Sunday 16th of December 2018

a "litmus test which speaks volumes"...

heil hitler
The Russian envoy to the UN called on the West to "refrain from plans" it might be harboring for Syria, after three consecutive resolutions to investigate the alleged recent chemical attack near Damascus failed to pass.

The latest resolution to fail was a Russian-sponsored draft backing an Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) fact-finding mission at the site of the alleged attack in Douma. The draft received five votes in favor (Russia, China, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan and Bolivia), four votes against (the US, the UK, France and Poland) and six abstentions, falling short of the minimum nine votes required for adoption.

The failure of an "innocuous" draft in support of an impartial investigation into the alleged chemical incident in Syria's Douma is a "litmus test which speaks volumes," Russia's UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia said. The draft was based on, and "almost completely copied," an earlier proposal by Sweden. Nebenzia argued that the proposal was stonewalled simply because it ultimately came from Russia.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/423762-syria-investigation-draft-rejected/

the voice of confucius...

Beijing has warned against military intervention at a “crucial phase” in the Syrian conflict, urging countries not to jump to conclusions over the alleged chemical attack in Douma. The US is considering a strike against Damascus.

Following reports that Washington is refusing to rule out military action in Syria, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang urged the West to show restraint until an impartial investigation into the alleged incident in Eastern Ghouta on April 7 can be conducted.

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/423745-china-syria-military-escalation-douma/

why would ethiopa not support the USA?...

In 2011, Western donors sat back while 250,000 Somalis died of starvation. Then Turkey stepped in. Jamal Osman reports on the rise of aid from the Muslim world.

Abdifatah Mahad stands tall in the middle of his farm on the outskirts of Baidoa, Somalia. He boasts about how well he’s doing and the variety of his produce: maize, beans and vegetables such as peppers and onions.

Farmers here used to stare at the sky and wait for a drop of rain. Now they look under their feet – to where they have dug wells. They are ambitious; the reliable water source means farming is possible all year round and they hope to supply nearby towns. ‘We want to meet the demands of the local people,’ says Abdifatah.

 

Six years earlier, this region was the epicentre of a famine that claimed the lives of 250,000 Somalis. Four million people were in danger of starvation, according to the UN. Successive natural disasters, and an apparent lack of compassion from rich nations, have taught Somalis a hard lesson: to strive for self-reliance.

‘They call it humanitarian aid but we call it dead aid; meaning it’s intended to kill,’ says Abdifatah. ‘They brag about helping us and take credit for things that are not even beneficial.’

His claim is not baseless. With regular US drone strikes terrorizing communities in this area, it’s also hard for Somalis to believe the same hand is giving out humanitarian aid.

 

Read more:

https://newint.org/features/2018/04/01/turkey-somalia-humanitarian-aid

the dangerous mind of bolton-trump snowflakes...

President Trump has threatened a forceful response to this weekend’s alleged chemical gas attack in Syria that killed at least 40 people and injured as many 1,000 in the rebel-held town of Douma. During a meeting with military officials Monday, Trump vowed to take action. Washington and its chief allies at the United Nations have blamed the Assad government for the chemical attack, but Russia claims there is no evidence an attack even took place. Meanwhile, Iran has acknowledged seven Iranians died in an Israeli airstrike on a Syrian base early on Monday. For more, we speak with Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, author of several books, including, most recently, “Understanding ISISand the New Global War on Terror.” Her latest piece for In These Times is headlined “It’s John Bolton’s First Day in the White House. We Must Stop Him from Escalating War in Syria.”

TranscriptThis is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: President Trump has threatened a forceful response to this weekend’s alleged chemical gas attack in Syria that killed at least 40 people and injured as many as 1,000 in the rebel-held town of Douma. During a meeting with military officials Monday, Trump vowed to take action.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I’d like to begin by condemning the heinous attack on innocent Syrians with banned chemical weapons. It was an atrocious attack. It was horrible. … We are studying that situation extremely closely. We are meeting with our military and everybody else. And we’ll be making some major decisions over the next 24 to 48 hours. … So, if it’s Russia, if it’s Syria, if it’s Iran, if it’s all of them together, we’ll figure it out. And we’ll know the answers quite soon. So, we’re looking at that very, very strongly and very seriously.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Washington and its chief allies at the United Nations have blamed the Assad government for the chemical attack, but Russia claims there is no evidence an attack even took place. Meanwhile, Iran has acknowledged seven Iranians died in an Israeli airstrike on a Syrian base early on Monday.

AMY GOODMAN: To talk about the escalating tension in Syria and the debate at the United Nations, we’re joined by Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, written a number of books, including, most recently, Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror, her latest piece for In These Times, “It’s John Bolton’s First Day in the White House. We Must Stop Him from Escalating War in Syria.”

Well, let’s start there, Phyllis, because there we saw President Trump sitting next to John Bolton, who has talked about a preemptive strike against North Korea and Iran, and he is clearly extremely unsettled, President Trump, by the raid he has just learned about in all the premises of his personal lawyer. And it’s at this point that he says he’s deciding within 24 or 48 hours what to do about attacking Syria and possibly broadening it to Iran and Russia. Talk about this.

PHYLLIS BENNIS: This is a very dangerous moment, Amy. We have, on the one hand, President Trump going into this situation with his new adviser, on his first day yesterday, John Bolton, as you mentioned, who, of course, does not need Senate confirmation for this position. He’s just announced, appointed, and he comes to work. And he is now, as the national security adviser, the person who has the first and last words into the president’s ear all day long. Officially, he is supposed to be the one who pulls together all the different reports and positions of the 16 separate U.S. intelligence agencies, and provides them to the president in a way that’s coherent and sensible and whatever. In practice, we know from John Bolton’s history that’s not his intention at all. His intention is to push forward any forces within the intelligence community, whichever agencies or agency it may be, who are pushing for war rather than diplomacy. This is someone who scorns diplomacy, who disdains the United Nations or international law, who has never met an international issue or challenge or crisis that did not require a U.S. military solution. So that’s one part of the danger.

Then, on top of that, you have this enormous need for distraction. With the headlines today all focused on the raid on Trump’s private lawyer, he’s going to want to turn that attention away from that. What better way to do that, historically in this country, but to go to war somewhere? It’s a very dangerous moment.

It could mean a small-scale, essentially symbolic response against this alleged chemical weapons attack. And we should be clear: Despite the fact that in this second bit that you just played, in the run-up, of Trump saying, “We are still finding out about it, we’re talking about it,” within moments of him being informed that there were claims that there had been a chemical weapons attack, Trump himself immediately went on Twitter and said this was carried out by the “Animal Assad,” backed by Russia and Iran. So he immediately targeted who he wants to hold responsible for this, threatened immediate military action, which, again, could be small-scale, symbolic, a few missile strikes on an air base.

It could be far greater than that. And if it attacked, for example, as did the attack yesterday—shortly after the allegations about the chemical attack emerged, there was an attack on a Syrian military base, where there were, among other things, some Iranian troops. Fourteen people were killed, four of them Iranian. And Iran indicated they believed Israel was responsible for it. Israel, in this one, has not claimed responsibility. No one has. The U.S. very specifically denied it, as did the French.

And the question of what will go forward is a very dangerous one, because we know, despite the fact that any military strike at this point would be absolutely illegal from the vantage point of U.S. domestic law, the War Powers Act and our Constitution, that says very clearly the Congress, and not the president, is the force that’s supposed to declare war. We know that in the United Nations, Nikki Haley has been out there using language virtually identical—Juan and Amy, you will remember, in the run-up to the war in Iraq, in 2002, 2003, we consistently heard the words in the United Nations, sometimes from John Bolton, when he was the temporary ambassador there, sometimes others, saying, “Regardless of whether the United Nations approves or not, we are going ahead.” That’s a very ominous reference. It’s very ominous. And it’s designed to be. When Nikki Haley says, “The Security Council must decide to use force. And if they don’t, we will,” which is essentially what she’s saying, she’s saying, “We will violate international law, we will violate the U.N. Charter, and we will violate our own laws at home, in order to carry out an illegal military assault on Syria,” claiming that it’s somehow revenge for an alleged chemical attack, which may or may not have been committed by the regime at all.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Phyllis—Phyllis, if I can—you mentioned before the precedence in this kind of situation, the second Gulf War. But going back, or a lot of people don’t remember the first Gulf War—

PHYLLIS BENNIS: Right.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: —and the horrific stories about the invasion force of Saddam Hussein in Kuwait marching into a hospital and killing babies—

PHYLLIS BENNIS: Incubators.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: —and killing babies, newborn babies in their incubators. A complete hoax.

PHYLLIS BENNIS: Right.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: But it horrified the American people and made it easier to justify going to war in the first Gulf War, as well. So, it’s not—and, of course, the weapons of mass destruction testimony of Secretary of State Powell at the United Nations for the second Gulf War. So this is not—it’s not unusual that we have these, and the media, of course, picks up on them and continues to spread the information without real fact checking as to whether this is accurate or not.

PHYLLIS BENNIS: That’s absolutely right. At the time, of course, we used to call it the CNN factor. Now we would probably call it the Twitter factor, but it’s the same phenomenon. You have, in many cases, a very real, horrific event. And I’m certainly not saying that this event did not occur. It’s possible, but I think, you know, there have been so many horrific attacks on Syrian civilians, by all sides in this war—by the Syrian regime, by the Russians and the Iranians, by the United States, by U.S. allies, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, all of these countries, every one of them. There are no good guys here. There have been atrocities carried out against Syrian civilians in this set of proxy wars that’s going on across Syria.

And that example of what we’ve seen before, the call about the babies being pulled out of their incubators, which turned out to be the testimony of the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador, put together by a Washington-based PR company, it was purely made-up. But it did the job. John Bolton has been part of those kinds of campaigns in the past. In 2002, it was John Bolton who realized that the campaign he was undertaking to convince people in this country that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein has chemical weapons, maybe nuclear weapons—he was talking about the yellowcake uranium from Niger that turned out to be complete hoax. And at the time, the head of the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, the U.N. agency responsible for dealing with chemical weapons, was in a desperate effort to negotiate with Saddam Hussein’s government to try and get them to join that agency, to become a member of the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons. If they had, they would have had to allow in incredibly intrusive inspectors. And Bolton knew, if they did that, they were likely to find there were in fact no pieces of evidence, there was no chemical weapons program in Iraq. And in order to prevent that, he arranged the firing of the chief of that organization. It was a Brazilian diplomat, José Bustani. He went to Bustani’s office and said, “You’ve got 24 hours to resign,” even threatened Bustani’s kids. And Bustani said, “I’m sorry. I’ve been re-elected, reappointed to a second term by the 145 members of this organization. I’m not going anywhere.” And at that point, Bolton went out, and within days, he had orchestrated enough bribes and threats and punishments of those governments, that they managed to get Bustani fired, and replaced him with somebody who wouldn’t—who would toe the U.S. line and would not move to get a diplomatic solution. This is someone who wants war and not diplomacy.

AMY GOODMAN: Phyllis Bennis—

PHYLLIS BENNIS: It’s a very dangerous moment.

AMY GOODMAN: Phyllis, we just have a minute. And what do you think has to happen in Syria right now to end this horrific suffering of the civilian population?

PHYLLIS BENNIS: There has to be a far more in-depth, a creative, sustained kind of diplomacy. It’s not going to be quick. It’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be telegenic. It’s not going to be good on Fox & Friends. So, this is not something that this president and this security adviser are going to be eager for. Congress is going to have to prevent further escalation of the U.S. war there. If the U.S. goes in—U.S. forces, in U.S. airstrikes in Syria, have already killed between 3,600 and 5,600 Syrian civilians, along with thousands of others killed on all sides. Syrian civilians are paying the price for these wars. The United States military is a big part of the problem. We have to start in this country by getting Congress to prohibit the illegal use of U.S. military force in Syria. The Authorization for the Use of Military Force doesn’t cover it. It’s illegal under U.S. law. It’s illegal under the U.S. Constitution. It’s a violation of international law. And John Bolton should not be allowed to tell the president that he has every right to go ahead with it.

AMY GOODMAN: And speaking of violation of international law, in this last minute, I want to turn to Gaza, the killing of dozens of Palestinians, peaceful Palestinians, on the Gaza-Israel border, the latest, last Friday, a journalist—they have carved his name into the sand to remember him—as he wore a press ID, not to mention the civilians that have been killed before him. What needs to happen there right now? We hardly see mention of this in the U.S. media.

PHYLLIS BENNIS: Thirty-one civilians were killed. Seven of them were journalists. Yaser was not the only journalist shot. He was the only one who died. There were seven others who were shot, also wearing those jackets that say ”PRESS,” usually in three languages—in English, Hebrew and Arabic. This is a massacre. These are not clashes. The press is doing a huge disservice here talking about clashes, confrontations killed people. Confrontations didn’t kill people. Israeli sharpshooters, who were sent to the Gaza fence, killed people. It’s a complete violation of international law, human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Again, this is something that the United Nations needs to take up. The United States, again, has used its veto and threatened to use its veto over and over to prevent any action by the Security Council, prevent, for example, what needs to happen, is for the Security Council to recommend that the International Criminal Court take up a full investigation of the role of Israel’s both political leaders, the prime minister, who said all 30,000 protesters are targets, are “legitimate targets.” Those were his words, “legitimate targets.” That is chilling. And it’s also illegal. It’s a complete violation to target civilians in that way. This was a nonviolent protest. It’s going to go on for more weeks. And it’s going to be up to international civil society to keep up the pressure that will enable the United Nations to do anything to stop it.

AMY GOODMAN: Phyllis, we want to thank you for being with us, Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

 

Read more:

https://www.democracynow.org/2018/4/10/a_very_dangerous_moment_trump_thr...

 

The alleged "chemical attack" reminds me of the Australian SAS raiding "a WMD" factory — as pinpointed by the CIA — a week or so before the war started against Saddam in 2003, to discover it was a cement-making plant... Then on the first day of the US invasion of Iraq, the embedded TV journos showed us a WMD factory being raided by  US troops, though it was a grog making factory. And now we have "proofs" that the White Helmets have been doing some Hollywoodian fake scripts of their own to fudge the "gassing" of people in Douma... (see : the white helmets' hollywood fakery studios...)

In regard to Iraq, operating on the initiative of the Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, Pentagon staff began work on a plan that was comically known as Operation Schwack Iraq... the document by the Australian defence department is a great work of fiction (http://www.defence.gov.au/FOI/Docs/Disclosures/049_1617_Documents.pdf)

 

As will be discussed later in this book, the US WMD rhetoric was subsequently shown to be exaggerated and misinformed, and the intelligence assessments upon which it was based were to be judged as faulty. A major review of the US intelligence failure in Iraq included a ‘hearty condemnation’ of those agencies involved.54 Some commentators have even argued that the war was brought about ‘under false pretenses,’55 and it is now known that in 2003 Iraq no longer possessed an active WMD program. However, in early 2003 the situation was not nearly so clear, and most analysts accepted that the possession of WMDs remained a goal of the Iraqi regime.

 Bullshit. The intelligence had been tailored to suit the war option.

Read The Trilogy...

ww3 before the weekend?...

First deputy chairman of the Russian upper house's Defense Committee, Yevgeny Serebrennikov said Wednesday that Russia will respond immediately if its military in Syria gets hit by a possible US airstrike.

Russia’s Hmeymim airbase and Tartus naval base, as well as Russian servicemen deployed in Syria, are under firm protection as the United States is anticipated to carry out airstrikes in Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapon attack in the city of Douma, Serebrennikov, told Sputnik.

“As the Defense Ministry has already pointed out, the Russian military bases in Hmeymim and Tartus are under firm protection. At the same time, we expect that in the event of US strikes, if any, the lives of our servicemen will not be in danger. I think that the United States understands this and will not allow it, because otherwise, Russia's response will be immediate, as the chief of the Russian General Staff has said," Serebrennikov said.

Last week, several Syrian opposition online media outlets reported, citing militants that the Syrian Army had used chlorine in the town of Douma and killed up to 70 people.

READ MORE: US Refuses to Face Reality in Alleged Syria Chemical Attack — Kremlin

Following the reports, a number of states, including the US, accused Damascus of staging the attack. On Monday, Trump said in a meeting with the US military leadership that he would announce in the next 24 to 48 hours what the US response would be.

 

Next day, it was announced that the US was deploying USS Harry Truman aircraft carrier with aircraft and helicopters on board and a number of missile destroyers from its Norfolk base in US state of Virginia on Wednesday to the Middle East. Pentagon stated that the deployment was planned. It was in fact scheduled back in February, but the exact dates and locations were not mentioned.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201804111063428288-russia-military-sy...

 

Read from top. Australia, tell your friends the US of A to shove a 4be2 in their arse.

 

I hope that history will remember that Gus Leonisky was on the side of good and peace.

a show of stupidity from the USA?...

Zasypkin stressed that “the Russian forces will confront any US aggression on Syria, by intercepting the missiles and striking their launch pads,” al-Manar TV website reported, citing the envoy.

Speaking to the channel, the ambassador also said that the allegations of a chemical attack were being used to justify “offensive acts” in Syria, while “the US and Western escalation against Syria will lead to a major crisis.”

The statement comes after Washington threatened a "forceful response" against Syria after an alleged chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma on Saturday. The US was quick to pin the blame on the Syrian government, basing its accusations on unverified data and images, including reports from the infamous, rebel-linked White Helmets ‘civil defense’ group.

On Tuesday, the UN Security Council failed to pass three consecutive resolutions calling for an investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. A Russian-sponsored draft backing a fact-finding mission at the site by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is the latest to have been rejected by the body.

As the initiative was voted down by the US, the UK, France and Poland; Russia's UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia once again called for the West to "refrain from the plans which you might be harboring with regards to Syria.”

READ MORE: UNSC fails to pass 3 resolutions on Syria 'chem attack' as Russia calls for restraint

Earlier on Tuesday, the OPCW announced that is preparing deploy its team to Douma “shortly” to investigate the reports of an attack there. Earlier, Russian specialists at the site had found no traces of chemical weapons or any victims treated for chemical poisoning.

While US President Donald Trump is weighing up options, reports emerged signaling that Washington is beefing up its forces in the Middle East. On Monday, the guided-missile destroyer ‘Donald Cook’ departed the port of Larnaca in Cyprus, reportedly heading towards Syria. Meanwhile on Wednesday, the USS ‘Harry S. Truman’ aircraft carrier, accompanied by strike groups, is scheduled to set sail for a “regular” mission to the Middle East and Europe.

READ MORE: Europe air traffic control issues alert over ‘possible air strikes on Syria within 72 hours’

Meanwhile, Eurocontrol – an EU body tasked with handling air traffic over the continent – issued a Rapid Alert Notification, warning flight operators in the Eastern Mediterranean about “the possible launch of airstrikes into Syria with air-to-ground and/or cruise missiles within the next 72 hours.”

While the West is poised for a military response to the alleged chemical incident in Syria, Moscow is warning against further destabilization of the region. Russia hopes that all the sides will “avoid any steps which are not provoked by anything in reality and can substantially destabilize the already fragile situation in the region,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated on Wednesday.

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/423774-us-missiles-targeted-russia/

when the US hawks get their wish...

Though few Western commentators have mentioned WW3, the reality of such a mad conflict is now on the cards. Let's call it that we are now a microsecond to midnight... The crisis presently manufactured by the USA is beyond dangerous and not worth the pitiful bet of Douma. But the war-hawks of the USA have been seeking their day in the sun for a long time now, possibly since they lost in Vietnam. They still believe that Russia will be restrained while they and their mates will teach a "limited" lesson to Assad. There are no limits foreseeable.

We know by now that the gassing in Douma never happened and was set up as a false flag event by terrorist rebels. But, eager to get rid of Assad, the USA will start bombing somewhere in Syria under this pretext. The Western media will applaud (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/09/douma-syria-regime...). The rest is the sad history of the future.

Such a conflict can easily escalate beyond our wildest nightmares.

Israel, the Saudis and their Gulf mates, including Qatar would soon enter the fray, following the "Justicerers" of the US, the UK, the French (eager like idiots on the moralitee-bandwagon to rekindle their candle) and a posse of piddly European countries. The recent sorties of the Israeli Airforce were but a "rehearsal" to test some hardware.

On the other side, Iran, Hezbollah, Russia, China, while Pakistan and India could violently sort out their own divisions. Afghanistan will loose. Turkey could play both sides of the fence, though at this stage I believe it will go with whichever side is likely to win.

No-one is going to win.

As the conflict escalate, places like Moscow, New York, Washington, Detroit, Chicago, St Petersburg, Beijing, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo, London, Paris could become massive piles of nuclear cinders by next week... 

 

Just imagine. Don't let the Western media glorify this "teaching Assad a lesson" in any way. This is the madness of reason. The destruction of the planet and that of our own comforts on a point of manufactured "justice" is beyond comprehension.

Be prepared. Realise that whether the US Hawks win or loose, they don't care. Sure they'd like to win, but destroying the whole world into a pile of crap is the price to achieve their warrior aim. They are psychopaths beyond psychopathy. They are madder than mad.

 

Let history, if there is one, record that Gus Leonisky has been for good and peace.

starting a new war somewhere else...


A Shadowy War’s Newest Front: A Drone Base in the Sahara

 

Air Force personnel are working to complete a $110 million airfield that will be used to strike extremists in West and North Africa, a region where most Americans have no idea the country is fighting.

 

she lies and she is a nasty bitch...

Nikki Haley appeared on Face the Nation this morning and told a huge lie on national television:

JOHN DICKERSON: Because let’s be very clear though about the decision, because the UK is still telling its businesses to do business with Iran. President Trump said at the time, anyone doing business with Iran will not be doing business with the United States. Is that still the case and would it be the case for the UK?

AMB HALEY: That is still the case. And that’s the conversation for Prime Minister May and President Trump to have. But that’s still very much the case. We’re not going to give exemptions to Iran. We’re not going to give them any- allow them any money to continue to build their nuclear weapons [bold mine-DL] and so we’re going to continue to stay tough on this.

For the record, Iran has no nuclear weapons, and it has never had any. Iran is not building any nuclear weapons, and it is unable to build any because of the restrictions imposed by the nuclear deal that Trump reneged on. There has not been anything resembling a nuclear weapons program in Iran for at least fifteen years. If foreign companies do business in Iran, that is not going to lead to Iran’s development and building of nuclear weapons. The JCPOA makes that practically impossible for the duration of the agreement, and once Iran ratifies the IAEA’s Additional Protocol it isn’t going to happen. If the Trump administration persists in its current policy of punishing the other parties to the deal for adhering to it, it risks negating all of the deal’s benefits and driving Iran to start expanding its nuclear program once again.

Haley drops a reference to nuclear weapons in an answer about Iran knowing full well that she is misleading the public when she says this. Haley was answering a question about punishing allies that continue to do business with Iran, and the extremism of the administration’s position on this should not be overlooked. Even so, her false claim that Iran is building or will be building nuclear weapons is the most important part of the answer. Regrettably, Dickerson did not challenge the ambassador or press her on this point, and so she was able to get away with blatantly lying to the public about a very important matter of fact. This is one of the many failings of the Sunday political show format, which seems to function mainly as a platform for government officials to deliver their talking points without having to justify anything they say.

 

Read more:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/haleys-big-iran-lie/

 

Read from top.