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Red Cross: US adding Yemen’s Houthis to terrorist list will have ‘chilling effect’ on humanitarian aid

RT | January 14, 2021

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said it is worried that the US designating Yemen’s Houthi rebels as a terrorist group will severely hurt much-needed humanitarian aid to the war-torn country.

“In particular, the ICRC is concerned about the possible ‘chilling effect’ the designation may have on humanitarian action, leading to it being impeded or delayed,” the agency’s director of operations, Dominik Stillhart, said in a statement.

“Increased operational risks and possible de-risking from the banking and private sectors in response to the designation ultimately may constrain the humanitarian response in Yemen.”

Stillhart urged the US government to consider “humanitarian carve-outs” from their designation in order to mitigate any negative impact on the “affected population.”

On January 10, the US added the Houthis, the Iranian-backed rebel force which seized Yemen’s capital, Sanaa in 2014, to its list of foreign terrorist organizations. Three Houthi leaders were also separately designated as global terrorists.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the move is intended to hold the Houthi movement accountable for “its terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks threatening civilian populations, infrastructure, and commercial shipping.”

A Saudi Arabia-led coalition of Gulf states launched an intervention against the Houthis in 2015, carrying out a devastating aerial bombing campaign. The Houthis responded by launching missiles into Saudi Arabia.

Three ICRC workers were among the dozens killed in an ambush on Aden International Airport on December 30, as the newly-formed cabinet for the government-controlled parts of the country landed back in Yemen from Riyadh. The Houthis have been blamed for the attack, but denied responsibility.

In early December, the UN reported that at least 233,000 people have perished during the five years of war, including 131,000 who died from the lack of food, health services, and infrastructure. The UN’s humanitarian office in Yemen projected that 24.3 million people there will need some form of humanitarian aid this year.

January 15, 2021 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , | 3 Comments

Syria: 70 notables assassinated in YPG-controlled areas

MEMO | January 14, 2021

In recent months, the areas controlled by the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the governorate of Deir ez-Zor (eastern Syria) have witnessed assassinations of notables and respected personalities on a near-daily basis.

Local sources in the governorate revealed on Wednesday that they had documented about 70 assassinations of notables in the YPG-controlled areas over the last five months.

The sources told Anadolu Agency that unknown individuals carried out assassinations on an almost daily basis, since the murder of Leader of Al-Aqeedat tribe Mutashar Al-Hafl in August 2020, taking advantage of the significant security deterioration in the YPG areas.

The sources added that last November, in the town of Al-Sijr, unidentified individuals assassinated Abdul-Razzaq Al-Muhammad and Ibrahim Al-Attiyah (nicknamed Abu Bakr Qadisiyah), a former commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) who was known for his strong opposition to the YPG.

On Sunday, unidentified gunmen assassinated Sheikh Talyush Eshatat, his son Mahmoud and another unidentified person, after storming his house in the town of Al-Hawaij. Former FSA Commander Ahmed Al-Alwan and his son were also killed in the city of Al-Busayrah in the countryside of Deir ez-Zor, according to the same source.

Following the murders, the High Council for Syrian Tribes and Clans issued a statement condemning the assassinations targeting notables and well-known personalities in the region.

According to the statement, the council: “Condemns in the name of its Arab, Kurdish, Turkmen and Syriac-Assyrian components all terrorist operations that targeted the Syrian people in general, and the tribal sheikhs and tribesmen in particular in the Deir ez-Zor governorate.”

The statement held: “Terrorist organisations that want to manipulate the tribal components and end their presence in the region”, responsible for the assassinations.

Earlier, the Syrian Al-Aqeedat tribe demanded that the international coalition hand over the administration of the Arab regions in eastern Syria to the locals, accusing the SDF, which is dominated by the YPG terror group, of carelessness in pursuing the assassinators.

Several towns in the eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor have witnessed mass protests against the assassinations. At the same time, the YPG responded by attacking and besieging the towns, leading to civilian fatalities and injuries in addition to dozens of arrests.

January 13, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , | 2 Comments

Whatever is Wrong with Mike Morell?

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By Steve Brown | Ron Paul Institute | January 7, 2021

Obama – er, Biden – pushed hard for the removal of Syria’s Assad and engineered US destabilization of Syria partly at the behest of Israel in 2011 and 2014 , in part to allow Israel free reign to annex the Jordan Valley and West Bank, in tandem with Israel’s long-standing annexation of the Golan. Yes, the Israeli Nile-to-Euphrates agenda is alive and quite well, not just among Israel’s 3rd templars, but within Biden’s proto-expansionist regime in the DC wings, too. Now, what’s that again about Russia Russia? Biden’s Russia, Russia? There’s just one problem for the Axis of Evil’s plan going forward: Russia’s continued opposition to the US plan in Syria.

Russia likely anticipated the complete destabilization of the Middle East by the US and its Israeli ally by design in 2014, where Takfiri malign infestation of the region not only threatened Europe, but Russia too, with a further militarist threat to Iran and West Asia. Russia stands in the way of that Imperial agenda, and that’s a big deal for Washington’s elite donor class. Russia also provided succor to Ed Snowden, when the DC shark pit would have crucified him alive; just as the same bloodthirsty pack will crucify Julian Assange too should they ever get their bloody incisors into him.

Now, rather than risk world war, the former US regime chose to tread a fine line with Russia in Syria, although outright war was much closer than the public realized or knew at the time. The current shape-of-things-to-come will test that envelope once more, and in a very big way. By definition, the reappearance of war-criminal and dinosaur Madeliene Albright, to re-blight a thoroughly blighted major media proves that intent. Albright’s abysmal record and advanced years have evidently not prevented her from seeking a new term within the putrefying endless expanse of DC’s Neoliberal cesspool.

Lately the voluble Albright has graced the CIA-corporate-led media to tout all subjects great and small, whether the contagion and failed US foreign policy, to the Balkans  and somewhat erratic behavior of others. Apparently the non-apologetic self-acknowledged child-killer is safe for the time being for the DC establishment to trot out again — after all these years — and Albright holds her CIA-surveillance state brief well, even at the tidy age of 83.

Along with Albright and other foreign policy wonks littering the Biden-Harris space (Jen Psaki, Sam Power, and Wendy Sherman etc) Mike Morell’s reappearance has been as inspired and imaginative as his call to murder Russians (with Iranians thrown in for good measure, of course). Which apparently posed no problem for the incorporated CIA-run major media at the time; and whether Morell’s twitter account was ever suspended then for publicly threatening violence, remains unknown.

Notably the recent storming of the US bastille on January 6th caused our dear Mike to lament this failed example of democracy-in-action via a televised CBS news interview on that day, Mike posing that such brazen acts could be an inspiration for anti-American propaganda to be exploited by none other than… er, well, ahem… the Russians and RT! When a not-so-incredulous but mainly pandering CBS co-host pressed Mike about how Russia could possibly be running the Proud Boys to storm the capitol?? … our dear Mike back-pedaled a bit to say, well, like always (but never proven) the Russians definitely did hack Hillary in 2016 and cost her the election. Leaving hosts and viewers alike somewhat baffled, but fortunately the CBS ‘analyst’s’ cum CIA guy’s conversation moved on, saving further embarrassment.

If public consciousness were not just a few milliseconds, the irony of media claims that Trump’s allegations about voter fraud are baseless since proof has not yet been provided, would not be lost on the public, when compared to US intelligence claims that Russian collusion in 2015 cost Hillary the election when no proof or evidential record of that has ever been provided, either. But then again, Morell is a former CIA spy guy and CBS anchor, so that’s just how he rolls…

In closing we are left with one final perplexing and inevitable question: which CIA-led news network will pick up Gina Haspel and Mike Pompeo as news analysts going forward? CBS too? And who is the next Clinton-Obama dinosaur and war criminal to re-appear and pollute the new regime in DC?

For certain, we shall see.

Steve is an antiwar activist and a published scholar on the US monetary system.

Twitter: @newsypaperz

January 13, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel bans ‘Jenin, Jenin’ film, orders payment of damages to Israel soldier

MEMO – January 13, 2021

The Lod District Court in Israel on Monday banned the screening of a documentary about Israel’s brutal 2002 campaign in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

‘Jenin, Jenin’ can no longer be aired in Israel after an Israeli soldier who was depicted in the footage stealing from an elderly Palestinian filed a lawsuit against the film.

The judge said Israeli soldier Nissim Magnaji had been “sent to defend his country and found himself accused of a crime he did not commit”. The court ordered director Mohammed Bakri to pay damages to Magnaji of 175,000 shekels ($55,000) as well as 50,000 shekels ($15,936) of court expenses.

In her ruling, judge Halit Silash went on to say some of the representation in the video was untrue.

Bakri, a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, told the AFP news agency the decision was “unfair” and that the judge had acted on instructions “from above.”

“I intend to appeal the verdict because it is unfair, it is neutering my truth,” Bakri told the Walla News website.

Objecting to the court’s ruling, the chairman of the Balad faction in the Joint List party, Member of the Israeli Knesset Mtanes Shehadeh, was quoted by the Times of Israel saying: “It’s not the film that should be shelved, but the occupation and its crimes.”

The documentary shows footage and eyewitness accounts of the massacre committed by the Israeli occupation forces in the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin in 2002. At least 52 Palestinians, including women, children, and the elderly, were killed in the rampage that unfolded over a two-week period in a refugee camp, according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) investigation.

