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U.S. regime change and war against Syria, disguised as a war against ISIS

The US is not fighting ISIS in Syria. Together with its ally Saudi Arabia it is using ISIS and other Wahhabi terrorist groups like Jabhat Al-Nusra to wage a war of aggression against Syria so that it can take control of Syria and gain possession of the resources of the Middle East.

Afra'a Dagher

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We may as well start with the US-led “anti-ISIS” coalition airstrikes on the Syrian Arab Army’s positions in the Thardeh Mountain in Deir El-Zour.

These airstrikes were an act of aggression against the Syrian Arab Army, which has been fighting terrorists from the beginning, whether these groups go by the name of the ‘Free Syrian Army’, ‘Al-Nusra Front’, ‘Fath al-Sham’, or what has now become the biggest phenomenon since the Taliban: ISIS.

This act of aggression was not just a violation of the ceasefire.  It was an act of direct help for the terrorists, for ISIS above all.

The Thardeh Mountains are strategically important for the defence of the Queries Airbase.  Their fall would also open up all of Deir El Zour to terrorist control.  From there ISIS can spread into other areas of Syria.

US bombing of Syrian Arab Army positions was intended to give ISIS air cover for an offensive intended to enable it to expand across Syria.

The US not only bombed Syrian military positions.  It also bombed bridges in Deir El-Zour province.  It did so in the knowledge that the bridges were the terrorists’ escape route to Iraq.  

After the bombing of the bridges this escape route has been closed.  Terrorists who want to escape Syria for Iraq can no longer do so.  They have to stay in Syria and wreak their havoc here, draining the power of the Syrian Arab Army and its Russian allies.

The blood of our Syrian soldiers and martyrs in Deir el-Zour has yet to dry. Yet instead of being ashamed of its lies the US claims it is “fighting ISIS.”

On the other side of the country there is Aleppo.  This has now become the centre of world attention.  However not all parts of Aleppo are receiving equal attention.   Only eastern Aleppo – the part where al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria) runs things – does so.

The US laments the failure of the ceasefire.  Of course it fails to say it was never committed to the ceasefire in the first place.

The US rushed to accuse the Syrian Arab Army and Russia of targeting a humanitarian convoy which was in “rebel”-held territory, despite the fact that Russian videos show no Syrian or Russian jets were there.  The US together with Britain and France called on the UN Security Council to treat this as a war crime and to impose a no-fly zone over Syria.

The party which should be asking the UN Security Council for an emergency meeting to end the aggression against it is Syria, just as the party which should be tried for war crimes is the US – first and foremost for bombing Syrian soldiers in the Thardeh Mountains with full intent and knowledge when a ceasefire was in place.

The US and its allies claim to be concerned about a humanitarian catastrophe in eastern Aleppo.  Their real concern is not for Aleppo or its people.  It is for their terrorist proxies there.  Should the Syrian government finally liberate eastern Aleppo it would be a shattering blow for the US’s ambitions in Syria.  Their concern is not for Aleppo.  It is just cover for supporting the terrorists.

It is also a way of threatening Russia and Syria with the possibility of military conflict with the United States if they do not bend to its demands.

Most people long ago fled the Al-Nusra controlled eastern part of the Aleppo for the rest of Aleppo, which is protected by the Syrian military.  However some citizens have not been able to flee. 

This is because the terrorists stopped them doing so, so that they can use them as human shields.   Of course we do not hear one word about that in the Western media or in the halls of the UN Security Council.

Take what Steffan De Mistura, the U.N. envoy, said in a direct appeal to the al-Nusra leaders in eastern Aleppo

“If you decide to leave with dignity, and with your weapons, to Idlib or  anywhere you wanted to go, I personally, I’m ready, physically, to accompany you”

What is this if not an admission of the sort of criminals these “rebels” are, and not by the way just in eastern Aleppo but throughout Syria?

De Mistura’s call is actually criminal and absurd.  Would any other country ever agree to allow terrorists to leave one part of the country to go to another?  Would it have the full approval of De Mistura if it did?  Would any other country in the same position not use all the means in its power to destroy the terrorists and protect its citizens? 

Ask Mr. Hollande how they deal with just one terrorist in France; how many bullets did French security use to shoot down just one terrorist last year in Toulouse?

The civilians in eastern Aleppo the West pretends to care about and about whose humanitarian catastrophe we hear so much, are not the victims of Russia or of the Syrian government, which is trying to rescue them.  They are the victims of al-Nusra and of the other terrorists backed by Saudi Arabia who are using them as human shields.

Which brings us to Saudi Arabia.  Let us consider what Saudi Arabia is doing to Yemen where the Yemeni people are under brutal Saudi airstrikes aimed at schools, hospitals, cemeteries, and weddings.  There are no UN Security Council emergency meetings to condemn Saudi atrocities in Yemen, or to stop the Saudis killing the Yemeni people; just as you will never hear Western leaders say in the UN Security Council that it is the Saudis who are the puppet-masters of the terrorists and the source of the Wahhabi ideology of ISIS and of every other terrorist Islamist group in the world.

So far as the West is concerned its policy is “Let Arab Kill Arab” so that it can march on to its new Cold War in the Middle East, a war that is not so cold for us, the people who live there.

Mrs. Clinton does not even hide the fact. Wikileaks has revealed her straightforward gloating about it in a spirit of “Let them kill and be killed”. 

Meanwhile the Western media runs a daily stream of anti-Muslim propaganda intended to justify the endless aggressions against the Palestinians and other Muslims and Arabs.  

The real godfathers of the terrorists, the real Wahhabists, the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, are allies of the West and Israel, though only in secret in the case of the latter.  However the reality of their alliance with Israel is exposed daily by their actions.  

First and foremost this is by their terrorist war against the Syrian people and the Syrian Arab Army, even whilst Israel seizes Palestinian lands, drives Palestinians from their homes, and builds more and more illegal settlements on Arab and Palestinian land.

Though the Saudis constantly declare their concern for Islam, where is their concern for the al-Aqsa mosque?  What do they do about it?  Their silence and their failure to act shows where their true allegiance is.

The US is fighting a war for the resources of the Middle East. It is not a war fought for democracy or for freedom or for the people living there.  If you think it is then just look at who stands besides the US when it talks about “democracy in Syria” and “democracy in the Middle East”: Saudi Arabia, the US’s ally and friend, the greatest autocracy and the most monstrous tyranny in the whole Middle East and in the Arab and Muslim world.

Syria is the point in the Middle East where the gas and oil pipelines meet. It enjoys a key strategic position in the eastern Mediterranean.  The Arab and Russian oil and gas industries would be greatly affected if the US and its Wahhabist allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar ever achieved control of Syria.  It is for this reason that Qatar, the US, Israel, and Turkey, are all united against Syria.

Beyond Syria are Lebanon and Gaza, also with important gas resources, and Libya and Egypt.

This is the true reason for the US wars in the region. This is why the US and its allies constantly agitate for military action in Syria, itch to bomb Syrian airbases, and seek to protect the Wahhabi fighters and let them spread all across Syria until it is utterly destroyed.

The only ones who are really fighting terrorists in Syria, and who are fighting them on behalf of all humanity, are the Syrian people and their army, the Syrian Arab Army, and its allies: Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah.

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It’s Official: ‘Britain’s Democracy Now At Risk’

It’s not just campaigners saying it any more: democracy is officially at risk, according to parliament’s own digital, culture, media and sport committee.

The Duran

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Via True Publica, authored by Jessica Garland – Electoral Reform Society:


Britain’s main campaign rules were drawn up in the late 1990s, before social media and online campaigning really existed. This has left the door wide open to disinformation, dodgy donations and foreign interference in elections.

There is a real need to close the loopholes when it comes to the online Wild West.

Yet in this year’s elections, it was legitimate voters who were asked to identify themselves, not those funnelling millions into political campaigns through trusts, or those spreading fake news.

The government trialled mandatory voter ID in five council areas in May. In these five pilot areas alone about 350 people were turned away from polling stations for not having their papers with them — and they didn’t return. In other words, they were denied their vote.

Yet last year, out of more than 45 million votes cast across the country, there were just 28 allegations of personation (pretending to be someone else at the polling station), the type of fraud voter ID is meant to tackle.

Despite the loss of 350 votes, the pilots were branded a success by the government. Yet the 28 allegations of fraud (and just one conviction) are considered such a dire threat that the government is willing to risk disenfranchising many more legitimate voters to try to address it. The numbers simply don’t add up.

Indeed, the fact-checking website FullFact noted that in the Gosport pilot, 0.4 per cent of voters did not vote because of ID issues. That’s a greater percentage than the winning margin in at least 14 constituencies in the last election. Putting up barriers to democratic engagement can have a big impact. In fact, it can swing an election.

In the run-up to the pilots, the Electoral Reform Society and other campaigners warned that the policy risked disenfranchising the most marginalised groups in society.

The Windrush scandal highlights exactly the sort of problems that introducing stricter forms of identity could cause: millions of people lack the required documentation. It’s one of the reasons why organisations such as the Runnymede Trust are concerned about these plans.

The Electoral Commission has now published a report on the ID trials, which concludes that “there is not yet enough evidence to fully address concerns” on this front.

The small number of pilots, and a lack of diversity, meant that sample sizes were too small to conclude anything about how the scheme would affect various demographic groups. Nor can the pilots tell us about the likely impact of voter ID in a general election, where the strain on polling staff would be far greater and a much broader cross-section of electors turns out to vote.

The Electoral Reform Society, alongside 22 organisations, campaigners and academics, has now called on the constitution minister to halt moves to impose this policy. The signatories span a huge cross-section of society, including representatives of groups that could be disproportionately impacted by voter ID, from Age UK to Liberty and from the British Youth Council to the Salvation Army and the LGBT Foundation.

Voters know what our democratic priorities should be: ensuring that elections are free from the influence of big donors. Having a secure electoral register. Providing balanced media coverage. Transparency online.

We may be little wiser as a result of the government’s voter ID trials. Yet we do know where the real dangers lie in our politics.

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Corrupt Robert Mueller’s despicable Paul Manafort trial nears end (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 79.

Alex Christoforou

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Paul Manafort’s legal team rested its case on Tuesday without calling a single witness. This sets the stage for closing arguments before the judge hands the case to jurors for a verdict.

Manafort’s defense opted to call no witnesses, choosing instead to rely on the team’s cross-examination of government witnesses including a very devious Rick Gates, Manafort’s longtime deputy, and several accountants, bookkeepers and bankers who had financial dealings with Manafort.

Closing arguments are expected on Wednesday. Jurors may begin deliberating shortly after receiving their final instructions from judge Ellis.

Manafort case has nothing to do with Mueller’s ‘Trump-Russia collusion witch-hunt’ as the former DC lobbyist is accused of defrauding banks to secure loans and hiding overseas bank accounts and income from U.S. tax authorities.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III denied a defense motion to acquit Manafort on the charges because prosecutors hadn’t proved their case.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the circus trial of Trump’s former Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, and how crooked cop Robert Mueller is using all his power to lean on Manafort, so as to conjure up something illegal against US President Donald Trump.

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Via Zerohedge

Prosecutors allege he dodged taxes on millions of dollars made from his work for a Ukrainian political party, then lied to obtain bank loans when cash stopped flowing from the project.

The courtroom was sealed for around two hours Tuesday morning for an unknown reason, reopening around 11:30 a.m. with Manafort arriving around 10 minutes later.

The decision to rest their case without calling any witnesses follows a denial by Judge T.S. Ellis III to acquit Manafort after his lawyers tried to argue that the special counsel had failed to prove its case at the federal trial.

The court session began at approximately 11:45 a.m.:

“Good afternoon,” began defense attorney Richard Westling, who corrected himself and said, “Good morning.”

“I’m as surprised as you are,” Judge Ellis responded.

Ellis then heard brief argument from both sides on the defense’s motion for acquittal, focusing primarily on four counts related to Federal Savings Bank.

Federal Savings Bank was aware of the status of Paul Manafort’s finances,” Westling argued. “They came to the loans with an intent of doing business with Mr. Manafort.”

Prosecutor Uzo Asonye fired back, saying that that even if bank chairman Steve Calk overlooked Manafort’s financial woes, it would still be a crime to submit fraudulent documents to obtain the loans.

“Steve Calk is not the bank,” Asonye argued, adding that while Caulk may have “had a different motive” — a job with the Trump administration — “I’m not really sure there’s evidence he knew the documents were false.”

Ellis sided with prosecutors.

The defense makes a significant argument about materiality, but in the end, I think materiality is an issue for the jury,” he said, adding. “That is true for all the other counts… those are all jury issues.”

Once that exchange was over, Manafort’s team was afforded the opportunity to present their case, to which lead attorney Kevin Downing replied “The defense rests.

Ellis then began to question Manafort to ensure he was aware of the ramifications of that decision, to which the former Trump aide confirmed that he did not wish to take the witness stand.

Manafort, in a dark suit and white shirt, stood at the lectern from which his attorneys have questioned witnesses, staring up at the judge. Ellis told Manafort he had a right to testify, though if he chose not to, the judge would tell jurors to draw no inference from that. – WaPo

Ellis asked Manafort four questions – his amplified voice booming through the courtroom:

Had Manafort discussed the decision with his attorney?

“I have, your honor,” Manafort responded, his voice clear.

Was he satisfied with their advice?

“I am, your honor,” Manafort replied.

Had he decided whether he would testify?

“I have decided,” Manafort said.

“Do you wish to testify?” Ellis finally asked.

“No, sir,” Manafort responded.

And with that, Manafort returned to his seat.

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One more step toward COMPLETE de-dollarization

Over the past several months, sitting here in Moscow, it has become increasingly obvious that while the US Dollar is unquestionably the world’s leading and liquid reserve currency, it comes with an ever increasing high price (of sovereignty and FX) if you are not the USA.

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I have opined and written about the trend towards de-dollarization before, but with the latest US –Turkish spat it has hit the wallets, mattresses and markets of a number of countries, be they aligned with Washington or not. One thing they all have in common was that in this recent era of low cost available money, many happily fed at the US dollar trough.

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This serves as a further albeit loud example to many nations for the need to diversify to an extent away from the greenback, or risk being caught up in its volatile, sudden and unpredictably risky increasingly politicized directions.

The Dollar and the geopolitical winds from Washington are today as never before openly being used as policy, which can be called the “carrot and stick”, a distinctly Pavlovian approach. Sadly, few if any can make out where or what the carrot is in this recent US worldview branding.

Tariffs, sanctions, pressured exchange rates, the Federal Reserve loosening or tightening, trade agreements and laws ignored or simply trashed… there is a lot going on which seems to democratically affect America’s allies as well as those on Washington’s politically popular and dramatic “poo-poo” list.

Just now from a press conference in Turkey, I watched Russia’s foreign minister Lavrov say that through the actions shown by the US, the role of the US dollar as a secure global reserve currency for free trade will diminish as more countries switch to national currencies for international trade.

He clearly spoke for many nations when he said; “It will make more and more countries that are not even affected by US sanctions go away from the dollar and rely on more reliable, contractual partners in terms of currency use.” Putting the situation in a nutshell he went on to say “I have already said this about sanctions: they are illegal, they undermine all principles of global trade and principles approved by UN decisions, under which unilateral measures of economic duress are unlawful.”

Turkey, a long-standing NATO ally and a key line of western defense during the long cold war years fully agreed with his Russian counterpart. The Turkish foreign minister Mr. Cavosoglu openly warned that US sanctions or trade embargoes can and are being unilaterally imposed against any country at any time if they do not toe DC’s political line.

He said at the same press conference; “Today, sanctions are imposed on Turkey, and tomorrow they can be used against any other European state. If the United States wants to maintain respect in the international arena, then it is necessary for it to be respectful of the interests of other countries.”

What is happening in Turkey is symptomatic of the developed and emerging markets globally. When trillions of dollars of newly issued lucre was up for grabs, thanks to several developed country central banks, it was comparatively easy for governments and companies just like Turkey’s to borrow funds denominated in dollars and not their national currencies.

Turkey has relied on foreign-currency debt more than most EM’s. Corporate, financial and other debt denominated mostly in dollars, approximates close to 70% of it’s economy. Therefore as the Turkish lira plunges, it is very costly for those companies to repay their dollar-denominated loans, and even now it is patently clear many will not.

The concern rattling around the underbelly of the global markets is what can be reasonably expected for assets and economies that were inflated by cheap debt, the United States included. All this points not so much to a banking crisis as has happened eight years ago, but a systemic financial market crisis.

This is a new one, and I doubt if any QE, QT, NIRPs, or ZIRPs will make much of a difference, despite the rocket-high equity markets the US has been displaying.

One financial trader I spoke to, whom I have known since the early 1980’s (and I thought him ancient then) muttered to me “we’re gettin’ into the ecstasy stage, nothing but the high matters, everything else including the VIX is seen as boring denial, and not the warning tool it is. Better start loading up on gold.”

Meanwhile, de-dollarization is ongoing in Russia and is carefully studied by a host of countries, especially as the Russian government has not yet finished selling off US debt; it still has just a few billion to go. The Russian Finance Minister A. Siluanov said this past Sunday that Russia would continue decreasing holdings of Treasuries in response to sanctions.

The finance minister went on to say that, Russia is also considering distancing itself from using the US dollar for international trade, calling it an unreliable, conditional and hence risky tool for payments.

Between March and May this year, Russia’s US debt holdings were sold down by $81 billion, which is 84% of its total US debt holdings, and while I don’t know the current figure it is certain to be even less.

The latest round of tightening sanctions screws against Russia were imposed by the State Department under a chemical and biological warfare law and should be going into effect on August 22. This in spite of the fact that no proof was ever shown, not under any established national or international law, or with any of several global biochemical conventions, not even in the ever entertaining court of public opinion.

Whatever Russia may continue to do in its relationship with US debt or the dollar, the fact of the matter is that Russia is not a heavyweight in this particular financial arena, and the direct effects of Russia’s responses are negligible. However, the indirect effects are huge as they reflect what many countries (allied or unallied with the US) see as Washington’s overbearing and more than slightly unipolar trade and geopolitical advantage quests, be they Mexico, Canada, the EU, or anyone else on any hemisphere of this globe.

Some of the potential indirect effects over time may be a similar sell-off or even gradual reduction of US debt exposure from China or any one of several dozens of countries deciding to reduce their exposure to US debt by reducing their purchases and waiting for existing Treasuries to mature. In either case, the trend is there and is not going away anytime soon.

When Russia clears its books of US dollarized debt, then who will be next in actively diversifying their US debt risk? Then what might be the fate of the US Dollar, and what value then will be the international infusions to finance America’s continually growing debt, or fuel the funds needed for further market growth? Value and the energy of money has no politics, it ultimately trends towards areas where there is a secure business dynamic. That being said, looks like we are now and will be living through the most interesting of disruptive times.

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