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Euro-Med to EU: Stop funds for project serving Israeli settlements

Ma’an – April 13, 2019

BETHLEHEM – The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) sent an urgent letter to the European Union’s European Commission regarding their participation in funding EuroAsia Interconnector, a power transmission project aiming to build the infrastructure necessary to link energy sources between Israel, Cyprus, and Greece.

The project, expected to be implemented in June 2019 with an estimated budget of 3.5 billion Euros, will not only link the electricity infrastructure between Israeli cities with Greece and Cyprus, however, will also include illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including occupied East Jerusalem.

According to a Euro-Med press release, the EU has been labeled as one of the financiers and supporters of the project that nurtures and strengthens settlements built illegally on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and Jerusalem, a move that shows sheer disregard for international law and amounts to complicity in Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Audrey Ferdinand, Euro-Med’s legal researcher, said, “The EU must adhere to its legal obligations under international law, including by not violating its own long-held commitment to a two-state solution.”

Ferdinand stressed, “While Israel is working on projects to boost its energy sources, it denies Palestinians access to basic needs such as energy and clean water,” calling on the EU to “respect its international obligations and not to establish partnerships with states violating international human rights law and international humanitarian law for decades.”

Euro-Med expressed deep shock and surprise at the contradictory policies and non-neutral practices of the European Union. On the one hand, it funds projects to help Palestinians suffering under occupation, it also funds projects that serve Israeli settlers, calling the move as setting for a “double-standard logic.”

Euro-Med called on the European Union to seriously reconsider its policies that are biased to the Israeli authorities at the expense of the Palestinian people, to uphold its human rights obligations and to rise above the discourse of selfish interest, to stop the project, especially as Israel continues to expand its illegal settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and not reward them for such infamous record of human rights abuse.

April 13, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | Leave a comment

WHO calls for protection of health workers, facilities in Gaza

Ma’an – April 13, 2019

BETHLEHEM – The World Health Organization (WHO) called for the protection of health workers and health facilities in the besieged Gaza Strip, following a rise in the number of health workers killed or injured and facilities damaged by Israeli army gunfire.

WHO said in a press statement that it has recorded an unprecedented “446 attacks on health care in Gaza since the start of ‘The Great March of Return’ on 30th March 2018.”

Who stressed that these attacks have resulted in three deaths and 731 injuries among health workers, in addition to 104 ambulances and six other forms of health transport have been damaged, as well as five health facilities and one hospital.

In addition to personal risk and damage to health care, health workers also face substantial barriers to carrying out their work: firing between health workers and those injured prevents or hampers access and witnessing such events has significant implications for longer term mental health and continued work.

WHO concluded, “WHO reiterates its call for the protection of health workers and health facilities. Health care is #NotATarget.”

April 13, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

The Fall of Baghdad 16 Years Ago

By Eresh Omar Jamal | The Duran | April 13, 2019

Three weeks into the invasion of Iraq, coalition forces led by the US army entered Baghdad and formally occupied it on April 9, 2003. The city’s infrastructure was seriously damaged. The Al-Yarmouk Hospital in the south received about 100 new patients every hour at the time of fighting. And many treasures at the National Museum of Iraq—from ancient Mesopotamia and early Islamic culture—were stolen or broken while the Iraqi National Library and National Archives housing thousands of manuscripts from civilisations dating as far back as 7,000 years were burned down and many of its items destroyed.

Like it was an attack on the past, the invasion, from when it occurred, has also proved to be an attack on the future of civilisation. But to most Iraqis, that was obvious from the get-go.

In his eyewitness account of “liberated” Iraq in May 2003, Radio France Internationale’s Tony Cross recalled seeing daily protests against the Americans. Of witnessing western boys of 18-25 years-old standing with their tanks and advanced military equipment, looking fearful (and helpful sometimes) of the host population whose language none of them understood. The most interesting contradiction he points to was between the widely held believe among Iraqis that there was a Zionist-American plot to wipe out their history and subdue them through prolonged occupation, versus a 23-year-old US marine’s statement that, “I talked to a few Iraqis yesterday and some of them said that they didn’t really like us being here. But we liberated them, so I hope they appreciate it.”

Years later, ordinary people in the west still don’t understand the true nature of the horror that it brought to Iraq. In an April 2013 poll by ComRes supported by Media Lens, 44 percent of people estimated that less than 5,000 Iraqis had died since 2003, while 59 percent believed that fewer than 10,000 had died—out of 2,021 respondents. The more likely estimate, according to most independent sources, is in excess of one million.

In 2010, WikiLeaks’ disclosure of 391,832 US army field reports of the Iraq War from 2004 to 2009 exposed that the army itself recorded 109,000 deaths among which 66,081 were civilians. Aided by these documents, Iraq Body Count, which has compiled the most comprehensive record of deaths caused by the war, confirmed the death toll to have exceeded 150,000 in 2010 with roughly 80 percent of them being civilians.

The leaks moreover revealed information about the torture of Iraqis, including by British forces. Adding to the worldwide condemnation that followed Seymour Hersh’s disclosure on the gruesome and humiliating torture carried out by American soldiers on Iraqis in Abu Ghraib. In his 2004 report published by The New Yorker, Hersh had earlier shed light on a 53-page report by Major General Antonio Taguba, who wrote that “between October and December of 2003 there were numerous instances of ‘sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses’ at Abu Ghraib.” That included: “Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell; sodomising a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.”

Such brutality naturally created resentment. And that resentment could just as well have inspired the formation of forces such as ISIS and their ferocious treatment of those they saw as their enemy or opponent.

Yet, it was as if no lessons were learned by western governments. Who used the same blueprint of exploiting lies and deceptions to concoct new wars. In the case of Syria, by fostering tensions between Shiites and Sunnis, to cause its government to overreact by increasing paranoia of an imminent coup, and use that to get Islamic extremists to act against the Syrian government.

And also in Libya, through similar destabilising efforts, followed by more direct intervention which overthrew its government and created a quagmire in what was the wealthiest country in all of Africa before the 2011 NATO intervention—a country where less people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands, where there is now a thriving slave market according to the UN.

As former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi warned prior to him being overthrown by NATO—and sodomised with a bayonet and killed by extremist forces on live television—without a unified and stable Libya, there would be no one to control countless migrants from Africa and the Middle East from fleeing to Europe. And that is exactly what happened since, turning American political scientist Samuel Huntington’s theory of Clash of Civilisation now into near reality.

So what should we make of the fall of Baghdad 16 years ago, or the broader invasion and destruction of Iraq, which by now has clearly turned out to be one of the most important events of the 21st century?

One, that greed for power often causes leaders of powerful countries to lie their citizens into waging wars against less powerful nations. And given the nature of modern weaponry, those wars are now costlier in terms of destroying human lives than ever.

Two, this is especially true for democracies, where, as Julian Assange explains, “wars are a result of lies”—lies such as Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, Gaddafi is providing Viagra to his soldiers to rape women, Assad is attacking unarmed Syrian civilians, etc., all of which have now been proven untrue.

Third, had these lies been exposed early enough, there is a chance that all these wars could have been avoided, and millions of lives spared. However, as most mainstream media outlets became the “stenographer of great power”, as John Pilger describes it, opting to spread lies and propaganda, rather than tell truth to the public and report the facts, the exposure of these lies came too late.

Fourth, the public has entered a state of mind where they can repeatedly be lied into wars. Where through some form of mental gymnastics, they seem to convince themselves time and again that: “this time they are taking us to war for humanitarian reasons, not for greed or for power.” Giving the impression that they are suffering from some sort of mass mind-control. Which is the ultimate goal of propaganda.

That is why it is so important for alternative sources to inform the public about the true nature of wars. To record and reveal the real history of events that shape our world and to counter propaganda with facts. Because if we are to learn anything from the Iraq War and its subsequent events, it is that: “If wars can be started by lies, peace can be started by truth.”


Eresh Omar Jamal is a member of the editorial team at The Daily Star, Bangladesh. His Twitter handle is: @EreshOmarJamal

April 13, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Iran, Iraq and Syria considering transnational railway project: Report

Press TV – April 13, 2019

Iraq says negotiations are underway with Iran and Syria to develop a transnational railway line linking the three countries.

Iraqi Republic Railways Company chief Salib al-Hussaini said a summit will be held between the countries to further discuss the matter, the Arabic-language al-Sumeria news website reported on Friday.

The comments made on the sidelines of the joint Syrian-Iraqi committee held in Damascus came a week after Iranian First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri spoke of an initiative to link the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean.

“We will connect the Persian Gulf from Iraq to Syria and the Mediterranean via railway and road,” said Jahangiri, making reference to the construction of a railway linking the Iranian Shalamcheh border region to the Iraqi city of Basra.

The Shalamcheh-Basra railway project is estimated to cost 2.22 billion rials and can link Iran to Syria via Iraq.

Speaking last December, Director General of the Railway and Technical Structures Department at the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (RAI) Mohammad Mousavi said Iran was planning to build a movable railway bridge over the Arvand river as part of the Shalamcheh-Basra project.

Mousavi said the project would effectively link the Iranian cities of Khorramshahr and Abadan along with the Imam Khomeini Port to the Iraqi city.

The railway project was agreed to last month when Iran and Iraq signed five memorandums of understanding for the expansion of bilateral cooperation in various economic and healthcare sectors.

Observers have described the new agreements as a sign of Baghdad’s serious intention of not being “party to the system of sanctions against Iran” as Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi said earlier in February.

Iraq heavily depends on Iran for everything from food to machinery, electricity, natural gas, fruits and vegetables.

Last year, Iran exported $8.7 billion worth of commodities to Iraq, overtaking Turkey with $7.3 billion of exports.

President Hassan Rouhani said last week that Iran and Iraq had plans to expand bilateral trade volume to $20 billion in the future.

Iran and Syria also signed a series of “historic” agreements earlier this year, including a “long-term strategic economic cooperation” deal described as a sign of changing realities in the Middle East.

Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis said the “historic” agreements covered cooperation in fields of industry, trade and agriculture. He called the agreement “a message to the world on the reality of Syrian-Iranian cooperation.”

Iraq and Syria have been expanding political and economic ties with Iran as they seek assistance in the post-war reconstruction of their countries which had large swathes of their territories overrun by foreign-backed terrorist outfits in the past years.

Iran has been offering military advisory support to Iraq and Syria at the request of their governments, enabling their forces to speed up gains on various fronts against the terrorist groups.

April 13, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , , , | 1 Comment

3 people injured in Israeli rocket attack on Syria’s Hama province – reports

RT | April 13, 2019

Syria has shot down several missiles launched by Israel and targeting the city of Masyaf in northwestern Syria, Syrian state media reported. Three people have been wounded and several buildings destroyed in the attack.

The rockets were launched by Israeli warplanes from Lebanese airspace at about 2.30am on Saturday, SANA reported. In response, Syria activated its air defenses and intercepted several missiles, the agency said. The alleged Israeli raid hit a military post in the city and destroyed several buildings. Three people have been reported wounded.

Lebanese Al-Masdar News reported, citing a military source on the ground, that Israeli rockets damaged a number of sites near the Masyaf National Hospital.

While Israel has not commented on the reported attack, it is presumed that Tel Aviv has made another incursion into Syrian territory to take on alleged Iranian elements there.

Israeli media reported in February that three of the four S-300 surface-to-air defense systems delivered by Moscow to Syria in October last year and stationed in Masyaf were photographed in an “erect” position, prompting speculation that they might be soon deployed into combat.

According to the Al-Masdar source, the Russian-made systems had no role in fending off Saturday’s attack.

Israel routinely rains down missiles on Syrian territory under the pretext of engaging Iranian targets there. In late March, the Syrian missile defense forces responded to an attack by Israel that reportedly targeted a civilian airport and caused a blackout in Aleppo.

April 13, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Russia Profits as US Takes Venezuelan Oil off the Market in Europe

By Irina Slav – Oilprice.com – April 12, 2019

European refiners are switching to Russian sour grades as U.S. sanctions have shrunk Venezuela’s similar-grade exports, Reuters reports, adding that the Russian sour crude is getting increasingly expensive.

Citing sources from the trading industry, Reuters says the situation has been made worse by the fact that OPEC members have cut mainly their output of heavier, more sour grades under the OPEC+ agreement aimed at stimulating a price rise.

U.S. crude is not an alternative as it is overwhelmingly light and sweet, while refineries in Europe are equipped to process heavier grades as well as light ones to make refined products.

The news is the latest reminder that the world is tipping towards a shortage of heavy, sour crude, which is the staple kind of Venezuela crude and which many refineries need to produce fuels and other products.

“Urals is anchored in a positive zone versus dated Brent and there is no indication it will fall to a discount any time soon,” one of the Reuters’ sources said. That’s a complete reversal of the traditional differential between light and heavy oil, with the latter typically trading at a discount to Brent, a light blend.

Sanctions on Iran are further complicating life for European refiners as they have restricted exports of sour grades that Iran also produces in addition to its very popular superlight crude, also called condensate.

According to Reuters, U.S. sanctions have removed 800,000 bpd of heavy crude from the global market, leaving refiners scrambling for alternatives in a limited pool that, besides Russia and Middle Eastern producers, also includes Canada and Mexico as large producers of these grades of crude. The former is having its own problems with a pipeline capacity shortage and a production cut that has boosted prices, and the latter has yet to reverse a fall in oil production.

April 13, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Canadian Regime Change Fanatics Scream of Russian Interference into Canada’s Elections

By Matthew Ehret | The Duran | April 13, 2019

On April 5 Canada’s foreign minister embodied the essence of hypocrisy by complaining loudly that Canada’s upcoming October 2019 elections were under threat by a regime change operation steered by Russia which was seeking to undermine the international democratic order.

In order to respond to the threat of foreign interference, the Minister of Global Affairs Canada announced the creation of a “democratic” five person body staffed entirely with unelected senior bureaucrats from the Privy Council Office under the control of the Clerk of the PCO which will act as a new Propaganda bureau to determine what Canadians are and are not allowed to know. This body will focus on social media and will interface closely with the head of Facebook Canada CEO Kevin Chan. She also announced the creation of a Security Threats Task Force which unites all intelligence agencies of Canada (RCMP, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Communications Security Establishment under the office of Global Affairs Canada. Lastly, the creation of a G7 Rapid Response Mechanism would be created in order to protect all of Canada’s G7 partners from similar “foreign meddling” and run out of Freeland’s Global Affairs Office.

Justin Trudeau, whose administration is collapsing under the weight of self-contradictions built into the green technocratic worldview that he was selected to advance, was quick to jump on this new narrative stating “it is very clearly that countries like Russia are behind a lot of the divisive campaigns.”

Canadian Regime Changers Exposed

Chrystia Freeland’s role as a regime change darling of the British Empire has been increasingly known since the Ukrainian Maidan. It was that British Empire that groomed her under a Rhodes scholarship at Oxford and groomed her for years as an agent controlling mass perception by her management of Reuters and Canada’s Globe and Mail before placing her in a controlling position of Justin Trudeau in 2013.

Her role in steering the vast networks of Canadian Banderites who have long grown in numbers and influence in Canada is as well-known as her friendship with leading Svoboda/Pravi Sektor leaders in Ukraine who were deployed to overthrow a legitimately elected pro-Russian government from Nov. 2013-Feb. 2014. Increasingly well known is her own family’s deeply rooted Nazi sympathies going back to her grandfather’s role in working directly with the Waffen-SS during the latter’s occupation of Ukraine.

When the Ukraine “color revolution” steered by the British-run Deep State (of which Freeland is a senior member) failed to achieve its goal of de-stabilizing Russia, attention was turned to Venezuela where both Russia and China have invested tens of billions in infrastructure and whose government has been extremely favorable to cooperation on the Belt and Road initiative.

For this job, Freeland was deployed alongside her Oxford-trained colleague Ben Rowswell who together worked diligently for several years for a color revolution. As ambassador to Venezuela from 2014-2017, Rowswell managed to coordinate anti-government forces on the ground stating “We became one of the most vocal embassies in speaking out on human rights issues and encouraging Venezuelans to speak out”. Upon leaving Venezuela he said “I don’t think they (anti-Maduro forces) have anything to worry about because Minister Freeland has Venezuela way at the top of her priority list”.

What Rowswell was referring to was Freeland’s role in garnering the semblance of international support for the overthrow by her creation of the Lima Group of 13 Latin American countries (plus Canada) who could be said to “represent the consensus view of South America” in order to give the regime change a “democratic” look. Apparently the deep state managers of Canada didn’t think there was anything weird in an Anglo Saxon monarchy leading a group of Latin American republics and assumed the world would feel the same way.

As it turns out, even though the majority of Lima Group Foreign ministers were induced to support the regime change (very likely due to the vast control of South American mining operations controlled by Canadian mining giants), the world wasn’t so quick to jump enthusiastically on the regime change bandwagon with both Russia and China firmly denying their recognition of opposition leader Guaido’s legitimacy as the country’s leader culminating in Russia’s March 23 deployment of military aircraft and personnel into Venezuela as a message to all Deep State fanatics to back off.

It is noteworthy, that even though Donald Trump paid limited lip service to the hawks in his own government and internationally by telling Russia to leave Venezuela, the fact is that the rift between Trump and those war hawks exemplified by Bolton, Pence, and Pompeo, was made very clear as the President took several opportunities from April 3-6 to call for greater cooperation with Russia and China.

The Collapse of the Deep State and Rise of the New Paradigm

Freeland, Rowswell and their British handlers are undoubtedly not sleeping well at night. Their system is collapsing and there isn’t very much that they can do about it. The empire’s control structures so long kept in the shadows are increasingly exposed to the light of day with the collapse of Russia-Gate, and the exposure of the role of Canada’s Privy Council Office and Round Table movement (aka: Chatham House groups) as guiding (British) hands behind global affairs.

With the Brexit, Italy’s joining the BRI, the failure of the EU and bankruptcy of the City of London-Wall Street banking system, the world is finally waking up to the fact that the “great game” which so perverted the 20th century is falling apart. Not only that but only one serious alternative is on the table: the Belt and Road Initiative/New Silk Road as a global force of cooperation and long term investment into the real (vs speculative/fictitious) part of the economy.

In weeks, Beijing will host the 2nd Belt and Road Conference from and Trump, speaking alongside China’s vice Premier stated a very important intention as a lead up to that conference: 1) an end to the trade war is immanent with a major deal expected in weeks and 2) that Russia, China and America should stop wasting billions on war machines and start re-directing those expenditures towards long term great projects that benefit everyone. The places to do this not only include Belt and Road projects in Eurasia, Africa and the Americas but also the important domain of space exploration and cooperation. Both Russia and China have made it clear that space is a domain for peace on earth with Russia moving ahead with a lunar colony for 2040 and China’s far side of the moon landing on January 3, 2019 being a precursor to a larger lunar mining/industrialization program to access rare earths and Helium-3 fusion fuel.

Donald Trump has joined this chorus of nations pushing for a space based economy by announcing a revival of NASA’s mission with a Moon-Mars program on March 26.

While the future looks increasingly hopeful, and the British Empire’s ugly hand is increasingly exposed for the world to see, there are still many dirty tricks which the devil can still throw at the world.


BIO: Matthew J.L. Ehret is a journalist, lecturer and founder of the Canadian Patriot Review. His works have been published in Executive Intelligence Review, Global Research, Global Times, The Duran, Nexus Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, Veterans Today and Sott.net. Matthew has also published the book “The Time has Come for Canada to Join the New Silk Road” and three volumes of the Untold History of Canada (available on untoldhistory.canadianpatriot.org). He can be reached at matt.ehret@tutamail.com

April 13, 2019 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

Despair or distraction? Pompeo’s ‘push for peace’ in Libya does not pass smell test

By Alex Benley – RT- April 12, 2019

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may have called for peace in Libya but his lack of credibility makes one suspect something else is going on.

“There is no military solution,” warns West Point graduate, former CIA chief and waterboarding defender, Mike Pompeo.

“We have made clear that we oppose the military offensive by Khalifa Haftar’s forces and urge the immediate halt to these military operations against the Libyan capital,” Pompeo’s statement read.

There is something not right about Pompeo’s call. Otherwise, it would seem to mark a major U-turn in US foreign policy. But the record of this and previous administrations does not corroborate such an assumption.

Libya is a great case study when it comes to the gap between US leaders’ public statements and their underlying intent.

In his address to the nation on March 28, 2011, Nobel peace prize laureate Barack Obama framed the mission as one “to protect the Libyan people from immediate danger and to establish a no-fly zone… Broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake.” Roger that.

During a Senate hearing, Hillary Clinton’s deputy, James Steinberg said, “President Obama has been equally firm that our military operation has a narrowly defined mission that does not include regime change.”

During the months that followed, however, the US provided rebels with $25 million in assistance and reportedly allowed advanced weapons to be delivered by Egypt and Qatar.

NATO ships stationed in the Mediterranean to enforce an arms embargo under Section 9 of Resolution 1970 let go a rebel tugboat with small arms, 105mm howitzer rounds, and “lots of explosives.”

On the day Vice Adm. William Gortney, director of the Joint Staff, “guaranteed” the press that Muammar Gaddafi is “not on a targeting list,” bombs hit the presidential compound.

Clinton’s eventual “we came, we saw, he died” is the most striking giveaway that regime change was the White House’s goal right from the start.

The US action under the guise of a peace and humanitarian narrative resulted in the collapse of a once rich and stable country that has since turned it into a playground for extremist forces, with spillover effects for the entire region. It has been a de-facto failed state for eight years now.

Need more examples of Washington’s hypocrisy? Promoting peace in Yemen and Syria on paper did not preclude the US from launching airstrikes against Damascus and exporting weapons that kill civilians in the protracted Saudi-led war on Yemen’s Houthis.

The US is clearer on Venezuela but again not everything is said in public. Remember National Security Advisor John Bolton’s hand-written reminder to send 5,000 troops to Colombia captured on camera?

Going back to Libya, there is another detail that is adding flavor to the story.

It is common knowledge that Haftar’s military experience helped topple the Gaddafi regime in 2011 following his return to Libya from the US where he gained American citizenship. Other than being a skilled commanding officer, he is said to have become a CIA asset and was trained in guerilla warfare by the agency’s paramilitary arm. This was after Washington saved him from a prison in Chad following a botched Libyan campaign and abandonment by Gaddafi in 1987. In March 1996, Haftar took part in the uprising against the Libyan leader.

However, Haftar has also been building ties with Russia. He’s flown to Moscow and has met several times with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

If the general has made up his mind, he could run his homeland on his own terms. The US is just trying to buy time to figure out his and its own next move.
Also on rt.com Libya’s military strongman Haftar to meet Russian FM Lavrov in Moscow

But the timing of the general’s offensive – just days ahead of a major UN conference – might indicate he may have been directed by the US to thwart European and broader international efforts. The goal would be to show who the real powerbroker is, to scare the Europeans with potentially more refugees, and punish the EU for seeking greater autonomy from the US.

So, what’s truly behind Pompeo’s statement – a distraction to prove their alibi while a special CIA op is underway or a signal to a former asset gone rogue in a geopolitical tug of war over who defines Libya’s future?

Whatever the case, make no mistake: Pompeo is no peace dove and the US will have no qualms about issuing secret orders to advance their strategic interests that run counter to their publicly stated objectives.

April 13, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

North Korea’s Kim says US must stop ‘way of calculation’, gives deadline

Press TV – April 13, 2019

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says the United States has raised the risk of returning to past tensions after the collapse of his second summit with President Donald Trump, stressing that yet another meeting between the two leaders is only possible if Washington comes with the right attitude.

The North’s official KCNA news agency on Saturday quoted Kim as making the remarks, two days after Trump floated the idea of holding a potential third nuclear summit with the North’s leader.

“What is needed is for the US to stop its current way of calculation, and come to us with a new calculation,” Kim was quoted as saying in a speech to the Supreme People’s Assembly on Friday.

He also said that he would wait “until the end of this year” for Washington to decide.

Back in late February, Trump and Kim reached an impasse at their second face-to-face denuclearization talks in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, with Washington demanding full disarmament and Pyongyang demanding economic incentives through partial lifting harsh sanctions.

The second summit in fact did collapse when the American president abruptly walked away from the talks without reaching a deal or even issuing a final statement.

Trump claimed that he quit the talks because Kim demanded to lift all economic sanctions as a prerequisite to denuclearization.

However, Pyongyang quickly responded that it had never asked for the removal of all sanctions, but only the partial removal of them.

In June last year, the two leaders met at a historic summit for the first time in Singapore, where they agreed to work toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Subsequent diplomacy between the two sides, however, made little progress, mainly because Washington refused to lift its crippling sanctions.

“The second DPRK-US summit in Hanoi in February raised strong questions about whether the steps we took under our strategic decision were right, and gave us a sense of caution about whether the US is even really trying to improve the DPRK-US relationship,” Kim added, using the initials of North Korea’s full name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The North’s leader also said that Washington came with “completely unrealizable plans” to Hanoi and that the US was “not really ready to sit with us face-to-face and solve the problem.”

“By that sort of thinking, the US will not be able to move us one iota even if they sat with us a hundred, thousand times, and will not be able to get what it wants at all,” Kim stressed.

The North Korean leader further blamed the US for continuing “to ignore the basic way of the new DPRK-US relations, including withdrawing hostile policies.”

Kim also warned that the White House mistakenly believes that “if they pressure us to the maximum, they can subdue us”, stressing that he had no interest in a third summit if it is a repeat of Hanoi.

The North’s leader also noted that his relations with Trump remained excellent.

So far, Pyongyang has taken several steps toward the goal by suspending missile and nuclear testing, demolishing at least one nuclear test site, and agreeing to allow international inspectors into a missile engine test facility.

The US, however, has insisted that sanctions on the North must remain in place until it completely and irreversibly dismantles its nuclear program.

The collapse of the Hanoi summit also disappointed US-ally South Korea, which has been improving relations with the North since early 2018.

Moon, who acts as a go-between in diplomacy involving Washington and Pyongyang, flew to Washington earlier this week in his third official visit to the US with the objective of helping put denuclearization talks with North Korea back on track after the Hanoi failed summit.

Despite the fact that that the situation on the Korean Peninsula had significantly improved following a number of high-level talks last year between Pyongyang and Seoul, as well as Washington, the North is still subject to harsh international sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

April 13, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

US Hands Argentina 5,600 Declassified Files from ‘Dirty War’

teleSUR | April 12, 2019

The United States presented to Argentina its fourth and final installment of the Declassification Process on human rights abuses made during the military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983 on Friday.

The final 5,600 documents were added to a record-breaking, 50,000 page-government file composed through the efforts of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies and delivered over the course of the last seven years.

In 2002, both the Argentine Foreign Ministry and the U.S. fortified a declassification process to share top secret information from the United States Archives to the Argentine Commission on Historical Memory and other human rights organizations and public institutions via the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, German Garavano.

Currently the U.S. is developing a web portal to access the collection of declassified notes written during the seven-year, “Dirty War,” when a military dictatorship cracked down on left-wing opponents between 1974 and 1983.

“As the families of victims continue their quests for truth and justice, the declassification of these records helps confront the past with honesty and transparency,” the U.S. Department of State said in a statement on Friday.

Names of perpetrators and victims are inscribed within the set of hard drives, Garavano said. The Argentine Minister is hopeful the judicial system will be able to close some 400 pending investigations on the 30,000 disappeared cases which transpired during the dictatorship.

April 13, 2019 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Is the U.S. Prepared to Accept a Defeat in Venezuela?

By Marco Teruggi – Pagina 12 – April 12, 2019

The attack should have been short since the Maduro administration was not strong enough to resist. This was the conviction of the United States as they carried out a strategy to overthrow him: they built a President 2.0 Juan Guaido; they gave him a fictionalized government, international recognition, a collective narrative among mass media companies, accelerated economic sanctions at different levels. Overlapping these variables, different results were expected to be achieved on their path of getting a forced negotiation or the toppling of the government.

Events did not take the planned course. First and most important, the breaking of the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB): a crucial element that should have happened but did not. A series of tactics were implemented for it, from internal conspiracy with the support of a lot of dollars, visas and guarantees, or the strategy of a latent threat of a possible U.S. intervention. A combination of bluff – an unloaded weapon pointed at your head – with built up dates to try to achieve a rupture, such as on February 23rd.

The second event that should have occurred, despite the difficulty in defining a target, was Guaido supposedly building mass support in the streets. He boasted that 90 per cent of the population supports him. Pictures of his mass mobilization capacity show that the initial momentum on January 23, when his self-proclamation was acknowledged by Donald Trump through a tweet, lost strength. A major reason for this was the crisis of expectations that resulted from the unfulfilled promise of an immediate outcome. Another is that it was an artificial, communicational, diplomatic construction which could not gather more than the right’s historical rank-and-file supporters, characterized by a specific social, geographic class, living conditions, idiosyncrasy and symbolism. The opposition looked too much like themselves.

Third was the attempt to take the poor to the streets; blackouts and the water shortages were the most favorable of the scenarios to provoke this. But the outcome was not what they expected either.  The clearer and wide reaching reality was the majority trying to solve their problems, individually, collectively, together with the Venezuelan Government. Sustained protests, fostered almost completely by the right, were scarce and without capacity to spread in the country.

Each of these variables has feedback points. The crisis of expectations is the result, for instance, of the fact that the Armed Force has not broken, that Guaido speaks of a hastiness that does not occur, with the conclusion that if they don’t succeed in any of their three targets, the last resort is an international intervention headed by the United States. That same interventionist narrative moves away from those who see Guaido as an alternative to the current political and economic situation. Calling on the majorities to achieve an international operation comes across evident obstacles.

Overthrowing Maduro does not seem possible in the correlation of national forces. It has been proven that the attack will not be short and that Chavismo, which is more than a Government, has enough strength to resist. If it was just a national affair, Guaido would lose strength to the point that he wouldn’t even be part of the list of opposition leaders that carry the burden of defeat. The problem is that this new coup attempt was devised over a point of no return with the United States building of a parallel government facade, acknowledged by the European Union, the United Kingdom, Israel, Canada, and right-wing governments in Latin America. What to do with Guaido when the plan is not successful due to initial miscalculations?

The question is due to the US, its current Administration is a mixture of Donald Trump-neoconservative leaders, and the so-called deep state; that is to say, real, invisible structures of power that constitute and safeguard that country’s strategic development in the geopolitical struggle. A defeat in Venezuela would be charged to the Administration in a pre-election period and it would suffer a double blow with Maduro’s continuity, or the lack of ability make a key Latin American country fall in line, and its implications in the international arena.

The deep state has grown stronger recently through tweets and speeches of U.S. spokespeople like Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Southern Command’s commanding general Craig Faller. Their different statements have shifted towards painting Venezuela as an operational base for Russia, Iran, Cuba and China, while the Maduro administration would be subordinated to each of these governments and their corresponding intelligence and military services —particularly to the first three.

The United States has announced its following steps based on that narrative. Pompeo is going to Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Colombia; Abrams to Spain and Portugal; and they convened a third meeting in the United Nations Security Council to talk about Venezuela’s situation. They have not announced the goals of the different moves yet. It is possible though to predict that there is a private and public dimension to the agreements. A possibility would be for the US to declare the Venezuelan government a transnational criminal organization and branding colectivos (Chavista grass-roots organizations) as terrorist groups that “undermine the Constitution and territorial integrity of Venezuela,” according to Bolton’s description. New possible actions would result from each of these elements.

That increase in pressure, tightening the blockade, and isolation has not led yet to the possibility of a military intervention, despite the repeated “all options are on the table.” Abrams himself sidestepped that hypothesis last Thursday. Therefore, how are they planning to achieve the outcome proposed with the combination of these actions? The United States needs to establish means, on-the-ground operational capacity, and domestic and diplomatic agreements. In this regard, the European Union stance was expressed by its high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, who affirmed that “new free and credible presidential elections should be held as soon as possible.”

Would the U.S. be willing to accept a negotiated outcome in which Maduro remains in power? So far, that does not look possible. They don’t seem willing to accept a geopolitical defeat in Venezuela either. The U.N. Security Council met on Wednesday to deal with this aspect. At the same time, the right called for more mobilizations. The pieces are still in motion.

Translation by Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau

Edited by Venezuelanalysis.com

April 13, 2019 Posted by | Russophobia | , , , , , , | Leave a comment