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John Kerry wants Syria ceasefire extended to protect Al-Qaeda

In comments to the UN Security Council US Secretary of State Kerry effectively tears up Lavrov – Kerry Agreement and demands that protection from bombing be extended to Al-Qaeda’s regional branch Jabhat Al-Nusra.

Alexander Mercouris

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The impossibility of achieving a workable ceasefire in Syria was made clear by a blustering speech US Secretary of State Kerry made to the UN Security Council on 21st September 2016.

Possibly alarmed that European governments – including especially the German government – are failing to support US claims the relief convoy attacked near Aleppo was bombed by the Russian air force; and by the fact that the UN appears to have dropped its assertion that the convoy was bombed from the air; and perhaps even more alarmed by Russian demands for an independent investigation of the whole incident; Kerry went on the attack, listing what he said were Russian claims about the incident, which he either misrepresented, or represented in such a way as to make them look inconsistent and contradictory, when in reality they are no such thing.

More to the point, Kerry also demanded the grounding of the Syrian air force over what he called ‘the contested areas’ of northern Syria.

This is a strange demand to make in the immediate aftermath of the attack on the relief convoy. 

The US says off-the-record that it was the Russian air force that attacked the convoy.  However Kerry is demanding that the Syrian air force – which no one claims carried out the attack – should be the one to be grounded.

Presumably somebody subsequently realised the lack of logic in this demand, since some Western media reports of Kerry’s comments are giving the impression that Kerry demanded the grounding of both the Syrian and the Russian air forces.  The full text of his remarks released by the US State Department however shows this was not the case.

Putting all that aside, Kerry speech was in essence a reversion to a demand the US made following the previous cessation of hostilities agreement in February: that the Syrian air force – and implicitly also the Russian air force – cease bombing Jabhat Al-Nusra even though Jabhat Al-Nusra is a terrorist organisation which is expressly excluded from the ceasefire.  Here is how Kerry justified it

“Now, I have said to Russia many times it’s very hard to separate people when they are being bombed indiscriminately and when Assad has the right to determine who he’s going to bomb, because he can, quote, “go after Nusrah” but go after the opposition at the same time because he wants to. You create a confusion that is impossible to separate out, and therefore preserve the ceasefire.

So we need to get to the prohibition on flying, my friends. That would prevent Syria from doing what it has done so often in the past, which is to attack civilian targets with the excuse that it is just going after Nusrah. Our purpose in this negotiation was to put an end to the kind of horrific and indiscriminate attacks that have been the primary cause of fear, of suffering, of displacement. And under our plan, all of this could be quickly accompanied by serious negotiations between the parties aimed at a political transition and a conclusion to the conflict.”

In other words, instead of the Syrian opposition separating itself from Jabhat Al-Nusra in order to gain the protection of the ceasefire, the US wants the ceasefire extended to Jabhat Al-Nusra, so that the Syrian opposition can – in a manner and date of its own choosing and as part of a process of “political transition” (US code for regime change) – separate itself from Jabhat Al-Nusra when it feels like it.

The Syrian opposition has consistently refused to separate itself from Jabhat Al-Nusra and will never do so unless it has to.  If Kerry’s demand were accepted, then the Syrian opposition would no longer be bombed even if it remained joined to Jabhat Al-Nusra.  In that case it would not separate itself from Jabhat Al-Nusra since it would not have to.  Jabhat Al-Nusra in the meantime would be free to attack the Syrian military – since it would not be part of the ceasefire – without having to fear any bombing.

In other words what Kerry is demanding is that the Syrians and the Russians agree to impose a no-fly zone on themselves so as to let Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Jihadis win in order to enable regime change to take place in Syria.

That is an absurd demand, and Kerry surely knows it.  It is also one which – as Kerry of course also knows – the Russians have consistently and categorically rejected whenever it has been made to them.  That Kerry is making it now in spite of all that shows that the US has abandoned the commitment to separate the fighters it supports from Jabhat Al-Nusra, which it made just  2 weeks ago in Geneva.

What that means in turn is that the Kerry – Lavrov agreement is now dead.  The whole point of the agreement was that the US would separate the fighters it supports from Jabhat Al-Nusra , in order to secure the ceasefire.  By saying that the ceasefire should be extended to protect Jabhat Al-Nusra from bombing, the US is in effect abandoning that commitment.

The US is still trying to reassure its European allies – who are becoming increasingly alarmed by the unravelling of the agreement – that it remains committed to it, and that there is still some life in it. Kerry’s words to the UN Security Council however tell a different story.

This latest attempt to end the war in Syria diplomatically has therefore failed, and the war is set to continue.

In the meantime it is worth emphasising that no less a person than the US Secretary of State has now publicly said in the UN Security Council that Jabhat Al-Nusra – an entity which the US says is a terrorist organisation and which is the regional branch of Al-Qaeda in Syria – the organisation which carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks – should not be bombed. 

One wonders what the survivors of 9/11 – and the families of the victims – would think of that.

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Russia’s economy continues to outperform as gold takes center stage (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 118.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine how US and EU sanctions have continued to provide a huge boost to Russia’s economy. Russia’s food sovereignty has practically been achieved, as the Russian central bank continues to buy gold and lower its exposure to western financial markets.

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Via TASS…

Outside pressure in the form of sanctions has become an incentive to resolve various issues of Russia’s economy, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev stated in an interview with the Izvestiya daily.

He noted that through introducing sanctions against Russia, “the West aims to destabilize Russia’s economy and to create social and political tensions in society.”

“But during the difficult times, Russians have always stuck together and mobilized their resources in order to ensure the country’s sovereignty. This is what is happening now – the outside pressure has become an incentive to resolve many problems in Russia’s economy,” he said.

“Before the sanctions, it seemed that we would never be able to feed ourselves and that we are doomed to be dependent on Western import. However, right now, Russia’s food sovereignty in crucial sectors has practically been achieved, and in some areas, Russia has become the leading exporter,” Patrushev noted.

Those who apply the sanctions “can see that they (the sanctions – TASS) are ineffective and often achieve the opposite goal,” the Russian security chief concluded.

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US Neocon Foreign Policy and the War Waged Against Serbia

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign.

Richard Galustian

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The ‘witch-hunt’ against President Trump over Russian collusion has officially ended, following the submission of the Mueller Report, enabling us to now focus on the real problems of America that effects the whole world.

In the hope of a waining of the Russophobia in America, let’s look at the US’s recent war history by starting with the 20th anniversary this month of the NATO war on Serbia in 1999 which amounted to almost 100 days of bombing of historic cities and infrastructure.

Firstly, these problems are, in the main caused by the Neocons, or Deep State, whatever you wish to call them, and the continuing promotion, by the US Military-Security Industrial Complex, of wars and regime change and secondly, Trump’s unreserved support for Israel, regardless of war crimes they may continue to commit against the Palestinians.

Incredibly after that one sided unjust and illegal war that NATO executed, NATO has the audacity to invite Serbia to join it! Something that will never happen. What do they smoke in DC, in the Pentagon and Brussels based NATO?

To compound these overall problems, the US Military and Israeli Defence Forces collaborate on these US regime change policies on all continents evidenced most recently by the arrival of crack Israeli troops last month in Brazil, prepared to support an attack potentially by Brazil and Columbia on Venezuela.

As, has now come to be expected, America pursues its Venezuelan regime change with full main stream media (MSM) cooperation, using well proven sophisticated propaganda techniques along with a variety of pretexts.

From Serbia to Iraq to Libya, where does it end? Observe that Trump is now seeking a ‘NATO alliance’ offering NATO status, to President Bolsonaro of Brazil to back the invasion of Venezuela.

So it is important to remember, as an example, that after a long war of economic and financial destabilization ended with the bombing of Serbia.

Serbia was previously a part of Yugoslavia, a country which had successfully evolved after 1945 to solve the old rivalries of the 19th and early 20th Century Balkan ethnic animosities which was, prior to the advent of power of President Tito, its past history.

The United Nations, instead of supporting, in effect, so called ‘humanitarian wars’ and ‘regime change wars’ by the US, using NATO, helped and relentlessly driven home by MSM outlets like CNN and FOX NEWS into people’s heads, must finally take a stand.

So too, Yugoslavia, once the envy of many in the world, given its then ‘non-aligned’ status under President Tito, was destroyed and broken up; ‘Balkanized’ in the early 1990s.

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign. That’s what we can expect in Venezuela next.

This ‘Balkanization’ strategy similarly applies to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria et al. It serves US Neocon interests to dismember States in the world and create smaller more ‘manageable’ countries.

‘Regime change’ runs against the intent, the very words contained in the US Constitution. No one in MSM ever reminds us of that fact. Nevertheless America’s ambition to overthrow other States continues, which they arrogantly now make no secret of. The next States will probably be Nicaragua then Iran to name but two.

A very noteworthy most recent outrageous unilateral declaration was made by President Trump, not yet formally agreed by US institutions, ‘giving’ something he has no authority to give; Syrian territory, the Golan Heights to be precise, to Israel. Something that one day could trigger a full scale Arab-Israeli War.

This is of extreme importance yet no real outcry comes from world leaders; well not so far.

The main reason for that decision given by senior US Administration figures is that “God anointed Trump to save the Jews”.

Not forgetting Trump’s need (which we the people don’t understand exactly why) to support Prime Minister Netanyahu in his difficult upcoming elections in Israel – in part because both countries failed to ‘regime change’ Syria – but more importantly to help the ‘financial terrorists’ who formed a company jointly that has already started drilling for oil in the Golan Heights. You might like to know who owns such oil drilling company which should answer a plethora of questions in one go that you must be asking yourselves.

The shareholder’s names tells us everything; Dick Cheney; Baron Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch. The titular heads of neocons, bankers and media on the planet.

In ending there is no more evidence required for us, the people of the world, to rise up against the globalist dark forces wherever they exist, be it in Brussels, London, France or Washington. We must demand democratic elections or start revolutions, the latter has already begun in France in the form of ‘the yellow vests’. And Brexit, by definition, is a rejection by the British people of globalism and American Hegemony.

The pattern of US destabilization and destruction of States to loot them of their sovereign resources is the unseen history of the last 100 years, not taught in any university, anywhere in the West.

As far as Ukraine is concerned, its government was taken down by the CIA and replaced by an ultra fascist regime that has full backing from America. This is no secret. But the MSM simple don’t report it.

US led NATO is ‘the transnational war machine’ of the world, devouring almost all free countries wealth. It can extort to terrorize all into conformity to the global ‘carcinogenic’ US Neocon imperialistic strategy.

A total estimated 20m people around the world have died since the end of WW11 at the hands of US Forces. Think about that for a moment.

One of the most famous sayings attributed to America’s great President Abraham Lincoln is about deception: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

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‘Dark day for internet freedom’: EU approves controversial copyright reform

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

RT

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Via RT


The European Parliament has voted to adopt the highly controversial Article 13 provision which would govern the production and distribution of content online under the auspices of increasing copyright protections.

Tuesday’s move will update the EU’s 20-year-old copyright rules and will govern everything from audiovisual content to memes, much to the dismay of many social media users who have already begun outpouring their grief online.

MEPs passed the legislation by 348 votes to 274 Tuesday. Opponents had hoped for last-minute amendments to be made but their efforts were in vain.

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

Article 13 or ‘The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market’ makes all platforms legally responsible for the content hosted and shared on their platforms.

The process of updating the bloc’s copyright laws began in the European Commission two years ago, ostensibly to protect Europe’s publishers, broadcasters and artists and guarantee fair compensation from big tech companies.

By essentially forcing companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to pay artists and publishers for the reproduction of their work online, include in meme format, the EU is effectively clamping down on online memery.

The onus will now be on tech companies to clamp down on content-sharing on their platforms, which will likely ensure yet more draconian policing of speech and content.

EU member states now have two years to pass their own laws putting Article 13 into effect.

Tens of thousands marched in protest across Germany ahead of the vote, decrying what they viewed as severe online censorship.

Tech giant Google said that while the directive is “improved” it will still lead to legal uncertainty and will damage Europe’s creative and digital economies.

Critics have argued that the only way for Article 13 to be effectively enforced would be through the use of upload filters which automatically check content to see if it’s copyrighted or not, at least in theory. However, the exact mechanics of such a system have yet to be fully debated and the potential for abuse is immediately clear.

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