Each “click” brings us one step closer to the “bang!” – By THE SAKER

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[This column was written for the Unz Review]

Trump pulled the trigger, but instead of a “bang!” what the world heard was a demure “click”. Considering that we are talking about playing a most dangerous game of potentially nuclear Russian AngloZionist roulette, the “click” is very good news indeed. But, to use the words of Nikki Haley, the US “gun” is still “locked and loaded”.

There are a number of versions out there about what really happened, but I think that the most likely explanation for that “click” is a combination of two events:

  1. The US did go out of its way to avoid even giving the appearance of attacking the Russian or Iranian forces in Syria. With these kinds of rules of engagement, the target list and flight trajectory of the US missiles was easy to predict for the Syrian air defenses.
  2. The Syrian air defenses, now integrated with the Russian C4ISR networks and probably upgraded, performed way better than most people had expected.

I honestly don’t know who in the US should get the credit for doing the right thing, but that person(s) deserves our collective gratitude. Rumors say that Mattis was the man, others point to Dunford and some even to Trump himself (I doubt that). Again, I don’t know who did it, but this action deserves a standing ovation. The fact that this (predictably) dismal performance was then covered up with silly statements about a “perfect strike” and “all missiles hit their target” is standard operating procedure, a basic exercise in face-saving and an attempt to appease the always bloodthirsty Neocons. The most important lesson from this latest development is that there are still some people in key positions in the US who did what had to be done to avoid a catastrophic escalation in Syria. The question now is how long can these “sane forces” (for lack of a better identifier) continue to resist the “crazies”?

Needless to say, the Israel Lobby and the Neocons are absolutely furious. And just to add insult to injury, the Russians are now saying that they will provide the Syrians with S-300 batteries (which would be able to track and engage Israeli aircraft practically from their take-off). I would argue that the Israelis did that one to themselves with their own missile strikes at the worst possible time, but the fact this is self-inflicted does not make it less painful for the Israelis.

But the biggest problem is that this outcome, while very positive by itself, really solves nothing. The key unresolved issues are

  1. Does anybody, especially the UNSC or/and Russia get to “veto” the AngloZionist Hegemony’s actions anywhere on the planet? The official US position is a categorical “no!”. The outcome in Syria, however, does strongly suggest a “yes”.
  2. Is the US willing to come to terms with the fact that the Hegemony has failed to overthrow the Syrian government and that the Syrians have won the war? The official US position on this has flip-flopped a number of times, but I would argue that the “no” camp is much stronger than the “yes” camp. The current US posture in Syria strongly suggests that the USA is not quite ready yet to “declare victory and leave”.
  3. Have the Skripal and Douma false flag chemical (pseudo-) attacks been sufficient to re-subordinate the post-Brexit EU to the Anglosphere and have the AngloZionists been successful in forging a united front for a “Crusade against Russia”? The majority of EU governments have been willing to endorse any nonsense or violation of international law under the pretext of “solidarity”, but there are still quite a few cracks in this apparent unity.

At this moment the situation is extremely fluid and there are too many potential variables which can determine the next developments in order to make a prediction better than a wild guess. The only thing which is certain that this confrontation between the AngloZionist Hegemony and Russia is far from over, both in Syria and elsewhere (the Ukraine).

Fundamentally, our entire planet has to make a choice between two mutually exclusive world orders.

  AngloZionist Hegemony Multipolar world
Civilizational model Single “western” Diverse
Economic model Capitalism Diverse
Political model Plutocracy Diverse
International Relations Regulated by the Hegemon Regulated by International Law
National sovereignty Fictional Real
Social and Cultural model Postmodernist secularism Traditional and local

Right now the “collective West” is engaged in a truly titanic effort to preserve the Hegemony, but the writing is very much on the wall, hence the kind of silly histrionics we now see from the likes of Trump, May and Macron. In this context, the war in Syria is primarily a war over the right of the USA to do whatever the hell it wants irrespective of international law, facts, logic or even common sense. Nikki Haley’s message to the world has been beautifully simple, consistent and blunt: “we are the Hegemon, we are above everything and everybody, above you and above any of your laws or principles. We are even above facts or logic. Bow down and worship us or else!“.

The problem for the AngloZionists is that while most western leaders have agreed to these terms (this is what “solidarity” means nowadays), the rest of the planet is quietly but actively seeking ways to explore other options and even some relatively weak and/or small countries (Bolivia for example) are still willing to openly reject this AngloZionist diktat. As for Russia and China, they are already de-facto creating a new, alternative, multi-polar world order where the Anglosphere will be limited to be only “one amongst many” and not the kind of planetary master-race its leaders fancy themselves to be.

It is interesting that the main tactic chosen by the “collective West” to respond to these challenges has been to basically go into deep denial and worry about perceptions much more than about facts on the ground. Hence the “perfect strike”. Carl Rove put it best when he saidWe’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do”.

In the 1990s there used to be a popular, but unattributed, quote which said “you have not won until CNN says that you won”. Today, we are witnessing something similar, just reversed: you have not lost until CNN says that you lost. I felt an eerie sense of déjà vu when Trump tweeted “mission accomplished” repeating the exact same words Dubya spoke on his aircraft carrier just before all hell truly broke loose in Iraq (I can imagine how the folks at CENTCOM, who are reportedly really upset, must have cringed when they heard this!). I hope that Marx was right when he said that “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce”. The long-suffering Middle-East has surely gone through enough tragedies, but I am afraid that what we have just witnessed with the latest US strike in Syria was the farce, and that a very real tragedy still might be in the making.

The Neocons can roughly be separated into two types: first, those stupid enough to believe that the latest strikes were, indeed, a magnificent success, and those who are just smart enough to realize that it was a pathetic flop. The first type will be emboldened by the sense of total impunity (and the US did, in fact, get away with this grievous violation of all the norms of civilized behavior and international law) while the second type will continue to demand a much stronger attack. Combine the two and you have a perfect recipe for a very dangerous situation.

And now here is the really bad news: the US ground forces (Army) are pretty much useless, while the US Navy and Air Force are in big, big trouble: the USN surface fleet is now quasi obsolete due to the Russian Kinzhal missile, while the USAF doesn’t seem to be able to operate in an environment with modern Russian surface to air missiles. None of them appear to be able to get anything done other than wasting an immense amount of money and killing a lot of people, mostly civilians. Just like their Israeli and Saudi allies, the US armed forces are just not capable of taking on any meaningful enemy capable of defending itself. There is only one segment of the US armed forces which is still fully capable of accomplishing its mission: the US nuclear triad. Hence all the attempts by US force planners and strategists to find a doctrine not only for the use of nuclear forces as a deterrent, but to re-conceptualize them as a war-fighting capability (missile defense, micro-nukes, etc.). Think of it this way: the only credible (real world) means of aggression left to the Empire are nuclear weapons. Many (most?) people don’t realize that (yet), but with each failed conventional attack this reality will become harder and harder to hide.

Will the people who this time around succeeded in foiling the Neocon plans for a real, hard, strike on Syria, and possibly even on the Russian task force in Syria, succeed the next time? I don’t know. But I can’t ignore the fact that each “click” brings us one step closer to the “bang”. And that suggests to me that the only real solution to this extremely dangerous situation is to find a way to remove the finger pressing on the trigger or, better, take away the gun from the nutcase threatening us all with it.

The Saker

How US Moves Against Russian Aluminum Giant Starts Crippling European Companies – By Sputnik

Pure aluminium ingots are seen stored at the foundry shop of the Rusal Krasnoyarsk aluminium smelter in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia November 9, 2017

The logo of German carmaker Volkswagen (VW) is pictured at the company's head quarters on November 22, 2016 in Wolfsburg, northern Germany.

The same perspective looms for the Australian-British multinational Rio Tinto, which depends on RUSAL due to its cheap processing. Rio Tinto, which announced that it would abide by the sanctions, supplies bauxite for a metal plant in Ireland. This may entail laying off 450 staffers of the Irish enterprise. According to the newspaper Irish Times, it’s unknown how the sanctions will influence the plant or whether the storage of bauxite is enough for the plant to keep working despite the sanctions. According to Bloomberg, Rio Tinto has warned it would have to put several plants on hold before new suppliers were found, which could take some time.Europe’s largest alumina refinery plant Aughinish Alumina, bought by RUSAL in 2007, stated that its inventory of bauxite will last till June, although the decision by Rio Tinto doesn’t instill confidence into the major players.

Apart from Glencore and Rio Tinto, RUSAL’s top five consumers include the US Arconic plant in Samara (Russia), Japan’s Toyota and Switzerland’s Mechem SA. According to RUSAL’s report, these five companies comprised a 40 percent share of the company’s sales over nine months of 2017.

The producers have to adjust now to higher aluminum prices, which hit record numbers over the past six years following the punitive measures against RUSAL.

READ MORE: Metal Prices Go Bananas Over Latest Batch of US Sanctions

On April 6 the US imposed economic sanctions on 38 Russian businessmen and senior government officials in response to an alleged poisoning attack on the country’s former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK. Oleg Deripaska’s company RUSAL has suffered the most from the recent sanctions.

RUSAL is Russia’s biggest aluminum producer and one of the world’s biggest suppliers of the metal, as well as alumina. Its production is traded on the world’s most prominent commodities markets. The company owns mines, refineries and smelters not only in Russia, but also all over the world, for example in Ireland and Jamaica. Although aluminum is dubbed the “flying metal,” aviation is not its major consumer. Aluminum alloys are widely used in construction and automobile manufacturing. Another major sector is food production, where it’s used to produce packaging.

DOMINO THEORY ALIVE AND WELL IN SYRIA; AMERICAN FRAUD; ATTACK ON SYRIA A MILITARY DISASTER – By Ziad Fadel

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Wonderful news abounding.  The town of Al-Dhumayr is now rodent free as the last vestiges of the Saudi-financed Jaysh Al-Islam boarded a green bus and left for Jaraablus on the Syrian-Turk border.  Al-Dhumayr is the site of one of Syria’s most important airbases which had come under attack by the Saudi terrorists there.  We can look forward today to our runways acting properly as the platforms for defending Syria from the Zionist Apartheid State, inter alia.

More great news.  The Syrian government has accepted an offer of surrender by terrorists in the West Ghouta, specifically in the towns of Yalda, Babeela and Bayt Sahm.  However, combat will not cease until Damascus is convinced that the terrorists have, indeed stopped all violent acts.  The negotiations are still underway with the terrorists agreeing to leave for the Eastern Syrian Desert and some to Idlib Governorate.  Most of the criminals are trying to arrange an amnesty and remain in their home towns.

Yesterday, in the East Qalamoon, 1,694 rats and their families left on buses to Jaraablus.  They turned over all heavy armaments to the SAA which included 1 tank, 1 BMB armored vehicle and 3 pickups with 23mm cannons.  They left in 31 buses and were all members of Jaysh Al-Islam, a group doomed to oblivion.

As part of the spoils of war, Syria turned over 2 unexploded Tomahawn cruise missiles to their Russian allies.

The SAA has embarked on a new campaign to the south of Damascus at Al-Hajar Al-Aswad.  This area is under the temporary control of ISIS and Al-Qaeda.  These two groups have indicated no desire to leave or submit to Syrian governance.  Accordingly, the Tiger Force will now begin the process of killing them all in the Yarmook Camp and Hajar Al-Aswad.

Dr. Assad has, reportedly, returned the Legion D’Honneur medal to France after it was revoked by the present French government.  Yawn.  The medal was returned via the Romanian Embassy which handles French affairs for Paris in the absence of a diplomatic staff.  The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the French that the president, “is not honored to have this medal bestowed upon him by a nation of slaves who attack other countries that are member states of the United Nations and by a nation which supports terrorism.”  It was first awarded to the president by former French president, Jacques Chirac in 2001 when Dr. Assad paid a visit to Paris. Good show, Dr. Assad.

_______________________________________________
NEWS AND COMMENT:

Absolutely fantastic article with precise analysis depicting the American-British-French attack as an outright fraud.  Sent by one of our anonymous readers:

https://www.sott.net/article/382908-About-Those-Nice-New-Smart-Missiles-And-The-Chemical-Weapons-Sites-in-Syria

John Esq. sends us this article by Elijah Magnier on the failure of the West’s strategy in Syria and how Russia pulled it off:

https://syria360.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/the-us-secret-plan-against-damascus-foiled-russian-role-before-and-after-the-us-uk-france-attack-revealed/

The indefatigable Tim Anderson sends this article about a doctor who doubts the CW claims in the West:

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-chemical-attack-gas-douma-robert-fisk-ghouta-damascus-a8307726.html

Brandon takes on the fraud of the CW in Syria quoting Vanessa very liberally.  Great article:

https://www.activistpost.com/2018/04/us-bombs-syria-to-cover-up-lack-of-evidence-on-chem-attacks-discredits-own-claims-by-doing-so.html

BBC interview with Lord West casts serious doubt about the CW attack in Douma (sent by Tim Anderson):

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/04/17/bbc-reporter-discourages-syria-questions-due-to-information-war-with-russia/

The criminal case against Trump, Macron and May is building. Watch this great interview by Tucker with former British ambassador to Syria.  This is not Robert Ford.  It’s Peter Ford: (From Sarah Abdullah)

Lavrov: After US-led strikes, Russia has ‘no moral barriers’ on S-300 deliveries to Syria – By RT

Lavrov: After US-led strikes, Russia has ‘no moral barriers’ on S-300 deliveries to Syria
Following the US-led bombardment of Syria last week over an alleged chemical attack by Damascus, Russia says it has no reason to not supply its S-300 missile system to Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

Moscow agreed with its international partners about 10 years ago to not deliver the S-300 to Damascus. “We took into consideration their argument that this would destabilize the situation, despite the missile systems being a purely defensive system,” Lavrov said in an interview to RIA Novosti.

READ MORE: Russia mulls supplying S-300 missile systems to Syria after US-led strikes

But given the latest spiraling of the crisis – in particular the use of the alleged Douma chemical attack as pre-text for striking Syria – things may take a U-turn. While around a decade ago, Moscow “heeded” the calls of its partners and put the deliveries on hold, the Russian foreign minister said it now has “no such moral obligation.”

In the wake of the US-led operation on Syria, Russia said it may consider sending supplies of S-300 missile systems to Damascus. Moscow believes it is “possible to return to mulling over the issue, and not only with regard to Syria but also to other states as well,” Russian General Staff Spokesman General Sergey Rudskoy stated at that time.

To repel the US-led attack, Syria deployed Soviet-made surface-to-air missile systems, including S-125 (NATO reporting name: SA-3 Goa), S-200 (SA-5 Gammon), 2K12 Kub (SA-6 Gainful) and Buk, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed a while later. Syria intercepted 71 out of over 103 cruise missiles and air-surface missiles launched at civilian and military targets, the MoD said, adding that Russian air defense units stationed in Syria were not involved in repelling the attack.

READ MORE: 5 things you should know about US-led ‘one-time’ strikes on Syria

S-300 surface-to-air missile systems (NATO reporting name: SA-10 Grumble) were developed in the Soviet Union to target aircraft and cruise missiles. Since 2007, Russia has been replacing older S-300 batteries with the more sophisticated S-400s. 

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President Assad is well-liked in his country and enjoys broad support, despite media distortions – By Free West Media (SOTT)

Asmaa al-Assad

First Lady Asmaa al-Assad with a group of Syrian Female Soldiers, Syrian Army

Many anti-war activists, even those who are against bombing Syria, have described President Assad’s rule as a “dictatorship” and his government as a “regime”.

Many are simply aping the mainstream media. The truth is that the president is well-liked by his people.

During the Syrian Presidential election in 2014, Assad won 88.7 percent of the votes with a turnout of 73.42 percent.

“This is a significant amount of voter turnout considering the last time the US had a higher percentage per capita was in 1896. This would suggest that as the war has progressed and the jihadist element became more evident, the people recognised Assad as a source of stability and peace,” Middle Eastern analyst Paul Antonopoulos believes.

“Despite mainstream media efforts to demonise Assad, he has the support of most Syrians. Questions about electoral fraud has arisen, says Antonopoulos, “but this overlooks that the elections were overseen by observers from over 30 countries including from post-colonial states like Brazil, India and Uganda”.

The observers said in a joint statement that “the Syrian people participated in the elections in total freedom, contrary to Western and regional propaganda that tried to fabricate a false narrative”.

A YouGov Siraj poll on Syria commissioned by The Doha Debates and funded by the Qatar Foundation in January 2012, found that at least 55 percent of Syrians supported Assad.

“It must be noted that this poll was funded and commissioned by Qatar who has been one of the key anti-Assad players, and even their poll, which could be susceptible to bias, found that the majority of Syrians supported Assad.

“It must also be highlighted that the poll has since been deleted from the The Doha Debates but the results of the poll are still cited by The Guardian in an opinion piece by Guardian columnist and author Jonathan Steele. These facts cannot be ignored,” said the analyst.

“Also the US as a Christian nation, why do people not listen to Syria’s Christians, one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, at all? They overwhelmingly support the government.” Meanwhile German tabloid Bild used the testimony of a fake eye witness of the alleged chemical attack, Deana Lynn. But in her own words on US NPR she admitted that she had not been near the site at all: “The second day, there was a chemical attack which was not near me, but I heard about it. And when I heard about it from some of the young men – they told me what happened.”

Diana Jamal el-Deen aka Deana Lynn told NPR she sat in a basement far away from the location and heard about it from some “young men”. She was evacuated to northern Syria after the SAA liberated Douma. Idlib, where she now lives, is a stronghold of ISIS in northern Syria, so it appears that she had been told this fake news by ISIS militants.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has called for ending the demonization of Russia and its people on Sunday. He said that Germany should do more to help de-escalate tensions, because of Germany’s unique history with Russia.

Steinmeier warned that the US-led airstrikes only raised the risk of direct confrontation between US and Russia.

Syrian Vice President of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Syrian Parliament, Ammar Assad said on Sunday that the missile attack launched by the United States, the United Kingdom and France had been paid for by the Crown Prince Saudi Mohammed bin Salman.

“US President Donald Trump has already announced on many occasions that Saudi Arabia should fund the coalition’s military operations. The US side has asked for four billion dollars. It is Saudi Arabia that finances all aggressive operations led by the US-led coalition in Syria, Iraq and Libya. Mohammed bin Salman went to France and the United States and paid all the expenses of a military aggression against Syria. The pleasure that Saudi Arabia has taken in this attack supports this assertion,” said Ammar Assad.”

Comment: See also:

What price will mankind have to pay for the collapse of the Empire? – By THE SAKER

  I am surrounded, they are outside, I don’t want them to take me and parade me, conduct the airstrike, they will make a mockery of me and this uniform. I want to die with dignity and take all these bastards with me. Please my last wish, conduct the airstrike, they will kill me either way. This is the end commander, thank you, tell my family and my country I love them. Tell them I was brave and I fought until I could no longer. Please take care of my family, avenge my death, goodbye commander, tell my family I love them

Alexander Prokhorenko

  This is for our guys”

Roman Filipov

[This analysis was written for the Unz Review]

We are currently living the most dangerous days in human history. You think that this is hyperbole?

Think again.

We are risking a nuclear Armageddon

The first thing to realize is that this is not, repeat, not about Syria or chemical weapons, not in Salsbury, not in Douma. That kind of nonsense is just “mental prolefeed” for the mentally deficient, politically blinded or otherwise zombified ideological drones who, from the Maine, to the Gulf of Tonkin, to NATO’s Gladio bombing of the Bologna train-station, to the best and greatest of them all – 9/11 of course – will just believe anything “their” (as they believe) side tells them. The truth is that the AngloZionists are the prime proliferators of chemical weapons in history (and the prime murderers of Arabs and Muslims too!). So their crocodile tears are just that – crocodile tears, even if their propaganda machine says otherwise.

Does anybody seriously believe that Trump, May, Macron or Netanyahu would be willing to risk an apocalyptic thermonuclear war which could kill several hundred million people in just a few hours because Assad has used chemical weapons on tens, hundreds or even thousands of innocent Syrian civilians (assuming, just for argument’s sake, that this accusation is founded)? Since when do the AngloZionist care about Arabs?! This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever!

For those who would say that speaking of “several hundred million people” killed is hyperbole, I would recommend looking up past western plans to “solve the Russian problem” including:

  • Plan Totality (1945): earmarked 20 Soviet cities for obliteration in a first strike: Moscow, Gorki, Kuybyshev, Sverdlovsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Saratov, Kazan, Leningrad, Baku, Tashkent, Chelyabinsk, Nizhny Tagil, Magnitogorsk, Molotov, Tbilisi, Stalinsk, Grozny, Irkutsk, and Yaroslavl.
  • Operation Unthinkable (1945) assumed a surprise attack by up to 47 British and American divisions in the area of Dresden, in the middle of Soviet lines. This represented almost a half of roughly 100 divisions (ca. 2.5 million men) available to the British, American and Canadian headquarters at that time. (…) The majority of any offensive operation would have been undertaken by American and British forces, as well as Polish forces and up to 100,000 German Wehrmacht soldiers.
  • Operation Dropshot (1949): included mission profiles that would have used 300 nuclear bombs and 29,000 high-explosive bombs on 200 targets in 100 cities and towns to wipe out 85% of the Soviet Union’s industrial potential at a single stroke. Between 75 and 100 of the 300 nuclear weapons were targeted to destroy Soviet combat aircraft on the ground.

Articles like this one, this one, and this one are also good pointers (these are all estimates, of course, nobody knows for sure; all that matters is an approximate orders of magnitude).

By the way, I am not suggesting that at this point in time the AngloZionists would want to deliberately start a thermonuclear war with Russia. What I am suggesting is that there is a very simple and basic asymmetry between the Russian and AngloZionist forces in the Middle-East which could lead to such an outcome regardless of original intentions. Here is how:

How are we risking a nuclear Armageddon?

Step one: the AngloZionists strike Syria hard enough to force the Russians to retaliate.
Step two: now outraged by the Russian response, the AngloZionists retaliate against the Russian forces in Syria.

At this point it is crucial to remember that while the Russians have better equipment and far better soldiers than their “western” opponents (the examples of Alexander Prokhorenko or Roman Filipov will tell you all you need to know about how Russians in Syria fight, especially compared to the kind of personnel deployed by the US and NATO), the CENTCOM+NATO+Israel+KSA have an immense numerical advantage. It does not matter how effective the Russian air defenses or (tiny) air superiority aircraft force is when it can simply be overwhelmed by numbers. All the Empire needs to do is first fire a large number of dumb old Tomahawk cruise missiles, let the Russian use their stores of air defense missiles and then follow-up with their more advanced weapons. The truth is that if the Empire wanted to, it could even establish a no-fly zone over Syria and completely wipe-out the Russian task force. Sure, there would be losses on both sides, the Russians would fight heroically, but they would lose. Unless, of course, they got help from the Motherland, specifically in the form of cruise missile attacks from the Black Sea Fleet, the Caspian Flotilla, the aircraft stationed in southern Russia (Crimea) or even in Iran. Russia also strike with land and sea based missiles. So Russia does have the capability to strike at numerous lucrative (and more or less defenseless) US and “coalition” targets throughout the Middle-East. But what would be the consequences of that?

Step three: Russian strikes on CENTCOM targets would force the Empire to fight back and strike at Russian Navy ships and, even worse, at military installations in Russia proper.
Step four: US/NATO attacks on Russian territory would inevitably trigger a Russian response on the USA itself.

That response would be initially conventional, but as the losses on both sides would mount, the use of nuclear weapons would be almost inevitable.

Yes, in theory, at any time during this escalatory cycle both sides could decide to de-escalate. In theory. But in the real world, I don’t see that happening nor have I ever seen any model which would convincingly explain how such a de-escalation could happen (especially with the exceptionally low-quality type of narcissistic and psychopathic individuals in command in the USA – think Trump or Bolton here – and all their “we are the best and biggest and greatest” pseudo-patriotic nonsense).

I am not predicting that this is what will actually happen, but I am saying that this is the risk the AngloZionist Empire is willing to take in order to achieve.. what exactly? What is worth taking such a risk?

I think that the UK Minister of Defense put it best: the AngloZionists want Russia to “go away and shut up”.

Why we are risking a nuclear Armageddon (go away and shut up!)

Go away and shut up” has been the dream of all western leaders since at least a millennium (interspersed and strengthened by regular (and failed) attempts at conquering and/or converting the Russians). Just think how frustrating it has been for a civilization which has established colonies worldwide, including in the farthest regions of our planet, to have this unconquerable nation right next door which was not only refusing to submit, but which would regularly defeat them on the battlefield even when they all joined forces lead by their “best and brightest” leaders (Napoleon, Hitler and… Trump?). Just imagine how a civilization centered on, and run by, bankers would go crazy realizing that immense riches were literally “right next door” but that those who lived on that land would, for some unfathomable reason, refuse to let them exploit it! The very existence of a “Russian Russia” is an affront to all the real (as opposed to official) western values and that is simply not something the leaders of the Empire are willing to tolerate. Hence Syria, hence the Ukraine, hence all the silly accusations of “novichok” cum buckwheat attacks. These are all expressions of the same policy

  1. Paint Russia as some kind of Mordor and create yet another “grand coalition” against her
  2. Force Russia to submit to the AngloZionist Hegemony
  3. Defeat Russia politically, economically or militarily

These are objectives for which it is worth risking it all, especially when your own Empire is collapsing and time is not on your side. What we are witnessing since at least 2015 is yet another western Crusade against Russia, a kind of holy war waged in the name of everything the West holds sacred (money, power, hegemonic world domination, secularism, etc.) against everything it abhors (sovereignty, independence, spirituality, traditions).

The simple truth is this: were it not for the Russian military capabilities, the West would have wiped Russia “off the map” long ago, and replaced it with something like a number of “mini-Poland’s” ruled by a liberal comprador elite just like the one currently in charge of the EU. The desperate scream “go away and shut up” is just the expression of having this “western dream” frustrated by the power of the Russian armed forces and the unity of the Russian people behind their current leader. But even the admittedly frustrating existence of Russia is not a sufficient reason to risk it all; there is much more at stake here.

Russia as the tip of a much larger iceberg

Due to geographical, historical, cultural, religious and military factors, Russia is today the objective leader of the worldwide resistance to Empire, at least in moral, psychological and political terms. But that does not mean that she is “anti-USA”, not at all. For one thing, Russia does absolutely not run or control the worldwide resistance to Empire. In fact, to a superficial analysis, Russia often looks pretty much alone in her stance (as shown by the recent Chinese behavior at the UN Security Council). The truth is that other countries who want an end to the AngloZionist hegemony have absolutely no incentive to join Russia on top of the US “shit list” and expose themselves to the wrath of the Hegemon, especially not when Russia seems to be more than willing to bear the brunt of the Empire’s hatred. Besides, like all large and powerful countries, Russia lacks real friends and most countries are more than happy to demand that Russia fix all their problems (as shown by the constant stream of accusations that Russia has not done enough in this or that part of the planet). And yet all these countries are not exactly standing in line to show solidarity with Russia when she might need it. So when I say that Russia leads the resistance I am not suggesting that she does that the way the USA runs NATO or some “coalition of the willing”. Russia simply leads by the fact that she does not “go away” or, even more so, does not “shut up”.

Russia is the only country on the planet, with the possible exception of Iran, which openly and unapologetically dares to denounce the Empire’s hypocrisy and which is willing to back her words with military power if needed. The DPRK is a unique and local case. As for the various Bolivarian countries and movements in Latin America, they are currently being defeated by the Empire. In theory, the Muslim world definitely has the potential to play a bigger role in the resistance to the Empire, but the Wahabi-virus injected into the Muslim world by the USA+KSA+Israel has, at least so far, prevented the emergence of a successful and truly Islamic model besides the one of the Islamic Republic of Iran (hence the demonization of the latter by the AngloZionists).

And yet …

The Empire is in the process of losing the entire Middle-East. Not so much because of some brilliant and Machiavellian Russian or Iranian policies, but more as a courtesy of its own infinitely arrogant, stupid and self-defeating policies. The overthrow of Saddam Hussein will probably go down in history as one of the dumbest political decisions ever (Bolton was behind that one too, by the way). That was an entirely self-inflicted catastrophe. As was the almost equally disastrous invasion of Afghanistan. Another self-inflicted disaster for the AngloZionists was their support for the US/EU led coup in the Ukraine, which not only resulted in a calamity which the Europeans will have to pay for for many decades to come (think of it as a big Somalia on the EU’s doorstep) but also did an amazing job uniting the Russian people behind their leaders and reduced the pro-Western feelings in the Russian public opinion to something in the range of 2-5 percent at the most. “Getting” the Ukraine sure would not have been worth “losing” Russia.

Then there is China which the USA has grossly mismanaged since the so-called Third Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1996 when Clinton militarily threatened China (see here for details) and with whom Trump has now launched a trade war in order to MAGA (good luck with that!).

In contrast, all the real “action” is now centered around the OBOR project in which China and Russia play the main role and in which the Anglosphere will play no role at all. Add the Petro-Yuan to the equation and you have the emergence of a new Eurasian model which threatens to make the entire Empire simply irrelevant.

And then there is Turkey (2nd most powerful NATO member state). And Pakistan for that matter. Or Afghanistan. Or Iraq. Or Yemen. Everywhere the Empire is in full retreat leaving only chaos behind.

The truth is that Russia would never be a credible threat to the AngloZionist Hegemony if it was not for the innumerable self-inflicted disasters the Empire has been absorbing year after year after year. In reality, Russia is no threat to anybody at all. And even China would not be a threat to the Empire if the latter was not so arrogant, so over-stretched, so ignorant, reckless and incompetent in its actions. Let me just give one simple, but stark, example: not only does the USA not have anything remotely resembling a consistent foreign policy, it does not even have any ministry of foreign affairs. The Department of State does not deal with diplomacy simply because the US leaders don’t believe in diplomacy as a concept. All the DoS does is issue threats, sanctions, ultimatums, make demands, deliver score-cards (on human rights and the like, of all things!) and explain to the public why the USA is almost constantly at war with somebody. That is not “diplomacy” and the likes of Nikki Haley are not diplomats. In fact, the USA has no use for International Law either, hence the self-same Nikki Haley openly declaring at a UNSC meeting that the USA is willing to ignore the decisions of the UNSC and act in complete violation of the UN Charter. Simply put: thugs have no need for any diplomacy. They don’t understand the concept.

Just like their Israeli masters and mentors, the US Americans have convinced themselves that all they need to be successful on the international scene is to either threaten the use of force or actually use force. Which works great (or so it seems) in Gaza or Grenada, but when dealing with China, Russia or Iran, this monomaniacal approach rapidly shows its limitations, especially when your force is really limited to shooting missiles from afar or murdering civilians (neither the USA nor Israel nor, for that matter, the KSA has a credible “boots on the ground” capability, hence their reliance on proxies).

The Empire is failing, fast, and for all the talk about “Animal Assad” or “Rocket Man” being in need of AngloZionist punishment, the stakes are the survival of Hegemony imposed upon mankind at the end of WWII and, again, at the end of the Cold War, and the future of our planet. There cannot be one World Hegemon and a multipolar world order regulated by international law. It’s an either-or situation. And in that sense, this is all much bigger than Syria or even Russia.

From Douma to Donetsk?

There is still a chance that the AngloZionists will decide to strike Syria symbolically, as they did last year following the previous chemical false flag in Khan Sheikhoun (Trump has now probably tweeted himself into a corner which makes some kind of attack almost inevitable). Should that happen though, we should not celebrate too soon as this will just be a minor course change, the 21st-century anti-Russia Crusade will continue, most likely in the form of a Ukronazi attack on the Donbass.

Quick reminder: the purpose of such an attack will not be to reconquer and then ethnically cleanse the Donbass, but to force the Russian Federation to prevent such an outcome by openly intervening. Such a Russian intervention will, of course, quickly stop the war and crush the Ukronazi forces, but at that point the tensions in Europe will go through the roof, meaning that NATO will (finally!) find a halfway credible mission for itself, the Germans will have to give up on North Stream II, Poland and the Baltic statelets will make money by becoming the East European version of Okinawa and the Anglo powers (US/UK) will firmly reestablish control over the EU, Brexit notwithstanding. Furthermore, Russia will become the target of a total economic war, including an energy blockade (the US will be more than happy to impose its overpriced gas on the Europeans), a disconnection from SWIFT, a seizure of Russian assets, a ban on Russian financial operations in the EU, etc. That could be risky, of course, especially with a trade war with China also taking place, but these are just options. What is certain is that as long as Putin or anybody like him remains in power in Russia, the Congress will continue to slap sanctions after sanctions after sanctions on Russia. In fact, during most of her history, even before the Revolution, Russia was under one type of western sanctions or another. There is absolutely nothing new here and, as I like to remind people these days, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, especially with maniacal regimes and leaders.

Besides, as I have already mentioned in the past, and unlike the current confrontation in Syria, a war in the Ukraine is a very safe bet for the Empire. First, when the goal is the defeat of “your” side, almost any military adventure is pretty safe. Second, once the Russians are in Novorussia, they will “own it”, meaning that they will have to carry the huge financial burden of rebuilding it. Third, such a Russian presence would consolidate and even boost the Ukie nationalists who, by the way, will have a golden opportunity to blame everything they did wrong over the past 4 years on the Russians. Fourth, any such operation will get a lot of the worst and most rabid Ukronazi killed and that will remove a potential problem from the Poroshenko-types the US much prefers to deal with. Finally, as I said, this will give NATO a sacred mission to “defend Europe against a revanchist Russian rogue state” thereby crushing any European hopes for even a modest degree of independence from the Anglosphere. And the worst case? The worst case would be if the Novorussians can stop the Ukronazi attack without overt Russian intervention. But even if that happens and even if the Novorussians launch some kind of counter-offensive liberating Mariupol or Slaviansk, these are irrelevant losses from the point of view of the Empire which sees both Russians and Ukrainians as cannon fodder. Just as the Empire wants Arabs and Muslims to kill each other on Israel’s behalf in the Middle-East, so does the Empire want nothing more than to see Ukrainians and Russians kill each other in maximal numbers and for as long as possible.

[Sidebar: Some might suggest here that the Novorussians could not only defeat the Ukronazi forces but also liberate the rest of the Ukraine, including Kiev. I find that exceedingly unlikely. Here is why: First, all the hurrah-patriotic nonsense notwithstanding, there are very good and objective reasons why the Novorussians could not liberate Mariupol the first time around (there was a major risk of Ukrainian envelopment for the Novorussian force) or why it took them so long to retake control of the Donetsk airport: during most of their existence, Novorussian forces were composed of a mix of different types of units which, for all their personal courage, were simply not capable of operational-level offensives. They were limited to tactical-level engagements which, even when successful, do not necessarily lead to operational-level developments. There seems to have been major changes made in the command structure of the Novorussian forces. The liberation of the Donetsk airport and, even more so, the Debaltsevo “cauldron” were joint DNR-LNR efforts, but even if, as I suspect, the Novorussians are now capable of operational-level counter-offensives, this is still not what it would take to liberate Kiev. Furthermore, as one Novorussian officer commented, “the further West we go, the less we are seen as liberators and the more as occupiers”. Last but not least, Russia will not allow the Novorussians to liberate most of the Ukraine even if they could do so, because then Russia would have to pay for the staggering costs of trying to fix this massive “European Somalia”, and that is a task far beyond her current means. For all the East-European hallucinations about some Russian invasion, Russia has neither the desire nor even the means to invade anybody. The painful reality is this: the Ukrainians will pay a dear price for their Russophobic delusions and most of the bill to fix that mess will have to be paid by the rest of Europe. They created that nightmare, let them fix it now.]

Conclusion: back to Syria

None of the above should distract us from what is by far the biggest danger currently facing us all – the risks of a US-Russian war in Syria. In fact, this reality seems to be slowly dawning even on the most obtuse of presstitutes who are now worrying about a spill-over effect. No, not in Europe or the USA, but on Israel, of course. Still, the fact that there are folks who understand that Israel might not survive a superpower clash on its doorstep is a good thing. Maybe the Israel lobby in the USA, or a least the part of it which cares for Israel (many/most only pretend to), will be more vocal than all the silent Anglo shabbos-goyim who don’t seem to be able to muster even a minimal amount of self-preservation instinct? Bibi Netanyahu felt the need to call Putin after the Israeli ambassador to Russia was read the riot act by Russian officials following the (admittedly rather lame) Israeli airstrike on the T-4 Syrian air force base. Not much of a hope, I admit..

This is not about good guys versus bad guys anymore. It’s about sane versus insane. I think that we can safely place Trump, Bolton, Haley and the rest of them in the “terminally delusional” camp. But what about the top US generals? I asked two well-informed friends, and they both told me that there is probably nobody above the rank of Colonel with enough courage left to object to the Neocon’s insanity, even if that means WWIII. Again, not much hope here either…

There is a sura (Al-Anfal 8:30) of the Qur’an which Sheikh Imran Hosein often mentions which I want to quote here: And [remember, O Muhammad], when those who disbelieved plotted against you to restrain you or kill you or evict you [from Makkah]. But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners. And since we are talking about Syria where Iran and Hezbollah are targets as much (or more) as the Russians, it is also fitting here to quote a very popular Shia slogan which calls to remember that the battle against oppression must be fought ceaselessly and everywhere: “Every Day Is Ashura and Every Land Is Karbala”. And, of course, there are the words of Christ Himself: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt 10:28).

Such religious references will, no doubt, irritate the many “enlightened” westerners for whom such language reeks of obscurantism, fanaticism, and bigotry. But in Russia or the Middle-East, such references are very much part of the national or religious ethos. To illustrate my point I want to quote from Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s “Divine Victory Speech” spoken in 2006 following the crushing victory by a relatively small Hezbollah force of the combined might of the Israeli ground, air and naval forces:

We are today celebrating a big strategic, historic, and divine victory. How can the human mind imagine that a few thousand of your Lebanese resistance sons – if I wanted, I would give the exact number – held out for 23 days in a land exposed to the skies against the strongest air force in the Middle East, which had an air bridge transporting smart bombs from America, through Britain, to Israel; against 40,000 officers and soldiers – four brigades of elite forces, three reserve army divisions; against the strongest tank in the world; and against the strongest army in the region? How could only a few thousand people hold out and fight under such harsh conditions, and [how could] their fighting force the naval warships out of our territorial waters? By the way, the army and the resistance are capable of protecting the territorial waters from being desecrated by any Zionist. [Applause] [And how could their fighting] also lead to the destruction of the Mirkava tanks, which are an object of pride for the Israeli industry; damage Israeli helicopters day and night; and turn the elite brigades – I am not exaggerating, and you can watch and read the Israeli media – into rats frightened by your sons? [How did this happen] while you were relinquished by the Arabs and the world and in light of the political (human solidarity was profound though) division around you? How could this group of mujahidin defeat this army without the support and assistance of Almighty God? This resistance experience, which should be conveyed to the world, depends – on the moral and spiritual level – on faith, certainty, reliance [on God], and readiness to make sacrifices. It also depends on reason, planning, organization, armament, and, as is said, on taking all possible protective procedures. We are neither a disorganized and sophistic resistance, nor a resistance pulled to the ground that sees before it nothing but soil, nor a resistance of chaos. The pious, God-reliant, loving, and knowledgeable resistance is also the conscious, wise, trained, and equipped resistance that has plans. This is the secret of the victory we are today celebrating, brothers and sisters.

These words could also be used to describe the relatively small Russian task force in Syria. In fact, there are numerous parallels which could be made between Hezbollah’s role and position in the Middle-East and Russia’s role and position in the world. And while both are well-trained, well-armed and well-commanded, it is their spiritual power which will decide the outcome of the wars waged against them by the Hegemony. AngloZionist secularists will never understand that – they just can’t – and that will bring their inevitable downfall. The only question is the price mankind will have to pay to have that last Empire finally bite the dust.

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Staged suffering? Interview with boy in Douma video raises more doubts over ‘chem attack’ – By RT

 
 
The boy portrayed as a ‘victim’ in a video of the alleged chemical attack in Douma has told a Russian TV crew that he was asked to go to hospital, where people “grabbed” him and started “pouring water” over his head.


The group is one of the organizations, along with the notorious rebel-linked White Helmets, that has claimed government troops were the culprits behind the reported chemical attack.

One of the main ‘characters’ in the footage is a soaked boy, who is seen being sprayed with water by people who claim to be ‘rescue workers.’ It’s not clear whether they are doctors from the hospital, human rights activists, or White Helmets members. The latter usually make such videos and send them to news agencies, including Reuters.

Russian broadcaster VGTRK said it found the boy in the video, who appeared to be 11-year-old Hassan Diab. His story differed from the one presented by the activists and later propagated by the mainstream media. He was in the basement with his mother, who said they ran out of food, when they heard some noise outside. 

READ MORE: Douma ‘gas attack’ aftermath footage shows opposition groups moving victims’ bodies (GRAPHIC VIDEOS)

“Somebody was shouting that we had to go to the hospital, so we went there. When I came in, some people grabbed me and started pouring water over my head,” he told Evgeny Poddubny, a war correspondent from Russian broadcaster VGTRK. Hassan confirmed that he was the boy in the video, and was very scared when the whole situation unfolded. He is now fine and shows no symptoms of having experienced a chemical attack two weeks ago.

He was eventually found by his father, who said he didn’t hear about any chemical attack that day. “I went to the hospital, walked upstairs, and found my wife and children. I asked them what had happened, and they said people outside were shouting about some smell, and told them to go to the hospital. At the hospital, they gave dates and cookies to the kids,” he said.

One of the medical workers, who was reportedly on shift at the time, said he was surprised by the sudden influx. “Some people came here and washed people. They said: ‘Chemical attack. Chemical attack.’ We didn’t see any chemical attack symptoms,” he added. He did, however, say that there were many people with respiratory problems as a result of dust from recent bombings in the city.

Social media posts and the White Helmets’ report were enough for the US, UK and France to launch a series of strikes on Syria on April 14. The announcement of the strikes came hours before the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) team was scheduled to arrive in Douma to determine whether chemical weapons had been used there.

READ MORE: Moscow has ‘irrefutable’ evidence chem attack in Syria’s Douma was staged – Russia’s envoy to OPCW

“The boy agreed to play this role for food. Then the video was circulated across the globe and became the ‘evidence’ which served as an excuse for the US, the UK and French airstrikes [against Syria],” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook. 

Moscow is planning to show the video about Hassan at the next meeting of the UN Security Council, Russia’s UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia told Rossiya 1 on Thursday.

Editorial note: The headline and introduction to this story have been changed to better reflect the statements of the boy interviewed by the Russian TV crew.

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Full steam ahead! Russian Navy gets new nuclear sub, warships, and Kalibr cruise missiles – Press TV ( SOTT)

russian tula submarine

© TASS
Russia’s Tula underwater missile cruiser

The Russian Navy has expanded its strategic capabilities by commissioning a nuclear submarine, three new warships, two helicopters and a number of home-made Kalibr cruise missiles.

“The Navy took delivery of the repaired Project 667BDRM strategic underwater missile cruiser Tula, three warships and support vessels of the auxiliary fleet, two helicopters and 46 Kalibr tactical cruise missiles,” Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said Wednesday.

First commissioned in late 1980s, Tula is a Delta IV class submarine capable of carrying 16 massive Sineva intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). With a range of over 11,000 kilometers (around 7,000 miles), the missile can deliver four nuclear warheads to its targets after being launched from Tula.

The Russian Navy has also accepted logistics support ship Elbrus built in Murmansk in northwest Russia and was looking forward to the delivery of another batch of seaborne Kalibr cruise missile, Borisov said.

Kalibr missiles are nuclear-capable and can also carry 500 kilograms (1,100 lbs) of conventional explosives in their warhead. Russian military sources say the conventionally armed version has a range of 2,500 km (1,600 miles) while a nuclear armed Kalibr has a greater range of 2,600 km.

Russia retains 2nd place in military-technical cooperation

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Wednesday that his country has remained world’s second in terms of military and technical cooperation despite being subjected to several rounds of sanctions by the US and the European Union.

“Despite the sanctions, the Industry and Trade Ministry and other our structures responsible for the development of the defense sector have managed to keep the high level of military and technical cooperation. We are still in the second place and are retaining this position, despite the illegal sanctions and unfair competition with us on the arms sale markets,” Rogozin said during a meeting of the Industry and Trade Ministry.

According to the vice-premier, the Russian military had fulfilled a record 97-98 percent of its state defense order, up from 80 percent last year.

In February, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia would counter any instances of unfair competition in military and technical cooperation from the US and other powers.

Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, part of the hi-tech state corporation Rostec, said November last year that it had sold military hardware worth $140 billion over its 17 years of operation.

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With MSM AWOL on Yemen, MintPress News Series To Give Yemenis Back Their Voice – by Mnar Muhawesh ( Mint Press)

A girl carries a bucket filled with water from a well that is allegedly contaminated with cholera bacteria, on the outskirts of Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, July 12, 2017. The U.N. health agency said Tuesday that plans to ship cholera vaccine to Yemen are likely to be shelved over security, access and logistical challenges in the war-torn country. Yemen's suspected cholera caseload has surged past 313,000, causing over 1,700 deaths in the world's largest outbreak. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

What’s really happening in the poorest country in the Middle East is a test of our humanity — a catastrophic, perfect storm of suffering and death, and the most horrific genocide you’ve likely never heard of.

SANA’A, Yemen — As the U.S.-Saudi-led war against Yemen enters its third year, the people of this coffin-shaped nation on the Arabian peninsula find themselves struggling not only to survive but to be seen and heard by a mainstream media that is preoccupied with war in neighboring Syria, the resumption of Cold War-like tensions with Russia, and President Trump’s Twitter account and sex life.

When the international press corps does shine a light on the conflict in Yemen, it is described as a sectarian affair, a bloodless, “video-game” battle fought by nameless Iranian proxies against Saudi Arabia.  But what’s really happening in the poorest country in the Middle East is a test of our humanity — a catastrophic, perfect storm of suffering and death, and the most horrific genocide you’ve likely never heard of.

Consider these stark realities:

The people of Yemen are without food, water, medicine, and fuel. According to the United Nations, more than half of Yemen’s 28 million people are facing food shortages, and international relief workers estimate that a staggering 150,000 Yemenis died from starvation last year alone. The nongovernmental organization, Save the Children, puts the number of children currently dying of starvation at 130 per day, owing largely to the Saudi blockade of Yemen’s ports.

In addition, half of the country’s health care infrastructure has been destroyed. Saudi Arabia is striking Yemen’s hospitals, which are running out of medicine and supplies to treat the wounded. All the while, these attacks have continued to receive backing from the United States and the United Kingdom since their onset on March 26, 2015.

The death toll in Yemen is so high that the Red Cross is even donating morgues to hospitals. And if that weren’t enough, the military campaign has not only empowered al-Qaida to step into a vulnerable situation, it’s actually made the group richer, according to Reuters.

Still, the Saudi government continues to block any diplomatic resolution in Yemen. Riyadh even threatened to cut funding to the UN over its inclusion on a list of children’s rights offenders, effectively weaponizing humanitarian aid.

Unimaginably, the situation could get much worse: in his administration’s final days, President Barack Obama sold the unscrupulous Saudis skin-melting white phosphorous.

The UN’s humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock, told Al Jazeera last month: “The situation in Yemen .  . . looks like the apocalypse.”

In the weeks that follow, MintPress plans to break the lock-box on the war and humanitarian crisis that is stalking the poorest country in the Middle East, with a series of stories from our reporters on the ground. Our goal is merely this: by giving shape and form and voice to the Yemeni people who have been rendered all but invisible and mute, we hope to chronicle this epochal war, account for the despair, and explain, in painstaking detail, David’s strategy for defeating Goliath, once again.

Top Photo | A girl carries a bucket filled with water from a well that is allegedly contaminated with cholera bacteria, on the outskirts of Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (AP/Hani Mohammed)

Mnar Muhawesh is founder, CEO and editor in chief of MintPress News, and is also a regular speaker on responsible journalism, sexism, neoconservativism within the media and journalism start-ups. She started her career as an independent multimedia journalist covering Midwest and national politics while focusing on civil liberties and social justice issues posting her reporting and exclusive interviews on her blog MintPress, which she later turned MintPress into the global news source it is today. In 2009, Muhawesh also became the first American woman to wear the hijab to anchor/report the news in American media. Muhawesh is also a wife and mother of a rascal four year old boy, juggling her duties as a CEO and motherly tasks successfully as supermom. Contact Mnar at mnar@mintpressnews.com. Follow Mnar on Twitter at @mnarmuh

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Stench of hypocrisy: British ‘war on terror’ & strategic ties with radical Islam – By John Wight (RT)

John Wight
John Wight has written for newspapers and websites across the world, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal. He is also a regular commentator on RT and BBC Radio. John is currently working on a book exploring the role of the West in the Arab Spring. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnWight1
 
Stench of hypocrisy: British 'war on terror' & strategic ties with radical Islam
Britain’s strategic relationship with radical Islam goes back decades and continues to this day.

There is no more foul a stench than the stench of hypocrisy, and there is no more foul a hypocrisy than the British government painting Bashar al-Assad as a monster when in truth he and the Syrian people have been grappling with a twin-headed monster in the shape of Salafi-jihadi terror and Western imperialism. Both are committed to destroying Syria as an independent, non-sectarian state, and both are inextricably linked.

Author and journalist Mark Curtis charts in detail the contours of this history in his book ‘Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam’:

British governments, both Labour and Conservative, have, in pursuing the so-called ‘national interest’ abroad, colluded for decades with radical Islamic forces, including terrorist organizations. They have connived with them, worked alongside them and sometimes trained and financed them, in order to promote specific foreign policy objectives. Governments have done so in often desperate attempts to maintain Britain’s global power in the face of increasing weakness in key regions of the world, being unable to unilaterally impose their will and lacking other local allies. Thus the story is intimately related to that of Britain’s imperial decline and the attempt to maintain influence in the world.

As far back as the First World War, when the Middle East began to assume strategic importance in the capitals of Western imperial and colonial powers, the British ruling class went out of its way to identify and recruit loyal local proxies in pursuit of its regional objectives. Britain’s relationship with the Arab tribal chief, Ibn Saud, who would go on to establish Saudi Arabia in the early 1930s, began in 1915 with the Darin Pact, demarcating the territory then controlled by Saud as a British protectorate.

The following year, the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans erupted. Begun and inspired by Saud’s fierce rival, Sharif Hussein, head of the Hashemite Arab tribe, the revolt was heavily bankrolled and supported by the British – a period immortalized in the exploits of British military agent T E Lawrence, known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia.

But whereas Sharif Hussein was a follower of orthodox Sunni Islam, Ibn Saud adhered to the radical doctrine of Wahhabism, which Winston Churchill was moved to describe as “bloodthirsty” and “intolerant.” Regardless, when it came to its imperial interests there was no tiger upon whose back the British ruling class was not willing to ride during this period, and which, as events have proved, it has not been willing to ride since.

The most egregious example of this policy, one that continues to have ramifications today, was the support provided by the UK to the Afghan mujahideen in the late 1970s and 1980s. The insurgency’s objective was the overthrow of Kabul’s secular and left-leaning government, whose crime in the eyes of the Islamist insurgency’s US and UK sponsors was that it had embraced the social and economic model of Moscow rather than Washington during the first Cold War. 

British support for the mujahideen, married to the huge support provided by Washington, was indispensable in the eventual success of these self-styled ‘holy warriors’ in taking control of a country that had embraced modernity and turning it into a failed state mired in religious oppression, brutality, backwardness and poverty.

Mark Curtis again:

Britain, along with the US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, covertly supported the resistance to defeat the Soviet occupation of the country. Military, financial and diplomatic backing was given to Islamist forces which, while forcing a Soviet withdrawal, soon organized themselves into terrorist networks ready to strike Western targets.

While Washington’s primary role in channeling military and financial support to the Afghan mujahideen, known as Operation Cyclone, may until have succeeded in overshadowing London’s role in this dirty war, declassified British government cabinet papers which were made public in 2010 and reported in the UK media make grim reading.

They reveal that three weeks after Soviet forces arrived in Afghanistan at the request of the Afghan government in Kabul, struggling to deal with an insurgency that had broken out in the countryside, the Thatcher government was planning to supply military aid to the “Islamic resistance.” A confidential government memo provides a chilling insight into the insanity that passed for official policy: “We trust the Western leaders are prepared for the enormous beneficial possibilities that could just possibly open up if the Afghan rebellion were to succeed.

It will be recalled that out of the ensuing collapse of Afghanistan emerged the Taliban, under whose rule the country was turned into a vast militant jihadist school and training camp. Many of the most notorious Islamist terrorists began their careers there, fighting the Soviets and then later broadening out their activities to other parts of the region and wider world. In this regard, Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda loom large.

Other notorious names from the world of Salafi-jihadism for whom Afghanistan proved indispensable include the Jordanian Abu al-Zarqawi, who founded Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) during the US-UK occupation, an organization that would over time morph into ISIS.

Abdelhakim Belhaj and other Libyan Islamists cut their jihadist teeth in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Returning to Libya, they formed the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in the eastern city of Benghazi. Though the group may have been disbanded in 2010, having failed to topple Gaddafi despite repeated attempts to assassinate the Libyan leader with, it’s been claimed, the support of Britain’s MI6, former members of the LIFG, including Belhaj, were important actors in the 2011 Libyan uprising.

By way of a reminder, the uprising in Libya started in Benghazi and would not have succeeded without the air support it received from NATO. Britain’s then prime minister, David Cameron, was key in pushing for that air support and the sanction of the UN under the auspices of Security Council Resolution 1973. Though protecting civilians was central in wording of this UNSC resolution, it was shamefully distorted to justify regime change, culminating in Gaddafi’s murder by the ‘rebels.’

Staying with the LIFG, in the wake of the Manchester suicide-bomb attack in May 2017, which left 23 people dead and 500 injured, the fact that the bomber, a young Libyan by the name of Salman Abedi, was the son of a former member of the LIFG, did not receive anything like the media attention it should have at the time.

Manchester, England is home to the largest Libyan community in Britain, and there is strong evidence to suggest that when the Libyan uprising broke out MI6 facilitated the ability of Libyan Islamists in Britain to travel to Libya to participate in the fighting. Among them was Salman Abedi, who it is thought received military training in the country before being allowed to return to the UK thereafter.

This brings us on to Syria and, as with Libya, the question of how so many British Muslims have been able to travel from the UK to Syria via Turkey to take part in the anti-Assad insurgency since 2011? It also brings into sharp focus a policy that has veered between the ludicrous and the reckless.

Emblematic of the former was ex-prime minister David Cameron’s claim, which he made during a 2015 Commons debate over whether the Royal Air Force should engage in air strikes against ISIS in Syria, that fighting as part of the Syrian were 70,000 moderates.

As for the recklessness of Britain’s actions in Syria, look no further than the country’s recent participation in the illegal missile strikes that were carried out in conjunction with the US and France, justified on the basis of as yet unproven allegations that Syrian government forces had carried out a chemical weapons attack on Douma, just outside Damascus. The only beneficiaries of such actions by the Western powers are Salafi-jihadist groups such as ISIS (whom it was later reported took advantage of the missile strike to mount a short-lived offensive), Al-Nusra and Jaysh al-Islam.

The latter of those groups, Jaysh al-Islam, is a Saudi proxy. It was the dominant group in Douma and throughout Eastern Ghouta until the district’s liberation by the Syrian Army and its allies with Russian support.

Given the deep and longstanding ties between London and Riyadh; given the fact, reported towards the end of 2017, that British military personnel were embedded in a training role with Saudi forces in Yemen; given the news that a British special forces sergeant was killed in northern Syria at the end of March this year while embedded with the Kurds, revealing for the first time that British troops were operating in the country on the ground – given all that, the question of who else British special forces and military personnel may be embedded with in Syria is legitimate.

In the context of the British state’s long and sordid history when it comes to riding the back of radical Islam in pursuit of its strategic objectives, readers will doubtless draw their own conclusions.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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