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US-ISIS alliance on verge of conquering major Syrian city

The important city of Der Zor in Syria is now surrounded by U.S.-backed ISIS jihadists, who are on the verge of retaking it from government forces.

Eric Zuesse

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The U.S. had paved the way, on 16 September 2016, for this conquest, by bombing Syria’s troops and weapons-compounds in Der Zor. Those government forces were protecting the residents there from ISIS mercenaries and weaponry, that are financed by Saudi Arabia, and armed by the U.S. and other members of the Saudi-led alliance.

As the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which at the time was under the leadership of Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn (who will be incoming U.S. President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor), had warned the rest of the Obama Administration in a cable on 12 August 2012:

“THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST [fundamentalist Sunni] PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS [U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey] TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE [pro-Russian and pro-Iranian] SYRIAN REGIME.”

The American journalist Seymour Hersh reported, on 1 January 2016 in the London Review of Books (after the New Yorker and other U.S. print news media had refused to publish his article), “Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership [Obama] about the dire consequences of toppling Assad.

The jihadists, he said, were in control of the [U.S.-backed] opposition [Obama’s ‘moderate Syrian rebels’].” Obama then fired Flynn, for opposing U.S. participation in the Saudi alliance to overthrow the secular and Russian-allied government of Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad.

After the election of Donald Trump (who hired Flynn back as his National Security Advisor), the U.S. Democratic Party and some influential Republicans have been accusing Mr. Trump of being, essentially, a Russian agent and a grave threat to U.S. national security — much like, in the 1950s, the far-right John Birch Society and U.S. Senator Joseph R. McCarthy had accused U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower of being ‘soft on communism’ if not outright pro-Soviet and a traitor in the White House.

The anonymous blogger who goes by the name of “Moon of Alabama” or “bernhard,” has been issuing most of the important news reports about the Syrian war, especially concerning these developing events in Der Zor.

On 11 December 2016, I headlined “Obama & Erdogan Move ISIS from Iraq to Syria, to Weaken Assad”, and reported, based upon earlier reports from “bernhard”, and from Turkey’s government, and other sources, that the U.S.-coalition (the Saudi-led) plan for ousting ISIS from Mosul in Iraq had been to force the ISIS jihadists in Mosul Iraq to choose between either being killed there, or else continuing their jihad by relocating themselves westward to Der Zor in Syria, and retaking for ISIS that city, by conquering the Syrian government’s forces there.

One of those sources, which was cited by “bernhard,” had tweeted on 12 October 2016: “Breaking news: Sources in #London say: ‘#US& #Saudi_Arabia concluded an agreement to let #ISIS leave #Mosul secretly& safely to #Syria’!” And that’s exactly what then happened. Note that, according to this tweet, it was the Saudis, not Obama’s regime, who made the deal. If the Saudis were acting on behalf of Obama, the U.S. aristocracy was in the driver’s seat, but that would have been highly unlikely, especially because Obama has routinely been doing the Sauds’ bidding. Included in that have been his efforts to block prosecution of the Saudis for having financed 9/11.)

For example: as one strong friend of the royal Arabs, Hillary Clinton, has said in private:

“Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

Also, Hillary Clinton said in her private communications:

“We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL [ISIS] and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”

Saudi Arabia is owned by the Saud family (the Thani family own Qatar); so, she knew that they are the main funders of Al Qaeda etcetera (or, like Osama bin Laden’s former bagman said of Al Qaeda’s financing, “Without the money of the — of the Saudi, you will have nothing”). That family controls the government, and all the rest of their aristocracy do whatever the Saud family tell them to do. Hillary wasn’t naive.

Bernhard’s January 17th report banners “How The U.S. Enabled ISIS To Take Deir Ezzor” (“Deir Ezzor” is a different Anglicization of “Der Zor”) and he simply assumes there that Syria and Russia will be defeated at Der Zor, and that the Saudi-led alliance, (commonly called “The West,” though since 2001 it’s led by the Sunni-fundamentalist Saud family who financed the 9/11 attacks and who financed Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups), will win.

That victory would mean exterminating all people there who oppose ISIS. If this plan succeeds, then the only way that Syria would be able to retake Der Zor will be to reduce the entire city to rubble, which would provide a field-day for anti-Russian propagandists, including Western ‘humanitarian’ agencies (such as “The White Helmets”).

Another well-informed blogger on the Syrian war is Ziad Fadel, at his “Syrian Perspectives”, and he headlined in his usual colorful style on January 14th, “Turk Cannibals Rob Cannibals of Their Body Parts; Stunning Defeat for ISIS at Dayr El-Zor in SAA [Syrian government] Counterattack”, and he described how three anti-ISIS jihadists had been injured by Syria’s army and sent to Turkish doctors who, apparently, removed valuable organs for sale to rich patients, before killing the injured anti-ISIS jihadists.

Ziad’s son Leith Fadel, who runs the excellent “Al Masdar News” site, headlined on January 17th, “Syrian Army attempts to lift the siege on Deir Ezzor Airport” and reported that the battle for Der Zor is by no means yet decided, though the ISIS side does currently have the upper hand.

Whether the assumption by “bernhard,” of ISIS victory at Der Zor, becomes true or not, the U.S.-Saudi alliance will immediately be testing the new American President, Trump, by forcing him to confront either the Saud family (the biggest foreign purchaser of U.S. weapons), or else the Russian government, and to choose, quickly, whether to continue Obama’s U.S. support for the Saud family, against Russia, and against Russia’s allies, especially against Iran and Syria (which almost all of the U.S. Congress want him to do).

The reason that there is no ‘peace dividend’ from the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union and end of its Warsaw Pact military alliance and end of their communism (especially after 2001), is that America’s “military-industrial complex” (as Dwight Eisenhower called it in 1961) has taken over the U.S. government, and they are refusing to let go of it.

America’s aristocracy (and the foreign billionaires who also control America’s ‘defense’ firms) are too heavily invested in it, to allow the government to be freed from its grip. Instead, they are determinedly and increasingly now building and buying deep underground luxury bomb-shelters for themselves and for their core people, and continuing to pay Senators and Congressmen whatever they need in order to defeat any potential political contenders who refuse to cooperate.

They mean business. Some people call this new America, “perpetual war for perpetual peace.” It is America’s trickle-down version of a ‘welfare state’. But what could trickle down at the end of it might be nuclear bombs, which wouldn’t be welfare for anybody, except possibly, the owners of that “military-industrial complex,” if they’d actually be enjoying high ‘welfare’, deep underground.

The 9/11 victims were merely baits for this operation. But for the Saud family — who are too wealthy for Forbes even to list them — the objective is instead world conquest, for their Sunni-fundamentalist sharia-law system.

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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Why did Trump recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory?

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 116.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine the reasons behind US President Trump’s sudden recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

Following Trump’s statements as US President, acting Israeli Foreign Minister is saying that Trump will make it official and sign an executive order to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Syrian border territory on Monday.

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Via DW

Israel says White House officials are preparing an official document to codify support for Israel’s sovereignty of the Golan Heights, which will be signed by US President Donald Trump on Monday.

The signing of the decree will be witnessed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during talks with Trump at the White House, Israel’s acting foreign minister, Israel Katz (pictured), said in a Tweet.

“Tomorrow, President Trump, in the presence of PM Netanyahu, will sign a decree recognizing Israel’s sovereignty on the Golan. Israel-US ties are closer than ever,” Katz said.

Israel seized the strategic plateau from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war, subsequently annexing it in 1981 in a move never recognized by the international community.

Trump’s tweet annoys allies

Trump broke with decades of US Middle East policy when he posted a Tweet on Thursday that said it was time to accept Israel’s widely-contested claim to the border territory.

The decision has been criticized by many US allies — Germany, Britain, France and the EU have all said they still consider the Golan Heights to be “occupied” by Israel.

Syria and other states in the region said the recognition, if confirmed, would violate international law.

Netanyahu has long pushed for Washington’s endorsement, and many analysts see Trump’s comments as a campaign gift ahead of Israel’s April 9 election.

In 2017, Trump drew condemnation throughout the Middle East when he recognized the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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Russia Gives US Red Line On Venezuela

Political force is out. Military force is out. Respect international law and Venezuela’s sovereignty. That’s Russia’s eminently reasonable ultimatum to Washington.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


At a high-level meeting in Rome this week, it seems that Russia reiterated a grave warning to the US – Moscow will not tolerate American military intervention to topple the Venezuelan government with whom it is allied.

Meanwhile, back in Washington DC, President Donald Trump was again bragging that the military option was still on the table, in his press conference with Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro. Trump is bluffing or not yet up to speed with being apprised of Russia’s red line.

The meeting in the Italian capital between US “special envoy” on Venezuelan affairs Elliot Abrams and Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov had an air of urgency in its arrangement. The US State Department announced the tête-à-tête only three days beforehand. The two officials also reportedly held their two-hour discussions in a Rome hotel, a venue indicating ad hoc arrangement.

Abrams is no ordinary diplomat. He is a regime-change specialist with a criminal record for sponsoring terrorist operations, specifically the infamous Iran-Contra affair to destabilize Nicaragua during the 1980s. His appointment by President Trump to the “Venezuela file” only underscores the serious intent in Washington for regime change in Caracas. Whether it gets away with that intent is another matter.

Moscow’s interlocutor, Sergei Ryabkov, is known to not mince his words, having earlier castigated Washington for seeking global military domination. He calls a spade a spade, and presumably a criminal a criminal.

The encounter in Rome this week was described as “frank” and “serious” – which is diplomatic code for a blazing exchange. The timing comes at a high-stakes moment, after Venezuela having been thrown into chaos last week from civilian power blackouts that many observers, including the Kremlin, blame on American cyber sabotage. The power grid outage followed a failed attempt by Washington to stage a provocation with the Venezuelan military over humanitarian aid deliveries last month from neighboring Colombia.

The fact that Washington’s efforts to overthrow the elected President Nicolas Maduro have so far floundered, might suggest that the Americans are intensifying their campaign to destabilize the country, with the objective of installing US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido. He declared himself “acting president” in January with Washington’s imprimatur.

Given that the nationwide power blackouts seem to have failed in fomenting a revolt by the civilian population or the military against Maduro, the next option tempting Washington could be the military one.

It seems significant that Washington has recently evacuated its last remaining diplomats from the South American country. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented on the evacuation by saying that having US personnel on the ground “was limiting” Washington’s scope for action. Also, American Airlines reportedly cancelled all its services to Venezuela in the past week. Again, suggesting that the US was considering a military intervention, either directly with its troops or covertly by weaponizing local proxies. The latter certainly falls under Abrams’ purview.

After the Rome meeting, Ryabkov said bluntly: “We assume that Washington treats our priorities seriously, our approach and warnings.”

One of those warnings delivered by Ryabkov is understood to have been that no American military intervention in Venezuela will be tolerated by Moscow.

For his part, Abrams sounded as if he had emerged from the meeting after having been given a severe reprimand. “No, we did not come to a meeting of minds, but I think the talks were positive in the sense that both sides emerged with a better understanding of the other’s views,” he told reporters.

“A better understanding of the other’s views,” means that the American side was given a red line to back off.

The arrogance of the Americans is staggering. Abrams seems, according to US reporting, to have flown to Rome with the expectation of working out with Ryabkov a “transition” or “compromise” on who gets the “title of president” of Venezuela.

That’s what he no doubt meant when he said after the meeting “there was not a meeting of minds”, but rather he got “a better understanding” of Russia’s position.

Washington’s gambit is a replay of Syria. During the eight-year war in that country, the US continually proffered the demand of a “political transition” which at the end would see President Bashar al Assad standing down. By contrast, Russia’s unflinching position on Syria has always been that it’s not up to any external power to decide Syria’s politics. It is a sovereign matter for the Syrian people to determine independently.

Nearly three years after Russia intervened militarily in Syria to salvage the Arab country from a US-backed covert war for regime change, the American side has manifestly given up on its erstwhile imperious demands for “political transition”. The principle of Syrian sovereignty has prevailed, in large part because of Russia’s trenchant defense of its Arab ally.

Likewise, Washington, in its incorrigible arrogance, is getting another lesson from Russia – this time in its own presumed “back yard” of Latin America.

It’s not a question of Russia being inveigled by Washington’s regime-change schemers about who should be president of Venezuela and “how we can manage a transition”. Moscow has reiterated countless times that the legitimate president of Venezuela is Nicolas Maduro whom the people voted for last year by an overwhelming majority in a free and fair election – albeit boycotted by the US-orchestrated opposition.

The framework Washington is attempting to set up of choosing between their desired “interim president” and incumbent Maduro is an entirely spurious one. It is not even worthy to be discussed because it is a gross violation of Venezuela’s sovereignty. Who is Washington to even dare try to impose its false choice?

On Venezuela, Russia is having to remind the criminal American rulers – again – about international law and respect for national sovereignty, as Moscow earlier did with regard to Syria.

And in case Washington gets into a huff and tries the military option, Moscow this week told regime-change henchman Abrams that that’s a red line. If Washington has any sense of rationale left, it will know from its Syria fiasco that Russia has Venezuela’s back covered.

Political force is out. Military force is out. Respect international law and Venezuela’s sovereignty. That’s Russia’s eminently reasonable ultimatum to Washington.

Now, the desperate Americans could still try more sabotage, cyber or financial. But their options are limited, contrary to what Trump thinks.

How the days of American imperialist swagger are numbered. There was a time when it could rampage all over Latin America. Not any more, evidently. Thanks in part to Russia’s global standing and military power.

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With RussiaGate Over Where’s Hillary?

Hillary is the epitome of envy. Envy is the destructive sin of coveting someone else’s life so much they are obsessed with destroying it. It’s the sin of Cain. She envies what Trump has, the Presidency.

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Authored by Tom Luongo:


During most of the RussiaGate investigation against Donald Trump I kept saying that all roads lead to Hillary Clinton.

Anyone with three working brain cells knew this, including ‘Miss’ Maddow, whose tears of disappointment are particularly delicious.

Robert Mueller’s investigation was designed from the beginning to create something out of nothing. It did this admirably.

It was so effective it paralyzed the country for more than two years, just like Europe has been held hostage by Brexit. And all of this because, in the end, the elites I call The Davos Crowd refused to accept that the people no longer believed their lies about the benefits of their neoliberal, globalist agenda.

Hillary Clinton’s ascension to the Presidency was to be their apotheosis along with the Brexit vote. These were meant to lay to rest, once and for all time, the vaguely libertarian notion that people should rule themselves and not be ruled by philosopher kings in some distant land.

Hillary’s failure was enormous. And the RussiaGate gambit to destroy Trump served a laundry list of purposes to cover it:

  1. Undermine his legitimacy before he even takes office.
  2. Accuse him of what Hillary actually did: collude with Russians and Ukrainians to effect the outcome of the election
  3. Paralyze Trump on his foreign policy desires to scale back the Empire
  4. Give aid and comfort to hurting progressives and radicalize them further undermining our political system
  5. Polarize the electorate over the false choice of Trump’s guilt.
  6. Paralyze the Dept. of Justice and Congress so that they would not uncover the massive corruption in the intelligence agencies in the U.S. and the U.K.
  7. Isolate Trump and take away every ally or potential ally he could have by turning them against him through prosecutor overreach.

Hillary should have been thrown to the wolves after she failed. When you fail the people she failed and cost them the money she cost them, you lose more than just your funding. What this tells you is that she has so much dirt on everyone involved, once this thing started everyone went along with it lest she burn them down as well.

Burnin’ Down da House

Hillary is the epitome of envy. Envy is the destructive sin of coveting someone else’s life so much they are obsessed with destroying it. It’s the sin of Cain

She envies what Trump has, the Presidency.

And she was willing to tear it down to keep him from having it no matter how much damage it would do. She’s worse than the Joker from The Dark Knight.

Because while the Joker is unfathomable to someone with a conscience there’s little stopping us from excising him from the community completely., even though Batman refuses.

Hillary hates us for who we are and what we won’t give her. And that animus drove her to blackmail the world while putting on the face of its savior.

And that’s what makes what comes next so obvious to me. RussiaGate was never a sustainable narrative. It was ludicrous from the beginning. And now that it has ended with a whimper there are a lot of angry, confused and scared people out there.

Mueller thought all he had to do was lean on corrupt people and threaten them with everything. They would turn on Trump. He would resign in disgrace from the public outcry.

It didn’t work. In the end Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and Roger Stone all held their ground or perjured themselves into the whole thing falling apart.

Andrew Weissman’s resignation last month was your tell there was nothing. Mueller would pursue this to the limit of his personal reputation and no further.

Just like so many other politicians.

Vote Your Pocketbook

With respect to Brexit I’ve been convinced that it would come down to reputations.

Would the British MP’s vote against their own personal best interests to do the bidding of the EU?

Would Theresa May eventually realize her historical reputation would be destroyed if she caves to Brussels and betrays Brexit in the end?

Always bet on the fecklessness of politicians. They will always act selfishly when put to the test. While leading RussiaGate, Mueller was always headed here if he couldn’t get someone to betray Trump.

And now his report is in. There are no new indictments. And by doing so he is saving his reputation for the future. And that is your biggest tell that HIllary’s blackmail is now worthless.

They don’t fear her anymore because RussiaGate outed her as the architect. Anything else she has is irrelevant in the face of trying to oust a sitting president from power.

The progressives that were convinced of Trump’s treason are bereft; their false hope stripped away like standing in front of a sandblaster. They will be raw, angry and looking for blood after they get over their denial.

Everyone else who was blackmailed into going along with this lunacy will begin cutting deals to save their skins. The outrage over this will not end. Trump will be President when he stands for re-election.

The Wolves Beckon

The Democrats do not have a chance against him as of right now. When he was caving on everything back in December it looked like he was done. That there was enough meat on the RussiaGate bones to make Nancy Pelosi brave.

Then she backed off on impeachment talk. Oops.

But the Democrats have a sincere problem. Their candidates have no solutions other than to embrace the crazy and go full Bolshevik. That is not a winning position.

Trump will kill them on ‘socialism.’

The Deep State and The Davos Crowd stand revealed and reviled.

If they don’t do something dramatic then the anger from the rest of the country will also be palpable come election time. Justice is not done simply by saying, “No evidence of collusion.”

It’s clear that RussiaGate is a failure of monumental proportions. Heads will have to roll. But who will be willing to fall on their sword at this point?

Comey? No. McCabe? No.

There is only one answer. And Obama’s people are still in place to protect him. I said last fall that “Hillary would indict herself.” And I meant it. Eventually her blackmail and drive to burn it all down led to this moment.

The circumstances are different than I expected back then, Trump didn’t win the mid-terms. But the end result was always the same. If there is no collusion, if RussiaGate is a scam, then all roads lead back to Hillary as the sacrificial lamb.

Because the bigger project, the erection of a transnational superstate, is bigger than any one person. Hillary is expendable.

Lies are expensive to maintain. The truth is cheap to defend. Think of the billions in opportunity costs associated with this. Once the costs rise above the benefits, change happens fast.

If there is any hope of salvaging the center of this country for the Democrats, the ones that voted against Hillary in 2016, then there is no reason anymore not to indict Hillary as the architect of RussiaGate.

We all know it’s the truth. So, the cheapest way out of this mess for them is to give the MAGApedes what they want, Hillary.

And hope that is enough bread and circuses to distract from the real storm ahead of us.

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