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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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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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