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What Most Syrians See of Their War

The people of Syria have a completely taken perspective of the war in their country than the one promoted by Western governments and media.

Eric Zuesse

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Here is a video of what most Syrians are seeing and experiencing of the war, and it’s titled “Living in the crosshairs, May 29th 2016 ENG SUBS”.

It refers to attackers being the “Free Syrian Army” (who were founded by Riad al-Asaad, no relation to Bashar al-Assad — and spelled and pronounced differently — and he was a proponent of a fundamentalist Sunni Syrian constitution). It also refers to (and shows victims of) the “canisters” which the FSA is firing westward, from the Aleppo city area that the FSA controls, into the city’s “Midan District,” which is controlled by the Syrian government.

The FSA is America’s chosen group of fighters (Barack Obama’s terms for them are ‘the moderate opposition’ and ‘moderate rebels’, but they’re just the people that the U.S. government overtly back — not back covertly like Syria’s branch of Al Qaeda and some other groups). All these groups are trying to overthrow the Syrian government, and, though they often cooperate with one-another, like with Al Qaeda in Syria (called “Al Nusra”), and ISIS (also called “ISIL” and “Daesh”), the groups also occasionally attack each other, because each of the groups is trying to increase its territory and wants to emerge victorious to control all of Syria, or of as much of Syria as possible, in the final settlement.

Virtually all members of each one of these groups are jihadists, but different foreign countries are backing different ones of these groups, and America’s preferred group happens to be the FSA — the group that’s firing these “canisters.”

At 1:46 in the video, the flag of the “Sultan Murad Faction” is being flown; at 1:50  it’s the flag of Al Nusra. So, this time the groups are all working together, because of their shared goal of conquering the Syrian government in the Midan District, which they’ve apparently just done here, at least for the time being. The Sultan Murad group are backed by Turkey (which, under Erdogan, has become a fundamentalist-Sunni country, like the Arab monarchies are, but without the oil). Al Qaeda is mainly backed by the Sauds, U.S. allies against Assad.

Each of these groups is bankrolled by somewhat different financial interests, but all of those interests are united in their desire to overthrow the non-sectarian government that has been ruling in Syria, and that the U.S. CIA has been trying, ever since 1949, to overthrow and replace by a fundamentalist Sunni government (which will favor the fundamentalist-Sunni Sauds, our allies). Though the majority of Syrians have always supported a non-sectarian Syria, various factions of Sunni Islam in fundamentalist-Sunni foreign countries have (especially after the severe 2007-2010 drought in Syria, and the consequent intense “Arab Spring” anti-government movement in Syria during 2011) supplied weapons and fighters to jihadists to overthrow Assad, and they also finance propaganda to recruit jihadists from all around the world, to fight in Syria and maybe become heavenly martyrs in this ‘holy war’ or jihad, against the ‘infidel’ non-sectarian Syrian government, which, moreover, is led by the Shiite Bashar al-Assad — and all Shiites should be killed, according to such fundamentalist Sunni teachings (which originate in, and are led by, Saudi Arabia).

The United States is allied here actually with the Saud family who own Saudi Arabia, and with their friends the Thani family who own Qatar, and also with their friends the Sabah family who own Kuwait, and also with the six royal families who own UAE; and all of these fundamentalist-Sunni royal families are aiming to supply their oil and gas, and pipelines for oil and gas, selling into the world’s largest energy-market, Europe. Those pipelines would be built through Syria, which is the reason why the U.S. and its Gulf-state allies want to take Syria over, or at least to conquer enough of a strip through what today is Syria, so as to enable construction of these pipelines into Europe.

Whereas America’s goal in this is mainly to strangle Russia, which is the biggest current supplier of oil and gas into the European market, the main goal of the royal Arab families is to expand their markets, to grab a bigger share of Europe’s energy sales. Pipelined oil and gas tends to be cheaper and therefore more cost-competitive than trucked or shipped oil and gas; so, this is a “pipeline war,” to expand markets.

That’s what the Syrian war is all about. Whereas for America it’s to conquer Russia; for the Arab royals, it’s to supply a bigger share of Europe’s energy-imports. For Turkey, it’s to grab a share of the oil-sales stolen by these jihadists, oil from Iraq and Syria, and also to serve within NATO as the agents of royal Arab families, a bridge between NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council. That bridge is a valuable and profitable function to fulfill.

The millions of refugees that are being produced by this war, many of whom are fleeing to Europe, are just the results, basically, of this land-clearing operation in Syria, to get rid of the people who are supporting the current Syrian government, which is allied with Russia, instead of with the U.S. and its allies.

So: those “canisters” are intended to terrify enough Syrians to flee, so that (it’s hoped) enough land can be cleared of population, in order for the desired pipelines to be built.

And Syrians know this. Consequently, not only are the various jihadist groups despised by from two-thirds to around 80% of the Syrian public, but at least 55% of Syrians would vote for Bashar al-Assad to be the country’s leader, in any free and fair election — and Obama knows this, which is the reason why he has strenuously opposed democracy in Syria, and even Ban ki-Moon has (though very quietly) condemned Obama’s position that rejects democracy in Syria. Furthermore, the Syrian people overwhelmingly (by 82%, to be exact) cite the U.S. as being the main source of the immense suffering they face.

In other words: terrorizing the population is good, not bad, from the standpoint of the U.S. and its allies — and many Syrians know this. But the few anti-Assad fighters who loathe ISIS and who have been praised by the U.S. government don’t necessarily know or understand this. The few anti-Assad fighters who, for whatever reason (be it that they’re competing against ISIS, or maybe even that they genuinely detest ISIS) have tried to help the U.S. CIA against ISIS, have even been stunned to find the U.S. government uninterested. It doesn’t make sense to them.

To clear the land, terror is good, not bad; the CIA mustn’t get in the way, and they don’t. It’s one reason why those FSA fighters who had taken seriously the U.S. government’s anti-ISIS rhetoric, have, in many cases, subsequently become disillusioned, and cooperate now with al-Nusra and other such groups, which are only marginally less extremist than ISIS is. At least ISIS isn’t lying to them, like the U.S. government does.

Since the European governments are allied with the U.S., those governments are torn about what to do with the refugees that the U.S.-and-allied operation is producing (and is intended to produce). At least up till now, far more Europeans hate the refugees than hate the U.S. government, and so the problem is merely a political annoyance to EU leaders, not yet a cause for breakup of the Western Alliance (European countries’ alliance with the U.S. government), which still seems strong, and which is still strongly supported by Europeans (including even by the ones who hate these refugees — refugees who are result of that very alliance, which they support).

Though this land-clearing operation creates a nuisance in Europe, it’s far more than that, a life-and-death matter, in Syria. For Arab aristocracies, it’s being done mainly for business (it’s not about ideology, except Sunni versus Shia); but for America’s aristocracy, it’s mainly for power: conquering Russia, by getting rid of Russia’s allies, surrounding Russia, then going in for the kill — unless the Russian government first submits and posts a white flag of surrender (in which case the West will take over Russia’s oil and gas etc., ‘peacefully’).

Perhaps the Western Alliance will continue as it is. But maybe it won’t. For the millions of Syrians in the midst of the hell that Washington and its allies are causing there, a lot might depend on whether it will continue as it is. Without the Western Alliance, the foreign jihadists who are destroying their country would have to leave. Those jihadists are utterly dependent upon the support of Barack Obama, King Saud, Tayyip Erdogan, Angela Merkel, and the other leaders of the Western Alliance. None of those leaders can continue this ongoing invasion of Syria, without the continuing support of their Western comrades. The destruction of Syria is a team-effort. But maybe the team will fall apart before it can achieve the type of victory that’s required for real ‘success’. Which side will give up this war first?

One thing’s for sure: What Syrians see of their war is not going to endear them to The West. And this also means: it’s not going to endear them to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United States. Will it endear them to the EU? Certainly not if the EU turns them away as refugees. However, if the EU separates from the U.S., then maybe, just maybe, there can emerge favorable relations between Europe and the secular Arabs who have long constituted the majority of Syrians. The problem for them has been the U.S. government and the fundamentalist Sunni Arab royal families. The question then is: Will Europeans continue to be allied with them? Or, if not, then how soon will the Western Alliance break up?

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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New York Times hit piece on Trump and NATO exposes alliance as outdated and obsolete (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 61.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at the New York Times hit piece citing anonymous sources, with information that the U.S. President dared to question NATO’s viability.

Propaganda rag, the NYT, launched its latest presidential smear aimed at discrediting Trump and provoking the establishment, warmonger left into more impeachment – Twenty-fifth Amendment talking points.

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Via The American Conservative


The New York Times scored a serious scoop when it revealed on Monday that President Trump had questioned in governmental conversations—on more than one occasion, apparently—America’s membership in NATO. Unfortunately the paper then slipped into its typical mode of nostrum journalism. My Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “nostrum” as “quack medicine” entailing “exaggerated claims.” Here we had quack journalism executed in behalf of quack diplomacy.

The central exaggerated claim is contained in the first sentence, in which it is averred that NATO had “deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” This is wrong, as can be seen through just a spare amount of history.

True, NATO saved Europe from the menace of Russian Bolshevism. But it did so not over 70 years but over 40 years—from 1949 to 1989. That’s when the Soviet Union had 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops poised on Western Europe’s doorstep, positioned for an invasion of Europe through the lowlands of Germany’s Fulda Gap.

How was this possible? It was possible because Joseph Stalin had pushed his armies farther and farther into the West as the German Wehrmacht collapsed at the end of World War II. In doing so, and in the process capturing nearly all of Eastern Europe, he ensured that the Soviets had no Western enemies within a thousand miles of Leningrad or within 1,200 miles of Moscow. This vast territory represented not only security for the Russian motherland (which enjoys no natural geographical barriers to deter invasion from the West) but also a potent staging area for an invasion of Western Europe.

The first deterrent against such an invasion, which Stalin would have promulgated had he thought he could get away with it, was America’s nuclear monopoly. By the time that was lost, NATO had emerged as a powerful and very necessary deterrent. The Soviets, concluding that the cost of an invasion was too high, defaulted to a strategy of undermining Western interests anywhere around the world where that was possible. The result was global tensions stirred up at various global trouble spots, most notably Korea and Vietnam.

But Europe was saved, and NATO was the key. It deserves our respect and even reverence for its profound success as a military alliance during a time of serious threat to the West.

But then the threat went away. Gone were the 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops. Gone was Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. Indeed, gone, by 1991, was the Soviet Union itself, an artificial regime of brutal ideology superimposed upon the cultural entity of Mother Russia. It was a time for celebration.

But it was also a time to contemplate the precise nature of the change that had washed over the world and to ponder what that might mean for old institutions—including NATO, a defensive military alliance created to deter aggression from a menacing enemy to the east. Here’s where Western thinking went awry. Rather than accepting as a great benefit the favorable developments enhancing Western security—the Soviet military retreat, the territorial reversal, the Soviet demise—the West turned NATO into a territorial aggressor of its own, absorbing nations that had been part of the Soviet sphere of control and pushing right up to the Russian border. Now Leningrad (renamed St. Petersburg after the obliteration of the menace of Soviet communism) resides within a hundred miles of NATO military forces, while Moscow is merely 200 miles from Western troops.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has absorbed 13 nations, some on the Russian border, others bordering lands that had been part of Russia’s sphere of interest for centuries. This constitutes a policy of encirclement, which no nation can accept without protest or pushback. And if NATO were to absorb those lands of traditional Russian influence—particularly Ukraine and Georgia—that would constitute a major threat to Russian security, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to emphasize to Western leaders for years.

So, no, NATO has not deterred Russian aggression for 70 years. It did so for 40 and has maintained a destabilizing posture toward Russia ever since. The problem here is the West’s inability to perceive how changed geopolitical circumstances might require a changed geopolitical strategy. The encirclement strategy has had plenty of critics—George Kennan before he died; academics John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, and Robert David English; former diplomat Jack Matlock; the editors of The Nation. But their voices have tended to get drowned out by the nostrum diplomacy and the nostrum journalism that supports it at every turn.

You can’t drown out Donald Trump because he’s president of the United States. And so he has to be traduced, ridiculed, dismissed, and marginalized. That’s what the Times story, by Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper, sought to do. Consider the lead, designed to emphasize just how outlandish Trump’s musings are before the reader even has a chance to absorb what he may have been thinking: “There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” Translation: “Take that, Mr. President! You’re an idiot.”

Henry Kissinger had something interesting to say about Trump in a recent interview with the Financial Times. “I think Trump may be one of those figures in history,” said the former secretary of state, “who appears from time to time to mark the end of an era and to force it to give up its old pretenses.” One Western pretense about Russia, so ardently enforced by the likes of Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper (who, it may be safe to say, know less about world affairs and their history than Henry Kissinger), is that nothing really changed with the Soviet collapse and NATO had to turn aggressive in order to keep that menacing nation in its place.

Trump clearly doesn’t buy that pretense. He said during the campaign that NATO was obsolete. Then he backtracked, saying he only wanted other NATO members to pay their fair share of the cost of deterrence. He even confessed, after Hillary Clinton identified NATO as “the strongest military alliance in the history of the world,” that he only said NATO was obsolete because he didn’t know much about it. But he was learning—enough, it appears, to support as president Montenegro’s entry into NATO in 2017. Is Montenegro, with 5,332 square miles and some 620,000 citizens, really a crucial element in Europe’s desperate project to protect itself against Putin’s Russia?

We all know that Trump is a crude figure—not just in his disgusting discourse but in his fumbling efforts to execute political decisions. As a politician, he often seems like a doctor attempting to perform open-heart surgery while wearing mittens. His idle musings about leaving NATO are a case in point—an example of a politician who lacks the skill and finesse to nudge the country in necessary new directions.

But Kissinger has a point about the man. America and the world have changed, while the old ways of thinking have not kept pace. The pretenses of the old have blinded the status quo defenders into thinking nothing has changed. Trump, almost alone among contemporary American politicians, is asking questions to which the world needs new answers. NATO, in its current configuration and outlook, is a danger to peace, not a guarantor of it.


Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century

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Nigel Farage To Back Another “Vote Leave” Campaign If UK Holds Second Brexit Referendum

Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition.

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Via Zerohedge


Pro-European MPs from various political parties are pushing back against claims made by Prime Minister Theresa May’s government that a second Brexit referendum – which supporters have branded as a “People’s Vote” on May’s deal – would take roughly 14 months to organize, according to RT.

But while support for a second vote grows, one of the most notorious proponents of the original “Vote Leave” campaign is hinting at a possible return to politics to try and fight the effort.

After abandoning UKIP, the party he helped create, late last year, Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition. Farage also pointed out that a delay of Brexit Day would likely put it after the European Parliament elections in May.

“I think, I fear that the House of Commons is going to effectively overturn that Brexit. To me, the most likely outcome of all of this is an extension of Article 50. There could be another referendum,” he told Sky News.

According to official government guidance shown to lawmakers on Wednesday, which was subsequently leaked to the Telegraph, as May tries to head off a push by ministers who see a second referendum as the best viable alternative to May’s deal – a position that’s becoming increasingly popular with Labour Party MPs.

“In order to inform the discussions, a very short paper set out in factual detail the number of months that would be required, this was illustrative only and our position of course is that there will be no second referendum,,” May said. The statement comes as May has been meeting with ministers and leaders from all parties to try to find a consensus deal that could potentially pass in the House of Commons.

The 14 month estimate is how long May and her government expect it would take to pass the primary legislation calling for the referendum (seven months), conduct the question testing with the election committee (12 weeks), pass secondary legislation (six weeks) and conduct the campaigns (16 weeks).

May has repeatedly insisted that a second referendum wouldn’t be feasible because it would require a lengthy delay of Brexit Day, and because it would set a dangerous precedent that wouldn’t offer any more clarity (if some MPs are unhappy with the outcome, couldn’t they just push for a third referendum?). A spokesperson for No. 10 Downing Street said the guidance was produced purely for the purpose of “illustrative discussion” and that the government continued to oppose another vote.

Meanwhile, a vote on May’s “Plan B”, expected to include a few minor alterations from the deal’s previous iteration, has been called for Jan. 29, prompting some MPs to accuse May of trying to run out the clock. May is expected to present the new deal on Monday.

Former Tory Attorney General and pro-remainer MP Dominic Grieve blasted May’s timetable as wrong and said that the government “must be aware of it themselves,” while former Justice Minister Dr Phillip Lee, who resigned his cabinet seat in June over May’s Brexit policy, denounced her warning as “nonsense.”

As May pieces together her revised deal, more MPs are urging her to drop her infamous “red lines” (Labour in particular would like to see the UK remain part of the Customs Union), but with no clear alternative to May’s plan emerging, a delay of Brexit Day is looking like a virtual certainty.

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The National Security Agency Is A Criminal Organization

The National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Paul Craig Roberts

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Via Paul Craig Roberts…


Years before Edward Snowden provided documented proof that the National Security Agency was really a national insecurity agency as it was violating law and the US Constitution and spying indiscriminately on American citizens, William Binney, who designed and developed the NSA spy program revealed the illegal and unconstitutional spying. Binney turned whistleblower, because NSA was using the program to spy on Americans. As Binney was well known to the US Congress, he did not think he needed any NSA document to make his case. But what he found out was “Congress would never hear me because then they’d lose plausible deniability. That was really their key. They needed to have plausible deniability so they can continue this massive spying program because it gave them power over everybody in the world. Even the members of Congress had power against others [in Congress]; they had power on judges on the Supreme Court, the federal judges, all of them. That’s why they’re so afraid. Everybody’s afraid because all this data that’s about them, the central agencies — the intelligence agencies — they have it. And that’s why Senator Schumer warned President Trump earlier, a few months ago, that he shouldn’t attack the intelligence community because they’ve got six ways to Sunday to come at you. That’s because it’s like J. Edgar Hoover on super steroids. . . . it’s leverage against every member of parliament and every government in the world.”

To prevent whistle-blowing, NSA has “a program now called ‘see something, say something’ about your fellow workers. That’s what the Stasi did. That’s why I call [NSA] the new New Stasi Agency. They’re picking up all the techniques from the Stasi and the KGB and the Gestapo and the SS. They just aren’t getting violent yet that we know of — internally in the US, outside is another story.”

As Binney had no documents to give to the media, blowing the whistle had no consequence for NSA. This is the reason that Snowden released the documents that proved NSA to be violating both law and the Constitution, but the corrupt US media focused blame on Snowden as a “traitor” and not on NSA for its violations.

Whistleblowers are protected by federal law. Regardless, the corrupt US government tried to prosecute Binney for speaking out, but as he had taken no classified document, a case could not be fabricated against him.

Binney blames the NSA’s law-breaking on Dick “Darth” Cheney. He says NSA’s violations of law and Constitution are so extreme that they would have to have been cleared at the top of the government.

Binney describes the spy network, explains that it was supposed to operate only against foreign enemies, and that using it for universal spying so overloads the system with data that the system fails to discover many terrorist activities. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50932.htm

Apparently, the National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Unfortunately for Americans, there are many Americans who blindly trust the government and provide the means, the misuse of which is used to enslave us. A large percentage of the work in science and technology serves not to free people but to enslave them. By now there is no excuse for scientists and engineers not to know this. Yet they persist in their construction of the means to destroy liberty.

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