US ‘May Provoke Conflicts in Latin America’ Amid UNASUR Row – By SPUTNIK

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Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Paraguay decided to leave the South American bloc last week, and this is a huge step back for the whole region, political analyst Sonia Wiener believes.

The decision of six Latin American countries to temporarily leave the Union of South American nations (UNASUR) jeopardizes regional integration, encourages interstate conflicts and puts at risk the protection of natural resources, Sonia Wiener, a political scientist from the University of Buenos Aires, told Sputnik.

“It is no coincidence that the decision is made during Bolivia’s presidency in the Union,” the researcher noted.

“This disintegration will not only hamper the development of the regional identity and the unity of the countries of the region, but also weaken territorial sovereignty, cooperation and protection of strategic natural resources […],” she added.

READ MORE: Russian Diplomat Slams ‘Destructive and Irrational’ US Policy Toward Venezuela

According to Wiener, the withdrawal of the six countries from the bloc “creates the ground for foreign interventions, in particular, by the United States and Great Britain, what is exactly happening now in the region.”

“I’m afraid that the US can provoke interstate conflicts in Latin America and then try to resolve them by military means, because war is business,” the analyst warned.

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Paraguay decided to suspend their membership in the South American bloc on April 20.

The move was prompted by the fact that the bloc, according to the governments of these countries, has been inefficient due to grate differences in positions of its members and subsequent inability to find a consensus.

US violating intl law by breaking into Russian consulate in Seattle – embassy – By RT

US violating intl law by breaking into Russian consulate in Seattle – embassy
The US government is violating international law with its decision to break into Russia’s locked consulate in Seattle, the Russian embassy in Washington said in a statement.

What we see now is a gross violation of the Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Convention on Consular Relations,” commented Nikolay Pukalov, the head of the embassy’s consular department. “The Russian side did not agree on stripping diplomatic status from our property in Seattle and did not give permission to American officials to enter our territory.”

The spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, called the development “a hostile takeover” of the compound by the US.

The diplomatic building was evacuated earlier this week due to an order from Washington, which expelled 60 Russian diplomats and told the embassy to shut down the Seattle consulate in retaliation for the poisoning of a former double agent in Britain.

After the diplomats left on Tuesday, they locked the building. US officials on Wednesday broke into the compound.

The closure of Russia’s Seattle consulate was the latest in a string of diplomatic mission reductions taken by both sides over the past years. The pretext for this particular expulsion was the British accusation that the Russian government ordered an assassination of a former double agent. London failed to provide any public proof of the allegation and instead launched an international campaign to punish Moscow, finding a most eager participant in Washington.

The US claimed that the 60 diplomats it expelled were Russian spies and that the consulate in Seattle was heavily used for espionage purposes. Similar justifications were used when Washington ordered the shutdown of Russian missions in San Francisco and New York in September 2017.

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France’s Macron, the Saboteur with a Savior’s Mask – By Finian CUNNINGHAM (Strategic Culture Foundation)

France’s Macron, the Saboteur with a Savior’s Mask

French President Emmanuel Macron has a ruthless streak of ambition that should make democracy-seeking people shudder.

On an official state visit this week to the United States, Macron was posing as the “polar opposite” to President Trump, and the “standard-bearer of liberal centrism in the West”, according to the Washington Post.

Ironically, too, he presented himself last week – yet again – as the “savior of Europe” with a major address Tuesday to the European Union parliament in Strasbourg.

The Strasbourg address was only four days after the French leader unleashed a joint bombing blitzkrieg on Syria along with the US and Britain.

As if to add further mockery to his virtuous pretensions, while Macron was regaling the EU parliamentarians with grandiose visions of democracy, his own country is crippled by nationwide industrial strikes fighting against his plans to demolish workers’ rights.

At age 40, Macron is the youngest elected French president and currently one of the youngest EU leaders, along with Austria’s Sebastian Kurz (31).

Kurz is among the European zeitgeist of populist politicians whom Macron would deprecate as “regressive” owing to the Austrian Chancellor’s independent nationalist policies.

The French leader’s youthful appearance and apparent zest for “democracy”, however, belie a very old and darker tendency towards authoritarianism and contempt for democracy.

Macron had the brass neck last week to lecture some 750 EU parliamentarians about “defending democracy”. His speech in the Strasbourg parliament was littered with empty platitudes, like challenging “authoritarianism with the authority of democracy”.

Admittedly, the French president did not get a free ride while in Strasbourg. As he spoke from the podium, several lawmakers held up placards reading “Hands of Syria”.

What Macron has lots of is appealing image and liberal-sounding soundbites. He is also deft at posing as some kind of progressive. But not far from the surface is a ruthless, anti-democratic authoritarian elitist.

Paradoxically, in his Strasbourg address, he theatrically conjured up a drama of existential crisis in Europe, claiming that the 28-nation bloc was facing a “civil war” between liberal democracy – of which he presumes to be a standard-bearer – and the rise of “populist authoritarianism”. The latter refers to nationalist political leaders like Austria’s Sebastian Kurz and Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban who recently won his third re-election.

Macron would like to present people like Kurz and Orban and their anti-immigration policies as the bête noire of Europe who are destroying the social fabric and unity of the bloc.

As the New York Times reported: “Macron said the EU is in a battle between the liberal democracy that shaped the postwar vision and a new populist authoritarianism that stifles dissent and cares little about the rule of law.”

Hold on a minute. “Cares little about the rule of law”? This spiel was uttered by someone who had just bombed a sovereign country, Syria, on the back of baseless claims about a chemical-weapons incident that in all probability did not even take place.

Macron was also a minister in the government of his predecessor Francois Hollande, which began bombing of Syria in 2014 without a mandate from the UN Security Council.

Whatever about Austria’s Kurz or Hungary’s Orban and their brand of nationalist politics one thing to be said in their immense favor vis-à-vis Macron is that neither of those two leaders is bombing sovereign nations.

Later last week, the French president visited German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. Again, he puffed up his peacock feathers as the “savior of Europe” by calling for the embrace of “liberal values” of “sovereignty, rule of law, democracy and peace”.

One suspects that Frau Merkel is growing weary of the wheedling French leader, whose ambitions of being the top European politician have seen him sidling alongside US President Trump in an attempt to sideline Germany as the strongest EU nation.

Macron is a charlatan. He is shameless in his mendacity.

His image-making of a reformist, progressive European visionary is a mirror of vanity and pretentious ideals. Macron deprecates populist politicians like Orban, Kurz and others by setting himself up as some kind of noble opposite in the same way as he uses Trump as a foil for his supposed “centrist liberalism” – whatever that means.

The truth is that Macron, in reality, is a much more dangerous authoritarian than Orban and his ilk could ever be.

As well as his shocking disregard for international law in the April 14 missile barrage of Syria, Macron has the temerity to lecture about authoritarians who “stifle dissent”.

Days after this utterance, hundreds of baton-wielding French police launched a dawn raid last Friday on a university in Paris to break up a peaceful student sit-in protest.

The students have joined millions of French workers and unemployed who have taken to the streets and college campuses to stop Macron ripping up employment rights.

Macron euphemistically calls his plans “reforms”. But the way millions of French citizens see it, the overhaul of the labour code is a full-frontal attack on democratic rights. Those rights have been won by workers over decades to help make capitalist economics relatively civilized. Now Macron, in the service of big business and international capital, wants to shred French workers’ rights.

How Macron got elected last year is a curious question. Prior to his election, the former Rothschild investment banker had never held an elected position in his life. He was drafted into the former Hollande government  (2012-2017) as economics minister by way of political appointment, not through the ballot box.

Macron’s presidential mandate is dubious. Many French voters abstained from the election last April-May because they didn’t want to vote for Marine Le Pen of the Front National owing to her party’s fascistic history. Arguably, Macron got elected by default.

But it seems clear that within a year of having been in office, he has managed to unite French citizens in militant opposition to his anti-democratic “reforms”.

Macron’s florid rhetoric about European “renewal” is pretentious piffle.

The cardinal problem with Europe is the void in democratic representation of citizens. Governments and politicians are looked upon with contempt because democratic needs are chronically neglected. Public investment and services are waning, workers’ rights are being trampled on, pensioners are being neglected, wars are pursued by a few without any justice, because politicians are too often serving the agenda of big business, capital and militarism overseas.

There seems to be no democratic accountability to the majority of the 500 million citizens living across the EU. This dysfunction is due to self-serving elitist politicians like Emmanuel Macron. He is the personification of bankrupt bourgeois Western politics. That is, pandering to capitalist and imperialist tendencies of the ruling class, while also having the brass neck to paint himself as a “savior”.

Macron is a saboteur of European democracy. The rise of populism across Europe is not some extraneous phenomenon, which people like Macron condescendingly disparage. It is a backlash to charlatans like Macron who have a far more dangerous streak of authoritarianism than the people whom he affects to deplore.

European democracy is endangered precisely because of politicians like Macron who cloaks himself with the rhetoric of being a savior.

Russia capable of providing S-300 to Syria within one month — source – By TASS

April 23, 18:46 UTC+3

According to the source, there are two options of delivering the S-300 to Syria

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. Russia is technically capable of providing its air defense systems S-300 to Syria within one month, a military-diplomatic source has told TASS, adding that for this the launchers already at the Defense Ministry’s disposal might be used after the required reconfiguration, a military-diplomatic source has told TASS.

According to the official, there are two options of delivering the S-300 to Syria. One is Russia may provide to Syria the export configuration of the air defense launchers. In that case Syria will get them in 18 to 24 months from now. The other possibility is the available systems may be retrieved from the Defense Ministry’s reserves. Those replaced by S-400 in the Russian army might be use, too.

“Naturally, the used S-300 systems that may be taken to Syria will have to be reconfigured to suit the standards of the Syrian air defense. This work may take about a month,” the source said.

TASS has no official confirmation of this.

 

Earlier, the daily Kommersant quoted its own sources as saying that Russia in the near future might start the delivery of S-300 Favorit air defense systems to Syria.

 

S-300 for Syria

 

Russia’s General Staff declared it might be possible to raise the question once again of providing S-300 systems to Damascus shortly after the United States, Britain and France on April attacked Syria with cruise missiles. The agreement with Syria on providing S-300 was signed back in 2010 only to be frozen due to objections from the West and Israel.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on April 16 said Russia might be prepared to consider all the necessary steps for enhancing Syria’s defense capabilities, including the supplies of S-300 systems. On April 23 Lavrov said the question of providing S-300 to Syria had not been settled yet, but Russian President Vladimir Putin had discussed that possibility with the Defense Ministry “from the standpoint of preventing a situation where Syria might turn out insufficiently prepared for aggressive attacks, like the one that took place on April 14.”

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov refrained from comment when asked if S-300 might be delivered to Syria in the near future.

 
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Empire Collapse: Russian Missile Tech Renders America’s Trillion Dollar Navy Obsolete – By Dmitry Orlov /Russia Insider(SOTT)

Dmitry Orlov

kinzhal hypersonic missile

Kinzhal (‘dagger’) hypersonic missile being test-fired by the Russian military

For the past 500 years European nations-Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, Britain, France and, briefly, Germany-were able to plunder much of the planet by projecting their naval power overseas. Since much of the world’s population lives along the coasts, and much of it trades over water, armed ships that arrived suddenly out of nowhere were able to put local populations at their mercy.

The armadas could plunder, impose tribute, punish the disobedient, and then use that plunder and tribute to build more ships, enlarging the scope of their naval empires. This allowed a small region with few natural resources and few native advantages beyond extreme orneriness and a wealth of communicable diseases to dominate the globe for half a millennium.

The ultimate inheritor of this naval imperial project is the United States, which, with the new addition of air power, and with its large aircraft carrier fleet and huge network of military bases throughout the planet, is supposedly able to impose Pax Americana on the entire world. Or, rather, was able to do so-during the brief period between the collapse of the USSR and the emergence of Russia and China as new global powers and their development of new anti-ship and antiaircraft technologies. But now this imperial project is at an end.

Prior to the Soviet collapse, the US military generally did not dare to directly threaten those countries to which the USSR had extended its protection. Nevertheless, by using its naval power to dominate the sea lanes that carried crude oil, and by insisting that oil be traded in US dollars, it was able to live beyond its means by issuing dollar-denominated debt instruments and forcing countries around the world to invest in them. It imported whatever it wanted using borrowed money while exporting inflation, expropriating the savings of people across the world. In the process, the US has accumulated absolutely stunning levels of national debt-beyond anything seen before in either absolute or relative terms. When this debt bomb finally explodes, it will spread economic devastation far beyond US borders. And it will explode, once the petrodollar wealth pump, imposed on the world through American naval and air superiority, stops working.

New missile technology has made a naval empire cheap to defeat. Previously, to fight a naval battle, one had to have ships that outmatched those of the enemy in their speed and artillery power. The Spanish Armada was sunk by the British armada. More recently, this meant that only those countries whose industrial might matched that of the United States could ever dream of opposing it militarily. But this has now changed: Russia’s new missiles can be launched from thousands of kilometers away, are unstoppable, and it takes just one to sink a destroyer and just two to sink an aircraft carrier. The American armada can now be sunk without having an armada of one’s own. The relative sizes of American and Russian economies or defense budgets are irrelevant: the Russians can build more hypersonic missiles much more quickly and cheaply than the Americans would be able to build more aircraft carriers.

Equally significant is the development of new Russian air defense capabilities: the S-300 and S-400 systems, which can essentially seal off a country’s airspace. Wherever these systems are deployed, such as in Syria, US forces are now forced to stay out of their range. With its naval and air superiority rapidly evaporating, all that the US can fall back on militarily is the use of large expeditionary forces – an option that is politically unpalatable and has proven to be ineffective in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is also the nuclear option, and while its nuclear arsenal is not likely to be neutralized any time soon, nuclear weapons are only useful as deterrents. Their special value is in preventing wars from escalating beyond a certain point, but that point lies beyond the elimination of their global naval and air dominance. Nuclear weapons are much worse than useless in augmenting one’s aggressive behavior against a nuclear-armed opponent; invariably, it would be a suicidal move. What the US now faces is essentially a financial problem of unrepayable debt and a failing wealth pump, and it should be a stunningly obvious point that setting off nuclear explosions anywhere in the world would not fix the problems of an empire that is going broke.

Events that signal vast, epochal changes in the world often appear minor when viewed in isolation. Julius Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon was just one river crossing; Soviet and American troops meeting and fraternizing at the Elbe was, relatively speaking, a minor event-nowhere near the scale of the siege of Leningrad, the battle of Stalingrad or the fall of Berlin. Yet they signaled a tectonic shift in the historical landscape. And perhaps we have just witnessed something similar with the recent pathetically tiny Battle of East Gouta in Syria, where the US used a make-believe chemical weapons incident as a pretense to launch an equally make-believe attack on some airfields and buildings in Syria. The US foreign policy establishment wanted to show that it still matters and has a role to play, but what really happened was that US naval and air power were demonstrated to be almost entirely beside the point.

Of course, all of this is terrible news to the US military and foreign policy establishments, as well as to the many US Congressmen in whose districts military contractors operate or military bases are situated. Obviously, this is also bad news for the defense contractors, for personnel at the military bases, and for many others as well. It is also simply awful news economically, since defense spending is about the only effective means of economic stimulus of which the US government is politically capable. Obama’s “shovel-ready jobs,” if you recall, did nothing to forestall the dramatic slide in the labor participation rate, which is a euphemism for the inverse of the real unemployment rate. There is also the wonderful plan to throw lots of money at Elon Musk’s SpaceX (while continuing to buy vitally important rocket engines from the Russians-who are currently discussing blocking their export to the US in retaliation for more US sanctions). In short, take away the defense stimulus, and the US economy will make a loud popping sound followed by a gradually diminishing hissing noise.

Needless to say, all those involved will do their best to deny or hide for as long as possible the fact that the US foreign policy and defense establishments have now been neutralized. My prediction is that America’s naval and air empire will not fail because it will be defeated militarily, nor will it be dismantled once the news sinks in that it is useless; instead, it will be forced to curtail its operations due to lack of funds. There may still be a few loud bangs before it gives up, but mostly what we will hear is a whole lot of whimpering. That’s how the USSR went; that’s how the USA will go too.

About the author

Dmitry Orlov is an engineer and author of several books, including The Five Stages of Collapse. His website is Club Orlov, and his Patreon page is here.

Guardian’s Owen Jones accuses mainstream media of ‘groupthink’, ‘intolerance’ and elitism – By RT

Guardian’s Owen Jones accuses mainstream media of ‘groupthink’, ‘intolerance’ and elitism
Guardian columnist Owen Jones has fired an opinion-rocket right into the midst of his own kind – journalists. His claim that the mainstream media is an invite-only club run by public school pals has not gone down well.

It began when the author and columnist tweeted some of the lessons he’s learned working in the British media. Labeling the profession a “cult” in the UK, Jones goes on to say the mainstream media (MSM) is “afflicted by a suffocating groupthink, intolerant of critics, hounds internal dissenters, full of people who made it because of connections and/or personal background rather than merit.”

Hurling such accusations against the British media did not solicit a positive reaction from the club’s members. Jones himself described the onslaught that followed against him as an “inferno” of fury… which in turn, sparked an article detailing exactly what is wrong with the UK press.

Journalists from publications across London (where most mainstream outlets are based) were outraged by the comments. There were anecdotes given to disprove Jones – with one reporter even quipping that “no one tells me what to think.”

Jones goes on to describe what’s known as the ‘huddle’ – to put it simply, that’s when reporters get together after Prime Minister’s Questions (or other media events frequented by lobby journalists) to decide what to say or write about. “[L]obby journalists will often stand together and/or walk back to the press lobby together and agree on ‘what just happened,’ if you like,” Jones writes.

Other ways the huddle – or “groupthink,” as he calls it – manifests in the media is through peer pressure. Jones included a comment from right-wing blogger Paul Staines in explanation: “there is for example peer pressure on new hacks to not rock the boat,” even if that pressure is applied by an “exasperated collective groan [from other reporters] if someone asks a dissonant question.”

Staines’ comments end by adding that it is “not a conspiracy, just peer pressure.”
Times columnist David Aaronovitch‏, ex-BuzzFeed writer James Ball, Financial Times editorial director Robert Shrimsley‏, and freelance journalist Robin Whitlock were some of many to swipe back at Jones. ITV news royal editor Chris Ship simply tweeted back his educational history, as the virtue signaling and defensiveness told their own story.

PoliticsHome editor Kevin Schofield followed suit. “I grew up in a working class household, went to state schools, worked my arse off on local papers for years and finally made it to Fleet St,” he tweeted, nose thoroughly out of joint.

It turns out Jones was referring to the media elite of the national titles and broadcasters; and not the “army of poorly paid and insecure freelancers or local reporters who are deeply undervalued,” as he describes them.

To go with the truth bomb he lobbed into the center of the media scrum, Jones dug up one or two supporting statistics – and it turns out that many in the media had a very privileged start to life.

“Just 7% of the British population are privately educated. But according to the Sutton Trust in 2016, 51% of Britain’s top journalists are privately educated,” Jones writes. Poverty Commission in 2014, 43% of newspaper columnists are privately educated; just 23% went to comprehensives. Two thirds of new entrants to journalism came from managerial and professional backgrounds: more than twice the level of the rest of the population.

“According to another government study, journalists are second only to doctors when it comes to the dominance of those from professional or managerial parental backgrounds. In other words: journalism is one of the most socially exclusive professions in Britain.”

That hasn’t stopped journalists and writers from coming out of the woodwork to slam Jones – or, at least, to enjoy others doing so.

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THE EVIDENCE IS COMING IN THAT IT WAS HYPOXIA, NOT CW OR CHLORINE; SYRIAN ARMY BLASTING ISIS AND ALQAEDA IN S. DAMASCUS – By Ziad Fadel

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DAMASCUS:  Inspectors from the OPCW, the chemical weapons watchdog, have visited the site of the fake events leading up to the joint Anglo-French-American air assault on Syria and have reportedly taken samples of soil, clothing and other artifacts for examination.  Another grouping of the inspectors is interviewing citizens to get their take on the events of the Saturday before last and collecting blood samples from cadavers.  All samples will be studies at the OPCW laboratory in Rijswijk, a suburb of the Hague.  (Don’t ask me to pronounce that word.)

Of concern to SyrPer is the director of the OPCW, Ahmet Uzumcu, a former career diplomat with the Turk foreign ministry – a former Turk ambassador to the Zionist Apartheid State (7-28-1999 to 6-30-2002).  He was also, amazingly, Turkey’s former representative to NATO.  Being a Turk with qualifications like this would make anyone suspect that his credibility was fragile to nil.

As an example, recently there were allegations that Turkey used CW (chlorine) in its campaign against the SDF and PKK in ‘Afreen.  Uzumcu claimed to have investigated the matter and found no “credible” evidence to justify a finding that Turkey used chlorine at that location.  Surprise!  He is clearly a compromised source of information and I’m just flummoxed by Russia’s insistence on a OPCW investigation knowing this Turk would have overall authority over the inspectors and their conclusions.  If there were any conceivable questions about his appropriateness for the task at hand, they should have been brought formally so he could, at the very least, distance himself from any scientific conclusions.

At SyrPer we are expecting the inspectors to find nothing but hypoxia as confirmed by several medical doctors in the Ghouta.  Evidently, as the narrative goes, there were citizens huddled inside fruit cellars, and the like, using them as bomb shelters. When bombs started falling, dust and particles were thrown up into the air and, then, descended into the make-shift shelters causing people to gag and show signs of oxygen deprivation (hypoxia).  When the so-called criminals of the White Helmets started shouting “gas!” and “gas attack!”, people were in a panicked state.  The entire event was staged and suspiciously, cameras and terrorist news crews began to appear and film children being hosed down in some crackpot show of emergency medical treatment.  When you see the tapes, you cannot help but laugh as the so-called frauds exposed themselves to possible contamination.

I believe the OPCW will declare it is unable to assess whether or not CW was used at all.  The OPCW is not an prosecutorial organization such that it can assess blame.  It can only determine if CW was used, if at all.  By announcing its inability to make the determination, this character, Uzumcu, will have fulfilled his duties as mole, spy, agent and treacherous Turk.  He will leave Trump, Boris Johnson, Macron and May with a face-saving way out.  Don’t be surprised to hear that the Russians “cleared the area of evidence”.  The West will argue that that is the reason a “staged” sniper incident delayed the entry of the inspectors even though no members of the OPCW team or the Department of Safety and Security made any such allegation to anyone.

This is a strange world of dysfunction.  Look at the Western characters in this dark comedy:  A real estate investor with orange skin, orange hair and a habit of enjoying sexual relations with Playboy models while his model wife is having their first child.  You have a French president married to a woman 30 years his senior.  You have a British Foreign Minister who looks and acts like an English sheepdog.  Top it off with a woman at the helm of England’s highest office but whose mien, temperament and lifelessness can only be matched by John Major.  It is a clownish cast.

______________________________________________

We can confirm the deaths of ISIS’s commanders in Al-Hajar Al-Aswad and the Yarmook Camp:  Abu Hishaam Al-Khaaboori (Saudi) and Abu ‘Ali Nafsha.  Both were unceremoniously splattered by well-aimed infantry rocket fire.

The Al-Zayn Quarter located between Yalda and Al-Hajar Al-Aswad has been liberated by the SAA as of yesterday, April 21, 2018.  This has effectively isolated ISIS and Alqaeda separating them from other pockets to their north.  The army is advancing notably in Al-Tadhaamun and Al-Qadam.

A large number of buses have entered the East Qalamoon, specifically at Al-Ruhayba, Jayrood and Al-Naasiriyya.  With the terrorists having turned over all their heavy and medium weapons, their next stop is Jaraablus where they will be recruited by Erdoghan to join the ranks of the rodents fighting the Kurds.  Enjoy.

_____________________________________________
NEWS AND COMMENT:
New York Magazine just proved Trump is a war criminal:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/ef47529f-e1e7-38f7-9d15-ed3e58950307/ss_officials-confirm-that-trump.html

Moon of Alabama and its colorful, insightful and rigorous analysis of CW in Douma:

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/04/syria-who-holds-up-the-opcw-investigation-in-douma.html

More scholarly article about Trump’s illegal conduct in Syria:

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/Voices/2018/04/20/Syrias-Assad-regime-is-brutal-but-retaliatory-airstrikes-are-illegal/8661524230379/

Sayyed Nasrallah: Resistance Able to Strike Any Target inside ’Israel’, Berri our Candidate As House Speaker – By Zeinab Essa ( Source: Al-Ahed news )

Zeinab Essa

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Sunday a speech in which he addressed a huge electoral rally held in the Southern Lebanese city, Tyre.

 

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah


At the beginning of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the the father of the three martyrs, Hajj Sami Muslimani, who saluted the Resistance Leader, by saying: “You, the martyrs’ families, are the crown of heads.”

Starting from the place of the rally, His Eminence highlighted that “the city of Tyre, remained unobstructed by sedition, as it embraced and opened its homes to Palestinians displaced in 1948.”

“”Israeli aggressions on Lebanon started in 1949, not with the advent of the Palestinian resistance factions,” he said.

He further stated: “The city of Tyre city resisted the occupation in 1982 and on its land the first self-scarifying operations was carried to break the Zionist enemy’s arrogance and prepare for the “Israeli” humiliating defeat.”

In parallel, he underscored that “we meet here on the anniversary of April 1996 “Grapes of Wrath” aggression, which began on April 11, by striking Hezbollah’s military headquarters in Haret Hreik.”

“The “Israeli” air strike at that time failed to hit Hezbollah military Leader martyr Mustafa Badreddine as the missile hit the other room,” Sayyed Nasrallah clarified.

Moreover, he recalled that the “Israeli” chief of staff in 1996 said that Hezbollah have turned ‘April understanding’ into a boxing bag,” noting that “the sons of Imam al-Sadr from Amal movement and Hezbollah have developed the concept of resistance, that led to victory.”

Furthermore, His Eminence stressed that “the South and its people have waited the state since 1948 until Imam al-Sadr came and adopted the alternative by establishing the resistance.”

He also unveiled that “before 2006, it was the Resistance that asked the state and the Lebanese Army to be present in the South and along the border.”

“The Lebanese state has delayed its move and turned its back to the South,” Sayyed Nasrallah mentioned, noting that “it is not the poor, who bought arms from his own money to defend the land.”

Meanwhile, he added that “our crime is that we took up arms to defend our land and sovereignty.”

“The resistance that was the dream of Sayyed Sharaf al-Din and Imam al-Sadr has now turned to a real force that the enemy greatly fears,” His Eminence emphasized.

In addition, he went on to say that “Thanks to the resistance capabilities and achievements, South Lebanon is currently safe from the Zionist barbarism.”

To Sayyed Abdl Hussein Sharf Din and Imam Moussa Sadr, Sayyed Nasrallah sent a message of assurance: “There is no humiliation today that is able to hit the land of Jabal Amel [South Lebanon]

To Imam al-Sadr, His Eminence vowed: “The resistance that you have founded owes the capability, power, technology and missiles that can strike any target in the “Israeli” enemy’s entity.”

“The resistance came with great sacrifices and we aren’t to abandon it, as it means our dignity and pride,” he added.

Addressing the people of the Resistance, Sayyed Nasrallah told the crowd: “May 6 is your day of voting. It is a message to the world that we in the South have not left the resistance and won’t give up or turn our back. I hope that on May 6 … you will choose the Hope and Loyalty [electoral lists], the hope for the future.”

“Here in Zahrani-Tyre, you are not just voting for MPs, you’re voting for the next Lebanese House Speaker. There is no question that House Speaker Brother Nabih Berri should be reelected as House Speaker and he is the party’s strongest representation,” he said.

He further hailed the fact that “since the 1920s, there has been no internal peace in the history of the South as the one it’s enjoying from pride and dignity for the past 12 years.”

On the internal front, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that “Lebanon has witnessed a kind of understanding: one party will defend the country and protect it while the other side will take care of the economy.”

This comes as His Eminence confirmed that “we can say, ‘these are our successes.’ We protected our country. Stability and security have been available since 2006.”

In this context, he asked the Future Movement: “What are your achievements in administering Lebanon’s economics? Those in charge failed. Everyone agrees that we have an economic problem. We’re suffering from a huge debt that reached $ 80 billion.
The agriculture and the productive sectors are at an all-time low.”

Commenting on the National Defense Strategy, Hezbollah Secretary General reiterated that Hezbollah is ready to discuss it after the election ends.

However, he asked the Future Movement, “Who is escaping from forming a national economic strategy?”

On this level, Sayyed Nasrallah cautioned that corruption has extended to all state institutions. “When we talk about a strong country, corruption has no place. There is no discussion, no need for debate, the steps are clear. However, if the country keeps moving like this, it will crumble.”

In addition, he slammed the fact that Lebanon is suffering from sectarianism on all levels. Even Lebanese water and rivers have turned to a sectarian topic.”

“Even our gas and oil blocks are going to be distributed based on sects,” he feared, wondering: “what kind of country operates like that?”

He also said “This isn’t a US, Arab countries or “Israeli” fault. We have to take responsibility. When you have a minister working for his sect, his town and his kids, can we still call him a minister for Lebanon?”

Source: Al-Ahed news

Israel’s Mossad accused of assassinating Palestinian ‘rocket scientist’ in Malaysia – By RT

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Israel’s Mossad accused of assassinating Palestinian ‘rocket scientist’ in Malaysia
The family of a Palestinian lecturer, allegedly linked to a Hamas drone and rocket program, has accused Mossad of his murder in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian authorities have also hinted at potential involvement of foreign intelligence.

The Palestinian, identified as Fadi Mohammad al-Batsh, was assassinated in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. Two suspects had awaited the victim for some 20 minutes and then gunned him down, fleeing the scene on a motorcycle, according to local police.

“The suspect fired 10 shots, four of which hit the lecturer in the head and body. He died on the spot. The police also found two empty bullet shells there,” Kuala Lumpur Police chief Mazlan Lazim told reporters.

Al-Batsh, a 35-year-old lecturer with a private university, reportedly served as an imam at a local surau, a smaller Malaysian variant of a mosque. The police chief said the investigators would look into all possible theories on the events, including the potential involvement of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists. While the identity of the perpetrators is still unknown, they are believed to be Caucasian, according to the Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“The lecturer, a permanent resident of this country, is believed to have become a liability for a country hostile to Palestine,” the official said, suggesting that foreign intelligence might have been involved in the murder.

“The police will conduct their investigation by covering all angles. We will investigate the case until the arrest of the perpetrators of the crime,” he added, stating that the country’s law enforcement will seek help from Interpol and Aseanapol to track down the suspects.

The family of al-Batsh squarely pinned the blame on the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad. “We accuse Mossad of being behind the assassination,” the family, which lives in the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip, said in a statement. Hamas itself has also pointed fingers at Israel, promising “to hold meetings with the Malaysian officials and follow up closely the details of the crime.” Neither family members nor Hamas provided any evidence to back up their claims.

READ MORE: #GreatReturnMarch: 4 Palestinian deaths reported as protests enter 4th week

The Islamist organization described al-Batsh as a “young Palestinian scholar,” specializing in the energy and electronics fields, who greatly contributed to “developing the Malaysian energy sector.” The slain lecturer was about to travel to Turkey to partake in a science conference, according to Hamas. Israeli media, however, reported that the Palestinian scientist was linked to the “drone and rocket” programs of Hamas. The organization neither confirmed nor denied the allegations.

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How EU pretends not to see Israel’s calculated slaughter in Gaza – By Ali Abunimah / Rights and Accountability (Electronic Intifada)

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Why is the European Union pretending not to see how Israel is deliberately killing civilians in the occupied Gaza Strip?

On Friday, Israel killed four more unarmed protesters, including 14-year-old Muhammad Ayyoub, and injured hundreds more.

This brought to more than 30 the number of Palestinians killed by Israel in its violent suppression of the Great March of Return rallies that began on 30 March and are planned to continue until Nakba Day, the 15 May commemoration of the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

The victims include four children and a journalist.

Thousands more have been injured, more than 1,600 by live ammunition that has caused devastating injuries likely to leave them with lifelong disabilities.

Two weeks ago, the International Criminal Court chief prosecutor warned Israeli leaders that they could end up on trial for this violence against civilians.

But as I told The Real News on Friday, the coddling and rewards Israel receives, particularly from the United States and the European Union, means that Israeli leaders feel completely immune and are continuing to carry out these killings.

You can watch the video of that interview at the top of this page.

On Saturday, the European Union called on Israel “to refrain from using lethal force against unarmed protesters” and claimed that a “full investigation is needed to understand what happened and why” four more people, including the child Muhammad Ayyoub, were killed.

This came after weeks of European officials rationalizing Israeli violence and subtly laying blame on Palestinians for their own deaths.

But once again, the EU has utterly failed to condemn Israel’s actions and is presenting itself as bewildered about what is happening, as if there has not already been a mountain of evidence collected by independent human rights and medical organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Al-Haq, B’Tselem, Al Mezan, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Médecins Sans Frontiers and a number of UN experts concerning the horrific results of Israel’s openly declared policy to shoot people who pose no conceivable threat.

This includes direct incitement by Israeli officers to kill children:

And on top of that, the slaying of Muhammad Ayyoub was seen by eyewitnesses and caught on video, showing that the boy presented no conceivable danger to anyone when he was killed:

If that isn’t enough, the Israeli army has defended the killing of Ayyoub, stating that all shots fired on Friday “were according to the rules of engagement.”

Yet let us take the EU at its word, that it believes in the need for an independent investigation in order to “understand” what is happening and find its way out of the fog.

On 31 March, the day after Israel killed 17 Palestinians as tens of thousands took part in the first Great March of Return rallies, the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini joined UN Secretary-General António Guterres in demanding “an independent and transparent investigation.”

On 18 April I wrote to Mogherini’s usually responsive press team to ask what the EU had done in the more than two weeks since its call for an investigation to make one happen.

“Please note I am not asking you to reiterate the EU’s desire, wish, aspiration, hope, belief etc, for such an investigation,” my inquiry stated. “My question now is very specific as to what actions the EU is taking.”

Three days, four killings and hundreds of injuries later, I have received no answer.

What I can say with certainty is that in the meantime EU officials and European governments continue to pour money into Israel’s arms industry.

And they have been effusively celebrating Israel’s so-called “independence” – the founding of an apartheid state that only continues to exist due to the subjugation, exculsion and regular massacres of Palestinians.

 

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