Tag Archives: Syria

Trump Is Back Under Bolton’s Thumb, by Paul Craig Roberts

Can Bolton and Israel get Trump to go to war with Iran? From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

President Trump might be his own man, but not when it comes to John Bolton and Israel.  Trump is their man and is again being manipulated into starting a fisticuffs with Iran.

Someone in Washington, most likely Ziocon warmonger Bolton, got the UK to commit an act of piracy on the high seas and seize an Iranian oil tanker, Grace 1, on the grounds that Iran intended to deliver the oil to Syria in violation of US sanctions.

Iran’s leader, Khamenei, denounced Washington’s British stooge for “maritime banditry” and said there would be consequences.  Today there were. Iran detained two British tankers.

This is what Bolton and Netanyahu wanted.  They used it to wind up Trump’s fulminations against Iran. The trouble that the idiot British started with Iran is no concern of ours, but Trump’s threats are nevertheless issuing at a rapid pace.

The British call Iran’s response to their banditry “an escalation” that requires “further protection for merchant vessels . . . to ensure enhanced security to guarantee free flow of trade in the region.”  Of course, the British did not think their act of banditry caused a need for “enhanced security to guarantee free flow of trade in the region.”  It is quite alright for Britain to seize ships but not for Iran.

The British Foreign Secretary offered Iran the release of Grace 1 if Iran guaranteed it would not breach Washington’s sanctions on Syria by delivering oil.  Washington’s sanctions, of course, are totally illegal and devoid of any basis in international law, as is the British enforcement of Washington’s illegal sanctions.  One wonders why Russia doesn’t stop this escalation by taking over the delivery of oil supplies to Syria.

 

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The Winds are Shifting, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

The US and its European vassals can no longer push the world around as they once did. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

How do you define terror? Perhaps, because of the way the term has evolved in the English language, one wouldn’t call the west ‘terrorists’ per se, but ‘we’ are certainly spreading terror and terrorizing very large groups of people. Yeah, bring on the tanks and parade them around town. Add a marching band that plays some war tunes.

The ‘official’ storyline : at the request of the US, Gibraltar police and UK marines have seized an oil tanker in Gibraltar. The super-tanker, 1000 feet (330 meters) long, carrying 2 million barrels, had stopped there after sailing all around the Cape of Good Hope instead of taking the Suez canal on its way, ostensibly, from Iran to Syria.

And, according to the storyline as presented to and in the western press, because the EU still has sanctions on Iran, the British seized the ship. Another little detail I really appreciate is that Spain’s acting foreign minister, Josep Borrell, said Madrid was looking into the seizure and how it may affect Spanish sovereignty since Spain does not recognize the waters around Gibraltar as British.

That Borrell guy is the newly picked EU foreign policy czar, and according to some sources he’s supportive of Iran and critical of Israel. Them’s the webs we weave. He’s certainly in favor of Palestinian statehood. But we’re wandering…

Why did the tanker take that giant detour along the African coastline? Because potential problems were anticipated in the Suez canal. But also: why dock in Gibraltar? Because no problems were anticipated there. However, the US had been following the ship all along, and set this up.

A trap, a set-up, give it a name. I would think this is about Iran, not about sanctions on Syria; that’s just a convenient excuse. Moreover, as people have been pointing out, there have been countless arms deliveries to Syrian rebels in the past years (yes, that’s illegal) which were not seized.

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MSM Mourns Death Of CIA-Backed Syrian Al-Qaeda/ISIS Ally, by Caitlin Johnstone

That the Free Syrian Army was in bed with al Qaeda and ISIS against the government of Syria has not stopped the US government from supporting it and lionizing its dead. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

On Wednesday the alternative media outlet Southfront published an article titled “New Video Throws Light On Jaysh Al-Izza High-Tolerance To Al-Qaeda Ideology” about newly discovered footage showing the leader of a “rebel” faction in Syria cozying up with a militant who was wearing a badge of the official flag of ISIS.

“The video shows Jaysh al-Izza General Commander Major Jamil al-Saleh congratulating a group of his fighters on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr in a underground bunker,” Southfront reports. “One of the fighters greeted by Saleh was wearing a batch of the Islamic Black Standard with the Seal of Muhammad. This is a well-known symbol of al-Qaeda and the official flag of ISIS.”

Today, mass media outlets are mourning the death of a well-known Jaysh al-Izza fighter named Abdel-Basset al-Sarout with grief-stricken beatifications not seen since the death of war criminal John McCain. An Associated Press report which has been published by major news outlets like The New York Times, The Guardian, PBS and Bloomberg commemorates Sarout as a “Syrian soccer goalkeeper” who “won international titles representing his country”, as “the singer of the revolution”, and as “an icon among Syria’s opposition”.

Remember Major Jamil al-Saleh from two paragraphs ago? AP features his glowing eulogy in its write-up on Sarout’s death:

“He was both a popular figure, guiding the rebellion, and a military commander,” said Maj. Jamil al-Saleh, leader of Jaish al-Izza rebel group, in which Sarout was a commander. “His martyrdom will give us a push to continue down the path he chose and to which he offered his soul and blood as sacrifice.”

Other mainstream outlets like BBCThe Daily Beast and Al Jazeera have contributed their own fawning hagiographies of the late Jaysh al-Izza commander.

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The Western Media Is Key to Syria Deceptions, by Jonathan Cook

When it comes to Syria, the corporate media has been 100 percent reliable in touting the US government line. From Jonathan Cook at antiwar.com:

The media are not a watchdog on power but the public relations arm of giant corporations pursuing their narrow interests in the Middle East

By any reckoning, the claim made this week by al-Qaeda-linked fighters that they were targeted with chemical weapons by the Syrian government in Idlib province – their final holdout in Syria – should have been treated by the western media with a high degree of skepticism.

That the US and other western governments enthusiastically picked up those claims should not have made them any more credible.

Skepticism was all the more warranted from the media given that no physical evidence has yet been produced to corroborate the jihadists’ claims. And the media should have been warier still given that the Syrian government was already poised to defeat these al-Qaeda groups without resort to chemical weapons – and without provoking the predictable ire (yet again) of the west.

But most of all skepticism was required because these latest claims arrive just as we have learnt that the last supposed major chemical attack – which took place in April 2018 and was, as ever, blamed by all western sources on Syria’s president, Bashar Assad – was very possibly staged, a false-flag operation by those very al-Qaeda groups now claiming the Syrian government has attacked them once again.

Addicted to incompetence

Most astounding in this week’s coverage of the claims made by al-Qaeda groups is the fact that the western media continues to refuse to learn any lessons, develop any critical distance from the sources it relies on, even as those sources are shown to have repeatedly deceived it.

This was true after the failure to find WMD in Iraq, and it has been confirmed after the the international community’s monitoring body on chemical weapons, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), was exposed this month as deeply dishonest.

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Leaked Document Pokes More Holes In Establishment Syria Narrative, by Caitlin Johnstone

Remember that terrible chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria, April of last year? The US immediately proclaimed Syria’s government responsible, which would have been a suicidally stupid move on the part of the Syrian government. As is so often the case, the facts don’t support the US “interpretation.” From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:

“It is hard to overstate the significance of this revelation,” tweets former British MP George Galloway of a new report by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media (WGSPM). “The war-machine has now been caught red-handed in a staged chemical weapons attack for the purposes of deceiving our democracies into what could have turned into a full-scale war amongst the great-powers.”

“An important #Douma #Syria ‘Assad chemical weapon attack’ development and yet more evidence to suggest the ‘attack’ was staged, as it’s now revealed that @OPCW suppressed expert engineers report that found the cylinders were likely not dropped from the air,” tweets former Scotland Yard detective and counterterrorism intelligence officer Charles Shoebridge.

“The engineering assessment confirms our earlier conclusion,” the excellent Moon of Alabama blog writes. “The whole scene as depicted by ‘rebels’ and propaganda organs was staged. The more than 34 dead on the scene were murdered elsewhere under unknown circumstances.”

An important #Douma #Syria ‘Assad chemical weapon attack’ development and yet more evidence to suggest the ‘attack’ was staged, as it’s now revealed that @OPCWsuppressed expert engineers report that found the cylinders were likely not dropped from the air https://t.co/hZCP2Ujlbk

— @ShoebridgeC

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Note to Washington: Hands Off the ‘New’ Arab Spring, by Danny Sjursen

Before the US government considers intervening in Algeria or Sudan, it should contemplate its dismal record for Middle Eastern and North African interventions. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:

American meddling has a way of making things worse, everywhere and all the time. So, as Algeria and Sudan now undergo coups and government transitions, here’s a thought for the U.S. empire: Leave well enough alone! It’s only been a couple weeks, but optimistic liberal interventionists have already dubbed the instability in Algeria and Sudan a “new” Arab Spring—a reference to the pro-democracy protests and attempted, or actual, government overthrows in 2011 and 2012 in Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Libya and Yemen. Back then, boy, Washington, with its newly minted idealist President Barack Obama, was just sure that those revolts augured a fresh democratic wave in the notoriously autocratic Mideast. Some even averred that George W. Bush and company had been vindicated—were, in fact, right about the fertility of Arab soil for Jeffersonian democracy.

This wasn’t the case, of course. For a number of complex reasons—one of which was American interventionism—all but Tunisia collapsed into chaos, civil war or renewed dictatorship. That Tunisia held out may, at least in part, have to do with the relatively limited US influence and activity in that North African backwater. For his part, Obama didn’t know what to do with the Arab Spring. He’d campaigned on an (allegedly) anti-interventionist platform—except in Afghanistan, of course—but the truth is that he and his neoliberal Cabinet team, which included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, could hardly contain its excitement. Obama didn’t want to be seen as being on the wrong side of history, but he also didn’t want a new American crusade in the region, so he hedged. The results were unhappy and, in many cases, disastrous.

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Middle East Resistance Is Stiffening, by Tom Luongo

Slowly but surely, countries in the Middle East are resisting US dictates and drifting away from the US orbit. The latest is Egypt. From Tom Luongo at strategic-culture.org:

Amidst all of the truly terrible things happening geopolitically around the globe I find it’s important to take that big step back and assess what’s really going on. It’s easy to get caught up (and depressed) by the deluge of bad news emanating from the Trump administration on foreign policy matters.

It seems sometimes that it’s pointless to even discuss them because any analysis of today will invariably be invalidated by the end of the week.

But that’s also why the big picture analysis is needed.

Resistance to the US empire’s edicts is rising daily. We see it and we see the counter-reactions to them from the useful idiots who make up Trump’s Triumvirate of Belligerence – John Bolton and Mikes Pompeo and Pence.

It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about sovereigntist movements across Europe threatening the apple cart of the wicked European Union or something as small as Syria granting Iran a port lease in Latakia.

The Trump administration has abandoned diplomacy to such an extent that only raw, naked aggression is evident. And it has finally reached the point where even the world’s most accomplished diplomats have dispensed with the niceties of their profession.

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