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An Open Letter to Australia’s Politicians in Opposition to the Proposed Metadata Retention Laws March 17, 2015 – Written by: Rob Marsh

An Open Letter to Australia’s Politicians in Opposition to the Proposed Metadata Retention Laws

I recently wrote a rather long article on the potential dangers of new metadata retention laws to the fabric of our society and the functioning of our democracy. There is no issue I feel more passionate about in our society today, as it affects literally every one of us. We are witnessing the creation of the greatest weapon of oppression in the history of man, to quote Edward Snowden, and as individuals, citizens of a democracy, and human beings, we owe it to ourselves and each other to do what little we can to stall and hopefully stop this legislation from passing into law.

To that end, I’ve prepared an open letter to the politicians of this country outlining the failings of the legislation and other relevant information around metadata collection and the relation thereof to human rights.

Please send this to as many members of parliament as you can, and please share this template on your social media walls and any political groups you may be a part of. The more people that know that this is happening and that recognise that they are personally implicated in it, the more chance we have of stopping this draconian imposition on the freedoms of all Australians, rich and poor, powerless and powerful, male and female, old and young.

With your help, I sincerely believe we can make a positive difference.



An Open Letter to the Politicians of Australia on the Potential Adverse Effects of Proposed Metadata Retention Legislation on Human Rights and the Functioning of Our Democracy

This letter contains many references to the Report of the Inquiry into Potential Reforms of Australia’s National Security Legislation, where there is a number or text enclosed in brackets like so: (5.17), refer to the appropriate section of the report.

[Politician’s name],

I am writing to you to express my deep and sincere concern with regards to the proposed Metadata Retention legislation that the government wishes to pass by the 27th of March 2015.

This legislation represents, contrary to the claims of those with vested interests in seeing the legislation pass, a grave threat to the right to privacy, freedom of speech and association that is fundamental to a well-functioning democracy.

You may not be aware of what the legislation addresses, or what the “telecommunications data” it refers to actually entails.

Nicola Roxon, in a statement to the Attorney General, describes telecommunications data as: “Telecommunications data is information about the process of communication, as distinct from its content. It includes information about the identity of the sending and receiving parties and related subscriber details, account identifying information collected by the telecommunications carrier or ISP to establish the account, and information such as the time and date of the communication, its duration, location and type of communication. (5.7)

The proposed legislation, based on the definitions above, would give the Australian government unprecedented access to nearly every aspect of the online activity of it’s citizens, and the ability to infer a disturbingly accurate “pattern of life” from the collected data.

For example, you may have your cellphone’s GPS services enabled to use Google Maps. That data, in conjunction with your phone records and timestamps on the above data could clue in a security agency as to your most likely whereabouts on any given day. This poses an enormous risk to freedom of the press, as governments could use these capabilities to track journalists and their sources to frequented meeting places, limiting concerned parties’ abilities to bring sensitive information to the public for democratic review.

“The database will contain every page they accessed – every article they’ve read on a newspaper site, any online political activity, any purchases on ebay, books bought from amazon, Facebook pages visited etc.” – Ian Quick

In the words of former NSA/CIA Director Michael Hayden:

“We kill people based on metadata.”

Fears about the above stated powers and the implications thereof have been echoed by several EU countries.

The Romanian Court, with regards to local metadata retention, held that a “continuous legal obligation” to retain all traffic data for six months was incompatible with the rights to privacy and freedom of expression. (5.26)

In Germany, the Constitutional Court described metadata retention as a “serious restriction of the right to privacy” and stated that a “retention period of six months [was] at the upper limit of what should be considered proportionate”. (5.27)

The Czech Constitutional Court, in analogous statements, described misgivings about the potential abuses of these powers: “Individual citizens had insufficient guarantees against possible abuses of power by public authorities.” (5.28)

The EU Court of Justice found that the 2006 European Data Retention Directive violated citizens “fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data”.

With such strident international condemnation, it seems to go without saying that any committee responsible for review of similar legislation would be given express access to details of the proposed changes and sufficient resources to complete a sincere and detailed examination of the material. Oddly enough, these criteria were not met: “Having commenced the inquiry at the beginning of July 2012, the Committee was asked to report if at all possible by the end of the calendar year. This afforded the Committee a highly compressed and unachievable time frame of less than six months to examine what is an extensive list of potential reforms, some of which are far reaching.” (Introduction, Page 3)

It seems that the government also failed to provide the committee with the relevant draft legislation, leaving those involved to rely on speculation and inference rather than an appraisal of the raw data: “The Government sought the Committee’s views on a mandatory data retention regime. The Committee did not have access to draft legislation. Furthermore, the inadequate description of data retention in the terms of reference and discussion paper also impaired both the public discussion and the Committee’s consideration of the data retention issue.” (1.29)

The question of how efficacious metadata retention is in solving and preventing crime is a raging debate.

Electronic Freedom Australia noted that it was “highly questionable” whether data retention would aid in the investigation of terrorism, organised crime or other serious illegal activities:

“It is worth noting that determined criminals will have little difficulty disguising or anonymising their communications. There are many relatively simple and effective tools available that allow for the protection of communications from surveillance.” (5.167)

This is an excellent point. The proposed legislation is no secret. Those in the criminal world will have no doubt heard of the potential for their activities to be monitored and have likely already taken steps to anonymise their online behaviour. Even in the event that the scope of the metadata retention reforms is so broad that it includes tools for opening encrypted chats and messaging services, it is not unlikely that tech savvy individuals on the wrong side of the law will be developing tools to combat this unwanted intrusion, rendering the legislation effectively useless in dealing with its raison d’être: combating terrorism and serious crime.

An unintended consequence of the introduction of metadata retention could be the opposite of what it is designed to achieve: a progressive opacification of the internet, with more and more users turning to encrypted browsing and communication, thereby shrinking the usable pool of data.

“Why do we imagine that the criminals of the greatest concern to our security agencies will not be able to use any of numerous available means to anonymise their communications or indeed choose new services that are not captured by legislated data retention rules?”

This quote from Communications Minister Macolm Turnbull, in addition to his recently revealed use of the messaging app Wickr, which provides a platform for anyone to send and receive self-deleting encrypted messages, seems to indicate that the reforms are likely to bring about little change in the positive ability of law enforcement agencies to stop criminal activity.

Add to this comments made by Blueprints for Free Speech, indicating that “there is no evidence to suggest data retention would assist with the prevention of crime or terrorism. A 2011 study of Germany’s Data Retention Directive found it had no impact on either the effectiveness of criminal investigation or the crime rate. Further, the study specifically found that countries without data retention laws are not more vulnerable to crime.”

Make no bones about it, metadata retention is mass surveillance. It can be used to form a dataset, a pattern of life indicating your movements, interests, affiliations and beliefs. You will be paying for this intrusion of privacy through rises in service bills, a kind of “tele screen tax” if you will. You will be at a higher risk of identity theft through the creation of ‘honeypots’ of data, irresistible to organised criminals and foreign actors. Your basic rights to privacy, to freedom of speech, to live as a dignified human person, are being infringed upon in ways that do not preclude a broadening of the scope of these abuses.

Even the supporters of the legislation don’t buy into their own rhetoric, with members of the Liberal party using Wickr on a daily basis, showing the world that privacy is of the utmost importance even to those who adamantly maintain that it isn’t.

With unanimous condemnation from leading human rights groups around the world, with a public backlash on a scale almost never witnessed, with the potential for so much to go horribly wrong, we simply must put a stop to this.

Tony Abbott has made statements that he wants a parliamentary inquiry into the legislation to be scrapped. I think it’s our responsibility as members of our democracy to ask why anyone would want a piece of legislation with so many potential avenues for abuse to pass without appropriate scrutiny.

I implore you, with the utmost sincerity and urgency, to do whatever is within your power to oppose this legislation at the very least until it is put before an independent NGO and reviewed in depth, with all the aspects of the legislation made available for public review and scrutiny.

Thank you for your time and your consideration, I hope that we, together, can make history and bring our society forward into an age of social egalitarianism, where the ideals of freedom of speech and thought, freedom of association and transparency of government are enshrined as they once were, as the foundations of a working democracy.

Sincerely,

______

For more information on the legislation you can refer to the Report of the Inquiry into Potential Reforms of Australia’s National Security Legislation, which you can find here: http://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_business/committees/house_of_representatives_committees?url=pjcis/nsl2012/report.htm

An independent summary/opinion piece on the legislation can be found here: https://wideeyedandhopefullywild.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/metadata-and-you/

——

For the sender of this email: you can find the contact addresses of your parliamentarians at these links:

http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Members

http://www.aph.gov.au/~/media/03%20Senators%20and%20Members/32%20Members/Lists/MemList.pdf

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Heaven to Hell Timeline: Kilauea’s Ruthless Eruption: 18,000+ Earthquakes and so Much More – By Bahar Azizi (SOTT)

hawaii lava

© REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
Lava erupts on the outskirts of Pahoa during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, US, May 18, 2018.

Kilauea, a volcano along the southern shore of the island of Hawaii has been erupting almost continuously since 1983. On May 17th, its eruption however was one of the strongest ever recorded, throwing ash 30,000 feet in the air. This article shows a chronological summary of events – volcanic activity and earthquakes – that led up to the massive eruption, with events that occurred afterwards. This is followed by what we can expect for the future, and lastly, a short mention of disastrous flooding and a ‘rare’ phenomena that preceded the event.

Back in February, there already was some volcanic activity on the volcano’s East Rift Zone. The ongoing flows on the Pulama pali didn’t pose any threat at the time, however. In early March, a devastating rim collapse occurred, burning many trees. This was followed by ‘unusual’ formations of huge steam vortices, possibly caused by a combination of lava flow and the right wind and heat conditions.

In mid-April, lava from the volcano spilled over the banks of the summit lake overnight. The next day, the level of lava fell back below to the level of the rim. On April 30th, the crater floor of Puu Oo – a volcanic cone in the eastern rift zone of the volcano – collapsed, leading to evacuations in the Puna District, on the southeast coastline of the island.

hawaii map

A map of the Big Island of Hawaii showing the various districts.

Three days later, an earthquake measuring 5.5 magnitude took place off the south flank of the volcano. This was followed by 250 earthquakes in just 24 hours in the area, including one with a magnitude of 4.2. Most were minor however, but many of them were felt by locals. The volcano started spewing ash afterwards. These events made many fear that an eruption of Kilauea could be just days or hours away.

Shortly after the quakes, lava flowing from fissures opened by Kilauea, reached the Leilani Estates, located in the District of Puna. Around 10,000 Puna residents were evacuated. During a Facebook live broadcast, resident Ikaika Marzo from Pahoa, a place in the same district, urged everyone in the area to help their fellow community members evacuate safely, stressing that “there are fountains of lava, tons of lava coming out. Sounds like a jet engine.

On May 4th, a powerful 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the south flank of the volcano, the most powerful quake of all those that occurred in the days preceding, as well as the largest in Hawaii since 1975.

The strong earthquake generated small tsunami waves around the Big Island, caused several landslides along the Hamakua Coast and power outages for about 14,000 residents in Kaumana, Hilo and Puna. Meanwhile, volcanic eruptions were ongoing in Leilani Subdivision, with active volcanic vents located on Makamae, Kaupili and Mohala Streets, including a newly opened vent in the area. Six fissures in total – each several hundred yard longs – were confirmed in Leilani Estates at this time, which are still sending lava soaring as high as 125 feet in the air, reaching not only streets, but also residents’ backyards.

In a matter of days, fissures continued to appear, leading to a total of 22 on May 18th. As of today, 35 structures – including at least 26 homes – have been destroyed, and around 1,700 people were forced to leave their residences. Authorities have only allowed evacuees to return to their homes to quickly pick up their belongings.

lava street hawaii

© AP Photo/Marco Garcia
Lava burns across the road in the Leilani Estates in Pahoa, Hawaii, Saturday, May 5, 2018. Hundreds of anxious residents on the Big Island of Hawaii hunkered down Saturday for what could be weeks or months of upheaval as the dangers from an erupting Kilauea volcano continued to grow.

On May 17th, Kilauea finally erupted, sending a plume of ash 30,000 ft into the air. The eruption was Hawaii’s biggest in 100 years. In the following days, the volcano continued to spew lava, with some of it reaching the ocean near Pahoa. According to scientists this will affect local marine life for decades to come, with ‘night and day’ changes on the shoreline as Frank Samsone, a professor of oceanography at UH Manoa, told KHON. He added: “What used to be a lush productive environment with hot pools and animals of all different kinds, it’s going to be either a black sand beach or a cliff.

volcano hawaii

© AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Plumes of steam rise as lava enters the ocean near Pahoa, Hawaii Sunday, May 20, 2018. Kilauea volcano that is oozing, spewing and exploding on Hawaii’s Big Island has gotten more hazardous in recent days, with rivers of molten rock pouring into the ocean Sunday and flying lava causing the first major injury.

Around May 26th, blue flames were spotted burning in the lava produced methane gas from burning plants and trees. If ignited while trapped underground this methane could trigger destructive explosions. Geophysicist Jim Kauahikaua said: “It’s the first time, maybe the second time I’ve seen the blue flames thing. It’s very dramatic, very eerie.” Meanwhile, fissures have continued to emerge, with the 24th fissure opening on May 27th. By this time, 19 out of the 24 fissures were active.

kilaeua methane blue flame hawaii

© CBS News
At Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, eerie blue flames indicate the presence of methane gas.

Near the end of May, the lava flow took a dangerous turn as it reached the Puna Geothermal Venture plant, covering a well and threatening another, while also threatening nearby communities. This is the first time in recorded history that lava has ever reached a geothermal power plant. Authorities have responded by monitoring the wells, and taking preventive measures such as a complete shutdown of the geothermal plant, the capping of all 11 wells, and the removal of about 60,000 gallons of flammable liquid. This approach seems to have been successful, so far.

Around the same time, volcanic smog reached and blanketed the Marshall Islands and Micronesia, as it continued to move west.

Just as the lava keeps flowing and the smog keeps moving, so earthquakes continue to strike the big island. June started with a big rattle, as a magnitude 5.5 earthquake occurred 5 km south-west of Kilauea, sending a plume of ash up to 8,000 ft. This was the largest earthquake to strike the island since the aforementioned magnitude 6.9 earthquake that hit Hawaii on May 4th.

And while early May saw a total of about 250 earthquakes, early June topped that number as 500 quakes hit the summit area of Kilauea in just 24 hours. This was in fact the highest rate of quakes ever measured at the summit area, according to Brian Shiro, a supervisory geophysicist at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Exactly how many earthquakes occurred since Kilauea’s recent activity began is unclear, but authorities say that from May to June, Hawaii was been hit by over 12,000 earthquakes. By July 12th, the number had soared to 18,000+ earthquakes.

Meanwhile, between June 8th-12th, reports came in that more than 600 homes have been destroyed by the rivers of lava, with the number increasing as lava flows continue destroying everything in their path. The lava largely destroyed the town of Kapoho in the Puna District. The town is currently uninhabited.

On June 28th, author David Rothery, published an interesting piece regarding Kilauea’s 8th fissure. By mid-June this fissure had developed into a 200 ft high volcanic cone, prompting the suggestion that it could be considered as a new volcano. Rothery mentions, however, that since it is fed by magma from the same source of the volcano, volcanologists would likely discard such a suggestion. While Rothery agrees, he adds: “Although I would agree that the fissure 8 vent is not a volcano in its own right, it does surely deserve to be referred to by a suitably memorable designation.” Needless to say, it is an interesting development.

Kilauea

© US Geological Survey
The ‘fissure 8’ cone on June 15 2018.

The lava flows continue on to this day, entering the second month. As reported by the USGS, it is currently only fissure 8 that continues to erupt lava, with lava still flowing into the ocean. While the other fissures are inactive, the USGS does warn that “additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava in the area of the active fissures are possible at any time.” The prevalence of earthquakes continues unabated, with the current rate of earthquakes ranging from 20-35/hr.

map kilauea

© USGS
Map as of 3:00 p.m. HST, July 12, 2018. Given the dynamic nature of Kīlauea’s lower East Rift Zone eruption, with changing vent locations, fissures starting and stopping, and varying rates of lava effusion, map details shown here are accurate as of the date/time noted. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015.

A few days ago, on Friday July 13th, a small 2.6 magnitude earthquake was recorded, and after two hours was followed by a collapse explosion event occurring at the summit of Kilauea. After this event a small new island was formed. As the USGS reports:

A tiny new island of lava has formed on the northernmost part of the ocean entry. During this morning’s overflight, HVO’s field crew noticed the island was oozing lava similar to the lava oozing from the broad flow front along the coastline. [The new ”island”] was estimated to be just a few meters offshore, and perhaps 6-9 meters (20-30 ft) in diameter. It’s most likely part of the fissure 8 flow that’s entering the ocean – and possibly a submarine tumulus that built up underwater and emerged above sea level.

hawaii new island

© USGS photo
A small island has formed off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island.

Currently, fissure 8 activity has stabilized, but dangers continue to lurk. Yesterday, lava oozing into the ocean caused an explosion and sent a lump of molten rock crashing through the roof of a sightseeing tourist boat, injuring 23 people. Three of the injured, including a woman in her 20s whose leg was broken, were taken to a local hospital by ambulance. It happened so fast, the owner and captain of the tourist boat, Shane Turpin, never saw the explosion. “As we were exiting the zone, all of a sudden everything around us exploded,” Mr Turpin said: “It was everywhere.

What’s The Cause And What To Expect

Cosmic rays have been found to be a possible trigger for explosive volcanic eruptions as well as earthquakes. With cosmic rays on the increase, and getting worse, chances are high these are a contributing factor to the explosive eruptions of Kilauea, and the many earthquakes that occurred.

Authors of the highly recommended book Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection, Pierre Lescaudron and Laura Knight-Jadczyk, also mention a slowing down and ‘opening up’ process of the Earth as being possible contributing factors to what we are seeing today in terms of increased volcanic and seismic activity. One of the other possible contributing factors mentioned is solar radiation or the lack thereof:

“Some scientists have become aware of a correlation between sunspots and earthquakes and want to use sunspot data to help predict earthquakes. The theory is that an intensification of the magnetic field can cause changes in the geosphere [i.e. crust]. NASA and the European Geosciences Union have already put their stamp of approval on the sunspot hypothesis, which suggests that certain changes in Sun-Earth environment affect the magnetic field of the Earth, which can then trigger earthquakes in areas prone to them. It is not clear how such a trigger might work.” (p.130)

In a study published online on September 30th, 2015, entitled ‘On the possible relations between solar activities and global seismicity in the solar cycle 20 to 23 [year 1960 to 2013]’. Herdiwijaya et al. state: “We found clear evidences that in general high magnitude earthquake events and their depth were related to the low solar activity.

When it comes to volcanic activity, one paper entitled ‘Possible correlation between solar and volcanic activity in a long-term scale‘ published in 2003 by Střeštik states: “Solar activity governs the volcanic activity on the Earth in long-term scale. Volcanic activity is usually higher in periods of prolonged minima of solar activity and vice versa.

And right now, we’re entering the third month of a solar minimum… which may contribute to a continuing increase in both seismic and volcanic activity, possibly in Hawaii, but also elsewhere.

Besides lava flows continuing in Hawaii making its surroundings unsafe, there are also other effects of volcanic eruptions to consider. There have been many accounts of climate cooling following volcanic eruptions, and this may be the case for the Big Island as well. In one study, the authors focused on the eruption of Indonesia’s Mount Tambora in April 1815 that triggered the “year without summer” in 1816:

Mount Tambora’s eruption, the largest in the past several centuries, spewed a huge amount of sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere, where it turned into sulfate particles called aerosols. The layer of light-reflecting aerosols cooled Earth, setting in motion a chain of reactions that led to an extremely cold summer in 1816, especially across Europe and the northeast of North America. The “year without a summer” is blamed for widespread crop failure and disease, causing more than 100,000 deaths globally.

While severe global cooling may not hit Hawaii in the short term, the eruptions may contribute to colder temperatures in the area, as well as globally, in the near future, particularly given that the number and intensity of volcanic eruptions around the world is on the rise – the recent eruption of Guatemala’s Fuego volcano, that cost the lives of at least 109 people, being but one example.

Preceding Kilauea’s Eruption And Earthquakes

Kilauea’s eruption and earthquakes weren’t the only events that were significant in the state of Hawaii this year. Before all of the above took place, destructive floods and ‘rare’ or strange phenomena have occurred there that are worth mentioning. While these events may not be related to volcanic activity and earthquakes, all these events are part of the Earth Changes that have been happening all over the globe. Records are being broken left and right, and ‘rare’ phenomena are becoming the new normal, including the following.

Earlier this year on February 13th, Frankie Lucena of Puerto Rico spotted a rare Hawaiian light pillar while scanning the automated Gemini webcam on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano. One frame from the complete video can be seen below. As light pillars usually occur in colder climates, atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley notes that these are very rare, saying “I do not recall seeing examples of these pillars so far south or in a location like Hawaii.With the quieting Sun and more cosmic rays moving further into our atmosphere however, we can expect such phenomena to occur more frequently.

light pillar hawaii

On April 15th, a site in northern Kauai, Waipa, recorded 49.69 inches of rainfall in only 24 hours. While this measurement hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, it would mean that it broke the US 24-hour rainfall record (43 inches at Alvin, Texas, on July 25-26, 1979) as well as the 24-hour rainfall record for Hawaii (38 inches at Kilauea on Jan. 24-25, 1956).

The heavy rain triggered mudslides and flooding that destroyed homes – with at least two torn from their foundations – and shut down roadways. Vehicles were left stranded in over a foot of water on the Kalanianaole Highway because of the flooding. Hundreds of people were evacuated. The Daily Mail reported that some residents said it was worse than Hurricane Iniki in 1992. County spokeswoman Sarah Blane called it the worst storm in recent memory.

Record flooding in Hawaii

© The Weather Channel
Record flooding in Hawaii in April 2018.

The biggest eruption in decades, lava flows reaching neighborhoods, blue flames popping up indicating the presence of methane gas, the incredible number of earthquakes, the emergence of a fissure that could be regarded as a new volcano, the emergence of a small island off the coast due to the lava flows, a lump of molten rock crashing through the roof of a tourist boat… that is an impressive tally of amazing events for such a small area of the world. And when we factor in ‘rare’ events such as light pillars and disastrous floods caused by ‘the worst storm in recent memory’, we get an idea that ‘Earth Changes’ are certainly happening – and that we ought to be paying attention.

It should, however, be noted that it is highly unlikely that such events are the result of CO2 produced by humans, as Global Warmists insist. Instead, they are likely the result of many factors such as changes in solar activity, the slowdown in Earth’s rotation, cosmic rays, and other factors as explained in detail in the book Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection.

Bahar Azizi

Originally from Afghanistan, Bahar Azizi lives in Europe, holds an MA in psychology, is an instructor in Éiriú Eolas meditation, and is a keen animal lover. Bahar has been a contributing writer and editor at SOTT.net since 2012 and occasionally co-hosts the ‘Behind the Headlines’ show on ‌the Sott Radio Network.

Syrian War Report – July 16, 2018: Militants Hand Over Dozens Units Of Military Equipment To Army – By South Front – (VT)

Home WarZone Syrian War Report – July 16, 2018: Militants Hand Over Dozens

South Front

Syrian War Report – July 16, 2018: Militants Hand Over Dozens Units Of Military Equipment To Army

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543

…from SouthFront

A reconciliation process is developing in the areas recently liberated by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in southern Syria.

According to the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria, since the start of the implementation of the reconciliation deal militants have surrendered 20 battle tanks, 13 armoured vehicles, 6 anti-aircraft automatic guns, 13 anti-aircraft guns, 29 mortars, 3 artillery pieces, 83 shoulder-launched anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 55 heavy machine guns and 301 automatic rifles.

https://southfront.org/wp-content/plugins/fwduvp/content/video.php?path=https%3A%2F%2Fsouthfront.org%2Fsyrian-war-report-july-16-2018-militants-hand-over-dozens-units-of-military-equipment-to-army%2F&pid=1344

Militants are set to surrender more wepons and equipment in the coming days.

Additionally, the SAA and its allies have continued attacking positions of radical armed groups, including Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), in the provinces of Daraa and Quneitra.

Government troops have liberates the villages of Sarmin, Inkhil, Khirbat Siryah, Jasim as well as nearby points. According to local activists, SAA units are moving towards the town of al-Harah.

On July 14, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan voiced concerns over an expected military operation of the SAA in the province of Idlib during a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a Turkish presidential source said, according to Reuters. The phone call took place two days after the liberation of Daraa city.

Despite formal participation of the Astana talks format alongside with Iran and Russia, Ankara is not hurrying up to combat Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in the province of Idlib. If the SAA launched own operation, Turkey may make attempts to stop it.

The Popular Resistance of Raqqa (PRR), an anti-coalition resistance group operating in northeastern Syria, has carried out a bomb attack on a building, in which a meeting between representatives of the US-led coalition and commanders of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was allegedly taking place, the PRR claimed in a statement.

There are no reports on casualties in the attack. Nor the US-led coalition nor the SDF has commented on the PRR’s claims.

Meanwhile, reports appeared that the SDF may hand over the Omar oil field, located on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, to the Damascus government. While these reports remain unconfirmed, it is possible that Damascus will get access to the oil fields area.

The SDF, which is dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and their political wing – the PYD, has no capabilities to run oil fields within the controlled area. So, it does it involving government specialists and sharing the revenue with Damascus.

Lord Correlli Barnett and the Collapse of American Power – By Martin SIEFF(Strategic Culture Foundation )

Lord Correlli Barnett and the Collapse of American Power
Martin SIEFF | 16.07.2018 | WORLD / Americas, Europe

My old teacher and mentor, Elie Kedourie, Professor of Politics at the University of London liked to say that Clio, the Greek muse of history had a great sense of humor and irony. This thought comes vividly to mind rereading one of the most important books ever written on the causes of the decline and disintegration of the British Empire in the first half of the 21th century, Correlli Barnett’s The Collapse of British Power.

Barrett’s enormous and still controversial masterpiece was published in 1972. Yet today it has a greater relevance than ever. For every time “Britain” is mentioned in the text, cross the word out, then replace it with “the United States” or “America” and his explanations for British decline and fall apply and explain even more presciently the current dilemmas of the United States.

Barnett gave as major reasons for the collapse of British power strategic over-extension after World War I when the British, already administering an empire covering one quarter of the entire land territory and one quarter of the human race, stretched even further and saw themselves as the global hyper-power and police, charged with maintaining a true World Order across the entire planet.

Today, those words and conceptions have an especially eerie and contemporary ring.

By claiming to be the global hyper-power, Barnett cogently argued, the British instead guaranteed that they could not even remain as an international superpower. They overextended and exhausted themselves. They over-stretched and exhausted their land combat forces in a plethora of minor wars and counter-insurgencies around the world, most notably in Iraq, Palestine, Ireland and Afghanistan – all regions that have today an astonishingly contemporary ring.

In the end Britain’s imperial leaders extended their network of guarantees to the tiny, unstable and narrowly parochial states of Central and Eastern Europe, ensuring their inevitable strategic collisions with first Germany and then the Soviet Union – again, strategic misconceptions that echo with especial relevance today.

Barnett most of all explored the crumbling and collapse of Britain’s once awesome industrial base. He put this down to a fatal, blind – indeed deluded – reliance on the workings of the free market without any government intervention, encouragement or protection for strategic industries.

Britain practiced Free Trade from 1860 to 1931 except for the four years of World War I at the very same time its arch rivals Germany, the United States and Imperial Japan applied high industrial and agricultural tariffs and successfully developed their modern industries and rural economies, dramatically raising the standard of living of their peoples in the process.

The British then, like the Americans today believed in Free Trade as an economic panacea blind to the avalanche of empirical, practical evidence to the contrary.

Like modern Americans, they laid exaggerated importance on theoretical university education in the humanities and on liberal theories of economics and politics, while their ruling elites were pathetically ignorant of what today are known in the United States as the STEM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

It is therefore no coincidence that Margaret Thatcher, the only British leader to revive and stabilize her country’s economy and international standing since World War II, had worked professionally as a research scientist in the chemical industry. Thatcher also regarded Barnett as her favorite historian and raised him to the House of Lords as a Life Peer, an almost unprecedented honor for an academic British scholar.

Today Thatcher is gone but Barnett lives on at a remarkable 91. He followed up his 1972 masterpiece with three searing sequels on how the British threw away the manufacturing advantages they still enjoyed after being rescued in World War II by the alliance and support of the United States and the Soviet Union. Those three later books, The Audit of War: The Illusion and Reality of Britain as a Great Nation (1986), known in the United States as The Pride and the Fall; The Lost Victory: British Dreams and British Realities, 1945-50 (Macmillan, 1995) and The Verdict of Peace: Britain between her Yesterday and the Future remain definitive works today. They are known collectively as The Pride and Fall Sequence.

Ironically, Barnett greatly admired the America of the first half of the 20th century and held it up as an example of wise industrial, social, economic and strategic policies that Britain should have emulated but did not.

Instead the opposite happened, the Americans following the end of the Cold War plunged precisely into the same mad and futile dreams of eternal global leadership as the British had done, dragging them inexorably into one vicious, morally reprehensible and financially exhausting little “colonial” war after another to crush emerging national, social and economic movements around the world. They failed repeatedly.

Eventually these self-righteous and moralistic – but never moral – policies propelled Britain and its Empire into the one catastrophe they should have avoided at all costs – another world war.

Barnett recognized the fateful path the United States had taken. In 2003, never fearful of controversy he was scathingly critical of the US invasion of Iraq and its claimed moral and grand strategic goals. Clio, Muse of History must have applauded.

Tags: UK 

As Syrian Army liberates territory, West scrambling to save their White Helmets assets – By PRESS TV (SOTT)

White Helmets

© Hosam Katan / Reuters

Western countries have reportedly been scrambling to evacuate “volunteer” White Helmets from Syria, who have been accused of cooperating with Takfiri terrorists and staging false flag gas attacks.

CBS News broadcasting service reported on Saturday that White Helmets members are in danger of assassination and in need of rescue as the Syrian army intensifies its counter-terrorism operation in the country’s southern part.

The report said the issue of the White helmets’ withdrawal from Syria had been raised with US President Donald Trump in multiple conversations with allied countries on the sidelines of the July 11-12 NATO summit in Brussels.

The Netherlands, Britain, France, Canada and Germany have been trying to find a way to get an estimated 1,000 White Helmets volunteers and their family members out of Syria, the report added.

Comment: Just what these countries need: more jihadi ‘refugees’.

British Prime Minister Theresa May brought up the issue during her meeting with Trump in the UK, and that the topic may also be discussed at Trump’s upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The White Helmets was founded in Turkey in 2013 by former British MI5 officer James Le Mesurier.

Since its establishment, the group has received at least $55 million from the British Foreign Office, $23 million or more from the US Office of Transition Initiatives and untold millions from Qatar.

US officials and Western diplomats say the evacuation has not been formalized on the agenda of the July 16 Trump-Putin meeting due to uncertainty about the Russians’ help in the process, The CBS News said.

“We are not there yet at all in terms of firming up the necessity to have a discussion with Putin,” a Western diplomat said. “If we run out of options, and the only option left is the Russians, then it is worth pursuing.”

A US government official stressed that efforts to evacuate the White Helmets from Syria are in line with the Trump administration’s plans for a withdrawal from the Arab country.

“This effort says we are in the evacuation phase. It is an admission that the regime is going to regain control of the country and the White Helmets can’t remain,” he said. “Or else the regime will take repercussions on them.”

Back in March, Trump ordered the State Department to suspend $200 million in recovery funds for Syria, including aid to the White Helmets, amid a review of the future of the US role in the war-torn country.

Three months later, however, Trump authorized the release of $6.6 million in previously frozen funding for a volunteer organization, without referring to the $193.4 million that remains frozen.

Both Damascus and Moscow have accused the volunteer group of having staged the suspected chemical weapons attack in the town of Douma in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta region on April 7.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad described the White Helmets as “a branch of al-Qaeda and al-Nusra” militant groups and a “PR stunt” by the US, the UK and France.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the group claims to be a humanitarian NGO, but actually supports terrorists and covers up their crimes.

“The White Helmets not only feel at home on Jabhat al-Nusra and Daesh-controlled territories but openly sympathize with them and provide them with information and even financial support. How is that for double standards? There is documentary evidence of the White Helmets’ involvement in some of al-Nusra’s operations and cover-up over civilian deaths,” she said.

Comment: We can’t wait for Trudeau to dress up like a jihadist White Helmet and take some selfies with them once they get evacuated to Canada.

Chaos at the NATO Summit Benefits Eurasian Integration – By Federico PIERACCINI – (Strategic Culture Foundation)

Chaos at the NATO Summit Benefits Eurasian Integration

The chaos that has engulfed the NATO summit is yet further confirmation of the world’s transition from a unipolar to a multipolar order, with the return of great-power competition and different states jockeying for hegemony. Trump is adapting to this environment by seeking to survive politically in a hostile environment.

The meeting of the NATO countries in Brussels highlighted the apparent intentions of the US president towards his allies and the Atlantic organization. Trump’s strategy is to oblige the European countries to halt energy imports from Moscow and replace them with liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US at a price that is obviously not cheap. The gas would come from the US by ship, entailing huge logistical costs that are not the case with regard to physical pipelines between Europe and Russia. This issue directly affects Germany and the Nord Stream II project, a deal worth billions of euros.

The reasons behind Trump’s behavior are twofold. On the one hand, we have the politics of “America First”, with the intention of increasing exports of LNG while boasting of “successes” to the base. The other purpose of Trump’s words is to highlight, sotto voce, the inconsistency of EU countries, who despite considering Russia an existential danger, nevertheless strongly depend on Russia’s energy exports.

To be fair to Trump, these same EU countries — fearful of Moscow but ready to do business with it — do not even spend 2% of their GDP on defense, while the US commits closer to 4%. For Trump this is surreal and intolerable. The NATO Summit began more or less with this anomaly, conveyed by Trump in front of the cameras to Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, with Pompeo and the US ambassador to NATO on either side of him doing their best to remain impassive.

The photo-op with Merkel did not go any better. Needless to say, the American media is being driven into a tizzy. The headlines blare: “Trump betrays the allies”; “End of NATO”. CNN is in a state of mourning. Brzezinski’s daughter (yes, that Brzezinski ) almost vomited from the tension on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

In truth, Trump is engaging in a lot of public relations. When he makes these performances in front of the cameras, he is speaking directly to his electoral base, showing that he is keeping his promises by putting “America First”. To be honest, it would be more appropriate to declare, “America, b****h!”

To back his words up with actions, he slaps his allies with tariffs and sanctions against Russia, and now Iran, incurring huge losses for Europe. He mocks leaders like Merkel and Trudeau in public, and has humiliated Macron in front of the world.

In practical terms, Trump does not care whether Germany buys LNG from the United States. If this is to ever occur, then it will take 20 years, given the cost and time needed to build dozens of LNG facilities on the European and American coasts.

The summit between Trump and Putin in Helsinki could even lead to more drama if Trump wants to drive the media, liberals, neocons and his European allies into further conniptions.

It depends on the issues on his checklist that he has to deal with before the November midterm elections. I do not rule out seeing Kim Jong-un in Washington before then, or a summit between the US, Israel and Palestine — anything that will play to the desired optics. The issue is just that: all image, no substance.

Trump is focussing principally on triumphing in the November midterms, and to do so he needs to look like a winner. He will be keen to ensure the moneybags of the Israel lobby and Saudi Arabia keep flowing. In doing so, he will probably even win the 2010 presidential election. There is always the possibility that the Fed and other financial conglomerates will decide to commit harakiri and blow up the economy with a new financial crisis in order to get rid of Trump. It would be the deserved end of the US empire.

European politicians also await the midterms with great anticipation, hoping that this will be the end of the Trump nightmare. They still live in the same dreamworld of Hillary Clinton, believing that Democratic victory is possible and that Trump’s election was simply an anomaly.

They will not have woken from their nightmare when they come to realize that Trump has increased the number of Republicans in the House and Senate. Perhaps at that point, with sanctions in place against Russia and Iran and with huge economic losses and the prospect of another six years with Trump, a coin will drop for someone in Europe, and Trump will be seen as the catalyst for breaking ties with Washington and looking east towards a new set of alliances with China and Russia.

In conclusion, we are experiencing the full effects of the Trump presidency, which is destructive of and devastating for the neoliberal world order. As I said at least a year before he was elected, Trump is accelerating the decline of the United States as a lodestar for the West, representing Washington’s swan song as the only superpower.

It is not “America First”, it is Trump First. There is no strategy or logic behind it. There are only friendships, his personal ego, and the need to remain in the saddle for another six years. Meanwhile, get your popcorn ready in anticipation of the Helsinki summit.

Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering: How Can Anything So Obvious Be Denied by So Many? – ByVT Senior Editors – VT

31
2736

by Rand Clifford for Veterans Today

Perhaps the explanation lies in just that, lies, sky high; and the answer to how we are being herded into the “new world order” so acquiescently.The High Cabal/Deep State know human nature—especially when it comes to driving the cycle so elegantly documented in 1787 by Alexander Tyler, University of Edinburgh.

Tyler wrote that all “democracies” go through eight stages, 200 years being the average cycle time:

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back to bondage.

Rather an accurate description of the trajectory of the US, which appears to be somewhere in the “…complacency to apathy; apathy to dependence” zone.

Even all the false-flag terror, 9/11, “lone-gunman” shootings (to kill the second amendment, the first amendment already grey and cold), all the war crimes cloaked as humanitarian intervention against terrorism and false deeds of evil dictators slated for regime change. Meanwhile, our “blue heeler” mainstream media nips at the public’s Achilles heels. There remains one attack on the biosphere so comprehensive it’s hard to believe, plus, in the High Cabal’s favor, the vast majority of people simply don’t want to believe they are being sprayed like insects with:

Aluminum oxide nano particles, barium salts, barium titanates, ethylene dibromide, cadmium, methyl aluminum, desiccated human red blood cells, nano-aluminum-coated fiberglass, sub-micron particles (containing live biological matter), polymer fibers, unidentified bacteria, enterobacteria cloacal, enterobacteriaceae, mycoplasma, human white blood cells-A (restrictor enzyme used in research labs to snip and combine DNA), mold spores, bacilli and molds, yellow fungal mycotoxins, lead, mercury, zinc, nitrogen trifluoride, nickel, lithium, calcium, chromium, radioactive cesium, radioactive thorium, selenium, arsenic, titanium shards, silver, streptomyces, strontium, uranium….

Obvious chemtrails in northern England, 2015

Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering (SAG), colloquially known as “chemtrails”; the above list is what researchers have, so far, identified in the fallout, basically in order of prevalence. The High Cabal (HC) can literally spray whatever they want, for their desired effects.

It’s all “conspiracy theory”, officially, and sure gives heft to that burgeoning reality, “Never believe anything until it has been officially denied”.

From Business Wire:

January 31, 2011 03:27 PM Eastern Standard Time

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–E.L. Rothschild LLC, a private investment company led by Chairwoman Sir Evelyn de Rothschild and CEO Lynn Forester de Rothschild, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire a 70% interest in Weather Central, LP (www.wxc.com). The world’s leading provider of interactive weather graphics and data services for television, web, and mobile, Weather Central’s highly accurate and personalized forecasting offers businesses and consumers a truly unique suite of science-driven weather information products. The company will continue to operate under CEO and founder, Terry Kelly, as well as current management. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Founded in 1974, Weather Central is a global provider of professional on-air, online, print, mobile, and enterprise weather solutions and forecasting. With 180 employees, including 70 meteorologists….

Northern England, 2016, the green lines indicate chemtrails, in stark contrast to a contrail that is also visible

From TVNewser:

NBC Universal, along with private equity firms Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, said Sunday they will buy The Weather Channel from Landmark Communications. The Weather Channel will be run as a separate entity based in Atlanta with management provided by NBC Universal. In addition, NBC will add Web site weather.com to its list of media properties.

Press Release

NEW YORK — July 6, 2008 — NBC Universal, Bain Capital and The Blackstone Group today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire The Weather Channel properties from Landmark Communications. The Weather Channel will be operated as a separate entity, based in Atlanta, with management services to be provided by NBC Universal. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The transaction includes The Weather Channel Networks, the third-most-distributed cable network, seen in more than 97% of cable television homes in the US.

Blackstone Group, Bain Capitol, NBC—all owned by Rothschilds. [1]

Currently, the Weather Channel’s Weather.com is the market leader, with 50 million users according to comScore. Weather Underground is second with 25 million users. Yes, Rothschilds also purchased Weather Underground. [2]

Consider all the weather persons under blanket gag order to never, ever, say anything about SAG, or your career is over. Think of the stress, compromise and humiliation, having to professionally lie about what is so obvious to any person willing and able to look up and think independently at the same time. But the gag-order dispensers took some heat off the poor gagged “meteorologists” by inventing a new kind of cloud: cirrus aviaticus. [3]

Incredible as it seems, a vast majority of people seem to swallow this new kind of cloud as willingly as they swallowed, “persistent contrails”.  On the hope side, a growing number of people can tell the difference between ephemeral wisps of water vapor (contrails), and SAG. Actual contrails have been almost elinated by modern high-bypass turbofan engines. [4]

Prevalence of cirrus aviaticus clouds have gone sky high.

Lies seemingly impossible for intelligent and aware people to believe—how convenient for the HC that smart phones are blocking millions of especially younger generations from looking up and thinking independently at the same time.

The sky has always been a true-blue teller of what is coming; the sky is rarely so blue anymore. But it sure tells the truth, perhaps like never before, considering massive SAG assault on our biosphere.

SAG has even spawned signature diseases, translating into massive profits for our profit-based healthcare Lernaean Hydra, a many-headed serpent in Greek mythology. That hydra and its existence-extortion head, health insurance, is that head with the ObamaCare tattoo on its forehead.

We now have, chemtrail cough, chemtrail flu, Morgellons, and….

Dr. Gwen Scott mentions (in a 2005 documentary) that mortality from respiratory diseases went from being the 8th most leading cause of death in the USA to being the 3rd in a span of 5 years. What else do we know?  Aluminum is in the mix with its abundance of deleterious effects—not just effects on your health, but the health of every creature and every ecosystem on Earth. Aluminum is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.  Is this why now, some people as young as 26 years old are getting Alzheimer’s disease? [5]

Northern England, November 2015, a plane was spraying parallel chemtrails all across the sky.

HEAVY METALS POISON THE HUMAN BODY, causing chronic fatigue, splitting headaches, upset stomach. The central nervous system is effected causing spells of dizziness, insomnia, poor concentration abilities,  lack of muscular coordination and tiredness.

BARIUM CAUSES—anxiety, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath and weakness in the muscles. Chronic fatigue, watery eyes, dry throat; prolonged exposure can cause paralysis and death.

ZINC is necessary—but too much zinc ingested begins to act as a poison in the liver, kidney and pancreas, and causes a wide range of neurological ailments.

ARSENIC: tests are above the safe level—however, NO arsenic should be in rainwater. Over the “safe level” causes headaches, confusion, sleepiness, and convulsions; arsenic poisoning causes vomiting, diarrhea, kidney cancer, skin cancer, scrotal cancer, liver cancer; cancer of the lymphatic system, and lung cancer; blood in the urine, severe muscle cramping, hair loss, stomach pain, coma and death.

So many of the other elements comprising cirrus aviaticus can cause myriad health ailments….

Get ready, humanity and all that supports its health, for stratospheric bondage, the New World Order. It’s even written in stone. [6]

Northern England, this is a contrail, note how it is short, does not persist

Links:

[1]  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/media-almost-all-owned-controlled-us-rothschilds-bryan

[2]   https://www.thewrap.com/can-rothschilds-weather-storm-controversy-27600/

[3]   https://www.google.com/search?q=cirrus+aviaticus&client=firefox-b-1&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjBo72B1JXcAhU6CDQIHSeSBNAQ7AkITg&biw=1024&bih=631

[4]   https://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/the-contrail-lie/

[5]  https://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/dr-gwen-scott-speaks-out-about-climate-engineering/

[6]  http://georgiaguidestone.blogspot.com/

Rand Clifford lives in Spokane, Washington. He has published over 100 Internet articles since 2007. His novels, CASTLING, TIMING, and Priest Lake Cathedral are published by StarChief Press. Contact for Rand Clifford: randtruth@gmail.com

Ecuador Bows to US and IMF, Entering New Neoliberal Era – by Elliott Gabriel (MINT PRESS)

 

The warmth displayed by authorities over the past month to visiting U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and the IMF, respectively, further proves that Ecuador is melting back into the arms of international financial interests.

Nos llegan fotos de como reciben las calles de Quito al vicepresidente de EEUU, mientras el gobierno ecuatoriano pliega…

Posted by Desborde – Ecuador on Wednesday, June 27, 2018

 

Global financial profits over people

Pence’s visit to Quito coincided with the first major IMF Article IV visit to the country in years, where a team held over two weeks of discussions with the government over how far the government would be willing to go to secure IMF loans.

The IMF report on the consultations enthusiastically discusses the re-establishment of “a competitive private-sector driven economy,” a far cry from the original sentiment of the Citizens’ Revolution – “Another World Is Possible” – that boosted Moreno into prominence. The IMF team praised the Productive Development Law, as well as moves made to introduce “flexibility” to the labor market – a euphemism for the weakening of the labor code to favor employers – tackle corruption, and broaden trade agreements like the anticipated free trade-agreement to be entered into with Washington later this year.

A report by JP Morgan released earlier this month offers a no-nonsense analysis of the government’s “complicated dance” to reintroduce conformity with IMF diktat back to the country’s ruling political culture, given the awareness of Ecuadorian social movement toward the devastation it would bring.

The report notes:

Moreno’s sense of political strength is a relevant variable for his ultimate decision to sign off on any recommendation to embrace a Fund program. A current court case against ex-President Correa for allegedly directing a 2012 kidnapping of a political opponent could impede Moreno’s chief political opponent from coming back to Ecuador from his current location in Belgium, and also weaken the Correista block in the National Assembly.

While Moreno would likely have to work hard to build a congressional coalition to pass any hypothetical additional IMF conditionality, we think the center-right opposition could be brought on board, especially as Moreno has no intention of running for reelection, and for now there is no heir apparent from the center-left. Meanwhile, the government has been portraying the Pence [visit] as a foreign policy victory and a sign of strong international backing for the Moreno administration. Aside from security and trade issues, the visit is likely to help secure key support from Washington in any future multilateral assistance program.”

But such “multilateral assistance,” whether it be from the IMF or the World Bank, will come at a great cost and will likely give a bigger boost to social inequality and environmental degradation than it will to the long-term financial health of Ecuador.

This would be disastrous for the people of the region, potentially leading to new waves of mass migration from the south to the north – another aspect of neoliberal globalization’s model for maximizing profit from poorly-paid labor.

As author and political economy professor John Smith wrote in Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century (2016):

By uprooting hundreds of millions of workers and farmers in southern nations from their ties to the land and their jobs in protected national industries, neoliberal capitalism has accelerated the expansion of a vast pool of super-exploitable labor. Suppression of labor mobility has interacted with this hugely increased supply to produce a dramatic widening of international wage differentials, which, according to World Bank researchers, ‘exceed any other form of border-induced price gap by an order of magnitude or more.’”

Ecuador is currently witnessing a rapid transformation from a proud, sovereign nation with progressive social and macroeconomic policies to a debtor nation ruled by a cunning technocrat whose government may well reduce investments in education, health care, food, energy and social programs back to pre-Correa levels. Government ministries could rapidly be dissolved, while public assets are in danger of being privatized.

As is the case in other parts of the Global South, the people of the Andes are facing a major offensive by U.S. imperialism and U.S.-aligned transnational elites. The fight against neoliberalism may not have found more than a glimpse of a “New Dawn” in the states, trade blocs, and alliances of “21st-century socialism” — but by no means does this signal that those who freed themselves from poverty, illiteracy and maldevelopment over the past years will allow themselves to be dragged once again into the long, dark night without putting up a fight.

Top Photo | Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno, right, shakes hand with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the government palace in Quito, Ecuador, June 28, 2018. Dolores Ochoa | AP

Elliott Gabriel is a former staff writer for teleSUR English and a MintPress News contributor based in Quito, Ecuador. He has taken extensive part in advocacy and organizing in the pro-labor, migrant justice and police accountability movements of Southern California and the state’s Central Coast.

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The Truth Perspective: Trump’s Zionist Ball and Chain: The Kushner-AIPAC-Port Authority Connection – By SOTT

Trump Kushner Netanyahu

© Hispan TV

Most Americans probably know Jared Kushner as Ivanka Trump’s husband, and President Trump’s right-hand man working on the Trump administration’s Israel-Palestine ‘deal of the century’. But how many remember his father, Charles? The elder Kushner is a real-estate developer, like Trump. But he’s also a convicted felon who has done jail time for his corrupt ‘business’ practices, various financial crimes and mafia-like antics. He’s also close friends with Benjamin Netanyahu, who once slept in Jared’s bed when Jared was a teenager (don’t worry, Jared slept in the basement).

Scratch below the surface of Kushner’s past and you will uncover the corrupt world of New Jersey and New York politics, the Port Authority, organized crime, and a pay-to-play system that would make Hillary and Bill blush: bribery and blackmail, trysts and affairs, conspiracy and collusion, revolving-door nepotism, backstabbing and lobbying for the interests of a foreign state. As Ryan Dawson of Anti-Neocon Report puts it, “Crooks are using the state to enrich themselves and then using this wealth to further the interest of the Israeli regime and its grip over America money, media, and military power.”

Today on the Truth Perspective we discuss Dawson’s 2017 documentary God Is Not A Real Estate Agent: Trump’s Zionist Ball & Chain, which goes into all these topics in depth.

Running Time: 01:23:54

Download: OGG, MP3

Listen live, chat, and call in to future shows on the SOTT Radio Network!

Articles Cited

Israel takes its last breath in southern Syria as Hezbollah and Iran join Syrians in confrontation with ISIS on Golan border – By Elijah J. Magnier (ejmagnier.co) (SOTT)

daraa map

The Syrian army and the allies of Hezbollah and Iran are preparing to finish off the last pockets of militants and jihadists in the city of Daraa (the western part of it), as well as the Quneitra governorate, where the “Islamic State-Welayat Houran” (ISIS in Quneitra) militants are in control of 18 km along the 1974-line separating Syria from the occupied Golan. The presence of these terrorist groups has been tolerated and even supported by Israel in the last years of the Syrian war.

The next battle will be decisive in ending all pockets outside the authority of the Damascus government. Despite this fact Israel is still trying to intervene in the Syrian south, resisting any acceptance of the status quo: the years of war are over on its borders, and Syria is regaining the control of its territory. Actually, it is also the Israeli officials who are breathing their last in the Syrian war, which is nearing its end. What will remain to be liberated is the US & Turkish occupied North of Syria.

But the failure of the regime change is not hitting only Israel but the entire assembly of pundits in Arab and western countries. Daraa al Balad (the place where the first the slogan was raised in 2011 “Allawites to the coffin and Christians to Beirut” (Alawi ila al-Tabut wal Masihi ila Beirut)), has capitulated to the Syrian Army, who are in control of 85% of the province of Daraa. The Syrian Army is also advancing in ISIS & Huran controlled territory and is taking control of the high ground in order to pound the terrorist group’s position. The sound of bombardment is heard in the occupied Golan Heights, under the nose of the Israeli Army – which is incapable of changing the course of this next battle.

Sources in the Syrian capital say that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Moscow will only weaken Israel’s position, revealing not only President Putin’s intention not to meet the demands of his Israeli guest, but also that Israel’s reference in Syria, as it has not resorted to its traditional ally (the United States), has become Moscow, not Washington.

Netanyahu’s presence in the Russian capital – in parallel with the presence of the envoy and adviser of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati in Moscow – will only bring him back empty handed to Tel Aviv. Instead of presenting himself as a prestigious political leader “trying to score points in his favour”, Netanyahu is looking extremely weak, and also politically impotent. Trying to compensate for his diplomatic failure with Moscow by bombing the three abandoned positions of the Syrian army in Quneitra will achieve nothing. Netanyahu has only managed to appear feebler: he does not dare hit the Syrians and their allied forces (Hezbollah and Iran), in the presence of the hundreds of special units who are in the process of liberating the south.

Several days ago, Netanyahu bombed positions at the T4 military airport, sending his jets deep into the desert of al-Badiyah and towards Homs province. It is clear that he is aided by the American forces occupying northern Syria, who allowed Israel to use its military airports built in al-Hasaka province.

However, the first response Israel got came from the Lebanese “Hezbollah” which sent more special forces to confront ISIS in the Quneitra province. The Syrian Army and its allies are preparing for this forthcoming important battle once the 18km enclave occupied by ISIS is completely besieged. Therefore, before beginning the last battle in the south, the evacuation of all Jabhat al-Nusra (aka Hayat Tahrir al-Sham) and other jihadists and militants is necessary.

The second response came from Iran, sending a drone to penetrate 10 km into Israel. This act constituted a blow to the Israeli defences, showing their slow reaction and intelligence and military defence weaknesses – even if the plane was later shot down by a Patriot missile.

The bottom line: Israel has pushed Iran to violate all the “red lines” that existed (even if these were not announced and agreed by the parties concerned). Instead of the Iranian-Israeli conflict taking place outside the borders of Israel, the military bras-de-fer has moved into Israeli airspace. The Iranian and Hezbollah violation of Israeli airspace – unthinkable to any country or organisation in the Middle East – has become a regular promenade.

Netanyahu is begging the Russian leader – this is the third visit in 6 months – to prevent Iran and Hezbollah’s presence on the Syrian border. It is obvious that he has failed in his attempt, due to Hezbollah and Iran’s manifest presence in the southern battle of Syria. The Israeli Prime Minister will also ask Donald Trump to raise the same topic at the upcoming summit between the Russian and the US leaders in the coming days. But no great achievement in this regard is expected for the following simple reasons:

  1. Syria is determined to regain full control of its southern territories. Actually, the battle was imposed during the Russian-Israeli negotiations and President Assad is determined not to give up any inch of territory. Therefore, he has not succumbed to the Israeli threats.
  2. Israel lowered its ceiling of demands when President Bashar al-Assad helped remove Prime Minister Netanyahu from the tree he climbed by ordering his forces to begin the battle, imposing his own tempo and asking his allies to participate in the battle against Jihadists.
  3. Damascus does not meet all Russian demands, despite their joint military collaboration across Syrian geography. This difference has emerged in more than one battle in recent years, without necessarily causing any fundamental clash of interest between the two parties.
  4. Assad meets his Iranian ally’s goals and objectives: the two agreed on their common hostility to Israel without interfering with the good Russian-Israeli relationship.
  5. Assad will not abandon the “axis of resistance,” which has proved itself by its fulfilment of its obligations, supporting Syria with men and weapons. This “Axis” has always been, and still is, confident in the cause of the Syrian president, even though he almost lost the country in 2013. The advocates in this axis defended the Levant without imposing their faith or making demands on Assad in exchange for their intervention. Moreover, the members of the “Axis” gave complete freedom of decision to Assad to decide what he considered his priorities and objectives. They did not interfere in his internal policies and – unlike Russia on several occasions – did not stake a claim to the day when the Syrian President must step down from office (apparently to appease the West and the Arabs).

Israel is expected to strike again and to bomb in Syria, pretending to be relaxed and comfortable. In fact, Israel looks like a wounded bird hit by a hunter: it is dancing from the pain of leaving Syria.

Israel pulled out from Lebanon in 2000 unconditionally, and today it is abandoning its allies in the Syrian south, leaving these – as it did with the South Lebanon Army – without any support.

Israel contributed to the rise of the resistance in Lebanon in 1982 which gave birth to Hezbollah, the most powerful organisation in the Middle East, which now competes with many regular armies in the Middle East. Israel erred in supporting the jihadists in Syria and assisting the plan to overthrow Assad: it managed only to create a “Hezbollah-Syria”.

Syria has downed more than one Israeli jet; drones flew over Israel and rockets and missiles were fired at its soldiers in the occupied Golan Heights. Today, Israel is reduced to threatening any force violating the 1974 line – which has never been violated for the last 40 years.

Following 2006, Israel has once more been defeated, and in Syria. The aggressive stance it has used when claiming to “defend itself” will no longer be successful with an “axis” which is determined to liberate all Syria’s occupied territories… and in the Lebanon. It is now no longer be possible for Israel to use “the right to defend itself” as an excuse to do just what it wants.

Proof read by: Maurice Brasher

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About Elijah J. Magnier

Veteran War Zone Correspondent and Senior Political Risk Analyst with over 35 years’ experience covering the Middle East and acquiring in-depth experience, robust contacts and political knowledge in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan and Syria. Specialised in terrorism and counter-terrorism, intelligence, political assessments, strategic planning and thorough insight in political networks in the region. Covered on the ground the Israeli invasion to Lebanon (1st war 1982), the Iraq-Iran war, the Lebanese civil war, the Gulf war (1991), the war in the former Yugoslavia (1992-1996), the US invasion to Iraq (2003 to date), the second war in Lebanon (2006), the war in Libya and Syria (2011 to date). Lived for many years in Lebanon, Bosnia, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria. View all posts by Elijah J Magnier

Comment: Yesterday the Syrians completely liberated the city of Daraa. All that remains are the pockets of FSA/al-Qaeda/ISIS along the border with occupied Golan. See: Where it all began: Syrian Army liberates Daraa from western-backed terrorists

The other new revolutionary Russian weapons systems: ASATs – By The Saker – [This analysis was written for the Unz Review

[This analysis was written for the Unz Review]

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the March 1st, 2018, speech of President Putin to the Federal Assembly, had a tectonic effect on the world public opinion. Initially, some tried to dismiss it as “Russian propaganda” and “bad CGI”, but pretty soon the reality hit hard, very hard: the Russians either had already deployed or were about to deploy weapon systems which were decades ahead of anything similar in the West and against which the West had no defensive measures.

For those interested in a good summary about these weapons, please check this rather well done RT video:

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, bluntly speaking of hypersonic weapons declared under oath that:

“Our defense is our deterrent capability. We don’t have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us, so our response would be our deterrent force, which would be the triad and the nuclear capabilities that we have to respond to such a threat.” 

In plain English this means the following: there are only two ways to deter an attack – denial or punishment.  Denial is when you prevent your adversary from striking you; punishment is when you make him pay dearly for the price of this attack.  Punishment is a very tricky and undesirable situation, not only because it gives “escalation dominance” to the other side, but also because using nuclear capabilities against a peer or even higher than peer nuclear superpower like Russia basically entails collective suicide.  Think of this in simple, practical terms. Say Russia disables or even sinks a US Navy carrier with a couple of hypersonic missiles. What would you do as a US President?  The Russian Navy simply does not have as lucrative (and highly symbolic) target as a US aircraft carrier anyway, but even if you decided to strike at the Admiral Kuznetsov or the heavy nuclear missile cruiser Petr Velikii, would you risk using nukes even though the Russians might reply in kind?  There is currently no US cruise missile capable of hitting, nevermind sinking, either the Kuznetsov or the Petr Velikii (who both have advanced air defenses which can easily defeat even a swarm of subsonic US anti-ship missiles, especially if they are escorted, which they will be).

The bottom line is this: the recent Russian advances in missile technology have basically made the US surface fleet pretty much useless in a conflict against Russia (and probably against China too).  At the same time, Russian advances in air defenses have not only made the entire US ABM system basically useless, it also denies the USA the cornerstone of all its tactics: air superiority.  This reality is slowly but surely sinking in.  This means that many billions of US tax dollars have gone to waste.  Not only that, but the entire US military strategy is now obsolete.

But there is more bad news for the AngloZionist Empire: in a recent interview by General Iurii Borisov, Deputy Prime Minister for Defense and Space Industry named six weapons systems which, in his opinion, have no counterpart in western arsenals. These include two almost never (or very rarely) mentioned before:

  1. The “Sarmat” heavy MIRVed ICBM
  2. The Sukhoi Su-57 aka “PAKFA”, the 5th generation jet fighter being developed for air superiority and attack operations
  3. The revolutionary T-14 “Armata” main battle tank
  4. The long-range S-500 air defense system
  5. The mobile anti-satellite system “Nudol“
  6. The ground-based mobile jamming system for satellite communications “Triada-2S“

While the first four systems listed have been known for a while, very little is known about the Nudol ASAT or the Triada-2S jamming systems.  A couple of years ago, in 2015, The Washington Free Beacon wrote one article about the Nudol system entitled “Russia Flight Tests Anti-Satellite Missile Moscow joins China in space warfare buildup” but I did not find anything at all in English about the Triada-2S.  There are a few articles published about these two systems in Russian however, and I will summarize them here beginning with the Nudol system

The Nudol weapons system

One Russian blogger posted what he says was a drawing of the Nudol system taken from an internal calendar of the Almaz-Antey Corporation. This is what Nudol is supposed to look like (see image). While still interesting, this image really reveals very little about Nudol. A transporter erector launcher (TEL) and two missile containers, just like in the S-300V, not much to go on. A Russian source identifies Nudol as part of a much larger system code-named “A-235/RTTs-181M/OKR Samolet-M” which is formed by integrating three separate systems, a long-range, intermediate range, and a short range. If true, this would indicate that while the Nudol missile launcher is mobile, it would probably have a targeting datalink from both mobile and fixed Russian air defense radars. In fact, the same source confirms that these systems will be fully integrated into the massive Don-2M (and, probably, the Voronezh and Darial) early warning radars.  It appears that the Russians had been working on initial concepts for such a weapon system since the 1990s and that 30 years later, this system is still in development.  However, some parts of it, such as the Nudol itself, seems to be near completion.  It is also interesting to note here that the S-500 “Prometheus” system also mentioned by General Borisov, which is supposed to replace both the S-300s and the S-400s in the Russian armed forces also reportedly has (low-orbit) anti-satellite capabilities (along with anti-ballistic and anti-aircraft missile capabilities). While the specifics are still unclear, what appears to be happening is that the Russians have decided to build a multi-layered but fully integrated air defense, anti-ballistic and anti-satellite system and now that the USA has fully withdrawn from the ABM Treaty, they are preparing to deploy it in the ABM and ASAT segments in the next couple of years.

The Triada-2S system

It appears that, again, we are not dealing with one system here, but two: the mobile anti-satellite complex Rudolf and the mobile complex of radio electronic destruction of communication satellites Triada-2S.  Russian sources refer to Rudolf as a mobile “strike” system implying the physical destruction of the targeted satellite while the Triada-2s appears to be destroying the satellite’s electronic communications (called “electronic suppression” in Russian terminology). Just as in the case of the Nudol, these systems appear to still be in the development phase and have not been accepted for deployment yet. It is worth mentioning here that the late Soviet Union had already developed some anti-satellite capabilities, including the ASAT rocket 79М6 (fired from a MiG-21D interceptor) and the Rokot/Nariad-V land-based rocket/missile system. This is all highly classified stuff and the specifics remain unclear, but the fact that work is continuing on these systems and that General Borisov has decided to publicly mention these systems indicate that the Russians are making a determined effort to develop a robust anti-satellite capability.

Porubshchik-2 – the newly revealed ASAT

In a recent article by RIA Novosti news agency yet another ASAT system is described: the Porubshchik-2. RT picked up on this article and posted this article in English.  While the RT article focuses mostly on the new electronic warfare capabilities of this aircraft, the Russian text puts more emphasis on the fact that this EW aircraft will have ASAT capabilities.  This system is still in development, but at the very least these show that the Russians are now developing a full array of anti-satellite systems.

Let’s add this all up

The Russian plan to counter the US military threat is becoming clearer and clearer with each passing day.  I would summarize as follows:

US Capability Russian Response
ABM system maneuverable hypersonic ballistic and very long-range cruise missiles
US aircraft carriers and surface fleet maneuverable hypersonic ballistic and very long-range cruise missiles
US airpower and cruise missiles advanced and integrated air defenses + 5th generation multirole fighters
US attack submarines advanced diesel-electric/AIP submarines in littoral and coastal waters
US command, control, communications, networks, and satellites electronic warfare and anti-satellite systems
US/NATO deployments near Russia Tank Armies with T-14s, doubling of the size of the Airborne Forces, Iskander missiles (see here)
US nuclear forces Deployment of a next-generation SSBNs, road-mobile and rail-mobile ICBMs, PAK-DA (next generation bomber) and ABM systems

By targeting US space-based capabilities Russia is aiming at an exceedingly important and currently extremely fragile segment of the US armed forces and the impact of that cannot be overstated. It is already well known that the US military has almost no practice operating in a highly contested electronic warfare environment and that, in fact, US EW capabilities have stagnated over the years. In the age of advanced communication and network-centric warfare, the disruption or elimination of any meaningful segment of the US space-based capabilities would have a dramatic impact on US warfighting capabilities. Just like US tactical air is practically completely dependent on AWACs support, all the branches of the US military have grown accustomed to enjoying advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities (C4ISR) and this is what the Russians want to deny them (and you can bet that the Chinese are working along the exact same lines).

This is not to say that Russia has achieved anywhere near full-spectrum dominance over the United States but it does mean that the United States has totally failed in its efforts to achieve anything near full-spectrum dominance over Russia and, therefore, over the rest of the planet. It is important to understand that while, for the USA, it is crucial to achieving superiority, for Russia it is enough to deny that superiority to the USA. Russia, therefore, has no need to achieve anything even remotely resembling full-spectrum dominance over the USA/NATO – all she needs to achieve is to make it impossible for the Empire to make her submit by force or threat of force.

The big problem of internal competition

Just as I had predicted in my article “Making Sense of the Russian 5th Generation Fighters in Syria” there is now high-level official statements indicating that Russia might only produce a limited amount of Su-57s. The reason? That the 4++ generation Su-35S is already very good good and much cheaper than the Su-57 and that Russian money should go towards developing a 6th generation multirole fighter. In other words, the main threat to the Su-57 program is not foreign competition (the Russians want to offer the Su-57 for export!), but internal competition. The same thing happened to the MiG-35 program (and before that to the MiG 1.44 project): they were beaten by Sukhoi. The MiG-35 appears to finally have been selected as a frontal aviation fighter, but the overall pattern is clear: unlike the USSR, Russia cannot afford to develop many similar or overlapping weapons systems at the same time. Some weapons systems will be produced in limited quantities while others might be canceled altogether.

Something similar will probably happen inside the Russian ASAT programs: projects will compete and not all will be deployed. Still, what is clear is that the Russians are working with a great deal of intensity on a number of different technologies whose purpose will be to take out US space capabilities in the early phases of any conflict. In contrast, the USA has spent so much money on very lucrative but useless weapons systems, that to restart a full-scaled ASAT program will take a lot of time (even if Trump has already declared that he wants to build “space forces” – check out this excellent commentary by Philip Giraldi on this topic), probably decades.

Modern weapon system developments have a huge “inertia”: they are hard to start, hard to develop and hard to stop once started.  This is especially true for a profoundly corrupt and delusional Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) like the US one (see my review of Andrei Martyanov’s excellent book on this topic here).  Considering the current crisis of the AngloZionist Empire and the trade/sanctions war Trump is currently waging on most of the planet, the chances of the US force planners correcting their past mistakes and adequately reacting to the new reality is probably very close to zero.  Trump’s attempt to develop space forces is therefore yet another case of too little, too late.  The gap between the advertised and the actual US military capabilities will only get bigger in the foreseeable future.

The Saker

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