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Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Obsession With Russian Goes Back Decades





By Jacob G. Hornberger

May 27, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - Just consider the accusations that have been leveled at the president:
He has betrayed the Constitution, which he swore to uphold.
He has committed treason by befriending Russia and other enemies of America.
He has subjugated America’s interests to Moscow.
He has been caught in fantastic lies to the American people, including personal ones, like his previous marriage and divorce.

President Donald Trump?

No, President John F. Kennedy.

What lots of Americans don’t realize, because it was kept secret from them for so long, is that what Trump has been enduring from the national-security establishment, the mainstream press, and the American right-wing for his outreach to, or “collusion with,” Russia pales compared to what Kennedy had to endure for committing the heinous “crime” of reaching out to Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union in a spirit of peace and friendship.

They hated him for it. They abused him. They insulted him. They belittled him. They called him naïve. They said he was a traitor.

All of the nasties listed above, plus more, were contained in an advertisement and a flier that appeared in Dallas on the morning of November 22, 1963, the day that Kennedy was assassinated. They can be read here and here.

Ever since then, some people have tried to make it seem like the advertisement and flier expressed only the feelings of extreme right-wingers in Dallas. That’s nonsense. They expressed the deeply held convictions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, the conservative movement, and many people within the mainstream media and Washington establishment.

In June 1963, Kennedy threw down the gauntlet in a speech he delivered at American University, now entitled the “Peace Speech.” It was one of the most remarkable speeches ever delivered by an American president. It was broadcast all across the communist Soviet Union, the first time that had ever been done.

In the speech, Kennedy announced that he was bringing an end to the Cold War and the mindset of hostility toward Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union that the U.S. national-security establishment had inculcated in the minds of the American people ever since the end of World War II.

It was a radical notion and, as Kennedy well understood, a very dangerous one insofar as he was concerned. The Cold War against America’s World War II partner and ally had been used to convert the United States from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, one consisting of a vast, permanent military establishment, the CIA, and the NSA, along with their broad array of totalitarian-like powers, such as assassination, regime change, coups, invasions, torture, surveillance, and the like. Everyone was convinced that the Cold War — and the so-called threat from the international communist conspiracy that was supposedly based in Russia — would last forever, which would naturally mean permanent and ever-increasing largess for what Kennedy’s predecessor, President Dwight Eisenhower, had called the “military-industrial complex.”

Suddenly, Kennedy was upending the Cold War apple cart by threatening to establish a relationship of friendship and peaceful coexistence with Russia, the rest of the Soviet Union, and Cuba.

Kennedy knew full well that his actions were considered by some to be a grave threat to “national security.” After all, don’t forget that it was Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz’s outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him ousted from power by the CIA and presumably targeted for assassination as part of that regime-change operation. It was Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that made him the target of Pentagon and CIA regime-change operations, including through invasion, assassination, and sanctions. It was Congo leader’s Patrice Lamumba’s outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him targeted for assassination by the CIA. It would be Chilean President Salvador Allende’s outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him targeted in a CIA-instigated coup in Chile that resulted in Allende’s death.

Kennedy wasn’t dumb. He knew what he was up against. He had heard Eisenhower warn the American people in his Farewell Address about the dangers to their freedom and democratic way of life posed by the military establishment. After Kennedy had read the novel Seven Days in May, which posited the danger of a military coup in America, he asked friends in Hollywood to make it into a movie to serve as a warning to the American people. In the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the Pentagon and the CIA were exerting extreme pressure on Kennedy to bomb and invade Cuba, his brother Bobby told a Soviet official with whom he was negotiating that the president was under a severe threat of being ousted in a coup. And, of course, Kennedy was fully mindful of what had happened to Arbenz, Lamumba, and Castro for doing what Kennedy was now doing — reaching out to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship.

In the eyes of the national-security establishment, one simply did not reach out to Russia, Cuba, or any other “enemy” of America. Doing so, in their eyes, made Kennedy an appeaser, betrayer, traitor, and a threat to “national security.”

Kennedy didn’t stop with his Peace Speech. He also began negotiating a treaty with the Soviets to end above-ground nuclear testing, an action that incurred even more anger and ire within the Pentagon and the CIA. Yes, that’s right — they said that “national security” depended on the U.S. government’s continuing to do what they object to North Korea doing today — conducting nuclear tests, both above ground and below ground.

Kennedy mobilized public opinion to overcome fierce opposition in the military, CIA, Congress, and the Washington establishment to secure passage of his Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

He then ordered a partial withdrawal of troops from Vietnam, and told close aides that he would order a complete pull-out after winning the 1964 election. In the eyes of the U.S. national-security establishment, leaving Vietnam subject to a communist takeover would pose a grave threat to national security here in the United States.

Worst of all, from the standpoint of the national-security establishment, Kennedy began secret personal negotiations with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Cuban leader Fidel Castro to bring an end to America’s Cold War against them. That was considered to be a grave threat to “national security” as well as a grave threat to all the military and intelligence largess that depended on the Cold War.

By this time, Kennedy’s war with the national-security establishment was in full swing. He had already vowed to tear the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds after its perfidious conduct in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. By this time, he had also lost all confidence in the military after it proposed an all-out surprise nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, much as Japan had done at Pearl Harbor, after the infamous plan known as Operation Northwoods, which proposed terrorist attacks and plane hijackings carried out by U.S. agents posing as Cuban communists, so as to provide a pretext for invading Cuba, and after the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the military establishment accused him of appeasement and treason for agreeing not to ever invade Cuba again.

What Kennedy didn’t know was that his “secret” negotiations with the Soviet and Cuban communists weren’t so secret after all. As it turns out, it was a virtual certainty that the CIA (or NSA) was listening in on telephone conversations of Cuban officials at the UN in New York City, much as the CIA and NSA still do today, during which they would have learned what the president was secretly doing behind their backs.

Kennedy’s feelings toward the people who were calling him a traitor for befriending Moscow and other “enemies” of America? In response to the things that were said in that advertisement and flier about him being a traitor for befriending Russia, he told his wife Jackie on the morning he was assassinated: “We are heading into nut country today.” Of course, as he well knew, the nuts weren’t located only in Dallas. They were also situated throughout the U.S. national-security establishment.

For more information, attend The Future of Freedom Foundation’s one-day conference on June 3, 2017, entitled “The National Security State and JFK” at the Washington Dulles Marriott Hotel.


Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education.

This article was first published by The Future of Freedom Foundation -



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“Sickening Cowardice” - Theresa May Must be Held to Account on the Plight of Yemen’s Children





By Daniel Read

May 27, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - The death count from the terrorist attack on Manchester’s now sits at twenty two. Over sixty others wounded. The sad toll from an act of shockingly brutal callousness now seems to have thankfully stopped increasing.

True to form various politicians and media pundits have swooped in to give their verdict, some more sincere than others. The notoriously unpleasant Katie Hopkins, having called for a ‘final solution‘ for British Islam, is among the worst. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s plea to actually care for those most aggrieved, now and in the future, is perhaps the most genuine.

Yet it’s Prime Minister May’s verdict that is of particular interest. Branding the intentional targeting of children as “sickening cowardice” (it is) she seems to have made a point only to trip and fall. May’s government is behind a veritable upsurge in Britain’s arms trade, seeing weapons exports continue to end up in the hands of a government known for targeting civilians, kids included. I am of course referring to Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen.

This isn’t political point scoring. Saudi Arabia’s bombardment of Yemen has killed swathes of civilians, something which will have undoubtedly involved the use of British armaments. The plight of children in this deplorable scenario has been well documented, with the casualties of war being only one side to the story. As of 2015 UNICEF believed that well over three hundred thousand Yemeni children faced malnutrition. In 2017 that figure inflated to over two million. Around a third of all civilian casualties are believed to be minors, with a reputed average of six child deaths per day.

