Pentagon Falsifies Paperwork To Keep Syrian Rebels Armed With Quasi-Covert Program – by Whitney Webb

 

On July 19, the Trump administration announced that it would end the CIA’s covert program aimed at arming and training terrorist-linked “moderate rebels” in Syria, sparking hope among some Trump supporters that he was finally enacting the anti-interventionist rhetoric of his campaign.

However, a recently released report shows that the Pentagon has picked up the slack left by the end of the CIA’s program — pumping billions of dollars worth of weapons into the hands of Syrian “rebels,” while attempting to mask the paper trail and their suppliers’ ties to organized crime.

The report, published Tuesday by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), provides conclusive evidence that the Pentagon plans to provide up to $2.2 billion in weapons to Syrian “rebel” groups, particularly Kurdish militant groups like the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). While the Pentagon has been arming “rebels” since 2015, the Department of Defense began requesting increased funding for the program once the CIA covert arms program was ostensibly slated to shut down

While the Pentagon has been arming “rebels” since 2015, the Department of Defense began requesting increased funding for the program once the CIA covert arms program was ostensibly slated to shut down.

The Pentagon has requested an additional $322.5 million for the financial year ending October 2017 and $261.9 million for the following 12 months. For fiscal years 2017 and 2018, the budget for the program has been set at $584 million while another $900 million has been earmarked to continue the program through 2022.

 

Working the Balkan arms pipeline

Weapons were shipped from Eastern-Europe via Silk Way airlines, who offered security-free diplomatic flights to clients ranging from Saudi Arabia, Israel to US Central Command.

The program utilizes the Pentagon’s so-called “Balkan arms pipeline,” a network first exposed by Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva. The arms-supply chain involves the U.S. purchasing vast amounts of Soviet-Era weaponry from Eastern Europe, from which it is then shipped to air bases in Turkey and Kuwait, via the Azerbaijan commercial airline Silk Way, and later sent into Syria. The BIRN/OCCRP report adds, notably, that several of the Pentagon’s weapons suppliers in these countries share links to organized crime organizations and other unsavory actors.

In addition, the report details how this Pentagon program to arm “rebels” has essentially sidestepped long-established checks on international weapons trafficking that are intended to curb illicit deals. Many of these safety checks are included in the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty, which the U.S. has yet to ratify but ostensibly supports.


Related | Journalist Interrogated For Linking CIA Weapons Shipments To Syrian Jihadists


Patrick Wilcken, an arms researcher at Amnesty International, told BIRN that the Pentagon’s actions are undermining the treaty in its entirety.

 

Masking the recipients

Syrian militants are seen with a Serbian made MO2 Coyote machine gun, a weapon which was shipped to Syria via Saudi Arabia and Turkey on diplomatic flights a few months earlier.

The specific “sidesteps” the Pentagon has been taking involve the alleged removal of documentation regarding who or what groups ultimately receive the purchased weapons. By removing this documentation, the Pentagon enables weapon transfers to any armed group within Syria it chooses – including Syrian rebels – without providing documentation as to who received what.

“The Pentagon is removing any evidence in their procurement records that weapons are actually going to the Syrian opposition,” Ivan Angelovski, who co-wrote the report, told Foreign Policy. Indeed, when the report authors contacted authorities in Romania, Bulgaria, and other nations involved in the program, several of the governments responded that they had granted export licenses for the weapons where the U.S., not Syria, was listed as the final destination. They claimed to have been unaware that the weapons were destined for Syria.

Thus, the Pentagon’s alteration of documentation is, in fact, illegal, given the U.S.’ membership in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which requires that end-user certificates include the final destination country.

 

Exhausting the Balkan weapons’ supplies

A visitor looks at assault rifles made by the Serbian company Zastava Arms, during a defense fair, in Belgrade, Serbia. (AP/Darko Vojinovic)

Furthermore, the report notes that the arms transfers are so massive that they are fundamentally altering the economies of the Eastern European nations that are supplying the weapons. The report notes that factories in Serbia and Bulgaria have been drastically increasing arms and ammunition production in order to keep up with demand. In order to meet the increasing demand to be generated by the program over the next several years, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic promised in July to turn “meadows and forests” into arms factories and almost double Serbia’s arms exports to $750 million by 2020.

Increased production alone has proven insufficient, however, with the Pentagon being forced to lower its standards for weapons and ammunitions to meet demand, while also forcing the U.S. to procure even more arms from “non-traditional” countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Vietnam.

While the U.S. has ostensibly accepted that Syria’s government will remain in power and even reclaim most, if not all, of its territory, it seems the Pentagon – along with its regional ally, Israel – are unwilling to let the billions already spent on arming the Syrian “rebels” go for naught, spending billions more in hopes that the situation will finally favor their long-standing goal of regime change.

Top photo | Free Syrian Army militants clean their weapons and check ammunition at their base on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria. (Khalil Hamra/AP)

Russia deploys MiG-29SMT fighters to Syria – Deterring Israel? – By Alexander Mercouris

MiG-29SMT

Russia air force deployment of advanced MiG fighter to Syria may precede its transfer to Syria’s air force

The Russian Ministry of Defence has unexpectedly confirmed the deployment of MiG-29SMT fighters to Russia’s Khmeimim air base in north east Syria.

The MiG-29SMT should not be confused with the new MiG-35, which has yet to enter service with the Russian Aerospace Forces, and which is an essentially new aircraft with new electronics and engines and a new airplane structure, though one which uses the old MiG-29’s planform. By contrast the MiG-29SMT is essentially a heavily modernised MiG-29, an aircraft that entered service with the Russian air force in the 1980s.

It is nonetheless a potent aircraft which however is designed for air to air combat against enemy fighters rather than for strike roles or ground attack. In this it differs from the SU-35 and SU-30 fighters also deployed by the Russian Aerospace Forces to Syria, which though exceptionally effective air combat fighters are nonetheless true multirole fighters, which are also very effective when used for ground strikes.

What explains the deployment of the MiG-29SMT to Syria?

Ever since the start of the Russian intervention in Syria in 2015 the Russians have openly and frankly spoken of Syria as a testing ground for their military systems. It would be in keeping with this approach to use Syria to test the combat performance of the MiG-29SMT, making it incidentally the first MiG fighter deployed by the Russians to Syria on a sustained basis, though four much more advanced naval MiG-29K fighters were also briefly deployed to Syria last autumn on board Russia’s carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.

However a more likely reason for the deployment to Syria of the MiG-29SMT is that the Russians are preparing a delivery of MiG-29SMT aircraft to Syria and the deployment of some examples of this aircraft to Khmeimim air base is intended to familiarise the Syrians with it.

In 2009 the Russians confirmed that a contract had been agreed between Russia and Syria for the supply of 24 MiG-29SMT fighters to Syria. The sale was however postponed in 2012 because of the Syrian war. However with most of western Syria now pacified and under the Syrian government’s control, and with ISIS just weeks away from final defeat in eastern Syria, it is now possible to speak of the Syrian war finally winding down, making it possible for the supply of the 24 MiG-29SMTs to proceed.

When the Syrian war is finally over the Syrian air force – which has experienced heavy equipment losses because of the war, and whose aircraft are anyway largely obsolete Soviet designs delivered to Syria by the USSR in the 1970s and 1980s – will need modern new aircraft to re-equip itself, especially in light of the increasing threats to Syria from Israel.

At that point the transfer of the 24 MiG-29SMT fighters to Syria may finally take place, with the deployment of some of these aircraft to Syria being intended to prepare the ground for this.

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The Price of Israeli State Terror – by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

PALESTINEMAP

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

According to West Bank Palestinian journalists, Israeli-instigated violence from July 14 – 28 caused 15 deaths, about 1,400 others injured, some seriously.

Clashes resulted from unacceptable Israeli security measures imposed on the Al-Aqsa mosque and compound, mostly in Jerusalem’s Old City, elsewhere in the West Bank and Gaza.

Israel continues holding bodies of 13 Palestinians killed during this period – so far refusing to return them to families for proper Muslim burials.

On Friday, Israel lifted security measures and other restrictions imposed on the Al-Aksa mosque and compound.

The Islamic Endowment in charge of running the holy site confirmed all gates are open, Palestinian men and women of all ages free to enter the mosque and compound for prayers.

Over 100 detained Palestinians were released on Thursday and Friday on these conditions. Old City residents were banned from entering Al-Aqsa for two weeks, other Jerusalem residents banned from the Old City for two weeks, other Palestinians banned from the city for two weeks.

Palestinian victories are rare and nearly always short-lived. It’s just a matter of time before large-scale Israeli-instigated violence again occurs.

Besieged Gazans endure horrendous Israeli mistreatment, struggling to survive under dire conditions.

Elsewhere in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israeli persecution continued on Saturday, numerous Palestinians assaulted, many detained, including disabled ones in Hebron and Bethlehem.

Multiple raids happen daily in Palestinian communities. Hundreds are administratively detained uncharged without trials.

Separately, Netanyahu threatened to expel Al-Jazeera from Israel, claiming it’s “inciting” violence in Jerusalem’s Old City, especially around the Al-Aqsa mosque and compound.

“I have appealed to law enforcement agencies several times to close the Al-Jazeera office in Jerusalem,” he blustered.

“If this does not happen because of legal reasons, I will work to legislate the laws required to remove Al Jazeera from Israel.”

Israel rejects criticism of its policies – by media, groups and individuals, including bloggers freely expressing their views.

Repressive Knesset legislation targets speech, assembly, association and the right to dissent, Palestinians especially vulnerable.

Military censorship prohibits information published about its high crimes against peace. willfully suppressing what Israelis need to know, claiming national security priorities.

Discussing anything Israel considers classified information risks prosecution. Protests are prohibited for political reasons. Nonviolent resistance is suppressed, academic freedom endangered.

The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms (MADA) reported “51 violations of media freedoms in Palestine during June by Israeli and Palestinian authorities.

Palestine is illegally occupied territory, the entire population threatened by brutal Israeli repression – ongoing daily.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.

Hezbollah and rebels agree ceasefire at Lebanese-Syrian border POLITICS – By Wang Lei

2017-07-27 17:02 GMT+8

6892km to Beijing

A ceasefire took effect on Thursday in a mountainous area of the Lebanese-Syrian border where Lebanon’s Hezbollah says it is on the verge of defeating jihadist militants in their last foothold at the frontier.

The ceasefire, beginning at 6 a.m. (0300 GMT), comes a week after the powerful Shiite militant group launched an offensive against the jihadists in the mountainous Jurud Arsal border region.

Lebanon’s official National News Agency (NNA) said the ceasefire was part of a deal brokered by the country’s general security agency chief Major General Abbas Ibrahim. 

A Hezbollah fighter holds his weapon at Juroud Arsal, Syria-Lebanon border, July 25, 2017. /Reuters Photo

Under the deal, remaining fighters from the former al-Qaeda affiliate once known as al-Nusra Front will withdraw from the region.

“The al-Nusra fighters and their families will go to Idlib,” a province in northwestern Syria largely under the control of the jihadists, NNA said.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Wednesday his group was close to defeating al-Nusra Front militants, saying they had “effectively lost” most of the land they held in the barren, mountainous border region known as Jroud Arsal.

He said negotiations had begun on Tuesday between Lebanese officials and the al-Nusra Front over the withdrawal of remaining militants to insurgent-held territory in Syria.

A Hezbollah member kisses the coffin of Hezbollah fighter Mohammed Chouaib, during his funeral in Toul village, Lebanon, July 24, 2017. /Reuters Photo

Security sources say some two dozen Hezbollah fighters have been killed overall, and nearly 150 militants.

ISIL militants in an adjacent area of the border zone are expected to be targeted in the next phase of the operation unless they agree to withdraw.

Six-year Syrian war

The al-Nusra Front was al-Qaeda’s official wing in the Syrian war until last year when it formally severed ties to the global jihadist network and rebranded itself. It now fights as part of the Tahrir al-Sham Islamist alliance, which it dominates.

Hezbollah has played a major role in fighting militants in the border region during the six-year Syrian war, part of a much bigger role it has played in the Syrian conflict in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. /Reuters Photo

The Arsal region was the scene of one of the most serious spillovers of the Syrian civil war into Lebanon, when al-Nusra Front and ISIL militants briefly overran the town of Arsal, abducting dozens of Lebanese soldiers and policemen.

ISIL is still holding nine Lebanese soldiers captured at that time. Their fate is unknown.

(Source: Reuters, AFP)

Related stories:

Hezbollah fights militants along Syrian-Lebanese border

Lebanon’s Hezbollah launches Syria border operation

Famine Plagues Somalia, Yemen Amid US Military Adventurism, Empire Building – By Roqayah Chamseddine

In Somalia, a U.S.-led “war on terror” has led to a rise in extremism that has exacerbated the country’s famine, while in Yemen, a Saudi blockade has prevented much-needed food from reaching its people. And yet, many in the West remain unaware of their plight.

A Somali woman walks through a camp of people displaced from their homes elsewhere in the country by the drought, shortly after dawn in Qardho, Somalia Thursday, March 9, 2017. (AP/Ben Curtis)

SYDNEY — In a part of the world where little attention is given beyond the briefest of news flashes, there is an ongoing famine impacting countless lives. Spurred in part by both drought and war, a famine is now casting its long shadow over millions of people across the Middle East and many parts of Africa.

Foreign interventionism, U.S. arms manufacturing and humanitarian aid that often comes too little and too late have helped twist a knife in wounds made by war and colonialism. This endless, man-made cycle continues to unleash devastating consequences.

Somalia, where the U.S. has been waging a covert drone war, is no stranger to famine. Between 2011 and 2012, over 260,000 died, half of them children under the age of 5, making it the worst famine in the last 25 years. Data from Somalia’s Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) shows that 4.6 percent of the total population and 10 percent of children under 5 died in southern and central Somalia alone during that time.



The report argues that a combination of events led to the devastating famine, starting with weather conditions, which were the driest seen in the eastern Horn of Africa in 60 years. The organization found that “the result was widespread livestock deaths, the smallest cereal harvest since the 1991-94 civil war, and a major drop in labor demand, which reduced household income.”

In addition, the amount of humanitarian aid delivered to southern Somalia in 2010 and 2011 was exceptionally low, “especially compared to 2008-2009, when food aid accounted for a significant proportion of national cereal supply.” Not mentioned in FSNAU’s report is the U.S.-led “war on terror” and wider counter-terrorism policies, which have brought about the rise of extremist groups like al-Shabaab.

These groups have used humanitarian aid as tools in their arsenal, largely due to not being able to trust Western aid. Madeleine Bunting, the associate editor for The Guardian, argues that “al-Shabaab’s suspicion is rooted in the experience of a decade of devious U.S. manipulation. Somalia has been the war on terror’s sideshow.”

The theft of resources and the wider impact of British colonialism in Somalia have left a mark on the country. In recent times, the United States has continued to pillage Somalia for resources while clamping down with military might. In 1993, during the Clinton presidency, images of famine and war were used by the administration to convince Americans that their support of U.S. military efforts was necessary – a kind of “humanitarian imperialism” that continues today.

U.S. Marines load ammunition and weapons on a truck in Mogadishu, Somalia's, Bakara Market December 2006. A Marine stands holding a M60 machine gun, left, pointing it at a crowd of Somali civilians standing at the right. (Photo/Expert Infantry via Flickr)

“We went [to Somalia] because only the United States could help stop one of the great human tragedies of this time,” Clinton said. “In a sense, we came to Somalia to rescue innocent people in a burning house.” What Bill Clinton didn’t disclose was that the United States was one of the primary reasons why the house was on fire to begin with, and military efforts would not be putting out the flames.

In 2014, Somalia’s petroleum ministry accused the Norwegian oil company DNO of exploiting Somalia. In an official statement, the ministry argued that small [oil] companies “are destabilizing the country and destroying the international community’s effort to build the peace and the security of the country.” The ministry went on to accuse DNO of “introducing armed militiamen in areas already in conflict and thereby stoking old feuds which resulted in internal displacement and harming the innocent and the most vulnerable people.”

25-year-old Liban Adam, a Minnesota resident, and community organizer, told MintPress that the last two years have been especially difficult on the people of Somalia, compelling Adam, and other community members to start donation campaigns for famine relief. They managed to raise $200,000 in March.


Related: The Hunger Games: How Modern Imperialism Creates Famine Around the World


“This last famine affected half of the population of Somalia, and this includes many families living in rural and urban settings. The impact from the lack of rain and emergency planning led to livestock not having enough food, and people not seeing crop output. It was a ripple effect and it touched many families in a personal way,” Adam said.

The reaction from the Somali diaspora has been swift and energized, with their mobilization efforts in Minnesota helping to provide aid to thousands by way of food distribution, water programs and medical emergency kits. Through organizations like The Somali Care Foundation, Adam and other members of his community are helping many victims of famine and hunger. “We aim to teach families to be sustainable and show them how they can move forward by themselves. We will continue to the find best solutions to help and fight poverty in any country that needs help,” he said.

Adam explained that members of Somalia’s diaspora community are mobilizing in any way that they can, “from collecting funds from events to spreading the message to popular singers and talking about the issues with those around them. In that moment there was a genuine sense of unity to fight against the famine, despite our differences,” he said.

 

Yemenis feeling brunt of Saudi blockade of food aid

In Yemen, Saudi coalition forces have killed entire families in bombing raids, right at the tail end of a war that is in its third year. Fuad Rajeh, a resident of Yemen’s city of Sana’a, told MintPress that what he’s witnessed in Yemen can only be described as the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

“People are dying from hunger or committing suicide because of it. In Sana’a, families are living in harsh conditions: many have one meal a day, and some can’t find a meal for days,” he said. The overall situation in Yemen is “catastrophic” in Rajeh’s words, and it is impacting everyone “without exception.”

According to Rajeh, nearly 21 million people across the country, or more than two-thirds of the population, are in desperate need of some kind of assistance. The United Nations has found that some 9.8 million Yemenis currently require immediate assistance in order to stay alive, while 10.8 million require humanitarian assistance “to stabilize their situation and to prevent them from slipping into acute need.”

UN humanitarian needs infograph Yemen

In Taiz and Hodeidah, two of Yemen’s most densely-populated cities, the situation is steadily worsening. Due to the ongoing war and Saudi-led blockade, these cities are not receiving enough aid, including food and medical supplies. In Hodeidah, which is home to Yemen’s main port, war threatens to disrupt food access, as the port is the point of entry for almost 80 percent of the country’s food imports. Residents are now forced to starve to death, with little chance of escape.

Rajeh, a 39-year-old journalist and translator, has seen the impact of the war and famine first-hand. “My family is struggling like other families,” he admitted. “The war has affected everyone and every family in Yemen without exception. Everyone is suffering.”

Rajeh added that basic services in Yemen are collapsing, with many places having lacked food, water, medicine, electricity and security since April 2015. The country’s agricultural industry has also been heavily impacted by the war, as airstrikes that have targeted farms and wells have further compounded the nation’s suffering.

In regards to medicine, there are acute shortages of many pharmaceutical products, especially for those with chronic illnesses. The cost of medicine and other related products has increased dramatically. “Yemen’s health care system is collapsing,” Rajeh said.

“Less than 45 percent of the country’s hospitals are operational at the moment and are coping with huge challenges on top of which is a lack of medicine and other medical requirements and staff.” But despite warnings from relief agencies, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including the U.S., have continued to assist in the blockade and bombing of Yemen, with the U.S. providing arms. By blocking vital naval ports, Saudi Arabia is facilitating a famine that is unlike any other in recent memory.


Related: The Politics Of The Forgotten Humanitarian Crises In Yemen And Gaza


Author and investigative journalist Gareth Porter argues that Saudi Arabia has been intentionally “choking off access to food and fuel for most of Yemen’s population” so as to increase pressure on the local resistance. Saudi Arabia’s tactics have included targeting emergency services, such as hospitals, and agricultural infrastructure that is already under pressure.

“The consequences of the blockade on the nutrition and health of the civilian population were bound to be devastating,” he writes. All the while, the previous U.S. administration was well aware of Saudi Arabia’s tactics and the current administration has renewed arms deals with the Kingdom. Despite Saudi Arabia’s flagrant human rights violations, they’ve managed to gain a 3-year seat at the United Nation’s Human Rights Council, giving the Kingdom a chance to influence the self-described “principle human rights body.”

The sinister mix of warfare and drought has led to fast-spreading crop destruction, which has produced long-term agricultural impacts, including food shortages and starvation. All of this has resulted in the deaths of countless people who, for much of the outside world, do not exist. But as Rajeh and others explained, the impact this has had on these people has been immediate and unmeasurable.

The consequences of arms dealing and global warfare in Somalia, Yemen and other oft-forgotten countries serves as a prescient warning – should this continue, as many aid organizations believe it will, the results will be far more catastrophic for those most in need.

9 Of The World’s 10 Least Peaceful Nations Were All Targeted By U.S. Intervention – By Whitney Webb

The 2017 Global Peace Index has declared Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and South Sudan to be among the “least peaceful” countries in the world. Incidentally, all four have been targets of U.S.-led destabilization efforts that were used to pursue economic interests that suit the U.S.

A protest against the US missile strike against Syria during a rally in New York on Friday, April 7, 2017. (AP/Andres Kudacki)

MINNEAPOLIS– The annual Global Peace Index, recently released for June 2017, has found that while the world is more peaceful now than last year, violence has increased significantly overall in the past decade.

Although the situation has improved in many countries, the ten lowest-ranking nations – known as the world’s “least peaceful” countries – have shown little change in recent years.

However, nine of those ten countries share one commonality in the violence that they’ve experienced: U.S.-led destabilization efforts and regime change operations.



 

Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan: Targets for regime change and manufactured sectarianism

Syria, which ranked last in the June 2017 index, has been in the throes of a U.S.-led regime change effort for the better part of six years – a conflict that has ravaged one of the most prosperous nations in the Middle East and turned it into the latest battleground for a proxy war between the U.S. and Russia.

The U.S. has been planning the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at least as far back as 2006. Since the 2011 “uprising,” the U.S. has continuously funded and armed opposition groups in Syria along with several extremist groups, many of which have since joined terrorist organizations like Daesh (ISIS) and the al-Nusra Front.

This Friday, April 28, 2017 still taken from video, shows U.S. forces patrolling on a rural road in the village of Darbasiyah, in northern Syria. (AP via APTV)

The nations that rank just above Syria – Iraq and Afghanistan – were both targets of major U.S. invasions in the early 2000s and the U.S.’ continued presence in both of these countries has greatly contributed to the still-deteriorating situations in both nations.

With the U.S. troop presence growing in Iraq and set to surge dramatically in Afghanistan with the deployment of over 50,000 troops, more conflict is inevitable.

 

South Sudan: “Nation-building” gone awry

South Sudan, which ranked fourth, has also been victimized by U.S. intervention and “nation-building.”

The U.S. pushed South Sudan to secede from Sudan in 201,1 as South Sudan held 75 percent of Sudan’s oil reserves — the largest oil reserves in all of Africa. Analysts argued that the U.S. sought to create an independent South Sudan in order to dislodge Chinese claims to Sudanese oil, as the Chinese had previously signed oil contracts with the (now Northern) Sudanese government. The U.S.’ significant aid contributions to South Sudan, totalling $1.6 billion between 2013 and 2016, suggest that Washington has sought to influence the government there for that very purpose.

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, left, walks with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, right, and other visiting members of the UN Security Council in the capital Juba, South Sudan, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. South Sudan has agreed to the deployment of a 4,000-strong regional protection force approved by the U.N. Security Council after first rejecting the peacekeepers as a violation of its sovereignty.

Just two years later, however, South Sudan dissolved into a deadly civil war that has killed tens of thousands and displaced more than 1.5 million. Some analysts have suggested that the civil war broke out between South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his former deputy Riek Machar only when Mayardit started to cozy up to China.

The chaos from U.S. meddling in South Sudan has reached beyond its borders and brought trouble to Sudan, with that nation ranking as the eighth least peaceful nation.

 

Yemen: U.S.-backed Saudi aggressors responsible for famine, war crimes

Yemen, which ranked fifth, has also been involved in a U.S.-linked conflict, though the United States’ role has been less direct. While the U.S. is not leading the fight in Yemen, it has ardently backed the war’s aggressor – Saudi Arabia – from the beginning and has supplied the Saudis with billions of dollars in weapons, as well as occasionally bombed locations in Yemen to aid their Gulf allies.

A man holds a cluster comb fragment after a Saudi-led airstrike in Yemen's capital, Monday, April 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

In addition, the U.S. has turned a blind eye to the Saudis’ numerous war crimes in Yemen, despite the enormity of the tragedy unfolding there, including blocking aid shipments and consequently triggering widespread famine. The U.S. has been eager to see Saudi influence continue in Yemen – as it was prior to the conflict – due to Yemen’s location, which grants it control over the strategic strait of Bab al-Mandab, a chokepoint for the Saudi oil trade.

Yemen is followed by Somalia in the rankings.

 

Somalia: State of anarchy persists thanks to U.S. involvement

U.S. involvement in Somalia has a long history and reached a climax in the early 1990s, when the U.S.-supported military dictatorship of Siad Barre was overthrown, plunging the nation into civil war.

Thanks to Somalia’s strategic location for global oil markets at the mouth of the Red Sea, the U.S. became involved and, according to a staffer for the chief of the UN Somalia operation, “dragged the UN into Somalia kicking and screaming.” Somalia remained in a state of anarchy for 16 years until a coalition of Islamic courts took over the capital in 2006. However, this government was soon overthrown by Ethiopia with U.S. support.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton holds a small U.S.-made drone that the Ugandan military uses in Somalia to fight al-Qaida linked militants, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, during a demonstration and briefing at Kasenyi Military Base in Kampala, Uganda.

Current U.S. anti-terrorism policy in Somalia, which includes the use of airstrikes, has been blamed for worsening the nation’s conflict and its burgeoning humanitarian crisis, having driven the nation into famine.

 

Libya: Plunged into chaos after challenging U.S. petrodollar

Another recent victim of U.S. regime change efforts, Libya now ranks as the seventh least peaceful nation in the world. Once one of the most prosperous nations in Africa, former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi made the “mistake” of challenging the U.S. petrodollar system by creating a gold-backed pan-African currency known as the dinar. Following his ouster, Libya was essentially transformed into a failed state where there is still no clear government, terrorism runs rampant and slaves are now openly traded in public.

 

Ukraine: Targeted by U.S.-led coup over gas industry

Ukraine, which was the target of a U.S.-led coup in 2014 to weaken the influence of Russia’s lucrative gas industry on European gas markets, now ranks tenth among the least peaceful nations in the world. The only nation ranking near the bottom that has not experienced clear U.S. involvement is the Central African Republic, which ranks ninth.

 

The United States’ not-so-peaceful ranking

The United States itself also plummeted dramatically in this year’s Global Peace Index, now ranking 114 out of the 163 nations surveyed. This decrease was the greatest decline measured in any country this year.

Jeremy Christian at a Free Speech Rally on April 29, 2016, in Portland, Oregon. (Photo: Doug Brown/The Portland Mercury)

Statisticians have blamed divisiveness that has made itself plain following the 2016 presidential election, as well as a continued rise in homicide rates.

The United States’ involvement in military conflicts abroad is not factored into its ranking, meaning that this placement is conservative at best. As indicated by the ten lowest-ranking nations, if this factor were taken into consideration, the U.S. could likely find itself at the bottom of the list for its role in spurring disastrous and deadly conflicts around the world under the guise of foreign policy

 

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Paul Craig Roberts: A government of morons – By Paul Craig Roberts [Institute for Political Economy]

It has become embarrassing to be an American. Our country has had four war criminal presidents in succession. Clinton twice launched military attacks on Serbia, ordering NATO to bomb the former Yugoslavia twice, both in 1995 and in 1999, so that gives Bill two war crimes. George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and attacked provinces of Pakistan and Yemen from the air. That comes to four war crimes for Bush. Obama used NATO to destroy Libya and sent mercenaries to destroy Syria, thereby commiting two war crimes. Trump attacked Syria with US forces, thereby becoming a war criminal early in his regime.

To the extent that the UN participated in these war crimes along with Washington’s European, Canadian and Australian vassals, all are guilty of war crimes. Perhaps the UN itself should be arraigned before the War Crimes Tribunal along with the EU, US, Australia and Canada.

Quite a record. Western Civilization, if civilization it is, is the greatest committer of war crimes in human history.

And there are other crimes—Somalia, and Obama’s coups against Honduras and Ukraine and Washington’s ongoing attempts to overthrow the governments of Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia. Washington wants to overthrow Ecuador in order to grab and torture Julian Assange, the world’s leading democrat.

These war crimes committed by four US presidents caused millions of civilian deaths and injuries and dispossessed and dislocated millions of peoples, who have now arrived as refugees in Europe, UK, US, Canada, and Australia, bringing their problems with them, some of which become problerms for Europeans, such as gang rapes.

What is the reason for all the death and destruction and the flooding of the West with refugees from the West’s naked violence? We don’t know. We are told lies: Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction,” which the US government knew for an absolute fact did not exist. “Assad’s use of chemical weapons,” an obvious, blatant lie. “Iranian nukes,” another blatant lie. The lies about Gaddafi in Libya are so absurd that it is pointless to repeat them.

What were the lies used to justify bombing tribesmen in Pakistan, to bomb a new government in Yemen? No American knows or cares. Why the US violence against Somalia? Again, no Americans knows or cares.
Or the morons saw a movie.

Violence for its own sake. That is what America has become.

Indeed, violence is what America is. There is nothing else there. Violence is the heart of America.

Consider not only the bombings and destruction of countries, but also the endless gratuitous, outrageous police violence against US citizens. If anyone should be disarmed, it is the US police. The police commit more “gun violence” than anyone else, and unlike drug gangs fighting one another for territory, police violence has no other reason than the love of committing violence against other humans. The American police even shoot down 12-year old American kids prior to asking any question, especially if they are black.

Violence is America. America is violence. The moronic liberals blame it on gun owners, but it is always the government that is the source of violence. That is the reason our Founding Fathers gave us the Second Amendment. It is not gun owners who have destroyed in whole or part eight countries. It is the armed-at-taxpayer-expense US government that commits the violence.

America’s lust for violence is now bringing the Washington morons up against people who can commit violence back: the Russians and Chinese, Iran and North Korea.

Beginning with the Clinton moron every US government has broken or withdrawn from agreements with Russia, agreements that were made in order to reduce tensions and the risk of thermo-nuclear war. Washington initially covered its aggressive steps toward Russia with lies, such as ABM missile sites on Russia’s border are there to protect Europe from (non-existent) Iranian nuclear ICBMs.

The Obama regime still told lies but escalated to false charges against Russia and Russia’s president in order to build tensions between nuclear powers, the antithesis of Ronald Reagan’s policy. Yet moronic liberals love Obama and hate Reagan.

Did you know that Russia is so powerful and the NSA and CIA so weak and helpless that Russia can determine the outcome of US elections? You must know this, because this is all you have heard from the utterly corrupt Democratic Party, the CIA, the FBI, the Amerian whore media, and the morons who listen to CNN, MSNBC, NPR or read the New York Times and Washington Post.

Surely you have heard at least one thousand times that Russia invaded Ukraine; yet Washington’s puppet still sits in Kiev. One doesn’t have to have an IQ above 90 to understand that if Russia invaded Ukraine, Ukraine would not still be there.

Did you know that the president of Russia, which world polls show is the most respected leader in the world, is, according to Hillary Clinton “the new Hitler”?

Did you know that the most respected leader in the world, Vladimir Putin, is a Mafia don, a thug, a tarantula at the center of a spy web, according to members of the US government who are so stupid that they cannot even spell their own names?

Did you know that Putin, who has refrained from responding aggressively to US provocations, not out of fear, but out of respect for human life, is said to be hellbent on reconstructing the Soviet Empire? Yet, when Putin sent a Russian force against the US and Israeli trained and supplied Georgian army that Washington sent to attack South Ossetia, the Russian Army conquered Georgia in five hours; yet withdrew after teaching the morons the lesson. If Putin wanted to reconstruct the Russian Empire, why didn’t he keep Georgia, a Russian province for 300 years prior to Washington’s breakup of the Russian Empire when the Soviet Union collapsed? Washington was powerless to do anything had Putin declared Georgia to be again part of Russia.

And now we have the embarrassment of Trump’s CIA director, Mike Pompeo, possibly the most stupid person in America. Here we have a moron of the lowest grade. I am not sure there is any IQ there at all. Possibly it reads zero.

This moron, if he qualifies to that level, which I doubt, has accused Julian Assange, the world’s Premier Journalist, the person who more than anyone represents the First Amendment of the US Constitution, of being a demon who sides with dictators and endangers the security of American hegemony with the help of Russia. All because Wilileaks publishes material from official sources revealing the criminal behavior of the US government. Wikileaks doesn’t steal the documents. The documents are leaked to Wikileaks by whistleblowers who cannot tolerate the immorality and lies of the US government.

Anyone who tells the truth is by definition against the United States of America. And the moron Pompeo intends to get them.

When I first read Pompeo’s accusation against Assange, I thought it had to be a joke. The CIA director wants to revoke the First Amendment. But the moron Pompeo actually said it.https://www.rt.com/usa/384667-cia-assange-wikileaks-critisize/

What are we to do, what is the world to do, when we have utter morons as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, as President of the US, as National Security Adviser, as Secretary of Defense, as Secretary of State, as US Ambassador to the UN, as editors of the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NPR, MSNBC? How can there be any intelligence when only morons are in charge?

Stupid is as stupid does. The Chinese government has said that the moronic Americans could attack North Korea at any moment. A large US fleet is heading to North Korea. North Korea apparently now has nuclear weapons. One North Korean nuclear weapon can wipe out the entirety of the US fleet. Why is Washington inviting this outcome? The only possible answer is moronic stupidity.

North Korea is not bothering anyone. Why is Washington picking on North Korea? Does Washington want war with China? In which case, is Washinton kissing off the West Coast of the US? Why does the West Coast support policies that imply the demise of the West Coast of the US? Do the morons on the West Coast think that the US can initiate war with China, or North Korea, without any consequesnces to the West Coast? Are even Amerians this utterly stupid?

China or Russia individually can wipe out the US. Together they can make North America uninhabitalbe until the end of time. Why are the Washington morons provoking powerful nuclear powers? Do the Washington morons think Russia and China will submit to threats?

The answer is: Washington is a collection of morons, people stupid below the meaning of stupid. People so far outside of reality that they imagine that their hubris and arrogance elevates them above reality.

When the first Satan 2 hits Washington, the greatest collection of morons in the world will cease to exist.

The world will breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Bring it on! Come on morons, eliminate yourselves! The rest of us cannot wait.
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China threatens to bomb North Korea’s nuclear facilities if it crosses Beijing’s ‘bottom line’ in retracted article – By Tyler Durden [Zero Hedge]

With everyone putting down new and/or revised “red lines“, be it on Syria or North Korea, it was now China’s turn to reveal its “red” or rather “bottom line”, and in a harshly worded editorial titled “The United States Must Not Choose a Wrong Direction to Break the DPRK Nuclear Deadlock on Wednesday” Beijing warned it would attack North Korea’s facilities producing nuclear bombs, effectively engaging in an act of war, if North Korea crosses China’s “bottom line.”

The editorial in the military-focused Global Times tabloid, owned and operated by the Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper, said that North Korea’s nuclear activities must not jeopardize northeastern China, and that if the North impacts China with its illicit nuclear tests through either “nuclear leakage or pollution”, then China will respond with force.

“China has a bottom line that it will protect at all costs, that is, the security and stability of northeast China… If the bottom line is touched, China will employ all means available including the military means to strike back. By that time, it is not an issue of discussion whether China acquiesces in the US’ blows, but the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will launch attacks to DPRK nuclear facilities on its own.”

This, as the editorial puts it, is the “bottom line” for China; should it be crossed China will employ all means available including the military means to strike back,” warned the editorial.

It is worth noting that shortly after publication, the article seems to have been retracted without explanation, the URL now returning a “404” error. However not before the original article was cached on a webpage owned by China Military, courtesy of google.

In the editorial, the author also declared that the “People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will launch attacks to DPRK nuclear facilities on its own. A strike to nuclear facilities of the DPRK is the best military means in the opinion of the outside world.” The northeastern Chinese provinces of Liaoning and Jilin share borders with North Korea. These two provinces and Heilongjiang are part of the Shenyang Military Region, one of seven military regions of the People’s Liberation Army.

The editorial also explained the advantages to the world of a Chinese attack on North Korea’s nuclear facilities.

It noted China and the world know the locations of North Korea’s nuclear facilities. Once the PLA attacks these nuclear sites, North Korea will permanently suspend its nuclear weapons programs.

North Korea “has limited resources of nuclear materials and is strictly blockaded in the outside world, erasing the possibility for DPRK to get the materials again.”

China also noted that “nuclear weapons is DPRK’s trump card for its defiance of China and the United States. Once this card is lost, it will become obedient immediately.”

The author then speculated rhetorically that if North Korea’s “nuclear facilities are destroyed, they will not even fight back, but probably block the news to fool its domestic people. The DPRK will freak out if its nuclear facilities are destroyed.” And yes, a Chinese author said “freak out.”

The report also said that “the DPRK must not fall into the turmoil to send a large number of refugees, it is not allowed to have a government that is hostile against China on the other side of the Yalu River, and the US military must not push forward its forces to the Yalu River.” It notes that “this sentence is meant for the United States, because the premise of it is that the US military has launched attacks to the DPRK.”

But what may be the most notable part of the oped is the mention in the Global Times editorial that North Korea will “not be allowed to have a government that is hostile against China on the other side of the Yalu River.” This implies that if and when the US initiate strikes on NK, the Chinese PLA will likely send out troops “to lay the foundation” for a favorable post-war situation.

In other words, China may be just waiting for Trump to “decapitate” the North Korean regime, to pounce and immediately fill the power vacuum.

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SYRIAN ARMENIAN EXPLODES THE MYTH ABOUT THE WESTERN MEDIA’S “PEACEFUL” REVOLT AGAINST THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT – By Ziad Fadel

SEE THE CRIMINAL ROBERT FORD STANDING NEXT TO MASS MURDERER ‘UKAYDI

 

We thank Sharmine Narwani for sending us this must-see milestone in the search for the truth about Syria.  Make this viral.  Send it to everybody.

SYRIAN ARMENIAN EXPLODES THE MYTH ABOUT THE WESTERN MEDIA’S “PEACEFUL” REVOLT AGAINST THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT; SEE THE CRIMINAL ROBERT FORD STANDING NEXT TO MASS MURDERER ‘UKAYDI by Ziad Fadel

Read more at http://syrianperspective.com/2017/03/syrian-armenian-explodes-the-myth-about-the-western-medias-peaceful-revolt-against-the-syrian-government-see-the-criminal-robert-ford-standing-next-to-mass-murderer.html#RUoqOMtGlY8TEDyR.99

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