foreign fighters. Both states, heady with the prospects of the economic and geopolitical rewards that would follow Assad’s removal, and believing their own networks’ fantasies about an imminent collapse, were more than happy to act as accomplices. Over the years that followed, the resources they committed – and the devastation that resulted – were immense. In the case of Turkey, in particular, the spillover would prove disastrous.

Less than three years into the war, the International Crisis Group estimated that Turkey had spent $3 billion on the war on Syria. Yet this figure, high as it is, represents a fraction of the true costs involved. A detailed report in Newsweek in 2015 noted the huge increase in military spending following the start of the Syrian war, rising from $17 billion per year in 2010, to $22.6 billion in 2014, an increase of 25 percent. Furthermore, Turkey has been the first port of call for millions of Syrians fleeing the war. This alone had cost the country an estimated $8 billion by 2015.

Added to this, the report says, are the ‘collateral costs’ resulting from the deterioration of relations with Russia following Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet in 2015, which it estimated could be as high as $3.7 billion due to lost Russian tourism, investment and trade. Trade with Syria, of course, also slumped by “70 percent as a direct effect from the Syrian war,” from $1.8 billion worth of exports in 2010 to $497 million two years later. In place of this legitimate trade – much of it in energy resources – however, came a flourishing new illicit trade. This new trade imposed “an additional cost to the Turkish economy: a growing, untaxed, hard-to-control black market economy. To combat its effect on government revenue, Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Agency declared an increase in inspections and control mechanisms in Turkey.”

Ultimately, however, the government opted to facilitate, rather than attempt to control, this burgeoning black market, issuing in April 2015 “new border regulations that enabled Turkey to open its borders to uncontrolled cash inflow and remittances. According to the new law, travelers no longer had to declare transported currency or profit amounts at the customs booth.” This policy would, noted former governor of Turkey’s central bank Durmus Yilmaz, “attract black money to flow into Turkey.”

“In sum,” concluded the report, “as Turkey incrementally left its prior foreign policy agenda of “Zero Problems with Neighbors” and moved towards an Assad-centric policy, the costs imposed on its economy multiplied. This can be observed directly from the refugee costs, military spending, border security costs and the changing composition of trade volume and quality of liquidity flows in the economy.” Furthermore, “The data suggest… that the more aggressive Turkey gets in its Syria policy in terms of military involvement, the more aggressively these costs rise.” Erdogan’s enthusiastic collaboration with the regime-changers in Washington and London had crippled his country’s economy – not to mention spawning a new era of sectarian militancy in the form of ISIS, which would launch multiple terrorist attacks within Turkey itself.

Being far removed from the conflict, the Syrian war’s impact on Qatar was not nearly as severe. Nevertheless, Qatar, too, pumped billions into the insurgency. The Financial Times noted in 2013: “The gas-rich state of Qatar has spent as much as $3 billion over the past two years supporting the rebellion in Syria, far exceeding any other government.”  It added that “Qatar has sent the most weapons deliveries to Syria, with more than 70 military cargo flights into neighboring Turkey between April 2012 and March this year,” showing clearly the division of labor between Qatari finance and Turkish logistics.

Turkey and Qatar have thus put themselves right at the forefront of Western efforts to overthrow the Syrian state. To date, however – other than an ever-growing pile of burnt Syrian corpses and a huge hole in their own finances – they have nothing to show for it.

In hindsight, the Turkish downing of a Russian jet in November 2015 can be seen as a last-ditch attempt to test the resolve, not of Russia, but of the West. Erdogan wanted to know whether or not the US was going to put their money where their mouth was and put some decisive muscle into the conflict. In the escalation that followed the attack, Turkey immediately put forward plans for a ‘no fly zone’ – euphemism for the sort of all-out aerial bombardment that befell Libya.

But nothing came of it. That was the moment Turkey realized the West was not about to commit anything like the resources necessary to actually bring about victory. Assad was here to stay. Turkey would have to deal with that. And that meant dealing with Russia. The slow realignment of Turkish foreign policy had begun. And earlier this year, with tails no doubt firmly between their legs, even Qatar re-established relations with the Syrian government.

So, when Trump came knocking for buyers for the West’s next brilliant idea – war on Iran, beginning with a brutal economic siege – neither Turkey nor Qatar were exactly chomping at the bit to sign up. The suggestion was even less appealing than the disastrous Syrian gambit, targeting an even more important trading partner, and with even less chance of influence over some mythical future government.

Qatar shares a major gas field – South Pars – with Iran, and is dependent on Iran for accessing eastern energy markets, while Iran is the major source of Turkish energy imports. Following Syria, neither country has much nose left to cut off, even if they had wanted to spite their own face. Trump’s merciless attack on their economies is yet another sign of the increasing US inability to bend once-pliable clients to its will. For all his bluster, it is a clear admission of weakness and failure.

Dan Glazebrook is a freelance political writer who has written for RT, Counterpunch, Z magazine, the Morning Star, the Guardian, the New Statesman, the Independent and Middle East Eye, amongst others. His first book “Divide and Ruin: The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis” was published by Liberation Media in October 2013. It featured a collection of articles written from 2009 onwards examining the links between economic collapse, the rise of the BRICS, war on Libya and Syria and ‘austerity’. He is currently researching a book on US-British use of sectarian death squads against independent states and movements from Northern Ireland and Central America in the 1970s and 80s to the Middle East and Africa today.

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

US Military Presence in Africa: All Over Continent and Still Expanding

By Arkady SAVITSKY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 30.08.2018

Around 200,000 US troops are stationed in 177 countries throughout the world. Those forces utilize several hundred military installations. Africa is no exemption. On August 2, Maj. Gen. Roger L. Cloutier took command of US Army Africa, promising to “hit the ground running.”

The US is not waging any wars in Africa but it has a significant presence on the continent. Navy SEALs, Green Berets, and other special ops are currently conducting nearly 100 missions across 20 African countries at any given time, waging secret, limited-scale operations. According to the magazine Vice, US troops are now conducting 3,500 exercises and military engagements throughout Africa per year, an average of 10 per day — an astounding 1,900% increase since the command rolled out 10 years ago. Many activities described as “advise and assist” are actually indistinguishable from combat by any basic definition.

There are currently roughly 7,500 US military personnel, including 1,000 contractors, deployed in Africa. For comparison, that figure was only 6,000 just a year ago. The troops are strung throughout the continent spread across 53 countries. There are 54 countries on the “Dark Continent.” More than 4,000 service members have converged on East Africa. The US troop count in Somalia doubled last year.

When AFRICOM was created there were no plans to establish bases or put boots on the ground. Today, a network of small staging bases or stations have cropped up. According to investigative journalist Nick Turse, “US military bases (including forward operating sites, cooperative security locations, and contingency locations) in Africa number around fifty, at least.” US troops in harm’s way in Algeria, Burundi, Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan Tunisia, and Uganda qualify for extra pay.

The US African Command (AFRICOM) runs drone surveillance programs, cross-border raids, and intelligence. AFRICOM has claimed responsibility for development, public health, professional and security training, and other humanitarian tasks. Officials from the Departments of State, Homeland Security, Agriculture, Energy, Commerce, and Justice, among other agencies, are involved in AFRICOM activities. Military attachés outnumber diplomats at many embassies across Africa.

Last October, four US soldiers lost their lives in Niger. The vast majority of Americans probably had no idea that the US even had troops participating in combat missions in Africa before the incident took place. One serviceman was reported dead in Somalia in June. The Defense Department is mulling plans to “right-size” special operations missions in Africa and reassign troops to other regions, aligning the efforts with the security priorities defined by the 2018 National Defense Strategy. That document prioritizes great power competition over defeating terrorist groups in remote corners of the globe. Roughly 1,200 special ops troops on missions in Africa are looking at a drawdown. But it has nothing to do with leaving or significantly cutting back. And the right to unilaterally return will be reserved. The infrastructure is being expanded enough to make it capable of accommodating substantial reinforcements. The construction work is in progress. The bases will remain operational and their numbers keep on rising.

