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Syrian forces make gains in Aleppo, Washington intends to escalate

As the Syrian military with Russian air support closes in on Aleppo and Barack Obama’s Presidency nears its close, the hardliners in the US and in the US military look for ways to escalate the conflict in Syria to prevent a Syrian victory in Aleppo.

Nile Bowie




Events in northern Syria have taken a dramatic turn in recent days, beginning with an unprecedented US airstrike on Syrian army positions in Deir ez-Zor. US officials have said they were aiming for ISIS targets but struck Syrian army positions accidentally, killing 62 soldiers and exposing the remaining survivors to an Islamic State offensive.

 In the days prior, the New York Times reported on a public disagreement between Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter over the terms of the proposed ceasefire being negotiated with Russia.

 Carter was said to have ‘deep reservations’ over plans for American and Russian forces to share information and jointly target terrorist organisations as made conditional in the ceasefire proposal. Defense Department officials publicly refused to affirm whether they would implement the agreement.

 The subsequent attacks on a UN relief convoy saw US officials strongly imply responsibility on Moscow. Reuters and others carried claims by anonymous US officials identifying Russia as the perpetrator, while mention of the recent US strike in Deir ez-Zor was omitted from most dispatches.

The Syrian and the Russian militaries have since publicly and categorically denied striking the convoy. UN officials initially described the attack as an ‘airstrike’, implicitly pinning the blame on Russian or Syrian aircraft, but have since conceded to lacking conclusive evidence about what had happened.

 Top US military officials admitted they were unsure who attacked the convoy, though Defense Secretary Carter maintains that 

“Russians are responsible for this strike whether they conducted it or not.”  

Through the words and actions of US officials, one can draw the conclusion that the US military establishment would not allow the Kerry-Lavrov ceasefire to succeed.

 Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hinted as much, telling Russian media that 

“[the US] military may not be obeying their supreme commander,”

 in reference to the increasingly apparent divisions within the Obama administration pertaining to policy on Syria.

In collapsing the ceasefire, the Pentagon is rejecting cooperation with Russia and refusing to enforce the separation of US-allied rebel groups from Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist organisations, likely on the basis that jihadists can act as the most effective bulwark against the Syrian army’s retaking of Aleppo.

 The collapse of the ceasefire has coincided with a full-scale offensive to retake Aleppo by Syrian and Russian forces, supported by Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah allies.  Reuters reports

“The fall of Aleppo would restore Assad’s rule over western Syria’s most important city and deal a devastating blow to the rebels,” 

 The strategic and symbolic significance of the liberation of Aleppo is apparent, and now the immediate focus of the US and Gulf powers that support the armed groups is to hinder the advance of Syrian forces and their allies as they consolidate control over Castello road (the last remaining rebel supply route) and surround areas of eastern Aleppo held by insurgents.

 The torrent of war-crime accusations and scathing denunciations of Moscow and Damascus in recent days is not authentically motivated by human rights, but rather is a means of using adverse global opinion to pressure Russia into easing the Syrian army’s offensive, which may otherwise soon defeat the remaining rebel forces in Aleppo.

Dismal human rights violations have undoubtedly occurred since the collapse of the ceasefire, perpetuated by both sides. That being said, it is crucial to acknowledge that when similar rights violations are committed by Israel in its suppression of Palestinians, by Saudi Arabia in its illegal war in Yemen, or by US-backed forces fighting in Syria, the moral indignation of the international community is dramatically subdued.

 The difference is that Syria is enforcing its legal right to territorial sovereignty against insurgents armed by hostile states, a predicament that any state would meet with lethal force. The furious vilification of the Syrian and Russian militaries is entirely political, and a telling indication that Western and Gulf powers see themselves on the losing side of the conflict.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has gone as far as threatening countries with complicity in war crimes should they not support an upcoming security council resolution imposing a ceasefire in Aleppo, which could only be an overtly politicised document filled with untenable concessions designed to be vetoed by Russia.

During his farewell address to the UN General Assembly, the supine and ever-obsequious Ban Ki-moon singled out the government of Syria as being the party most guilty of human rights violations. Is it not one of the great scandals of the Syrian conflict that the Secretary-General has placed the government of a UN member state on a lower moral tier than terrorist organisations like Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State?

Ban’s statement reflects the deep ideological distortions of the Syrian narrative pushed by Western and Gulf powers to support toppling the government of Bashar al-Assad. One cannot talk seriously of human rights violators without apportioning blame for the bloodshed on the parties who have flooded Syria with armed mercenaries for their geopolitical pursuits, all of whom the Secretary-General has never meaningfully taken to task. 

In the face of the Syrian army closing in around Aleppo, the US has indicated that it intends to halt diplomacy with Russia and escalate its use of force. Reuters reports:

“The U.S. officials said the failure of diplomacy in Syria has left the Obama administration no choice but to consider alternatives, most of which involve some use of force… the list of options is narrowing to supporting rebel counter attacks elsewhere with additional weaponry or even air strikes, which ‘might not reverse the tide of battle, but might cause the Russians to stop and think.

The most dramatic option under consideration – but considered less likely – would be a U.S. air strike on a Syrian air base far from the fighting between Assad’s troops and rebel forces in the north, officials said.”

Though the Obama administration has exercised a decreasing measure of restraint when directly engaging Syrian government targets, there are growing indications that the administration believes the objectives of Western and Gulf policy cannot be met without exerting greater force. Should the US president not show an appetite for escalation in his final months in office, his successor will.

 Nile Bowie is an independent writer and current affairs commentator based in Singapore. He may be reached by email at [email protected].

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”





Via RT

Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career



Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.


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Why Joe May be Courting Stacey

Joe Biden has a history on compulsory integration dating back to the 1970s that Sen. Jesse Helms called “enlightened.”

Patrick J. Buchanan



Authored by Patrick Buchanan via The Unz Review:

Of 895 slots in the freshman class of Stuyvesant High in New York City, seven were offered this year to black students, down from 10 last year and 13 the year before.

In the freshman class of 803 at The Bronx High School of Science, 12 students are black, down from last year’s 25.

Of 303 students admitted to Staten Island Technical High School, one is African-American.

According to The New York Times, similar patterns of admission apply at the other five most elite high schools in the city.

Whites and Asians are 30 percent of middle school students, but 83 percent of the freshman at Bronx High School of Science, 88 percent at Staten Island Technical and 90 percent at Stuyvesant.

What do these numbers tell us?

They reveal the racial composition of the cohort of scientists and technicians who will lead America in the 21st century. And they tell us which races will not be well represented in that vanguard.

They identify a fault line that runs through the Democratic Party, separating leftists who believe in equality of results for all races and ethnic groups, and those who believe in a meritocracy.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed anger and frustration at the under-representation of blacks and Hispanics in the elite schools. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have ignored his pleas to change the way students are admitted.

Currently, the same test, of English and math, is given to middle school applicants. And admission to the elite eight is offered to those who get the highest scores.

Moreover, Asians, not whites, are predominant.

Though 15 percent of all middle school students, Asians make up two-thirds of the student body at Stuyvesant, with 80 times as many slots as their African-American classmates.

The egalitarian wing of the Democratic Party sees this as inherently unjust. And what gives this issue national import are these factors:

First, the recent scandal where rich parents paid huge bribes to criminal consultants to get their kids into elite colleges, by falsifying records of athletic achievement and cheating on Scholastic Aptitude Tests, has caused a wave of populist resentment.

Second, Harvard is being sued for systemic reverse racism, as black and Hispanic students are admitted with test scores hundreds of points below those that would disqualify Asians and whites.

Third, Joe Biden has a history on compulsory integration dating back to the 1970s that Sen. Jesse Helms called “enlightened.”

Here are Biden’s quotes, unearthed by The Washington Post, that reflect his beliefs about forced busing for racial balance in public schools:

“The new integration plans being offered are really just quota systems to assure a certain number of blacks, Chicanos, or whatever in each school. That, to me, is the most racist concept you can come up with.

“What it says is, ‘In order for your child with curly black hair, brown eyes, and dark skin to be able to learn anything, he needs to sit next to my blond-haired, blue-eyed son.’ That’s racist!

“Who the hell do we think we are, that the only way a black man or woman can learn is if they rub shoulders with my white child?

“I am philosophically opposed to quota systems. They insure mediocrity.”

That was 44 years ago. While those views were the thinking of many Democrats, and perhaps of most Americans, in the mid-’70s, they will be problematic in the 2020 primaries, where African-Americans could be decisive in the contests that follow Iowa and New Hampshire.

Biden knows that just as Bernie Sanders, another white male, fell short in crucial South Carolina because of a lack of support among black voters, he, too, has a problem with that most loyal element in the Democratic coalition.

In 1991, Biden failed to rise to the defense of Anita Hill when she charged future Justice Clarence Thomas with sexual harassment. In the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was a law-and-order champion responsible for tough anti-crime legislation that is now regarded as discriminatory.

And he has a record on busing for racial balance that made him a de facto ally of Louise Day Hicks of the Boston busing case fame.

How, with a record like this, does Biden inoculate himself against attacks by rival candidates, especially candidates of color, in his run for the nomination?

One way would be to signal to his party that he has grown, he has changed, and his 2020 running mate will be a person of color. Perhaps he’ll run with a woman of color such as Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost the 2018 governor’s race in Georgia.

An ancillary benefit would be that Abrams on the ticket would help him carry Georgia, a state Donald Trump probably cannot lose and win re-election.

Wrote Axios this morning:

“Close advisers to former Vice President Joe Biden are debating the idea of packaging his presidential campaign announcement with a pledge to choose Stacey Abrams as his vice president.”

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

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