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The Truth Behind the Biggest Threat to the ‘War on Terror’ Narrative

By Cynthia Chung | Strategic Culture Foundation | October 27, 2020

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it.”

– Julius Caesar

The illegal invasion of Libya, in which Britain was complicit and a British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee’s report confirmed as an illegal act sanctioned by the UK government, over which Cameron stepped down as Prime Minister (weeks before the release of the UK parliament report), occurred from March – Oct, 2011.

Muammar al-Gaddafi was assassinated on Oct. 20th, 2011.

On Sept 11-12th, 2012, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service information management officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors Tyron Woods and Glen Doherty were killed at two U.S. government facilities in Benghazi.

It is officially denied to this date that al-Qaeda or any other international terrorist organization participated in the Benghazi attack. It is also officially denied that the attack was pre-meditated.

On the 6th year anniversary of the Benghazi attack, Barack Obama stated at a partisan speech on Sept 10th, 2018, delivered at the University of Illinois, that the outrage over the details concerning the Benghazi attack were the result of a “wild conspiracy theory” perpetrated by conservatives and Republican members of Congress.

However, according to an August 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report  (only released to the public in May 2015), this is anything but the case. The report was critical of the policies of then President Obama as a direct igniter for the rise of ISIS and the creation of a “caliphate” by Syria-based radical Islamists and al-Qaeda. The report also identified that arms shipments in Libya had gone to radical Islamist “allies” of the United States and NATO in the overthrowing of Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi. These arms shipments were sent to Syria and became the arsenal that allowed ISIS and other radical rebels to grow.

The declassified DIA report states:

AQI [al-qaeda –iraq] SUPPORTED THE SYRIAN OPPOSITION FROM THE BEGINNING, BOTH IDEOLOGICALLY AND THROUGH THE MEDIA… WESTERN COUNTRIES, THE GULF STATES AND TURKEY ARE SUPPORTING THESE EFFORTS… THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION… THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME…” [emphasis added]

Another DIA document from Oct 2012 (also released in May 2015), reported that Gaddafi’s vast arsenal was being shipped from Benghazi to two Syrian ports under the control of the Syrian rebel groups.

Essentially, the DIA documents were reporting that the Obama Administration was supporting Islamist extremism, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

When the watchdog group Judicial Watch received the series of DIA reports through Freedom of Information Act lawsuits (FOIA) in May 2015, the State Department, the Administration and various media outlets trashed the reports as insignificant and unreliable.

There was just one problem; Lt. Gen. Flynn was backing up the reliability of the released DIA reports.

Lt. Gen. Flynn as Director of the DIA from July 2012 – Aug. 2014, was responsible for acquiring accurate intelligence on ISIS’s and other extremist operations within the Middle East, but did not have any authority in shaping U.S. military policy in response to the Intel the DIA was acquiring.

In a July 2015 interview with Al-Jazeera, Flynn went so far as to state that the rise of ISIS was the result of a “willful decision,” not an intelligence failure, by the Obama Administration.

In the Al-Jazeera interview Flynn was asked:

Q: You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn’t listening?

FLYNN: I think the Administration.

Q: So the Administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?

FLYNN: I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.

Q: A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?

FLYNN: It was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.

Flynn was essentially stating (in the 47 minute interview) that the United States was fully aware that weapons trafficking from Benghazi to the Syrian rebels was occurring. In fact, the secret flow of arms from Libya to the Syrian opposition, via Turkey was CIA sponsored and had been underway shortly after Gaddafi’s death in Oct 2011. The operation was largely run out of a covert CIA annex in Benghazi, with State Department acquiescence.

This information was especially troubling in light of the fact that the Obama Administration’s policy, from mid-2011 on, was to overthrow the Assad government. The question of “who will replace Assad?” was never fully answered.

Perhaps the most troubling to Americans among the FOIA-released DIA documents was a report from Sept. 16, 2012, which provided a detailed account of the pre-meditated nature of the 9/11/12 attack in Benghazi, reporting that the attack had been planned ten days prior, detailing the groups involved.

The report revealed that it was in fact an al-Qaeda linked terrorist group that was responsible for the Benghazi attack. That despite this intelligence, the Obama Administration continued to permit arms-trafficking to the al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels even after the 9/11/12 attacks.

In August 2015, then President Obama ordered for U.S. forces to attack Syrian government forces if they interfered with the American “vetted, trained and armed” forces. This U.S. approved Division 30 Syrian rebel group “defected” almost immediately, with U.S. weapons in hand, to align with the Nusra Front, the formal al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

Obama’s Semantics War: Any Friend of Yours is a Friend of Mine

“Flynn incurred the wrath of the [Obama] White House by insisting on telling the truth about Syria… He thought truth was the best thing and they shoved him out.”

– Patrick Lang (retired army colonel, served for nearly a decade as the chief Middle East civilian intelligence officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency)

Before being named Director of the DIA, Flynn served as Director of Intelligence for the Joint Staff, as Director of Intelligence for the U.S. Central Command, and as Director of Intelligence for the Joint Special Operations Command.

Flynn’s criticisms and opposition to the Obama Administration’s policies in his interview with Al-Jazeera in 2015 was nothing new. In August 2013, Flynn as Director of the DIA supported Gen. Dempsey’s intervention, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in forcing then President Obama to cancel orders to launch a massive bombing campaign against the Syrian government and armed forces. Flynn and Dempsey both argued that the overthrow of the Assad government would lead to a radical Islamist stronghold in Syria, much like what was then happening in Libya.

This account was also supported in Seymour Hersh’s paper “Military to Military” published in Jan 2016, to which he states:

“Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. The jihadists, he said, were in control of the opposition. Turkey wasn’t doing enough to stop the smuggling of foreign fighters and weapons across the border. ‘If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic,’ Flynn told me. ‘We understood Isis’s long-term strategy and its campaign plans, and we also discussed the fact that Turkey was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria.’ The DIA’s reporting, he [Flynn] said, ‘got enormous pushback’ from the Obama administration. ‘I felt that they did not want to hear the truth.’

[According to a former JCS adviser]’… To say Assad’s got to go is fine, but if you follow that through – therefore anyone is better. It’s the “anybody else is better” issue that the JCS had with Obama’s policy.’ The Joint Chiefs felt that a direct challenge to Obama’s policy would have ‘had a zero chance of success’. So in the autumn of 2013 they decided to take steps against the extremists without going through political channels, by providing U.S. intelligence to the militaries of other nations, on the understanding that it would be passed on to the Syrian army and used against the common enemy, Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State [ISIS].” [emphasis added]

According to Hersh’s sources, it was through the militaries of Germany, Israel and Russia, who were in contact with the Syrian army, that the U.S. intelligence on where the terrorist cells were located was shared, hence the “military to military”. There was no direct contact between the U.S. and the Syrian military.

Hersh states in his paper:

“The two countries [U.S. & Syria] collaborated against al-Qaida, their common enemy. A longtime consultant to the Joint Special Operations Command said that, after 9/11, ‘Bashar was, for years, extremely helpful to us while, in my view, we were churlish in return, and clumsy in our use of the gold he gave us. That quiet co-operation continued among some elements, even after the [Bush administration’s] decision to vilify him.’ In 2002 Assad authorised Syrian intelligence to turn over hundreds of internal files on the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria and Germany. Later that year, Syrian intelligence foiled an attack by al-Qaida on the headquarters of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, and Assad agreed to provide the CIA with the name of a vital al-Qaida informant. In violation of this agreement, the CIA contacted the informant directly; he rejected the approach, and broke off relations with his Syrian handlers.

… It was this history of co-operation that made it seem possible in 2013 that Damascus would agree to the new indirect intelligence-sharing arrangement with the U.S.”

However, as the Syrian army gained strength with the Dempsey-led-Joint Chiefs’ support, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey escalated their financing and arming of al-Nusra and ISIS. In fact, it was “later” discovered that the Erdogan government had been supporting al-Nusra and ISIS for years. In addition, after the June 30th, 2013 revolution in Egypt, Turkey became a regional hub for the Muslim Brotherhood’s International Organization.

In Sept. 2015, Russia came in and directly intervened militarily, upon invitation by the Syrian government, and effectively destroyed ISIS strongholds within Syrian territory. In response, Turkey shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 on Nov 24th, 2015 for allegedly entering Turkish airspace for 17 seconds. Days after the Russian fighter jet was shot down, Obama expressed support for Erdogan and stated at a Dec. 1st, 2015 press conference that his administration would remain “very much committed to Turkey’s security and its sovereignty”. Obama also said that as long as Russia remained allied with Assad, “a lot of Russian resources are still going to be targeted at opposition groups … that we support … So I don’t think we should be under any illusions that somehow Russia starts hitting only Isil targets. That’s not happening now. It was never happening. It’s not going to be happening in the next several weeks.”

Today, not one of those “opposition groups” has shown itself to have remained, or possibly ever been, anti-extremist. And neither the Joint Chiefs nor the DIA believed that there was ever such a thing as “moderate rebels.”

Rather, as remarked by a JCS adviser to Hersh, “Turkey is the problem.”

China’s “Uyghur Problem”

Imad Moustapha, was the Syrian Ambassador to the United States from 2004 to Dec. 2011, and has been the Syrian Ambassador to China for the past eight years.

In an interview with Seymour Hersh, Moustapha stated:

“‘China regards the Syrian crisis from three perspectives,’ he said: international law and legitimacy; global strategic positioning; and the activities of jihadist Uighurs, from Xinjiang province in China’s far west. Xinjiang borders eight nations – Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India – and, in China’s view, serves as a funnel for terrorism around the world and within China. Many Uighur fighters now in Syria are known to be members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement – an often violent separatist organisation that seeks to establish an Islamist Uighur state in Xinjiang. ‘The fact that they have been aided by Turkish intelligence to move from China into Syria through Turkey has caused a tremendous amount of tension between the Chinese and Turkish intelligence,’ Moustapha said. ‘China is concerned that the Turkish role of supporting the Uighur fighters in Syria may be extended in the future to support Turkey’s agenda in Xinjiang. We are already providing the Chinese intelligence service with information regarding these terrorists and the routes they crossed from on travelling into Syria.’ ” [emphasis added]

This view was echoed by a Washington foreign affairs analyst whose views are routinely sought by senior government officials, informing Hersh that:

“Erdoğan has been bringing Uighurs into Syria by special transport while his government has been agitating in favour of their struggle in China. Uighur and Burmese Muslim terrorists who escape into Thailand somehow get Turkish passports and are then flown to Turkey for transit into Syria.”

China understands that the best way to combat the terrorist recruiting that is going on in these regions is to offer aid towards reconstruction and economic development projects. By 2016, China had allegedly committed more than $30 billion to postwar reconstruction in Syria.

The long-time consultant to the Joint Special Operations Command could not hide his contempt, according to Hersh, when he was asked for his view of the U.S. policy on Syria. “‘The solution in Syria is right before our nose,’ he said. ‘Our primary threat is Isis and all of us – the United States, Russia and China – need to work together.’“

The military’s indirect pathway to Assad disappeared with Dempsey’s retirement in September 25th, 2015. His replacement as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Joseph Dunford, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in July 2015, two months before assuming office, “If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d have to point to Russia.”

Flynn’s Call for Development in the Middle East to Counter Terrorism

Not only was Flynn critical of the Obama Administration’s approach to countering terrorism in the Middle East, his proposed solution was to actually downgrade the emphasis on military counter-operations, and rather focus on economic development within these regions as the most effective and stable impediment to the growth of extremists.

Flynn stated in the July 2015 interview with Al-Jazeera:

“Frankly, an entire new economy is what this region needs. They need to take this 15-year old, to 25 to 30-year olds in Saudi Arabia, the largest segment of their population; in Egypt, the largest segment of their population, 15 to roughly 30 years old, mostly young men. You’ve got to give them something else to do. If you don’t, they’re going to turn on their own governments, and we can solve that problem.

So that is the conversation that we have to have with them, and we have to help them do that. And in the meantime, what we have is this continued investment in conflict. The more weapons we give, the more bombs we drop, that just fuels the conflict. Some of that has to be done, but I’m looking for other solutions. I’m looking for the other side of this argument, and we’re not having it; we’re not having it as the United States.” [emphasis added]

Flynn also stated in the interview that the U.S. cannot, and should not, deter the development of nuclear energy in the Middle East:

“It now equals nuclear development of some type in the Middle East, and now what we want… what I hope for is that we have nuclear [energy] development, because it also helps for projects like desalinization, getting water… nuclear energy is very clean, and it actually is so cost effective, much more cost effective for producing water from desalinization.”

Flynn was calling for a new strategic vision for the Middle East, and making it clear that “conflict only” policies were only going to add fuel to the fire, that cooperative economic policies are the true solution to attaining peace in the Middle East. Pivotal to this is the expansion of nuclear energy, while assuring non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, which Flynn states “has to be done in a very international, inspectable way.”

When In Doubt, Blame the Russians

How did the Obama Administration respond to Flynn’s views?

He was fired (forced resignation) from his post as Director of the DIA on April 30th, 2014. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who was briefed by Flynn on the intelligence reports and was also critical of the U.S. Administration’s strategy in the Middle East was also forced to resign in Feb. 2015.

With the election of Trump as President on Nov. 8 2016, Lt. Gen. Flynn was swiftly announced as Trump’s choice for National Security Adviser on Nov. 18th, 2016.

Just weeks later, Flynn was targeted by the FBI and there was a media sensation over Flynn being a suspected “Russian agent”. Flynn was taken out before he had a chance to even step into his office, prevented from doing any sort of overhaul with the intelligence bureaus and Joint Chiefs of Staff, which was most certainly going to happen. Instead Flynn was forced to resign on Feb. 13th, 2017 after incessant media attacks undermining the entire Trump Administration, accusing them of working for the Russians against the welfare of the American people.

Despite an ongoing investigation on the allegations against Flynn, there has been no evidence to this date that has justified any charge. In fact, volumes of exculpatory evidence have been presented to exonerate Flynn from any wrongdoing including perjury. At this point, the investigation of Flynn has been put into question as consciously disingenuous and as being stalled by the federal judge since May 2020, refusing to release Flynn it seems while a Trump Administration is still in effect.

The question thus stands; in whose best interest is it that no peace be permitted to occur in the Middle East and that U.S.-Russian relations remain verboten? And is such an interest a friend or foe to the American people?

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leaked papers: UK ran secret training & PR op for Syrian militants costing millions, despite knowing risks

By Kit Klarenberg | RT | October 27, 2020

A swath of what appear to be secret Foreign & Commonwealth Office documents outline a multimillion-pound British effort to train rebel fighters in Syria via private companies, knowing but brushing off the risk of jihadist hijack.

The documents released by the hacktivist collective Anonymous appear to expose a variety of covert actions undertaken by the UK government against the Syrian state over many years.

The overriding objective behind them all, the papers suggest, was to destabilise the government of Bashar Assad, convince Syrians, Western citizens, foreign governments, and international bodies that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) was a legitimate alternative, and flood media the world over with pro-opposition propaganda.

The dimensions of the assorted information warfare operations implied in the papers, some of which have been detailed by the Grayzone Project, were vast. In a representative example, “social enterprise” firm ARK, founded by veteran Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) operative Alistair Harris, “rebranded” the Syrian Military Council, “softening the Free Syrian Army’s image” in order to “distinguish it from extremist armed opposition groups and establish the image of a functioning, inclusive, disciplined and professional military body.”

Training ‘credible and effective’ militants

At least one cog in this cloak and dagger connivance was overtly militant in nature. From August 2016, a consortium of private contractors ran a programme for the FCO, through which “training, equipment, and other forms of support” was provided to the FSA’s ‘Southern Front’ coalition, to “foster a negotiated political transition, support moderate structures and groups in opposition held areas of Syria, counter violent extremism and prevent the establishment of a terrorist safe-haven.”

Under its clandestine auspices, up to 600 belligerents were trained every year the operation ran, an indeterminate total – the endeavour was dubbed MAO B-FOR (Moderate Armed Opposition Border Force Capability Project), and forecast to cost the FCO £15,767,599.

B-FOR’s ‘statement of requirements’ document sets out in succinct detail Whitehall’s objectives in pursuing the project.

“The aim… is to generate pressure on the Assad regime and on extremists, in the south the country… If MAO border groups are better able to secure and maintain control of specific areas of responsibility across liberated near-border communities along Syria’s southern border with Jordan… the MAO will demonstrate its tangible value to the local and international community as an effective security actor… This will reinforce perceptions that there is a credible and effective moderate opposition able to provide support for an alternative pathway to political transition,” the project tender states.

In practical terms, fighters in “international borders under MAO control” and “areas bordering MAO control under the control of another entity or under no control” – the Jordan-Syria border being the FCO’s “current priority area” – were intended to be “better able to control their AOR [areas of responsibility] through effective use of relevant tactics, operations, equipment, infrastructure, and ability to react to a changing tactical situation.”

To this end, the UK government provided a “dedicated training site” in Jordan “at no cost” to project contractors. The site is situated 45 minutes from the Jordanian capital, Amman, according to an annotated Google Earth snapshot found among the leaked papers. The 600-acre expanse comprised “accommodation, ablution, dining, classrooms, driving track, outside rural environment areas, and open space for equipment storage solutions.” In particular, trainees were to be tutored in the effective use of AK-47s, PK machine guns, and pistols, with 175 fighters able to be accommodated on-site at a time, four weeks the maximum period they could be tutored there continuously.

Contractors were also asked to ensure the project took into account, among other things, Whitehall’s “policy toward gender” – a reflection, just like the tender’s references to “reinforcing perceptions,” of B-FOR’s strong psychological component.

‘Kill, Burn and Loot’

In response, global advisory firm Adam Smith International (ASI) apparently submitted an extensive proposal to the department, offering to head a consortium of contractors, comprised of Pilgrims Group, Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), Oakas, and GlenGulf.

We have reached out to the companies for comment.

In terms of project roles, ASI – which according to the proposal had been operating in Syria since early 2013, and boasted “well over” 100 field staff in the country – was to provide “strategic stakeholder engagement, project management, project leadership positions, conflict research and analysis and monitoring and evaluation functions.” Pilgrims Group – said to have “supported a large number of media organisations operating in Ukraine” – was tasked with “training delivery, initial military skills assessment, training programme design.”

KBR – which has reaped untold millions from a variety of US conflicts, been embroiled in numerous high-profile scandals, and was reportedly nicknamed “Kill, Burn & Loot” by US marines during the Iraq War – had responsibility for “manning procurement and logistics functions,” including providing the facility’s “quartermaster, storemen and a liaison officer at the key port of entry for imported goods.” Oakas was to offer “bespoke training for MAO command elements (‘battle staffs’) on decision making and planning,” and GlenGulf the “provision of training to officers and commanders on human intelligence gathering and management.”

Excerpt from alleged ASI document

Accompanying project staff CVs reveal many individuals involved in B-FOR were senior UK military veterans, who all received sizeable three-figure per diem fees for their participation. For instance, its ranks included a former senior British military advisor to US Central Command, experience ASI claims granted him “in-depth knowledge” of the Syrian “context.”

US-backed rebel front collapses

Part of that context at the time would’ve been the virtual collapse of Southern Front as a serious fighting force. Formed in February 2014 at the behest of the US Military Operations Command (MOC) in Jordan, the Front was a coalition of 50-60 rebel groups. As ASI’s proposal notes, its constituent factions were “given various types of support from the MOC,” including “small arms, artillery, anti-tank guided missiles, ammunition, vehicles, communications equipment, and uniforms,” the Command also paying fighters’ salaries.

Washington’s largesse was fundamental in the Front scoring a series of victories over government forces throughout 2014 and the first half of the next year. In the process, it became the largest rebel umbrella organization in southern Syria, comprising 25-30,000 fighters, and challenging the political and military dominance of Salafist Al-Nusra, the region’s then-largest jihadist group. The mainstream media widely promoted the Front as Western leaders’ best hope of achieving a “moderate” Syrian “revolution” – despite many of its units frequently cooperating and collaborating with Al-Nusra.

However, an over-ambitious attempt by the Front to wrest the city of Deraa’s northern and eastern districts from government control in June 2015 ended in embarrassing failure. The cataclysm led to almost total cessation of MOC support, which in turn meant the Front lost much of its operational capabilities and many of its fighters, who defected in droves to other rebel groups offering salaries. Saudi Arabia subsequently stepped in to provide weapons and fresh funding to the ailing force – B-FOR represented London’s illicit contribution to keeping it functional, and ASI’s proposal makes clear the consortium well-understood the many risks attached to the project.

Risks known, responsibility offloaded

A lengthy section of ASI’s proposal – ‘oversight and management of threats and risks’ – details some of these myriad hazards, along with their likelihood and impact. It was considered highly probable, for instance, groups such as Al-Nusra and ISIS would interfere in the program, “due to perceptions of an ‘international political agenda’” – as a result, extremists “may seek to prevent trainees from joining or inhibit them from fulfilling their functions once trained via kidnap, assault and theft of equipment.”

The possibility that the consortium’s curated fighters may choose or be forced to join other, non-border force Southern Front operations, in turn “[leading] to a weakening of the border capability and perception of UK support to active military operations,” was rated as “medium.” Border force trainees collaborating with extremist actors and/or committing human rights abuses, in the process compromising “the legal and reputational viability of the programme,” was likewise considered of “medium” likelihood and impact.

ASI’s proposed method of dealing with these and other dangers was almost invariably to simply “transfer” responsibility for “owning and managing” the problem to the FCO itself, even suggesting the UK government must simply “tolerate” failings such as the loss of equipment “to a reasonable degree.”

It seems the FCO either acquiesced to shouldering the inherent burdens, or was intensely relaxed about such issues, for the consortium was duly awarded the B-FOR contract, judging by other papers found in the leak.

Non-Disclosure Agreements signed June 10, 2016 by the firms involved indicate they were obliged to adhere to the stringent confidentiality requirements of the 1911 and 1989 Official Secrets Acts, forbidding them from “disseminating any information related to the project to any third party.” Meticulous instructions for disposing of ‘secret’, ‘restricted’, and ‘confidential’ FCO communications were also included.

‘Jihadis You Pay For’

It’s uncertain how many years, or perhaps months, B-FOR endured. Its ‘statement of requirements’ forecast the project would “cover a period until 31st March 2019 with a clause for a breakpoint at the end of each financial year.”

However, in February 2017, a report by Parliament’s international development committee found ASI staff had submitted fake testimonials from aid recipients to a House of Commons inquiry into its activities, set up in response to allegations the firm had been seeking improper financial benefit from UK aid spending.

In response, DfID blocked the company from bidding on future government contracts, and the next month, ASI’s three founding executives resigned. Even more damningly, in December that year, a BBC Panorama documentary (Jihadis You Pay For) exposed how FCO cash ASI distributed in Syria had ended up in extremists’ pockets.

The investigation focused on the FCO’s Access to Justice and Community Security (AJACS) program, under which ASI funded and trained the Free Syria Police, an unarmed civilian force set up to re-establish law and order in opposition-controlled areas.

It found ASI had identified links between several FSP stations and sharia courts run by Al-Nusra and not ended its funding of the stations, or compelled them to sever all connections with the courts – FSP officers in theoretical receipt of FCO funds via ASI had also been present when women were stoned to death. Troublingly, ASI’s B-FOR pitch states its “experience and knowledge” of running AJACS will be “leveraged” to ensure optimal delivery of the border project.

Whether B-FOR was quietly shelved or simply handed over to other contractors in response to these damaging exposures is unknown. In any event, in July 2018, the Front was comprehensively crushed by pro-government forces, its surrendering fighters either agreeing to reconciliation deals or fleeing to Idlib.

It’s also unknown how many fighters trained via the program went on to join jihadist groups, and how much equipment was “lost” over the course of its operation, ending up in the hands of extremists and used to slaughter and maim innocent civilians. The companies running the operation, much less the UK government, certainly weren’t keeping count.

Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions. Follow Kit on Twitter @KitKlarenberg

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Syria: Six Million Displaced People Have Returned Home

teleSUR – October 23, 2020

On Thursday, Syrian authorities announced that six million displaced people had returned home to different parts of the country.

The Minister of Municipal Administration and Environment, Hussein Makhlouf, said to the People´s Assembly that one million refugees had returned to Syria, and 5 million internally displaced people were back at their homes.

The official said that this achievement was possible after the rehabilitation of infrastructure and roads, collecting and disposing of 4 million cubic meters of waste and debris from them.

Moreover, the authorities reported that they had repaired more than 19,000 houses while supporting waste recycling projects to secure 18,000 job positions.

As the country tries to overcome aggression and sanctions from the U.S. and the European Union, the government plans to create more homes and announces that 11 new artisanal zones were established in Tartous, Quneitra, Homs, and Hama provinces. Also, with China’s support is has imported transportation, including buses and 708 vehicles for the cleaning sector.

October 23, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

Reporter Serena Shim remembered six years after suspicious death near Turkey

Press TV | October 18, 2020

Six years after her suspicious death, Press TV reporter Serena Shim is remembered as one of the first journalists to have exposed the involvement of the US-led Western countries and their regional allies in igniting the foreign-sponsored terrorism in Syria, a daring act of investigative journalism for which she paid with her life.

The investigative reporter died in October 2014 while covering the ongoing siege by the Daesh Takfiri group of the Syrian-Kurdish border city of Kobani for Iran’s Press TV. She was the lone fatality following a suspicious car crash in Turkey’s Sanliurfa province.

She was reporting firsthand on the presence of Daesh and other al Qaeda-affiliated militant groups operating freely along the Turkey-Syria border. She revealed the weapons transfers and the trucks being driven into Syria by the terrorists themselves.

Shim had gathered evidence of militant training camps operating near the Turkey-Syria border.

She was, in her own words, one of the first, if not the first, on the ground to report on “Takfiri militants going in through the Turkish border”. These include not only Daesh but also terrorists from the so-called Free Syrian Army.

As Shim’s sister Fatmeh Shim stated in 2015, “She caught them bringing high-ranked Daesh members into Syria from Turkey into camps, which are supposed to be Syrian refugee camps.”

Shim said trucks belonging to some international aid agencies were being used to funnel terrorists’ arms into Syria, and stated this in her last interview, just one day before being killed.

On October 19, 2014, Shim, along with her camerawoman, was returning to their hotel after preparing a report near Kobani south of the Turkish border, where a heated battle was taking place between Daesh and the city’s defendants.

Early reports claimed that Shim died at the scene while later accounts suggested that she passed away due to heart failure after being transferred to hospital nearly 30 minutes later. Shim’s camerawoman, who had been transported to a different hospital, survived the incident.

Turkish authorities blamed Shim’s camerawoman, who had been driving the vehicle, for the crash. No further inquiry was reported to have been carried out by Ankara.

Many doubts, however, linger regarding the official testimony provided by the Turkish officials.

Today’s Zaman reported that prosecutors were seeking six years in prison for the operator of the concrete mixer instead, accusing the driver of causing “death through negligence.” The trial, allegedly set for March 2015, never occurred.

Six years following her unfortunate death, no further information has been released regarding the fatal accident.

Observers have pointed out that “car accidents” have been a “commonplace method” used by the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) to get rid of people it doesn’t like.

Although all signs point to foul play, until now the US government has neither conducted nor demanded an inquiry into the events of the alleged car accident which Turkish officials say was the cause of Shim’s death.

Two weeks after the incident, the US State Department issued a brief statement regarding Shim, who was an American citizen of Lebanese origin, saying that it “does not conduct investigations into deaths overseas.”

The journalist’s tragic death came only two days after Shim had spoken out live on Press TV about being targeted by the MIT, who had accused her of being a “spy” while the journalist covered the latest developments in Turkey and Syria.

“I am a bit worried, because as you know and as the viewers know, Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists, so I am a bit frightened what they might use against me.”

Shim explained that she had been targeted for her investigative reports regarding Ankara’s direct support for terrorist groups, such as Daesh in Syria, whose evidence had been largely concealed at the time.

“We were some of the first people on the ground, if not the first people on the ground, to get that story of those Takfiri militants going in through the Turkish border — the Bab al-Hawa border — being sent in. I’ve got images of them in World Food Program trucks. It was very apparent that they were Takfiri militants by their beards and by the clothes that they wore. And they were going in there with NGO trucks,” she said.

The 29-year-old reporter had been described by her colleagues as an aspiring journalist with much potential. The young journalist had spent years working in various dangerous conflict zones such as Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Ukraine.

The Turkish government has been accused of supporting various terrorist groups seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since the onset of the foreign-backed terrorism nine years ago.

Over the past four years, the Turkish military has staged at least two unauthorized incursions into northern Syria to push back against Kurdish militants, whom Ankara says seek to overthrow the Turkish government.

The aggression prompted the areas’ Kurdish population to ask the Syrian government for protection against the Turkish forces.

Ankara, which backs Syria’s anti-government militants, currently has hundreds of Turkish troops in the northwest of the Arab country.

In recent years, Western terrorists within the ranks of Daesh in Syria and Iraq have been seeking their countries’ help to secure their return to their motherlands as the Takfiri group continues to suffer heavy losses in the two Arab countries.

Some of the Daesh terrorists have contacted diplomatic missions in Turkey while others have secretly sought their governments’ help in leaving dwindling Daesh-held territory.

October 18, 2020 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , | 8 Comments

Non-Aligned Movement Demands Israel Withdraw to 1967 Borders With Syria

By Ilya Tsukanov – Sputnik – 10.10.2020

The 120 member-strong Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has issued a political declaration whose demands include Israel withdrawing from occupied Syrian territories in the Golan Heights.

In a statement published Friday after a virtual ministerial meeting, the NAM said its members “condemn all measures taken by Israel to change the legal, physical and demographic status of the Occupied Syrian Golan, and demand once again that Israel should abide by the United Nations Security council resolution 497 (1981), and to withdraw fully from the Occupied Syrian Golan to the borders of 4 June 1967, in the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).”

In addition, the NAM reiterated that “a just, lasting solution to the question of Palestine in all its aspects must remain its priority and also a permanent responsibility of the United Nations until it is satisfactorily resolved in all aspects in accordance with international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions.”

The group of nations also reaffirmed the need to “respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty, the sovereign equality, political independence and inviolability of international borders of other states,” and to refrain from intervention in other countries’ internal affairs.

Established in 1961 at the height of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, the NAM was seen as an alternative to the idea of a bipolar world order of two competing military blocs. Today, the NAM consists of 120 member nations, with most countries in the Middle East and Africa, plus much of Latin America and Asia and several post-Soviet republics among its members. China, Mexico, Brazil and more than a dozen other countries serve as observers.

The Trump administration formally recognised Israeli “sovereignty” over the Golan Heights in March 2019. Dozens of countries, including the US’s European allies, condemned the decision. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called it a “conscious, deliberate demonstration of lawlessness.”

Earlier this summer, on the occasion of President Trump’s birthday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced “practical steps” to create a so-called “Trump Heights” settlement in the area to honour the President’s recognition of Israeli control over the territory. The Israeli government plans to allocate some $2.3 million for construction of the settlement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the inauguration of a new settlement named after President Donald Trump in Golan Heights, Sunday, June 16, 2019.

Israel occupied the Golan Heights in June 1967 after launching a preemptive air strike against Egyptian airfields and thereby starting the Six Day War against a coalition of Arab states including Egypt, Syria and Jordan. In 1981, Tel Aviv formally annexed the territory, but the decision was not recognised by the Security Council, including the US, despite its alliance with Israel. In December 1981, the Security Council unanimously declared that Israel’s move was “null and void”. Behind the scenes, however, the Reagan administration did not press Israel to rescind its decision, and in January 1982 Washington and its allies vetoed a second resolution calling on the international community to take action to put pressure Israel.

Damascus has repeatedly stressed that it would never give up its sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and has warned that it has the right under international law to regain its territories using any means necessary.

Along with the Golan Heights, Israel continues to occupy a 22 sq km strip of Lebanese territory known as Shebaa Farms, as well as the internationally recognised Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

October 10, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

The War on Truth, Dissent and Free Speech

Syria, the OPCW Douma Investigation and the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media

Dr Piers Robinson | OffGuardian | October 6, 2020

On Saturday 13 June 2020 the Times newspaper published its third attack on academics associated with researching British government propaganda and the war in Syria. This time the attack focused on smearing myself and Professor David Miller with the objective of discrediting an academic organization we established, the Organisation for Propaganda Studies (OPS), designed to foster research and writing on propaganda.

The article contained multiple falsehoods and distortions and was similar in style to previous attacks aimed at character assassination mainly through employment of the ‘conspiracy theorist’ smear. Most prominently the hatchet pieces misleadingly conflated work by members of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media (WGSPM), of which myself and Miller are also members, with the OPS. Formal complaints from the OPS are in process and the Times has already been forced to issue a number of corrections.

Of course, character assassination as a propaganda tactic is widespread and there is even a Routledge academic handbook on the subject, the Routledge Handbook of Character Assassination and Reputation Management’, which was published in 2019 and contains 30 odd chapters. The attacks by the Times have been amplified by similar pieces written by Chris York for the Huffington Post.

In total, approximately 20 articles have been produced attacking those of us who are working on the war in Syria and questioning important aspects of UK propaganda operations. The bulk of these articles have been written by just two journalists, Dominic Kennedy for the Times newspaper and Chris York for the Huffington Post. This represents an extraordinarily intensive and sustained campaign against us.

Why on earth have we gotten into so much trouble?

A history of the attacks is instructive. Attention first started to be paid by former Guardian journalist Brian Whitaker in February 2018 when he penned a series of crude hatchet pieces on his blog smearing academics associated with the then newly established WGSPM. At that point Huffington Post journalist Chris York had already been attempting for several months to make contact with me, Professor Tim Hayward and journalist Vanessa Beeley.

But it was several weeks after Whitaker’s smears that the attacks started in earnest. Following the now controversial alleged chemical weapon attack in Douma, Syria, on 7th April 2018, the US UK and France bombed Syrian government targets claiming Syria was responsible for the attack. At the same moment these air attacks were underway, the Times of London published four articles which included one on the Front page, photographs of some of us from WGSPM and an editorial.

These articles smeared the academics as ‘conspiracy theorists’ for questioning official narratives regarding chemical weapon attacks in Syria, as ‘Assadists’ and also implied the existence of nefarious links with Russia. Chris York of the Huffington Post then followed the Times attack with multiple articles attacking us. The articles followed a similar pattern to the Times’ hatchet pieces involving allegations of ‘conspiracism’, ‘war crimes denial’, being pro Assad and pro Putin etc. More than two years later, attack pieces are still being published.

The vast bulk of the output of WGSPM has concerned the issues of alleged chemical weapon attacks in Syria and, in particular, the Douma event. The working group’s briefing notes documented serious anomalies and issues regarding these attacks and, in particular, critically analysed both the OPCW investigations of these alleged attacks and also identified the involvement of UK-linked actors, including the late James Le Mesurier (founder of the White Helmets) and Hamish de Bretton-Gordon.

The evidence, as the working group briefing notes set out, is that the OPCW Douma investigation was manipulated in order to ensure the finger was pointed at Syrian government responsibility for the alleged chemical weapon attack. In reality, the evidence did not demonstrate an attack had occurred and, in fact, pointed toward the attack having been staged.

Our findings have been presented at an event at the UK House of Commons and at the Harvard-Sussex Program on Chemical and Biological Weapons.

The WGSPM has not been alone in raising questions and a wide body of material now corroborates its work. For example, even at the time of the Douma attack credible individuals voiced doubt about the likelihood of the Syrian government launching a chemical weapon attack in Douma just as its forces were on the brink of retaking the enclave.

For example, both retired Major General Jonathan Shaw and Admiral Lord West questioned the tactical logic of any such an attack and the latter raised the possibility the event was carried out by opposition groups.

Following the publication of the final OPCW report on Douma in March 2019, an engineering report was leaked to WGSPM and which concluded that the chlorine gas cylinders had likely been manually placed at the alleged attack scenes rather than having been dropped from a Syrian air force helicopter. This engineering report, it subsequently transpired, had been rejected by OPCW management on spurious grounds.

During the Autumn of 2019 the Courage Foundation hosted a panel at which a former OPCW official briefed a panel of trusted and authoritative individuals, including José Bustani the first Director General of the OPCW, about significant procedural and scientific flaws regarding chemistry, ballistics, toxicology and witness statements.

An open letter addressed to OPCW states parties from the Courage Foundation followed and was signed by eminent voices such as Professor Noam Chomsky, Hans von Sponeck (former UN Assistant Secretary-General), GCHQ whistleblower Katharine Gun, former UNSCOM weapons inspector Scott Ritter, film director and producer Oliver Stone and John Pilger.

Since then, multiple documents have been published by Wikileaks evidencing irregularities with respect to the Douma FFM investigation whilst journalists such as Peter Hitchens (Mail on Sunday ), Stefania Maurizi (formerly of La Repubblica ) and Robert Fisk (The Independent ) have reported on the issue.

Peter Hitchens has been a particularly vociferous voice defending the reputations of two OPCW staff who have been subjected to a malicious internal investigation aimed at smearing their reputations. In 2020, further leaks have been published by The Grayzone in the United States including statements from further OPCW persons and, most recently, Aaron Maté published an article in the leading US current affairs magazine The Nation.

Finally, and by no means least, former OPCW inspector Ian Henderson addressed an Arria Formula meeting of the UN Security Council at which he detailed the irregularities and misconduct he had experienced with respect to the FFM Douma investigation. In September 2020, a second Arria Formula meeting was held at which OPCW Syia FFMs and the Douma investigation were again debated and which included, again, the former OPCW Inspector Ian Henderson. And, this week at a UN Security Council meeting, a statement from OPCW First Director-General José Bustani was read out in which yet again raised concerns about the conduct of the OPCW Douma investigation.

To any casual observer it should be abundantly clear that the activities and output of the WGSPM is entirely legitimate. Our work has been at the forefront of an issue that has been discussed by mainstream media journalists and has been corroborated by information from people within the OPCW itself.

Why then have the Times of London and the Huffington Post published approximately 20 articles (including three Times leaders) in 2 years targeting us?

In general, the behaviour of both the Times and the Huffington Post is disturbing and suggestive of a deliberate campaign aimed at suppressing public debate regarding both the war in Syria and the involvement of the UK government in supporting activities aimed at the overthrow of the Syrian government.

UK involvement in the Syrian war has included direct support for opposition groups as well as potentially criminal activity relating to the OPCW and connection with the staging of alleged chemical weapon attacks.

In the last few weeks, a large volume of FCO documents have been leaked which document a vast ‘strategic communication’ operation aimed at supporting the war against Syria. According to Ben Norton from the Grayzone:

[V]irtually every major Western corporate media outlet was influenced by the UK government-funded disinformation campaign exposed in the trove of leaked documents, from the New York Times to the Washington Post, CNN to The Guardian, the BBC to Buzzfeed.

In fact, there are some indications that the media attacks might be the direct result of deliberate media alignment with the UK government position on Syria and its well-established policy seeking to overthrow the existing Syrian government. Specifically, two of the authors of the original Times attack on the academics, Dominic Kennedy and Deborah Haynes, are identified in leaked documents as being associated with the UK government-funded propaganda operation known as the Integrity Initiative.

The Integrity Initiative leaks provided powerful insights on how propaganda operations were being built around “clusters” of journalists. Haynes has subsequently denied involvement with the article whilst Kennedy has repeatedly refused to answer questions regarding the relationship between his articles and the Integrity Initiative.

Most notably, Times columnist Oliver Kamm has stated in public that the late James Le Mesurier ‘had reached out to this newspaper to urge us to keep on their [the academics] case’.

Regarding Huffington Post, Chris York’s line manager, Jess Brammar, is a member of the Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee which works with the UK government on influencing and controlling media reporting of defence and security related issues. Further information regarding the organizational details and scale of media-related activities aimed at suppressing criticism of UK Syria policy is still being investigated and information will be published in due course by WGSPM.

However, even if it is, as of yet, unclear whether the attacks are at the behest of those involved in UK government/FCO strategic communication operations related to Syria, it is certainly the case that they have a deleterious impact on open public debate and academic research. People might reasonably expect mainstream media to uphold, defend and encourage research and debate, as opposed to smear honest academics who are simply doing their jobs.

Even more seriously, the available evidence indicates that the alleged attack in Douma involved the murder of captive civilians. That means the event surrounding Douma likely involve an extremely serious, and indeed horrific, war crime. Those seeking to hinder those in pursuit of the truth run the risk of complicity, whether knowing or unknowingly, in a war crime and run legal jeopardy as a result.

A final note. The late Julian Perry Robinson, one of the world’s leading experts on chemical and biological weapons, was in communication with the Working Group. In an earlier era, Robinson played a key role challenging the false claim made by the US government that Soviet-backed forces in Laos and Cambodia were deploying toxins.

At the time of his death, he was completing a chronology regarding chemical weapons and the war in Syria. Writing about the events surrounding alleged chemical weapon attacks in Syria and the vicious attacks against WGSPM, he noted that:

It is not immediately clear from their pronouncements that the critics of the WGSPM just quoted have in fact adequately studied the Group’s publications. They certainly seem not to have done their reading with the care that might have been expected ahead of such vicious denigrations.

So is the Group simply becoming a victim of the fake news and other acts of information warfare it has itself been seeking to counter? Is the WGSPM being maliciously targeted by enemies that its principled research and outreach seem to have created?

— Part 8: The Chemical Warfare Reported From Syria: a documented chronology detailing reports of events in Syria since 1982 said to have involved use of chemical weapons, by Julian Perry Robinson

It was Julian Perry Robinson who subsequently invited WGSPM member Professor Paul McKeigue to present at the Harvard-Sussex Program on Chemical and Biological Weapons roundtable meeting in March 2020.

If a figure of such standing and brilliance wished for his colleagues to hear our analysis, where does this leave the Times and the Huffington Post who have so relentlessly sought to silence us through character assassination and smears?

Not, I would suggest, in a very good place.

Dr Piers Robinson is a director of the Organisation for Propaganda Studies and convenor of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media. He writes here in a personal capacity.

October 6, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

Russia slams ‘disgraceful’ ban on founding OPCW chief speaking at UN Security Council on Syria

RT | October 6, 2020

An ex-OPCW chief, sacked under US pressure, has been barred from briefing the UN Security Council about a controversial probe into an alleged 2018 chemical attack in Syria. Russia called it a “shame” and published his speech.

Jose Bustani, a Brazilian diplomat who led the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) from 1997 until 2002, was invited by Moscow to speak at a UN Security Council meeting about the so-called “Syrian chemical dossier,” but his appearance was blocked at the last minute by Belgium, Germany, Estonia, France, the US and the UK.  

“What has happened now is yet more sad proof that Western delegations fear the uncomfortable truth,” Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, stressed while addressing the UN global body on Monday.

He said the six countries had “made history” because the Security Council has never voted “on the presence or absence of a briefer proposed by the [UNSC] president.” Prohibiting the former OPCW director general from speaking was a “shame and disgrace,” Nebenzia concluded, promising to publish Bustani’s statement after the meeting.

UK envoy Jonathan Allen said that Bustani is not in a position to “provide relevant knowledge or information.”

Shortly afterwards, the undelivered speech appeared on the website of the Russian mission to the UN. In it, the sacked OPCW chief raised “serious questions” over “whether the independence, impartiality, and professionalism of some of the organization’s work is being severely compromised, possibly under pressure from some member states.”

As a major example, Bustani cited an OPCW investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Syrian city of Douma on April 7, 2018. Western governments, and media outlets, maintain that forces loyal to Damascus dropped two gas cylinders as part of an offensive against jihadist forces, killing scores of civilians.

The allegations were used as a pretext for a major US-led airstrike against Syrian government forces later that year. The OPCW launched a probe into the “chemical attack,” and in early March of 2019, the final report by the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) of the OPCW stated that there were “reasonable grounds” to believe that canisters filled with “molecular chlorine” were dropped from Syrian aircraft in Douma.

The final report gave credence to the Western show of force by implicating the Syrian government of Bashar Assad in conducting the attack, which the Syrian authorities vehemently deny.

Shortly after the release of the OPCW report, an internal memo by OPCW engineers was leaked, suggesting the canisters were likely just placed at the site of the “attack,” and did not come from the skies. Still, the final report did not include such information, and a senior OPCW official reportedly ordered the removal of “all traces” of the dissenting opinion, according to WikiLeaks.

Months later, Bustani noted that he was invited to an expert panel which heard the testimony of an unnamed OPCW investigator, who came forward with damning evidence that his own organization had engineered a report based on a flawed conclusion and likely deliberately steered toward the outcome favored by the West.

That expert provided “compelling and documentary evidence of highly questionable, and potentially fraudulent conduct in the investigative process,” Bustani’s statement recalled. The Brazilian diplomat had been so stunned by the testimony that he personally called on the OPCW to be “resurrected to become the independent and non-discriminatory body it used to be.”

However, he continued, the chemical weapons watchdog did not respond to any calls for greater transparency about the controversial Douma investigation. The probe was “hidden behind an impenetrable wall of silence and opacity, making any meaningful dialogue impossible.”

In conclusion, Bustani called on Fernando Arias, the current OPCW chief, to hear the grievances of OPCW inspectors who voiced dissenting opinions on the Douma incident. They “have dared to speak out against possible irregular behavior in your organization,” Bustani argued, adding that it is “in the world’s interest that you hear them out.”

Bustani noted that he had been removed from his OPCW position “following a US-orchestrated campaign in 2002.” Back then, he was trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Iraq prior to the 2003 US invasion there. A UN tribunal ruled that his sacking was unlawful.

October 6, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel and the World Refugee Crisis

If Americans Knew | October 4, 2020

There are 26 million people worldwide who have fled to other countries as refugees, more than half of whom are under the age of 18. Israel plays a role in over 80% of the world’s refugees. This 3 minute video explains how. For a short video with basic information on Israel by author Alison Weir see:

https://youtu.be/IPpFIKC0Fo0

For information on the $38 billion to Israel see:

https://israelpalestinenews.org/congr…

https://israelpalestinenews.org/senat…

https://ifamericansknew.org/stat/cost…

SOURCES: Israel’s Arms Sales and Clients

https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/f…

https://jacobinmag.com/2018/11/israel…

https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion…

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/01/18/p…

https://www.972mag.com/israeli-weapon…

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/i…

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/1…

https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-isra…

https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-6-80…

https://www.finalcall.com/artman/publ…

https://theconversation.com/kashmiris…

October 4, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ex-OPCW Member Says Syria 2018 Chemical Attacks Report May Not Reflect Actual Events

Sputnik – 29.09.2020

A former lead investigator from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ian Henderson, said the final report of the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) into the alleged use of toxic chemicals in an attack in Douma, Syria, in 2018, may not reflect what happened on the ground.

Henderson was speaking at an informal meeting of the UN Security Council, organised by the Russian Mission, to openly discuss the treatment of the Syrian chemical dossier, in contrast to traditionally closed gatherings of the council on the issue.

“I speak for myself, but I know there are other Douma FFM inspectors who hold the similar concerns that I do about the manner in which the investigation was controlled, locked-down… [as well as] the findings reflected in the final FMM report”, Henderson said. “We believe that there is more than sufficient information out there today that has demonstrated our points that the findings of the FFM report on Duma may not reflect the actual situation”.

Henderson said the launching of a transparent technical inquiry aimed at clarifying the actual course of events in Douma in 2018 is justified, given the scope of the available information and facts on the alleged incident.

“And this needs to be done in a way that demonstrates scientific rigour and integrity because that currently has not been done”, he said. “perhaps, more importantly, we continue to hope that there’s someone who’s willing and able, someone who has the courage to do something about this”.

The OPCW concluded that chlorine was most likely used in the suspected April 2018 attack on the city, which lies on the northeastern outskirts of the Syrian capital. This led the United States, France and the United Kingdom to launch missile strikes on Syrian targets.

The OPCW relied in its probe on data provided by the White Helmets, a rebel-linked group that bills itself as a volunteer rescue force.

However, the group has faced severe criticism from the Syrian and Russian governments who accuse the organisation of supporting terrorists and staging provocations involving chemical weapons aimed at justifying potential foreign interventions.

In December 2019, whistleblowing website WikiLeaks made public documents from the OPCW on the accuracy of the investigation in Douma.

One is an internal email exchange between a senior OPCW official, Chief of Cabinet Sebastian Braha, and his colleagues regarding a technical assessment by Henderson into allegations that the Syrian government had dropped two gas cylinders in a civilian area of Duma from an aircraft.

Henderson, who was assisting the FFM with information collection in Douma, in particular, found that all evidence from the ground suggest that cylinders were placed there manually and, given that the area was not controlled by Damascus at the time, most likely by no one else but the anti-government rebels.

The final report of the OPCW has no mention of these findings. Henderson faced pressure from the OPCW leadership and was eventually fired.

September 29, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Hack reveals UK’s propaganda campaign to drive Syrian regime change

By Johanna Ross | September 25, 2020

When I reported on the leak of Integrity Initiative documents back in 2018/19 which exposed the extent of the UK’s propaganda war against Russia, I didn’t think it could get much more organised and coordinated than it was. Involving hundreds of journalists and academics across the globe to spin disinformation about Russia and paint the country in as negative a light as possible in the mainstream media, the UK government-funded campaign was as sophisticated as the information war gets. But here we are in 2020, still uncovering the true scope of western government influence on the narrative plugged by the mainstream media. And it doesn’t speak well for our ‘democracy’.

On 8th September the hacker group Anonymous published shocking revelations of how a concerted and organised campaign has been waged to support the anti-government rebels in Syria. One set of documents relates to the NGO ARK, which although brands itself as a humanitarian organisation, effectively functions as a vehicle for western-led regime change. In one of the papers it states:

‘ARK’s focus since 2012 has been delivering highly effective, politically- and conflict-sensitive Syria programming for the governments of the United Kingdom, United States, Denmark, Canada, Japan and the European Union.’

This is a somewhat different picture from the mission statement on their website:

‘ARK was created in order to assist the most vulnerable, particularly refugees, the displaced and those impacted by conflict and instability.’

Sounds lovely doesn’t it? But this organisation is far from charitable. In the last few years it has received $66 million from western governments to drive regime change in Syria. It boasts of relationships with Syrian opposition members that have been built up ‘over the years’, and we know that they date as far back as 2011, if not before, as its  documents read ‘ARK staff are in regular contact with activists and civil society actors whom they initially met during the outbreak of protests in spring 2011’.

ARK also had a targeted propaganda campaign package for Syrian media. In the documents it is discussed how best to reach Syrian audiences to promote the regime change narrative, with success being achieved it is said, on digital media such as Facebook, but also through broadcast media. If there was ever any evidence that the mainstream media was bought, this is it:

‘To achieve a strong digital presence, ARK/Accadian will draw on its existing relationships with media organisations… Using its existing networks and connections, ARK/Accadian would target key Syrian satellite TV networks (Orient TV, Souria al-Shaab, Souria al-Ghad, Barada) and regional Arabic networks and primary international channels.’

What is extraordinary is the repeated use of the word ‘independent’ to describe the media outlets being promoted by ARK. The authors are clearly blissfully unaware that by interfering in the media of this sovereign state to promote the overthrow of the government, the media can hardly be termed ‘independent’ but instead an arm of the British state and its own particular political aims and objectives. The document reads:

‘Since ARK first began training citizen journalists in 2012, as part of HMG’s efforts to develop professional, 2 independent and self-sufficient local Syrian media organisations, it has trained more than 200 journalists and has been a key implementer of a multi-donor effort to develop media platforms inside Syria, maintaining close links with these organisations’.

It boasts having produced over 2000 news reports for various mainstream Arabic channels, including Orient, Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera and Sky Arabic which it says are ‘broadcast almost every day’. Some of the statements are pure, straightforward admissions of propaganda:

‘ARK has also facilitated contact between the Syrian opposition and international media, seeking to address the perception of an uncoordinated opposition by fostering the image of a united front.’

It is extraordinary the sheer brassneck with which this author writes about manipulating the Syrian public through propaganda. It has the stated goal of creating the impression of a united Syrian opposition, which of course there never was.

These documents contrast with the UK government’s website on ‘what it is doing in Syria’. There we are told that British involvement is limited to humanitarian aid as it ‘suspended all services of the British Embassy in Damascus and withdrew all diplomatic personnel from Syria in 2012’. The Anonymous hack shows that this is far from the truth. There has clearly been considerable British involvement in fostering regime change in Syria. If it weren’t for these leaked documents, the UK taxpayer would remain completely ignorant as to what foreign meddling is being carried out in his or her name.

For more detailed analysis and context of the hacked documents, please see Ben Norton’s report on The GrayZone.

Johanna Ross is a journalist based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

September 25, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 2 Comments

Western media manufactured narratives to rally support for Syria militants: Report

Press TV – September 24, 2020

Western governments and their media outlets have been concocting narratives to sway public opinion in favor of militant groups operating in the Arab country, according to a report.

Citing leaked documents, the investigative journalism group Grayzone revealed in a report published on its news website on Wednesday that Western governments and their affiliated news agencies carefully organized English- and Arabic-language media coverage of the war in Syria to drum up support for the militant groups there.

“Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it,” the article said.

The group said US and European contractors trained and advised Syrian “opposition” leaders, including young media activists, at all levels and organized interviews for them on mainstream outlets such as the BBC and the UK’s Channel 4.

“Western government public relation firms not only influenced the way the media covered Syria, but as the leaked documents reveal, they produced their own propagandistic pseudo-news for broadcast on major TV networks in the Middle East, including BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Orient TV,” Grayzone said.

The UK-funded firms functioned full-time to serve the militant outfits in Syria, according to the article, with one contractor, called InCoStrat, saying it was in constant contact with a network of more than international 1,600 journalists and “influencers,” and used them to promote anti-Damascus narratives.

The leaked documents also revealed that the Western government contractor, ARK, had played a role in “popularizing” the so-called civil defense group the White Helmets in American and European media.

“ARK ran the social media accounts of the White Helmets, and helped turn the Western-backed group into a key propaganda weapon of the Syrian opposition,” the article said.

The so-called White Helmets have been implicated by Syria and its ally Russia in numerous violations, including working with Takfiri militants in the Arab country and staging false-flag gas attacks to be blamed on Damascus as an excuse for Western allies to attack Syria.

ARK also ran an anti-Damascus propaganda outlet called Moubader, which developed a huge following on social media, including more than 200,000 likes on Facebook. The Western government contractor also printed 15,000 copies per month of a “high-quality hard copy” Moubader magazine and distributed in militant-held areas of Syria.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.

Idlib, in northwestern Syria, and small parts of an adjacent area in Aleppo form the only large areas in the hands of militants after the Syrian military managed to undo militant gains across the country and bring back almost all of Syrian soil under government control.

Idlib is now held by an array of militants dominated by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) Takfiri group, which is led by members of the former al-Qaeda franchise.

The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.

September 24, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Peace Deal Like No Other

Much ado about nothing, but Act 2 is coming up

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • September 22, 2020

It is odd that the White House is gloating over its claimed peace agreement in the Middle East at the same time as one of the signatories is bombing Syria, Lebanon and Gaza. It all suggests that peace in the region will exclude designated enemies and the friends of those enemies, since the ties among the three parties – Israel, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain – is transparently in part an offensive alliance directed against Iran and its friends, to include Syria and Lebanon. A significant amount of the horse trading that preceded the gala signing ceremony in the White House involved who would get what advanced American weapons down the road. The UAE wants F-35 fighter bombers while Israel is already asking for $8 billion for more top-level weapons from the U.S. taxpayer to maintain its “qualitative edge” over its new found friends.

For the more sagacious readers who chose to ignore what took place, a short recap is in order. Last Tuesday President Trump hosted a White House signing ceremony during which Israel established formal ties with the two Arab states. The agreement was dubbed the Abraham Accord because it purports to build on the foundation provided by the fraternity, as one might put it, of the three Abrahamic religions, namely Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. More specifically, it created the mechanism for diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties between Israel and the two Arab countries. It should be observed that both the UAE and Bahrain are close to being client states of the U.S. Bahrain is in fact the home port of the U.S. Fifth Fleet that operates in the region and it also hosts headquarters of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT). Both countries have long had de facto semi-secret relations with Israel on security issues and Israelis have been able to travel to them as long as they do not do so on an Israeli passport. And they both also know that the road to improving already good relations with Washington passes through Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally attended the ceremony, together with the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain. Trump enthused “We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history” and presented a replica gold key to the White House to Netanyahu. It is not known if the two Arab ministers received anything beyond a “don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.”

The president observed that the two Arab nations were the third and fourth to normalize relations with Israel, following on Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, and predicted that five more Arab countries might soon also recognize Israel. Oman and Qatar, which hosts the major U.S. airbase at Al-Udeid, are likely to be next in line as both have close ties to the United States and have never exhibited much hardline anti-Israeli fervor. The claim made before the signing, that Israel would stand down on its plan to annex much of the Palestinian West Bank as a quid pro quo for the agreement was not discussed at all, nor was it part of the document. It is generally believed that Israel will wait until after the U.S. election to make its move.

The Palestinians, who have been on the receiving end of Israeli nation-building were not invited. There were some demonstrations by Palestinians in Gaza and Ramallah denouncing the signing as it took place, together with chanting that “Palestine isn’t for sale.” Indeed, Palestinians are more-or-less invisible in Washington, having had their representational office closed by Trump in 2018 after he had been shown a fabricated video by Netanyahu in which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appeared to be calling for the murder of children. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also viewed the video and informed the president that it was an obvious fabrication, but Trump was convinced by it.

The U.S. media, always inclined to applaud anything that advances Israeli interests, registered its approval of the agreement. And there were calls for awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Trump for his miraculous achievement, not as ridiculous as it sounds as it is at least as well deserved as the one that was given to Barack Obama. Trump the peacemaker has a nice ring to it, and it quite possibly would pay off for the president in terms of votes and political contributions. Indeed, if one looks at the White House ceremony dyspeptically, it becomes clear that the whole event was staged for political purposes to advance GOP interests in the upcoming election. If it changes anything on the ground at all it actually worsens the chances for peace in the region. The UAE and Bahrain are now locked into a unified effort to oppose Iran by military force if necessary, with open support from Israel plus covert aid from Saudi Arabia as well as the full backing of the United States.

One might reasonably argue that the agreement was a win for Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, as they have succeeded in obliging the U.S. to support their own regional security interests for the foreseeable future. The media, defense contractors and politicians bought and paid for by Israel will be able to assert that the U.S. must retain significant forces in the region to defend Israel and friendly Arab states against the largely fictitious “Iranian menace.” It is unfortunately a major setback for United States efforts to limit its exposure to any and all political developments in an increasingly unstable Middle East. If the White House had really wanted to disengage from the quagmire that it has found itself in, it was an odd way to go about it.

And the Palestinians are left with nowhere to go, the presumption being that with lessening Arab support they will be reduced to begging Israel (and the U.S.) for a deal that will reduce them to the status of helots. That conclusion just might make them desperate and could trigger a new and even more bloody intifada.

The downside of the agreement is already beginning to play out as the United States is preparing to unilaterally impose sanctions on Iran that will include possible seizure of Iranian ships in international waters, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also warned Russia and China against trying to sell weapons to Tehran. One might well ask, how exactly does Pompeo propose to do that? Will he shoot down Russian transport planes or sink Chinese and Russian flagged ships? How does one go from being crazy to being batshit crazy, and what about all those Americans and others who would prefer not to be on the receiving end of a nuclear exchange?

Trita Parsi, who follows the situation in the Middle East closely, has suggested that Pompeo might even be planning an October Surprise, which might amount to some kind of provocation or even a false flag operation that would result in open conflict with Iran with the U.S. arguing that the fighting is both lawful and defensive in nature.

Such a suggestion might be considered insanity, but there are signs that the U.S. is heightening its delegitimization campaign against Iran. Unconfirmable allegations from anonymous U.S. government sources are surfacing about an alleged Iranian plot to kill the U.S. Ambassador in South Africa. And, as of Saturday, Washington is now implementing its new sanctions regime and there is a distinct possibility that an Iranian vessel in the Persian Gulf might be seized, forcing Iran to respond. The U.S. Navy has already intercepted four Greek flagged tankers in the Atlantic Ocean on their way to Venezuela, claiming they were carrying Iranian petroleum products, which were then confiscated. Given the demonstrated propensity to use armed force, anything is possible. The thinking in the White House might be that a containable war against a recognized enemy might be just the ticket to win in November. Of course, once the fighting starts it might not work out that way.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

September 22, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments