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“Moderate rebels” torch buses in Aleppo evacuating civilians

Demonstrating again their relentless sectarian agenda Al-Qaeda led Jihadis attack and burn buses tasked with evacuating Shiite fighters and civilians from besieged Shiite villages despite this putting the withdrawal of Jihadi fighters and civilians in Aleppo in jeopardy.

Alexander Mercouris

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Reports from Syria confirm that buses which were due to evacuate civilians and wounded Shiite militia fighters from two Shia provinces in Syria’s Idlib province have been attacked and burnt by the Al-Qaeda led Jihadis who are besieging these villages.

At Iran’s insistence the evacuation of civilians and wounded Shiite fighters from these villages was linked to the withdrawal of Jihadi fighters and civilians from eastern Aleppo.

The refusal of Al-Qaeda led Jihadis to allow the agreed evacuation from the two Shiite villages is as a result holding up the withdrawal of Jihadi fighters and civilians from eastern Aleppo.

This incident reveals a number of important truths about the Syrian conflict.

The first is that the Western media is actually reporting it.  The probable reason for that is that with the end of the fighting in Aleppo Western journalists are at last able to go there and to report on the spot.  Though most of them doubtless remain intensely hostile to the Syrian government, the mere fact that they are now engaged in some actual on the spot reporting means that the coverage has suddenly become fractionally more balanced and nuanced.

More importantly, this episode shows who is really responsible for the suffering of civilians in Aleppo, and who is intent on pursuing a murderous and fanatical sectarian agenda in Syria.

Though the Western media failed to report the fact, the Russians and the Syrian government have offered since the summer to allow the Al-Qaeda led Jihadis and the civilians in eastern Aleppo who want to leave to withdraw peacefully from eastern Aleppo.  The negotiations between the Russians and the US which were underway from June to early December were focused on that goal.  In early September the Kerry-Lavrov agreement appeared to provide for it.

Even after the Kerry-Lavrov agreement broke down the Russians unilaterally imposed on themselves a ‘humanitarian pause’ lasting several weeks in order to give the Al-Qaeda led Jihadis in eastern Aleppo and the civilians there the opportunity to leave.  ‘Humanitarian corridors’ were established monitored by the Russian military to enable them to do so.

These offers were unavailing, with the Western media reporting that the Jihadi fighters in eastern Aleppo and the civilians were too frightened of reprisals by the Syrian authorities to leave.   The Russians and the Syrians by contrast reported that the civilians were being prevented from leaving by the Al-Qaeda led Jihadi fighters, who insisted on keeping them in eastern Aleppo so that they could act as human shields.

The events of the last 2 weeks have demonstrated conclusively that it was the Russians and the Syrians who were telling the truth.

As soon as Al-Qaeda’s control over eastern Aleppo weakened following the Syrian army’s offensive against the Jihadi pocket started at the end of November, tens of thousands of civilians fled eastern Aleppo to areas of the city under Syrian government control.

A fact that is not being widely reported is that far more civilians – around 100,000 – fled eastern Aleppo to the government controlled areas than are still in eastern Aleppo with the Jihadis.  The UN estimates their number to be 30-40,000, a fact which incidentally shows that the figure of 250,000 commonly reported during the siege for the civilian population of eastern Aleppo was indeed exaggerated, and that the true number was 140,000.

Once civilians did indeed begin to leave eastern Aleppo following the start of the government offensive, the more credible reports show that they were humanely treated, with the Russians and the Syrian authorities providing them with shelter and hot food, and with the Russians sending mobile hospitals to the city to treat them (one of these hospital was shelled by the Jihadis in an episode which the Western media and Western government disgracefully have never condemned).

After Jihadi fighters and civilians began to be evacuated from eastern Aleppo as a result of the Putin-Erdogan agreement, all the credible reports from the city once again confirm that when they are being evacuated they are being evacuated safely.

As for the atrocity stories that were receiving saturation coverage a week ago, it is striking how over the last few days they have almost entirely dried up – again almost certainly as a consequence of the belated presence of Western reporters and observers in the city.

By contrast the attack on the buses by the Al-Qaeda led Jihadi fighters trying to prevent the evacuation of civilians and wounded fighters from the two Shiite villages, highlights the utter ruthlessness and extreme sectarian attitudes of these fighters.  Quite simply, they are unwilling to let these Shiites go, even if by preventing them from leaving they are putting the safety of their Sunni co-religionists and their Jihadi comrades in Aleppo at risk.

The reality about the ‘Great Battle of Aleppo’ is that it should have been ended in September.  At that point the Jihadi offensive launched in August to break the siege of the Al-Qaeda controlled eastern districts had been defeated.  The Jihadis in eastern Aleppo were trapped, and with the Russian military engaged there was no realistic possibility of the siege being broken or of their escape.

In the light of this, all the fighting – and all the death and suffering – which has happened in Aleppo since September is the product of the refusal of the Al-Qaeda led Jihadis in eastern Aleppo and of their Western backers – which must include most of the Western media – to accept this reality.

It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the need to preserve the propaganda narrative and the illusory objective of regime change in Syria in the end overrode concern for the people of Aleppo.

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Deep State insurrection defying POTUS Trump’s order to release unredacted FISA docs (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 113.

Alex Christoforou

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Deep State officials like ex-CIA chief John Brennan are in panic mode.

Deep State DOJ tool Rod Rosenstein refuses to comply with Trump’s executive order as afforded him by the US Constitution.

Establishment Democrats are all over the mainstream media channels calling the act of releasing documents criminal.

The US President wants every American citizen to see the full, unredacted version of the FISA documents used to spy on Carter Page. Trump is simply asking for full transparency, in what has become a two year, multi-million dollar witch hunt, to find collusion where there is none.

This is all you need to know about the hoax that was and is Trump-Russia collusion and the Robert Mueller special counsel investigation.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the insurrection taking place at the US Department of Justice, as Democrats, ex-Obama officials, and DOJ directors are doing everything in their power to make sure the truth, about how the FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page was obtained, remains hidden from the eyes of the American public.

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Via Zerohedge


Despite President Trump’s Monday order for the “immediate declassification” of sensitive materials related to the Russia investigation, “without redaction,” the agencies involved are planning to do so anyway, according to Bloomberg, citing three people familiar with the matter.

The Justice Department, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are going through a methodical review and can’t offer a timeline for finishing, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the sensitive matter. –Bloomberg

Trump ordered the DOJ to release the text messages of former FBI Director James Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, now-fired special agent Peter Strzok, former FBI attorney Lisa Page and twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

Also ordered released are specific pages from the FBI’s FISA surveillance warrant application on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, as well as interviews with Ohr.

The DOJ and the FBI are expected to submit proposed redactions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence – which will prepare a package for Trump to sign off on.

“When the president issues such an order, it triggers a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America’s national security interests,” a Justice Department spokesman said in a statement. “The department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are already working with the Director of National Intelligence to comply with the president’s order.”

The agencies are likely to cite national security concerns over revealing classified “sources and methods” pertaining to the Russia investigation – which will put them in direct conflict with Trump’s order. Trump, as president, has the power to override the agencies and declassify material on his own.

Trump’s order to release the documents comes after months of requests from GOP lawmakers, while the DOJ has repeatedly denied their requests for more transparency.

The FBI’s spy…

According to Bloomberg, the DOJ is interpreting Trump’s request to include information about the use of confidential informant (spy) Stephan Halper during the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation. After taking in over $400,000 from the Obama Pentagon under the auspices of a research contract, Halper befriended and spied on members of the Trump campaign, including aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

Showdown?

Top Congressional Democrats Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff and Mark Warner penned a joint letter to ODNI Director Dan Coates, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding that the agencies defy President Trump.

In the letter, the lawmakers “express profound alarm” at the decision to “intervene in an ongoing law enforcement investigation that may implicate the President himself or those around him.”

“Any decision by your offices to share this material with the President or his lawyers will violate longstanding Department of Justice polices, as well as assurances you have provided to us.”

The letter then demands that the agencies brief the Gang of Eight before releasing the materials “to anyone at the White House.”

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Trump Weighs In On The Single Worst Mistake In American History

Trump hits Bush: Invading Iraq ‘the single worst decision ever made’.

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Via Zerohedge


In a wide ranging interview with The Hill on Tuesday conducted in the Oval Office, President Trump was asked to give his take on the biggest mistake in American history.

Considering just how open-ended a question that is, it’s perhaps surprising that he merely went back less than a couple decades into the Bush presidency, though Trump’s base will certainly welcome it as it hearkens back to his “America First” foreign policy vision of the campaign trail.

“The worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country: going into the Middle East, by President Bush,” the president during his interview with Hill.TV.

“Obama may have gotten them (U.S. soldiers) out wrong, but going in is to me the biggest single mistake made in the history of our country,” he said.

Trump explained the reasoning behind this choice, and why it wasn’t something like the civil war or another defining and devastating event reaching far into American History.

“Because we spent $7 trillion in the Middle East. Now if you wanna fix a window some place they say, ‘oh gee, let’s not do it. Seven trillion, and millions of lives — you know, ‘cause I like to count both sides. Millions of lives,” the president explained.

Some scholars and humanitarian groups estimate that over one million Iraqis were killed in the US invasion and occupation of Iraq starting in 2003. A 2008 Opinion Research Business (ORB) poll, for example, found that approximately 1.03 million people had died as a result of the war.

“To me it’s the worst single mistake made in the history of our country. Civil war you can understand. Civil war, civil war. That’s different. For us to have gone into the Middle East, and that was just, that was a bad day for this country, I will tell you.”

Various estimates on the Iraq war’s cost have put the total taxpayer bill as low as near $2 trillion, but none dispute that it is in the multiple trillions, and estimates will vary widely depending on if veteran care is factored into it.

The comments echo things Trump said on the campaign trail in 2016. For example during one of his first major foreign policy speeches then candidate Trump said, “I will never send our finest into battle unless necessary, and I mean absolutely necessary, and will only do so if we have a plan for victory with a capital V.” And referencing the famous quote of John Quincy Adams, he said during the same speech, “The world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies.”

He had previously shocked pundits for being the first Republican nominee for president to trash George W. Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq, and has more recently likened it to “throwing a big fat brick into a hornet’s nest”.

All of this is a hopeful sign considering the extremely heightened and dangerous tensions over Syria this week, and given Trump seems to have vacillated between “bringing the troops home” and getting more involved. On Monday Trump hinted that a decision on the U.S. role in Syria is coming soon.

Commenting on the over 2,000 troops now in Syria ostensibly as part of the “anti-ISIL” coalition campaign, Trump indicated this mission could end soon: “We’re very close to being finished with that job,” he said. He followed with: “And then we’re going to make a determination as to what we’re going to do.”

We consider it a hopeful and a good sign that Trump is possibly revisiting his “America First” foreign policy pledges by identifying the Iraq War as the worst mistake in US history.

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Brett Kavanaugh eleventh hour smear begins to fall apart (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 112.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Trump is urging the woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh to testify and be heard.

Trump said he wants to hear from Christine Blasey Ford, noting that it would be “unfortunate” if she does not testify before a Senate committee. Trump told reporters Wednesday as he left the White House to view hurricane damage in North Carolina…

“If she doesn’t show up, that would be unfortunate.”

“If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that would be very interesting.”

From Trump’s lips to God’s ear…Blasey Ford came out to issue a statement essentially saying that she will not testify to Congress, either in an open or closed door session.

Furthermore it appears that Ford will not even allow Senate investigators to fly to California and obtain her statement from the comfort of her own home (as Senator Grassley has offered to do).

Ford is demanding an FBI investigation into an allegation with no date, time or place attached to it. 

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss the dangerous game of identity politics being played by the establishment, Democrat left, and their mainstream media minions.

The premise that a four decades old accusation is all that is needed to destroy a person’s entire life, threatens to tear down the most basic foundational values adhered to from within the US Constitution, and propel the United States of America towards a fascist state where censorship, citizen surveillance, and evidence free accusations are used to keep the establishment left in power and the American population cowered in fear.

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According to Zerohedge, Democrats’ Hail Mary play to stymie the confirmation of Trump SCOTUS pick Brett Kavanaugh is beginning to fizzle out. As angry Dems demanded that a Monday hearing on the allegations against Kavanaugh be delayed until the FBI has a chance to investigate, turncoat Republicans (on whom the Dems had been depending for votes) instead withdrew their support and fell in line after Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley declared that he would not honor Democrats’ request. Grassley revealed his intention to stand firm late Tuesday after lawyers for Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey, who is claiming that Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her 35 years ago when the two were 17-year-old high school students, said their client wouldn’t be wiling to appear at Monday’s hearing.

According to the HillGrassley said Tuesday that there was “no reason” to delay the hearing now that Republicans have invited both Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, his accuser, to testify publicly. However, while Ford’s attorneys have insisted that their client has taken a polygraph test and “deserves to be heard”, Ford has bizarrely insisted that the FBI should have an opportunity to investigate her claims before she appears before the committee in order to spare her the “trauma” of confronting her alleged assailant.

Ford’s lawyers conveyed her request in the form of a letter sent to the committee, a copy of which was obtained by CNN.

Senator Grassley said he would refuse this request as several Republicans who had appeared to be on the cusp of defecting said they wouldn’t support further delays should Ford prove unwilling to testify.

Via the Hill…

“Republicans extended a hand in good faith. If we don’t hear from both sides on Monday, let’s vote,” said GOP Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), who was one of the first Republicans to call for the Judiciary Committee to hit pause on Kavanaugh’s nomination on Sunday.

GOP Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) told reporters earlier Tuesday that Ford’s lack of response to the committee about testifying was “puzzling.”

And GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, who had threatened to vote against Kavanaugh if Ford wasn’t given the chance to be heard, told CNN that he expected the committee to move on if she doesn’t appear.

“I think we’ll have to move to the markup,” he told CNN. “I hope she does (appear). I think she needs to be heard.”

Via Zerohedge…

Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s allegations and insisted he didn’t attend the party where the physical assault allegedly took place. Patrick Smyth, a fellow former Georgetown Prep student whom Ford alleges was also in attendance during the party issued a statement via his lawyer standing up for Kavanaugh. And in a separate letter to Grassley and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, not only does Smyth repudiate Ford’s allegations, but he adds that he doesn’t remember this party even taking place.

Of course, Feinstein – who admitted last night that she couldn’t say for certain that Ford’s story is entirely truthful – sat on Ford’s allegations for three months before referring them to the FBI and sharing them with other lawmakers (who purportedly “leaked” it to the press). President Trump on Tuesday said that he “feels sorry” for Kavanaugh, adding that he doesn’t want to “play into [Democrats] hands”, presumably by giving them more time to drag out the confirmation process.

“They should have done this a long time ago, three months ago, not now. But they did it now. So I don’t want to play into their hands,” Trump said.

Without the support of their Republican allies, Democrats will lack the votes on the committee to hold up the nomination past Monday. Though bizarrely, Kavanaugh himself hasn’t said yet whether he would or wouldn’t testify, which begs the question: If neither Kavanaugh nor Ford appear at the hearing, what exactly will lawmakers discuss?

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