Some 23 Israeli soldiers were killed at the time.

January 13, 2021 Posted by | Film Review, Full Spectrum Dominance, Video, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

French drone strike in Mali kills 19 civilians at wedding event

Press TV | January 8, 2021

A French military drone strike in Mali has reportedly killed civilians attending a wedding event in a remote village amid France’s persisting military intervention in its former African colony under the pretext of fighting rising militancy in the impoverished — though minerals-rich – nation.

The aerial strike in central Mali’s isolated Douentza area came at a moment of growing anti-French sentiment and armed resistance across the West African country in response to the eight-year military presence of the former colonial power.

An advocacy group for Fulani herders, known as Jeunesse Tabital Pulaaku, released a list on Thursday of 19 people it said were killed by the French airstrike, including the father of the groom, as well as seven others it said were injured in the attack while attending the wedding ceremony.

“Those who were killed were civilians,” said the group’s president, Hamadoun Dicko, as quoted in a Reuters report on Friday, noting: “Whether there were jihadists around at the moment of the raid or not, I don’t know.”

The report further cited a health worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as confirming on Tuesday that civilians had been “mistakenly hit in the strike.”

This is while on Thursday Mali’s Paris-sponsored government and the French military denied eye-witness accounts and other reports blaming the French air strike for the civilian fatalities in the area, claiming that only Muslim militants were targeted.

The French army further insisted that the targets were “Islamist fighters,” claiming that their identities were confirmed by its drones prior to the bloody attack and subsequent checks following the strike.

“No collateral damage, no sign of a festive gathering or a marriage,” the French army command declared in a statement, describing the targeted site as lightly wooded and claiming that “no women or children were observed” in the area.

According to the army statement, a group of nearly 40 men was monitored by the REAPER drone for more than an hour and a half before the strike, which was carried out over one kilometer from the nearest dwellings on the edge of the village of Bounti.

Repeating the French version of events, Mali’s Defense Ministry further cited surveillance images” to state, “the strike took place during a joint operation with French forces and killed about 30 militants.”

“There was no sign of a marriage, women or children,” it added in a statement.

France maintains a military force of more than 5,100 in Mali and other former colonies in West Africa in purported efforts to counter militants it claims are linked to the al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist groups.

The military intervention, however, has come at a cost. Five French soldiers were killed in Mali in recent days and Malian citizens have protested France’s military presence in the streets as well as on social media platforms.

Two French soldiers were killed earlier this week as an explosion hit their armored vehicle during an “intelligence” gathering mission in Mali’s eastern Menaka region, bringing the number of French soldiers killed in the nation to fifty.

The attack came less than a week after three more French troops were also killed in its former colony by an improvised explosive device in the southern region of Hombori.

This is while France is still trying to maintain power with its significant military presence in Africa. It has thousands of soldiers spread in bases across the arid Sahel region of West Africa below the Sahara, purportedly waging “counter-insurgency” operations.

Violence, however, has steadily worsened in the region with militant groups using northern Mali to launch attacks on neighboring countries.

Last January, hundreds of people took to the streets in the capital of Mali to protest the presence of French troops in the Sahel region.

Protesters gathered in a square in the center of the capital Bamako, where they burned the French flag and carried banners reading slogans such as “Down with France.”

The protest came ahead of a summit in France on the country’s military interventions in Africa.

The latest French killing of Malian civilians came as Paris faces tough choices about how to deal with its purported moves to counter extremists in Mali and other African nations without getting bogged down in a potentially un-winnable war, according to an AFP report, which pointed to the growing number of French troops killed since it launched a campaign to rid northern Mali of militants in January 2013.

It further cited French military sources as saying that President Emmanuel Macron wishes to go further in reducing the number of French troops in the Sahel region before the country’s next presidential election in April / May 2022.

“So far, the French have not really questioned the role of France in the Sahel. But you have to be very careful. Public opinion can change very quickly,” said a government source as quoted in the report.

In a sign that the Sahel mission could become a national political football, some opposition politicians in France have already started to question the wisdom of staying the course.

“War in Mali: for how long?” questioned the country’s far-left party, France Unbowed, earlier in the week.

January 8, 2021 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

New frigates to project Canadian ‘power’ with cruise missiles

By Yves Engler · December 27, 2020

A recent report about the weapons on Canada’s new Navy frigates is frightening. Equally troubling is the lack of parliamentary opposition to expanding the federal government’s violent “maritime power projection” capacities.

Naval News recently reported on the likely arsenal of Canada’s new surface combatant vessels, which are expected to cost over $70 billion ($213-219 billion over their lifecycle). The largest single taxpayer expense in Canadian history,the 15 vessels “will be fitted with a wide range of weapons, both offensive and defensive, in a mix never seen before in any surface combatant.”

