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Coronavirus: A New 9/11?

By Dr Piers Robinson | OffGuardian | March 28, 2020

The ongoing and unfolding reactions to the Corona Virus look set to have wide-ranging and long-lasting effect on politics, society and economics. The drive to close down all activities is extraordinary as are the measures being promoted to isolate people from each other.

The deep-rooted fear of contagious disease, hardwired into the collective consciousness by historical events such as the ‘Black/Bubonic Plague’ and maintained through popular culture (e.g. the Hollywood movies Outbreak and Contagion), means that people are without question highly susceptible to accepting extreme emergency measures whether or not such measures are rational or justified. The New York Times called for America to be put on a war footing in order to deal with Corona whilst former Army General Stanley McChrystal has been invoking his 9/11 experience in order to prescribe lessons for today’s leaders.

At the same time, political actors are fully aware that these conditions of fear and panic provide a critical opportunity that can be exploited in order to pursue political, economic and societal objectives. It is very likely, however, that the dangers posed by the potential exploitation of Corona for broader political, economic and societal objectives latter far outweigh the immediate threat to life and health from the virus. A lesson from recent history is instructive here.

9/11 AND THE GLOBAL ‘WAR ON TERROR’

The events of September 11 2001 represent a key moment in contemporary history. The destruction of three skyscrapers in New York after the impact of two airliners and an attack on the Pentagon, killing around 3000 civilians, shocked both American and global publics. The horror of seeing aircraft being flown into buildings, followed by the total destruction of three high rise buildings within a matter of seconds, and the spectre of a shadowy band of Islamic fundamentalists (Al Qaeda) having pulled off such devastating attacks, gripped the imagination of many in the Western world.

It was in this climate of paranoia and fear that extraordinary policies were implemented. The USA Patriot Act led to significant civil liberty restrictions whilst the mass surveillance of the digital environment became normalized.

In the United States torture was authorized in the name of preventing terrorism whilst the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba became a site in which accused individuals have been held without any adequate legal protection or due process.

Remarkably, the individual accused of leading the alleged 9/11 plot, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who ‘confessed’ to CIA interrogators after being ‘waterboarded’ 183 times, has recently received his trial date, set for January 11 2021 and 20 years after 9/11. Civil liberty restrictions, mass surveillance and torture were only a sub-strand of the major war-fighting-policy that was enabled by 9/11.

Presented at the time as America’s ‘New Pearl Harbour’, 9/11 provided the conditions for a series of major regime-change wars which persist until today.

Critically, these wars have not been primarily about combatting ‘Islamic fundamentalist terrorism’/Al Qaeda, but rather attacking ‘enemy’ [of Israel] states. Indeed, the evidence that the 9/11 event and the alleged threat of ‘Islamic fundamentalism’ was then exploited in order to pursue a geo-politically [Zionist] motivated set of regime-change wars which had little connection to the purported Al Qaeda threat is well established.

Former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, Wesley Clark, famously went public in 2006/7 stating that immediately after 9/11 he had been informed that the US was intending to attack seven countries within five years including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. Clark stated:

He [the Joint Staff officer] picked up a piece of paper, he said I just got this down from upstairs, from the Secretary of Defence’s office today, and he said this is a memo that describes how we are gonna take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and finishing off Iran.

Clark’s claims have recently been corroborated by retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson (chief of staff to Colin Powell and Iraq War planner) who stated that he had actually seen the same plans Clark was referring to many months prior to 9/11:

My first briefing in the Pentagon from an Air Force three-star general in February of 2001 I almost fell of my chair because their briefing included on the one hand the Air Force’s ability to take out 80 to 90% of the targets in North Korea in the first few hours of an aerial strike on that country to hey when we do Iraq we’re gonna do Syria and Lebanon and we’re going to do Iran and maybe Egypt … but this was more than that [just contingency planning] Wes Clark is right they had these plans they were going to go right through all these countries that they felt threatened Israel all through those countries that they felt threatened 25-30% of the world’s oil passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

Documentary evidence for these claims has come by way of the UK Chilcot Inquiry into the 2003 Iraq War. For example, a report quoted a British embassy cable, dated 15 September 2001, explained that ‘[t]he “regime-change hawks” in Washington are arguing that a coalition put together for one purpose [against international terrorism] could be used to clear up other problems in the region.’ Another document released by Chilcot shows British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush discussing phases one and two of the ‘war on terror’ and when to hit particular countries. Blair writes:

If toppling Saddam is a prime objective, it is far easier to do it with Syria and Iran in favour or acquiescing rather than hitting all three at once.

The regime-change wars that have flowed directly and indirectly from 9/11 continue to this day. War and conflict continues in Afghanistan and Iraq whilst the nine-year-long war in Syria has borne witness to extensive and illegal policies pursued by Western governments including the funding and arming of extremist groups coupled with support for groups actually aligned with Al Qaeda. Iran continues to be subjected to US hybrid warfare tactics including sanctions and covert operations whilst the threat of military action is very clear and present.

The human cost of these wars, built upon the ruthless exploitation of public fear of terrorism in order to pursue multiple ‘regime-change’ wars, has been huge. According to the Brown University ‘Costs of War Project’, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have killed a combined 480,000 to 507,000 civilians, coalition military members, and foreign fighters, with an untold number having been maimed and disfigured. IPPNW estimated that the first ten years of the ‘war on terror’ in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan killed 1.3 million people.

Since 2011, in Syria alone, over 400,000 people have died as a result of war. The numbers of people displaced as a result of these conflicts are also extremely high; wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Syria have wrought a combined 9.39 million refugees, 10.78 million internally displaced peoples, and 830,000 asylum seekers. In addition, there are persisting and very serious concerns with respect to the possible involvement of state actors with the event of 9/11.

Recent and critical developments regarding the events of 9/11 include the publication this week of the University of Alaska study of the WTC7 Collapse which confirms that the official US government investigation was wrong if not plain fraudulent. Other important developments include publication last year of the 9/11 Consensus Panel evidence and increasing scrutiny of the official narrative from mainstream academics.

Overall, the 9/11 global ‘war on terror’ is increasingly coming to be understood particularly across the world as, first and foremost, a remarkable propaganda campaign designed to enable violent conflict in the international system and with its effects and objectives being far wider and deeper than had been suggested by official narratives regarding the need to combat Al Qaeda.

CORONA VIRUS: A NEW 9/11?

The lesson of 9/11 is that major events can become what scholar Peter Dale Scott describes as deep events which are exploited by political actors in order to precipitate and manage major political, economic and social shifts. 9/11 became, in effect, the deep event that enabled 20 years of unfettered Western warfare abroad and severe civil liberty restrictions and extensive surveillance at home.

At the time of 9/11 many people in the West were terrified of terrorism. Public opposition to the invasion of Afghanistan (the first regime war to flow within months of 9/11) was almost impossible without being accused of being reckless in the ‘fight against terrorism’ or of being an ‘Al Qaeda’ sympathizer. Muslims throughout the West were widely despised. US President George Bush declared that ‘you are either with us or against us’. The parallels with what is happening today are obvious.

