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40 Yemen children massacred with US-made bomb used in Saudi airstrike (VIDEO)

Airstrike signifies US in yet another bloody war, this one in Yemen, for reasons few Americans know or care about, and the death toll is high.

Seraphim Hanisch

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On 9 August, a Saudi Arabian airstrike against targets in Yemen was carried out. That strike was a joint effort by a coalition that included the United Arab Emirates and the United States as well. However the American Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, maintained that the US is not “engaged” in the civil war that is taking place in Yemen.

The Raytheon MK-82 bomb fragments found in the wreckage of a school bus that was hit in the strike say otherwise, and they say it to the tune of the forty children that were in the bus when it was hit. The lost children comprise the majority of the 51 people who lost their lives in the strike, which also injured another 79 people.

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CNN International reported further on September 2 that the Saudi-led coalition admitted making a mistake in the deadly attack. However the language was vague, saying there were “mistakes in compliance to the rules of engagement.” CNN gave a brief synopsis of the war:

Yemen’s civil war began in early 2015 when Houthi rebels — a minority Shiite group from the north of the country — drove out the US-backed government and took over the capital, Sanaa. The crisis quickly escalated into a multisided war, with neighboring Saudi Arabia leading a coalition of Gulf states against the Houthis. The coalition is advised and supported by the United States and the UK, among other nations.

The Real News Network (www.therealnews.com) covered this attack and the US denial of involvement.

The MK-82 bomb fragments show at least that the US is supplying weapons to the Saudis for the prosecution of their war against the Yemeni forces. When State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert was asked for an independent investigation into this incident, she declined:

HEATHER NAUERT:And we call upon all parties in any kind of situation like this to take appropriate measures to try to mitigate the risk of civilian casualties. DOD and other entities put out reports on this after the fact as they all start to investigate. And so we will look forward to any information on that.

SPEAKER:Right. But my question is, you don’t, you don’t see a need for there to be something other than a coalition investigation. You don’t see a need for an independent-.

HEATHER NAUERT:Matt, I’m not going to get ahead- this is something that is fresh, that just happened, so I’m not going to get ahead of any kind of investigation that may take place.

To be fair, there is not really any better answer Mrs. Nauert could give, according to the rules and regulations of her employer. However, this is also convenient cover to dodge the real issue, that being the US being involved in yet another piece of military action somewhere in the world, largely unknown the public.

Real News’ host Aaron Maté interviewed a Mr. Nasser Arrabyee, who is a journalist and filmmaker and a Yemeni. He gave some “on the ground” facts about the situation, which we quote here (written as transcribed, with emphases added):

AARON MATÉ: … Tell us what you know about the funerals today, and what you know about what happened during the bombing.

NASSER ARRABYEE: Thank you very much for your interest in Yemen, because what Yemen needs is more attention to such war crimes, Saudi, U.S-Saudi war crimes. For the funeral of today, tens of thousands attended this funeral. Funeral of the children who were killed in their bus on August 9. That is the latest U.S.-Saudi war crimes. It is not the first, and maybe not the last, of course. So people who attended to Sa’dah from many provinces, not only from Sa’dah. And it was a funeral with grandeur and pageantry as a sign of defiance, because defiance, when we say defiance we mean Yemenis are defending themselves. Yemenis are not attacking anyone. These crimes are not against only Yemen humans, but against everyone. These crimes threaten everyone in this globe.

This is why Yemenis were interested, and they prepared very well for this funeral. Not just to exploit, as some people say, no. Not to exploit the blood of children, no. But it’s OK to tell people, because we don’t want these children, Yemenis don’t want these children to, to be killed twice, to be killed wrongly and then to be killed by not talking about them, about their – their problem or why they were killed.

So this is why Yemenis were prepared very well for this funeral, just to send a message to the world, too, that U.S. war crimes did not stop for four years, now. It is only one crime of hundreds, and countless U.S. war crimes over the four years, over the last four years.

AARON MATÉ: And Nasser, in terms of, in terms of the bombing, tell us what you know. You circulated on social media. A photograph taken from the scene of the bomb fragments that appear to show that the bombs were MK82, made by Raytheon, sold to Saudi Arabia as part of the critical U.S. support that has been provided for this war. So tell us what you know about the bombing itself, the bombing scene, and the presence of these U.S.-made bombs.

NASSER ARRABYEE: For the U.S.-made bombs are not only in this, are not only found or were not only found in this in this attack. They were found in many, many, many, many, many more. And everybody saw them. But for this in particular, it was very clear that these remnants that we boasted, that everyone boasted in social media, were from that site. There were many people who are independent, who are not Yemenis, reporters of some international media and also some people, some representatives of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. And I mean, there are some representatives here in Yemen. And now they are collecting these things. And if anyone has doubts about this, what these things are and where they came from, they could also make sure.

And what Yemenis want- what Yemenis want, and I am Yemeni and I want also, we want the international community and anyone who is interested in these things just to say, simply- OK to doubt. We don’t want people to believe us, OK. But we want to be able to say why Saudis, why Saudis don’t want the investigation. The Saudis, you know, refused investigations three times now, as the investigation was demanded by the international community, by the U.N. Security by the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva. And Saudis refused it three times now. So why Saudis refused the investigations? We want investigations. This is a simple thing.

AARON MATÉ: Nasser, finally, let me ask you your response to the head of the Pentagon, Defense Secretary James Mattis. He was asked on Sunday about this bombing where U.S. bombs were found, and this is what he said. He said,”We are not engaged in the civil war. We will help to prevent, you know, the killing of innocent people.”

And then he went on to say that he will dispatch a three star general to Saudi Arabia to help find out what happened. But I was curious to get your thoughts on the head of the U.S. military, James Mattis, saying that theU.S. is not engaged in the civil war in Yemen.

NASSER ARRABYEE: This is very funny. You know, James Mattis is not talking about Saudis because they, you know, they, Trump loves Saudis, and James Mattis loves Saudis, and they love their dirty money. This is OK. But let me tell you something as Yemeni, an observer, as an observer, as a journalist, I would tell you that what engagement would mean if, if they refueled the airplanes in the middle of the sky, and if they, if they do the surveillance and the reconnaissance, and the minesweeping, and selling their weapons. And so what would- I mean, what more James Mattis wants to say we are engaged? He’s doing all this. He’s doing all these things. And we as Yemenis, we, from day one we are sure that Saudis would not have gone to the war at all if there is no, I mean, without the U.S. approval, without the U.S. consent, without the U.S. support and everything.

So this is very funny. I mean, everybody knows that America is doing this, and America is killing Yemen. Unfortunately. You know, I myself, you know, I myself am, you know, as secular- I’m secularist. I’m not Shiite, I’m not Sunni. But what I’m seeing with my eyes and what I’m hearing is something that, that is, you know, violating everything that I know about America, and about the value, American values, and human rights, and democracy, and all these things. So this is something that is, you know, when we see this senior official saying this, it’s very funny. I mean, it’s, it’s destroying the U.S. values, unfortunately.

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Nicole Temple
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Nicole Temple

Here is an interesting look at how American companies are heavily involved in arming Saudi Arabia:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2017/11/saudi-arabias-military-capabilities.html

The United States has heavily impacted the military balance that currently exists in the MIddle East.

tom
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tom

“Matt, I’m not going to get ahead- this is something that is fresh, that just happened, so I’m not going to get ahead of any kind of investigation that may take place”.

And that will be the answer for the next few years – at which point it will have become “old news” and no one will be interested.

And so it goes.

tom
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tom

“Matt, I’m not going to get ahead- this is something that is fresh, that just happened, so I’m not going to get ahead of any kind of investigation that may take place”.

But Matt had just asked her if there was going to be an independent investigation. Her answer to that reasonable question is the she doesn’t want to preempt “any kind of investigation that may take place”.

Way to answer a completely different question!

tom
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tom

‘However the American Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, maintained that the US is not “engaged” in the civil war that is taking place in Yemen’. Typically gutless – the reaction you’d expect of a yellow-bellied Pentagon desk surfer. If the USA is going to murder Yemeni civilians wholesale, at least they could be honest enough to do it themselves, instead of handing the weapons to their cowardly, incompetent stooges to do the dirty work. Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane and Hitler were mass murderers on an immense scale – but at least they did not try to weasel out… Read more »

jmg
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jmg

Actor Jim Carrey’s Art Goes Viral: “Our Missile, Our Crime” In Yemen
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-18/actor-jim-carreys-art-goes-viral-our-missile-our-crime-yemen

john vieira
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john vieira

It is horrific…but the play acts are the same…both sides take umbrage every time children are involved, and the weapons used, who delivered them and who supplied them….War is “filthy” always was and always will be and the “innocent” have always paid the price, unwittingly. There really is NO way to avoid these scenarios…unless maybe the attacking force has “eyes on the ground” within enemy territory to verify/identify the targets and supply exact co-ordinates for artillery/bombing/missile strikes…The people who STARTED the “war” in the first place, for whatever reasons, are the only ones to blame.