The 7,800 tonne vessels have space for a helicopter and remotely piloted systems. The frigates have electronic warfare capabilities, torpedo tubes and various high-powered guns. It will have a Naval Strike Missile harpoon that can launch missiles 185 kilometers. Most controversially, the surface combatants look set to be equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles capable of striking land targets up to 1,700 kilometres away. US-based Raytheon has only ever exported these Tomahawk missiles to the UK and if the Royal Canadian Navy acquires them it would be the only navy besides the US to deploy the missiles on surface vessels.

Canada’s New Frigate Will Be Brimming With Missiles,” is how The Drive recently described the surface combatant vessels. In the article War Zone reporter Joseph Trevithick concludes, “the ships now look set to offer Canada an entirely new form of maritime power projection.”

What has Canada’s “maritime power projection” looked like historically?

Over the past three years Canadian vessels have repeatedly been involved in belligerent “freedom of navigation” exercises through international waters that Beijing claims in the South China Sea, Strait of Taiwan and East China Sea. To “counter China’s” growing influence in Asia, Washington has sought to stoke longstanding territorial and maritime boundary disputes between China and the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and other nations. As part of efforts to rally regional opposition to China, the US Navy engages in regular “freedom of navigation” operations, which see warships travel through or near disputed waters.

A Canadian frigate has regularly patrolled the Black Sea, which borders Russia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania, Georgia and Ukraine. In July 2019 HMCS Toronto led a four ship Standing NATO Maritime Group exercise in the Black Sea. Soon after, it participated with two-dozen other ships in a NATO exercise that included training in maritime interdiction, air defence, amphibious warfare and anti-submarine warfare as part of sending “a strong message of deterrence to Russia.”

During the 2011 war on Libya Canadian vessels patrolled the Libyan coast. Two rotations of Canadian warships enforced a naval blockade of Libya for six months with about 250 soldiers aboard each vessel. On May 19, 2011, HMCS Charlottetown joined an operation that destroyed eight Libyan naval vessels. After the hostilities the head of Canada’s navy, Paul Maddison, told Ottawa defence contractors that HMCS Charlottetown “played a key role in keeping the Port of Misrata open as a critical enabler of the anti-Gaddafi forces.”

A month before the commencement of the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, Canada sent a command and control destroyer to the Persian Gulf to take charge of Taskforce 151 — the joint allied naval command. Opinion sought by the Liberal government concluded that taking command of Taskforce 151 could make Canada legally at war with Iraq. In 1998 HMCS Toronto was deployed to support US airstrikes and through the 1990s Canadian warships were part of US carrier battle groups enforcing brutal sanctions on Iraq. During the first Iraq war Canada dispatched destroyers HMCS Terra Nova and Athabaskan and supply vessel Protecteur to the Persian Gulf before a UN resolution was passed.

Historically the Canadian Navy’s influence has been greatest nearer to home. In a chapter of the 2000 book Canadian Gunboat Diplomacy titled “Maple Leaf Over the Caribbean: Gunboat Diplomacy Canadian Style” military historian Sean Maloney writes: “Since 1960, Canada has used its military forces at least 26 times in the Caribbean to support Canadian foreign policy. In addition, Canada planned three additional operations, including two unilateral interventions into Caribbean states.”

At the request of Grenada’s government Ottawa deployed a vessel to the tiny country during its 1974 independence celebration. In Revolution and Intervention in Grenada Kai Schoenhals and Richard Melanson write, “the United Kingdom and Canada also sent three armed vessels to St. George’s to shore up the [Eric] Gairy government”, which faced significant pressure from the left.

When 23,000 US troops invaded the Dominican Republic in April 1965 a Canadian warship was sent to Santo Domingo, noted Defence Minister Paul Theodore Hellyer, “to stand by in case it is required.” Two Canadian gunboats were deployed to Barbados’ independence celebration the next year in a bizarre diplomatic maneuver designed to demonstrate Canada’s military prowess. Maloney writes, “we can only speculate at who the ‘signal’ was directed towards, but given the fact that tensions were running high in the Caribbean over the Dominican Republic Affair [US invasion], it is likely that the targets were any outside force, probably Cuban, which might be tempted to interfere with Barbadian independence.” Of course, Canadian naval vessels were considered no threat to Barbadian independence.

Immediately after US forces invaded Korea in 1950, Ottawa sent three vessels to the region. Ultimately eight RCN destroyers completed 21 tours in Korea between 1950 and 1955.

Canadian ships transported troops and bombed the enemy ashore. They hurled 130,000 rounds at Korean targets. According to a Canadian War Museum exhibit, “during the war, Canadians became especially good at ‘train busting.’ This meant running in close to shore, usually at night, and risking damage from Chinese and North Korean artillery in order to destroy trains or tunnels on Korea’s coastal railway. Of the 28 trains destroyed by United Nations warships in Korea, Canadian vessels claimed eight.” Canadian Naval Operations in Korean Waters 1950-1955 details a slew of RCN attacks that would have likely killed civilians.

Canadian warships were also dispatched to force Costa Rica to negotiate with the Royal Bank in 1921, to protect British interests during the Mexican Revolution and to back a dictator massacring peasants in El Salvador in 1932.

Where do the political parties stand on new frigates “brimming with missiles”? The Stephen Harper Conservatives instigated the massive naval outlay and the Liberals have happily maintained course. The NDP has supported the initiative and the Bloc pressed for more shipyard work in Québec. The Greens have stayed silent.

Surely there must be at least one Member of Parliament who doesn’t think it’s a good idea to spend $200 billion to strengthen the federal government’s bullying naval capacities in support of the US Empire and Canadian corporations abroad.

December 27, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Why are Tel Aviv and Washington Inflaming the Situation in the Persian Gulf?

By Vladimir Platov – New Eastern Outlook – 26.12.2020

During the run-up to the anniversary of the insidious assassination of Iranian General Soleimani – and after one month had passed since the equally controversial massacre of leading nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh – Israel and the United States, which are the ones responsible for this atrocity, are demonstratively increasing their military presence in the Middle East, and doing so in demagogic fashion under the guise of fearing “retaliation from Iran”.

The United States, located both at a considerable distance from Iran and outside the range of its missiles, having provoked this crisis clearly fears only a missile attack on its diplomatic mission in Iraq, as well as other American facilities in the region. Washington is trying to validate these fears with reports from American intelligence services, according to which pro-Iranian armed formations that can deliver a “retaliatory strike” have allegedly stepped up their activity in Iraq.

However, on December 21 Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh denied these suspicions, which especially resounded in recent statements made by US Secretary of State Pompeo about the alleged complicity of pro-Iranian militia in the latest rocket strikes executed on Baghdad’s “Green Zone”. Along with that, Khatibzadeh wrote on Twitter that for Tehran “attacks on diplomatic facilities are unacceptable”.

Washington still dispatched additional warships and a squadron of fighters to the Middle East, and demonstratively conducted a nonstop flight of a B-52 strategic bomber that has the ability to carry nuclear weapons, by doing so intending to “intimidate Tehran”. In addition, on December 21 a US naval unit entered the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz that included a USS Georgia (SSGN 729) Ohio-class submarine, which carries up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles and is capable of taking on board up to 66 special operations service personnel, as well as two Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers: a USS Port Royal (CG 73) and a USS Philippine Sea (CG 58). Previously, at the end of November, a USS Nimitz (CVN-68) aircraft carrier was sent off the Persian Gulf “to help contain the enemy”; this was rationalized by the need “to have additional defensive capabilities in the region in case of any unforeseen circumstances.”

As far as Israel goes, it clearly fears a “retaliation strike” from Iran since, given the Jewish state’s modest size, a successful attack on it could actually terminate its existence. This is especially true if the strike were to hit the Dimona Nuclear Research Center, which is considered to be the site where Israeli nuclear weapons originated; Tel Aviv neither confirms nor denies that the center exists. Incidentally, Ayatollah Mohammad-Ali Movahedi Kermani already delivered a warning to Israel that “if Iran decides to put up resistance, then one missile strike on the Dimona reactor would be enough”.

It is clear that Iranian missiles will not really be launched at Dimona, since this is fraught with consequences that entail nuclear contamination and destruction not only for Israel, but for Iran and quite a few neighboring countries across the region. And that is why the Iranian media occasionally names another target: the Israeli city of Haifa.

Israel, fearing the hysteria itself that potential military action could unleash, in a speech made by IDF Chief of General Staff Aviv Kochavi on December 21 cautioned Iran not to attack Israel, stating that “the Jewish state will retaliate against any aggression”.

Along with that, A. Kohavi evidently pointedly forgot to mention that it is not Iran, but Israel itself, that has already demonstrated its aggressive stance toward the Islamic Republic to the whole world by organizing and initiating acts of terrorism and assassinations – and not only against nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. After all, this is far from the first time that Iranian scientists and leading representatives from Iranian society have been killed by an Israeli act of terrorism. For example, in Tehran, five nuclear physicists have been assassinated recently – and this specifically includes Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, the architect of Iran’s ballistic missile program. All this points to the systematic destruction of the best Iranian scientists employed in the defense industry, which is being accomplished by the international community with impunity. This series of assassinations of prominent Iranian scientists, politicians, and military personnel – who ended up being unacceptable for the United States and Israel – substantiates the suspicions first voiced long ago that Western intelligence services and Israel have adopted the terrorist practice of eliminating key personnel and various prominent figures in those countries with which they are at war; this is done to weaken their defense systems and technological potential.

In addition to the words it speaks to help deter Tehran, Tel Aviv has taken a series of measures to test the combat readiness of its army against any potential foreign attacks, and is active about consulting with Washington – especially with representatives from the Pentagon – about how to work out joint coordination for the two countries to take military action against Iran. In particular, large-scale, unprecedented exercises came to an end in December, during which the capabilities of the three levels of Israel’s anti-missile defense (ABM) systems to neutralize various air threats were put to the test. Senior Israel Defense Forces officers, according to the Internet publication Breaking Defense, held “negotiations on coordination work” with their counterparts in the US Central Command (CENTCOM, which includes the Middle East) to bolster cooperation between the armed forces in the two countries “against Iran possibly taking revenge in the region”. According to this publication, Israel has reached its highest degree of readiness, in particular with regard to repelling “some of the 140,000 missiles that Iran-backed Hezbollah has in Lebanon, and the Houthi rebels in Yemen.” At the same time, it has been reported that although the Israeli command does not disclose the details about how it prepares for war, its tactical and operational anti-missile defense systems, and long-range missile systems, are still on high alert.

In addition, as reported by The Times of Israel, on December 17, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley arrived in Israel as part of his Middle East tour to discuss the threat that Iran poses to Washington’s allies, including the Jewish state.

As part of preventive measures taken against the armed situation in the region potentially escalating, Israel began to actively spread out its naval fleet around Iran. An Israeli Navy Dolphin-class (Type 800) submarine carrying cruise missiles on board passed through the Suez Canal, and on December 21 demonstratively surfaced in the Persian Gulf, in the waters that stretch between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Dolphin is a series of German modified diesel-electric submarines that are specially designed for Israel, and which have from 6-10 torpedo tubes. Besides torpedoes, they are armed with mines and Popeye Turbo SLCM cruise missiles that have a range of up to 1,500 km, and are capable of carrying nuclear charges with a capacity of up to 200 kilotons launched from torpedo tubes. The Israelis regularly keep at least two of their submarines.in the Indian Ocean, in the immediate vicinity of the Persian Gulf.

Today, in the assessments made by numerous experts, there is reason to presume that in January 2021, before Donald Trump [prospectively] leaves the White House, a joint American-Israeli missile strike could be launched against Iran, primarily to neutralize Iran’s air defense systems, as well as its nuclear industry facilities.

However, while ramping up the degree of military tension in the region Tel Aviv and Washington cannot help but clearly see that Iran does not intend to attack either the United States or Israel. Iran is not in an ideal condition to wage war now, since its economy is seriously undermined by the restrictive measures imposed on its oil sales abroad, as well as by the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, the deficit inflicting its national budget, and the weakening of its national currency. Yes, military operations “against American and Israeli aggressors” can raise patriotic sentiments in the Islamic Republic for a certain period, but they would quickly drain the Iranian economy and militaristic zeal. In addition, hoping for a change in the attitude taken toward it after the White House administration [potentially] changes, for political and economic reasons it would now be clearly disadvantageous for Tehran to carry out any large-scale “retaliatory strike”. Therefore, the maximum that Tehran is capable of doing today, without causing itself significant damage, is to carry out a special operation against the Israelis involved in the murder of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh – or to inflict a targeted strike on American facilities in the region through its “proxies.”

As for the United States, Israel, and their allies taking military action against Iran right now, it should be kept in mind that the Islamic Republic, despite all its existing economic problems, is a pretty tough nut to crack in terms of its military, and aggression against it would have serious costs. And this cost is obviously unacceptable for either Trump or Netanyahu, who intend to keep pursuing their political careers.

December 26, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel Strikes Pediatric Hospital in Gaza, Injures Palestinian Child

The Al-Durrah Pediatric Hospital in Gaza was damaged by Israeli airstrikes
Palestine Chronicle | December 26, 2020

A pediatric hospital, a center for disability services, and several homes were damaged early this morning in Israeli airstrikes and artillery attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip, Palestine Chronicle correspondent Wafa Aludaini reported.

Israeli warplanes fired five missiles east of the neighborhood of Tuffah in Gaza City injuring a six-year-old girl and a young man.

A fire broke out at the location of the airstrike as the firefighters worked all night to put out the fire in the attack that took place an hour after midnight. Electric power was also cut off to several areas east of Gaza as a result of the strikes.

Israel claimed the attacks came after two missiles were fired from Gaza and fell in open areas in southern Israel without causing any damage or injury.

“It was a horrible night for the children at the Al-Durrah Hospital, due to the missiles fired by the Israeli occupation warplanes, which caused deep damage to the hospital, spreading fear and panic among children and their families,” Dr. Majed Hamadah, manager of the hospital, told our correspondent.

“This is not the first time that the Al-Durrah Hospital has been bombed by the Israeli occupation, despite the fact that it is a pediatric hospital,” Dr. Hamadah added.

More photos

December 26, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

US continues its long history of using death squads, this time in Afghanistan. This is nothing but horrifying

By Daniel Kovalik | RT | December 23, 2020

The dark story of the CIA running death squads in Afghanistan recently broken by the Intercept follows a very long pattern of US foreign policy going back to the 1960s.

According to The Intercept, “Beginning in December 2018 and continuing for at least a year, Afghan operatives believed to belong to an elite CIA-trained paramilitary unit known as 01, in partnership with U.S. special operations forces and air power, unleashed a campaign of terror against civilians.” This unit carried out night raids in which they reportedly killed civilians, including children. In one night raid alone, targeting a religious school known as a madrassa, 12 children were killed.

The use of such death squads to kill civilians is shocking, but it is not at all surprising given the US’ long-time use of death squads to destroy insurrectionary movements in the developing world. Indeed, it is fair to say that it is standard operating procedure for the US.

The very idea for the modern use of death squads traces its roots back to the early 1960s when US General William P. Yarborough first conceived of them as an instrument to advance US economic interests by violently destroying the progressive social movements in Latin America which began to emerge at the time in response to the Cuban Revolution and the Second Vatican Council which inspired the rise of Liberation Theology and the focus on uplifting the poor.

However, as an article by the Wilson Center notes, the idea of death squads goes back even farther than the 1960’s, reflecting “decades of accumulated experience, beginning with the US effort to squelch Filipino independence after the War of 1898. It also reflected European imperial practices, including the British in Malaya and French in Algeria.”

General Yarborough’s idea of institutionalizing death squads in the modern era was motivated by a desire to get around the growing human rights concerns of the international community by having unofficial, secret military outfits which could give plausible deniability to both the US government and the government of US client states. In other words, they would, in the words of General Yarborough, be a “hidden weapon . . . of hired killers” which would carry out the dirty war which the regular troops “cannot do officially.”

The US would first try out its death squad program in Colombia to destroy the progressive movement there being led by radical peasants, trade unionists and Liberation Catholic priests. These death squads continue to this day.

The US would go on to utilize death squads in other Latin American countries, most famously in El Salvador. Most notably, the US-backed death squads in El Salvador would carry out the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero, declared a saint by Pope Francis, in 1980, and then the murder of six Jesuit priests in 1989 – these high-profile murders of clergy would punctuate the beginning and the end of the brutal Salvadoran civil war which would claim the lives of 75,000 Salvadorans.

In Honduras, the US has utilized death squads for decades to suppress various left-wing and progressive movements there as well as to harass neighboring states such as Nicaragua and its Sandinista-led government. As writer T.J. Coles explains, under President Ronald Reagan, the US “launched psychological operations against domestic leftism in Honduras. This involved morphing a special police unit into a military intelligence squad guilty of kidnap, torture, and murder: Battalion 316. Inducing a climate of fear in workers, union leaders, intellectuals, and human rights lawyers is a way of ensuring that progressive ideas like good healthcare, free education, and decent living standards don’t take root.”

While Battalion 316 was disbanded in the early 1990s, the US created a new death squad unit after the successful US-backed coup in Honduras in 1989 to suppress left-wing anti-coup groups in that country. As Coles explains, with funding by the US Southern Command, “the 250-person Special Response Security Unit (TIGRES) was established near Lepaterique. The TIGRES are trained by the U.S. Green Berets or 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and described by the U.S. Army War College as a ‘paramilitary police force.’” The TIGRES continue to operate in Honduras today with significant US support.

But the US has not limited its use of death squads to Latin America. Thus, it would go on to use death squads in Vietnam as part of the CIA’s infamous Phoenix Program through which around 20,000 Vietnamese were assassinated.

The US would also use death squads in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, openly referring to its program there as the ‘Salvador Option’. The ‘Salvador Option’ was brought to Iraq by retired US Colonel Jim Steele who had helped develop the death squad program in El Salvador in the 1980’s.

In Iraq, the US unleashed Shia death squad units against “the Sunni population as well as the insurgents and their supporters and anyone else who was unlucky enough to get in the way. It was a classic counterinsurgency,” the Guardian reported. “It was also letting a lethal, sectarian genie out of the bottle. The consequences for Iraqi society would be catastrophic. At the height of the civil war two years later 3,000 bodies a month were turning up on the streets of Iraq — many of them innocent civilians of sectarian war.”

For some time, the US was also carrying out the ‘Salvador Option’ in Syria in an attempt to destabilize the Assad government there.