Is the Corona Virus a new 9/11, a new deep event? We cannot yet be sure, as of this writing. Perhaps the current strategy of suspending basic liberties will work to effectively eliminate all threats posed by the virus. Governments will then restore the civil liberties currently being suspended and all will fairly quickly return to the way things were before. Perhaps the economy will confidently weather the fallout from the ‘lockdowns’ and everything will return to business as usual.

And perhaps a sober ‘lessons learned’ review will lead to public health officials developing reasonable and balanced plans, such as developing sufficient capacity for rapid testing and tracing, which can be deployed the next time a sufficiently dangerous virus starts to spread thus avoiding terrifying publics and implementing draconian measures that inflict significant damage to the social and economic fabric of society.

Or perhaps not. It may be that, as British journalist Peter Hitchens has been warning, the loss of liberty and basic rights will continue indefinitely as governments greedily hold on to their increased powers of control over their citizenry.

Similarly, Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi has warned about the risks in Italy of state authorities, hostile to open societies and the political left, exploiting Corona in order to increase their control.

An obvious concern here is whether there will be a permanent impact on mass gatherings and protests. James Corbett warns of a permanent state of ‘medical martial law’ and there is certainly the very real possibility of the normalization of government-imposed quarantine and other freedom of movement restrictions.

Margaret Kimberley of the US-based Black Agenda Report warns that Corona may be used as a way of covering up both economic crisis and collapse. She notes that the Federal Reserve ‘recently threw Wall Street a $1.5 trillion lifeline which only kicked the can down the road. The can has been kicked ever since the Great Recession of 2008’. The likely destruction of small businesses might allow for ever greater corporate choke-hold on the economy with more people forced into the corporate workforce.

There is certainly the danger that Corona will be exploited in order to distract from severe economic problems whilst also enabling the pursuit of new economic strategies which worsen rather than mitigate the social inequalities that already tarnish Western countries.

And, of course those actors behind the regime-change wars that flowed from 9/11 may use the Corona Virus to increase pressure on the countries they have been targeting for the last 20 years and those they wish to target in the future.

Already we have seen the regime-change advocate John Bolton blaming China for the Corona Virus whilst the New York Times reported that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien were ‘arguing that tough action while Iran’s leaders were battling the corona virus ravaging the country could finally push then into direct negotiations’.

ABC news report that, despite the Corona Virus, US and UAE troops have held a major military exercise ‘that saw forces seize a sprawling model Mideast city’. It is also worth nothing here the recent US assassination of Iranian General Solemeni and the on-going proxy battles between US forces and Iranian-backed groups in Iraq. The possibility of Corona being exploited in order to further the regime change wars we have seen over the last 20 years is extremely likely and it would be naïve in the extreme to think otherwise.

Whatever the Corona event may or may not be, the fundamental lesson of the last 20 years is that governments can and do exploit, even manipulate, events in order to pursue political, social, military and economic objectives. Fearful populations are frequently irrational ones, vulnerable and malleable. Now is not the time for deference to authority and reluctance to speak out.

It is time for publics to get informed, think calmly and rationally, and to robustly scrutinize and challenge what their governments are doing. The dangers of failing to do this likely far surpass the immediate threat posed by the Corona Virus.

Dr Piers Robinson is Co-Director Organisation for Propaganda Studies.

March 28, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | | 2 Comments

Pompeo and Netanyahu paved a path to war with Iran, and they’re pushing Trump again

By Gareth Porter | The Grayzone | March 20, 2020

Though it narrowly averted war with Iran this January, the Trump administration is still pushing for all-out military conflict. The architects of the drive to war, Mike Pompeo and Benjamin Netanyahu, have relied on a series of cynical provocations to force Trump’s hand.

The US may escape the most recent conflict with Iran without war, however, a dangerous escalation is just over the horizon.  And as before, the key factors driving the belligerence are not outraged Iraqi militia leaders or their allies in Iran, but Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has long sought to draw the US into a military confrontation with Iran.

Throughout the fall of 2019, Netanyahu ordered a series of Israeli strikes against Iranian allies in Iraq and against Lebanese Hezbollah units. He and Pompeo hoped the attacks would provoke a reaction from their targets that could provide a tripwire to outright war with Iran. As could have been expected, corporate US media missed the story, perhaps because it failed to reinforce the universally accepted narrative of a hyper-aggressive Iran emboldened by Trump’s failure to “deter” it following Iran’s shoot-down of a U.S. drone in June, and an alleged Iranian attack on Saudi oil facility in September.

Pompeo and John Bolton set the stage for the tripwire strategy in May 2019 with a statement by national security adviser John Bolton citing “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings,” implying an Iranian threat without providing concrete details. That vague language echoed a previous vow by Bolton that “any attack” by Iran or “proxy” forces “on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”

Then came a campaign of leaks to major news outlet suggesting that Iran was planning attacks on U.S. military personnel. The day after Bolton’s statement, the Wall Street Journal reported that unnamed U.S. officials cited “U.S. intelligence” showing that Iran “drew up plans to target U.S. forces in Iraq and possibly Syria, to orchestrate attacks in the Bab el-Mandeb strait near Yemen through proxies and in the Persian Gulf with its own armed drones…”

The immediate aim of this campaign was to gain Trump’s approval for contingency plans for a possible war with Iran that included the option of sending as many as 120,000 U.S. troops into region.  Trump balked at such war-planning, however, complaining privately that Bolton and Pompeo were pushing him into a war with Iran. Following Iran’s shoot-down of the U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz on June 20, Pompeo and Bolton suggested the option of killing Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in retaliation. But Trump refused to sign off on the assassination of Iran’s top general unless Iran killed an American first, according to current and former officials.

From that point on, the provocation strategy was focused on trying to trigger an Iranian reaction that would involve a U.S. casualty.  That’s when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu interjected himself and his military as a central player in the drama. From July 19 through August 20, the Israeli army carried out five strikes against Iraqi militias allied with Iran, blowing up four weapons depots and killing as many Shiite militiamen and Iranian offcers, according to press accounts.

The Israeli bombing escalated on August 25, when two strikes on the brigade headquarters of a pro-Iranian militia and on a militia convoy killed the brigade commander and six other militiamen, and a drone strike on Hezbollah’s headquarters in south Beirut blew the windows out of one of Hezbollah’s media offices.

Netanyahu and Pompeo sabotage Trump and Macron’s attempt at diplomacy

Behind those strikes was Netanyahu’s sense of alarm over Trump toying with the idea of seeking negotiations with Iran. Netanyahu had likely learned about Trump’s moves toward detente from Pompeo, who had long been his primary contact in the administration. On August 26, French President Emanuel Macron revealed that he was working to broker a Trump-Rouhani meeting. Netanyahu grumbled about the prospect of U.S.-Iranian talks “several times” with his security cabinet the day before launching the strikes.

Two retired senior Israeli generals, Gen. Amos Yadlin and Gen. Assaf Oron, criticized those strikes for increasing the likelihood of harsh retaliation by Iran or one of its regional partners. The generals complained that Netanyahu’s attacks were “designed to prod [Iran] into a hasty response” and thus end Trump’s flirtation with talking to Iran. That much was obviously true, but Pompeo and Netanyahu also knew that provoking an attack by Iran or one of its allies might cause one or more of the American casualties they sought. And once American blood was spilled, Trump would have no means to resist authorizing a major escalation.

Kataib Hezbollah and other pro-Iran Iraqi militias blamed the United States for the wave of lethal Israeli attacks on their fighters. These militias responded in September by launching a series of rocket attacks on Iraqi government bases where U.S. troops were present. They also struck targets in the vicinity of the U.S. Embassy.

The problem for Netanyahu and Pompeo, however, was that none of those strikes killed an American. What’s more, U.S. intelligence officials knew from NSA monitoring of communications between the IRGC and the militias that Iran had explicitly forbidden direct attacks on US personnel.

Netanyahu was growing impatient. For several days in late October and early November, he met with his national security cabinet to discuss a new Israeli attack to precipitate a possible war with Iran, according to reports by former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren. Oren hinted at how a war with Iran might start. ‘[P]erhaps Israel miscalculates,” he suggested, “hitting a particularly sensitive target,” which, in his view, could spark “a big war between Israel and Iran.”

But on December 27, before Netanyahu could put such a strategy into action, the situation changed dramatically. A barrage of rockets slammed into an Iraqi base near Kirkuk where U.S. military personnel were stationed, killing a U.S military contractor. Suddenly, Pompeo had the opening he needed. At a meeting the following day, Pompeo led Trump to believe that Iranian “proxies” had attacked the base, and pressed him to “reestablish deterrence” with Iran by carrying out a military response.

In fact, U.S. and Iraqi officials on the spot had reached no such conclusion, and the investigation led by the head of intelligence for the Iraqi federal police at the base was just beginning that same day. But Pompeo and his allies, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark A Milley, were not interested in waiting for its conclusion.

A deception brings the US and Iran to the brink of war

The results of a subsequent Iraqi investigation revealed that the rocket barrage had been launched from a Sunni area of Kirkuk with a strong Islamic State presence, and that IS fighters had carried out three attacks not far from the base on Iraqi forces stationed there in the previous ten days. US signals intercepts found no evidence that Iraqi militias had shifted from their policy of avoiding American casualties at all cost.

Kept in the dark by Pompeo about these crucial facts, Trump agreed to launch five airstrikes against Kataib Hezbollah and another pro-Iran militia at five locations in Iraq and Syria that killed 25 militiamen and wounded 51. He may have also agreed in principle to the killing of Soleimani when the opportunity presented itself.

Iran responded to the attacks on its Iraqi militia allies by approving a violent protest at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad January 31. The demonstrators did not penetrate the embassy building itself and were abruptly halted the same day. But Pompeo managed to persuade Trump to authorize the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s second most powerful figure, presumably by hammering on the theme of “reestablishing deterrence” with Iran.

Soleimani was not only the second most powerful man in Iran and the main figure in its foreign policy; he was idolized by millions of the most strongly nationalist citizens of the country. Killing him in a drone strike was an open invitation to the military confrontation Netanyahu and Pompeo so desperately sought.

During the crucial week from December 28 through January 4, while Pompeo was pressing Trump to retaliate against Iran not just once but twice, it was clear that he was coordinating closely with Netanyahu.  During that single week, he spoke by phone with Netanyahu on three separate occasions.

What Pompeo and Netanyahu could not have anticipated was that Iran’s missile attack on the U.S. sector of Iraq’s sprawling al-Asad airbase in retaliation would be so precise that it scored direct hits on six U.S. targets without killing a single American. (The US service members were saved in part because the rockets were fired after the Iraqi government had passed on a warning from Iran to prepare for it). Because no American was killed in the strike, Trump again decided against further retaliation.

Towards another provocation

Although Pompeo and Netanyahu failed to ignite a military conflict with Iran, there is good reason to believe that they will try again before both are forced to leave their positions or power.

In an article for the Atlantic last November, former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, channeled Netanyahu when he declared it would be “better for conflict [with Iran] to occur during the current [Trump] administration, which can be counted on to provide Israel with the three sources of American assistance it traditionally receives in wartime,” than to “wait until later.”

Oren was not the only Israeli official to suggest that Israeli is likely to go even further in strikes against Iranian and Iranian allies targets in 2020. After listening to Israeli army Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi speak in late December, Haaretz military correspondent Amos Harel reported that the Israeli army chief conveyed the clear impression that a “more serious confrontation with Iran in the coming year as an almost unquestionable necessity.” His interviews with Israeli military and political figures further indicated that Israel would “intensity its efforts to hit Iran in the northern area.”

Shockingly, Pompeo has exploited the Coronavirus pandemic to impose even harsher sanctions on Iran while intimidating foreign businesses to prevent urgently needed medical supplies from entering the country. The approaching presidential election gives both Pompeo and Netanyahu a powerful reason to plot another strike, or a series of strikes aimed at drawing the US into a potential Israeli confrontation with Iran.

Activists and members of Congress concerned about keeping the US out of war with Iran must be acutely aware of the danger and ready to respond decisively when the provocation occurs.

March 20, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Utter contempt for human life’: Iranian FM Zarif slams US for hitting Tehran with new sanctions amid Covid-19 crisis

RT | March 20, 2020

Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif accused the US of taking its policy of “maximum pressure” on Tehran to a “new level of inhumanity” by imposing new sanctions on Iran as it struggles to cope with a huge surge of Covid-19 cases.

Zarif tweeted on Friday that The Trump administration was “gleefully” taking pride in “killing Iranian citizens” on Nowruz, the Persian New Year, celebrated on March 20 this year. He said US policy betrayed an “utter contempt for human life.”

His rebuke comes shortly after the US blacklisted five companies based in the United Arab Emirates for trading in Iranian petrochemicals. Three companies in China, three in Hong Kong and one in South Africa were also added to the list this week, as Washington attempts to choke off Tehran’s oil revenues.

“Washington’s increased pressure against Iran is a crime against humanity… all the world should help each other to overcome this disease,” Reuters quoted an Iranian official as saying on Friday.

“Our policy of maximum pressure on the regime continues,” US special representative for Iran Brian Hook told reporters, even though Iran is the worst-hit country in the Middle East by the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak and may face economic catastrophe as a result.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday that the US has imposed “no sanctions” on medication or humanitarian assistance going into Iran. However, US financial sanctions have in effect prevented Tehran from buying the necessary supplies, while shipping sanctions have interfered with humanitarian deliveries.

China has called on the US to offer sanctions relief to Iran, with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Beijing tweeting on Wednesday that the policy was “against humanitarianism and hampers Iran’s epidemic response,” as well as deliveries of aid by the UN and other organizations.

Iran has seen at least 1,400 deaths from Covid-19 so far, with more than 19,000 confirmed cases. A health ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday that one person in Iran was now dying “every 10 minutes” from the virus, with 50 new infections every hour.

March 20, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , | 6 Comments

9/11 Truth, Coronavirus Truth: Zionist Hysteria, MSM Lockdown

War on the Horizon?

By Kevin Barrett • Unz Review • March 18, 2020

“Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor.”… “And advanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’ specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.” The Project for a New American Century, Rebuilding America’s Defenses (September 2000)

I spent most of 2004 through 2006 blaming Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld for 9/11. As you can imagine, I got plenty of pushback. Strangely, the loudest, most hysterical shrieks came not from red-white-and-blue Republican patriots, but from seemingly insane Zionists screaming: “Why do you hate the Jews so much, you anti-Semite?”[1]

At first, I could not for the life of me figure out why blaming two non-Jews, Cheney and Rumsfeld, elicited that kind of reaction. It also seemed odd that anyone talking about the explosive demolitions of World Trade Center Towers 1, 2, and 7 was reviled as a Jew-hater.[2] Questioning what happened to the Pentagon, whether there were really any hijackers or cell phone calls, who really sent the anthrax, who bought the put options, who exhibited foreknowledge, and so on elicited the same hysterical reaction from Israel-firsters. It was only after I looked into the ethnic and foreign-loyalist backgrounds of PNAC, Larry Silverstein, and other 9/11 suspects that it began to dawn on me that “the Zionist doth protest too much.”

We are now experiencing 911-2B, the coronavirus black swan. Just as 9/11 terrorized, shocked, and shut down the USA for a few days, it seems that Covid-19 will do the same, only more so. Instead of a few days, we may be shut down for a few months, maybe even a few years. And once again, Zionists are hysterically pushing back against those of us questioning the official story. The Israel-lobby propaganda site The Algemeiner recently published a hit piece headlined Islamists Call Coronavirus a Zionist-American Conspiracy. It featured the following attack on yours truly:

Press TV, meanwhile, published an article by American conspiracy theorist Kevin Barrett to back the claim that the coronavirus is a US-Israeli conspiracy using biological warfare to hurt Iran. “US, Israel waging biological warfare on massive scale,” was the March 7 story’s headline.

Barrett, a “9/11 truther,” got crazier in the story:

“The United States waged biological warfare against its own Congress in 2001 with the anthrax component of the 9/11 anthrax false flag operation, which terrorized Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, the leaders of the movement that blocked the Patriot Act, into giving up and allowing the Patriot Act.

“So the United States is run by lunatics, by psychopaths who are entirely capable of launching World War 3 by way of a biological warfare attack on China and Iran, with the Iran component presumably led by Israel. That’s the most likely explanation for what we’re seeing.”

This is the kind of rot Press TV publishes.

The Algemeiner also vilified Muslims reacting negatively to Israel’s announcement that it would have a coronavirus vaccine ready “in a few weeks.” It cited British, Iranian, and Algerian Muslims balking at the prospect of buying vaccines from Israel, and/or questioning how Israel could possibly develop a vaccine for a new rogue virus in such short order, assuming it hadn’t simultaneously developed both the virus and the vaccine.

Might Israel profit from a disastrous black swan that it helped create? It already happened once. Prior to 9/11, the Jewish population of Israel was fleeing, with net emigration outpacing net immigration, while the dotcom bust and suicide bombings collapsed the Jewish State’s economy. The global Islamic movement was picking up steam; it seemed likely that Muslims might soon win back custody of their holy places. (Muslims have administered the holy sites in and around Jerusalem/al-Quds virtually ever since Islam existed, minus a couple of brief and bloody crusader interludes, until the current Zionist genocide began less than a century ago.)

During the run-up to 9/11, as Naomi Klein explains in The Shock Doctrine,[3] Israel put all its chips into anti-terror start-ups—and hit the jackpot on 9/11/2001. An anti-Islam propaganda tidal wave swept the globe, washing away the Islamic Awakening surge and leaving in its place the 27-million-Muslim holocaust that continues today.

The 9/11 black swan was in essence a propaganda operation designed to demonize Islam and Muslims in general, and anti-Zionists ones in particular, in service to changing the arc of history to benefit Israel. But it was sold by PNAC crypto-Zionists to people like Cheney and Rumsfeld as a recipe for prolonging US empire for a New American Century by way of a “New Pearl Harbor.”

Today’s coronavirus black swan, like 9/11, has all the characteristics of a trauma-based mass-mind-control op. It has already been used to demonize China in the same way 9/11 was used to demonize Islam: Just as we were supposed to hate the crazy suicidal Muslims yearning for harems of afterlife virgins, we are now supposed to feel disgust for Chinese slurpers of bat soup. And just as we were supposed to loathe the brutal and incompetent governments of Muslim-majority nations, now we are told to revile the oppressive censorship-addicted regime in Beijing. It may be purely coincidental that this wholesale demonization of the world’s two greatest classical civilizations, based on two fear-inciting black swan events of suspicious origin, just happened to arrive in the wake of the Bernard Lewis-Samuel Huntington pronouncement that the 21st century would be the era of the “clash of civilizations.” After all, even the craziest coincidence theories sometimes turn out to be true.

It also may be a coincidence that the primary US bioweapons lab, Ft. Detrick, was shut down in summer 2019 over fears that weaponized pathogens might escape. It may be a coincidence that absurdly under-performing US military athletes came to Wuhan for the World Military Games in October and have since been accused by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs of being the source of the Covid-19 pandemic. It may be a coincidence that at the same time those “athletes” were in Wuhan, the World Economic Forum, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, and other Establishment titans were hosting a pandemic simulation called Event 201. It may be purely coincidental that the virus appeared in Wuhan, home of China’s biggest biodefense laboratory, and China’s biggest transportation hub, just in time for the Chinese New Year, when most Chinese travel to visit relatives. Likewise, it could be coincidental that the real-life Covid-19 pandemic almost perfectly mimics Lockstep, the Rockefeller Foundation’s recipe for a global police state emerging on the back of a coronavirus-style pandemic.

Then again, it could be that the Chinese government’s suspicions about the US, or others’ suspicions about Israel (especially regarding the coronavirus catastrophe in Iran) are justified. But such possibilities are far outside of the mainstream media’s Overton Window. The whole topic of bioweapons in relation to coronavirus is an MSM no-go zone, just as the evidence and arguments refuting the official story was a no-go zone after 9/11. The very fact that such things are unspeakable in the Mockingbird media suggests that yet another nefarious propaganda operation is underway.

Just as I came to reject the official story of 9/11 by comparing the arguments and evidence cited by proponents and opponents of that thesis, I am currently leaning toward the “Anglo-Zionist bioweapon” interpretation of coronavirus based on what I’ve seen so far by opponents as well as proponents. I recently listened to Peter Myers’ arguments that Covid-19 was made in a lab—”most likely from Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).” (Read his sources here.) Myers focuses on a paper trail documenting bat virus research at Wuhan and the University of North Carolina, allegations of Chinese germ warfare espionage, and so forth. While his scenario, an accidental release from WIV, is not impossible, the evidence he cites is also compatible with the deliberate fabrication of a second-level cover story that would be deployed if the first-level legend, “Covid-19 spontaneously jumped from bats to humans,” is conclusively disproven. The same second-level cover story would in the meantime function as a “blame the Chinese” conspiracy theory pushed by Steve Bannon, Tom Cotton, and other neocon and anti-China sources.

The question of whether the virus is naturally evolved or man-made is still open. Mainstream authorities like Nature Magazine are, quite naturally, pushing the “naturally evolved” position as hard as they can… which they would be expected to do whether or not it was true. Other sources claim “The spike glycoprotein of 2019-nCoV contains a cleavage absent in CoV – showing that it was engineered rather than evolved.” Perhaps readers more familiar with the science than I am can arbitrate such disputes in the comments section.

