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Nasrallah on the End of US Hegemony: Trump will Leave the Middle East, Region Already Reshaping – PART II

Interview of Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah Secretary General, with Ghassan Ben Jeddou, founder of the pan-Arab and anti-imperialist Al-Mayadeen channel, January 26, 2019.

Transcript:

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: (The US forces withdrawal from Syria announced by Trump) is therefore not a mere tactical maneuver. You say he is serious and sincere in his desire to withdraw, but this reflects a failure, if not a defeat, not for Trump especially but for the American (hegemony) project in general.

Hassan Nasrallah: Obviously this is all at once a failure, a dead end and a defeat. Currently, the cause of his hesitation is that (his advisers) tell him that the Kurds are their allies (and that they should not abandon them). I’ll explain why we saw these hesitations recently (as regards the US withdrawal from Syria).

When Trump said that US troops would withdraw and that there was only sand and death in Syria, he also said something even more important: “Does the USA want to be the Policeman of the Middle East? Do we want to be there forever?” With this statement, he hinted, and even more than hinted (this is an explicit indication), that all these US forces in the Middle East were not to stay, and that in time he would conduct (a full) withdrawal. What effect did this statement produce in the region, Professor Ghassan? Let us leave the question of Israel for later.

This statement caused, within the Saudi regime, in a number of Gulf countries enemies of Syria, and among all the allies of the United States in the region, – be they organizations, parties or personalities, not to mention the States – an immense feeling of fear and despair. And Trump knows them well (and he knew the effect that his statement would cause). When he says (to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries) that “You would not last two weeks (in power) without American (military) support”, or “Without us, your planes would get off the ground but couldn’t land”, “Without us, you Saudis would speak Persian.” He tells them all this, and adds “We will not remain the (Middle East’s) policeman, we will leave the region.” This caused a state of confusion, despair and fear in the region. That’s the first point.

That is why all the countries and groups (who rely on the US), starting with the Kurdish parties, came to Beirut and asked to meet with Hezbollah. We met them. Then they went…

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: Who are you talking about ?

Hassan Nasrallah: Kurdish parties, who are responsible for negotiating on behalf of the Kurdish units. They came to talk to us, and from there they went to Moscow and then to Iraq to request that Iraq serves as an intermediary with President Bashar al-Assad. Today, the Kurds and the Kurdish movements are (hopelessly) seeking…

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: Who are you talking about exactly? The Syrian Democratic Forces?

Hassan Nasrallah: Yes, the Syrian Democratic Forces, Kurd bodies and representatives in charge of negotiating. Very quickly, they rushed to Moscow, to Iraq, to Lebanon. Why? Because Trump has abandoned them, he forsake them, he betrayed them. This is regarding the East of the Euphrates.

Regarding the (US-aligned) countries, (they panicked at the idea of being abandoned), and they all began to think (intensely and reconsider their positions). They review their stances and try to strengthen their relations with Russia, they reconsider their relations with Iran. Even in Syria, the priorities of some countries are not the same anymore. And now we can talk about the issue (of the relations between) Arab (countries) and Syria. You want me to tell you this story now, or later?

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: Please, go ahead.

Hassan Nasrallah: According to my information, all that we saw in recent weeks, namely the Emirates reopening their embassy in Syria…

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: And before that, the President (of Sudan) al-Bashir (coming to Syria).

Hassan Nasrallah: Indeed. The President al-Bashir came to Syria. Did he come on his own?

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: What is your information?

Hassan Nasrallah: He got a green light from Saudi Arabia.

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: This is your information?

Hassan Nasrallah: Yes. A green light from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries.

At the end, lately, President al-Bashir rallied them. And the fact that (an Arab President) meets Bashar al-Assad is something of vital importance to (Saudi Arabia and the Emirates).

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: So this visit was not an arrangement of Russia that would have angered Saudi Arabia and the UAE (as some media have claimed)?

Hassan Nasrallah: No, under no circumstances. The current problem between President al-Bashir and Saudi Arabia has nothing to do with his visit to Syria. It concerns the fact that Saudi Arabia has not kept its promises and financial commitments made to President al-Bashir in return for his sending brigades of the Sudanese army to fight in Yemen – and Sudan’s involvement in this war is very unfortunate. This issue has nothing to do with Syria.

Anyway, the visit of President al-Bashir (to Syria), the reopening of the UAE embassy, the announcement of the Foreign Minister of Bahrain – and by the way, his statement was false, he was lying – who claimed that their embassy in Syria had always remained open, etc. But this is not true. Anyway, we started to see an Arab atmosphere (different with regard to Syria), we see Saudi advances, (Syrian) delegations visited Cairo, and there is talk about the coming of President al-Sissi and others to Damascus, etc. What is the reason ? And here I also speak basing myself on sound information that come from more than one (trustworthy) source.

In light of the decision of Trump to withdraw, and after the resignation of Mattis, who was seen as a guarantee by many, and because of the visible concern within the US administration, there was a great wave of panic in Saudi Arabia and the UAE – and with all their allies and instruments, but especially these two countries in particular. They met in Abu Dhabi to assess the situation – and their options – at a very high level. They assessed their situation in Syria and said:

“The battle against President Bashar al-Assad is over, and our groups have failed. All the movements we financed are now with Erdogan, isn’t it? All those who fought in Syria, in southern Syria, which were financed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel, have gradually retreated (following their consecutive defeats) and are now all in the North, that is to say (in the hands of) Erdogan. The battle against President Assad is over as regards the armed factions, groups and parties that we supported, as well as our various networks of influence: our whole project collapsed. Assad will certainly remain in office, the Syrian State won, the opposing Axis triumphed in Syria. There remains (only) one danger (that we can prevent): Erdogan –sorry, I mean Trump– made the decision to withdraw (his troops from Syria), and therefore, the only refuge of the Kurds is Assad and Damascus, (to avoid) the invasion of the East of the Euphrates by Turkey.”

Trump told Erdogan that Syria is his. If Syria is (abandoned to) Erdogan, if Turkey wants to invade Syria, it is a very dangerous project for Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. Imagine that their analysis reached this conclusion: the main danger in Syria is not Iran…

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: This is the conclusion reached by the UAE and Saudi Arabia?

Hassan Nasrallah: Yes. (The main danger in their eyes) is not Iran. The main danger (today) is Turkey. Iran comes in second position. President Assad, whose position is fully consolidated in Syria, is third, and (Saudi Arabia and the UAE) are even willing to have relations with him. They may also agree with Russia and get some guarantees from her, etc. Russia is less problematic in their eyes. They consider that the main danger is Turkey.

You know, (Saudi Arabia and the UAE) always think in sectarian terms. Ultimately, (in their eyes), Iran – and do not blame me for my frankness – is a Shiite country, and therefore may only have limited influence in Syria, etc. On the other hand, Turkey is a Sunni country, which has a certain presence in Syria, historical relations with that country, is a neighboring country and has a common border, so if Turkey enters (permanently) in Syria, it will be the end and no one will be able to get them out. (That’s how they see things).

Is it because their heart burns for Syria (that they fear a Turkish invasion)? Certainly not. Never. They couldn’t care less about the fate of Syria (and Syrians). But they believe that the advance of the Turkish project in Syria would be the advance of the (opponent) Axis, namely Turkey, Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood. And that would revive this project, which targets, according to them, the Saudi regime, the UAE regime, the Egyptian regime, etc.

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: And this is the reason of their opening (towards the Syrian regime)?

Hassan Nasrallah: That is why they decided to get closer to Syria and to restore relations with President Assad and the Syrian State, while remaining in their hostility towards Iran, but trying to agree with Russia in order to put obstacles in the way of any progress of Erdogan’s (neo-Ottoman) project in Syria and therefore in the region.

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: But what happened to them so that they’d interrupt their rapprochement with Damascus?

Hassan Nasrallah: The opening (towards Syria) began, and they started talking about the return of Syria in the Arab League. President al-Bashir visited President Assad and told him about it. And Assad’s position did not surprise me.

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: What have they offered? What is your information?

Hassan Nasrallah: They asked Syria to submit a written request indicating that given the new circumstances in the region (end of the war in Syria, etc.) and their concern for the Arab States and Arab Unity  & Cooperation, they wanted to regain their statute of member of the Arab League.

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: This is the message they gave him?

Hassan Nasrallah: Yes. Of course, I refer to the substance of their proposal, and I do not quote it by heart.

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: And then?

Hassan Nasrallah: (Assad’s) answer (was as follows): “Syria has never walked out of the Arab League (voluntarily), so we cannot request to come back to it. We never submitted a resignation that we should now withdraw. It is up to those who have kicked us out to ask us to come back.” And this is a noble and dignified position, and perfectly predictable. It is not a surprise. If Arab regimes think that they merely have to tell President Assad that their doors are open and that Syria can come back (to the Arab League), to see him feel a huge relief and run with joy in their arms, they are deluded. Syria will resume its place in the Arab world, and it is in its interest. But she will come back with all her dignity (and not slavishly).

What is new is that the US has made an assessment of Trump’s accomplishments, “But what have you done? Where are our allies?” So-and-so is (getting closer to) Russia, so-and-so is with President Bashar al-Assad, so-and-so considers that now, the main danger in Syria is Turkey (major NATO member) and not Iran, while the US want their (main) enemy to remain Iran. What to do (in this situation of dramatic decline of US influence in the Middle East)?

Allow me to say, about Lebanon and all the Lebanese political forces that were betting on the fall of the Syrian State and regime, that you can imagine in what state they found themselves when they heard Mr. Trump declare that he would withdraw from Syria.

Therefore, the US decided to ask Mr. Pompeo to tour the region to boost the morale of all States and groups who are devastated by the announcement of the US withdrawal from Syria (and the Middle East), and began to reconsider their choices, their relationships and their future and to grab on to their thrones (in a fit of panic). (This Pompeo visit aimed to) try to put them back on their feet, to boost their morale and to assure them that the US supports them and won’t give up on them, that they do not intend to leave the region, and as a proof, he invited them to participate with the United States to a conference in Warsaw meant to deal with Iran, its influence and its threat, (in an attempt) to put them back in confrontation with Iran, at least in terms of appearances.

(Pompeo) sent David Hill to Lebanon – for Pompeo (feels) too important to come himself to Lebanon – with the same message, to reassure those who felt frightened, demoralized, anxious and lost by the US policy in the Middle-East.

But since we have arrived at this point of our discussion, I want to conclude this presentation with this statement: the United States will not manage to do more than they have already done. I declare to the governments of the region, to their leaders, to their peoples, to their movements and to Israel – because we will finally come to Israel –, that the US are deserting our region. They will flee Syria – it may take several months, but the decision is taken.

O my brothers, they are fleeing from Afghanistan. And do you know who they leave (in charge of) Afghanistan? They leave the Taliban! Because in the agreement, Trump won the Taliban’s commitment not to allow Al Qaeda and ISIS (to settle) back in Afghanistan. Trump considers that the Taliban represent the government of tomorrow, who can (already) provide guarantees to the US government. Isn’t it a humiliating defeat for the US in Afghanistan? Especially since the Taliban are officially considered as a terrorist organization (by the US), and Washington claims to never negotiate with terrorists.

The United States will flee. There will be no more US forces waging war in our region. Trump won’t launch a war for the eyes of Mohammad Bin Salman (Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia), nor for the eyes of Mohammed bin Zayed (UAE Crown Prince), not even for Netanyahu’s eyes – and clearly, Netanyahu’s eyes are much more valuable to Trump. Not even for the eyes of Netanyahu! Trump, the US and the situation of the United States, either inside at the level of the economy, etc., etc., etc., do not allow them to launch a new war in our region. There will be no US war in the region.

What does Trump want then? (For him), it is from their own pocket that States, regimes and forces (allied to the US in the Middle East must fight), with their own money, their own media, their own blood… Trump wants to bring them together again to put them (alone) against Iran. And if, against Iran, for 40 years – we are at the 40th anniversary (of the Islamic Revolution) –, the United States and all the tyrants on Earth have been unable to do anything to bring down this regime and this blessed Islamic Republic, then (what could the Arab States do by themselves)?

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: But Eminent Sayed, relatively, (the United States), haven’t they won? You just revealed a very important information, namely that the Saudis and Emiratis gathered and concluded that the major strategic change that you just presented will occur (inevitably). But it seems that Trump still won. First, he slowed down the rush of Arab countries to Damascus, and secondly, today, we hear a new discourse from the Arab countries, namely that…

Hassan Nasrallah: The fact that he stopped the momentum of the Arab countries is natural. He can keep them in check easily. Do you think that these countries are courageous, independent, that they have an independent process of decision, and may rebel against their American master? Never. That is why…

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: What I mean is that the US managed to put all their allies –Saudi Arabia, the UAE and all others– into line.

Hassan Nasrallah: Yes, but this is not a success. Trump only prevented that everything collapses quickly. But (it is mere damage control and) the collapse process is still ongoing.

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: Has he stopped or only slowed down the process of opening the Arab countries towards Syria?

Hassan Nasrallah: What we have heard and what was reported to us is that they are undecided. There is no clear choice to maintain the absence (of relations with Damascus) or stay in a completely negative attitude (against Syria). I give you a proof of that. Two days ago, there was a meeting between a UAE economic delegation and a Syrian delegation. I do not remember if it was held in Damascus or in the Emirates. This means that at least, at an intermediate level, these relations will continue. (Sooner or later), it will be revealed that very important people in Arab countries secretly came to Damascus, although these meetings were not made public. But it is for the Syrian leadership (to reveal this issue). And I speak of meetings at the highest level.

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: At the political or security level?

Hassan Nasrallah: At least at the security level.

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: For example heads of intelligence services?

Hassan Nasrallah: For example.

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: Policymakers?

Hassan Nasrallah: Yes.

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: From these (most) influential Gulf countries (Saudi Arabia and UAE)?

Hassan Nasrallah: Let’s just say from Arab countries, (don’t try to force me) to reveal more about their identity or titles – whether Sheikh or Sayed, Professor or Hajj, Doctor or Engineer, etc. What I have revealed is enough (I will say no more).

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: Influential and active Arab countries?

Hassan Nasrallah: Currently, the United States wants and strives to retain forcefully these Arab countries back (to prevent them from making a step towards Damascus, Moscow, etc.) But of course, so far, they haven’t brought anything substantial to convince them and reassure them (that this is the right choice), and that the United States have not abandoned Syria to Turkey. For this is what Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, President al-Sissi and Egypt, and all the others, want to hear clearly.

That is why we will perhaps see, on the Arab question, a slowdown or coldness in the momentum towards Syria, but I exclude that this movement can be completely stopped. Therefore I conclude this point by saying that the United States failed in Syria. Of course, after this fiasco, the one who loses the most and who is in the greatest distress is Netanyahu.

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: Yes. […]

Translation: unz.com/sayedhasan

March 31, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nevada Judge Says Online News Publications Aren’t Protected By The State’s Journalist Shield Law

By Tim Cushing | TechDirt | March 26, 2019

The internet has upended journalism. It’s no longer limited to long-established press outlets known for printing physical newspapers and periodicals. It can be performed by anyone, using a vast amount of resources, including search engines, public records requests, and the occasional application of shoe leather.

The First Amendment provides protection to these endeavors. Except when it doesn’t. Well-meaning legislators seeking to protect journalists use older definitions of journalism to exclude bloggers and freelancers. Some judges make the same mistake as well, deciding the word “journalist” only covers people trafficking in ink and paper, rather than bits and pixels.

This older definition was in play in a recent decision handed down by a Nevada judge. Rather than recognize that the intent of Nevada’s shield law is to protect journalists, Judge James Wilson decided the law only protects a narrow subset of those practicing the art of journalism.

Nevada shield laws don’t protect online-only news sources unless the websites are members of the Nevada Press Association. That’s the view of First Judicial District Judge James Wilson, who determined yesterday that Sam Toll, editor of an online news site, must reveal his story sources to developer and brothel owner, Lance Gilman, whom Toll has criticized. […]

Wilson said that “because Toll does not print the Storey Teller, the Storey Teller is not a newspaper, and therefore the news media privilege is not available to Toll under the ‘reporter of a newspaper’ provision of (Nevada law).”

According to the court’s interpretation [PDF] of the law, Sam Toll is only shielded from discovery requests for anything that occurred past August 2017, which is when Toll became a member of the Nevada Press Association. Seeing as the Nevada Press Association was willing to extend credentials to Toll and his site, it would stand to reason his work prior to that date was recognized as journalism. Unfortunately, the court feels the outdated definition in the state’s shield law excludes Toll from prior coverage.

Toll publishes his articles on the internet and not in any other format. He does not print his articles. The Legislature did not define “Newspaper” in NRS 49.275 or elsewhere in Chapter 49. The Legislature has defined “newspaper” in several other chapters of the NRS. It appears that under all of the statutory definitions a newspaper must be printed. For example, NRS Chapter 238, which relates to legal notices and advertisements, in 238.020, defines daily, triweekly, semiweekly, weekly and semimonthly newspapers. All of the definitions in NRS 238.020, and apparently throughout the Nevada Revised Statutes, include that a newspaper is printed.

The shield law was enacted in 1969, when printing was the only means of distribution. Its only other update followed six years later. The Reporters Committee for Press Freedom has a comprehensive rundown of the law and its applications, but this appears to be the first time the shield law has been discussed in the context of an online-only publication.

This lack of precedent hurts Toll and others like him. The state offers protections to journalists and their sources, but hasn’t addressed the issue in more than 40 years. Digging around Nevada statutes to define “newspaper” is forest-for-the-trees thinking which results in the completely expected outcome: a newspaper is printed. But journalism isn’t limited to newspapers and it hasn’t been for a long time. The state also protects news broadcasters who don’t offer anything in print. The court’s failure to consider an online news source as the digital equivalent of either of the news sources is short-sighted and it’s going to keep causing problems until the state’s courts or legislators fix this.

March 31, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties | | Leave a comment

African Country Bans BBC, Voice of America for Spreading ‘Fake News’

Sputnik – 31.03.2019

The country’s media regulator accused the BBC of broadcasting content which “put national cohesion and reconciliation at stake,” while charging VOA with employing an opposition figure wanted in connection with violence that preceded a May 2015 coup attempt.

The landlocked Central African country of Burundi has banned the BBC and indefinitely suspended the Voice of America*, accusing the international UK and US outlets of spreading “lies” and disinformation.

In a statement put out on Friday, Burundi’s media regulator said it revoked the British Broadcasting Corporation’s license over the lack of “proper measures” following the airing of a documentary which authorities said contained falsehoods, including allegations that members of the intelligence services engaged in the detention and torture of dissidents.

Meanwhile, Voice of America saw its license pulled over its employment of Patrick Nduwimana, a radio journalist suspected of involvement in a failed coup attempt against President Pierre Nkurunziza in May 2015.

Both BBC and VOA had already received six month suspensions last May ahead of a constitutional referendum seeking to allow for the extension of Nkurunziza’s term in office by two terms.

The BBC blasted the Burundian government’s “unwarranted decision” against itself and the VOA, saying that the move “strikes a serious blow against media freedom.”

VOA director Amanda Bennett said the US government-funded broadcaster was “alarmed that reporters in Burundi are now forbidden to communicate with VOA,” and echoed the BBC’s sentiment that “these continuing threats to our journalists undermine press freedom in the country.”

Both the BBC and VOA continue to broadcast into Burundi using shortwave frequencies which can be picked up by ordinary radios.

Speaking to VOA by phone, Willy Nyamitwe, a senior advisor to President Nkurunziza, said the media outlets were banned for spreading ‘fake news’.

“Some international media are biased. Everybody knows some reports were fake reports, fake news,” he said. “So if people cannot even try to speak the truth…if some people are using some media outlets only to spread lies, what other comments do I have to do?” he asked.

Nyamitwe stressed that the country has “thousands of journalists” and dozens of “media houses, radio stations, TV stations, newspapers, media online” which continue to operate freely.

Hundreds of thousands of Burundians have been displaced and up to 1,200 killed in clashes with security forces between 2015 and 2017. In May 2015, rebel officer Godefroid Niyombare announced in a radio broadcast that President Nkurunziza and his government had been “dismissed” while the president was on a visit to Tanzania. The announcement led to heavy street fighting for control of state and private broadcasters, with five independent news agencies said to have been completely or partially shuttered in the aftermath of the violence.

Last May, Burundians overwhelmingly approved changes to the country’s constitution to approve Nkurunziza running for up to two more additional terms as president. The US and the EU dismissed the vote, alleging that it was marred by ‘intimidation, repression and violence’ against the opposition.

*Listed as a foreign agent in Russia.

March 31, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

Stand By for Space Wars

By Brian Cloughley | CounterPunch | March 29, 2019

There was much international news in mid-March, although little of it was encouraging for those who prefer peace to war, handshakes to saber-rattling, and cooperation to confrontation.

On March 27 India’s Prime Minister Modi tweeted with nauseating smugness that his forces had destroyed a satellite in earth orbit at a height of 300 kilometers (the International Space Station orbits at about 400).  He boasted that this was wonderful because “India is only the 4th country to acquire such a specialized & modern capability. (2) Entire effort is indigenous. India stands tall as a space power! It will make India stronger, even more secure and will further peace and harmony.”

It is astonishing, even in this twisted era, that any national leader could claim that causing an orbiting satellite to explode into thousands of pieces will “further peace and harmony”, but Modi has a pressing need to obtain such headlines because India’s national elections begin in two weeks’ time. There’s nothing more important to a politician than winning an election, and if it takes a mint of money and an explosion in space, then so much the better.

Pakistan was predictably critical, but made the point that “Space is the common heritage of mankind and every nation has the responsibility to avoid actions which can lead to the militarization of this arena,” which was eminently sensible but unfortunately irrelevant in the US-led advance to militarization of space.

But a few days earlier there was one item of good cheer which showed that friendly cooperation between the US and Russia continues, albeit unobtrusively.  It concerned the International Space Station, about which it was reported on March 15 that “A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch along with Roscosmos’ Alexei Ovchinin lifted off as planned from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan . . . Their Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft reached a designated orbit about nine minutes after the launch, and the crew reported they were feeling fine and all systems on board were operating normally.”

The mission was successful, technically and professionally, but did not in any way diminish Washington’s anti-Russian bias or its determination to militarize space.

forecast for the second quarter of 2019 by the analytical think-tank STRATFOR reflects the Washington Establishment’s line that “Military competition between the United States and Russia will prevail . . .” but does not record that the military budget of the United States is vastly more than that of Russia, or that, as headlined in the 2018 Report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, world defence expenditure “falls sharply in Russia, but rises in Central and Western Europe.”  As is well-known, the US will spend 716 billion dollars on its military in 2019, but what is not publicised by the Western media is that Russia’s 2019 outlay is 45 billion dollars.

The word ‘competition’ (“the activity or condition of striving to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others”) is hardly appropriate when the figures involved are 716 compared to 45 whether these be dollars or coconuts, but the competition myth continues, supported energetically by Washington’s military-industrial complex  — and especially by the generals, spurred on by the lure of lucrative post-retirement jobs with manufacturers of military systems. Stars and Stripes records that “major U.S. defense contractors have hired hundreds of former high-level government officials in recent years, including at least 50 since Trump became president. The report lends new visibility to long-standing concerns about a revolving door between the government agencies that award massive contracts for military supplies and services and the businesses that profit from those contracts.”

Which leads us to General “Fighting Joe” Dunford, who at his Senate hearing for appointment as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said “my assessment today, Senator, is that Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security.”  In October 2018 he reiterated that “the Russian challenge is not isolated to the plains of Europe. It is a global one” requiring the armed forces of the United States “to be able to project power to an area . . . and then once we’re there we’ve got to be able to freely manoeuvre across all domains . . . sea, air, land, space, and cyberspace.”

Naturally he didn’t mention that at the very time he uttered his confrontational challenges there was close cooperation in air, land and space between the US and Russia whose astronauts were “able to freely manoeuvre” in harmony, adding to world knowledge and engendering trust by jointly conducting research projects in the International Space Station.

This is in accord with the United Nations ‘Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space’, otherwise known as the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which, among other things “establishes basic principles related to the peaceful use of outer space. This includes that the exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries . . .”

It is the wish of the world — or most of the world — that space should be forever free of weapons. The Treaty lays down that “States Parties to the Treaty undertake not to place in orbit around the earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in outer space in any other manner.”

But although the United States signed and ratified the Space Treaty in 1967, it strongly objected to later attempts to refine it.  In February 2008 the New York Times reported that “The Russian foreign minister, Sergey V Lavrov, presented a Russian-Chinese draft treaty banning weapons in space to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament, an idea that was quickly rejected by the United States.”

It is a difficult to imagine why there could be any objection to a treaty aimed at “prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space,” but the White House responded that it opposes any treaty that seeks “to prohibit or limit access to or use of space.”  Indeed the White House said that such a treaty would be impossible to enforce because “any object orbiting or transiting through space can be a weapon if that object is intentionally placed onto a collision course with another space object.  This makes treaty verification impossible.”  The US continues to be resistant to any treaty forbidding deployment of weapons in space.

It was therefore unsurprising when Trump put forward his plan for militarising space in March last year, and in August tweeted “Space Force All the Way!” Then he declared on February 19 that “we’re investing in new space capabilities to project military power and safeguard our nation’s interests, especially when it comes to safety and defense” and signed a directive ordering the Pentagon to create a Space Force as the sixth branch of the military.

The result of his brainwave is that the US is going to “project military power” in space, which is directly contrary to “the basic principles related to the peaceful use of outer space” noted in the Outer Space Treaty.

The US refuses to move onward from the original treaty, and on March 20 Newsweek summed up Washington’s policy by noting that “the United States has blamed Russia and China for militarizing space, while refusing to sign their joint proposal against placing weapons there.”

On February 19, while preparations were in full swing for launch of the joint Russia-US mission to the International Space Station three weeks later, the White House announced that “President Donald J Trump’s Space Policy Directive-4 is a bold, strategic step toward guaranteeing American space dominance” by “establishing the United States Space Force which among other tasks will “organize, train and equip our space warfighters with next-generation capabilities.”

In the words of the US Administration, “space is now a warfighting domain just like the air, land and sea” so it’s goodbye to a future of harmonious exploration and scientific research in the regions beyond our globe.  It had been hoped that the Treaty would go far to assist in “maintaining international peace and security and promoting international co-operation and understanding” but Washington has no intention of agreeing to any international law that would prohibit extra-terrestrial weaponisation, and Trump’s Space Directive has now set the seal on Washington’s preparedness to confront in space as well as by land and sea and in the air.  India’s ultra-nationalist prime minister Modi has shown that the US example is being followed and that militarization of space is gathering speed.  Stand by for Space Wars.

March 31, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

‘Grave terrorist attack’: North Korea seeks probe into mysterious raid on its mission in Spain

RT | March 31, 2019

North Korea called on Spain to conduct a thorough investigation into a raid on its mission in Madrid, which was said to be done by FBI-linked dissidents, now hiding in the US.

Pyongyang asked Spain to investigate the “grave terrorist attack” and “flagrant violation of international law,” state-run KCNA news agency reported. “This kind of act should never be tolerated,” the statement read.

It was the first time North Korean officials have commented on the mysterious break-in at its mission in Madrid on February 22. A group of intruders subdued and tied up the staff before stealing a number of electronic devices and a trove of documents from the building. They also reportedly tried to persuade a North Korean attaché to defect. A video, allegedly filmed during the break-in, shows men taking down portraits of North Korean leaders and smashing them on the ground.

Spanish media say that 10 suspects fled to the US and a court in Madrid issued arrest warrants against them. The leader of the group was named as veteran dissident and anti-Pyongyang activist Adrian Hong Chang, who is a Mexican national and a US citizen. Two of the other suspects were named as US nationals.

An unexpected twist came several weeks later when the Spanish paper El Pais cited court documents and police sources as saying that the suspects tried to obtain information on the North Korean nuclear program and contacted the FBI after arriving in the US.

The details were partially confirmed by dissident group ‘Cheollima Civil Defense / Free Joseon’, which claimed responsibility for the raid. Its members shared “certain information of enormous potential value” with the FBI, on the Bureau’s request, the group claimed on its website.

The US has denied any involvement with the break-in, and the FBI has refused to comment on the incident.

March 31, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , | Leave a comment

Russia’s Response To India’s ASAT Missile Test Wasn’t What New Delhi Expected

By Andrew Korybko | EurasiaFuture | 2019-03-31

India probably thought that Russia would enthusiastically accept its entry into the “space super league” as Prime Minister Modi described it, but Moscow is actually pretty critical of New Delhi’s anti-satellite missile tests and urged it to join a Russian-Chinese multilateral mechanism for preventing the weaponization of space, something that it curiously announced around the same time as the Pakistan-Russia Consultative Group on Strategic Stability met in Islamabad and “agreed on the need for preserving multilateralism in the field of international security and disarmament”.

Indian Boasting Meets Russian “Balancing”

India’s anti-satellite (ASAT) missile test was heralded by Prime Minister Modi as an unprecedented achievement that catapulted his nation into the “space super league” of only four countries capable of pulling off this military feat, which he thought would boost his reelection prospects ahead of the upcoming onset of general elections that will continue into May. The Indian leader also intended to send a strong signal to China and Pakistan, one that he anticipated would be positively received by his American ally and passively accepted by his country’s Old Cold War-era Russian one, but while Washington is behaving as expected, Moscow is not. In fact, it can even be said that the Russian reaction took India off guard because New Delhi has yet to recognize the new reality of its relations with Moscow, which have undergone a drastic change since the Pulwama incident that accelerated previous trends.

Russia’s 21st-century grand strategy is to “balance” between the various forces of Afro-Eurasia in order to facilitate the emerging Multipolar World Order and maintain harmony in the Eastern Hemisphere, to which end it commenced a game-changing rapprochement with former rival Pakistan that’s since seen Moscow prioritize its relations with the global pivot state in order to “make up for lost time”. Russia announced its “Return to South Asia” by offering to mediate between Pakistan and India following the recent uptick in bilateral tensions between them, but while this was warmly welcomed by Islamabad, it was shot down by New Delhi whose Ambassador to Russia was later proven to have lied about the reason for rejecting this unprecedented diplomatic outreach. It’s therefore not for naught that Russia’s response to India’s ASAT test was “diplomatically critical” and nothing like what New Delhi anticipated.

Russia’s Carefully Worded Response

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs put out a carefully worded statement about this a day after the test on 28 March, with the Google Translated version being shared below because an official English translation has yet to be published on their website at the time of writing:

“We drew attention to the anti-satellite weapon test conducted by India on March 27, as a result of which an Indian spacecraft in a low near-earth orbit was hit by a interceptor ballistic missile as a target. We note the non-directionality of this test against a specific country declared by the Indian leadership, as well as their confirmation of the immutability of the New Delhi foreign policy to prevent the deployment of weapons in outer space and thereby the development of an arms race in it.

At the same time, we are compelled to state that this step of India in many respects was the result of the substantially degraded situation in the field of arms control. Russia has repeatedly warned that the destructive actions of the United States to undermine the entire architecture of international security and strategic stability, including the one-sided and unlimited expansion of the global US missile defense systems, as well as the reluctance to abandon plans for putting weapons into space, make other states think about improving their own similar potentials in the interests of strengthening their national security. We urge Washington to take a responsible position, think again and abandon the insane, and most importantly – absolutely unrealizable – the idea of ​​universal military domination. It is still possible to stop the arms race unfolding in various regions of the world. It is important to assist the responsible states in maintaining an adequate level of international security and stability.

For our part, we intend to continue taking all the necessary steps to prevent an arms race in outer space. With the support of a solid group of like-minded people, the idea of ​​developing a multilateral legally binding instrument for keeping outer space peaceful based on the Russian-Chinese draft treaty on preventing the placement of weapons in outer space, the use of force or the threat of force against space objects, as well as a multilateral initiative – political obligations not to place weapons first in space. We offer our Indian partners to actively join these joint efforts of the international community.”

As can be seen, Russia hinted that India is a “rogue state” whose strategically destabilizing test was influenced by the US, which sent the signal that it would be acceptable for its ally to do this at the time that it did after recently pulling out of the INF Treaty and creating its so-called “Space Force”.

The Chinese & Pakistani Angles

Another important point to pay attention to is the last one where Russia urged India to join the multilateral mechanism that it proposed together with China to prevent the weaponization of space. It’s extremely unlikely that India will do this, however, seeing as how the whole point of this test was to send an aggressive signal to its Asian Great Power neighbor and “fellow” BRICS “frenemy”, though it’s not surprising that Russia would play the part of the Eurasian “balancer” by publicly suggesting that it join that framework. Although Russia’s intentions were positive in doing so and aimed at preserving peace in the supercontinent, India’s ruling Hindutva supremacists must have taken supreme offense at its suggestion because it implies that the two rising powers are equals unlike the BJP’s implied attitude towards its neighbor, especially in the hyper-jingoist run-up to the general elections.

Furthermore, it’s extremely curious that Russia’s statement came a day before the Pakistan-Russia Consultative Group on Strategic Stability met in Islamabad and “agreed on the need for preserving multilateralism in the field of international security and disarmament”, with this outcome once again showing that Islamabad is much more responsible of a regional actor than New Delhi is which has yet to signal any interest whatsoever in Moscow’s multilateral security proposal. Both the symbolism and timing of this development shouldn’t be dismissed as a mere coincidence since it undoubtedly sent a powerful political signal that the previous state of affairs has changed in South Asia and that Russia seems to have more in common with Pakistan nowadays than it does with India, with the first-mentioned aiming to unite Eurasia through its global pivot state grand strategy while the latter is trying to divide it through the US’ “Indo-Pacific” paradigm.

Concluding Thoughts

India’s present leadership has proven itself to be remarkably short-sighted in recent weeks when it comes to advancing the country’s strategic interests, having been both humiliated by Pakistan after its reckless response to the Pulwama incident and now “diplomatically criticized” by Russia following its irresponsible election gimmick of an ASAT test. Just like the latest events accelerated previous trends involving Russia’s position towards South Asia, so too have they also done the same for India’s one towards Eurasia, with it now being evident that New Delhi is siding more closely with Washington than with its notional BRICS “partners” in Moscow and especially Beijing. Given the clear pattern that’s visibly being established, it can be expected that India will continue to engage in strategically destabilizing unilateral action at the behest of its new American patron as it moves away from its erstwhile policy of “multi-alignment” and towards a new US-influenced model instead.

March 31, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Western Interests in the Indonesian Papua Conflict

By Vladimir Romanov – New Eastern Outlook – 31.03.2019

Amid heated discussions of Brexit, another event stood out in the UK Parliament recently, as a motion was proposed which began collecting signatures, calling upon the UK Government to investigate reports which claim chemical weapons (white phosphorus) were used by the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) during an operation against militants in the Indonesian part of New Guinea, which Jakarta began following the Nduga massacre. The aim of this article is to take an objective look at what is happening, to find out why some British parliamentarians have decided to deliver such a démarche, and we will also look at the situation in this part of Southeast Asia, which Britain is trying to exploit to publicly justify its intervention in events around Indonesia.

In early December 2018, the mass killing of Indonesian construction workers took place in Nduga Regency, Papua, Indonesia, who were building a bridge. An armed Papuan separatist group killed 31 employees from the company Istaka Karya, which is working on the Trans-Papua motorway over Yigi River in the Yigi district of the Nduga Regency.

The Tentara Pembebasan Nasional Papua Barat (West Papua National Liberation Army, TPNPB) claimed responsibility for the attack, which is the armed wing of the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (Free Papua Movement, OPM)—a militant organization established in 1963, which is fighting for the independence of the Papua and West Papua provinces from Indonesia.

Western New Guinea is currently Indonesia’s most troubled region. The construction of the 6,632 km long Trans-Papua road, 48 airports, 15 seaports and a large-scale infrastructural programme for electricity lines should provide powerful momentum to accelerate economic growth and improve the living standards of the local population. But the government’s intensive integration policy for Papua and its effort to enhance the transport connectivity of the key region has been met with a fierce backlash from rebels.

Western New Guinea (the island’s Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua) accounts for about 24% of the total area of Indonesia’s territory, while it is home to only 1.7% of the country’s population. It is also one of Indonesia’s poorest regions, despite the fact that the land is rich in natural resources, covered by Southeast Asia’s largest rainforests, huge oil and gas reserves, and the world’s largest copper and gold deposits.

That being the case, armed separatist conflict has gone on in Papua since the 1960s.

The Netherlands recognized Indonesia’s independence in December 1949 with the exception of former Dutch East Indies territory in Western New Guinea, citing significant differences in climate, geography and the region’s ethnic composition: it is inhabited by Papuans, who are ethnically different from Indonesians. Between 1949 and 1962, the region remained a separate part of Dutch colonial territory called Netherlands New Guinea. Nevertheless, the Dutch government promised to grant Western New Guinea independence following a transition period

All of this led to the military confrontation which broke out between Indonesia and the Netherlands in 1960. Two years later, with mediation from the United States, both parties signed the New York agreement, under which Western New Guinea became Indonesian territory in 1963, on the condition that a plebiscite, a local referendum, would be held on the future of the Western New Guinea.

In 1969, there was no independence referendum, instead, 1,025 representatives of local tribes who had been specially selected by Indonesian authorities adopted the Act of Free Choice, according to which Western New Guinea officially became a part of Indonesia, which sparked the beginning of a protracted guerrilla war.

It is important to note that in 1967 (2 years prior to the referendum), Indonesia had sold a 30-year license for mining in Western New Guinea to the American company Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.

Grasberg in the province of Papua is the largest gold mine and the second largest copper mine in the world. The giant Grasberg mine area is Indonesia’s largest economic entity and the country’s top taxpayer.

However, the government of Indonesia only owned 9.36% of the shares in PT Freeport Indonesia up until recently, which plays a direct role in developing the mine, while 90.64% of the shares are owned by the previously mentioned Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.

Following two years of negotiations, Indonesia became the main owner of PT Freeport Indonesia at the end of December 2018, having bought up most of the shares from the transnational corporations Freeport McMoRan Inc. and Rio Tinto at $3.85 billion. Today, the state-owned mining company Inalum (PT Indonesia Asahan Alumunium) owns 51.23% of shares, while Freeport McMoRan holds 48.76%.

These changes which have taken place over recent years have mainly affected mining and the oil and gas sectors, given that Indonesia is actively implementing a policy of resource nationalism, which requires foreign companies engaged in the mining sector forfeit majority stakes if they wish to continue doing business in Indonesia.

However, most of the country’s mining and processing enterprises are still owned by American, British and Japanese transnational companies.

British Petroleum (BP) has become Indonesia’s largest investor since the company undertook a project to develop the Tangguh gas field in the province of West Papua.

The Tangguh field contains over 500 billion cubic meters of proven natural gas reserves, and estimates of potential reserves reach 800 billion cubic meters.

British Petroleum is the main owner of the field, which holds 37% of its shares, and its other major partners are the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and the Japanese Mitsubishi Corporation. According to forecasts, this supergiant oil field which is worth more than $100 billion should ensure the supply of gas to Japan, South Korea and China for the next 30 years.

Given the massive interest Western international companies have in Indonesia’s Western New Guinea, it is important that we highlight the links between outside forces and Papuan organizations and elements fighting for secession from Indonesia.

The Dutch laid the foundations of the current separatist movement in the 1950s, who established the Papuan Volunteer Corps, which paved the way for the previously mentioned Free Papua Movement. The movement received funding from Libya during the reign of Muammar Gaddafi, and militants were trained in the Philippines with the Maoist Guerrilla group New People’s Army.

According to reports from the Indonesian military, the separatists are currently receiving both makeshift (from the Philippines) and factory-made weapons, which are being delivered to the separatists by sea or through the territory of neighboring Papua New Guinea.

One of the most famous leaders of the Free Papua Movement, Benny Wenda, is the head of the self-proclaimed Republic Of West Papua and has been living in the UK since 2002. He has acted as a special representative of the Papuan people in the British Parliament, the United Nations and the European Parliament. In 2017, Benny Wenda was appointed as the Chairman for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) – a new structure established in Vanuatu in 2014 by combining the three main political organizations that are fighting for the independence of West Papua: The Federal Republic of West Papua (Negara Republik Federal Papua Barat, NRFPB), the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) and the National Parliament of West Papua (NPWP).

In June 2015, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) received MSG observer status from the Melanesian Spearhead Group as representative of West Papuans outside the country. MSG is an intergovernmental organization composed of the four Melanesian states of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, as well as the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front of New Caledonia. Indonesia is recognized as an MSG associate member. The organization’s headquarters are in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Vanuatu, a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations, passed the Wantok Blong Yumi Bill (Our Close Friends) in 2010, “officially declaring that Vanuatu’s foreign policy is to support the achievement of the independence of West Papua.” At the UN General Assembly in 2017, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands expressed their support for the people of West Papua to be allowed the right to self-determination.

Official representatives from Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Nauru, Marshall Islands, and Papua New Guinea periodically lobby the UN for the separation of West Papua from Indonesia based on the example of East Timor, whereby the United Nations sponsored the country’s act of self-determination.

Since these countries have very limited resources and opportunities for development, it is a well-known fact that they are often used by stronger players (countries and transnational companies) who try to achieve their objectives by establishing offshore destinations for companies for example, or by acquiring votes form island states in the UN.

In May 2017, eleven New Zealand parliamentarians from four political parties signed the Westminster Declaration, which calls for West Papua’s right to self-determination to be legally recognized through an internationally supervised vote.

But Britain is a main hub for disseminating information in support of West Papua’s independence, where an organization was created called the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP). It is a cross-party group of politicians from around the world who support self-determination for the people of West Papua.

The political group is modeled on a similar group which furthered the independence movement for East Timor. Its main objective is to exert sufficient political pressure on the United Nations to prompt the review of the results of the 1969 Act of Free Choice in West Papua.

The International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) was established in 2008 at the British Houses of Parliament in London, and its speakers have included representatives from West Papua, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Britain, including Lord Avebury and Lord Richard Harris, in addition to a variety of human rights organizations. Benny Wenda is the head of the political group along with British Labor MP Andrew Smith and Lord Richard Harris.

A project was launched in Guyana (part of the British Commonwealth of Nations) by the International Lawyers for West Papua (ILWP), to work in conjunction with the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP), and to develop a legal framework for the self-determination of West Papua and descriptions which evidence the “illegality” of the Indonesian “occupation of West Papua”.

The Free West Papua Campaign was launched in Oxford in 2004. The campaign’s stated aims are to “spread awareness of the human rights situation in Western New Guinea and the independence aspirations of the Papuan people, through lobbying Governments and developing support throughout society.” The campaign now has permanent offices in Oxford (UK), the Hague (Netherlands), Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) and in Perth (Australia).

It is worth mentioning that Britain intends to increase its influence in the region by sending three new diplomatic missions to Vanuatu, Samoa and Tongo in May 2019.

The increased activity around West Papua in recent years is due to a demographic shift currently taking place, which has seen new migrants become a majority in many districts of the Papua and West Papua provinces. This could jeopardize any hope of secession being achieved through an internationally supervised referendum on independence.

According to the 1971 census, 96 per cent of the population in Western New Guinea were Papuans out of a total population of 923,000. Indigenous Papuans now only represent 51.5 per cent of the population as a result of the Indonesian government’s transmigration program, which is the planned mass movement of landless families from Indonesia’s densely populated islands (primarily Java) to less densely populated areas. This is a major factor fueling the Papua conflict.

It is important to note that there were plans in the early twentieth century to have the territory of Western New Guinea reserved for white European settlement and people who became known as—Eurasians—the descendants of mixed marriages between colonizers and the indigenous population.

The first plan was developed in 1923 to transform Dutch New Guinea into settlement territory. In 1926, a separate Association for the Settlement of New Guinea was established (Vereniging tot Kolonisatie van Nieuw-Guinea), and in 1930, it was followed by Stichting Immigratie Kolonisatie Nieuw-Guinea (Foundation Immigration and Settlement New Guinea). These organizations regarded Western New Guinea as untouched, almost empty land which could serve as a new homeland for the local white population and their descendants, similar to South Africa within Africa.

March 31, 2019 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Nasrallah on the End of US Hegemony: Trump will Leave the Middle East, Region Already Reshaping – PART I

Interview of Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah Secretary General, with Ghassan Ben Jeddou, founder of the pan-Arab and anti-imperialist Al-Mayadeen channel, January 26, 2019.

Transcript:

[…] Ghassan Ben Jeddou: But I want to return to the United States, as a fact of utmost importance just occurred, Eminent Sayed, on the general and strategic perspective: Trump said he would withdraw (US troops) from Syria, saying that the country was nothing but “sand and death”. My specific question is this: is it (just) a tactical withdrawal, meaning that the United States will withdraw (just) a part of their forces to leave you in a quagmire? Or is it a true (and full) withdrawal, which means a defeat for the United States?

Hassan Nasrallah: I think whenever Trump talks about his intention to withdraw US forces, he is true and sincere. The word “sincere” (applied to Trump) makes you laugh? I mean he is honest with himself (he says what he thinks). During his campaign, he made election promises, and after two years there will be new presidential elections. And everything he has promised to do, he wants to do it. In fact, he already achieved some of his election promises.

One of those promises was: “Why are we sending our children (to fight) abroad and die in a far away region to defend it, to be killed and spend (huge sums of) money?” He stated that the United States spent 7 000 billion…

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: 7 trillion dollars.

Hassan Nasrallah: 7 trillion equals 7 thousand billion. And a few days ago, he said: “We spent 7 000 billion, we sent our armed forces, we made all these sacrifices (in the Middle East), and in the end, I have to go to Iraq in secret, at night? This clearly indicates our failure!” So every time (he talks about his desire to withdraw, he is sincere). Even when he said: “If we continue to defend, for example, Saudi Arabia or the Gulf states, they have to pay for that. If we defend Europe, Europe must pay. If we defend Japan, Japan must pay.”

Obama… sorry, Trump is a charming person! When we listened to Obama, he spoke about human rights, democracy, (free) elections, etc. His attitude and his words were steeped in hypocrisy.

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: When he spoke of the Arab Spring…

Hassan Nasrallah: We’ll come back to this point. From day one, all we hear from Trump is “millions, billions, dollars…” I’m relearning English (thanks to him), you see… And “They have to pay, they have to pay, there are both rich and poor people among them, etc.” Very well. That is why he hasn’t respected anyone in his statements. He was very insulting to Saudi Arabia, and in respect to the Gulf countries in general, including his closest allies, such as Europe, Japan and South Korea, (he didn’t spare anyone). As we say in Lebanese, he buried them alive (under his torrent of abuse). He wants everyone to pay all the US expenses, rightly or wrongly, he makes them (spit) money (forcefully), even as he (already) plunders their resources, raw materials, their future, he confiscates their political freedom and imposes them (US) companies, etc., but he doesn’t pay attention to all this. All that matters to him is that he protects them, so they have to pay billions of dollars for this protection. Thus, he is committed to bring his forces out (of Syria, etc.).

What is happening today in Afghanistan? Even today, to prove that we are broadcasting live – but it should be enough that you say so, without need for additional evidence –, the Taliban announced that they and the US delegation led by Khalil Zad Zalmai had met in Doha and had reached a draft agreement, which may be renegotiated if necessary, and which stipulates that within 18 months, all foreign forces should have left Afghanistan. That’s (what) Trump (is doing)! And we must keep this in mind and remind it to the others when addressing Lebanon and the peoples of the region, so they know that the days of US hegemony in our region (are counted).

As I see it, since the day he became President, Trump intends to withdraw the modest US forces present in Syria under the pretext of the international coalition (against ISIS) since the time of Obama. But the advisers surrounding Trump dissuaded him from doing so because of the growing power of Iran, Russia and President Assad (which would be exacerbated if US withdrew), etc. And they started all over again, and the guy (Trump) stood with patience. He gave them time (to make progress in Syria) but he saw that it was useless. That is why 7 months ago, or so it seems to me, in a speech, he said: “We will leave Syria soon, very soon.”

We are at a time when we must be careful with translations, and ensure that they are accurate, so I asked a (Hezbollah) brother who had the text of the speech in English to send it to me and highlight the passage where he said “soon, very soon”. (And this passage was indeed saying) “soon, very soon” (quote in English). So the media had faithfully translated his remarks.

Everyone went beserk after this statement, with protestations from Mattis, the former Defense Secretary (who resigned in December 2018), and other people denouncing this US withdrawal, which would represent a victory offered free of charge to Iran in the first place, to Russia and to President Assad, a wrong decision, an (ill-advised) visceral reaction, etc. They went to see him. These are important facts that I must relate to you, it is sound information and I could even give you the source. (Mattis, Bolton and others of their ilk) went to see Trump and told him to give them some time. If he was keen to get out of Syria, he should at least give them time to gain (something in the field) in exchange for the withdrawal. Trump said he had no problem with the idea, and asked them how long it would take them. They said 6 months. These 6 months have not been officially announced, but CNN and other US media reported that Trump had given 6 month to his Defense Secretary to prepare the withdrawal from Syria.

The Americans went to the Russians and told them… I am sorry to mix the Lebanese dialect and literary Arabic. The United States told Russia that they were ready to get out of all Syria and leave absolutely no soldier behind – I convey their words accurately –, and they were even ready to leave the Al-Tanf region, which has a special significance. Yesterday, a US official said they would leave Syria, but remain at Al Tanf (American base at the Syrian-Iraqi and Syrian-Jordanian border), but back then, they said they’d even leave Al-Tanf, but on condition that Iranian forces leave Syria, and Hezbollah also of course. The United States asked the Russians to go talk to the Iranians and with President Assad to tell them about this agreement proposal, namely an Iranian withdrawal would be carried out together with a full US withdrawal from Syria. And the Americans asserted they were quite ready to conclude such an agreement.

Trump was determined to withdraw his troops even without this bargain, but those around him told him to wait a bit for them to get this deal. The Russians have therefore communicated this proposal to the Iranians, and President Putin informed President Rouhani, who informed me myself. Similarly, the Russians sent a high level delegation to Damascus who met with President Assad and conveyed this proposal to him. The Russians waited a response from Iran and a response from Syria.

On the Iranian side, I am one of the people they have consulted on this issue, and I told them (that in my opinion), the United States would withdraw from Syria in any case, whether the Iranians remained or left; the US try to get something in return to save face and cover their withdrawal (because in truth, they are defeated), to pretend they leave after scoring a big victory, namely the withdrawal of Iranian forces – because ISIS was not eradicated –, to be presented in the United States as a huge success for Trump, and as an even greater success by Netanyahu in the Israeli entity.

Iran has categorically rejected this proposal, saying that they were present at the request of the Syrian government to combat terrorism and takfiri groups, which were still present in Syria. The reason for their presence being still valid, there was no reason to leave. Final point. End of the discussion. President Assad made the same answer, saying he refused that Iran leave Syria – talking about Iranian forces may not be entirely fair, but there are generals, officers, consultants, logistics, etc. President Assad refused on principle to put on the same footing Iranians and Americans, because the first came at his request, and the second are occupants. “The first are friends and the latter are supporting my enemies, (he said). The battle is not over, and even if the Iranians wanted to leave, I would not accept it, and I would ask them to stay.” This US project has failed.

To be honest, it should be noted that the Russians haven’t put any pressure on Assad (for him to accept this proposal), they only conveyed the message. For you know that in the media, there is much talk about the Russian-Iranian issue (to present an alleged divergence or opposition in Syria). It is true that the Russians sometimes exaggerate (in their demands, and exert too much pressure), but to be fair and accurate, (this time), the Russians have only transmitted a message, and in an appropriate (and respectful) way. They said that there was this proposal, and asked (Iran and Syria) their opinion. And when both answered no, this response was forwarded to the US. End of story.

Trump was informed that the attempt had failed, and he began to ask them to work seriously to liquidate ISIS because they had only 6 months. This is why recently, operations and bombings against ISIS intensified and real massacres were committed to end ISIS in this last pocket of the Deir Ezzor region where they are present.

When 6 months have passed, Trump surprised no one (when announcing the US withdrawal from Syria). Mattis, the Defense Secretary, and other officials, had known for 7 months that they only had 6 months before them. You got nothing, you’ve done nothing, so the guy (Trump) decided to leave Syria. Why does he leave Syria? I’m coming to it. He said there was only sand and death (there), nothing else, and that he had no reason to stay. In his eyes, the Syrian people has no value, he couldn’t care less about the future of Syria – and there is even a positive aspect to this. Neither elections, nor freedom, nor democracy, nor any of this interests him. Ultimately, what does he care about in Syria? He cares about Israel, and perhaps about some red lines, some limitations and some (armed) groups. And he believes that he can guarantee his interests through the political hegemony, the political resolution (of the conflict in Syria), pressures, etc.

And he also said something (important): the US Air Force retains its undisputed presence in the Syrian skies. When Trump bombed Damascus after the chemical masquerade, where did his aircraft come from? It came from Qatar and the Mediterranean Sea, from their Al Udeid base (in Qatar) or whatever. Trump does not need to have a military presence in Syria (ground troops) to pursue his military pressure (and stay active and influential). He can do it from his other bases. So he can get out of the Eastern Euphrates region and thus achieve one of his election promises.

But this withdrawal also reflects a failure. The idea to withdraw troops from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, the reduced number of troops, reconsideration (of their doctrine) are in fact a new strategy. This is what I call the Trump version of the American (hegemony) project. 

Translation: unz.com/sayedhasan

March 30, 2019 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

THE VETO: Exposing CNN, Al Jazeera, Channel 4, western media propaganda war in Syria

Vanessa Beeley | March 21, 2019

I met journalist and friend Rafiq Lutf and cameraman Abdul-Mun’aim Arnous in January 2018 and I was honoured when Rafiq asked me to work with him on his film project, The Veto.

As Dr Shaaban said to me in August 2016, “Western propaganda is paid for in Syrian blood”. This is true. The horrifying bloodshed and loss of life in Syria could never have happened without the colonial media manufacturing consent for another illegal war against a Sovereign nation.

The Veto tracks the evolution of the propaganda campaign waged by Western media against Syria. From Baba Amr in Homs 2011/2012 until the modern day “propaganda construct” – the NATO-member-state funded White Helmets.

It honours Russia and China’s vetoes that have consistently defended Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the UN.

George Orwell said “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” Western media has been tasked with writing the history of the Syrian conflict to serve the aggressors in the US Coalition of terrorism. As Dr Shaaban also told me:

“The US alliance and its media are focusing on our history, material history, cultural history, identity, our army. Any power that keeps you as an entire state, or any statesman that represents strength or unity will be demonized and destroyed.”

The Veto exposes the criminal intentions of Western media and it archives the progression of the propaganda war waged by the West against Syria. Syrians are writing the history of the Syrian conflict because Syria and her allies have courageously resisted the Imperialist machine.

As Rafiq has said so eloquently “ we are the Veto” and we must use it against the Industrial Media Complex in the West.

Syria’s history belongs to the Syrians and Syria’s final victory must ensure that Western media is never again given the power to destroy a nation, divide its people and promote international terrorism both military and economic.

March 30, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 1 Comment

Guaido Set to Enact Uprising Rooted in US Regime-Change Operations Manual

By Whitney Webb | MintPress News | March 30, 2019

CARACAS, VENEZUELA — Juan Guaidó, the self-proclaimed “interim president of Venezuela” who is supported by the United States government, recently announced coming “tactical actions” that will be taken by his supporters starting April 6 as part of “Operation Freedom,” an alleged grassroots effort to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

That operation, according to Guaidó, will be led by “Freedom and Aid Committees” that in turn create “freedom cells” throughout the country — “cells” that will spring to action when Guaidó gives the signal on April 6 and launch large-scale community protests. Guaidó’s stated plan involves the Venezuelan military then taking his side, but his insistence that “all options are still on the table” (i.e., foreign military intervention) reveals his impatience with the military, which has continued to stay loyal to Maduro throughout Guaidó’s “interim presidency.”

However, a document released by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in February, and highlighted last month in a report by Devex, details the creation of networks of small teams, or cells, that would operate in a way very similar to what Guaidó describes in his plan for “Operation Freedom.”

Given that Guaidó was trained by a group funded by USAID’s sister organization, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) — and is known to take his marching orders from Washington, including his self-proclamation as “interim president” and his return to Venezuela following the “humanitarian aid” showdown — it is worth considering that this USAID document may well serve as a roadmap to the upcoming and Guaidó-led “tactical actions” that will comprise “Operation Freedom.”

RED Teams

Titled “Rapid Expeditionary Development (RED) Teams: Demand and Feasibility Assessment,” the 75-page document was produced for the U.S. Global Development Lab, a branch of USAID. It was written as part of an effort to the “widespread sentiment” among the many military, intelligence, and development officials the report’s authors interviewed “that the USG [U.S. government] is woefully underperforming in non-permissive and denied environments,” including Venezuela. Notably, some of the military, intelligence and development officials interviewed by the report’s authors had experience working in a covert capacity in Venezuela.

The approach put forth in this report involves the creation of rapid expeditionary development (RED) teams, who would “be deployed as two-person teams and placed with ‘non-traditional’ USAID partners executing a mix of offensive, defensive, and stability operations in extremis conditions.” The report notes later on that these “non-traditional” partners are U.S. Special Forces (SF) and the CIA.

The report goes on to state that “RED Team members would be catalytic actors, performing development activities alongside local communities while coordinating with interagency partners.” It further states that “[i]t is envisioned that the priority competency of proposed RED Team development officers would be social movement theory (SMT)” and that “RED Team members would be ‘super enablers,’ observing situations on the ground and responding immediately by designing, funding, and implementing small-scale activities.”

In other words, these teams of combined intelligence, military and/or “democracy promoting” personnel would work as “super enablers” of “small-scale activities” focused on “social movement theory” and community mobilizations, such as the mobilizations of protests.

The decentralized nature of RED teams and their focus on engineering “social movements” and “mobilizations” is very similar to Guaidó’s plan for “Operation Freedom.” Operation Freedom is set to begin through “Freedom and Aid committees” that cultivate decentralized “freedom cells” throughout the country and that create mass mobilizations when Guaidó gives the go ahead on April 6. The ultimate goal of Operation Freedom is to have those “freedom cell”-generated protests converge on Venezuela’s presidential palace, where Nicolás Maduro resides. Given Guaidó’s lack of momentum and popularity within Venezuela, it seems highly likely that U.S. government “catalytic actors” may be a key part of his upcoming plan to topple Maduro in little over a week.

Furthermore, an appendix included in the report states that RED Team members, in addition to being trained in social movement theory and community mobilization techniques, would also be trained in “weapons handling and use,” suggesting that their role as “catalytic actors” could also involve Maidan-esque behavior. This is a distinct possibility raised by the report’s claim that RED Team members be trained in the use of both “offensive” and “defensive” weaponry.

In addition, another appendix states that RED Team members would help “identify allies and mobilize small amounts of cash to establish community buy-in/relationship” —  i.e., bribes — and would particularly benefit the CIA by offering a way to “transition covert action into community engagement activities.”

Feeling Bolsonaro’s breath on its neck

Also raising the specter of a Venezuela link is the fact that the document suggests Brazil as a potential location for a RED Team pilot study. Several of those interviewed for the report asserted that “South American countries were ripe for pilots” of the RED Team program, adding that “These [countries were] under-reported, low-profile, idiot-proof locations, where USG civilian access is fairly unrestrained by DS [Diplomatic Security] and where there is a positive American relationship with the host government.”

This January, Brazil inaugurated Jair Bolsonaro as president, a fascist who has made his intention to align the country close to Washington’s interests no secret. During Bolsonaro’s recent visit to Washington, he became the first president of that country to visit CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. President Donald Trump said during his meeting with Bolsonaro that “We have a great alliance with Brazil — better than we’ve ever had before” and spoke in favor of Brazil joining NATO.

Though Bolsonaro’s government has claimed late in February that it would not allow the U.S. to launch a military intervention from its territory, Bolsonaro’s son, Eduardo Bolsonaro — an adviser to his father and a Brazilian congressman — said last week that “use of force will be necessary” in Venezuela “at some point” and, echoing the Trump administration, added that “all options are on the table.” If Bolsonaro’s government does allow the “use of force,” but not a full-blown foreign military intervention per se, its closeness to the Trump administration and the CIA suggests that covert actions, such as those carried out by the proposed RED Teams, are a distinct possibility.

Frontier Design Group

The RED Team report was authored by members of Frontier Design Group (FDG) for USAID’s Global Development Lab. FDG is a national security contractor and its mission statement on its website is quite revealing:

Since our founding, Frontier has focused on the challenges and opportunities that concern the “3Ds” of Defense, Development and Diplomacy and critical intersections with the intelligence community. Our work has focused on the wicked and sometimes overlapping problem sets of fragility, violent extremism, terrorism, civil war, and insurgency. Our work on these complex issues has included projects with the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, USAID, the National Counterterrorism Center and the U.S. Institute of Peace.”

FDG also states on is website that it also regularly does work for the Council on Foreign Relations and the Omidyar Group — which is controlled by Pierre Omidyar, a billionaire with deep ties to the U.S. national security establishment that were the subject of a recent MintPress series. According to journalist Tim Shorrock, who mentions the document in a recent investigation focusing on Pierre Omidyar for Washington Babylon, FDG was the “sole contractor” hired by USAID to create a “new counterinsurgency doctrine for the Trump administration” and the fruit of that effort is the “RED Team” document described above.

One of the co-authors of the document is Alexa Courtney, FDG founder and former USAID liaison officer with the Department of Defense; former manager of civilian counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan for USAID; and former counterinsurgency specialist for U.S. intelligence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

In addition, according to Shorrock, Courtney’s name has also been found “on several Caerus [Associates] contracts with USAID and US intelligence that were leaked to me on a thumb drive, including a $77 million USAID project to track ‘licit and illicit networks’ in Honduras.” Courtney, according to her LinkedIn account, was also recently honored by Chevron Corporation for her “demonstrated leadership and impact on development results.” MintPress recently reported on the role of Chevron in the current U.S.-led effort to topple Maduro and replace him with Guaidó.

Send in the USAID

Though Devex was told last month that USAID was “still working on the details in formulating the Rapid Expeditionary Development (RED) Teams initiative,” Courtney stated that the report’s contents had been “received really favorably” by “very senior” and “influential” former and current government officials she had interviewed during the creation of the document.

For instance, one respondent asserted that the RED Team system would “restore the long-lost doing capacity of USAID.” Another USAID official with 15 years of experience, including in “extremely denied environments,” stated that:

We have to be involved in national security or USAID will not be relevant. Anybody who doesn’t think we need to be working in combat elements or working with SF [special forces] groups is just naïve. We are either going to be up front or irrelevant … USAID is going through a lot right now, but this is an area where we can be of utility. It must happen.”

Given that the document represents the efforts of the sole contractor tasked with developing the current administration’s new counterterrorism strategy, there is plenty of reason to believe that its contents — published for over a year — have been or are set to be put to use in Venezuela, potentially as part of the upcoming “Operation Freedom,” set to begin on April 6.

This is supported by the troubling correlation between a document produced by the NED-funded group CANVAS and the recent power outages that have taken place throughout Venezuela, which were described as U.S.-led “sabotage” by the country’s government. A recent report by The Grayzone detailed how a September 2010 memo by CANVAS — which trained Juan Guaidó — described in detail how the potential collapse of the country’s electrical infrastructure, like that recently seen in Venezuela, would be “a watershed event” that “would likely have the impact of galvanizing public unrest in a way that no opposition group could ever hope to generate.”

The document specifically named the Simon Bolivar Hydroelectric Plant at Guri Dam, which failed earlier this month as a result of what the Venezuelan government asserted was “sabotage” conducted by the U.S. government. That claim was bolstered by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s apparent foreknowledge of the power outage. Thus, there is a precedent of correlation between these types of documents and actions that occur in relation to the current U.S. regime-change effort in Venezuela.

Furthermore, it would make sense for the Trump administration to attempt to enact such an initiative as that described in the document, given its apparent inability to launch a military intervention in Venezuela, despite its frequent claims that “all options are on the table.” Indeed, U.S. allies — including those close to Venezuela, like Colombia — have rejected military intervention, given the U.S.’ past role in bloody coups and civil wars throughout the region.

Thus, with its hands tied when it comes to military intervention, only covert actions — such as those described in the RED Team document — are likely to be enacted by the U.S. government, at least at this stage of its ongoing “regime change” effort in Venezuela.

Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.

March 30, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Ambush: 37 years after the killing of Dutch journalists

El Salvador Perspectives | March 28, 2019

Thirty seven years ago this month, four Dutch journalists were ambushed by troops of the Salvadoran army and murdered.

In early 1982, El Salvador was a dangerous place for journalists covering the civil war between FMLN guerrillas and the country’s armed forces. Despite the danger, four Dutch journalists,Koos Koster, Jan Kuiper, Joop Willemse and Hans ter Laag, ventured out to the department of Chalatenango to get an interview with guerrilla fighters. The Salvadoran army ambushed their group and killed all the journalists.

The ambush was one of the war crimes documented in the 1993 UN Truth Commission Report following the conclusion of El Salvador’s civil war:

On the afternoon of 17 March 1982, four Dutch journalists accompanied by five or six members of FMLN, some of them armed, were ambushed by a patrol of the Atonal Battalion of the Salvadorian armed forces while on their way to territory under FMLN control. The incident occurred not far from the San Salvador-Chalatenango road, near the turn off to Santa Rita. The four journalists were killed in the ambush and only one member of FMLN survived. Having analysed the evidence available, the Commission on the Truth has reached the conclusion that the ambush was set up deliberately to surprise and kill the journalists and their escort; that the decision to ambush them was taken by Colonel Mario A. Reyes Mena, Commander of the Fourth Infantry Brigade, with the knowledge of other officers; that no major skirmish preceded or coincided with the shoot-out in which the journalists were killed; and, lastly, that the officer named above and other soldiers concealed the truth and obstructed the judicial investigation….

1. The Commission on the Truth considers that there is full evidence that Dutch journalists Koos Jacobus Andries Koster, Jan Cornelius Kuiper Joop, Hans Lodewijk ter Laag and Johannes Jan Willemsen were killed on 17 March 1982 in an ambush which was planned in advance by the Commander of the Fourth Infantry Brigade, Colonel Mario A. Reyes Mena, with the knowledge of other officers at the El Paraíso barracks, on the basis of intelligence data alerting them to the journalists’ presence, and was carried out by a patrol of soldiers from the Atonal BIRI, under the command of Sergeant Mario Canizales Espinoza.

2. These same officers, the sergeant and others subsequently covered up the truth and obstructed the investigations carried out by the judiciary and other competent authorities.

The commander in charge of the ambush, Colonel Mario A. Reyes Mena, is currently living in the United States.

Today an event was held in San Salvador in commemoration of the Dutch journalists and to urge that the perpetrators of the killings be brought to justice.   The event featured the use of journalism to seek justice for the ambushed journalists with the presentation of a new book titled La Emboscada (The Ambush) written by Colombian journalist Nancy Sáenz and Salvadoran journalist Willian Carballo.   The book covers the Dutch journalists’ work in El Salvador, the ambush, the search for justice, and the path forward.

The new book will be accompanied by a multi-media website in Dutch, Spanish and English with information about the case.   Advocates hope the book and the website will promote interest in the case and keep up pressure on Salvadoran authorities to bring justice for the families of the victims.   As soon as a link to that website becomes available, I will publish it on this blog.

The event today featured two panel discussions.   The first discussion covered emblematic cases of crimes against humanity in El Salvador and where the search for justice stands today.  The second discussion centered on the Dutch journalists and included family members and colleagues of the journalists as well as the authors of the book.

Work on the case in El Salvador seeking justice for the Dutch journalists is being handled by Fundación Comunicándonos and the Salvadoran Association for Human Rights (ASDEHU).

The elimination of a 1993 amnesty law permitted prosecutors in El Salvador to reopen the case after the advocates for the journalists filed a complaint last year. Attorney Pedro Cruz who represents the victims told the assembled audience that he believes the initial investigation phase should be drawing to a close and now a case against military defendants needs to move to the courtroom.

Many of the speakers at today’s event also spoke out against a proposed law of “national reconciliation” proposed in an Ad Hoc Commission of the National Assembly which would re-institute amnesty for war crimes in El Salvador.

The office of El Salvador’s Human Rights Advocate, Raquel de Guevara, also announced her office would work to assure the Dutch journalists case is pushed forward.

March 30, 2019 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Guardian Accused Of Whitewashing U.S. Role In Brazil’s Dictatorship

Brasil Wire | March 28, 2019

Kathy Swart is a U.S. Professor, Librarian and expert on the information landscape of Latin America. Following the Guardian’s publication of this article regarding planned commemorations of Brazil’s US-backed 1964 Military Coup, she was compelled to lodge an official complaint with the newspaper. It has yet to respond.


“For years I have enjoyed the Guardian’s articles on many topics. But this article is representative of the disturbing trend I’ve noticed for several years: a whitewashing of U.S. involvement in Brazil’s 1964 coup and dictatorship. As someone who has read widely on Brazil, it is offensive to read this piece because of this glaring omission. Particularly disappointing is the “Quick Guide” to the dictatorship that fails to even mention this extensively documented history. Mr. Phillips must be aware that the U.S. role included spending millions trying to oust Goulart, military assistance, CIA infiltration, and even torture training. The U.S. itself admitted its role 40 years ago—and yet reading the Guardian, one would think this history never occurred.

It’s curious that Mr. Phillips took the trouble to cite James Green but not to refer to any of the facts of U.S. involvement detailed in his book, We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to Brazil’s Military Dictatorship in the United States. In the article in question, Green points out that the military’s rationale for throwing the coup — “anti-communism” — was a pretext. Who do you think encouraged the military to use anti-communism as a pretext? Green and others have documented how the U.S. leveraged McCarthyite sentiment to spin its support of Right-wing dictators as about “quelling communism.” The communist threat to Brazil was an invention of propagandists in Washington and Brazil’s military (a separate well-referenced source describes how the CIA paid peasants to call themselves communists and set fire to landholder’s buildings to create the illusion of a communist threat). Green’s book illustrates how it was actually U.S. financial interests that drove the coup. By not mentioning U.S. involvement, you are simply perpetuating a false narrative from the Cold War.

But U.S. meddling did not end with throwing coups. Journalists from other media have described its intervention in Brazil’s more recent affairs, such as NSA spying on Petrobras, the 2016 coup against Rousseff, and the conviction of Lula without evidence. Again, the Guardian remains silent on these stories. For example, last week you published 3 separate pieces on Bolsonaro’s trip to the U.S. but failed to mention an off-agenda visit to the CIA with his justice minister. This was a major story in Brazil; even Brazilians know the CIA had much to do with its coup. And yet you fail to mention this historic visit? You are writing history with revisionism by omission. Ignorance is not a likely explanation, so why are you whitewashing the U.S. involvement? Is it because the Guardian is under the editorial influence of US and UK foreign policy? If not, what is your explanation for these omissions?”

Kathy Swart

March 30, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment