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Drone Strikes Leave Innocent Widows and Orphans

By Brian Cloughley | Strategic Culture Foundation | January 21, 2020

The killing of Iranian General Soleimani was big news. There were a few points made in the Western mainstream media about its legality being dubious, but nobody seems to be concerned that it contravened international law, in addition to be totally amoral. One wonders if any of the drone operators, the little key-tapping techno-dweebs thousands of miles away, were awarded a medal for their gallantry in prodding buttons to blast human beings to shards of flesh and bone.

It’s not impossible that such awards will be handed out, because there is a notorious precedent. The captain of the warship USS Vincennes which fired a missile that shot down an Iranian airliner killing 254 Iranians and 36 equally innocent citizens of other countries, was awarded the Legion of Merit for “exceptionally meritorious conduct.” And we’ll pass over the fact that those responsible for shooting down the Ukrainian airliner on January 8 are to be punished and that Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani declared the incident to have been an “unforgivable error”, while there was never an apology from the United States for killing 254 Iranians, or anyone else. Indeed, Newsweek noted that then-Vice President George HW Bush told an August 1988 election campaign rally a few weeks after the incident that “I will never apologize for the United States — I don’t care what the facts are. I’m not an apologize-for-America kind of guy.”

GHW Bush has a notable successor in Donald Trump, who is not the kind of guy who apologises for anything. His confused and semi-coherent reasoning for killing Soleimani included such gems as he “was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act” and “We caught a total monster and we took him out.” In a television interview he declared that “plus, he was going after — in our opinion, our very intelligent opinion, he was going after our embassies, and things could have happened.”

But as reported by the Washington Post, “No warnings were issued to staff at the embassy in Iraq or any other unnamed embassies” concerning any “imminent” attack. In other words, Trump was telling yet more lies, and in this case lying to justify an illegal killing.

The murders in Iraq were the latest in a long line of assassinations and collateral killings by US drone-fired missiles all over the world. The worst incidents last year included a video game shoot in September when in Afghanistan, according to Reuters, “a US drone strike intended to hit an Islamic State hideout . . . killed at least 30 civilians resting after a day’s labour in the fields, officials said. The attack also injured 40 people after accidentally targeting farmers and labourers who had just finished collecting pine nuts. Haidar Khan, who owns the pine nut fields, said about 150 workers were there for harvesting, with some still missing as well as the confirmed dead and injured.” There was no inquiry, no explanation, no expression of regret — it was the normal, the usual, the always-expected condescending drivel from a Pentagon spokesman that “we are aware of allegations of the death of non-combatants and are working with local officials to determine the facts.” Then silence, apart from the grieving of widows and orphans.

On December 1 the New York Times told us that “an American drone strike on a car carrying a woman who had just given birth in south-eastern Afghanistan left five people dead, including the mother, three of her relatives and the driver . . . The woman, Malana, 25, had given birth to a son, her second child, at home. But her health had deteriorated soon after and relatives had been taking her to a clinic. On their way home, their vehicle was hit.” Out trotted the usual hogwash from a US spokesman that “We are aware of the allegations of civilian casualties and working with local authorities to determine the veracity of these claims.” And ever afterwards — silence. The dead woman’s new baby wasn’t in the car that was blasted to bits by the drone-fired missile, and will no doubt grow up a lover of Western culture.

On and on they go, with one of the latest atrocity being on January 8, when “more than 60 civilians were killed or wounded in a US drone attack targeting a top Taliban splinter-group commander in the western Afghanistan province of Herat.” NATO was in on this one, and its spokesman said there had been “a defensive air strike in support of Afghan forces”, confirming it was carried out by a US drone. Nobody apart from local Afghan officials knows anything about it, because it’s too dangerous for western reporters to travel in Afghanistan trying to investigate deception and lies about drone strikes or anything else. Afghanistan’s Khaama Press agency reported that “tribal elders in southern Herat province called on the government to launch an immediate investigation about the attack that took the lives of innocent civilians” but nothing will be done. After all, there are only a few dozen utterly stricken Afghan families, and they don’t matter to the Kabul government any more than they do to the video game missile controllers launching death and hideous destruction from thousands of miles away.

The drone expert Professor Peter Lee of the University of Portsmouth in the UK put it well in early January by observing that “When Reaper [drone] crews have followed someone for days or weeks, their target is not just pixels on a screen but a living human being. Operators watch targets spend time with family and friends and even playing with their children. Crews, commanders and image analysts also continue to watch from above after a missile or bomb strike, conducting battle damage assessment. They see the bits of bodies being collected and taken for burial. They see grieving, devastated family members.”

Trump says he killed Soleimani because he was “the world’s top terrorist” who “viciously wounded and murdered thousands of US troops” which is absolute rubbish. But even if it were true, and there was something in international law that permitted his murder, what about the others who were killed by Trump’s Hellfire missiles? It is said there were nine other people blown to pieces, one of whom was head of Iraq’s militia forces. There was no explanation from Trump or any of his people concerning why these people were killed along with Soleimani, because it could hardly be claimed that they too were planning to blow up US embassies or plotting “imminent attacks”. Some were bodyguards, for example, and while it may be considered wrong that anyone should have worked for General Soleimani in that or any other capacity, their employment did not merit being killed by a US drone strike.

Which brings us to their widows and orphans, because it would be interesting to know what story Trump and his people could come up with that could possibly justify their punishment.

The assassination of Soleimani was a flagrant crime, but the general feeling in the US is that it was vindicated because he was an evil person who hated America. The button-pushing drone assassins most probably feel professionally and even morally satisfied that they carried out the orders of the president to kill him. But how can they — how can anyone — come to terms with the “grieving, devastated family members” of the anonymous people who die as what used to be called “collateral damage”? The innocent widows and orphans are on the conscience of the world, but the drone attacks will continue.

January 21, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Is It an Act of War to Designate Iran’s IRGC as a Terrorist Organization?

The Israel Lobby’s Relationship to Trudeau, Trump and NATO

By Prof. Anthony Hall | American Herald Tribune | January 19, 2020

The Israel Lobby in Canada is demanding that the government of Justin Trudeau follow the lead of Netanyahu and Trump, the notorious duo of anti-Iranian warmongers. Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, has been leading the drive to have Canadian law brought into conformity with US and Israeli prototypes of post-9/11 terrorist designations.

At a press conference on January 13 in Canada’s Parliament, the Canadian branch of the US and Israeli-based ADL, demanded that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) be designated as a terrorist organization. Canada has already designated the Quds division of the IRCG as a terrorist group. Iranian General Qassem Suleimani was the leader of the Quds force until he was assassinated on January 2 of this year.

Mr. Mostryn presented the Canadian government with something of an ultimatum with the following comment. “We are asking for the IRGC to be designated as a terrorist group in Canada within the next 30 days. No further delays will be accepted by Canadians on this important public safety issue.”

There is a large body of evidence that demonstrates that Mr. Mostyn does not speak for all Jews in Canada or even for most of them. Certainly, this well paid functionary of the Israel Lobby does not speak for all Canadians when it comes to the issue of Canada’s relations with Iran. After the assassination of General Suleimani, Canadians have added cause to be skeptical about adopting the extravagant language and principles of the Israel Lobby as elevated to pre-eminence following 9/11.

After January 2, Canadian citizens and members of the global community generally are coming to understand better the lethal booby traps attached to pinning the status of “terrorist” on individuals and organizations without any due process whatsoever. The post-9/11 adoption of the principles of pre-emptive warfare promotes the ethos of shoot to kill first, worry later (if at all) about proof, justification and adherence to the older principles of international law. This ethos of kill first, deal with proof later, has essentially eliminated the legal principle that people, whether they be princes or paupers, are innocent until proven guilty.

The Displacement of Well-Founded Principles of International Law with the Pseudo-Laws of the Global War on Terror

The kind of agenda that Mr. Mostyn wants to import into Canada from Israel and the United States undermines the integrity and enforceability of international law. The United Nations and the International Criminal Court at the Hague are basically sidelined as credible organizations. The result is that officials effectively lack the capacity to command accountability from war criminals at the highest level.

The still-misrepresented events of 9/11 ushered in many transformations dramatically for the worse in the global community. These transformations include the negation of much of the juridical inheritance emanating from centuries of evolutionary progress in the community of nations. For the time being this juridical inheritance has been pretty much swept into the garbage bin leaving the world a much more dangerous place. Atrocities like the Israeli treatment of indigenous Palestinians or the extrajudicial Baghdad drone strikes of 2 January 2020 epitomize the subordination of the rule of law to the law of the jungle.

Benjamin Netanyahu has continued the longstanding Israeli practice of trying to push the United States and its supposed allies into invading Iran in order to conduct regime change. That priority was emphasized immediately after 9/11 when the Canadian Zionist neocon, David Frum, wrote the words of a pivotal speech for US President George Bush. Frum had Bush refer to Iran as part of the “axis of evil.” David Frum’ sister, now a Canadian Senator, has continued her brother’s preoccupation. She has long been working with Michael Mostyn and Benjamin Netanyahu “in advocating for the listing of the IRGC in its entirety as a terrorist organization.”

Setting Up NATO Soldiers and Iranian Soldiers to Kill Each Other to Advance Israel’s Expansionary Ambitions

The decades-old Israeli push to pressure the United States and its “allies” into war with Iran was renewed in April of 2019. As reported in The Times of Israel, just days before an Israeli general election, Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Donald Trump for increasing his chances of being re-elected. Netanyahu’s thank you was for Trump’s political decision to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization. In a Hebrew language tweet Netanyahu thanked Trump for “acceding to another one of my important requests.”

As Tamar Pileggi reported in The Times of Israel

Trump said his administration’s “unprecedented” designation “recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a state sponsor of terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft.”…. Since taking office, Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal, slashed hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians, and recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

There is cause to be suspicious about the deadline announced for the Trudeau government’s ratification of the B’nai Brith Canada’s demand. To designate the whole armed forces of a foreign country as a “terrorist organization” is basically to declare war on the host country of that military organization. How is it in Canada’s interests or in the interests of the United States for that matter to give way to Israeli pressure pushing North America into a war with Iran?

The issue of time comes up because of recent announcements from the White House that Trump and Pompeo want to see NATO troops, including those of Canada, take over from US troops in Iraq. Trump needs this concession from NATO countries to meet an election promise. He has to have some symbolic bringing of US soldiers home from the Middle East prior to the US presidential election later this year.

Is it the goal of the Israel Lobby to push Canada and other NATO countries into a war posture with Iran after Trump bragged about assassinating “the number one terrorist anywhere in the world.” At the bidding of Trump, the NATO countries are pushed to enter a Middle East after it has been transformed by the criminal drone strike on the Iranian people’s most popular and beloved war hero?

Indeed, the admiration of General Suleimani, a real foe, not a pretend foe, of the Daesh proxy army is not limited to Iran, to the Muslim world or the Middle East. I can think of no military figure in the Western world that commands anything like the degree of respectful recognition that General Suleimani earned even from some that consider themselves enemies of the polities that the Quds force fought to help.

Is the issuing of the 30-day time limit by B’nai Brith Canada based on insider knowledge? Does the Israel Lobby in Canada know that there will soon be an influx of Canadian soldiers to replace US soldiers in Iraq? After the events of January 2, these US soldiers in Iraq and throughout the Middle East have had targets painted on their back by the war mongering of their Israeli-puppet Commander In Chief in the White House.

Is the rush to get the Canadian government to accept the terrorist designation part of a plan to encourage young NATO soldiers to kill young Iranian soldiers if they encounter one another in Iraq? Are we witnessing a plan to assemble NATO fighting forces in Iraq with the view that they would then be in a more strategic position to invade neighboring Iran?


Anthony James Hall has been Editor In Chief of the American Herald Tribune since its inception. Between 1990 and 2018 Dr. Hall was Professor of Globalization Studies and Liberal Education at the University of Lethbridge where he is now Professor Emeritus. The focus of Dr. Hall’s teaching, research, and community service came to highlight the conditions of the colonization of Indigenous peoples in imperial globalization since 1492.

January 19, 2020 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The ‘Lying’ Mainstream Press and Media in Canada

Part one

By Robin Mathews | American Herald Tribune | January 18, 2020

More and more… reasonably informed Canadians believe ‘the Main Stream Press and Media’ constitutes a ‘lie factory’, a ‘manipulator of public response’ in the service of real power in the country. Canada’s MSPM, that is, exists to help ‘the Deep State’. To help the Corporatocracy. To help the Imperial Master. To help the people Stephen Harper’s group governed for … and the same people the Justin Trudeau group governs for with, perhaps, a little more ‘panache’… and cover-up.

Stark proof of Canadians’ dark and suspicious belief about the MSPM was provided in the first election Justin Trudeau won … and after. The Globe and Mail beat the drums to keep the corrupt Conservative Party of Stephen Harper in power … fighting up to the last hour. And … now … that one of Harper’s worst, rabbit-skinned hatchet-men, makers of ugly, anti-democracy legislation is running for leader, you may be sure no one in the Mainstream Press and Media (MSPM) will review his ugly past doings. Not even Andrew Coyne, star commentator for the Globe and Mail who – in a large recent advertisement tells readers “I can just write what I really think”.

What Canadians face with the likes of Andrew Coyne … and all the rest, I allege … is not only (as we will see) ‘fudging’ of stories to protect the Corporate Rich, but outright failure to surface and deal with “facts”, “news”, “information” Canadians have a right to have (and need to have) in order to act positively for the country.

How is it (for instance) that (unreported/uncommented upon) Canadian publishing that flowered in the post 1968 period to become a major economic and cultural activity (as it should be) in Canada ….  is now DESTROYED, without as much as a mournful sigh from the (sold out) representatives of the MSPM, let alone full dress reporting to Canadians of the facts.

Today, fewer than 5% of non-fiction books that Canadians buy are produced by Canadian publishers! Canada’s whole book trade is – for all intents and purposes – a branch activity of foreign (mostly Imperial U.S.) publishers.  “We will tell Canadians what they may read.” (and who will profit from it.) Think about that ….  (Where is Andrew Coyne?)

WHY, for instance, is there no genuinely fact-informed argument for Canada to get out of NATO.  NATO is an arm of U.S. Imperial Policy: period. Why… in addition … do we hear nothing – ever – about Canada’s despicable and repressive role (over decades) in Haiti? Silence. Why does no reasonably intelligent and informed commentator cut through the wholesale truckload of lies about the voracious, calculated, perverse U.S. assault on Venezuela [and any other Central and South American country that seeks real democracy and independence]. And especially … why is there no attack on Canada’s sad and shameful backing of the U.S. in every vicious act against those countries? Why does no “mainstream” Canadian newsdealer ever even mention that the extermination of Palestinians is being pursued … a slow and steady program is being pursued…?

Andrew Coyne writes (“what (he) really thinks”) – a column in support of NATO, (Jan 11, 2020, p.02) ringing all the False Bells, accepting U.S. hegemony, liking it, taking for granted an unbrokenly divided world. He chooses, of course, to forget the ‘non U.N.- approved’ murderous “NATO” actions in the old Yugoslavia; to forget Canada’s shameful part in the wholesale murder and relentless destruction of the country with the highest standard of living in Africa, Libya … in the erasure and gruesome murder of the leader of that country moving his people to decent life. Twelve hundred Libyan students were studying in Canada when Muammar Gaddafi was murdered … to the public gloating joy of Hilary Clinton and (may we assume?) Andrew Coyne …?

Why is there never news about the failure of the Bank of Canada to restore its special lending powers to make possible necessary infrastructure, low-cost housing, hospital and educational building … and more? That policy paid for the Second World War, the building, after it, in Canada … and much more… without significant debt! ! It was trashed by Pierre Elliot Trudeau in 1974 at the instancing of the Bank of International Settlements. (For the meaning of that name read: the U.S. hegemony over all Western nations/NATO nations after the 1944 meetings to lay out power distribution in the after-war-world, held at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.)

Why is there almost never informed, inclusive, critical comment about ANY of the shared (or unshared) Defence, Policing, Private Corporation Activities, Environmental Actions, Foreign Aid, and Military Hardware sales where Canada and the U.S.A. impinge on one another  Canadians are kept almost completely ignorant of major matters concerning … Canada.

Especially … why are Canadians kept in the dark (purposefully) about the gigantic subject of large Canadian corporations acting abroad … and, indeed, about any profit-seeking activity … whether the Pirate-Looting by cell-phone-plus suppliers in Canada or the untenable treatment of workers and the bribery of corrupt others in foreign locations around the globe…?  Where is the MSPM??

Andrew Coyne writes about a foreign-acting Canadian corporation, SNC Lavelin (Dec. 21, 2019, p. 02,”SNC’s GUILTY PLEA…”) on tip-toe (so-to-speak), missing, many would say, the point absolutely.  But why not? As he says in the his big ad: “I can just write what I really think….” Or, perhaps, it would be better to say “I can just write what the wealthy owners of my job really think….”

We will look at Andrew Coyne’s efforts to “think” (in Part Two of The Lying Mainstream Press and Media in Canada) and see if we can show the strange, guileful, warm, charming, slippery, open-hearted process of completely misleading Canadians … by its Mainstream Press and Media (which includes the Castrated Broadcasting Corporation).

Before leaving Part One… think about the fact that the Castrated Broadcasting Corporation NEVER touches Palestinian Extermination; Haiti; Sell-out of Canadian publishing; “the NATO Question”; the “takeover” (by the Bank of International Settlements) of the Bank of Canada; Canada’s shameful me-too foreign policy in the suppression and devastation by the U.S.A. of Central and South American countries and people; or the behaviour of Canadian Corporations overseas …. Think about … that… and add your own contribution to the list of endless failures “achieved” by Canada’s Mainstream Press and Media.

January 18, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

What’s the Point of NATO If You Are Not Prepared to Use It Against Iran?

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | January 16, 2020

Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance commits all members to participate in the defense of any single member that is attacked. An attack on one is an attack on all. Forged in the early stages of the cold war, the alliance originally included most of the leading non-communist states in Western Europe, as well as Turkey. It was intended to deter any attacks orchestrated by the Soviet Union and was defensive in nature.

Currently NATO is an anachronism as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, but the desire to continue to play soldier on an international stage has granted it a measure of life support. Indeed, the alliance is regularly auditioning for new members. Its latest addition is Montenegro, which has a military consisting of 2,000 men and women, roughly one brigade. If Montenegro should be attacked, the United States is obligated to come to its assistance.

It would all be something like comic opera featuring the Duke of Plaza Toro but for the fact that there are certain things that NATO does that are not really defensive in nature but are rather destabilizing. Having expanded NATO right up to the border with Russia, which the U.S. promised not to do and then reneged, military exercises staged by the alliance currently occur right next to Russian airspace and coastal waters. To support the incursions, the myth that Moscow is expansionistic (while also seeking to destroy what passes for democracy in the West) is constantly cited. According to the current version, Russian President Vladimir Putin is just waiting to resume control over Ukraine, Georgia, Poland and the Baltic States in an effort to reconstitute the old Soviet Union. This has led to demands from the usual suspects in the U.S. Congress that Georgia and Ukraine be admitted into the alliance, which would really create an existential threat for Russia that it would have to respond to. There have also been some suggestions that Israel might join NATO. A war that no one wants either in the Middle East or in Europe could be the result if the expansion plans bear fruit.

Having nothing to do beyond aggravating the Russians, the alliance has gone along with some of the transnational abominations initially created by virtue of the Global War on Terror initiated by the loosely wrapped American president George W. Bush. The NATO alliance currently has 8,000 service members participating in a training mission in Afghanistan and its key member states have also been parts of the various coalitions that Washington has bribed or coerced into being. NATO was also actively involved in the fiasco that turned Libya into a gangster state. It had previously been the most developed nation in Africa. Currently French and British soldiers are part of the Operation Inherent Resolve (don’t you love the names!) in Syria and NATO itself is part of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

NATO will now be doing its part to help defend the United States against terrorist attack. Last Wednesday the alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke with President Donald Trump on the phone in the wake of the assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani at the Baghdad International Airport. The killing was apparently carried out using missiles fired by a U.S. Reaper drone and was justified by the U.S. by claiming that Soleimani was a terrorist due to his affiliation with the listed terrorist Quds Force. It was also asserted that Soleimani was planning an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and would have killed “hundreds” of Americans. Evidence supporting the claims was so flimsy that even some Republicans balked at approving the chain of events.

Nine Iraqis also died in the attack, including the Iraqi General who headed the Kata’Ib Hezbollah Militia, which had been incorporated into the Iraqi Army to fight against the terrorist group ISIS. During the week preceding the execution of Soleimani, the U.S. had staged an air attack that killed 25 Iraqi members of Kata’Ib, the incident that then sparked the rioting at the American Embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone.

Bearing in mind that the alleged thwarted terrorist attacks took place seven thousand miles away from the United States, it is hard to make the case that the U.S. was directly threatened requiring a response from NATO under Article 5. No doubt the Mike Pompeo State Department will claim that its Embassy is sovereign territory and therefor part of the United States. It is a bullshit argument, but it will no doubt be made. The White House has already made a similar sovereignty claim vis-à-vis the two U.S. bases in Iraq that were hit by a barrage of a dozen Iranian missiles a day after the killing of Soleimani. Unlike the case of Soleimani and his party, no one was killed by the Iranian attacks, quite possibly a deliberate mis-targeting to avoid an escalation in the conflict.

In spite of the fact that there was no actual threat and no factual basis for a call to arms, last Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke by phone with President Donald Trump “on developments in the Middle East.” A NATO press release stated that the two men discussed “the situation in the region and NATO’s role.”

According to the press release “The President asked the Secretary General for NATO to become more involved in the Middle East. They agreed that NATO could contribute more to regional stability and the fight against international terrorism.” A tweet by White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere later confirmed that Trump had “emphasized the value of NATO increasing its role in preventing conflict and preserving peace in the Middle East.” Prior to the phone call, Trump had announced that he would ask NATO “to become much more involved in the Middle East process.”

As the Trumpean concept of a peace process is total surrender on the part of the targeted parties, be they Palestinians or Iranians, it will be interesting to see just how the new arrangement works. Sending soldiers into unstable places to do unnecessary things as part of a non-existent strategy will not sit well with many Europeans. It should not sit well with Americans either.

January 16, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Libya’s warring parties vow to observe ceasefire without preconditions, stop all offensive military actions – draft agreement

RT | January 13, 2020

The Libyan National Army (LNA) and the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli have pledged to observe the ceasefire suggested by Russia and Turkey after negotiations in Moscow.

The draft document suggests that all parties would stop military actions and observe the ceasefire conditions. Meanwhile, a commission is to be established to determine a contact line between the warring sides. Russia and Turkey promised to support all sides in the conflict to help them implement the agreement.

Libya has been plunged into chaos for years after its longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed during a NATO-led bombing campaign. Following the years of devastation and chaos, the country became engulfed in a civil war.

Previous lengthy UN-backed talks on reconciliation, which led to the establishment of the GNA, eventually failed to bring peace to the war-ravaged land.

Haftar began an offensive against Tripoli last year and over the last few months the two sides were engaged in intense fighting. LNA controls most of Libya’s territory, but it is the GNA which is recognized by the international community.

Ankara became involved in the conflict in December promising to send troops to help the government in Tripoli as the international community called on all sides to enter negotiations.

January 13, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

How much difference do Russia’s new nuclear weapons really make?

By Padraig McGrath | January 10, 2020

Are Russia’s Avangard and Sarmat missiles really the game-changers which they’re depicted to be?

Readers may recall President Putin’s unveiling of these weapons systems on May 1st 2018. His state of the union address to the federal assembly that day could certainly be described as provocative, perhaps inadvisably so. Ever since then, both Russian and western media have discussed at length the numerous reasons why these ICBM’s render all currently existent missile-defence systems obsolete.

First and foremost, these weapons are seen as invulnerable to all currently existent missile defence systems because of their hypersonic capabilities. Avangard can fly at about 33 thousand kilometres per hour, or 27 times the speed of sound. The RS-28 Sarmat can fly in excess of 25 thousand kilometres per hour.

Missile defence systems, fundamentally, work on the basis of the premise that if an interceptor missile can detonate its own nuclear warhead within a 10-kilometre radius of the flight-path of the missile which it is attempting to intercept, then the resulting shock-wave stands a pretty good chance of bringing the target down or otherwise knocking it out of its flight-path. So, in practical terms, “intercepting” a nuclear missile means getting an interceptor to within a 10-kilometre radius of its flight-path.

However, under actual battle-conditions, the chances of intercepting ICBM’s in this way would not be particularly good to start with. Therefore, a more effective missile defence methodology is simply to “intercept” them during their boost phases – that is to say, before they launch. Hit them before they leave the ground.

Both the Avangard and the Sarmat fly far, far too fast for aerial interception to be plausible.

Furthermore, both the Avangard and the Sarmat can be re-maneuvered in mid-flight, making it extremely difficult for missile defence systems to predict their trajectories. In the case of Sarmat, an added problem for currently existent missile defence systems is that it has an extremely short boost phase, making it difficult for spy-satellites to identify the imminent threat in time, and also making it more difficult to track once it has launched.

However, there is one solid counter-argument to the idea that, strategically, these new weapons-systems change everything.

Namely, Russia already had hypersonic ICBM capability 15 years ago. The Topol-M SS27 was and is hypersonic, capable of flying at about 14 thousand kilometres per hour. It’s not quite as fast as the Sarmat or Avangard, but it’s still far too fast for any interceptor to have a realistic chance to getting within the required 10-kilometre radius of its flight-path. Furthermore, the Topol-M SS27 could be re-maneuvered in mid-flight, just as Sarmat and Avangard can, and it releases a multiplicity of different warheads, each with a different trajectory, once it nears its target. Furthermore, the Topol-M SS27 could be launched from the back of a truck, making it almost impossible to pre-empt during its boost-phase.

In short, all of NATO’s currently existent missile defence infrastructure was already obsolete 15 years ago.

Scott Ritter is a former US intelligence officer and weapons inspector who participated in formal inspections-teams at the Votkinsk Machine-Building Plant, where the SS-27 and its predecessor the SS-25 were assembled. In January 2005, he argued that “to counter the SS-27 threat, the US will need to start from scratch… The US cannot afford to spend billions of dollars on a missile-defense system that will never achieve the level of defense envisioned. The Bush administration’s embrace of technology, and rejection of diplomacy, when it comes to arms control, has failed.”

Neither the Bush administration nor the Obama administration ever did start from scratch. They simply pressed ahead with the installation and deployment of missile defence systems which they knew were already obsolete. The Trump administration adheres to the same obtuse path.

The desire to protect the interests of the US corporations which contract for the Aegis missile defence project is only one of the motivations which drives this policy. In addition, the presence of Aegis missile defence installations in Poland and Romania economically incentivizes local elites within those countries to propagandize their own populations, to amplify fears of the Russian bear at the local level, thereby cementing ideological loyalty within the NATO defence-apparatus.

Furthermore, it should be noted that it has never been possible to test any missile defence system under anything even realistically simulating actual battle-conditions. Missile defence systems are tested one shot at a time, which is completely unrealistic. Under actual battle-conditions, they would be required to intercept several dozen ICBM’s in simultaneous flight, and there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that more than a fraction of the ICBM’s would be successfully intercepted.

Therefore, we can say that the primary strategic purpose of a missile defence installation, as opposed to its economic purpose or ideological purpose, is simply to serve as a pretext for its adjoining radar-installation. Parked so close to Russia’s borders, these installations are elaborate pretexts for electronic espionage or signals-intelligence (SIGINT).

However, the Russian government is playing the same game – both sides have their own reasons for pretending that Sarmat and Avangard are “game-changers,” when in fact we know that the Topol-M SS27 was the real game-changer. While the nations within the western alliance maintain this pretense in order to justify increasingly gargantuan defence-budgets and to propagandize their own populations with Russophobic hysteria, the government of the Russian Federation does so in order to persuade Russia’s population that perpetual geo-strategic threats are being addressed. As with much content published in Russia’s media-space, the disproportionate focus on geo-strategy, external relations and external security issues occurs because these are the spheres in which the Russian government is at its most professionally competent. This disproportionate media-focus, therefore, is devised in order to detract attention from domestic issues wherein the government’s record of effective policy-implementation has not been quite so successful.

January 10, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

Canada says some troops in Iraq to be moved temporarily to Kuwait for safety

MEMO | January 7, 2020

Some of Canada’s 500 military personnel based in Iraq will be temporarily moved to Kuwait for safety reasons, the country’s top military official said on Tuesday, due to fears of possible retaliation thereafter a US drone strike on Iran’s top military commander, reports Reuters.

General Jonathan Vance, chief of the defense staff, said in a letter to military families that “the news coming out of the Middle East is alarming for many of you.”

“Some of our people will be moved temporarily from Iraq to Kuwait,” he added. Simply put, we are doing this to ensure their safety and security.”

Some of the Canadian troops are taking part in a NATO mission while others are running Operation Impact, a Canadian initiative to train soldiers in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Kuwait. In all, some 800 Canadian troops are in the Middle East.

Earlier in the day, NATO said it was moving some of its trainers out of Iraq, without giving details.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday and the two men “emphasized the importance of de-escalating tensions and the need to support security and stability in Iraq,” Trudeau’s office said in a statement.

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January 7, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , | 1 Comment

Georgia and Ukraine Joining NATO Will Likely Have the Opposite Effect Against Russia

By Paul Antonopoulos | December 30, 2019

Back in April, during a ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) meeting in Washington, it was agreed that a package of measures to strengthen support for Georgia and Ukraine, particularly in the area of ​​maritime defense, would be made.

“We agreed on a package of measures to improve our situational awareness and to step up our support for both Georgia and Ukraine in areas such as the training of maritime forces and coast guards, port visits and exercises and sharing information,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, while NATO ships were simultaneously conducting naval exercises with Ukraine and Georgia in the Black Sea.

There is little doubt that there is the long-term goal of bringing Ukraine and Georgia into the NATO alliance as a three-pronged attack against Russia in the attempt to isolate and pressure the Eurasian Giant:

Both Ukraine and Georgia are Black Sea states, along with Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey who are already NATO members. The Black Sea is the location of Russia’s warmwater ports, i.e. its access for year-round trade with the international community.

Although Russia’s Kaliningrad Oblast is completely surrounded by NATO members Poland and Lithuania, and fellow NATO members Norway, Estonia and Latvia share small land borders with Russia, a Ukrainian admittance into the alliance will be the biggest encroachment by NATO against Russia since the infamous February 1990 promise made by then-U.S. Secretary of State James Baker who made “iron-clad guarantees” to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not expand “one inch eastward,” if the Soviets supported the reunification of Germany. This was obviously a lie.

Georgia will become a Caucasian salient, on the fringes of where Europe becomes Asia, in the attempt to surround and isolate Russia.

However, both Ukraine and Georgia face significant obstacles as they have unresolved territorial disputes: Ukraine with the Lugansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic, and Georgia which does not recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia despite the reality that these states have achieved sovereignty. So long as the sovereignty and independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and the status quo of Donbass remain unresolved, there is little chance Ukraine and Georgia will be able to join NATO with European member states unwilling to go to war with Russia for the sake of these two countries.

As L. Todd Wood, a former special operations helicopter pilot, said in an opinion piece published in the Washington Times in November last year, “Ukrainians and Georgians are good people and deserve our support to realize their dreams. But it’s time to stop with the creeping borders of the alliance. Moscow […] declared that if Georgia or Ukraine joined NATO, Russia would be “forced to act.” I take that threat at face value. Frankly, they have no choice. Any self-respecting Russian leader would have to react or resign.”

Perhaps this is exactly what the U.S. wants though? The Soviet Union, the reason for the establishment of NATO to begin with, is long gone and will not return. This calls into question the purpose of NATO today, and it comes down to two U.S. self-serving reasons:

The desperate prevention of a new Multipolar World Order, which Russia plays a critical part in. It is for this reason that China has now also been identified by NATO as a “very strong competitor.” However, Russia’s defense of South Ossetia in 2008 and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative have already indicated that the era of unipolarity has come to an end.

To ensure that the U.S. Military Industrial Complex maintains a monopoly on arms sales to the 29-member alliance. The addition of Georgia and Ukraine to NATO will force these countries to spend at least 2% of their GDP on their military, which U.S. military manufacturers will benefit from.

Any Ukrainian-Georgian admittance into NATO will undoubtedly create problems for Russia as it will have to increase its defense spending and it would signal the final eastward expansion onto large swathes of Russia’s European borders. Realistically though, NATO is fractured as never seen before. It is unlikely that Georgia and Ukraine will join the alliance anytime soon, especially as mentioned, it is unlikely European states will want to risk a conflict with Russia over them despite what Washington may want.

In turn, Moscow has its own options to utilize against Georgia and Ukraine such as deepening military support and ties to Donbass, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Also, as done in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the local government of Sevastopol in 2014, referendums could be conducted in Donbass, Abkhazia and South Ossetia to determine if these republic’s want to join Russia. With this trump card (trump being used unironically), by Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO, they could be further weakened by the potential expansion of Russian territory through legal means.

In this light, although Georgia and Ukraine have the goal of joining NATO in the belief that it will help defend their interests against a so-called Russian aggression, it is likely to have the opposite outcome.

Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.

December 30, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

NATO: General Delawarde assesses final London Declaration

By Alexandra Kamyshanova | December 30, 2019

General Dominique Delawarde, the former head of the “Situation – Intelligence – Electronic Warfare 19” section at the joint operational planning staff and a cyberwarfare expert, provides insight into the nine articles of the final London Declaration, published on the NATO website.

Question: Can members of the Alliance really “reaffirm their adherence to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter”, as stated in Article 1?

Answer: A simple observation of how history has unfolded after the Cold War demonstrates that two important elements of Article 1 are erroneous, if not flat-out false. Since 1991, NATO actions have been aimed not at preventing conflicts and maintaining peace, but exactly the opposite. They do cause them themselves by their never-ending destructive interference in the affairs of sovereign countries. Over a quarter-century (1995-2019), its member states dropped more than a million bombs on our planet, which entailed, whether overtly or covertly, the death of several million people. The only objective was to establish hegemony over the “international community”. Alliance members cannot “reaffirm their adherence to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter” by violating or ignoring international rules established by the United Nations. The illegal occupation of part of the Syrian territory serves as evidence of this.

Q: Can we say that the funding efforts outlined in Article 2 fail to reflect the true situation?

A: This statement about efforts to increase funding for NATO members’ defense capabilities is virtually misleading. It loses sight of the fact that defense spending has halved since 1991 (peace dividends) and does not specify any deadline for reaching the 2% target. Finally, this statement is unfeasible and won’t be implemented in the short or medium term, given the economic and social complexities faced by all the key NATO member states. So this is mere verbiage.

Besides, NATO will not be able to compete with the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), because defense spending parity in PPP (purchasing power parity) dollars has almost been reached between NATO and the SCO; the cumulative defense budget of NATO member states accounts for 1000 billion dollars (PPP), and that of SCO member states is going to reach parity with the NATO budget in 2020 already. To date, the annual growth rate of defense spending in SCO countries is two to three times higher as compared to NATO countries. The SCO has a much wider scope for expansion (major countries like Iran and perhaps Turkey, why not) than NATO (North Macedonia, Georgia, Bosnia). Speaking of Turkey, an untrained eye should know that the SCO-NATO dual membership is not prohibited, since in 2005, the United States itself applied to join the SCO as nonmember state (the application was unanimously rejected by SCO members, guess why).

Q: Should we consider Russia as a threat, as stated in Article 3?

A: This list of universal threats and perpetual accusations against Russia, which is presented as a source of aggression and threat, are familiar pretexts to justify the very existence of NATO. As for anti-Russian statements, NATO is clearly resorting to an accusatory inversion. It is NATO members, not Russia, who have dropped over a million bombs and caused the death of several million people since 1995, and it is them who violate UN rules by continuing the military occupation of part of the Syrian territory. This is also the case of the coup organized in Ukraine, the division of the former Yugoslavia, and the constant advancing to the borders of Russia, which is in total disregard of the promises made to Gorbachev.

As for terrorism and instability observed beyond our borders, the Alliance forgets to remind that both arise from their omnidirectional interference in the affairs of sovereign states at the slightest pretext. They arise from their unlawful bombings, humiliations at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, the replacement of strong secular leaders with the chaos we observe today, and the wars waged under false pretexts (Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Syria). Migration is a blowback.

It should be recognized that state and non-state actors shattering the international order are mostly representatives of the West and NATO. The April 14, 2018 joint strike on Syria by the United States, France and the United Kingdom is yet another proof of this. Anglo-Saxon non-governmental NGOs, ostensibly independent but actually used by government agencies and / or their American sponsors (Soros), are wreaking havoc by promoting North Atlantic strategies. They use various useful idiots for their own purposes, who may inherently have good intentions. Finally, the main and only known cyber threat uncovered by Snowden, Assange and Manning is America, not Russia or China. The United States has installed wiretaps of all the political and economic Western leaders (NSA) and has pretty reliable bargaining chips to blackmail our heads of state and seize our businesses.

Q: Do you agree with the statement of Article 4: “NATO is a defensive alliance and poses no threat to any country”?

A: You need to ask the countries that have been bombed for 25 years.

The Alliance does not act “prudently and responsibly” in relation to Russia: the expansion to the East which runs counter to NATO promises of 1990, the coup in Ukraine, the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the INF and other treaties, including the Iranian nuclear program. They pretend to be combating terrorism, even though many of its elements are funded by the West itself or some of its Arab allies – this is simply ridiculous. NATO members take us for perfect fools.

Q: What do you think about the phrasing of Article 5 that NATO seeks to “work to increase security for all, deepen political dialogue and cooperation with the United Nations”?

A: NATO provokes chaos, migration crisis, surge of terrorism and anti-Western hatred that have now pummelled Europe. You cannot drop a million bombs over 25 years on the countries that have never attacked a single member of the Alliance. Think about the five thousand soldiers from 11 NATO member states who died for nothing in Iraq, in a deceitful war unleashed in 2003. It is worth paying tribute to the memory of those who fell victim to American aggression supported by 10 European NATO member states that agreed to take part.

Q: What does NATO mean in Article 6 when mentioning “the resilience of our societies”, “our energy security” and “the need to rely on secure and resilient systems”?

A: This reflects the current US obsession: “to increase the resilience of our energy security” means ” NATO’s opposition to the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, to spite the vicious Russians and to the benefit of the goodу American gas market.” “Security of our telecommunications, including 5G” means “the rejection of the Chinese Huawei technology, to the detriment of the Chinese and in favor of American technologies.” The US has long been spying on our political and economic leaders’ telecommunications, while accusing China of “intending” to spy on the alliance members by means of its 5G system.

China poses “challenges that we need to address together”. So, NATO is embarking on a path of confronting China, which is beneficial to the United States alone.

Q: What is meant by “strengthening NATO’s political dimension” referred to in Article 7?

A: NATO’s ten-year strategy is now being updated, and the “relevant expertise” will be that of American and European neoconservatives. The essence of Article 7 is discernable: “strengthening NATO’s political dimension”. Since the end of the Cold War, the 1949 “military-defensive” alliance has been increasingly turning into a political and offensive one, often to accommodate certain economic interests.

Q: What do you think Article 8 is remarkable for?

A: For postponing the revision of the strategic concept from the year 2020 to 2021. Trump’s unpredictability scares Europe, with its people hopeful that he won’t be re-elected and that another President will bring the crisis-stricken Alliance back into the ranks.

Q: Is it serious that Article 9 stresses NATO’s greater protection for the peoples of its member states?

A: NATO has been sowing too much hatred and chaos on the planet since 1991 to be a security factor in Europe, and it has been so since the end of the Cold War. The North Atlantic Charter does not present NATO as an instrument of American hegemony. Therefore, the dissolution of NATO, or at least the withdrawal of France would be the best decision at the moment, unless NATO returns to the original principles of a defensive alliance with its activities covering only the territories of its member states, and ceases to invent new threats to serve as false pretexts to justify wars and intervention aimed at maintaining Western hegemony on the planet.

Q: What conclusion would you draw?

A: It is not just about a “brain death” in NATO. Can their solidarity survive the global economic crisis that experts predict, and the inevitable subsequent upheaval in the hierarchy of forces? Hardly probable. The prosperity of the West and the financing of its armed forces rest today on a whole ocean of debts.

The future will belong to those who keep ahead of the game. A long-term vision is needed to pursue foreign policy. Russia, China and India have long ago grasped this.

December 30, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Russophobia, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

The Mysterious Frank Taylor Report: The 9/11 Document that Launched US-NATO’s “War on Terrorism” in the Middle East

By Prof. Niels Harrit – Global Research – March 21, 2018

We call them ‘the 9/11 wars’ – the seemingly unending destruction of the Middle East and North Africa which has been going on for the last seventeen years. As revealed by Gen. Wesley Clark,[1] these wars were already anticipated in September 2001.

The legal foundation for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 has been challenged in several countries. The best known is the Chilcot Inquiry in the UK, which began in 2009 and concluded in a report in 2016. The inquiry was not about the legality of military action, but the British government was strongly criticised for not having provided a legal basis for the attack.

Even though the invasion of Iraq was planned[2] prior to 9/11, most observers note that the attack on Afghanistan in 2001 was a required precursor.

However, the legal basis for attacking Afghanistan has attracted almost no attention. One obstacle in addressing this has been the assumption that the key document was still classified.[3][4]

But as demonstrated below, this document was apparently declassified in 2008.

On the morning of 12 September 2001, NATO’s North Atlantic Council was summoned in Brussels. This was less than 24 hours after the events in USA. The council usually consists of the permanent ambassadors of the member states, but in an unprecedented move, the EU foreign ministers participated as well.[5]

Lord Robertson, Secretary General of NATO, wrote a draft resolution invoking Article 5 in the Washington treaty – the famous ‘musketeer clause’ – as a consequence of the terror attacks. The decision to do so had to be unanimously approved by the governments in all 19 NATO countries. This general agreement was obtained at 9.20 pm and Lord Robertson could read out the endorsements at a packed press conference:[6]

“The Council agreed that if it is determined that this attack was directed from abroad against the United States, it shall be regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which states that an armed attack against one or more of the Allies in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.”

There was a reservation. Article 5 would not be formally activated before “it is determined that this attack was directed from abroad”.

Apparently NATO had a suspect. But the forensic evidence was still pending, and hence also the formal invocation of Article 5.

Formally, this evidence was provided by Frank Taylor (image on the right), a diplomat with the title of Ambassador from the US State Department. On 2 October he presented a brief to the North Atlantic Council, and Lord Robertson could subsequently conclude:[7]

“On the basis of this briefing, it has now been determined that the attack against the United States on 11 September was directed from abroad and shall therefore be regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which states that an armed attack on one or more of the Allies in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.”

“Today’s was classified briefing and so I cannot give you all the details. Briefings are also being given directly by the United States to the Allies in their capitals.”

Since the invocation of Article 5 had to be unanimous, Frank Taylor’s report would have been integral in the briefings announced to take place.

In Denmark – the country of the present author – there was a meeting in the Foreign Affairs Committee on 3 October 2001, where parliamentarians were briefed by the government about the proceedings in Brussels.

Parallel briefings must have been given in the 17 other NATO capitals. In each city, the resolution must have been approved, since Lord Robertson could announce NATO’s unanimous adoption of Article 5 and the launch of the war on terror on 4 October.[8]  The first bombs fell in Kabul on 7 October.

Article 5 of the Washington Treaty says:[9]

“The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations,…..”

That is, any military action taken by NATO is confined by the restrictions in Article 51, which emphasises the right to self-defence and reads:

“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations,….”.[10]

That is, military action is forbidden in the absence of an armed provocation, and the legality of the attack on Afghanistan depends exclusively on the evidence presented in Frank Taylor’s report. But it was classified together with the minutes from the pertinent meetings.

However, on 19 May 2008, the US State Department declassified the dispatch which was sent in 2001 to all US representations world-wide, including the ambassadors to NATO headquarters, regarding what to think and say about the 9/11 events.

It is titled: “September 11: Working together to fight the plague of global terrorism and the case against al-qa’ida”.

The text is freely accessible here.

The document is dated 01 October 2001. But as hinted by the URL, it seems to  have been distributed on 2 October five days before the invasion of Afghanistan on October 7, 20101. That is, the day Frank Taylor gave his presentation for the North Atlantic Council and the EU foreign ministers, and the day before the US ambassadors were briefing the governments in the respective NATO capitals.

The text of the dispatch begins by requesting “all addressees to brief senior host government officials on the information linking the Al-Qa’ida terrorist network, Osama bin Ladin and the Taliban regime to the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and the crash of United Airlines Flight 93.”

The document appears to be a set of ‘talking points’. The recipients are instructed to use the information provided in oral presentations only and to never leave the hard copy document as a non-paper. Specifically, there is reference to “THE oral presentation”.

These instructions are followed by 28 pages of the specific text.

Tellingly, a section of this dispatch is copy-pasted into Lord Robertson’s statement on 2 October:7

“The facts are clear and compelling[…] We know that the individuals who carried out these attacks were part of the world-wide terrorist network of Al-Qaida, headed by Osama bin Laden and his key lieutenants and protected by the Taliban.”

The conclusion is inescapable – this dispatch IS the Frank Taylor report. It is the manuscript that served not only as the basis for Frank Taylor’s presentation, but also for the briefings given by US ambassadors to the various national governments. Identical presentations were given in all 18 capitals on 3 October, four days before the US-NATO invasion of Afghanistan

Is there any forensic evidence provided in this document to serve as a legal basis for the invocation of Article 5?

Nothing. There is absolutely no forensic evidence in support of the claim that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated from Afghanistan.

Only a small part of the introductory text deals with 9/11, in the form of summary claims like the citation in Lord Robertson’s press release. The main body of the text deals with the alleged actions of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in the nineties.

On 4 October, NATO officially went to war based on a document that provided only ‘talking points’ and no evidence to support the key claim.

We are still at war seventeen years later. Five countries have been destroyed, hundreds of thousands of people killed and millions displaced. Refugees are swarming the roads of Europe, trillions of dollars have been spent on weapons and mercenaries and our grandchildren have been shackled with endless debt.

At the opening ceremony for the new NATO headquarters on 25 May 2017, all the leaders from NATO’s member states attended the inauguration of a ‘9/11 and Article 5 Memorial’.[11]

*

Prof. Niels Harrit is a retired Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Notes

[1] The Plan — according to U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXS3vW47mOE

[2] Bush decided to remove Saddam ‘on day one’. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/jan/12/usa.books

[3] The Unanswered Questions of 9/11. http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-unanswered-questions-of-911/5304061?print=1

[4] Was America Attacked by Afghanistan on September 11, 2001? https://www.globalresearch.ca/was-america-attacked-by-afghanistan-on-september-11-2001/5307151

[5] Being NATO’s Secretary General on 9/11. https://www.nato.int/docu/review/2011/11-september/Lord_Robertson/EN/ (from which you can deduce that the NATO-ambassadors eat lunch at 3  pm).

[6] Statement by the North Atlantic Council, https://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2001/p01-124e.htm

[7] Statement by NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson. https://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2001/s011002a.htm

[8] Statement to the Press by NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, on the North Atlantic Council Decision On  Implementation  Of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty following the 11 September Attacks against the United States. https://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2001/s011004b.htm

[9] The North Atlantic Treaty. https://www.nato.int/cps/ic/natohq/official_texts_17120.htm

[10] Article 51, UN charter. http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-vii/

[11] Dedication of the 9/11 and Article 5 Memorial at the new NATO Headquarters, 25 May 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=augh1WqTqFs

December 25, 2019 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Trump administration and Moscow shoot down bipartisan DASKA “sanctions bill from hell”

By Sarah Abed | December 23, 2019

In August of 2018, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) first introduced what Graham referred to as a “sanctions bill from hell” targeting Russia and President Vladimir Putin and making it harder for the United States to leave NATO. Despite bipartisan grievances with Moscow the bill didn’t gain much traction.

The measure to push President Trump to take a tougher stance against Russia over alleged election interference, aggression towards Ukraine and involvement in Syria’s proxy war is titled the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA) and would impose strict and broad penalties.

In February of this year, DASKA was reintroduced with Senator Graham stating the following, “Our goal is to change the status quo and impose meaningful sanctions and measures against Putin’s Russia,” and “He should cease and desist meddling in the U.S. electoral process, halt cyberattacks on American infrastructure, remove Russia from Ukraine, and stop efforts to create chaos in Syria.”

During a Senate Floor speech on February 7th, Senator Menendez even went as far as saying that he speculated whether President Trump “is an asset of the Russian government” and concluded his speech by saying, “this Administration’s deference to the Kremlin demands Congress be proactive in shaping U.S. foreign policy toward Russia, especially with respect to sanctions.”

Fast forward to last Wednesday when the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced the bill with a 17-5 vote. The next step is for the legislation to pass the full Senate and House of Representatives before it can be brought to President Donald Trump to sign into law or veto.

However, the White House has already stated their opposition to DASKA, which targets Russian banks, Russia’s cyber sector, new sovereign debt, and would impose measures on its oil and gas sectors.  The bill also imposes several requirements on the State Department including generating reports investigating President Putin’s wealth, opposition figure Boris Nemtsov’s 2013 assassination and whether to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terror.

As for NATO, DASKA would ensure that without approval from a Senate supermajority the United States can not leave. This is in response to President Trump’s various comments about wanting to leave and criticism of other NATO members for not spending enough on defense.

The Trump administration and Moscow are on the same page when it comes to DASKA. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called DASKA “senseless” and in a 22-page letter to Congress it was referred to as “unnecessary” and in need of “significant changes”. Although the administration stated that they too want to deter and counter Russian subversion and aggression they strongly oppose the bill in its current form.

It seems rather unlikely that this bill will pass and in the very slight chance that it does these sanctions will not deter Moscow or bring about any significant change in their domestic and foreign policies.

Robert Legvold, the Marshall D. Shulman Professor Emeritus of Post-Soviet Foreign Policy at Columbia University, stated “As has been the experience since the first U.S. and EU sanctions in 2014, the effect on Russian foreign policy behavior will almost certainly be close to zero-other than perhaps encouraging initiatives that the Russian leadership believes may be disruptive in U.S. relations with its European allies.”

Although Democrats and some Republican’s such as Senator Graham sometimes manage to inadvertently bring the Russian and American heads of states together on some issues such as DASKA and President Trump’s impeachment, those moments are usually short lived. As we saw a few days ago, President Trump signed the 2020 National Defense Act with a $738 billion budget which included legislation imposing sanctions on firms laying pipe for Nord Stream 2, an $11 billion gas pipeline project meant to double gas capacity along the northern Nord Stream pipeline route from Russia to Germany, upsetting all parties involved.

Germany firmly rejected the US sanctions and referred to them as incomprehensible as they affect Berlin and other European companies as well. The imposition of sanctions against EU companies who are conducting legitimate business is rejected by the European Union as well. Russia stated that they would stick to the schedule and carry out their projects regardless of sanctions.

The current and previous White House administrations opposed this project over claims that it would embolden President Putin’s influence by increasing his political and economic sway in Europe. With the United States currently ranked as the world’s top oil and gas producer, it’s clear to see that sanctions such as these are meant to influence European allies to buy American instead of Russian oil and products.

On Friday, Allseas the Swiss-Dutch company contracted to do the work announced that it had suspended pipe-laying activities in anticipation of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). On Saturday, Allseas stated, “Completing the project is essential for European supply security. We together with the companies supporting the project will work on finishing the pipeline as soon as possible.”

Russian FM Lavrov met with President Trump at the White house earlier this month and mentioned that they covered at least a dozen substantial issues, and that both the White house and Russia are interested in dialogue. It will be interesting to see if President Trump can successfully balance his desire to expand trade ties and continue dialogue with Russia, by pushing back legislation from Congress to increase sanctions under DASKA, all while sanctioning Nord Stream 2 under the NDAA. What level of chess would that be?

Sarah Abed is an independent journalist and analyst.

December 23, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

The 12 Strongest Arguments That Douma Was A False Flag

By Caitlyn Johnstone | December 20, 2019

There have been many US military interventions that were based on lies. This is not a conspiracy theory. It is not some kooky blogger’s opinion. It is an extensively documented and indisputable fact.

Nothing has ever been done to address this extensively documented and indisputable fact. No laws were ever changed. No war crimes tribunals were ever held. No policies or procedures were ever revised. No one was ever even fired. No changes were implemented to prevent the Iraq deception from happening again, and, when it happened again, no changes were implemented to prevent the Libya deception from happening again.

When you make a mistake, you take measures afterward to ensure that you never make the same mistake again. When you do something on purpose, and you intend on doing it again, you do not take any such measures.

There is a large and growing body of evidence that we have been lied to about Syria to an extent and to a level of sophistication that may be historically unprecedented. One particular aspect of the US-centralized empire’s military involvement in that nation, the 2018 airstrikes by the US/UK/France alliance and the alleged chemical weapons incident which preceded it, has been subject to intense scrutiny ever since it took place. And with good reason: there are many pieces of evidence indicating that the Douma incident was staged to falsely implicate the Syrian government.

I don’t claim to know exactly who would have been involved in such a staging and to what extent. It is technically possible, as the UK’s Admiral Lord West speculated at the time, that it was perpetrated independently by the vicious al-Qaeda-linked Jaysh al-Islam forces who’d been occupying Douma, a last-ditch attempt to provoke a western military response that might save them from the brink of defeat at the hands of the surging Syrian Arab Army. Jaysh al-Islam has an established record of deliberately massacring civilians, and of using civilians as military leverage by locking them in cages on rooftops in strategic Douma locations to prevent airstrikes. The narrative management operation known as the White Helmets would also have been involved to some extent, and it’s very possible that Saudi Arabia, who backs Jaysh al-Islam, was involved as well.

Any number of other allied intelligence agencies could have also been involved to some degree (perhaps with the more expanded goal of ensuring continued US military commitment in Syria during an administration that is vocally opposed to it), and it’s unknown if anyone involved would have had direct contact with any part of any US government agency regarding any of this. All we know for sure is that there’s a growing mountain of evidence that the Syrian government was not involved, and that this raises extremely important questions about (A) who really killed those civilians in Douma and (B) how seriously any future demands for military action should be taken from the US power alliance.

That mountain of evidence includes the following 12 items. Taken individually they are reason enough to be skeptical of the narratives that are being promoted by a government with a known history of using lies, propaganda and false flags to advance preexisting military agendas. Taken together, and looked at with intellectual honesty, they are enough to obliterate anyone’s trust in what we’ve been told about Douma.

1. A leaked OPCW Engineering Assessment concluded that the gas cylinders on the scene were manually placed there.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is a purportedly neutral and international watchdog group dedicated to eliminating the use of chemical weapons around the world. In May of this year, a leaked internal OPCW document labeled “Engineering Assessment of Two Cylinders Observed at the Douma Incident” was published by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media. The Engineering Assessment was signed by a South African ballistics expert named Ian Henderson, whose name is seen listed in expert leadership positions on OPCW documents from as far back as 1998 and as recently as 2018, and its authenticity was quickly confirmed by the OPCW in a statement sent to multiple journalists that it was “conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question.”

Henderson ran some experiments and found no scientifically grounded theory for how the cylinders could possibly have been dropped vertically from the air while being found in the condition and locations that they were found in, concluding instead that they were manually placed on the scene. This is a huge difference, since the Assad coalition was the only side with aircraft and Jaysh al-Islam were the only forces on the ground.

“The dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders, and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder being delivered from an aircraft,” Henderson wrote. “In each case the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”

“In summary, observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest that there is a higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft,” Henderson concludes.

This is unsurprising, since the hypothetical physics of the empire’s airdrop narrative make no sense to anyone with any understanding of how material objects move. To get a simple explanation of this, watch the breakdown in this three-minute animation. For a more in-depth look, check out this long Twitter thread by Climate Audit’s Stephen McIntyre.

The existence of Henderson’s report was kept secret from the public by the OPCW, which might make more sense after we get through #2 on this list.

2. US officials reportedly pressured the OPCW to find evidence of Assad’s guilt.


https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal/status/1196246809070444545?s=20

In addition to whoever leaked the Henderson report in May, a second whistleblower going by the pseudonym of “Alex” emerged in October to give a presentation before the whistleblower’s advocacy group Courage Foundation exposing far more plot holes in the official Douma narrative. This same whistleblower also spoke with award-winning British journalist Jonathan Steele, who published a bombshell report on Alex’s revelations in CounterPunch last month.

Among the most stunning revelations in Steele’s article was Alex’s report that US officials attempted to pressure OPCW inspectors during the Organisation’s drafting of its Interim Report on their Douma investigation in July 2018, and that this intercession was facilitated by an OPCW official named Bob Fairweather.

“On July 4 there was another intervention,” Steele writes. “Fairweather, the chef de cabinet, invited several members of the drafting team to his office. There they found three US officials who were cursorily introduced without making clear which US agencies they represented. The Americans told them emphatically that the Syrian regime had conducted a gas attack, and that the two cylinders found on the roof and upper floor of the building contained 170 kilograms of chlorine. The inspectors left Fairweather’s office, feeling that the invitation to the Americans to address them was unacceptable pressure and a violation of the OPCW’s declared principles of independence and impartiality.”

It’s unknown what forces were at play that enabled the US government to insert itself into into an ostensibly impartial OPCW investigation with the help of an OPCW official, but it wouldn’t be the first time the US government leveraged the Organisation into facilitating preexisting regime change agendas against a disobedient Middle Eastern nation. In 2002 Mother Jones reported that the US government, spearheaded by John Bolton, had used the threat of withdrawing its disproportionately high percentage of funding from the Organisation if it didn’t oust its then-Director General Jose Bustani. The popular Bustani, who’d previously been unanimously re-elected to his position, had been hurting the case for war with his successful negotiations with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. In March 2018, after Bolton was selected as Trump’s National Security Advisor, The Intercept revealed that the campaign to remove Bustani had also included Bolton personally threatening his children.

Bolton was operating at the highest levels of the Trump White House throughout the entire duration of the OPCW’s Douma investigation. He was Trump’s National Security Advisor from April 9, 2018 to September 10, 2019. The OPCW’s Fact-Finding mission didn’t arrive in Syria until April 14 2018 and didn’t begin its investigation in Douma until several days after that, with its final report being released in March of 2019.

3. Levels of chlorinated organic chemicals didn’t indicate any chlorine gas attack took place.

“The main point is that chlorine gas degrades rapidly in the air,” Jonathan Steele told Tucker Carlson last month detailing what was told to him by Alex. “So coming in two weeks later, you wouldn’t find anything. What you would find is that the gas contaminates or affects other chemicals in the natural environment. So-called chlorinated organic chemicals [COCs]. The difficulty is they exist anyway in the natural environment and water. So the crucial thing is the levels: were there higher levels of chlorinated organic chemicals found after the alleged gas attack than there would have been in the normal environment?”

“When they got back to the Netherlands, to The Hague where the OPCW has its headquarters, samples were sent off to designated laboratories, then there was a weird silence developed,” Steele continued. “Nobody told the inspectors what the results of the analysis was. It was only by chance that the inspector found out through accident earlier the results would come in and there were no differences at all. There were no higher levels of chlorinated organic chemicals in the areas where the alleged attack had happened where there is some suspicious cylinders had been found by opposition activists. So it didn’t seem possible that there could have been a gas attack because the levels were just the same as in the natural environment.”

“[Alex] got sight of the results which indicated that the levels of COCs were much lower than what would be expected in environmental samples,” Steele reported in CounterPunch. “They were comparable to and even lower than those given in the World Health Organisation’s guidelines on recommended permitted levels of trichlorophenol and other COCs in drinking water. The redacted version of the report made no mention of the findings.”

“Had they been included, the public would have seen that the levels of COCs found were no higher than you would expect in any household environment”, Alex told Steele.

This inconvenient fact was omitted from both the OPCW’s Interim Report in July 2018 and its Final Report in March 2019.

4. Many signs and symptoms of alleged chlorine gas poisoning weren’t consistent with chlorine gas poisoning.


https://twitter.com/caitoz/status/1187001753192919041?s=20

The OPCW’s Final Report on Douma in March 2019 assures us that the team found “reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon took place. This toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine. The toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine.” A leaked internal OPCW email, featuring an inspector voicing objections to the aforementioned Bob Fairweather over vital information being omitted from the developing Interim Report on Douma, contradicts this assurance, saying observed symptoms weren’t consistent with chlorine gas poisoning.

“In this case the confidence in the identity of chlorine or any choking agent is drawn into question precisely because of the inconsistency with the reported and observed symptoms,” the email reads. “The inconsistency was not only noted by the FFM [Fact-Finding Mission] team but strongly noted by three toxicologists with expertise in exposure to CW [Chemical Weapons] agents.”

So the OPCW’s investigative team as well as three toxicologists said what was observed didn’t match chlorine gas poisoning symptoms. This information was, of course, hidden from us by the OPCW.

A leaked first draft of the Interim Report on Douma, before OPCW officials started cutting out chunks which didn’t suit the US narrative, gives more detail. Here are some excerpts (emphases mine):

“Some of the signs and symptoms described by witnesses and noted in photos and video recordings taken by witnesses, of the alleged victims are not consistent with exposure to chlorine-containing choking or blood agents such as chlorine gas, phosgene or cyanogen chloride. Specifically, the rapid onset of heavy buccal and nasal frothing in many victims, as well as the colour of the secretions, is not indicative of intoxication from such chemicals.”

“The large number of decedents in the one location (allegedly 40 to 45), most of whom were seen in videos and photos strewn on the floor of the apartments away from open windows, and within a few meters of an escape to un-poisoned or less toxic air, is at odds with intoxication by chlorine-based choking or blood agents, even at high concentrations.”

“The inconsistency between the presence of a putative chlorine-containing toxic chocking or blood agent on the one hand and the testimonies of alleged witnesses and symptoms observed from video footage and photographs, on the other, cannot be rationalised. The team considered two possible explanations for the incongruity:
a. The victims were exposed to another highly toxic chemical agent that gave rise to the symptoms observed and has so far gone undetected.
b. The fatalities resulted from a non-chemical-related incident.”

5. A doctor in Douma told journalist Robert Fisk that there was no gas poisoning.

Shortly after the Douma incident a video was circulated online and redistributed on news media around the world featuring people being hosed down with water in a hospital and an infant receiving a respiratory treatment. A doctor who worked in the hospital Assim Rahaibani gave the following account to journalist Robert Fisk days after the incident, saying those in the video were actually just suffering from hypoxia due to dust inhaled after a conventional bombing:

“I was with my family in the basement of my home three hundred metres from here on the night but all the doctors know what happened. There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night – but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a ‘White Helmet’, shouted ‘Gas!’, and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia – not gas poisoning.”

Lest anyone accuse Fisk of having any special loyalties to the Syrian government, in this same report he says it “is indeed a ruthless dictatorship.”

6. A BBC reporter said he has proof that the hospital scene was staged.

https://twitter.com/Dalatrm/status/1095677403198906369?s=20

The BBC, another establishment that can hardly be accused of Assad loyalism, saw its Syria producer Riam Dalati claiming earlier this year that he had proof beyond a doubt the aforementioned hospital scene was staged. While holding to the establishment line that the attack did happen, Dalati expressed uncertainty as to what if any chemical would have been used and said “everything else around the attack was manufactured for maximum effect.” Emphases mine:

“The ATTACK DID HAPPEN, Sarin wasn’t used, but we’ll have to wait for OPCW to prove Chlorine or otherwise,” Dalati tweeted. However, everything else around the attack was manufactured for maximum effect. After almost 6 months of investigations, i can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged.”

“No fatalities occurred in the hospital,” Dalati continued. “All the White Helmets, activists and people i spoke to are either in Idlib or Euphrates Shield areas. Only one person was in Damascus. Russia and at least one NATO country knew about what happened in the hospital. Documents were sent. However, no one knew what really happened at the flats apart from activists manipulating the scene there. This is why Russia focused solely on discrediting the hospital scene.”

In other words, Russia knew that these “activists” were staging the scene for the news media, and understandably focused on discrediting their work.

“I can tell you that Jaysh al-Islam ruled Douma with an iron fist,” Dalati added. “They coopted activists, doctors and humanitarians with fear and intimidation.”

Dalati set his account to private for an extended period after these extremely controversial statements got him a flood of attention, but the thread is up on Twitter as of this writing (here’s an archive in case they vanish again).

7. More evidence the Douma scene was knowingly staged for media.


https://twitter.com/Dalatrm/status/984011488938643456?s=20

Riam Dalati also tweeted evidence after the attack that people had staged the corpses of two children to make it appear as though they died hugging each other for the purpose of emotional manipulation. If you’ve got a strong stomach (seriously think hard about whether this is something you want in your head before diving in), Stephen McIntyre also compiled some disturbing proof of dead infants being physically placed on top of other corpses in between video shoots of the Douma incident’s aftermath.

Whoever was positioning these bodies for the cameras clearly had a goal of generating an emotional response from the outside world. Which would be precisely the goal of staging a false chemical weapons attack.

8. Witness testimony at The Hague.


https://twitter.com/NeilClark66/status/989761664680521728?s=20

Seventeen Syrian civilians, including medical personnel and some of the “victims” seen in the aforementioned hospital footage, spoke at the OPCW headquarters in The Hague saying that no chemical weapons attack took place. RT reports:

“There were people unknown to us who were filming the emergency care, they were filming the chaos taking place inside, and were filming people being doused with water. The instruments they used to douse them with water were originally used to clean the floors actually,” Ahmad Kashoi, an administrator of the emergency ward, recalled. “That happened for about an hour, we provided help to them and sent them home. No one has died. No one suffered from chemical exposure.”

The briefing was boycotted by the US and 16 of its allies and was smeared as an unconscionable Russian hoax by media outlets ranging from Sky News to Al Jazeera to The Guardian to The Intercept, apparently for no other reason than that what these Syrians were saying didn’t match the unsubstantiated claims being promoted by the political/media class of the US-centralized empire. If you want to just listen to what the Syrians themselves say and make up your own mind, RT has an English translation video here:

9. The first OPCW Director General finds the glaring irregularities and omissions from the OPCW’s Douma report “very disturbing”.

After the aforementioned Courage Foundation presentation given by Alex this past October, the aforementioned former OPCW Director General Jose Bustani (the one whose kids John Bolton threatened) had this to say:“The convincing evidence of irregular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had. I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing”

“I have always expected the OPCW to be a true paradigm of multilateralism. My hope is that the concerns expressed publicly by the Panel, in its joint consensus statement, will catalyse a process by which the Organisation can be resurrected to become the independent and non-discriminatory body it used to be.”

10. This OAN reporter literally just walking around asking people in Douma what they saw.

11. MIT Professor Emeritus Theodore Postol speaking about the plot holes and irregularities in scientific protocol with the Douma investigation.

12. Common sense: Assad stood nothing to gain from launching a chemical attack, while Jaysh al-Islam fighters stood everything to gain by faking one.

This is the initial reason why critical thinkers were so skeptical of the establishment Douma narrative: from the very beginning, it made no sense at all.Click this hyperlink to read a BBC article dated five days before the Douma incident, describing how the Syrian government “appears poised to regain control” of the town and how Jaysh al-Islam fighters were already evacuating. The battle was won. Assad would have stood absolutely nothing to gain from tempting a retaliation from western powers (which could have been far more severe than it ended up being) all to drop a couple of cylinders of chlorine gas, which incidentally is a highly ineffective weapon that ordinarily takes a very long time to kill.

Jaysh al-Islam (and whoever else they may have been working with), on the other hand, would have stood everything to gain by murdering a few of the civilians they had been holding captive in the town they’d invaded in the hopes that western forces would become their airforce for a bit and hold off the Syrian Arab Army from reclaiming Douma.

“Why would Assad use chemical weapons at this time? He’s won the war,” Major General Jonathan Shaw told The Mail on Sunday at the time. “That’s not just my opinion, it is shared by senior commanders in the US military. There is no rationale behind Assad’s involvement whatsoever. He’s convinced the rebels to leave occupied areas in buses. He’s gained their territory. So why would he be bothering gassing them?”

“The jihadists and the various opposition groups who’ve been fighting against Assad have much greater motivation to launch a chemical weapons attack and make it look like Assad was responsible,” the ex-SAS and Parachute Regiment commander added. “Their motivation being that they want to keep the Americans involved in the war – following Trump saying the US was going to leave Syria for other people to sort out.”

Admiral Lord West made similar comments on the BBC around the same time, prompting BBC host Annita McVeigh to flip into frantic narrative management mode suggesting that he’s “muddying the waters” during an “information war with Russia”.

“President Assad is in the process of winning this civil war, and he was about to take over Douma, all that area,” West said. “He’d had a long, long, long slog slowly capturing that area of the city, and there just before he goes in and takes it all over, apparently he decides to have a chemical attack. It just doesn’t ring true. It seems extraordinary, because clearly he would know that there’s likely to be a response from the allies. What benefit is there for his military? Most of the rebel fighters, this disparate group of Islamists, had withdrawn, there were a few women and children left around. What benefit was there militarily in doing what he did? I find that extraordinary.”

“Whereas we know that in the past some of the Islamo groups have used chemicals, and of course there’d be huge benefit in them labeling an attack as coming from Assad, because they would guess quite rightly that there would be a response from the US as there was last time, and possibly from the UK and France,” West added.

“If I were advising some of the Islamist groups, many of whom are worse than Daesh,” West said, “I would say look, we’ve got to wait until there’s another attack by Assad’s forces, particularly if they’ve got a helicopter overhead or something like that and they’re dropping barrel bombs, and we set off some chlorine. Because we’ll get the next attack from the allies. And there’s no doubt that if we believe he’s done a chemical attack we should do that. And those attacks will get bigger, and it’s the only way they’ve got, actually, of stopping the inevitable victory of Assad.”

These are not Assad sympathizers or Kremlin assets saying this. These are not a bunch of hippie dippie anti-imperialists. These are lifelong military men, thinking in military terms, describing what they were seeing. And what they were seeing is the thing that a false flag is.

https://twitter.com/ShoebridgeC/status/1206347865729183746?s=20

And now here we are. The US is still illegally occupying Syria in spite of Trump’s repeated verbiage about getting out, and those children are still dead.

This isn’t just some idle philosophical question. People died. A massive war crime occurred and the more minutes tick by before a legitimate investigation is launched–with full transparency and accountability this time–the less available evidence there will be. Which is why establishment narrative managers on Syria go full dead-weight when asked if they support a full criminal investigation into what happened. They don’t actually believe it will go their way, and rightly so.

Meanwhile the illegal occupation of Syria drags on, perhaps until Trump can be replaced with a more compliant puppet, and we’re all basically just sitting around waiting to be deceived again.

This cannot continue. This must not continue.

December 20, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 2 Comments