music and opinion from Wales' wandering poet.
courses, seminars, advice, trends, jobs, help business & economy.
Push war in people's faces! (That's what this brave lady does)
Poet and Efran Kaye's tribute
to everyone killed in wars.
Bless the large numbers of Ethiopians, the many good people in Indonesia, and the folks of Russia, Greece and Egypt, who are now playing it.
After the above incident, the USS Donald Cook chose to immediately - and at full speed - move towards a port in Romania... where 27 shocked crew members asked for their own dismissal. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vital Obama Decision on Syria Bombing “Hoaxed”
The United States has been performing air strikes inside Syria for many months now with a singular lack of success. Thus, the announcement that something has changed, that the US will now be defending the fighters they recently trained in Turkey, numbering only 60, is certainly bizarre.
However, what is more bizarre is the phony story published in the Wall Street Journal on “condition of anonymity.” That is a hoax, pure and simple, set by the newspaper’s owner, Rupert Murdoch with his endless striving for propaganda and use of hoax stories, that are meant to break the will of any nation refusing to submit to Netanyahu.
There are no anonymous sources in the Pentagon. An anonymous source is a leak, a whistleblower, and subject to arrest. If information is released without authorization yet claims to be “official,” it is invariably nothing but sourceless editorial “spin” as so often used by the WSJ, Huffington Post, and Washington Post, to name a few.
Such articles have, when involving Syria, included 'no fly zones' ... and an imaginary 20,000 US force to be stationed, supposedly since 2012, in Jordan.
Today is no different. What is sad, is that news services like Russia Today are invariably taken in, because of the name, “Wall Street Journal,” not understanding it has been bought by the Murdoch organization, & turned into a tabloid.
What is the real story?
Al Nusra, the al Qaeda franchise so close to the heart of Murdoch’s good friend, Senator John McCain, announced it was going to go after any fighters that became involved in what they call “the American experiment.”
President Obama’s announcement is a response to that move on the part of al Nusra. You see, if fighters who sign up for the US’s failed training program in Turkey are immediately slaughtered or forced to flee the region, as happened with the first tiny batch that graduated, the US will suffer a humiliation.
This has already happened, even though the Wall Street Journal never published it, nor was it covered in the western press, yet it happened, all the same.
What was also announced in the real story is quite the opposite of the version published in the Wall Street Journal and then republished in Russia Today, a publication far more likely to be read in the Middle East, where real damage can be done.
The US has acknowledged that it may give direct air support to “some groups possibly aligned with the Damascus regime.” Now this is a real statement and represents the political change that makes a presidential announcement necessary.
There is something stranger still afoot here where raw speculation is justified under a guise of “analysis.” The US has admitted that it has bombed al Nusra forces, which announced earlier that they had attacked the US trained force. However, something is being left out.
Irrefutable Documents Prove Support of US Intelligence Agencies for Terrorism
A US judicial organization last month revealed classified documents of the US State & Defense Departments, proving the Obama administration & its intelligence agencies have been involved in supporting the terrorist groups in Syria since the start of the Syria crisis --- four years ago.
Confirmed: US Created ISIS Terror Group Says New Declassified Pentagon Report.
From the first, the US has used 'Jihadists' to gain a political goal: to depose Syria’s president Assad, who for years has stood in the way of a Qatari natural gas pipeline -- which could depose Russia as Europe’s dominant source of energy.
Russia saw right through this, and, in September 2014, its Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned about the US, reported Live Leak:
"if the West bombs Islamic State militants in Syria without consulting Damascus, the anti-ISIS alliance may use the occasion to launch airstrikes against President Assad’s forces."
Clearly seeing how Obama’s strategy on ISIS in Syria, was really all about pushing the Qatar pipeline through, Russia pushed back, saying that, if the US used ISIS as a pretext to bomb Syrian government's forces:
“such a development would lead to a huge escalation of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa.”
But understanding and suspicions aren't evidence or proof... which Russia lacked.
That has changed, thanks to a declassified secret US government document, obtained by public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, which shows that the US government allied deliberately with al-Qaeda & other terrorists to topple Syria's (elected) President Assad.
Investigative reporter Nafeez Ahmed, says in 'Medium': the “leaked document reveals that -- in coordination with the Gulf states &Turkey - the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, despite anticipating that doing so, could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
According to the declassified document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of ‘Islamic State’ as a direct consequence of its strategy, but described this out- come as a strategic opportunity to “isolate the Syrian regime.”
So far media reporting has focused on evidence that Obama's administration knew of arms supplies from a Libyan terrorist stronghold to rebels in Syria.
No media outlets are reporting the disturbing details exposing how the West knowingly helped a sectarian, al-Qaeda-driven rebellion in Syria.
Charles Shoebridge, former UK Army and Metropolitan Police counter- terrorism intelligence officer:
“..the documents... contain far less publicized revelations that raise vitally important questions of the West’s governments and media, in their support of Syria’s rebellion.”
The newly declassified DIA document from 2012 confirms that the major part of anti-Assad rebel forces by this time, were Islamist insurgents affiliated to groups that would soon lead to ISIS' emergence. Despite this, the groups continued to get support from the US military and the US's regional allies.
“The Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” the document noted, adding “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition,” while Russia, China and Iran, “support the [Assad] regime.”
The DIA document stated that al-Qaeda in Iraq, precursor to the Islamic State in Iraq --- which became the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (thus ISIS) --- “supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media.”
In a part titled ‘The Future Assumptions of the Crisis,’ the DIA report predicts how, while Assad’s regime will survive, keeping control over Syrian territory, the crisis will continue to escalate “into a proxy war.”
The document recommends creating “safe havens under international sheltering, as in Libya, where Benghazi was chosen as a command centre for the temporary government.”
In Libya, anti-Gaddafi rebels, most of whom were al-Qaeda affiliated militias, were then protected by NATO's ‘safe havens’ (aka ‘no fly zones’).
In a striking prediction, the Pentagon document explicitly forecasts the probable declaration of “an Islamic State, through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.”
“Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts” by “opposition forces” fighting to “control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor), adjacent to Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar)”:
“… there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion... (Iraq and Iran).”
The secret Pentagon document thus provides extraordinary confirmation that a US coalition now bombing ISIS, just 3 years ago welcomed a terrorist “Salafist Principality” in the region, as a way to undermine Assad and block Iran. Crucially, Iraq is labeled as an integral part of this “Shia expansion,” which the US is supposedly facing down.
The establishment of such a “Salafist Principality” in eastern Syria, the DIA document asserts, is “exactly” what the “supporting powers to the opposition want.”
Earlier on, the document repeatedly describes those “supporting powers” as “the West, Gulf countries & Turkey.”
The document reveals how Pentagon analysts were acutely aware of the 'risks', yet ploughed ahead anyway.
The establishment of a “Salafist Principality” in eastern Syria, they said, would create “the ideal atmosphere for AQI to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi.”
Last summer, ISIS conquered Mosul in Iraq, and this month has taken control of Ramadi.
Such a quasi-state entity will provide, the new document reveals:
“… a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers to be one enemy. ISI could also declare an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.”
The 2012 DIA document is an Intelligence Information Report (IIR) --- not a “finally evaluated intelligence” assessment --- but it was 'vetted', before distribution.
The report was circulated throughout the US intelligence community, including to the State Department, Central Command, the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, FBI, among other agencies.
The UK government has gone into 'denial', when confronted with this evidence, as a UK Foreign Office spokesperson says:
“AQ & ISIL are proscribed terrorist organisations. The UK opposes all forms of terrorism. AQ, ISIL, & their affiliates pose a direct threat to the UK’s national security.
“We are part of a military and political coalition to defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and are working with international partners to counter the threat from AQ and other terrorist groups in that region. In Syria we have always supported those moderate opposition groups who oppose the tyranny of Assad and the brutality of the extremists.”
Security analyst Shoebridge, who has tracked Western support for Islamist terrorists in Syria since the beginning of the war, points out that the secret Pentagon report has exposed fatal contradictions at the heart of US and Western official pronunciations:
“Throughout the early years of the Syria crisis, the US/UK governments, and almost universally the West’s mainstream media, promoted Syria’s rebels as moderate, liberal, secular, democratic, and therefore deserving of the West’s support.
“Given that these documents wholly undermine this assessment, it’s significant that the West’s media has now, despite their immense significance, almost entirely ignored them.”
Brad Hoff, a former US Marine:
“US intelligence predicted the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a US strategic asset.”
Hoff, managing editor of Levant Report, an online publication run by Texas-based educators who have direct experience of the Middle East, notes how the DIA document “matter-of-factly” states that the rise of such an extremist Salafist political entity in the region offers a “tool for regime change in Syria.”
The DIA intelligence report shows, he says, that the rise of ISIS only became possible in the context of the Syrian insurgency.
“there is no mention of US troop withdrawal from Iraq, as a catalyst for Islamic State’s rise, which is the contention of innumerable politicians and pundits.” The report, he says, demonstrates that:
“The establishment of a ‘Salafist Principality’ in Eastern Syria, is ‘exactly’ what external powers supporting the opposition want (identified as ‘the West, Gulf Countries, and Turkey’) in order to weaken the Assad government.”
The rise of a Salafist quasi-state entity that might expand into Iraq & fracture Iraq, was seen by US intelligence as likely but strategically useful -- in the West’s commitment to “isolating Syria.”
The US official line still, is that the US government did not retain sufficient oversight on funding to the anti-Assad rebel groups, which was supposed to be monitored & vetted to ensure that only ‘moderate’ groups were helped.
But the newly declassified Pentagon report proves unambiguously that years before ISIS launched its concerted offensive against Iraq, the US intelligence community was fully aware that Islamist militants constituted the core of Syria’s sectarian insurgency.
Despite this, the Pentagon still supported an Islamist insurgency, even as it foresaw the probability that it would establish an extremist Salafi stronghold in Syria & Iraq.
As Shoebridge told Dr Nafeez Ahmed, from whose brilliant article this news is taken:
“The documents show that not only did the US government, at the latest, by August 2012, know the true extremist nature & likely outcome of Syria’s rebellion”: ie, the emergence of ISIS — “but that this was considered an advantage for US foreign policy.
“This also suggests a decision to spend years in an effort to deliberately mislead the West’s public, via a compliant media, into believing that Syria’s rebellion was overwhelmingly ‘moderate.’”
The 2012 DIA document shows that, while sponsoring purportedly former al-Qaeda insurgents in Iraq, to counter al-Qaeda, Western governments were at the same time, arming al-Qaeda insurgents in Syria.
The new Pentagon report reveals that, contrary to Western government claims, the primary cause of ISIS' threat, comes from their deeply misguided policies of secretly sponsoring Islamist terrorism, for dubious geopolitical purposes.
The Color Revolution in Macedonia Is Underway
by Wayne MADSEN The diabolical plan to destabilize Macedonia by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, the US ambassador to Macedonia Jess Baily, and Macedonian 'social democrat' opposition leaders Zoran Zaev and Branko Crvenkovski – who could be called the 'Arseniy Yatsenyuk' and 'Petro Poroshenko' of Macedonia - has entered a critical phase with members of the supposedly disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) increasing their terrorist border incursions on Macedonian territory from Kosovo.
The plan by the US State Department & Macedonian stooges like Zaev and Crvenkovski, is to create a situation where the democratically-elected government of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and President Georgy Ivanov, is ousted in an uprising crafted by well-paid operatives for George Soros.
The coup plotters, including those who've become known throughout Macedonia as 'Sorosites,' hope to replace the independent-minded government of Macedonia with one that will cancel the Turkish Stream pipeline project that's designed to carry natural gas into central Europe from Russia via Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary; negotiate with Greece, the European Union and NATO to end the nation’s use of the name 'Macedonia,' thus ensuring the fast-track entry of Macedonia into the EU and NATO; and satiate the desires of Albanian nationalists in Albania and Kosovo for Albanian-majority regions of Macedonia to be whittled away from the country and appended to a 'Greater Albania.'
It's the rise of Albanian nationalist irredentism along the fragile Kosovo-Albanian border that poses the greatest threat to Macedonia’s political and territorial integrity. The first signs of trouble along the border, was an attack in April, on a Macedonian police border post at Gošince by 40 armed men wearing the insignia of the allegedly outlawed KLA.
That action came at the same time that Kosovo's Foreign Minister, Hashim Thaci, the former leader of the KLA, defied threats by Serbian authorities to arrest him for terrorist charges brought in 2007 and visit Belgrade to attend a conference organized by 'Sorosites.' The arrest of Kosovo's foreign minister would have set the stage for a NATO/EU confrontation with Serbia, another critical partner in, not only the Turkish Stream pipeline, but the Chinese-funded Balkan railway part of the Silk Road project, that will link the Greek port of Piraeus to Budapest, through Macedonia and Serbia.
On May 9, armed gunmen who'd earlier crossed over from Kosovo and into Macedonia, were confronted in the northern border town of Kumanovo by Macedonian police in a counter- terrorism operation. A firefight broke out between the suspected KLA terrorists and the police. Six Macedonian police and an unknown number of the Albanian terrorists were killed in the ensuing battle.
The attack by the restored KLA on the Gošince Macedonian border post, where Macedonian police officers were held hostage before the Albanian raiders returned to Kosovo, and the most recent foray by the KLA into Kumanovo, could not have been possible without the knowledge of Kosovo's military protector, NATO, which operates its largest military base, in Camp Bondsteel, in Kosovo.
In 2001, when KLA forces, allied with Macedonian Albanian nationalists of the National Liberation Army (NLA) of Macedonia, fought Macedonian government forces, fighters of the US private military company, Military Professional Resources, Inc. (MPRI), were involved with both sides. MPRI was assisting the NLA while also advising the Macedonian army.
It is believed that MPRI had passed Macedonian national security information to the NLA prior to the attack by the KLA/NLA. The Ochrid Agreements saw Macedonia grant generous autonomy rights to its Albanian population in an effort to keep the violence that wracked Kosovo and Bosnia from spilling over into generally peaceful Macedonia. The Ochrid Agreements are now in jeopardy as the destabilization forces of Nuland and Soros increase their pressure on the government in Skopje.
As if on cue from his 'Sorosite' masters, Albanian nationalist leader Koco Danaj, said from Tirana, that the Kumanovo incident was the fault of Gruevski, who Danaj likened to Adolf Hitler. Danaj is the leader of an Albanian nationalist group called 'Platform for Natural Albania,' which has adherents in Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Macedonia who want to create a 'Greater Albania.'
Danaj indicated that he has allies in Pristina, Skopje, & Ulcinj, the latter the major Albanian centre in Montenegro, who stand ready to bring about a Greater Albania.
In an attempt to intimidate Gruevski, Danaj said 'Gruevski will end in blood.' Danaj was warning Gruevksi against any attempt to stamp out foreign Albanian terrorist activities in Macedonia. In fact, the KLA members caught by the police in Kumanovo were, states Gruevski, planning a series of terrorist attacks on government installations in Skopje and other Macedonian population centers.
At the same time Danaj was making threats against Macedonia from Albania, a NATO member state, Bosniak Muslims staged a reenactment of a wartime Nazi Waffen SS Handzar division parade in Novi Pazar, the capital of the Muslim-dominated Sandzhak province of Serbia. The Bosniaks chose May 9, Victory in Europe Day, to stage their Nazi reenactment parade. The move is similar to the neo-Nazi Waffen SS division parades conducted in Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania and meant to outrage ethnic Russians in those countries.
The Bosniak Waffen SS troops were identifiable by their green uniforms and red fezzes and were among Hitler’s fiercest of fighters & the Bosniaks marching in Novi Pazar wore the very same uniforms on VE Day.
The Bosniak Muslims of Sandzhak and their like-minded colleagues in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Macedonia largely favor the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in the Balkans that would include the Bosniak Muslims and Albanians.
Zaev, Crvenkovski, and the 'Sorosites' are using the outbreak of violence in the Albanian majority regions of Macedonia in an attempt to dislodge from the current government the Albanian political party, Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), as a junior coalition partner of governing VMRO DPMNE party of Prime Minister Gruevski.
The problems in the Albanian regions of Macedonia follow violent anti-government demonstrations in Skopje that were egged on by the 'Sorosites.' Zaev and Crvenkovski are using unfounded charges that Gruevski’s government eavesdropped on the phone calls of 20,000 Macedonians, as a rallying theme against the government.
Largely ignored by the foreign press is the fact that only the US National Security Agency and its British and German partners have the capability to conduct such massive surveillance. The question remains: who provided the Macedonian opposition with the taped conversations of Gruevski and other government leaders with the opposition leaders? The sophistication of the intercepts rules out the Macedonian Intelligence Service.
The opposition to Gruevski's government has been joined by two of the major Soros-funded media operations in Macedonia, the television networks "Telma" and "24 Vesti." They helped stoke recent violent protests directed at the government on Macedonia Square in central Skopje, demonstrations that saw 36 of the 40 total injured in the melees in front of the government headquarters in Skopje identified as police officers.
One Social Democratic leader and ally of Zaev and Crvenkovski, Radmila Shekerinska, was witnessed at a café near the protest venue issuing instructions to protesters to forcibly enter government buildings.
Crvenkovksi and Zaev have openly called for a popular uprising against the Macedonian government. The Soros-influenced Radio Free Europe, has consistently understated the number of police officers injured by 'Sorosite' rioters and it has failed to report on the external agitation behind the rioting.
The good news is that Macedonians from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds, Slavic and Albanian and Muslims and Orthodox alike, are aware of the 'Sorosite' influences behind the outbreak of violence in their country and they are willing to stand up against it. For Soros and his agitators within the Macedonian opposition and the US embassy in Skopje, Macedonia, unlike Ukraine, will not be easily walked on.
US/SAUDI PLANS EXPOSED
Saudi war on Yemen has failed: Hezbollah chief
Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement, says the Al Saud regime has failed to achieve its goals against the Yemeni nation.
“Tell me about a single objective that has been achieved. Has Saudi Arabia restored the so-called legitimacy in Yemen? Has it managed to prevent the expansion of the Yemeni army and popular committees? Has it confiscated the arms of Ansarullah? Has it been able to return Mansur Hadi to his country?” Nasrallah asked in his TV address.
The Hezbollah chief rejected as lies, the Riyadh regime’s claims of victory in the war on Yemen, asking, “Do Arab citizens accept such deception & misinformation? As an Arab citizen I want information about the objectives that were allegedly realized.”
He said the Saudi kingdom is seeking to gain dominance over Yemen by launching a bloody war on its neighbour, and asked:
“Have they managed to achieve their real objective: restoring their hegemony over Yemen?”
He lauded the Yemeni people’s resistance against Saudi aggression, saying Riyadh could not weaken the Yemenis.
“We are before a clear and obvious Saudi failure and a clear Yemeni victory. This is the result of the firmness & steadfastness of the Yemenis,” the Hezbollah chief said.
The Saudis claim the airstrikes only target military positions. However, reports show civilians & infrastructure in civilian areas are being attacked. Recent reports also show Saudis used cluster munitions in the northern province of Sa’ada.
Riyadh declared an end to the “Decisive Storm” operation against Yemen & then announced the beginning of a new phase “Operation Restoring Hope.”
“The launch of Operation Renewal of Hope was an attempt to cover up for the failure of the 1st round of the war against Yemen,” he stressed.
He criticized Saudi Arabia and its backers in the aggression against Yemen for their hypocrisy in the war and their blocking of humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people.
“They claimed they want to fight terrorism, but they are offering arms to al-Qaeda & bombing popular committees, to prevent them from reaching the regions where al- Qaida is operating. They have prevented any humanitarian aid from reaching Yemen,” he stressed.
Nasrallah praised the victories of Yemen's people, and called on the international community to step up its efforts to help the Yemenis.
“The world has a responsibility to confront this aggression's repercussions, at the humanitarian level,” the Hezbollah chief said, condemning Saudi Arabia’s arial bombing of Yemen and the destruction of its infrastructure.
He said, “Exerting pressure by killing children and women is a futile policy.”
AND ON US SCHEMES TO SPLIT IRAQ
Hezbollah's chief also referred to Iraq, saying the US is seeking to split Iraq under the pretext of fighting the ISIL Takfiri group.
“After the IS seized control of Mosul and started threatening the other provinces and the region, a US-led international coalition was formed to fight it. Back then, we said that the US is not serious in fighting IS & that it would utilize the threat of IS in the region, to realize its own scheme for the region.
We said that the US has a scheme to fragment the regions on a sectarian & ethnic basis: Arabs, Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites,” Nasrallah added.
Nowadays, the Americans have revealed their true intentions through their attempt to bestow legitimacy on the fragmentation of Iraq, and this is what the US Congress is trying to do, he noted.
The draft of a US annual defense bill, which was released on April 27 by the House Armed Services Committee, urges the US government to recognize separate Kurdish & Sunni states, and provide them with at least 25% of the 715 million dollars in aid money, allegedly planned to be given to the Iraqi government, to help it fight the ISIL terrorist group.
The draft bill also says the figure could even be 60% of the money, about USD 429 million.
The bill mandates that “the Kurdish Peshmerga, the Sunni tribal security forces with a national security mission, and the Iraqi Sunni National Guard be deemed a country,” adding that this “would allow these security forces to directly receive assistance from the US.”
This was a prophecy which has now come true, with a Senate vote in favour of carving up Iraq
Widespread Use of Torture by Ukrainian Army & Security Services
Washington Choreographing All-Out War with Russia?
by Finian CUNNINGHAM
The reckless American leaders are putting in place incendiary elements that heighten the risk of an all- out war with Russia.
For several weeks now the Ukrainian self-defence militia, in the breakaway eastern Donbas region, has been warning that the US-backed Kiev regime is readying to break a fragile ceasefire and resume its offensive. The refusal, as mandated by the truce, to fully withdraw all heavy artillery and the ongoing practice of live-fire drills near the conflict zone, are the evidences cited.
With the arrival of 300 US paratroopers in Ukraine, collaborating with Kiev’s Neo-Nazi National Guard brigades, who are the worst offenders over the past year’s fights in east Ukraine – that development is an alarming harbinger of imminent conflict.
The Minsk ceasefire, brokered by Russia, Germany & France, has, up to this time, held for over two months. Given the Kiev regime’s past breach of previous cease- fires, the duration of the truce signed on February 12th, has surprised many.
But now it seems the levee is about to burst, ushering more violence into the region.
Of utmost concern is that the US military forces have reportedly moved into the Donetsk region, near the conflict zone.
(This has been "officially" denied by the US.)
The arrival of the US troops was already described by Moscow as a breach of the Minsk ceasefire. Bad enough, was that the Americans were supposed to conduct their military exercises in the west of the country, near Lviv city. Inexplicably, according to the Russian Ministry of Defence, US troops of the 173rd Airborne Brigade have taken up "training" positions in Donetsk --- only 20-30 kilometres from the conflict zone. The positions include the towns of Artemivsk, Severodonetsk and Volnovakha.
Moreover, the military training given by the Americans to their charges includes the use of US-made arms, not the usual Soviet-style arms the Ukrainian Armed Forces traditionally use.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Alexander Lukashevich, notes that the mode of training, shows that Washington is preparing to fulfil its promise to supply lethal weapons to the Kiev regime.
The disturbing upshot of the ceasefire breaking in eastern Ukraine is that this time around the United States will be an overt participant in any renewed war. Not only the US, but two other closely aligned members of the NATO alliance – Canada and Britain. Nearly 600 troops from these three countries are in place acting as "military advisors" and providing weapons training to Kiev’s forces.
If the shaky Minsk ceasefire collapses, as many fear it might, then the situation has American, Canadian and British military boots on the ground, and on the side of the Kiev regime. There is no equivocation about it. These NATO members will then be overtly at war in Ukraine fighting for a Neo-Nazi regime that has been responsible for 6,000 deaths over the past year in its wanton offensive on the Russian-speaking people of Donetsk and Luhansk.
That new situation will have dispelled the erstwhile pretence of the US and its allies, of "only" providing indirect support to Kiev. For these Western powers will be at war – officially.
In addition to the sinister military build-up on the ground, the US has begun a revamped choreographing of disinformation and war propaganda.
In recent days, the US ambassador to Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt, took to social media with more shrill claims of a Russian military presence in eastern Ukraine. Pyatt averred that it was "the highest concentration of Russian air defence forces in eastern Ukraine since [last] August." He posted a photograph of a Buk Missile system, which actually turns out to have been taken from a commercial military exhibition held in Russia --- two years ago.
Pyatt, along with State Department official Victoria Nuland, it may be recalled, was the architect of the coup in Kiev last February when the American CIA backed the violent overthrow of the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych.
Meanwhile, back in Washington, the US State Department used the exact same formulation of words to claim Russia was installing advanced air defence systems in eastern Ukraine. There is "no doubt that Russia is involved," said spokeswoman Marie Harf --- without, as usual, providing any evidence. When asked about exact numbers of alleged Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, Harf's cosmetic demeanour appeared to crumble with uncertainty. "It is really hard to get precise information about Russian troop numbers specifically, but we know there is a substantial Russian presence," she told reporters.
Ironically, Washington cited these alleged infractions to accuse Russia of "violating the Minsk ceasefire", that could be construed as an act of war "requiring" Kiev forces to "respond". The irony is cloyingly rich given that it is the US that has sent paratroopers into eastern Ukraine to train Neo-Nazi brigades on how to kill more ethnic Russians.
Apart from an outright falsification of the alleged presence of Russian forces in Ukraine, the potential is rife for so-called false-flag terror attacks carried out by the Kiev regime and its American handlers. Such an atrocity, amplified by the dutiful Western news media, could, in turn, be cited as a "justification" to relaunch hostilities.
Earlier this year, for example, on January 13th, near Volnovakha town, a bus carrying civilians was blown up, reportedly with a roadside mine, killing twelve people onboard. The US-backed president, Petro Poroshenko, immediately blamed "Russian terrorists".
It's been a familiar routine over the past year, whose choreography suggests premeditated planning. In the Volnovakha bus massacre, only later did it emerge, that the explosive device belonged to the Kiev forces who hold that area, and it may indeed have been set off deliberately, to impugn the pro-Russian rebels.
Volnovakha is one of the towns in eastern Ukraine where US troops are now reportedly carrying out military exercises with the disreputable National Guard, whose crimes against civilians in eastern Ukraine is amply documented, even by Western human rights groups.
The combined factors in this equation do not bode well. US and NATO troops on the ground in eastern Ukraine working with Neo-Nazi paramilitaries, plus renewed audacious media attempts to criminalise Russia. That array of factors equals a return to all- out war, this time with NATO openly participating.
The provocation to Russia has to be seen in a wider even more troubling context, of American-led NATO build-up of troops, warplanes, warships & missiles across Eastern Europe – and all pointed at Russia.
This begs the inevitable conclusion of Washington choreographing events for all-out war with Russia.
Given the decrepit, crumbling state of America’s global empire and its bankrupt capitalist economy, the pernicious motive for such a war begins to look compelling.
Unless, of course, the American people and the rest of the world can somehow unite – to abolish the out- of-control regime in Washington.
Something must have happened for Hollande to be so incoherent.
The US has maintained constant pressure on France since her refusal to join the first anti-Iraq coalition in 2003, when Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin made his remarkable address before the Security Council: France’s last independent policy statement.
France has been punished for this foolhardy act of disobedience: the Bush Law - “Those who are not with us are against us” - was laid on France in full. Sanctions after sanctions, most of them unpublicized, some unannounced, until they gave in, and joined the war in Afghanistan.
The last sanction, and the most crippling, was the US embargo on military equipment, which forced France to join the Afghanistan war, as revealed at the above-mentioned hearings:
- Senator: “Do you mean to say, General, that we went to Afghanistan because of some spare parts??!!”
- Gen. Bentégeat (former Deputy Chief of General Staff): “Those spare parts were essential for the propulsion system of our helicopter carrier. The embargo on military hardware was decreed by Donald Rumsfeld after our opposition to the intervention in Iraq; it was only lifted when we joined the war in Afghanistan.” http://www.senat.fr/compte-ren
The French were so ill-prepared for this war, they soon ran out of everything, even toilet paper, that they had to steal from the US barracks. The worst part of it all, is that when the US decided to with- draw the main force from Afghanstan, they didn't even inform the French.. “The Americans just use us as “kit expéditionnaire”, Gen Desportes cries. (www.cercledesvolontair...çaise-le-cri-dalarme/)
Thus fares la Grande Armée, under the heel of the American hegemon...
Hollande may be under renewed pressure from the US, which apparently never ends its threat to deprive France (and the UK too) of their seat on the UN Security Council - as Gen. Bentégeat testifies, during the same senate hearings:
“The pressure in this regard is constant, both on France, and the UK. France's Permanent Representative [to the UN] always tells me France & the UK are constantly challenged to demonstrate that they're not out of place on the Security Council.”
Top Polish Military Advisor "Completely Withdraws" His Support for Kiev
General Skrzypczak, former head of Poland's Armed Forces, no longer supports military assistance and political support for Kiev because of the Kiev-coup Parliament's decision to honour OUN-UPA, who are World War Two Ukrainian ultra nationalists, who slaughtered tens of thousands of Poles.
This article originally appeared at The New Cold War
A top military adviser and former head of Poland’s armed forces tells Gazeta Prawna news in Poland that he has “completely withdrawn” his previous views favoring providing more military assistance and political support to the government of Ukraine.
General Waldemar Skrzypczak spoke to the paper briefly on April 16th. On April 17th, Gazeta Prawna is publishing a feature interview with him.
His change of view is prompted by a law, passed by Ukraine's Parliament on April 9th, glorifying World War Two collaborators with Nazi Germany.
It followed an address to the Verkhovna Rada on April the 9th, by the then Polish President, Bronislaw Komorowski, in which he voiced strong support for Ukraine, including its military ambition to put down the pro- autonomy movement in the east of Ukraine.
Skrzypczak tells Gazeta Prawna:
“A few hours later, Ukraine's parliament passed a law glorifying the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). At this point, I realized Ukraine does not consider the Polish people. I’m talking of what happened in Volhynia, the slaughter of 100,000 Poles by the UPA [in 1943 and 1944]…
“The UPA murdered my uncle, nailing him with forks to the barn door. From what I know, he died 3 days later. Their savagery was beyond human imagination. Nazi Germany did not come up with what those Ukrainians were doing(…)
“I wonder what future the president of Ukraine, Mr Poroshenko, is building for Ukraine. On a foundation of bloodthirsty nationalism? This is terrible.
“It has long been said that Ukrainians should get rid of nationalism, because if they don't, collaboration with Poland will be very hard, in fact, impossible.”
General Skrzypczak is no pacifist, or friend of Russia. Born in 1956, he was the commander of Polish Land Forces from 2006 to 2009.
Since September 2011, he's an adviser at the Polish Ministry of National Defence. In June 2012, he became deputy minister of defence, responsible for armament and modernisation. In an August 2012 interview, he outlined his plans for a continuing & vast modernization and expansion of Poland’s military.
American Exceptional Hypocracy by Michelle Semet.
This article appeared in full at Letters from Globistan
According to the official narrative, Americans are the reluctant enforcers of human rights as Putin recklessly pushes for nuclear war. In this latest revision, France & Germany reprise their roles as spineless and unprincipled allies who won't defend Ukrainian democracy, because of Russia’s nuclear arsenal.
To make the case that Russia is lurching towards diplomatic belligerence, much hay has been made regarding the revision of Russia’s military doctrine:
“Although the revised Russian military doctrine in December 2014, is not new in its allowance of tactical nuclear weapons in the case of a conventional attack that “threatens the very existence” of the Russian state, given the strengthening of Russia’s narrative on its own perceived encirclement by NATO, such threats are potentially open to more dangerous interpretation.” Sarah Lain, IB Times.
Feckless allegations and paranoid speculations re Putin’s motives are published as unassailable fact in prestigious media outlets, casting Russia as the mustachio-twirling nuclear villain of our fevered imaginations:
“Others want nuclear weapons not to freeze the status quo, but to change it. Russia has started to wield nuclear threats as an offensive weapon in its strategy of intimidation.
“Its military exercises routinely stage dummy nuclear attacks on such capitals as Warsaw and Stockholm. Mr Putin’s speeches contain veiled nuclear threats. Dmitry Kiselev, one of the Kremlin’s mouthpieces, has declared with relish that Russian nuclear forces could turn America into “radioactive ash”. The Economist.
“No one wants to acknowledge the truth: We won’t sell even defensive weapons to Ukraine because Russia is a nuclear power, & because Russia keeps reminding us of that fact. Last month, Russia's government declared it had put nuclear-capable missiles near Kaliningrad city, in striking range of Warsaw, Stockholm, and possibly Berlin. To underline the point, they also put a few more missiles in Crimea.
“During the last NATO summit, Russia suddenly decided to get out its nuclear weapons and “practice” loading them. During its 2009 military exercises, Russia also “practiced” a nuclear strike on Warsaw. Of course these are bluffs & threats, designed to make everyone nervous. But because there is a sliver of a chance that Putin is crazy enough to kill millions of people, they work.” Anne Applebaum, Slate.
Pot Calling Kettle As America’s Standard Operating Procedure
Buried under all the Russia & Putin hysteria lies the raging institutional hypocrisy that masquerades as American exceptionalism. Though it’s undeniable (and completely understandable) that Russia would be willing to use nuclear weapons in the defense of her borders and sovereignty, it's the US that has “officially” reserved the prerogative of a nuclear first strike. As former Assistant Treasury Secretary Dr. Paul Craig Roberts explains:
“I pointed out years ago that the Bush regime had changed US war doctrine such that the role of nuclear weapons was no longer retaliatory to be used in the event of nuclear a attack on the US. It was elevated to a first strike position. It is now our war doctrine that we can initiate a nuclear war on somebody we don’t like, or who we think might not agree with us, or who we think might be prepared to go to war against us. This doctrine applies to countries that do not have nuclear weapons.”
Unfortunately for the vast majority who rely on mainstream media for their information, this reality is relentlessly obfuscated with provocative rhetoric and a disingenuous projection:
“It’s a curious reversal of roles: In the 1980s, the Soviet leadership was terrified that a cowboy in the White House - someone who was so nutty he made jokes about signing “legislation that will outlaw Russia forever” - might just flip a switch and send a missile.
“Nowadays, it’s we who fear the madmen in foreign capitals, while our own large nuclear arsenal goes unmentioned - unacknowledged by a Western political class that is frankly embarrassed that it still exists.” Anne Applebaum, Slate
Given the real motives & documented objectives of American foreign policy, it is exceedingly clear that Russia’s true crime, is her all-too-real ability to defend herself on the world stage. How can American leaders accuse Russia of shameless nuclear intimidation when they openly advocate for the exclusive right of preemptive nuclear war –even against nations without nuclear weapons?
STOP KAGAN & NULAND NOW says Robert Parry
Robert Parry, the American investigative journalist who broke many Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek, speaks out now about Robert Kagan & Victoria Nuland & their hold on Obama, whose foreign policy seems to be outsourced to these ideologue-opportunists, whose companies depend on wars..
According to Parry, the couple’s latest project is to sink Minsk-2 and lay the ground for further US military-industrial-complex profiteering at the EU's expense and of the US itself, and peace in Europe.
How to sink Minsk-2
In another overheard conversation — in Munich, Germany — Nuland mocked the peace agreement as “Merkel’s Moscow thing,” German newspaper Bild says, citing unnamed sources, likely from the German government which may have bugged the conference room in the luxurious Bayerischer Hof hotel and then leaked the details.
Picking up on Nuland’s contempt for Merkel, another US official called the Minsk-2 deal the Europeans’ “Moscow bullshit.”
Nuland suggested that Merkel and Hollande cared only about the practical impact of the Ukraine war on Europe: “They’re afraid of damage to their economy, counter-sanctions from Russia.”
According to the Bild story, Nuland also laid out a strategy for countering Merkel’s diplomacy by using strident language to frame the Ukraine crisis.
“We can fight against the Europeans, we can fight with rhetoric against them,” Nuland reportedly said.
NATO Commander Air Force General Philip Breedlove was quoted as saying that sending more weapons to the Ukrainian government would “raise the battlefield cost for Putin.”
Nuland interjected to US politicians present that “I’d strongly urge you to use the phrase ‘defensive systems’ that we would deliver to oppose Putin’s ‘offensive systems.’”
Nuland sounded determined to sink the Merkel- Hollande peace initiative, even though it was arranged by two major US allies, and blessed by President Obama.
And, now, the deal seems indeed to have been blown apart by Nuland’s hand-picked PM, Yatsenyuk, who inserted a poison pill into the legislation to implement the Minsk-2 political settlement.
The Ukrainian parliament in Kiev added a clause that, in effect, requires the rebels to first surrender, and let the Ukrainian government organize elections, before a federalized structure is determined.
Minsk-2 had called for dialogue with the representatives of the rebellious eastern territories en route to elections and the establishment of broad autonomy for the region.
Instead, reflecting Nuland’s hard-line position, Kiev refused to talks with the rebel leaders, & insisted on establishing control over these territories before the process can move forward.
If the legislation stands, the result will almost surely be a resumption of war between military forces backed by nuclear-armed Russia and the United States, a very dangerous development for the world.
If Downtown New York City Was Hit by ONE Modern Nuclear Weapon
Or downtown Moscow for that matter. Today's nukes are deadlier than ever. Russia & the US have 700 800-kiloton deployed warheads each.
This article originally appeared at OpEdNews
What would happen if just one 800-kiloton nuclear warhead was detonated above midtown Manhattan?
The Russians are reputed to have 10 such weapons trained on the city. And we threaten their cities in a like manner. This chilling account was delivered at a recent Caldicott Foundation 'For A Nuclear Free Future' conference held at the New York Academy of Medicine.
It is the work of 3 distinguished authorities on the subject.
By Steven Starr, Lynn Eden and Theodore A. Postol
(Lynn Eden is a member of the Security Board of "Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists" and a Senior Research Scholar & Associate Director for Research, at Stanford University's Centre for International Security and Cooperation.)
(Physicist Theodore Postol is Professor of Science, Technology, and National Security Policy at MIT. His expertise is in ballistics.)
(Steven Starr is Director of the University of Missouri's Clinical Laboratory Science Program.)
Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles are believed to carry a total of approximately 1,000 strategic nuclear warheads that can hit the US less than 30 minutes after being launched.
Of this total, about 700 warheads are rated at 800 kilotons; that is, each has the explosive power of 800,000 tons of TNT. What follows is a description of the consequences of the detonation of a single such warhead over midtown Manhattan, in the heart of NYC.
The initial fireball. The warhead would probably be detonated slightly more than a mile above the city, to maximize the damage created by its blast wave. Within a few tenths of millionths of a second after detonation, the centre of the warhead would reach a temperature of roughly 200 million degrees Fahrenheit (about 100 million degrees Celsius), or about 4 to 5 times the temperature at the centre of the sun.
A ball of superheated air would form, initiallly expanding outward, at millions of miles per hour. It would act like a fast-moving piston on the surrounding air, compressing it at the edge of the fireball & creating a shockwave of vast size and power.
After 1 second, the fireball would be roughly a mile in diameter. It would have cooled from its initial temperature of many millions of degrees to about 16,000 degrees Fahrenheit -- roughly 4,000 degrees hotter than the surface of the sun.
On a clear day with average weather conditions, the enormous heat and light from the fireball would almost instantly ignite fires over a total area of about 100 square miles.
Hurricane of fire. Within seconds after detonation, fires set within a few miles of the fireball would burn violently. These fires would force gigantic masses of heated air to rise, drawing cooler air from surrounding areas toward the centre of the fire zone, from all directions.
As massive winds drove flames into areas where fires hadn't yet fully developed, fires set by the detonation would begin to merge. Within tens of minutes of the detonation, fires from near and far would join & have formed a single, gigantic fire. The energy released by this mass fire would be 15 to 50 times greater than the energy produced by the nuclear detonation.
The mass fire, or firestorm, would quickly increase in intensity, heating enormous volumes of air that would rise at speeds approaching 300 miles per hour. This chimney effect would pull cool air from outside the fire zone towards the centre of the fire at speeds of hundreds of miles per hour. These superheated ground winds of more than hurricane force, would further intensify the fire. At the edge of the fire zone, the winds would be powerful enough to uproot trees three feet in diameter and suck people from outside the fire into it.
The inrushing winds would drive the flames from burning buildings horizontally along the ground, filling city streets with flames and firebrands, breaking in doors and windows, and causing the fire to jump, sometimes hundreds of feet, swallowing anything not already violently combusting.
These above-hurricane-force ground winds would have average air temperatures well above the boiling point of water. The area targeted would be transformed into a huge hurricane of fire, producing a lethal environment throughout the entire fire zone.
Ground zero: Midtown Manhattan. The fireball would vaporize the structures directly below it and produce an immense blast wave and high- speed winds, crushing even heavily built concrete structures within a couple miles of ground zero. The blast would tear apart high-rise buildings and expose their contents to the solar temperatures; it would spread fires by exposing ignitable surfaces, releasing flammable materials, and dispersing burning materials.
At the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, the Chrysler Building, and St. Patrick's Cathedral, about a half to three quarters of a mile from ground zero, light from the fireball would melt asphalt in the streets, burn paint off walls, and melt metal surfaces within a half second of the detonation. Roughly one second later, the blast wave and 750-mile-per-hour winds would arrive, flattening buildings and tossing burning cars into the air like leaves in a windstorm. Throughout Midtown, the interiors of vehicles and buildings in line of sight of the fireball would explode into flames.
Slightly more than a mile from ground zero are the neighborhoods of Chelsea, Midtown East, and Lenox Hill, as well as the United Nations; at this distance, for a split second the fireball would shine 10,000 times brighter than a desert sun at noon. All combustible materials illuminated by the fireball would spew fire and black smoke.
Grass, vegetation, and leaves on trees would explode into flames; the surface of the ground would explode into superheated dust. Any flammable material inside buildings (paper, curtains, upholstery) directly exposed to the fireball would burst into flame. The surfaces of the bronze statues in front of the UN would melt; marble surfaces exposed to the fireball would crack, pop, and possibly evaporate.
At this distance from the fireball, it would take about four seconds for the blast wave to arrive. As it passed over, the blast wave would engulf all structures & crush them; it would generate ferocious winds of 400 to 500 miles per hour that would persist for a few seconds.
The high winds would tear structural elements from buildings and cause them to disintegrate explosively into smaller pieces. Some of these pieces would become destructive projectiles, causing further damage. The superheated, dust-laden winds would be strong enough to overturn trucks and buses.
Two miles from ground zero, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with all its magnificent historical treasures, would be obliterated. Two and a half miles from ground zero, in Lower Manhattan, the East Village, and Stuyvesant Town, the fireball would appear 2,700 times brighter than a desert sun at noon. There, thermal radiation would melt and warp aluminum surfaces, ignite the tires of autos, and turn exposed skin to charcoal, before blast waves arrived & ripped apart the buildings.
Three to nine miles from ground zero. Midtown is bordered by the relatively wide Hudson and East rivers, and fires would start simultaneously in large areas on both sides of these waterways (that is, in Queens and Brooklyn as well as Jersey City and West New York). Although the direction of the fiery winds in regions near the river would be modified by the water, the overall wind pattern from these huge neighboring fire zones would be similar to that of a single mass fire, with its centre at Midtown, Manhattan.
Three miles from ground zero, in Union City, New Jersey, and Astoria, Queens, the fireball would be as bright as 1,900 suns and deliver more than five times the thermal energy deposited at the peri- meter of the mass fire at Hiroshima. In Greenpoint, Brooklyn & in the Civic Centre of Lower Manhattan, clothes worn by people in the direct line of sight of the fireball would burst into flames or melt, and uncovered skin would be charred, causing third- degree and fourth-degree burns.
It would take 12 to 14 seconds for the blast wave to travel three miles after the fireball's initial flash of light. At this distance, the blast wave would last for about three seconds and be accompanied by winds of 200 to 300 miles per hour. Residential structures would be destroyed; high-rises would be at least heavily damaged.
Fires would rage everywhere within five miles of ground zero. At a distance of 5.35 miles from the detonation, the light flash from the fireball would deliver twice the thermal energy experienced at the edge of the mass fire at Hiroshima. In Jersey City and Cliffside Park & in Woodside in Queens, on Governors Island and in Harlem, the light and heat to surfaces would approximate that created by 600 desert suns at noon.
Wind speed at this distance would be 70 to 100 miles per hour. Buildings of heavy construction would suffer little structural damage, but all exterior windows would be shattered, and non- supporting interior walls and doors would be severely damaged or blown down. Black smoke would effuse from wood houses as the paint burned off surfaces and furnishings ignited.
6 to 7 miles from ground zero, from Moonachie, New Jersey, to Crown Heights, Brooklyn, from Yankee Stadium to Corona, Queens and Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the fireball would appear 300 times brighter than the desert sun at noon. Anyone in the direct light of the fireball would suffer 3rd degree burns to their exposed skin. The firestorm could engulf neighborhoods as far as seven miles away from ground zero, since these outlying areas would receive the same amount of heat as did the areas at the edge of the mass fire at Hiroshima.
Nine miles from ground zero, in Hackensack, Bayonne, and Englewood, New Jersey, as well as in Richmond Hill, Queens, and Flatlands, Brooklyn, the fireball would be about 100 times brighter than the sun, bright enough to cause first- and second-degree burns to those in line of sight. About 36 seconds after the fireball, the shockwave would arrive and knock out all the windows, along with many interior building walls and some doors.
No survivors. Within tens of minutes, everything within approximately 5-7 miles of Mid Manhattan would be engulfed by a gigantic firestorm. The fire zone would cover a total area of 90 to 152 square miles (230 to 389 square kilometers). The firestorm would rage for three to six hours. Air temperatures in the fire zone would likely average 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (200 to 260 Celsius).
After the fire burned out, the street pavement would be so hot, that even tracked vehicles could not pass over it for days. Buried and unburned material from collapsed buildings throughout the fire zone, could burst into flames when exposed to air -- months after the firestorm had ended.
Those who tried to escape through the streets would have been incinerated by the hurricane- force winds filled with firebrands and flames. Even those able to find shelter in the lower- level sub-basements of massive buildings would likely suffocate from fire-generated gases or be cooked alive as their shelters heated to oven-like conditions.
The fire would extinguish all life and destroy almost everything else. Tens of miles down- wind of the area of immediate destruction, radioactive fallout would begin to arrive within a few hours of the detonation.
But that, is another story.
Sixty-Six Years Ago on April 4th, NATO Began its War Program
by Danielle Ryan
On April 4th, 1949, NATO consolidated itself into an alliance, whose only purpose, is to arm the world against Russia.
About three and a half months later, on July 26, Senator Bob Taft, the son of President W H Taft, made a speech explaining why he voted against its establishment.
It’s clear now, that he could foresee what those blinded by triumphalism & ideology couldn’t see. He was no apologist for communism or the USSR, but he knew that a military pact against Russia was a provocative act --- and one more likely to lead to aggression and insecurity, than peace and stability.
This is “not a peace program, it is a war program,” he said.
“…the treaty is a part of a much larger program by which we arm all these nations against Russia. A joint military program has already been made. It thus becomes an offensive and defensive military alliance against Russia. I believe our foreign policy should be aimed primarily at security and peace, and I believe such an alliance is more likely to produce war, than peace.”
“A third world war would be the greatest tragedy the world has ever suffered. Even if we won the war, we -- this time -- would probably suffer tremendous destruction, our economic system would be crippled, and we would lose our liberties and free system just as the 2nd World War destroyed the free systems of Europe. It might easily destroy civilization on this earth…”
Taft could see the Russian perspective clearly -- without necessarily agreeing with it -- and he understood that it ought not be disregarded out of hand -- the de rigueur starting point in Washington today.
“If we undertake to arm all the nations around Russia -- from Norway on the north, to Turkey on the south -- and Russia sees itself ringed about gradually by so- called defensive arms from Norway and Denmark to Turkey and Greece, it may form a different opinion. It may decide that the arming of western Europe, regardless of its present purpose, looks to an attack on Russia. Its view may be unreasonable, and I think it is. But from the Russian standpoint it may not seem unreasonable.”
“How would we feel if Russia undertook to arm a country on our border; Mexico, for instance?”
Taft went on to argue that there would be only “one real hope” for peace in the world. It would be an “association of nations building itself to abide by a law governing nations and administered by a court of legal justice”. Such a judicial finding “must not be subject to veto by any nation”, he said.
3 years earlier, the United Nations had been founded. Taft regarded the young UN as an organisation looking in the right direction, but one that was deeply flawed.
As his predictions on NATO turned out to be true and justified, so too did his criticism of the United Nations. The UN veto power, held by five nations, has added to its ineffectiveness as a supposedly diplomatic and democratic organisation.
There may be some debate to be had about the legitimacy of a veto power --- but add to those criticisms Washington’s complete disregard for the UN Security Council, and you have an organisation which is essentially useless --- because one of its members operates outside its bounds, at all times.
While the UN these days rarely serves anyone well, NATO serves the interests of only 1 of its members.
Finally, on NATO, Taft said:
“… as set up, it is a step backward — a military alliance of the old type where we have to come to each others’ assistance, no matter who's to blame — and with ourselves, the judges of the law.“
66 years later and NATO still exists, as many have argued, for no good reason; to counteract threats which are either imagined or which only exist because NATO itself exists. Or worse, to lend legitimacy to the geopolitical whims of its only beneficiary.
This article originally appeared at Journalitico
Robert Parry: Ukraine's poison pill for Minsk-2 The Ukrainian government is doing everything possible to disrupt the Minsk-2 arrangements.
Ukraine may thus expand the geography of the civil war in the Donbass, while the United States and Russia may approach the line behind which nuclear war may start,Robert Parry, a journalist known for his investigative reports, believes.
According to him, recent legislative decisions by the Verkhovna Rada, have now poisoned the Minsk-2 agreements.
With its "legislative" work, Kiev's parliament has ruined the peace initiatives by European politicians trying to stop the bloodshed in eastern Ukraine.
There's another round of the bloody conflict in store for Donbass, he says, and Ukraine's MPs will do nothing except accuse Russia and President Putin, for the blood shed.
The civil war was expected to finally end, if Kiev agreed to grant 'special status' to the two breakaway regions of Ukraine.
However, after the "fruitful" work by the US-backed parliament, the value of this "special status" has been reduced to nil, Pravda.Ru says.
Kiev says the People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk will have to hold new elections -- under Kiev's control -- if they want "special status" for themselves. The elections would have to be conducted after full capitulation by the militia forces, as elections would not take account of any frontline between the two sides.
Vadim Karasyov, director of the independent Institute of Global Strategies --- in Kiev:
"Ukraine won't go along with any legalization of those so-called people's republics. We need them to be dismantled," the Christian Science Monitor reports.
The leaders of Donetsk and Luhansk republics have protested the decision by Ukraine's Rada. They note that it is contrary to both the letter and spirit of the Minsk agreements:
"We agreed to "special status" for the territories of our republics and a renewed, united Ukraine, although all our people want full independence.
"We took this step to stop the bloodshed and the fratricidal war. Now we can clearly see that the Ukrainian authorities need the peace talks only to further prepare for a new phase of the war."
It remains to add that Kiev's MPs are unlikely to have taken such "poisonous" solutions -- without the support of American "hawks," such as Victoria Nuland.
Those hawks put pressure on Poroshenko, Merkel and Hollande, taking the world to the brink of a possible nuclear war, Robert Parry writes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he ordered the Russian intelligence services to save ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, as his death was an objective of the coup.
Putin says that, from the beginning, the coup plan and the elimination of Yanukovych in an attack, was clear.
"There were reasons to believe they would simply eliminate him", says the President, to explain an order he gave security forces during the coup of February 22nd, in 2014.
The information received, indicated that the coup leaders were prepared to not just capture Yanukovich, but physically eliminate him, as this was simply more 'convenient' for the coup, says Putin.
According to President Putin, subsequent events detected by the Kremlin's security services, only confirmed this.
Andrei Kondrashov's documentary, which contains Putin's words, on Rossiya 1, has created quite a stir in Russia and abroad.
Referring to the documentary 'Crimea. Return to the Motherland', the spokes- person for the Commissioner for Foreign and Security Policy of the EU, Maja Kocijancic, criticizes Russia.
'We are aware of the shooting of this film, but what matters is that we have condemned -- and will condemn -- the accession of Crimea and Sevastopol" she says.
US Private Military Companies Used for Arms Supplies to Ukraine
CyberBerkut, Ukrainian hackers set up to fight neo- fascism, nationalism and power abuse in Ukraine, has gained access to files on the mobile device of the Green Group PMC (private military company) official who recently visited Kiev as a member of a US military delegation. It made the materials public on February 27th using its website (http://cyber-berkut.org/).
Green Group is a US private military company founded in 2007 with headquarters in Edmond, Oklahoma. It has a European branch in Tbilisi.
The company is licensed with the US Department of State and the State Department. CyberBerkut posted the documents to open access along with the Green Group advertisement. Two letters from Gregg Holmes, CEO of the PMC, to the Ukrainian Armed Forces' Chief of Staff, Muzhenko, became public domain. One of them, written in Ukrainian and dated February 15, 2015 (the Minsk deal was signed on February 12) is worth citing.
"As you know, the United States is in contact with NATO partners on lethal arms supplies to Ukraine. There has been no mutual understanding reached so far. As I am informed by my friends in the State Department and the Pentagon, the United States is going to increase pressure on European allies."
"During recent consultations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France the US State Department team insisted on expediting the procedures for delivering anti-tank systems and heavy weapons to Ukraine's military. The United States believes lethal arms will stop the advance of separatists in Ukraine and prevent them from approaching the administrative border of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
"According to US government estimates, the use of up-to-date weapons by Ukraine's military will inevitably inflict heavy losses upon Russian volunteers fighting in the terrorists ranks. It will be impossible to hide the heavy casualties."
"In its turn, this information will cause tension in Russia and spur the emergence of anti-war movements to organize mass protests against the current Russian government."
"No matter the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs always supports the White house initiatives, the Government of France is hardly happy with our proposals. President Francois Hollande is not ready to drastically change his Ukraine policy but the US State Department came up with a bright idea. The weapons will be delivered to “volunteers” fighting for Ukraine or operatives of Western private military companies, with great experience of using the weapons and equipment. Green Group is ready at any time to provide Ukraine's military with volunteers -- in sufficient numbers."
"The US government believes France could at least make a financial contribution, with money transferred from the French Foreign Ministry to State Department accounts, to hide the real purpose it is allocated for."
"It's known that the Ukraine-U.S. Joint Commission is responsible for arms supplies. A document of the US European Command (Eucom) contains a proposal to deliver lethal arms to Ukraine allocating $75 mn for the purpose."
"The package includes Javelin anti-armor missiles, different kinds of light weapons, miscellaneous equipment and individual protection kits. $2 million is to be spent on the Maidan network."
Another Eucom document mentions ammunition, including grenades. $45 million is to be allocated for the training of Ukraine’s military, first of all, the special forces.
The arms will be transferred within the frame- work of the Joint Multinational Training Group – a program in accordance with the Ukraine /U.S. Joint Commission.
Perhaps the purpose of the Green Group’s mission was to get acquainted with the Ukraine’s military requirements and observe the situation on spot.
The documents show that the US assessments are a bit different from what Ukraine asked for. The US offers to make it a much bigger deal. For instance, Green Group proposes to increase the number of robotic systems, and includes 9,000 optical devices. Communication systems top the list, while Ukrainians give priority to drones.
According to the documents, Kiev started talks on weapons supplies, no later than mid-2014.
The Ukraine-U.S. Joint Commission (its next session is slated for May or June 2015)... serves as a cover.
The US does not trust Ukrainians with making assessments of their needs. This mission will be undertaken by private contractors. They will also take part in combat actions and work as consultants and trainers.
Green Group is not the only private military company hired by the Pentagon and State Department to provide arms to Ukraine.
According to media, at least 3-4000 people employed by defense contractors, operate in Ukraine. The decision is not taken at a political level but this doesn't prevent the organizers of military supplies from doing their job.
US president’s decision to prolong anti-Russian sanctions far-fetched - analysts
US President Barack Obama’s decision to prolong the operation of anti-Russian sanctions on Ukraine for one year, by no means reflects the situation in Ukraine --- and their sole effect will be a further worsening of bilateral relations, experts say.
Obama on Wednesday extended the operation of sanctions against Russia, imposed on March 6th, 16th and 20th, 2014, to affect a number of Russian companies and individuals, former members of the ousted president, Viktor Yanukovich’s government, and leaders of Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics.
The sanctions of December 19, 2014, taken against the Crimean economy, will stay, too.
Obama claims that the situation in Ukraine remains extraordinary and constitutes "an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States."
President of the International Centre for Geopolitical Analysis, Leonid Ivashov:
"When he says that he has made a decision to prolong the anti-Russian sanctions on the excuse there is a threat to US foreign policy Obama is right, in that the restoration of peace to the east of Ukraine would run counter to Washington’s strategic plans for tearing Ukraine away from Russia.
" When they were steering the events in Kiev towards a change of power, US Department of State emissaries certainly pursued an aim very different from the situation achieved, where Normandy Quartet leaders would push Washington aside to achieve implementation of the peace accords concluded in Minsk on February 12th."
"Obama’s decision to prolong anti-Russian sanctions fully reflects the United States’ wish to keep the war in Ukraine going, because this war is against Russia.
"Washington has no intention of letting the European Union leaders settle the situation in the east of Ukraine. Otherwise Obama’s already unimpressive rating would sink to new lows," Ivashov believes.
"In reality the process of ceasefire & pull- back of heavy armaments in the east of Ukraine is continuing. Unlike the Ukrainian armed forces, the Donetsk and Luhansk militias have followed the Minsk accords to the letter, for which, Moscow can take some credit.
"It should be obvious to US and EU leaders that the self-proclaimed republics are by no means interested in an escalation of violence: the economy is in ruins, there are no jobs, and no funds are available to pay wages and salaries.
But the West avoids putting proper pressure on Kiev, to make it comply with the Minsk accords, while the US puts the blame for this, on Russia, and extends sanctions... which is utterly dissonant with the real state of affairs," Ivashov says.
A deputy director of the Institute of US and Canada Studies, Viktor Kremenyuk, remarks that unlike the German and French leaders, the US president is in no mood to take a milder line towards Moscow.
"Regrettably, the Obama-Putin mechanism does not work.
"It is deplorable that the US president turned a deaf ear to a message about the possibility of easing the food embargo. President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson said that Russia might resume importing farm produce from Europe and the United States, on the condition that Western companies began investing in the construction of processing facilities.
Regrettably, that constructive message resulted in a prolongation of sanctions against Russia," Kremenyuk says.
"I believe the US president may reconsider his stance re the anti-Russian sanctions, if German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, as well as the heads of the OSCE mission in Ukraine, provide certain guarantees that hostilities in the east of the country will not resume. None of them has been able to assume such a responsibility ...so far," Kremenyuk ends.
Nuclear WarandClashingUkraine Narratives By Robert Parry
America and Russia have two nearly opposite narratives on Ukraine, which is more an indictment of the US news media, which feigns objectivity, but disseminates what amounts to propaganda. These divergent narratives are driving the world towards a possible nuclear crisis, writes Robert Parry.
The US government and mainstream media are swaggering to a possible nuclear confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, without any of the seriousness that has informed this sort of decision-making throughout the nuclear age. Instead, Official Washington seems possessed by a self-righteous goofiness that could be the prelude to the end of life on this planet.
Nearly across the US political spectrum, there is a pugnacious “group think” which has changed what should have been a manageable political dispute in Ukraine into some morality play where US politicians and pundits blather on about how the nearly year-old coup regime in Kiev “shares our values” and how America must be prepared to defend this regime militarily.
Though I’m told that President Barack Obama personally recognizes how foolhardy this attitude is, he has made no significant move to head off the craziness and, indeed, has tolerated provocative actions by his underlings, such as neocon Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s scheming with coup plotters to over- throw Ukraine’s elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, last February.
Obama also has withheld from the American people intelligence information that undercuts some of the more extreme claims that his administration has made. For instance, I’m told that he has detailed intelligence reports on both the mysterious sniper attack that preceded the putsch nearly a year ago and the shoot-down of the Malaysia Airlines Flights 17 that deepened the crisis last summer. But he won’t release the findings.
More broadly over the last year, Obama’s behavior – ranging from his initial neglect of the Ukraine issue, as Nuland’s coup plotting unfolded, to his own participation in the tough talk, such as boasting during his State of the Union address that he had helped put the Russian economy “in tatters” – ranks as one of the most irresponsible performances by a US president.
Given the potential stakes of nuclear war, none of the post-World War II presidents behaved as recklessly as Obama has, which now includes allowing administration officials to talk loosely about sending military support to an unstable regime in Kiev that includes neo-Nazis who have undertaken death-squad operations against ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.
US Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO'S Commander, declared last November that – on supplying military support to Kiev's government – “nothing at this time is off the table.”
Breedlove is now pushing actively to send lethal US military equipment to fend off an offensive by ethnic Russians in the east.
I’m told the Russians fear that US officials are contemplating placing Cruise missiles in Ukraine, or otherwise introducing advanced weaponry that Moscow regards as a direct threat to its national security. Whether or not the Russians are being alarmist, these fears are affecting their own decision-making.
None of the nuclear-age presidents – not Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton or even George W. Bush - would have engaged in such provocative actions on Russia’s borders, though some surely behaved aggressively in overthrowing governments and starting wars farther away.
Even Ronald Reagan, an aggressive Cold Warrior, kept his challenges to the Soviet Union in areas that were far less sensitive to its national security than Ukraine. He may have supported slaughtering leftists in Central America and Africa, or armed Islamic fundamentalists fighting a Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan, but he recognized the insanity of a military showdown with Moscow in Eastern Europe.
After the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, US presidents became more assertive, pushing NATO into the former Warsaw Pact nations and, under President Clinton, bombing a Russian ally in Serbia, but that came at a time when Russia was essentially flat on its back, geopolitically.
Perhaps the triumphalism of that period is still alive, especially among neocons who reject President Vladimir Putin’s reassertion of Russia’s national pride. These Washington hardliners still feel they can treat Moscow with disdain, ignoring the fact that Russia maintains a formidable nuclear arsenal and isn't willing to return to the supine position of the 1990s.
In 2008, President George W. Bush – arguably one of the most reckless presidents of the era – backed away from a confrontation with Russia when Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, a neocon favorite, drew the Russians into a border conflict over South Ossetia. Despite some war talk from the likes of Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John McCain, President Bush showed relative restraint.
But Obama has failed to rein in his administration’s war hawks and has done nothing to correct the biased narrative his State Department has fed to an equally irresponsible mainstream US news media. Since the Ukraine crisis began in fall of 2013, the New York Times and other major US news outlets have provided only one side of the story, openly supporting the interests of pro- European western Ukrainians, over the ethnic Russian eastern Ukrainians.
The bias is so strong that the mainstream media has largely ignored the remarkable story of the Kiev regime willfully dispatching Nazi storm troopers to kill ethnic Russians in the east, something that hasn’t happened in Europe since World War II.
For Western news organizations that are quick to note the slightest uptick in neo-Nazism in Europe, there has been a willful blindness to Kiev’s premeditated use of what amount to Nazi death squads undertaking house-to -house killings in eastern Ukraine. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Seeing No Neo-Nazi Militias in Ukraine.”]
Russia's government has repeatedly protested these death-squad operations and other crimes committed by the Kiev regime, but the US mainstream media is so in the tank for western Ukrainians that it has suppressed this aspect of the crisis, typically burying references to the neo-Nazi militias at the end of stories... or dismissing accounts as “Russian propaganda.”
With this ugly reality hidden from the US public, Obama’s State Department has been able to present a white-hat-vs.-black-hat narrative to the crisis. So, while the Russians saw a constitutionally elected government on their border overthrown by a US-backed coup last February – and then human rights atrocities inflicted on ethnic Russians in east Ukraine – the American people heard only about wonderful pro-American “reformers” in Kiev and the evil pro-Russian “minions” trying to destroy “democracy” at Putin’s bidding.
This distorted American narrative represents one of the most unprofessional & dangerous performances in the history of modern US journalism, rivaling the false conventional wisdom about Iraq’s WMD --- except in this case the media propaganda is aimed at a country in Russia that really does have weapons of mass destruction.
The Russians also have noted the arrival of financially self-interested Americans, including Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and Ukraine’s new Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko, reminding the Russians of American financial experts who descended on Moscow with their “shock therapy” in the 1990s, with “reforms” that enriched a few well-connected oligarchs, but impoverished millions of average Russians.
Ukraine’s Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko.
Jaresko, a former US diplomat who took Ukraine citizenship in December 2014 to become Finance Minister, had been in charge of a US-taxpayer- financed $150 million Ukrainian investment fund involving substantial insider dealings, including paying a management firm that Jaresko created more than $1 million a year in fees, even as the $150 million apparently dwindled to less than $100 million.
Jaresko also has been involved in a two-year-long legal battle with her ex-husband to gag him from releasing information about apparent irregularities in the handling of the US money. Jaresko went into Chancery Court in Delaware to enforce a non-disclosure clause against her ex-husband, Ihor Figlus, and got a court order to silence him.
This week, when I contacted George Pazuniak, Figlus’s lawyer about Jaresko’s aggressive enforcement of the non-disclosure agreement, he told me that “at this point, it’s very difficult for me to say very much without having a detrimental effect on my client.”
With Jaresko now hailed as a Ukrainian “reformer” who – in the words of New York Times’ columnist Thomas L. Friedman – “shares our values,” one has to wonder why she has fought so hard to shut up her ex- husband regarding possible revelations about the improper handling of US taxpayer money. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine’s Made-in-USA Finance Minister.”]
More Interested Parties
The Russians also looked askance at the appointment of Estonian Jaanika Merilo as the latest foreigner to be brought inside the Ukrainian government as a “reformer.” Merilo, a Jaresko associate, is being put in charge of attracting foreign investments but her photo spreads look more like someone interested in some rather kinky partying. (Photos show her dressed in skimpy tights with a knife held provocatively)
The Russians are aware, too, of prominent Americans encircling the potential plunder of Ukraine. For instance, Hunter Biden was named to the board of directors of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas firm. Burisma is also a shadowy Cyprus-based company linked to Privat Bank.
Privat Bank is controlled by thuggish billionaire oligarch Ihor Kolomoysky, who was appointed by Kiev's regime to be Dnipropetrovsk governor Oblast, in a south-central province of Ukraine.
Kolomoysky has helped finance the paramilitary forces killing ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.
And Burisma has been lining up well-connected lobbyists, some with ties to Secretary of State John Kerry, including Kerry’s former Senate chief of staff David Leiter, according to lobby disclosures. As Time magazine reported, “Leiter’s involvement in the firm, rounds out a power-packed team of politically-connected Americans that includes a second new board member, Devon Archer, a Democratic bundler and a former adviser to John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. Both Archer and Hunter Biden have worked as business partners with Kerry’s son-in-law, Christopher Heinz, founding partner of Rosemont Capital, a private-equity company.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Whys Behind the Ukraine Crisis.”]
So, Russians have a decidedly different view of Ukraine's “reforms” than much of the US media does. But I’m told that Russians would be willing to tolerate these well-connected Americans enriching themselves in Ukraine, and even Ukraine expanding its economic relations with the European Union.
But Russians have drawn a red line at the prospect of an expansion of NATO forces into Ukraine, and the continued killing of ethnic Russians at the hands of neo-Nazi death squads. Putin is demanding that those paramilitary forces be disarmed.
Besides unleashing these right-wing militias on the ethnic Russians, the Kiev government has moved to punish the people living in the eastern sectors by cutting off access to banks & other financial services. It also has become harder & more dangerous for ethnic Russians to cross into territory controlled by the Kiev authorities. Many are turned back and those who do get through, face the risk of being taken and killed by the neo-Nazi militias.
These conditions have left the people in the Donetsk and Luhansk areas - the so-called Donbass region bordering Russia - dependent on relief supplies from Russia. Meanwhile, the Kiev regime - pumped up by the prospects of weapons from Washington, as well as more money - has toughened its tone, with vows to crush the eastern rebellion once & for all.
Russia’s Hardening Line
The worsening situation in the east and the fear of US military weapons arriving in the west have prompted a shift in Moscow’s view of Ukraine's crisis, including a readiness to resupply ethnic Russian forces in eastern Ukraine and even provide military advisers.
These developments alarm European leaders who find themselves caught in the middle of a possible conflict between the United States and Russia. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande rushed to Kiev and then Moscow this week, to discuss possible ways to defuse the crisis.
The hardening Russian position now seeks, in effect, a division of Ukraine into 2 autonomous zones, the east and the west with a central government that maintains the currency and handles other national concerns. But I’m told that Moscow might still accept the earlier idea of a federated Ukraine with greater self-governance by the different regions.
Putin also does not object to Ukraine building closer economic ties to Europe and he offered a new referendum in Crimea, on whether the voters still want to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, said a source familiar with the Kremlin’s thinking. But Putin’s red lines also include no NATO expansion into Ukraine and protection for ethnic Russians by disarming the neo-Nazi militias, the source said.
If such an arrangement or something similar isn’t acceptable, and if the killing of ethnic Russians continues, the Kremlin would support a large- scale military offensive from the east that would involve “taking Kiev,” according to the source.
A Russian escalation of that magnitude, would likely invite a vigorous US response, with leading American politicians and pundits sure to ratchet up demands for a military counterstrike against Russia. If Obama were to acquiesce to such bellicosity – to avoid being called “weak” – the world could be pushed to the brink of nuclear war.
Who’s to Blame?
Though the State Department and the mainstream US media continue to put all the blame on Russia, the fact that the Ukraine crisis has reached such a dangerous crossroads reveals how reckless the behavior of Official Washington has been over the past year.
Nuland and other US officials took an internal Ukrainian disagreement over how quickly it should expand ties to Europe – while seeking to retain its historic relations with Russia – and turned that fairly pedestrian political dispute into a possible flashpoint for a nuclear war.
At no time, as this crisis has evolved over the past year, did anyone of significance in Official Washington, whether in government or media, stop and contemplate whether this issue was worth risking the end of life on the planet. Instead, all the American people have been given is a steady diet of anti-Yanukovych and anti-Putin propaganda.
Though constitutionally elected, Yanukovych was depicted as a corrupt tyrant who had a pricy sauna in his official mansion. Though Putin had just staged the Winter Olympics in Sochi, signaling his desire for Russia to integrate more with the West, he was portrayed as either a new-age imperial czar or the second coming of Hitler - if not worse - because he occasionally would ride on a horse while not wearing a shirt.
Further, US news media refused to conduct a serious investigation into evidence that Nuland and other US officials had helped destabilize Yanukovych’s government, with the goal of achieving another neo- con “regime change.”
Nuland, who personally urged on anti-Yanukovych protests in Kiev, discussed with US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, in early February 2014 who should lead the new government – “Yats is the guy,” she said, referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk – and how to “glue this thing.”
After weeks of mounting tensions & worsening violence, the coup occurred on Feb. 22, 2014, when well-organized neo-Nazi and other right- wing militias from western Ukraine, overran presidential buildings forcing officials to flee for their lives. With Yanukovych ousted, Yatsenyuk soon became Prime Minister. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “When Is a Putsch a Putsch.”]
Many ethnic Russians in southern and eastern Ukraine, who'd strongly supported Yanukovych, refused to accept the US-backed order in Kiev.
Crimean officials and voters moved to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, a move that Putin accepted because of Crimea’s historic ties to Russia and his fear that Russia's naval base at Sevastopol might be handed to NATO.
The resistance spread to eastern Ukraine, where other ethnic Russians took up arms against the coup regime in Kiev, which then responded with what it calls an “anti-terrorist operation” against the east. To bolster the weak Ukrainian army, Internal Affairs Minister Arsen Avakov dispatched neo-Nazi and other “volunteer” militias to spearhead the attacks.
After the deaths of more than 5,000 people, a shaky cease-fire was announced in September, but - amid complaints about neo-Nazi death squads operating in government-controlled areas and with life deteriorating in the rebel- controlled towns and cities - ethnic Russians launched an offensive in January, using Russian-supplied weapons to expand their control of territory.
In reaction, US pundits, including columnists and editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post, called for dispatching US aid to the Kiev forces, including proposals for lethal weaponry to deter Putin’s “aggression.” Members of Congress and members of the Obama administration have joined the chorus.
On Feb. 2, the New York Times reported “With Russian-backed separatists pressing their attacks in Ukraine, NATO’s military commander, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, now supports providing defensive weapons and equipment to Kiev’s beleaguered forces, & an array of administration and military officials appear to be edging toward that position, American officials said… President Obama has made no decisions on providing such lethal assistance.”
That same day, the lead Times editorial was entitled “Mr. Putin Resumes His War” and continued with the theme about “Russian aggression” and the need “to increase the cost” if Russia demands “a permanent rebel-held enclave.”
On Feb. 3, the Washington Post ran an editorial entitled “Help for Ukraine. Defensive weapons could deter Russia in a way sanctions won’t.” The editorial concluded that Putin “will stop only if the cost to his regime is sharply raised – and quickly.”
A new war fever gripped Washington and no one wanted to be viewed as “soft” or be denounced as a “Putin apologist.” Amid this combination of propaganda, confusion and tough-guy-ism – and lacking the tempering wisdom about war and nuclear weapons that restrained earlier US presidents – a momentum lurched toward a nuclear showdown over Ukraine that could put all life on earth in jeopardy.
By Robert Parry, consortiumnews.com
KILLING RUSSIANS OK FOR OBAMA
Barack Obama wants to continue the program that George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and G.W. Bush, worked on before him, to surround Russia with NATO missiles. The takeover of Ukraine, and the enlistment of the Arabic oil sheikhs in assisting further to turn the screws against Russia, are key components in doing that: crushing Russia’s resistance to American domination.
Whereas, for FDR, the alliance with Sunni Islam was purely anti-communist, against the Soviet Union, the US Presidents after 1980, were and are, anti-Russian, and it's nothing whatsoever to do with ideology. The US aristocracy intend to dominate the aristocracy in every other nation, and Russia is the only militarily powerful nation that is opposed to being controlled by this global Empire.
Consequently, President Obama, who's an agent for America’s aristocracy, wants to cripple if not destroy, Russia. And this is why, in his National Security Strategy 2015, 17 of the 18 times he used the term ‘aggression’... he applied it against Russia.
Russia’s President Putin would have to be an idiot not to recognize that today’s United States (its aristocracy, not the American public, who are quite different) is extremely hostile.
Russia could be the bulwark that, along with the rest of Europe and America, could restrain Islamic extremism; but, since America’s aristocracy is primarily concerned with crushing Russia, Islamic terrorism will probably only continue to grow.
Furthermore, events such as 9/11 are necessary for the Arabic aristocrats, in order for them to keep their clerics with them and thereby control their own nation’s public.
So: the US ends up being allied with Islamic terrorists, while accusing Russia of backing ‘terrorists’ in the former Ukraine, whose only crime is, they don’t want to be slaughtered.
On 12 February 2015, was issued a “Statement by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Ukraine,” which opened: “Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), statement today in Brussels, Belgium:
‘I am pleased to announce that the IMF team working in Kiev has reached a staff-level agreement with the Ukrainian government on a new economic reform program that would be supported by an Extended Fund Facility of SDR 12.35 billion (about $17.5 billion, €15.5 billion) from the IMF, as well as by additional resources from the international community.”
Violating even the IMF’s own prohibitions -- against pouring loans into a nation that’s at war -- the IMF was here making clear that they were 100% behind Obama’s Ukrainian proxy war against Russia.
This is where the money will come from to finance Ukraine’s acquisition of more weapons to exterminate or else drive out the residents in the area of Ukraine that had voted 90% for the democratically elected Ukrainian President that Obama overthrew.
It’s ongoing mass-murder on the installment plan, with the IMF providing most of the funds.
Because the loaned money is going to pay for the ethnic-cleansing campaign, it’s not going to the needs of the Ukrainian people. This is extreme austerity, and it started immediately, a day after the day, 26 February 2014, when Arseniy Yatsenyuk became appointed to run the country, as he had been selected to do by Victoria Nuland of Obama’s State Dept., 22 days prior.
As Kommersant reported, on 6 March 2014: “the strategy of the government was approved in Parliament on 27 February and on 3 March the Ministry of Finance sent an action plan for approval to the Ministry of Economic Development. The document is striking in its scale. … ‘Under the Knife’ go social costs. Already in March, the payment of pensions will be reduced to only 50% of the designated pension amounts.” But an uproar held that up. However, now, it’s being done.
On December 11th: “Cabinet wants to reduce schooling to 9 years [from 12 years], to reduce the cost of the budget the Finance Ministry proposes to amend the legislation governing the humanitarian sphere, the sphere of public administration, pensions, social security, the work of the prosecution and the army.”
On December 19th: “Education Minister Sergey Kvit noted that the department, which he heads, will never agree to such a proposal.”
On December 24th we read: “Education Minister Sergei quits.”
Pensions are now set to be halved, even in the greatly depreciated Ukrainian currency; & public schooling is to be reduced to only nine years. All of that IMF (and US and EU) money goes instead to pay to mass-murder the residents in Ukraine’s former Donbass region, an area in which the residents voted 90% for Viktor Yanukovych, whom Obama overthrew, and where all of the residents are officially ’terrorists.’ The phrase for this used to be a “free-fire zone.” Obama wants the residents exterminated, and the IMF and EU are going along with that.
The circuitous way in which Ukraine will be buying its weapons, is designed to avoid triggering a declaration of war by Vladimir Putin, or else to make it non-obvious to the public why he would be justified in doing so.
(Selected in part from What’s Behind Ukraine’s Secret Weapons Deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE)?, by Eric Zuesse.)
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse, is the author, most recently, of: 'They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010.'
Kiev coup gets checkmated
By JIM W. DEAN
Ukraine's Army is continuing the dishonor of abandoning their dead on the battlefield.
Our Ukrainian sources tell us this is one of the ways they keep their KIA numbers down and avoid paying out benefits to the families.
This is disgraceful conduct by their general staff, & one for which they should all be shot.
Western media have sadly played the role of cheerleader during this whole conflict. And I could say even worse… that they have been aiders & abettors to war crimes. When Kiev refused to turn over its air traffic control data on the MH-17 shoot down, I remember the old days when the press would have fried Kiev’s livers in print, but the press says nothing and are dancing cowards one and all.
As NATO made claim after claim of a pending Russian invasion, none of which happened, I remember a time when print media cartoonists would have made NAT0 a laughing stock.
General Breedlove would have been given a Pinocchio nose, and Kiev’s military PR spokes- person would have played “Baghdad Bob” of Persian Gulf War I, who gave Saddam’s daily press briefings on how Coalition Forces were being destroyed by Iraq’s Republican Guard.
EU and NATO countries are shipping arms and non-lethal supplies into the military effort. But they are also steadily advancing NATO bases closer to the Russian border -- a serious security concern for Moscow. And, as additional cover for this obvious aggression, the world public is treated like we're all idiots, who will believe the constant mantra of “It’s all the Russians’ fault.”
The Financial Times has validated my long stream of articles on the financial black hole Ukraine has been pushed into by the vultures in the West. Industrial production is down over 20% from last year, which already had been struggling. And their economy shrank 15% in the last quarter, with an outlook of getting worse.
Sure, there has to be a rebuilding boom in the SE, the area that has taken all of the war carnage -- the rest of the country not even having a broken window -- a strange civil war there. But unlike the US that can just print money, or have the Federal Reserve create billion-dollar bank deposits out of thin air, Ukraine’s currency is down the tubes. Their gold has been shipped off to some undisclosed place, and their cost of living increases under the IMF austerity plan, will impoverish them for the next generation.
They will never be able to repay the loans -- so their national assets will be sold off. Ukrainian assets will be bought for fire sale prices, and it will become the “go to” place for White slave labour with good skills and education.
Welcome to the New World Order. German Intel tells us the civil war’s body pile is already 50,000 people high, all in one year’s work. By contrast, America took the whole Vietnam War to kill that many of our own troops. And we hear calls for another Coalition war on Libya “to fix things” in that country. The Western war on terror is the Frankenstein I always said it would be… and it’s not finished yet.
The Ukraine internet abounds with talk of a second Maidan revolution in the works. The Right Sector thugs have gained a lot of combat experience, plus some added extras, like nailing kids to fences and dragging mothers down the road behind APCs.
The West will wear eternal shame for what it has done to Ukraine. Sure, it was a corrupt country when this started, but it is worse now. So that shows the West has really attacked & pillaged the country with a time-delay economic bomb --- which will go off when all of these loans eventually boomerang back onto Europeans in the form of more austerity --- some day.
Nikita Khrushchev, who's a hard guy to quote, does have one that perfectly fits the Ukraine situation. “Support by the United States rulers is rather in the nature of the support that the rope gives to a hanged man.”
100% CERTAIN 9/11 WAS MOSSAD OPERATION
Most US people polled believe that 9/11 was an "inside job", but what would they feel if they found out that it was designed by Zionists, who deliberately killed thousands of innocent US citizens to drive the US into wars on Muslims?
They'd be angry, right?
Fernando Imposimato, President of the Italian Supreme Court, calls for a criminal investigation of 9/11, comparing the attack to false flag incidents carried out by the CIA in Italy: Operation Gladio.
"The 9/11 attacks were a global state terror operation that was permitted by the US administration, which had foreknowledge of the operation, yet remained intentionally unresponsive in order to make war against Afghanistan and Iraq," Imposimato declares in a letter published by the Journal of 9/11 Studies.
Ferdinando Imposimato is the Honorary President of the Supreme Court of Italy and a former Senator who served on the Anti-Mafia Commission in three administrations. He is the author or co-author of 7 books on international terrorism, state corruption, and related matters, and a Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy.
As a former state prosecutor, Imposimato has extensive experience in investigating high- profile crimes, including the kidnapping and assassination of Italian Prime Minster Aldo Moro & the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II. He also worked on the Anti- Mafia commission as a Senator, giving him a wealth of knowledge on the inner workings of organized crime syndicates.
Imposimato points to several facts contradicting the official 9/11 story, including the free-fall collapse of WTC Building 7, the report that the CIA met with Osama Bin Laden in a Dubai hospital in July 2001, and the overwhelming evidence of insider trading before 9/11 that didn't lead to any criminal charges, reports digitaljournal.com
The following is an excerpt from Imposimato’s letter published by the Journal of 9/11 Studies on Sunday:
The reports of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), November 20, 2005, set forth the following conclusions:
The airplanes that struck each of the Twin Towers caused a breach as well as an explosion evidenced by a giant fireball. The remaining jet fuel flowed onto the lower floors, sustaining the fires. The heat from the fires deformed the building structures and both towers collapsed completely from top to bottom.
Very little that was of any size remained after these events except steel as well as aluminum fragments and the pulverized dust from the concrete floors.
The World Trade Center 7 also collapsed–in a way that was inconsistent with the common experience of engineers. All three buildings collapsed completely, but Building 7 was not hit by a plane. WTC7’s collapse violated common experience and was unprecedented.
The NIST report does not analyze the actual nature of the collapses. According to experts at the Toronto Hearings (Sept. 8-11, 2011), the collapses had features that indicate controlled explosions. I agree with architect Richard Gage & engineer Jon Cole both highly experienced professionals [from Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth – now numbering 1,700 strong], who have arrived at their conclusions through reliable tests, scientific proof, and the visual testimony of people above suspicion, including firefighters and victims.
The authoritative theologian David Ray Griffin has described very precisely why the hypothesis of controlled demolition should be considered. Various witnesses heard bursts of explosions.
According to NIST the collapse of Building 7 was due to fires provoked by the collapse of the twin towers. Chemist and independent researcher Kevin Ryan, however, has demonstrated that NIST gave contradictory versions of the collapse of Building 7.
In a preliminary report NIST declared that WTC7 was destroyed because of fires provoked by diesel fuel stored in the building, while in a second report this fuel was no longer considered the cause of the building’s collapse. Additional comments on the NIST version of events have been made by David Chandler, another expert witness at the Journal of 9/11 Studies Letters, September 2012 Toronto Hearings.
Despite NIST’s claim of 3 distinct phases of collapse, Chandler pointed out that many available videos show that for about two and a half seconds the acceleration of the building cannot be distinguished from freefall. NIST has been obliged to agree with this empirical fact as pointed out by Chandler; now understood by everyone.
The only possibility for achieving justice is to submit the best evidence concerning the involvement of specific individuals in 9/11 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and ask him to investigate according to the articles 12, 13, 15 and 17, letters a and b, of the Statute of the ICC, recalling the preamble of the Statute:
“Recognizing that such grave crimes threaten the peace, security and the well being of the world,”
“Affirming that the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole must not go unpunished and that their effective prosecution must be ensured by taking measures at the national level and by enhancing international cooperation, ”
“Determined to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes and thus to contribute to the prosecution of such crimes, recalling that it is the duty of every state to exercise its jurisdiction over those responsible for international crimes." reports infowars.com.
More and more people from all walks of life and all professions seem to be questioning the “official” narrative of what happened on 9/11. Those who are questioning the events of 9/11 may be moving under the radar of the corporate media from being labeled “conspiracy theorists” to legitimate investigators with legitimate questions and concerns, reports examiner.com
Theorists believe that the World Trade Center buildings were demolished by bombs, phone calls from the planes were made up, and the former President George W. Bush secretly profited from the attacks, reports newsone.com
The World Trade Center collapse appeared similar to a controlled demolition. Many speculate that the towers were in fact blown down with explosives placed in selected locations. Some witnesses heard explosions inside the building as they attempted to escape. Many architects & scientists maintain that plane fuel couldn't produce enough heat to melt the steel frame of the buildings that collapsed, reports newsone.com
WESTERN MEDIA LIES LEAD TO WAR
Article by Finian Cunningham.
100 years ago, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in the Bosnian city of Sarajevo, was the fatal spark that ignited a geopolitical powder keg in Europe.
Within a month, all the major powers of Europe would be embroiled in the First World War, which also dragged in Russia and the US. The war would last for nearly five years and resulted in at least 20 million deaths.
That catastrophe has perplexing resonances with today. One incident set off a conflagration back then, because it came amid simmering rivalries among imperial powers. Another resonance is how historians recount that, in the run-up to the First World War few believed that a war in "modern, civilized" Europe was likely, because of the belief that diplomacy would prevail.
Today, we see a similar reckless goading by imperial powers across Europe. The US and its European NATO allies are embarked on a 25-year expansion towards Russia's heartland.
The dynamic of encroachment has only sped up, not lessened. This expansion is provocative, aggressive and duplicitous, because it not only presents a military threat to Russia, it also flies in the face of past commitments by the US-led NATO alliance not to do so, such as in the 1997 Founding Act, signed with Moscow.
Russia has every right to feel threatened by ever- encroaching ballistic missile systems on its borders that could be used in a pre-emptive nuclear strike by the US and its allies. That concern is heightened ever since Washington invoked a "first strike doctrine" under President George W Bush, which Obama still retains.
Yet, provocatively, Washington dismisses Russian President Vladimir Putin's concerns about NATO expansion, as if they are the deliriums of a Soviet revanchist.
The complacency of the present time towards the dangers of war, has disturbing echoes of the past - on the eve of World War I. A major factor in the present complacency is that the Western mainstream media are failing, woefully, to properly report on the gravity of the situation in Ukraine, and just how provocative that parlous situation is to Russia's vital interests.
This week saw the signing of a trade pact between the European Union and Petro Poroshenko, the declared president of Ukraine. The Western media have hailed it in glowing terms as "a landmark event" and a positive outcome of democracy in the former Soviet Republic. That blithe assessment invites dangerous ignorance and complacency.
The truth is that the signing of the EU trade pact is the outcome of an illegal regime-change operation in Ukraine fomented by Washington and its NATO allies.
That regime change involved CIA-backed mass murder of civilians (the February 20 sniper shootings in Kiev's Maidan Square) and the overthrow of an elected government.
Since the illegal coup against President Viktor Yanukovych, the Western-backed Kiev regime has been waging war on ethnic Russian populations in the east and south of the country, who refuse to recognize the regime as legitimate.
Poroshenko, the billionaire oligarch who is now signing over the sovereign affairs of Ukraine to the US, NATO and the EU, was elected president in a farcical vote last month, where only 45% of the electorate turned out and large sections of the east and south did not even cast a ballot amid a murderous "anti-terror" crackdown by Kiev troops and paramilitaries.
The campaign of terror by the Kiev forces against pro-Russian civilians was launched at the end of April, days after CIA chief John Brennan made a secret visit to the Kiev regime. Brennan briefed the Kiev leadership, including the so-called Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who only last week used Nazi language to vow that his military forces would "cleanse sub-humans" from the country - referring to the ethnic Russian populations and the self-defence militias they have set up in the Donetz and Lugansk regions.
The impostor-President Poroshenko may have declared a ceasefire over the past week, but the hostilities against civilian centres continue unabated. Crimes against humanity include the bombing of homes, churches, schools & hospitals, the use of White Phosphorus incendiary bombs and exploding bullets, as well as the shelling of electricity and water supplies.
Western media have largely ignored these violations by the "new democratic Ukrainian government", or at best have reported them as "unverified" or merely as "breaches of the ceasefire by both sides".
Western governments and media have gone into denial mode, refusing to acknowledge what even the United Nations this week confirms as a massive displacement of over 150,000 people from eastern Ukraine. Why are such numbers fleeing, if the violence is not also massive?
Another example of the Western cover-up over state terrorism in Ukraine, is the recent killing of three journalists. Earlier this month, Russian journalist Igor Kornelyuk and his colleague Anton Voloshin were killed near Lugansk when they were hit with a mortar shell. Survivors of the attack said it was deliberate targeting by Kiev troops. Previously, Italian journalist Andrea Rochelli was slain near Slavyansk in another incident that bore the hallmarks of shoot-to-kill.
In the past week, by contrast, there was an outpouring of condemnation from Washington and other Western governments, as well as widespread media coverage, of the jailing of three Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt. Those sentences were no doubt a gross miscarriage of justice. But what about the taking of journalists' lives in Ukraine? Where is the Western condemnations and media coverage?
Western-backed regime change and genocidal repression in Ukraine, is a collision course of extreme provocation towards Russia and its vital interests. Yet it is presented to the Western public as if it is a "good news" story about democratic European enlargement, which, perversely, is being spoiled by Russian "interference".
This is a powder-keg situation in Europe, led by US geopolitics and its European henchmen, and which is wrapped up in an explosive shell of ignorance, by a lying Western media.
The repetition of history is not inevitable. But the chances are increased when people are kept in the dark about the underlying causes of war and conflict.
Petko Ganchev, wrote this article for Pravda.Ru.
Today it is absolutely clear that there is a multipurpose strategic operation being conducted on the territory of the former Soviet Union. Ukraine plays a key role in the operation. Why Ukraine?
It's an open secret - the West has always wanted to master the vast territories of Russia and Eurasia, the axial space of the Earth, with its enormous natural resources.
To achieve this goal, there was the outer belt (Turkey, Pakistan, South Korea, Japan) built around Russia-Eurasia after World War Two. The inner belt (Georgia, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) was built after the collapse of the USSR.
Successively, after the Cold War, almost all East European countries - Soviet satellites - were admitted to NATO under the condition of their membership in the European Union.
But the West didn't get closer to Russia's western borders. There were 2 Russia- friendly countries left - historically, culturally and economically - Belarus and Ukraine.
Belarus is closely tied to Russia ethnically, culturally and economically. Ukraine, with its failed state organization was a weak link.
The reason for that is that the regions from which Ukraine was created after World War II (1945), were formed by areas with very different religious and value systems.
In his famous book "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order" by Samuel P. Huntington, the author described Ukraine as one of civilizational "splits," where one can expect clashes, i.e. wars.
That's why Ukraine was chosen by the US as the key to implement a multi-purpose strategic operation.
In the Middle East, the US has always used monarchies from the Middle Ages as allies - Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In Ukraine, the most loyal ally of the United States was Poland. The country was used to train "Right Sector" fighters and other figures from anti-Russian ultranationalist structures.
What are the main objectives and directions of this geo-strategic operation, the implementation of which began immediately after the US was forced to freeze its activities on Syria and Iran?
First and foremost, the goal is to strike a blow on Russia as the most active US geopolitical rival in the new millennium. When Ukraine leaves Russia's orbit, the US will implement several geostrategic objectives:
- to move air defense systems and other NATO systems closer to Russian borders: neutralizing its defense, including its nuclear capability;
- to undermine the Russian economy by cutting relations with the economy of Ukraine (Poroshenko has already ordered, following instructions from the US, to cease cooperation with the Russian defense industry);
- to burden the budget of the Russian Federation with bigger spending to maintain refugees from Ukraine and substitute imports from Ukraine;
- to close Russia's gas and oil pipelines to the EU to thus block the inflow of foreign currency into the Russian economy;
- to prevent creation of the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union;
- to destabilize the political system in Russia, accusing its leadership of what is happening in Ukraine;
- to stop or minimize economic cooperation between Russia and the EU;
- to sow distrust between Russia and other BRICS countries - Brazil, India, China, South Africa.
Secondly, the U.S. plans to strike a blow on the European Union, which, along with China, acts as a major competitor in the economic sphere. The EU needs to be reminded of its secondary role.
The United States seeks to confirm the assessment of Russophobe Brzezinski in his book "The Grand Chessboard" (1997), according to which the EU was a "U.S. protectorate."
For the U.S. it is vitally important to strengthen the economic dependence of the EU in light of their signing the "Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement" to turn the EU towards the consumption of US shale gas. In this regard, the EU is the most developed market.
To achieve this, Ukrainian company Naftogaz (the largest company in Ukraine) became the property of a new consortium, whose leadership includes the son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and former Polish President Kwasniewski.
At the same time, Chevron is preparing shale gas production in south-eastern Ukraine - in the areas of the towns of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk.
Chervon, directly or indirectly, through the European Commission, put pressure on Bulgaria, forcing the country to abandon the South Stream project.
At the same time, the U.S. continues to put pressure on France, to make the country freeze the sale of two Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia. France's largest bank PNB faces a fine of $10 billion for violating the financial embargo that the U.S. put on Cuba, Sudan and Nicaragua.
At the same time, the United States, with its national debt of 17 trillion dollars and GDP of 14 trillion, prepares to grant NATO's Eastern European members $1 billion for new weapons.
Fortunately, on the "grand chessboard" of world civilization, the U.S. does not play against virtual opponents. The geo-strategy of the United States does not unfold like the Desert Storm Operation in 2 003. Today, the US is playing against experienced players.
Russia is rising after the disgrace of the Yeltsin era, and the EU becomes increasingly aware of the fact that the only chance to survive is hidden in the slogan "More Europe for Europeans!"
The last elections to the European Parliament have confirmed the trend. Hitherto, with so many large- scale geopolitical operations after World War II (Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.), the US has not been able to boast considerable achievements.
Through all those wars, as George Friedman says in his book "The Next 100 Years," America has stimulated the growth of the national economy.
America was gradually and steadily evolving from a manufacturing economy to the economy of a military-industrial complex. In history, such a condition has always heralded the end of any empire.
US "A CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE"
The US government is a “criminal enterprise” with a foreign policy that places the well- being of Israel ahead of America’s, a political commentator in San Antonio, Texas says.
“This is a criminal enterprise that has the support of both of the major political parties in the United States,” Mark Dankof, a broadcaster and former US Senate candidate, says.
This criminal enterprise “principally involves conducting a foreign policy firstly for Israel, secondly for the international central banks and thirdly for the oil and natural gas consortiums,” Dankof says.
There is no difference between the policies of the Obama and Bush administrations, he notes. Both “are supporting the criminal policies of Benjamin Netanyahu,” he adds.
Dankof dismisses as a deception the recent remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry that the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq was a serious mistake:
“This is an attempt to absolve John Kerry and Barack Obama of the responsibility for all the criminal policies that they have carried out.”
In an interview with Chinese news agency Geo News, Kerry acknowledged that many problems in the Middle East, have their roots in that war.
George W. Bush, ordered the invasion of Iraq under a pretext --- that former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, possessed weapons of mass destruction.
In October 2004, a CIA report revealed that Saddam Hussein did not possess any weapons of mass destruction at the time of the invasion.
In a survey out on Wednesday 2nd June, by Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, 33% of registered voters name Obama as the worst president since 1945.
28% choose his predecessor, George W. Bush, as the worst.
By Jim Jones
For many, myself included I suppose, the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine have been riveting over the last couple of months. No need here to go into the sordid history of Coloured Revolutions and the CIA/NATO role in them; most reading this medium as opposed to CNN/SKY/VOA, are informed people and are aware of the manoeuvrings of the West and the associated puppet states in trying to embroil Russia in a war it doesn't want and in extending NATO frontiers to the heart of Russia.
Missile strikes from Ukraine, for example, would be in Moscow in 10 minutes, leaving no reaction time and fits neatly within the new US policy of a "first Strike" nuclear capability. [As opposed to the retaliatory strike doctrine of the last 40 years].
We all know what happened in 1961, when Khrushchev put Soviet Missiles into Cuba after the US put missiles into Turkey. The US wasn't very impressed at all. What is not well known is that Kennedy asked Khrushchev to "cut him some slack" and withdraw the missiles without reference to the US' withdrawal of its missiles from Turkey!
The US had upped the rhetoric so much, that it couldn't be seen to lose face in the public arena - condescendingly, Khrushchev accommodated.
Hold that thought of "face saving" as we explore the current Ukraine Crisis.
The US/NATO pushed the EU to pressure the Ukraine to join the EU and swing to the West. They almost succeeded 4 years ago with their Orange Revolution.
But Russia had learnt a thing or two about the Coloured Revolutions and mounted a successful and embarrassing reversal of the revolution and installed their own man in Ukraine who was leading Ukraine back along the Russian brotherhood line.
Four years later, after over $5 billion in NGO funding and a huge amount of State Department scheming and CIA covert action, the US finally got a chance to redress the "egg on face incident" that the Russians had made for them.
The US played a "background role" in this - preferring to have the EU seen as the driving force behind the Maidan. However, leaked phone calls, like that made to Cabinet Minister Ashton, which clearly identified the role of paid mercenaries in killing both Police & protesters, and later, Viktoria Nuland [US State Dept] hand-picking who will be in the Ukraine government and saying the EU can go get fucked - did nothing to endear the US to the EU -- it came hard on the heels of revelations of extensive phone tapping of EU leaders' phones etc. by the US.
Then we have the unsavoury influence of the Right Sektor in Ukraine being pushed, funded and trained by NATO and the US's Kerry, Nuland, John McCain, Mark Twain and all, were seen in public endorsing the very Right Sektor extremists that the German government was in the process of declaring as criminals!
Europe could see itself being plunged back 70 years with the rise of neo Nazi's, not just in Germany - but across Europe. [Remember Anders Behring Breivik and his mass killings in Norway: an ultra nationalist].
Europe also asked the question, what is the US going to lose over this? If Russia turns off the gas, Europe freezes: the economy of Europe goes down the toilet!
Already Germany is losing billions of Euros in trade with Russia, France has several military deals with Russia, the supply of Mistral Class ships for one, and Putin has promised follow-ons from that. Italy is supplying armour vehicles, many EU nations trade with Russia - so, US, what sanctions are going to hurt you, the EU asks?
Germany has a growing discord there over the 70 year occupation of Germany by US forces - we see demonstrations - Yankees go home! Europe is realising that the US cares, not for them, but only for US and US businesses.
Against this background, we are witnessing the separation of the US/EU and a drawing closer of EU/Russia on common grounds & shared interests.
I was appalled: driven to tears by the criminal acts of the Kyiv Junta's ex facto war crimes/ crimes against humanity. The shelling and bombing of civilians [non-combatants the Junta declares are Terrorists]. The targeting and destructionof schools, kindergartens and hospitals - with the murder of 25 wounded in the hospital - shot by Junta troops!
Destruction of the means of support of life - with water supplies destroyed, electrical installations and sanitary plants destroyed by shelling. The shooting of women and children leaving the region for shelter in Crimea, by bus. The execution style killing of civilians in a town by Junta forces, who lined the people up and shot them in the back of their heads. The use of chemical weapons against civilians - chlorine gas [where is Obama's Red Line on this?]. The targeting of TV reporters in the area trying to objectively record events. I'm sure that I have missed some others.
I cried out from the depths of despair for justice - surely Russia would intervene; surely Russia would protect it's people like it has said it would?
And all along, that is exactly what the US has been saying too - telling the Ukrainian Junta to commit further acts and atrocities against the people who simply want true democracy in the East.
To help them in this, they even get them to demonise and degrade the people there. Junta leaders have called the Russians in the East, "sub-human" - those of you as old as I am, will have heard that phrase before.
They are called parasites and vermin by the new Choco King Junta leader Poroshenko. Such a debasing of the population makes it more acceptable to murder them and commit atrocities against a subhuman species - not much higher than animals really, are they?
The provocation of Russia in this regard has been carefully stage managed by the US, intent as always to let it appear as the EU 's doing, while all the time ensuring that their people are the ones pulling the strings in Kiev - the CIA/FBI and State Department are up to their proverbial balls in Kiev's business.
Don't see the EU featuring though. The US has pushed the warmonger Russian story all through Europe - putting the fear of the bogyman into all ex Soviet states, and determined to show them all how much they need NATO's protection. [In truth, the world needs to be protected from the US].
However, Russia has consistently demonstrated restraint and maturity in handling the world crisis.
Since the failed US--led revolution in Georgia, Russia has been seen to be taking the moral high ground from the US and their consistent lies [WMD et.al].
The lies over Georgia were exposed and eventually the EU came out & confirmed that Georgia started the war. Reluctantly, the Western media has had to admit to "errors" in reporting - all of which have favoured the Russian position. Remember the incredible piece of statesmanship from Russia in pulling the war rug out from under the US's feet over Syrian Chemical weapons?!
Russia has quietly been cementing relationships in Europe - building "partnerships' with European countries, and is doing so in accordance with international law and through responsible, mature actions. All of this has been driving a wedge between the US and the EU. This hasn't gone unnoticed - the US cannot accept that they are not in the driving seat of a single seater any more. Goading and provoking Russia into attacking the Ukraine is how they will demonstrate that the Russia of today is what they told everyone that the USSR of old, was.
Putin has been smarter than they realised.
Reuters reported on July 1st:
Ukrainian forces struck at pro-Russian separatist bases in the eastern regions with air and artillery strikes on Tuesday, after President Poroshenko announced he would not renew a ceasefire, but go on the offensive to rid Ukraine of "parasites".
His decision quickly drew fire from Russian President Vladimir Putin who said Poroshenko had disregarded the advice of himself & German and French leaders. Putin said Poroshenko would now have to bear full responsibility for veering off the road to peace.
Poroshenko, who accuses Russia of fanning the conflict and allowing fighters and equipment to cross the border to support the rebels, then turned his back on another renewal of a 10- day unilateral ceasefire after the phone talks involving Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and President Francois Hollande.
The important thing here is that Putin obtained consensus from France and Germany in a four- way dialogue. This consensus was broken by Poroshenko, under pressure from US handlers.
The facts are obvious. What it also shows, is that once again the US has marginalised the EU and shown scant regard for the EU position.
This now opens the door for Russia to reiterate its threat; "Putin said Moscow will continue to defend the interests of ethnic Russians abroad - up to 3 million of whom live in the east of Ukraine, which has been in separatist ferment since April."
By obtaining consensus to a path of peace, and seeing it broken, Moscow now has the mandate to use force... IF it wants to.
The question is, does Russia want or need to? That famous General of Guerrilla warfare, Vo Nguyen Giap [Incidentally, his book Peoples War, People's Army is worth reading] said, "we do not want to defeat the enemy, we simply want him to leave our country!". In this regard, the Ukrainian Junta cannot win the war in Novorussiya.
Firstly, they have completely lost the battle for the hearts and minds of the people --- through the brutal atrocities they have committed.
Their transparent attempt at a Kosovo type ethnic cleansing, has been seen for what it is and has made people more determined to "hold their ground". Their brutality has now created a generational animosity, which will not be resolved in our life-time.
Secondly, militarily they can't succeed - every day, Novorussiya is gaining in strength and skills. The skill level of Novorussiya's troops is much higher than those of the basic conscripted Junta forces and they're much more motivated than the Junta forces - they are fighting for their existence and homeland. Conventional military doctrine states that we require a 10 to 1 advantage to press a successful attack against a defending enemy.
1,000 to 1 is not enough to succeed in a Guerrilla war scenario. Look at the hiding the Yanks got in Vietnam and they poured hundreds of thousands of troops into there, used the might of total air superiority and naval bombardment etc, and still got their arses kicked. Ask them how many they and NATO had in Afghanistan fighting "towel heads"? [and still lost].
The Ukrainian Army has about 30,000 troops committed against 10,000 in the Novorussiya Army, and many Junta forces are actually surrendering without a fight, handing over their gear, getting on a bus and going home with mum who came to collect their sons.
Also, the Junta is bankrupt. They can't even feed their army; people are deserting and walking home, because of no food or pay.
To save face: that wonderful US terminology again; I see it is proposed that Novorussiya become a Russian protectorate! The US is looking to stem the Junta's haemorrhaging.
All Russia needs to do, is open a humanitarian corridor into Novorussiya and maintain/police it and supply Novorussiya with what war materiel they ask for. And it can do all that with the tacit approval of Europe - the US having gone a bridge too far in Ukraine. Russia can allow the Junta to bleed to death here and like Georgia before; the US will be powerless to stop it.
The US has had it's last Tango in Europe.
Washington's War Crimes Spread from Africa and the Middle East to Ukraine
By Paul Craig Roberts
A person might think that revulsion in "the world community" against Washington's wanton slaughter of civilians in eight countries would have led to War Crimes Tribunal warrants issued for the arrest of presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama & many officials in their regimes. But the vocal part of "the world community"-- the West -- has become inured to Washington's crimes against humanity and doesn't bother to protest. Indeed, many of these governments are complicit in the US's crimes, and there could just as well be arrest warrants for members of European governments.
The exception, is Russia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has published a White Book on violations of human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine. Propagandized Americans think that all the violations in Ukraine are made by Russians. The White Book carefully and accurately documents reported violations that occurred in Ukraine for four months from December 2013 through March 2014.
You will not hear much or anything about it from the presstitute US media, & it's unlikely to receive much coverage in Europe. The facts are so greatly at odds with the West's position, that the White Book is a huge embarrassment to the West.
The slaughter of Ukrainians on Washington's orders by Washington's stooge government in Kiev, has worsened considerably in the past three months, producing more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees fleeing into Russia for protection from strikes against civilian housing, from the air, artillery, and tanks.
Every effort by Russia's government to involve Washington, the European Union, and Kiev in negotiations to find a peaceful settlement, has failed.
Washington is not interested in a settlement. Disturbed by its NATO vassals' dependence on Russian energy and the growing economic relationships between Russia and Europe, Washington is at work through its Kiev proxy murdering citizens in eastern and southern parts of present-day Ukraine that once were part of Russia.
Washington has declared these civilians to be "terrorists" and is trying to force Russia to intervene militarily in order to protect them.
Russia's protective intervention would then be denounced by Washington as "invasion and annexation." Washington would use this propaganda, which would blare from the Western media, to pressure Europe to support Washington's sanctions against Russia. The sanctions would then effectively destroy the existing economic relationships between Russia and Europe.
Washington hasn't had success in imposing sanctions, because, although Washington's European vassals, such as Merkel, are willing, business interests in Germany, France, and Italy stand opposed.
Washington is hoping that by forcing Russia to act, Washington can sufficiently demonize Russia and silence the European business interests with propaganda.
To counter Washington's ploy, Putin had Russia's Duma rescind his authority to send Russian forces into Ukraine. Unlike US' presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, Putin does not claim the authority to use military forces without permission from the legislature.
Washington's response to Putin's stand down is to increase the slaughter of civilians, all the while denying that any such slaughter is occurring.
Washington is determined not to acknowledge the existence of the slaughter for which it is responsible, although everyone knows that Kiev would not dare to take on Russia without Washington's backing.
Putin's bet is that European business interests will prevail over Washington's European lap dogs.
This is a hopeful and optimistic bet, but Washington is already at work to threaten and undermine the resistance of European business interests. Using concocted charges, Washington has stolen $9 billion from France's biggest bank --- for doing business with countries disapproved of by Washington.
This was Washington's warning to European business to comply with Washington's sanctions. Washington even told France that the fine would be rescinded or reduced if France broke its contract with Russia to supply 2 helicopter carriers. Other such moves against European businesses are in the works. The purpose is to intimidate European businesses from opposing sanctions against Russia.
Washington's arrogance that Washington can decide with whom a French bank can do business is astonishing. It is even more astonishing that France and the bank would accept such arrogance and infringements of France's sovereignty.
France's acceptance of Washington's hegemony shows that one risk in Putin's bet is that the bet assumes that European business interests can prevail over Washington's strategic interests.
Another risk in Putin's bet is that by standing down and tolerating Washington's slaughter of civilians, Putin is becoming complicit in Washington's crimes against humanity. The longer the slaughter goes on, the more complicit Russia's government becomes.
Moreover, the passage of time allows Kiev to increase its forces and NATO to supply these forces with more deadly weapons. A Russian intervention, which previously would have met with easy success, becomes more costly and more drawn out as Kiev's forces increase.
Paul Craig Roberts
Guilt by insinuation: How American propaganda works
By Paul Craig Roberts
Why hasn't Washington joined Russian President Putin in calling for an objective, non-politicized international investigation by experts of the case of the Malaysian jetliner?
The Russian government continues to release facts, including satellite photos showing the presence of Ukrainian Buk anti-aircraft missiles in locations from which the airliner could have been brought down by the missile system, and documentation that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet rapidly approached the Malaysian airliner prior to its downing.
The head of the Operations Directorate of Russian military headquarters said at a Moscow press conference on July 21st, that the presence of the Ukrainian military jet is confirmed by the Rostov monitoring centre.
The Russian Defense Ministry pointed out that, at the moment of destruction of MH-17 an American satellite was flying over the area. The Russian government urges Washington to make available the photos and data captured by the satellite.
President Putin has repeatedly stressed that the investigation of MH-17, requires "a fully representative group of experts to be working at the site under the guidance of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)."
Putin's call for an independent expert examination by ICAO does not sound like a person with anything to hide.
Turning to Washington Putin stated: "In the meantime, no one (not even the "exceptional nation") has the right to use this tragedy to achieve their narrowly selfish political goals."
Putin reminded Washington: "We repeatedly called upon all conflicting sides to stop the bloodshed immediately and to sit down at the negotiating table. I can say with confidence that if military operations were not resumed [by Kiev] on June 28 in eastern Ukraine, this tragedy would not have happened."
What is the American response?
Lies and insinuations.
On July 20, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry confirmed that pro-Russian separatists were involved in the downing of the Malaysian airliner and said that it was "pretty clear" that Russia was involved. Here are Kerry's words:
"It's pretty clear that this is a system that was transferred from Russia into the hands of separatists. We know with confidence, with confidence, that the Ukrainians did not have such a system anywhere near the vicinity at that point and time, so it obviously points a very clear finger at the separatists."
Kerry's statement is just another of the endless lies told by US secretaries of state in the 21st century. Who can forget Colin Powell's package of lies delivered to the UN about Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction" or Kerry's lie repeated endlessly that Assad "used chemical weapons against his own people" or the endless lies about "Iranian nukes"?
Remember that Kerry on a number of occasions stated that the US had proof that Assad crossed the "red line" by using chemical weapons.
However, Kerry was never able to back up his statements with evidence. The US had no evidence to give the UK prime minister, whose efforts to have Parliament approve Britain's participation with Washington in a military attack on Syria were voted down. Parliament told the prime minister, "no evidence, no war."
Again here is Kerry declaring "confidence" in statements that are directly contradicted by the Russian satellite photos and endless eye witnesses on the ground.
Why doesn't Washington release its photos from its satellite?
The answer is for the same reason that the USA will not release all the videos it confiscated and that it claims prove that a hijacked 9/11 airliner hit the Pentagon. The videos do not support Washington's claim, and the US satellite photos do not support Kerry's claim.
The UN weapons inspectors on the ground in Iraq, reported that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. However, the fact did not support Washington's propaganda and was ignored. Washington started a highly destructive war, based on nothing but Washington's intentional lie.
The International Atomic Energy Commission's inspectors on the ground in Iran and all 16 US intelligence agencies reported that Iran had no nuclear weapons program. However, the fact was inconsistent with Washington's agenda and was ignored by both the US government and the presstitute media.
We are witnessing the same thing right now with the assertions, in the absence of evidence, that Russia is responsible for the downing of the Malaysian airliner.
Not every member of the US government is as reckless as Kerry and John McCain. In place of direct lies, many US officials use insinuations.
US Senator Diane Feinstein is the perfect example. Interviewed on the presstitute TV station CNN, Feinstein said: "The issue is where is Putin? I would say, 'Putin, you have to man up. You should talk to the world. You should say, if this is a mistake, which I hope it was, say it.'"
Putin has been talking to the world non- stop, calling for an expert non-politicized investigation, and Feinstein is asking Putin why he is hiding behind silence. We know you did it, Feinstein insinuates, so just tell us whether you meant to, or whether it was an accident.
The way the entire Western news cycle was orchestrated with blame instantly placed on Russia, long in advance of real information suggests that the downing of the airliner was a Washington operation. It is, of course, possible that the well-trained presstitute media needed no orchestration from Washington, in order to lay the blame on Russia. On the other hand, some of the news performances seem too scripted not to have been prepared in advance.
We also have the advanced preparation of the youtube video that purports to show a Russian general and Ukrainian separatists discussing having mistakenly downed a civilian airliner.
As I pointed out earlier, the video is twice damned. It was ready in advance, and, by implicating the Russian military, it overlooked that the Russian military can tell the difference between a civilian airliner and a military airplane. The existence of the video itself, implies that there was a plot to down the airliner and blame Russia.
I've seen reports that the Russian anti-aircraft missile system, as a safety device, is capable of contacting aircraft transponders in order to verify the type of aircraft. If the reports are correct and if the transponders from MH-17 are found, they might record the contact.
I have seen reports that Ukrainian air control changed the route of MH-17 and directed it to fly over the conflict area. The transponders should also indicate whether this is correct.
If so, there clearly is at least circumstantial evidence, that this was anintentional act on the part of Kiev, an act which would have required Washington's blessing.
There are other reports that there's a divergence between the Ukrainian military and the unofficial militias, formed by the right-wing Ukrainian extremists who apparently were the first to attack the separatists. It is possible that Washington used extremists to plot the airliner's destruction in order to blame Russia and use the accusations to pressure the EU to go along with Washington's unilateral sanctions against Russia. We do know that Washington is desperate to break up the growing economic and political ties between Russia and Europe.
If it was a plot to down an airliner, any safety device on the missile system could have been turned off, so as to give no warning, or leave any telltale sign. That could be the reason a Ukrainian fighter was sent to inspect the airliner. Possibly the real target was Putin's airliner -- and incompetence in implementing the plot, resulted in the destruction of a civilian airliner.
As there are a number of possible explanations, let's keep open minds and resist Washington's propaganda --- until facts and evidence are in.
At the very least, Washington is guilty of using the incident to blame Russia in advance of the evidence. All Washington has shown us so far is accusations and insinuations. If that is all Washington continues to show us, we will know where the blame resides.
In the meantime, remember the story of the boy who cried "wolf!" He lied so many times that when the wolf did come, no one believed him. Will this be Washington's ultimate fate?
Instead of declaring war on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, and Syria, why did Washington hide behind lies? If Washington wants war with Iran, Russia, and China, why not simply declare war?
The reason that the US Constitution requires war to begin with a declaration of war by Congress, is to prevent the executive branch orchestrating any wars, in order to further 'hidden agendas'.
By abdicating its constitutional responsibility, the US Congress is complicit in the executive branch's war crimes. By approving Israel's premeditated murder of Palestinians, the US government is complicit in Israel's war crimes.
Ask yourself this question: Would the world be a safer place, with less death, destruction and displaced peoples, and more truth and justice, if the United States and Israel did not exist?
Paul Craig Roberts
Does Russia have a future? By Paul Craig Roberts
The Russian government has finally realized that it has no Western “partners,” and is complaining bitterly about the propagandistic lies and disinformation issued without any evidence whatsoever against the Russian government by Washington, its European vassals, and press-titute media.
Perhaps the Russian government thought that only Iraq, Libya, Syria, China, and Edward Snowden would be subjected to Washington’s lies and demonization.
It was obvious enough that Russia would be next.
The Russian government and Europe need to look beyond Washington’s propaganda, because the reality is much worse.
NATO commander General Breedlove and Senate bill 2277 clearly indicate that Washington is organizing itself and Europe for war on Russia.
Europe is reluctant to agree with Washington to put Ukraine in NATO. Europeans understand that if Washington or its stooges in Kiev cause a war with Russia, Europe will be the first casualty.
Washington finds its vassals’ noncompliance tiresome. Remember Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s “fuck the EU.” And that is just what Washington is about to do.
The US Senate’s Russian Aggression Prevention Act, about which I reported in my previous column, does even more mischief than I reported. If the bill passes, which it likely will, Washington becomes empowered to bypass NATO and to grant the status of “allied nation” to Ukraine independently of NATO membership. By so doing, Washington can send troops to Ukraine and thereby commit NATO to a war with Russia.
Notice how quickly Washington escalated the orchestrated Ukrainian “crisis” - without any evidence - into “Russian aggression.” Overnight we have the NATO commander and US senators taking actions against “Russian aggression”, of which no one has seen any evidence.
With Iraq, Libya, and Syria, Washington learned that Washington could act on the basis of bald- faced lies. No one, not Great Britain, not France, not Germany, not Italy, not the Netherlands, not Canada, not Australia, not Mexico, not New Zealand, not Israel, nor Japan, nor S. Korea, nor Taiwan, nor (substitute your selection) stepped forward to hold the US accountable for its blatant lies and war crimes.
The UN even accepted the package of blatant and obviously transparent lies that Colin Powell delivered to the UN. Everything Powell said had already been refuted by the UN’s own weapons inspectors. Yet the UN pussies gave a go-ahead for that devastating war.
The only conclusion is that all the whores were paid off. Whores can always count on Washington paying them off. For money, the whores are selling out civilization to Washington’s war, which likely will be nuclear and terminate life on earth. The whores’ money will incinerate with them.
It's hardly surprising that Washington now targets Russia. The world has given Washington carte blanche to do as it pleases. We have now had three administrations of US war criminals welcomed and honored wherever the war criminals go. The other governments in the world continue to desire invitations to the White House as indications of their worth. To be received by war criminals has become the highest honor.
Even the president of China comes to Washington to receive acceptance by the Evil Empire.
The world did not notice Washington’s war crimes against Serbia and didn’t puke when Washington then put the Serbian president, who had tried to prevent his country from being torn apart by Washington, on trial as a war criminal.
The world has made no effort to hold Washington responsible for its destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria and Gaza. The world has not demanded that Washington stop murdering people in Pakistan and Yemen, countries with which Washington is not at war. The world looks the other way as Washington creates the US Africa Command. The world looks the other way as Washington sends deadly weapons to Israel, with which to murder women and children in the Gaza Ghetto. Washington passes Senate and House Resolutions cheering on the Israeli murder of Palestinians.
Washington is accustomed to its free pass, granted by the world, to murder and to lie, and now is using it against Russia.
President Putin’s bet, that by responding to Washington’s aggression in Ukraine, in an unprovocative and reasonable manner, this would demonstrate to Europe, that Russia was not the source of the problem --- has not paid off.
European countries are captive nations. They are incapable of thinking & acting for themselves. They bend to Washington’s will. Essentially, Europe is a nonentity that follows Washington’s orders.
If the Russian government hopes to prevent war with Washington, which is likely to be the final war for life on earth, the Russian government needs to act now and end the problem in Ukraine by accepting the separatist provinces’ request to be reunited with Russia. Once S.2277 passes, Russia cannot retrieve the situation without confronting militarily the US, because Ukraine will have been declared an American ally.
Putin’s bet was reasonable and responsible, but Europe has failed him. If Putin does not use Russian power to bring an end to the problem with which the US has presented him in Ukraine, while he still can, the US’s next step will be to unleash its hundreds of NGOs inside Russia to denounce Putin as a traitor for abandoning Russian populations in the former Russian provinces that Soviet leaders thoughtlessly attached to Ukraine.
The problem with being a leader is that you inherit festering problems left by previous leaders. Putin has the problems bequeathed by Yeltsin. Yeltsin was a disaster for Russia. Yeltsin was Washington’s puppet. It is not certain that Russia will survive Yeltsin’s mistakes.
If Washington has its way, Russia will survive only as an American puppet state.
In a previous column I described the article in Foreign Affairs, journal of the Washington foreign policy community, that makes a case that the US has such strategic advantage over Russia at this time that a “window of opportunity” exists for the US to erase Russia as a restraint on US hegemony --- with a preemptive nuclear attack.
It's almost certain that Obama is being told how President John F. Kennedy had this window of opportunity and did not use it, and that Obama must not let the opportunity pass a second time.
As Steven Starr explained in a guest column, there are no winners of nuclear war. Even if the US escapes retaliatory strikes, everyone will die, regardless.
The view in Washington of the neoconservatives who control the Obama regime, is that a nuclear war is winnable. No expert opinion supports their assumption, but the neocons, not the experts, are in power.
The American people are out to lunch. They have no comprehension of their likely fate. Americans are an uninformed people distracted by their mounting personal and financial problems. If Europeans are aware, they have decided to live for the moment, on Washington’s money.
What life is faced with is a drive for hegemony on the part of Washington --- and ignorant unconcern on the part of the rest of the world.
Americans worked into a lather about Washington’s unfunded liabilities, and the viability of their future Social Security pension, won’t be alive to collect it.
World doomed by Western insouciance By Paul Craig Roberts
European governments and the Western media have put the world at risk by enabling the US’s propaganda and aggression against Russia.
Washington has succeeded in using transparent lies to demonize Russia as a dangerous aggressive country led by a new Hitler or a new Stalin, just as Washington sought to vilify Assad in Syria, Chavez in Venezuela, and, of course, Iran.
The real demons – Clinton, Bush, Obama – are “the exceptional and indispensable people” above the reach of demonization. Their horrific real crimes go unnoticed, while fictitious crimes are attributed to other people and countries.
The reason that Washington demonizes a leader and a country is to permit the creation of circumstances that Washington can use to act with force against a leader and a country.
Washington’s incessant lies alleging “Russian aggression” have created Russian aggression out of thin air. John Kerry and the State Department’s Marie Harf issue new lies daily, but never any supporting evidence. With the stage set, the US Senate, the NATO commander and the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff are busy at work energizing the wheels of war.
Senate bill 2277 provides for beefing up forces on Russia’s borders and for elevating Ukraine’s status to “ally of the US” so that US troops can assist the war against “terrorists” in Ukraine.
NATO commander Breedlove is preparing his plans for stockpiling war material on Russia’s borders so that US/NATO troops can more quickly strike Russia.
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, is at work preparing American opinion for the upcoming war.
On July 24, Dempsey told Aspen Security Forum, a high level group where US opinion is formed, that Putin’s aggression in Ukraine is comparable to Stalin’s invasion of Poland in 1939 and that the Russian threat was not limited to Ukraine or Eastern Europe, but was global.
The intellects in the Aspen Forum did not break out laughing, when Dempsey told them that Russia’s (alleged but unproven) involvement in Ukraine was the first time since 1939 that a country made a conscious decision to use its military force inside another sovereign nation to achieve its objectives.
No one asked Dempsey what Washington has been doing during the last three presidential regimes: Clinton in Serbia, Bush and Obama in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen, Obama in Libya and Syria.
Here are Dempsey’s words: “You’ve got a Russian government that has made a conscious decision to use its military force inside another sovereign nation to achieve its objectives. It’s the first time since 1939 or so that that’s been the case. They clearly are on a path to assert themselves differently not just in Eastern Europe, but Europe in the main, and towards the United States.”
Washington’s view that the world is its oyster is so ingrained that neither Dempsey nor his upper echelon audience at the Aspen Forum noticed the absurdity of his statement. Washington and the brainwashed US population take if for granted that the “exceptional, indispensable nation” isn't limited in its actions by the sovereignty of other countries.
Washington takes for granted that US law prevails in other countries over the countries’ own laws – just ask France or Switzerland, that Washington can tell foreign financial institutions and corporations with whom they can do business and with whom they cannot – just ask every country and company prevented from doing business with Iran, that Washington can invade any country whose leader Washington can demonize & overthrow – just ask Iraq, Honduras, Libya, Serbia, and so forth, and that Washington can conduct military operations against peoples in foreign countries, such as Pakistan and Yemen, with which Washington is not at war.
All of this is possible, because Washington has claimed the title from Israel of being “God’s Chosen People.” Of course, Israel’s loss of the title has not stopped Israel from acting in the same way.
Washington has put in motion the wheels of war. Once the wheels of war begin to turn, momentum carries them forward. The foolish, indeed utterly stupid, governments and media in Europe seem unaware of Washington’s orchestration of their future or lack thereof, or they are indifferent to it.
They are dooming themselves and all of humanity by their insouciance.
Readers who cannot tolerate problems without solutions always request solutions. OK, here is the solution:
The only possibility of avoiding war is that Putin take his case to the UN. If Washington can send Colin Powell to the UN unarmed with any truth to make Washington’s case for war against Iraq, Putin should be able to take his case to the UN against Washington’s war against Russia.
The case that the emperor has no clothes is an easy one to make.
Unlike Washington, Putin is willing to share the evidence that Russia has about who is doing what in Ukraine. It is a simple matter to establish that Washington organized a coup that overthrew an elected government, supports violence against those who object to the coup, and has turned a deaf ear to Russia’s repeated pleas for Kiev and the separatists to negotiate their differences.
Putin should make it clear to the world that Washington continues with provocative military steps against Russia, with force buildups on Russia’s borders and calls for more buildups, with S.2277 which reads like a US preparation for war, with provocative actions & accusations by top US generals and government officials against Russia, and with efforts to isolate Russia and to inflict economic and political injury on Russia.
Putin should make it clear to the world that there is a limit to provocations that Russia can accept and that Russia believes that Russia is in danger of a preemptive nuclear attack by Washington.
Putin can describe Washington’s withdrawal from the ABM treaty, the construction of ABM bases on Russia’s borders, and the announced change in Washington’s war doctrine that elevates US nuclear forces from a retaliatory role to a preemptive first strike role. These actions are clearly directed at Russia (and China–wake up China! You are next!).
Putin must state clearly that the likely consequence of the world continuing to enable Washington’s lies & aggression will be not merely another disastrous war, but the termination of life.
The governments of the world, especially Washington’s vassals in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan, need to be told that it is their responsibility to stop their enabling of Washington’s aggression or to accept their responsibility for World War III.
At least we could all have the enjoyment of watching the arrogant Samantha Powers and the craven British lapdog rise and walk out of the UN proceedings. There is no doubt what- soever that Washington is unable to answer the charges.
Here again is the Wolfowitz Doctrine that controls US foreign policy and that condemns Planet Earth to death:
“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that posses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union.
“This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”
A hostile power is defined as any country that is not a Washington vassal.
The Wolfowitz Doctrine commits the United States, its peoples, Washington’s gullible EU allies and those peoples, to war with Russia and China.
The destruction of the world is what the idiot EU governments and the presstitute Western media are fostering by their enablement of Washington’s lies and aggression.
WHY RUSSIA REFUSES WAR
Two thirds of Russians say in the latest poll that they are against sending troops to Ukraine, despite the latest US' moves.
WHY EU LEADERS ARE FOLLOWING US SANCTIONS TO HURT RUSSIA
The European Union is expanding anti-Russian sanctions against its own interests under tough pressure from the US in favour of the American military-industrial complex, say experts.
“This week, the EU is to expand and toughen anti-Russian measures. This is obviously an operation staged by Washington that is using the Malaysian airliner downed in Ukraine with most of its passengers being Europeans, as an excuse to defeat Russia,” says the director of the strategic analysis & developments dept, at the sanctioned Vnesheconombank, Vladimir Andrianov.
“The unprecedented propaganda campaign on Russia has turned the Old World's public against Russia, to such an extent that its politicians are afraid of looking indecisive and losing voters' support, to blindly take their cue from the US”
“The EU has no chance to withstand US pressure over anti-Russian measures,” the expert explains: “Washington overtly interferes with Russian-EU gas supply talks & blackmails France over its contract on helicopter carrier Mistral supplies to Russia.
“The US is flagrantly pursuing its own policy in Europe and is appointing its own people to key posts in the EU.”
“EU countries have a deficit of strong leaders now, and European governments are weak. Meanwhile, the EU's bureaucratic machine is proving to be incompetent on issues of global politics and economics and totally dependent on the US will,” Andrianov says.
“The fact that even German Chancellor Angela Merkel suddenly switched tactics after several months of a moderate approach shows the EU leaders’ dependence on the US.
“Washington keeps files on all prominent politicians. It certainly has blackmail evidence against Merkel. It’s no coincidence that her cellphone was bugged by US special services. For this reason, the German chancellor yielded to pressure from Washington.”
“All US foreign policy starting from Vietnam, has been tailored to its military's needs. Amid global competition, the US - as the world’s gendarme - cannot bear the thought that Russia remains the only major geopolitical opponent which it can't control,” the expert says.
Washington aims to arm the Ukrainian army with modern weapons and equipment, and pull Russia into a confrontation with Ukraine, Mr Andrianov believes.
“For this purpose, the US Congress plans to recognise Ukraine as a major non-NATO ally and provide it with direct military aid.
“The S.2277 - Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014 - has passed two readings in the US. These moves are clearly designed to serve the interests of the US military-industrial complex in order to kindle the fire in Europe and line US pockets on weapon supplies to the crisis zone,” Andrianov says.
“The scenario of pulling Russia into armed conflict with Ukraine is so dangerous that it's unacceptable,” the dean of the Higher School of Economics Faculty for World Economy and International Affairs, Sergey Karaganov says.
“But the EU sanctions already announced, and those on the table, mean that the large-scale US's anti-Russian campaign, caused by the Boeing's downing in Ukraine, is bearing fruit.”
“US pressure for the EU to adopt anti-Russian sanctions aims at splitting Europe, weakening Germany and inflicting as much grave damage as possible on Russia, to deprive the country of its power in the world,” the expert says.
“Europe is blindly obeying the US by imposing anti-Russian sanctions, because EU welfare directly relies on the US in financial terms, the Deputy Director of Russia's Academy of Sciences Institute for the USA and Canadian Studies, Major General Pavel Zolotarev says.
“In terms of its security policy, the EU is peace- ful under the US umbrella. Washington bears the lion’s share of NATO spending, enabling the EU countries to reduce defense spending to 2% of their gross domestic product.”
“EU countries lay out 6-7 times more for education and healthcare than defense,” the analyst adds.
“Russia cannot afford such a budget distribution, while EU countries can, thanks to the US. Hence their obedience to Washington.”
The graphic video above shows fascism in the centre of Europe. Our media says the US-backed coup in Ukraine, is a people's revolution: we say it's fascism.
LATEST NEWS ON THURSDAY
Ukraine Bailout Funds Discovered in Oligarch's Cyprus Kitty (Igor Kolomoisky)
We're talking 1.8 billion dollars here!
This article originally appeared at Sputnik
Investigative reporters have discovered that IMF bailout funds meant for Ukraine have mysteriously appeared in a Cyprus bank account, controlled by a notorious Ukrainian oligarch, Ihor Kolomoyskyi.
A huge chunk of the $17 billion in bailout money the IMF granted to Ukraine in April 2014 has been discovered in a bank account in Cyprus controlled by exiled Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi, the German 'paper, Deutsche Wirtshafts Nachrichten [DWN], reports on Thursday.
In April, last year, $3.2 billion was immediately disbursed to Ukraine, and over the following 5 months, another $4.5 billion was disbursed to the Ukrainian Central Bank, to stabilize the country's financial system.
“The money should have been used to stabilize the country's ailing banks: however $1.8 billion disappeared down murky channels,” says DWN.
Ihor Kolomoyskyi, the former governor of Dnipropetrovsk, is one of Ukraine's richest businessmen, with a business empire that includes holdings in the energy, aviation, media, chemical & metalwork industries.
At the centre of Kolomoyskyi's wealth is PrivatBank, Ukraine's largest financial institution, which claimed the bulk – 40% – of the bailout money that had been earmarked for stabilizing the banking system.
“Theoretically, the IMF should retain direct control over the distribution of funds. In fact, it seems that the banks chose their own auditors.”
DWN notes that the IMF reported in January 2015 that the equity ratio of Ukraine's banking system dropped to 13.8%, from 15.9%, in late June 2014.
By February 2015 even PrivatBank had to be saved from bankruptcy --- and was given a 62 million Euro, two-year loan, from the Central Bank.
“So where have the IMF's billions gone?”
The racket worked by Kolomoyskyi's PrivatBank was uncovered by the Ukrainian anti-corruption initiative 'Nashi Groshi,' meaning 'our money', in Ukrainian.
According to Nashi Groshi's investigations, PrivatBank has connections to 42 Ukrainian companies, which are owned by another 54 offshore companies based in the Caribbean, USA and Cyprus. These companies took out loans from PrivatBank, totaling $1.8 billion.
These Ukrainian companies ordered investment products from six foreign suppliers based in the UK, the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean, and then transferred money to a PrivatBank branch in Cyprus --- ostensibly to pay for the products.
The products were then used as collateral for the loans taken out from PrivatBank – however, overseas suppliers never delivered the goods, & the 42 companies took legal action in court in Dnipropetrovsk, demanding reimbursement for payments made for the goods --- and the termination of the loans from Privatbank.
The court's ruling for all 42 companies was that the foreign suppliers should return the money, but the credit agreement with Privatbank... remains in place.
“Basically, this was a transaction of $1.8 billion abroad --- with the help of fake contracts --- the siphoning off of assets and violation of existing laws,” explains journalist, Lesya Ivanovna, of Nashi Groshi.
In March, Kolomoyskyi was dismissed from his position as governor of Dnipropetrovsk, after a power struggle with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko;- the fraud was carried out, while he was governor of the region in East Central Ukraine.
“The whole story with the court case was only necessary to make it look like the bank itself was not involved in a fraud scheme. Officially it now looks as if the bank has the products.. but, in reality, they were never delivered,” says Ivanovna.
Such business practices have "earned" Kolomoyskyi a fortune, which Forbes now estimates is at $1.27 billion, and were known to investigators beyond Ukraine's borders; he was once ban- ned from the US, over suspicions of connections with international organized crime.
Despite these suspicions, it appears that Kolomoyskyi is unlikely to face justice, as he is currently living in exile in the US. He fled Ukraine, earlier this year. Ukraine has been granted a further $3.6 billion in debt relief from creditors.
Russia, despite its membership in development lending institutions, has refused to givee funds to Ukraine over concerns emanating from this, and other instances, of widespread graft.
Death Toll From Kiev Grenade Attack on Police Rises to Three
Two more National Guardsmen have died from injuries suffered in the explosion & 50 more remain in hospital.
The National Guard is a paramilitary police force, subordinate to the Interior Ministry, which was established after Maidan, and recruited from participants in the Maidan.
Xinhua -The death toll from clashes that erupted near the parliament building in central Kiev, is now at least 3, after two officers die in hospital of wounds sustained in the violence, the Kiev authorities say.
The presidential aide Olga Bogomolets, writes on Facebook, that a 21-year-old National Guard died from massive blood loss, and a 20-year-old officer passed away after the treatment for his shrapnel wounds to the brain, failed.
About 140, mainly law enforcement officers, remain hospitalized, the Interior Ministry says.
According to a statement on the ministry website, two police officers, severely injured in a grenade explosion outside the parliament building, are in hospital in intensive care, in a critical condition.
Japanese war criminal confession reveals bacterial warfare massacre
Xinhua -A Japanese war criminal's confession --- just released --- details the killing of Chinese civilians in Japan's War of Aggression on China.
The State Archives Administration (SAA) publishes the hand-written confession by Kingo Okano, who was born in 1912 and joined the invasion army in 1937. He was captured in August 1945.
According to the document, Okano said he killed two captured anti-Japanese soldiers in N. China's Hebei Province, in 1937. He also captured a man and woman and:-- "forced them to have sexual intercourse in front of us and beat them," the confession says. He confessed that in May 1938, he "beat and tortured" a captured man for two weeks and "beheaded him with a katana" in Chengde, where he also broke into a Chinese house, "threatened the wife with my own power, sexually assaulted her in the inner room, and infected her with gonorrhea." Okano said that in May 1939, he was ordered to transport 250 POWs of the 8th Route Army and "hand them over to the headquarters of the Fourth Army," who "enslaved them and later killed them all, with some used in a bacterial experiment." Okana confessed that in October 1940 in N. East China's Jilin Province, he worked with the puppet police to help 200 military doctors in conducting so-called "epidemic prevention." He "had 5,000 people in town injected, broke into houses to force disinfection, and dissected 50 people, to conduct experiments to prepare for bacterial warfare," the confession states. Okana also confessed he provided intelligence in August 1945, the result of which, was that a squadron "fired at about 2,000 rioting Chinese with machine guns and shot dead 150 of them."
This is the 22nd of 31 written confessions by Japanese war criminals -- to be published on SAA's website to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.
The West, to its undying shame, is refusing to recognise China's WWll commemoration.
Vietnam, 70 years on the Path of Peace and Cooperation
Prensa Latina -Vietnam continues to develop its peaceful foreign policy of multilateralism, and cooperation, President Truong Tan Sang reaffirms here, at the ceremony for the 70th anniversary of Vietnam's proclamation of independence, which takes place today.
The president stresses that, to do so, his country will be guided by a principle: that Vietnam is a friend, a reliable partner and a responsible member of the international community.
He also calls to improve constantly the efficiency of foreign policy, to raise its position on the regional & world stage, and contribute in this way, to maintain peace, stability and development.
Sang talks of the work done in the last seven decades --- and highlights how the achievements in that period, are recognized by the entire world.
He mentions, among the advances of the past 30 years, how, now, Vietnam is a middle income nation with strong socio-economic stability, with its full independence and sovereignty, and its reunification and territorial integrity, guaranteed.
Vietnamese President urges a continual strengthening of patriotism and unity, to maximize opportunities and overcome difficulties, and promote development.
Sang repeatedly evokes the struggle and thinking of President Ho Chi Minh, Father of Vietnam, whom Vietnam honors today, with a ceremony at his mausoleum, and other activities, in recent weeks.
The speech precedes a parade in which members of the armed forces, veterans, workers and representatives of ethnic minorities - among others - will all participate.
New IS Terrorists' Attack with Chemical Weapons in Syria Reported
Islamic State (IS) terrorist groups used banned chemical weapons in an attack on Marea city, located in Allepo city, confirms SANA, the state-run news agency of Syria.
SANA quotes sources giving detailed information about the use of tens of projectiles - loaded with toxic subtances -- during attacks staged against the city, 408 kilometers north of Damascus.
According to eyewitnesses, IS armed extremists are using mustard gas and chlorine gas, which causes asphyxia symptoms in the population, after heavy artillery shelling.
On August 22nd, the Islamic State launched projectiles loaded with chemical subtances against the same locality, in northern Syria.
NBC television network & The Wall Street Journal published a report last August 15, showing how IS terrorist groups used chemical weapons, chiefly mustard and chlorine gas, during recent attacks on Hasaka city, 709 kilometers east of Damascus.
The report came after it was announced that 60 Syrian-Kurdish militiamen were attacked with banned subtances.
US Drone Kills Five Alleged Extremists in Pakistan
A US drone killed five alleged extremists in North Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan, reports Geo News tv channel, today.
Security sources tell Geo News, the incursion was staged last night, when a drone launched two missiles against a house in Lawara Banga area, Shawal valley, where alleged radicals were settled, and adds that three Uzbeks are among the dead.
Last August 6th, another US unmanned strike aircraft killed 7 militiamen in North Waziristan -- one of the departments that form the Federal Administration Tribal Areas (FATA).
Five alleged members of Red Haqqani, a group allied to Afghan Talibans and one of the most active and feared in the neighboring nation, were killed in that bombing.
Following it, the Pakistani Government condemned the incident --- saying that the acts violate Afghan's sovereignty and international rights.
The incursions certainly have a negative effect and cause distrust to populations in the tribal areas, says a communique, signed by the Foreign Affairs Ministry's spokesperson, Qazi Khalilullah.
However, local media considers that Islamabad "tactically" backs these operations, but condemns them in public.
Since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the US has launched systematic bombings of alleged Taliban positions, in Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, causing tension between the two countries.
Multiple injuries in Kiev as grenade explodes during protest against constitutional law
Dozens are feared to have been injured during clashes in front of the parliament in Kiev, the Ukrainian National Guard says. Crowds of protesters came to oppose amendments to the constitution that would provide for decentralization of the country.
The protest started on Constitution Square, in Kiev, in front of the Verkhovna Rada, where some 3,000 radicals gathered.
Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov writes on Facebook -- “one person was killed, 125 were injured, 12 people are being operated on and one soldier is in a deep coma. Doctors have refused to give any forecasts on the condition of another five people.”
Police officers, National Guard troops, the interior ministry’s special forces servicemen, & members of other law enforcement agencies were those affected, he stresses.
Ukraine’s Deputy Interior Minister Vasily Paskal, journalists of Ukraine TV channel 5 and channel 1+1, as well as a French correspondent, are also among the injured, the minister adds.
In an earlier press-conference, the minister said their wounds were caused “by several explosive devices, thrown by the people wearing Svoboda (Freedom) Party T-shirts -- who provoked clashes with the National Guard in front of the Rada.”
“30 people have already been detained. But there’ll be more arrests. The grenade thrower has been captured and several grenades, including a maximum damage F1 grenade, have been seized from him,” Avakov says, as cited by TASS.
The minister says he “directly blames” the leader of Svoboda party, Oleg Tyagnibok, for the incident, stating what happened near the parliament was “a crime, not a political stance.”
“There’s one killed National Guard troop – a gunshot wound to the heart… we thought it was shrapnel but it turns out someone used the confusion to shoot,” he wrote earlier, on his Facebook page.
Ukraine's Health Ministry says on its website that firearms were widely used in the clashes at the Verkhovna Rada building and 21 people received gunshot wounds.
There are conflicting reports on the number of casualties near the Ukrainian parliament. Initial reports said that at least five officers were killed in the clashes.
The Ukrainian National Guard has claimed that “about 50” people sustained injuries.
The European Union is concerned over events in Kiev, and urges both sides to show restraint and start dialogue, says the European Commission press-service.
Tweets from journalists at the scene say supporters of the ultra-right Right Sector brutally attacked police officers.
The demonstrators attacked police with long sticks & threw at least one smoke bomb grenade, Russia’s RIA Novosti & TASS news agencies report.
The Ukrainian UNIAN news agency also reports that smoke bombs were being thrown, along with stones.
Both protesters and police officers used tear gas against each other, UNIAN says.
The agency adds that the protesters were shouting “Shame!” and “Impeachment!” in front of the parliament building, that was then being blockaded from the outside.
Earlier in the day, the parliament passed Constitutional amendments on decentral- ization on a first reading. The amendments proposed by President Petro Poroshenko, were supported by 265 of the parliament’s 450 lawmakers.
The lawmakers did not discuss giving special status to Donbass, the historical area in east Ukraine which includes Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Since April 2014, this area has been fought over, by pro-Kiev and anti-government forces.
Despite special status for the war-torn areas being a separate bill, protesters who came out in the capital on Monday, were angered by the prospect of Eastern Ukraine getting autonomy from the central government. Photos posted on social media showed people holding banners, saying: “No to special status of Donbass,” and “Occupants in Donbass, go away.”
The protesters on Constitution Square in Kiev now are from the rightwing Radical, Self-Help, Svoboda and Republican Platform parties.
TASS news agency estimates their number to be around 1,000.
Two Ukrainian ultra-radical MPs now face investigations, for kidnapping and torture.
Lyashko, and his fellow party member Igor Mosiychuk, have recently been accused of organizing a criminal group, kidnappings & torture. On Saturday, Ukraine’s prosecutor general opened a case against the two far- right-wing politicians.
Dozens of Svoboda Party activists have been picketing a police station -- where those held after the clashes near the parliament, are being kept.
They demand the release of fellow Svoboda members and deny their involvement in the violence at the Verkhovna Rada.
Senior Svoboda member Mikhail Miroshnichenko tells Tass:-- Svoboda “condemns terror attacks -- and is always peaceful in its actions.”
Svoboda also releases a statement, in which it demands that parliament urgently discuss the issue of removing the Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov, from his position.
"It was police who were first to use force against protesters, provoking numerous skirmishes. The law enforcers failed to implement appropriate measures to neutralize the provocateurs,” their statement says.
Svoboda also claims that the grenade thrown from the crowd at police, was “a pre-planned provocation aimed against Ukrainian patriots.”
The radical Right Sector movement has issued a general rallying call to all of its supporters in Kiev, stating on Facebook how “the blood of Ukrainian patriots was spilled near the Verkhovna Rada.”
They later used cars to block access to three city blocks surrounding the parliament building, with the police making no effort to stop them.
The violence in Kiev, has prompted Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko to make a televised address to the nation -- in which, he promised that the perpetrators would be punished, and defended the decentralization amendments to the Constitution.
“Today, I had a meeting with security officials, at which, clear assignments to investigate the events were given. And all the perpetrators, organizers, -- all political forces -- face severe punishment,” Poroshenko said.
According to the president, “the threat of a break-up of the international pro- Ukrainian coalition” would have risen, if the Verkhovna Rada had not voted yes to decentralization amendments to the constitution, on Monday.
It could also lead to a lifting of the sanctions, that “are very painfully hitting the aggressor,” he stated, -- apparently referring to Russia -- which Kiev blames, for 'sending troops' to war-torn east Ukraine.
“Amendments to the constitution don’t mean the loss of territory,” Poroshenko said, explaining that, on the contrary, they’re giving a chance to bring back Donetsk and Lugansk regions under Ukrainian rule, “via political and diplomatic means.”
“We will achieve victory, combining strengthening our national defense with political & diplomatic efforts,” he promises.
The president says the new amendments are ''far from'' those which the rebelling regions desired from any constitutional reform.
“What they wanted was no federalization, but a confederation, which would’ve seen dozens of Ukrainian regions having closer links with Russia than Ukraine. Therefore, there were dreams about these militants being able to influence key foreign policy decisions, having a right to veto the entry of Ukraine into NATO & the EU," he says.
“But what they have got instead, is a lean line about the features of local self-governance,” Poroskenko says.
The amendments saw all the provisions for “a theoretical possibility of special status for individual cities” taken from the constitution --- in order to eliminate “the slightest legal clues for a parade of sovereignty," he adds.
As for Donetsk and Lugansk, local self-governance there is provided for by a separate law, that “has already been approved by the parliament on two occasions,” Poroshenko says.
“Most of the articles of this law are now suspended, and will only start working after an election in accordance with Ukrainian law and OSCE standards is held on those territories --- and only after restoration of our full control of the entire border with Russia,” he says.
UK announces £500mn injection into costly controversial Trident base in Scotland
The UK announces an investment of £500 million into Scotland’s Faslane naval base --- the site of its controversial Trident nuclear submarines.
In a statement ahead of his Scotland visit, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne pledges £500 million ($770million) for “ship lifts, sea walls, jetties and other major projects,” over the next 10 years.
Work is to begin in 2017, and about 8,200 will be working on the project by 2022, up from 6,700 already booked, according to the statement.
The announcement “demonstrates the UK government's commitment to investing in infrastructure and capability, to ensure that Faslane remains the centre of UK submarine operations, for the next generation," Osborne says.
However not everyone is happy with Trident, viewing it as both luxurious and unnecessary.
Many in Britain wish to scrap it, especially in these difficult times of austerity cuts. Among those are Scottish nationalists, (SNP), who are currently the ruling party in Scotland.
“It seems the Treasury apparently has a limitless pot, to keep an unwanted and obscene arsenal of nuclear weapons afloat,”Brendan O’Hara, the SNP’s Westminster defense spokesperson says, according to UK media.
O’Hara argues that a “conventional base” would do just fine.
Meanwhile, protests back home in London, are ongoing over the government’s attitude to spending. The health, infrastructure and environment sectors, are among those that are suffering --- so that the military budget can be ramped up.
In late June, around 250,000 people attended one gathering, & many slammed government increased military spending, as others were critical over the UK’s housing crisis, poverty- level wages, and slashed social safety nets.
In early August, the NHS was told to slash spending & only fill emergency vacancies, as austerity measures continued their hold.
Financial justice activists are calling on the UK government, to address the UK’s Private Finance Investment (PFI) debt crisis, & acknowledge that excessive debts generated through the schemes are impacting ordinary taxpayers --- while wealthy investors profit.
Part of a worldwide program of privatization and financialization, PFI schemes use private capital for public infrastructure development.
UK taxpayers are estimated to owe approx. £222 billion ($337 billion) --- to banks and private firms --- under 720 PFI contracts.
Many who do not wish to see UK hospitals fail... say Trident is perfectly replaceable.
Al-Baath Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Cuba-Syria Relations
The celebration, in al-Assad National Library, Damascus, was organized by the Association of Friendship Syria-Cuba (AASC), and brought together major figures of the political, social and party life of this Levantine nation, who recognize the deep bonds of friendship and brotherhood that unite the two peoples.
For the AASC, its President, Abdul Nasser al-Shafia, stressed a continuing solidarity between Havana & Damascus, founded on revolutionary & anti-imperialist principles:
'Cuba taught the world that the price of resistance is much less than the price of surrender and giving up principles," said al-Shafia, a member of the top leadership of al-Baath party.
For his part, the Charge d'Affaires of Cuba in Damascus, Armando Perez, stated that, despite being two geographically distant countries, they share a common history, based on mutual respect and high levels of agreement in the international arena.
Perez said Cuba and Syria have lived together at important moments in history, are still fighting for a world of peace, and that its peoples are brothers --- to eternity.
The diplomat called for an end to terrorist aggression against Syria's people -- which has been continuous since 2011 -- and an end to foreign interference in the internal affairs of the Arab nation.
Also present were the culture minister, Essam Khalil; other cabinet members, President of the Federation of Syrian Journalists, Elias Murad, and the president of the Federation of Arab Writers, Hussein Jemma.
Also participating were Hunein Nemer, the secretary general of the Syrian Communist Party, members of the National Progressive Front (main political group of Syrian parties), Syria's foreign ministry officials and leaders of al-Baath party.
Unrest in Lebanon refugee camp US-Israeli plot: Fatah
An official from the Palestinian Fatah movement has described the recent spate of clashes at the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon as a plot hatched by the US and the Israeli regime.
"There is an Israeli-American plan, through both internal and external groups, to destabilize the camp,"Munir Makdah, a Fatah official in Ain al-Hilweh camp, said on Monday.
The Fatah official further noted that gunmen from the Jund al-Sham extremist group now control 4 of Ain al-Hilweh camp's 11 districts.
Makdah said the fighting has forced a large number of Palestinian families to take refuge in the southern Lebanese port city of Sidon, 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Beirut, and he estimates the damage to structures and buildings at Ain al-Hilweh, to be over one million dollars.
He adds, "What is happening mirrors the state of things in the country. They aim to destroy the camp & force Palestinian refugees to leave Lebanon; as happened to the Palestinians in Syria."
Makdah is making a reference to Yarmouk camp near the capital, Damascus. Once a thriving place, hosting tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees -- as well as Syrians -- Yarmouk has turned into a ghost town, as a result of violent attacks by anti-government militants over the past four years, in Syria.
At least two people lost their lives on August 27, when Fatah supporters and Jund al-Sham militants engaged in a fierce gun battle at Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp.
On August 25, at least three people were killed and 36 others injured in clashes between Jund al-Sham militants and Fatah advocates, in the northern sector of Ain al-Hilweh.
Two days earlier, 2 Fatah members were killed as Jund al-Sham sought to assassinate Ashraf al-Armoushi, Fatah’s security chief, inside the camp. Armoushi escaped the attack, unhurt.
Local medical sources reported a total of at least 15 people, both civilians and non- civilians, as wounded, some critically.
Ain al-Hilweh had a population of about 70,000 residents before the figure rose by nearly twofold as a result of influxes of refugees, fleeing foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria.
Under a tacit deal stuck after the 1975-1990 civil war, the Lebanese army does not enter the country’s 12 official Palestinian refugee camps, where the factions handle security.
Israelis demolish 15 Palestinian homes in West Bank's Ramallah
Israeli forces have once again demolished over 10 Palestinian homes near the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.
According to local reports and witnesses, Israeli forces early on Monday destroyed 15 Palestinian homes in the Jab’a village, using two bulldozers.
Locals say other residential buildings nearby were also damaged.
According to reports, Israel's military unlawfully demolished some 40 structures in the Bedouin Palestinian West Bank communities, between August 17 and 18, leaving nearly 130 people, including 80 children, homeless.
The continued rise in Israel’s destruction of Palestinian homes and buildings comes as the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying entity from destroying private property, or forcibly transferring people.
Since the beginning of 2011, Tel Aviv’s destruction of Palestinian homes has left over 4,600 Palestinians homeless.
Tel Aviv’s policy of demolitions comes hand in hand with the regime’s tight restrictions on Palestinians building any houses themselves.
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis currently reside in more than 120 illegal settlements constructed since Tel Aviv’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, in 1967. These settlements are considered illegal by most of the international community.
Clashes near Ukraine parliament injure 100 police officers
At least 100 police officers have been injured in clashes in front of the Ukrainian parliament, in Kiev, as ultranationalists gather there to protest against constitutional amendments, which grant more autonomy to the eastern regions.
On Monday, hundreds of supporters of Ukraine’s ultra right-wing nationalist parties staged a rally in front of the country’s parliament, Verkhovna Rada, calling on it to overturn the amendments.
Reports say that Oleh Lyashko, the leader of Ukraine’s far-right Radical Party and 10 other MPs from the same faction, took part.
"Let’s stop the anti-constitutional revolt together," said Igor Mosiychuk, an MP from the Radical Party, urging all nationalist legislators to join the protest.
The rally turned violent after demonstrators attacked security forces with smoke bombs, stones and long sticks. The police used tear gas to disperse them.
"Up to 100 law enforcers have been injured during clashes near the parliament building,"Ukraine tv quotes Kiev police boss, Alexander Tereshchuk, as saying.
According to Russian news agency, TASS, a huge explosion also occurred outside the Verkhovna Rada building.
Several police officers are in a very serious condition after the grenade blast, Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to Ukraine’s interior minister, says.
"A ball grenade has been just thrown at the servicemen protecting the Verkhovna Rada. Several servicemen of the National Guard sustained serious injuries. Their life is in danger,"Gerashchenko writes on his Facebook page.
Some five or seven protesters have also been seriously injured, & several others have moderately severe wounds,local media reports say. Tass reports that one ultra-nationalist is dead, having been shot through the heart.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's Interior Ministry states that at least one protester has been arrested, over violent clashes with the police forces.
Despite the violent protests, the Ukrainian parliament passed the amendments, with 265 MPs voting in favor of them and 87 voting against.
The constitutional reforms, proposed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and backed by Western powers, would grant more autonomy to the country’s restive east, which is currently under the control of anti-US coup forces.
Donetsk says Ukraine’s constitutional changes will not resolve crisis
TASS - The constitutional changes adopted by Ukraine’s parliament in a first reading Monday, have nothing to do with the Minsk agreements and will not help to settle the crisis in Donbas, DPR’s negotiator, Denis Pushilin, says.
Kiev claims that the so-called decentralization bill, proposed by President Petro Poroshenko, is intended to give the eastern region special status, as demanded by the Minsk agreements made on February 12 in the Belarusian capital.
"We do not recognize what is going on now in the Rada --- as we know for sure that the amendments proposed by Poroshenko, are just an imitation of the Minsk agreements implementation," Pushilin says.
The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics have repeatedly said, that local elections cannot be unilateral, & must be agreed with the Donbas representatives, he reminds listeners.
The vote on Donbas should be transparent and fair, & carried out under control of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Pushilin says.
Donbas is to hand over its constitutional amendments on Tuesday at the meeting of the working subgroup on political issues, Pushilin says.
"We hope that this time, the position of Donbas will be heard, but the chances are slim,"he adds.
US to Create Elite Police Unit in Ukraine
Sputnik -Canadian and American military instructors in Ukraine will create a new Special Force - an elite police unit for 'rapid response'.
The first stage of selection and training of the elite police is due to begin soon.
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says troop selection for the new unit will be tough, but preference may be given to former Special Forces veterans and Kiev-led military soldiers.
The new unit is set to gather about 5,000 men. The minister adds that the basic salary of the elite police will be 10-15 thousand hryvnia -- depending on their specialization in the unit.
The new Special Forces are designed to replace all existing Interior Ministry units in the future, combining them into one similar unit -- like the American SWAT.
NATO, Ukraine Kick Off Black Sea Naval Drill
Sputnik -Ukraine-NATO joint military exercises Sea Breeze 2015, have begun in south Ukraine, Russian media report, on Monday.
"The aim of the exercises is to practice a multinational security operation in a crisis region," the press service of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry says in a statement.
The land, naval and air drills, to run until September 12, are also designed to improve interoperability between the Ukrainian Naval Forces and the Naval Forces of NATO member and partner countries, the statement says.
The exercises, held under NATO's Partnership for Peace program, in Ukraine’s Odessa and Nikolayev regions, involves around 2,500 military personnel --- also from Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Italy, the UK, Romania, Sweden, Turkey and Moldavia, including about 1,000 troops from Ukraine.
US participation in Sea Breeze-2015 includes approximately 400 sailors, the Arleigh Burke- class guided-missile destroyer Donald Cook, and a P-3C Orion maritime patrol plane.
14 ships, 8 planes and helicopters and about 90 vehicles, are to participate in the drills.
Vice Admiral James Foggo, commander of the US 6th Fleet, describes the exercise as “an important chance to work with our partners and conduct meaningful training in the land, air, and maritime domains.”
“I am confident that this exercise will also lead to valuable personal exchanges bet- ween our sailors, soldiers, airmen and Marines, leading to stronger bonds and unity in this region,” he says.
The Sea Breeze exercises have been conducted in Ukraine --- since 1997.
Total of 79 military drills held by Russia's armed forces in August -- defense minister
TASS - The Russian army held 79 military exercises in August and is now preparing for the Centre-2015 strategic command and staff exercises, Defense Minister, Sergey Shoigu, says, on Monday.
"In the past month alone, we held 79 exercises," the defense minister says, at a conference call in the ministry.
"A comprehensive exercise for all-round support of the grouping of forces in the Central Asian strategic direction... became the most multi- dimensional maneuver. It involved about 6,000 servicemen, and almost 800 pieces of combat hardware," the defense minister says.
Russia’s Western and Central Military Districts completed their preparations on August 24-29 for the Centre 2015 maneuvers, planned for September, the defense minister says.
The other large-scale military drills conducted this year, included the Selenga-2015 Russian- Mongolian maneuvers, & the Interaction 2015 military exercises, held for the rapid reaction forces of the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the defense minister says.
The Selenga-2015 drills in the Trans-Baikal Territory in East Siberia involved about 850 servicemen and over 140 armaments and pieces of combat hardware, including tanks and aviation.
The CSTO maneuvers in the Pskov Region in northwest Russia involved about 2,000 troops, over 200 armaments, & pieces of combat hardware, and about 40 aircraft and helicopters.
All six member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization comprising Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, sent their contingents to take part in the drills.
SNP says belated Chilcot inquiry ‘ludicrous’
The Scottish National Party (SNP), calls on the UK government to set a deadline for the much-delayed report of the Iraq war inquiry.
The SNP says it is unacceptable that the inquiry has not reported after six years, at a cost of nearly 16 million dollars.
The ruling Scottish party, which on its web- site describes the delays as ludicrous, calls for a definitive answer to what it calls the failures of the Iraq war.
It says the current Conservative government is also responsible for the Labour-initiated war - as Conservatives overwhelmingly backed the invasion of Iraq.
The so-called Chilcot inquiry, named after John Chilcot who chairs the Iraq war investigation, began in 2009, and has repeatedly delayed its report, under the pretext that it still needs to interview all individuals implicated in the US- led invasion of the country.
The last of the hearings of the inquiry was held more than four years ago.
Chilcot has already declined to set out a timetable for his Iraq inquiry, despite a threat of legal action by the families of UK troops killed in the unpopular US-led war.
Earlier in August, lawyers representing 29 families said they would move to the London High Court, if the Chilcot inquiry fails to give a publication dead- line 'in two weeks'.
"There have been outrageous delays to date, & it seems as though those delays will simply be interminable," Matthew Jury, a lawyer repres- enting the families, says.
The US-led invasion of Iraq began in 2003 & lasted for over 8 years. The war, initiated under the false pretense of weapons of mass destruction, took the lives of 179 UK personnel, and nearly 4,500 US soldiers.
The number of Iraqi civilian deaths, has been estimated at over 1 million by some sources.
Malaysian protesters urge PM to resign for second day
Thousands of Malaysians gather in central Kuala Lumpur, for a second day & demand the resignation of PM Najib Razak, over a corruption scandal.
Crowds of yellow-clad Malaysians converge on the streets of the capital on Sunday a day after tens of thousands turned out for a similar rally there, calling for Najib’s resignation as well as reforms in the electoral system, which critics say is biased.
Many of the protesters slept the night on the streets, near Kuala Lumpur's Independence Square to take part in today’s demonstration.
“We are hoping to have as many people as yes- terday to send a message to this government: they have been lying and stealing and bullying for far too long and the public won’t take it any- more,”says Simon Tam, a protesting lawyer.
Police estimate 29,000 people participated in Saturday’s march --- but the civil society movement, Bersih, which organized the rally, put the number of participants at 200,000.
Former Malaysian premier, Mahathir Mohamad, made a brief appearance at Saturday’s protest to support the calls for his successor to quit.
Najib, however, criticized the demonstrations, which, he says, tarnish the country’s image:
“Those who wear this yellow attire... they want to discredit our good name, scribble black coal on Malaysia’s face to the out- side world.”
Similar protest rallies are also reported in the cities of Kuching and Kota Kinabalu -- despite a police ban on such gatherings.
A report published in The Wall Street Journal in July revealed how Malaysian investigators traced almost USD 700 million of deposits, into Najib’s personal bank accounts.
The revelation came during a probe into alleged mismanagement at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a government-owned strategic investment company.
Malaysia's ruling party promises huge rally to trump anti-government protests
PressTV - A leader of Malaysia's ruling party says on Sunday, a million government supporters will stage a rally in October that will trump protests over the past 2 days demanding the resignation of PM Najib Razak over a financial scandal.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi warns organizers they could face legal action, a sign that Najib's government is losing patience with the anti- government protests which began in central Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday.
"They must face the consequences if they dare to break the law," he says, according to a New Straits Times online report.
Bernama national news agency says 12 people in the southwest city of Malacca were arrested for wearing the signature yellow T-shirts of the protests, which the government banned before the rally.
Jamal Yunos, divisional chief of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party, says a million "red shirt" government supporters will stage a rally in Kuala Lumpur on October 10th, as a riposte to the weekend protests.
"This shows the solidarity of Malaysians, that Najib still has majority support," Yunos tells Reuters.
Thousands are gathered in festive mood for the second day of protests on Sunday. Their spirits were lifted the night before, when Malaysia's longest-serving leader, Mahathir Mohamad, made a brief and unexpected appearance among them.
Organizers expect the number of protesters to rise, despite a heavy downpour of rain, as the demonstration reaches a climax tonight.
Former Greek premier Alexis Tsipras urges supporters to give him a fresh mandate to complete Greece's political transformation as polls show his leftist Syriza party's lead slipping, ahead of elections next month.
Tsipras abruptly resigned last week, days after getting an 86 billion-euro ($97 billion) bailout package from Greece's euro zone and International Monetary Fund lenders, aiming to crush a rebellion by far-left law- makers and tighten his grip on power.
Hopes that lenders may soon resolve their differences on how to tackle Greece's debt rose Saturday, when the IMF boss Christine Lagarde, told a Swiss newspaper, a form of "restructuring" rather than outright forgive- ness, should enable the country to cope.
Euro zone creditors, notably Germany, have ruled out a writedown.
But Tsipras' gamble in calling early elections, to be held on Sept. 20, could backfire, opinion polls suggest - with most Greeks disapproving of his decision to seek a fresh mandate, and how he handled the talks with creditors.
Syriza led opposition conservative New Democracy party by 15.2% in May, but the gap has gradually shrunk since... & dropped to 1.8 points in an MRB poll for weekly Agora, published Saturday.
Other polls also show the lead narrowing, suggesting momentum may be shifting to New Democracy. An Alco poll for Sunday's Proto Thema newspaper, shows the gap between Syriza and New Democracy has shrunk to just 1.5 points.
"At the start of the race towards the Sept. 20th vote, the game looks open to all outcomes," the paper says.
Another poll by Kapa Research for Sunday's To Vima newspaper gave Syriza a wider lead - 27.3% against 24.2% for the conservative opposition with 57.5% expressing a negative view on how the leftist government handled negotiations with the international lenders.
Tsipras says he wants to complete what he started when Syriza won national elections in January.
"Against us is the old political system that pushed the country into a tragedy, which built the regime that led to the bailouts," he told a gathering of the party's central committee in Athens. "We want to demolish this regime."
He urged supporters to fight back against the old "hated" political system he holds responsible for Greece needing bailouts, and justified his decision to agree to a third rescue.
"We do not regret having fought nor having chosen at the end, to avoid catastrophe," he said.
"Whoever wants to escape has the right to do it, but we are moving forward, we have not seen our best battles yet," he said, in a reference to a breakaway Syriza faction that has formed the anti-bailout Popular Unity party.
The MRB poll shows Popular Unity backed by 4.2% - above the 3% threshold needed to be in parliament - while Syriza was on 24.6%, and New Democracy on 22.8%.
It supports previous findings that Tsipras's abrupt resignation as PM, last week, has gone down badly with voters, with 68.6% disapproving of the move.
All the recent surveys suggest Syriza has next to no chance of winning an overall majority, and the right-wing Independent Greeks, the allies in Tsipras' former coalition, are unlikely to make it back into parliament.
Tsipras this week, however, ruled out cooperating with the main pro-euro opposition parties - New Democracy, the Socialist PASOK and the centrist To Potami ------ and in an interview with Sunday's RealNews newspaper he sticks with that stance.
"There is no way we will let the old, sinful political regime, to blame for today's ills, in through the window to govern, when the people have shown it the door," he insists.
If Syriza is returned as the biggest party - and Tsipras does not change his view - it points to a second round of elections.
UN Conference in Japan Calls for Nuclear Disarmament
Prensa Latina - The United Nations Conference for Nuclear Disarmament, which ended on Friday in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, urges the international community to create a world free of such weapons.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Hiroshima's Mayor Kazumi Matsui, expresses his support for a proposal made by Algeria for a working group to examine legal restrictions on the possession of nuclear weapons.
The considerations arising from that study, will be presented at the next UN General Assembly, in New York.
Government officials and experts from 23 states discussed in this 3-day conclave, recent trends for nuclear disarmament.
They also discussed, among other issues, the inhuman consequences of using weapons of mass extermination, reports tv network NHK.
This important event was held during this year's commemoration of the seventieth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The atomic bombs dropped by the US government on those Japanese cities on August 6 and 9, 1945 led to 300,000 dead or missing people, according to the estimates of humanitarian organizations.
To those figures, is added the fact that about 200,000 Japanese were affected by radiation, causing leukemia & various types of cancer, in many cases.
The US-backed Ukrainian Armed Forces, on Wednesday August 26th, resumed their all- out war against the Donbass region, stated the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Deputy Commander, Eduard Basurin, on the 27th.
If this apparent re-invasion of Donbass by US- backed forces is true, it violates the Minsk II Agreement that Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Francois Hollande agreed on Feb 11th.
As reported on August 27th by the Fort Russ news site, Mr. Basurin said:
“The situation in the DPR has drastically deteriorated. …From 5pm [August 26th], punitive forces began to massively shell positions of the DPR army and the civilian areas of Belaya Kamenka, Novolaspa, Staroslava, and Staroignatovka.”
“The fascists have used heavy artillery prohibited by the Minsk Agreements against the civilian areas of Aleksandrovka and Marinka. The Donetsk outskirts have been struck.”
“The shelling has been carried out from the positions of the 72nd mechanized brigade under the command of the criminal Grishchenko, as well as the 19th infantry battalion. The enemy is using ACS howitzers of 152 & 122 mm, mortars of 120 & 80 mm, & tanks.”
Basurin adds that“According to our estimate, the enemy is trying to provoke a response by our troops &, with such activity, convince the army command of the DPR to prepare for an offensive in this direction of the UAF, so that DPR’s strategy of — as much as possible — not initiating fire, but only responding to it, will be broken. That would then provide the US side the opportunity to charge the DPR side with violating Minsk II.”
“The criminal fascist regime is purposefully trying to disrupt the Minsk Agreement. The bloodthirsty Kiev puppets are out to disrupt the establishment of peaceful life in the Republic, thereby showing the whole world their inability to conduct civilized negotiations. The paranoiacs in power are leading Ukraine into the abyss!”
“The President of Ukraine seeks to resume hostilities and lead a new escalation of tensions in Eastern Europe, and therefore, we appeal to the people and officers of Ukraine: sabotage the criminal orders of the UAF command, show acts of defiance, and demonstrate an absence of support for the aggressive plans of Poroshenko.”
A significant number of Ukrainian soldiers have already defected to the ‘rebels.’
On May 15th, Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State whom Obama placed in charge of policy on Ukraine (and who had masterminded the coup and selected the post-coup government), contradicted her nominal superior, Secretary of State John Kerry, and said that, despite Kerry’s warning to Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko not to violate Minsk II, Poroshenko would have America’s full backing if he were to follow through on his repeated threats to re-invade Donbass, regardless of what had been agreed to, and signed, at Minsk.
The US Congress has authorized funds for retraining Ukraine’s troops & resupplying them with weapons.
Perhaps the decision has finally now been made in the White House to resume the war at full force.
The next few days could make clear whether that is the case, or whether, instead, this is another of the many relatively minor violations of Minsk.
Poroshenko Signs Secret Military Tech Deal With Anonymous Allies
Sputnik - The head of Ukraine has signed a decree on military-technical cooperation between Ukraine and a number of countries, the list of which has not been disclosed, but rather attached as a “classified document”, according to a press service statement.
The details of the document are also being kept secret. However, control over execution of the above decree has been handed to the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov.
In April Ukraine signed a number of agreements with NATO, including a fresh memorandum on technical cooperation.
"The signing of this international agreement opens up opportunities for further collaboration of our country's & NATO's experts, to improve the legal framework for in-depth technical cooperation between Ukraine and the Alliance, as well as reflect the efforts of NATO and its member countries aimed at large-scale support for reforms of the Ukrainian security sector and defense, in accordance with decisions made during the NATO summit in Wales,"the statement reads.
"A leading role in the implementation of modern information technologies in the Ukrainian army will be played by the NATO Communications and Information Agency,"the statement emphasizes.
Dates Set for First Palestinian Congress in Two Decades
Palestinian leaders have set September 15-16 as the dates for their first congress in nearly 20 years after Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas resigned as head of the top executive body.
The meeting is to be held in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
"It has been decided to ask the Palestine National Council to convene for a session on the upcoming 15th and 16th September in Ramallah," senior Palestinian official, Azzam al-Ahmad, told AFP.
"The council's agenda includes electing a new executive committee for the PLO."
Ahmad says the congress will also discuss the stalemate in the so-called “peace” talks with the Zionist entity, among other issues.
Abbas's allies say his recent moves are part of efforts to inject new blood into the Palestinian leadership.
Critics, however, argue that Abbas is maneuvering to empower his allies and marginalize opponents ahead of the 80-year-old's eventual retirement.
Abbas's Fatah party and the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, remain deeply divided.
Abbas resigned last week as head of the PLO's Executive Committee -- to force new elections for the top body.
His resignation, along with a number of others from the 18-member committee, will only take effect, with a meeting of the PNC.
Hamas belongs to neither the PLO nor the 740- member PNC -- the top legislative body of the Palestinians -- which has not met since 1996.
Before the resignations were announced last week, the executive committee voted Erekat in, as its secretary general.
Russia Angry over NATO training centre in Georgia
Russia's Foreign Ministry expresses strong opposition to the opening of a training centre run by NATO in neighboring Georgia --- saying the measure is 'provocative'.
Speaking at a press briefing in Moscow, the ministry’s spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, saysany further enhancement of military ties between the Western military alliance and Tbilisi --- will undermine security in the entire region.
“The North Atlantic alliance’s placement of that kind of military facility in Georgia will be a serious destabilizing factor for security in the region,"she stresses.
The remarks come after NATO Sec. General, Jens Stoltenberg, inaugurated a training base in Georgia, earlier in the day, pledging that the former Soviet republic, could 'count on' its Western allies.
Stoltenberg added that the centre will ensure “NATO will be more present and more visible in Georgia,” noting that the facility will now offer Georgia, a higher chance to join the US-led military force.
Russian authorities have long opposed NATO's plan to expand its military in Europe, stating that the expansion of the Western military force into post- Soviet space, is a red line for Moscow.
NATO officials, on the other hand, assert that the training centre and close military cooperation between the military alliance &Tbilisi, are not aimed at Russia, and are 'well calibrated' not to stoke tensions in the region.
Earlier this year, Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels that troops from NATO, Georgia --- and other NATO member states --- will be training and exercising at the Tbilisi centre.
‘’NATO-Georgia relations are very strong, and they are deepening," Stoltenberg says, adding: "NATO is committed to help Georgia make its defense more modern --- and thereby enable Georgia to move closer to NATO membership."
Saudi ground forces enter northern Yemen: Military official
Saudi Arabia’s ground troops have entered Yemen’s northern territory to counter rising retaliatory attacks by Yemeni forces on Saudi soil, a military official says.
Brigadier General Ahmed Assiri, Saudi military spokesperson, says Saudi troops pushed into the northern Yemeni regions, on Wednesday, overlooking the southwestern Jizan province.
Assiri says Saudi soldiers have taken some areas 'under their control', in the invasion.
Yemeni forces have been pounding the Saudi province with artillery and missile attacks in retaliation for Riyadh's deadly aggression.
Assiri describes the invasion as a temporary military strategy -- that does not aim to take Yemeni territory.
US-Trained Syrian Mercenaries Accuse Turkey of Treason
Prensa Latina - Spokespersons for Syrian rebel groups trained by the United States in Turkey, known as Division 30, accuse the government in Ankara of treason for providing information to a rival terrorist group, Al-Nusra Front, local media reported on Thursday.
According to a report published yesterday on the US website, McClatchy DC, the abduction of the group of US-trained Syrian mercenaries was run by Turkey's intelligence services.
The US website quotes an official who has just graduated from Division 30, who asks to remain anonymous for security reasons, who states "only the US and Turkey knew about the training plans and infiltration into Syrian territory by the armed group."
"We have sources who assure us that the Turks warned the Al-Nusra Front that it would be the target of this group," the rebel noted.
The report published by McClatchy DC assures that Turkey told the terrorists about the presence of troops recently trained by the US, to prevent possible clashes with extremist groups which Ankara considers as its allies, like the Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham (Free from Levant).
Another objective of the government led by Erdogan, reports McClatchy DC, is to convince Washington to expand its training program and focus efforts on overthrowing Syria's President, Bashar al-Assad.
Two NATO Soldiers Killed in Afghan ’Insider Attack’
Men wearing Afghan military uniforms shot dead two NATO soldiers in the country's south, on Wednesday, the coalition says.
So-called "green-on-blue" attacks -- when Afghan soldiers or police turn their guns on international troops -- have been a major problem for NATO for years, when fighting alongside Afghan forces.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attack in the volatile province of Helmand.
"Two Resolute Support (NATO) service members died early this morning when 2 individuals wearing Afghan uniforms opened fire on their vehicle at an (Afghan security forces) compound in Helmand province," a NATO statement said.
"Resolute Support service members returned fire and killed the shooters," it added, not revealing the nationalities of the foreign soldiers.
Iran Proposes Dialogue with Arab Countries
Prensa Latina - Iran says it trusts using talks as a vehicle to resolve crises and differences with its Arabian neighbors --- just as Kuwait protests over oil wealth in Al-Durra.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Marziyeh Afkham, says the recent visits of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, to nations in the region, is intended to help resolve conflicts and disputes.
According to Afkham, Iran is determined to find a favorable outcome to the current differences --- recalling that terrorism has now revealed its ugly face, and requires cohesion to confront and defeat it.
"We believe that diplomacy & dialogue will be useful, to help end regional disputes," Zarif said -- and rely on neighboring Arab states to understand that they must help restore peace and security, rather than foster divisions and tensions.
"We have always called to promote good neighborly relations between the govern- ments of the region, especially those in the southern Persian Gulf", said the diplomat.
Egypt Confirms Interest in Comprehensive Cooperation with Russia
Egypt's President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi ratifies the Arab country''s interest in strengthening cooperation with Russia in all possible areas, including in fighting international terrorism.
Al-Sisi, at the Kremlin with Vladimir Putin, said Cairo perceives with great hopes the progress of bilateral relations in all sectors and fields, and 'not just the economic one.'
Al-Sisi said that the global terrorist scourge must be fought not only by force, but using economic development and social welfare.
Russia Demands Tehran’s Drone Technology, Starts Talks on Sukhoi-30 Fighter Jets
Managing-Director of the Iranian Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO), Manouchehr Manteqi, stated on Wednesday that Russia has asked to import Iranian drone technology.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran is known as an advanced country in the drone field," Manteqi said and underlined that the Russians plan to import the technology of building one of Iran's drones into their country --- but did not reveal any further details.
"We are discussing this issue now," he just said.
Earlier, on Tuesday, Tehran and Moscow started talks on the supply of Russian-made Sukhoi 30 fighter jets to Iran.
The talks were held on the sidelines of the MAKS 2015 air show in Zhukovsky, a town near Moscow during which Russian President Vladimir Putin & Iranian Vice-President for Science & Technology Sorena Sattari, were present.
Sattari told Fars News Agency. that both parties tackled issues related to purchasing Sukhoi-30 from Russia's Defense Ministry and other groups such as trade teams, would pursue the issue.
The Sukhoi Su-30 is a twin-engine, two-seat super-maneuverable fighter aircraft made by Russia's Sukhoi Aviation Corporation.
It's a multirole fighter for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions.
South Sudan President Signs Peace Deal on Wednesday
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir finally signed the peace deal and power-sharing accord to end a 20-month civil war, a spokesperson says.
Presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny, told AFP that the presidents of Kenya, Uganda and Sudan, plus Ethiopia's prime minister, "will converge on Juba tomorrow morning, for a one day summit, and the President of the Republic of South Sudan will sign the peace agreement."
The spokesperson said the government was still unhappy with the accord, drawn up by the regional bloc IGAD.
"The government has some reservations... even if the President will sign," Ateny had commented, the day before.
South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar, a former vice president, signed the deal last Monday, in line with the deadline.
Key issues of disagreement include details in the power-sharing proposal which could see Machar return as vice-president.
Ateny also said the government was unhappy over calls to demilitarize the capital Juba, give greater powers to rebels in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, and see foreigners in charge of the Monitoring & Evaluation Commission -- which will police implementation of the peace deal.
South Sudan's civil war erupted in December 2013 -- when Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of planning a coup, sparking a cycle of retaliatory killings that split the poverty- stricken, landlocked country on ethnic lines.
With widespread atrocities on both sides, the war has been characterized by ethnic massacres and rape.
At least 7 ceasefires have already been agreed then shattered in days -- if not hours -- in the world's newest country, which broke away from Sudan in 2011.
The peace proposal has been put forward by the regional eight-nation bloc IGAD, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development --- as well as the UN, the African Union, China, and the "troika" --- the US, UK, and Norway.
Russia Warns on Attempts by Western Nations for Global Hegemony
Prensa Latina - Russian Foreign Minister, Serguei Lavrov, warns now that there are western countries that want to keep their global hegemony artificially, by sanctions and military operations, in an era based on the struggle of ideas.
Talking about the end of economic and political domination by western countries, Lavrov deplores the fact that such actions break all regulations on international rights and the United Nations Charter.
"Today, the field of foreign policy interests is linked to the struggle of ideas -- which consists of the election or imposition, of models of development,"says Russia's Foreign Minister, at a forum in Vladimir.
The head of the Russian diplomacy says that the era of historic dominance of the West, comes in clear contradiction with new centres of political and economic power that have emerged in the Asia- Pacific, for example.
Lavrov said afterwards that the artificial attempts to keep hegemony make whole countries turn into areas of terrorist threat and chaos.
The Foreign Minister repeats Russia's readiness to engage in a constructive & full dialogue with its US & European partners, but says that Russia will not give up its national or external interests.
On the Ukraine crisis, he says the internal conflict in that country occurred through, among other factors, the reluctance of the West to cooperate with Russia, in creating a security system in the Euro- Atlantic space.
"The fate of the world can not be defined by a nation, or a small group of nations," emphasizes Russia's Foreign Minister.
Lavrov stresses the alliance with China -- as part of Russia's search for effective responses to world challenges & threats.
He adds that the bombing of Yugoslavia, the occupation of Iraq, chaos in Libya, and the fratricidal war in Ukraine, are demonstrating the tragic consequence of deviating from the truth and using pretense, at any cost, to invade and retain global dominance, and impose their will at the expense of the security of other states.
Two Koreas Kiss and Make Up
The North has "expressed regret" over a recent mine blast which injured two Southern soldiers and the South has agreed to halt loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts re-started to retaliate for the mine incident.
According to a joint statement announced less than an hour into Tuesday, South Korea said it would stop the loud speaker broadcast at noon the following day, and the North would end the "semi-state of war", called last week, by North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.
Palestinians hold demo in Gaza, rap UNRWA budget cut
Thousands of Palestinians, affiliated with a UN agency, have taken to the streets in the Gaza Strip -- to protest against a recent budget cut announced by the UN body.
On Monday, Palestinians working for the UN Relief & Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), staged a strike outside UNRWA's HQ in Gaza, to show anger at the budget cut and reduced UN educational programs.
According to reports, the strike was the largest in a string of protests against the UN’s decision, as over 13,000 teachers, health workers and other employees, took part.
The demonstrators called on UNRWA officials to revoke the decision, which would overcrowd the UN-sponsored classrooms and send the employees on compulsory one-year unpaid leave.
The new measures have reportedly increased the number of students in each class --- to fifty.
The protesters held banners reading "UNRWA is the only witness to the refugee catastrophe,” and...
"No to touching the right of refugees, whether students or employees," and “The right to education is recognized by all international laws and conventions.”
The strike left UN-sponsored schools closed, while the schools run by the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas, that controls the Gaza Strip, started their school year, on time.
Following the massive rally, UNRWA Spokesperson, Adnan Abu Hasna, said the agency has suspended its unpaid leave plan.
UNRWA, a UN agency established in 1949, is tasked with providing assistance and protection to a population of some five million registered Palestine refugees.
The agency, whose budget mainly relies on voluntary contributions by donors --- is currently facing a budget deficit of USD 106 million.
Last summer, Israel waged a brutal war against the besieged coastal sliver,killing 2,140 Palestinians, including 557 children.
According to a report released by the UN,at least 223 schools were also targeted in the war.
Pope Francis Repeats Call for Peace in Ukraine
Prensa Latina - Pope Francis on Sunday repeated his call for a peace process and a response to the humanitarian emergency in southeastern Ukraine, where the population is being harassed by Kiev's military actions.
In his Angelus prayers at St Peter's Square, the Holy Father calls again for compliance with the agreements signed by Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany, in Minsk, on February 12th.
The 13-item deal included a ceasefire, a withdrawal of troops & heavy artillery from the front line, the exchange of prisoners, and discussions on the status of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, among other elements.
The Pope states he is following, with concern, the deteriorating situation in southeastern Ukraine, especially over the past few weeks, Radio Vatican reports.
Russia and the self-defense groups in Donetsk and Lugansk, for their part, denounce Kiev's ceasefire violations and accuse Kiev of preparing a major offensive against the anti-coup region.
Avalanche of Immigrants Exceeds 6,000 in a Few Hours
The avalanche of immigrants to Europe in the Mediterranean Sea en route to Italy and in the Aegean Sea, to Greece, exceeded 6,000 in less than 48 hours of rescuing them from high seas.
A mission was executed in the Sicily Channel by the Coast Guard, Finance Guard (border), and the Italian Navy, in coordination with a Norwegian ship, Siem Pilot, & an Irish ship, Le Niamh (Operation Triton), as well as the UK ship, Enterprise.
The rescues started on Saturday and ended early Sunday, after help calls were received from 23 boats, including 16 pneumatic ones and seven barges, according to a report from the Italian government.
The Siem Pilot evacuated 1,000 foreigners & the Navy assisted 900 immigrants, while the Coast Guard ship, Fierillo, provided assistance to 580 foreigners, and the Finance Guard helped 500.
In addition, a boat of Doctors without Borders arrived in Calabria port, with 311 people including women, babies and children.
Al-Qaeda overruns parts of strategic Yemeni port ‘liberated’ by Saudi-led coalition
Taking advantage of a power vacuum in Yemen following months of Saudi airstrikes and battles between Houthi militias and those loyal to exiled President Hadi, Al-Qaeda fighters have reportedly managed to capture key parts of the recently “liberated” strategic seaport city of Aden.
N. Korean 'subs out for operations, artillery doubled,' talks with South resume
North Korea has doubled its artillery power and the majority of its submarines seem to be away from their bases, a South Korean military official says, as cited by the Yonhap news agency.
The announcement comes amid ongoing talks between the two sides over the border crisis.
Syrian Clans Leaders Outraged by Jordan King’s Arming Offer
Leaders of Syrian clans affirm their absolute rejection of any project that aspires to “cut off their Arab roots”, reiterating unwavering adherence to their country, state, and to the national unity of Syria.
In a statement they issue after statements by Jordan’s King Abdullah II, about arming the Syrian clans, the clan leaders say they are outraged by the King’s statement, SANA reports.
“We received with utmost surprise your statement, in which you offered to arm the Syrian tribes,” says the statement, addressing the King of Jordan.
The clan leaders lash out at Jordan’s role in facilitating the entry of terrorists into Syria, and providing them with weapons, indicating that the US project seeks to fragment all the region's countries -- especially Syria and Iraq.
Expressing regret over the role Jordan is playing in partition schemes against Syria, the clan leaders urge the King of Jordan, to oppose any harm that might be done to the Syrian people and land, especially as Syria has always sided with the Arab peoples, during tough times.
In a press conference in Damascus after delivering the statement, Sheikh Nawaf al- Milhem, chief of the Anza tribe, affirms that the loyalty of the tribes will stay staunch, and unwavering.
Asked about the possibility that some tribes- men might be receiving training in Jordan... and fighting alongside terrorists in Syria, al-Milhem stresses that Syrian clans are committed to their national line” and if some cases might be found, then they are a “few individual cases --- that represent no one but themselves.”
Commenting on the situation in Sweida province, he says that tribes there are the ones who're defending the province -- despite attempts to cast the situation there in a sectarian light.
Love is Gone: Germans Rapidly Lose Trust in NATO
Sputnik -German Research Centre, Prognosis Media, analyzed social network users views on NATO and found out that the number of Germans who negatively assess activities of the alliance, has increased by 10% over the last few months.
Dissatisfaction with NATO’s actions has risen over the last few months, the survey shows.
Analysts at Prognosis Media decided to examine the messages of social network users on recent activities by NATO in general and news about the start of major military training of NATO airborne troops, in particular.
They compared the new data with the numbers Pew Research centre obtained earlier this year. Its results show that 58% of people in Germany oppose solving a potential conflict by force.
The study revealed that the actions of NATO, including those aimed at increasing tensions in relations with Russia, are being criticized by 68% of Germans, with 32% in support of NATO's actions, including its efforts to contain Russia.
Prognosis Media analyzed over 74,000 messages of social network users, in 200 countries, on NATO’s activities, including 4,400 German-language posts.
“NATO would have nothing here in Europe to oppose Russia. The US knows it, too. Europe will be catapulted into a war, while Uncle Sam would watch it all with relish on CNN,” wrote one of the Facebook users.
“Because the Americans want to use us as cannon fodder against Russia; what is the Bundeswehr searching for in the civil war in Ukraine, what does NATO want there?” echoed another.
Thus, the study reveals that Germans have started to have a more negative takee on NATO, than a few months ago.
Russia's Lider-Class Nuclear Destroyer Project Hits Pentagon's Raw Nerve
Sputnik - Amidst the US/NATO's saber-rattling and muscle flexing in Europe, US leaders and military strategists, are still largely unnerved by Russia's consistent military modernization; Russia's new Lider-class destroyers, are, seemingly, giving the Pentagon the shivers.
The US has kicked off the biggest allied airborne military exercises in Europe since the end of the Cold War --- apparently aimed at boosting the US's confidence in its military superiority.
Still, Russia's new Lider (Leader)-class destroyers are giving US military experts the shivers, and are prompting heated debates on whether Russia can revive its military industry or not, after the USSR's collapse in the 1990s.
Yet Russia's actions, in modernizing its army, speak louder than words. In late June, Russia's Navy stated it plans to begin constructing new Lider-class destroyers in 2019, says the Navy's Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Viktor Chirkov.
These new warships will have a displacement of approx. 17,500 tons, a length of 200 meters, and a breadth of 20 meters. Equipped with 60 anti-ship cruise missiles, 128 anti-aircraft guided missiles, and 16 anti-ship guided missiles, the nuclear powered destroyers reportedly reach speeds of 30 knots --- and can stay at sea for up to 90 days, without any external support.
Experts note that the vessel will become the world's 3rd nuclear-powered destroyer after the American USS Truxtun (DLGN-35) and USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25). However, according to designers, Russia's warship will outpace its US counterparts.
"Dubbed the Lider class, the warships feature the nuclear power and armed capacity, of the massive, Soviet-era, Kirov battlecruisers."
"For reference, the 28,000 ton Kirov class has thrice the displacement of and carries roughly twice the armaments of, its nominal US Navy counterpart, the AEGIS cruiser,"US journalist Ben Hernandez notes in his article published by the National Interest.
"Cutting a distinctive silhouette, the Lider will easily outgun the largest ships in the US, or Chinese arsenals. Their nuclear power plants will allow them to sortie worldwide, limited only by food and ammunition supplies — the finest naval power projection to be found, outside of aircraft carriers,"he adds.
The Russian Navy is expected to receive twelve Lider-class destroyers, by 2025.
Predictably, this prospect is annoying US military strategists, who question Russia's ability to complete such a 'grandiose' project on time and label the warships as "budget breakers."
It's worth mentioning that in March 2015, Vasily Kashin, an expert at the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, pointed out that the Russian Navy's Lider project opens up an opportunity for Sino- Russian cooperation in creating nuclear- powered systems and naval armaments.
Operation Miracle: Over 2,728,000 Free Surgeries
Operation Miracle, an initiative created in 2005 by the then presidents, Fidel Castro (Cuba) and Hugo Chavez (Venezuela), has acheived over 2,728,000 free eye surgeries, in its first 10 years.
Granma newspaper recalls how the idea came about, on August 21, 2005, during a broadcast of an "Alo Presidente" program -- attended by both leaders -- at Bolivar Square, in Sandino municipality, Pinar del Rio province, where Venezuela's government built 150 homes for Cuban families affected by hurricanes.
Restoring sight to millions of people who, due to their low incomes, lack access to this specialized kind of medical service, is the purpose of this program.
Initially, patients were brought to Cuba, to be operated on in health centres equipped with advanced technology, but it was the so-called "Compromiso de Sandino," that extended the program to Latin American, Caribbean & African countries, to freely assist millions of people in need.
Panamanians Denounce Plans Against Ecuador and Brazil
Representatives of social movements in Panama all strongly support a statement of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) in solidarity with Ecuador and Brazil -- and also denounce 'imperial' destabilization plans now unfolding against them.
"We denounce imperialist plans of destabilization, harassment & conspiracy, to disturb progressive governments legitimately elected by their people,"says the statement.
Such demonstrations are encouraged & supported by foreign sectors & media serving the interests of the oligarchies --- like the constant attacks against Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil.
"The US is displaying all its power beyond its borders, with a strategy that is not new - but is being given more priority," says the text.
"We support that the people and governments led by Presidents Rafael Correa (Ecuador) and Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), resolve their problems & preserve peace, democracy, & the people's wellbeing,"says the document, which ends by reaffirming the need to strengthen continental unity and regional integration, to deal with the threats;''to defend human rights, sovereignty, and the free development of our peoples.''
Brazilian President Respects Commitment to Social Programs
Prensa Latina - President Dilma Rousseff ratifies her government's investment in social programs --- despite current economic difficulties.
In a speech inaugurating the first pumping station of the Integration Project of Sao Francisco River, in Cabrobo, in the state of Pernambuco, Rousseff says that although the executive is implementing cuts, social areas won't be touched.
"We are going through budget difficulties and we have to choose the fields to be affected, but no social program will be cut,"she promises.
She says her government works constantly to improve the situation of the inhabitants of the northeastern region... so they don't have to leave their land, for lack of opportunities.
She says the pumping station at Cabrobo will send water to 45 km-long pipelines leading to a reservoir, to mitigate the effects of drought.
Rousseff adds that the whole project on Sao Francisco River -- of over 600 km of canals -- will be finished in 2016, & benefit 12 million people, in 390 municipalities, of the states of Ceara, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Norte, and Paraiba.
She recalls that this project was initiated by ex president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was born in the northeast, and had to leave his land and look for work in Sao Paulo.
Yemenis bring down Saudi Apache helicopter
Yemeni forces bring down a Saudi Apache helicopter in the kingdom's southwestern Jizan region with a surface-to-air missile, Yemen's al-Masirah television network reports -- quoting a military source.
Meanwhile, on Friday, US-Saudi jets bombed across Yemen continually, killing civilians in several regions.
Brazilian Social Groups March in Defense of Democracy
Prensa Latina - Social, popular, and workers movements staged marches and rallies on Friday in Brazil's major cities: to defend the rule of law, and reject the attempted coups promoted by conservative sectors.
"These are demonstrations of support for democracy, political stability and against the fiscal adjustment measures, boosted by the government & a rightwing segment that seeks to create chaos in the country" Carina Vitral, National President of the National Union of Students (UNE), says.
"We're taking to the streets in 16 cities, along with the Brazilian Labour Union, the largest one in Brazil, the Landless Workers Movement, and the Homeless Workers Movement",she says.
Vitral says the occasion is also being used to demand the resignation of the Deputy's Chamber leader, Eduardo Cunha -- seen as one of the prime instigators in creating an atmosphere of national political instability.
The demonstrations are also a response to the August 16 protests and to discuss the government and country's direction: and work together, to find a solution, to ensure the revival and growth of the economy with a Brazilian Agenda that includes social proposals, she says.
The Unified Federation of Oil Workers (FUP) also participated in the protests, to support the fight against corruption and to rebut the opposition's attempts to remove Petrobras (Brazil's main domestic oil company) as a major actor in the pre-salt area, located in the Atlantic Ocean's deep waters.
N Korea orders troops on war footing after exchange of fire with S Korea
Reuters - N Korean leader Kim Jong Un orders troops onto a war footing from 5pm on Friday, after his government issues an ultimatum to Seoul to halt anti-N Korea propaganda broadcasts by Saturday afternoon ---- or face military action.
South Korean Vice Defence Minister, Baek Seung-joo says it's likely the North will fire at some of the 11 sites where loudspeakers are, on the South's side of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), which separates Korean land.
Tension escalated on Thursday when North Korea fired shells into South Korea to protest against the broadcasts. The South responded with its own artillery barrage. Both sides said there were no casualties or damage.
The North's shelling came after it demanded last weekend that S Korea end broadcasts or face military action - a relatively rare case of it following up on its frequent threats against the South.
Its 48-hour ultimatum to halt the broadcasts, delivered in a letter to the S Korean Defence Ministry via a joint military communications channel, was also uncharacteristically specific. The deadline is around 5pm (0400 EDT), on Saturday, in Seoul.
Baek told parliament the broadcasts will go on, until the North takes responsibility and apologizes for landmine explosions that wounded 2 S Korean soldiers along the DMZ. Pyongyang denies responsibility.
"There is a high possibility that N Korea will attack the loudspeaker facilities," Baek says.
Kim will put troops on a "fully armed state of war" from 5 pm & has declared a "quasi- state of war" in frontline areas, N Korea's official KCNA news agency reports.
There are indications the North is preparing to fire short-range missiles, the South's Yonhap news agency says, citing an unnamed source.
The North often fires rockets in the sea during annual US-South Korean military exercises, which are currently under way.
N Korea's declaration of a 'semi-state of war' is its first use of such terminology, since the North shelled a South Korean island, in 2010.
The precise nature of the latest ultimatum is a bit unusual, says John Delury, North Korea expert at Yonsei University in Seoul.
"N Korea is a constant font of generalized threats, but putting a time stamp on it is a little bit different... it puts both Seoul and Pyongyang's necks on the chopping board. Someone has to blink here," he says.
South Korea's currency and shares fell as heightened tensions add volatility to markets already hit by concerns about the global economy.
Saudi Arabia funding US TV commercials against Iran nuclear agreement: Report
Saudi Arabia is spending millions of dollars to fund tv commercials --- against the Iran nuclear agreement, a new report reveals.
A newly established group, called the “American Security Initiative”, is flooding tv stations across the US with $6 million of advertisements asking Americans to call their senators to oppose the Vienna nuclear accord, The Intercept, an online news magazine, reports on Friday.
The Intercept report says the “American Security Initiative” is owned by former Republican Senator Norm Coleman, who is a registered lobbyist for Riyadh.
Coleman’s firm, Hogan Lovells, works for Saudi Arabia. He describes his work as... “providing legal services to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia” on issues like: “legal and policy developments involving Iran and limiting Iranian nuclear capability.”
The Republican-controlled Congress is reviewing the Iran nuclear accord and is likely to vote on it, in September.
Republicans opposing the agreement with Iran need a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress to override any possible presidential veto, and to reach that threshold, Republicans need the Democrats, to support them.
Israel's lobbying groups in the US, like AIPAC, are already engaged in a mass effort to sink the deal in Congress.
Last month, AIPAC launched a group, “Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran,” to convince members of Congress to reject the conclusion of nuclear talks reached between Iran and the P5+1, in Vienna, on July 14.
The group has raised at least $25 million which is being spent on tv commercials to spread negative propaganda against the agreement.
According to reports, AIPAC, and other pro-Israel groups, such as the Zionist Organization of America & Emergency Committee for Israel... plus some rich Jewish businessmen, eg Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, have committed about $100 million to sabotage the Iran nuclear accord.
Alexis Tsipras announces his cabinet's resignation
Greece's entire cabinet of ministers - led by Alexis Tsipras - is resigning, the PM says, in a televised address to the nation on Thursday night...
"Right after this address, I'm going to submit a request on my personal resignation, and the resignation of the entire cabinet, to the president of the country."
Ukraine parliament to decide on decentralization in a session on Aug 27th or 31st — Poroshenko
"Decentralization of power & delegation of authority to local governments, will be the key issue at the extraordinary session,"Poroshenko says
TASS -Ukraine’s parliament will convene an extraordinary session by the end of this month -- to discuss the decentralisation of power issue, Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, tells journalists on Thursday.
"Decentralization of power and delegation of authority to local governments, will be 'key issue' at the extraordinary session," Poroshenko says, adding that discussions will also focus on lifting parliamentary & judicial immunity, & judicial amendments to the country’s constitution.
The president expresses confidence that the Verkhovna Rada will support these proposed constitutional changes.
The exact date for the session will be decided by lawmakers, Poroshenko says, noting that this could be August 27 or 31.
In draft amendments introduced on July 1st, a provision that the status of certain areas in Donbas is defined by a special law, was included in the transitional articles of the bill on amendments.
Poroshenko revised and submitted a bill to parliament on July 15th, to confirm in its main text special status for Donbass region. The updated draft was published on the Ukrainian parliament’s website.
The updated version puts this provision in transitional articles of the constitution.
Constitutional reform is an important part of the February 12 comprehensive action plan to fulfil the Minsk accords, worked out by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, in the search for peace in the eastern Donbass region.
A key element of the reform is a decentralization of government: with respect to the peculiarities of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, agreed by their representatives; plus, adopting permanent legislation on special status for certain Donbas areas.
Militia says Kiev forces' troops in Donbas are built up to 90,000
The troops are concentrated in four sectors - Mariupol, Donetsk, Debaltsevo, and Luhansk
On Thursday, August 20th the pro-Kiev armed units in eastern Ukraine totaled 90,000 men and officers, 450 tanks, 203 salvo artillery units & five Tochka-U missile complexes,Eduard Basurin, a top official at the Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, tells Donetsk News Agency.
The troops are concentrated in four sectors - Mariupol, Donetsk, Debaltsevo, and Luhansk.
"A total of 5 separate mechanized brigades, 2 separate tank brigades, and an air mobile brigade, an artillery brigade, and a salvo system brigade, have been deployed to advance to Mariupol,"Basurin says.
"All in all, this grouping has 22,500 men and officers, over 130 tanks, over 560 armored cars, 55 salvo artillery units, about 200 artillery guns and mortars, and about 720 antitank weapons."
According to data available to the Defense Ministry, pro-Kiev forces have concentrated 13 brigades one tank brigade, one air mobile, one artillery, one salvo system brigade and 2 air mobile brigades, in the Donetsk sector.
A brigade equipped with Tochka-U tactical missiles, has also been deployed there.
As many as 5 separate mechanized brigades, one tank brigade, 3 artillery brigades, and one salvo system brigade, are currently located in the Debaltsevo sector. This grouping has up to 19,500 men and officers, about 70 tanks, 45 salvo artillery systems, and about 230 artillery guns and mortars.
A grouping of 4 separate mechanized brigades, 2 artillery brigades and a salvo artillery system brigade is poised to advance towards Lugansk.
It has a combined 18,000-strong manpower... about 60 tanks, 530 infantry combat vehicles and/or armored personnel carriers, 30 multiple- launch systems, close to 230 artillery guns & mortars and more than a thousand 'antimech' weapons, Basurin says.
Reconnaissance data available to DPR defense officials suggests the Ukrainian Army commanders, have a considerable reserve of forces consisting of two tank, four air mobile, three artillery brigades, one airborne, and one salvo artillery system brigade.
Ukraine’s Donetsk republic says it has information on plan to encircle Donetsk
Kiev plans to deliver two converging blows in the direction of the settlement of Uspenka to defeat the DPR and advance to the border with Russia
TASS - The Defense Ministry of Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), has information that Ukraine's armed forces are preparing an offensive in the Donetsk Region in east Ukraine, their spokes- person, Eduard Basurin, states, on Thursday.
"Information has been received about the plan of forthcoming actions by the Ukrainian army, from a source in the Ukrainian General Staff, and, no matter how strange this may seem, there are still true officers there who do not want to fight against their own people," Basurin says, at a briefing in the press centre of the Donetsk News Agency.
According to Basurin, Ukraine's military will launch an offensive in the direction of Mariupol and Debaltsevo, after first "artillery shelling the DPR’s positions."
"Kiev plans to deliver two converging blows in the direction of Uspenka settlement, to defeat the DPR and advance to the border with Russia --- and subsequently prevent civilians from reaching Russian territory," Basurin says.
"Along with this, two groups intend launching offensives in Donetsk's direction - north and south of Donetsk - towards Ilovaisk: close the circle around the republic’s capital, and thus encircle the city,"the spokesperson says.
In Luhansk's direction, Kiev’s forces plan two separate combat operations against Luhansk People’s Republic's militia --- to prevent their redeployment to provide support to the DPR, the spokesperson says.
"Later, active offensive operations will be launched in Luhansk's direction, with the aim of advancing to the borders of Russia," Basurin says.
According to DPR's Defense Ministry, Kiev hopes this blitzkrieg will help it to crush the militias, and destroy the Donbass republics.
"At the same time, it would be nice to remind these ‘wise guys’ in Ukraine's General Staff, that attempts to carry out such ‘Napoleonic plans’, were made before: but they ended in the encirclement of the Ukraine troops near Izvarino & Ilovaisk --- where a great number of Ukrainian soldiers died,"the spokesperson says.
Costa Rica Hosts Cooperation Forum between Latin America and Asia
Prensa Latina -Costa Rica is hosting the Forum for E. Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC), an event gathering representatives of the 36 nations that make up the organization.
The 7th Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs will develop on the third day, after two days of talks by specialists. According to organizers, the opening is to be chaired by the president of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís.
Costa Rican Foreign Minister, Manuel González, emphasizes that this is the only meeting forum between East Asia and Latin America.
The Development Bank for Latin America, the World Bank, International Finance Corporation and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, are some of the institutions that will participate in the meeting.
The Foreign Minister of Costa Rica, Manuel González, recalls that this is the first time the forum is being organized in a Central American country, which is a reason for Costa Rica to be proud, he says.
The Cooperation Forum, established in 1999 by Chile, is made up of 20 countries in Latin America, and 16 from Asia.
UN: Scale of human suffering in Yemen, incomprehensible:
The United Nations strongly condemns Saudi Arabia for bombing Yemen's port city of Hudaydah, a lifeline for imports of food, medicine, and fuel.
“These attacks are in clear contravention of international humanitarian law and are unacceptable,”UN Under-Sec-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O'Brien, said to the Security Council, on Wednesday.
O'Brien said that he's extremely concerned that the damage inflicted by Saudi airstrikes on this city could have “a severe impact” on the whole country, making the humanitarian crisis much worse.
“The scale of human suffering is almost incomprehensible. I was shocked by what I saw,” O'Brien stated, adding that the attacks are unacceptable, as they clearly violate international humanitarian law.
He called for a political solution to quell the violence and warned that launching peace talks is "critical" for resolving the crisis... “before it's too late. Otherwise, there will be nothing left to fight for.”
The Saudi air raids on Hudaydah have completely burnt warehouses used to keep humanitarian aid supplies.
Lorries and cranes have also been destroyed in the strikes.
The Executive director of the World Food Program is also warning of a growing humanitarian crisis.
Germany and France Will Press Poroshenko in Berlin
Prensa Latina -The leaders of Germany & France, will put pressure on Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, during the meeting to be held in Berlin on Monday, in the interest of the Minsk agreements, reports Russia's news media.
French President Francois Hollande & German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be discussing, with Poroshenko, the deteriorating situation in Donbass, French chief diplomat, Laurent Fabiuis, says, according to TASS.
"I expect that Monday's meeting enables progress on two points: the withdrawal of armaments, and the ceasefire", says the French Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Fabius reiterates to reporters his hope that the proposals agreed in Minsk, to cease hostilities & begin negotiations, are met "by December".
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicates that Kiev's bellicose rhetoric causes serious concerns.
Despite the ceasefire regime declared within the Minsk understandings, the Ukraine army, is now increasing the intensity of artillery shelling against the anti-US coup rebel territories.
The Foreign Ministry notes that, as a result of these attacks, civilians continue to die and suffer wounds of varying severity... as housing & social infrastructure is wrecked.
The document states that the districts of Donetsk, the airport of the city, as well as Spartak, Gorlovka, Debaltsevo, and other towns, are suffering the heaviest shelling.
The bellicose rhetoric coming from Ukraine - stimulated by some of its foreign patrons - causes great concern, and clearly testifies to Kiev's intention to prepare public opinion for yet another attempt to resolve the crisis by force, adds the Russian statement.
If these circumstances arise, those responsible for negative consequences as a result of such provocative actions, will be the current Ukraine authorities, warns the ministerial web.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on Kiev, to halt the escalation of tensions, and honour the agreements approved in Minsk: to seek a solution to the crisis -- in direct dialogue with representatives of the DPR and LPR.
Referendum call on 'New Turkey'
Prensa Latina -Co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples'' Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtas, calls now for a referendum on the proposal for Turkey to adopt a presidential system, suggested by the President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
According to Hurriyet newspaper, he criticizes the leader's intention to alter the constitution, and move from a parliamentary system, to one that would enhance his powers.
The leftist leader's statements come, after Erdogan said last week that the government system in Turkey has already changed, and that it is now only necessary to adopt the legal framework.
Demirtas says this kind of decision can only be made, by Turkish citizens.
The system change was a fundamental element in the election program of the Justice and Development (AK) Party.
If they had gained an absolute majority, the AKP & Erdogan, would have carried out their project of a "New Turkey" with- out the need to call for a referendum...
US expands support role in Saudi war on Yemen: Report
The United States has more than doubled the number of its military staff “providing intelligence, munitions & midair refueling” for Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes on Yemen.
The number of so-called American advisors working at joint military operations centres in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, has risen from 20 to 45, The Los Angeles Times reports.
In addition, US warships have also helped enforce the naval blockade in the Gulf of Aden, and in the southern Arabian Sea.
US officials stress that the sea cordon is intended to prevent weapons shipments to Ansarullah fighters.
However, human rights groups say the blockade has hindered imports of basic commodities, including food and fuel, to the impoverished nation.
The humanitarian situation is critical in Yemen, with many international aid organizations seek- ing a safe passage into the country, to supply medical and humanitarian supplies to the most affected people.
Human rights group Amnesty International said in a report that the Saudi airstrikes have mostly pounded populated areas, with no identifiable military targets nearby, leaving a "bloody trail of civilian death."
The onslaught has claimed more than 4,300 lives and forced more than 1.3 million others from their homes since March, according to UN agencies.
Russia calls on Kiev to establish direct talks with Donetsk and Luhansk - diplomat
TASS -Kiev should establish a direct dialogue with the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk & Luhansk for a sustainable de-escalation of tensions. It is also necessary to achieve progress in implementing the Minsk political agreements, Pyotr Ilyichev, Russian Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations told a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday.
The diplomat said active & fruitful dialogue is needed within the Contact Group, and its working groups, with an aim to implement the February 12 package of measures to implement the Minsk agreements, which have been muddling through of late," Ilyichev said.
"It is obvious that without progress in implementing the Minsk political agreements & the establishment of Kiev’s direct dialogue with Donetsk and Luhansk, it is going to be impossible to move towards a final settlement --- and achieve stable de-escalation," Ilyichev told the UN Security Council meeting.
On the whole, Ilyichev assessed positively, efforts of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), to contribute to the Ukraine settlement. He also praised the work of the OSCE's SMM to Ukraine, that controls the situation on the ground.
On Monday, August 17th, UN Sec-General Ban Ki-moon, voiced his concern over the recent aggravation of tensions in eastern Ukraine -- and urged all the sides to take urgent steps to de-escalate the conflict.
He also said it was 'impossible' to violate the ceasefire regime and called on all the conflict's sides to continue dialogue, and strictly follow the letter and spirit of the Minsk agreements.
The situation has aggravated recently. Shelling has intensified and victims among civilians have reappeared again. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) & the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) have said often, that the truce observance depends entirely on the Ukraine side.
The recent increase in Ukraine’s military activities may be explained by attempts of Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko to take revenge, with US support, for the past military failures in combat operations against the LPR and DPR. However, such actions may disrupt the peace agreements -- and lead to the resumption of war, in southeastern Ukraine.
Syria army in final drive for full control over Zabadani
Syrian forces & fighters of the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, have inched closer to pockets of militants in the border town of Zabadani, with some reports suggesting they are hours from declaring the strategic area, as safe.
The Arabic-language al-Alam said Tuesday that their allied forces managed to retake two key neighborhoods from the militants in western parts of Zabadani, a town 50 kilometers (31 miles) northwest of the capital, Damascus.
The report said Syrian forces & Hezbollah fighters seized full control of al-Zahra, and Harrah al-Gharbiah, forcing the militants to either surrender --- or flee to the plains outside Zabadani.
Scores of militants from the al-Qaeda-backed Nusra Front, and the terrorist group calling itself Ahrar al-Sham, were killed during the offensive. Other reports said five members of Ahrar al-Sham also surrendered to the Syrian soldiers.
Hezbollah’s official TV al-Manar says, however, that allied forces have taken control of almost all of Zabadani, saying that they are "hours" from declaring the town safe. Manar says the liberation of al-Zahra and Harrah was the most difficult part of the battle for Zabadani, as the neighborhoods were impenetrable due, to their compact civilian architecture and narrow alleys.
Manar also says only 2.5 square kilometers from Zabadani remain under the control of militants.
Lebanon’s al-Ahd news website also quotes Walid Sakariya, senior pro-Hezbollah law- maker in Lebanon's parliament, as saying: Zabadani is “technically recaptured” and that, from the military point of view, Syria & Hezbollah forces, are in control of the town.
A highly strategic town in Syria’s Rif Dimashq Province, Zabadani has been a major stronghold of militant groups. Control over the town would entirely cut off supply lines used by the militants for transferring ammunition and forces into areas near Damascus, while it also secures the highway connecting the Syrian capital to Beirut in Lebanon.
Elsewhere in Syria, government forces managed to wrest back control of four key villages in Sahl al-Ghab region, in the central Hama Province.
Hezbollah forces and other volunteer fighters also contributed to the offensive, which saw Naqus, Ziyara, Tal Waset, and Mansura freed from occupation by anti-government militants.
Syrian media said on Monday, that the government forces were also preparing for a large offensive in Sahl al-Ghab.
A large plain bordering Latakia, Sahl al-Ghab has been a main target of the militant attacks in past months, with an alliance of militants calling itself the Army of Conquest trying to capture Jureen region, a strategic bastion of the government forces in the plains.
The Arabic-language daily al-Watan, says an operation dubbed “The Earthquake” is underway, to “dispel the terrorists' dreams of controlling this vital and strategic area.”
Some 67,000 Britons Demand Arrest of Netanyahu in London
Prensa Latina -Nearly 67,000 Britons have signed a petition -- demanding the arrest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes when he visits London in September.
If 100,000 signatures are gathered, it will be presented to be debated in the House of Commons, after a petition committee is formed.
Netanyahu is accused of committing war crimes, that caused the deaths of some 2,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip when they were bombed in the summer of 2014.
The petition appeals to Universal Jurisdiction, amended by Cameron, to avoid trials against figures like Anthony Blair of the Labour Party -- who is accused of allowing crimes against humanity to be committed by the UK's army in Iraq.
The text of the demand presented by jurists considers that Netanyahu's crimes were committed with the complicity of the governments of Germany, the US, France, and the UK itself.
Michel Chossudovsky, of the War Crimes Court of Kuala Lumpur, is one signer of the petition to try Netanyahu, but a UK spokesperson from the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, says that the Israeli head of Government enjoys immunity, and can not be arrested.
China to take over strategic US military base in Djibouti
The tiny African state of Djibouti has reportedly ordered the US to vacate its secondary Obock military base in the nation, in a bid to turn the installation over to the Chinese military and a contingent of 10,000 Chinese troops.
This is raising major concerns in the US, which has its largest US military base in Africa, in Djibouti --- Camp Lemonnier.
"The announcement, made the day after US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Djibouti last May, is deeply worrying for Pax Americana, for it comes on top of a major package of economic investments by China, that has Djiboutian President Guelleh openly talking about the importance of his new friends from Asia," the US-based magazine, CounterPunch, says, in an article.
The report says that the US is about to lose one of its military bases in Djibouti - home to the US’s largest permanent military installation in Africa - that has 4,000 US troops and US assassination drones, which bomb regional Muslim countries, as part of Washington's official targeted killing program.
The Horn of Africa nation is strategically located at a critical entrance from the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea; is a gate- way to the Suez Canal waterway; and provides a port for landlocked Ethiopia.
The report further points out that the US Defense Department pays Djibouti nearly $63 million per year for the use of Camp Lemonnier military base, that serves as one of the world's largest drone bases.
China, the report adds, has offered Djibouti a far more generous offer - the completion of a $3-billion railroad project -- from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, to Djibouti.
"[Beijing] is also investing $400 million in modernizing Djibouti's notoriously under- sized port," CounterPunch adds.
According to the article & recent press reports in the West, a Chinese military presence in Djibouti, has introduced -- among other possibilities -- a prospect of US schemes to organize a ‘regime- change’ effort in the African nation... on the pretext of democratic change.
The UK's Daily Telegraph quotes a “senior US official” as saying there are fears that, if President Guelleh gets too close to China he may be tempted to impose restrictions on US access to the base, which would seriously affect the West’s attempts to collect intelligence on Islamic State (Daesh) and al-Qaeda.”
Pointing to a potential US scheme to plan regime-change operations in Djibouti, the UK daily adds, “American diplomats are also resisting attempts by Mr Guelleh to stand for re-election next year, which, they argue, is unconstitutional.
Mr Guelleh has been in power since 1999, & by law should stand down. If he does so then Washington hopes a more reasonable leader will be elected --- one more aligned to the Pentagon's interests.”
Muftis gather in Egypt in bid to counter 'extremist fatwas'
Senior Muslim scholars have convened in Egypt's capital, Cairo, to address the “extremist fatwas” issued by terrorist groups, especially the Takfiri Daesh.
Muftis, who are considered to be official interpreters of Islamic law in their states, - and Islamic clerics from Arab countries - gathered in Cairo on Monday, to attend the Fatwa International Conference, on ways to counter a dramatic rise in the number of extremist fatwas issued by terrorist groups.
“The goal of this conference is to unite the message of muftis, in light of the challenges faced by the region and the world in the shape of extremist fatwas, and groups that speak in the name of religion,"says Ibrahim Negm -- adviser to Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam, Egypt's grand mufti, who delivered a speech at the opening session.
Negm adds that the establishment of a general secretariat for muftis, and centres to monitor and refute extremist fatwas --- plus offering training to aspiring muftis --- could be decided at the 2-day conference.
The adviser says participants in this conference, also aim at “creating a new strategy for Muslim communities in the West, to confront extremist thought.”
Ahmed Muhammad Ahmed el-Tayeb, head of the prestigious Cairo-based Islamic al-Azhar institution, urged strict measures against extremist edicts...
“You do not need to be reminded that leniency (in dealing) with fatwas that excommunicate” Muslims......... has resulted in "murder and bloodshed,” al-Azhar's grand imam told the hall.
The conference in Cairo is being held as the Takfiri Daesh group, operating mainly in Iraq, Syria, Egypt & Libya, has been committing such crimes as immolations, rapes, slavery and executions, against all ethnic and religious groups -- including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians & others.
Europe's German-Speaking States to Wade In on Ukraine Crisis Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein will work closer together to end the crisis in east Ukraine, media reports say, on Monday.
A four-point joint declaration made by the foreign ministers of the four countries, underscores “the German-speaking nations’ shared desire to work closer together within the OSCE framework” including in the search for “a negotiated end to the crisis in Ukraine.”
The ministers also say, the OSCE will be more actively promoting economic ties between its member-states & participating in discussions on a new security architecture for Europe.
Saudi Arabia Constructs Naval Base on Yemeni Island After Its Occupation
Saudi Arabia is building a major naval base on the Yemeni island of Socotra, which it invaded and occupied recently, in the military conflict between the countries, FNA reports.
"Hundreds of workers from Asian countries have been deployed by the Saudi navy, to construct the kingdom's naval base on the island," FNA writes, citing the Arabic-language Al-Ittihad news’ website.
Socotra Archipelago is about 400 km from Yemen's mainland in the Indian Ocean, and has four islands.
Its largest island, also called Socotra, is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Russia delivers six Mikoyan MiG-31 fighter jets to Syria: Report
Russia has delivered six Mikoyan MiG-31 fighter jets to Syria in a bid to help the Arab country in its battle against Takfiri terrorists, a report says.
Turkey's English-language website BGN News, says the supersonic interceptor aircraft were shipped to Damascus, under a contract inked between the two sides, in 2007.
The contract obligates Moscow to deliver 2 more jets to the terrorist wrecked country, the report adds.
Rosoboronexport, Russia's intermediary agency for exports/imports of defense-related products, refused to confirm or deny the report.
The Turkish website says the delivery is part of Russia’s plan to boost the military capabilities of those at the forefront of the fight against Takfiri terrorism in the region.
Back in 2014, Moscow also provided Baghdad with Mi-28 attack helicopters, to help the Arab country’s military against Daesh militants.
ISIL terrorist group, with backing by many Western and regional states, started its campaign of terror in Syria, in 2012.
The militants, who currently control areas across Syria and in northern and western Iraq, are carrying out vile acts of violence on Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians... terrorising Syrian and Iraqi civilians.
This Means War? US Special Forces Prepare Ukraine's Army for Warfare
Sputnik - Donbass is on the threshold of a renewal of full-scale war, as Kiev violates every item of the Minsk ceasefire protocol on a daily basis, bombing both residential and public areas in the east of Ukraine, says Stephen Lendman, US journalist.
Special troops from the US and the UK are actively preparing Ukrainian forces for the escalation of conflict in Donbass region, Lendman writes in his column.
Eduard Basurin, spokesperson for Donetsk People’s Republic, says that Kiev's military attacked the territory of DPR, using tanks and heavy armaments, in violation of the Minsk agreements, on August 10th.
“They knew we had lived up to our commitment to withdraw all heavy weapons, including with a caliber of under 100mm, and decided to take advantage of the situation to move deep into the DPR’s territory,”Basurin says, as quoted by CounterPunch.
The ceasefire agreement has never been observed since its establishment in February and “dozens of shellings” occur in Donbass every day, Lendman says, citing LPR’s special envoy Vladislav Deinego.
“Obama wants war, not peace – using Kiev proxies to do his dirty work,” Lendman writes.
According to Deinego, peace was never the aim for Kiev, as well. Despite a collapse in Ukraine’s economy, the state authorities reserved another $250 million to expand military might in Donbass. And, at the same time, the country badly lacks money for “constructive purposes,” he adds.
Meanwhile, UK 'Defence' Secretary, Michael Fallon, announces that the UK will train twice as many soldiers for the Ukraine army, by the end of 2015. So far, UK trainers have prepared over 1,000 Ukrainian troops for active warfare.
With help from the US & UK in preparing its military forces... Kiev may start a full-scale aggression any day now, he concludes.
US-trained militant group in Syria, calls al-Qaeda terrorist members ‘brothers’
A group of militants that receives training from the US military to fight the Syrian government, is now calling al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front terrorists, “brothers.”
In a statement on social media, the US-backed group -- which goes by the name 'Division 30,' -- states that its rival al-Nusra Front has released 7 of its members, whom the al-Qaeda-affiliated group kidnapped in northern Syria, during fighting in July.
The group says in its statement:
"Seven Division 30 fighters who were being held by the brothers in al-Nusra Front have been freed. We welcome this noble initiative and urge the brothers of Al-Nusra and hope that they will release in the coming hours, the group’s commander and other fighters."
This Friday statement by “Division 30” comes, despite the US military, earlier, refuting reports that any members of the group had been killed or abducted.
The US Defense Department spokesperson, Commander Elisa Smith: "I can confirm that there've been no New Syrian Force personnel captured or detained."
'New Syrian Force' is the term Washington uses to describe Syria-based militants vetted by the US, to (purportedly) exclude radical elements. The force has passed a military training course offered by US troops.
Reports say at least 54 members of Division 30 slipped into Syria in mid-July, equipped with 30 US-made all-terrain vehicles, loaded with arms and ammunition.
Resistance axis must block US influence in region: Iran official
Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, says that the main duty of the resistance axis in the region, is to block the influence of the US --- warning of US plots to sow discord among Muslim countries.
The Iranian official says on Sunday, that the duty of the resistance axis -- including countries such as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine -- “is not only to fight against foreigners' dominance in their countries,” but also to cut the influence of the US in the region.
Velayati also states that Washington’s plot is to instigate conflict among different groups & sects in Muslim countries, & he calls for a united front against this plot.
He further notes that mercenaries are currently fighting in Muslim countries, to materialize US goals, adding that people in Iraq, Syria and the other Muslim countries, will stand against those mercenaries.
Velayati says the hegemonic powers’ dream of splitting Muslim countries, particularly Iraq and Syria, will never come true.
He says the US failed in its military aggression against both Afghanistan and Iraq, adding that the US and its allies now plan to partition Syria.
“Syria is the golden ring of resistance against the Zionists,” the Iranian official says, adding that the US and its allies have not succeeded in achieving their goals in the Arab country, because of the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad & the resistance of the Syrian nation.
The conflict in Syria has claimed over 240,000 lives since March 2011.
The Iranian official also refers to developments in Yemen, emphasizing that the US & its allies plan to divide that impoverished Arab country, as well.
Velayati censures the 'world community' for keeping silent about the killing of Yemen's people in mass airstrikes by Saudi Arabia, which started in March 26 – without a UN mandate – in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and restore power to a fugitive ex-Yemeni president, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who is an ally of Riyadh.
The UN says the conflict in Yemen has killed 4,000+ people - nearly half of them civilians - since late March 2015. Local Yemeni sources, however, say fatality figures are much higher.
Yemen Turned into 'Holocaust' for UAE Tanks, Soldiers
The Yemeni army and Popular Committee units have destroyed - over the last 3 days - several LeClerc-type tanks used by invading Emirati forces, by firing Russia-made Kornet missiles, an Al-Manar correspondent reports.
Military sources tell Al-Manar reporters that this "major Emirati holocaust" took place in Karsh and Al-Mseimir regions, in the south- eastern province of Lahj.
Another massacre of UAE tanks occurred in Al-Nasr camp in Khor-Maksar region of Aden city, and on Al-Alam road, located between Aden and Abyan provinces in the south, as well as inside Abyan city.
LeClerc is a French-made main battle tank known as AMX-56 LeClerc, and the UAE is dependent on it, for its attacks on Yemen.
The sources also reveal that the losses of Emirati forces during the last 72 hours are over 32 armored vehicles, 14 tanks and 23 military vehicles, in addition to the 38 soldiers and 8 officers killed.
Al-Manar Website states that the UAE is claiming only half of the casualties.
"Special operations units of the army & the Committees, work within units behind the lines of deployment of the Emirati invading forces in the cities of Aden, Abyan & Lahj," the sources say.
"Major surprises are coming soon, and will be earth-shattering... The enemy will only enjoy a defeat that will rupture his army," the sources in the Yemeni military forces vow.
Obama blocks release of Gitmo inmate facing imminent death
Obama's administration has called on a federal judge not to allow the release of a Guantanamo prisoner who has been on hunger strike for more than eight years.
The lawyers of Yemeni prisoner Tariq Ba Odah has described their client’s health as alarming, saying he is at risk of imminent death.
However, Justice Department lawyers have blocked the immediate release of Ba Odah in a sealed court filing delivered to a court in Washington, just ahead of a deadline.
The lawyers of the 36-year-old inmate, who weighs just 74 lbs (33.5 kg), argue that the decision by the Justice Department shows that President Barack Obama is not able to control growing splits in his administration and cannot achieve his goal of shutting down the Guantanamo Bay prison, before 2017, when he leaves office.
Ba Odah has been in jail with no charge --- suspected of being an affiliate of al- Qaeda since January 2002. Although he's cleared to be transferred back to Yemen... no prisoners are being sent to the country because of 'instability'.
Ba Odah's defense attorney, Omar Farah, says the sealed filing reflects the Obama White House's inability to make coherent approaches, to transfer Ba Odah and 51 other detainees, now cleared for release.
"It is a transparent attempt to hide the fact that Obama's administration’s interagency process for closing Guantanamo... is an incoherent mess," says Omar Farah, Ba Odah's defense attorney.
"And it is plainly intended to conceal the inconsistency between the administration’s stated intention to close Guantanamo and the steps taken to transfer cleared men," adds Farah, an attorney with the Centre for Constitutional Rights.
Ba Odah has been protesting against his i ndefinite confinement since February 2007 and has been force-fed liquid nutrients to prevent his death.
"All the president has to decide is whether to exercise his discretion not to contest the motion and release Mr. Ba Odah, so that he does not die," Fara says.
The Obama administration hopes to "short circuit" any opposition from Republicans in Congress, who have blocked Obama from closing the prison.
On July 22, White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, said Washington had slowly been sending Guantanamo prisoners back to their native countries or to third nations, and may have to transfer some to the US if the facility is to close.
But the transfer of detainees to the US is opposed by Republicans in Congress, and some US lawmakers have tried to halt all transfers out of Guantanamo, saying the releases could lead to more attacks.
The US military prison was set up by the Pentagon after the September 11, 2001, attacks to hold suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees. Many of the inmates there have gone on hunger strikes to protest their conditions at the prison.
Russia pledges to veto anti-Iran UN sanctions resolutions
As the US Senate looks set to vote against any deal with Iran and talks only of war... Russia now pledges to block all future attempts at the UN, to hit Iran with fresh sanctions.
"When Resolution 1929, the last series of sanctions resolutions, was adopted, we made it clear behind closed doors --- to our US and EU colleagues --- that Russia will not let another sanctions resolution against Iran be passed," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, states.
Res. 1929 was approved by the Security Council in June 2010 --- banning the supply of conventional weapons to Iran. It resulted in the suspension of Russia’s contract with Iran... on delivery of Russian S-300 missile defense systems to the Islamic Republic.
Ryabkov also says Moscow expects that the anti-Iran sanctions will be lifted “as soon as possible” following the recent conclusion of nuclear talks between Iran & the P5+1 group.
Iran & the P5+1 -- the US, UK, France, China and Russia plus Germany -- reached a deal dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in Vienna, on July 14th.
Under the JCPOA, limits are put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans against Tehran.
Ryabkov also notes that a decision to deliver the S-300 systems to Iran has been made... and "technicalities" of the process, are under consideration:
"Concerning S-300, a decision permitting the delivery of such systems to Iran, has been made by the Russian president and Federation Council, and technicalities of this process are now being considered," he says.
On April 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree paving the way for the long-overdue delivery of the missile defense system to Iran.
Vladimir Kozhin, Putin’s aide on military and technical cooperation, said on July 30 that the S-300 systems are to be modernized before being delivered to Iran -- given that the original contract was struck in 2007.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ryabkov says Moscow is satisfied with the terms of the JCPOA.
"I am prepared to explain and give reasons in favor of why we are so confident about it," he states.
Kurds say IS attacked them with chemical weapons
Kurdish authorities in Iraq say they believe their Peshmerga forces have been attacked with chemical weapons, possibly chlorine gas, by Islamic State (IS) militants.
Kurdistan Region's Security Council says it is investigating multiple attacks by IS on its Peshmerga positions, such as in Makhmour, southwest of Erbil, capital of the autonomous Kurdish region, earlier in the week.
It is the third report of suspected chemical weapons use on the Iraqi battlefield in 2015.
"Initial reporting indicates chemical agents were fired in the form of projectiles, possibly mortar rounds," the council states. "Several Peshmerga officers were treated for dizziness, vomiting and general weakness, while some are receiving treatment for burns."
Chlorine's weapon use is prohibited under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention. If inhaled, chlorine gas turns to hydrochloric acid, & can kill by inflaming victims' lungs.
Kiev used phosphorous bombs in east: Russian investigation
Russia’s main federal investigating authority states there is evidence demonstrating that the Ukraine armed forces have used modern analogues of phosphorous bombs, against civilians, in Ukraine’s eastern provinces.
“We have received irrefutable evidence of the use by the Kiev forces of weaponry similar to phosphorus bombs,” Vladimir Markin, spokes- person of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, tells Rossiya 24 TV.
Markin says the findings are based on the chemical analysis of soil samples provided by witnesses, in Ukraine’s affected areas.
“The refugees bring in fragments of bombs and artillery shells, which maim and kill their loved ones. We've conducted over a hundred tests, which all attest to [the war crimes committed by the Ukrainian military],” he adds.
The Ukrainian army has not commented on this report yet.
The Geneva Conventions forbid any use of white phosphorus as an incendiary weapon against civilians & in airstrikes targeting military forces in civilian areas.
Last month, the committee also launched 54 cases against Ukraine political figures, military commanders and activists over war crimes committed in Ukraine’s east in the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.
UK MEDIA PANTS ON FIRE
The UK media have excelled themselves today, trumpeting 'Putin's missile' as the cause of the MH17 aireliner crash...
What the DSB said was that:“several parts, possibly originating from a Buk surface-air- missile-system… have been secured during a previous recovery-mission in Eastern Ukraine and are in [the] possession of the criminal investigation team [responsible for] MH17 and the Dutch Safety Board.”
In a clear attempt to head off misinterpretation of their statement, the DSB added: “At present the conclusion cannot be drawn that there is a causal connection between the discovered parts and the crash of flight MH17.”
The UK media, eh? They'll let nothing get in the way of a libel.
Russian Humanitarian Convoy Crosses Border Towards Donbass
A convoy of over 100 lorries of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations crosses the border into Ukraine on Friday with more humanitarian aid for the people of Donbass.
According to ministry sources, the convoy went smoothly through customs controls at the border points of 'Donetsk' and 'Matveev Kurgan', in the southern region of Rostov.
The 35th humanitarian convoy since August 2014, transports food & medicine, basically, for Donetsk and Lugansk. The shipment was made of donations from social organizations & unions in many Russian Federation regions.
Once in Ukrainian territory, the convoy was divided into two columns, and each headed separately to the Donetsk territories, says the civil defense organisation there.
Since access of aid was 'allowed' in mid- August 2014, within the bombings, and a deteriorating humanitarian situation, the Russian Ministry has transported to the regions of Ukraine's southeast --- blockaded by Kiev --- over 42,000 tons of basic products.
Warnings of Possible Russia-US Space Conflict
Washington''s unwillingness to reach compromise - to prevent a confrontation in space with Russia - increases the likelihood of a conflict in this field, says scientist, Vasily Kashin.
The specialist at the Russian Centre for Strategies & Technologies views, appear in an article about the arms race in outer space, published in the American Scientist magazine.
Kashin ponders on the prominent role assigned in current war programs to space satellites and the United States' GPS system, and Russia's Glonass.
The specialist on military topics warns that it is unlikely to get compromise on space technology, as there is only one undoubted leader worldwide in the military use of the cosmos, the US, 'which is not willing to limit its possibilities,' he adds, as quoted by Novosti.
Faced with this reality, Russia and China, political rivals of Washington, are forced to take action in response, which in the near future could lead to mass production of anti-satellite weapons, the source says.
The analyst reminds us that current technological achievements, facilitate the creation of systems increasingly smaller and more effective, to 'kill' satellites, and that Russia, China, the US, and other military powers, are focussing their resources on developing these weapons.
"Space technologies define nowadays much of the character of modern warfare, and depriving the enemy of their use, can destroy guidance systems & turn lots of weapons & equipment, into useless junk," Kashin writes.
The scholar predicts that China could be the first nation that has anti-satellite complexes, yet the Pentagon claims for itself absolute freedom in the cosmos -- and restrictions on the development of these weapons, to other countries.
The expert adds that the US has already achieved a breakthrough on the emplacement of weapons in weightlessness, & fears that Moscow & Beijing could create weapons to counter that advantage.
Kashin warns the situation may worsen in coming decades as, after the 3 going ahead with space programs...... Iran, India, Israel, North Korea, and -- further down the road -- Brazil & Pakistan, may have similar plans.
The analyst maintains that the high cost & complexity of space technologies, and the amount of time needed to develop them, may lengthen the process, but not stop it.
Deterioration of Ukrainian Conflict Threatens Renewed Escalation
The situation in the contact area, described as "explosive" by experts, is getting worse in several areas of Donbass, where the parties accuse each other of violating the ceasefire agreed upon on February 12th in Minsk, under the auspices of Belarus and the so-called Contact Group.
Skirmishes in, and shelling of, residential areas, especially around Donetsk, from the Ukrainian positions, aborted the working sessions of the economic and political commissions, set for this week.
Unlike Kiev, prone to changes in format & actors, and even a new memorandum or roadmap for the Donbass, the Donetsk and Lugansk defend the validity of the agreements of Minsk-2 in 2016, as the only alternative to armed conflict, after over a year of confrontation, & thousands of victims.
Commissioner of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) in the Contact Group, Denis Pushilin, says the schedule of meetings of participants at the format, and the session of the subgroups for September 8th and 22nd, and October 6th and 20th, respectively, are still on.
The Donbass representatives will insist on the continuation of contacts in the political section, assures Vladislav Deinego, plenipotentiary for the People's Republic of Lugansk (PRL).
They agree on the importance of continuing to work in 2016 to implement the document, which is aimed at a rapprochement between Kiev and Donbass, to gain de-escalation of the fratricidal conflict, so far, with few tangible results.
The head of the alternative parliament of the DPR, Andrei Purguin, says low intensity shelling could, perhaps, be the only achievement of the peace process, started six months ago, by Minsk-2.
The Supreme Rada of Ukraine (unicameral parliament) gave its approval on July 16th to a presidential draft of amendments to the Constitution on decentralizing powers.
President Poroshenko said, on July 29th, that their legislative proposal did not mean autonomy for the regions, or special status for some areas of Donbass, contemplated in one point of the Minsk agreements.
Poroshenko also insists on the need to incorporate (alleged) peace keeping forces in the Donbass: an idea that took body in a law passed by the parliament, on June 4th, giving a green light to the presence of foreign troops in Ukraine, without the consent of the other signatories of the Memorandum of Minsk.
Another controversial step, considered a fatal blow to the peace process, has to do with the arrangement, also legislated, for an additional financing of about five thousand 300 UAH (250 million dollars) for the living expenses of Ukraine troops in the Southeast of the country.
In this regard, the chief negotiator for the PRL, Vladislav Deinego, says this shows that Kiev has "clearly moved away from a peaceful resolution of the problems."
Meanwhile, the conflict multiplies family tragedies, with the deaths now of about 11,000 and 17 000 wounded, & displaced persons and refugees,estimated at over two million, and maintains the threat, always, of a new escalation.
Ukraine Willing to Impose Martial Law For Conflict with Donbass
Prensa Latina - Ukraine is considering imposing martial law, if the conflict in Donbass worsens, it's announced today, by a government source.
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Alexander Turchinov, says he doesn't "exclude the possibility."
Turchinov, one of the architects of the coup in Kiev in February 2014, and the offensive against Donbass to eliminate the resistance, doesn't rule out "large- scale mobilization of our military potential," to face, he says, the intense participation of Russian troops.
In Moscow, the Foreign Ministry warns this week of an increase in war rhetoric by the Ukrainian authorities, and deplores Kiev's refusal to sign a protocol on the withdrawal of tanks and heavy artillery from the confrontation line.
The Donbass militias, meanwhile, accuse the regular forces of ceasefire violations about 103 different times, by discharging large-caliber shells on residential areas.
At least 1 civilian was killed and 3 people were wounded in the last few hours, say sources in the Donetsk People's Republic.
The Ukrainian newspaper Sevognia says President Petro Poroshenko has told the Foreign Ministry to inform their Western partners of the worsening situation.
Kiev is threatening the EU with this interruption of the Minsk agreements, at a time of reluctance on the part of European allies, to provide lethal weapons to the former Soviet republic, adds the source.
Maduro Praises Work of Fidel Castro in Defense of Humankind Prensa Latina - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro -- to honour Fidel Castro's Birth Day -- praised the work of the historical leader of Cuba's Revolution, and his defense of the just causes of mankind, the Ministry of Communication and Information's web- site for Venezuela, reports.
The South American head of state said that Cuba's leader is: the 'revolutionary commander of Latin America and the Caribbean.'
The president took the opportunity to give Fidel Castro a hug and the applause of the Venezuelan people, during his television program, Contacto con Maduro.
"Fidel has written and continues to write great history, for centuries," he said.
Syria Rejects Saudi Foreign Minister''s Statements
Syria's Foreign Ministry strongly condemns the statements made recently by the Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel Al-Jubeir and accuses the Wahabi kingdom of having the lead role in the terrorist aggression that has been facing this Arab country, since 2011.
A Syrian Foreign ministry communique says that Riyadh's Government hands are stained with the blood of Syria and Yemen's people, and it has no legitimate right to criticize its neighboring countries.
It adds that the IS terrorist group and the Saudi Arabia government have the same way of thinking -- and that both carry out beheadings and scourgings, in the name of the Islam.
The Syrian Foreign ministry also slams the Saudi authorities' policy of giving all types of aid to the terrorist groups operating in Syria, and says this constitutes a serious threat to both regional and world security.
The communique insists that it is essential to put an end to these provocations.
At a press conference last Monday, the Saudi Foreign minister, said Iran's aid to Syria's Government is, a "tragedy".
The Saudi Foreign minister the next day, dashed Russia's attempts at dialogue or compromise over Syria --- reaffirming his country's position --- saying that there is 'no place for Bashar al-Assad' in Syria's future.
Escalation in Ukrainian Conflict Threatens Contact Group
Allegations of provocations in Donbass by Kiev's troops put in doubt a meeting of the subgroups for politics and economics, of the Contact Group on Ukraine's conflict, scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday (today), in Minsk.
The main representative of Donetsk People's Republic in the discussions, Denis Pushilin, reported on Tuesday, that recent attacks against OSCE officials, are "politically motivated."
"Unfortunately, there has been a rise in the number of artillery strikes. We think that these are also provocative actions against the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the OSCE," he says.
Pushilin says there is an investigation to find the details: "but the political motivation is obvious. Currently, the aim is to block the work of the SMM to prevent any reports of bombing."
We have expressed many complaints about the work mission of the OSCE, and when ceasefire violations aren't registered, the hands of the forces involved in the punitive operation against the Donbass stay untied, he says --- recalling that civilians continue to die on a daily basis, in that region.
President of the OSCE, Ivica Dacic, on Wednesday, deplored that SMM officials had suffered another attack with firearms: however, the spokes- person for the OSCE, says there are no dead or wounded to report.
This incident was preceded by arson at dawn, on August 9th, of 3 armored vehicles owned by the OSCE's SMM, which were destroyed in Donetsk --- "presumably by saboteurs controlled by the Ukrainian security (service)," say the DPR authorities.
Nearly 4 Thousand 9/11 First Responders Have Been Diagnosed With Cancer.
The number of first responders to the September 11, 2001, World Trade Centre explosions in New York City who are diagnosed as having cancer, has reached 3,700.
Those suffering from cancers certified by the federal government as 9/11-related, include members of the New York Fire Department (1,100), police and other Ground Zero responders (2,134), and survivors such as downtown workers and residents (467), the New York Post has reported.
The FDNY's chief medical officer, Dr. David Prezant, says over 2,100 firefighters and EMS personnel have retired on disability, with World Trade Centre-related illnesses, mostly lung disease & cancer, since 9/11.
"Due to the physical nature of their jobs, these illnesses have had a tremendous impact --- on our membership and their families," he states.
That includes 109 FDNY responders who have died from Ground Zero-linked illnesses --- 44 of them from cancer.
Research has found thyroid, colon, prostate & blood cancers, are more prevalent among FDNY members who served at Ground Zero than those who didn't, a spokesperson says.
FDNY Deputy Chief Thomas Riley, 58, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a blood cancer. A tumor formed behind his right eye.
"That was a shock to the gut," he told the Post.
On 9/11, Riley sped from his Long Island home to his Jackson Heights firehouse and led his fellow firefighters to Ground Zero. There, they dug for survivors until 3am, and returned every morning that week.
"All day long, you had debris flying in your eyes. You were constantly rinsing your eyes," says Riley, who spent months searching for remains in the wreckage.
The married father of three will need lifetime check- ups every six months in case the cancer returns or spreads to his other eye.
Riley has lobbied Congress to extend a 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, which provides treatment for Ground Zero responders. The fund expires in October 2016.
Another 9/11 expert witness dies...
The scientist who analyzed the dust from the 9/11 attacks, died 'suddenly' last month. Environmental scientist Paul J. Lioy, whose work focused on the health effects of dust produced by the 9/11 event in New York, has died suddenly at the age of 68, at Newark Liberty International Airport.
The cause of Lioy’s death... has yet to be determined.
Dr. Lioy was one of the first scholars to gather samples of 'dust', from the ruins of New York’s Twin Towers, soon after he witnessed the 2001 terrorist attack, the New York Times reports.
He scraped samples from cars for laboratory testing, after noticing the “weird texture and color” of the dust.
In Post-Maidan Ukraine, Apartheid Rules
The Maidan revolution may have been applauded in the West as a step toward "democratic" values, but the new Ukraine now faces systemic racism.
Last month, reports Sputnik, a 23-year-old refugee from Sierra Leone boarded a bus with her 8-month- old son in Uzhgorod. After living in Ukraine for six months, Asi says she had experienced racism on almost a daily basis. But upon boarding the bus, she was confronted by the other passengers.
She "was not like them," they cried. "Tie her to the fence, together with the kid!" Forced off by the passengers, Asi was left standing on the street as the bus driver called police. The young mother was then handcuffed, and taken away by the police.
This story, which made headlines in a number of Ukrainian newspapers last month, is just one example of several in a recent wave of racism, to hit post-Maidan Ukraine. Many black individuals, residents or visitors, have described racist treatment, some subtle, some extremely blunt.
Serhei Ratushnyak, former mayor of Uzhgorod and deputy to the Supreme Parliament, turned minorities away from the aqua-park he owned, saying: "we let in the residents of Uzhgood, we let in the white people."
The Observer reports that Ratushnyak justifies his act, by blaming a "syphilitic & tuberculosis (sic) Gypsyhood of the area & the whole world."
"Last year we had a 14-fold increase in AIDS cases in town. I demand compensation for all expenses I had --- buying and building."
The racism also extends to islamophobia. In June a mob attacked Jordanian exchange students, in Kharkov city. Four were rushed to the emergency room with head injuries and knife wounds.
Rather than address the Kharkov mob appropriately, Valentin Nalivaychenko, then-head of the Ukrainian Security Service, blamed the incident on – who else – Russia.
"…Local gangs might have been provoked and been inspired by the foreign special services," Nalivaychenko said on Shuster-Live. "To put it bluntly – by the Russians."
While many maintain the hope that Kiev will right its wrongs, that’s seemingly becoming less and less likely.
"More than a year has passed," Zhan says to the Observer, "and not a single change."
US generals, admirals, sign letter supporting Iran agreement
General James Cartwright, former vice chair of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, is one of the signatories backing the Iran agreement.
The retired brass say there is “no better option” than the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached between Iran and the P5+1 backed by the UN Security Council in July, The Washington Post reports.
The letter is the latest expression of support to the administration of President Barack Obama, over its nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, amid opposition by the Republican- weighted Congress --- in the middle of a row between the two dominant US parties.
“And if the deal is rejected by America, the Iranians could have a nuclear weapon within a year. The choice is that stark,” reads the concerned generals and admirals' letter.
Iran has time and again said that it pursues solely civilian purposes with its nuclear energy program.
The letter is signed by senior generals and flag officers, including four-star Marine Gens. James Cartwright, former vice chair of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Joseph P. Hoar, the former head of US Central Command --- plus Gens. Merrill McPeak and Lloyd W. Newton, of the US Air Force.
Russia, Saudi Arabia, agree to help Syria talks resume
Russia and Saudi Arabia have agreed to take practical steps to resume dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition, while expressing differences on the role of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's future.
“We agreed to continue practical steps: We agreed on them --- which are aimed at preparing the optimal conditions for a renewal of dialogue between the [Syrian] government, & all the Syrian opposition,” Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, says on Tuesday, at a press conference after negotiations with Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, in Moscow.
The renewed effort to revive negotiations to end Syria's crisis, comes after Western - backed Geneva I and Geneva II peace conferences on Syria, were held on June 2012, and February 2014, respectively.
The two conferences met with failure after foreign-sponsored opposition figures in the talks refused to discuss the militancy and widespread terrorism, in the country.
Lavrov says Riyadh and Moscow principally agree on ways to root out terrorism in Syria, stressing, however, that the two countries are at loggerheads over the future of Assad:
“Our principled approaches to the resolution of the Syria crisis coincide, but we also have some differences,” Lavrov says, stressing: “One of them, is President al-Assad's fate.”
For his part, the Saudi foreign minister says that Russia & Saudi Arabia share views on “essential” issues of the region, including on Syria --- but notes that Riyadh opposes Assad's involvement in the future of Syria.
“There are similarities in our viewpoints on essential matters and problems yet some views differ, and we hope to reconcile our approaches at consequent meetings and negotiations,” Jubeir says.
“Our position has not changed... there is no place for Assad in the future of Syria,” Jubeir says, stressing, “We think Bashar al-Assad is part of the problem, not part of the solution.”
This comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin, meeting with the visiting Syria Foreign Minister, Walid al-Muallem, on June 29, pledged to push ahead with his support for Syria's government and nation, amid the ongoing battle between Damascus and the Takfiri Daesh terrorists.
Putin also stressed in a 'phone conversation with US President Barack Obama on June 26, that Assad should be involved in any solution to the ongoing conflict in Syria.
During Tuesday's press conference, Russia's foreign minister points to the ineffectiveness of airstrikes by the so-called US-led coalition, which are purportedly hitting the Daesh militants in Iraq and Syria.
“Not only we, but many foreign military experts are absolutely convinced that, without such a unification of all those who confront terrorists on the ground, the airstrikes carried out by the US-led coalition, will not yield 'expected' results, & ISIL won't be defeated,” he states.
Since September 2014, the US, with some of its regional allies, has been conducting airstrikes against what's said to be Daesh positions in Syria, without authorization from Damascus, or a UN mandate.
The airstrikes in Syria are an extension of the US-led aerial campaign on purported Daesh positions in Iraq, which started in August, 2014.
Many of the countries joining the so-called anti-terror coalition, such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have been supporters of the Takfiri elements operating against the Syrian government.
Syria has been fighting against massive foreign-sponsored militancy since early 2011. The conflict has reportedly killed an estimated 240,000 people so far, including nearly 12,000 children.
Six Argentinian Candidates To Vie for Presidential Post in October
Prensa Latina - At the end of the count today after the primary elections held on Sunday, six out of 15 candidates now remain officially in the race for the presidential post to replace Cristina Fernandez, in the vote to be held on October the 25th.
Daniel Scioli, of the Frente para la Victoria (FpV) ranks first, followed by Mauricio Macri, from the Cambiemos alliance, and Sergio Massa, of the Una Nueva Argentina coalition (UNA).
The other three candidates are Margarita Stolbitzer, from the Civic Progressive and Social Fund (FPCS); Nicolas del Cano, from the Workers' Left Front (FIT) and Adolfo Rodriguez Saa from the Federal Commitment Alliance (ACF).
In spite of hard rain affecting several regions, 73.96% of electors cast their vote --- that is, 23,174,582 voters, out of the 32.37 million electors registered.
Scioli got 38.4 percent of votes; Macri won 24.3 percent and Massa got 14.2 percent.
Stolbitzer won 3.51 votes; Del Cano 3.31 percent and Rodriguez Saa 2.11 percent.
According to tArgentina's electoral system, to win a general election in the first round, the presidential candidate must win by 45% or more votes, or 40%, but with a 10% lead over the one ranked second.
Those Who Know Say 'Yes' to Nuclear Deal with Iran Those who know -- Nobel prizewinners, scientists in charge of making nuclear weapons and ex scientific advisors of the White House -- say the agreement reached with Iran, is the maximum deal possible, while the US Congress is divided.
A group of the 29 most prominent scientists in the United States, mainly physicists, who have been responsible for developing nuclear arsenals, laud the international agreement reached on July 14 in Vienna, Austria, describing it as "innovative and rigorous".
On the weekend, in a note to President Barack Obama, the group praises the understanding... something that can provide fresh evidence to the government now, when some Democrats oppose the deal, like the New York Senator Charles Schumer, a prominent member of the Jewish community.
According to a comment in The New York Times, among those signing the note is Richard Garwin, a physicist who helped design the first hydrogen bomb in the world, and who was an advisor on nuclear weapons & arms control in Washington, for a long time.
Another is Siegfried S. Hecker, the Stanford professor who headed the nuclear weapons laboratory in Los Alamos New Mexico, from 1986 to 1997.
Other influential people who signed the letter were Freeman Dyson, from Princeton; Sidney Drell, from Stanford, and Rush D. Holt, leader of the American Association for the Advance of Science, the world's largest general scientific society.
Many "heavyweights" from nuclear sciences and technology signed the letter in support of the Iran nuclear deal, which describes it as "innovative" and "rigorous" over a dozen times, according to The New York Times; adding that the agreement has more strict limitations than any other deal previously negotiated within the framework of non- proliferation.
According to the scientists, the understanding will advance the cause of peace and security in the Middle east, and can serve as a guide- line for future non-proliferation agreements.
The newspaper adds that the letter comes amid efforts organized by supporters and opponents of the agreement, to create a public debate, before it's voted on in Congress in September --- the letter says Congress's vote should be separate from all the political scheming and go with the world's sentiment against war.
Israeli settlers set ablaze Palestinian land in West Bank
Israeli settlers have conducted yet another arson attack on Palestinian property, by setting on fire 100s of acres of open land in the occupied West Bank, officials say.
Local sources and senior Palestinian officials confirmed on Sunday, that the arson attack was carried out near the village of Burin, south of Nablus.
There has been no word on possible casualties.
The latest arson attack comes amid boiling anger among Palestinians, over the death of 2 members of a family in a similar attack by settlers on July 31.
The 18-month-old toddler of the Dawabsheh family, identified as Ali, burned to death --- after extremist settlers firebombed the house in the village of Duma, near Nablus.
His father, Sa’ad, succumbed to his burns on Saturday.
Thousands of Palestinians poured onto the streets in Duma to attend the funeral ceremony for Sa’ad.
Palestinian medical sources say the mother and their 4-year-old son, also severely burned in the attack, both remain in a critical condition.
In recent years, Israeli settlers have carried out various attacks on Palestinian property in the West Bank and al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Settlers, mostly armed, regularly attack Palestinian villages and farms, and set fire to their mosques, olive groves and other property.
Ukrainian Military Complains of US Humvee Vehicles Delivery
Sputnik - HMMWV (Humvee) US military vehicles have turned into a problem for Ukraine's army, the media report.
The vehicles are equipped with old, worn-out tires. This is becoming problematic for the military, as it is difficult to replace the tires in Ukraine.
“This is the expected outcome of lend-lease. There are no spare wheels. The rubber's old, after just a short drive, the tires cracked,” says Oleg Movchan of APU. The problem is how to get similar tires, he says on his Facebook page, media report.
In March, Ukrainian media reported that the main problem for Humvee vehicles in Ukraine, is the lack of spare parts.
The Ukrainian military also noted that -- because of the poor quality of diesel fuel -- engine filters get clogged, fast.
Hundreds gather in Ferguson to mark anniversary of police shooting
Reuters - Several hundred people gathered in Ferguson, Missouri, on Sunday, to mark the anniversary of the death of a black unarmed teenager, by a white police officer, that sparked protests and a national debate on race and justice.
Some pushed children in strollers as crowds of white, black, old & young people gathered at the spot in a mostly black St. Louis suburb where Michael Brown, 18, was fatally shot on August the 9th, 2014.
After 4-1/2 minutes of silence to represent the roughly 4-1/2 hours that Brown's body lay in the middle of the street, after he was shot, 2 white doves were released. The crowd then started their silent march to honor Brown, and others who have died at the hands of police. Rallies took place in other cities, including New York.
Brown's shooting sparked months of protests, including incidents of rioting and arson... but it gave life to this new movement, under the "Black Lives Matter" banner, that has pushed for better treatment of minorities, by police.
Organizers say their aim is to keep alive the US national movement - fueled by the police killing of Brown and other unarmed black men in US cities... like New York, Cincinnati, Baltimore, and North Charleston, South Carolina.
Another name was added to that list on Friday when unarmed 19-year-old Christian Taylor, a black college student, was shot dead by a white police officer in Arlington, Texas.
Arlington police say Taylor was shot as police investigated a burglary at a car dealership in the Dallas-area city. The FBI has been asked to help investigate the shooting.
In Ferguson, a makeshift memorial of teddy bears, candles and flowers has been rebuilt on the quiet residential road where Brown died. A plaque featuring a metallic dove is installed on the sidewalk a few feet from the spot where Brown died and the street where Brown's blood pooled, has been repaved.
Hazel Bland, 51, who lives in the Canfield Green apartment complex where Brown was killed, says she thinks about the shooting every day.
"It is really sad. You never think this would happen, all these police officers killing all these people. I truly hate that it happened," Bland says, as she watches prayer sheets being handed out on Sunday.
At the memorial, Brown's father, Michael Brown Senior, wore a T-shirt with his son's image - and a slogan "Chosen for Change."
Others held "Black Lives Matter" banners and signs calling for justice, for all those killed by the police.
"I hurt every day. But I'm trying to make it uncomfortable to people that think this is OK to do this stuff," Brown explained to reporters on Saturday.
A federal review found that the officer, Darren Wilson, broke no laws when he shot Brown. But it also determined that Ferguson police department, for years, violated the black population's rights.
Yvette Harris founded St. Louis-area 'Mothers Against Senseless Killings' after her 17-year-old son died in 2001 in a gang-related shooting. She says Brown's death was seen as just one in a long line of killings.
"......so many killings going on around the country. People are mad, here and everywhere," says Harris, who's black. "It will be a long time, before there is a healing."
On Saturday night, over 200 protesters carrying bullhorns, drums & signs demonstrated against police in Ferguson, with some placing a roasted pig-head on a barricade in front of officers.
But the protests this weekend were largely peaceful with police kept behind barricades --- allowing demonstrators to vent.
Nagasaki mayor urges Obama to visit Japanese cities subject to US atomic bombings in 1945
TASS -Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue calls on US President Barrack Obama and the leaders of other nuclear powers, to visit the places of WWII atomic bombings in Japan.
"I call on the US President and the leaders of other countries, to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to see personally, what happened there, 70 years ago," Taue says on Sunday as he reads the Declaration of Peace at a remembrance ceremony for victims of the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki, in 1945.
"It is necessary to exert every effort to free the world from nuclear weapons," the mayor of Nagasaki says as he addresses the world's leaders."We have the strength to safeguard peace, without nuclear weapons and war," he adds.
Tomihisa Taue also voices concern over a new Japanese law, which expands the powers of Japan’s self-defense forces.
"After the war, Japan embarked on a peaceful path but today more & more people have an impression that the ideology of peace fixed in the Japanese constitution, may shake," he states.
A minute of silence was announced in Nagasaki at 11:02 local time -- exactly at the time when a US B-29 strategic bomber dropped a "Fat Man" atomic bomb on the city on August 9, 1945.
Prior to that, Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue, Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, and representatives of public organizations, had laid wreaths of white & yellow crown daisies at the memorial in the Peace Park, located in the city centre.
Prior to the commemorations, a Japanese choir sang a song urging the world community not to repeat the tragedies of Hiroshima & Nagasaki for the second time.
"I visited Hiroshima on August 6 where I swore that we would firmly adhere to 3 non-nuclear principles: aiming to avert a recurrence of the horrors of nuclear weapons use.
"We will continue leading the world community to a nuclear free world,"the Japanese PM said in a statement circulated by his office, prior to the ceremony.
Nagasaki became the second Japanese city after Hiroshima to be subject to US atomic bombing, on August 9th, in 1945.
The death toll continued rising in Nagasaki years on.
The number of victims grows from year to year. The list expands constantly as more people die of atomic disease. The figures are updated annually on August 9. In 2014, the number of A-bombing victims reached 165,409 people.
The US Armed Forces dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima & Nagasaki at the end of WWII (1938-1945) for the officially declared aim of speeding up the capitulation of Japan.
Those atomic attacks became the only examples of combat use of nuclear weapons in history. The United States is still refusing to admit its moral responsibility for the atomic bombings of the two Japanese cities --- and keeps justifying them by the military 'need'.
Earlier this week, Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin, criticized the United States for its attempts to hush up the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
"I have no doubt that the barbarity and over- proportion of what was done, is obvious to the US authorities. But, instead of rightly comprehending history, they want to bury it in oblivion," Naryshkin told a round table meeting, devoted to the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that took place at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).
Naryshkin said the interests of peace and security are not the root cause behind the US's behaviour.It s a matter of"national prestige",he explained.
"The incumbent US authorities aren't trying to conceal the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- which is impossible -- but the hypocrisy and cynicism of the US leaders who ruled the country at that time," Naryshkin said.
"Their behavior is casting a shadow over modern US policy, which has certainly inherited the ideology of exclusiveness; immunity from mistakes and arrogance of power,"the speaker of the lower house of Russia's parliament said.
Naryshkin also suggested establishing an international tribunal, on US atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
"The atomic bombings of Japan have never been considered by any international war tribunal -- so far. However, crimes against humanity have no period of limitation," the Duma speaker said.
"One thing is certain, in my view: the method which the United States chose back in 1945, did not rest on considerations of humanism nor was it dictated by any military need," Naryshkin, who heads Russia's Historical Society, said.
"Japanese militarists committed plenty of atrocities against civilians in China, Korea and other Asian countries, during WWII.
The verdicts passed by the Tokyo and Khabarovsk tribunals gave a civilized reply to their conduct. But civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were not responsible & had nothing to do with those crimes," Naryshkin stressed.
EUROPE CUTS OWN THROAT
NASA says it is signing a $490-million contract with Russia to fund a program that aims to put Americans into space.
The National Aeronautics & Space Administration told US lawmakers in a letter on Wednesday, that the move was a result of the Congress's failure to fund a Commercial Crew Program, The Hill reports.
As farmers in the EU demonstrate over their rotting produce, because they cannot sell to Russia --- US Energy companies continue drilling for oil, in Russia.
US trade with Russia is up 11% while EU trade with Russia is down 40%..
Europe --- thicker than Homer Simpson!
‘Abject failure’: Pentagon-trained Syrian force under fire after first battle
RT - After US-trained Syrian fighters were apparently killed, captured or went missing, in their very first battle with Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, questions have been raised as to whether the Pentagon’s costly engagement with the Syrian opposition, allegedly to fight ISIS, was worth it.
The first batch of ‘Division 30’ trainees, are also known as the New Syrian Force (NSF). It consists of some 54 fighters, and has reportedly ceased to exist as a battle unit --- with at least half of its personnel killed, captured or missing, CBS reports.
The devastation was caused by Al Nusra Front, an Islamic group loyal to Al Qaeda, while the NSF was created to counter IS fighters, who have not yet even been fired on, by the NSF.
The first firefight reportedly ended with the NSF calling for US air support, which they received, as the US warplanes hammered some 30 Al Nusra militants to dust.
But the extremists returned shortly afterwards to take revenge on co-religionists, killing some of the NSF trainees and capturing several US- trained Syrian rebels, their commander as well.
The remainder fled the area, some reportedly to Turkey -- where they were trained. Others left for territory held by the Kurdish militia, Peshmerga.
“Between Monday and Tuesday, Al-Nusra Front seized at least 5 rebels from Division 30 in the village of Qah, near the Turkish border,” AFP cites the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying.
Last week the jihadists also took at least 8 rebels from the same US-backed unit, the Observatory reported.
Col. Pat Ryder, Central Command spokesperson:
“Certainly this past week has highlighted some of the challenges associated with fielding New Syrian forces, but it's important to keep in mind that success does not hinge on one fight or on one event and we're still in the early phases of implementing this program,”
“We're continually applying lessons learned and working as a coalition,” Ryder says, “& now aim to improve the training program.”
Ryder doesn't go into detail on whether any of the missing NSF fighters returned to the battlefield, only saying that “they are not under US command and control.”
“The situation on the ground in Syria is incredibly complex, the situation in terms of the various malign elements in Syria, makes re-insertion or ex-filtration very challenging,” says Ryder, as cited by AP.
“As we observe the situation --- as we instruct new recruits --- there are certainly things we're taking into account.”
Fergus Hodgson, Capitol Bureau Reporter, with the Pelican Institute for Public Policy:
“They don’t know what they are choosing, they are picking winners and losers, and it’s foolish because there’s no access strategy, there’s no long-term plan,” Hodgson says, adding that it's “crazy” to pick “small time militia groups” to overthrow a government, or to push back the Islamic State.
The US “middle ground” policy in Syria is achieving nothing, because the US would not join the confrontation in the region more aggressively, so “we’re just playing silly games at this point,” Hodgson sighs.
Lavrov: fatal mistake may blast situation in Syria --- making it uncontrollable
Moscow warns Washington on Sunday, against implementing its plans of bombing government facilities in Syria, if US-backed opposition units are attacked.
"I have, frankly, warned my US colleague, that one fatal mistake can undermine the situation to such an extent that later nobody will be able to control it," Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, says, in an interview with Russia-1 TV.
"I think it is very easy to make a mistake in a situation when Americans have no presence "on the ground" like in Afghanistan," he says.
According to Lavrov, US partners "are saying that they won't attack positions of the Syrian military, if the latter don't attack militants they [the US] have trained."
"Frankly speaking, it's very easy to make a mistake. I want to remind you that there are no Americans on Syrian soil, but there were in Afghanistan, and used drones and intelligence data. But there were plenty of cases when they bombed weddings and school buses with children, instead of Taliban or Al Qaeda," Lavrov says.
Rejecting Iran nuclear agreement will lead to military action: Kerry
US Secretary of State John Kerry criticizes Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, for deciding to vote against the conclusion of the Iran nuclear talks, suggesting it would only pave the way for a military option.
Kerry says rejecting the July 14 accord "will lead people to press for military action, since the United States would have walked away from the diplomatic solution."
His criticism comes the day after Schumer announces that he will not vote in favor of the agreement, after studying it.
The Jewish senator says the accord does not allow inspections "anywhere, anytime."
Kerry, however, says that he “obviously profoundly disagrees with the judgement made.”
"It's a question of eliminating options in a realistic way," the top US diplomat adds. "I'd respectfully suggest, that rejection is not a policy for the future; it does not offer any alternative."
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, says Schumer’s decision "is not particularly surprising to anybody here at the White House, even if it was disappointing."
He adds that 12 Democrats - 7 in the House of Representatives & 5 in the Senate - are supporting President Barack Obama’s deal with Iran.
Congress will vote in September.
According to the accord, Iran will be recognized by the United Nations as a nuclear power, and will continue its uranium enrichment program.
Iran sanctions are set to be removed in exchange for some limitations on the country’s nuclear energy program.
Democratic Senators Tim Kaine, Bill Nelson, Barbara Boxer, Chris Murphy and Patrick Leahy have supported the conclusion of the nuclear talks.
Israeli military bombs refugee camp in Gaza Strip
At least four people have been wounded after the Israeli military bombed a refugee camp in the illegally blockaded Gaza Strip, Palestinian media say.
The attack took place against Nuseirat refugee camp on Friday, the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reports. The victims were rushed to the hospital in ambulances.
The refugee camp houses 66,000 Palestinians.
Israeli paper Jerusalem Post quotes the Israeli military as saying that its warplanes launched an aerial attack against a base belonging to the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas.
The Israeli military also say the attack was carried out in response to an alleged rocket attack from Gaza, earlier in the day.
US Analyst Claims Geopolitics Could Lead to Extinction of Human Race
Sputnik - Lyndon LaRouche’s wife Helga Zepp LaRouche spoke to Sputnik about how the US atomic bombing in Nagasaki and Hiroshima was completely unnecessary and how the US is preparing for another atomic war against Russia and China, right now.
“There was absolutely no reason for this bombing: there were already peace negotiations between the emperor and the Vatican at that time. The bombing was done to instigate horror and awe by Truman, so that he could continue the era of imperialism,” LaRouche says.
“There are many people who have been warning that the US and NATO are preparing a new war, against Russia and China. There's a very serious escalation of the situation, making the month of August extremely dangerous -- as history shows most of the wars started in August, and the US military changed tactics in Syria last week and the US army has gone into recess.”
She goes on to say the US is busily preparing itself for war. Signs indicate that another nuclear war is getting closer, and this time it will annihilate the entire human race.
In order to prevent that from happening, LaRouche says the US, Russia & China need to sit down and talk. Europe must apply pressure, and say that it will not be a part of such a war.
“The leaders of the US, Russia and China must sit together and discuss the new international security architecture. We must overcome geopolitics if we don’t want to become extinct, ourselves.”
Iran Warns of Worsening Situation in Yemen
Prensa Latina - Iran today warns of the deterioration of the situation in Yemen & the consequences of a more complicated crisis, while calling for political solutions to the Yemeni and Syrian conflicts.
Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, says today that he discussed the issue with UN special envoy for Yemen, Mauritanian Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, stressing that Tehran has sustained positions on regional topics.
Amir-Abdollahian says he insisted, in his phone conversation with Cheikh Ahmed, that the constant military operations led by S. Arabia in Yemen, do not contribute to finding a peaceful solution to Yemen's crisis, and, on the contrary, make the current situation worse.
The deputy Foreign minister says that Tehran emphasizes the need to solve regional problems through talks and diplomatic solutions, but unfortunately the world community remains silent on what is happening in that Arab nation.
The killing of innocent people, including children and women, violates human rights principles, and those who carry out the military attacks in Yemen must be responsible for the consequences, stresses the deputy foreign minister.
Amir-Abdollahian adds that Tehran still appeals for a constructive UN role in these crises, and thinks that stopping armed acts & finding an inter-Yemeni solution, are the only way to put an end to the conflict there.
Muscat, Damascus agree on joint efforts to end Syria crisis
Muscat & Damascus have agreed to step up joint efforts to bring an end to the four years of conflict gripping Syria, media reports say.
Oman's Foreign Minister, Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, and his Syrian counterpart, Walid al-Muallem, met in the Omani capital on Thursday, to discuss "several regional and international topics of common interest,” Oman News Agency (ONA) reports.
Syria’s official SANA news agency also reports that the two top diplomats agree "that now is the time to unite the efforts to end this (Syrian) crisis.”
"The 2 sides agreed to continue cooperation & coordination to achieve the shared goals of their peoples & governments," SANA says.
Syria's Al-Watan daily also reports... that talks between top diplomats from Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia are likely to be held in the Omani capital.
Earlier this week, Muallem made a two-day visit to Tehran where he met with Iranian officials, and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visiting special envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Mikhail Bogdanov.
Syria has been fighting against massive foreign-sponsored militancy since 2011, which has reportedly left over 240,000 people dead, including 12,000 children, so far.
This is while some Western governments & regional allies, are widely accused of contributing to the rise of terror groups operating against the government of Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad.
Russia is taking the Middle East from the USA Pravda - A number of recent major international developments, suggests that Washington has recognized Moscow as an equal partner. US officials sat down at the negotiating table with their Russian counterparts.
This is evidenced by the statement from the chief of the Russian Airborne Troops about possible assistance to Syria. What are they negotiating?
Western sources say the topic of discussion is Assad's surrender in exchange for Ukraine 'concessions'.
"Russian paratroopers are ready to help Syria in the fight against terrorists, if the Russian leadership sets such a task," the Commander of Russia's Airborne Troops, Colonel-General Vladimir Shamanov said on August the 2nd.
One can assume that the above statement was either an expression of the position of Russia's Defense Minister Shoigu (his stance on Ukraine differs from Russia's official position on it), or a signal from the Kremlin to the White House not to bomb the positions of Bashar al-Assad's army.
US President Barack Obama was reported to have given such an order a few days earlier. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has had meetings this week with US Secretary of State John Kerry, and Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Adel Al-Jubeir, in Qatar.
The official result of the meeting was a failure on the Syria talks... Russia did not surrender Bashar al-Assad. On the contrary, Russia has proposed to get Assad involved in the fight against the Islamic State.
Interestingly, it is Saudi Arabia, but not the US that acts as Russia's partner. With Al Baghdadi, the Saudis have a more popular competitor -- with the same Wahhabi ideology. His goal is to make the kingdom become a part of the caliphate and deprive Muslims of their holy sites: Mecca and Medina, which is totally unacceptable for the royal dynasty.
Soon after the meeting in Doha, Lavrov & Kerry met at the ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Association of South east Asian Nations, which includes the US and Russia as observers).
The foreign ministers of the association discussed "settlement of the situations in Syria and Ukraine": notably, the talks took place on an Asian platform.
According to the US State Department, the sides considered the situation in Ukraine & steps needed to fully implement the Minsk Accord. It looks like Kerry is willing to reconcile with Russia on Syria in return for concessions on Ukraine, but does Russia need that?
The key player here is Saudi Arabia, which was left very much dissatisfied with the US deal on the Iranian nuclear program.
Now the Saudis are looking for a partner, in Russia. Putin will have a meeting with King Salman, in September.
Noteworthy, Saudi Arabia was the first country, with which, the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations. The relations between the Soviet Union & Saudi Arabia, were remarkable, until Saudi sheikhs started helping Afghan mujahideens.
Their relations were then finally ruined against the backdrop of Syria's crisis.
In the Islamic world, Russia has excellent relations with all countries. Russia can be a mediator for any conflicting parties.
Thus, a Hamas delegation (with connections in Iran & Qatar), paid a visit to Saudi Arabia during the holy month of Ramadan.
"The visit has achieved its planned objectives, so one can call it successful," the head of the delegation, Musa Abu Marzouk, says.
He says Hamas hopes to establish good relations with both the East and the West.
"Based on this principle, we have had a meeting with Russia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, and we are preparing an official visit to Moscow," middleeastmonitor.com quotes the official as saying.
Russia is taking the Middle East from the US, the US-based publication The Hill says.
Russia has managed to win such an ally as Saudi Arabia - and this fact has dramatically changed the balance of forces on the Arabian Peninsula. According to the publication, Russia is a longtime ally of Syria and Iran. Saudi Arabia has made friends with Moscow and promised to invest up to 10 billion dollars in the Russian economy. In return, Russia promised to resolve the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The Kremlin has been very active in the Middle East, taking the initiative from the United States. Moscow is not going to make concessions for Bashar al- Assad, but can take a tougher stance on Ukraine, for one simple reason: Russia has interests in Ukraine, and the Americans know them very well. Russia's Ukraine interests are the economy and the security of Ukrainian areas bordering Russia. The US will stop destabilizing Ukraine very soon - not only because its first priority is its affairs in the Middle East, but because of Russia's break- through in Asia --- a region Zbigniew Brzezinski once called 'the most important region in the world'.
It is no accident that Sergei Lavrov was sitting at a table with the nameplate "Seroja." He was in a good mood, smiling.
Putin Issues Ultimatum, Threatens War Over Erdogan’s Support of ISIS
Russian President Vladimir Putin in a meeting with the Turkish Ambassador issued a verbal ultimatum calling for an immediate end to Turkey’s support for ISIS, & violations of Syria’s sovereignty. In so doing, Putin has drawn a red line on Syria, after weeks of escalating NATO moves against that beleaguered nation.
In a startling move, Russian President Vladimir Putin castigated Turkish President Recep Erdogan, calling him a “dictator” and threatening to sever diplomatic ties with Turkey over what Putin claims is Erdogan’s continued support of the ISIS terror organization.
It is believed that this was a response to Erdogan’s claim, pasted across the western press yesterday, that Putin had told him Russia was no longer going to support Syria in their war against al Qaeda, ISIS and their western backed sister organizations.
Putin summoned Turkish Ambassador to Moscow, Umit Yardim, to the Kremlin for what turned out to be a 2 hour diatribe by Putin with fiery accusations returned by the Turkish Ambassador.
It's the 0.000000012 % !
Oxfam made headlines at Davos last year with the revelation that the 85 richest people on the planet own half the world's wealth.
Oxfam's 85 people controlling half the world’s wealth, makes them the 0.000000012 %, and NOT the '1%' everyone keeps quoting.
So why do we make it such a nice number... yet fail to notice how ridiculous it really is?
The figure is now 80 – a dramatic fall from the 388 people in 2010. The wealth of the richest 80 doubled, in cash terms, between 2009-14.
Hundreds of migrants feared drowned off Libya - Italy
Hundreds of migrants attempting the perilous journey across the Mediterranean are feared to have drowned after their boat capsized off Libya, Italy’s coastguard said on Wednesday.
The overcrowded boat, which sent out a distress call, overturned after the first rescue vessel came in sight, as migrants rushed to one side, AFP reports. Some 100 survivors were plucked from the water, and the coastguard is continuing to search for others.
Corbyn: Blair should be tried for Iraq war
Labour Party leadership front-runner says former UK PM, Tony Blair, should stand trial for involving the UK in the “illegal” US-led invasion of Iraq.
“It was an illegal war. I am confident about that. Indeed Kofi Annan [UN sec general at the time] confirmed it was an illegal war and therefore [Tony Blair] has to explain that. Is he going to be tried for it? I don’t know. Could he be tried for it? Possibly,” Jeremy Corbyn is quoted as saying by the UK media, on Wednesday.
Corbyn has also urged Blair to “confess” to the 'understanding' he reached with ex-US president George W Bush, in the run up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The US-led invasion of Iraq began in 2003, & lasted for over 8 years. The war, which was initiated under a false pretence of weapons of mass destruction, took the lives of 179 UK personnel and nearly 4,500 US soldiers.
The number of Iraqi civilian deaths has been estimated at over 1 million by some sources.
‘Blair should confess’
Corbyn also pointed to the long-waiting Chilcot report, and said it will ultimately force Blair to explain his discussions with Bush in the run- up to the war.
“The Chilcot report is going to come out sometime. I hope it comes out soon. I think there are some decisions Tony Blair has got to confess or tell us what actually happened...... what happened in Crawford Texas, in 2002, in his private meetings with George Bush. Why has the Chilcot report still not come out because – apparently there is still debate about the release of information on one side or the other of the Atlantic. At that point Tony Blair and others who made the decisions are then going to have to deal with the consequences of it,” he added.
Time table for Chilcot report
Meanwhile, UK PM David Cameron calls for a prompt publication of the Chilcot inquiry report.
Cameron says the timetable for the publication of the long-awaited report should be published “pretty soon” for the sake of “families who want answers.”
The UK government has already been under increasing fire for the continued delays over the report.
Earlier this year, John Chilcot told UK MPs that he 'underestimated' the time required to review the up to 150,000 documents.
Chilcot rejected calls to set a timetable for the publication of the report -- as it might "arouse false hopes".
The probe is 'reviewing' the participation of the UK's troops in the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, which saw UK troops remain in the country, for six years.
The inquiry was ordered by former PM, Gordon Brown, way back in 2009 and was expected to publish its findings within 18 months.
Some critics argued that the report was held back over concerns of political repercussions in the run-up to May 7 parliamentary elections.
There is rising speculation that the Chilcot report will eventually be whitewashed --- to hide the facts about the UK’s decision to go to war under Blair, in 2003.
EU to Offer 'Support' to Handle Migration Crisis in Calais
Prensa Latina -The European Union (EU) will offer technical and economic support to France and the UK, to handle the migration crisis in Calais, an EU source says today.
Talks will be held today between Commissioner of the Interior and Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, with Ministers of the Interior of the states involved - France's Bernar Cazeneuve and the UK's Theresa May - to which Brussels will give its support.
Without further details, Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, explains the EU aid will consist of technical & economic resources from EU funds for asylum issues "already included" in the EU Budget.
Malstrom, previously Commissioner of the Interior and Migration, considers it to be "fundamental", to guarantee that all the undocumented refugees have a chance of applying for refuge, while admitting that it is a "complex issue".
Over the last week thousands of migrants have tried to cross from Calais to UK territory, through the euro-tunnel connecting both shores of the English Channel.
The mass night attempts to access the eurotunnel have generated clashes with security forces and caused major traffic interruptions.
To face the crisis, Paris and London have adopted measures, such as sending 120 additional policemen on the French side and the UK decision to build a big fence to reinforce "security".
What happened in Calais is a culmination of the migration crisis in Europe: this year almost 200 thousand people arrived at the so-called old continent, after perilous boat travel through the Mediterranean Sea, and --- with over 2,000 dead in shipwrecks --- this is now considered to be the worst refugee crisis, since World War ll.
'Loyalists' retake Yemen’s biggest airbase
Pro-government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition retook Yemen's biggest airbase from Iran-backed rebels on Tuesday in a significant new gain after their recapture of Yemen's second city, Aden, last month.
Their seizure of Al-Anad base in a 24-hour assault using heavy armor supplied by the coalition came after hundreds of Gulf Arab troops landed in Aden to bolster the loyal- ist counterattack.
Hailing victory in the battle for Al-Anad, the Saudi defense ministry vows there will be no rest in the war against the Shiite Houthi and their allies, until the authority of exiled Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi is restored over the whole country.
The Al-Anad base, 60 kilometers north of Aden, is strategically located on the main road north toward both the battleground third city of Taez and the Houthis-held capital Sana'a.
The vast 15-square-kilometer complex housed US troops overseeing a drone war against Al Qaeda in Yemen, until shortly before Houthis overran it, in March.
Its loss is a major blow for the rebels, whose leader Abdulmalik al-Huthi claimed Sunday, that their ouster from Aden after four months of ferocious fighting was just a "short-term" setback, that would be reversed.
The loyalists swiftly pushed on from Al-Anad on Tuesday, hitting the Houthi-held Labouza army camp 10 kilometers further north, military sources say.
Pro-government sources say that 70 rebel fighters were killed and 10 captured in the fighting. The 'loyalists' suffered 24 deaths and 23 injuries.
Officers who took part in the assault say the rebels put up "stiff resistance"... but the Saudi-led air strikes helped destroy their armor.
An AFP correspondent saw columns of tanks and artillery, supplied by the coalition pounding the base's defences.
They were accompanied by large numbers of southern militiamen, who formed a core of resistance to the rebels, before the new deployment of reinforcements, trained and equipped in Saudi Arabia.
The formerly independent south has a large secessionist movement, whose supporters have made common cause with the exiled government, out of shared hostility to the rebels from the Shiite north.
Some of the militiamen flew its flag.
The recapture of Al-Anad is a major boost for the defense of Aden and paves the way for a possible return by the exiled government to the southern port, which was its last refuge before it fled into exile in neighboring Saudi Arabia, in March.
On Sunday, hundreds of Gulf Arab troops from the coalition entered Aden with tanks and other armor "to help secure" it, a military source told AFP.
Saudi-owned Al-Hayat newspaper, says 1,500 troops, mostly from the UAE, are now deployed in the city.
Aden has been devastated by four months of coalition air strikes, and ground fighting.
Ukraine Forced to Retract Misinformation to OSCE on Russia
The Ukrainian government is forced to belie today a version regarding the alleged involvement of the Russian military in the conflict in the southeast of the country, as it appeared in a report from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Contrary to its practice of accusing Moscow of being behind the dispute in Donetsk and Lugansk (Donbass coal area), the Ukrainian government considers as "false", the information regarding the presence in Donetsk of members of a Russian airborne brigade.
An official statement admits that the statement of the document of the mission of the OSCE in Ukraine on the participation of 16th Airborne Brigade (VDV) soldiers from the Russian city of Orenburgh, was wrong, because there is no such military unit.
However, the right-wing government that came to power after the coup in February last year, considers the version cited as a provocative attempt from Moscow, to discredit them, or to discredit the OSCE.
On several occasions, the Kremlin was forced to reject accusations from Kiev on an alleged involvement of members of its military in the conflict in the southeast of Ukraine... where Kiev has been waging a punitive operation since April 2014, on the anti-coup population.
From Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry statement says it was all public insinuation ... without any proof.
The report referred to a soldier claiming to belong to the airborne assault brigade, who talked of his status as a mercenary, along with other fellow soldiers.
The Donbass self-defense forces report this week on violations by the Army, on dozens of occasions, of the main truce agreed in Minsk, on February 12th this year, which included prisoner exchanges and the separation of troops and matériel.
Local Donetsk media remind readers that the government of millionaire President Piotr Poroshenko presents the conflict in the S. East, as an antiterrorist operation against separatist forces, supported on the ground by Russian troops --- some- thing that Moscow flatly denies.
New sustainable development goals set for 2030 UN Secretary-general Ban Ki- moon hails the "bold, ambitious, transformative, sustainable development agenda for the next 15 years" hammered out by all 193 UN members and civil society to replace the retiring 15-year- old Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
"The agreement is the product of more than three years of effort that began with the Rio +20 Summit Conference in 2012, the work of my High Level Panel of Eminent Persons, the UN System; that ultimately became the most inclusive, transparent negotiation process in UN history," he says.
"It was an innovative and epic process," the secretary-general says at a press conference.
"The outcome document is called 'Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development' and it's a roadmap to end global poverty, building a life of dignity for all, and is also a clarion call to intensify efforts to heal our planet for the benefit of this and future generations" leaving out no-one," Ban says.
He adds that one of the keys to success of the goals, is that the result is: a new document which includes the business community.
The accord, known as Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs), is an ambitious agenda featuring 17 new sustainable development goals -- to replace eight MDGs - that aim to end poverty, promote prosperity and raise people's well-being: and all this, while protecting the environment.
The SDGs are expected to be adopted by world leaders in September, to replace MDGs: a set of eight anti-poverty targets set to be reached by the end of this year.
The secretary-general singles out for particular praise, the co- facilitators: the ambassadors David Donoghue of Ireland, & Macharia Kamau of Kenya, Undersecretary-General Wu Hongbo of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and Amin Mohammed, his special adviser on post-2015 development.
He also thanks member states, "who worked to reach consensus on this sweeping agreement," President Sam Kutesa of the UN General Assembly, "& so many others from civil society, private sector, academia, parliament- arians and millions of people in every corner of the world, who shared their vision of the world we want."
"This is truly a 'We the Peoples' Agenda," he tells reporters, quoting the opening line of the UN Charter.
Leaders of over 150 nations, including Pope Francis who recently published his encyclical on the environment, are to be at the Sustainable Development Summit on Sept. 25-27, at the UN Headquarters in New York, to formally adopt the out- come document setting a sustainable agenda for our world.
"We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet," reads the preamble of the 29-page document.
"We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed, to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path...
"As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind."
"Trying to guide the process towards a written agreement with the multiple adjustments, compromises needed in any such negotiations -- that was a challenge -- but it is one to which all member states rose, with great honor and great skill."
"There has been nothing like it," he says. "The emphasis must be on getting these goals and targets actually implemented, so that this doesn't remain as a nice picture on the wall - but this is actually something which will really change lives, and show benefits."
His partner in facilitating, Kamau:
"Saturday morning we were able to get the breakthrough and get everybody on the same page" on what the outstanding issues were "and focus on how we will show order," and he calls it a political, intellectual and technical process.
"So, to get all those pieces in place was really the big challenge," Kamau says. "The challenge was to see how we were going to balance all of this in the context of a global agenda that is universal, representing all cultures, all peoples and all dimensions of social order in the world.
"So it was that, that was really the big challenge -- putting the puzzle together. These are goals for the entire world and are universal. The MDGs were targeted at developing countries -- in particular, the poorest."
Estimates of the cost have ranged from hundreds of billions to trillions of dollars.
The DESA chief:
"What the member states are determined to do, according to the outcome document, is that they are going to mobilize all financial resources possible, public and private, international and domestic and the mixed financing resources," Wu says, adding:
"I would say the 17 goals with 169 targets are really the best we can have. According to the discussions and outcome document, these goals and targets are do-able. We're confident about that."
Saudi Intelligence Chief to Visit Damascus Soon
In the context of the Russian initiative to sustain a Saudi-Syrian 'rapprochement', the KSA's Intelligence Chief may visit Damascus by the end of August, say well-informed sources.
200 plus Saudis have been arrested by Syria's authorities for terror activities, and 700 have joined militant groups which are fighting the Syrian Army.
The sources add that the Russian side has managed to convince the Saudi leaders that battling ISIL and all the terrorist groups is of great importance for 'all regional countries'.
Russia considers that preserving the Saudi- Syrian-Egyptian triangle, will preserve the political and security situation in the Middle East and that, if the terrorist groups manage to destroy this formula, terrorism will invade the whole region and reach Europe, report the sources.
The sources note that the Saudi-Syrian convergence is expected to reap fruit - yet it needs time for KSA to arrange its internal files to prepare for a strategic change.
Russia expert says Obama Decision a cover up for US Syria Failure
Obama’s decision to unleash the US Air Force to support the "moderate Syrian opposition" with 'defensive fire' is aimed not so much at the terrorist IS, as Syrian President Assad’s government, polled experts tell TASS.
The president of Russia's Middle East Institute, Yevgeny Satanovsky, says the US 'moderate' forces are being trained too slowly... of the 60 Syrian rebels US instructors have trained at camps in Turkey, 54 have been enlisted in the yet-to-be formed 'moderate' battalion.
Syrian government troops have captured the emissary dispatched to Syria to gain potential trainees, he states:
"A large group of the rebels has left the camps to continue struggling against Assad's regime. Many of them have joined Islamic State. Obama made a statement that the US would provide defensive fire to support the Syrian opposition for the sole reason he would like to save face in the wake of the utter failure of the program for training Syrian rebels and the arrest of the recruiter," Satanovsky tells TASS.
"The US president had to offer some sort of explanation to the taxpayers, why a tiny 54 men have been trained, while the allocated budget money was enough to train 5,400 -- a hundred times more.
"This explains why he came out with the state- ment that the US Air Force would be attacking facilities that might endanger Syria opposition groups. It should be remembered that US drones had been attacking IS positions before. In other words, Obama’s statement is nothing but a smoke screen, expected to camouflage a political failure."
A member of the science council at Moscow’s Carnegie Centre, lecturer at the Moscow state institute of international relations MGIMO, Aleksei Malashenko, believes that Obama’s latest decision is a doubtful move, adding a great deal to the general commotion in the Middle East.
"Instead of adopting constructive decisions to counter the threats the expansion of IS entails, the US president has expressed a poorly hidden intention to send US warplanes to bomb Bashar Assad’s supporters.
"Nobody knows if the Syrian National Coalition for Revolutionary and Opposition Forces will be able to keep the situation in the country under control if and when the Assad regime falls. It is not ruled out that Syria’s five-year-long civil war and struggle for power will get more ferocious," Malashenko tells TASS.
"From the standpoint of struggle against the IS, joint efforts by the United States and Turkey to create a buffer zone on the border with Syria, look doubtful, too. Ankara is confronted, not only by IS terrorists, but also by Kurdistan Workers’ Party militants, as it puts pressure on Bashar Assad in Syria. In fact, it has three front-lines to keep an eye on. In other words, the White House and allies in the Middle East are in great confusion," Malashenko says.
"I believe that today’s meeting of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US Sec. of State, John Kerry, & Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, in Doha, Qatar, will help identify a coordinated approach to suppressing the Islamic State, which is a common adversary for Moscow, Washington and Riyadh," he says.
Syria ‘should not interfere’ in militant ops by US-backed groups
The US has warned of "additional steps" if Damascus continues taking actions against the US-backed militants in crisis-hit Syria.
At a Monday news briefing, White House spokesperson, Josh Earnest, referred to US-trained militants, who, he admitted, have been suffering losses.
Earnest said that the government of President Bashar al-Assad "should not interfere" in operations by US- backed forces on Syrian soil, which he alleged, were part of a "strategy to degrade & ultimately destroy ISIL" as US President Obama had promised.
Syria has been battered by foreign-backed militancy since 2011, which made it a haven for Takfiri terrorists to come together as ISIL.
ISIL has been used as a pretext by Washington and some US allies to carry out airstrikes in the country -- apart from providing various forms of support for so-called 'moderate militants' there.
In response to Earnest’s remarks, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, says Moscow believes "it's counterproductive to announce publicly that some US-trained armed groups... will be under the protection of the coalition's air forces."
"And that to protect these groups this air force will be authorized to strike at any forces which may -- may -- be considered a hindrance to the work of this group," he says in Doha, where he met with US Secretary of State, John Kerry, earlier in the day.
Lavrov says he "raised the issue" with Kerry, in that meeting.
However, US warplanes may end up bombing government troops under the command of a legitimate president --- an act of aggression against a sovereign country that only the UN Security Council could authorize.
September will mark 1 year that the US-led coalition has been bombing positions of IS, in Iraq and Syria.
Back in November 2014, there were reports that the anti-IS campaign could be nothing but a move to allow the US military to oust President Assad through less direct means.
In 2013, Damascus narrowly escaped a US- led invasion after Russia brokered a deal for Syria to give up its chemical weapons.
At the time, UK Prime Minister David Cameron lost a bid in the House of Commons to ally UK forces with the US military, but now the Royal Air Force is bombing the positions of IS, along with the Americans.
An airstrike by the anti-IS coalition on Assad's troops might be a very dangerous precedent and cause a direct military conflict between Washington and Damascus, something that diplomats have managed to avoid since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
Ukraine’s former prime minister Azarov announces Ukraine Salvation Committee Ukraine’s former prime minister Mykola Azarov announces, on Monday, the establishment of the Ukraine Salvation Committee.
"We state that Salvation of Ukraine Committees have been established, and are working in Ukraine," Azarov tells a press conference in Moscow.
"We ask all citizens, political parties, labour unions and social movements, to unite and restore order in our home, by using joint efforts," he adds.
Azarov says he cannot name all the members of the newly-established committees, because "they live and work in Ukraine, and this is very dangerous. The time will come when we will introduce them, first of all to Ukraine's people. I can assure you that they are patriots, who have no ties with the current authorities, or the former authorities," Azarov stresses.
"We know who carried out the coup in Ukraine, who refused to hold a dialogue with their own people. The Salvation Committee thinks it is impossible to restore accord, without first changing the political leadership.
"The Salvation Committee is, unfortunately, set up outside Ukraine, but I am sure that we will return. We address the Ukrainian people -- we are ready to assume the responsibility for restoring Ukraine’s development," he notes.
Azarov says the former Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, and people in his circle, will not join the Committee for Salvation of Ukraine.
"When the committee was discussing this, we decided that those who had close ties with Ukraine’s former president, shouldn't join the committee," Azarov says, adding:
"Europe is beginning to understand that it bet wrongly. They wanted a European government, but instead they got a pro- Fascist one --- that is also absolutely incompetent on economic issues," Azarov says.
Azarov points out that, sooner or later, not only Ukraine's people, but also the European and US people as well, will ask the question: "What can be done with this regime?"
Th current Ukrainian authorities are too heavily reliant on "volunteer battalions" that "are ready to shoot at anybody," Azarov explains.
"What do the current authorities rely on? On the army? Not quite, I know them all really well. Now they stand to attention… But as soon as this regime falters, they will destroy this regime themselves. It relies only on volunteer battalions," Azarov says.
He notes that the existence of volunteer battalions is impermissible in a European country, and calls for the soonest possible disarmament of these battalions. "If you want to carry arms - go to the army, to the police, to the SBU [Security Service]," Azarov stresses.
The former prime minister also expresses confidence, that participants in volunteer battalions who commit crimes, should be "severely punished."
Syria Opposition Coalition Unit Cracks Abroad
Prensa Latina - Syria's opposition group abroad, known as Local Coordination Committees (LCC), has decided to leave the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), which it accuses of being manipulated by Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
In a letter sent yesterday and highlighted by local media today, the LCC leadership denounces the coalition for being 'a connected block controlled by external actors', says HispanTV digital version.
'We are ashamed to see what has happened with the coalition' stresses the document.
Leaders of those opposing the LCC express in the letter, that the SNC lacks leadership in the Syrian people, and is an ' organization unable to get the objectives proposed'.
They also blame the leadership of the opposition coalition for internal conflicts that occur therein, starting with the personal ambitions of some of its members who only think about their personal benefits.
The SNC, whose official name is the National Coalition for the Forces of the Syrian Revolution and Opposition (Cnfors), seeks to overthrow the government led by President Bashar al-Assad and has the open support of several Western powers, with France at the head, & some Gulf monarchies and other countries in the region such as Turkey.
Its military arm is the Free Syrian Army (SLA), a military organization equipped and financed by the French government, which is currently separating, after many of its members joined the terrorist brigades of the Islamic Group and the al-Nushra front.
Recently, several members of the ELS laid down their weapons in the western part of Zabadani, and asked to join the ranks of the Syrian army.
The CNS, the main political base in the context of the international media campaign --- which seeks to destabilize and fragment the Arab country --- refused to participate in the recent meetings in Moscow between the Damascus government and various opposition parties to achieve a political peaceful solution to the conflict started in 2011.
OBAMA SYRIA MOVE "NEGATIVE & PATHETIC"
Former CIA contractor Steven Kelley says the Pentagon is entering a “new stage” by threatening to use air power in Syria if US-backed forces in the country come under attack.
President Barack Obama has ordered the US military to use airstrikes against those who attack the US-backed forces in Syria.
White House National Security Council spokes- person, Alistair Baskey, says that the Obama administration has made clear it will “take the steps necessary to ensure that these forces could successfully carry out their mission.”
He added that the support would include “defensive fire support to protect them.”
“President Obama’s recent authorization of using air power to support this, defend this new US-backed force fighting in Syria, seems to be a new pathetic escalation,” Kelley tells Press TV on Monday.
“This is a very negative advance in this entire episode,” he says.
“I think it’s still pathetic and shows that the American efforts to topple Assad seem to be reaching a new stage.”
The analyst also criticizes the US for intervening in Syria’s internal affairs.
“The people that they're recruiting have no interest in fighting against ISIS (ISIL). They’re strictly there to fight Assad,” Kelley says.
Western Interference in Middle East Resulted in EU Migrant Crisis
Sputnik - The current migrant crisis in Europe is the result of Western interference in countries' internal affairs, Czech President, Milos Zeman, says, on Sunday.
In recent months, Europe has faced the biggest movement of undocumented immigration in years, with thousands risking a sea journey to Europe -- to flee violence in N Africa and the Middle East.
"The current wave of migration is rooted in the crazy idea to invade Iraq, which allegedly had weapons of mass destruction, but nothing was found,” Zeman says, in an interview with the Czech newspaper, Blesk.
In March 2003, a US-led coalition which initially included the UK, Australia and Poland, invaded Iraq, accusing its head, Saddam Hussein, of supporting terrorism and having weapons of mass destruction.
The international community’s desire to “restore order” in Libya & Syria resulted in the escalation of conflicts in both countries, leading to people leaving their homes, Zeman states.
“It's not only the US who's to blame for this, because some EU member states coordinated the operations against Libya,” Zeman says.
The president says he plans to speak at the UN General Assembly later this year, where he will suggest that the UN build military formations, to destroy terrorist training camps.
Canadian PM dissolves parliament, calls election for October
Canadian PM Stephen Harper has asked Governor General, David Johnston, to dissolve the country’s parliament, as he calls new elections.
Harper started his re-election campaign at a Conservative rally in Montreal on Sunday.
The elections will take place on October 19th.
If Harper wins, he will be the first Canadian PM since Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1908, to win 4 terms.
Human Development Figures Do Not Leave Room for Satisfaction The United Nations presents its report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which, instead of celebrating progress, suggests we all reflect on the sustained suffering of millions of human beings.
The text challenges humanity in key areas, such as the struggle against poverty and inequality, maternal and child heath, war --- and environmental sustainability.
According to the UN, over one billion people abandoned abject poverty, between 1980 & 2015 --- but 836 million are still living in that condition, in a world with enough natural & financial resources, to beat the scourge.
Experts asked by news agency Prensa Latina, shortly after the report was presented, assert that a good start in this direction, would be to stop the huge military expenditure and spread to all, those new scientific and technological achievements, which are, too frequently, an exclusive privilege for large companies.
Although 57 million children are out of school, almost twice that figure were in the same situation, 15 years ago.
Also, regarding children, around 16,000 minors under six die daily, most of preventable causes, although the MDG reduced mortality there from 90 to 43 per every 1,000 live births, taking the situation in 1990, as a reference point.
The head of data analysis of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Holly Newby, says our children represent the future. Thus, they must constitute the central point of any global development program.
Progress derived from the MDG is tremendous, but it's an unfinished task, she tells the media.
To Newby, it cannot be forgotten that six million children die every year, especially of avoidable causes --- one million of them die the same day they are born.
Since 1990, mothers' deaths during childbirth or due to complications related to childbirth, fell by almost half, from 380 cases per every 100,000 live births, to the current 210, which UNICEF says, is still too high to leave us satisfied.
The report also shows that, in the last 25 years, 2 billion human beings gained access to health services: but in 2015, 2.4 billion people continue without proper living conditions, including those 946 million people, who still defecate outdoors.
Newby also warns about the lack of water that affects 40% of the world's population and that there's a tendency for this problem to increase.
Wu regrets that the planet is still affected by inequalities, such as gender inequality and the unequal progress in the struggle against poverty and hunger --- among regions, and between the countryside and the cities.
In his opinion, wars and climate change, which affect the most vulnerable, and thwart human development, have a particularly cruel impact.
Wars pushed the number of displaced people -- in 2014 -- to 60 million, the highest numbers since World War II (1939-1945), he explains.
The diplomat demands greater political will, faced with the post-2015 agenda, planned to guarantee the continuity of the MDG.
The international community is designing a new framework of sustainable development that should be adopted by heads of State and Governments, in September, during a world summit, this year.
Church of England slams govt. over UK migrant crisis
The Church of England says David Cameron’s remarks on the plight of migrants struggling to enter the UK are devoid of human compassion.
“We’ve become an increasingly harsh world, and when we become harsh with each other & forget our humanity, then we end up in these standoff positions,” says Bishop Rev Trevor Willmott:
“We need to rediscover what it is to be a human, and that every human being matters.”
On Thursday, Cameron described migrants trying to reach the UK as a swarm. He also pledged to introduce measures, such as: more sniffer dogs at Calais.
Reverend Willmott also calls on Cameron to tone down his rhetoric and deal with the problem in a non-hostile way.
“To put them all together in that very unhelpful phrase just categorizes people, and I think he could soften that language – and that doesn’t mean not dealing with the issue. It means dealing with the issue in a non-hostile way.”
Writer and commentator, Joseph Ochieno, says the current migrant crisis is the result of Western foreign policy around the world.
Meanwhile, the UK and France urge other EU nations to help address the root cause of the Calais migrant crisis.
According to the state-run BBC, French police have used pepper spray overnight --- to force back a group of migrants who had cut through fencing at a Channel Tunnel terminal in Calais.
It said a crowd of people near fencing shouted: "Open the border" before being pepper-sprayed.
Cameron’s recent comments drew international and domestic criticism. Apart from the United Nations migration official, UK politicians have slammed the comment as indecent.
The deputy mayor of Calais also described Cameron’s comments as racist.
Other campaign groups also voiced dismay about Cameron’s latest remarks.
Hundreds of migrants have tried to make it into the undersea tunnel in recent weeks in the hope of finding a way onto a train or lorry headed for Britain. At least 10 migrants have died in attempting the journey, since June.
Ukraine's Rivne Region Might Start Uprising Against Kiev
Sputnik - Ukraine’s Rivne Region is on the brink of war with the Kiev government, says Yevhen Deidei, a Ukraine soldier who fought in Donbass and who is also a member of parliament in the Verkhovna Rada, reports TV Channel, Zvezda.
Local authorities are tired of the current government's criminal policy & are ready to take up arms to defend their rights, he says.
Rivne residents contacted Deidei, who arrived in the region to check the situation personally. He was horrified by what he saw: corruption of government officials, & the poor economic situation of local residents, were widespread.
Under current circumstances, local residents have no other choice but to defend their rights with arms in hand. Rivne will soon become a "second Donbass", the Rada MP concludes.
If things get heated in Rivne, Ukraine won't be able to survive fighting on two fronts; the government will quickly crumble to pieces.
That's why something has to be done quickly to avoid a second military conflict in Ukraine. The problem has to be "solved now --- and drastically," Deidei says.
Meanwhile, violence in Ukraine's southeast continues, despite the February ceasefire agreement signed by the representatives of Kiev, and the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, in Minsk.
Both sides accuse each other of violating the ceasefire agreement.
According to UN estimates, fighting in eastern Ukraine, which began in mid- April 2014, has killed over 6,500 people.
Russia should act more insistently to see UN Charter observed, says MP
TASS -Russia should take more resolute action to see the UN Charter observed, so that the UN retains its major role in the world, the chair of Russia’s committee for international affairs, Konstantin Kosachev, writes on his Facebook page, on Saturday.
He says Russia could fight "passively, when it has to use its right of veto, & actively - through putting forward its own initiatives, that are not so numerous, so far," the parliamentarian from the Federation Council, writes.
Kosachev accuses the US of trying to create a system, in which, the US and its loyal allies, would be outside the UN's jurisdiction. He dubs an attempt to force through a draft resolution on a tribunal on the Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight crash, as ‘dancing on the bones’...
He says, if international tribunals are to be created under the UN Charter’s Chapter VII, the first cases they should look into, are...
the NATO airstrikes on Belgrade in 1999, the 'operation' by the US and its allies against Iraq in 2003, in bypassing the United Nations, and their disregard for UN decisions on Libya, in 2011.
China Celebrates 88 Anniversary of Peoples Liberation Army Founding
China celebrates the 88th Anniversary of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, (PLA), the armed defender of this great nation, today.
China's Central Military Commission (CMC) promoted 10 senior military & armed police officers to general --- the highest rank for officers on active service in China.
At the promotion ceremony, President and CMC Chair, Xi Jinping, presented the officers with certificates of command, shook hands with them & expressed his congratulations.
Other celebrations include: 80 soldiers who held a group wedding to celebrate the 88th Anniversary of the Army.
Sao Paulo Forum Defends Latin America The Working Group of the Sao Paulo Forum (SPF) is defining today an action plan to confront what they see as a right-wing attack on the continent.
Changes in Latin America Are Not Irreversible, Warns Expert
This forum started 25 years ago, and many of its members lead governments in Latin America, today.
The 4th Meeting of SPF Parliamentarians & "The arrival of women to political spheres in Latin America: situation and challenges in the 21st century," will also be celebrated during today's penultimate working event.
Today's agenda is a prelude for the final stage, in which a plenary session of the forum will be held, to approve the action plan and reveal the 'Mexico Declaration'.
Several Forum member parties have won presidential elections in their countries, but this has intensified right-wing attacks --- with aggressions ranging from ignoring the election results, to preparing judicial coups, and increasing media & economic wars, it is reported here.
Such procedures are being executed against the governments of Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia, whose representatives at the Sao Paulo Forum exposed all these attempts at destabilizing their countries.
Prensa Latina suggests that in the action plan and the final statement, solidarity positions to these processes are defined, as well as other aims, such as decolonization, (read Falklands) and efforts to achieve a full integration of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
IS Terrorists Execute Over 3,000 Syrians in a Year
More than 3000 Syrian citizens have been killed by Islamic State, since the terrorist organization proclaimed a 'Caliphate' in both Syria and Iraq's territories --- over a year ago.
The latest executions were reported in al-Bukamal village, in Deir Ezzor province, 575 kilometers east of Damascus, on Friday.
According to information released on social networks, 3 people were decapitated there near Syria's border with Iraq, including one woman accused of practicing witchcraft, & 2 men, for an alleged religious offense.
NGOs monitoring the conflict, which has been hitting Syria since 2011, say that, among the 3,000 executions staged by the IS Jihadists, 1,809 of them are civilians, 76 are children, and 93, women.
The disclosed list also includes the execution of 930 civilians of the (Sunni) al-Shaitat tribe, 223 Kurds living in Aim al-Arab (Kobane) and Barj Botan villages, and 46 Al Mabojah city residents belonging to diverse ethnic groups.
Many of those massacres were filmed by the armed extremists and later, the videos were shown on Internet social networks.
Israeli regime, settlers face Palestinian anger over killing of toddler
Various Palestinian factions are voicing outrage at the recent death of a Palestinian infant in an arson attack by Israeli settlers, and calling for action to stop the recurring settler acts of violence.
Eighteen-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha burned to death, as Israeli settlers threw incendiary objects at Palestinian houses in the village of Duma, south of Nablus, early on Friday. The baby’s parents and his four-year-old brother, were also injured in the attack.
The assailants came from the nearby settlement of Ma’akeg Efraim, according to reports.
‘Israeli settlers, now legitimate targets’
The incident is sparking angry reactions from many Palestinians, including their political & resistance groups.
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, which is based in the Gaza Strip, declares that Israeli soldiers and settlers, will now be “legitimate targets for resistance.”
Hamas spokesperson, Hussam Badran, says popular action is needed to respond:
Israeli crimes, he says, can only be stopped by “comprehensive resistance in all its forms.”
Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian resistance movement, says Israel's regime is responsible for the acts of terrorism by settlers.
“Settlers and the Israeli army’s terrorism will be faced by a Palestinian will that does not accept surrender,” the group says.
The Fatah faction, based in the occupied West Bank, also calls the attack “cowardly,” & says Tel Aviv is to blame for the “disastrous crime” as it continuously engages in “incitement” against the Palestinians.
The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) also holds the Israeli regime responsible for the incident, blaming the acts of violence by Israeli settlers, on “decades of impunity” given by the Tel Aviv regime to them --- in spite of numerous acts of violence against Palestinians.
A people getting attacked on their own land
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Israeli settlers have carried out at least 120 attacks on Palestinians in East al- Quds (Jerusalem) and the West Bank, since the start of 2015.
The acts of violence often go unpunished despite the fact that Israeli soldiers are sometimes present at the scene of the attacks, strengthening a belief that the violence is condoned by the Israeli regime.
Over half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.
The UN and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are thus subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.
AIPAC trying to torpedo Iran nuclear agreement: Analyst
Israel is the primary impediment to world peace, Brandon Martinez, political commentator, says.
Israel and its supporters in the United States are the primary impediments to global stability, and are spending billions of dollars to undermine the conclusion of the Iran nuclear talks, a political commentator in Toronto says.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), & the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) are behind the relentless pressure on the US Congress to vote against the recent nuclear accord with Iran, he stresses.
AIPAC & ZOA are the two leading pro-Israel lobby groups in the US that “are frantically opposed to the deal, and are completely committed to torpedoing the deal, what- ever the cost is,” Martinez says on Friday.
“They’re willing to spend millions, if not billions of dollars, to undermine this deal;- they are frantic, they are scared, they are very, very worried, at this moment,” he adds.
“Israel has done everything in its power for decades, to make sure that the West and the Islamic world are at odds with each other, are at loggerheads, fighting and squabbling against each other, so that Israel can rule the roost and carve out its emporium, while everybody else is distracted,” he says.
President Barack Obama has sought to build political support beyond Washington, for the Iran nuclear agreement, urging thousands of supporters from across the US, to push Congress to support the deal.
Obama said Thursday that opponents of the deal are spending millions of dollars in order to sabotage it -- and try to start another war.
Iran and the P5+1 group -- the US, UK, France, China, Russia & Germany -- reached a conclusion on a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on July 14 in the Austrian capital of Vienna, after days of intense talks on Tehran’s nuclear program.
AIPAC, the biggest Israeli lobby group in the US, is deploying hundreds of lobbyists on Capitol Hill, to try to convince lawmakers to vote against JCPOA.
“This obviously reveals to the world that Israel & global Zionism, are the primary impediments to world peace & stability -- it’s not Iran.” he states.
Russia to deliver updated S-300 missile system to Iran
Vladimir Kozhin, President Vladimir Putin’s aide on military and technical cooperation, states that Moscow is working to upgrade the S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system it plans to deliver to Iran.
Vladimir Kozhin said on Thursday that Russia's S-300 air defense system is to be modernized before being delivered to Iran, given the fact that the original contract was struck a long time ago.
Last month, Yan Novikov, chief executive of the Russian state arms producer, Almaz-Antey, said all restrictions on S-300 deliveries to Tehran had 'now been removed.'
"All restrictions have been lifted by the political authorities. When there is a contract, we will supply the system, including to Iran," he said.
On April 13, Putin signed a presidential decree paving the way for the long-overdue delivery of the missile defense system to Iran.
The decision to deliver the missile system came after Iran and the P5+1 group reached a mutual understanding on Tehran’s nuclear program, in the Swiss city of Lausanne, on April the 2nd.
Moscow banned the delivery of the S-300 system to Tehran in 2010 -- on the pretext that the agreement it signed with Iran in 2007, was covered by a fourth round of the UN Security Council sanctions against the country over its nuclear program. The resolution bars hi-tech weapons sales to the Islamic Republic.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on May 25th that all issues surrounding delivery of the S-300 system to Iran were progressing well, adding that the defense system would be delivered to Iran at 'the soonest opportunity possible.'
World War III will spell end of humanity: Russia
Amid growing tensions between Moscow & the West, a senior Russian lawmaker has slammed enemies for resorting to Cold War-era tactics & threatening his country: warning that the start of a 3rd world war, will spell doom for humanity.
Sergei Naryshkin, chairperson of the State Duma, makes his remarks in an interview with Izvestia daily, published on Thursday, on the anniversary of Russia’s joining World War I on Serbia’s side, Russia Today reports.
“World War III would be the last for humanity... and strengthening Russia’s defense potential, including the budgetary decisions passed by the State Duma, is done only for one purpose, which is to prevent the war,” he says.
Pointing to Russia’s resolve to defend the interests of its allies & “close people,” he stresses that Moscow will not try to meet this end by using military force, but via “pressing for strict observation of international law by others --- and not by violating it.”
“Many military conflicts started with the silent connivance to the idea of 1 people’s superiority over others. In this sense the modern ideologies of 'exceptionalism', are extremely dangerous,” Naryshkin states.
The top parliamentarian adds that the Kremlin has many allies around the world, even in the countries whose governments aren't friendly toward Moscow.
“We know that real public sentiments are different there, if EU countries had the opportunity to make independent decisions on anti-Russian sanctions, we would see a very different picture,” he says.
He highlights that the current crisis in Europe is benefitting the US, as it's weakening EU nations and damaging their international reputation.
Relations between the West and Russia are at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War in 1991 --- largely due to the crisis in Ukraine.
Kiev and its Western allies accuse Moscow of sending troops into east Ukraine, to support pro-Russian anti-US coup forces.
Moscow has long denied involvement.
Turkish Attacks Cause Death of 190 Kurdish Guerrillas 190 members of the Workers Party of Kurdistan died due to attacks on their positions in Turkey and in northern Iraq --- as announced today by the digital version of the newspaper Hurriyet.
According to Hurriyet, Turkish intelligence says another 300 Kurdish guerrillas were wounded due to the bombing, justified by Ankara, by its need to 'defend national security'.
According to the report, the Turkish forces used more than 70 warplanes, attacked 130 targets, and destroyed 25 anti-aircraft artillery positions of the PKK.
The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week, launched military operations against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Kurds in northern Iraq.
The leader of the pro-Kurdish Democratic People's Party, Selahattin Demirtas, says the alleged fight of Turkey against terrorist groups, is a front for attacking the PKK and countering the Kurds... with whom, Turkey maintains a historic dispute.
After the bombing started, the high command of the guerrillas reported that the ceasefire made over 2 years ago, now, does not make sense any more.
Tensions between the government & PKK undermined peace talks initiated in 2012, and are now generating strong waves of violence in Turkey.
US military self-aiming rifles hacked through Wi-Fi bug
Hackers have revealed a way to easily take over the controls of US smart rifles, which have computerized scopes.
Security researchers have successfully hacked into the brains of a self-aiming sniper rifle that was adopted by the US army a short while ago.
Hacking couple Runa Sandvik & Michael Auger revealed a method to successfully manipulate or disable the computer controlling the scope on these rifles.
The rifle’s Achilles heel lies within its Linux OS and Wi-Fi connection, which is used to stream videos from the digital viewfinder onto laptops and other similar devices.
Once the Wi-Fi connection becomes active, a default password shared on all rifles can be used by any user on the network to connect to the gun.
This potential vulnerability is used by hackers who take control of the rifle’s computer and feed it inaccurate data.
"You can make it lie constantly to the user so they'll always miss their shot," Sandvik is quoted as saying, by Wired.
The attacker is said to be capable of choosing a completely new target and still hitting the bull’s eye on it.
Hackers are also capable of permanently changing variables like wind velocity, and even the type and the weight of the bullet the gun is loaded with --- without arousing the user’s suspicion.
The attackers may also permanently lock the owner out of the rifle, by defining a new PIN code.
The wireless attack however does not end here as the attacker can simply lock the trigger and then disable the whole computer --- which will render the $13,000 rifle useless.
Almost a year into its launch, the manufacturing company, TrackingPoint, has sold more than a thousand of these smart rifles, to US civilians.
The United States army was also set to take these weapons into service and acquired a number of them for testing purposes in 2014: but no additional info is being released to the public, in this regard.
Lockheed Martin's F-35 humiliated by aircraft from 1980s
A five-page brief written by an unnamed test pilot reveals that the highly expensive project suffers from serious design flaws, that result in energy losses and limited maneuverability in dogfights.
According to the document obtained by War Is Boring, in a test that was conducted on January 14, near the Edwards Air Force Base in California, two F-35A and F16D fighter jets. took each other on, in a mock air battle.
The dogfight was specifically designed to test F35’s effectiveness in a close-range air battle, where the modern aircraft would perform extreme maneuvers in order to target and “shoot down” the F-16, whose pilot was assigned to evade the attack, and to 'kill' the JSF.
However, it didn’t go as planned and the F-16, despite carrying extra fuel tanks to limit its maneuverability, came out victorious and 'humiliated' the modern fighter.
In an instance where the F-35 fighter was able to defeat its aging opponent, it lost much more energy than expected as a result of maneuvers exercised by the pilot.
The cockpit also had a faulty design and limited the pilot’s viewing range which let the F-16 sneak up on the F-35 from behind, without being seen quickly enough.
The extent of problems with the fancy fighter jet is so vast, that even US military officials can not hide their disappointment.
US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said earlier this week that the JSF is costing more than they had “ever imagined possible.”
“People believed we could go faster, cheaper, & better” but the strategy “has not worked as well as we'd hoped -- and that’s probably the understatement of the day,” Secretary James stated.
F-35, a developing project by Lockheed Martin Corp that has been going on for fifteen years, is said to be the highest costing weapon in the history of the US military, with a fleet of over 2400 units planned to be manufactured --- with an estimated cost of over $400 billion.
The Pentagon has set aside another $1 trillion to maintain and operate the Joint Strike Fighter program over the course of its lifetime, as stated by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
China, Russia to hold joint military drills in Sea of Japan
China and Russia are set to hold joint military exercises in the airspace and waters of the Sea of Japan as part of the growing defense cooperation between the two countries.
Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson, Yang Yujun, told reporters in Beijing, on Thursday, that an eight-day drill will be conducted on August 20-28 in the Peter the Great Gulf and other areas off the Russian coast.
The areas of the drills are located close to where the borders of Russia, China and North Korea come together.
Yang said the exercise will include training in air defense, anti-submarine and surface warfare, and landings.
Beijing will send seven naval ships along with fighter jets and other aircraft, Yang said, adding that China's naval contingent will also include a destroyer and a frigate.
According to the Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson, Russia's fleet will include submarines, surface vessels, and fixed- wing aircraft.
The senior Chinese official also said both sides will dispatch ship-borne helicopters and marines.
Yang added that a key objective of the military exercises is to "further enhance their capabilities of jointly coping with maritime security threats."
China and Russia conducted their first joint naval exercises in Mediterranean and European waters in the Black Sea, in May. Beijing & Moscow have already intensified cooperation in the political, economic and military spheres.
On May 8th, President Xi Jinping, during a meeting at the Kremlin with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, agreed to invest billions of dollars in the Russian economy.
Moscow is seeking to diversify its markets amid US-led Western sanctions against Russia over the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
China and Russia have been holding naval drills in Pacific waters since 2012 as the US moved to step up military cooperation with regional allies.
The latest drills could irk Japan due to the fact that the relationship between Beijing & Tokyo is strained by a territorial dispute.
Last week, Japan claimed that China has put 16 drilling rigs close to its maritime border with Japan in the East China Sea, claiming Beijing could exploit undersea reserves over which the two neighbors are at loggerheads.
Yang has dismissed Tokyo's claims, saying that Japan is exaggerating the 'threat' of China, in the Pacific region.
"The purpose of the Japanese accusation against China is to create and play up the China threat theory," Yang said, adding it provides Japan with "an excuse" for new 'defense' legislation.
Japan's lawmakers from the lower house of parliament have recently approved new controversial defense laws letting Japan's soldiers fight alongside allies, when under attack.
Defense Secretary: Deal Imposes No Limits on US Attacking Iran
antiwar.com - again, seeking to reassure the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Iran deal won’t bar a potential US attack on Iran, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter today insists the deal has “no limits” to US attacks, and that the US has such a “robust” amount of military force in the area, that they could hit anywhere in Iran, at any time. Carter has repeatedly talked up the idea of the US following the nuclear deal with a unilateral military strike on Iran for an unspecified reason, and presented the notion multiple times in the week after the deal’s announcement, during which he visited Israel and sought to assure them, that war is still 'in the works'. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Martin Dempsey appeared to talk back on the notion of a sudden attack, however, declaring in his own testimony how a US attack on Iran will be “an act of war,” while going to great lengths to avoid taking a position on the wisdom of launching such a war. Dempsey and other officials also presented, as part of the narrative on the deal, that it makes war less likely, as a plus for the administration, but this doesn’t seem to be sitting well with many in Congress, for whom a massive new war... is an end unto itself.
Africa Demands a UNSC Permanent Seat Prensa Latina -President of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, today, demands US support for the African continent to have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council (UNSC).
There is a longstanding unfairness that must be corrected in the United Nations. Africa is the only continent that is not represented on that UN body, says Dlamini Zuma.
"We are aware that this is no one-member decision, but we are asking all members to support us to secure the correction of that longstanding unfairness," she adds.
Turkey Promises to Continue Anti ISIS, Kurd Guerrilla Operations Turkey''s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today promises to continue military operations in Syria against the terrorist Islamic State (IS).... and in northern Iraq, against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
In a press conference shortly before leaving for China, the president said that "they will not step back in their fight against terrorism, and it is a process that will continue with the same determination."
With those statements, Erdogan refers to the bombings that started few days ago, against IS positions in Syria, and the PKK in northern Iraq, with the argument of guaranteeing, in that way, national security.
However, accusations have arisen lately, stating that these attacks have also hit Kurdish populations in Syria, something being denied by Turkey's authorities.
For its part, the opposition accuses the Justice and Development Party (AKP) provisional government of trying to lead the country into a war and to sow chaos.
Bombing in Yemen Stops Humanitarian Truce New bombing by an alliance led by Saudi Arabia confirms the abort (before starting) of a five-day humanitarian truce scheduled for last Sunday.
The media reported fierce air strikes against Anand air base, in the southern Lahj province, occupied by the Ansar Allah movement and troops loyal to ex president Saleh, and zones near Aden, the country's second largest city.
Shortly before, fighters from the alliance of 11 Islamic Conference Organization member nations mistakenly fired at tribal militias and soldiers loyal to president Abd Rabu Mansur Hadi, exiled in Saudi Arabia for the last few months, and left 15 dead and tens of injured.
Fighters in Aden deny statements made by Mansur Hadi's followers last week -- about their control of that city, where government officials have arrived to re-establish basic services and to deliver food and medicine.
Sources in this capital close to the Houthis report attacks on Sabr and Jaawala cities, both in the south, & Maarib province, east of Yemen's capital, but they are not able to provide any further details.
The truce, declared by the alliance unilaterally, had few posibilities of surviving --- since the Houthi leader, Abdelmalik El Huti, warned he had not been contacted by the UN, to inform him about the truce and its conditions.
Turkish Government Accused of Promoting War in the Country The leader of the Democratic People''s Party, Selahattin Demirtas, today accuses the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), of promoting a war in Turkey through its mass raids and bombings in neighboring nations.
"An acting Government with an acting prime minister is leading the country step by step to a civil war, a regional war," says Demirtas.
In June's elections, the AKP, which had ruled by majority since 2002, was forced to begin talks with other parties, but they have not reached a concensus yet and, in the mean- time, the previous Executive is performing as a 'provisional' executive.
With regard to the recent Turkish Air Force bombings in Syria and Iraq, and the internal raids --- with hundreds detained --- Demirtas considers this as a strategy thought out by the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and implemented by the prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, to create chaos in Turkey.
According to the politician, the AKP pretends to take advantage of this manufactured crisis to stay in power --- despite losing its majority in the elections.
"The AKP is a party that is in corruption up to its neck -- and it is irascibly looking for a way to return to government again," Hurriyet, the daily newspaper, quotes Demirtas saying.
A terrorist attack in Suruc locality, on the border with Syria, killed 32 activists just a few days ago, causing waves of tension and violence in Turkey.
Explosion Hits Turkey’s Pipeline, Halts Flow of Natural Gas from Iran
Unidentified persons attacked a pipeline carrying natural gas from Iran to Turkey in Turkey’s eastern province of Agri late on Monday evening, halting the flow.
Yemeni Army, PC Destroy Saudi Bases in Jizan As Ansarullah Gains more Support
The Yemeni army and fighters of the Popular Committees (PC) hit 2 military bases in Jizan, Southern Saudi Arabia, in retaliation for the continued airstrikes of Riyadh government's on Yemen.
"The Yemeni army and popular committees destroyed al-Mamout and al-Radif military bases in Jizan of Saudi Arabia,"Yemen's defense ministry states, on Tuesday.
The editor of the Yemeni weekly al-Massar writes on his Facebook page that Yemen's army and the Committees have destroyed over 200 vehicles of the Saudi army since the start of the Saudi aggression against Yemen on March 26th.
On Sunday, the national Yemeni army seized back control over about 12 military bases in the Southern parts of Yemen, after heavy clashes with Al-Qaeda militants and forces loyal to fugitive president Mansour Hadi.
The Yemeni forces also won back 10 military bases from militants' control, in the town of Mudiyah in Abyan province, Southern Yemen.
Moreover, tens of al-Qaeda militants and gun- men loyal to fugitive President Abed-Rabbu Mansour Hadi were killed in heavy clashes with the Yemeni forces.
In a similar development on Saturday, Yemeni forces seized back 10 other military bases in Lawdar, in Abyan province.
Meantime, sources announced that the Yemeni army and the popular committees hold over 80 Al-Qaeda terrorists captive in Aden province.
Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 125 days to restore power to Hadi, who stepped down in January and refused to reconsider the decision.
In another achievement, sixteen Yemeni political parties voiced their support, late on Monday, for Ansarullah movement in its fight against terror, and urged the powerful group to find "strategic options" to counter Saudi aggression against their country.
In a statement released Monday, 16 Yemeni parties express full support for Ansarullah’s leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, calling on the movement to explore "strategic options" to counter a brutal Saudi military aggression against Yemen.
They also voiced support for the Yemeni army troops & fighters of allied Popular Committees --- who are engaged, alongside the Ansarullah fighters, in heavy battles with Al-Qaeda-linked Takfiri terrorists and militants loyal to fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.
The United Nations has lately declared its highest- level humanitarian emergency in Yemen, as Saudi Arabia continues its deadly airstrikes against the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.
Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemen since March 26th to bring fugitive president Abed-Rabbu Mansour Hadi back into power.
The airstrikes have so far claimed the lives of more than 5,302 civilians, mostly women and children.
Syria, Kurdish forces push ISIL out of Hasakah: Report
Syrian government forces & Kurdish fighters have pushed the IS terrorists from the north- eastern city of Hasakah, says the so-called 'Syrian Observatory for Human Rights'.
ISIL Takfiri group “was expelled by the army' from Zuhur, the last district in which it was present' in Hasakah,” Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the London-based group says.
He says militants belonging to the terrorist group “have been pushed to the southern outskirts of the city.”
The victory was achieved after over a month of fighting in the city between Syrian government forces and Kurdish fighters on the one side, & the Takfiri terrorists on the other.
A Syrian military source adds that Syrian army forces killed over 500 gunmen in the process of clearing the city from Takfiri militants.
The source highlights the contribution of Kurdish forces to the victory, as they backed the Syrian army in cutting the militants’ supply routes.
According to the source, Syrian army forces are now demining the city.
A local Kurdish commander said at least 15 villages around Hasakah are 'uninhabitable' now, due to the mines laid by terrorists.
Last month, ISIL terrorists began their assault on Hasakah, before capturing a number of its neighborhoods and forcing the evacuation of many of its residents.
The conflict in Syria, which started in March 2011, has reportedly claimed over 230,000 lives, so far.
Violence has also forced over 3.8 million Syrians to take refuge in neighboring countries, including Jordan and Lebanon. More than 7.2 million others have been displaced within Syria, according to the United Nations.