Last year, President Donald Trump ordered a full military withdrawal from Syria. However, a backlash from politicians in Washington and the mainstream media forced him to make a U-turn.
Several recent reports suggest that Washington is now actually stepping up its military presence in northeastern Syria through direct and indirect means.
The U.S. has been increasing the number of private military contractors deployed in the northeastern region of Syria, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova revealed during a press briefing on July 17.
“It is reported that the number of private military contractors in Syria exceeds 4,000, and as many as 540 people arrived in the country in the second half of June, including 70 command personnel and instructors … These mercenaries are transported by car in groups of 12 to 16 people,” the spokesperson said.These private military contractors are reportedly training US-backed forces, protecting oil and gas infrastructure and ensuring security. The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) is responsible for their deployment and activities.
Zakharova noted that the U.S. had followed a similar tactic in Iraq before and warned that the deployment of private military contractors in Syria is a dangerous violation of international laws.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill managed to outdo Hitler and his Nazi cohorts. The Germans may have taken 12 years to murder 6 million Jews, but their Teutonic cousins, the British, managed to kill almost 4 million Indians in just over a year, with Churchill cheering from the sidelines.
Australian biochemist Dr Gideon Polya has called the Bengal Famine a “manmade holocaust” because Churchill’s policies were directly responsible for the disaster. He knowingly and enthusiastically caused the famine in 1942-43 by transferring vast quantities of food grain from India to Britain.
To Churchill, the starvation of Indians was less serious than that of Greeks. When the British administrators urged him to release food stocks for India, Churchill responded with a telegram asking why Gandhi hadn’t died yet.
Churchill’s hostility toward Indians has long been documented. At a War Cabinet meeting, he blamed the Indians for the famine, saying they breed like rabbits, and are a beastly people with a beastly religion. On another occasion, he insisted they were “the beastliest people in the world next to the Germans”.
According to author Madhusree Mukerjee,
“Churchill’s attitude toward India was quite extreme, and he hated Indians, mainly because he knew India couldn’t be held for very long.”The fact is the British Prime Minister possessed an extraordinary range of prejudices. During World War II, in a memorandum to the War Cabinet about policy towards Italy, he wrote:
“All the industrial centers should be attacked in intense fashion, every effort being made to terrorize the population.”He also pushed for the firebombing of German population centers such as Dresden, Leipzig and Chemnitz which killed 200,000 civilians in 1945. It was the only way the British could show they were in the war.
In 1944, Churchill came up with a cataclysmic plan to convert Germany into a “country primarily agricultural and pastoral in its character”. The Morgenthau Plan if implemented would have starved 10 million Germans to death in the first year alone. US President Franklin Roosevelt admitted Churchill was “bought off” by the American offer of $6.5 billion in Lend Lease.
As Barr explained, “What we’re looking at is: What was the predicate for conducting a counterintelligence investigation on the Trump campaign … How did the bogus narrative begin that Trump was essentially in cahoots with Russia to interfere with the US election?”
Barr, who is empowered to declassify highly sensitive documents, made clear that his primary focus was not the hapless FBI under James Comey but the CIA under John Brennan
4--Michelle Obama is the most admired woman in the world, according to a new poll. (prelude to candidacy??)
The former first lady led the pack in a survey released Thursday by market research firm YouGov.
Obama came out ahead of an array of high-profile women, besting Oprah Winfrey in second, actress Angelina Jolie, who came in third, and Queen Elizabeth II, fourth on the list.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the eighth place spot, ahead of Taylor Swift, Madonna and Ellen DeGeneres. First lady Melania Trump came in at number 19.
President Trump landed in 14th place, while Russian President Vladimir Putin was the 10th most admired man, according to those surveyed.
It was better news for the Trumps in a separate YouGov survey of America's most admired people. The current commander in chief came in second place, right behind the 44th president. Melania Trump ranked third in the women's category, behind Michelle Obama and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Its differences with Trump have always been tactical in character. The Democrats’ chief concern is that Trump is undermining the key strategic imperatives of American imperialism—particularly in relation to Russia—and that his unpredictable and erratic behavior will destabilize domestic politics, stoke popular opposition, and further endanger their foreign policy goals. When it comes to cutting taxes, lowering interest rates and increasing military spending, the Democrats and Trump agree. Both support Trump’s oft-repeated threat that “America will never be a socialist country.”...
Both factions of the ruling class will use the 2020 elections to contain social opposition and divert it behind their reactionary aims.
All the candidates are making “left” noises about guaranteeing health care for all, taxing the rich and using the proceeds to fund social reforms. If elected, they will do none of these things.
The same sorry act plays out over and over. The “progressive” candidates will tack left during the primaries to resuscitate illusions among disaffected voters, arguing that this time the party can be pressured to the left. In the end, the nomination process spits out a right-wing candidate like Bill or Hillary Clinton, John Kerry or Michael Dukakis.
One thing is certain in 2020: the “progressive” candidates, undercut by the party elites and without receiving any concessions on program, will either abandon all proposals of social reform or humiliate themselves by demanding their supporters “unite” behind a right-wing nominee.
Groups like the Democratic Socialists of America play a critical role in this process. While posing as “independent socialists," the DSA has already endorsed whatever right-wing Democrat the party nominates—a year-and-a-half before the election!
In a May interview with the New York Times, Jacobin editor and leading DSA figure Bhaskar Sunkara declared that a Joe Biden presidency “would be great.” if a progressive candidate does not win the primary, he said:
“I think the mentality has to be to call for people to vote for Joe Biden, especially in swing states.” It is necessary “to avoid a third-party candidacy”—that is, to break from the Democratic Party—on the basis of the “strategic knowledge and commitment to getting rid of Trump.”
Sunkara blurted out his lines before the primary debate performance had even started,
At the heart of Harris’s candidacy—as far as her credentials with the ruling class are concerned—is her record as a ruthless operative in the fields of criminal justice and national security. She was district attorney in San Francisco for six years, then California state attorney-general for the same length of time, before winning a Senate seat in 2016....
Most revealing was her appointment to the Intelligence Committee in 2017—the only newly elected Democrat to be given such a critical position, and an indication that, as far as the Democratic Party establishment and the military-intelligence apparatus were concerned, Harris is a “safe pair of hands.”
Harris has repaid this confidence by acting as the point woman, among the Democratic presidential candidates, for the bogus anti-Russian campaign, demanding Trump’s impeachment, not for his flagrant violations of the US Constitution or his persecution of immigrants, but based on the McCarthyite smear that he is a stooge of Moscow.
Speaking at the California Democratic Party’s convention in early June, Harris said, “Let’s talk about this so-called commander in chief. He parrots Russia’s lies over the word of American intelligence and law enforcement leaders. He denies that Russia interfered in the election of the president of the United States. We need to begin impeachment proceedings and we need a new commander in chief.”...
As both a city prosecutor and as the top law enforcement official in the largest US state, Harris made a name for herself as a strict “law and order” advocate. As San Francisco District Attorney, she prided herself on the high conviction rates obtained oftentimes heedless of ethical legal practice. Felony conviction rates rose from 52 percent in 2003 to 67 percent in 2006 under her leadership.
This increase in convictions, however, was often due to clear misconduct on the part of Harris and her office. In 2012, Superior Court Judge Ann-Christine Massulo ruled that Harris’s office violated defendants’ rights by withholding damaging information about a corrupt police crime lab technician who had stolen drugs and falsified reports.
As state attorney-general, Harris took on the high-profile defense of the state prison system against court rulings condemning overcrowding and mistreatment of prisoners as unconstitutional “cruel and unusual punishment.” She sought to end federal court supervision of the prisons, later defending her aggressive advocacy with the cynical statement that as the principal legal representative of the state government, “I have a client, and I don’t get to choose my client....
When the US Supreme Court in Brown v. Plata in 2014 declared the state’s prisons so overcrowded that they constituted cruel and unusual punishment, Harris fought the ruling. Prisoners were stacked in three-person bunkbeds and were falling ill and dying for lack of medical care. The state of California was subsequently ordered to reduce its prison population by 40,000 inmates. Harris actually argued that if California released inmates too soon, the state would lose an important source of labor, citing its reliance on untrained prison inmates risking their lives fighting wildfires for $2 a day.
In 2015, Harris defended convictions obtained by county prosecutors after the latter had inserted false confessions into interrogation transcripts. Harris asserted at the time that perjury was not sufficient to demonstrate prosecutorial misconduct.
The vindictive, anti-democratic character of Harris’s tenure as attorney general was not limited to the courtroom either. In 2010, Harris sponsored a law, later signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, which sought to improve schools by jailing parents of truant children and subjecting them to fines of up to $2,000. Even though the law explicitly made jail time a probable outcome for parents of truant children, Harris claimed in a CNN interview last May that sending parents to jail was an “unintended consequence” of the law.
Harris used her powers as a prosecutor to conduct vicious attacks on the poor and working class while doing her utmost to shield police and politicians from punishment. This stands in marked contrast to what her campaign claims was her record of virtually untarnished progressivism while in office. In her book, The Truths We Hold, issued to help launch her campaign, Harris mixes typical sentimental boilerplate with overt falsifications of her political record. She describes herself as a “progressive prosecutor.” Moreover, she claims she “used the powers of the office with a sense of fairness, perspective and experience.”..
While Harris has been half-hearted and inconsistent in her attempts at social demagogy—not the natural bent of someone who spent most of her career putting people in jail or defending police atrocities against the working class—she has shown somewhat more energy in embracing identity politics, which she has previously invoked as the “first black and female” DA of San Francisco, the “first black and female” attorney general of California, and currently as the only black and female US senator