Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Today's Links

1--Five Top Papers Run 18 Opinion Pieces Praising Syria Strikes–Zero Are Critical  No room for peaceniks

Five major US newspapers—the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and New York Daily News—offered no opinion space to anyone opposed to Donald Trump’s Thursday night airstrikes. By contrast, the five papers ran a total of 18 op-eds, columns or “news analysis” articles (dressed-up opinion pieces) that either praised the strikes or criticized them for not being harsh enough

2--Subprime auto loans threaten new crisis

3--White House threatens more strikes on Syria

The Trump White House ratcheted up global tensions further on Monday with a threat to carry out new air strikes against Syria, expanding on its attack last Thursday in which the US fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on a government airbase, killing 14 people, most of them civilians.

....“The president retains the option to act in Syria against the Assad regime whenever it is in the national interest, as was determined following that government’s use of chemical weapons against its own citizens,” he said.
Washington has presented no evidence to support its charge, much less any rational motive for the Assad government to carry out such an attack. The alleged incident has all the earmarks of a provocation staged by the CIA and its Islamist proxies to provide the pretext for the first-ever direct US military attack on Syrian government forces.

The new threats from the White House, which follow similarly provocative statements by Washington’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, advocating regime change in Syria, came on the same day that Russia and Iran issued their own warning that any new act of US aggression would be met with retaliation in kind.

The statement came from the joint command center of the Russian and Iranian militaries, the two principal allies of the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

“What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines,” it warned. “From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is, and America knows our ability to respond well.”
The British Guardian reported Monday, citing a “G7 source,” that “Tillerson plans to offer the Putin regime a bald choice, between cutting Bashar al-Assad loose and being rewarded with a thaw in relations with the West, or continuing to back him, and risking a Libyan-style outcome.” In 2011, the US and its NATO allies carried out a war for regime change in Libya involving massive bombardments and the use of Islamist “rebels” as proxy ground forces. The neo-colonial aggression ended with the toppling of the government and the lynch mob murder of its leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

On Tuesday, the G7 is set to meet with the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, the regional powers that, along with the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies, organized, armed and funded the Al Qaeda-linked militias that have been unleashed on Syria over the past six years.

On the eve of the G7 meeting, Tillerson participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the village of Sant’Anna di Stazzema, where the Nazis carried out an infamous massacre in 1944. There, he appeared to invoke the “human rights” pretext for global US militarism that Trump had opposed during the 2016 election campaign. “We rededicate ourselves to holding to account any and all who commit crimes against innocents anywhere in the world,” Tillerson said.

Washington’s continuing slaughter of civilians in its military operations in both Iraq and Syria and its support for the near-genocidal war being waged by Saudi Arabia and its allies against the people of Yemen expose the utter hypocrisy of this statement. Men, women and children continue to die—with virtually no reports in the Western media—in the US-backed siege of Mosul, where a single American air strike killed 300 people last month.

The danger of escalating tensions spinning out of control and producing a direct conflict between the US and Russia is continuing to mount. The US military command in Syria acknowledged Monday that the pace of its air strikes had slackened since Friday’s attack on the Syrian government airbase because of beefed-up “defensive” measures to protect the approximately 1,000 US troops on the ground in Syria. This means that US warplanes are being deployed to respond to potential attack by either Syrian or Russian fighters.

Moscow, for its part, has sent a warship armed with cruise missiles to join the Russian battle group sailing off the coast of Syria, enabling it to retaliate against another US attack

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