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EXPLOSIVE: Michael Cohen sentencing memo exposes serial liar with nothing to offer Mueller (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 38.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at the Michael Cohen sentencing memo which paints the picture of a man who was not as close to Trump as he made it out to be…a serial liar and cheat who leveraged his thin connections to the Trump organization for money and fame.

It was Cohen himself who proudly labelled himself as Trump’s “fixer”. The sentencing memo hints at the fact that even Mueller finds no value to Cohen in relation to the ongoing Trump-Russia witch hunt investigation.

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Via Axios

Special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in New York have each submitted sentencing memos for President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, after Cohen pleaded guilty in two different cases related to his work for Trump and the Trump Organization.

The big picture: The Southern District of New York recommended Cohen serve a range of 51 to 63 months for four crimes — “willful tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, illegal campaign contributions, and making false statements to Congress.” Mueller, meanwhile, did not take a position on the length of Cohen’s statement, but said he has made substantial efforts to assist the investigation.

Southern District of New York

Mueller investigation

Michael J. Stern, a federal prosecutor with the Justice Department for 25 years in Detroit and Los Angeles noted via USA Today

In support of their request that he serve no time in prison, Cohen’s attorneys offered a series of testimonials from friends who described the private Michael Cohen as a “truly caring” man with a “huge heart” who is not only “an upstanding, honorable, salt of the earth man” but also a “selfless caretaker.”

The choirboy portrayed by Cohen’s lawyers stands in sharp opposition to Cohen’s public persona as Trump’s legal bulldog, who once threatened a reporter with: “What I’m going to do to you is going to be f—ing disgusting. Do you understand me?”

Prosecutors focused their sentencing memo on Cohen as Mr. Hyde. Not only did they detail Cohen’s illegal activities, which include millions of dollars of fraud, they also recognized the public damage that stemmed from his political crimes — describing Cohen as “a man who knowingly sought to undermine core institutions of our democracy.”

Rebuffing efforts by Cohen’s attorneys to recast him as a good guy who made a few small mistakes, prosecutors cited texts, statements of witnesses, recordings, documents and other evidence that proved Cohen got ahead by employing a “pattern of deception that permeated his professional life.” The prosecutors attributed Cohen’s crimes to “personal greed,” an effort to “increase his power and influence,” and a desire to maintain his “opulent lifestyle.”

Perhaps the most damning reveal in the U.S. Attorney’s sentencing memo is that Cohen refused to fully cooperate. That’s despite his public relations campaign to convince us that he is a new man who will cooperate with any law enforcement authority, at any time, at any place.

As a former federal prosecutor who handled hundreds of plea deals like Cohen’s, I can say it is extremely rare for any credit to be recommended when a defendant decides not to sign a full cooperation deal. The only reason for a refusal would be to hide information. The prosecutors said as much in their sentencing memo: Cohen refused “to be debriefed on other uncharged criminal conduct, if any, in his past,” and “further declined” to discuss “other areas of investigative interest.”

 

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Canada to Pay Heavy Price for Trudeau’s Groupie Role in US Banditry Against China

Trudeau would had to have known about the impending plot to snatch Huawei CFO Wanzhou and moreover that he personally signed off on it.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


You do have to wonder about the political savvy of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government. The furious fallout from China over the arrest of a senior telecoms executive is going to do severe damage to Canadian national interests.

Trudeau’s fawning over American demands is already rebounding very badly for Canada’s economy and its international image.

The Canadian arrest – on behalf of Washington – of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, seems a blatant case of the Americans acting politically and vindictively. If the Americans are seen to be acting like bandits, then the Canadians are their flunkies.

Wanzhou was detained on December 1 by Canadian federal police as she was boarding a commercial airliner in Vancouver. She was reportedly handcuffed and led away in a humiliating manner which has shocked the Chinese government, media and public.

The business executive has since been released on a $7.4 million bail bond, pending further legal proceedings. She is effectively being kept under house arrest in Canada with electronic ankle tagging.

To add insult to injury, it is not even clear what Wanzhou is being prosecuted for. The US authorities have claimed that she is guilty of breaching American sanctions against Iran by conducting telecoms business with Tehran. It is presumed that the Canadians arrested Wanzhou at the request of the Americans. But so far a US extradition warrant has not been filed. That could take months. In the meantime, the Chinese businesswoman will be living under curfew, her freedom denied.

Canadian legal expert Christopher Black says there is no juridical case for Wanzhou’s detention. The issue of US sanctions on Iran is irrelevant and has no grounds in international law. It is simply the Americans applying their questionable national laws on a third party. Black contends that Canada has therefore no obligation whatsoever to impose those US laws regarding Iran in its territory, especially given that Ottawa and Beijing have their own separate bilateral diplomatic relations.

In any case, what the real issue is about is the Americans using legal mechanisms to intimidate and beat up commercial rivals. For months now, Washington has made it clear that it is targeting Chinese telecoms rivals as commercial competitors in a strategic sector. US claims about China using telecoms for “spying” and “infiltrating” American national security are bogus propaganda ruses to undermine these commercial rivals through foul means.

It also seems clear from US President Donald Trump’s unsubtle comments this week to Reuters, saying he would “personally intervene” in the Meng case “if it helped trade talks with China”, that the Huawei executive is being dangled like a bargaining chip. It was a tacit admission by Trump that the Americans really don’t have a legal case against her.

Canada’s foreign minister Chrystia Freeland bounced into damage limitation mode following Trump’s thuggish comments. She said that the case should not be “politicized” and that the legal proceedings should not be tampered with. How ironic is that?

The whole affair has been politicized from the very beginning. Meng’s arrest, or as Christopher Black calls it “hostage-taking”, is driven by Washington’s agenda of harassment against China for commercial reasons, under a legal pretext purportedly about Iranian sanctions.

When Trump revealed the cynical expediency of him “helping to free Wanzhou”, then the Canadians realized they were also being exposed for the flunkies that they are for American banditry. That’s why Freeland was obliged to quickly adopt the fastidious pretense of legal probity.

Canadian premier Justin Trudeau has claimed that he wasn’t aware of the American request for Wanzhou’s detention. Trudeau is being pseudo. For such a high-profile infringement against a senior Chinese business leader, Ottawa must have been fully briefed by the Americans. Christopher Black, the legal expert, believes that Trudeau would had to have known about the impending plot to snatch Wanzhou and moreover that he personally signed off on it.

What Trudeau and his government intended to get out of performing this sordid role for American thuggery is far from clear. Maybe after being verbally mauled by Trump as “weak and dishonest” at the G7 summit earlier this year, in June, Trudeau decided it was best to roll over and be a good little puppy for the Americans in their dirty deed against China.

But already it has since emerged that Canada is going to pay a very heavy price indeed for such dubious service to Washington. Beijing has warned that it will take retaliation against both Washington and Ottawa. And it is Ottawa that is more vulnerable to severe repercussions.

This week saw two Canadian citizens, one a former diplomat, detained in China on spying charges.

Canadian business analysts are also warning that Beijing can inflict harsh economic penalties on Ottawa. An incensed Chinese public have begun boycotting Canadian exports and sensitive Canadian investments in China are now at risk from being blocked by Beijing. A proposed free trade deal that was being negotiated between Ottawa and Beijing now looks dead in the water.

And if Trudeau’s government caves in to the excruciating economic pressure brought to bear by Beijing and then abides by China’s demand to immediately release Meng Wanzhou, Ottawa will look like a pathetic, gutless lackey to Washington. Canada’s reputation of being a liberal, independent state will be shredded. Even then the Chinese are unlikely to forget Trudeau’s treachery.

With comic irony, there’s a cringemaking personal dimension to this unseemly saga.

During the 197os when Trudeau’s mother Margaret was a thirty-something socialite heading for divorce from his father, then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, she was often in the gossip media for indiscretions at nightclubs. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards claims in his autobiography that Margaret Trudeau was a groupie for the band, having flings with Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood. Her racy escapades and louche lifestyle brought shame to many Canadians.

Poor Margaret Trudeau later wound up divorced, disgraced, financially broke and scraping a living from scribbling tell-all books.

Justin, her eldest son, is finding out that being a groupie for Washington’s banditry is also bringing disrepute for him and his country.

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US Commits To “Indefinite” Occupation Of Syria; Controls Region The Size Of Croatia

Raqqa is beginning to look more and more like Baghdad circa 2005.

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Via Zerohedge


“We don’t want the Americans. It’s occupation” — a Syrian resident in US-controlled Raqqa told Stars and Stripes military newspaper. This as the Washington Post noted this week that “U.S. troops will now stay in Syria indefinitely, controlling a third of the country and facing peril on many fronts.”

Like the “forever war” in Afghanistan, will we be having the same discussion over the indefinite occupation of Syria stretching two decades from now? A new unusually frank assessment in Stars and Stripes bluntly lays out the basic facts concerning the White House decision to “stay the course” until the war’s close:

That decision puts U.S. troops in overall control, perhaps indefinitely, of an area comprising nearly a third of Syria, a vast expanse of mostly desert terrain roughly the size of Louisiana.

The Pentagon does not say how many troops are there. Officially, they number 503, but earlier this year an official let slip that the true number may be closer to 4,000

A prior New Yorker piece described the US-occupied area east of the Euphrates as “an area about the size of Croatia.” With no Congressional vote, no public debate, and not even so much as an official presidential address to the nation, the United States is settling in for another endless occupation of sovereign foreign soil while relying on the now very familiar post-911 AUMF fig leaf of “legality”.

Like the American public and even some Pentagon officials of late have been pointing out for years regarding Afghanistan, do US forces on the ground even know what the mission is? The mission may be undefined and remain ambiguously to “counter Iran”, yet the dangers and potential for major loss in blood and treasure loom larger than ever.

According to Stars and Stripes the dangerous cross-section of powder keg conflicts and geopolitical players means “a new war” is on the horizon:

The new mission raises new questions, about the role they will play and whether their presence will risk becoming a magnet for regional conflict and insurgency.

The area is surrounded by powers hostile both to the U.S. presence and the aspirations of the Kurds, who are governing the majority-Arab area in pursuit of a leftist ideology formulated by an imprisoned Turkish Kurdish leader. Signs that the Islamic State is starting to regroup and rumblings of discontent within the Arab community point to the threat of an insurgency.

Without the presence of U.S. troops, these dangers would almost certainly ignite a new war right away, said Ilham Ahmed, a senior official with the Self-Administration of North and East Syria, as the self-styled government of the area is called.

“They have to stay. If they leave and there isn’t a solution for Syria, it will be catastrophic,” she said.

But staying also heralds risk, and already the challenges are starting to mount.
So a US-backed local politician says the US can’t leave or there will be war, while American defense officials simultaneously recognize they are occupying the very center of an impending insurgency from hell — all of which fits the textbook definition of quagmire perfectly.

The New Yorker: “The United States has built a dozen or more bases from Manbij to Al-Hasakah, including four airfields, and American-backed forces now control all of Syria east of the Euphrates, an area about the size of Croatia.”

But in September the White House announced a realignment of its official priorities in Syria, namely to act “as a bulwark against Iran’s expanding influence.” This means the continued potential and likelihood of war with Syria, Iran, and Russia in the region is ever present, per Stripes:

Syrian government troops and Iranian proxy fighters are to the south and west. They have threatened to take the area back by force, in pursuit of President Bashar Assad’s pledge to bring all of Syria under government control.

Already signs of an Iraq-style insurgency targeting US forces in eastern Syria are beginning to emerge.

In Raqqa, the largest Syrian city at the heart of US occupation and reconstruction efforts, the Stripes report finds the following:

The anger on the streets is palpable. Some residents are openly hostile to foreign visitors, which is rare in other towns and cities freed from Islamic State control in Syria and Iraq. Even those who support the presence of the U.S. military and the SDF say they are resentful that the United States and its partners in the anti-ISIS coalition that bombed the city aren’t helping to rebuild.

And many appear not to support their new rulers.

We don’t want the Americans. It’s occupation,” said one man, a tailor, who didn’t want to give his name because he feared the consequences of speaking his mind. “I don’t know why they had to use such a huge number of weapons and destroy the city. Yes, ISIS was here, but we paid the price. They have a responsibility.”

Recent reports out of the Pentagon suggests defense officials simply want to throw more money into US efforts in Syria, which are further focused on training and supplying the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (or Kurdish/YPG-dominated SDF), which threatens confrontation with Turkey as its forces continue making preparations for a planned attack on Kurdish enclaves in Syria this week.

Meanwhile, Raqqa is beginning to look more and more like Baghdad circa 2005:

Everyone says the streets are not safe now. Recent months have seen an uptick in assassinations and kidnappings, mostly targeting members of the security forces or people who work with the local council. But some critics of the authorities have been gunned down, too, and at night there are abductions and robberies.

As America settles in for yet another endless and “indefinite” occupation of a Middle East country, perhaps all that remains is for the president to land on an aircraft carrier with “Mission Accomplished” banners flying overhead?

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