Thursday, June 15, 2017

Today's Links

“Any ‘resistance’ to the Trump Administration that includes the Democratic Party can only be seen as an effort to empower the ruling class through its preferred political party.”  Danny Haiphong, Black Agenda Report






The obvious play for the Russian-backed Syrians is to neutralize Americans at al-Tanf by giving their base a 55 kilometer-wide berth and punch through to the Iraqi border further east. Such a maneuver would end US dreams of al-Tanf as a staging point for a push into the Euphrates valley and make it into an irrelevant, isolated outpost in the desert.


We  have now learned that the US military was no less shocked by the advance than you and I. Testifying before Congress US Defense Secretary Mattis explained:

As far as the Tanf situation, that was another operating area that we had. I did not anticipate that the Russians would move there. We knew it was a possibility. I did not anticipate it at that time but it was not a surprise to our intelligence people who saw the potential for them to move out in that direction.”...After all if the Syrians want to restore a land border with Iraq and profit from some of the latter's manpower reserves that is also in the Russian interest in Syria


2--More Pieces Fall in Place for a Russian-US Clash in Southern Syria


Let's rewind. A month ago RI warned that US and Russia were on a collision course in Syria. The Syrian army was advancing toward the al-Tanf border crossing on the border with Iraq – which is held by a group of rebels who are not just armed, trained and paid by the US, but also frequently have US Special Forces embedded with them.
That is precisely what happened. A week after our warning the US "defensively" bombed the advancing Syrian army column and forced it to halt

Anyhow, rather than restrain its charges the US announced it is reinforcing its base in southern Syria with more US troops:
"We have increased our presence and our footprint and prepared for any threat that is presented by the pro-regime forces," said the spokesman, U.S. Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, referring to Iran-backed forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad....

Taken together we have:
  • US scaling up its military presence in southern Syria specifically to counter Syrian government forces "massing" at Zaza 
  • Washington's rebel charges goading the loyalists to attack and move into a US-declared no-go zone
  • Russians buzzing around and bombing US-backed rebels 
It's safe to say prospects for world peace have seen better days

The obvious play for the Russian-backed Syrians is to neutralize Americans at al-Tanf by giving their base a 55 kilometer-wide berth and punch through to the Iraqi border further east. Such a maneuver would end US dreams of al-Tanf as a staging point for a push into the Euphrates valley and make it into an irrelevant, isolated outpost in the desert.
But the question is: is the Pentagon capable of resigning itself to its fate? Is it capable of sitting idly by, doing nothing, as its forces in southern Syria are made irrelevant, or will it escalate (yet again) before that happens?

3--Uh huh, sure looks like it: –Commander of Russian forces in Syria accuses U.S. of being in cahoots with ISIS

The US-led coalition and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) collude with the leaders of the so-called “Islamic State”, Russian RIA Novosti agency reported on Friday citing Colonel General Sergei Surovikin, commander of Russian Armed Forces contingent in Syria.

“Instead of eliminating terrorists guilty of hundreds and thousands of Syrian civilian deaths, the US-led international coalition alongside with their proxies, Syrian Democratic Forces, collude with IS field commanders, who surrender their positions and sites without resistance and head towards the regions where Syrian government forces actively conduct military operations,” he said.
Surovikin also added that “it looks like Americans use IS in order to forestall the advances of Syrian government forces under the excuse of fighting international terrorism.”

4--Washington’s war crimes in Syria

Last month, US Defense Secretary James Mattis told the media that the Pentagon was adopting “annihilation tactics” in its anti-ISIS campaign, adding, “Civilian casualties are a fact of life in this sort of situation.”...

Washington’s strategic objectives in Iraq and Syria are not those of “fighting terrorism,” but rather consolidating US hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East and preparing for war against the principal obstacles to this objective, Iran and Russia. For US imperialism, undisputed control over both the Persian Gulf and Central Asia would provide the means to cut off energy supplies to its global rival, China.

These predatory aims are the source of war crimes, and not only in Iraq and Syria. In Yemen, Washington is backing a near-genocidal war led by the Saudi monarchy with the objective of weakening Iran’s influence in the Persian Gulf. During his visit to Riyadh last month, President Donald Trump announced a $110 billion arms deal with the kingdom, which will, in the first instance, replenish the bombs and missiles it is raining on the population of the most impoverished nation in the Arab world.

This arms package follows similar deals signed by the Obama administration, which also supplied the Saudis with logistical and intelligence aid for the Yemen war, including mid-air refueling for its warplanes and US naval backing for a blockade that is starving the population and denying it medical supplies. In addition to killing 12,000 people outright, the US-Saudi war has left at least 7 million Yemenis on the brink of famine, while cholera is threatening to kill thousands more. Save the Children reports that, on average, one Yemeni child is contracting the disease every 35 seconds.

5--U.S. expands presence in Syrian desert, rebels say

The  U.S.-backed rebels also want to use it to take more territory along the border and to push toward Deir al-Zor, a large city on the Euphrates where the government has an enclave surrounded by Islamic State fighters

However, Syria's army has declared winning back control of the desert and relieving its besieged Deir al-Zor enclave a military priority and has advanced swiftly from Palmyra with troops and dozens of tanks.
Aided by allied militias backed by Iran, it also hopes to join up with Iraqi forces advancing against Islamic State across the border to secure a land route from Damascus to Baghdad

6--How Serious Was Russia’s “Probing” of U.S. Election Systems?

random probings that are part and parcel of foreign-intelligence operations as carried out by any sophisticated service...

There is no evidence that the Russians, or whoever carried out the probes, were able to tamper with either the actual voting process or the tabulation of votes. Indeed, the NSA report dismisses any such possibility. Second, corrupting an election in a country as large as the United States with an electoral system that is largely decentralized would require much more than a probe of 122 local officials starting a week before the balloting. So there was clearly no intention to disrupt the election or to tilt it in a certain direction based on the evidence provided by the NSA report.

7--New Silk Roads, Pepe Escobar

8--THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2017
Statement from the Press Secretary
Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been
terminated and removed from office. President Trump acted based on the clear
recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff
Sessions.
“The FBI is one of our Nation’s most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a
new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement,” said President Trump.
A search for a new permanent FBI Director will begin immediately.

9--Treachery at the DOJ?-- Rosenstein failed to tell Trump he was appointing Mueller

The White House was not told of Rosenstein’s decision to name Mueller until after the order had been signed, the Justice Department said. Lawmakers were briefed on the appointment Wednesday afternoon, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Trump, who fired Comey last week, was in the middle of interviewing candidates to replace him as FBI director when he was informed, according to a person close to the White House. White House officials were blindsided by the move, an administration official said. A large group of staffers went to the Oval Office to inform Trump, according to a person in the room, who said Trump took the news better than expected and signed off on the statement his aides crafted.
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/17/justice-dept-to-appoint-special-prosecutor-for-russia-probe-238524

10--Don't blame Russia

The Russians did not provoke the war in Syria. Nor did Bashar al-Assad. The Russians did not encourage demonstrations in Syria which produced a predictable heavy-handed response, and the Russians did not then proceed to arm and fund islamist fighters from both inside and outside of Syria in a war which has killed half a million persons, and has drawn a large number of countries into a proxy conflict still mendaciously referred to in NATO media as a “civil war”. The Russians have long been allies of the Assad family, which enjoys the support of a substantial majority of the Syrian population. Believe me. The Russians did NOT do it. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton did it, working from a blueprint which had been created by earlier US governments.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/15/the-russians-didnt-do-it/

11--Syrians babies called 'Putin' in honour of Russian president

Syrian families are naming their children Putin as a mark of gratitude for the Russian president’s support for his Syrian counterpart in the six-year war, a government official has said.

The Syrian ambassador in Moscow, Riyad Haddad, said Bashar al-Assad had also made Russian the second language in Syria, and had donated land near Damascus for a Russian school to be built.

“The decision of Assad that Russian should be the second language in the country – it is a sign of the gratitude towards the Russian people for supporting Syrians,” Haddad said in remarks reported by the Tass news agency.

“Also, as a sign of this gratitude, many families are also calling their sons Putin,” he said.

Vladimir Putin has thrown Russia’s military and diplomatic heft squarely behind Assad, with Russian jets helping the government retake Syria’s biggest city, Aleppo, and Russian diplomats opposing UN moves to censure Damascus for a chemical attack on a village earlier this month, blamed on Assad’s forces.
Naming children after the victors and champions of war is not a new thing, but it does throw up some unusual monikers

12---'Staggering' loss of civilian life from US-led airstrikes in Raqqa, says UN

War crimes investigators say US-backed campaign to reclaim Syrian city from Islamic State has led to at least 300 deaths

13--‘Without Putin, Syria Would Have Ceased to Exist’: Interview with Flemish Priest Living in Syria

'It is partly thanks to Hezbollah that so many Christians and other Syrians are still alive. They came to our rescue in our darkest hours. And the same goes for the Syrian army and the Russians. If Putin hadn't come in 2015, Syria certainly would have ceased to exist'


14--Without Putin, Syria Would Have Ceased to Exist’: Interview with Flemish Priest Living in Syria

'It is partly thanks to Hezbollah that so many Christians and other Syrians are still alive. They came to our rescue in our darkest hours. And the same goes for the Syrian army and the Russians. If Putin hadn't come in 2015, Syria certainly would have ceased to exist'


According to the Flemish Father Daniel Maes, who has lived in Syria since 2010, the coverage of the Syrian war is based on lies. President Bashar al-Assad is not the problem, but our own politicians, who support ISIS and Al Nusra, in order to topple the Syrian government. “The real terrorist leaders are in the West and Saudi Arabia

How do you see the role of journalism? How is it possible their view on Syria is so different from yours?
For that you have to read this book of the German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, Bought Journalists, that he wrote from his own experience. If you go against the dominant narrative, and don’t follow the script, you will inevitably collide with the Powers That Be. They will put you out of business.
In a way I can understand these journalists. They often have a family they need to take care of...

Israel sees Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
It is partly thanks to Hezbollah that so many Christians and other Syrians are still alive. They came to our rescue in our darkest hours. And the same goes for the Syrian army and the Russians. If Putin hadn’t come in 2015, Syria certainly would have ceased to exist.

It is said that the Russians came to Syria to keep it in their sphere of influence.
There certainly will be some self-interest involved. But Putin is a true Christian, wanting to defend Christianity. And he also wants a multipolar world order, in which no country dominates the rest. It annoys Putin that the Americans do not play by international rules. They overthrew the Ukrainian government, and then had the nerve to say that the Russians responded so aggressively. Syria is a sovereign country. That is what Putin emphasises. He also says: ‘We are not there for the protection of Assad, but for the protection of the Syrian statehood.’ Russia doesn’t want another failed state, like Iraq and Libya. And let’s not forget: The Russian military is the only foreign army in Syria with the consent of the Syrian government. What are other countries doing there? The Americans? The French? The Saudis? They have no right to be there. They are working on the destruction of Syria

15--The first-hand truth about Venezuela contrary to the Western media propaganda


by Danny Haiphong

“Any ‘resistance’ to the Trump Administration that includes the Democratic Party can only be seen as an effort to empower the ruling class through its preferred political party.”

That form is the non-profit industrial complex and its attending Democratic Party paymasters. "The Resistance" has significant support from the non-profit industrial complex and the Wall Street-stuffed coffers of the Democratic Party. Such support is evident in the organizations MoveOn.org, the Town Hall Project, and Indivisible. The Democratic think-tank Center for American Progress (CAP) assists each of these so-called anti-Trump focused organizations. On CAP's Board of Directors sits Democratic Party elites Madeline Albright and John Podesta....

Since the 1980s, the Democrats have led the way in the projects of austerity, mass incarceration, and war. These policies have understandably bred a high degree of cynicism among more left-leaning Democrats, requiring the intervention of the first Black President to keep "hope" for the party alive....

the Democratic Party is in fact the War Party of the 21st century, it has attempted to utilize a well-funded opposition to achieve the material interests of its ruling class donors. The opposition to Trump based on alleged connections to Russia is case and point. For all of the reasons to oppose Trump, his rhetorical gesture to ease relations with Russia was not one of them. Even so, the Democratic Party has relentlessly pursued an anti-Russian campaign against Trump in a bid to unite their disenchanted voters with ruling class aspirations and paint it as “resistance.”

The Democratic Party's consortium of non-profits have made war against Russia a top priority. Indivisible makes "investigating" Trump's ties to Russia one of their agenda points. So does MoveOn.org. Yet the FBI's nearly 8-month investigation on Trump has yielded no conclusive evidence. What is conclusive is the Democratic Party's commitment to escalating war with Russia. Under Obama, US provocations against Russia reached crisis levels. The 2014 US-sponsored coup in Ukraine placed a fascist nightmare state right on Russia's doorstep. World War III became an imminent threat to humanity under a Black Democrat...

"Resistance" to Trump on the basis of alleged ties to Russia is a continuation of this war project. ...

Resistance" to Trump on the basis of alleged ties to Russia is a continuation of this war project. The Democratic Party is steering the wheel on behalf of the rich. Not even the New York Times can deny the Democratic Party's support from the top ten percent of income earners. In the 2016 elections, Hillary Clinton received 47 percent of votes from the top ten percent, as opposed to 46 percent for Donald Trump. Any "resistance" to the Trump Administration that includes the Democratic Party can only be seen as an effort to empower the ruling class through its preferred political party....

And the Democratic Party and its arsenal of non-profits may succeed in toppling Trump or weakening his Administration to the point of irrelevancy. Hillary Clinton's "resistance" Super PAC could pay dividends in future elections. A war with Russia is certainly possible, if not imminent. The question is, what does any of this have to with "resistance?" Islamophobia, patriarchy, and racism certainly won't eviscerate with Trump’s demise. In fact, they stand to intensify should the Democrats and their Republican allies get their way....

Real resistance includes tangible goals and objectives that materially benefit the people. Resistance to Trump alone is not resistance. Not only does such narrow activity fail to grasp the complexities of the moment, but it also paves an open path for establishment Democrats and Republicans to shape mass consciousness. This form of “resistance” leads directly to the normalization of war with Russia and the nuclear disaster that would follow.
https://www.blackagendareport.com/democratic_resistance_is_bogus

17-- Why Bernie Sanders is an Imperialist Pig

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford




The first Black U.S. president, Barack Obama, was among the most aggressive defenders of white supremacy in history -- defending the accumulated advantages that colonialism provided to western European nations, settler states (like the U.S.) and citizens -- having launched an ongoing military offensive aimed at strangling the Chinese giant and preventing an effective Eurasian partnership with Russia. The first phase of the offensive, the crushing of Libya in 2011, allowed the United States to complete the effective military occupation of Africa, through AFRICOM....

the orchestrated propaganda blitzkrieg against Russia by the Democratic Party, in collaboration with the corporate media and other functionaries and properties of the U.S. ruling class, marks the party as, collectively, the Warmonger-in-Chief political institution in the United States at this historical juncture. The Democrats are anathema to any politics that can be described as progressive....

Sanders is a warmonger, not merely by association, but by virtue of his own positions. He favors more sanctions against Russia, in addition to the sanctions levied against Moscow in 2014 and 2016 for its measured response to the U.S-backed fascist coup against a democratically elected government in Ukraine. Rather than surrender to U.S. bullying, Russia came to the military aid of the sovereign and internationally recognized government of Syria in 2015, upsetting the U.S. game plan for an Islamic jihadist victory.....

Sanders is a regime-changer, which means he thinks the U.S., in combination with self-selected allies, is above international law, i.e., “exceptional.”
“We've got to work with countries around the world for a political solution to get rid of this guy [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] and to finally bring peace and stability to this country, which has been so decimated.”...

The United States is the imperial superpower, the main military aggressor on the planet. Its rulers must be deprived of the political ability to spend trillions on war, and to kill millions, or they will always use the “necessity” of war to enforce austerity. The “left” domestic project will fail.
For those of us from the Black Radical Tradition, anti-imperialism is central. Solidarity with the victims of U.S. imperialism is non-negotiable, and we can make no common cause with U.S. political actors that treat war as a political side show, an “elective” issue that is separate from domestic social justice. This is not just a matter of principle, but also of practical politics. “Left” imperialism isn’t just evil, it is self-defeating and stupid
https://www.blackagendareport.com/bernie_sanders_imperial_pig

18--The Qatar blockade, petro-yuan & coming war on Iran


19--Syrian army reach Iraqi border, announce 'strategic turning point’ in war on ISIS

https://southfront.org/politico-goes-off-deep-end-identifies-u-s-veterans-putins-fifth-column/

https://southfront.org/politico-veterans-today-southfront-turn-american-servicemembers-veterans-fifth-column/

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jun/13/rod-rosenstein-hints-changes-doj-marijuana/
"Resistance" to Trump on the basis of alleged ties to Russia is a continuation of this war project


No comments:

Post a Comment