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US topping polls of ‘greatest threat to world peace’ to continue

The United States will expand its already enormous military outlay, sending a clear message to the world.

Shane Quinn

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Last week Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro described the United States as, “the most criminal empire in the history of mankind”. Whether such a statement is true, one cannot deny the US has repeatedly topped polls of international opinion on the subject: Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?

Time and again the global community have overwhelmingly voted the US as “the greatest threat” to their existence. In one such WIN/Gallup poll from less than four years ago, the US garnered three times the votes of second-place Pakistan.

Such decisive results are hardly reported in the Western mainstream, it would be ill-advised to inform unsuspecting Westerners of useless facts – instead they are disappeared down George Orwell’s memory hole.

As a consequence of the predictable survey results, perhaps the question should be framed rather differently – “How can nations be secured in the face of the US threat?” Seeing as how pollsters such as the Gallup company and Pew Research Centre are headquartered in Washington, that seems unlikely.

The investigative journalist John Pilger wrote of American aggression, “The trail of blood is endless: from the subjugation of the Philippines and Central America, to the greatest terrorist attacks of all, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; from the devastation of Indochina, such as the murder of 600,000 peasants in neutral Cambodia, and the use of chemicals and starvation against civilian populations, to the shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane, and the bombing of prisoners of war in a mud fort in Afghanistan. The documentation of American terror is voluminous”.

The US is the only nation to have ever been convicted by the World Court for international terrorism (in 1986), against Nicaragua during the Ronald Reagan era, under the old “war on terror” pretext. The destruction wrought against Nicaragua by US-backed contras – terrorists – was so severe that the World Court had no other option. These unwelcome facts have again been consigned to historical oblivion.

Backing up the claims Noam Chomsky, Emeritus Professor at MIT, said, “There are many terrorist states in the world but the United States is unusual in that it is officially committed to international terrorism, and on a scale that puts its rivals to shame”.

In the Middle East, the perception of America is even worse – with about two-thirds of respondents saying they hold a “very unfavourable” view of the US. Israel, the US’s right arm in the region, has also long been viewed negatively in the Middle East. Examining the respective grisly records, this is hardly a revelation, while Iran barely features on its neighbours’ threat scope.

The US has repeatedly invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, while Israel has attacked Lebanon, Egypt and Syria, all with US support – not to mention Israel’s occupation of much of the Golan Heights (Syrian land) and Palestinian territories, and their treatment of the inhabitants there.

Pilger again reveals that, “Palestinians have been denied a right to return to their homes, in breach of numerous UN resolutions and international law… The BBC refers to Israel’s policy of assassination as ‘targeted killing’, the euphemism used by Israeli spokesmen. It is rarely reported that of the hundreds killed and thousands wounded in the Second Intifada [Palestinian uprising], 90% have been Palestinian civilians, 45% have been under 18, and 60% were shot in their homes, schools and workplaces”.

In November 2003, before the Iraq war’s implications became clear, Europeans viewed Israel as “the No. 1 threat to world peace”. Such were the results of a survey conducted by the European Commission, which prompted “outrage” from the Israeli embassy in Brussels, and much apologising from squeamish European politicians. It is unwise to upset the master across the Atlantic.

In the time since, citizens in the US, Britain and Canada often claim Iran to be the biggest threat to peace on earth – a rare insight into how successful Western propaganda has been. Across centuries Iran have no record of having outright invaded another country, nor do they possess weapons of mass destruction like nuclear warheads. Within the past century the US has attacked numerous sovereign nations, breaching international law with little respite.

North Korea is another bogeyman of the West, but as with Iran, these views have little basis in reality. In the last 60 years and more North Korea have no record of having invaded another country – during the Korean War more of the North’s towns were destroyed (by the US) than either those of Germany or Japan during World War II. Despite this, most Americans currently regard the DPRK as “a very serious threat” to their country.

Yet who is being threatened? There are thousands of American troops situated in South Korea, perilously close to the North’s border – along with aircraft, artillery and ships. Considering America’s foreign policy record, and past destruction of North Korea, Kim Jong-un and colleagues have every right to be agitated. They continue to act out of fear.

As does Maduro, with the Venezuelan leader demanding last week that his army “have the rifles, the missiles, and the well-oiled tanks at the ready”. Maduro expressed humanity’s future “cannot lie in the threats of nuclear strikes or military invasions”. The US possesses thousands of nuclear weapons and are the only state to have used them, on Japan.

In 2016, the US military expenditure was 50 times bigger than Iran’s, for example, a statistic that goes without mention. The US is away into the distance when it comes to military outlay, almost three times that of second-place China – and about nine times that of Russia. The disparity is set to widen further.

Not satisfied with last year’s arms budget of $611 billion, the US Senate recently passed a $700 billion “defence policy bill” – which in turn “back[s] President Donald Trump’s call for a bigger, stronger military”. The proposed $90 billion enlargement is greater than Russia’s entire military expense for 2016 ($69.2 billion).

Possessing by far the largest military machine on earth is still not deemed substantial enough. This sends a signal and the message could hardly be clearer: the US is set to increase its military operations. The world has been warned.

The first major steps can be witnessed in the growing presence of American soldiers in Afghanistan under President Trump. Bob Corker, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Sunday, “But are we likely to have troops in Afghanistan for the next decade? Sure.”

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Clinton-Yeltsin docs shine a light on why Deep State hates Putin (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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Bill Clinton and America ruled over Russia and Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s. Yeltsin showed little love for Russia and more interest in keeping power, and pleasing the oligarchs around him.

Then came Vladimir Putin, and everything changed.

Nearly 600 pages of memos and transcripts, documenting personal exchanges and telephone conversations between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, were made public by the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Dating from January 1993 to December 1999, the documents provide a historical account of a time when US relations with Russia were at their best, as Russia was at its weakest.

On September 8, 1999, weeks after promoting the head of the Russia’s top intelligence agency to the post of prime minister, Russian President Boris Yeltsin took a phone call from U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The new prime minister was unknown, rising to the top of the Federal Security Service only a year earlier.

Yeltsin wanted to reassure Clinton that Vladimir Putin was a “solid man.”

Yeltsin told Clinton….

“I would like to tell you about him so you will know what kind of man he is.”

“I found out he is a solid man who is kept well abreast of various subjects under his purview. At the same time, he is thorough and strong, very sociable. And he can easily have good relations and contact with people who are his partners. I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the nearly 600 pages of transcripts documenting the calls and personal conversations between then U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, released last month. A strong Clinton and a very weak Yeltsin underscore a warm and friendly relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

Then Vladimir Putin came along and decided to lift Russia out of the abyss, and things changed.

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Here are five must-read Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges from with the 600 pages released by the Clinton Library.

Via RT

Clinton sends ‘his people’ to get Yeltsin elected

Amid unceasing allegations of nefarious Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, the Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges reveal how the US government threw its full weight behind Boris – in Russian parliamentary elections as well as for the 1996 reelection campaign, which he approached with 1-digit ratings.

For example, a transcript from 1993 details how Clinton offered to help Yeltsin in upcoming parliamentary elections by selectively using US foreign aid to shore up support for the Russian leader’s political allies.

“What is the prevailing attitude among the regional leaders? Can we do something through our aid package to send support out to the regions?” a concerned Clinton asked.

Yeltsin liked the idea, replying that “this kind of regional support would be very useful.” Clinton then promised to have “his people” follow up on the plan.

In another exchange, Yeltsin asks his US counterpart for a bit of financial help ahead of the 1996 presidential election: “Bill, for my election campaign, I urgently need for Russia a loan of $2.5 billion,” he said. Yeltsin added that he needed the money in order to pay pensions and government wages – obligations which, if left unfulfilled, would have likely led to his political ruin. Yeltsin also asks Clinton if he could “use his influence” to increase the size of an IMF loan to assist him during his re-election campaign.

Yeltsin questions NATO expansion

The future of NATO was still an open question in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and conversations between Clinton and Yeltsin provide an illuminating backdrop to the current state of the curiously offensive ‘defensive alliance’ (spoiler alert: it expanded right up to Russia’s border).

In 1995, Yeltsin told Clinton that NATO expansion would lead to “humiliation” for Russia, noting that many Russians were fearful of the possibility that the alliance could encircle their country.

“It’s a new form of encirclement if the one surviving Cold War bloc expands right up to the borders of Russia. Many Russians have a sense of fear. What do you want to achieve with this if Russia is your partner? They ask. I ask it too: Why do you want to do this?” Yeltsin asked Clinton.

As the documents show, Yeltsin insisted that Russia had “no claims on other countries,” adding that it was “unacceptable” that the US was conducting naval drills near Crimea.

“It is as if we were training people in Cuba. How would you feel?” Yeltsin asked. The Russian leader then proposed a “gentleman’s agreement” that no former Soviet republics would join NATO.

Clinton refused the offer, saying: “I can’t make the specific commitment you are asking for. It would violate the whole spirit of NATO. I’ve always tried to build you up and never undermine you.”

NATO bombing of Yugoslavia turns Russia against the West

Although Clinton and Yeltsin enjoyed friendly relations, NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia tempered Moscow’s enthusiastic partnership with the West.

“Our people will certainly from now have a bad attitude with regard to America and with NATO,” the Russian president told Clinton in March 1999. “I remember how difficult it was for me to try and turn the heads of our people, the heads of the politicians towards the West, towards the United States, but I succeeded in doing that, and now to lose all that.”

Yeltsin urged Clinton to renounce the strikes, for the sake of “our relationship” and “peace in Europe.”

“It is not known who will come after us and it is not known what will be the road of future developments in strategic nuclear weapons,” Yeltsin reminded his US counterpart.

But Clinton wouldn’t cede ground.

“Milosevic is still a communist dictator and he would like to destroy the alliance that Russia has built up with the US and Europe and essentially destroy the whole movement of your region toward democracy and go back to ethnic alliances. We cannot allow him to dictate our future,” Clinton told Yeltsin.

Yeltsin asks US to ‘give Europe to Russia’

One exchange that has been making the rounds on Twitter appears to show Yeltsin requesting that Europe be “given” to Russia during a meeting in Istanbul in 1999. However, it’s not quite what it seems.

“I ask you one thing,” Yeltsin says, addressing Clinton. “Just give Europe to Russia. The US is not in Europe. Europe should be in the business of Europeans.”

However, the request is slightly less sinister than it sounds when put into context: The two leaders were discussing missile defense, and Yeltsin was arguing that Russia – not the US – would be a more suitable guarantor of Europe’s security.

“We have the power in Russia to protect all of Europe, including those with missiles,” Yeltsin told Clinton.

Clinton on Putin: ‘He’s very smart’

Perhaps one of the most interesting exchanges takes place when Yeltsin announces to Clinton his successor, Vladimir Putin.

In a conversation with Clinton from September 1999, Yeltsin describes Putin as “a solid man,” adding: “I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

A month later, Clinton asks Yeltsin who will win the Russian presidential election.

“Putin, of course. He will be the successor to Boris Yeltsin. He’s a democrat, and he knows the West.”

“He’s very smart,” Clinton remarks.

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New Satellite Images Reveal Aftermath Of Israeli Strikes On Syria; Putin Accepts Offer to Probe Downed Jet

The images reveal the extent of destruction in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport.

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Via Zerohedge


An Israeli satellite imaging company has released satellite photographs that reveal the extent of Monday night’s attack on multiple locations inside Syria.

ImageSat International released them as part of an intelligence report on a series of Israeli air strikes which lasted for over an hour and resulted in Syrian missile defense accidentally downing a Russian surveillance plane that had 15 personnel on board.

The images reveal the extent of destruction on one location struck early in attack in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport. On Tuesday Israel owned up to carrying out the attack in a rare admission.

Syrian official SANA news agency reported ten people injured in the attacks carried out of military targets near three major cities in Syria’s north.

The Times of Israel, which first reported the release of the new satellite images, underscores the rarity of Israeli strikes happening that far north and along the coast, dangerously near Russian positions:

The attack near Latakia was especially unusual because the port city is located near a Russian military base, the Khmeimim Air Force base. The base is home to Russian jet planes and an S-400 aerial defense system. According to Arab media reports, Israel has rarely struck that area since the Russians arrived there.

The Russian S-400 system was reportedly active during the attack, but it’s difficult to confirm or assess the extent to which Russian missiles responded during the strikes.

Three of the released satellite images show what’s described as an “ammunition warehouse” that appears to have been completely destroyed.

The IDF has stated their airstrikes targeted a Syrian army facility “from which weapons-manufacturing systems were supposed to be transferred to Iran and Hezbollah.” This statement came after the IDF expressed “sorrow” for the deaths of Russian airmen, but also said responsibility lies with the “Assad regime.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to express regret over the incident while offering to send his air force chief to Russia with a detailed report — something which Putin agreed to.

According to Russia’s RT News, “Major-General Amikam Norkin will arrive in Moscow on Thursday, and will present the situation report on the incident, including the findings of the IDF inquiry regarding the event and the pre-mission information the Israeli military was so reluctant to share in advance.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry condemned the “provocative actions by Israel as hostile” and said Russia reserves “the right to an adequate response” while Putin has described the downing of the Il-20 recon plane as likely the result of a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances” and downplayed the idea of a deliberate provocation, in contradiction of the initial statement issued by his own defense ministry.

Pro-government Syrians have reportedly expressed frustration this week that Russia hasn’t done more to respond militarily to Israeli aggression; however, it appears Putin may be sidestepping yet another trap as it’s looking increasingly likely that Israel’s aims are precisely geared toward provoking a response in order to allow its western allies to join a broader attack on Damascus that could result in regime change.

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“Transphobic” Swedish Professor May Lose Job After Noting Biological Differences Between Sexes

A university professor in Sweden is under investigation after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded”

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Via Zerohedge


A university professor in Sweden is under investigation for “anti-feminism” and “transphobia” after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” and that genders cannot be regarded as “social constructs alone,” reports Academic Rights Watch.

For his transgression, Germund Hesslow – a professor of neuroscience at Lund University – who holds dual PhDs in philosophy and neurophysiology, may lose his job – telling RT that a “full investigation” has been ordered, and that there “have been discussions about trying to stop the lecture or get rid of me, or have someone else give the lecture or not give the lecture at all.”

“If you answer such a question you are under severe time pressure, you have to be extremely brief — and I used wording which I think was completely innocuous, and that apparently the student didn’t,” Hesslow said.

Hesslow was ordered to attend a meeting by Christer Larsson, chairman of the program board for medical education, after a female student complained that Hesslow had a “personal anti-feminist agenda.” He was asked to distance himself from two specific comments; that gay women have a “male sexual orientation” and that the sexual orientation of transsexuals is “a matter of definition.”

The student’s complaint reads in part (translated):

I have also heard from senior lecturers that Germund Hesslow at the last lecture expressed himself transfobically. In response to a question of transexuallism, he said something like “sex change is a fly”. Secondly, it is outrageous because there may be students during the lecture who are themselves exposed to transfobin, but also because it may affect how later students in their professional lives meet transgender people. Transpersonals already have a high level of overrepresentation in suicide statistics and there are already major shortcomings in the treatment of transgender in care, should not it be countered? How does this kind of statement coincide with the university’s equal treatment plan? What has this statement given for consequences? What has been done for this to not be repeated? –Academic Rights Watch

After being admonished, Hesslow refused to distance himself from his comments, saying that he had “done enough” already and didn’t have to explain and defend his choice of words.

At some point, one must ask for a sense of proportion among those involved. If it were to become acceptable for students to record lectures in order to find compromising formulations and then involve faculty staff with meetings and long letters, we should let go of the medical education altogether,” Hesslow said in a written reply to Larsson.

He also rejected the accusation that he had a political agenda – stating that his only agenda was to let scientific factnot new social conventions, dictate how he teaches his courses.

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