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Crimes are crimes committed by ‘enemies’ not by the ‘West’

ISIS and Al Qaeda simply cannot compete with Western-led forces when it comes to civilian casualties, nor the hypocrisy that follows.

Shane Quinn

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During last month’s victory over ISIS in Mosul, northern Iraq, United States-led forces killed thousands of civilians. The devastating loss of life prompted Amnesty International to lead calls into the investigation of what “could constitute war crimes”, with “barely any city left to declare liberated”.

ISIS commanders must have looked on in awe at the US-led forces’ “disregard for human life”, racking up death tolls that the Islamic terror group could simply not match – using “imprecise and unnecessarily powerful weapons”, which must “immediately be publicly acknowledged… by the states that are part of the US-led coalition”.

It seems highly likely, based on history, that the leading actor here (the US) will not “publicly acknowledge” any possible crimes they committed – as, by unspoken rule, the US simply does not investigate its own crimes. In fact when crimes are perpetrated by the world’s leading power it is almost as if they never happened. As a result the exact numbers of casualties are never known.

For example decades on from the war against Vietnam, the exact death toll suffered by the Vietnamese was supposedly at around two million. This figure was seen to be excessive. Within the past decade reports have emerged putting the death toll at about four million – the heaviest loss of life in a conflict since the Second World War.

The average American estimates the death toll suffered by the Vietnamese at about 100,000 – 2.5% of the actual total. Such is the lack of awareness and accountability put forward by American leaders.

Meanwhile in the recent conflicts against ISIS, US-led forces widely used chemical warfare such as the dropping of white phosphorus, “gravely endanger[ing] the lives of thousands of civilians” – such as in the battles for Raqqa in Syria, and earlier Mosul. The white phosphorus which “burns to the bone” is “most likely US-made”, Amnesty International explained.

Two months prior to this, in April, the US (and allies) roundly condemned Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government for an alleged chemical attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun – despite an absence of evidence linking the Syrian leader and his forces to the attack. Failing to provide proof US President Donald Trump said it “cannot be tolerated”, mourning the death of “innocent children, innocent babies… that crosses many, many lines”.

British Prime Minister Theresa chimed in with her own noble sentiments saying, “there can be no future for Assad in a stable Syria… we cannot allow this suffering to continue”.

Yet there was no such mourning two months later for “innocent babies” when US-led forces were clearly recorded using outlawed chemical weapons, not just in Syria, but Iraq too. The chemical assaults were conducted “in densely populated areas”, and furthermore, were backed up by indiscriminate bombardment from the air. An international outcry from the esteemed Western powers and their corporate media lackeys was absent here.

On this occasion the British Prime Minister was not heard saying, “we cannot allow this suffering to continue”. Rather, we can allow it to continue by remaining silent, or indeed actively participating in it. These heinous acts did not come under the category of crossing “many, many lines” because the US bore main responsibility.

When an enemy can be accused of crimes they enter history as crimes. When the West, their puppet dictators and leaders commit crimes they just didn’t happen. There are credible reports Petro Poroshenko’s Kiev regime used chemical weapons in its war against Donbass over three years ago. There was no outpouring of indignation from the West, with Russia virtually the only world power calling for investigations.

The US has a long and forgotten record of utilising both chemical and biological warfare – indeed it was the world’s pioneer. During the Second World War napalm killed more Japanese than the two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The US Air Force dropped over 32,000 tons of napalm during the Korean War of the early 1950s. A decade later, US President John F. Kennedy authorised the use of napalm in the war against Vietnam, in which dioxin was also employed – one of the most lethal carcinogens. Vietnamese continue to die today because of these past crimes, which are simply not discussed in mainstream dialogue.

The US was also in the lead when it came to biological warfare – Cuba being the primary victim here. Cuban crops were targeted for contamination as were its sugar exports, the country’s lifeline.

In the early 1970s the CIA introduced African swine flu into Cuba, deliberately targeting pork production, a staple of the Cuban diet. The nation’s entire pig population had to be put down. In 1981 a potent strain of dengue fever was planted into Cuba by the US. Almost 275,000 people were infected with the disease, causing 158 deaths, mostly children.

The devastating air strikes Western-led forces have unleashed on civilians across the world also seems to be a long-held principal. During the latter stages of World War II, the Allies deliberately fire-bombed German and Japanese cities and towns to inflict maximum casualties among civilians (major war crimes) – far outweighing the deaths inflicted by the Luftwaffe for instance. The worst was left till last when two atoms bombs were dropped on Japanese cities, causing tens of thousands of civilian deaths.

Yet when the Nuremberg trials were held it was Nazi war criminals alone that stood in the dock there. During the proceedings German Admiral Karl Doenitz called into his defence his American counterpart, Admiral Chester Nimitz, commander-in-chief of the US Pacific Fleet.

Nimitz provided an affidavit revealing that forces under his command used similar actions to those Doenitz was accused of, such as performing “unrestricted submarine warfare” in the Pacific. Doenitz – described by Adolf Hitler as “a National Socialist through and through” – was handed 10 years imprisonment, an admittedly light sentence under the circumstances. Nimitz walked free, however.

Likewise during the 1946 Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal it was strictly Japanese military leaders and personnel put on trial, thousands of them in fact. The unspoken law that victors do not investigate their own crimes applies to the present day.

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MaryjphillipsEdmund burke326ChristinamellisVeeNarian (Yerevan)Tom Welsh Recent comment authors
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Tom Welsh

The Melian Dialogue, recorded 2,500 years ago, remains the only rule of “international law”. “[R]ight, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must”. The USA and its allies are strong, and they exploit their strength mercilessly and without restraint. The only limitation of their power is that some nations – China and Russia, in particular – are the USA’s “equals in power”, and can therefore demand that the US government deal with them in the language of law. Even then, the US… Read more »

VeeNarian (Yerevan)
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VeeNarian (Yerevan)

The “superior and civilized” West are the fount of all human achievement and so by definition they cannot commit any crimes. With every death in their nasty geopolitical games to maintain their dirty dominance of the world, the moral bankruptcy is being exposed for all to see.

Christinamellis
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Edmund burke326
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Edmund burke326

With regard to the allied bombing of Germany, World War II was fought after the failure of the League of Nations, with nations resorting to treaty arrangements to govern their relations with Nazi Germany (beginning with Poland). Questions of proportionality and civilians/combatants in war were not wholly observed parts of conducting war (despite the Geneva Conventions) and despite the UN treaty they still aren’t. However, General Motors did sue the US government for bomb damage to its German factories resulting from US bombing raids.

Maryjphillips
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Maryjphillips

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Rod Rosenstein resigns from his post before President Trump can fire him

Rosenstein’s comments about secretly recording the President backfire, and resignation may throw the Mueller Russiagate probe into question.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Washington Times broke the story that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein resigned from his post. He submitted his resignation to Chief of Staff John Kelly.  At present the breaking story says the following:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is out at the Department of Justice.

Axios reported that Mr. Rosenstein verbally resigned to White House Chief Of Staff John Kelly, but CNN said that he is expecting to be fired.

Sarah Isgur Flores, a Department of Justice spokeswoman, declined to comment on the reports.

Mr. Rosenstein’s departure immediately throws Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion probe into chaos.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation, leaving Mr. Rosenstein in charge.

President Trump mulled firing the No. 2 at the Department of Justice over the weekend.

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This report came after Fox News reported that the Deputy AG was summoned to the White House. Fox reported a little more detail:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is heading to the White House expecting to be fired, sources tell Fox News, in the wake of a report that he suggested wearing a wire against President Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office last year.

This is a developing story, however one major factor that comes under consideration is the fate of Robert Mueller and his Russiagate investigation, which was authorized by Rosenstein. CNBC had this to say in their piece:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is resigning Monday, according to Axios, which cited a source familiar with the matter.

NBC News’ Pete Williams, however, reported that Rosenstein would not resign of his own accord, and that he will only depart if the White House fired him. He will refuse to resign if asked to do so, Williams added.

Rosenstein was at the White House when Williams reported this on the air. However, President Donald Trump is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

Bloomberg later reported that the White House accepted Rosenstein’s resignation, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Rosenstein’s expected resignation will immediately raise questions about the fate of the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump.

Rosenstein’s job security was called into question after The New York Times reported last week that the No. 2 DOJ official had discussed invoking the 25th amendment to remove Trump, and had also talked about surreptitiously recording the president.

Rosenstein oversees the special counsel investigation, and has appointed Mueller to run the Russia probe last year, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the case.

The special counsel’s office declined to comment on the report.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Axios’ report. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to CNBC’s inquiry.

Trump has repeatedly blasted Mueller’s inquiry, which also is focused on possible collusion with Russia by members of the Trump campaign.

He has called the investigation a “witch hunt,” and has repeatedly vented frustration about Sessions’ recusal, which directly led to Mueller’s appointment by Rosenstein.

Rosenstein’s expected departure comes on the heels of a guilty plea by Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort to conspiracy charges related to his consulting work in Ukraine, which predates his role on the campaign.

As part of the investigation, Mueller’s team has been locked in an ongoing back-and-forth with Trump’s legal team over an in-person interview with the president.

Trump’s lawyers, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have signaled that Trump is unwilling to sit for an interview, calling it a “perjury trap” and setting up a potential challenge for Mueller to subpoena the president.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

 

 

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European Council crushes Theresa May’s soft Brexit dream (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 116.

Alex Christoforou

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May hoped that the European Council was ready to see things her way, in terms of proceeding with a soft Brexit, which was essentially no Brexit at all…at least not the hard Brexit that was voted on in a democratic referendum approximately two years ago.

Much to May’s surprise, European Council President Donald Tusk delivered a death blow verdict for May’s Brexit, noting that EU leaders are in full agreement that Chequers plan for Brexit “will not work” because “it risks undermining the single market.”

Without a miracle compromise springing up come during the October summit, the UK will drift into the March 29, 2019 deadline without a deal and out of the European Union…which was initially what was voted for way back in 2016, leaving everyone asking, what the hell was May doing wasting Britain’s time and resources for two years, so as to return back to the hard Brexit terms she was charged with carrying forward after the 2016 referendum?

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss what was a disastrous EU summit in Salzburg for UK PM Theresa May, in what looks to be the final nail in May’s tenure as UK Prime Minister, as a hard Brexit now seems all but certain.

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Via Zerohedge

Tusk was speaking at the end of an EU summit in Salzburg, where the leaders of the 27 remaining states in the bloc were discussing Brexit. He said that while there were “positive elements” in May’s Chequers plan, a deal that puts the single market at risk cannot be accepted.

“Everybody shared the view that while there are positive elements in the Chequers proposal, the suggested framework for economic co-operation will not work, not least because it is undermining the single market,” Tusk said. He also said that he could not “exclude” the possibility that the UK could exit the EU in March with no deal.

May has been urging her European counterparts to accept her controversial Chequers plan which has split both the Conservative party and the broader UK population after it was thrashed out back in July. However, despite the painfully-slow negotiation process, which appears to have made little headway with just a few months left, the UK is set to leave the EU on March 29 2019 – with or without an exit deal.

The main sticking point that has emerged, and left May and the EU at loggerheads, has been how to avoid new checks on the Irish border. May has claimed that her proposals were the “only serious, credible” way to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland. She said during a press conference after the Salzburg meeting that she would not accept the EU’s “backstop” plan to avoid a Northern Ireland hard border. She said the UK would shortly be bringing forward its own proposals.

May also said that there was “a lot of hard work to be done,” adding that the UK was also preparing for the eventuality of having to leave the EU without a deal. Tusk, meanwhile, said that the upcoming October summit would be the “moment of truth” for reaching a deal, and that “if the conditions are there” another summit would be held in November to “formalize” it.

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Russia makes HUGE strides in drone technology

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The US and Israel are universally recognized leaders in the development and use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones. Thousands of American and Israeli UAVs are operating across the world daily.

The US military has recently successfully tested an air-to-air missile to turn its MQ-9 Reaper drone into an effective long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance unmanned spy aircraft capable of air-to-surface as well as air-to-air missions. This is a major breakthrough. It’s not a secret that Russia has been lagging behind in UAV development. Now its seems to be going to change with tangible progress made to narrow the gap.

Very few nations boast drones capable of high-altitude long endurance (HALE) missions. Russia is to enter the club of the chosen. In late 2017, the Russian Defense Ministry awarded a HALE UAV contract to the Kazan-based Simonov design bureau.

This month, Russian Zvezda military news TV channel showed a video (below) of Altair (Altius) heavy drone prototype aircraft number “03”, going through its first flight test.

Propelled by two RED A03/V12 500hp high fuel efficiency diesel engines, each producing a capacity of 500 hp on takeoff, the 5-ton heavy vehicle with a wingspan of 28.5 meters boasts a maximum altitude of 12km and a range of 10,000km at a cruising speed of 150-250km/h.

Wingspan: about 30 meters. Maximum speed: up to 950 km/h. Flight endurance: 48 hours. Payload: two tons, which allows the creation of a strike version. The vehicle is able to autonomously take off and land or be guided by an operator from the ground.

The UAV can carry the usual range of optical and thermal sensors as well as synthetic-aperture ground-surveillance radar with the resolution of .1 meter at the range of 35km and 1 meter at the range of 125km. The communications equipment allows real-time data exchange.

Russia’s UAV program currently underway includes the development of a range of large, small, and mid-sized drones. The Orion-E medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAV was unveiled at the MAKS 2017 air show. Its developer, Kronstadt Technologies, claims it could be modified for strike missions. The one-ton drone is going through testing now. The Orion-E is capable of automatic takeoff and landing.

It can fly continuously for 24 hours, carrying a surveillance payload of up to 200 kg to include a forward looking infra-red (FLIR) turret, synthetic aperture radar and high resolution cameras. The drone can reach a maximum altitude of 7,500 m. Its range is 250 km.

The Sukhoi design bureau is currently developing the Okhotnik (Hunter) strike drone with a range of about 3,500km. The drone made its maiden flight this year. In its current capacity, it has an anti-radar coating, and will store missiles and precision-guided bombs internally to avoid radar detection.

The Kazan-based Eniks Design Bureau is working on the small T-16 weaponized aerial vehicle able to carry 6 kg of payload.

The new Russian Korsar (Corsair) tactical surveillance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will be upgraded to receive an electronic warfare system. Its operational range will be increased from 150km to 250km. The drone was revealed at Victory Day military parade along with the Korsar unmanned combat helicopter version.

The rotary wing drone lacks the speed and altitude of the fixed wing variant, but has a great advantage of being able to operate without landing strips and can be sea-based. Both drones can carry guided and unguided munitions. The fixed-wing version can be armed with Ataka 9M120 missiles.

The first Russian helicopter-type unmanned aerial vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel cells was presented at the Army-2018 international forum. With the horizontal cruising speed of the drone up to 60 kph, the unmanned chopper can stay in the air at least 2.5 hours to conduct reconnaissance operations. Its payload is up to 5 kg.

Last November, the Kalashnikov Concern reported that it would start production of heavy unmanned aerial vehicles capable of carrying up to several tons of cargo and operating for several days at a time without needing to recharge.

All in all, the Russian military operate 1,900 drones on a daily basis. The multi-purpose Orlan-10 with a range of 600km has become a working horse that no military operation, including combat actions in Syria, can be conducted without. Maj. Gen. Alexander Novikov,
the head of the Russian General Staff’s Office for UAV Development, Russian drones performed over 23,000 flights, lasting 140,000 hours in total.

Russia’s State Armament Program for 2018-2027 puts the creation of armed UAVs at the top of priorities’ list. Looks like the effort begins to pay off. Russia is well on the way to become second to none in UAV capability.

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Via Strategic Culture

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