The most recent revelations about the CIA-backed death squad unit in Afghanistan demonstrates that America’s deadly imperial project continues into the 21st century. This project is a reactionary one, designed as it is to suppress independent, anti-colonial movements, many times with goals to create more economically just and equitable societies.

For all of its chest-thumping about spreading human rights and democracy throughout the world, the US, at heart, remains the preeminent force in the world against national liberation, and the means it uses to carry out this retrograde project is nothing less than horrifying.

Daniel Kovalik teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and is author of the recently-released No More War: How the West Violates International Law by Using “Humanitarian” Intervention to Advance Economic and Strategic Interests.

December 23, 2020 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

West yet to condemn Iranian nuclear scientist’s assassination

By Robert Inlakesh | Press TV | December 18, 2020

In the wake of the Israeli assassination of Iran’s top scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Western governments and media are yet to actively condemn the terrorist attack which took place in Tehran.

Many analysts speculate that the respective actions of the media have acted to exacerbate regional tensions, rather than de-escalate the situation following the Israeli aggression against Iran.

Following the Israeli regime-sponsored terrorist attack on Iranian soil, what has been dubbed as psychological warfare has also been a tool used to attack Iran. With claims spread throughout the international press, regarding an alleged killing of an Iranian Quds Force commander along the Iraq-Syria border area; An unsubstantiated claim but published nonetheless.

The claim originated first in a Syrian opposition media outlet, known as Step News Agency. The story was changed several times, before it was picked up by Israeli media.

Before long, Saudi owned Al-Arabiyya News had cited an unnamed source, providing a name to the commander allegedly killed. Later Reuters, Daily Mail and even RT picked up on these claims. Showing how far false information can spread, based upon no more than allegations, sourced from untrusted news outlets with political agendas.

Israeli strikes conducted against sovereign nations have long gone under reported and have evaded condemnation from Western nations, sparking criticism that the international community operates on double-standards.

December 18, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , | 2 Comments

The Colonization of Haiti in 1915

Tales of the American Empire | December 10, 2020

Haiti is near the United States with fertile land and cheap labor that American business tycoons find attractive. In November 1914, the US Navy Department drew up a proposal called: “Plan for Landing and Occupying the City of Port-au-Prince” that outlined measures to take control of the capital of Haiti; and also set forth an official public rationale to invade: “solely for the establishment of law and order.” That rationale sufficed for immediate intervention, which American President Woodrow Wilson soon ordered without consulting Congress. With European powers busy with World War I, the American empire dispatched US Marines to invade Haiti and seize control. The American colonization of Haiti succeeded, but at the cost of thousands of Haitian lives while military records list 146 US Marines killed during their 19-year occupation.

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“Admiral Capteron in Haiti”; 1915 Essay; US Navy History and Heritage Command; https://www.history.navy.mil/research…

December 15, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Iraq to sue US over sovereignty violation, use of depleted uranium weapons: Official

Press TV – December 14, 2020

An advisor to the Iraqi parliament’s foreign affairs committee says the Baghdad government is planning to lodge an international lawsuit against the United States for violating the country’s sovereignty and using internationally-banned munitions in civilian areas.

Hatif al-Rikabi told Arabic-language al-Maalomah news agency in an interview that Iraq is going to file the case at Swedish and German courts over appalling crimes that Washington has perpetrated in the Arab country, including the use of depleted uranium weapons.

Rikabi went on to say that such a measure will ensure international accountability for the US, and will not give it the chance to procrastinate the case.

“Hundreds of cancer cases are recorded every month [in Iraq], and the figure is clear evidence for the extent of the damage that US forces have committed,” he stated, calling on the Iraqi Health Ministry to “release facts and figures about casualties caused by US bombing campaigns.”

US-led wars in Iraq have left behind hundreds of tons of depleted uranium munitions and other toxic wastes.

Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the First Persian Gulf War in 1991, the rate of cancer cases in Iraq was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the increasing trend continuing.

Contamination from depleted uranium munitions and other military-related pollution is suspected of causing a sharp rise in congenital birth defects, cancer cases, and other illnesses throughout much of Iraq.

Many doctors and scientists maintain that recent emergence of diseases that were not previously seen in Iraq, such as new illnesses in the kidney, lungs, and liver, as well as total immune system collapse are connected to public exposure to war contaminants.

Depleted uranium (DU) contamination may also be related to the substantial rise in leukemia, renal, and anemia cases, especially among children.

Moreover, there has also been a dramatic jump in miscarriages and premature births among Iraqi women, particularly in areas where heavy US military operations occurred, such as Fallujah.

During 2004, the US military carried out two massive military sieges of the city of Fallujah, using large quantities of DU ammunition, as well as white phosphorous.

December 15, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment