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5 discarded anniversaries of Western-led aggression

The below events receive scant recognition in the mainstream news print.

Shane Quinn

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1 The Korean War ends (1953)

The long prelude to this conflict can be traced to Imperial Japan’s murderous rule over Korea, beginning in 1910. It resulted in many Koreans fleeing in terror to nearby Manchuria, north-eastern China. The Japanese occupation persisted as the decades dragged on, despite intermittent Communist guerrilla operations, and other uprisings.

Kim Il-sung, who with all his flaws later ruled North Korea for 46 years, was one of the most enduring opponents against Japanese imperialism. At the age of 24, Kim ll-sung commanded a division that inflicted an unprecedented defeat on the Japanese in June 1937. It was known as the Battle of Pochonbo, an area near the Chinese border.

The victory, which was reported across the world, bolstered Kim Il-sung’s legend – entering annals as one of the most famous triumphs in the North’s history. It could further be seen as a symbolic victory too. The North continues to muddle on today in splendid isolation to other threats.

The Battle of Pochonbo outcome even drew grudging admiration from Japan’s hierarchy. They warned that Kim was “one of the most effective and popular Korean guerrilla leaders”.

By late 1940, Kim was the one of the last surviving members of his army’s leadership, with the Japanese rampaging against popular uprisings. Indeed Kim barely escaped, along with remnants of his army, as they crossed the mighty Amur River into the Soviet Union, on its most eastward reaches.

A decade later, with Imperial Japan defeated and Kim in power, the Korean War began with consequences persisting to the current day. Around three million Koreans died in this forgotten conflict, with few Americans today aware of the scale of the destruction.

The US Air Force dropped more bombs on Korea than during their entire Pacific campaign (1942-45). The northern half of Korea bore the war’s brunt. More of its towns and cities were destroyed then either those of Japan or Germany during the Second World War.

American bombers also demolished a number of North Korea’s dams that controlled their water supply. The bombing of the dams was a severe violation of the Nuremberg laws enacted less than a decade earlier.

2 President Kennedy invades South Vietnam (1962)

The 50th anniversary of the worst level of post-World War II aggression passed by five years ago, going virtually unreported. President Kennedy’s outright invasion in early 1962 – to prevent the US-backed dictatorship of Ngo Dinh Diem being overthrown – would leave millions dead by the mid-1970s.

The conflict was reinforced by Kennedy’s successors, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon. By the early 1970s it had spread to the rest of Indochina (Cambodia and Laos).

Early on, President Kennedy initiated chemical warfare to remove ground cover and crops. The chemical attacks were perpetrated in order to starve rebellious local populations, much of whom were forced into concentration camps, or “strategic hamlets”.

The war against Vietnam has traditionally been cast as a US military defeat. In truth, the Americans achieved most of their objectives. Independent nationalism was contained and other nations desiring self-rule did not wish to suffer a similar fate.

Through to the present day, the crimes committed have been glossed over in Hollywood films and television series. In a flagrant reversal of the reality, American military personnel are cast as the invasion’s unfortunate victims.

The National Liberation Front (“Viet Cong”) take up the mantle of the “bad guys”. The US military, it seems, have no right to face stiff opposition when illegally invading other nations.

3 The US overthrows Allende in Chile (1973)

The Chilean coup d’état was one of the defining moments in post-1945 Latin America. Salvador Allende became the democratically elected president of Chile in 1970 – narrowly beating the American favourite, Jorge Alessandri Rodriguez.

After Allende’s election, the CIA immediately intervened, attempting to influence the Chilean congress in securing moves favourable to the US. Allende’s arrival struck fear into American planners of another “well-functioning socialist experiment” in the Western hemisphere, after Cuba.

Allende was a moderate nationalist, being neither Socialist nor Communist – and certainly not a radical figure like Fidel Castro or his brother, Raul. Nonetheless, Castro’s four-week state visit to Chile in 1971 did not go unnoticed in Washington.

Two years later, Allende was ousted and killed in what is commonly known as “the first 9/11” in South America. It occurred on September 11 of 1973, when CIA-led forces successfully stormed the presidential palace, inflicting extensive damage.

The American aim, as National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger said, was to kill the “virus” of independent nationalism, so as to avoid further “contagion”.

Over 3,000 people lost their lives during the coup, including Allende himself. Much worse followed. General Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship was established in 1974, terrorising Chileans through murders and torture for over 15 years.

4 The West installs Iranian dictator the Shah (1953)

Mohammed Mossadegh was the first democratically elected prime minister in Iranian history. Mossadegh assumed office in 1951 and was viewed with continuing suspicion by Western politicians.

Their fears were realised when Mossadegh took the unprecedented move of nationalising Iran’s oil industry, just months into power. He further dismissed a number of influential foreign officials from the country.

Iran’s enormous oil reserves had been under British corporate control – as a result, Mossadegh’s undertaking was met with horror in London. However, for millions of Iranians, it was a signal they were taking control of their own affairs for the first time in centuries. This was of no consequence for British or American leaders.

In 1953 the US, with British help, overthrew Iran’s parliamentary government. The coup re-installed the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who would compile one of the world’s worst human rights records.

The Shah was supported to the end by the West, being finally overthrown in the 1979 Iranian Revolution. In the decades since, the US has tirelessly undermined Iran.

President Jimmy Carter tried to initiate another coup, while his successor Ronald Reagan strongly backed Saddam Hussein. American sanctions on Iran were long imposed, becoming yet more severe during the Clinton and Bush years.

5 The US-led Iraq invasion (2003)

Shortly after the September 11 attacks on the US, President George W. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress, which was broadcast to the world. The US President outlined his objectives in a re-declared “war on terror”.

It came 20 years after predecessor Ronald Reagan’s own proclaimed “war against terrorism” – which also left huge destruction in its wake.

Reagan himself had a history of supporting Saddam Hussein, such as during the eight-year Iran-Iraq war. Bush’s father, George Senior, was also a key ally of Saddam Hussein, even preventing the Iraqi dictator from being toppled by popular uprising in 1991.

The invasion was dubbed “Operation Iraqi Freedom” in mainstream outlets, who bear much responsibility for deceiving the public with insincere pretexts. Saddam Hussein was blamed for instigating the September 11 atrocities, with a majority of Americans believing he was “personally responsible”.

Saddam Hussein was entirely innocent of the crimes. None of the 9/11 masterminds were even Iraqi citizens. A myth was also relayed seriously, based on no evidence, that Saddam Hussein possessed “Weapons of Mass Destruction”, none of which were ever found.

In the previous decade to the attack, Iraq had already been enduring “genocidal” US/UK sanctions that left half a million Iraqi children dead.

The Iraq invasion itself would later result in the further deaths of hundreds of thousands. It also strengthened existing terrorist organisations, helped spawn ISIS, while sparking a continuing sectarian conflict. The 10th anniversary of the attack received scarce mention.

Providing aid to the Americans in the invasion was not only Britain, but also Australia and Poland.

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4 resignations and counting: May’s government ‘falling apart before our eyes’ over Brexit deal

The beginning of the end for Theresa May’s government.

The Duran

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Via RT


Four high profile resignations have followed on the heels of Theresa May’s announcement that her cabinet has settled on a Brexit deal, with Labour claiming that the Conservative government is at risk of completely dissolving.

Shailesh Vara, the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office was the first top official to resign after the prime minister announced that her cabinet had reached a draft EU withdrawal agreement.

An hour after his announcement, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab – the man charged with negotiating and finalizing the deal – said he was stepping down, stating that the Brexit deal in its current form suffers from deep flaws. Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, submitted her letter of resignation shortly afterwards. More resignations have followed.

Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, Jon Trickett, predicted that this is the beginning of the end for May’s government.

The government is falling apart before our eyes as for a second time the Brexit secretary has refused to back the prime minister’s Brexit plan. This so-called deal has unraveled before our eyes

Shailesh Vara: UK to be stuck in ‘a half-way house with no time limit’

Kicking off Thursday’s string of resignations, Vara didn’t mince words when describing his reservations about the cabinet-stamped Brexit deal.

Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement leaves the UK in a “halfway house with no time limit on when we will finally become a sovereign nation,” his letter of resignation states. Vara went on to warn that the draft agreement leaves a number of critical issues undecided, predicting that it “will take years to conclude” a trade deal with the bloc.

“We will be locked in a customs arrangement indefinitely, bound by rules determined by the EU over which we have no say,” he added.

Dominic Raab: Deal can’t be ‘reconciled’ with promises made to public

Announcing his resignation on Thursday morning, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: “I cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU.”

Raab claimed that the deal in its current form gives the EU veto power over the UK’s ability to annul the deal.

No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime.

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said that Raab’s resignation as Brexit secretary is “devastating” for May.

“It sounds like he has been ignored,” he told the BBC.

Raab’s departure will undoubtedly encourage other Brexit supporters to question the deal, political commentators have observed.

Esther McVey: Deal ‘does not honor’ Brexit referendum

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey didn’t hold back when issuing her own letter of resignation. According to McVey, the deal “does not honour” the result of the Brexit referendum, in which a majority of Brits voted to leave the European Union.

Suella Braverman: ‘Unable to sincerely support’ deal

Suella Braverman, a junior minister in Britain’s Brexit ministry, issued her resignation on Thursday, saying that she couldn’t stomach the deal.

“I now find myself unable to sincerely support the deal agreed yesterday by cabinet,” she said in a letter posted on Twitter.

Suella Braverman, MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the EU © Global Look Press / Joel Goodman
Braverman said that the deal is not what the British people voted for, and threatened to tear the country apart.

“It prevents an unequivocal exit from a customs union with the EU,” she said.

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Five Saudis Face Death Penalty Over Khashoggi Killing; Crown Prince Cleared

According to the Saudi prosecutor, five people charged are believed to have been involved in “ordering and executing the crime.”

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Via Zerohedge


Saudi Arabia public prosecutor Sheikh Shaalan al-Shaalan said on Thursday that the kingdom will seek the death penalty for five suspects among the 11 charged in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, confirming suspicions that members of the murder squad purportedly sent to “interrogate” Khashoggi will now themselves face beheadings as the Saudi Royal Family closes ranks around the Crown Prince, per the FT.

As for Mohammed bin Salman who runs the day to day affairs of the world’s top oil exporter and is the de facto head of OPEC, the prosecutor said had “no knowledge” of the mission, effectively absolving him of any domestic suspicion, if not international.

The charges were handed down after the kingdom dismissed five senior intelligence officers and arrested 18 Saudi nationals in connection with Khashoggi’s disappearance. The Saudi insider-turned-dissident journalist disappeared on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to pick up documents that would have allowed him to marry his fiance. Khashoggi was a legal resident of Virginia.

According to the Saudi prosecutor, five people charged are believed to have been involved in “ordering and executing the crime,” according to CNN.

The prosecutor said that the former Saudi deputy intelligence chief, Ahmed al-Assiri, ordered a mission to force Khashoggi to go back to Saudi Arabia and formed a team of 15 people.

They were divided into three groups, the Saudi Public Prosecutor said: a negotiation team, an intelligence team and a logistical team.

It was the head of the negotiating team who ordered the killing of Khashoggi, the prosecutor said.

The Saudis stuck by latest (ever changing) narrative that the Washington Post columnist was killed after a mission to abduct him went awry. The deputy chief of intelligence ordered that Khashoggi be brought back to the kingdom, Shaalan said. The team killed him after the talks failed and his body was handed to a “collaborator” in Turkey, he said.

Asked whether Saud al-Qahtanti, an aide to Prince Mohammed, had any role in the case, Shaalan said that a royal adviser had a coordinating role and had provided information. The former adviser was now under investigation, the prosecutor said, declining to reveal the names of any of those facing charges.

Al-Shaalan did reveal that a total of 21 suspects are now being held in connection with the case. Notably, the decision to charge the 5 comes after National Security Advisor John Bolton repudiated reports that a recording of Khashoggi’s murder made by Turkish authorities suggested that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was behind the murder plot.

But as long as OPEC+ is planning to do “whatever it takes” to boost oil prices, the US’s willingness to give the Saudis a pass could always be tested if crude prices again turn sharply higher.

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U.S. May Impose Sanctions Against Turkey Over S-400 “Threat” To F-35

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform.

The Duran

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Authored by Al Masdar News:


Turkish officials have repeatedly insisted that Ankara’s purchase of the advanced Russian air defense system poses no threat whatsoever to the NATO alliance. Last month, the Turkish defense ministry announced that delivery of S-400s to Turkey would begin in October 2019.

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform, and may impose sanctions against Ankara, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency has reported, citing a high-ranking source in Washington.

“I can’t say for certain whether sanctions will be imposed on Ankara over the S-400 contract, but the possibility is there. The US administration is not optimistic about this issue,” the source said.

While admitting that Turkey was a sovereign state and therefore had the right to make decisions on whom it buys its weapons from, the source stressed that from the perspective of these weapons’ integration with NATO systems, the S-400 was “problematic.”

The source also characterized the deployment of S-400s in areas where US F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighters are set to fly as “a threat,” without elaborating.

Emphasizing that negotiations between Washington and Ankara on the issue were “continuing,” the source said that there were also “positive tendencies” in negotiations between the two countries on the procurement of the Patriot system, Washington’s closest analogue to the S-400 in terms of capabilities.

Designed to stop enemy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles at ranges of up to 400 km and altitudes of up to 30 km, the S-400 is currently the most advanced mobile air defense system in Russia’s arsenal. Russia and India signed a ruble-denominated contract on the delivery of five regiments of S-400s worth $5 billion late last month.

Last week, the Saudi Ambassador to Russia said that talks on the sale of the system to his country were ongoing. In addition to Russia, S-400s are presently operated by Belarus and China, with Beijing expecting another delivery of S-400s by 2020.

Washington has already slapped China with sanctions over its purchase of S-400s and Su-35 combat aircraft in September. India, however, has voiced confidence that it would not be hit with similar restrictions, which the US Treasury has pursued under the 2017 Counter America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

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