The Prime Minister’s comments are thus problematic, at the very least. For May to remain steadfast on selling weapons to Riyadh whilst denouncing violence elsewhere is just base hypocrisy. The question is, will this be addressed?

Most likely not. At the risk of sounding cynical, Britain’s relationship with Saudi Arabia is entrenched and long-lasting, with the UK having been a staunch supporter of the House of Saud even prior to their ultimate emergence at the head of state power. The UK has also made serious inroads into the global arms trade, commanding some four point five percent of the total world market. Weapons are big money. With the British economy already struggling over Brexit, there seems to be little chance of May’s government thinking twice over a long-lasting and distinctly lucrative relationship.

I almost feel a tad uncomfortable writing about this. Chances are I’ve ruffled some feathers already. When people are already in shock it seems almost unfair to present additional horrors for consideration. Many in the UK would argue that this is a time for unity rather than renewed dissension. The decision by the major parties to call off campaigning for next month’s general election is a case in point.

Yet this is another issue. The “additional horrors” cited above are no revelation for those actually experiencing them. The deplorable suffering and death of British children is no reason to suddenly fall silent on the suffering of those located elsewhere, especially when those commenting on the former (such as May) have a hand in exacerbating the latter. Such a position is morally indefensible. Lives are of value, regardless of their location of birth or the politics at hand. The media and indeed everyone else would do well to remember that.

“Newsworthy?”

Why mention the press? The fact is that the long running suffering of kids in Yemen has received a far, far lesser share of media attention than what happened recently in Manchester. Pointing this out will again no doubt make some quite angry. Yet it matters. Indeed, there’s a sinister edge to this that requires investigation.

I recall hearing back when I was a student that, when it came to the news agenda of the British press, the “life of one British citizen is worth a thousand Filipinos.” This wasn’t meant to be condoned. In fact the person telling me this was clearly not too happy. Yet the notion does contain a hard truth in terms of how the mainstream press shape the news and decide what is or what is not “newsworthy” in the eyes of their prospective audience. The reality is that to a great many some deaths do in fact matter more. The scanty reporting and muted response to Saudi Arabia’s bombardment of Yemen is a prime example.

Other journalists have testified to this in quite dramatic terms. William Dowell was himself an American reporter present during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. Dowell ran into problems of his own, soon deciding that his editors operated using a “calculus of death” to determine the newsworthiness of a story. In Dowell’s view this literally meant placing greater or less value on human lives, with a “cynical rating system” ensuring that one American life was worth “fifteen Frenchmen, which were worth twenty thousand Africans, which might be worth a million Asians”.

Does this “cynical ratings system” operate now? Those who claim it doesn’t would do well to pay attention to other largely unreported calamities, not just in terms of the children of Yemen but also the record number of kids killed in Afghanistan this year. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable or callous in pointing out that such matters have gone largely unnoticed even prior to recent events at home. Judging from this simple revelation it seems Dowell’s “calculus of death” is still evident. The unwillingness of the press to bring Theresa May to account over her denouncement of “sickening cowardice” whilst she herself has a hand in the death of children elsewhere is a case in point.

This just isn’t good enough. Journalists have weighty obligations, something that requires us to entertain a notion of “newsworthiness” that goes beyond cynically calculating the value of human lives in accordance with what might presumably be of more or less interest to a specific audience. Theresa May’s comments require us to scrutinise her own policies, especially in regards to the very evident fact that they have brought hardship and death to people elsewhere.

To obfuscate here would be to kowtow to a news agenda that all too often tends to downplay the sufferings of those outside of the western world, as if such matters are (or should) be forever removed from the vaunted “public interest”. This is unacceptable. The actions of those in power should always be scrutinised, even when such scrutiny may prove unpopular.

The big picture matters. Speaking the truth is a must. And the sad truth is that Saudi Arabia’s own acts of “sickening cowardice” against children is not something May is in a hurry to condemn. Chances are it won’t even occur to her. Calls for her to do so will be met with silence. This need to change.



Daniel Read is a human rights journalist and political analyst holed up in Western Europe. He originally studied journalism at Kingston University, London, prior to obtaining post-graduate degrees in both human rights and global politics. Daniel cares deeply about the plight of the Global South, ecology, human/animal rights and political and social empowerment. https://uncommonsense.me




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Motivation Of The Killers In Manchester







Manchester attack: It is pious and inaccurate to say Salman Abedi's actions had 'nothing to do with Islam'

By Patrick Cockburn

May 27, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - In the wake of the massacre in Manchester, people rightly warn against blaming the entire Muslim community in Britain and the world. Certainly one of the aims of those who carry out such atrocities is to provoke the communal punishment of all Muslims, thereby alienating a portion of them who will then become open to recruitment by Isis and al-Qaeda clones.

This approach of not blaming Muslims in general but targeting “radicalisation” or simply “evil” may appear sensible and moderate, but in practice it makes the motivation of the killers in Manchester or the Bataclan theatre in Paris in 2015 appear vaguer and less identifiable than it really is. Such generalities have the unfortunate effect of preventing people pointing an accusing finger at the variant of Islam which certainly is responsible for preparing the soil for the beliefs and actions likely to have inspired the suicide bomber Salman Abedi.

The ultimate inspiration for such people is Wahhabism, the puritanical, fanatical and regressive type of Islam dominant in Saudi Arabia, whose ideology is close to that of al-Qaeda and Isis. This is an exclusive creed, intolerant of all who disagree with it such as secular liberals, members of other Muslim communities such as the Shia or women resisting their chattel-like status.

What has been termed Salafi jihadism, the core beliefs of Isis and al-Qaeda, developed out of Wahhabism, and has carried out its prejudices to what it sees as a logical and violent conclusion. Shia and Yazidis were not just heretics in the eyes of this movement, which was a sort of Islamic Khmer Rouge, but sub-humans who should be massacred or enslaved. Any woman who transgressed against repressive social mores should be savagely punished. Faith should be demonstrated by a public death of the believer, slaughtering the unbelievers, be they the 86 Shia children being evacuated by bus from their homes in Syria on 15 April or the butchery of young fans at a pop concert in Manchester on Monday night.


The real causes of “radicalisation” have long been known, but the government, the BBC and others seldom if ever refer to it because they do not want to offend the Saudis or be accused of anti-Islamic bias. It is much easier to say, piously but quite inaccurately, that Isis and al-Qaeda and their murderous foot soldiers “have nothing to do with Islam”. This has been the track record of US and UK governments since 9/11. They will look in any direction except Saudi Arabia when seeking the causes of terrorism. President Trump has been justly denounced and derided in the US for last Sunday accusing Iran and, in effect, the Shia community of responsibility for the wave of terrorism that has engulfed the region when it ultimately emanates from one small but immensely influential Sunni sect. One of the great cultural changes in the world over the last 50 years is the way in which Wahhabism, once an isolated splinter group, has become an increasingly dominant influence over mainstream Sunni Islam, thanks to Saudi financial support.

A further sign of the Salafi-jihadi impact is the choice of targets: the attacks on the Bataclan theatre in Paris in 2015, a gay night club in Florida in 2016 and the Manchester Arena this week have one thing in common. They were all frequented by young people enjoying entertainment and a lifestyle which made them an Isis or al-Qaeda target. But these are also events where the mixing of men and women or the very presence of gay people is denounced by puritan Wahhabis and Salafi jihadis alike. They both live in a cultural environment in which the demonisation of such people and activities is the norm, though their response may differ.

The culpability of Western governments for terrorist attacks on their own citizens is glaring but is seldom even referred to. Leaders want to have a political and commercial alliance with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf oil states. They have never held them to account for supporting a repressive and sectarian ideology which is likely to have inspired Salman Abedi. Details of his motivation may be lacking, but the target of his attack and the method of his death is classic al-Qaeda and Isis in its mode of operating.

The reason these two demonic organisations were able to survive and expand despite the billions – perhaps trillions – of dollars spent on “the war on terror” after 9/11 is that those responsible for stopping them deliberately missed the target and have gone on doing so. After 9/11, President Bush portrayed Iraq not Saudi Arabia as the enemy; in a re-run of history President Trump is ludicrously accusing Iran of being the source of most terrorism in the Middle East. This is the real 9/11 conspiracy, beloved of crackpots worldwide, but there is nothing secret about the deliberate blindness of British and American governments to the source of the beliefs that has inspired the massacres of which Manchester is only the latest – and certainly not the last – horrible example.

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You Only Hate Assad Because Your TV Told You To





By Caitlin Johnstone

“What we’ve been undergoing to a large extent is a form of psychological abuse, actually, by very narcissistic, hegemonic governments and officials for a very long time. It’s a form of gas lighting where actually our own faith in our ability to judge a situation, and to some extent even our own identity, has been eroded and damaged to the point where we’re effectively accepting their version of reality.” ~ Vanessa Beeley
May 27, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - The only thing keeping westerners from seeing through the lies that they’ve been told about Syria is the unquestioned assumption that their own government could not possibly be that evil. They have no trouble believing that a foreigner from a Muslim-majority country could be gratuitously using chemical weapons on children at the most strategically disastrous time possible and bombing his own civilians for no discernible reason other than perhaps sheer sexual sadism, but the possibility that their government is making those things up in order to manufacture consent for regime change is ruled out before any critical analysis of the situation even begins.
Despite the evil and unforgivable invasion of Iraq having happened a mere fourteen years ago, sold to the public based on nothing but lies and mass media propaganda, mainstream America is unwilling to consider the possibility that this is happening again. Unwilling to turn and face the implications of what this would mean for their worldview, their self-image, and the entire system they’ve developed for examining and interpreting their experience of their lives up until this point.
Independent investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley has emerged from her latest trip to Syria burning with a new kind of fire. There’s something in her voice and the posture she now takes which conveys a new kind of authority, a sense that she has now seen enough and gathered enough evidence to observe unmasked the full picture of this monster of deceit she’s been fighting.
In her recent phenomenal interview on The Sane Progressive, Beeley shreds the entire work of fiction we’re being fed, from small details which show that the “White Helmets” are literally nothing other than Al-Qaeda members wearing special hats, to a breakdown of the way NGOs are used by government foundations and plutocrats to help construct propaganda narratives, all the way up to a big-picture analysis of the general unwholesome dynamic that gave rise to these despicable manipulations in the first place.
If you can set aside one hour of free time in the next few days, please give it to this important interview. If you have more time, watch it again, take notes, pause frequently, and research what she’s saying. You’ll never find such a densely-packed arsenal of weaponry for use in our media war against America’s unelected power establishment.
Beeley’s statements about the White Helmets (who, despite their ubiquitous image in the west, nobody in East Aleppo had even heard of during her time there last year) have now been backed by none other than award-winning journalist John Pilger, who called them “a complete propaganda construct” in a recent interview.
I have lost all patience with people who involve themselves in the conversation about the current Syrian administration by acknowledging the existence of western lies and propaganda about Syria and yet still maintaining that Assad is an evil dictator who needs to be deposed somehow.
This is an astonishingly common perspective in online discourse about Syria even among people who are relatively woke to what’s going on; they see it as the more moderate and well-reasoned position to simultaneously acknowledge that the US power establishment is known to use lies, propaganda and false flags to manufacture public consent for devastating acts of military violence, and also that Assad is horrible and evil.

There’s this odd, unquestioned assumption that the most honest position to espouse when two narratives contradict each other is to stand right in between them. This is a logic fail; it is a result of bad thinking. The midway point between two positions is not always the most truthful ground; when slavery was being debated, the correct position between “slavery is great” and “slavery is evil” was not “slavery is okay sometimes”. The correct position between “kill all Jews” and “don’t kill any Jews” is not “kill some of the Jews”. The correct position between “Our leaders are lying to us about Syria to manufacture consent for a regime change invasion” and “Assad is an evil dictator who needs to be deposed” is not “Well they’re both kinda true, it’s complicated.”
In reality, we cannot know with any degree of certainty how good or bad a leader Assad is. There’s too much smoke in the air, too much propaganda and deliberate deceit clouding our vision to get a clear picture of the complete political dynamic of an entire government. No reasonable, clear-thinking person can justifiably say with any degree of confidence that Assad is an evil dictator. There is no way to know.
What we can know with absolute certainty is that we are being lied to about Syria by western governments and the mass media propaganda machines which promote their oligarchic agendas. The mountains of evidence that are coming out against the White Helmets, the fact that Amnesty International is the same organization that promoted the false Nayirah testimony which was used to manufacture consent for the Gulf War, the fact that CNN recently staged a fake interview featuring a seven year-old girl who can’t speak English reading scripted anti-Assad propaganda to an unsuspecting audience; there is enough there to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the same power establishment that lied to us about Iraq is now lying to us about its neighbor Syria.
The only question is whether or not you have the emotional and intellectual integrity to face this reality.
We can also know that Assad is neither stupid nor insane. If you haven’t seen the interview he gave last month, check out the above video in which he tells his side of the story in perfect English. This is not the slobbering madman we’re asked to believe launched a sarin gas attack on his own civilians for no reason at the most inopportune time possible. Nor is he the strategic brute who gasses children to keep his citizenry fearing that there’s no limit to the savagery he’ll inflict upon them as in the narrative being promulgated by corporate media, since he tells them that he’d ever do such a thing in the interview.
It is possible that he is corrupt, it is possible that he has been needlessly oppressive in some ways; there’s no way to know in the current environment. But he is definitely neither stupid nor insane, as he would have needed to have been to have launched the Idlib gas attacks when he is alleged to have.
As the interviewer Debbie Lusignan said to Beeley
“Even if people are having a hard time because there is such a bombardment of disinformation and it’s very hard to sort it out and the alternative media is being suppressed and censored, basic common sense says that these are the same media outlets and the same political establishment structures that have been lying to us for all these other atrocities that we always find out after the fact were based on disinformation and manipulation and false information,” said Debbie. “So at this point, the American people themselves need to take some responsibility in terms of understanding that we have had such a history of this being the status quo, the way that the United States justifies and launches wars.”
“Our premise should be — they’re going to lie to us. And our burden of real proof should be through the roof.”
Is it possible that there is a power establishment governing your country which is so evil that it would engineer the deaths of children in a false flag attack to manufacture consent for a strategically valuable regime change it’s been seeking for decades? It’s uncomfortable to consider this possibility.
Much easier to believe there’s a depraved nutcase foreigner hurling chemical weapons and barrel bombs at civilians willy nilly who needs to be taken out by Good Guys. Much more difficult to do the rigorous intellectual and emotional work needed to escape from the institutional brainwashing Vanessa Beeley describes in her article “Gaslighting: State Mind Control and Abusive Narcissism” and do the necessary research to get a clear picture of what is going on. But you undeniably have the ability to make that choice, here and now as you finish this article.
Are you the sort of person who can face uncomfortable truths and revise their worldview accordingly, or the type who compartmentalizes and avoids them for the sake of cognitive comfort?
Step into the light.
This article was first published by 21wire -


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Contradictory Statements of NATO on Joining the International Coalition against the Islamic State




Global Research, May 27, 2017
Inside Syria Media Center


During a press conference on May 24, NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, said that NATO does not intend to take part in military operations against the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria. Instead, the alliance plans to concentrate on training certain ‘local forces’.

Actually, Jens Stoltenberg still could not hide the fact that NATO leadership, first of all, solves the serious issue of deploying its units in Syria and Iraq. In fact, such plans as ‘training local forces’ and ‘large-scale military operation’ are very close to each other in their essence.

It is easy to imagine how the events will develop. First, a decision is made to train local forces, which are the Syrian opposition in fact. In the framework of this step, dozens, and then hundreds of NATO ‘experts’ are deployed in the country. Then the next stage to be implemented, the military is transferred closer to the war zone.

The latest events are the following: during a full-scale campaign in the media started immediately, the fabricated information about the death of several NATO representatives (who were illegally engaged in training the opposition representatives on the Syrian soil) is spread.

It cannot be ruled out that something like that may happen somewhere in Idlib, where Western-controlled radical groups are located. Some human rights organizations accuse then government troops of using chemical weapons, bombing hospitals, maternity homes and schools, and of other atrocities and mass murders.

Thus, under the specious pretext of combating IS, the Allied Forces of NATO countries may enter Syria and begin a large-scale campaign against Bashar Assad. Such a scenario can be easily carried out if they wish. In connection with the growing number of terrorist attacks in Europe, Western society is extremely frightened. Continuous flows of refugees also threaten the EU. It turns out that the citizens of the European Union are so much afraid of all these Middle Eastern troubles that they will agree with everything that NATO would offer them, up to participation in full-fledged military operations, just not to let bombs explode in Europe.

Syrian experts, in their turn, were skeptical of the contradictory statements of Stoltenberg. In their opinion, the coalition already includes 12 member countries of NATO. It is their combat aircraft that daily participate in military operations in Syria and Iraq and regularly carry out deadly air strikes. In particular, recently, the coalition strikes in Syrian Raqqah killed at least 16 civilians.

Obviously, the actions of the coalition forces in Syria and Iraq, one way or another, are coordinated with the command of NATO. Apparently, Washington is again trying to lull the vigilance of the international community and is developing new plans to overthrow the Syrian government by force.

Sophie Mangal is a special investigative correspondent and co-editor at Inside Syria Media Center.

Featured image: Inside Syria Media Center


The original source of this article is Inside Syria Media Center
Copyright © Sophie Mangal, Inside Syria Media Center, 2017





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Breaking: ISIS Defense Lines Destroyed by Syrian Army and Russian Air Force





Global Research, May 27, 2017

On Thursday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies announced start of the Operation “Grand Dawn” in eastern Syria. The aim of the operation is to expel militants from the eastern desert and to set a foothold for a push to Deir Ezzor. The declaration followed a major success of government forces in southeastern Homs where they had liberated about 5,000 km2 and got a full control over the Damascus-Palmyra highway.
ISIS deployed a force for a counter-attack but its formidable military convoy was fully destroyed by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force en route to the Zaza triangle area. Thus, the terrorist group defense lines just collapsed.
The government advance south of the Homs-Palmyra highway also allowed government forces to isolate Jaish al-Islam militants in eastern Qalamoun and to prevent their attempt to unite efforts with US-backed militant groups operating near the Syrian-Jordanian border.
A new photo appeared online showing a Russian-made self-propelled 2S19 Msta-S self-propelled howitzer with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in Syria. The modern howitzer was supplied to the Syrian government by the Russian military.
The photo shows the howitzer deployed is a desert area, most likely somewhere in the countryside of Palmyra or north of Suweida. The presence of these weapon systems is another argument contributing to a success of pro-government forces in the area.
In the province of Aleppo, the SAA Tiger Forces and their allies further outflanked the strategic ISIS-held town of Maskanah liberating the villages of Fariyah, Khirbat Ghudraf, Jubab Masudiyah, Shumriya, Batushiya, and Salemiyah.
Meanwhile, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued steadily isolating the city of Raqqah from the western direction.
Summing up the recent developments, the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance have taken the initiative in its hands and now is aiming to achieve own strategic goals in eastern Syria, while the US-led coalition attempts to make some gains along the Jordanian and Iraqi borders and prepares for a storm of Raqqah.
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http://www.globalresearch.ca/breaking-isis-defense-lines-destroyed-by-syrian-army-and-russian-air-force/5592064


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Trump’s Visit to Israel: Prospects for Peace and Justice in the Middle East




Global Research News Hour Episode 183


Global Research, May 27, 2017

I’ve heard it’s one of the toughest deals of all, but I have a feeling we’re going to get there eventually. I hope.
-US President Donald Trump, on prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal [1] (May 22, 2017)
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Beleaguered by ongoing accusations of being a Kremlin agent, protests, and calls for his impeachment, President Trump has finally seen fit to embark on a multi-state visit abroad.
Trump’s first stop was in Saudi Arabia, where he signed a weapons deal worth $109.7 billion, the largest in history. This princely sum is expected to mushroom to $380 billion within 10 years. [2]
The second stop was Israel. Aside from the multiple photographs circulating through media of him and his entourage visiting the Western Wall, the trip was notable for public statements by both the US President and the Israeli Prime Minister indicating that the president’s “strong position on Iran” advances the prospects for peace in the region.

The subject that should have been front and centre however, was the nearly forty day hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners, spearheaded by Marwan Barghouti. The more than 1000 prisoners were attempting to raise concerns about the poor treatment of prisoners in Israeli jails. These included the practices of administrative detention allowing detentions on ‘secret evidence’, excessive use of solitary confinement, and the severe restriction of family visits. (source: Al Jazeera report) [3]
According to press reports, as of Saturday May 27th, the hunger strike has finally been suspended following talks involving the International Committee for the Red Cross and the Palestinian Authority concluding in a deal with Israel. [4]The Free Barghouti Campaign put out the following statement:
This is an important step towards full respect of the rights of Palestinian prisoners under international law. It is also an indication of the reality of the Israeli occupation, which has left no option to Palestinian prisoners but to starve themselves to achieve basic rights they are entitled to under international law.[5]
On the occasion of both the Trump visit and the end of “one of the widest and longest Palestinian hunger strikes in history of the prisoners’ movement” the Global Research News Hour looks at the prospects for peace and justice in the Middle East.
Richard Silverstein is a political writer and commentator. Since 2003 he has authored the progressive Jewish blog Tikun Olam, which focuses on exposing the excesses of the Israeli national security state. He has contributed to the Independent Jewish Voices essay collection, A Time to Speak Out (Verso, 2009), and to Israel and Palestine: Alternate Perspectives on Statehood (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). He contributes regularly to Middle East Eye, and has contributed in the past to Truthout, Alternet, Haaretz, Mint Press News, Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, Comment Is Free and Al Jazeera English. In the first part of the show, Silverstein probes some of the dynamics of Trump’s visit to the region, what is on the table in terms of Israeli-Palestinian peace, and the major players involved. His site is www.richardsilverstein.com
Richard Falk is a professor emeritus of international law and practice at Princeton University. From March 2008 to March 2014 he served as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation in the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967. He also co-authored with Virginia Tilley a recent report, released in March 2017 and since suppressed at the insistence of the UN Secretary General, that evaluated Israel’s practices toward the Palestinian population as essentially apartheid. In the second half of the program, Professor Falk discusses the findings of his report, and the repudiation it received at the UN level. He also discusses how the Palestinian prisoners hunger strike coming on top of an effective boycott, divestment, sanctions campaign holds promise for precipitating an optimistic outlook for justice movements in the region. His blog is featured at richardfalk.wordpress.com Many of his articles are posted at Global Research.
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The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca . The show can be heard on the Progressive Radio Network at prn.fm. Listen in everyThursday at 6pm ET.
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Notes:
  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrQuiMX7BZ8
  2. Rachael Revesz (May 21, 2017) “Donald Trump Signs $110 Billion Arms Deal with Nation He Accused of Masterminding 9/11” Independent; http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-arms-deal-saudi-arabia-110-billion-911-terrorism-international-law-war-crimes-a7747076.html
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_04njk5vxps
  4. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/05/palestinian-prisoners-israel-suspend-hunger-strike-170527074751097.html
  5. ibid




http://www.globalresearch.ca/trumps-visit-to-israel-prospects-for-peace-and-justice-in-the-middle-east/5592193

Counter Information published this article following the Creative Commons rule. If you don't want your article to appear in this blog email me and I will remove it asap.
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