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Iranian Army to hold nationwide drills against biological warfare

Press TV – March 14, 2020

The Iranian Army will start countrywide drills on Sunday to prepare itself against biological warfare amid an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which has so far killed over 600 people.

The plan for holding the biological defense war game war unveiled by Army Chief Commander Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi during an extraordinary meeting held on Saturday to coordinate efforts in the battle with the COVID-19.

According to General Mousavi, the war games will be kicked off on Sunday under command of the Army’s Biodefense Base and under supervision of Deputy Chief of Army for Coordination Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari.

The Army’s biodefense drills come in line with a Thursday edict by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in which he warned the outbreak might be the result of a “biological attack” against the Islamic Republic.

“Since there is some evidence that this incident might be a ‘biological attack’, this measure could be also some form of biological defense drill, which would add to national power and strength [of the country],” the Leader said.

As part of efforts to fight the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has in turn opened three field hospitals in northern and southern Iranian provinces.

“Given the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country and people’s need to have access to health and medical centers, two hospitals that contain 30-40 beds have started their work in the city of Borazjan [in the southern Bushehr Province] and a 54-bed mobile hospital in [the southern port city of] Bandar Abbas,” IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said on Saturday.

He added that another 74-bed mobile hospital has opened in the northern city of Rasht and noted that the hospital’s capacity can be increased to 120 beds in order to provide more services to confirmed coronavirus patients.

Kianoush Jahanpour, the head of the public relations and information center of the Iranian Ministry of Health, said Saturday the new coronavirus has claimed 97 lives in the past 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 611.

Jahanpour added that 1,365 fresh cases have been added to the number of the confirmed infections during the period, bringing the total to 12,729.

More than 4,300 of those with confirmed infections have recovered so far, he added.

March 14, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | | Leave a comment

US CDC Director Robert Redfield Admitted that Coronavirus Deaths Have Been Miscategorized as Flu

By Larry Romanoff | Global Research | March 13, 2020

The US has been lying all along.

Robert Redfield, CDC director, testifying to Congress, today admitted that virus deaths have been miscategorised as the flu.

He also stated that the standard practice has been to first test people for the flu and, if the test is positive, they stop there. They don’t test for the coronavirus.

So Japan and Taiwan were correct. Many of the US deaths attributed to the flu were actually from the coronavirus.

One Senator asked Redfield if post-mortems were performed to learn the cause of death, and he stated that such were done, and they revealed mis-diagnoses.

The infections and deaths have been knowingly mis-categorised for months, and the CDC ‘strongly’ recommended that hospitals not test for the virus except as a last resort. It is not an accident that the US has no reliable tests. They don’t want to test. Blame everything on the flu.

And now all meetings and discussions on the virus are classified, and all public information must be first cleared through the White House.

Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com.

March 14, 2020 Posted by | Deception | | 1 Comment

‘Zionist’ Biden in His Own Words: ‘My Name is Joe Biden, and Everybody Knows I Love Israel’

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | March 14, 2020

“I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist,” current Democratic Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, said in April 2007, soon before he was chosen to be Barack Obama’s running mate in the 2008 elections.

Biden is, of course, correct, because Zionism is a political movement that is rooted in 20th century nationalism and fascism. Its use of religious dogmas is prompted by political expediency, not spirituality or faith.

Unlike US President, Donald Trump, or Bernie Sanders, Biden’s only serious opponent in the Democratic primaries, Biden’s stand on Israel is rarely examined.

Trump has made his support for Israel the cornerstone of his foreign policy agenda since his inauguration into the White House in January 2017. The American President has basically transformed into Israel’s political genie, granting Tel Aviv all of its wishes in complete defiance of international law.

Sanders, on the other hand, came to represent the antithesis of Trump’s blind and reckless support for Israel. Himself Jewish, Sanders has promised to restore to the Palestinian people their rights and dignity, and to play a more even-handed role, thus ending decades of US unconditional support and bias in favor of Israel.

But where does Biden factor into all of this?

Below is a brief examination of Biden’s record on Palestine and Israel in recent years, with the hope that it gives the reader a glimpse of a man that many Democrats feel is the rational alternative to the political imbalances and extremism of the Trump administration.

August 1984: Palestinians and Arabs are to Blame

Biden’s pro-Israel legacy began much earlier than his stint as a vice-President or presidential candidate.

When Biden was only a Senator from Delaware, he spoke at the 1984 annual conference of ‘Herut Zionists of America’. Herut is the forerunner of Israel’s right-wing Likud party.

In his speech before the jubilant right-wing pro-Israel Zionist crowd, Biden derided the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Arab governments, for supposedly derailing peace in the Middle East.

Biden spoke of “three myths (that) propel U.S. policy in the Middle East” which, according to the American Senator, are, “the belief that Saudi Arabia can be a broker for peace, the belief that King Hussein (of Jordan) is ready to negotiate peace, and the belief that the Palestine Liberation Organization can deliver a consensus for peace.”

April 2007: ‘I am a Zionist’ 

Time only cemented Biden’s pro-Israel’s convictions, leading to his declaration in April 2007 that he is not a mere supporter of Israel – as has become the standard among US politicians – but is a Zionist himself.

In an interview with Shalom TV, and despite his insistence that he does not need to be Jewish to be a Zionist, Biden labored to make connections with the ‘Jewish State’, revealing that his son is married to a Jewish woman and that “he had participated in a Passover Seder at their house,” according to the Israeli Ynet News.

March 2013: ‘Qualitative Edge’

This commitment to Israel became better articulated when Biden took on greater political responsibilities as the US vice-president under Obama’s administration.

At a packed AIPAC conference in March 2013, Biden elaborated on his ideological Zionist beliefs and his president’s commitment to ‘the Jewish state of Israel’. He said:

“It was at that table that I learned that the only way to ensure that it could never happen again was the establishment and the existence of a secure, Jewish state of Israel. I remember my father, a Christian, being baffled at the debate taking place at the end of World War II ..” that any country could object to the founding of Israel on the ruins of the Palestinian homeland.

“That’s why we’ve worked so hard to make sure Israel keeps its qualitative edge in the midst of the Great Recession. I’ve served with eight Presidents of the United States of America, and I can assure you, unequivocally, no President has done as much to physically secure the State of Israel as President Barack Obama.”

December 2014: ‘Moral Obligation’ 

In one of the most fiercely pro-Israel speeches ever given by a top US official, Biden told the annual Saban Forum at the Brookings Institution in Washington on December 6, 2014, that, “If there weren’t an Israel, we would have to invent one”.

In his speech, Biden added a new component to the American understanding of its relationship with Israel, one that goes beyond political expediency or ideological connections; a commitment that is founded on “moral obligation”.

Biden said, “We always talk about Israel from this perspective, as if we’re doing (them) some favor. We are meeting a moral obligation. But it is so much more than a moral obligation. It is overwhelmingly in the self-interest of the United States of America to have a secure and democratic friend, a strategic partner like Israel. It is no favor. It is an obligation, but also a strategic necessity.”

April 2015: ‘I Love Israel’ 

“My name is Joe Biden, and everybody knows I love Israel,” Biden began his speech at the 67th Annual Israeli Independence Day Celebration held in Jerusalem in April 2015.

“Sometimes we drive each other crazy,” the US vice-president said in reference to disagreements between Israel and the US over Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to halt construction of illegal Jewish settlements.

“But we love each other,” he added. “And we protect each other. As many of you heard me say before, were there no Israel, America would have to invent one. We’d have to invent one because … you protect our interests like we protect yours.”

July 2019: US Embassy Stays in Jerusalem

In response to a question by the news website, AXIOS, which was presented to the various Democratic party candidates, on whether a Democratic President would relocate the American embassy back to Tel Aviv, the Biden campaign answered:

“Vice President Biden would not move the American embassy back to Tel Aviv. But he would re-open our consulate in East Jerusalem to engage the Palestinians.”

October 2019: Support for Israel Unconditional 

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on October 31, 2019, Biden was asked whether he agrees with the position taken by his more progressive opponent, Bernie Sanders, regarding US financial support to Israel and Jewish settlement.

Sanders had said that, “if elected president he would leverage billions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Israel to push Jerusalem to change its policies toward the Palestinians,” The Hill news website reported.

Biden’s response was that, “…  the idea that we would draw military assistance from Israel, on the condition that they change a specific policy, I find to be absolutely outrageous. No, I would not condition it, and I think it’s a gigantic mistake. And I hope some of my candidates who are running with me for the nomination — I hope they misspoke or they were taken out of context.”

March 2020: ‘Above Politics, Beyond Politics’ 

Biden’s fiery speech before the pro-Israel lobby group, AIPAC, at their annual conference in March 2020, was a mere continuation of a long legacy that is predicated on his country’s blind support for Israel.

Biden’s discourse on Israel – a mixture of confused ideological notions, religious ideas and political interests – culminated in a call for American support for Israel that is “above politics and beyond politics”.

“Israelis wake up every morning facing an existential threat from their neighbors’ rockets from Gaza, just like this past week .. That’s why I’ve always been adamant that Israel must be able to defend itself. It’s not just critical for Israeli security. I believe it’s critical for America’s security.”

Palestinians “need to end the rocket attacks from Gaza,” Biden also said. “They need to accept once and for all the reality and the right of a secure democratic and Jewish state of Israel in the Middle East.”

March 14, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Iraq military demands foreign forces swiftly withdraw following US air raids

Press TV – March 14, 2020

The Iraqi military has called for an immediate withdrawal of all American and foreign troops from the country in accordance with a parliamentary resolution passed earlier this year, and in light of a string of airstrikes carried out by the United States against multiple locations of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi.

On Saturday, the military asked all US-led forces to act within the resolution and pull out of Iraq.

Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill on January 5, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country following the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, along with the deputy head of the PMU, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and their companions in US airstrike authorized by President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport two days earlier.

Later on January 9, former Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi called on the United States to dispatch a delegation to Baghdad tasked with formulating a mechanism for the move.

According to a statement released by his office at the time, Abdul-Mahdi “requested that delegates be sent to Iraq to set the mechanisms to implement the parliament’s decision for the secure withdrawal of (foreign) forces from Iraq” in a phone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The 78-year-old politician said that Iraq rejects violation of its sovereignty, particularly the US military’s violation of Iraqi airspace in the airstrike that assassinated General Soleimani, Muhandis and their companions.

Iraqi MP: We demand immediate withdrawal of US forces

Meanwhile, an Iraqi lawmaker from the Fatah (Conquest) alliance has called for the “immediate” pullout of American-led forces from the country through diplomatic means.

“Our fellow countrymen and women have become fully convinced that whatever has happened or happens in our country over the past 16 years is due to foreign interference in general, and the American interventions in particular in Iraq’s domestic affairs,” Ahmed al-Kinani said in a press release.

He added, “I would like to refer to repeated attacks on the sovereignty of Iraq by the occupying US forces, including the bombing of the headquarters of our security forces, army and the PMU, which led to their martyrdom and injury besides destruction of civilian facilities.”

“Such repeated attacks do not show that US forces have good intentions, and that they must leave our land as demanded by the government, the parliamentary resolution and the Iraqi nation, who took part in a million-march demonstration and called for their immediate departure,” Kinani pointed out.

‘Next Iraqi PM must be someone who can stop US recklessness’

Another Iraqi legislator lambasted US airstrikes as blatant violation of the Arab country’s sovereignty.

Nada Shaker Jawdat said that the country’s next prime minister must be someone who can firmly act against the US recklessness and its utter disdain for Iraq’s national sovereignty.

Attack on Camp Taji cannot serve as pretext for foreign ops: Baghdad

The Iraqi military also cautioned the US and other foreign forces on Saturday against taking any military action in Iraq without the government’s approval, emphasizing that recent missile strikes against the Camp Taji can’t serve as a pretext for unauthorized actions.

The military noted in a statement that 33 Katyusha rockets had been launched on the military base, which is located approximately 27 kilometers (17 miles) north of the capital Baghdad and houses US-led troops, and that the attack critically injured several Iraqi air defense servicemen.

The statement added that the military found seven rocket launchers and 24 unused rockets in the nearby Abu Izam area.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry’s Security Media Cell announced in a statement that “at 01:15 local time on Thursday (2215 Wednesday) an American aerial bombardment struck headquarters of Hashd al-Sha’abi, emergency regiments as well as commandos from the 19th Division of the army.”

The statement added that the airstrikes targeted positions in Jurf al-Nasr town, located about 60 kilometers southwest of the capital Baghdad, Musayyib town in the central province of Babil, the holy shrine city of Najaf as well as the ancient central city of Alexandria.

The US military did not estimate how many people in Iraq may have been killed in the strikes, which officials said were carried out by piloted aircraft.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, in a Pentagon statement detailing the strikes, cautioned that the United States was prepared to respond again, if needed.

“We will take any action necessary to protect our forces in Iraq and the region,” Esper said.

Separately, an Iraqi official said an airstrike had hit an airport under construction in Karbala, located about 100 kilometers (62 miles) southwest of Baghdad.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network on Friday that US military aircraft fired three missiles at the airport building, which is located in al-Haidariya district and near the border with neighboring Najaf province.

He added that the air raid killed a worker, and left great material damage at the site.

Meanwhile, CNN, quoting a US military official, reported that the airstrikes were carried out against five weapons storage facilities.

The early Friday US airstrikes were carried out about 24 hours after at least 18 PMU fighters were killed in air raids targeting an area southeast of the city of al-Bukamal in eastern Syria and near the border with Iraq.

That deadly attack was conducted hours after the US-led military coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group announced that three of its personnel – two Americans and one Briton – had been killed in a rocket attack on Iraq’s Taji military camp, located some 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) north of Baghdad.

March 14, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , | Leave a comment

Washington Post hypes fake news on coronavirus ‘burial pits’ in Iran

Press TV – March 14, 2020

The Washington Post has turned to publishing fake news about Iran’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, claiming that Iran has dug mass “burial pits” for victims of the disease and was covering the true number of deaths.

As countries across the world grapple with the COVID-19 outbreak, Iran’s struggle to contain the deadly disease has attracted more than usual attention from mainstream outlets in certain countries.

Despite numerous statements from World Health Organization officials praising Iran’s efforts against the outbreak, certain outlets have focused on erringly similar themes regarding Iran; that the country is in chaos, is mishandling the outbreak and that it’s “putting other countries at risk”.

The Washington Post has specifically published a string of exclusively conspiracy-minded and politicized reports about the coronavirus outbreak in Iran.

Its latest reports include headlines such as “Iran’s government is lying its way to a coronavirus catastrophe”, “Iran struggles to contain coronavirus outbreak, putting Middle East countries at risk” and “Coronavirus pummels Iran leadership as data show spread is far worse than reported”.

In its latest article on Iran – titled “Coronavirus burial pits so vast they’re visible from space” – the US daily claims satellite images showed newly-dug “trenches” the size of a “football field” to accommodate bodies of the coronavirus victims.

The satellite images purportedly illustrate a cemetery near Iran’s epicenter city of Qom. The paper proceeds to cite dubious reports and videos circulating over the internet about Iran covering up its coronavirus deaths.

The report concludes that the graves have been dug to “accommodate the rising number of virus victims in Qom”.

Many observers, however, have been quick to point out inconsistencies and flaws in the report, with some highlighting the unprofessional reporting used in the article; using hyped expressions such as “seen from space” to portray a false image of mass graves.

Observers have pointed that the overall length of the purported 100 yards of “burial pits” in the satellite images cannot accommodate more than about 75-100 graves, not significantly higher than the official death toll announced for the city.

Others have presented evidence showing that the vacant graves in the area are not specifically related to the coronavirus outbreak and that long rows of graves had been also dug long before the outbreak.

The dubious report, however, has circulated widely among social media accounts and various foreign-funded anti-Iran outlets, prompting Iranian officials to issue official statements on the matter.

Speaking with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), executive manager of Qom Municipality’s burial sites Seifoddin Mousavi said the graves had been planned before the outbreak as part of usual procedures in the cemetery.

He stressed that all the operations in the cemetery are taking place according to international protocols regarding burial sites.

On Friday, Kianoush Jahanpour, the head of the public relations and information center of the Iranian Ministry of Health, said that the new coronavirus has claimed 514 lives in the country.

March 14, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 3 Comments

Coronavirus: the Plot Thickens

A Timeline

By Godfree Roberts • Unz Review • March 13, 2020

This timeline supports the thesis that the Covid-19 outbreak is a repeat of the H1N1 outbreak in 2009. If it is proven, then the US Government’s attempt to simultaneously blame China and hide its own culpability for Covid-19, combined with the FAA’s 737Max fiasco, will damage our international standing–and boost China’s–as much as the Global Financial Crisis did.

***

September 2008: The first cases of H1N1 swine flu were reported in California and Texas in late March, 2009, but subsequent genetic analysis suggests that H1N1 began in September of 2008, the start of the ‘flu season, six months before it was first detected. A similar six month lag suggests a September, 2019 birthdate for Covid-19, and for the same reasons: the CDC was asleep at the wheel and the most vulnerable Americans have limited access to health care. Like H1N1, Covid-19 cases may have gone undetected amongst the 100,000 annual deaths from ‘flu and pneumonia.

April, 2019: An outbreak of severe vaping-associated lung illness is exclusively confined to the United States.

July, 2019: The CDC halted research at Fort Detrick and cited “national security reasons” for not releasing information about its decision.

August, 2019: First Vaping Death Reported by Health Officials “Amid the lack of information, investigators scrambled to find shared links to the respiratory problems. Officials said earlier this week that many patients, most of whom were adolescents or young adults, had described difficulty breathing, chest pain, vomiting and fatigue.”

December, 2019. A Chinese medical researcher is arrested in Boston trying to take biological samples back to China. Not agricultural samples, not samples with IP value, just ‘biological’. Zheng Zaosong, from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, confessed to taking material from a lab in Boston. FBI Special Agent Kara Spice found 21 wrapped vials containing a “brown liquid” that appeared to be “biological material”. Zheng’s roommate, also a researcher, told FBI agents that two labmates of Zheng had succeeded in getting specimens to China. Were those ‘biological samples’ lung tissue, sputum and swabs? Did the Chinese researchers detect a Coronavirus outbreak and, finding the CDC as unresponsive then as it is today, both warn Chinese health authorities and hand them hard evidence that they can now use?

January 202o: Malaysian PM Matthias Chang speculates that the US is waging biological warfare on China.

January 28, 2020: Harvard Chemistry Professor Arrested, Handcuffed, And Accused Of Lying About Ties To China. Charles Lieber, Chair of Harvard’s Chemical Biology department, led a research group in China focusing on using nanotechnology to identify viruses.

February 23, 2020. Chinese scientists found genomic evidence that the seafood market in Wuhan is not the source of the novel coronavirus. Their genetic data suggests the virus was introduced from elsewhere and had already circulated widely among humans in Wuhan before December 2019, probably beginning in mid- to late November.

February 27, 2020: On Taiwan TV a prominent virologist explained flow charts suggesting that the coronavirus originated in the US.

March 6, 2020: Question: How did the virus come to the United States? Answer: “The first known patients in the U.S. contracted the virus while traveling in other countries or after exposure to someone who had been to China or one of the other affected areas. But now, a few cases here cannot be traced to these risk factors. This is concerning because it suggests the illness may be spreading across communities for which the source of infection is unknown, which we call community spread/transmission. Dr. Emily Landon, University of Chicago Medicine.

March 11, 2020: White House classifies coronavirus deliberations. The meetings at HHS were held in a secure area called a “Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility,” or SCIF, usually reserved for intelligence and military operations. HHS has SCIFs because theoretically it would play a major role in biowarfare or chemical attacks.

Mar 13, 2020: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lijian Zhao demands US authorities reveal what they’re hiding about the origins of Covid-19. “Pointing to a video of CDC director Robert Redfield admitting the US had several deaths from Covid-19 before they were able to test for it, Zhao called on the American watchdog to come clean, ‘When did patient zero begin in the US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be the US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make your data public! The US owes us an explanation!”’

Ongoing: Researchers have greatly advanced their understanding of viral evolution since H1N1 a decade ago and finding patient zero is now more science than art. Recently, a team of Chinese researchers claimed to demonstrate that Covid-19 was born in September, 2019, but British researchers (who had discovered the earlier H1N1 date) were not convinced. Note: Though the site is for virologists and evolutionary biologists, you can follow the argument from the introductions and conclusions of each paper.

Larry Romanoff’s Essential Context:

March 14, 2020 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

More American Blunders in the Middle East: U.S. Envoys Embrace Terrorists Yet Again

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | March 14, 2020

The spread of the coronavirus has meant that much of the other news about developments around the world has disappeared from the normal news cycle. The situation in Syria, which involves not only the government in Damascus but also Turkey, Russia, Iran and a remaining American force in part of the country has been proving increasingly unstable. Russian President Vladimir Putin has met face-to-face with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to come up with a de-escalation plan that would avoid any head-to-head confrontation. An agreement was reached that included a cease fire, which most observers are describing as a surrender by Erdogan that accepted all Russian-Syrian army gains in the Idlib Province, but it remains to be seen what exactly will be sustainable. There have been subsequent reports that have included claims of the downing of two Syrian aircraft and several helicopters.

The United States for its part has been sending mixed messages to appeals from the Turks for support. Donald Trump has had an on and off again relationship with Erdogan and he has more-or-less approved the Turkish presence in the border areas and continues to endorse something like regime change in Damascus. Though it seems that at least for the moment the danger of a major armed conflict between Russia and Turkey has faded, many believe that more incidents are likely and could easily escalate.

And there is a truly dangerous connection in that Turkey and the United States are, of course, members of NATO. Under Article 5 of the NATO treaty, an attack on any one member is considered to be the same as an attack on all members and all members must respond by coming to the defense of the victim of the attack. Turkey has asked the United States for Patriot missiles to defend its troops on the ground in Syria. It has also called for NATO to enforce a no-fly zone in Idlib Province, air space that is currently controlled by Russia. Omer Celik, speaking for Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, said that in his government’s view “The attack against Turkey is an attack against NATO. NATO should have been with Turkey, not starting today but from before these events.” Washington, for its part, has reportedly offered to provide Patriot batteries if the Turks do not deploy their recently purchased Russian built S-400 missiles. Trump has otherwise deferred to the Europeans for any direct assistance and NATO has not entertained seriously any no-fly commitment.

Under normal circumstances and in a normal world, the very idea that a member of a defensive alliance should be able to attack another country, as Turkey has done in Syria, and then demand assistance from other members of the alliance when the attacked country fights back would be a non-starter. But the problem with that kind of rational thinking is that NATO has long since ceased to be a defensive alliance. Both as an alliance and also acting through several of its member states, it has been actively involved in wars that have nothing to do with defense of Europe or of the Atlantic relationship with Washington. NATO troops are currently in Afghanistan and have also been in Iraq, Syria and Libya. Alliance members including the U.S. fought in Bosnia and Kosovo. 

And there are the usual head cases on the American side also demanding action against Russia and Syria. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida tweeted that “The prospects of a direct military confrontation between Turkey & Russia in Syria are very high & increasing by the hour… [Erdogan] is on the right side here. Putin & Assad are responsible for this horrific humanitarian catastrophe.”

The American ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison told reporters “This is a big development, and our alliance is with Turkey, it is not with Russia. We want Turkey to understand that we are the ones that they’ve been allied with.”

The United States has further complicated the game through a recent visit made by the entourages of two senior U.S. officials who visited Syria’s Idlib on March 3rd and pledged $108 million aid for Syrian civilians, hours after Turkey downed its second Syrian warplane in the province. Who exactly would receive the money and how it would be distributed was, inevitably, not immediately clear.

The two diplomats slipped over the border from Turkey with the connivance of Ankara and several Syrian “resistance” groups. They conspicuously met with the so-called White Helmets, a group that claims to be involved in nonpartisan humanitarian rescue missions but which really is affiliated with terrorists, most notably the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which is affiliated with al-Qaeda. HTS is the principal terrorist group operating in Idlib.

The group of American diplomats was headed by U.S. representative to the United Nations Kelly Craft, along with U.S. Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey. It was the first visit by American diplomats to Idlib. Craft announced that the aid package was for “the people of Syria in response to the ongoing crisis caused by Assad regime, Russian, and Iranian forces”. Jeffrey struck a more directly belligerent pose, saying that Washington would be providing ammunition in addition to the humanitarian assistance. “Turkey is a NATO ally. Much of the military uses American equipment. We will make sure that equipment is ready and usable.” 

U.S. policy in Syria serves no American interest, but both Craft and Jeffrey are well known to be in the pocket of Israel. Craft, a big time GOP donor, who, in her fifteen months spent as Ambassador to Canada was remarkable for flying back to the U.S. from Ottawa 128 times, 70 of which were to her home in Kentucky. All on the government dime even though she is an extremely wealthy woman.

Craft left Canada when she replaced the arch Zionist Nikki Haley at the U.N. She emphasized in her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that she wouldfight against anti-Israel resolutions and actions by the U.N. and its affiliated agencies.” She also “made a case for America returning to a leading role at Turtle Bay [the U.N.] as a way of protecting IsraelWithout U.S. leadership, our partners and allies would be vulnerable to bad actors at the U.N. This is particularly true in the case of Israel, which is the subject of unrelenting bias and hostility in U.N. venues. The United States will never accept such bias, and if confirmed I commit to seizing every opportunity to shine a light on this conduct, call it what it is, and demand that these outrageous practices finally come to an end.” 

Jeffrey is even more the zealot. His full title is as United States Special Representative for Syria Engagement and the Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL. He is, generally speaking, a hardliner politically, closely aligned with Israel and regarding Iran as a hostile destabilizing force in the Middle East region. He was between 2013 and 2018 Philip Solondz distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a think tank that is a spin-off of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). He is currently a WINEP “Outside Author” and go-to “expert.”

Professor John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt, academic dean at Harvard University ‘s Kennedy School of Government, describe WINEP as “part of the core” of the Israel Lobby in the U.S. They examined the group on pages 175-6 in their groundbreaking book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy and concluded as follows:

“Although WINEP plays down its links to Israel and claims that it provides a ‘balanced and realistic’ perspective on Middle East issues, this is not the case. In fact, WINEP is funded and run by individuals who are deeply committed to advancing Israel’s agenda … Many of its personnel are genuine scholars or experienced former officials, but they are hardly neutral observers on most Middle East issues and there is little diversity of views within WINEP’s ranks.”

Jeffrey set the tone for his term of office shortly after being appointed by President Trump back in August 2018 when he argued that the Syrian terrorists were “. . . not terrorists, but people fighting a civil war against a brutal dictator.” Jeffrey, who must have somehow missed a lot of the head chopping and rape going on, subsequently traveled to the Middle East and stopped off in Israel to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It has been suggested that Jeffrey received his marching orders during the visit.

So, Trump bleats incessantly about how he wants to withdraw the U.S. from the senseless wars that it has been drawn into but at the same time his State Department sends two Zionist hardliners to Syria on a semi-secret mission to support a policy of regime change in Damascus while also providing aid that will inevitably fall into the pockets of an al-Qaeda linked terrorist group. And ammunition will also be forthcoming for the invading Turks to shoot Syrians, Russians and Iranians. If anyone is seriously interested in what is wrong with U.S. foreign policy, the activity of Craft and Jeffrey might serve as a decent case study on how not to do it. Unless, of course, the actual objective is to screw things up and involve the United States in quarrels that it could easily avoid.

Philip M. Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served nineteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was the CIA Chief of Base for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and was one of the first Americans to enter Afghanistan in December 2001. Phil is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a Washington-based advocacy group that seeks to encourage and promote a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that is consistent with American values and interests.

March 14, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , | Leave a comment

Iraqi military confirms attack on Taji base, says it shouldn’t be pretext for foreign ops on its soil

RT | March 14, 2020

A military base in Iraq housing US troops has been targeted in a rocket attack that severely injured Iraqi soldiers, the nation’s military confirmed. It also warned that the strike does not warrant a retaliation by foreign powers.

As many as 33 Katyusha rockets have been launched at the Taji base north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. The strike left several Iraqi air defense soldiers “critically injured,” according to the military statement. It is unclear if any US personnel have been affected.

The military urged all foreign forces to implement the national parliament’s resolution, passed after the US killing of Iranian top general Qasem Soleimani, and withdraw troops from Iraq.

The incident comes two days after the US launched its own airstrikes against an Iranian-backed Shia militia in Iraq, which it blames for the previous assault on a base where Western forces are stationed. The attack claimed the lives of three soldiers, two American and one British.

The move sparked angry reaction in Baghdad, which said it would file a complaint to the UN Security Council over the issue while the targeted militia called it a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.

March 14, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , | Leave a comment