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Obama decides to lift restrictions on weapon supplies to Jihadis in Syria

The Obama administration’s decision in its dying days to authorise supply of anti aircraft systems to the ‘moderate opposition’ in Syria is a petulant response to its humiliation in Aleppo. Though dangerous and irresponsible it is unlikely however to change the course of the Syria war.

Alexander Mercouris




It seems that the Obama administration cannot go quietly into the night, but will go on being as truculent and as petulant as possible right up to its bitter end.

This is the only way to interpret its decision yesterday to lift restrictions on the supply of certain types of weapons – including it seems man portable anti aircraft systems (‘MANPADS’) to those whom it persists in calling ‘the moderate opposition’ in Syria. 

The only remaining restriction on these supplies is supposedly that they will provided to ‘the moderate opposition’ if it in the US’s own security interests and provided they are fighting ‘terrorists’. 

Indeed yesterday’s spin by the Obama administration was that the lifting of the restrictions on the arms supplies is somehow connected to the offensive against the ISIS capital of Raqqa. 

The fact that the offensive against Raqqa has yet to get underway, and that ISIS does not have an air force which makes the purpose of supplying its supposed opponents with MANPADS moot, shows the emptiness of this claim.

Every well-informed observer of the Syrian war now agrees that the ‘moderate opposition’ does not exist, and this is also known to be the opinion of several of the leading figures of the incoming Trump administration, including President elect Donald Trump himself.

Moreover the Obama administration has itself previously opposed supplying the ‘moderate opposition’ with MANPADS precisely because it knows that it doesn’t actually exist and that this is in reality an all but certain way for some of these MANPADS to fall into the hands of groups the US recognises as terrorist such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda, posing a potential threat to both military and civilian air traffic.

Moreover given that the US air force is currently operating in Iraq and Syria against ISIS, the decision to supply Jihadis in Syria with MANPADS actually potentially puts the lives of US pilots at risk.

As it happens it is difficult to know what precise effect this decision, made in the dying days of the present administration, will actually have. 

No doubt there is already a stock of MANPADS set aside, which will be rushed to the Jihadi fighters in the weeks remaining before Donald Trump’s inauguration. 

However it seems that Russian aircraft fly out of reach of them, and as President Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today, there are also technical means available to deal with them.

The Syrian and Iraqi air forces are of course much more vulnerable to MANPADS, but in the case of the Syrian air force the potential exists for the Russians to upgrade it to their own level.

Some MANPADS have in fact already been supplied to the Jihadi fighters in Syria during the conflict there, supposedly by the US’s Gulf allies and by Turkey.  Some of these MANPADS seem however to have been ex-Soviet systems presumably originating in eastern Europe or Ukraine, which suggests that US intelligence agencies – probably the CIA – were the ones which actually supplied them.

The very latest US MANPADS are presumably more sophisticated than these systems.  However it is very unlikely that they will make any decisive difference to the course of the fighting.

I would add that the widespread belief that the supply of Stinger MANPADS to the Jihadi fighters fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan in the 1980s turned the tide of that war is a myth. 

The USSR had already made a political decision to pull its troops out from Afghanistan before the Stingers arrived – because the pro-Soviet Afghan government appeared to have stabilised making the continued presence of the Soviet troops in Afghanistan unnecessary – and despite suffering some initial casualties the Soviets were quickly able to develop effective countermeasures to the Stingers, which had the Soviet presence in Afghanistan lasted longer would undoubtedly have become still more effective. 

For a well-informed and rational discussion of this issue see Afgantsy by the former British ambassador to Russia Sir Rodric Braithwaite.

What this latest episode most clearly shows is the seething anger and sense of humiliation as well as the petulance of the Obama administration as it faces the defeat of the Jihadis in Aleppo and the collapse of project for regime change in Syria. 

Quite obviously this decision to send weapons to the ‘moderate opposition’ in Syria is not intended to help the fight against ISIS.  Rather it is a reprisal for the defeat in Aleppo, and is intended to prolong the war in Syria.  Characteristically it is being done at the very tail end of the Obama administration’s existence, ensuring that Obama and his aides suffer no negative consequences because of this decision.

In acting in this way the Obama administration is however acting contrary to what it had previously recognised were the US’s own interests. 

To such irresponsible lengths has its petulance and its sense of humiliation taken it. 

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Russia’s economy continues to outperform as gold takes center stage (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 118.

Alex Christoforou



The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine how US and EU sanctions have continued to provide a huge boost to Russia’s economy. Russia’s food sovereignty has practically been achieved, as the Russian central bank continues to buy gold and lower its exposure to western financial markets.

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Outside pressure in the form of sanctions has become an incentive to resolve various issues of Russia’s economy, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev stated in an interview with the Izvestiya daily.

He noted that through introducing sanctions against Russia, “the West aims to destabilize Russia’s economy and to create social and political tensions in society.”

“But during the difficult times, Russians have always stuck together and mobilized their resources in order to ensure the country’s sovereignty. This is what is happening now – the outside pressure has become an incentive to resolve many problems in Russia’s economy,” he said.

“Before the sanctions, it seemed that we would never be able to feed ourselves and that we are doomed to be dependent on Western import. However, right now, Russia’s food sovereignty in crucial sectors has practically been achieved, and in some areas, Russia has become the leading exporter,” Patrushev noted.

Those who apply the sanctions “can see that they (the sanctions – TASS) are ineffective and often achieve the opposite goal,” the Russian security chief concluded.

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US Neocon Foreign Policy and the War Waged Against Serbia

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign.

Richard Galustian



The ‘witch-hunt’ against President Trump over Russian collusion has officially ended, following the submission of the Mueller Report, enabling us to now focus on the real problems of America that effects the whole world.

In the hope of a waining of the Russophobia in America, let’s look at the US’s recent war history by starting with the 20th anniversary this month of the NATO war on Serbia in 1999 which amounted to almost 100 days of bombing of historic cities and infrastructure.

Firstly, these problems are, in the main caused by the Neocons, or Deep State, whatever you wish to call them, and the continuing promotion, by the US Military-Security Industrial Complex, of wars and regime change and secondly, Trump’s unreserved support for Israel, regardless of war crimes they may continue to commit against the Palestinians.

Incredibly after that one sided unjust and illegal war that NATO executed, NATO has the audacity to invite Serbia to join it! Something that will never happen. What do they smoke in DC, in the Pentagon and Brussels based NATO?

To compound these overall problems, the US Military and Israeli Defence Forces collaborate on these US regime change policies on all continents evidenced most recently by the arrival of crack Israeli troops last month in Brazil, prepared to support an attack potentially by Brazil and Columbia on Venezuela.

As, has now come to be expected, America pursues its Venezuelan regime change with full main stream media (MSM) cooperation, using well proven sophisticated propaganda techniques along with a variety of pretexts.

From Serbia to Iraq to Libya, where does it end? Observe that Trump is now seeking a ‘NATO alliance’ offering NATO status, to President Bolsonaro of Brazil to back the invasion of Venezuela.

So it is important to remember, as an example, that after a long war of economic and financial destabilization ended with the bombing of Serbia.

Serbia was previously a part of Yugoslavia, a country which had successfully evolved after 1945 to solve the old rivalries of the 19th and early 20th Century Balkan ethnic animosities which was, prior to the advent of power of President Tito, its past history.

The United Nations, instead of supporting, in effect, so called ‘humanitarian wars’ and ‘regime change wars’ by the US, using NATO, helped and relentlessly driven home by MSM outlets like CNN and FOX NEWS into people’s heads, must finally take a stand.

So too, Yugoslavia, once the envy of many in the world, given its then ‘non-aligned’ status under President Tito, was destroyed and broken up; ‘Balkanized’ in the early 1990s.

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign. That’s what we can expect in Venezuela next.

This ‘Balkanization’ strategy similarly applies to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria et al. It serves US Neocon interests to dismember States in the world and create smaller more ‘manageable’ countries.

‘Regime change’ runs against the intent, the very words contained in the US Constitution. No one in MSM ever reminds us of that fact. Nevertheless America’s ambition to overthrow other States continues, which they arrogantly now make no secret of. The next States will probably be Nicaragua then Iran to name but two.

A very noteworthy most recent outrageous unilateral declaration was made by President Trump, not yet formally agreed by US institutions, ‘giving’ something he has no authority to give; Syrian territory, the Golan Heights to be precise, to Israel. Something that one day could trigger a full scale Arab-Israeli War.

This is of extreme importance yet no real outcry comes from world leaders; well not so far.

The main reason for that decision given by senior US Administration figures is that “God anointed Trump to save the Jews”.

Not forgetting Trump’s need (which we the people don’t understand exactly why) to support Prime Minister Netanyahu in his difficult upcoming elections in Israel – in part because both countries failed to ‘regime change’ Syria – but more importantly to help the ‘financial terrorists’ who formed a company jointly that has already started drilling for oil in the Golan Heights. You might like to know who owns such oil drilling company which should answer a plethora of questions in one go that you must be asking yourselves.

The shareholder’s names tells us everything; Dick Cheney; Baron Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch. The titular heads of neocons, bankers and media on the planet.

In ending there is no more evidence required for us, the people of the world, to rise up against the globalist dark forces wherever they exist, be it in Brussels, London, France or Washington. We must demand democratic elections or start revolutions, the latter has already begun in France in the form of ‘the yellow vests’. And Brexit, by definition, is a rejection by the British people of globalism and American Hegemony.

The pattern of US destabilization and destruction of States to loot them of their sovereign resources is the unseen history of the last 100 years, not taught in any university, anywhere in the West.

As far as Ukraine is concerned, its government was taken down by the CIA and replaced by an ultra fascist regime that has full backing from America. This is no secret. But the MSM simple don’t report it.

US led NATO is ‘the transnational war machine’ of the world, devouring almost all free countries wealth. It can extort to terrorize all into conformity to the global ‘carcinogenic’ US Neocon imperialistic strategy.

A total estimated 20m people around the world have died since the end of WW11 at the hands of US Forces. Think about that for a moment.

One of the most famous sayings attributed to America’s great President Abraham Lincoln is about deception: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

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‘Dark day for internet freedom’: EU approves controversial copyright reform

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”





Via RT

The European Parliament has voted to adopt the highly controversial Article 13 provision which would govern the production and distribution of content online under the auspices of increasing copyright protections.

Tuesday’s move will update the EU’s 20-year-old copyright rules and will govern everything from audiovisual content to memes, much to the dismay of many social media users who have already begun outpouring their grief online.

MEPs passed the legislation by 348 votes to 274 Tuesday. Opponents had hoped for last-minute amendments to be made but their efforts were in vain.

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

Article 13 or ‘The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market’ makes all platforms legally responsible for the content hosted and shared on their platforms.

The process of updating the bloc’s copyright laws began in the European Commission two years ago, ostensibly to protect Europe’s publishers, broadcasters and artists and guarantee fair compensation from big tech companies.

By essentially forcing companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to pay artists and publishers for the reproduction of their work online, include in meme format, the EU is effectively clamping down on online memery.

The onus will now be on tech companies to clamp down on content-sharing on their platforms, which will likely ensure yet more draconian policing of speech and content.

EU member states now have two years to pass their own laws putting Article 13 into effect.

Tens of thousands marched in protest across Germany ahead of the vote, decrying what they viewed as severe online censorship.

Tech giant Google said that while the directive is “improved” it will still lead to legal uncertainty and will damage Europe’s creative and digital economies.

Critics have argued that the only way for Article 13 to be effectively enforced would be through the use of upload filters which automatically check content to see if it’s copyrighted or not, at least in theory. However, the exact mechanics of such a system have yet to be fully debated and the potential for abuse is immediately clear.

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