As with 9/11, the scientific evidence on coronavirus may give rise to a long-running debate. Meanwhile the world moves on. With 2020 hindsight I can now see that I should have interpreted 9/11 as a likely false flag immediately, based on cui bono. Today, asking the same question about coronavirus, “who benefits,” yields only slightly less obvious results.

But if Covid-19 was a biological attack on China, China’s number one European partner Italy, and China’s close Middle Eastern friend (and Anglo-Zionist arch-enemy) Iran, why is it spreading elsewhere? A skeptic on Pepe Escobar’s email list recently responded: “Hi Pepe, I’m convinced the facts do not support your theory. The damage to the West is greater than to China and it would be suicidal for US to engineer this. Why rule out natural causes like the Spanish flu?”

It is true that most military strategists dislike bioweapons due to their massive blowback potential: There is no guarantee that a mutating virus will stick to the race or geographical area you are attacking. Though Covid-19 hit China first, under highly suspicious circumstances, making it “the Chinese virus” in the words of Donald Trump (and, subliminally, in MSM reporting and global public opinion) it is now cratering the US and European economies. Could any US biowar team, however “rogue”—much less the commanding heights of the National Security State—have been crazy enough to risk that kind of blowback?

They were certainly crazy enough in 2001. Covid-19 is the new 9/11, the new “Transformative Event,” the new “watershed event in American history. It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented in peacetime and undermine America’s fundamental sense of security… Like Pearl Harbor, this event would divide our past and future into a before and an after. The United States might respond with draconian measures, scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects, and use of deadly force.”

That sounds, to most of us, like an unpleasant prospect. Yet one of the authors of “Catastrophic Terrorism: Tackling the New Danger,” Philip Zelikow, is a leading suspect in the orchestration of 9/11, which occurred less than three years after that article was published. Cover-up czar Zelikow, essentially the sole author of the risible work of fiction known as The 9/11 Commission Report, might conceivably have viewed the massage damage to the United States—not just the loss of the condemned-for-asbestos Trade Towers and a few thousand replaceable people, but also the hemorrhage of more than $6 trillion dollars alongside the even greater reputational loss in the 9/11-triggered “forever wars”—as being “worth it,” in the same way Madeleine Albright famously said that murdering half a million Iraqi children was “worth it.”

Might the neocon crazies who thought 9/11 was worth it feel the same way about a coronavirus biowar strike? They might. As Pepe Escobar suggested, the Covid-19 Transformative Event is acting as a “global circuit breaker.” His conclusion: “What’s certain is that the whole global economy has been hit by an insidious, literally invisible circuit breaker. This may be just a ‘coincidence.’ Or this may be, as some are boldly arguing, part of a possible, massive psy-op creating the perfect geopolitical and social engineering environment for full-spectrum dominance.”

How could a circuit-breaker foster full-spectrum dominance? First, the neocons recognize that China’s inexorable rise to #1 world power status,[4] and the concomitant collapse of the Anglo-Zionist Empire, is pretty much a done deal absent some circuit-breaking black swan event. Just as the Zionists needed the 9/11 black swan to get their “Clean Break” with a historical trajectory leading towards the end of the apartheid Jewish State, so too the Anglo-Zionists might realize that something equally “transformative” would be required to forestall the rise of China.

The US cannot win a trade war with China. It cannot win a nuclear war. It cannot win a conventional land war. Yet from the neocon perspective it needs some kind of war ASAP before China grows too strong. So if you were a hardline neocon strategist dedicated to stymieing China at all costs, you might opt for a stealth 5G warfare approach featuring deniable biowar strikes among other tactics. You might be stupid or crazy enough not to consider the possibility of blowback. But more likely you would welcome the blowback as an opportunity to tear down the current US economy, which is totally dependent on Chinese imports, and rebuild a new, more Spartan system geared for a long 5G war on China (and Russia and Iran and Venezuela and anybody else who won’t follow your orders).

Strategic analysts agree that the necessary prelude to ramped up US-vs.-China warfare would be a decoupling of the US and Chinese economies. That decoupling is happening now, thanks to coronavirus. Once it has passed the point of no return, war becomes far more likely.

Hunkering down for a serious war on China and its allies would also require a momentous psychological and cultural shift on the part of the American people. Until now, they have been lazy, undisciplined, addicted to consumption without much production, and unwilling to sacrifice themselves (though quite willing to murder foreigners from the safe distance of a drone base). Only a profound psychic shock, and some serious deprivation, could retool them as potential soldiers and total war participants in a deadly and dangerous struggle to maintain their rulers’ global dominance privileges. Or so the neocons might imagine.[5]

Will the panicked American sheeple, stampeded toward the toilet paper aisles by Coronavirus 911-2B, be redirected into a hyper-militarized mode of life befitting a long war for full spectrum dominance? Will the Great Coronavirus Depression end in World War III just as the first Great Depression ended in World War II, with military Keynesianism once again “rescuing” a dead-in-the-water economy? Will 9/11 and the 9/11 wars seem like small potatoes once we’ve seen the Coronavirus Wars?

Notes

[1] From 2006 through around 2011 my 9/11 truth focused Wikipedia page was defaced by false accusations, sourced to an anonymous blog, that I was a “supporter of Holocaust deniers.” At the time I knew almost nothing about Holocaust revisionism, and did not even recognize the name of the “Holocaust denier” I was accused of supporting. Over a period of several years, countless attempts to correct the dozens of false statements about me on Wikipedia were made, but the false information would immediately reappear within hours, sometimes within minutes.

[2] When I brought Richard Gage of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth to Madison, Wisconsin, the WORT “alternative” radio interviewer’s first question was “why do you hate the Jews?” Gage was nonplussed. He and his organization focus on scientific evidence of controlled demolition, not the question of who did it.

[3] “A slew of new start-ups were launched, specializing in everything from ‘search and nail’ data mining, to surveillance cameras, to terrorist profiling. When the market for these services and devices exploded in the years after September 11, the Israeli state openly embraced a new national economic vision: the growth provided by the dot-com bubble would be replaced with a homeland security boom.” (Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine, p.435)

[4] Chinas Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is poised to end Western dominance of world trade in the same way the European sea route to Asia ended Muslim dominance via the Silk Road 500 years ago. For historical perspective, read Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads: A New History of the World.

[5] “On this perverse (neocon) view of the world, if America fails to achieve her national destiny, and is mired in perpetual war, then all is well. Man’s humanity, defined in terms of struggle to the death, is rescued from extinction… To my mind, this fascistic glorification of death and violence springs from a profound inability to celebrate life, joy, and the sheer thrill of existence.” – Shadia Drury

March 19, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Wars for Israel | | 2 Comments

U.S. Forces Withdraw From Key Base Near Syrian Border. More Rocket Attacks On U.S. Targets In Iraq

South Front | March 18, 2020

Late on March 17, at least three rockets struck the area near the US embassy in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone. This was the fourth such attack in the span of a week. A day earlier, a pair of rockets struck the Besmaya base south of Baghdad. This military facility is the second largest military base operated by the US-led coalition in Iraq after Camp Taji.

The threat of rocket attacks already forced the US military to announce that it is evacuating some of its bases in the country. The al-Qaim base, near the Syrian-Iraqi border, is among them. The al-Qaim facility has been an important logistical and operational hub employed by US forces for operations in western Iraq and eastern Syria. Its presence there, as well as in Syria’s al-Tanf, has allowed the US to project its power along the Syrian-Iraqi border more effectively and to support Israeli military actions against Iranian-backed forces in the area.

Al-Qaim is located on the highway between the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor. The town of al-Bukamal, which Israeli and US media often label as a stronghold of Iranian-backed forces, is located on the Syrian side of the border.

The withdrawal from al-Qaim is a signal that the US has been forced to admit that its attempts to cut off the land link between Syria, Iraq and Iran have failed. Washington was seeking to prevent a free movement of troops, weapons and other supplies from one country to another.

Meanwhile in Syria, the Idlib zone remains the main focus of tensions. Idlib armed groups and their supporters continue blocking efforts to create a security zone along the M4 highway in southern Idlib, as had been agreed by Turkey and Russia. These actions are accompanied by a fierce war propaganda campaign against the Damascus government, Iran and Russia. If the situation develops in this direction and further, the only remaining option to implement the new de-escalation deal and neutralize the terrorist threat will be a new military operation.

March 18, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , | 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

Syria says will stand by allies on resistance axis to expel US from Western Asia

Press TV – March 12, 2020

A senior adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hails “constant coordination” between Damascus and its allies in the fight against terrorism, saying the Arab nation will stand by the resistance front to help drive the US out of not only Syria but the entire Middle East region.

Assad’s political and media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban, made the remarks in an interview with Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen TV channel on Wednesday.

She said that Washington has been supporting the Takfiri al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist groups, and that its sponsorship for the al-Qaeda-inspired al-Nusra Front terrorist outfit is of no surprise.

The Syrian people living east of the Euphrates River have been fighting against American occupation forces and enjoy the Damascus government’s backing for their resistance, she added.

Shaaban also stressed that the battle on eastern bank of the Euphrates is complicated and takes time, noting, however, that the Syrians will eventually expel US troops from their homeland.

The Syrian army has the backing of Iran, Russia and Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement in its battle against a host of militant groups, which have been wreaking havoc on the country since 2011.

Thanks to that support, the Damascus government has managed to win back control of almost all regions from the foreign-sponsored militants.

Syria has been engaged in a liberation operation in Idlib Province, the last major bastion of terrorists in the country.

Shaaban further emphasized that her country supports its allies on the regional resistance axis to drive American military personnel out of the entire West Asia region.

Syria in constant coordination with Iran, Hezbollah

There is complete and constant coordination between Damascus on one side and Tehran and the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement on the other side in political and military spheres, the Syrian official pointed out.

She hailed Tehran-Damascus relations as historical and strategic, reiterating that both Iran and Russia prioritize Syria’s sovereignty and independence.

Taking advantage of the mayhem in Syria, the US has deployed troops to Syria under the guise of fighting Daesh. It has been running military bases in the eastern part of the country, which many reports have revealed serve as training camps for terrorists.

The US has also been supporting anti-Damascus Kurdish militants in the country’s northeastern regions, calling them allies in the so-called fight against Daesh, which lost its territorial rule in the Arab country in late 2017.

In recent months, Washington has also deployed more troops and military equipment near Syrian oil fields to “secure” them, in what Damascus, Tehran and Moscow have denounced as an attempt to steal Syria’s crude resources.

In turn, Turkey supports militants fighting to topple the Damascus government. Those elements continue to target Syrian troops and allied Russian personnel.

Last week, Russia and Turkey agreed on a ceasefire to stop clashes in Syria’s northwestern Idlib Province that brought the two countries close to direct confrontation amid a Moscow-backed Syrian counter-terrorism operation.

Idlib truce paves ground for more Syrian gains

Elsewhere in her interview, Shaaban said the Idlib truce has no confidential terms and paves the way for the liberation of the districts of Arihah and Jisr al-Shughur.

In recent weeks, she added, the Syrian army wrested control over 2,000 kilometers of the country and inflicted casualties on militants and Turkish forces.

Shabban also slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for serving Israel’s interests in the region.

Erdogan, she added, uses the Palestine issue as a mere bargaining chip and dreams of occupying Syria.

A meeting between Assad and Erdogan is not possible as long as Turkey occupies parts of the Syrian territory, she said.

Syria keen to forge ties will all Arab states

Additionally, Assad’s aide stressed that Syria welcomes relations with all Arab countries, referring to recent visits by Egyptian and Libyan delegations.

She also hailed Algeria’s position on Syria, adding, however, that there are no exchanges between the two states.

March 12, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Syria Debacles Epitomize Perpetual Perfidy of U.S. Foreign Policy

By James Bovard | Future of Freedom Foundation | March 6, 2020

Turkey is ratcheting up its invasion of Syria and trying to drag NATO into Erdogan’s personal rehabilitation scheme. Threats and counter-threats are flying as thickly as the bombs and bullets. It remains to be seen whether U.S. policymakers will blunder deeper into this quagmire.

Last October, the Washington establishment was aghast when President Trump appeared to approve a Turkish invasion of northern Syria. The U.S. was seen as abandoning the Kurds, some of whom had allied with the U.S. in the fight against ISIS and other terrorist groups. But the indignation over the latest U.S. policy shift in the Middle East is farcical considering the long record of U.S. double-crosses. Rather than the triumph of American idealism, recent U.S. policy has been perpetual perfidy leavened with frequent doses of idiocy.

Almost none of the media coverage of the Turkish invasion and flight of Kurdish refugees mentioned that President George H. W. Bush had urged the Kurds and other Iraqis to “take matters into their own hands and force Saddam Hussein, the dictator, to step aside” during the U.S. bombing campaign in 1991 in the first Gulf War. After it became clear that the U.S. military could not protect the Kurds from Saddam’s backlash, U.S. policymakers basically shrugged and moseyed along. As a CNN analysis noted in 2003, “Bush refrained from aiding Kurdish rebels in the north, although he finally sent troops and relief supplies to protect hundreds of thousands of fleeing Kurds who were in danger of freezing or starving to death. Bush has never regretted his decision not to intervene.” George H.W. Bush’s abandonment and betrayal of the Kurds did nothing to deter the media and political establishment from posthumously sainting him after he died in late 2018.

U.S. meddling in the Middle East multiplied after the 9/11 attacks. Even though most of the hijackers were Saudis who received plenty of assistance from the Saudi government, the George W. Bush administration seized the chance to demonize and assault Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime. President Bush portrayed his invasion of Iraq as American idealism at his best. In his May 1, 2003 “Mission Accomplished” speech abroad the USS Abraham Lincoln, Bush hailed “the character of our military through history” for showing “the decency and idealism that turned enemies into allies.” Speaking three weeks later at a Republican fundraiser, Bush bragged, “The world has seen the strength and the idealism of the United States military.” Washington Post columnist David Ignatius declared in late 2003 that “this may be the most idealistic war fought in modern times.” The torture scandal at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq has not been permitted to deter the recent semi-canonization of George W. Bush by the establishment media.

The Bush administration and their media allies produced one smokescreen after another to sanctify the war. Almost all the pre-invasion broadcast news stories on Iraq originated with the federal government. PBS’s Bill Moyers noted that “of the 414 Iraq stories broadcast on NBC, ABC and CBS nightly news, from September 2002 until February 2003, almost all the stories could be traced back to sources from the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department.” A 2008 report by the Center for Public Integrity found that “in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.” The report concluded that the “false statements – amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts” created “an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war.” Bush’s falsehoods on Iraq proved far more toxic than anything in Saddam’s arsenal. But the exposure of the official lies did not deter Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from equating criticizing the Iraq war with appeasing Adolph Hitler in 2006.

The chaos from the 2003 invasion of Iraq was still spiraling out of control when the Bush administration began seeking pretexts to attack Iran, which Bush had designated part of the “Axis of Evil” in his 2002 State of the Union address. Bush officials and subsequent administration chose to champion the Iranian terrorist group, Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK). That organization sprang up in the 1960s and proceeded to kill Americans in the 1970s and to kill large numbers of Iranians in the subsequent decades. A 2004 FBI report noted that MEK continued to be “actively involved in planning and executing acts of terrorism.” NBC News reported in early 2012 that MEK carried out killings of Iranian nuclear scientists and that it “financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service.”

That was the same year that a stampede of Washington hustlers took huge payoffs to publicly champion de-listing the MEK as a terrorist organization. As Trita Parsi noted in the New York Review of Books, MEK “rented office space in Washington, held fundraisers with lawmakers, or offered US officials speaking fees to appear at their gatherings. But the MEK did this openly for years, despite being on the US government’s terrorist list.” Federal law prohibited taking money from or advocating on behalf of any designated terrorist group. But, as a 2011 Huffpost headline reported, “Former U.S. Officials Make Millions Advocating For Terrorist Organization.” Former FBI boss Louis Freeh, former CIA boss Porter Goss, co-chair of the 9/11 Commission Lee Hamilton, former attorney general Michael B. Mukasey, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge pocketing $30,000 or more for brief speeches to pro-MEK events. Glenn Greenwald rightly scoffed that the advocacy for MEK “reveals the impunity with which political elites commit the most egregious crimes, as well as the special privileges to which they explicitly believe they — and they alone — are entitled.” Greenwald pointed that average people were scourged by the same law the pooh-bahs brazenly trampled: “A Staten Island satellite TV salesman in 2009 was sentenced to five years in federal prison merely for including a Hezbollah TV channel as part of the satellite package he sold to customers.”

Thanks in part to the torrent of insider endorsements, the Obama administration canceled the MEK’s terrorist designation in 2012. While Washington poohbahs continue portraying the group as idealistic freedom fighters devoted to democracy, a simple online search shows that the Farsi translation of the group’s name is “holy warriors of the people,” as Ted Carpenter noted in his new book, Gullible Superpower. Trump administration officials have gurgled about MEK’s possible role in ruling Iran after the current government is toppled. But MEK remains odious to the Iranian people regardless of the group’s PR successes inside the Beltway.

The prior pratfalls of U.S. Middle East policy did nothing to stymie the outrage over Trump asserted that he was withdrawing U.S. troops from eastern Syria. Congress showed more indignation about a troop pullback than it had shown the loss of all the American soldiers’ lives in pointless conflicts over the past 18 years. The House of Representatives condemned Trump by a 354 to 60 vote, and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, proclaimed, “At President Trump’s hands, American leadership has been laid low, and American foreign policy has become nothing more than a tool to advance his own interests.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said he felt “horror and shame” over Trump’s action. Boston Globe columnist Stephen Kinzer aptly described Congress’s protest as “a classic example of ‘buffet outrage,’ in which one picks and chooses which horrors to condemn.”

President Barack Obama had promised 16 times that there would be no “U.S. boots on the ground” in Syria; when Obama betrayed that promise, Congress did nothing. Trump’s plans to have fewer U.S. boots on the ground in Syria — or at least in part of it — somehow became the moral equivalent of giving Alaska back to Russia. Pundits attacked politicians who supported the troop pullback as “Russian assets” – i.e., traitors.

Syria offers another reminder that “material support of terrorism” is a federal crime unless you work for the CIA, State Department, Pentagon, or White House. After President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former Secretary of State John Kerry all publicly declared that Syrian president Assad must exit power, the U.S. armed terrorist groups to topple Assad. The Obama administration’s beloved, non-existent “moderate Syrian rebels” achieved nothing. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK, a prime beneficiary of the U.S. occupation, has been considered a terrorist group by the U.S. government since 1997. Evan McMullin, a 2016 presidential candidate, admitted on Twitter: “My role in the CIA was to go out & convince Al Qaeda operatives to instead work with us.” Such absurdities spurred Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, to introduce The Stop Arming Terrorists Act in 2017 to prohibit any U.S. funding of terrorist groups. Gabbard’s bill was mostly ignored and never enacted though her outspoken criticism of U.S. policy did spur Hillary Clinton and others to vilify her.

Prominent politicians and much of the media blamed Trump for the attacks on civilians that followed the Turkish invasion, carried out mainly by groups allied with the Turkish government. U.S.-armed terrorist groups involved in the Turkish invasion have freed Islamic State prisoners. A Turkish think tank analyzed the violent groups committing atrocities in Syria after the start of the Turkish invasion; “Out of the 28 factions, 21 were previously supported by the United States, three of them via the Pentagon’s program to combat DAESH. Eighteen of these factions were supplied by the CIA.” A prominent Turkish journalist observed after his government invaded Syria: “The groups that were educated and equipped by the United States west of the Euphrates are now fighting against the groups east of the Euphrates that have been also educated and equipped by the United States.” This is nothing new: in 2016, Pentagon-backed Syrian rebels have openly battled CIA-backed rebels in Syria. A prominent Assad opponent who organized a conference of anti-Assad groups financed by the CIA was denied political asylum in 2017 because he provided “material support” to the Free Syrian Army, which meant he had “engaged in terrorist activity,” according to the Department of Homeland Security. A press backlash spurred a reversal on that decision but the media mostly ignored the other contradictions in U.S. policy in Syria.

Members of Congress were indignant that Syrian civilians suffered as the result of Trump’s troop pullback. But both Congress and most of the American media ignored the Syrian women, children, and men who died as a result of U.S. policies that intensified and prolonged that nation’s civil war. This is typical inside the Beltway scoring: the only fatalities worthy of recognizing are those that are politically useful.

Despite Trump’s sporadic declarations on Syria, the U.S. continues to have more than 50,000 troops deployed in the Middle East. The sooner those troops come home, the less likely that our nation will be dragged into another quagmire. The perennial follies and frauds of Middle East policy provide one of the strongest arguments for the United States to mind its own business.

March 8, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

European sanctions-busting payment channel for Iran registers ZERO transactions – Iranian ambassador

RT | March 3, 2020

Over a year since its launch, the EU’s INSTEX financial mechanism – designed to facilitate trade with sanctions-hit Iran – has not carried out any operations, Iran’s ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali has revealed.

“The Europeans have developed the INSTEX mechanism, but to date, as I’m talking to you, no transactions have been made,” Jalali said during a meeting with Konstantin Kosachev, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Russian senate.

The special purpose vehicle INSTEX was established by France, Germany and the United Kingdom in January 2019 in an attempt to rescue the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran. The move came after the US, which used to be one of the parties of the landmark deal, unilaterally abandoned the accord and restored tough sanctions on the Islamic Republic. After the trade channel became operational, six more EU states – Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden – decided to join it.

While the mechanism is still far from being implemented, having such a financial instrument could be more vital than ever for Iran, as it has been hit hardest among Middle Eastern countries by the coronavirus outbreak. The pneumonia-causing disease that originated from China has already killed 66 people in the country and infected more than 1,500.

Although the European initiatives to save the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), look good on paper, Iran has repeatedly slammed the partners for their lack of action. Since the US’ withdrawal from the deal, Tehran has been gradually scaling back its nuclear commitments. One of the latest steps was made in January, when it announced that it would determine the enrichment level and the amount of enriched material it produced only in accordance with its own needs.

March 3, 2020 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment

Mr President! Pompeo wants a US War in Syria!

Sic Semper Tyrannis | February 29, 2020

“This was and remains a bad idea,” said one of the people familiar with the discussions. Turkey and the U.S. have a history when it comes to the Patriot. Over Washington’s objections, Ankara last year received an advanced Russian S-400 missile-defense system that the U.S. considers a threat to the F-35 fighter jet and NATO air defenses. The U.S. had offered the Patriot as an alternative, but Turkey has committed to the Russian system. As a result, Washington kicked Turkey out of the F-35 program, for which it was both a customer and manufacturing partner. A DoD spokesperson declined to comment. A spokesperson for Jeffrey referred POLITICO to a statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who on Friday condemned the attack and called on the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian backers to cease their assault on Idlib. He noted that the U.S. is “reviewing options to assist Turkey against this aggression.” –  Politico


Idlib Governorate is Syrian territory. The Syrian government is a member state of the UN. The Russians are assisting the Syrian government at the request of that government. “Fatih” Sultan Erdogan has introduced thousands of Turkish Army troops into northern Syria in what amounts to a neo-Ottoman land grab.

He has a major problem in that so far, neither the Turkish Army (TSK) nor their Sunni jihadi allies are fighting very well. They have managed to re-capture the town of Saraqib on the four lane highway between Damascus and Aleppo, but for how long? The SAA and their militia allies are massing to re-take the town.

To the west nearly all of Idlib Governorate south of the M-4 east-west highway is within artillery fire of the advancing SAA and at the northern end of the al-Ghaab Plain the spearheads are apparently within 6 miles of the M-4. Assuming that the M-4 is the Turkish Main Supply Route (MSR) out of Hatay Province to the west, an SAA interdiction of that major road will imperil the Turkish led force around  Saraqib. The Turks will then either withdraw from Saraqib or attack any SAA blockage of  the M-4 or both. In classic militaryspeak, the Turks would be said to have been “turned out” of their position at Saraqib by the SAA move onto the M-4 to the west. The resulting engagement would be a desperate fight. In the midst of this situation the Russian Aerospace expeditionary force would be heavily engaged.

Mike Pompeo, Jeffrey, his henchman, and all the neocons in and out of the Borg (foreign policy establishment) want the US to become directly involved in this battle by providing Turkish forces in Syria air defense from US manned Patriot missile batteries. The Turks could not man the systems themselves if we provided them. They also want the US to declare a “no-fly zone” over Idlib Governorate. Such a zone would be a declaration that the US and little friends would shoot down any military aircraft flying over this piece of Syrian territory without US permission. This would be an act of war by the United States and would cause a de facto state of war to exist between the US and Russia.

The US Department of Defense thinks that such engagement on our part is a stupid neocon conception that has it roots in Israeli desire to destroy the Syrian Government, preferring to have a zone of warring factions where Syria once was, a Hobbesian scene of desolation and a war of all against all,  The Israeli idea is as stupid as that of the neocons.

President Trump, the Commander in Chief of the US armed forces, holds the sole power to decide.  Let us hope that he decides well.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/28/turkey-patriot-missiles-pentagon-118256

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turning_movement

March 2, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , | 4 Comments

Israel Sends Condolences for Turkish “Martyrs”. Erdogan Expands War to Hezbollah, Iran

By Marko Marjanović | Anti-Empire | February 29, 2020

In the aftermath of the (probably Russian) strike that killed 33 Turkish soldiers in Syria late (10pm) Thursday Israel sent its condolences for the Turkish “martyrs”, ie using Islamic terminology:

In fact, earlier that same day as Turkey was hitting the Syrian army heavily around Saraqib Israel snuck in two attacks on the other country:

Israeli helicopters struck Syrian military positions in the Quneitra province in the Syrian Golan Heights and wounded three Syrian soldiers, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported overnight Thursday.

Earlier Thursday, Syrian state TV reported that an Israeli drone fired a missile at a car in southern Syria, killing one person whom it named as a “civilian.” Several other media outlets aligned with Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime said that the man was a local policeman.

Soon after Turkey expanded its Syria strikes to Hezbollah:

Turkish strikes using drones and smart missiles late on Friday that hit Hezbollah headquarters near Saraqeb killed nine of its members and wounded 30 in one of the bloodiest attacks on the Iran-backed group in Syria ever according to a commander in the regional alliance backing Damascus.

Sure the Shia Lebanese Hezbollah is fighting on the other side in Syria so hitting them would have some tactical value (at a great cost in other ways), but even at the time I wondered if that wasn’t really more a dog whistle to Tel-Aviv and the Israel supporters in DC and the US at large.

Apart from State Department apparatchiks and their hack boss Pompeo, Turkey had found itself very lonely in its new Syria adventure. The asked-for US-manned Patriot missiles to somehow wrestle the control of Idlib skies from Russia aren’t materializing.

But start hitting Hezbollah and suddenly you’ve got the attention of the powerful pro-Israel currents in the US, as well as of Israel itself.

My suspicion was confirmed Saturday when it became clear the Turks had hit Iranians as well:

The use of the word “children” above is a misleading translation, the Iranian communique spoke about “sons”, which naturally refers to Turkish troops.

Iran issued a warning to Erdogan to knock it off or his troops will face the consequences but you get the feeling that may be exactly what Erdogan is trying to provoke. Get the pathologically anti-Iranian Trump administration to see Turkey’s ‘safe-zone-for-bin-Ladenites’ Idlib invasion as an anti-Iranian enterprise and the prospects of American backing look quite a bit brighter.

March 1, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US Imposes Sanctions on Entities in Russia and China Over ‘Support of Iran’s Missile Programme’

Sputnik – February 25, 2020

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that Washington is imposing sanctions on 13 entities in Russia, China, Iraq, and Turkey for “supporting Iran’s missile programme.”

He further added that sanctions against individuals and entities in those countries were “consistent with our efforts to use all available measures” to slow Iranian missiles.

In particular, five Chinese and Turkish entities and individuals have been included in the sanctions list.

The decision was made in accordance with the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Non-proliferation Act, which provides for sanctions for “the transfer of equipment or technology having the potential to make a material contribution to the development of weapons of mass destruction or cruise or ballistic missile systems” to those countries.

Addressing a large meeting on the occasion of celebrating the 40th anniversary of victory of the Islamic Revolution at Tehran’s Azadi (Liberty) Square earlier this month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated that Tehran hadn’t asked and would not ask “a permission from anybody to manufacture various types of missiles, including anti-tank missiles, air-to-air, ground-to-ground or sea-to-sea missiles. We will continue our way [of development] of military force”.

February 25, 2020 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment