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Sunday, 26 June 2016

US Options in the Ukraine: trigger a religious war?

June 25, 2016
Note from the Saker: I wrote this article before taking a break to write my thesis and I am posting it now even though my summer fundraiser will only end on Wednesday.   I just don’t want you to have to wait for the end of my fundraising drive before getting your news and analysis, especially on the Ukraine (which has been requested by many), but if you have not contributed yet – please do so now.  Thanks a lot!  The SakerUnz Review
——-
This article was written for the Unz Review
Listening to the imperial media one might be excused for thinking that nothing dramatic is happening in the Ukraine
and that the crisis has basically leveled off in some way.
Well, why not? They just had recent elections and, apparently, that went well, Russia is still showing her usual bad will and threatening behavior towards US Options in the Ukraine: trigger a religious war?Europe, but at least Putin was forced to release the Ukrainian Jeanne d’Arc (aka Nadezhda Savchenko), and there is hope that the united front of the EU and NATO will eventually force Putin to stop his aggression against the Ukraine and to comply with the Minsk Agreements.  Oh, and the Ukrainian National Bank has announced, I kid you not, a return to growth (by 0.1%) for the first quarter of the year.
Alas, the disconnected between this kind of nonsense and reality is total. Yes, elections did take place, but they were anything but free, the neo-Nazis are now more influential than ever and the fact that Putin did agree to exchange Savchenko for 2 Russian citizens accused of being, I kid you not, GRU Spetsnaz operators, was just a slick way for him to stop Savchenko from being his problem while making her Poroshenko’s (and even Timoshenko’s). As for the Minks Agreements, Russia is not part to them at all, she just is a guarantor along with Germany and France. But yes, Poroshenko is still in power, people are still finding goods in stores and no new “Maidan” has taken place. So, externally, things are not too bad.
The problem with that rosy image is that nobody at Langley really believes it.
The folks at Langley know that the Ukrainian economy is basically dead and coasting to its inevitable breakdown on inertia. They know that the government services are barely kept alive by western aid and that even that is not enough to maintain the authority of the central government which is gradually becoming irrelevant and replaced by local ‘authorities’ (oligarchs and mobsters). Even more importantly, they now have lost any hope of drawing Russia into this conflict and they are seeing clear signs that the “European front” is cracking: France, Italy and others are already showing signs of discontent with the current situation, as has Germany (all these countries have their own “Langleys” who are making exactly the same dire predictions).
So the big question for the USA is what to do next?
The initial plan was to make the Ukraine a sort of “black hole” which would suck in all the economic, political, economic and military resources of Russia, ideally by having Russia occupying the Donbass. But now that the Russians have declined to get sucked in, it is Europe which is now threatened with the Ukrainian black hole.
The Americans probably realize by now that it is too late to put Humpty Dumpty together again and they are right. While, in theory, a join effort of the USA, EU and Russia could, at a huge cost, try to rebuilt the Ukraine, political realities make such a joint action impossible, at least for the foreseeable future. They also realize that, courtesy of Mrs Nuland’s candid words, the blame for the disastrous outcome in the Ukraine will be put on the USA (which is not quite far, the Europeans are also guilty as hell, but such is life). And if “losing Syria”, and was bad enough, then “losing the Ukraine” will do irreparable damage to the USA simply by debunking the myth of the USA’s omnipotence. This is very serious, especially for an Empire which has basically given up on negotiations or diplomacy and which now only delivers ultimatums.
So what are the US options here?
It is hard to predict at this time what the US might try to do. The normal US practice in such a situation is to simply declare victory and leave. That would work in Africa or Asia, but smack in the middle of the European continent that is hardly an option as it would result in a PR disaster.
The second option could be to basically blame the Ukrainians themselves for everything and try to protect Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova from the inevitable consequences of the spreading chaos. The risk here, at least from the US point of view, is that Russia and her Novorussian allies would be more or less free to move in the created vacuum and that is something the USA absolutely cannot accept. The Americans would have visions of Zakharchenko in Kiev or pro-Russian riots in Odessa and that is simply beyond unacceptable.
Which leaves option three: to deliberately blow up the Ukraine.
Rostislav Ishchenko, in my opinion the best specialist of the Ukraine on the planet, has recently beganwarning that such a mechanism is already in place: to turn the civil war into a religious war pitting not Latins (“Roman Catholics”) against the Orthodox, butvarious Orthodox group against each other. Let me explain.
Like everything else in the Ukraine, the history of the various Orthodox jurisdictions in the Ukraine is very complex and goes far back into the centuries. I cannot go into a detailed discussion of this very interesting topic here, but I want to offer some key pointers.
There are three main groups which all call themselves the “true” or “canonical” Ukrainian Orthodox Church: the biggest one is the Autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, followed by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate and, finally, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. Of course, all three of these churches claim to be the true representative of the legitimate Ukrainian Orthodoxy.
[Full disclosure: I personally don’t consider any of them to be legitimate or truly Orthodox so I don’t have a personal stake in this one].
They are:
The AUOC-MP is the biggest of the three. It is self-governing, but not fully independent. It is probably the biggest of the three churches and it is in full communion with all of the other “official” (read: “state approved”) Orthodox Churches out there. The AUOC-MP is viewed as the “hand of the Kremlin” by the nationalists.
The UOC-KP was founded by a former Bishop of the Moscow Patriarchate, Filaret Denisenko who created a “schism” (a unilateral separation in contradiction to the Canons of the Church) from the Moscow Patriarchate (which is ironic since Filaret was a former “deputy” (locum tenens) to PatriarchPimen I of the Moscow Patriarchate and even considered a front-runner to succeed him). Even by Soviet standards Filaret was always known to be an exceptionally immoral, corrupt and unprincipled man, but the Moscow Patriarchate only excommunicated him when he broke-off from the MP to create his own “church”.
The UAOC is basically a 1921 creation of the Ukrainian National Republic of 1917 (just as the Moscow Patriarchate is a 1937 creation of the Bolshevik state of 1917) and it represents the “non-Soviet” version of Ukrainian Christianity and several of its clergymen have been persecuted by the Soviet state.
What makes this situation truly unique are two factors:
  • Historically, the territory which is today known as the Ukraine has mostly been part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople between the 10th and 17th century (this is a gross simplification, but basically correct).
  • The modern Patriarchate of Constantinople is in a desperate quest for relevance (by itself it is tiny and subject to the Turkish authorities) and has extremely bad relations with Moscow
There is, therefore, at very real risk that the authorities in Kiev will decide to declare the AUOC-MP as an “aggressor country Church” and that they will order all the parishes, monasteries and other building currently owned by the clergy of the AUOC-MP to be forcibly transferred to either the UOC-KP and/or the UAOC. There is also a possibility that the Patriarch of Constantinople might decide to “heed the cries of the faithful” and recognize either the UOC-KP and/or the UAOC as an autonomous part of the Constantinople Patriarchate thus basically taking the entire Ukraine under his control. And even if the authorities in Kiev don’t formally declare the AUOC-MP as a fair game for pogroms and illegal expropriations, they can just look away and let the neo-Nazi death-squads (like the infamous “Aidar”) do the dirty job for them.
How big is this risk?
Пылают православные храмыI would assess it as high. To create civil disturbances is the ideal way for the regime in Kiev to blame the “hand of Moscow” for all the problems. The spineless Europeans would have to follow the (US) party line and blame Putin for “stirring up the Russian-speakers” in the Ukraine and “using the pro-Moscow Russian minority initiate a new phase in the hybrid war against the sovereign Ukraine”. Such a confrontation would also allow to unite the oligarch controlled political factions with the real neo-Nazis who are currently in a “moderate opposition” mode. For the oligarchs, they would be the perfect opportunity to murder their neo-Nazi opposition (Savchenko for example) and blame it on “Moscow’s agents”. Last but not least, the eruption of intra-Orthodox clashes would be the perfect pretext to further unleash the SBU (Ukie KGB) against any opposition party.
Just as in the war against the Donbass, Putin would be put under tremendous pressure inside Russia to “do something about this” and some will not shy away form demanding that Russian tanks be sent to Kiev. Of course, Putin would never agree to such a folly, but that refusal would most definitely hurt him in the Russian public opinion, yet another good result from such an intra-Orthodox conflict in the Ukraine.
For the time being, the Empire is limiting its anti-Russian informational war to petty actions like the banning of Russian athletes from the Olympics in Brazil, focusing solely on Russian hooligans in France and giving the Eurovision to a political singer against all Eurovision rules. These are annoying for sure, but they are very limited in their effects: yes, it makes Russia look like the “uncivilized bad guy” in the eyes of the TV-watching idiots in the West, but a lot of people are not buying into this and see straight through it all, and it just servers to consolidate the support of the Russian people for Vladimir Putin. At the end of the day, turning the Western public opinion against Putin is useless. What the Empire would really want is to turn the Russian public opinion against Putin – that is The Prize, at least for the folks in Langley.
So what better way would there be to set the Ukraine (further) ablaze while giving the Russian people the impression that “Putin has betrayed the Orthodox people”, than to trigger a religious war ?
We all know the famous words of a US officer in Viet-Nam “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it”. There is now a real risk that the US might decide to destroy the Ukraine in order to “save it”, especially if the Neocons re-take full control of the Executive under Hillary.
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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

SYRIAN ARMY SHUTTING LAST TERRORIST ARTERY; MAJ. GEN MAAHER AL-ASSAD LEADS 4TH MECHANIZED ARMORED DIVISION INTO ALEPPO

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ALEPPO:  There are several major fronts being fought by the legitimate army of the Syrian Arab Republic, but none is more sensitive than the northern one in Aleppo.  It can be said that Idlib Province is being whittled away slowly by the army in angstroms as more positions are being secured around Jisr Al-Shughoor area. Notwithstanding that, the focus is today on Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and its most industrial.
Hassan Nasrullah, the leader of Hizbollah in Lebanon, made it very clear that the battle for Aleppo is crucial to the existence of the Resistance Front and no effort can be spared in liberating the city.  Why?
It is common knowledge that Erdoghan and his gang of rapists, thieves and pillagers have been diverting major economic assets from Syria’s northern provinces into Turkish lands where his family, for the most part, has swallowed the lion’s share of profit from these illegal activities.  Whether it is industrial equipment from the Al-Shaykh Najjaar orLayramoon areas of Aleppo or Dayr El-Zor and Eastern Homs where the crude oil is pumped by hack engineers, some provided by the Turks, the pattern is all too clear:  if Syria does not recover its economic hubs, the road to recovery will take much longer and require even more financial assistance than many allies are able to bear.
We cannot forget to mention the importance that weasel, Obama, has placed on Aleppo.  While Erdoghan’s vision of a revitalized Ottoman Empire may not fit in with Obama’s strategy, both share one  single obsession which is to give substance to the “moderate opposition’s” stance at the Geneva talks, and failing that, the U.S. will continue to pursue a suicidal policy of aggrandizing the Kurdish groups in the hope that such a relationship will result in the Balkanization of Syria and Iraq.  I have discussed the importance of blocking the projected natural gas pipeline from Iran across Iraq to the Syrian coast in numerous articles.  When one approaches that subject in the shadow of Washington’s reckless promises to the Kurds, it can be seen easily why the U.S. is heading for another major debacle in the foreign policy sphere.  The Kurds simply cannot extend their writ too far south of the imagined borders of a Kurdish state in what its champions call “Rojava”.  In order for the U.S. to accomplish any kind of blockage of the pipeline, Washington must treat with ISIS in an effort to prevent a Syrian Army takeover of the area.  It is now becoming all too clear that U.S. double-dealing and backstabbing has come out of the proverbial dark closet into the light of day.
And that is where Russia has drawn the line.  Whether it’s Saudi Arabia or the United States desperately trying to salvage a disastrous foreign policy fiasco, or Turkey attempting to make real the dreams of the imbecile who sits at the apex of power in Ankara, these competing and, yet,  potentially harmonious policies are running straight into the unshakeable self-interests of the Russian Federation.  And what is even more perilous for the rubes in the White House is the fact that Iran views the entire NATO foray into Syria as nothing more than a dressed up invasion of Iran itself.  Iran cannot, and will not, spare any effort to stop the maniacal attempt to exterminate the Syrian people.  And we have not even seen a 5% effort by Teheran to end the torment.  Only the future will tell how invested Iran is in the longevity of the Syrian government and its institutions.
John Kerry is watching helplessly as the Syrian military on the ground, and its aerial forces, supported energetically by the Russian Air Force are decimating what is left of the NATO-supported terrorists inside Aleppo.  I am receiving good reports on the situation within the city.  For the most part, there is broad deprivation.  Scalping and gouging are the rules of the game today and there is little law enforcement can do to stop it.   However, as a friend told me yesterday, “the leeches who feed off the people in Aleppo know the time has come to find other work”.  There is a sense that the closure of the ‘Ayntaab (Gaziantep)-Castillo Artery will put to death not only the terrorists of Aleppo, but, also, their suppliers and those who, like vampires, suck the blood from the veins of the innocent people of this grand city.  The gangsters are well known to the people and the government.  Their end will not be pretty.

The strongholds of the terrorist groups, almost all Nusra/Alqaeda, Ahraar Al-Shaam and Jaysh Al-Nusra, are in Al-Layramoon, Jam’iyyat Al-Zahraa` and Bani Zayd.  These are areas the terrorists cannot afford to lose lest they lose all Aleppo.  These areas are fed by constant supply from Turkey starting at Gaziantep where the British MI6 is mostly situated as “independent contractors” and moves down to the city via A’zaaz all the way to the Castillo Highway.  This is the terrorist lifeline which cannot be severed.
For the last 2 weeks, in intensifying phases, the Syrian and Russian air forces are reducing Bani Zayd, a totally depopulated quarter of the city with the exception of terrorists and their families, into a fine powder.   The terrorists of Nusra/Alqaedadeliberately fused elements of Ahraar Al-Shaam inside this area in order to give Kerry the fig leaf argument that the groups here should not be attacked since they are not listed as “terrorist groups”, like Alqaeda or ISIS.  The Russians have had enough of that specious argument and Kerry knows that Ahraar Al-Shaam has refused to disconnect itself from Alqaeda.   Fearing a run in with the Russian Air Force, the U.S. has not insisted too hard on relieving the area.  Yesterday, the Syrian Air Force conducted over 40 sorties dropping newly acquired heavy bombs from Russia.
While all this is going on, forces from HZB at Nubbul and Zahraa are moving south (about 2,000 men) to meet up with new forces from Lebanon.  This is all in coordination with the Syrian High Command.   The assault on Bani Zayd and Al-Layramoon will come when all relevant forces are in position.  As of right now, the Gaziantep Highway leading to Castillo is 80% closed.  It’s going to be over soon.
Talking about forces coming together, HZB has sent 1,500 of its crack troops to buttress the forces already at Al-Haadhir.  In the meantime, we have confirmation that the 4th Mechanized Armored Division under command of Maj. GeneralMaaher Al-Assad has arrived at Southern Aleppo to help other groups already there, like Liwaa` Al-Quds and the PDC, to exterminate the American and British-supported rodents.
I have a report, albeit vague, that the PDC assaulted Ahraar Al-Shaam positions in theAl-Zahraa` Association area and killed over 30 rodents.  The fighting involved our troops spreading out to Qubtaan Al-Jabal.  In an effort to impede that redeployment, the terrorists exploded 2 tunnels causing little or not damage to our troops and their weapons.   We are looking at the equivalent of D-Day.

_______________________________________________
CARTOONS OF THE DAY FROM THE BA’ATH PARTY:
erdogan-cites-hitler-germany-as-example-of-effective-government
(Thanks, Khaled)

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Erdogan Meets Traitor Meshaal amid Reports of ’Israel’ Deal


مسيرة بغزة احتفالاً بفوز العدالة والتنمية التركي

مسيرة بغزة احتفالاً بفوز “العدالة والتنمية” التركي

Erdogan Meets Hamas’ Meshaal amid Reports of ’Israel’ Deal

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday met the leader of Palestinian group Hamas for unscheduled talks following reports Ankara was close to agreeing a deal on normalizing ties with Zionist entity.
Erdogan received the Doha-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal at the Ottoman-era Yildiz Palace in Istanbul, the official Anadolu Agency reported, quoting presidential sources.
Turkish press reports have said Tel Aviv and Ankara could hold final talks on normalizing ties on Sunday but this had yet to be confirmed.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday there was a “large possibility” the negotiations would take place by the end of this month.
Anadolu said Erdogan and Meshaal discussed how to ease the humanitarian problems of Erdogan and Meshaalthe Palestinians and how to bridge the differences between Hamas and the other main Palestinian group Fatah.
The report made no reference to the Turkish talks with the Zionist entity.
Previously tight relations between Tel Aviv and key NATO member Ankara were significantly downgraded after Israeli commandos staged a deadly pre-dawn raid on a six-ship flotilla in May 2010 as it tried to run the blockade on Gaza, killing ten Turkish activists.
Two of Turkey’s key conditions for normalization — an apology and compensation — were largely met, leaving its third demand, that Israeli occupation lift its blockade on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, as the main obstacle.
According to the Hurriyet daily, a compromise has been reached with Turkey set to send aid for Palestinians via the Israeli port of Ashdod rather than sending it directly to Gaza.
Source: AFP
25-06-2016 – 09:46 Last updated 25-06-2016 – 09:46

مشعل.. ومباركة التطبيع

نظام مارديني

ظريف كان خالد مشعل وهو يوجّه شكره، لمَن؟ لتركيا وقطر ، طالباً مساعدتها في الضغط على الكيان الصهيوني، عشية تطبيع العلاقات بين أنقرة و«تل أبيب»، الذي سيتضمن بطبيعة الحال تقييد نشاط حركة حماس في الأراضي التركية، ولا زلنا نتذكر كيف اشترط العدو على حكومة أردوغان في العام 2015 بطرد القيادي في حركة حماس صالح العاروري من تركيا، حتى أن المعلّق العسكري في صحيفة «هآرتس» نقل عن مصادر «استخبارية» صهيونية قولها، إن تركيا طلبت من قيادة حركة حماس المتواجدة في تركيا تقليص نشاطاتها العسكرية ضد «إسرائيل».

وكان زئيف إلكين الوزير السابق في حكومة نتنياهو، أكثر توضيحاً حينما قال «الاتفاق المتوقع.. يعطينا ما طالبنا به، تقييد شديد لنشاط حماس في تركيا»، في حين أن الضغوط التي تعرّضت لها سورية لطرد قيادات حماس لم تؤثر على دمشق، وكان ما كان من عدوان غربي، تركي، وخليجي، على الدولة السورية، ويا للسخرية بمشاركة وتآمر من حماس ذاتها!

Hamas Joke: Al-quds waiting for “men”, the half-men fighting Syria

ويأتي التطبيع السياسي الآن بين أنقرة و«تل أبيب» العلاقات الاقتصادية اتخذت منحى عكسيًّا، فقد ارتفع معدلُ التبادل التجاري بين البلدين من 2.6 مليار دولار عام 2009 إلى ما يتجاوز 5.6 مليارات دولار عام 2014 ، بعد مفاوضات اتسمت بالسرية استمرت لجولات ووضعت خطوطها في العام الماضي 2015 بعد الاعتذار الشكلي من قبل الكيان الصهيوني لتركيا عن مقتل مواطنين أتراك في سفينة مرمرة في أيار من العام 2010، وتم الإعلان عن التطبيع مؤخرًا في العاصمة السويسرية زيورخ .
ومن الطبيعي النظر إلى ارتدادات هذا الاتفاق على كل من العراق وسورية ومصر، لكونه يجسّد، من ناحية، الطموح التركي لإيجاد موطأ قدم في قطاع غزة، على نحو قد يُفضي إلى تحدٍّ أمني مركّب لبغداد ودمشق والقاهرة، وذلك بالنظر لعلاقات أنقرة التقليدية بالتنظيمات الإرهابية، ولاعتبارات تتعلّق بدور حركة حماس السلبي في هذه العواصم. وليس غريباً هنا أن تعتبر حركة الإخوان المسلمين في مصر هذا التطبيع شأناً داخلياً للدول التي تحركها المصالح!
والكيان الصهيوني بدوره اعتبر أن أهمية «ذوبان الجليد» بين الجانبين تتعلق باستعادة علاقات متعددة المستويات لا يغيب عنها الشق الأمني، وذلك في مواجهة عددٍ من القوى الإقليمية في مقدمتها العاصمة الإيرانية طهران. وقد تساءل الصحافي التركي مصطفی كورداش مدیر هیئة تحریر صحیفة «غازته» عن الدور الذي تلعبه السعودية في هذا الإثناء؟ فهل تقوم بدور السمسرة للصهاینة أم هي «كضبع یبحث عن حصته»؟ وختم هل رأیتم كیف عمل أردوغان على تزوير الحقائق، وكيف ركعنا لـ «إسرائیل» من خلال هذا التطبيع؟
أردوغان كان أبلغ قيادة حركة «حماس» أنه فعل كل ما في وسعه لرفع الحصار، أو حتى تخفيفه، لكن «إسرائيل» تمسكت بموقفها الرافض، وأنه مضطر للمضي قدمًا في تطبيع العلاقات انطلاقًا من المصالح التركية في هذا الصدد.


هنية الذي قبّل يد كبير دعاة الفتنة القرضاوي، يعيش غيبوبته الأزلية، ويترك مشعل يهذي بالشكر لأنقرة والدوحة، كما لو أنه يرقص رقصته الأخيرة.

لـ «راقص المستنقعات» مشعل نقول: اعمل لفلسطين كثيراً وقلّل من التدين المذهبي.
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Russian Surprise Attack Blows Up Kerry’s Delaying Tactic- سورية… تفجير المفاجأة الروسية يطيح بهجوم كيري التكتيكيّ المتأخّر


Source

The U.S. is unwilling to stop the war on Syria and to settle the case at the negotiation table. It wants a 100% of its demands fulfilled, the dissolution of the Syrian government and state and the inauguration of a U.S. proxy administration in Syria.

After the ceasefire in Syria started in late February Obama broke his pledge to separate the U.S. supported “moderate rebels” from al-Qaeda. In April U.S. supported rebels, the Taliban like Ahrar al Sham and al-Qaeda joined to attack the Syrian government in south Aleppo. The U.S.proxies broke the ceasefire.
Two UN resolutions demand that al-Qaeda in Syria be fought no matter what. But the U.S. has at least twice asked Russia not to bomb al-Qaeda. It insists, falsely, that it can not separate its “moderates” from al-Qaeda and that al-Qaeda can not be attacked because that would also hit its “moderate” friends.
The Russian foreign minster Lavrov has talked wit Kerry many times about the issue. But the only response he received were requests to further withhold bombing. Meanwhile al-Qaeda and the “moderates” continued to break the ceasefire and to attack the Syrian government forces.
After nearly four month Kerry still insists that the U.S. needs even more time for the requested separation of its proxy forces from al-Qaeda. Foreign Minister Lavrov recentlyexpressed the Russian consternation:
The Americans are now saying that they are unable to remove the ‘good’ opposition members from the positions held by al-Nusra Front, and that they will need another two-three months. I am under the impression that there is a game here and they may want to keep al-Nusra Front in some form and later use it to overthrow the [Assad] regime,” Lavrov said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
The bucket was full and Kerry’s latest request for another three month pause of attacking al-Qaeda was the drop that let it overflow. Russia now responded by hittingthe U.S. where it did not expect to be hit:
Russian warplanes hit Pentagon-backed Syrian fighters with a barrage of airstrikes earlier this week, disregarding several warnings from U.S. commanders in what American military officials called the most provocative act since Moscow’s air campaign in Syria began last year.The strikes hit a base near the Jordanian border, far from areas where the Russians were previously active, and targeted U.S.-backed forces battling the Islamic State militants.

These latest strikes occurred on the other side of the country from the usual Russian operations, around Tanf, a town near where the borders of Jordan, Iraq, and Syria meet.

The Russian strike hit a small rebel base for staging forces and equipment in a desolate, unpopulated area near the border. About 180 rebels were there as part of the Pentagon’s program to train and equip fighters against Islamic State.
When the first strikes hit, the rebels called a U.S. command center in Qatar, where the Pentagon orchestrates the daily air war against Islamic State.
U.S. jets came and the Russian jets went away. The U.S. jets left to refuel, the Russian jets came back and hit again. Allegedly two U.S. proxy fighters were killed and 18 were wounded.
Earlier today another such attack hit the same target.
This was no accident but a well planned operation and the Russian spokesperson’s response makes the intend clear:
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov appeared to confirm the attack Friday,telling reporters it was difficult to distinguish different rebel groups from the air.
Translation: “If you can not separate your forces from al-Qaeda and differentiate and designate exclusively “moderate” zones we can not do so either.”
The forces near Tanf are supported by U.S. artillery from Jordan and air power via Iraq. British and Jordan special operations forces are part of the ground component (and probably the majority of the “Syrian” fighters.) There is no al-Qaeda there. The Russians know that well. But they wanted to make the point that it is either separation everywhere or separation nowhere. From now on until the U.S. clearly separates them from AQ all U.S. supported forces will be hit indiscriminately anywhere and anytime. (The Syrian Kurds fighting the Islamic State with U.S. support are for now a different story.)
The Pentagon does not want any further engagement against the Syrian government or against Russia. It wants to fight the Islamic State and its hates the CIA for its cooperation with al-Qaeda and other Jihadi elements. But John Brennan, the Saudi operative and head of the CIA, still seems to have Obama’s ear. But what can Obama do now? Shoot down a Russian jet and thereby endanger any U.S. pilot flying in Syria or near the Russian border? Risk a war with Russia? Really?
The Russian hit near Tanf was clearly a surprise. The Russians again caught Washington on the wrong foot. The message to the Obama administration is clear. “No more delays and obfuscations. You will separate your moderates NOW or all your assets in Syria will be juicy targets for the Russian air force.
The Russian hits at Tanf and the U.S. proxies there has an additional benefit. The U.S. had planned to let those forces move north towards Deir Ezzor and to defeat the Islamic State in that city. Eventually a “Sunni entity” would be established in south east Syria and west Iraq under U.S. control. Syria would be split apart.
The Syrian government and its allies will not allow that. There is a large operation planned to free Deir Ezzor from the Islamic State occupation. Several hundred Syrian government forces have held an isolated airport in Deir Ezzor against many unsuccessful Islamic State attacks. These troops get currently reinforced by additional Syrian army contingents and Hizbullah commandos.A big battle is coming. Deir Ezzor may be freed within the next few month. Any U.S. plans for some eastern Syrian entity are completely unrealistic if the Syrian government can take and hold its largest eastern city.
The Obama administration’s delaying tactic will now have to end. Russia will no longer stand back and watch while the U.S. sabotages the ceasefire and supports al-Qaeda.
What then is the next move the U.S. will make?

سورية… تفجير المفاجأة الروسية يطيح بهجوم كيري التكتيكيّ المتأخّر

حزيران 25, 2016

ترجمة: ليلى زيدان عبد الخالق

كتب موقع «Moon of Alabama»:

جدول أعمال حرب الناتو/ الولايات المتحدة الأميركية

هل تكون سورية الهدف المقبل لمنظمة حلف شمال الأطلسيّ؟

يبدو أن الولايات المتحدة الأميركية لا تنوي مطلقاً إيقاف الحرب على سورية، أو أن تعمل على تسوية هذه الأزمة على طاولة المفاوضات. تريد تنفيذ جميع مطالبها بشكل كامل، حلّ الحكومة السورية والدولة، تنصيب إدارة وكيلة من قبل الولايات المتحدة الأميركية في سورية.

بعد قرار وقف إطلاق النار في سورية أواخر شباط الماضي، كسر أوباما هذا الالتزام بهدف الفصل بين الولايات المتحدة الأميركية الداعمة لـ«الثوار المعتدلين»، نسخة القاعدة المعدّلة في سورية. وفي نيسان، دعمت الولايات المتحدة الأميركية «الثوار»، فكان أن قدِم عناصر «طالبان» مثل «أحرار الشام» و«القاعدة» ليشاركوا في الهجوم على الحكومة السورية جنوب حلب. وهكذا، خرق حلفاء سورية قرار وقف إطلاق النار. تؤكد قرارات الأمم المتحدة وجوب محاربة تنظيم «القاعدة» في سورية مهما كلّف الأمر. لكن الولايات المتحدة الأميركية طلبت من روسيا ـ مرّتين على الأقلّ ـ عدم قصف مواقع «القاعدة» هناك. وقد أصرّت ـ خاطئةً ـ أنها لا تستطيع فصل «معتدليها» عن «القاعدة»، وأن «القاعدة» لا يُمكن أن تتعرّض للهجوم لأن هذا من شأنه أن يلحق الضرر بأصدقائها «المعتدلين».

وكان وزير الخارجية الروسيّ سيرغي لافروف قد بحث في هذه المسألة مع نظيره الأميركي جون كيري مراراً وتكراراً. غير أنه لم يلقَ سوى أصداء أصوات تطالب بضرورة وقف التفجيرات. وفي الوقت الحالي، تستمرّ «القاعدة» وحلفائها «المعتدلين» خرق قرار وقف إطلاق النار ومهاجمة مقرّات الحكومة السورية ومواقعها. وبعد مرور حوالى أربعة أشهر، لا يزال كيري مصرّاً على أن الولايات المتحدة الأميركية تحتاج إلى مزيد من الوقت كي تتمكن من فصل قواتها الحليفة عن «القاعدة». وكان لافروف قد أعرب مؤخّراً خلال مؤتمر سان بطرسبورغ الاقتصاي الدولي عن الذعر الروسي حيال هذا الأمر بالقول: يؤكد الأميركيون أنهم عاجزون الآن عن نقل أعضاء «المعارضة الجيدة» من المواقع التي تسيطر عليها «جبهة النصرة»، وأنهم بحاجة إلى شهرين أو ثلاثة أخرى. يتملّكني انطباع أن هناك لعبة خفية تجري من تحت الطاولة، تحاول إبقاء «جبهة النصرة» تحت غطاءٍ معيّن، كي يتمّ استخدامها في ما بعد للإطاحة بحكومة الأسد.

من الواضح أن القلوب امتلأت من طلبات كيري المستعصية، وفاضت عند اقتراحه إرجاء القضاء على «القاعدة» حتى مرور ثلاثة أشهر أخرى. تظهر استجابة روسيا حالياً في إمكانية ضرب الأميركيين حيث لا يتوقعون:

قصفت الطائرات الحربية الروسية مواقع المقاتلين السوريين المدعومين من البنتاغون بوابل من الضربات الجوّية العنيفة، متجاهلةً كافة التحذيرات من القادة الأميركيين، الذين رأوا إلى هذه الفعلة على أنها الأكثر استفزازاً منذ بدء حملة موسكو الجوية على سورية السنة الماضية. طاول القصف قاعدة في بلدة تدعى التنف حيث تلتقي الحدود الأردنية والعراقية والسورية، وبعيدةً من المناطق التي نشط فيها الروس سابقاً، مستهدفاً القوات المدعومة من الولايات المتحدة الأميركية والتي تقاتل الإسلاميين المتشدّدين. وفي هذه البلدة، يتواجد أكثر من 180 مقاتل يخضعون لتدريبات مكثفة من البنتاغون ويتزوّدون بمعدّات وأسلحة لقتال تنظيم «داعش».

وحال بدء الضربات الأولى، استدعى المقاتلون القائد العسكري الأميركي من قطر، حيث يدير البنتاغون من هناك تفاصيل الحرب اليومية ضدّ تنظيم «داعش». قدِمت الطائرات الأميركية وذهبت الأخرى الروسية لتقصف مجدداً. وزُعم أن اثنين من المقاتلين الموالين للأميركيين قتلوا أثناء ذلك وأُصيب 18 آخرون.

حدث كلّ هذا وفقاً لتخطيط مسبق وأوضح ذلك المتحدّث الروسي ديمتري بيسكوف بالتأكيد على أنه من الصعوبة بمكان التفريق بين «المتمرّدين» وغيرهم من الجوّ. ومفاد هذا التصريح هو التالي: طالما لا يمكنك أنتَ التفريق والتمييز بين قواتك وقوات «القاعدة»، أو أن تحصر الفريقين في مناطق مختلفة، إذاً لن نتمكن نحن من القيام بذلك.

تُدعم القوات المتواجدة في التنف من الطائرات الأميركية المحلّقة فوق سماء كلّ من الأردن والعراق. فقوات العمليات الخاصة البريطانية والأردنية، هي جزءٌ من المكوّن الرئيس على أرض المعارك وقد تشكل غالبية المقاتلين السوريين. لا أثر لـ«القاعدة» هناك. ويدرك الروس هذا جيداً. غير أنهم يؤكدون ـ وبوضوح ـ أنه إما الفصل والتمييز بين المقاتلين في كلّ مكان أو في لا مكان. ومن الآن فصاعداً، وحتى تتمكن الولايات المتحدة الأميركية من القيام بذلك، سيتعرّض الجميع للقصف في أيّ وقت وأيّ مكان. أما الأكراد السوريون المدعومون من الولايات المتحدة الأميركية والذين يقاتلون التنظيم، فلهم قصة مختلفة تماماً .

من الواضح أن البنتاغون يتجنّب وقوع أيّ مواجهة له مع الحكومة السورية أو مع روسيا. يريد قتال تنظيم «داعش»، ويكره للغاية التعاون القائم بين وكالة الاستخبارات الأميركية «CIA» و«القاعدة»، وغيرها من التنظيمات الجهادية. غير أنه يبدو أن جون برينان، رئيس مركز الاستخبارات الأميركية، لا يزال يدير آذاناً صاغية لأوباما. لكن ما الذي يستطيعه أوباما الآن؟ إسقاط الطائرات الروسية؟ وبالتالي إلحاق الخطر بأيّ طيّار أميركي قد يكون محلّقاً بطائرته في الأجواء السورية؟ أو قرب الحدود الروسية؟ هل سندخل فعلاً في مواجهة خطر قيام حرب حقيقية مع روسيا؟

شكّلت الضربة الروسية لبلدة التنف مفاجأة كبيرة. تمكّنت روسيا مجدّداً من الإمساك بواشنطن حيث نقاط ضعفها. فالرسالة التي أرادتها روسيا لإدارة أوباما من هذه الضربة تبدو جليّة واضحة. «لن نسمح بالمزيد من التأخير والتعتيم. عليكم بالإسراع في فصل المعتدلين، الآن وليس غداً، وإلا ستتعرّض جميع مواقعكم وأصولكم في سورية لخطر قصف القوات الجويّة الروسيّة». ضرب الروس في التنف واستفاد حلفاء الولايات المتحدة الأميركية من مميزات إضافية. فقد خطّطت الولايات المتحدة الأميركية بنقل هذه القوات شمالاً نحو دير الزور بهدف إلحاق الهزيمة بتنظيم «داعش» هناك. وفي نهاية المطاف، سنشهد ولادة «الكيان السنّي» في جنوب شرق سورية وغرب العراق، وسيكون خاضعاً لسيطرة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية وستنشطر سورية إلى أجزاء.

لن تسمح الحكومة السورية وحلفاؤها حدوث ذلك. فهناك تخطيط للقيام بعملية كبيرة لتحرير دير الزور من احتلال تنظيم «داعش». وقد تمكّن المئات من القوات الحكومية السورية من الاحتفاظ بعزل منطقة في مطار دير الزور لتكون بمأمنٍ من هجمات تنظيم «داعش» الإرهابي. وقد عزّز هذا الواقع مؤخّراً، تواجد عددٍ إضافيّ من القوات الحكومية السورية وقياديي حزب الله ومقاتليه. المعركة الحاسمة آتيةٌ تلوح في الأفق. فقد يتمّ تحرير دير الزور خلال الشهر المقبل، وأيّ مخططات مستقبلية للشرق السوري والغرب العراقي ستبدو بعيدة أو مستحيلة التحقيق، إذا ما تمكنت الحكومة السورية من الاحتفاظ بهذا الجزء الشرقي من المدينة.

إن تأخير إدارة أوباما تنفيذ مخططها التكتيكيّ سيصل إلى خواتيمه قريباً. لن تقف روسيا بعد الآن متفرّجةً، بينما تخرق الولايات المتحدة الأميركية قرار وقف إطلاق النار وتدعم مقاتلي «القاعدة».

فما هي الخطوة التالية التي ستنتهجها الولايات المتحدة؟ سيصفع أوباما الباب في وجه بوتين: ما يعني أنه ما لم يسحب هذا الأخير قواته الانتقامية، فسيكون هو السبّاق في الضغط على الزرّ النووي.

الصقر

كتب إريك زوس: للأفعال أصداءٌ أعلى صوتاً من مجرّد الكلمات، ورئيس الولايات المتحدة الأميركية باراك أوباما يتحفنا دوماً بأفعاله وليس بمجرّد إسماعنا لخطاباته. فرفضه النقاش مع الرئيس الروسيّ فلاديمير بوتين، شكّل القلق الأكبر لروسيا حيال التغيّرات الحديثة في الاستراتيجية الأميركية النووية ـ وتحديداً تلك الصادمة التي ترعب بوتين.

عنونت وكالة «رويترز» في الخامس من حزيران «تزعم روسيا أن الولايات المتحدة الأميركية ترفض المحادثات في شأن نظام الدفاع الصاروخي»، وكرّرت أن الولايات المتحدة الأميركية رفضت العروض الروسية لمناقشة برنامج الصاروخ الدفاعيّ لدى واشنطن، كما نقلت الوكالة عن نائب وزير الدفاع الروسي أناتولي أنتونوف وصفه هذه المبادرة بـ«الخطيرة جداً».

تقلق روسيا في ما إذا كان نظام «الدفاع ضدّ الصواريخ البالستية» أو «مكافحة الصواريخ البالستية» الذي بدأت الولايات المتحدة الأميركية بتثبيته قرب الحدود الروسية، سيعمل، إذ ستكون الولايات المتحدة الأميركية حينذاك قادرةً على تفجير مفاجأة هجوم نوويّ ضدّ روسيا، وأن هذا النظام الذي يُعمل منذ عقود على تطويره ويُطلق عليه تقنياً مسمّى «نظام شاطئ إيجه الدفاعي الصاروخيّ»، سيبيد صواريخ روسيا الانتقامية، وسيُبقي الشعب الروسي من دون أيّ قدرة على الانتقام والدفاع، في ما عدا بعض التلوّث النووي الذي سيحصل في النصف الشمالي من الكرة الأرضية، وشتاءٍ نووي كونيّ، وتحذيرٍ عالميّ من هجوم أميركيّ ضدّ روسيا، تقابله تحذيرات تُطلق من بعض الخبراء الاستراتيجيين في الغرب، من أن التضحية بكلّ هذا العناء جديرة بالمحاولة، بهدف إزالة روسيا من الوجود.

أما النظرية القائلة بإمكانية كسب هذه الحرب النووية والتي وُضعت أسسها من قبل الولايات المتحدة الأميركية التي استُبدلت بالنظرية السابقة «M.A.D» عن التدمير المتبادل ، والتي طُرحت للمرة الأولى بشكل بارز عام 2006 في مجلة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية المرموقة للشؤون الخارجية تحت عنوان «صعود التفوّق النووي»، والداعية إلى سياسة أكثر جرأة لاستراتيجية الولايات المتحدة، وذلك بناءً على التقارير التي تؤكد على التفوق الأميركي التكنولوجي في مقابل الأسلحة الروسية، وذلك قبل أن ينفذ الوقت من روسيا وتذهب هذه الفرصة الذهبية المتاحة.

وكان بول كريغ روبرتس الصحافي الأول في الغرب الذي قدّم رؤيةً داعمةً حول قلق روسيا من إمكانية تنفيذ أوباما لهذه النظرية. وأكدت إحدى مقالات روبرتس التي نُشرت في 17 حزيران 2014، تحت عنوان «واشنطن تقرع طبول الحرب»، أن عقيدة الحرب الأميركية قد خضعت لتغيير. فأسلحة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية النووية لم تعُد قوة انتقامية، بل أُعطيت ـ عوضاً عن ذلك ـ دور الهجوم النووي الوقائي.

وكان الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين قد حاول مرّات عدّة نقل هذه المسألة إلى الرئيس أوباما، وتمكّن من التعبير عن آخر هذه المحاولات القلقة، خلال لقاء علنيّ في 27 أيار الماضي. ومن الواضح أن تصريح أنتونوف العلني في 5 حزيران، يؤكد على جهود بوتين الأخيرة ومخاوفه حيال هذه المسألة، فأوباما يرفض فعلاً مناقشة مخاوف بوتين هذه.

وفي الحقيقة، وإزاء هذه الجهود المبذولة من قبل الحكومة الروسية عبر وسائل الإعلام بدلاً من المحادثات الخاصة كمثل الوسائل التي كانت معتمدة إبان ازمة الصواريخ الكوبية عام 1962، عندما كانت الأمور معكوسة وكان الرئيس الأميركي هو الذي يشعر بالقلق إزاء تثبيت الرئيس السوفياتي للصواريخ النووية على بعد 90 ميلاً بعيداً من الحدود الأميركية ، يقترح الرئيس أوباما، وعلى عكس الرئيس الأميركي آنذاك جون فيتزجيرالد كينيدي عام 1962 الذي رفض التواصل مع روسيا، أن الولايات المتحدة الأميركية تقف الآن وقفة المعتدي.

تستعدّ روسيا وتتحضّر، في حال كانت هي وفقاً لـ«نظام شاطئ إيجه الدفاعي الصاروخيّ» البادئ في الهجوم. ومع ذلك، فإن بعض المطّلعين يؤكدون استحالة توجيه روسيا للضربة الأولى. ولعلّ الرئيس أوباما يعمل وفقاً لافتراض مماثل، وهذا هو السبب في رفضه مناقشة الأمر مع نظيره الروسي. ومع ذلك، فإذا كان السيد أوباما يأمل تجنب حدوث مواجهة نووية، فإن رفضه النقاش حول هموم وقلق معارضيه لن تحول دون حدوث ذلك. لذلك، يرسل أوباما بعض الإشارات ـ تؤكد عدم استعداده للمواجهة النووية مع روسيا ـ من خلال رفضه ببساطة للجلوس والحوار. وفي مثل هذه الحال، فإن رفضه هذا، سيكون بحدّ ذاته جواباً على سؤال بوتين، كأنه أغلق الباب في وجهه. إنه سلوك عمليّ، أكثر من كونه لفظيّ.

أما الخبير الجيوستراتيجي جون هيلمر، فقد بحث في 30 أيار في السؤال المرتبط بـ«لحظة إطلاق الزناد»، التي سيقرّر فيها بوتين متى يرى أنه ما من بديل عقلانيّ يغني الكون عن عدم إطلاق شرارة الحرب العالمية الثالثة.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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The National Endowment for Democracy: Not National and Not for Democracy

June 24, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – Using a front to hide illegal or immoral activities has been a feature of human criminality since the beginning of human civilization itself. Facades, both ideological and economical, have helped criminal enterprises conceal the true nature of their activities for centuries.

In ages past, organized religion would often take systems of legitimate philosophy and spirituality, and transform them into a means of organizing the masses for the benefit of an elite few, often those heading empires, kingdoms, or nation-states. More recently, patriotism and now the notion of “democracy” have been used successfully by similar cadres of special interests to conceal their self-serving agendas behind notions likely to recruit support from large segments of a population that would otherwise be disinterested.
There is no example of this more transparent than that of the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED). According to its own website, it claims:
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, NED makes more than 1,200 grants to support the projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries.
“The growth and strengthening  of democratic institutions around the world” sounds noble enough. One would expect, then, that the NED would be led by a collection of some of the most notable activists involved in the empowerment of “the people.” Instead, upon NED’s board of directors, we find people representing corporate-financier interests notorious for instead, exploiting and subjugating “the people.”
Unfortunately, for those receiving the millions upon millions of dollars the NED hands out annually to “nongovernmental organizations” (NGOs) around the world, few bother to actually check who it is underwriting their daily activities, and fewer still have the integrity to both turn down the money let alone inform the people they claim to represent just who is attempting to reach into their respective nations and subvert their political systems, and to what end.
Quite literally, each and every member of the NED’s board of directors represents Fortune 500 corporations, insidious corporate-financier funded policy think-tanks, and a wide variety of other obvious conflicts of interest unbecoming of an organization truly interested in, “the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world.” 

NED: Who’s Who
The worst part of NED’s activities worldwide and the fact that allegedly liberal progressive NGOs are taking money from them and aiding and abetting their agenda, is the fact that the background of NED’s board of directors is posted directly on NED’sown website. This means recipients of NED cash either recklessly didn’t bother to look into the organization sponsoring them, or simply do not care about the compromised nature of their sponsors.
For example, Marilyn Carlson Nelson (NED secretary) is co-CEO of one of the largest privately held companies in the world, Carlson Holdings operating hotels around the world. She also serves on the board of Exxon Mobil and chairs the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. She alone represents such a tangled web of compromising and conflicting interests, it calls into question the integrity and true agenda of NED.
Carlson Nelson’s company, Carlson Holdings, deals in hotels, yet she concurrently sits on a government board under the International Trade Administration which makes decisions and policies on behalf of the US that directly benefits private industry specifically like that of Carlson Holdings. Her position upon Exxon Mobil’s board of directors is also troublesome. Exxon, a gargantuan multinational corporation, conducts business around the world and by necessity, requires political (and military) interventions to enter into and overwhelm those few remaining markets it has yet to dominate.
Carlson Nelson’s role in the NED, then, could be (and is) easily abused to subvert foreign governments that pose barriers to Carlson Holdings or Exxon, and put into power opposition parties that would deal in favor of such multinations – all under the guise of“the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world.” 
Other NED board members representing compromising corporate-financier special interests includeMarne Levine (Facebook, Coo, Instagram), Mark Ordan (WP Glimcher – real estate), and with Carl Gershman, Princeton Lyman, Stephen Sestanovich, and Melanne Verveer serving as members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) – a corporate-financier funded think-tank representing the collective economic and geopolitical ambitions of Wall Street, London, and Brussels’ most powerful special interests.
Image: Nothing says “democracy” like a subsonic cruise missile. The notion that corporations like Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, or big-oil giants like Shell, BP, Exxon, or Chevron are interested in democracy and not simply using democracy as a facade behind which to operate, is self-evidently false. 
The CFR’s corporate sponsors include Bank of America, Chevron, Citi, Exxon, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, PepsiCo, Shell Oil, Coca-Cola, BP, Google, Lockheed Martin, AT&T, Boeing, Facebook, DynCorp, Northrop Grumman, Pfizer, Raytheon, Microsoft, and Merck – a virtual who’s who of abusive special interests plaguing the world with socioeconomic disparity, compromising “free trade” deals, and driving conflicts ranging from “color revolutions” and proxy wars to full-scale invasions and decade-long occupations.
NED – which poses as a liberal-progressive organization – includes a surprising number of right-wing Neoconservatives (Neocons). This includes Vin Weber, a Bush-era Neocon who strongly advocated the invasion and occupation of Iraq – a war now revealed to have been predicated on an intentional lie regarding Iraq’s supposed chemical and biological weapons program.
Weber is a partner at the public strategy firm, Mercury. There, he consults and lobbies for multinational corporations, governments, and corporate-funded foundations including Microsoft, Visa, Pfizer, AT&T, Ebay, the Ford Foundation, pharmaceutical firm Gilead, NBC, the government of Qatar, and many others.
For what reason would NED include a pro-war corporate lobbyist on its board of directors if not for the fact that NED itself is but a facade for carrying out pro-corporate-financier agendas under the guise of promoting “democracy” around the world?
Other Neocons populating NED’s board of directors includes Elliot AbramsFrancis FukuyamaZalmay Khalilzad,  and Will Marshall. One pro-war Neocon could have been an anomaly – five begins to fit a pattern. It should be noted that NED’s subsidiary, Freedom House, also hosts corporate lobbyists and pro-war Neocons as well, including Kenneth Adelman.
NED Funds Your Local “Pro-Democracy Activists,” But Who Funds NED? 
One of NED’s subsidiaries, Freedom House, is admittedly funded by multinational corporations including AT&T, defense contractors BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman, industrial equipment exporter Caterpillar, tech-giants Google and Facebook, and financiers including Goldman Sachs.
NED itself – according to a 2013 disclosure (.pdf) – is funded by among others, Chevron, Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, Google, Microsoft, and the US Chamber of Commerce.

What do these corporations have to do with “the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world?” 
The US Chamber of Commerce in particular is also heavily involved in post-regime change operations carried out by the US government either through direct military conflict or proxy wars and “color revolutions,” being the first to appear in front of new proxy governments to establish Western corporate-financier hegemony over newly “opened” market space.
NED’s individual donors also are telling. They include Frank Carlucci of the notorious Bush-family linked equity firm, the Carlyle Group. There is also former NED board member Kenneth Duberstein, a board member of defense contractor Boeing, big oil’s ConocoPhillips, and the Mack-Cali Realty Corporation. Duberstein also served as a director of Fannie Mae until 2007. He too is a CFR member as are two of the companies he chairs, Boeing and ConocoPhillips.
Also listed as an individual donor to NED is Neocon Paula Dobriansky – a trustee at NED’s subsidiary Freedom House, as well as former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who served during the Bush administration.
Supposedly liberal-progress NGOs around the world taking money from corporate-financiers, warmongers, and right-wing ideologues embodies perfectly the notion of a fraudulent front used to conceal criminal intentions under the guise of a noble cause.
How it Works: A Case Study 
The Southeast Asian state of Thailand is currently gripped by a long-running political crisis centered around Thailand’s indigenous institutions and political order, and that of US-backed proxy Thaksin Shinawatra. Shinawatra himself was – like NED individual donor Frank Carlucci, a member of the Carlyle Group. Before becoming prime minister in 2001, Shinawatra would pledge to his friends in the US business community that he would use his office to serve as a “matchmaker” between Wall Street and Thailand’s people and resources.
Upon taking office, he would carry out a series of abusive and unpopular moves including the commitment of  Thai troops to America’s illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, the hosting of the CIA’s abhorrent rendition program on Thai soil, and an attempt to ram through a US-Thai free trade agreement in 2004 without parliamentary approval.
In 2006, Shinawatra would ultimately be ousted from power by the Thai military. Since then, he has been represented by some of the largest lobbying firms in Washington, including by the above mentioned Freedom House trustee Kenneth Adelman. However, that is not the limit to which the NED has helped prop up Shinawatra’s political front in Thailand.
The NED also funds a myriad of “NGOs” in Thailand aimed specifically at undermining Thailand’s institutions – most notably the military, monarchy, courts, and even the economy itself. These are included on a long list on NED’s own website and include:
  • Thai Poor Act;
  • Thai Civil Rights and Investigative Journalism;
  • Thai Volunteer Service;
  • Makhampom Foundation;
  • Cafe Democracy;
  • Media Inside Out Group;
  • ENLAWTHAI Foundation;
  • Human Rights Lawyers Association and;
  • Foundation for Community Educational Media
It should be noted that in recent years, NED has become as ambiguous as possible about listing which NGOs it specifically funds – while NGOs in Thailand receiving NED funding regularly attempt to conceal NED funding and have been caught on several occasions outright lying about it.
For instance, while NED lists “Foundation for Community Educational Media,” it actually includes organizations like Thai Netizen and Prachatai – two entwined media fronts who have habitually covered up their foreign funding all while asking for donations locally.
Image: US Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney visits US NED-funded media front Prachatai. Prachatai has habitually lied to the Thai public about its significant foreign funding all while regularly soliciting donations from its readers.
Such behavior indicates that NGOs like Thai Netizen and Prachatai are fully aware of the impropriety they are a party to.
Each and every NED-funded NGO in Thailand is currently engaged in daily attacks against the current government, and serves a direct supporting role in bolstering opposition fronts directly tied to the ousted regime of Thaksin Shinawatra. “Human rights lawyers” underwritten by NED regularly represent US-backed agitators rounded and charged for various crimes while media fronts like Prachatai churn out a daily tidal wave of disinformation in support of US interests both in Thailand and across Asia.
Legitimate grassroots campaigns such as opposition to foreign multinational agribusiness and attempts to impose genetically modified organisms (GMOs) upon Thai agriculture receive little to no support from this milieu of US-funded fronts. Likewise, pragmatic and constructive opposition to current government policies done within a framework of cooperating with government agencies to arrive at compromises are also ignored entirely by NED’s networks.
NED’s various fronts are solely focused on pressuring the government into arranging elections and giving America’s proxies, Thaksin Shinawatra and his political allies, another opportunity at seizing power.
Shinawata, once back in power, and after sufficiently diminishing the power of Thailand’s existing political order, would return to destructive pro-US policies ranging from “free trade” with Wall Street special interests to supporting America’s unending wars worldwide. His regime would also likely mobilize Thailand’s population and resources on behalf of Washington’s proxy war with China – costing Thailand a valuable trade and military partner along with peace and stability across Asia.
When political instability surfaces around the world – opposition forces mobilizing in the streets and over the airwaves must be carefully scrutinized. Determining from where they receive their funding and political support is essential in determining whether these opposition forces are legitimate or the manufactured pawns of Western corporate-financier special interests being funded through fronts like the National Endowment for Democracy – a front that is private – not national, and that is for corporate-financier special interests – only under the guise as being “for democracy.”
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

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