Friday 24th of May 2019

still pushing crap...

shah

still on the US list for regime change...

Just a reminder of Wes Clark’s claim the US planned back in 2002 to “take out 7 countries in 5 years”. Six of those countries – Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon & Syria – have now had “revolutions” or “civil wars” or conflict. – Iran is the seventh.

read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2017/12/31/iran-the-seventh-country-on-the-alle...

as long as we bomb sumpthin'...

 

meanwhile in august 2017...

 

According to Amnesty International, Iraqi and coalition forces “failed to take adequate measures to protect civilians, instead subjecting them to a terrifying barrage of fire from weapons that should never be used in densely populated civilian areas.”

The new spike in civilian casualties was reported in June as US-backed forces began the assault on Islamic State’s de facto capital in Syria, Raqqa.

At least 173 civilians were killed in the city last month by air and ground strikes, according to UN estimates.

The US-led coalition has said that despite the fact that it takes “extraordinary” efforts to avoid collateral damage, “in some incidents casualties are unavoidable.”

The operation against Islamic State is highly politicized in the US and it’s “no surprise that the Coalition is going to want to underplay the casualty numbers for civilians,” Patrick Henningsen, Geopolitical Analyst for 21st Century Wire.com, told RT.

“If you’re in the US, it’s all about the theatre of what the US is achieving, whether it’s under president Obama or president Trump. And everything is viewed through that weird kaleidoscope in the US and it has nothing to do with what’s going on the ground,” he said.

The military is also using special politically correct language in its reporting on civilian casualties in an attempt to mislead the US public, the analyst pointed out.

“We’re talking about ‘friendly fire’ or ‘collateral damage.’ And what Americans don’t understand because they haven’t had to face it on their own territory is that one man’s ‘collateral damage’ is another man’s wife and children,” he explained.

Henningsen pressed home that the US “no legal basis to be there (in Syria) and so every single person, who has died – whether it's 1, 600 or 4,300, as the highest estimates are – any life is an illegal, unlawful killing on behalf of the US Coalition.”

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/398647-us-civilian-casualties-iraq-syria/

 

Meanwhile:

A number of Iraqi security forces have been killed in an airstrike carried out by US-led coalition forces near a US airbase, Iraqi officials say, adding that the victims were mistaken for militants.

TrendsIraq carnage

The incident took place in the town of al-Baghdadi, 170km north-west of Baghdad. The town hosts Al Asad Airbase, operated by US and Iraqi forces.

There have been conflicting report about the exact number of Iraqi fatalities in the airstrike. Reuters cited Iraqi officials who spoke of at least 11 dead, including 10 members of the Iraqi security forces and a local official. 

AFP, however, cited an anonymous provincial official who confirmed 8 casualties. “Eight people — a senior intelligence official, five policemen and a woman — were killed by a US strike on the center of Al Baghdadi,” the official said, adding that at least 20 people, including the town’s police chief, were injured.

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/417182-iraqis-killed-friendly-us-fire/

 

“It does look like Erdogan is determined to go all the way.  And it really does highlight the dangers of the Anglo-American strategy in Syria for the last seven years, which has been to basically turn Syria into a complete free-for-all: all the states in the region to sponsor their own proxy militias and get involved and carry out airstrikes – Israel, Turkey, the US, anyone else. It is a really dangerous situation,” he said.

Last week, the US announced its plans to create a new armed force with the Kurds close to the Turkish border. After Turkey reacted with outrage to US plans, the Pentagon said it was not creating “a new ‘army’ or conventional ‘border guard’ force.” 

Glazebrook noted it is amazing that the US in the past week has managed to “completely betray both its rival allies in this conflict.”

“First, betrayal of Turkey – announcing this Border Security Force, made up primarily of Kurds, without any consultation with Turkey. And then, as soon as Turkey makes an issue of it, immediately drop the Kurds altogether, saying ‘we have nothing to do with them’ and basically give Turkey a free hand to slaughter them. Betrayals left, right and center,” he added.

“I hope that the rest of the world really is paying attention that there is absolutely nothing to be gained from offering yourself up to carry out the bidding of empire, as Turkey is learning a very hard way right now and so are the Kurds, actually,” Glazebrook pointed out.

read more: 

https://www.rt.com/news/416571-turkey-syria-afrin-us/


US expert crap looking like US expert crap...

The most notorious among them was regime change aficionado Charles Lister, a "senior fellow” (read lobbyist) at the Middle East Institute, an influential DC think tank that receives tens of millions of dollars from the United Arab Emirates, a country whose leadership is committed to regime change in Iran. Before he was an "Iran expert," Lister rose to prominence agitating for regime change in Syria. He is perhaps best known for cheerleading Salafi jihadist Syrian rebel groups like Ahrar al-Sham and Nour al-Din al-Zenki, which Lister insisted were moderate despite their explicitly stated intention to wipe out minorities in Syria and their open alliance with Syria’s Al-Qaeda affiliate. Anyone who dared to criticize such groups or highlight their genocidal agendas quickly became targets of Lister over the years – he would brand them dictator lovers and Assadists.

It’s unclear whether Lister speaks any Arabic or whether he’s ever spent any significant amount of time in Syria or the Middle East more generally. But he says what the foreign policy establishment wants to hear, and for that, he is quoted extensively in the mainstream press on everything from Syria to Iran to even Egypt, with the New Yorker’s Robin Wright labelling him “an expert on Jihadism.”

During the Hudson panel, Lister argued against the US participating in locally negotiated ceasefires in Syria that have played a major role in de-escalating the violence that tore apart the country. Ceasefires benefit Hezbollah and Iran, warned Lister, who would apparently rather the bloodshed continue if it helps the US and its jihadist proxies. Lister also painted Israel as the ultimate victim of Iran in Syria and suggested the CIA assassinate Major General Qasem Soleimani of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Soleimani heads Iran's elite Quds Force, which conducts operations outside of Iran in both Iraq and Syria. He has been credited with helping to turn the tide in both countries against Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) which has led to American fears that he threatens US hegemony in the region.

Blind Eye

Hudson’s in-house counterterrorism expert Michael Pregent, who previously accused Iran of refusing to fight IS while arguing that the sometimes IS-allied Free Syrian Army was the only force capable of defeating the terrorist group, also agitated for the assassination of Soleimani, but he called for Israel to do the dirty work rather than the CIA.

Omri Ceren from the right-wing Likud-aligned Israel Project was also on the panel. Echoing Israeli government talking points, he called for the US to spread a “freedom agenda” in Iran – which is code for regime change.

Another speaker was Brian Katulis from the Center for American Progress, a Democratic think tank that also receives funding from the UAE. Katulis employed empty slogans about supporting “freedom and justice” in Iran. Almost everything he said was forgettable. The UAE funding might explain why these experts continually blasted Iran for supposedly destabilizing Yemen without mentioning a word about the punishing Saudi-imposed siege which has led to famine and a cholera outbreak of epic proportions that kills a Yemeni child every 10 minutes.

The Hudson panel perfectly encapsulates how these establishment experts have no actual expertise, just fancy titles and shady funding that gives them a veneer of scholarly seriousness. They shift from one country to the next and are considered authoritative without any real credentials other than being white men who provide the intellectual backbone to Washington’s permanent war agenda, which all the panelists have a history of supporting. The fact that their policy prescriptions have ended in disaster for the people of the region doesn’t slow them down.

Death Toll  

The war in Iraq killed over a million people and catapulted the region into violent sectarian warfare from which it has yet to recover. The Western intervention in Libya threw that country into chaos, transforming what was once the richest nation in Africa, with the highest literacy rates, into an ungovernable gang-run state home to IS slave markets. And then there’s Syria, where the US poured billions into funding Al-Qaeda-linked rebel groups to overthrow the government, creating the worst refugee crisis since World War Two.  

The men who made up the Hudson panel supported all of these disastrous wars, which goes to show that being wrong gets you places in Washington. In fact, being wrong seems to be a prerequisite for promotion in Beltway circles.

No one epitomizes this dynamic more than Peter Bergen, a national security analyst at CNN. Two decades ago Bergen produced a rare interview with Osama bin Laden and he’s been capitalizing on it for 20 years. Since then he has fallen up to expert status on any and all issues pertaining to national security, counterterrorism and the Middle East, no matter how wrong he is. He supported the conflicts in Iraq and Libya. And here he is debating an actual expert, journalist Nir Rosen, and like always, Bergen argues for more war.

Another example is Ken Pollack from the Brookings Institute. He pushed hard for the war in Iraq and US interference in Libya and Syria. Despite the disastrous consequences of these policies, he is still described as an “expert" and recently penned a report for the Atlantic Council on countering Iran.

Destabilizing Iran has long been a policy goal of the US and its Israeli and Saudi allies. But the reality is that Iran is the most stable country in the Middle East and it played a crucial role in protecting the region from IS and Al-Qaeda. Whatever one thinks of the government in Iran, and there are of course many legitimate critiques as is true of any government, Iran’s only crime is that it acts independently of American interests and for that, it must be strong-armed into submission. So, let’s hope the experts don’t have their way.

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/418132-iran-protests-syria-experts-warmonger/

the US empire is lacking diplomatic decorum...

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia on Wednesday called on his US counterpart Nikki Haley and the US delegation at the United Nations to observe diplomatic decorum and not refer to the Russian authorities as a regime of President Vladimir Putin.

During a session devoted to the UN Charter, Haley called Russia a destabilizing force in the situation in eastern Ukraine. The US diplomat added that what she called regimes of Putin, Syrian President Bashar Assad, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were acting unpunished on the international arena.

"I would like to remind permanent representative Haley – there is no "regime" in Russia, but a legally elected president and appointed government. I would like to ask the US delegation to observe at least basic diplomatic decorum in the future. By the way, there is also a legitimate government in Syria, whether you like it or not," Nebenzya said at a United Nations Security Council session.

This is not the first time the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations comes under fire over professionalism issues. Last year, her tweet on North Korea caused quite a stir online.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/us/201802221061882391-russia-schools-us-un-haley...

handcuffed and driven to a hotel...

 

He was walking home from his consulting job at Iran’s United Nations mission in New York, his adopted city of many years, when the F.B.I. agents approached. He was arrested, handcuffed and driven to a hotel.

The life of the consultant, Ahmad Sheikhzadeh, a naturalized American citizen of Iranian descent with a doctorate from Columbia University and a network of prominent Iran contacts including its foreign minister, was altered on that day in March 2016.

In the hotel room where he was kept overnight, Dr. Sheikhzadeh recalled, the agents told him he could be imprisoned for decades on tax and sanctions violations if he did not become an informant. He had worked at the Iranian mission since 1990, preparing analyses of published articles on Iran and discussing them at weekly meetings.

Dr. Sheikhzadeh, a 62-year-old bachelor, migrated to the United States before Iran’s 1979 revolution and became a citizen in 2000. He surrounds himself with books in his Greenwich Village apartment, takes yoga classes and checks on older neighbors.

Friends and colleagues laugh at the idea that he could be a spy. But that is the image federal prosecutors sought to portray, describing his actions in court documents as having undermined “important economic controls that were put in place to protect the national security of the United States.”

His story offers a glimpse into how the estrangement between Tehran and Washington can upend the lives of Iranian-Americans, who are often mistrusted by one side or the other, or both, in relations that have become increasingly politicized.

Federal law enforcement officials had been monitoring Dr. Sheikhzadeh for years, eavesdropping on his emails and phone calls at least in part through warrants obtained from a Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act court.

They knew the Iranian mission had paid him cash for his consulting work, and that he had not reported at least some of the payments on his federal income taxes. They also knew that he had helped transfer thousands of dollars to friends and relatives in Iran without a Treasury Department license, violating American sanctions.

Dr. Sheikhzadeh admitted those offenses to the agents, he and his lawyer, Steve Zissou, said in an interview, describing them as benign mistakes. But Dr. Sheikhzadeh refused to become an informant in exchange for lenient treatment.

“He made it unequivocally clear,” Mr. Zissou said. “His famous statement I’ll never forget was, ‘I’d rather spend the rest of my life in jail than cooperate with them, and spy against anyone else, spy against Americans, spy against Iran. It’s just not my way of doing things.’ ”

Dr. Sheikhzadeh agreed to plead guilty to two charges of tax and sanctions violations, and to pay more than $147,000 in fines and restitution. But prosecutors were not through with him, and suggested while he awaited sentencing that he was more of a threat than they could publicly disclose.

Their strategy ultimately failed, but not before Dr. Sheikhzadeh would undergo what he, his lawyer and his friends depicted as a Kafkaesque ordeal.

 

read more:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/09/world/middleeast/ahmad-sheikhzadeh-iranian-prosecution.html

 

bringing back the shah...

The US had a great deal going from 1953 to 1979 with the Shah of Iran. For 25 years Iran was a cornerstone of the US usurping the British Empire in the Middle East, following World War Two. Iran was a base for projecting US power in the region, and strategically it bordered the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

During the early 20th century the British Empire had full control of Iran’s oil industry, and was paying Iran a flat fee for every barrel of oil it extracted. A rough calculation of Iran’s royalties is between 8% to 16% of the profits, but Iran was never allowed to look at the financial books.

Prior to the CIA-led 1953 overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, Iran demanded 50% of the profits and control of their oil industry. That was not unreasonable, but Iran was willing to negotiate. At the time, the US oil companies had a 50/50 profit sharing agreement with Saudi Arabia.

The British refused any negotiated settlement. It was then that the Iranian parliament led by Mossadegh voted to nationalize Iran’s oil industry. The British responded with a naval blockade, and began plotting to overthrow Mossadegh and the parliament. As the Prime Minister, Mossadegh held the most political power in Iran because the people were behind him. The Shah of Iran was mostly a figurehead, at the time.

President Harry Truman was adamantly against colonialism and sided with Iran, which infuriated the British. When President Dwight D. Eisenhower took office in 1953, he sided with the British. Eisenhower and Churchill plotted a coup d’état to overthrow Mossadegh. The frightened Shah, who was in on the plot, fled from Iran before the coup attempt just in case anything went wrong. The first attempt did fail. A second daring CIA-led coup succeeded and the US reinstalled Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as the Shah of Iran, with dictatorial power.

By its intervention, the US broke the British Empire’s monopoly on Iran’s oil. That was part of the US’s calculous. After the coup, US oil companies got 40% of Iran’s oil industry, 14% went to Royal Dutch-Shell, 6 % went to the French Petroleum Company, and the British oil company kept 40%. In addition, Iran got its 50/50 share of the net profits that it wanted in the first place. The US immediately sent financial aid to prop up the Shah, and to bolster Iran’s weakened economy from the British blockade.

If the British had initially been flexible, renegotiated a 50/50 oil deal with Prime Minister Mossadegh, then it would have made a coup less likely. Iran was developing a secular democratic government. It might have become a model for other post-colonial countries in the Middle East. Democracy and self-determination are what the US said its world mission was going back to President Woodrow Wilson in 1918:

 

…every peace-loving nation which, like our own, wishes to live its own life, determine its own institutions, be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression. All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this interest, and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us.”

 

Since Iran was a developing democracy, an excuse had to be found for a US intervention. Churchill accused Mossadegh of being a communist. There was no evidence that he was. Mossadegh was an anti-colonial nationalist who cared about the welfare of the Iranian people, and that was all the evidence that Eisenhower needed. Mossadegh had to be punished for standing up to the British and demanding Iran’s natural resources for the benefit of the Iranian people.

The winners from the coup were the US and the timid Shah who had ran from his own people. The US would teach him how to have a backbone. He turned out to be a good student, and with the support of the US he turned Iran into a totalitarian police state and he ruled by terror. The Shah got US protection from his own people and from foreign enemies.

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2018/12/15/the-us-wants-to-bring-back-the-shah-...

 

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crap pushing crap...

According to an investigation carried out by El País, the Moujahideens of the People made a contribution of 800 000 euro to fund the electoral campaign of the Andalusian party, Vox, in the 2004 European Elections [1].

The Socialist daily newspaper established the subsidiary used to transfer the money but it has not managed to shed light on its signification.

The Moujahideens of the People started out as an Iranian Marxist organization established at the end of the dictatorship of Shah Reza Pahlevi. Over time, it became a sect working on behalf of Israel and the United States against the anti imperialist regime of the Islamic Revolutionaries.

The Founder of the Sect was Massoud Rajavi. He flees to France after organizing a bloody massacre of the Islamic government on 28 June 1981. He obtains the protection of President François Mitterrand (who secretly bombed Iran) before being expelled by Prime Minister Jacques Chirac. The sect then took refuge in Iraq (at the height of the war that President Saddam Hussein waged against Iran). It executes dirty tricks for the Hussein administration, taking on tasks that the Presidential Guard refuses. When the United States topples President Saddam Hussein, the CIA reluctantly recycles it. The sect develops a niche for attacks against civilians in Iran and participates in a campaign to assassinate Iranian scientists.

Finally in 2013, Albania accepts establishing a city near Tirana for 3 to 4 000 members of this sect. Today this city used as the base for carrying out cyber-attack actions against Iranian interests. According to the local press, the Albanian police does not have access to this camp where some members of the sect live as slaves.

It is likely that the investment of the Moujahideens of the People form part of the backdrop of Israel’s investment in European political parties classed as “the Extreme Right”. What happened was that the Moujahideens stopped directing their vengeance against the Jew, targeting the Muslim instead.

It was Alejo Vidal-Quadras (to the left in the photo) who established Vox in 2013. In 2009, he went as a European MP to Camp Ashraf (Iraq), camp of the Moujahideens of the People. At this time, Maryam Radjavi (right in the photo) was President of the Moujahideens. Alejo participated in at least 10 of the Sect’s Annual gatherings at Villepinte (France). At one time he was found on the side of the former Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. More recently he has stood beside Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton.

According to El País, the transfer of money was organized by Alejo Vidal-Quadras when he was President of Vox. Alejo resigned following his failure in the 2014 European Elections. He had briefed his successor Santiago Abascal about it. It is not established that this funding continued after this.

Translation 
Anoosha Boralessa

 

Source:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article204781.html

 

 

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phot


back on tracks...

Iran, Iraq and Syria confirmed on April 14, 2019 their intention to launch a regional railway project to link the Iranian port of Khorramshahr, in the northern Arabian-Persian Gulf, to the Syrian coast in the Mediterranean, passing through Iraq.

The initial decision on the project was taken in 2010 within the framework of the regional common market in place at the time, but its implementation was interrupted by the war which led to the dissolution of the regional common market and the eventual destruction of the Syrian side of the railway by the so-called "Free Syrian Army".

In order for the three sovereign nations to exercize their right to realize this project they will have to overcome United States sanctions currently in force against the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Syrian Arab Republic.

The existence of an extended railroad connecting Iran, Iraq and Syria would permit intensive industrial, agricultural and commercial exchanges. It is estimated that in the first 5 years, this railway connection would not only quadruple trade between the three countries involved but also save communities currently threatened by starvation.

Translation 
Artemis Pittas

 

Read more:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article206124.html

 

 

This is one of the projects strongly opposed by the West because, it could challenge the Suez Canal and the control of it by Egypt's Western friends... This will also runs against the US proposed pipeline between the gulf and the Med, rejected by Syria, leading to the war in Syria, spurred by the US supporting the Wahhabi rebellion (terrorism).

relaunching the regional economy...

 

Will the West allow the construction of railroads linking the Gulf and the Mediterranean?

by Thierry Meyssan

While the United States and their allies have deliberately created famine conditions in North Korea, then in Sudan, in Tunisia, and now in Yemen, they are also beginning to drag Syria down into starvation. The only way of avoiding this situation is by relaunching the regional economy, which collapsed during the wars in Iraq and Syria. Two projects for railroads are currently in competition – the first intended to develop the region, the second to divide it. Are the Westerners behaving like human beings, or are they pursuing their dream of world domination?

For its reconstruction, Syria can only count on itself, because not one of the powers that spent hundreds of billions of dollars to destroy it is prepared to spend the first cent to help rebuild it.


In these conditions, the future of the country depends on reconnecting with its past – the time at which it was the only open passage between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. In antiquity, the « Silk Road » stretched from the ancient Chinese capital of Xi’an to Antioch and Tyr.


This route was not only a passage which enabled the exchange of merchandise from town to town, it was also a route for culture via which Chinese philosophy spread through Asia, and the Muslim religion arrived in China. It was a route whose common language was not Mandarin, but Persian. Thereafter, Syria continued to be the passage between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean, which ensured its prosperity until the construction of the Suez Canal.


The project for a railroad linking the Iranian port of Khorramshahr, at the frontier with Iraq, to the Syrian Mediterranean coast, via Baghdad, is not a new idea. It had already been planned before the war, at the time of the Turko-Irano-Syrian common market. Its tracks were systematically sabotaged by pro-Western mercenaries, causing the derailing of trains and the deaths of personnel and travellers.


So, from the start, the organisers of the war – primarily the United Kingdom - intended to prevent Syria’s economic activity. This is a characteristic behaviour of British colonialism – making sure that the colonised people remain dependent.


For example, when India was the main producer of cotton, London made sure that it could produce, but not weave, so that cotton cloth could only be made in England. That is why Mahatma Gandhi wove cotton on a spinning wheel, as an act of subversion.


The United States pretend today that they are opposing this project in order to prevent the transport of heavy weapons to Iran. We know that this is a pretext because Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said so himself last month. Washington’s only objective is to hinder the exploitation of Syrian gas and oil while the US sells its shale hydrocarbons (of which the production should decline rapidly as from 2023, according to the International Energy Agency).


In April 2017, then again in last November, Israël proposed to build another railroad between the two seas. The Minister of Intelligence and Transports, Israël Katz, has apparently obtained the agreement of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman. US special envoy, Jason Greenblatt, suggested that the Israëli project could be included in the « Deal of the Century ».


The quantity of the merchandise to be transported is such that both projects, although competitors, could easily coexist, except for the fact that Tel-Aviv is not reputed for sharing.


In truth, the only losers would be the Western Europeans, because today’s merchandise no longer resemble those of the ancient Silk Road. In earlier times, the Europeans produced no silk, while China could supply it. Today, both actors produce the same things - Chinese produce is of a lesser quality, but much less expensive. Their arrival en masse could rapidly destroy what is left of European industry. In order to protect themselves, Western Europeans will have to regulate their exchanges.


Thierry Meyssan

Translation 

Pete Kimberley

 

Read more:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article206179.html

 

 

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