A large drone base in Agadez, the largest city in central Niger, is reported to be under construction. The facility will host armed MQ-9 Reaper drones which will finally take flight in 2019. The MQ-9 Reaper has a range of 1,150 miles, allowing it to provide strike support and intelligence-gathering capabilities across West and North Africa from this new base outside of Agadez. It can carry GBU-12 Paveway II bombs. The aircraft features synthetic aperture radar for integrating GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions. The armament suite can include four Hellfire air-to-ground anti-armor and anti-personnel missiles. There are an estimated 800 US troops on the ground in Niger, along with one drone base and the base in Agadez that is being built. The Hill called it “the largest US Air Force-led construction project of all time.”

According to Business Insider, “The US military presence here is the second largest in Africa behind the sole permanent US base on the continent, in the tiny Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti.” Four thousand American servicemen are stationed at Camp Lemonnier (the US base located near Djibouti City) — a critical strategic base for the American military because of its port and its proximity to the Middle East.

Officially, the camp is the only US base on the continent or, as AFRICOM calls it, “a forward operating site,” — the others are “cooperative security locations” or “non-enduring contingency locations.” Camp Lemonnier is the hub of a network of American drone bases in Africa that are used for aerial attacks against insurgents in Yemen, Nigeria, and Somalia, as well as for exercising control over the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. In 2014, the US signed a new 20-year lease on the base with the Djiboutian government, and committed over $1.4 billion to modernize and expand the facility in the years to come.

In March, the US and Ghana signed a military agreement outlining the conditions of the US military presence in that nation, including its construction activities. The news was met with protests inside the country.

It should be noted that the drone attacks that are regularly launched in Africa are in violation of US law. The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), adopted after Sept. 11, 2001, states that the president is authorized to use force against the planners of those attacks and those who harbor them. But that act does not apply to the rebel groups operating in Africa.

It’s hard to believe that the US presence will be really diminished, and there is no way to know, as too many aspects of it are shrouded in secrecy with nothing but “leaks” emerging from time to time. It should be noted that the documents obtained by TomDispatch under the United States Freedom of Information Act contradict AFRICOM’s official statements about the scale of US military bases around the world, including 36 AFRICOM bases in 24 African countries that have not been previously disclosed in official reports.

The US foothold in Africa is strong. It’s almost ubiquitous. Some large sites under construction will provide the US with the ability to host large aircraft and accommodate substantial forces and their hardware. This all prompts the still-unanswered question — “Where does the US have troops in Africa, and why?” One thing is certain — while waging an intensive drone war, the US is building a vast military infrastructure for a large-scale ground war on the continent.

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

The Fear of Being Labeled a Conspiracy Theorist

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | August 31, 2018

One of the CIA’s most successful propaganda campaigns in its 70-year history has been its use of the term “conspiracy theorist” or “conspiracy theory” to disparage anyone who dares to question the official narrative of the Kennedy assassination. The campaign has worked brilliantly. Today American society is filled with people who have a deeply seated fear of being labeled a conspiracy theorist. The fear is almost as big as the fear that people had of being labeled a communist during the Cold War.

I was once talking to two friends and the Kennedy assassination came up in the conversation. I mentioned that I had written a book called The Kennedy Autopsy, which had become a best-seller on Amazon. One of my friends suddenly asked me, “Are you a conspiracy theorist?” I responded, “Well, yes, I guess I am.”

That was the end of that particular subject. Immediately, the conversation was shifted to another topic, never to return to the Kennedy assassination. My friend wasn’t about to engage in a conversation that could down the road to becoming a dreaded conspiracy theorist.

One of the most amusing aspects of this propaganda campaign was an op-ed about the Robert Kennedy assassination that appeared a few months ago in a mainstream newspaper. Of course, most mainstream newspapers have long been extremely afraid of being labeled as conspiracy theorists. The author began his piece by making it clear to everyone that he was not a conspiracy theorist. He then proceeded to explain why he felt that the Robert Kennedy assassination, which officials long ago concluded was the act of a lone gunman, should be reopened to determine whether the assassination was actually the result of a conspiracy.

The deep fear of being labeled a conspiracy theorist has caused many people to effectively conclude that there really has been only one conspiracy in our lifetimes. That would be Watergate. In their minds, every other suggestion of conspiracy, including the assassination of President Kennedy, is immediately put into the same category as the fake moon landing conspiracy, including the following conspiracies in the 10-year periods before and after the Kennedy assassination, i.e., from 1953-1973:

Conspiracy to oust Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh from office.
Conspiracy to oust Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz from office.
Conspiracy to secretly develop a written manual on assassination and cover-up.
Conspiracy to assassinate Arbenz and other Guatemalan officials.
Conspiracy to assassinate Congo President Patrice Lumumba.
Conspiracy to subject Americans to drug experiments without their knowledge and consent.
Conspiracy to murder U.S. official Frank Olson.
Conspiracy to destroy all MKULTRA records.
Conspiracy to invade Cuba.
Conspiracy to oust Cuban President Fidel Castro from power.
Conspiracy to impose an economic embargo on Cuba.
Conspiracy to assassinate Castro.
Conspiracy to partner with the Mafia to assassinate Castro.
Conspiracy to commit sabotage in Cuba.
Conspiracy to commit terrorism in Cuba.
Conspiracy to initiate a coup in Vietnam.
Conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy to remove him from office and elevate Lyndon Johnson to the presidency.
Conspiracy to conduct a fraudulent military autopsy on the body of President Kennedy.
Conspiracy to initiate a military coup in Brazil.
Conspiracy to concoct a fake North Vietnamese attack on U.S. warships in the Gulf of Tonkin.
Conspiracy to prevent physician Salvador Allende from becoming the democratically elected president of Chile.
Conspiracy to bribe Chilean congressmen into voting against Allende.
Conspiracy to kidnap and assassinate the commanding general of Chile’s armed forces, General Rene Schneider.
Conspiracy to cover up involvement in the assassination of Schneider.
Conspiracy to create economic chaos in Chile.
Conspiracy to initiate a military coup in Chile to remove Allende from office.
Conspiracy to execute American citizens Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi during the Chilean coup.
Conspiracy to support brutal Chilean military dictator General Augusto Pinochet.

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

The 10 Main Holes in the Official Narrative on the Salisbury Poisonings: #6 – The Meal and The Drink

By Rob Slane | The Blog Mire | August 30, 2018

In the last two pieces, I have focused on the official timeline of events on March 4th, as stated by The Metropolitan Police on 17th March. In Part #4, I concentrated on the fact that the timeline has not been updated since 17th March to let us know what the Skripals were doing on the morning of 4th March, even though this information is both important and readily available. Then in Part #5, I focused on another very important event that occurred on the afternoon of 4th March, which has been omitted altogether from the timeline: the duck feed. Given that the duck feed occurred after the official narrative says the Skripals were poisoned, but before they went to Zizzis and The Mill, that piece of information alone is enough to completely discredit the official narrative. Which is perhaps why it has been left out.

I want to now focus on one last part of the timeline, which is not something that has been left out, as in the case of the missing 4 hours and the duck feed, but something that appears to have been inverted into the wrong order. Once again, let’s begin with the official timeline:

Saturday 3rd March

14.40hrs on Saturday 3 March: Yulia arrives at Heathrow Airport on a flight from Russia.

Sunday 4th March

09.15hrs on Sunday, 4 March: Sergei’s car is seen in the area of London Road, Churchill Way North and Wilton Road.

13.30hrs: Sergei’s car is seen being driven down Devizes Road, towards the town centre.

13:40hrs: Sergei and Yulia arrive in Sainsbury’s upper level car park at the Maltings. At some time after this, they go to the Bishops Mill Pub in the town centre.

14.20hrs: They dine at Zizzi Restaurant.

15:35hrs: They leave Zizzi Restaurant.

16.15hrs: Emergency services receive a report from a member of the public and police arrive at the scene within minutes, where they find Sergei and Yulia extremely ill on a park bench near the restaurant.

I noted in the previous piece that the timeline is astonishingly vague in places. No more is this so than regarding the visit to The Mill Pub. As a general rule, when there is such vagueness in an official timeline, it must either be because the information that might clarify things is not available, or because those producing the timeline are attempting to conceal something or detract attention.

Is the information available? Of course, and from a number of sources. Firstly, there are a number of CCTV cameras covering The Maltings, and no less than 12 in The Mill itself, all of which could be checked and the timestamps noted. Secondly, according to witnesses the Skripals are known to have ordered two glasses of white wine whilst in The Mill, and so the cash register or card payment would have registered the time of purchase. Thirdly, there were a number of witnesses who claimed to have seen the Skripals both in the pub and the restaurant. Fourthly, Sergei and Yulia’s phones could be tracked to see where they were and when, assuming they were traceable. And fifthly, as I have repeatedly pointed out, Sergei and Yulia are alive, apparently well, and so can be asked to fill in the details.

But if the information is there, why is the timeline so vague?

To answer that, I want to turn to some of the earlier reports, which rely on witness statements to piece together details about the Skripals’ movements. All of these reports appeared prior to the release of the Metropolitan Police’s timeline and, as you will see, there is something very striking about them:

“Sergei Skripal went for a drink with his daughter at 3pm at The Mill in Salisbury after eating at a Zizzi Italian restaurant. In the pub, they ordered two glasses of wine before Mr Skripal went to use the toilet. The witness, who did not want to be named, said that when he returned he appeared as if he was drunk. He said Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia then left immediately without finishing their drinks.”
https://www.pressreader.com/uk/daily-mail/20180310/281625305816856

 

“It is not clear when the Skripals were confronted, having left a branch of Italian restaurant chain Zizzi between 2pm and 3pm. After leaving the restaurant, they are thought to have gone to a nearby a pub called The Mill. They were then seen walking through a shopping precinct and found on a bench overlooking the Avon shortly after 4pm.”
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5473177/Woman-40s-taken-hospital.html

 

“The Skripals had eaten lunch in Italian restaurant chain Zizzi in the centre of Salisbury on Sunday. They are believed to have left between 2pm and 3pm and gone to a nearby pub called The Mill before being found later on a bench overlooking the Avon.”
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/emergency-services-called-to-building-next-to-zizzi-restaurant-at-centre-of-russian-spy-poison-plot-a3784031.html

 

“A witness told detectives he saw a man with a black mask covering his nose and mouth acting suspiciously around 3pm last Sunday. At the time Mr Skripal and Yulia were thought to be in the Mill pub a few yards away.”
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5486163/Fears-Russian-spy-poisoned-bouquet-flowers.html

 

“Witnesses have said that after eating at Zizzi’s restaurant they went to the Mill pub where Mr Skripal appeared unsteady on his feet, as if “drunk” – even though he had only ordered a single glass of white wine – suggesting the effects of the nerve agent were rapidly taking effect.”
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/10/poisoned-police-officer-not-hero-just-job/

 

“Officers yesterday took CCTV from inside The Mill. They had gone into The Mill pub following a meal in a Zizzi restaurant.”
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5742937/cops-hunt-blonde-woman-seen-on-cctv-20-mins-before-ex-russian-spy-spy-sergei-skripal-and-daughter-yulia-were-poisoned/

 

“Steve Cooper, who was at the Mill pub with his wife and dog for a couple of hours last Sunday afternoon, told the BBC he was outraged. Some of his friends, who had been in the pub at the same time and seen Mr Skripal head to the toilet, could not remember what they had been wearing that day, he added. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43362673
When was Mr Cooper in The Mill? Here’s what he said in an interview with ITV:
‘We’d been sitting on the very bench at around 3pm and then moved onto The Mill Pub and left there at 4:45pm where we saw the air ambulance.’”
https://www.facebook.com/itvnewsmeridian/videos/1699234906804241/

 

In fact, there are three very striking things about these reports:

  • Firstly, they all contradict the official timeline by stating that Sergei and Yulia Skripal went to Zizzis first, then on to The Mill.
  • Secondly, a number of them suggest that the Skripals were in the pub at around 3pm, rather than between 1:40 and 2:20, as the official timeline suggests.
  • Thirdly, they are based on the testimony of witnesses, whereas I have yet to see a single witness statement that backs up the order of events suggested in the official timeline.

But if those reports leave you unpersuaded that the Skripals visited Zizzis first, followed by The Mill, there is more. In this early report in The Times, not only is the sequence stated as Zizzis then The Mill, but there is also an interesting detail. It is said that the Skripals left Zizzis 45 minutes after arriving, before going onto The Mill:

“Within 45 minutes the pair had left and it is assumed that they took the short stroll to The Mill.”
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/russian-spy-sergei-skripal-was-easy-to-find-at-pub-restaurant-or-railway-club-t80jfbjxm

This same detail was mentioned in another article, this time in The Mail, which carried the following statement by another witness:

“He was going absolutely crazy, I didn’t understand it and I couldn’t understand him. They had not been seen for a little while by the front of house staff, but I think it was more than that. He just wanted his food and to go. He was just shouting and losing his temper. I would have asked him to leave. He just said, “I want my food and my bill”. ‘The waiter took him the bill at the same time as the main course, which was unusual. I don’t think they paid all of the bill. I think they were given a discount because he was so angry and agitated. He had to wait about 20 minutes for his main course. I think it was easier for the staff just to give him money to leave as he was so angry. They were sitting by themselves at the back of the restaurant but I think people were pleased when they left. They were only there for about 45 minutes. It was a quick lunch. He just wanted to get out of there. She was silent, perhaps embarrassed.”
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5470455/How-poisoned-spy-plot-unfolded-Salisbury.html

Notice how this 45 minutes does not fit into the official timeline. There it is said that they arrived at Zizzis at 14:20 and left at 15:35. By my reckoning, this is 75 minutes. Not 45. And in any case, the 75 minutes would make a nonsense of his apparent agitation at having to wait 20 minutes for his main course.

Put all this together and what can we say?

Firstly: we can be confident that the original reports, based on various witness statements and all claiming that the Skripals went to Zizzis first and then The Mill, are accurate.

Secondly: we can therefore be confident that the official timeline, which places the visit to The Mill before the visit to Zizzis, but which is backed up by no public witness statements, is wrong.

Thirdly: we can construct our own timeline of that part of the day, which although not official, and differing from the official timeline, does at least have the benefit of getting things in the right order:

13:40hrs: Sergei and Yulia arrive in Sainsbury’s upper level car park at the Maltings.

13:45hrs: Sergei is seen on CCTV feeding ducks near the Avon Playground, and handing bread to three boys, none of whom seem to have been affected by a nerve agent.

13:50-14:00hrs: The Skripals enter Zizzi Restaurant.

14:35-14:45hrs: They leave Zizzis and walk to The Bishops Mill Pub.

All of which begins to answer the question of why the official timeline is so vague. It is vague because the order of events it posits is incorrect. Furthermore – and I’m sorry to say that I can think of no other plausible reason, given the “cloud of witnesses” mentioned above – it is vague because the order of events it suggests is deliberately incorrect. That is, it appears that a decision has been taken to ignore all the early reports, and to discard all that witness testimony, and instead to advance a timeline that is based on no public witness statements, using the vague and woolly statement, “At some time after this, they go to the Bishops Mill Pub in the town centre”.

Which raises a number of important questions:

  1. Why have investigators ignored a large number of reports and witness statements, and have instead produced a timeline that is not backed up by any public testimony?
  2. Why have the media organisations who came up with the Zizzis to Mill order of events after speaking to witnesses, not questioned the Metropolitan Police timeline and its implication that their reports were “fake news”?
  3. Why do those who constructed the timeline seem so keen to avoid people concluding what the early reports state, which is that after leaving Zizzis, the Skripals were in The Mill at around 3pm?

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

‘Imperial arrogance’: Fake FB accounts spewing US propaganda at Cubans fit the pattern

RT | August 30, 2018

While the US accuses Russia of using internet trolls to sow discord, Washington is funding its own propaganda body’s program of ‘non-branded Facebook accounts’ operating in Cuba.

Here is a fun fact: The US Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), an arm of America’s official foreign propaganda agency the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), is setting up “non-branded local Facebook accounts to disseminate information” in Cuba. The OCB believes that such pages are more likely to be appearing on newsfeeds of actual Cubans with access to the social network – apparently because Facebook changed its algorithms to give priority to living people over organizations in its crusade on the phantom menace of ‘Russian fake news’.

The quote does not come from some leaked report on American information warfare against the Cuban government. It comes from page 31 of the BBG’s request for fiscal year 2019 funding. Spending taxpayer money on fake online personas used to disseminate propaganda and meddle in another nation’s affairs is perfectly fine – so long as it’s America doing it.

Of course, the US public will probably not know this, because the national networks are more interested in explaining how bad Russians are plotting to kill Americans by convincing them not to vaccinate. A barrage of no less than 253 tweets was launched with that purpose, according to a recent study (over a period of three years, almost half pro-vaccination, cannot be actually confirmed to have come from Russia). But readers of The Miami New Times may learn about the Cuban story too, along with how the US wasted money for decades in “Wile E. Coyote-esque stunts” to reach the Cuban public.

US attempts to destabilize the Cuban government have been ongoing since 1959, although after the Cold War the focus shifted more to less-direct methods like funding anti-government groups in Cuba and trying to stir dissent through radio and TV broadcasts, points out William Robinson, author and professor of sociology at the University of California. The “non-branded accounts” are just another part of this effort.

“That’s the same thing that the United States is doing all around the world: in Russia, in Eastern Europe, in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia,” he told RT. Robinson added that many of Americans are simply not aware of such facts because major US media outlets would not report them.

“The corporate media and the political leaders in the United States present US interventions around the world… as the promotion of democracy and human rights,” he said. “And this propaganda in the United States has normalized this double standard, whereby the US can intervene all around the world – politically, at the level of propaganda, at the level of social media – but will not tolerate anyone else doing anything of the sort inside the United States.”

The attitude is far from being limited to information warfare, he said.

“The US has sent hundreds of thousands of troops in Iraq; it’s intervening in Syria, intervening in Afghanistan, intervening in Yemen. And it’s perfectly acceptable and normalized in the US media and the political establishment. But when then it accuses Iran of intervening in Syria or in Yemen, this is supposed to be a grave violation of international law and justice and Iran is sanctioned tight now,” Robinson said. “This is a very consistent double standard and imperial arrogance that we have seen for much of the 20th and into the 21st century.”

The US-based social media giants like Facebook, Twitter or Google have been lately demonstrating their resolve in fighting “malign Russian influence” on their platforms by deleting “suspicious inauthentic accounts.” Robinson is sure nothing of the sort will happen with OCB’s fake accounts in Cuba.

The tech companies “are all linked to high-level national security establishment… Absolutely we will not see Facebook banning this type of US state intervention in the social media in Cuba, or anywhere else in the world.”

Read more:

Facebook restores Telesur page with vague explanation of controversial block

August 30, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment