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Iraqi soldiers greeted the civilians of Mosul with torture – Syrian soldiers greet libreated Deir-ez-Zor with open arms and compassion

The inclusive Ba’athist political programme has helped save Syria from the fate of Iraq.

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As the Syrian Arab Army, flanked by the Russian Aerospace Forces and military specialists continue to liberate Dier ez-Zor, one of the most interesting developments is something that hasn’t happened.

Earlier this year when Iraqi forces along with the US retook the city of Mosul from ISIS, what transpired for the innocent civilians of the long besieged Iraqi city was less of a liberation than a process of trading the monster of ISIS for the brutality of Iraqi forces.

During the operations and aftermath of freeing Mosul from ISIS occupation, many Iraqi soldiers stood accused of torturing civilians as well as murdering them in cold blood.

While there can never be any excuse for such behaviour which violates multiple protocols of international law, the reality is that after years of violence between Sunni and Shi’a Iraqis which fomented in the aftermath of the Anglo-American occupation of the country, the divide and conquer strategies of the invaders served to imprint a lasting scar on a country that under Ba’athist rule was peaceful, united and one which saw Shi’as, Sunnis and Christians working in the government and civil service.

Syria’s Ba’athist government operates on the same principle of inclusiveness. In Syria, due to the steadfast leadership of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, people think of themselves as Syrians rather than as part of a politically charged religious sect.

In Iraq this is no longer the case. After years of brutal foreign occupation which saw former Sunni Ba’athists become marginalised and abandoned, Sunni majority regions of Iraq became fertile ground for the Slafist ideology of al-Qaeda which later metamorphosed into ISIS.

As a result of being marginalised after 2003, some Sunnis did turn to al-Qaeda as the only perceived hope of materially improving their extremely poor condition. The majority of Sunni Iraqis however, opposed al-Qaeda as Iraq also had under the Arab Socialist Ba’ath party. Such innocent civilians became men, women and children without a country, in spite of being in their own home.

Such people were caught between the rock of a Shi’a government in Baghdad and extremist Wahhabist ISIS war lords in their cities and regions.

This is not to say that the Iraqi government which does have many noble individuals in it, is at all comparable with ISIS. ISIS is unique in its wickedness, but the marginalisation of Sunnis in ISIS held areas was perversely ‘rewarded’ but overwhelmingly Shi’a Iraqi soldiers who blamed entire Sunni populations on the plague of ISIS.

As a result, Sunnis who suffered first at the hands of the Americans and then ISIS, suffered a third time at the hands of fellow Iraqis.

As I previously wrote in The Duran,

“America and Britain’s illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 was a disaster from which Iraq has not recovered. After the imperialist invaders illegally deposed the legitimate government of Iraq, the occupiers then conspired to totally disenfranchise anyone seen as tied to the government, even when in actual fact such people were often not connected to the government.

This quickly spilled into a divide and conquer technique wherein the imperialists sought to turn Shi’a against Sunni in a country that had always had some lingering tensions, although the Ba’ath Party did wonders in minimising these tensions, as Ba’athism is an explicitly anti-sectarian ideology both in theory and practice.

The inane so-called ‘de-Ba’athification’ process that the occupiers executed was little more than a social genocide of Iraqi Sunnis. At the same time, Shi’a Iraqis were equally enraged at the illegal conquering of their nation, although for different reasons. At the same time, Christian Iraqis were subject to a total genocide. Those who survived fled, often to Ba’athist Syria where they were welcomed without hesitation by the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Even in the years of Saddam Hussein’s often fraught Presidency, the government and civil service of Iraq saw Sunnis, Shia’s and Christians of all major denominations in positions of distinction and importance.

Sunni Iraqis were consequently driven to any ideology, any movement and ultimately any group that could give them some sort of agency in the new post-Sunni Iraq. Many such people were for the first time in their previously secular existence, driven to the ideology of al-Qaeda. As foreign al-Qaeda fighters flooded into a country that had under the Ba’ath party been among the most anti-al-Qaeda places on earth, many local Sunnis joined their ranks for the sad reason that their ranks were among the only that would have them.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq was born. Eventually al-Qaeda in Iraq would become the Islamic State of Iraq. Shortly thereafter they broadened their horizons and sought to expand becoming the Islamic State of Iraq and The Levant. This in turn formally became the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and finally today it calls itself The Islamic State, though it is sill generally known in English speaking countries by the acronym ISIS.

The fact that Sunni Iraqis are still being tortured, still being associated with terrorists even when they are not associated with terrorism, still being treated with suspicion, means that the divide and conquer attitude which the imperialist powers instilled on a once united Iraqi nation, are still omnipresent in today’s Iraq.

So long as the conditions which allowed ISIS to foment are present in Iraq, so long will the threat of ISIS, irrespective of what it might call itself in the future, continue to haunt Iraq.

The reason that the Syrian situation is vastly more hopeful is that the situation in Syria was very different. In Syria, the Ba’ath Party has remained in power and continues to unite the vast majority of the nation against sectarianism of all kinds. In Syria, the majority of ISIS fighters and other Salafist terrorists are foreign fighters. In Iraq this is also largely thought to be the case, but the difference is that in Iraq ISIS seized an opportunity which many locals, at least for a time, thought was the only way to escape oppression from both militarised Shi’a forces as well as from the omnipresent and barbaric forces of western imperialism. 

In Iraq, Sunni citizens had many enemies, they were surrounded on all fronts. ISIS flamed these tensions to their own perverse advantage. By contrast, in Syria, the Syrian identity of all citizens was never taken away and as a result, Salafism was never given the chance to foment organically as it partly did in Iraq.

In Iraq, ISIS took advantage of broken hearts and broken dreams–broken bones and broken lives. In Syria, they merely took advantage of a pours border.

The situation in Iraq is not promising. It is not just Iraqi Kurds who will almost certainly separate from the rest of the country in a formal sense in September of this year, but the Sunni/Shi’a divide in the country is still very real as it has been since the time of the 2003 invasion. This does not bode well for Iraqi unity. By contrast, real Syrians have never been and are not now divided on such lines.

Iraqi Sunnis are once again left with nothing, Iraqi Shi’as now see Iran as their only salvation as their only real chance to throw off the poisonous influence of the imperialist west.

Iraq is hardly a nation any more and it hasn’t been since 2003. I doubt it ever will be again. While Iran remains a stabilising factor in the region and Syria now looks set to weather the storm, Iraq has started to win the war against ISIS in the short term. However, Iraq has lost the war to ISIS in the longer term, a war which is part of the same conflict started by America and Britain”.

In Deir ez-Zor, a majority Sunni city which for three years has been besieged by ISIS, the story could not be more different. Fellow Syrians have embraced soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army and the Syria along with Russia has been providing much needed food and medicine to the citizens of Deir ez-Zor.

The following photos of civilians in Deir ez-Zor welcoming a return to normalcy could not be more different than the images from Iraq’s ‘liberation’ of Mosul.

What this indicates is that while western occupation allowed Iraq to sink into a swamp of sectarianism, the Arab Socialist Ba’ath party of Syria has maintained a government and armed forces that are multi-religious and even multi-ethnic. The emphasis on national unity, on Arab nationalism as opposed to religious extremism or neo-colonialism and a constitutional definition of equality between all men and women, has allowed all peoples of Syria to be Syrian first and foremost.

In Iraq, this is no longer the case and while some progress is being made, the torture that Sunni civilians received at the hands of Iraqi’s army personnel, is demonstrative of the fact that there is a great deal of work still to do to bring Iraq back from the oblivion it has faced since 2003.

In 2003, the Iraqi Army did not resist the invasion from the US and UK, but the Syrian Arab Army has resisted the multi-front invasion from proxies loyal to countries as diverse as the United States, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Britain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, as well as local Kurdish militants and local Sunni extremists.

Syria has resisted all of this with a unified front, guided by the ideas implicit in Ba’athism.

Ba’athism has won because Syria has won and inversely, Syria has won because Ba’athism has remained the guiding force of modern Syria’s political system and civic philosophy.

It is for this reason why Syria’s recover from the conflict will be materially difficult, but in many other ways, Syria has already avoided the pitfalls that continue to plague post-2003 Iraq.

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JNDillard
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JNDillard

I am not as pessimistic as Mr. Garrie regarding Iraq. Yes, I believe that the Kurds are going to have their referendum and create a Kurdistan out of northern Iraq, a place that will become a puppet state of the US and Israelis and which will be a continuing source of terrorism for Iran, Shiite Iraq, Syria, and of course Turkey. The Syrian Kurds will either bow to Syrian rule, leave or be defeated. However, in the long run the financial benefits of the emerging One Belt One Road, in which Iran and Syria will definitely play important roles, will… Read more »

samo war
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samo war
Simon
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Simon

Completely agree. Syrian people trust and welcome the SAA because it is THEIR army, and secondly (incidentally) it is also mostly Sunni, much like them.
Sectarianism in Iraq however is out of control. Mosul is ruined, and the Shia Government will not care to rebuild it beyond a few token projects. It will only become a nest of vipers once again.

Also include Assad’s enlightened policy of amnesty. They don’t have that in Iraq. It makes a big difference.

Patrick Woolley
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Patrick Woolley

Iran also helped stoke sectarian tensions within Iraq as well as the Americans and British.

Patrick Woolley
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Patrick Woolley

You are correct though in saying that Assad’s lack of sectarianism and his secularism has allowed his position to remain tenable. A country where the population is made of a majority of Sunnis most certainly would’ve turned on him with mass armed uprisings by now if this was not the case. In fact, the only reason Iraq wasn’t completely taken over by Isis is because the Sunni population is only a minority. Isis managed to take over all the areas where the Sunni population is the majority – and this isn’t a coincidence. Such was the sectarianism of the Shi’ite… Read more »

sathearn
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sathearn

I’d like to know more about how Iran is “substituting Shi’ite civilians for Sunni civilians along Syria’s western border with Lebanon and Israel.” Aren’t Shia only ~3% of Syria’s overall population? So I wonder where are they getting such settlers? Also, “substituting” seems like a strong word – as if they are both encouraging Shia to settle there and pressuring Sunnis to leave the area. I have seen Shia-takeover rhetoric with regard to Aleppo that seems patently false – though I am open to the possibility that this charge may have some truth in some places. It seems more likely… Read more »

sathearn
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sathearn

Readers of Garrie’s article may also be interested a piece Andrew Illingworth at al-Masdar posted today, about the city of al-Qa’im, where the Sunni population is said to be largely aligned with ISIS, unlike other predominantly Sunni places in both Iraq and Syria: https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/brutal-battle-isis-iraq-yet-happen-town-even-us-not-conquer/

Pave Way IV
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Pave Way IV

“…Many such people were for the first time in their previously secular existence, driven to the ideology of al-Qaeda…” Al-Qaeda is NOT an ideology Al-Qaeda is Saudi Wahhabism – they were driven to it because Saudi Wahhabism blames all the ills of the world on Muslims disobeying authority (theirs) and the demons of western influence and the ‘Iranian’ Shia. Al Qaeda’s solution was for ‘good’ Muslims to obey al Qaeda and kill westerners and Shia. al-Nusra is Saudi Wahhabism. Al Nusra’s solution to remedy all the ills of the world was for all ‘good’ Muslims to obey al Nusra and… Read more »

nshah
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nshah

Wahbabism itself is an ideology and not even a sect of sunnis..
These inbreed Bedouins bastards are just like their Khazars cousins claiming to be Jews..! They’ll claim whatever suits them.. be it race or religion @ sect..! There’re only 4 sect of sunnis accepted the rest are either claimed or parts/branches of the original 4.. but not wahbabism (babi=swine)

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Photos of swastika on Ukrainian mall stairway creates a stir [Video]

Ukrainian nationalist press in damage-control mode to explain away the Nazi sign, but they forgot the name of the street the mall is on.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the aspects of news about Ukraine that does not make it past the gatekeepers of the American and Western news media is how a significant contingent of Ukrainian nationalists have espoused a sense of reverence for Nazis. The idea that this could even happen anywhere in the world in an open manner makes the claim seem too absurd to be taken seriously. Gone are the days when the Nazi swastika adorned streets and buildings in Europe. Right?

Well, maybe, wrong.

This was seen in Kyiv’s Gorodok (or Horodok, if you insist) Gallery, a shopping center in that city, located on Bandera Avenue.

The pro-nationalist news service UNIAN wasted no time going to press with their explanation of this incident, which admittedly may be accurate:

Children and teenagers who participated in the All-Ukrainian break dance festival held in the Kyiv-based Gorodok Gallery shopping mall were shocked to see a swastika image projected onto an LED staircase.

The mall administration apologized to visitors, explaining saying that their computer system had apparently been hacked.

“The administration and staff have no relation to whatever was projected onto the LED-staircase, and in no way does it support such [an] act. Now we are actively searching for those involved in the attack,” it said in a statement.

According to Gorodok Gallery’s administrative office, it was not the first time a cyber breach took place.

As reported earlier, Ukraine is believed to be a testing ground for cyberattacks, many of which are launched from Russia. Hackers have earlier targeted critical energy infrastructure, state institutions, banks, and large businesses.

This time, it appears, hackers aimed to feed the Kremlin’s narrative of “Nazis in power in Ukraine” and create a relevant hype-driving viral story for Russian media to spread it worldwide.

The Gorodok Gallery also apologized on its Facebook page and said that this was a result of hacking.

But what about the street that the mall is on? From the self-same Facebook page, this is what we see:


To translate, for those who do not read Ukrainian or Russian, the address says the following:

23 Steven Bandera Prospekt, Kyiv, Ukraine 04073

This street was formerly called “Moscow Avenue.” Big change, as we shall see.

Steven Bandera got his birthday designated as a national holiday in Ukraine last December. He is known in Ukraine’s history for one thing. According to the Jerusalem Post:

The street where the shopping mall is located is named for Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who briefly collaborated with Nazi Germany in its fight against Russia.

His troops are believed to have killed thousands of Jews.

Several Israeli papers picked this bit of news up, and of course, the reasons are understandable. However, for the West, it appears possible that this news event will largely go unnoticed, even by that great nation that is often called “Israel’s proxy”, the United States.

This is probably because for certain people in the US, there is a sense of desperation to mask the nature of events that are happening in Ukraine.

The usual fare of mainstream news for the West probably consists of things like “Putin’s military seizes innocent Ukrainian sailors in Kerch incident” or, “Ukraine’s Orthodox Church declared fully independent by Patriarch of Constantinople” (not that too many Americans know what a Constantinople even is, anyway), but the overriding narrative for the American people about this country is “Ukraine are the good guys, and Russia are the bad guys,” and this will not be pushed aside, even to accommodate the logical grievance of Israel to this incident.

If this article gets to Western papers at all, it will be the UNIAN line they adhere to, that evil pro-Russia hackers caused this stairway to have a swastika to provoke the idea that Ukraine somehow supports Naziism.

But UNIAN neglected to mention that the street name was recently changed to Stephan Bandera (in 2016), and no one appears to have hacked this. Nor does UNIAN talk about the Azov fighters that openly espoused much of the Nazi ideology. For nationalist Ukrainians, this is all for the greater good of getting rid of all things Russia.

A further sad fact about this is the near impossibility of getting assuredly honest and neutral information about this and other similar happenings. Both Ukrainian nationalists and Russian media agencies have dogs in the race, so to speak. They are both personally connected to these events. However, the Russian media cannot be discounted here, because they do offer a witness and perspective, probably the closest to any objective look at what is going on in Ukraine. We include a video of a “torchlight march” that took place in 2017 that featured such hypernationalist activity, which is not reported in the West.

More such reports are available, but this one seemed the best one to summarize the character of what is going on in the country.

While we do not know the motive and identities of whoever programmed the swastika, it cannot really be stated that this was just a random publicity stunt in a country that has no relationship with Nazi veneration.

The street the mall is on bears witness to that.

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It’s Back to the Iran-Contra Days Under Trump

Abrams and his cronies will not stop with Venezuela.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored by Wayne Madsen, via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Showing that he is adopting the neoconservative playbook every day he remains in office, Donald Trump handed the neocons a major win when he appointed Iran-contra scandal felon Elliott Abrams as his special envoy on Venezuela. Abrams pleaded guilty in 1991 to two counts of withholding information on the secret sale of US weapons for cash to help illegally supply weapons to the Nicaraguan right-wing contras, who were battling against the government of President Daniel Ortega. Abrams would have headed to a federal prison, but President George H. W. Bush, an unindicted co-conspirator in the scandal, issued pardons to Abrams and his five fellow conspirators – former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, and former Central Intelligence Agency officials Alan Fiers, Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, and Clair George – on Christmas Eve 1991, during the final weeks of Bush’s lame duck administration.

Abrams escaped being charged with more serious crimes by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh because he cut a last-minute deal with federal prosecutors. Trump, who has made no secret of his disdain for cooperating federal witnesses, would have normally called Abrams a “rat,” a gangster term meaning informant. The man who helped engineer the pardons for Abrams and his five convicted friends was none other than Bush’s Attorney General, William Barr, who has just been sworn in as Trump’s Attorney General. Trump, who is always decrying the presence of the “deep state” that thwarts his very move, has become the chief guardian of that entity.

During a recent hearing of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, newly-minted congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, reminded her colleagues and the world about the sordid background of Abrams.

Omar zeroed in on Abrams’s criminal history:

“Mr. Abrams, in 1991 you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress regarding the Iran-Contra affair, for which you were later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony you give today to be truthful.”

Abrams, as is the nature of neocons, refused to respond to Omar and cited her comments as “personal attacks.”

Abrams’s and his fellow criminals’ use of mercenaries and “death squads” to conduct secret wars in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala during the Ronald Reagan administration in the 1980s has made a re-entrance under Trump. Abrams was brought on board by neocons like National Security Adviser John Bolton, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to oversee a US military build-up in Colombia, said to be 5000 US troops, to support Venezuelan paramilitary and military efforts to topple President Nicolas Maduro. Abrams and Bolton are also believed to have retained the services of another unindicted conspirator in the Iran-contra affair, Michael Ledeen, a colleague of the disgraced and convicted former Trump National Security Adviser, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. Ledeen and Flynn co-authored a book titled, “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and its Allies.” The book contains nothing more than the standard neocon tripe one might expect from the likes of Ledeen.

An official investigation of the Iran-contra scandal by the late Republican Senator John Tower of Texas concluded that Abrams’s and Ledeen’s friend, Iranian-Jewish middleman Manucher Ghorbanifar, a long-time Mossad asset and well-known prevaricator, was extremely instrumental in establishing the back-channel arms deals with Iran. Ghorbanifar has long been on the CIA “burn list” as an untrustworthy charlatan, along with others in the Middle East of similar sketchy credentials, including the Iraq’s Ahmad Chalabi, Syria’s Farid “Frank” Ghadry, and Lebanon’s Samir “Sami” Geagea. These individuals, however, were warmly embraced by neocons like Abrams and his associates.

Abrams, whose links with Israeli intelligence has always been a point of consternation with US counter-intelligence officials, is part of an old cabal of right-wing anti-Soviet Democrats who coalesced around Senator Henry Jackson in the 1970s. Along with Abrams, this group of war hawks included Richard Perle, Frank Gaffney, William Kristol, Douglas Feith, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Abram Shulsky, and Paul Wolfowitz. Later, this group would have its fingerprints on major US foreign policy debacles, ranging from Nicaragua and Grenada to Lebanon, Iraq, and Libya. Later, in December 2000, these neocons managed to convince president-elect George W. Bush of the need to “democratize” the Middle East. That policy would later bring not democracy but disaster to the Arab Middle East and North Africa.

Abrams and his cronies will not stop with Venezuela. They have old scores to settle with Nicaraguan President Ortega. The initiation of “regime change” operations in Nicaragua, supported by the CIA and the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Miami, have been ongoing for more than a year.

The Trump administration has already achieved a regime change victory of sorts in El Salvador. Nayib Bukele, the former mayor of San Salvador, who was expelled from the formerly-ruling left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation (FMLN) party and joined the right-wing GANA party, was recently elected president of El Salvador. Bukele has quickly re-aligned his country’s policies with those of the Trump administration. Bukele has referred to President Maduro of Venezuela as a “dictator.” He has also criticized the former FMLN government’s recognition of China and severance of diplomatic ties with Taiwan. It will be interesting to see how a sycophant like Bukele will politically survive as Trump continues to call hapless asylum-seeking migrants from his country, who seek residency in the United States, “rapists, gang monsters, murderers, and drug smugglers.”

Another country heading for a US-installed “banana republic” dictator is Haiti. President Jovenal Moise has seen rioting in the streets of Port-au-Prince as the US State Department removed all “non-essential” personnel from the country. Moise, whose country has received $2 billion in oil relief from Venezuela, to help offset rising fuel prices, has continued to support the Maduro government. However, at the US-run and neo-colonial artifice, the Organization of American States (OAS), Moise’s envoys have been under tremendous pressure to cut ties with Venezuela and recognize the US puppet Juan Guaido as Venezuelan president. Moise’s refusal to do so resulted in armed gangs hitting the streets of Port-au-Prince demanding Moise’s resignation. It is the same neocon “regime change” playbook being used in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

There will be similar attempts to replace pro-Maduro governments in his remaining allies in the region. These include Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Abrams was also brought in as an adviser on Middle East policy in the George W. Bush administration. The carnage of Iraq is a stark testament to his record. In 2005, it was reported that two key Bush White House officials – Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliot Abrams – gave a “wink and a nod” for the assassinations by Israeli-paid operatives of three key Lebanese political figures seeking a rapprochement with Syria and Lebanese Hezbollah – Member of Parliament Elie Hobeika, former Lebanese Communist Party chief George Hawi, and former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

In 2008, a United Nations panel headed by former Canadian prosecutor Daniel Bellemare later concluded Hariri was assassinated by a “criminal network” and not by either Syrian and Lebanese intelligence or Lebanese Hezbollah as proffered by Abrams and his friends in Washington.

Representative Omar was spot on in questioning why Abrams, whose name is as disgraced as his two fellow conspirators – Oliver North and John Poindexter – whose criminal convictions were overturned on appeal, is working for the Trump administration on Venezuela. The answer is that the neocons, who can sense, like raptors, Trump’s political weakness, have filled the vacuum left by top-level vacancies in the administration.

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Putin: If mid-range missiles deployed in Europe, Russia will station arms to strike decision centers

Putin: If US deploys mid-range missiles in Europe, Russia will be forced to respond.

RT

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Via RT…


If the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Moscow will respond by stationing weapons aimed not only against missiles themselves, but also at command and control centers, from which a launch order would come.

The warning came from President Vladimir Putin, who announced Russia’s planned actions after the US withdraws from the INF Treaty – a Cold War-era agreement between Washington and Moscow which banned both sides form having ground-based cruise and ballistic missiles and developing relevant technology.

The US is set to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty in six months, which opens the possibility of once again deploying these missiles in Europe. Russia would see that as a major threat and respond with its own deployments, Putin said.

Intermediate-range missiles were banned and removed from Europe because they would leave a very short window of opportunity for the other side to decide whether to fire in retaliation after detecting a launch – mere minutes. This poses the threat of an accidental nuclear exchange triggered by a false launch warning, with the officer in charge having no time to double check.

“Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapon systems, which can be used not only against the territories from which this direct threat would be projected, but also against those territories where decision centers are located, from which an order to use those weapons against us may come.” The Russian president, who was delivering a keynote address to the Russian parliament on Wednesday, did not elaborate on whether any counter-deployment would only target US command-and-control sites in Europe or would also include targets on American soil.

He did say the Russian weapon system in terms of flight times and other specifications would “correspond” to those targeting Russia.

“We know how to do it and we will implement those plans without a delay once the relevant threats against us materialize,”he said.

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