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France Admits Polynesia Was Forced to Undergo Dangerous Nuclear Tests

Sputnik – 25.05.2019

From 1966 to 1996, some 193 nuclear tests were carried out by France around the islands of French Polynesia, including Bora Bora and Tahiti.

In a historic first, France has officially acknowledged that French Polynesians were forced into accepting almost 200 nuclear tests conducted over a 30-year period, as the French parliament issued the admission in a bill reforming the status of the collectivity of 118 islands in the South Pacific, reports The Telegraph.

The parliamentary bill acknowledges that the islands were “called upon”, or “strong-armed” into accepting the tests for the purposes of “building (its) nuclear deterrent and national defence”.

The legislation also says the French state will “ensure the maintenance and surveillance of the sites concerned” and “support the economic and structural reconversion of French Polynesia following the cessation of nuclear tests”.

According to MPs this move should make it easier for the local population to request compensation for illnesses caused by radioactive fallout, such as cancer and others.

Patrice Bouveret of the Observatoire des armements (Armaments Observatory), an independent organisation tasked with gauging the impacts of nuclear testing carried out by France in Polynesia since 1984, hailed the bill:

“It recognises the fact that local people’s health could have been affected and thus the French state’s responsibility in compensating them for such damage.

“Until now, the entire French discourse was that the tests were ‘clean’ — that was the actual word used — and that they had taken all due precautions for staff and locals.”

The expert also deplored the lengthy 23 years it had taken France to officially recognise its responsibility.

Scepticism was also voiced by Polynesian MP Moetai Brotherson, who claimed there were no specific steps towards financial reparation cited in the bill.

Polynesian MP Maina Sage insisted the reform was “recognition of clear acts of compensation” and “the fact that this should translate into support on a sanitary, ecological and economic level.”

Last year, French Polynesian President Edouard Fritch confessed the population of the islands had been lied to for years by its leaders regarding the dangers of nuclear testing.

“I’m not surprised that I’ve been called a liar for 30 years. We lied to this population that the tests were clean. We lied,” filmed footage showed Fritch as saying.

France carried out 193 nuclear tests from 1966 to 1996 around the paradise islands, including Bora Bora and Tahiti, famously captured on canvass by Paul Gauguin.

Bowing to decades of pressure, in 2010 the French government offered millions of euros in compensation for the government’s 201 nuclear tests in the South Pacific and Algeria.

While this resulted in 1,500 cases of compensation for military and other personnel at the Polynesian nuclear sites, a clause suggesting the tests were of “negligible risk” for the rest of the population made it impossible for them to apply, despite disproportionate rates of thyroid cancer and leukemia among Polynesia’s 280,000 residents.

To date, only a few dozen have received compensation, despite compelling figures, such as cancer rates standing at 30 per cent above average.

Three years earlier, declassified defence ministry papers exposed the tests as more toxic than previously acknowledged amid reports that the whole of French Polynesia had been hit by levels of plutonium due to the testing.

Tahiti, the reports claimed, was exposed to 500 times the maximum accepted levels of radiation.

May 25, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

The Plan for Greater Israel according to Rabbi Kashtiel

By Gilad Atzmon | May 25, 2019

Rather often we hear from pro-Palestinian Jews about Jewish values of peace and Justice. Torah Jews’ Rabbis also insist that Judaism is clean of violence and that Jews shy away from wars and conflicts. However, Rabbi Kashtiel, a prominent Israeli rabbi, a staunch Zionist and a settler has a very different story to tell. For him to conquer is a Mitzvah. To start a war on Sabbath is to fulfil the Judaic heavenly mission even if unprovoked. Eretz Yisrael according to Rabbi Kashtiel should include Turkey in the north and the Nile river to the West.

I am not so sure that peace between Israel and its neighbours will prevail anytime soon.

May 25, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The World: What is Really Happening

By Craig Murray | May 25, 2019

If you want to understand what is really happening in the world today, a mid-ranking official named Ian Henderson is vastly more important to you than Theresa May. You will not, however, find anything about Henderson in the vast majority of corporate and state media outlets.

You may recall that, one month after the Skripal incident, there was allegedly a “chemical weapons attack” in the jihadist enclave of Douma, which led to air strikes against the Syrian government in support of the jihadist forces by US, British and French bombers and missiles. At the time, I argued that the Douma jihadist enclave was on the brink of falling (as indeed it proved) and there was no military advantage – and a massive international downside – for the Syrian Army in using chemical weapons. Such evidence for the attack that existed came from the jihadist allied and NATO funded White Helmets and related sources; and the veteran and extremely respected journalist Robert Fisk, first westerner to arrive on the scene, reported that no chemical attack had taken place.

The “Douma chemical weapon attack” was linked to the “Skripal chemical weapon attack” by the western media as evidence of Russian evil. Robert Fisk was subjected to massive media abuse and I was demonised by countless mainstream media journalists on social media, of which this is just one example of a great many.

In both the Skripal and the Douma case, it fell to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to provide the technical analysis. The OPCW is a multilateral body established by treaty, and has 193 member states. The only major chemical weapons owning powers which are not members and refuse the inspections regime are the pariah rogue states Israel and North Korea.

An OPCW fact finding mission visited Douma on April 21 and 25 2018 and was able to visit the sites, collect samples and interview witnesses. No weaponised chemicals were detected but traces of chlorine were found. Chlorine is not an uncommon chemical, so molecular traces of chlorine at a bombing site are not improbable. The interim report of the OPCW following the Fact Finding Mission was markedly sober and non-committal:

The results show that no organophosphorous nerve agents or their degradation products were detected in the environmental samples or in the plasma samples taken from alleged casualties. Along with explosive residues, various chlorinated organic chemicals were found in samples from two sites, for which there is full chain of custody.

The fact finding mission then returned to OPCW HQ, at which time the heavily politicised process took over within the secretariat and influenced by national delegations. 9 months later the final report was expressed in language of greater certainty, yet backed by no better objective evidence:

Regarding the alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon on 7 April 2018 in Douma, the Syrian Arab Republic, the evaluation and analysis of all the information gathered by the FFM—witnesses’ testimonies, environmental and biomedical samples analysis results, toxicological and ballistic analyses from experts, additional digital information from witnesses—provide reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon took place. This toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine. The toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine.

However the report noted it was unable to determine who had used the chlorine as a weapon. Attempts to spin this as a consequence of OPCW’s remit are nonsense – the OPCW exists precisely to police chemical weapons violations, and has never operated on the basis of violator anonymity.

Needless to say, NATO funded propaganda site Bellingcat had been from the start in the lead in proclaiming to the world the “evidence” that this was a chemical weapons attack by the Assad government, dropping simple chlorine cylinders as bombs. The original longer video footage of one of the videos on the Bellingcat site gives a fuller idea of the remarkable lack of damage to one gas cylinder which had smashed through the reinforced concrete roof and landed gently on the bed.

[I am sorry that I do not know how to extract that longer video from its tweet. You need to click on the above link then click on the link in the first tweet that warns you it is sensitive material – in fact there is nothing sensitive there, so don’t worry.]

Now we come to the essential Mr Ian Henderson. Mr Henderson was in charge of the engineering sub-group of the OPCW Fact Finding Mission. The engineers assessed that the story of the cylinders being dropped from the sky was improbable, and it was much more probable that they had simply been placed there manually. There are two major reasons they came to this conclusion.

At least one of the crater holes showed damage that indicated it had been caused by an explosive, not by the alleged blunt impact. The cylinders simply did not show enough damage to have come through the reinforced concrete slabs and particularly the damage which would have been caused by the rebar. Rebar is actually thicker steel than a gas cylinder and would have caused major deformation.

Yet – and this is why Ian Henderson is more important to your understanding of the world than Theresa May – the OPCW Fact Finding Mission reflected in their final report none of the findings of their own sub-group of university based engineers from two European universities, but instead produced something that is very close to the amateur propaganda “analysis” put out by Bellingcat. The implications of this fraud are mind-blowing.

The genuine experts’ findings were completely suppressed until they were leaked last week. And still then, this leak – which has the most profound ramifications – has in itself been almost completely suppressed by the mainstream media, except for those marginalised outliers who still manage to get a platform, Robert Fisk and Peter Hitchens (a tiny platform in the case of Fisk).

Consider what this tells us. A fake chemical attack incident was used to justify military aggression against Syria by the USA, UK and France. The entire western mainstream media promoted the anti-Syrian and anti-Russian narrative to justify that attack. The supposedly neutral international watchdog, the OPCW, was manipulated by the NATO powers to produce a highly biased report that omits the findings of its own engineers. Which can only call into doubt the neutrality and reliability of the OPCW in its findings on the Skripals too.

There has been virtually no media reporting of the scandalous cover-up. This really does tell you a very great deal more about how the Western world works than the vicissitudes of the ludicrously over-promoted Theresa May and her tears of self pity.

Still more revealing is the reaction from the OPCW – which rather than acknowledge there is a major problem with the conclusions of its Douma report, has started a witch hunt for the whistleblower who leaked the Henderson report.

The Russian government claimed to have intelligence that indicated it was MI6 behind the faking of the Douma chemical attack. I have no means of knowing the truth of that, and am always sceptical of claims by all governments on intelligence matters, after a career observing government disinformation techniques from the inside. But the MI6 claim is consistent with the involvement of the MI6 originated White Helmets in this scam. and MI6 can always depend on their house journal The Guardian to push their narrative, as Guardian Middle East editor Brian Whitaker does here in an article “justifying” the omission of the Henderson report by the OPCW. Whitaker argues that Henderson’s engineers had a minority view. Interestingly Whitaker’s article is not from the Guardian itself, which prefers to keep all news of the Henderson report from the public.

But Whitaker’s thesis cannot stand. On one level, of course we know that Henderson’s expert opinion did not prevail at the OPCW. Henderson and the truth lost out in the politicking. But at the very least, it would be essential for the OPCW report to reflect and note the strong contrary view among its experts, and the suppression of this essential information cannot possibly be justified. Whitaker’s attempt to do so is a disgrace.

Which leads me on to the Skripals.

I have noted before the news management technique of the security services, leaking out key facts in a managed way over long periods so as not to shock what public belief there is in the official Skripal story. Thus nine months passed before it was admitted that the first person who “coincidentally” came across the ill Skripals on the park bench, just happened to be the Chief Nurse of the British Army.

The inquest into the unfortunate Dawn Sturgess has now been postponed four times. The security services have now admitted – once again through the Guardian – that even if “Boshirov and Petrov” poisoned the Skripals, they cannot have been also responsible for the poisoning of Dawn Sturgess. This because the charity bin in which the perfume bottle was allegedly found is emptied regularly so the bottle could not have lain there for 16 weeks undiscovered, and because the package was sealed so could not have been used on the Skripals’ doorknob.

This Guardian article is bylined by the security services’ pet outlet, Luke Harding, and one other. The admissions are packaged in a bombastic sandwich about Russian GRU agents.

Every single one of these points – that “Boshirov and Petrov” have never been charged with the manslaughter of Sturgess, that the bottle was sealed so could not have been used at the Skripals’ house, and that it cannot have been in the charity bin that long – are points that I have repeatedly made, and for which I have suffered massive abuse, including – indeed primarily – from dozens of mainstream media journalists. Making precisely these points has seen me labelled as a mentally ill conspiracy theorist or paid Russian agent. Just like the Douma fabrication, it turns out there was indeed every reason to doubt, and now, beneath a veneer of anti-Russian nonsense, these facts are quietly admitted by anonymous “sources” to Harding. No wonder poor Dawn Sturgess keeps not getting an inquest.

Which brings us back full circle to the OPCW. In neither its report on the Salisbury poisoning nor its report on the Amesbury poisoning did the OPCW ever use the word Novichok. As an FCO source explained to me, the expert scientists in OPCW were desperate to signal that the Salisbury sample had not been for days on a doorknob collecting atmospheric dust, rain and material from hands and gloves, but all the politics of the OPCW leadership would allow them to slip in was the phrase “almost complete absence of impurities” as a clue – which the British government then spun as meaning “military grade” when it actually meant “not from a doorknob”.

Now we have seen irrefutable evidence of poor Ian Henderson in exactly the same position with the OPCW of having the actual scientific analysis blocked out of the official findings. That is extremely strong added evidence that my source was indeed telling the truth about the earlier suppression of the scientific evidence in the Skripal case.

Even the biased OPCW could not give any evidence of the Amesbury and Salisbury poisons being linked, concluding:

“Due to the unknown storage conditions of the small bottle found in the house of Mr Rowley and the fact that the environmental samples analysed in relation to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal and Mr Nicholas Bailey were exposed to the environment and moisture, the impurity profiles of the samples available to the OPCW do not make it possible to draw conclusions as to whether the samples are from the same synthesis batch”

Which is strange, as the first sample had an “almost complete absence of impurities” and the second was straight out of the bottle. In fact beneath the doublespeak the OPCW are saying there is no evidence the two attacks were from the same source. Full stop.

I suppose I should now have reached the stage where nothing will shock me, but as a textbook example of the big lie technique, this BBC article is the BBC’s take on the report I just quoted – which remember does not even use the word Novichok.

When it comes to government narrative and the mainstream media, mass purveyor of fake news, scepticism is your friend. Remembering that is much more important to your life than the question of which Tory frontman is in No. 10.

For an analysis of the Henderson Report fiasco written to the highest academic standards, where you can find all the important links to original source material, read this superb work by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media.

May 25, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

Total Deception: US House Votes to ‘Enhance Stabilization of Conflict-Affected Areas and Prevent Violence and Fragility Globally’

By Adam Dick | Ron Paul Institute | May 24, 2019

The United States government, through arms including the US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has long been promoting violence and destruction in previously relatively peaceful and prosperous places around the world. It has done so through supporting sides in conflicts and stirring up conflicts in an effort to determine who governs — either seeking to prop up or overthrow national governments.

This week, the US House of Representatives passed by a voice vote a bill (HR 2116) titled the Global Fragility Act and carrying this short description of its intent: “To enhance stabilization of conflict-affected areas and prevent violence and fragility globally, and for other purposes.” Having been approved in the House, the bill now can proceed to consideration in the US Senate.

You might expect that the Global Fragility Act would, through actions such as placing limits on or defunding activities of the State Department and USAID, seek to stop the US from intervening abroad. That would be a welcome development.

Unfortunately, things tend not to work that way in Washington, DC. In Washington DC “up” is “down” and, as George Orwell wrote about the dystopia in his novel 1984, “war” is “peace.” The Global Fragility Act is a bill to enable the US government to further “break” the world through, among other things, giving the State Department and USAID hundreds of millions of dollars a year to stir up more trouble and further attempt to control who governs in countries around the world.

The bill authorizes appropriating 200 million dollars each of the next five years into a new Stabilization and Prevention Fund administered by the State Department and USAID. And the bill directs that this money be spent on the kinds of purposes typically used to excuse US efforts to support or overthrow governments across the world — supporting “stabilization of conflict-affected areas;” preventing violence; and countering “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, other terrorist organizations, or violent extremist organizations.­”

On top of that, the Global Fragility Act also provides an additional 30 million dollars a year for the next five years to a new Complex Crisis Fund. This fund, the bill directs, will be administered by USAID. The bill states that USAID is to spend the money “to support programs and activities to prevent or respond to emerging or unforeseen foreign challenges and complex crises overseas.” It does not get much more open-ended than that. In short, USAID can use the fund to pursue intervention overseas in just about any way imaginable.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the sponsor of the Global Fragility Act, touted on the House floor this week before the bill was approved by a voice vote that the legislation “gets at the heart of what we want to see from our diplomatic and development efforts around the world: helping places already torn apart by violence to recover and preventing the start of violence in other places where factors are ripe for its outbreak.” Following Engel, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the bill’s lead Republican cosponsor, declared the bill “will make the world a safer place long term.” Don’t believe a word of it. The Global Fragility Act promises to increase US government efforts bringing to the world more violence, more destruction, and more fragility, not less.

May 25, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , | 16 Comments

Iran slams as politically-motivated France’s extradition of Iranian engineer to US

Press TV – May 25, 2019

Iran has denounced as politically-motivated a French court’s verdict to extradite an Iranian engineer to the United States over accusations of importing American technology for military purposes.

The condemnation came on Saturday after the court in Aix-en-Provence, southern France, approved the extradition of Jalal Rouhollahnejad to the US to face charges of “attempting to illegally import US technology for military purposes on behalf of an Iranian company.”

The Iranian non-governmental Center for Civilian Drones along with a number of knowledge-based firms working in the field of aerospace said in a joint statement that the French court’s verdict was politically-motivated and against the principles of the Iran nuclear deal as well as other international rules.

Rouhollahnejad was detained on February 2 at Nice airport as he got off a plane coming from Tehran. The US judicial officials claimed that the Iranian engineer might have been seeking to import high-power industrial microwave systems from the US to be later used for military purposes in Iran.

The Iranian aerospace firms said in the statement that high-power industrial microwave systems are modern non-military technologies used for detecting Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) flying in sensitive sites like airports.

“So the technologies have no military use. They are also not under the US sanctions,” the statement said, adding that it is among the basic rights of any country to use such technologies within the regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to protect its airspace and provide security for sensitive sites like civilian airports.

“Such a move will have serious repercussions for the French tradesmen and specialists working in Iran,” the statement warned.

Rouhollahnejad’s lawyer also said the US arrest warrant was politically-motivated and stressed that he would continue to refuse extradition from France.

US judges claim that the 41-year-old engineer acted on behalf of a company linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), which was blacklisted by the US President Donald Trump’s administration last month.

A decree by the French prime minister is still necessary for the extradition to go ahead.

May 25, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Iran resets its foreign policy calculus

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | May 25, 2019

The unannounced overnight visit by Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to Pakistan on Thursday can be seen at the very minimum as forming part of a diplomatic campaign in the backdrop of the war clouds building up in the Persian Gulf. This regional tour has already taken Zarif to Russia, China, Turkmenistan, India and Japan.

For Iran, Pakistan is an important neighbour and the two countries have a history of troubled relations. (See my recent blogs Pakistan-Iran ties set for makeoverPart I and Part II.) In the prevailing regional setting, Pakistan’s importance for the Iranian geo-strategies has become crucial.

In immediate terms, King Salman has sent out invitations to two summits he’ll be hosting in Mecca on May 30 — back-to-back summits of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Arab League — where the leitmotif is the rising tensions with Iran. Neither GCC nor Arab League carries credibility, but Saudi Arabia is hoping that the Muslim Middle East will stand up and be counted in the vanguard of the US-led ‘Iran project’.

Enter Pakistan. Pakistan already has stated it will not take sides in the looming confrontation. Pakistan has described the crisis in the Persian Gulf region as “disturbing” and said that Washington’s decision to deploy an aircraft carrier and bombers has fuelled tensions and exacerbated “the existing precarious security situation” in the Middle East.

Just before Zarif’s arrival in Islamabad, Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman said, “We expect all sides to show restraint, as any miscalculated move can transmute into a large-scale conflict. Pakistan always supports dialogue and desires that all issues should be settled peacefully and through engagement by all sides.”

Pakistan’s stance of ‘positive neutrality’ works in favour of Tehran. Importantly, it is in stark contrast with the deafening silence of New Delhi, which has caved in to US diktat and summarily terminated all imports of Iranian oil. Suffice to say, Pakistan has moved to neutral ground at a juncture while India is bonding with the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE — the ‘Quad’ group that pioneers the project to force a ‘regime change’ in Iran.

Delhi gave a pro forma reception to Zarif ten days ago when he came on an unannounced visit and Indian government sources went out of the way to prompt the media to see the event as entirely at Iran’s insistance. In comparison, Pakistan graciously received Zarif, who met the Pakistani Prime Minister and Foreign Minister as well as the army chief and the speaker of the national assembly.

Without doubt, the shift in India’s Middle East policies will have registered in the Iranian political establishment at the highest level. Simply put, Delhi has turned its back on Tehran and a  sense of betrayal is only natural in Tehran, which strained every nerve to befriend India. And the fact remains that unlike with Iran’s ties with Pakistan, there are no contradictions in Iran’s bilateral ties with India.

In view of the above, significantly, Zarif made a stopover in Chabahar Port en route to Islamabad on Thursday. No doubt, this development is heavy with symbolism, because Chabahar symbolises not only the unfulfilled Iranian expectations from partnership with India but stands out today as a relic of India’s betrayal. (See my blog India’s Betrayal of Iran Is Only the Beginning.) 

(Iran’s FM Zarif at Chabahar en route to Islamabad on May 23, 2019)

In his first remarks after arrival in Islamabad, Zarif disclosed that he intended to put forward a “proposal” for connecting Pakistan’s Gwadar port to its “complementary” port Chabahar (located just 72 kms away in southeastern Iran.) To quote Zarif,

“We believe that Chabahar and Gwadar can complement each other. We can connect Chabahar and Gwadar, and then through that, connect Gwadar to our entire railroad system, from Iran to the North Corridor, through Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, and also through Azerbaijan, Russia, and Turkey.”

Make no mistake that this is a wholesome proposal. An experienced career diplomat like Zarif is not in the business of kite-flying on such a sensitive issue that holds the potential to realign the geopolitics of the region.

Equally, it stands to reason that Tehran has consulted Beijing beforehand. Gwadar is synonymous with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and, of course, CPEC is the flagship of China’s Belt and Road (BRI) Initiative.

In fact, during what appeared to have been a highly successful visit to Beijing by Zarif a week ago, Iran-China cooperation within the framework of BRI figured prominently in his talks with Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The Xinhua report on the meeting underscored Wang’s remark that ‘China welcomes Iran to actively take part in the joint building of the Belt and Road and hopes to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation.’

Equally, it must be factored in that the week before Zarif met Wang, he had travelled to Moscow and had talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov where they discussed key issues in the international arena, as well as bilateral cooperation. The Russia-Iran consultations in Moscow stand out as a defining moment in regional security, as apparent from the remarks to the media, below, by the two foreign ministers:

(Joint press conference by Russian FM Sergey Lavrov (R) and Iran’s FM Javad Zarif at Moscow on May 8, 2019)

The big question is whether all this signifies a fundamental rethink in Iran’s foreign policy options in an emergent scenario where it must confront the geopolitical reality that a normalisation of relations with the US is to be ruled out for a very long time to come and some fundamental adjustments have become necessary.

Indeed, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently made an unprecedented open criticism of Iran’s foreign policy.

In sum, it is possible to estimate that the proposal that Zarif made to the Pakistani leadership signifies a reorientation of Iran’s foreign policy in the direction of greater integration with the two major Eurasian powers Russia and China.

In an ideal world, Iran would have preferred to pursue independent foreign policies, but life is real and a regional axis with Russia, China, Pakistan and Turkey becomes an imperative need today. Conceivably, this profound shift in Iran’s foreign policy calculus carries the imprimatur of Ayatollah Khamenei.

Read the IRNA report, here, on Zarif’s Pakistan visit.

May 25, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 2 Comments

Sky News Collaborates with Idlib Terrorists to Create Syria War Propaganda

By Robert Inlakesh | 21st Century Wire | May 24, 2019

On Thursday night Sky News release a story entitled “Sky News witnesses horrors of Syria’s last rebel outpost”, in which journalist Alex Crawford claims to have been targeted by a Russian tank shelling whilst reporting in Syria’s Idlib province.

The story made headlines and featured in news bulletins across the UK and even the wider world. The problem however, was that the romantic TV drama type report falls flat, as the shameless war propaganda it is, when held up to basic scrutiny and common sense. Watch:

The story made headlines and featured in news bulletins across the UK and even the wider world. The problem however, was that the romantic TV drama type report falls flat, when held up to basic scrutiny and common sense, and merely exposes itself as the shameless war propaganda it is.

To the average viewer of their content, the video may indeed paint Sky’s Alex Crawford as a brave intrepid journalist, battling to deliver the truth about the evil Assad regime, but to those who have any knowledge of the Syrian war, she not only gives enough rope to hang herself with, but perhaps her entire crew.

Let’s begin with talking about just how incredibly ridiculous and propagandist this piece is, using some of Crawford’s own admissions.

Firstly, Crawford admits to being present and inside the de-militarization zone, between the last “rebel” strong hold and the Syrian government. This area was decided upon to become a designated de-escalation zone following the Septemeber 2018 Turkey-Russia brokered ceasefire agreement. Crawford claims that the zone is being constantly violated, which is evidently true, although her being present there in the company of al-Qaeda affiliated militants, battle tanks and well known puppets of extremist propaganda outlets, paints the wrong picture if she was wishing to demonize the Syrian government and its allies.

Secondly, Alex Crawford also admits that all civilians had left the area, indicating what? That she is surrounded by militants, which are evidently the only targets in the area to hit, other than her crew or perhaps others who came with a similar purpose. Not only is this the case, but they decided to enter the area during an armed clash between the two sides, beginning her package with video of a tank that had been terminated by Syrian/Syrian allied forces.

Thirdly, she is in Idlib on the side of the militants during wartime, meaning that she evidently entered Syria illegally and that neither the Syrian government or the Russian forces would have any idea that she is a Western journalist working for Sky News. It is well known, to observers of the Syrian war, that almost all of the terrorist or ‘rebel’ groups have their own propaganda agencies, which consist of several activists and journalists, who also act as part-time combatants and belong to the terrorist organizations.

Then we have her conversation with a well known terrorist propaganda figure, Bilal Abdul Kareem, who has appeared all over Syria with a number of al-Qaeda linked groups, he also interestingly felt comfortable introducing al-Nusra fighters wearing suicide vests on camera to his online audience.

In addition to this, we have perhaps the most ridiculous segment of this story, the interview with Abu Khalid al-Shami, described by a Sky News Aston as a “HTS Commander”. Now firstly, the word commander evidently shows even the most clueless viewer that this man is an active militant. But what does HTS mean? And who are these so called freedom fighters? HTS stands for Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and were formerly known, before their re-naming, as al-Nusra Front, a branch of al-Qaeda in Syria. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham split from al-Qaeda officially in 2016, however they have still worked with al-Qaeda and even Daesh militants in their ranks, many of whom defected and joined this new and trendy “HTS”.

So what can we take away from the latest Sky News report on the evil Syrian Regime and its allies targeting Western journalists?

That Western journalists working on behalf of Sky News, almost certainly, illegally entered Syria with the agenda to demonize the Syrian government and were in the company of a branch of al-Qaeda which went rogue, they then interviewed a terrorist commander. They acted surprised when an area evacuated of all civilians – according to Alex Crawford herself – was attacked during the course of a battle in which terrorists were in action against the Syrian government.

If anyone from Sky News ends up reading this, I hope that next time you make it a little bit more believable that you aren’t on the side of terrorist forces and put a little more thought into your regime change war propaganda against a country ravaged by war, sanctions, displacement and starvation .

May 25, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

‘Ratf***er and spy’: British academic sues FBI informant & MSM for calling her Russian ‘honeypot’

RT | May 25, 2019

A Russian-born British historian is suing FBI informant Stefan Halper and several news outlets for defaming her as a “honeypot” working for the Kremlin to seduce Trump aide Michael Flynn. She says the scandal ruined her life.

Former Cambridge University academic Svetlana Lokhova has demanded $25 million from Halper, along with the Washington Post, New York Times, MSNBC, and Wall Street Journal, charging their “combined character assassination” over the past three years “injured her business as an academic and author, and propelled her to the epicenter of a massive fraudulent hoax about ‘Russian collusion.'”

Calling Halper a “ratf***er and a spy, who embroiled an innocent woman in a conspiracy to undo the 2016 Presidential election,” Lokhova says he colluded with the FBI, political operatives at the university where they both worked, and mainstream media journalists to paint her as a traitor and a “honeypot” who seduced Michael Flynn at a dinner in 2014 when he was US Director of National Intelligence. The FBI informant claimed Lokhova was “not a real academic” and that her “research was provided by Russian intelligence on the orders of Vladimir Putin” – and the media ran with the story for three years, hounding her out of her job and home and any hope of a normal life.

(“Ratf***er,” the suit helpfully explains in a footnote, “is a colorful and foul simile [sic] for ‘pulling a dirty trick’ coined by a Nixon campaign strategist.”)

The suit alleges Halper fed the fake story of Lokhova seducing Flynn to the named media organizations, which despite knowing he was a spy failed to fact-check Halper’s claims. Instead, she says, they crafted the story “out of whole cloth,” knowing the “sensational and scandalous accusations of ‘Russian collusion'” would catch fire – and, hopefully, burn the Trump campaign to the ground, “creat[ing] another Watergate.”

While stating repeatedly that she is not, was not, and has never been a spy, Lokhova claims it is Halper who has extensive Russian intelligence connections – from whom he could have learned that she was not a spy. The former MI6 agent who invited her to the dinner with Flynn never would have done so if she’d been a spy, she says, and at no point did she so much as sit next to Flynn (she includes a photograph to illustrate this last point in which Flynn is flanked by two men). Indeed, she says, everything in the stories published about her is completely false, from the email from Flynn signed with a pet name inviting her to Moscow to work as his translator to the seduction of the former general on orders from Putin.

Lokhova learned from colleagues that Halper and another academic were spreading rumors about her, and those rumors soon found their way into print, where the story became more salacious with each retelling. Her attempts to correct the record were rebuffed, repeatedly. Journalists began showing up at her door.

After not only losing her job but two book contracts and seven years of work toward her PhD, Lokhova says she was forced to leave the country “in order to avoid public scrutiny, invasion of her privacy, and constant public ridicule,” destroying her health and leaving her suicidal. For “insult, pain, embarrassment, humiliation, mental suffering, injury to her reputation, loss of income and business, special damages, costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses,” she wants $25 million from those responsible.

The Mueller report and revelations that Halper may have used a “honeypot” gambit to try to entrap Trump aide George Papadopoulos vindicate her, Lokhova says, noting that while the special counsel interviewed Flynn 19 times, she was not interviewed once.

May 25, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

‘Not even White Helmets confirm it’: Russian MoD rubbishes Washington’s Syria chemical attack claims

RT | May 24, 2019

Moscow has blasted the US State Department’s claims about an alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib province, saying the allegations totally lack proof and haven’t even been confirmed by Western-backed groups on the ground.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that Washington’s attempts to “impose another lie on this world” about the situation in Syria were “not even surprising anymore” as it denied that any such attack in Idlib took place.

The military also called out the US over the lack of evidence. When the State Department first reported an alleged attack on Tuesday it limited itself to saying that the US saw some “signs” it might have happened while failing to provide any details about the incident, except for the date on which it supposedly took place.

Even Western-backed groups, such as the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) and the White Helmets – the self-proclaimed civil defense group that operates exclusively in militant-controlled areas and has been accused of associating with extremists – did not support the claims of Washington this time, the ministry said.

Neither the SOHR nor the White Helmets published any related reports, although they have often been the first to report on alleged chemical attacks in militant-controlled areas, which Western officials then promptly blamed on the Syrian government.

Washington had to admit that it had “no definitive conclusions” about the alleged incident, but has not backed down from its claims. The State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told reporters on Thursday the US managed to obtain reports from “numerous sources including interviews with those present during the attack.”

These claims were also ridiculed by the Russian Defense Ministry as it said that the only “witnesses” and “sources” on the ground the US could have reached were the terrorists from Hayat Tahrir ash-Sham – formerly known as the Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda affiliate. The group defeated all other militant groups in the area back in February and have enjoyed “total control” over the region ever since.

The Russian military added that the Syrian Army unilaterally ceased fire a day before the supposed attack and did not respond to the militants’ provocations after that, and hence “there could have been no ‘attacks’ in the Idlib de-escalation zone on May 19 at all.” It argued that the story appears to serve as a “political cover for the terrorists’ desperate attempts to destabilize the situation … in Idlib and provoke a humanitarian catastrophe there.”

On Wednesday, Al-Nusra terrorists launched a large-scale offensive, with hundreds of militants supported by tanks and APCs, but the attack was repelled by the Syrian Army. At the same time, Russia’s Khmeimim airbase recently came under repeated rocket attacks from Idlib, sometimes involving explosive-laden drones to target the base. All of them were intercepted by air defenses.

May 25, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

That Time US Bombers Burned Down a Japan-Occupied Chinese City Killing 20,000

New incendiary bombs that would go on to burn down Japan in 1945 were first tried out on a Chinese city in December 1944

By Stephen R. MacKinnon | Checkpoint Asia | May 24, 2019

One week before Christmas in 1944, nearly 200 American planes raided the Chinese city of Wuhan, dropping 500 tons of incendiary bombs. Thousands of Chinese lives were lost in this incident, which has received very little attention in the intervening decades. Here is a rare account of this tragic event, by Stephen R. MacKinnon, history professor at Arizona State University and author of the book Wuhan 1938.

On December 18, 1944, the Chinese leadership in Chongqing, namely Chiang Kai-shek, Chen Cheng and He Yingqin, connected the China war with the European theater by approving the tactic of strategic firebombing of the major occupied city of Wuhan.

The vehicle was the giant new American B-29 Flying Super Fortress bombers that were brought to Chengdu expressly for the purpose of firebombing Wuhan.

The commander of the bombing raid of 92 planes was none other than the youngest two-star general in the US Army Air Force at the time, General Curtis LeMay. A few months later LeMay would become famous for directing the firebombing of Tokyo and a hundred other Japanese cities.

The firebombing of Wuhan drew little attention internationally and was censored in the Chinese press. Yet the physical destruction and loss of life was very heavy. (Chiang Kai-shek in his diary admitted to 40,000.) Hankou* was said to have burned for three days.

LeMay was transferred from Europe to Asia in the fall of 1944 with a mandate to develop strategic bombing plans for Chinese and Japanese cities. Frustrated at first by the ineffectiveness of high-altitude bombing of Japan from China, LeMay began to explore the alternative of low-altitude incendiary or fire bombing (introduced first in the European theater by the British and famously applied at the end of the European war in the destruction of Dresden on February 13, 1945). LeMay planned to use M-69 incendiary bombs, an extremely deadly cocktail of phosphorous and napalm just developed for the purpose by scientists at Harvard University.

The Japanese had been using airbases and railway lines of Wuhan in central China since its capture in October 1938, to wage war and bomb targets in central and southwestern China. Wuhan had been an especially important launching pad for the last big Japanese offensive, beginning in the spring of 1944, known to historians as the Ichigo campaign. This campaign seemed in November-December, after the fall of Guilin, to possibly threaten Chongqing.

Chinese official sources on the subject are understandably limited, but both Chiang Kai-shek’s and Wang Shijie’s diaries mention the bombing — as does the US Ambassador Hurley and others in dispatches. Clearly there was an agreement at the highest level of the Chinese government — on the military side namely Chen Cheng and He Yingqin with US commanders Wedemeyer** and Chennault***. LeMay was given the green light by General Wedemeyer and Minister of War Chen Cheng to firebomb Wuhan in order to destroy its airbases, industrial capacity and railroad lines.

On December 18, ninety-four B-29 Fortress Super bombers took off from airfields outside Chengdu on an operation with the codename Matterhorn loaded with 500 tons of incendiary bombs. For LeMay, this was his first experience with firebombing on a grand scale.

For the Chinese leadership in Chongqing, this was a strategic decision resembling earlier ones like the blowing of the dykes of the Yellow River or torching of Changsha and Guilin. A top advisor and Minister (of Propaganda) to Chiang Kai-shek at the time, Wang Shijie,  who was a native of Wuhan, expressed regret in his diary; but he agreed that the bombing was necessary — regardless of cost to the city and its civilian population. Wuhan had to be sacrificed.

Five hundred tons of incendiary bombs were dropped on Wuhan at low altitude on December 18… Japanese defense was minimal. The tricity complex of Wuhan was destroyed. The city and vicinity is said to have burned for three days! [The city continued to be bombed over the three days.] LeMay was pleased, declaring this his first experience with firebombing as a tactical weapon to be a successful experiment.

The rest is history. A few months later, from the Mariana Islands in the Pacific, General LeMay famously directed the low-altitude blanket firebombing of Tokyo (over 1,500 tons of incendiaries in one raid), following up with the carpet bombing of Japan’s other major cities. The effects were devastating and human cost huge (over 100,000 civilians in Tokyo alone). The earlier connection of the firebombing of Japan to the Chinese firebombing and the destruction of Wuhan is not well-known. It remains a kind of historical secret, rarely mentioned today in Chinese sources (or Western for that matter). I have had to rely chiefly on obscure official US military sources.

The most detailed Chinese description of the firebombing of Wuhan that I have so far found is a couple of paragraphs from the Wuhan city gazetteer (my translation, P.H.):

On December 18, 1944, two hundred American fighters and bombers bombed Wuhan in waves, dropping a large number of incendiary bombs over the area between Hankou’s Yiyuan Road and Wuma Road, and from the river bank to the railroad.

An area measuring three times five kilometers became a sea of flames, and all buildings were turned into rubble.

On December 21, airplanes from the 14th Air Force in coordination with Super Fortresses dropped more than 1,000 tons of bombs on Hankou, setting off huge fires in the slum areas near the docks, spreading for about five kilometers.

On December 28, 1944, US General 兰达 (Lan-da, LeMay?) proposed in Chengdu to make US bombing raids on Wuhan the initial step in a general offensive against Japan. From then on, American air units used Chinese bases to launch repeated bombing of Wuhan. As a result, Hankou’s old government district was reduced to rubble and the densely populated area between Wangjia Alley and Minzu Road was leveled to the ground. The area from Jianghan Road northeast towards the old French and Japanese concessions were transformed into a vast landscape of broken bricks and tiles.

The historical records of Simin Bank on December 2, 1944 contains the following passage: “The horror of the bombings had a severe impact on the people’s morale, and their situation was indescribable. Fearing for their lives, the residents gradually fled from Hankou, and eventually more than one third of the city’s population had left.” “After November 18, there was a breakdown in morale, and the city stopped functioning. People left their homes, and most buildings were empty… Many homes were destroyed beyond repair, and dwellings rented out by the bank were also destroyed.”

According to the records, Wuhan suffered a total of 151,607 casualties during the entire anti-Japanese war. Of these, 96,557 were killed, while 22,389 were seriously injured, and 32,661 sustained light injuries. According to casualty statistics compiled by Hankou city in 1946, more than 20,000 were killed or injured in the December bombings of 1944… (During the war), 7,515 buildings were bombed, including 554 before the fall of the city (in 1938), and 6,951 after. Those bombed by American planes accounted for 92 percent. Compared with Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Tianjin and Qingdao, the destruction in Wuhan was considerably worse.

Did the insane American bombing in December 1944, carried out without taking the wellbeing of ordinary people into account, reflect a wish to liberate China as soon as possible? No. The motive was revenge. On December 16, after Japanese forces occupying Wuhan captured three American aviators, they pulled off their uniforms, tied them up, and dragged them through the streets, beating and kicking them on the way, in an extremely bloody spectacle.

In the end, the Japanese soldiers dragged the American aviators to a Japanese temple (outside the current Wuhan city government), where they hanged them and burned the bodies. When news of the execution reached the Americans, they were infuriated and immediately planned revenge. This was why on December 18, more than 170 American planes took off, bombing the entire area between Hankou Yiyuan Road and Huangpu Road, costing the lives of more than 20,000 residents of Wuhan!

Tremendous destruction is noted with tens of thousands of civilians killed. This Chinese source (as well as references on the Internet) suggests that the motive behind the US bombing of Wuhan was simple: revenge for the public torture and execution in Wuhan of three captured American pilots. In the US sources there is no mention of the three pilots. The Chinese and US military leadership had agreed that the strategic purpose was to blunt Japanese offensives in the southwest  — and perhaps, it could be argued, this was achieved, By January 1945, the Japanese offensive had been blunted and their armies were beginning to retreat.


*One of the three major districts in Wuhan. Historically, Wuhan emerged as the conglomeration of three cities: Hankou, Wuchang and Hanyang.

**Albert Wedemeyer, Chiang Kai-shek’s chief of staff and commander of US forces in China.

***Claire Chennault, commander of 14th Air Force in China.

May 25, 2019 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | | Leave a comment