Syrian Army Reportedly Finds Documents in E Ghouta Linking Terrorists to the US – By Sputnik

A member of Syrian forces of President Bashar al Assad walks inside a tunnel that was used by rebels in Jobar, eastern Ghouta, in Damascus, Syria April 2, 2018

© REUTERS/ Omar Sanadiki
Military & Intelligence

Get short URL
280

Following the liberation of East Ghouta, the Syrian military has found an extensive network of tunnels with underground hospitals that were used by terrorist groups to move safely and perform raids on Syrian army positions.

Syrian soldiers have found documented proof of the secret cooperation between a US-based company and terrorists in Syria in the tunnels discovered after the liberation of East Ghouta, the Fars news agency reports, citing anonymous source in the army. The source refused to give the name of the company, due to the sensitivity of the information and the fact that the investigation is still ongoing. But he reassured that the documents are corroborative and prove that the terrorists were funded and even paid regularly by the US organization.

READ MORE: US Caught Evacuating More Daesh Leaders in Syria — State Media

After the last groups left East Ghouta, the Syrian army started cleaning the city of what remained after the terrorists, including mine fields and booby-traps, and discovered a system of tunnels, connecting different parts of the town. The Syrian military found two hospitals, equipped not only with what terrorists had stolen from local hospitals, but also with more advanced equipment, reportedly produced in Western countries and Saudi Arabia.

READ MORE: US-Led Coalition Uses Al Hasakah Camp in Syria to Train Militants — Russian MoD

The US, which operates on the Syrian soil without the authorization of its government or a UN mandate, has been frequently accused of helping Daesh terrorists. Information surfaced late February and March in Syrian media that US helicopters were transporting Daesh commanders and their family members to Sabah al-Khair, which is believed by locals to be a terrorist training camp.

Moscow Identifies Reasons Behind New US Nuclear Doctrine – By SPUTNIK

Bird's-eye views of Moscow

© Sputnik/ Maxim Blinov
Russia

Get short URL
14211

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Russian Foreign Ministry on Saturday expressed disappointment with the confrontational and anti-Russian stance in the recently issued US Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and outlined intentions to take the policies, revealed in the document, into account in ensuring its own security.

The NRP, published on Friday, claims a stronger US nuclear deterrent is needed to discourage Russia, China, Iran and North Korea from either developing new weapons or expanding existing arsenals. The US doctrine envisages short-term plans to modify existing submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) warheads to provide a low-yield option and pursue a modern nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM) in the long run. The NPR notes that these activities are not intended at being employed in a nuclear warfare, however they are aimed at raising the US nuclear threshold to ensure that the country’s potential adversaries perceive no possible advantage in nuclear escalation.

Moreover, in its nuclear doctrine the United States accuses Russia of repeated violations of several international arms control treaties and commitments, particularly the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov was the first to react to the release of the NPR. The diplomat suggested on Friday that Washington used alleged Russian threat to justify a hike in military spending and nuclear buildup. Antonov noted that the document raised questions and did not encourage practical work.

Moscow Will Have to Take US Policies into Account

“The content of the new nuclear doctrine (the so-called Nuclear Posture Review) released by the United States on February 2 has provoked our deep disappointment. The confrontational and anti-Russian nature of this document strikes the eye. We can state with regret that the United States explains its policies for large-scale boost of nuclear weapons by referring to modernization of the nuclear forces in Russia and alleged increasing role of nuclear weapons in the Russian doctrine statements. We are accused of lowering the nuclear threshold and of conducting some ‘aggressive behavior,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a Saturday statement on the NPR.

Moscow suggested that the NPR questioned Russia’s right to self-defense when countering aggression in situations critical for the country’s existence.

“Of course, we will have to take into account the approaches introduced by Washington and take all necessary measures to ensure own security,” the statement pointed out.

The projects on creation of low-yield weapons for sea-based cruise missiles and low-yield warhead for ballistic missiles carried by Trident II submarines, mentioned in the new US nuclear doctrine, represent the most danger, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted, adding that nuclear weapons with such characteristics are designed as “battlefield weapons.”The ministry also suggested that the United States was misleading the global community by saying that the new NPR would not lower the threshold of nuclear weapons use.

“Even more dangerous is the belief of the US military experts and other specialists in the sphere of national security, emerging from the pages of the nuclear doctrine, in their ability to reliably simulate the development of conflicts, in which they allow usage of ‘low-yield’ nuclear warheads. For us, the opposite is clear: significantly lowered ‘threshold conditions’ may lead to a missile-nuclear war even during low-intensity conflicts,” the Russian ministry stressed.

Moscow expressed deep concern over the fact that in its NPR, the United States allowed for the possibility of using nuclear weapons in “extreme circumstances,” which, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, are not limited to military scenarios.

“Washington’s practically ‘adjustable’ approach to the use of nuclear weapons is concerning. The possibility of its use in the case of ‘extreme circumstances’ is declared, which the doctrine’s authors do not limit to military scenarios,” the statement read.The US Nuclear Posture Review describes military scenarios in a rather unclear manner, thus allowing the United States to consider practically any case of military force use as a reason for carrying out a nuclear strike on those who it calls “aggressors,” the document continued.

“If all this is not an increase of the nuclear weapons factor in the doctrine, then what does the United States mean when it uses this notion about Russia?” the statement pointed out, referring to the US statement on the increasing role of nuclear weapons in the Russian military doctrine.

Groundless Accusations

The Russian Foreign Ministry categorically refuted all the allegations against it, made in the US nuclear doctrine.

According to the ministerial statement, “the US document is overfilled with different anti-Russia cliches starting from far-fetched accusations of ‘aggressive behavior’ and different kinds of ‘meddling’ and finishing with baseless accusations of ‘violations’ of a whole range of arrangements in the sphere of arms control.”

“Such peremptory cliches have recently been replicated by Washington without a pause. We consider this as an unfair attempt to shift on others the responsibility for the degradation of the situation in the field of international and regional security and the imbalance of arms control mechanisms, resulting from a series of irresponsible steps taken by the United States itself,” the ministry added.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called Washington’s statements saying that Moscow refuses to further decrease its nuclear capabilities yet another “falsification.”The US nuclear doctrine said that Russia allegedly demonstrates lowering threshold for its first-use of nuclear weapons through statements of the country’s officials.

Reacting to this statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted that these accusations against Russia had nothing to do with reality.

“The military doctrine of the Russian Federation clearly limits the use of nuclear weapons to two hypothetical and purely defensive scenarios: only in response to aggression with the use of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction against Russia and (or) our allies, and also — the second scenario – in case of use of conventional weapons, but only when the very existence of our state is threatened,” the ministerial statement read.

The Russian ministry emphasized Moscow’s openness for discussion of various issues, related to strengthening international security.

“We have directed the attention [of various players] including the United States to the fact, that settling key strategic stability problems, such as unilateral and unrestricted deployment of the US global missile defense system, implementation of the ‘global strike’ concept, the US denial to ratify the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and refusal to rule out possibility of deploying weapons in space, would contribute to creating the needed conditions for moving on the path of nuclear disarmament,” the statement pointed out.

Moreover, Moscow reiterated its commitment to obligations under various international treaties.“Russia strictly complies with its obligations under all the international agreements. We fully implement the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Treaty on Open Skies,” the statement read.

The statement also noted that Moscow had not in any way violated its obligations under the 2011 Vienna Document of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on increasing security and confidence-building measures, and the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances.

“As for the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe [CFE], Russia could not have violated this document, because it had suspended its participation in the agreement back in 2007. This has been done because the Treaty, created during the era of confrontation between two military and political blocs, the Warsaw Treaty Organization and NATO [the North Atlantic Treaty Organization], does not fit in today’s reality, because one of the blocs was dismissed long ago, while the other one, on the contrary, has been increasing its potential and expanding its ‘geography,'” the document pointed out.

This new reality has been reflected in the Agreement on Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE-II), which NATO allies led by the United States refused to ratify, the statement noted.

What the hell are we still doing in Syria? – By Michael Brendan Dougherty National Review (SOTT)

NettingSoldier

© Corporal Zachery C. Laning
US Marines conduct a fire mission in Northern Syria, March 2017.

With our ongoing war efforts there, the Trump administration is courting disaster.

Congress refused to authorize American intervention in Syria in 2013. Still, we sent in Special Forces. Congress later authorized a smaller intervention against ISIS. The caliphate was smashed, after President Trump changed the rules of engagement, and the president claimed credit. Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russia, had crushed most of the rebel forces. All done, U.S. troops can come home, having not been authorized to carry out any other missions by the people through their representatives. Right?

Wrong. Last week, in a speech at the Hoover Institute, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson relayed America’s latest policy in the Syrian civil war. We’re staying. And we’re going to accomplish everything we failed to do over the last half decade. We’re going to finish off both ISIS and al-Qaeda. Then resolve the conflict between Assad and his opponents, diminish Iranian influence, make the country safe for returning refugees, and ensure that there are no weapons of mass destruction in the country. And we’re going to do it without committing major resources. Yessiree, we’re going to lick this Syria problem even though our putative allies in the region are now more divided than ever.

The Congress and the U.K. Parliament both declined to go along with the elite consensus for regime change in Syria years ago. Later, Russian intervention on Assad’s behalf surely had some persuasive power of its own. So too the realization that the “moderate rebels” were little more than a PR front group for al-Qaeda. But Tillerson tells us it is still American policy to plan “for a post-Assad Syria.”

Tillerson said that “previous American efforts to halt the conflict have been ineffective.” Perhaps that is because they’ve also been unauthorized, which means they were illegal – and conducted without popular support. Sure, officials have occasionally trotted out the 2001 Authorization of Military Force against al-Qaeda, and they’ve preposterously twisted it into an authorization to destroy al-Qaeda’s chief enemy in Syria. But public opinion ran overwhelmingly against intervention, so the United States just conducted a smaller and more clandestine war than the one it would have preferred.

The prospect of a massive American intervention almost certainly extended and exacerbated the Syrian war and also created a moral hazard by allowing rebels to overestimate their chance of success. That is America’s contribution to “a humanitarian catastrophe,” where “half a million Syrians have died,” Tillerson noted. “Over 5.4 million Syrians are refugees, and 6.1 million are internally displaced persons, or IDPs. And as a result of conflict between regime and opposition forces, whole cities have been destroyed.” Not to mention a string of terror attacks in Europe connected to refugee flows, the destabilization of Europe’s Shengen Agreement (by which Europe’s internal borders have been largely abolished), and the loss of credibility for the European center-left and center-right. Brexit, the weakness of France’s two major political parties, and the hobbling of Merkel’s political career can all be partially blamed on the West’s botched foreign-policy decisions in Libya and Syria.

Yet none of the enormities since 2013 have dimmed the hopes of American policymakers. And now the war may get more complicated.

A few days after Tillerson’s speech, Turkey’s armed forces burst through the Syrian border, attacking the Kurdish militias who have been the most reliable allies of the United States in the fight against ISIS. Kurdish militias already have reason to distrust Americans, who welcomed their help in dismantling ISIS in Iraq, only to be driven out of Kirkuk by the Iraqi army. Now these same fighters face the wrath of long-term NATO ally Turkey, which is undergoing its own Islamicizing counterrevolution.

Consider the problems occasioned merely by one American ally.

Can the U.S. ever gain the trust of new allies in this region if we allow the Turks to annihilate our Kurdish friends?

Is our Article 5 NATO guarantee to Turkey likely to make Erdogan more or less responsible while conducting military operations in the same theater as Russia?

Is Erdogan really a great friend of the United States, when he is threatening our European allies with a new migration crisis if Turkey is not put on a faster track to full membership in the EU?

Oh, and by the way, Europe is in a lose-lose arrangement when it comes to Turkey as well. Turkey’s full membership would, by its very nature, cause a politically perilous migration crisis for Europe. How would European powers react to even more election rallies for Erdogan in their capital cities?

And that is just Turkey. The United States still has to accommodate the demands of its other friends, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Who authorized this ongoing presence in Syria?

How are all these goals possibly achieved with such a paltry troop commitment and no popular support?

How long can the United States pretend to manage everyone’s ambitions and demands in Syria without risking a more direct and deadly conflict with Russian forces there?

What the hell are we doing?

Comment: So far, the US says one thing and does another. What the hell are we doing? It certainly seems hard to tell! But then again, by lowering standards and switching plans you lower expectations and confuse everyone. An advantage, no?

US abusing UN Security Council to interfere in Iran’s internal affairs – Russia – By RT

US abusing UN Security Council to interfere in Iran's internal affairs – Russia
By calling a UN Security Council meeting with the demand to support anti-government protesters in Iran, the US is trying to bend the UNSC mandate, which does not deal with countries’ internal affairs, Russia’s UN envoy has said.

“We obviously regret the loss of lives as a result of the demonstrations that were not so peaceful. However, let Iran deal with its own problems, especially since this is precisely what’s taking place,” Russia’s envoy to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said.

He slammed the US for diverting attention from important international issues the UN Security Council should be addressing.

“You are dispersing the energy of the Security Council, instead of focusing it on dealing with key crisis situations in Afghanistan, Syria Libya, Iraq, Yemen, DPRK, the African continent. Instead of that, you are proposing that we interfere in the internal affairs of a state.”

“We don’t want to get involved in destabilizing Iran or any other country.”

He also reminded Washington of its own history of cracking down on protests.

“If we follow your logic, then we should have meetings of the Security Council after the events in Ferguson or after the dispersal by force of the Occupy Wall Street movement in Manhattan.”

In her opening speech, the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, dubbed the ongoing unrest in Iran a “spontaneous expression of fundamental human rights,” claiming the protests were simultaneously playing out in “over 78 locations.”

“In the end, the Iranian people will determine their own destiny. Let there be no doubt the US stands unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves, prosperity for their families and dignity for their nation. We will not be quiet,” Haley said, dismissing any attempts to paint the protesters as “puppets of foreign powers.” The US envoy said Washington was absolutely sure they [the protesters] are acting on their own.

Attempt to disrupt Iran nuclear deal

The call to support anti-government protesters is another attempt to dismantle the hard-won international nuclear deal struck in 2015, Nebenzia argued.

“The real reason for convening today’s meaning is not an attempt to protect human rights or promote the interests of the Iranian people, but rather a veiled attempt to seize the current moment to continue to undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). We consider it unacceptable to intentionally undermine the support of the international community JCPOA which is the main achievement of the nuclear nonproliferation in the last few years… Especially in the situation where the IAEA has repeatedly confirmed full compliance by Iran with its obligations.”

“The feeling is that there is some sort of inexplicable allergy to this country and it clouds the thinking about events in this country and leads to wishful thinking,” Nebenzia concluded.

‘Violence directed from abroad’

Iran’s Ambassador to the UN, Gholamali Khoshroo, reiterated the point that Tehran officials have been underlining as the protests unfolded: The rioters are being influenced from outside the country.

READ MORE: Iranian prosecutor points finger at CIA, Israel and Saudi Arabia for unrest

“We have hard evidence of the violence in Iran by a handful of protesters, in some cases resulting in the deaths of policemen and security officers, being very clearly directed from abroad. These violent elements surfaced in the crowd as early as Friday evening last week at the inceptions of the protests. At that point, the elements outside of Iran including instigators based in the United States and Europe began to visible. Incitement to violence included encouraging and training people to use Molotov cocktails, to seize ammunition parts and to stage an armed uprising.“

No threat to international peace

Several speakers at the Security Council pointed out that the unrest in Iran falls outside the UNSC’s ambit.

The French Ambassador to the UN, Francois Delattre, said: “However worrying the events of the last few days in Iran may be, they do not constitute per se a threat to international peace and security… We must be wary of any attempts to exploit this crisis for personal ends, which would have the diametrically opposed outcome to that which is wished.”

READ MORE: Iran slams ‘grotesque’ US meddling & calls for regime change through social media

And the Deputy Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi pointed to the UN charter: “The Iranian situation does not pose any threat on international peace or security, nor is it on the agenda of the Security Council. Discussing this domestic situation in Iran by the Council is a practice that is not in line with the Council’s responsibility as outlined in the UN charter. Doing so does not help resolve the domestic issue of Iran.”

The protests in several Iranian cities, apparently over rising food prices, unemployment, and the overall economic situation started on December 28. It has largely tapered off. Clashes with security forces have resulted in up to 22 protesters’ deaths and hundreds of arrests. Amid the wave of anti-government unrest, massive pro-government rallies were also staged across Iran, with participants reportedly numbering in the tens of thousands.

Election 2018 Russia: Vladimir Putin Versus the Muppets – By Phil Butler

 

11981685

The globalists running the show in Washington will stop at nothing to prevent Vladimir Putin from becoming Russia’s president in 2018. They cannot stop, for it they do the liberal world order will certainly wither and die. Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s right-hand man, only a few days ago pointed out how the U.S. is trying to use sanctions to alienate Russian oligarchs against Mr. Putin. But Russia’s top businessmen knew better than to trust Washington all along. Serious Russians never rely on Muppet Show antics.

What kind of promise can the new liberal order offer the men and women who control Russia’s vast riches, in order to deliver privatized control of those enormous riches to the likes of the Rothschilds and their American contemporaries? In all honesty, I feel ridiculous even asking such a question. The uncompromising greed and stupidity of ousted Russian billionaires like Yukos oil’s Mikhael Khodorovsy, the underboss of Rothschild/Russia, is warning enough there’s nothing at all to be gained from betraying Russia and Putin. Now that I think about it, just what kind of idiot does it take to give up everything at the behest of vampire bankers in the west? I think I know the answer.

My dear departed Mom always used to repeat the popular phrase; “Birds of a feather, flock together,” when she caught me hanging out with morons. And I’ve come to the conclusion after studying all the eastern and western oligarchs on Earth, America has the dumbest of the dumb, and the most arrogant slash narcissistic business people. Don’t take my word for it, read this interview with the Russian mafioso Khodorovsy from November on Chief Executive. The magazine’s Jeff Cunningham speaks of the Yukos oil pirate as if Kodorovsy was some Titan of business strategy – a hardworking business genius that turned around a dying company. As the lead to his story on the man I call “Killer Khodorovsy”, the former Forbes publisher and wannabe technocrat describes Putin’s worst enemy thus:

“Mikhail Khodorkovsky is the former CEO of Russian oil company Yukos, a company that was seriously in debt when he took over 1997. He transformed Yukos into the country’s second-largest oil producer, and by 2003 he was the richest man in the country.”

Anyone who reads NEO knows this is a bold-faced lie. Khodorkovsky was backed by Rothschild and others to become chief privateer of Russian energy assets after during the Yeltsin era feeding frenzy. And if we look at who stands behind Jeff Cunningham, who was technology adviser to Schroders Ventures global asset management, and one of crazy Senator John McCain’s henchmen as part of Arizona State University’s McCain Institute, a geopolitical think tank, then we find nearly all the liberal order’s evil villains. What distinguishes Cunningham for me is his being in the upper crust of journalists, which eliminates any possibility he is simply mistaken about Khodorovsy. Therefore, I said he’s a “bold-faced” liar. The Yukos mess is well documented by now, so it’s time we return to our theme. The truth of Khodorkovsky and fellow ousted oil oligarch Boris Berezovsky, is that they were backed to essentially steal Russia’s energy wealth for the globalists. One of the reasons Vladimir Putin is vilified by corporate western media today is because he wrested back control of Russia’s energy wealth from British and American bankers. And this is the reason we see the same media and corporations backing these ousted oligarchs.

Back to the use of sanctions to “lever” Putin out, the US introduced sanctions against Moscow in 2014 when the country re-united with Crimea and the conflict in Ukraine began. These useless restrictions have since expanded, to include individuals, companies and whole branches of the Russian economy, not to mention myriad petty distractions instituted by Washington. In layman’s terms, the wild-eyed liberalist order has thrown everything at Putin “including” the kitchen sink. And they’ve failed miserably at every turn. Instead of destroying Putin’s administration, western sanctions and other strategies have only served to strengthen his government. Meanwhile, in the west society is in meltdown mode with miserable distractions from NFL protests and revising Confederate history to the sodomite orgy that Hollywood, media, and politics have become.

In this nightmarish new America, Putin critics like military industrialist John McCain ride in a metaphorical motorcycle side car driven by Putin enemies and weirdos like Masha Gessen. Cutting the figure of “Beaker” from the Muppet Show, Gessen is an iconic symbol of just how screwed up America has become. Hiding her own insanity underneath the popular guise of outspoken Putin critic, Gessen leverages a pseudointellectual costume of a journalist who tracks the toxic legacy of the Soviet era. She veils her unconcealable pain as a vehement vociferousness over a Putin Russia she says is dead set against any hope for a liberal, democratic, law-bound Russia. Reading her venomous malarkey, it makes me think Gessen is nothing more than an educated Pussy Riot singer. She’s used a high-powered intellect and misdirected passion to foster such terms as Homo Sovieticus, in order to classify poor pitiful Ruskies too dumb and brainwashed to escape a U.S.S.R. mentality. A Russian using such a term to dehumanize her own people!!! Well, it’s just psychotic nasty. Gessen’s Homo Sovieticus, Hillary Clinton’s Trump Deplorables, contrasted with Barack Obama’s Exceptionals – it’s all sickeningly familiar. And it’s Putin who’s the Stalin-like or Hitler-like dictator? Sometimes I feel sorry for Putin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov for his having to deal with hordes of batshit crazy westerners. I know the morning briefing has to begin and end with vein busting laughter at the overnight news reports. Gessen or John McCain, neither one predict any future for a Putin led Russia. Meanwhile…

The pitiful figure Masha Gessen represents, stands alongside the cutthroats traitors of Russia like Khodorovsy or Berezovsky in the clear imagination. Vested interests. What’s in it for them. This is where citizens have to search out the truth. What is it that powers evil ousted oligarchs and damaged lesbian women Jews from Moscow? For the former a progressive Russia is one made up of 40 tiny banana republics lorded over by Rothschild banks, Dutch Royal Shell, BP, and Exxon. And for Gessen types the all-new Russia should be transgender, gay, lesbian, amoral, anti-god, pro-anything goes. For these people giant mother Russia is supposed to metamorphize overnight into San Francisco. Sometimes I think these people’s daddies were not tough enough on their kids – or either too tough. Well, I’m sorry for them. Vladimir Putin will be president again. Crying time won’t end anytime soon, so save your foolish sanctions that hurt the ordinary people too. Maybe you should sit back and watch your Muppet Show and let Putin sort out Russia.

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
https://journal-neo.org/2017/12/27/election-2018-russia-vladimir-putin-versus-the-muppets/

Trump Claims US Defeated ISIS, But Terrorists Still emerging from US bases in Syria – By Andrés Perezalonso

US supplied Syrian rebels

© Associated Press/Hammurabi’s Justice News
Dodgy alliance: Syrian ‘rebels’ side-by-side US troops

Last Thursday, US president Donald Trump posted what appeared to be a self-congratulatory tweet on the achievements of the US military in the war against ISIS:

These numbers may or may not be accurate, but the implicit message is that they are the result of the efforts of the US-led coalition rather than the combined Russian, Iranian/Hezbollah and Syrian/Iraqi forces.

Trump’s Pentagon numbers conflate the operations against ISIS in both Syria and Iraq, thereby overwriting the more specific numbers produced by the Russian military intervention in Syria alone, which changed the tide of the war in both countries: 60,318 jihadists killed, including 813 commanders; the destruction of 718 clandestine arms factories; and the liberation of 1,024 cities and settlements.

In pursuing its goals of eliminating Western-backed jihadist mercenaries in Syria, Russian forces took extreme care to safeguard civilian lives and minimize damage to infrastructure. This was in stark contrast to US policy in both Syria and Iraq, which involved little if any attacks on ISIS forces in the field, concentrating instead on ‘liberating’ strategic cities like Mosul and Raqqa by way of massive and indiscriminate bombing (compare the painstaking liberation of Aleppo with the flattening of Mosul). This difference in military strategy was, of course, to be expected given that Russia has a vested interest in maintaining Syria as a viable and independent nation state under Assad, while the US, from the very onset of the conflict, was interested only in the ruin of Syria and the overthrow of Assad.

While there is little hard evidence of the US real intentions in Syria, there have been many strong indications that supporting ISIS was (and still is) US policy, ranging from providing safe passage to terrorist groups, airlifting their senior members, providing air cover against the Syrian Army, delivering weapons, and even an admission from former Secretary of State John Kerry that the US allowed ISIS to grow as a way of putting pressure on Assad.

At the very least it is clear that the US preferred to see criminal groups of fanatics ruling Syria than a democratically-elected secular government such as Assad’s, even if the extent to which it actively sought to ‘make this a reality’ can be disputed.

Strictly-speaking, Trump is correct that ISIS collapsed on his watch. But how much, if any, of that progress – with respect to Syria anyway – is due to US action in the country? The terrorist front in Syria disintegrated over the course of 2017 once the siege of Aleppo was ended by Syrian forces in December 2016, enabling them to begin methodically liberating the country from west to east.

That Trump was president-elect, then president, during this timeframe is coincidental, not causal. He may wish to see the scourge of ISIS gone from the face of the Earth, and win the US some of the glory in delivering its ignominious retreat, but since becoming president Trump has had ample opportunity to learn what US forces are really up to.

The day before Trump’s tweet, Russia’s Chief of General Staff Valeri Gerasimov revealed in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda that US forces had turned their illegitimate base in Al-Tanf, in the southeast of Syria and conveniently located within the 55 km ‘de-confliction’ buffer zone, into a training camp for the remnants of ISIS – a group which he described as a de facto regular army, given their weaponry, training and tactics.

“According to satellite and other surveillance data, terrorist squads are stationed there. They are effectively training there,” Gerasimov said, when asked about what’s going on at the base.

The general also said the US has been using a refugee camp in northeast Syria, outside the town of Al-Shaddadah in Al-Hasakah province, as a training camp for the remnants of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorist group, including those evacuated from Raqqa, and other militants.

“This is essentially ISIS,” Gerasimov said. “They change their colors, take different names – the ‘New Syrian Army’ and others. They are tasked with destabilizing the situation.”

Gerasimov says that there are currently some 750 militants in Al-Shaddadah and 350 in Al-Tanf. We are left to wonder if those are the same 1,000 ISIS fighters that the Pentagon estimates are left in Syria, as per Trump’s tweet.

Syria map Al-Tanf

The New Syrian Army, aka the Revolutionary Commando Army, is, according to the ‘fact-checkers’ at Wikipedia, a “Syrian rebel group” consisting of army defectors and other ‘rebels’ who “sought to expel ISIS” from eastern Syria. They claim to have received training and weapons from Saudi-backed ‘rebel’ groups and the CIA. But if their goal is to ‘fight ISIS’, why then does Gerasimov report that they have launched offensives on Syrian forces from the eastern bank of the Euphrates after ISIS militants were previously routed there?

In early October, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov described the US base in Al-Tanf as a “black hole” protected by a “human shield” of refugees from where ISIS carried out sabotage and terror attacks. He pointed out:

“The Pentagon’s representatives have repeatedly stated that instructors from the US, the UK and Norway staying there under the cover of tactical aviation and multiple-launch rocket systems are training New Syrian Army militants. However, in actual fact, al-Tanf has turned into a 100-kilometer ‘black hole’ on the Syrian-Jordanian state border. Instead of the New Syrian Army, mobile ISIL groups, like a jack-in-the-box, carry out sabotage and terrorist attacks against Syrian troops and civilians from there.”

Konashenkov added that the illegal US base in Al-Tanf was publicly justified “by the need to conduct operations against ISIL”; however, no public information has been received of any US operations against ISIS during the six months of its existence. Indeed, the Pentagon and Trump can make all the claims they want about ‘fighting ISIS’ in Syria, but in stark contrast with the Russians, who publish videos, satellite images, war maps, and send journalists to front lines, the Americans have almost no documentary evidence to show for it.

Just yesterday, local residents told Syrian media that US helicopters evacuated ISIS commanders from several districts of Deir ez-Zor province. Earlier this week, the Syrian government sent a communiqué to the United Nations accusing the US-led coalition of dealing and coordinating with ISIS.

Significantly, on the same day as the publication of Gerasimov’s interview, militants shot “several missiles” from Bdama at Latakia International Airport and the Russian Aerospace Forces’ deployment site at Hmeymim airbase. No damage was caused as two of the missiles were shot down and at least one landed off-site. While Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova speculated that the provocation was “aimed at disrupting the positive trends in the development of the situation in Syria and, in particular, at creating obstacles to convening and holding the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi on January 29-30,” it is also possible that this heralds an attempt to bring ISIS back from the dead – either under that name or a different one. Perhaps it was just a coincidence, but the explosion at a supermarket in St. Petersburg which injured thirteen people – an event Putin described as a terrorist attack – also occurred on the same day. Is someone sending Russia a message?

Imperial Wishful Thinking

The New York Times published an op-ed article written by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – also that same day – which summarized current US foreign policy positions with respect to North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, Russia, China and Iran. What Tillerson wrote about Syria was in line with Trump’s triumphant tweet:

Defeating terrorism remains one of the president’s highest priorities. The administration’s aggressive strategy to counter the Islamic State delegates greater authority to American military commanders on the battlefield, giving our forces more freedom and speed to do what they do best, in partnership with indigenous fighting forces. As a result, the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS has accelerated operations and has recaptured virtually all of previously-held Islamic State territory in Iraq and Syria. While our military was helping clear Iraq and Syria of Islamic State forces, our diplomats were following up with humanitarian aid and assistance, such as clearing land mines, restoring water and power, and getting children back in school.

Tillerson is naturally counting on the fact that Western audiences almost exclusively consume the narrative Western media tells them – that the US was fighting ISIS instead of aiding them. It’s a great story, one anyone would want to own, but it’s not the US’ to tell. The US has not been clearing land mines, providing humanitarian aid, restoring water and power and getting children back to school: Russia has.

Despite earlier reports that the White House had finally accepted he would stay in power until, at least, Syria’s next-scheduled elections in 2021, Tillerson went on to recite the litany of Russian Evils before segueing into a resurrection of the “Assad must go” mantra:

On Russia, we have no illusions about the regime we are dealing with. The United States today has a poor relationship with a resurgent Russia that has invaded its neighbors Georgia and Ukraine in the last decade and undermined the sovereignty of Western nations by meddling in our election and others’. The appointment of Kurt Volker, a former NATO ambassador, as special representative for Ukraine reflects our commitment to restoring the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Absent a peaceful resolution of the Ukraine situation, which must begin with Russia’s adherence to the Minsk agreements, there cannot be business as usual with Russia.

While we are on guard against Russian aggression, we recognize the need to work with Russia where mutual interests intersect. Nowhere is that more evident than in Syria. Now that President Vladimir Putin has committed to the United Nations-backed Geneva political process for providing a new future for Syria, we expect Russia to follow through. We are confident that the fulfillment of these talks will produce a Syria that is free of Bashar al-Assad and his family.

Aside from the fact that there was no Russian aggression in Georgia or Ukraine, nor any evidence of election-meddling in the US or elsewhere, and that it is Kiev which regularly violates the Minsk agreements, it’s interesting that Tillerson sneaked in that threat to Assad: “This is not over!” If you read Tillerson’s entire NYT op-ed, see how many veiled or open threats you can spot. If this tone is anything to go by, 2018 doesn’t look promising as far as conflict-resolution goes.

However, we can perhaps take solace in the knowledge that the US has failed, especially in Syria, and there is no reason they should succeed in the future if tried again. As the popular saying goes:

Insanity quote doing the same thing over and over again

Andrés Perezalonso

Andrés Perezalonso has been a contributing editor for Signs of the Times in both its English and Spanish versions since 2007. He holds a PhD in Politics, an MA in International Studies, a first degree in Communication, and has a professional background in Media Analysis. He thinks that understanding world events is not unlike detective work – paying attention to often ignored details and connections, and thinking outside of the box. He was born and raised in Mexico and currently resides in Europe.

 

See Also:

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.

Syrian Arab Army on brink of total victory in central Syria – Alexander Mercouris

Syrian offensive in key As-Safira district encircles ISIS fighters, securing communications from western Syria to Aleppo and Rusafa, and bringing large areas of central Syria under Syrian government control.

Unreported by the Western media, the situation in the Syrian war continues to shift decisively in the Syrian government’s favor, and continues moreover to do so at a blistering rate.

Following the Syrian army’s recent capture of the strategically important town of Rusafa in northern Syria, the Syrian army has launched a major offensive further south against ISIS fighters occupying the key As-Safira district in Aleppo province around the town of Khanasir. ISIS fighters occupying this district – the last area of Aleppo province still held by ISIS – have been resisting fiercely, but Al-Masdar reports that they are now totally encircled by the Syrian army.

The Syrian army offensive in As-Safira district is led by the Desert Hawks Brigade, a unit which originally began as a volunteer militia unit formed by Syrian army veterans to support the Syrian government in the war, but which has acquired a formidable reputation as a fighting unit, and which is now fully integrated in the Syrian army. It seems that the Brigade has been thoroughly retrained and re-equipped by the Russians over the last few months, and that along with other advanced equipment it now possesses a number of advanced T90 tanks, which have proved highly resistance to the US made TOW anti tank missiles possessed by ISIS fighters in large quantities.

The destruction of the ISIS force in As-Safira will have three important consequences for the Syrian army:

(1) Already according to Al-Masdar the Tiger Forces – a different elite unit of the Syrian army which spearheaded the offensive on Rusafa – has fully cleared the Ethriyah-Rusafa highway in a separate movement from the north. This move has not only trapped the ISIS fighters holding out in the As-Safira district, but it has opened a direct and much faster line of communications between the Syrian army’s forward positions in Rusafa and its main bases in western Syria. This is how Al-Masdar explains it:

….this most recent accomplishment by the SAA has a second strategic benefit in the form of a new, and more direct, line of communication that has now been opened to pro-government forces stationed in the area of Rusafa (south of Tabaqah); the original supply line to this area was exceptionally longer, running from Ethriyah, to Aleppo, to Deir Hafer, to Maskanah, and then finally to Rusafa. The new line of supply runs directly to Rusafa via Ethriyah, shaving many precious hours off the original logistical haul. The capture of this stretch of critical highway will increase the sustainability of any future operations that the SAA may undertake to strike at Deir Ezzor from the northern direction.

(2) It enhances the security of the city of Aleppo. ISIS fighters based in the As-Safira district have regularly acted to cut the main road links from southern Syria to Aleppo, with the Syrian army repeatedly forced to deploy large numbers of troops to repel these attacks and to keep the roads open. Capture of the As-Safira district will finally end this threat, further securing the Syrian government’s hold on Aleppo.

(3) Capture of the As-Safira district will end the existence of a dangerous ISIS/Jihadi controlled salient, enabling the Syrian army not only bringing more territory under the Syrian government’s control and enabling the Syrian army to advance further eastward, but almost making it possible for the Syrian army to shorten significantly the length of its front lines.

In the meantime, as the Syrian army continues to strengthen its position in northern and central Syria, reports have been circulating that the US is now considering withdrawing from the base it has illegally established in the south of Syria on the Iraqi border in Al-Tanf.

These reports have not been officially confirmed. However a US decision to withdraw from Al-Tanf makes sense given that the value of this base has been completely negated by the Syrian army’s advance to the Iraqi border.

If these reports are true then the US withdrawal from Al-Tanf will also inevitably result in a large block of territory in southern Syria along the Iraqi and Jordanian border falling under the Syrian government’s control. Here is how the Moon of Alabama – which discusses the reports of the US withdrawal from Al-Tanf extensively – explains it all:

About 150 or so U.S. trained Arab fighters will be flown from al-Tanf to north-east Syria where they will join the (hated) Kurdish forces. They may later try to reach the ISIS besieged Deir Ezzor from the north or get pushed into some suicide mission against another ISIS position. The Syrian army will approach and liberate Deir Ezzor most likely from the south and east. It is unlikely that it will let U.S. proxy forces take part in that. The U.S. contingent will move west out of al-Tanf and back into Jordan. The Syrian and Iraqi forces will take over the Al Waleed border crossing at al-Tanf and the regular commercial traffic on the Damascus-Baghdad road will resume.

The various propagandists who argued for a big U.S. mission to occupy the whole Iraqi-Syrian border and all of east Syria have lost. The “Shia crescent” between Iran and Lebanon they claimed to prevent with such a move was never a physical road connection and certainly nothing the U.S could fight by any physical means. Their pushing for a U.S. occupation of east Syria and incitement of a larger conflict has for now failed.

To which I would only add that if the US pulls out of Al-Tanf and the belt of territory in southern Syria that it and its ‘Free Syrian army’ proxies have occupied, then the areas still under Jihadi control in southern Syria including in the Damascus countryside will be reduced to a few isolated pockets. Even though some of these are supposed to be covered by one of the ‘de-confliction areas’, realistically they would no longer be viable or sustainable, and their collapse would only be a matter of time.

Most probably – in the way that is now traditional in the Syrian war – their surrender to the Syrian authorities would be rapidly negotiated, with the remaining Jihadi fighters still present in these pockets driven by secure convoy to what will soon be the last remaining non ISIS controlled Jihadi refuge in Syria, which is Syria’s Idlib province.

Several commentators noted President Assad’s visibly high spirits during his recent visit to Russia’s Khmeimim air base in Syria’s Latakia province. With the war going decisively and rapidly in his favor, he has every reason to be happy.

Comment: For more updates on Syria, watch the South Front video:

‘The State Cannot Convict Itself’: Operation ‘Gladio’ & the Crimes of U.S. Empire – By Gary Weglarz (Global Research)

The key institutions of Western societies have lost their credibility. They fail to merit either the respect or loyalty of the domestic populations they purport to serve.

Testing the validity of this assertion requires examination of Western institutions from a holistic rather than fragmentary perspective. This is easier said than done.

There exists a massive amount of near real-time web based information available for us to process daily if we are attempting to keep abreast of world events. This often leaves us diligently evaluating recent events, while lacking the opportunity to step back and assemble these discrete events into a more comprehensible whole.

The assassinations of the entire elite level of progressive leadership in the United States during the 1960s (JFK, Malcolm X (image left), MLK & RFK within a 5 year period).In Europe this includes the later assassinations of Aldo Moro and Olaf Palme.

Following is but a partial list of the crimes of the U.S. empire (with the routine complicity of many Western European governments) over the decades since the end of WWII. It is important to briefly review them as the intersection of these orchestrated criminal actions casts light on the lack of legitimacy of Western governments and institutions:

This litany of institutionally based criminality has taken place in service to the larger foreign and domestic policy agendas of the U.S. and allied Western European governments. The United States has played the primary coordinating and leadership role among Western nations and intersecting institutions since the end of WWII.

This is of course but a very partial list of the crimes of the U.S. empire and Western Europe since the end of WWII. However, it is clear by the breadth of this subject matter that any one, or even several subject areas, will provide only a partial view of the larger puzzle that depicts the institutional structures and behaviors by which the West dominates and controls the entire planet.

We are fortunate to have a global community which includes researchers who have focused in great depth on the various aforementioned crimes sponsored by Western governments and their institutions. Many such individuals have sacrificed a great deal personally to do so. Some have given their lives in the pursuit of truths that powerful violent institutions prefer be kept hidden from public view. Their efforts provide exhaustive detail regarding particular historical actions and policies of Western institutions. However, it is critical that we assemble these discreet puzzle pieces into a discernible image that can unify and shed light upon the whole.

Let us return to the assertion that Western governments and institutions by simple objective evaluation of this history currently lack all legitimacy.

While the intersection of institutionalized Western criminality and war crimes cited in our partial list should be enough to persuade an impartial observer, one particular example from our list can stand alone. Operation Gladio is an individual puzzle piece that helps unite and shed light upon many other disparate pieces. This is precisely why it is seldom acknowledged, much less discussed in Western MSM or academia. Even a cursory examination of Operation Gladio offers us a much more comprehensible image of the essentially illegal and amoral nature of many important Western institutions.

Gladio offers us a rather frightening glimpse into the thought processes and ethics of the assemblage of oligarchic Western elites and institutions that continue to literally rule our world. These powerful Western hierarchical institutional structures evolved over many centuries.

They evolved from control situated in earlier periods under the auspices of popes and feudal monarchies.

They evolved through various forms of parliamentary and dictatorial rule.

Their current manifestation today is one in which massive global corporations rule in tandem with entrenched Western military, intelligence and economic institutions, all of which function beyond any practical popular input much less control. Oligarchic rule, carried out through these institutional structures is the reality, in spite of the West’s much publicized devotion to liberal democracy. Examination of Operation Gladio exposes the rot at the very core of the structures of Western rule.

Operating under the aegis of NATO with CIA input/supervision, Operation Gladio utilized false flag terrorism, mainly bombings but also shootings, in service to what it defined as the “strategy of tension.” This “strategy” was seen as a way to manipulate European public perception, thought, opinion and voting behavior away from progressive political parties and leadership, and toward the conservative pole of the political spectrum. Some Gladio operatives have testified that the intent was to force the public to seek a stronger more authoritarian police and State presence in order to protect citizens from political violence.

Critically important is the fact that the violence carried out by Operation Gladio operatives was routinely blamed on the left, on communist or socialist political parties, and/or on groups advocating progressive or revolutionary change. However, the many decades of violence were in actuality carried out by right wing cells within NATO’s Gladio stay-behind army units. Thus Operation Gladio was by definition orchestrated false flag terrorism carried out not by “leftists,” but rather by a multiplicity of Western institutional structures in Europe in coordination with the CIA.

The Gladio units were originally organized under the supervision of the CIA and NATO, ostensibly as a way to respond in guerrilla warfare fashion to a possible future Soviet invasion of Western Europe. However, lacking cooperative Soviet troops to kill and terrorize the population of Western Europe, the CIA and NATO took up the task of doing the killing and terrorizing themselves.

Gladio’s terrorism was conducted in order to shape the minds of the European public, and thus manipulate the political landscape in favor of the goals of U.S. and European elites. This is the reality of Operation Gladio, and it is also why knowledge of its actions is critical to our understanding of present day terrorism.

In the process of authorizing and conducting false flag bombing attacks, Western elites and institutions intentionally killed, maimed and/or psychologically terrorized thousands of European citizens. This violence was carried out with the top-secret collusion of select members of Western European governments, as well as through loyal right-wing cadres within their intelligence agencies, judicial branches, and various police services. Operation Gladio was of course hidden from the public, since it constitutes both treason as well as murder conducted by the very Western government institutional structures sworn by law to protect their citizenry from such crimes.

Although its false flag violence was based in Western Europe, Operation Gladio offered a domestic propaganda benefit to CIA operations in the United States. Mass protests and progressive groups in the United States were tarred in the public mind through guilt by association with the Gladio terror events in Europe. The false reality created by Gladio intentionally portrayed leftists in Europe as “violent murderers of innocent civilians.” This narrative was endlessly amplified by corporate media in the U.S. where it meshed rather seamlessly with both the FBI’s COINTELPRO activities and the CIA’s Operation Chaos program on the domestic front.

The critical conclusion we arrive at from reviewing the history of Operation Gladio is that Western elites used a great many institutions of State to intentionally target and kill their own citizens for political purposes, and then conspired to hide that fact. The importance of this reality cannot be overstated. Failing to widely publicly expose and discuss the history of Operation Gladio has left all citizens of Western nations vulnerable to the continued use of State sponsored false flag terrorism in new and varied manifestations.

When we examine Operation Gladio from a more macro perspective we must remain cognizant of both past and ongoing U.S. and Western European assaults on Third World governments. That people of color around the globe have been the targets of Western imperial violence for over 500 years is simple historical reality. What Operation Gladio demonstrates decisively is that Western elites saw the cold blooded murder of their own citizens as no more an obstacle to their plans for global control than the murder of countless residents of the many Third World nations which were still struggling to free themselves from Western domination.

Consider that Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Northwoods document requested authorization to conduct false flag terror operations in the U.S. in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. Only JFK’s fateful refusal to comply stopped those proposed Gladio-style false flag operations from occurring on U.S. soil.

Historical knowledge of both Operation Gladio and the Northwoods document should be at the forefront as we attempt to analyze the numerous false flag terror events in Western Europe and the United States that have occurred since the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

Official narratives often leave us with rather disturbing questions regarding the true nature of such attacks. With the loss of the Soviet Union as a military danger and its replacement by Islamic terrorism, the identity of the official enemy changed. However, we would be remiss if do not question whether the dynamic of false flag terrorism might continue as a tool to manipulate the public mind.

The perceptions, thinking and consciousness of the citizens of Western Europe and the US have been powerfully shaped by the new narratives emanating from events of 9/11, and from subsequent terror attacks. Although these events are routinely blamed upon Islamic jihadist groups, knowledgeable observers find that numerous questions remain unanswered regarding the true identity of the perpetrators, often including the nature of their connections to Western intelligence structures.

Yet in spite of the historical reality of Gladio never has NATO been subjected to legal action and criminal prosecution for conducting the false flag bombings and murders of civilians in Western Europe. Unaccountable and unpunished, with its Gladio units still possibly in place, NATO instead offers possible cover for the continuing conduct of false flag terrorism in Europe. On the US domestic front the CIA also has never been subjected to legal action and criminal prosecution for its role in advising/coordinating Operation Gladio bombings and terrorism. Nor has the Northwoods document been treated to widespread public discussion and analysis.

The total impunity enjoyed by NATO, the CIA and all the interconnected Western institutional structures of police, military, politicians and judiciary exists for a very specific reason.

In the words of convicted Operation Gladio bomber Vincente Vinciguerra, the reason is simple:

” . . . because the state cannot convict itself or declare itself responsible for what happened.”

This is because, as Vinciguerra openly acknowledges, it was the institutions of the State itself who were responsible for the Gladio bombings and for hiding the truth of those bombings.

For the State to investigate, prosecute and punish itself for terrorism is of course unimaginable. To do so would be an admission that Western institutions have in fact been for many decades morally and legally bankrupt, and have been operating to systematically murder their own citizens while engaging in a cover-up. Such an admission would validate my contention that the institutions of the West currently lack all moral and legal legitimacy, therefore such an admission cannot occur.

It is clear from this history that what is required to move toward the restoration of any semblance of legitimacy to Western institutions would be the investigation and criminal prosecution on charges of murder, treason and cover-up for all parties, individual and institutional, involved in Operation Gladio. This would need to take place in every country in which it operated in Europe, and would need to also address the organizational and operational support of the CIA.

This is not about some obscure ancient history from the 1970’s and 1980’s. The link between Operation Gladio and present day terrorism is as disturbing as it is clear. Today NATO, multiple Western European governments and the government of the U.S. are suspected by increasing numbers of the world’s citizens of continuing to use false flag terrorism in order to validate their ongoing “war on terror.”

This war is at least in part designed to destroy the remaining secular governments of the Middle East while manipulating the control of petroleum and the resources of the region. In the course of pursuing such policies Western governments and institutions have now maneuvered the entire planet to the brink of nuclear war between the West and Russia. Yet in spite of the danger posed to all of humanity the U.S. continues a publicly stated quest to achieve full spectrum dominance. Given post-WWII history and our current state of affairs Western governments and institutions clearly exist as criminal entities which function outside the rule of all recognized morality and law, domestic and international.

Even the limited amount we know of the history of Operation Gladio should destroy in the mind of any thinking person the utter and complete fantasy that Western leaders would “never harm their own people” to achieve their larger strategic goals. Western elites in fact did so for many decades. They systematically killed their own citizens and they lied about it. There is a great deal of evidence that they continue to do both while hiding behind the mask of false flag terrorism. Our failure to adequately investigate and prosecute Operation Gladio paved the way for our current wave of false flag events used to manipulate Western public perception and behavior in support of endless war in the Middle East.

From the U.S. government’s official account of 9/11, which requires belief in the temporary suspension of the laws of physics in conjunction with the magical suspension of fighter jet intercept protocols, 9/11 can be seen as a logical continuation of Operation Gladio’s “strategy of tension.” 9/11 is

Nato-Terror: Gladio

false flag State terrorism writ large. It is by definition the “big lie.” It makes both the Reichstag fire, and Operation Himmler look like the work of small time amateurs. It is perhaps more than simply ironic that so many former Nazis made their way into U.S. intelligence services after WWII, given the many decades of politically useful false flag events in the West that have followed.

The State kills its own citizens and blames a foreign or domestic enemy. The population looks to the state for protection and surrenders their democratic rights to an ever more militaristic, invasive and repressive State. State power increases along with corporate profits in many sectors of the permanent wartime economy of the U.S. The bewildered populace lives in fear and is psychologically vulnerable to the next false flag terror event which in truth the government, rather than “terrorists,” actually control. In the instance of the 9/11 attacks it is the State itself that is the terrorist entity. The official Islamic enemies exist very simply as Oswald explained his own role, that of the designated “patsy.”

Since we have mentioned Oswald, the puzzle piece that is the JFK assassination, carried out by our deep state, fits quite well alongside the later false flag operations of Operation Gladio and 9/11, as well as intersecting the assassinations of European leaders such as Aldo Moro and Olaf Palme. These assassinations all appear to be activities of the unaccountable deep state institutional structures which exist outside of view, law and morality, and which serve to connect elites in Western Europe and the United States.

One cannot admit this information into one’s consciousness, without reaching the logical conclusion that Western governments and institutions have become quite literally massive criminal enterprises which routinely violate the very laws, international and domestic, they ostensibly exist to enforce. Given this state of affairs, it is rather difficult to view electoral politics as the way forward if justice, meaningful institutional change and a planet not rendered uninhabitable by nuclear war are our goals. Our institutional structures have shown themselves to be irredeemably corrupt.

The recent election cycle in the United States has writ this large into the consciousness of anyone with a pulse. If the two nominees of this past election are the “best candidates” with the “best platforms” the two major political parties can field, it is without doubt an absolutely definitive indictment regarding the deadly gangrenous condition of our electoral charade. Cognitively amoral and behaviorally psychopathic elite policies are hardly a new phenomenon.

For centuries such behavior has typified Western elites regardless of how polished their public personas. Such are the political scoundrels we peasants are graciously allowed to choose between every four years. There does appear to be a silver lining to the recent Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton carnival of the absurd. It would appear that for growing numbers of Americans of all persuasions the ability to continue to believe in the fairy tale that is the U.S. electoral process has finally been shattered beyond repair.

Before closing let us step back for a moment and imagine a world that might have been. A world in which progressive leaders in the U.S. and abroad had not been assassinated or overthrown in favor of fascists; dictators hadn’t been armed, taught torture techniques and supported against the interests of their own people decade after decade; and the CIA prevented rather than facilitated the international drug trade.

Imagine a world in which corporations and oligarchs weren’t allowed to own the mass media and so were not allowed to weaponize the news, reducing it to simplistic pro-war mass culture propaganda, all while buying the services of the political candidates who will support their ongoing war profiteering. Imagine a world that could have been in which the political organizing of the masses wasn’t systematically infiltrated, disrupted and shut down by the institutions of State; Third World nations were allowed to develop independently of Western subversion and control; and the massive amounts of Western taxpayer money spent on war and violence went instead toward the public good. This is the world that has been stolen from humanity by violent unaccountable oligarchic interests ruling through long discredited and massively corrupt Western institutional structures.

The history of Operation Gladio, including the failure of Western institutions to publicize and prosecute its murderous activities, unmasks our elites as capable of “doing literally anything” in their quest for power and domination. However, we are ourselves complicit. A public that can find any legitimacy whatsoever in economic and political institutions that systematically engage in and profit from endless war, while the 8 richest people possess as much wealth as the bottom half of the entire earth’s population, one fears, can make themselves believe literally anything.”

Gary Weglarz recently retired from practice as a clinical social worker. He worked with, and learned from, Alaskan Native peoples who were attempting to heal the damage inflicted by the collective intergenerational trauma of colonization. Currently he is engaged in research and writing regarding the relationship between past mass trauma in Western societies, and the subsequent colonial violence that has characterized Europe and her colonies.

He was actively involved in Central American solidarity efforts throughout the 1990’s, traveling with human rights delegations to Nicaragua, El Salvador and Colombia. He currently lives in France.

See Also:

TO READ MORE ARTICLES FROM SIGNS OF THE TIMES

CLICK ON THIS LINK   =       https://www.sott.net/

 

SAUDI ARABIA BEHIND NEW DOUBLE SUICIDE BOMBINGS; SYRIAN AIR DEFENSE SHOOTS DOWN ZIONIST AIRCRAFT – By Ziad Fadel

SYRIAN ARMY THROTTLES ISIS AT AF ACADEMY IN ALEPPO; SAA LIBERATES WAADI AHMAR NEAR PALMYRA; SAUDIS WALLOWING IN THE SLIME OF DEFEAT

 

DAMASCUS:

Evidence is piling up giving us a macabre picture of a Saudi Arabia gripped by desperation and panic as the talks in Astana and the projected talks in Geneva begin producing concessions from the treasonous opposition. On March 14-15, 2017, in a much-publicized suicide operation, Alqaeda, with Saudi Arabian “planning” struck the Old Palace of Justice and a restaurant in central Damascus. These operations followed more suicide attacks on the capital which have now been linked (without any doubt) to the criminal regime of the Wahhabist cockroaches. Because of the attack last week, the security services were on double-alert as intelligence agencies were predicting Saudi Arabia’s frenzied effort to shift the talks in Astana toward a deal to be brokered by the shiftless hyenas of the Arabian Peninsula. The Saudis are desperate to have a role to play even as they see their influence whittled down to nothing more than a used toothpick.

Domestic security services suspected a young male as he hurriedly made his way toward the Palace of Justice where, typically, Syrian lawyers gather to discuss their cases over cigarettes and coffee. The terrorist saw that his presence was the subject of security concern and lunged at the guards who were standing outside the main entrance to the building. The guards did their job and fired at the murdering monkey whose only purpose now was to detonate his explosive belt to kill as many people as possible. Security agents also fired at the psychopath riddling him with bullets. Because he appeared to be affected by drugs, he was able to rush the door of the building and press the igniting mechanism killing 2 guards and 15 attorneys seated inside.

At the Al-Rabwa Neighborhood, security agents were pursuing three savages after determining they were not Syrian. At a restaurant frequented by families with children, the suicide bomber detonated his belt while the other 2 were captured. 25 people, mostly women and children, were killed by this sociopath. During interrogation, the terrorists admitted to being tasked for this operation in Jordan with Saudi officers providing the necessary instructions and the safe house (run by Nusra/Alqaeda) so that they could be prepared for their murder-spree. They were also provided with Captagon which they carried in their shirt pockets.

شهداء وجرحى في تفجيرات إرهابية استهدفت قصر العدل ومطعم في دمشق

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/03/second-terrorist-attack-in-damascus-in.html

http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=33.510437&lon=36.299788&z=18&m=b&search=Palace%20of%20Justice%20

_______________________________________________

HOMS: SYRIAN ARMY TAKES CONTROL OF WADI AHMAR:

Waadi Ahmar: This area is east of Palmyra. It has been deloused by the Syrian Army as of March 15, 2017. The SAA engineers have completely removed and dismantled mines and IEDs.

Hawsh Hadhad and Hawsh Shamsi in the area of Talbeesa: SAA Special Operations units stunned the sleeping vermin of Alqaeda/Nusra this morning as they raided a command-control base and a vehicle depot. The SAA killed 4 rodents and wounded scores. 5 vehicles were destroyed.

PALMYRA AREA: Do not believe the Zionist lies. Their aircraft were not targeting a convoy of trucks carrying ground-to-ground missiles bound for Hizbollah bases in the Lebanon. In fact, the bombers were targeting Syrian Army operations near Palmyra, specifically those having to do with removal of rats from oil and gas fields which ISIS desperately needs to keep its cash flow viable. 4 Zionist F-16s took off from Occupied Palestine at approximately 2:35 a.m. and flew into Syrian airspace at about 2:40 a.m. right over the town of Al-Burayj. SAA radar picked up the jets and orders were issued to track them. When the F-16 rat pilots saw that they were being pursued, they called off the operation fearing a crash on Syrian soil and returned toward Occupied Palestine. Just as they were about to enter Zionist occupied airspace over the Galilee, 2 SA-5 (“Gammon” or S-200) anti-aircraft missiles were fired with one striking the lead bomber and the other exploding near another. The rodent pilots were able to eject safely and landed in Palestine.

Related image

____________________________________________

ALEPPO:

Air Force Academy: South of the academy, the SAA foiled another pathetic ISIS attempt to gain ground at Al-Qutbiyya and Umm Arkeela. Ground assessment put the number of dead rodents at 4 with 13 wounded.

This just in, the SAA has liberated Rasm Al-Hirmil and Rasm Al-Kuroom north of Dayr Haafir in northeast Aleppo.

:

______________________________________________

DER’AH: LT. GEN. ‘ALI ‘ABDULLAH AYYOOB, CHIEF OF THE SYRIAN GENERAL STAFF,  INSPECTS TROOPS IN DER’AH AT THE REQUEST OF THE SYRIAN PRESIDENT:

_______________________________________________

NEWS AND COMMENT:

Absolutely fantastic article by Sharmine Narwani about the dynamics which might get the U.S. and Iran into war:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-dangerous-reality-of-an-iran-war/

Samer sends this one about water coming to Aleppo very soon:

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/03/syria-army-gains-more-ground-aleppo-to.html

Brandon writes more about the incomparable Eva Bartlett and her quest for the truth. A must-read:

http://www.activistpost.com/2017/03/canadian-journalist-eva-bartlett-exposes-media-syria-misinformation.html

 

SAUDI ARABIA BEHIND NEW DOUBLE SUICIDE BOMBINGS; SYRIAN AIR DEFENSE SHOOTS DOWN ZIONIST AIRCRAFT; SYRIAN ARMY THROTTLES ISIS AT AF ACADEMY IN ALEPPO; SAA LIBERATES WAADI AHMAR NEAR PALMYRA; SAUDIS WALLOWING IN THE SLIME OF DEFEAT by Ziad Fadel

%d bloggers like this: