Geneva - Israel has expanded its total ban on humanitarian supplies entering large areas of the Gaza Strip as part of its ongoing genocide, waged since 7 October, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said on Monday in a statement emphasising Israel’s use of starvation as a weapon against civil
"The West Bank already started to be destroyed
Jenin streets and homes and another hospital besieged
Our fate will be like Gaza, the terrorist army warned
Beirut too soon and other cities will also be damned
for our "new Middle East" with Starbucks
Grow General Electric and all war stocks
The USA has got Israel's back and gives the weapons to kill
American Taxpayers foot the bill
Will anyone signal stop?" [More of this poem and links inside.]
David Swanson, World BEYOND War writes, "We’ve just learned that the office of the prosecutor and the “security service” of Ukraine have published press releases claiming to have put a stop to the activities of the “vicious Russian propagandist Yurii Sheliazhenko. This is, of course, very strange because Yurii, a Board Member of World BEYOND War, has —
Always fantastic off the cuff speakers,encouraging Australians to stand up to their lousy government, and for freedom.
More terrific impromptu speeches by members of the public in defense of Julian Assange, and a slice of Sydney.
Every Friday at Sydney Town Hall, this group continues to stand up for Julian Assange. Stirring speeches about Australia's whistleblowers and Australia's involvement in war-crimes, Albanese's failure towards Assange, our crocodile tears for the prisoners of other regimes, but not for Julian Assange.
As a result of western crimes against Iraq, a person continues to serve time in prison. "Strangely enough, that person is not any of those who initiated the offensive on Iraq. Instead, he's the man behind exposing American crimes in places like Iraq and Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay: A whistleblower called Julian Assange." Marzieh Hashemi, journalist and presenter of Secret Files.
"Assange's case is a mirror which reveals the hypocrisy of the US and British claim to defend press freedom. [Because he revealed their war-crimes ...] the US government has, for more than a decade, filed unwarranted charges of sexual harassment, espionage, and computer-misuse against Assange [...] continuously suppressed Assange through secret surveillance, global pursuit behind the scene, deals, and other means. Britain has spared no effort in cooperating [...]"
Friday, 17 June. In a horrible clown-world, the UK government has approved the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US to face criminal charges, despite an original British judge ruling that he should not be deported due to risk of suicide and a warning by his lawyer that he still remains a risk - and the fact that he has committed no crime.
Your action can help save Julian Assange. Urge new PM and Foreign Affairs Minister to speak to President Biden at Japan conference
Dear friends of IPAN
We congratulate the people of Australia for voting in a new government comprised of Labor, Greens and Independents demonstrating a real community led demand for quality change in so many areas.
Only the British Home Secretary can stop his extradition now.
This was a presentation of videoed interviews, by multiple journalists, of Ukrainian complaints about war-crimes committed by Ukrainian Nationalist soldiers. Unfortunately, but predictably, some US-NATO allies did not react to the actual material presented, but used the forum to promote, yet again, the same positions that saturate the mainstream media, and to accuse the Russian Federation of promoting disinformation.
What America has been funding is really revolting. Furthermore, Australia has been involved. Russia has found documents showing that 350 cryocontainers with blood serum samples were transferred from the Public Health Centre of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine to the reference laboratory for infectious diseases of the Australian Doherty Institute under the pretext of determining antibody titers.
Source: Russian Ministry of Defence
Tucker Carlson shows up the shocking lies of the United States Government to deny its funding of multiple germ-warfare labs in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world. Not so hard to believe the reports of Nazi activity in Ukraine now? Russia and China are not telling lies about finding these labs.
"Last year, Ukrainian opposition politician Viktor Medvedchuk revealed to parliament that as many as 15 US-sponsored biological laboratories were operating on Ukrainian territory, with some of them said to be engaged in the storage of pathogens hazardous to humans and animals. Medvedchuk accused US and Ukrainian authorities of seeking to cover up the extent of these activities, and warned that some of the labs may be experimenting on human beings.
This household had a moment of great joy last night, to hear that Judge Vanessa Baraitser, presiding at the Magistrate's court, has disallowed Julian Assange's extradition on medical grounds. She found there was a high risk of his suiciding if confined in a US prison. However, she apparently threw out the grounds of public interest (protection of journalists); political persecution, and oppression. She also seems to have upheld the honouring of the UK treaty obligations to the United States, as the only public interest matter. For some of us, her decision on medical grounds, that Assange would probably suicide in US prison conditions, is equivalent to preventing the extradition of a prisoner to Nazi Germany, on grounds that they would probably not survive the concentration camps. The US prison system actually allows major corporations to benefit from slave labour of prisoners; it conducts secret trials; and it holds prisoners indefinitely without trial - as in Guantanamo Bay prison. The war crimes and international surveillance of governments and private individuals that Julian Assange exposed show the United States as a totally rogue state. It is not even a party to the International Criminal Court. Julian Assange's defense team called the UK treaty obligations with this rogue state into question. We need an international media and state denunciation of state alliances with the United States, but that would, ironically, require journalists to run the danger of being pursued by this rogue state, just as Julian Assange has been. One hopes that a defense of Julian Assange against the US appeal would benefit from a higher court looking again at the points of law disallowed by Judge Baraitser.
|Taylor Hudak||Mrs. Christine Assange||Julian Assange|
The continued detention and torture of Julian Assange by the U.K. government has required tyranny and violations of International asylum Law, British Law, and the law of the United States. Ironically, while the Australian Government has recently apologised for shocking Australian military crimes in Afghanistan, it continues to allow a perverted legal system to punish Assange for exposing many similar crimes by the United States. In the mean time, by scrapping virtually all the nuclear weapons control treaties with Russia as well as the Open skies Treaty, Trump has made global war more likely.
The embedded 5:22 minute video, below, is of Taylor Hudak's 27 November update in the latest developments In Julian Assange's case. The full transcript, adapted from the YouTube text, is included below. In it there is a call for President Trump to salvage something of his reputation by issuing a pre-emptive pardon to Assange. Unfortunately Joe Biden is even less likely to want his own acts on policy in Iran to be exposed.
Transcript of Taylor Hudak's talk
On Thursday November 26th a mandatory 28-day hearing was scheduled at Westminster Magistrates' Court before Deputy Chief Magistrate, Tan Ikram. Like other remand prisoners, Assange must be presented before a court every 28 days so the judge can choose to either expand or terminate his detention. However, a Covid-19 outbreak in Belmarsh Prison, where Assange is being held, prevented him from attending the hearing.
It was reported that Edward Fitzgerald, speaking on behalf of the Defence, told the court that Assange has waived his right to attend the hearing in fear of contracting Covid-19. A week earlier, on November 18, a spokesperson for Her Majesty's Prison Service announced that Belmarsh Prison would implement stricter Coronavirus measures, after three inmates tested positive for the virus.
Assange and other prisoners are confined to their cell for 24 hours a day. Additionally, showers are no longer open and meals must be provided directly to the prisoners in their cell.
Days prior to the recent hearing, 56 people tested positive for Covid on Assange's house block, which holds 168 people and several were sent to the hospital, and while Covid-19 has a high survival rate for a healthy individual, Assange's chronic respiratory issues, combined with the ongoing psychological torture and years of medical neglect, put him at a greater risk of being impacted negatively by the effects of the virus.
On November 22, Doctors For Assange (https://doctorsassange.org/) issued another letter. The letter calls for the immediate end of the torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange. Additionally the letter states:
He is at a high medical risk from Covid-19 given a chronic lung condition and likely immunosuppression due to prolonged psychological torture. He meets internationally agreed criteria for release of vulnerable prisoners in light of Covid-19.
Assange's mother Christine Assange went to Twitter to state, "If my son dies from #Covid19 it will be murder!" She
cites that the UK government, the court, and the prison, have all been warned that Assange is vulnerable to the virus, that that the U.K. and U.S. government opposed emergency bail, and that Belmarsh Prison is placing all Covid-positive prisoners in Assange's wing. Because of the recent increase in Covid-positive prisoners, Reporters Without Borders, or RSF, has called for Assange's immediate release from prison.
The statement from RSF not only reflects on the potential impacts of the virus, but how new Covid safety measures in a prison including isolation could have seriously damaging effects on Assange's mental health.
With Assange's decision to not attend the hearing in fear of contracting the virus, the Defence, the Prosecution, and the Court, have scheduled for another hearing to take place on December 11th.
Meanwhile, outside the courthouse, Assange's supporters gathered for a peaceful protest ,demanding his freedom and for no U.S. extradition.
In other news, President Trump pardoned his former National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn. This prompted free press advocates and Assange supporters to amp up the pressure on the President to issue a pre-emptive pardon to Julian Assange.
His fiance and mother of his two children, Stella Morris, posted a heartfelt appeal to President Trump on Twitter asking for a pardon, including a picture with her two young children.
Morris wrote, "These are Julian's sons Max and Gabriel. They need their father. Our family needs to be whole again. I beg you, please bring him home for Christmas." And what better way for President Trump to stand up to what he calls the Deep State and the intelligence community, who have been actively working to undermine his Presidency, than to Pardon the man who exposed their corruption, Julian Assange. And, while it is the Trump Administration that has charged the Wikileaks founder, it is never too late to get on the right side of history, prevent further damage and uphold human rights.
If President Trump were to pardon Assange, it would not only be a historic move, but it would leave a lasting and positive impact on his legacy. Trump would not only be remembered favorably for preventing the destruction of the First Amendment and press freedom worldwide, he would be saving the life of Julian Assange.
Both the defense and prosecution have submitted closing arguments earlier this month and the judge (Vanessa Baraitser) is expected to make her ruling on January 4th 2010.
Demonstrations in support of Assange will be held on the 4th in London, (Washington) DC and other locations. To stay up to date on this case please, make sure that you subscribe to our YouTube channel (acTVism) and if you've missed any of our reports, go to our Julian Assange case updates playlist to get all caught up.
I'm Taylor Hudak. As always, thanks for tuning in and I'll see you in my next report
Late in the day, on Nov. 15, one week after the U.S. elections, the lame-duck Congress convened in special session with normal rules suspended so the House could pass House Resolution 5732, the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act” calling for intensifying the already harsh sanctions on Syria, assessing the imposition of a “no fly zone” inside Syria (to prevent the Syrian government from flying) and escalating efforts to press criminal charges against Syrian officials.
HR5732 claims to promote a negotiated settlement in Syria but, as analyzed by Friends Committee for National Legislation, it imposes preconditions which would actually make a peace agreement more difficult.
There was 40 minutes of “debate” with six representatives (Ed Royce, R-California; Eliot Engel, D-New York; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida; Dan Kildee, D-Michigan; Chris Smith, R-New Jersey; and Carlos Curbelo, R-Florida) all speaking in favor of the resolution. There were few other representatives present, but the House Foreign Affairs Committee stated that the resolution was passed “unanimously” without mentioning these special conditions.
According to Wikipedia, “Suspension of the rules is a procedure generally used to quickly pass non-controversial bills in the United States House of Representatives … such as naming Post Offices…” In this case, however, the resolution could lead to a wider war in the Middle East and potentially World War III with nuclear-armed Russia.
Most strikingly, the resolution calls for evaluating and developing plans for the United States to impose a “no fly zone” inside Syria, a sovereign nation, an act of war that also would violate international law as an act of aggression. It also could put the U.S. military in the position of shooting down Russian aircraft.
To call this proposal “non-controversial” is absurd, although it may say a great deal about the “group think” of the U.S. Congress that an act of war would be so casually considered. Clearly, this resolution should have been debated under normal rules with a reasonable amount of Congressional presence and debate.
The motivation for bypassing normal rules and rushing the bill through without meaningful debate was articulated by the bill’s sponsor, Democrat Eliot Engel: “We cannot delay action on Syria any further. … If we don’t get this legislation across the finish line in the next few weeks, we are back to square one.”
The current urgency may be related to the election results since President-elect Donald Trump has spoken out against “regime change” foreign policy. As much as neoconservatives and their liberal-interventionist allies are critical of President Obama for not doing more in Syria, these Congressional hawks are even more concerned about the prospect of a President who might move toward peace and away from war.
Syrian President Bashar Assad says that US airstrikes which killed 62 Syrian government troops were “intentional” and they lasted for an hour. He added that the US “does not have the will” to join Russia in fighting terrorists in Syria. Article contains video interview of Bashar al-Assad on this matter. (Article first published on RT on 22 Sep, 2016 11:18 at https://www.rt.com/news/360248-assad-ap-intentional-us-airstrikes/.)
Speaking to the Associated Press in Damascus, the Syrian leader denied that the airstrikes carried out by the US near Deir ez-Zor on September 17 were an accident. Sixty-two Syrian soldiers were killed and over 100 were injured, according to the Syrian military. Assad said they were “intentionally” targeted.
“It was not an accident by one airplane; it was four airplanes which kept attacking the position of the Syrian troops for nearly one hour or maybe a little bit more than one hour,” Assad told AP, adding they were attacking a large area that “constituted of many hills” adjacent to where the Syrian troops were stationed.
Assad also questioned how IS was able to launch an attack so quickly after the airstrike.
“The IS troops attacked at the very same time as the American strike. How could they know that America was going to attack that position in order to gather their militants right away and attack it one hour after the strike. It was definitely intentional and not unintentional,” he added.
The Pentagon said the airstrikes on Syrian troops were an accident and that they were aimed at Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists.
Assad also claimed that the US is not interested in fighting terrorists in Syria, saying that Washington “lacks the will” to join Russia in trying to eliminate extremist groups.
“When you have many external factors that you don't control, it's going to drag on and no one in this world can tell you when,” he answered a question about when the war might end.
He also said that the conflict is likely to drag on because the US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar keep supporting those opposed to Assad’s rule.
The Syrian president dismissed US claims that Russian or Syrian planes were responsible for a fatal attack on an aid convoy which killed 21 people September 19. He said the American accusations have “no credibility” and they are “just lies.”
“I would say whatever the American officials said about the conflict in Syria has no credibility. Whatever they say is just lies.”
When pressed about what happened to the aid convoys, Assad said they were passing through rebel-held areas and these “terrorists” were responsible for their security.
“We don’t have any idea about what happened. The only thing we saw was videos of burnt-out, destroyed trucks and nothing else,” Assad said.
Following Russia’s intervention to help the Syrian army on Wednesday 30 September, there was a report on the World Today by Barney Porter (who also produces the program). It left an awful lot to be desired, not all of which could be blamed on Porter and his choice of interviewees. He only allowed Kerry to describe his own delusion that ‘Assad only controls 25% of the country’ – ( so Russia is backing a loser..). But of course the whole tone of the report was anti-Russian and Anti-Putin.
Today October 2, 2015, there was another report from Barney on the World Today, which wasn’t a huge lot different. I have noticed in the past that he often speaks to half a dozen people – but of course they still all sit on the same side of the fence. There continues to be a stunning lack of different viewpoints in the Western media sphere, think-tanks and commentators.
Porter’s report was followed by an interview by ELizabeth Jackson, who is quite hopelessly biased against Assad. She was speaking to Peter Jennings from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (APSI). It is significant that this man (a) was from the dept of Defence, and (b) was appointed to APSI – an ‘independent’ government funded think-tank set up by Stephen Smith in 2012, with Hugh White as director.
So Peter Jennings effectively suggests or promotes government policy.
You can read the interview below, with the worst bits highlighted. You might also read what was an article in the Weekend Australian on September 12th, just after our ‘declaration of war on Syria’. See https://www.aspi.org.au/publications/opinion-pieces/destruction-of-islamic-state-is-the-first-step-on-the-road-to-middle-east-solution/Destruction-of-Islamic-State-is-the-first-step-on-the-road-to-Middle-East-solution.pdf
In this article, Jenning’s proposals, for cruise missile strikes on Syrian air force bases – ‘the Russians mightn’t like’.. and replacement of Assad with ‘another Alawite general’ in the meantime, followed by a ‘Sunni from the refugee camps’, are almost beyond belief.
I also noticed in the interview today that Jennings referred to ‘Bashir al Assad’, and to Tarsus, not Tartus ( both corrected in the transcript).
Clearly the man doesn’t have the slightest idea about Syria, or Russia, and what he advises seems based on bigotry and a fossilised idea about the region.
But it’s also an indication of the problem for the ABC for instance, if it thinks to present a reasonable alternative point of view.
Porter also interviewed the hawkish Kilcullen briefly today, who oddly allowed some truth to slip through the orchestrated propaganda. Kilcullen admitted something about Al Nusra and ISIS being around Homs in Syria. In this he contradicted the falsity of what the west has been maintaining. The West has been pretending that ISIS isn't prevalent in the area where Russia has dropped bombs, and, on the basis of this fiction, has accused Russia of actually dropping bombs on the spuriously designate 'moderate opposition'.
ABC Australia World Today, Thursday, October 1, 2015 12:20:00
ELIZABETH JACKSON: Peter Jennings is the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
He says Russia's actions demonstrate that its loyalty to Bashar al-Assad is stronger than its desire to defeat IS.
PETER JENNINGS: I think everyone needs to be looked at pretty sceptically when it comes to Syria. I certainly don't believe the Russians because their only interest is really in propping up Bashar al-Assad, and the Americans I think are scrambling to cover for really three or four years of completely ignoring the crisis and they're coming to this rather late and in a weak position.
ELIZABETH JACKSON: So you are of the view then that Russia has deliberately bombed rebels not IS fighters. Is that correct?
PETER JENNINGS: That seems to be the effect of the reporting. It's happening in the city of Homs where IS has not actually been present. This is all about shoring up their client’s position, but you know, one has to wonder if the Russians haven't in some ways made a really big strategic mistake.
Because I don't see Assad being able to claw himself back from what is a continually weakening position, and the Russians need to be careful that they don't find themselves actually becoming the brunt of the jihadist's campaign.
ELIZABETH JACKSON: So the Russians now appear to be trying to justify their actions using very diplomatic language, saying we agree about the goal, we just have different ideas about the methods of achieving that goal. What do you make of all of that?
PETER JENNINGS: Well, we've seen what their methods are, which is frankly indiscriminate bombing, and then after the Russian strikes, in flew the Syrian helicopters to drop more barrel bombs. This is, as we've seen with Vladimir Putin's behaviour in Ukraine, it's deeply cynical.
It's covered in the language of principle, but it's clearly not that, and it is only about shoring up Russia's increasingly weak looking client in the form of Bashar al-Assad.
ELIZABETH JACKSON: Is there any significance, do you think to the fact that the Russians only gave the Americans an hour's notice that they were going to start bombing?
PETER JENNINGS: Well, the Russians are in a position to do this, because they have the forces in the country and have had for decades, although they've recently reinforced them.
The Americans are really in no position to do anything other than watch what's going on, so you know, there is very clearly a sort of tactical advantage that the Russians have, and I guess the hour's notice to the Americans is just to make sure that when their aircraft are in the air, they're not going to be targeted by the Americans in any way, which neither side would have an interest in wanting to do.
So really, Washington can only sit back with some frustration, I imagine, at this moment to actually watch what the Russians are about.
ELIZABETH JACKSON: Do you consider this to be a risky strategy on the part of Russia?
PETER JENNINGS: Highly risky, highly. I mean I think there are two elements to this: one is there are significant number of Chechens, several hundred possibly already fighting for IS, so by going in more actively and targeting Sunni extremist groups, the Russians risk terrorism coming back into their own country through enraging their own Chechen population.
And secondly, in the Middle East themselves, they're now going to be making themselves a principle target of IS and every other extremist group in Syria.
So this is, like a lot of the things we see from Vladimir Putin, it's highly risky, but he does have the advantage of being on the offensive and having some momentum, and I guess the challenge for Russia is not to let themselves get bogged down in the Syrian crisis in ways which make them the principle target.
ELIZABETH JACKSON: But why would he take a risk of that magnitude?
PETER JENNINGS: Well, they've backed the Syrian regime since the early 1970s, including Assad's father. They have a military naval port in Tartus in Syria, and I think Putin also sees that he's got a certain international political advantage to play be presenting himself as being a fighter against Islamic extremism in ways which might help him sort of bring him back from the outer after his invasion of Crimea.
So he's got a set of sort of political and strategic objectives at play, and I think we also see in Putin the instincts of a gambler who's prepared to take some risks, as against Obama who has really been only trying to avoid risk when it comes to dealing with Syria for the last three or four years.
ELIZABETH JACKSON: That's Peter Jennings, the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
If you want to know more about Jennings, appointed to head the ASPI by Stephen Smith in 2012, read what he wrote for the Weekend Australian on September 12th, ... and scream!
See also: US commandos kill 12 ISIL militants, including head of oil operations: Official (16/5/15) | PressTV
This article was first published as "US special forces stage raid into Syria," http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/05/18/syri-m18.html by Patrick Martin, on 18 May 2015.
The US government said Saturday that soldiers in the elite Delta Force, the main Pentagon Special Forces unit, had carried out a raid into eastern Syria, killing a leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other members of the Islamic extremist group.
The Pentagon identified the high-level ISIS official as a Tunisian who had assumed the name Abu Sayyaf (Arabic for “father of the sword”). According to the US government, when he fought back against the attacks, the commandos killed him and a dozen other men, before returning to Iraq with two female captives.
President Obama gave the order for the raid, the White House said, based on the “unanimous recommendation” of US national security officials, and with the consent of the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi for the use of Iraqi bases to launch the attack inside Syria.
US press coverage supplemented the brief announcement by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, giving details of the raid supplied in unattributed interviews from Obama administration officials in both the White House and Pentagon.
By these accounts, US Huey helicopters and Osprey vertical takeoff planes transported the Delta Force commandos from a base in Iraq to the location at al-Amr, the largest Syrian oil field, about 20 miles south of Deir el Zour in the eastern desert.
The commandos allegedly encountered resistance when they attempted to seize Abu Sayyaf and his wife, and killed him and a dozen other ISIS fighters, before retreating under fire to their aircraft and returning to Iraq with two women: Umm Sayyaf, the ISIS leader’s wife, and a Yazidi woman in their household. The US troops suffered no casualties despite the supposedly fierce firefight and “hand-to-hand” combat.
Weekend news reports in the United States were devoted to celebratory accounts of the raid and the daring of the Special Forces commandos, the “courage” of Obama in ordering the attack, ad nauseam, with no discussion of the likely consequences of such military actions becoming more frequent in the future.
None of the details provided in the press accounts can be accepted as fact, given that the US officials refused to provide details that could be independently verified. Such anonymous leaked accounts have been used to plant false reports, most notoriously in relation to the May 1, 2011 commando raid that killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
A lengthy exposé by veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, published May 10 by the London Review of Books, argued that virtually every detail of the raid that killed bin Laden was falsified by US official spokesmen, from President Obama on down.
Similarly, the claims about Friday’s raid should be treated as entirely unproven at this stage. The US government has admitted that its troops entered Syria without notifying the government of that country, making its operations there completely illegal under international law. Anything beyond that remains to be demonstrated.
Syrian official television initially claimed that the raid was conducted forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, not those of the United States, and that five leaders of ISIS were among the dead, including a Tunisian, a Chechen, a Turk, a Saudi and an Iraqi.
The White House adamantly denied the Syrian claim. National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan told reporters, “The US government did not coordinate with the Syrian regime, nor did we advise them in advance of this operation.”
Meehan continued, using a different acronym for Islamic State, “We have warned the Assad regime not to interfere with our ongoing efforts against ISIL inside of Syria. The Assad regime is not and cannot be a partner in the fight against ISIL.”
This statement has ominous implications. What will happen if US forces come into contact with Syrian government forces during future operations like Friday’s raid? There is every reason to believe that a major purpose of such incursions into Syrian airspace and Syrian territory is to create a pretext for a direct US attack on the Syrian army and the Assad government.
There was some substantiation of at least part of the Syrian television account of the raid on the al-Amr oilfield. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group hostile to Assad and aligned with efforts to promote foreign intervention in Syria to overthrow the regime, reported that the US special forces raid killed 32 ISIS fighters, including four leaders, identifying them as “IS oil chief Abu Sayyaf, the deputy IS defence minister, and an IS communications official.”
This puts the death toll at much higher than reported by the Pentagon, and confirms the Syrian claim that a group of ISIS leaders, not just one, were killed.
The exact circumstances of the raid may not be known for some time. But the political context in which it takes place suggests a significant escalation by the Obama administration.
The raid is the fourth US special forces operation in the Middle East in less than a year, including an unsuccessful raid last summer on an ISIS facility in Raqqa, allegedly to rescue US hostages who were later executed, and two unsuccessful raids in Yemen in November and December, supposedly to rescue an American held prisoner by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The American AQAP prisoner and a South African fellow captive were killed during the second raid.
Meanwhile, US-led airstrikes on ISIS targets across eastern Syria continue. In the 24 hours ending Sunday morning, the Pentagon reported eight bombing attacks, including six near the city of Hasakah, in the northeast, and two near Kobani, a Kurdish-populated town where a lengthy ISIS siege was broken by US saturation bombing.
In an editorial published May 13, the Washington Post urged the Obama administration to openly declare the goal of its intervention in Syria to be the overthrow of the Assad government. Pointing to the mounting disagreements between Obama and the Gulf sheikdoms, reflected in the near-boycott of last week’s Camp David meeting by four of the six Gulf monarchs, the Post declared, “But there is a way that Mr. Obama could serve both US interests and those of the Gulf allies: by attacking the Middle East’s most toxic and destabilizing force, the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria.
"Bombers in the channel and warships off Britain’s coast… If you believe the British media and some government ministers, it’s only a matter of time before the Red Army complete with snow on their boots turns up on a high street near you. How hot is the new Cold War going to get? Helping us to answer the question is the Guardian's associate editor Seumas Milne." - George Galloway, British MP interviews Seumas Milne.
Seumus Milne: I think in last few weeks and months it has reached fever pitch. You've got the level of media coverage of this crisis in Ukraine now 'Russia's role' in it and Russia's role in Europe and Putin in particular has become hysterical and completely unrelated to reality. And I think it is quite dangerous. I think they're whipping up a kind of war-fever and preparing people for a level of intervention that, you know, British people, people in this part of the world in Western Europe are actually not committed to at all. Nor in the United States. They're trying to lay the ground for a level of action in relation to Russia and the Ukraine that I think is (a) unjustified, and (b) not at all supported by public opinion. But these things have a momentum of their own. And you know, in the last few weeks, we've seen decisions to send American and British troops - in relatively small numbers - we're talking hundreds - but still troops - to Ukraine, which is not a member of NATO, to a zone where there is conflict, in which there's a civil war going on, which Russia is supporting one side in that war and the United States, Britain, France and the other NATO powers are supporting the other side. A government that came to power in an illegal overthrow of an elected government.
And this is a dangerous situation which can spin out of control. So I think it's necessary for us in this part of the world to be actually much tougher with our own governments and our own military and our own media about the stories they're telling about the situation because it's something that can lead to disaster.
I don't think it's the intention of either Russia or the Western powers for this to [turn into a hot war] I don't think the West intends to fight in Ukraine, although it's clearly drawn the line in the NATO states that it's set up in the former Soviet Union - particularly the Baltic States. But, as we're talking about, these things have their own logic and they can lead to their own forms of escalation.
If for example, as there is incredibly strong pressure in the US from both main parties - Republicans and Democrats - to arm the Ukrainian government, which has been resisted up to this point, by France and Germany in particular. If that takes place and they send heavy weapons to Ukrainian forces - by the way, which include fascist militias fighting on the front line in Eastern Ukraine, with names like the Azov Battalion, where they have swastika-like symbols on their arms and belief in racial superiority and white supremacy. These are some of the forces that we're talking about arming and supporting, that the West is supporting at the moment. If that happens and the Russians then increase the level of supplies with heavy weapons to the rebel camp in Eastern Ukraine - You know, the potential for that conflict spinning out of control is very serious!
And, in fact, we've had British generals, you know, like the former British representative at NATO who has been speaking out last week, saying just this: that the potential for what he called total war is there and his argument is, you know, that the British Government and NATO must take this seriously, that military spending must be increased. And a lot of people are using this conflict as a way to try and protect the army and the armed forces from cuts and to, you know, spend more on weapons.
But if people like that themselves are saying it, I think we should take it seriously and wind down the conflict. And raise the pressure, in this country and other parts of the world to wind down this conflict, to de-escalate the conflict. We've got to - At the moment there's a cease-fire in Eastern Ukraine which is more or less holding and some of the heavy weapons have been pulled back from the front line as a result of this so-called Minsk Agreement that was signed last month. But the sending of troops by Britain and America to Ukraine to Kiev actually explicitly breaks that agreement that was signed - the ceasefire agreement. Article 10 in that ceasefire agreement - the Minsk Agreement - stipulates withdrawal of all foreign forces from Ukraine and that has been breached by our own government, by the United States government, directly. But, you know, that agreement is likely to break down again because it doesn't deal with the underlying causes and we're likely to see a new escalation in the months to come.
So we need to be promoting - I think quite seriously - and pressing for an alternative - and an end to this ludicrous anti-Russian propaganda, which is blinding people to the reality of what's going on and making a genuine debate and dialogue about what's taking place impossible because anything that contradicts the NATO line, the western line, which overwhelmingly dominates the western media, is immediately dismissed as Kremlin propaganda. Whatever the truth of it.
Despite the clear and convincing evidence that a 2013 Sarin attack in Syria was staged and effected by foreign intelligence agencies working with terrorist groups, to be used as a pretext for “humanitarian intervention”, this fabrication and other false allegations against the Syrian government are now being dusted off again, along with a suitable replacement “government in waiting”. But something happened in the meantime — Syria had a democratic presidential election with three candidates, in which even refugee expatriates went out of their way to vote - and Bashar Al Assad was returned with overwhelming approval. Any country ignoring the legality of the Assad Government in Syria surely does so at peril of later accusations of war-crimes.
The following article was republished from a letter entitled, "Attacking Syria is simply illegal"in the Border Mail, which is a Fairfax paper, on Sept. 27, 2014, midnight.)
A YEAR ago we saw a real demonstration of democracy in our electorate, as Cathy McGowan defeated the sitting member with the help of a strong preferential vote. At the same time as this was happening, plans by the “Western allies” for violent change of government in Syria following the criminal fabrication of a chemical weapons attack on Damascus were effectively thwarted by skilled Russian diplomacy.
Despite the clear and convincing evidence that the Sarin attack was staged and effected by foreign intelligence agencies working with terrorist groups, to be used as a pretext for “humanitarian intervention”, this fabrication and other false allegations against the Syrian government are now being dusted off again, along with a suitable replacement “government in waiting”.
But something happened in the meantime — Syria had a presidential election. [Ed. For the dramatic details, see "Video added: Anti-Syria camp taken aback by high voter turnout among Syrian expats"]
Despite the atrocious problems and continued fighting in some areas of Syria, 73 per cent of eligible voters cast their votes.
Even refugees participated, with more than 100,000 voting in Lebanon.
Unfortunately for the West’s ambitions, Syrians overwhelmingly supported their current president Bashar al Assad; the two opposition candidates received only 7 per cent of the vote.
Though declared free and fair by international observers, the election was hypocritically described as “illegal” by the US and Australia, and this is now being used as a justification for breaching Syria’s sovereignty without UN approval.
As we have now tacitly acknowledged the truth of President Assad’s claim that he was fighting “foreign terrorists”, isn’t it time to also acknowledge the democratically expressed will of the Syrian people, and time to abandon the preposterous idea that the cabal of Western and Gulf-state backed puppets we recognise as “legitimate representatives of the Syrian people” has no legitimacy whatsoever among those very people?
tinyurl.com/98c63cn The cold-blooded murder of Syrian postal workers, hurled to their deaths from the top of a three story building, has been captured on a YouTube video broadcast by the Syrian Girl embedded within this artcle. Any possible doubt about the criminality and savagery of the Syrian 'rebels' and their US, NATO, Israeli and Arab sponsors will surely be dispelled by this chilling video. A more uplifting video of an interview of the Syrian Girl by Alex Jones is also included.
Few who have spent more than a minimal amount of time examining the news reports of the Syrian conflict in recent months, would have failed to grasp the implausibility of the claim by the mainstream media that the Syrian conflict is a popular uprising against the hated, brutal, dictatorship of Bashar Al-Assad. If this were the case, then why wouldn't the inhabitants of Damascus and Aleppo have flocked to the side of the insurgents, on the occasions on which they launched offensives against these cities? The fact that the Syrian army has again and again driven the insurgents out of populated urban regions is surely evidence that the insurgents do not have the support of Syrians.
A closer examination of the Syrian conflict will reveal the coverage of the Syrian by the mainstream media and much of the supposed 'alternative' media to have been extremely untruthful. Some of the more telling of many examples of misinformation include:
- Blaming the Assad Government for the Houla massacre, when the victims of the massacre were government supporters.
- The apparent start of a massacre of kneeling Syrian Government supporters facing guns and the apparent impact of at least one gunshot captured on a video in Aleppo in a report by the BBC's Ian Pannell. The fate of those kneeling Syrians was not revealed to the viewers.
- Repeated claims that the Assad Government was on the brink of collapse.
Most recently, only on 12 August the cold-blooded murder of 6 Syrian postal workers was captured on a YouTube video lasting 2 minutes and 48 seconds, which is embedded below. At the outset of the video, there are three battered and immobile bodies of three postal workers on the ground at the foot of a 3 storey building. During the video three more postal workers die after they are hurled from the top of the building onto the ground. YouTube warns that that the video could be most distressing to some members of the public and should >not be viewed by children.
Stills from the above video included below.
A more uplifting video, also to be found on the Syrian Girl's channel is the following interview of her by Alex Jones. Many viewers may be surprised to learn that the Syrian Girl's own family had fled Syria in the past when it was ruled by Bashar Al-Assad's father. Her reasons for supporting the current Syrian Government against the supposed 'rebels' are explained in a most revealing and interesting video. (If you find yourself unable to comfortably view the video below because of the chillng images displayed above images, you may prefer to view it directly on YouTube.)
See Syria defends itself against NATO sponsored terrorism of 15 August 2015 for latest developments or click on 'Syria' tag for other stories about Syria.
Syrian Terrorists Bomb UN Observers in Damascus of 16 Aug 2012.