Aletho News


The ADL’s useful ‘Task Force on Middle East Minorities’

By David Boyajian | Intrepid Report | July 6, 2020

Hardly anyone—Jewish or otherwise—believes that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) genuinely cares about the welfare of Christian, Muslim, and other non-Jewish minorities in the Middle East.

After all, contrary to its claim to be a civil/human rights champion and “secure … fair treatment for all,” the ADL is essentially a political organization.

So when it launched its so-called Task Force on Middle East Minorities (TFOMEM) in late 2018, I suspected a political con job.

TFOMEM says it will spotlight “human rights offenses committed against minority communities in the Middle East.”

That sounds bizarre given that the ADL has itself committed human rights offenses against minorities and others right here in America.

Spying on minorities

In 1992-3, police raided ADL offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The ADL had a “private spy operation that authorities alleged crossed the line into illegal territory,” reported the L.A. Times.

ADL operatives were surveilling hundreds of minority, civil rights, labor, and media organizations and associated individuals.  Among the targeted minority groups: NAACP, Asian Law Caucus, Latin American Support Committee, Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, Filipino Organization Committee, and Young Koreans United.

ADL spy Tom Gerard was a rogue San Francisco police officer linked to Latin American death squads. His undercover ADL sidekick, Roy Bullock, called themselves “the kings of garbage” for scouring people’s trash for private material.

ADL agents spied on American opponents of Apartheid in South Africa and passed information to its government—hardly the conduct of a civil/human rights organization.

Narrowly escaping indictment by the San Francisco D.A.—who was reportedly under political pressure—the ADL still had to pay $50,000 to the city.

The ADL also settled civil rights lawsuits brought by victims of its snooping.

ADL genocide hypocrisy

In friendlier days, Israel and Turkey recruited the ADL and organizations such as the American Jewish Committee to deny/diminish the Armenian Genocide committed by Turkey from 1915-23.

These Jewish organizations and Israel also colluded with Turkey to defeat Armenian Genocide resolutions in the U.S. Congress.

Disgusted by the ADL’s genocide/Holocaust hypocrisy, in 2007-8 a dozen Massachusetts cities and the umbrella Massachusetts Municipal Association expelled the ADL’s sanctimoniously-named No Place for Hate program. This made national and international headlines.

The ADL has never apologized to Armenians. ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt’s 2016 acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide came in a mere blog post and only after decades of deceit.

The ADL, promised Greenblatt, “would support” (not will support) an Armenian Genocide resolution in Congress. That alleged “support” apparently came only in a belated letter three years later, one day before the resolution was already assured of passage.

Just as No Place for Hate is a fig leaf for the ADL’s domestic political agenda, TFOMEM appears to be a smokescreen for the ADL and Israel’s Middle East political agenda.

That agenda: Weaken Israeli adversaries such as Iran, Syria, Shiite Muslims, and Turkish President Erdogan by any means possible.

TFOMEM will help by telling Americans that Israel’s adversaries, among their other wrongdoings, mistreat minorities.

Revealing press releases

TFOMEM’s three press releases since its launch are revealing.

Two welcomed congressional resolutions on the plight of minorities in war-ravaged Syria and Iraq. That aligns with Israeli policy. Tel Aviv seeks to topple Syrian President Assad who is aligned with Iran and Hezbollah, the anti-Israeli Shiite militant organization. Majority-Shiite Iraq is an Israeli target too.

TFOMEM’s third press release tried to bewitch American Christians by condemning Iran’s “arrest of over 100 Christians.” Fewer Christians will be fooled, however, after the ADL’s attack on Christian Armenians.

Tel Aviv seeks, of course, to destabilize Iran by stirring its minorities, which include Arabs, Azeris, Bahais, Kurds, and others.

An awkward event

I attended a TFOMEM panel presentation at Tufts University, “Restoring Armenian Heritage in Turkey: Displaced Stakeholders of Sacred Heritage Sites,” on September 25 of last year. It focused on three renovated Armenian churches in eastern Turkey—Armenians call it Western Armenia—and a Greek monastery.

Tufts was probably chosen because of its longtime relationship with Greater Boston’s Armenian American community and Armenia.

Also discussed was the 2007 assassination by a Turkish extremist of Hrant Dink, an ethnic Armenian journalist and Turkish citizen.

The presentation contained little new for the Armenian Americans who comprised half of the some thirty attendees.

The panelists were Tugba Tanyeri Erdemir, PhD, an archeologist/historian and TFOMEM’s Coordinator; Cly Wallace Aramian, MA, a communications/public affairs specialist and Tufts graduate; and Elizabeth H. Prodromou, PhD, a Greek American political scientist at Tufts and human rights advocate.

Despite her last name, Aramian is not even a token Armenian. Her former husband is Armenian.

Erdemir is an ethnic Turk and Turkish citizen, like her husband and fellow TFOMEM member Aykan Erdemir, PhD. A noted author on Turkey’s mistreatment of minorities and indigenous non-Turks, he’s a senior director at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a pro-Israel think tank.

He served in Turkey’s parliament from 2011-15 as a member of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) founded by Kemal Ataturk, who continued the Armenian Genocide after 1918.

Israel and CHP despise President Erdogan and want to topple him and his Justice and Development Party (AKP). Israel hopes a post-Erdogan/AKP Turkey would restore the countries’ warm relations.

Might hostility to Erdogan/AKP, rather than human rights considerations, partly explain why the ADL invited the Erdemirs into TFOMEM?

Other members

TFOMEM members change but include two Iranian Jews, undoubtedly because Iran is an Israeli target.

One is Sharon Nazarian, PhD, Senior ADL VP for International Relations. She reportedly opposes “racial hatred.” Perhaps she’ll look into the ADL’s record on Armenians.

The other is Marjan Keypour Greenblatt, MA, wife of Jonathan Greenblatt who authored the ADL’s half-baked blog post referenced above.

Other members include a Christian Egyptian Copt and several Muslims. But no Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, or Palestinians.

The other Christian is Rev. Johnnie Moore, a public relations guru, Trump campaign manager, and member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. When the latter recommended the State Dept. put autocratic Azerbaijan on its “Special Watch List” for religious repression, Moore was Azerbaijan’s lone defender. He has visited Azerbaijan, an Israeli ally, twice.

Israel sells the latter billions in advanced weapons while Azerbaijan sells oil to Israel.

Might these facts, rather than human rights considerations, partly explain why the ADL invited Rev. Johnnie into TFOMEM?

Fatally flawed

TFOMEM members are surely aware of the ADL’s appalling record on minorities.

TFOMEM’s non-Jews probably hope, nonetheless, that the ADL’s money and muscle can somehow help their ethno-religious compatriots.

Exposing a country’s mistreatment of its minorities is certainly noble.

But TFOMEM will ultimately be of little or no benefit to minorities anywhere as long as it’s a tool of the  ADL.

Much of the author’s work can be found at

July 10, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Analysis: Dominant Hypothesis Among Reporters on 9/11 Was that Explosions Brought Down Twin Towers

Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth | July 8, 2020

Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth today published a groundbreaking paper by researchers Ted Walter and Graeme MacQueen documenting the findings from their review of 70 hours of 9/11 news footage.

In total, Walter and MacQueen identified 36 news reporters across 11 different channels who either reported the occurrence of explosions during the Twin Towers’ destruction or who afterward referred to the destruction as an explosion-based event or who reported the possible use of explosives based on information from government sources.

The 36 reporters include, by network, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and Cynthia McFadden; CBS’s Harold Dow, Tom Flynn, Mika Brzezinski, and Carol Marin (appearing on WCBS); NBC’s Pat Dawson and Anne Thompson; CNN’s Aaron Brown, Rose Arce, Patty Sabga, and Alan Dodds Frank; Fox News’ David Lee Miller and Rick Leventhal; MSNBC’s Ashleigh Banfield and Rick Sanchez; CNBC’s John Bussey, Ron Insana, and Bob Pisani; WABC’s N.J. Burkett, Michelle Charlesworth, Nina Pineda, Cheryl Fiandaca, and Joe Torres; WCBS’s John Slattery, Marcella Palmer, Vince DeMentri, and Marcia Kramer; WNBC’s Walter Perez; New York 1’s Kristen Shaughnessy, Andrew Siff, John Schiumo, and Andrew Kirtzman; USA Today’s Jack Kelley; and two unidentified reporters (1 and 2) who attended a press conference with Mayor Giuliani and Governor Pataki.

The paper, titled “How 36 Reporters Brought Us the Twin Towers’ Explosive Demolition on 9/11,” includes extensive appendices where every news clip can be viewed.

Walter and MacQueen conclude that the hypothesis of explosions bringing down the Twin Towers was not only prevalent among reporters but was, in fact, the dominant hypothesis. Next, they plan to publish a follow-up paper examining how the hypothesis of fire-induced collapse so quickly supplanted the originally dominant explosion hypothesis.

Read “How 36 Reporters Brought Us the Twin Towers’ Explosive Demolition on 9/11.”

July 10, 2020 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | | 6 Comments

New evidence shows the FBI knew General Flynn was not ‘agent of Russia’ but prosecuted him anyway

RT | July 10, 2020

President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser Michael Flynn was “not acting as an agent of Russia” by the FBI’s own determination, yet the Mueller probe was based on that claim and his legal odyssey still continues.

New evidence provided by the Justice Department to Flynn’s legal team this week, and made public on Friday as part of a court filing, shows that the FBI determined Flynn wasn’t a Russian agent, and believed he did not deliberately lie to agents during his January 2017 interview.

A handwritten document shows the officials believed there were no reasonable grounds for prosecution under the Logan Act, an arcane old law prohibiting US citizens from engaging in foreign policy.

After the Washington Post published fragments of leaked information from the FBI suggesting the opposite, however, Flynn was forced to resign in February 2017, and later that year faced perjury charges from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ‘Russian collusion’ by the Trump campaign.

What makes these revelations particularly egregious is the fact that the scope memo for Mueller’s probe, written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in May 2017 and kept classified for years, cited the Logan Act as one of the predicates for going after Flynn.

The fourteen pages of additional evidence provided by the government on July 7 demonstrate Flynn’s innocence, the “absence of any crime,” as well as “government misconduct” in investigating Flynn and “prosecutorial misconduct in the suppression of evidence favorable to the defense,” his legal team said in a statement.

Flynn initially pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI, but later changed legal counsel and claimed prosecutorial misconduct. A steady drip of evidence from the DOJ ever since has revealed the plot to catch him in a perjury trap, the role of disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok in keeping the case improperly open, and that Flynn did nothing wrong in his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak – among other things.

Despite the overwhelming evidence against the prosecutors, US District Judge Emmet Sullivan has refused to approve the DOJ motion to drop the case. Instead, he appointed a retired judge who had just denounced the DOJ in the Washington Post to help him challenge it as amicus curiae.

Flynn’s lawyers took their case to the appeals court, which ruled on June 24 that Sullivan had to dismiss the charges. He refused, asking for a full-bench (en banc) review, with Flynn and the government now given ten days to respond.

The entire process is without precedent in Washington, but is hardly surprising given the political implications of the trial. Mueller’s probe was supposed to get Trump impeached and invalidate the 2016 presidential election, and though it failed the mainstream media and Democrats continue to insist on ‘Russiagate collusion.’ As the new documents show, all of it rests on the prosecution of Flynn, and falls apart entirely if he walks.

July 10, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception | , | 1 Comment

Chile Senate approves resolution to adopt law boycotting settlement goods

MEMO | July 10, 2020

The Chilean Senate last week approved a resolution calling on President Sebastian Pinera Echenique to adopt a law boycotting settlement goods and banning commercial activity with companies that operate in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The motion passed on 30 June with 29 votes in favour and six abstentions, no votes were cast against the move.

The resolution also called on the government to promote legislation that would ban all Israeli settlement products; prohibit any company involved in the Israeli occupation from benefiting from any agreement or bid signed by Chile; apply tourism guidelines for Israel and Palestine that would not allow the promotion of trips to Israel using pictures of East Jerusalem or Bethlehem “among other Palestinian cities”; forbid any kind of cooperation, including monetary, with the Israeli colonisation of occupied Palestine; and ensure that no tax benefits will be afforded to any organisation operating in Chile if it is involved in the occupation of Palestine.

Yesterday, President of the Palestinian National Council Salim Al-Zanoun thanked the Senate for its decision which he said constitutes a victory for the right of “our people to establish an independent state with its capital, Jerusalem, on the borders of June 4, 1967”, and affirming the international consensus regarding the application of international law and the terms of reference of the peace process.

On 2 July, Chile, the country with the largest population of Palestinians in Latin America, lit up its Telephone Tower with the Palestinian kufiyeh in support of the Palestinian people and rejection of Israel’s plans to annex some 30 per cent of the occupied West Bank

July 10, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 2 Comments

Israel detains two Hamas officials in the occupied West Bank

The national and Islamic forces and factions in Gaza, including Hamas and Fatah, reach an agreement on a unified national plan of action to confront the US' 'deal of the century' and Israel's annexation plans on June 28, 2020 [Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]

Factions, including Hamas and Fatah, reach agreement on a unified national plan of action to confront the ‘deal of the century’ and Israel’s annexation plans on June 28, 2020 [Mohammad Asad / MEMO]
MEMO | July 10, 2020

The Israeli occupation forces detained two officials of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, on Thursday during raids in the occupied West Bank. According to Anadolu, eyewitnesses said that soldiers raided properties in Ramallah and Al-Bireh.

Clashes erupted between dozens of Palestinian youths and the troops who arrested Jamal Al-Tawil from Al-Bireh, and Hussein Abu Kweik from Beitunia in Ramallah. The soldiers are said to have used live ammunition and rubber bullets, as well as sound bombs and tear gas against the demonstrators.

Hamas condemned the arrests. “This was a miserable and failed attempt to stop our resistance to all Israeli projects intended to liquidate Palestinian cause, especially the colonial annexation plan,” said spokesman Hazem Kassem. “The arrest of these officials is an effort to block the path of joint national action to challenge the occupation’s plans.”

Kassem added that, despite the arrests, “Hamas will continue our struggle against the [Israeli] occupation and its projects, and we will continue to develop the path of unity with all sections of our people to reach a strategy of joint struggle to confront the annexation plan.”

Arrest and detention campaigns are common in the occupied West Bank. Israel claims that those detained are “wanted” by its security services.

READ: Israel fears meetings between senior Fatah and Hamas representatives

July 10, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran explosions: Did Israel and the US just start a cyber war?

By Scott Ritter | RT | July 10, 2020

Explosions rocked a pair of Iranian factories involved in the manufacture of centrifuges for its nuclear program, and the development of advanced ballistic missiles. Iran suspects a cyberattack by either the US, Israel or both.
A series of explosions hit various locations throughout Iran in late June and early July, killing scores of people and causing extensive damage. Two of these locations stand out in particular because of their importance to Iran’s national security, and their involvement in technology related to nuclear enrichment programs and ballistic missile production, which have been singled out by both the US and Israel as representing a threat to regional and international peace and security.

Early on Friday, a series of explosions reportedly hit the outskirts of Tehran, as well as the cities of Garmdareh and Qods, with speculation that missile depots were the intended target of the blasts.

The precise cause of the two explosions has not yet been determined. One, at a centrifuge production hall located in the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant, remains under investigation. The other, at the Hemma Missile Industries Complex, has been linked to an explosion in a gas tank.

The Natanz facility, believed to have been involved in assembling advanced centrifuges used in the enrichment of nuclear fuel, was heavily damaged, setting back efforts by months, if not longer. The Hemmat facility, believed to be involved in the production of advanced Shahib-3 ballistic missiles, also suffered serious damage, but the precise extent remains unknown.

Israel’s non-denial

In typical fashion, Israel denied having any involvement in the Iranian explosions, while at the same time indicating that it was concerned about the Islamic Republic’s activities. Israeli Minister of Defense Benny Gantz noted that “not every incident that transpires in Iran necessarily has something to do with us.”

Gantz then threw in a hint about what might have happened. “All those systems,” he said, referring to Iran’s nuclear and missile activities, “are complex. They have very high safety constraints, and I’m not sure [the Iranians] always know how to maintain them.”

Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi – who himself was once head of the Israeli Defense Force – was more circumspect. “We have a long-term policy over the course of many administrations not to allow Iran to have nuclear abilities,” Ashkenazi noted. “This [Iranian] regime with those abilities is an existential threat to Israel, and Israel cannot allow it to establish itself on our northern border.” As to what Israel may have done to prevent this, he said: “We take actions that are better left unsaid.”

History of sabotage

Both Israel and the US have a history of collaboration when it comes to covert action designed to retard Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities. Perhaps the best known of these was the Stuxnet virus, which struck the Natanz facility in the summer of 2010 and was responsible for the destruction of a large number of centrifuges used to enrich uranium. Less known, but as or more effective, is a long-term CIA program to sabotage Iranian missiles and rockets, including those involved in Iran’s space launch program.

Perhaps the most public face of this program came in the form of a tweet from President Trump in August 2019, following the explosion of an Iranian space vehicle on its launch pad during final preparations for blast-off. “The United States of America,” Trump tweeted, “was not involved in the catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran. I wish Iran best wishes and good luck in determining what happened at Site One.” As non-denials go, this one was crude and transparent.

The heart of the CIA sabotage effort lies in its ability to infiltrate the illicit black-market supply chains used by Iran to support its programs, and infiltrate defective materials which, once installed, would cause catastrophic failure. Gantz’s allusion to the complexity of Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile endeavors, and the “safety” issues involved (and Iran’s inability to maintain these systems), provides strong circumstantial evidence that Israel, most likely in collaboration with the CIA, was able to gain access to suppliers involved in the construction of both the Natanz and Hemmat sites. This probably involved the distribution of natural gas for industrial purposes. Defective sensors and/or valves could lead to catastrophic failure, and result in massive, highly destructive events.

Iran’s silence as evidence

The official Iranian position is that while it has identified the precise cause of the explosions in question, it is not releasing this information on the grounds of national security. This delay would make sense in the case of any sabotage derived from defective sensors and valves – Iran would need to reverse-engineer its acquisition efforts, identify all materials acquired together with the failed components, and safely remove them from wherever they had been installed. Iran would also need to try and find out how and where their counterintelligence and security systems failed, before implementing new procedures.

The lack of a specific explanation, however, has not prevented senior Iranians from speculating about either the cause of the explosions, or the perpetrators. “Responding to cyberattacks is part of the country’s defense might,” the head of Iran’s civil defense, Gholamreza Jalili, noted. “If it is proven that our country has been targeted by a cyberattack, we will respond.”

The Iranian News Agency, IRNA, hinted at the potential for a larger crisis emerging in the aftermath of the Natanz and Hemmat explosions. “So far, Iran has tried to prevent intensifying crises and the formation of unpredictable conditions and situations,” IRNA observed. “But the crossing of red lines of the Islamic Republic of Iran by hostile countries, especially the Zionist regime (Israel) and the US, means that strategy… should be revised.”

Potential chaos

It is unlikely that Iran would seek to respond to any destructive cyberattack in a disproportionate manner – don’t expect missiles to fly against either Israel or US bases in the region. Instead, Iran will probably deploy its own very capable offensive cyberweapons in targeted retaliation, either against facilities in Israel and/or the US, or against regional targets affiliated with either of those countries.

Cyber warfare is a new phenomenon, one which can inflict significant collateral damage on civilian infrastructure both in the targeted nation, as well as third parties not directly involved in the conflict at hand. If Israel and/or the US were, in fact, to have conducted a destructive cyberattack on Iran, there will almost certainly be retaliation. Where this cycle of cyber warfare will end, however, is unknown. Given the complex realities of cyber warfare, where computer viruses are released in a manner conducive to causing a global cyber pandemic, the question must be asked if the outcome achieved at Natanz and Hemmat was worth the potential risk accrued. If history is any lesson, the answer is – and will be – a resounding ‘No.’

July 10, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 14 Comments

Blindness on Iraq War “Patriotism”

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF |July 10, 2020

An op-ed in yesterday’s New York Times by Democrat Tammy Ducksworth demonstrates that when it comes to “patriotism,” liberals are as morally blind as conservatives.

Duckworth’s op-ed goes after conservative Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson, who recently questioned Duckworth’s patriotism by suggesting that she didn’t love her country. Naturally, Duckworth, who lost her legs while serving as a soldier in the U.S. military in Iraq, took umbrage over Carlson’s attack and responded quite vociferously in her op-ed.

Much of the controversy involves meaningless exchanges that regularly take place between Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives. That’s mostly because both leftists and rights believe in the welfare-warfare state way of life.

But there is one aspect of Duckworth’s op-ed that deserves addressing because it so clearly shows that when it comes to war, the left-wing is as morally obtuse as the right wing.

Duckworth writes:

Even knowing how my tour in Iraq would turn out, even knowing that I’d lose both my legs in a battlefield just north of Baghdad in late 2004, I would do it all over again. Because if there’s anything that my ancestors’ service taught me, it’s the importance of protecting our founding values, including every American’s right to speak out.

So while I would put on my old uniform and go to war all over again to protect the right of Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump to say offensive things on TV and Twitter….

What Duckworth obviously still hasn’t come to the terms with is that her military service in Iraq had absolute nothing to do with protecting the right of freedom of speech of the American people. That’s because neither the Iraqi regime nor the Iraqi people were threatening the freedom of speech of the American people.

What Duckworth obviously still doesn’t recognize is that it was the U.S. government that was the aggressor in the Iraq War. She was part of a military force — the most powerful in history — that attacked and then occupied an impoverished Third World country that had never attacked and then occupied the United States or even threatened to do so.

Yes, I know, U.S. officials called the operation “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” But that was just propaganda. The operation had nothing to do with bringing freedom to Iraq, any more than it did with protecting the right to Americans to exercise freedom of speech. The purpose of the operation was to replace Iraqi dictator (and former U.S. partner and ally) Saddam Hussein with another U.S. stooge.”

Moreover, let’s not forget that every U.S. soldier who served in Iraq, including Duckworth, was serving in an illegal war. It was illegal given that there was no congressional declaration of war against Iraq, as the Constitution requires. It was also illegal under international law because it violated the principle against wars of aggression established by the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal.

Let’s also not forget about the countless Iraqis who were killed in the process. By being deprived of their lives, they were also deprived of their right of freedom of speech.

Leftists and rightists can engage in their meaningless debates on “patriotism” all they want. Just leave out the part that holds that invading and occupying a country that has never attacked the United States protects the right of Americans to exercise freedom of speech because that just isn’t true. 

July 10, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 20 Comments

Netherlands to take Russia to European Court of Human Rights over MH17 downing

RT | July 10, 2020

The Dutch government has said it will file a suit against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). It alleges that Moscow played a part in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014.

Achieving justice for the 298 victims of the tragedy, two thirds of whom were citizens of the Netherlands, “is and will remain the government’s highest priority” and by going to the ECHR it’s “moving closer to this goal,” said Stef Blok, the Dutch foreign minister, as cited by his ministry’s website.

The ECHR will be handed “all available and relevant information” about the downing of the Malaysian Boeing 777 from the Netherlands.

The Dutch government said it “attaches importance” to continuing meetings with Russia on the matter of state responsibility in order to find a solution that “does justice to the enormous suffering and damage” caused by the crash six years ago.

Moscow, which denies any involvement in the downing of MH17, maintains that it’s also interested in establishing the truth about what happened to the ill-fated flight through a thorough and impartial investigation.

The Dutch-led probe by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which found that the plane was downed by anti-Kiev rebels who received a BUK air defense system from Russia, is regarded by Moscow as politically biased.

Russia wasn’t invited to participate in the JIT, despite it including Ukraine, which had been fighting units from the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk in the area and had all the means to bring the plane down.

The probe, according to Moscow, also ignored a batch of data on the crash that Russia was willing to provide, instead largely relying on Ukrainian evidence and information from open sources, like videos posted on social media.

The case lacked crucial data from Ukrainian radars as Kiev claimed they somehow weren’t operational on the day the plane was hit. The US, which was the first to pin the blame on Russia, also refused to disclose its satellite photos of the area, citing national security concerns.

However, the Russian side of the story will finally be heard at the trial in absentia of the four anti-Kiev fighters who are accused of shooting the plane down. The hearing is now underway in the Netherlands. Last week, the judge agreed to examine evidence from Russian arms manufacturer, Almaz-Antey, which produces BUK missile systems, among other items.

Following a range of experiments in 2015, the company concluded that MH17 was shot down with an older version of the BUK missile that’s no longer used by the Russian military, but remained in service with the Ukrainian armed forces.

Almaz-Antey also said that the damage on the Boeing’s debris indicated that the missile which struck it could have only been fired from the area controlled by the Ukrainian forces, not the rebels.

The court in the town of Badhoevedorp also said it was reasonable to seek disclosure of US satellite photos after all. A senior Dutch investigator was allowed to take a glance at the images, but has not yet been questioned in the trial.

July 10, 2020 Posted by | Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

Nuclear confrontation becomes likelier as US races for global domination, Russian FM says

RT – July 10, 2020

“I agree that the nuclear risks have increased substantially in the recent past,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told an audience at the high-profile Primakov Readings forum on Friday.

The reasons for that are “obvious,” the minister clarified. “The US wants to regain global dominance and achieve victory in what they call a great power competition.”

Lavrov said Washington refuses the notion of “strategic stability” and calls it “strategic rivalry” instead. “They want to win,” he added.

We are particularly worried about the US’ biennial refusal to reaffirm a fundamental principle: the premise that there can be no winners in a nuclear war, and, therefore, it should never be unleashed.

Continuing, the Russian FM suggested Washington wants to dismantle the entire arms control mechanism. The Trump administration pulled out last year from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which bans either side from stationing short- and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe.

That withdrawal also threw the New START treaty, signed with Russia in 2010, into jeopardy. The milestone agreement saw the US and Russia reduce their warheads to 1,550 each and their launchers to 800. It is set to expire next year but Lavrov said on Friday he was not optimistic that it would be extended.

According to the foreign minister, the US decision not to renew the New START is already a done deal and the fate of the pact “is sealed.”

Washington insists that the renewal of talks be made trilateral, with China joining in on the discussions. Beijing has said it would “be happy” to take part in the negotiations – but only if the US was willing to reduce its nuclear arsenal to China’s level, which is about 20 times smaller.

July 10, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

India to buy Venezuela oil under swap deal amid US sanctions

Press TV – July 10, 2020

India has decided to receive a cargo of Venezuelan crude under a swap deal in the face of a US sanctions regime which has put the Latin American country in throes of a fuel crisis.

Mumbai-based Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) announced its plan to load its first cargo of Venezuelan crude after a three-month recess due to lower demands.

The Indian multinational conglomerate company is scheduled this week to receive a 1.9-million barrel cargo of crude at Venezuela’s main oil port of Jose, a Reuters report said.

Reliance said in exchange for the Venezuelan crude oil, it will deliver diesel fuel to the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company, PDVSA.

The Indian firm has previously stated that a fuel-for-crude swap deal with PDVSA will continue despite crippling economic sanctions imposed in 2019 by the United States on Caracas in an effort to drive down oil revenue to the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Washington has imposed several rounds of paralyzing economic sanctions against the oil-rich South American country, aiming to oust Maduro and replace him with US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Maduro has denounced the US government for its continuous “criminal sanctions” against the suffering Latin American nation amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Caracas, in response, has vowed to take legal action against Washington at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the sanctions imposed on the nation.

Venezuela has a similar fuel-for-crude swap deal with Italy’s Eni and Spain’s Repsol, who take Venezuelan crude in exchange for diesel supplied as part of debt repayment deals.

Iran has sent five tankers since April to Venezuela, breaching a de facto American blockade. Last month, the United States imposed sanctions on five Iranian ship captains who delivered oil to Venezuela.

US prosecutors have filed a lawsuit to seize the gasoline aboard four tankers that are currently heading to Venezuela, the latest attempt by the Trump administration to increase economic pressure on Caracas.

July 10, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Leave a comment

US plans to invade Venezuela through Colombia

By Lucas Leiroz | July 10, 2020

Colombia is under a pro-Washington government. The country’s current president, Iván Duque Márquez, has been noted for a series of policies of alignment with the United States, continuing the legacy of his predecessor, former president Juan Manuel Santos, who has made Colombia a NATO “global partner”, allowing the country to participate in joint military operations of the Western military alliance. In general, the long scenario of crises and tensions in Colombia, marked by drug trafficking and the conflict between criminal factions and rebel parties, has driven its governments towards a policy of alignment with Washington in exchange for security, which has increased in recent years.

However, not all Colombian politicians approve these measures. Recently, the leftist senator Iván Cepeda asked Colombian Congressional President Lidio García to convene a session to investigate and legally control the government in its collaboration with the constant arrival of American soldiers in the country. According to Cepeda, the presence of these military personnel is hostile to Colombia, deeply affecting the maintenance of national sovereignty.

Cepeda claims that the government should consult the National Congress before allowing the American military to arrive. A recent decision by the Supreme Court of Cundinamarca proved Cepeda right. According to the judges of the Court, the unilateral decision to allow the entry of foreign troops violates the Colombian National Constitution, and the Executive Branch must previously submit the matter to the Congress. For this reason, the Court asked the government to send information about the joint operations in progress, with the aim of clarifying the reason for the arrival of American troops. The deadline for sending the report was July 6 and was not met by the government – which claims it will appeal the decision. Due to the non-compliance, Cepeda filed a request for the establishment of a special congressional session.

The exact number of US military personnel in the country is uncertain, which further raises suspicions about the case. Some sources say there are more than 800 Americans, while others say they are between 50 and 60 military personnel. No official note was given by the government to explain the reasons and the exact number of soldiers. On the other hand, the American Embassy in Colombia, under pressure, commented on the case, giving an unsatisfactory answer. According to American diplomats, military personnel are arriving in Colombia to carry out joint operations to combat drug trafficking. Apparently, these operations would aim to carry out a siege against Venezuela and Nicolás Maduro, who, according to Donald Trump, has links with drug trafficking in the region. It is important to remember that Trump’s accusations against Maduro were never substantiated nor has any evidence been provided of such links between the Venezuelan president and drug trafficking.

Recently, Colombian mercenaries invaded Venezuela by sea in American vessels. Venezuelan security forces neutralized the attack, but since then it has become clear that Colombia is willing to collaborate with the US to overthrow the government of Nicolás Maduro. Apparently, therefore, American troops arriving in the country are preparing for a next step in this old American project to occupy Venezuela.

The justification that the Venezuelan government has links with drug trafficking becomes even more curious when the American ally is precisely Colombia, a state that historically has structural links with organized crime and the illegal drug trade in South America, being considered by experts in the whole world as a true narco-state. Likewise, the United States is not innocent of scandals involving international trafficking. The CIA has repeatedly been accused of collaborating with criminal networks worldwide. The American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 guaranteed to the US the complete control of opium production in the region. In Mexico, in exchange for information and resources, American intelligence has collaborated several times with the activities of the so-called Guadalajara Cartel. Still, for years, American intelligence collaborated with Panamanian general Manuel Noriega, who has been publicly involved in drug trafficking since the 1960s, in exchange for military support against guerrillas in Nicaragua.

In fact, we can see that drug trafficking is a flawed and inconsistent justification for an invasion against Venezuela. Colombia and the United States have much more credible and notorious evidence of drug trafficking and are precisely the countries articulating this operation. We can imagine the real reasons behind this: unable to maintain its global hegemony, Washington desperately tries to guarantee its power in Latin America, and, for that, it tries to overthrow Maduro; Colombia provides support to the US in exchange for a mask for its own criminal activities, carried out in collusion by the government and criminal networks of drug trafficking groups – such activities will be falsely attributed to Maduro.

Anyway, what seems clear now is that the US plans to invade Venezuela through Colombia.

Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

July 10, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment