Saturday, 11 June 2016

Busted: Kurdish Retreat in Aleppo Evidence of Treason? ~ Related: the U.S. deal to “Balkanize” North-Syria [as part of deal with Daesh, al Nusra]

Empires
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By Gordon Duff & Ian Greenhalgh, VT

Russia and Syria claimed surprise when the Kurdish defense forces withdrew from positions around Aleppo, shuttling in al Nusra forces who are now not only advised by Turkish military but actually include all Turkish units now operating inside Syria itself.
We had all looked on the Kurds and their marriage of convenience with Damascus as something positive, when we thought they were going to drive on Azaz and, while working with the new (imaginary)US backed force, begin pushing back ISIS toward not only Aleppo but East toward Hasakah as well.
It was all total bullshit.
What the Kurds in Aleppo Province did was secure defensive positions, a supposed adjunct to the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah, that they were again “supposedly” coordinating with then, at a key time, they simply pulled out.
Based on what we now see from the Raqqah drive by the Kurds from the North, another phony attack on ISIS, and the new clear cooperative agreement between ISIS and al Nusra, we know this for sure:
The YPG Kurds, the American Special Forces, the Aleppo Kuridsh forces, are all coordinating with ISIS and al Nusra, with Turkey also, all as Dr. Barakat said, all theatre and nothing more.
Or as Ian tells it, it all seems to look just too much, conveniently too much, like “Greater Israel” with a bit of Kurdish and Turkish appearance to give it an Islamic flavor and no more:
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By Tass.Ru ~ Over the past 24 h., terrorists delivered strikes on the residential areas of Handrat, Sheikh Maqsood, al-Muhafaza, al-Zahraa and al-Nayrab airport in Aleppo

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© Valerij Sharifulin/TASS
Units of Kurdish militia have abandoned defenses in Aleppo’s Sheikh Maqsood and retreated, a spokesman for the Russian center for reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria said on Saturday.
“In result of intense artillery shelling and incessant attacks of combatants of the Jabhat al-Nusra and Akhrar ash-Sham terrorist groups (banned in Russia) against the Kurdish militia, local volunteers and governmental forces in Aleppo, the units of Kurdish self-defense forces have abandoned the defenses in Sheikh Maqsood and retreated,” he said.
Over the past 24 hours, terrorists delivered strikes from multiple rocket launchers, mortars and anti-aircraft guns on the residential areas of Handrat, Sheikh Maqsood, al-Muhafaza, al-Zahraa and al-Nayrab airport in the city of Aleppo.
Also, the residential localities of Kinsibba and Nahshebba in the Latakia region and Fua and Kafr Haya in the Idlib region came under shelling.
The ceasefire has been effective in Syria since February 27, 2016. It does not apply to the groups Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (both outlawed in Russia), and also to other groups declared as terrorist by the UN Security Council. Russia’s aviation grouping has been delivering air strikes against the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria since September 30, 2015 at the request of Syria’s President Bashar Assad.

RELATED:

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Surprise Syrian Drive on Raqqah Blocks Secret US Plan.
U.S. Deal to “Balkanize” Northern Syria
Part of Deal with ISIS, al Nusra.


by VT-editor Gordon Duff
Nahed al Hussaini
Dr. Bassam Barakat

EXCLUSIVE:
Iraqi forces have captured an Israeli military commander trying to escape from Fallujah. We expect to have his identity in a few hours.

Advance units of the Syrian Arab Army, supported by forces of Hezbollah, Iranian volunteers and Russian Aerospace fighter/bombers are advancing on the ISIS held Tabqa Military Airport, just south of Raqqah.
Sources in Damascus have told VT that this drive, supported by Russian Aerospace sorties, is advancing through the night to seize the ISIS held airport after it was learned that America planned to open a major base there, dominating this vital region, part of a secret agreement to split Syria, a plan made showing a shocking level of cooperation between “strange bedfellows,” most notable an American deal with ISIS against Damascus.

Today

Thus far today, ISIS has lost 15 armored vehicles to Russian air attacks, while the Syrian Arab Army is moving steadily northward against light to moderate resistance. Russia has centered its air efforts against resupply convoys moving south out of Raqqah and is choking off units in the area.
Our sources tell us that Russian intelligence learned of a meeting in Azaz, scene of what is being reported as significant fighting between ISIS and Syrian (Kurdish) Democratic Forces. Azaz is a key transit point for arms flowing into Northern Aleppo from Turkey.

The Plot

The meeting between American, Turkish, Israeli and SDF representatives, joined by military operational leaders of the Free Syrian Army, ISIS and al Nusra, outlined a staged “theatrical” chain of events intended to move ISIS ostensibly out of Northern Syria and replace them with a Turkish/Israeli consortium which has, in actuality, managed ISIS all along.
A VT source with a SDF unit near Hasakah noted that US air strikes on ISIS positions, in support of the Kurdish advance, were careful not to inflict casualties but rather to allow ISIS to safely withdraw forces on what those on site believe to be a predetermined schedule.
This schedule, we believe, was arranged for in Azaz, indicating full cooperation between the US, Turkey, Israel and terrorist forces in both Syria and Iraq, and that Kurdish forces are fully complicit.

Why Here

Much of Syria’s wealth is centered around Raqqah, explaining why ISIS sought this as their capitol.
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It isn’t just oil fields south of Raqqah, this is also home to Syria’s largest hydroelectric facility as well, the real power behind ISIS.  This is the largest source of fresh water in the entire Middle East, which sustains the wheat and cotton production that drove the Syrian economy.
Tabaqah Dam

What You Aren’t Being Told

The US had originally contracted with the Syrian Democratic Forces, paying off their leadership, to turn over areas they took control of to the Free Syrian Army, this was when the US felt there was a chance of setting up a puppet regime in Damascus.
As the situation on the ground, particularly after Russian forces rebuilt the Syrian Arab Army in 2015, changed making this contingency unrealistic. What had become clear is that the “rope-a-dope” phony war against ISIS being waged by Washington, using up time while Turkish, Saudi and Israeli backed “moderate head choppers” wore down Damascus, was no longer going to give a favorable result, not with the Syrian Arab Army on the move.
Then US then, with a decision said to be made by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, ordered the dismemberment of ISIS units, partially shutting down ISIS as though it were an American controlled irregular military force.
The US would then have SDF forces move Westward against Manbij, in Eastern Aleppo province while temporarily suspending the drive on Raqqah, in actuality, a feint. The real purpose was to take control over the dam, the airport, and turn it all over to the Kurds, territory that had been Arab/Assyrian for 4 thousand years.
manbij
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Who Are the Syrian Kurds?

Kurdish maps floating around the internet show a region of ethnic penetration that covers half of Turkey and across well into Iran, and in some cases all the way to India.  Most of this is fiction.  There are, however, over 20 million Kurds, mostly in Iraq, Iran and Southern Turkey with a contingent that has spread into Northern Syria.  They are not “from” Northern Syria but have rather encroached on Assyrian and Arab populations that can demonstrate continuous habitation since the 4th Century.
How this applies today is in the SDF move south from Hasakah, an Arab city, into Raqqah, into a region that has never had a Kurdish presence and where Kurds, even were they part of an American coalition against ISIS, will still to be seen as interlopers.

Further South

Over the past 48 hours, up to 5,000 Saudi controlled ISIS militants have left U.S. training camps inside Jordan, entering Syria in Daraa Province.  These recruits are from Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnia and were recruited with full complicity of the CIA.
SAA-20160518-5

SOURCES:
VeteransToday
VeteransToday
TASS.RU
Submitted by al-Jatabí & SyrianPatriots 
War Press Info Network at:
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/06/10/kurdish-fake/
~
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Zionism as Racism. Zionism and the State of israel

Zionism, Anti-Semitism, BDS, and the United Nations
The deadly dance between Zionism and the UN has now come full circle.

Zionism as Racism? Zionism and the State of Israel

More than 40 years ago, the UN General Assembly adopted controversial resolution 3379 by a vote of 72-35 (with 32 abstentions), determining “that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” This resolution was bitterly opposed by Israel and its friends in 1975. According to Zionists and others this resolution was an unacceptable assault on the dignity of the Jewish people, a blatant expression of anti-Semitism, exhibiting hurtful insensitivity to the long dark shadow cast by horrific memories of the Holocaust.
The Israeli ambassador at the United Nations, Chaim Herzog, was unsparing in his denunciation: “For us, the Jewish people, this resolution based on hatred, falsehood and arrogance, is devoid of any moral or legal value.” The American Ambassador, with a deserved reputation as an outspoken diplomat, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, was hardly less severe. In the debate preceding the vote Moynihan used exaggerated language of denunciation: “The UN is about to make anti-Semitism international law…. The [US] does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act … a great evil has been loosed upon the world.”
Such harsh language was an effective tactical maneuver by Israel and the United States to mislead as to the purpose of the anti-Zionist resolution by waving the red flag of anti-Semitism. With a few notable exceptions, the governmental supporters of the initiative at the UN were never motivated by hatred of Jews, although the resolution was an unwise way to exhibit anger toward Israel because it was so susceptible to being discredited as unacceptable due to its anti-Semitic overtones.The primary backers of the resolution were seeking to call attention to the fact that Israel as a state was proceeding in a racist manner by its treatment of the indigenous Palestinian population. In fact, the focus on Zionism rather than Israel reflected a continuing commitment by the main representatives of the Palestinian people and their allies to accept, however reluctantly, the reality of Israel as a state, while rejecting certain of its policies and practices that were being attributed to the Zionist ideology that did shape Israel’s governing process.
The context of the resolution is also important. It came after a decade of international frustration concerning the refusal of Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian (and Syrian) territory occupied in the 1967 War in the manner prescribed in the unanimously passed iconic UN Security Resolution 242. By 1975, it seemed that Israel had no serious intention of ever withdrawing fully or soon. True, there were interpretative ambiguities surrounding the exact conditions of withdrawal, yet Israel’s expansion of the metropolitan area of Jerusalem together with its annexation and establishment of settlements in occupied Palestine was generally perceived in UN circles as confirming this suspicion that Israeli ambitions far exceeded the scope of what had been agreed upon in 1967 at the Security Council. Subsequent developments have only hardened the perception the belief that Israel will defy international law and UN authority whenever it suits their purposes.
Inappropriately and ineffectively, the anti-Zionist resolution was seeking to mobilize the international community in 1975 around the idea that Palestinian suffering and humiliation resulted from illegitimate Israeli behavior that would not be overcome by statecraft or UN diplomacy, both of which had been tried and failed. Over time, this interpretation of the situation has given rise to a growing skepticism about whether any inter-government effort, including even that undertaken by the Palestinians themselves, will secure the Palestinian right of self-determination, as long as the balance of forces is so strongly in Israel’s favor. Against this background, it is not surprising that the Palestinian struggle increasingly relies upon civil society militancy—currently epitomized by the BDS Campaign—to correct this imbalance.
Asserting its geopolitical muscle over the years, Israel finally managed to induce the General Assembly to reverse itself in 1991 by Resolution 46/86. This single sentence text simply revokes the earlier resolution condemning Israel without offering any explanation for the new posture. Israel secured this vote by making conditional its participation at the Madrid Peace Conference that same year, insisting on a formal repudiation of the 1975 resolution.
In retrospect, the General Assembly had made a serious mistake by equating Israel with Zionism. It should have been earlier realized that Zionism is a political project devised by Jews in Europe at the end of the nineteenth century, and while responsible for the world movement that successfully established Israel against great odds, it does not represent the Jewish people as whole, nor is it an authoritative expression of Judaism whether conceived as a religion or an ethno-historic tradition. From the inception of Zionism, Jews as individuals held wildly divergent, even contradictory, views about the wisdom of Zionism in theory and practice as well as about the validity of its relations with Judaism. Zionism was never institutionalized as the governing ideology of the Israeli state, and many Jewish critics of Israel emphasized the failure of the state to live up to Zionist ideals and Judaic traditions.
Among the most fundamental of these disagreements related to whether Jews should aspire to a state of their own in Palestine or limit themselves to the Balfour pledge of support for a homeland in historic Palestine. The whole idea of an ethnic state is problematic given the geographic intermingling of ethnicities, and can be reconciled with the ideal of protecting the human rights of every individual only by artifice. In practice, an ethnic state, even if its activities are constitutionally constrained, dominates the governing space and discriminates against those with other ethnic identities. And so has been the case with Israel despite Palestinian voting rights and participation in the Knesset. Again, Zionism championed Israeli statehood as the fulfillment of the vision of a Jewish homeland, but the state that emerged is a political actor whose behavior needs to be appraised by its policies and practices, and not by its founding ideology.
Such general speculation raises somewhat different issues than posed by the anti-Zionist resolution. Now the much more difficult issue is raised in the form of allegations that Israel as of 2016 has become a racist or apartheid state, most clearly with respect to its oppressive and discriminatory administration of the West Bank and Gaza. To be clear, it is not Zionism as an ideology that should be evaluated as racist or not, despite its ethnic exclusivity, but Israel as a state subject to international law, including the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination(1966) and the International Convention on Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1973).

BDS as Anti-Semitism?

At this time, complaints about anti-Semitism have taken an entirely different course, although emanating from a similar source. Instead of deflecting criticism at the UN by angry claims of institutional bias verging on anti-Semitism, Israel is now actually invoking the prestige of the UN to carry on its fight against the BDS Campaign and an alleged delegitimation project aimed at discrediting and isolating, if not destroying, the state of Israel. On May 31,2016, Israel convened a day-long conference under the willfully misleading title, “Ambassadors Against BDS—International Summit at the UN.” Invited speakers were limited to pro-Israeli extremists who took turns deploring BDS as a political initiative and denouncing its activist supporters as vicious anti-Semites. The Israeli ambassador, acting as convener of the conference and known mainly as an inflammatory leader of the settlement movement, Dani Danon, set the tone of the event with these words: “BDS is the modern incarnation of anti-Semitism,” spreading an “ideology of hate.”
The program was unabashedly one-sided. The conference sponsored by a series of leading Jewish organizations. The audience consisted of more than 1,500 invited guests who possessed strong anti-BDS credentials and were encouraged to be militant in their opposition to BDS activities. The conference call relied on language that highlights the political significance of this extraordinary initiative: “The BDS movement continues to make strides in their campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel. They are gaining increased support on campuses around the world as they promote initiatives on local and national levels calling to divest and boycott the Jewish state.” Such a statement accurately recognizes that BDS has become the main vehicle of a rapidly strengthening global solidarity movement that aligns itself with the Palestinian national movement, is effectively mobilizing beneath the BDS banner, and has been shaped since its inception in 2005 when endorsed by 170 Palestinian NGOs and a wide spectrum of civil society activists.
It should be clarified that the so-called anti-BDS ‘summit,’ appearances notwithstanding, was not a UN conference, nor did it have the blessings or participation of top UN officials. It was an event organized by the Israeli delegation at the UN that was allowed to make use of UN facilities. Calling itself ‘Ambassadors Against BDS” is deceptive, suggesting some kind of collective diplomatic undertaking by the international community or at least its Western segment.
Contrariwise, and more to the point, several European governments normally supportive of Israel, including Sweden, Ireland, and even the Netherlands, have recently officially indicated that support for BDS is a legitimate political activity, entitled to the protection of law in a democratic state, and its supporters should be treated as exercising their right to freedom of expression in a lawful manner.
The BDS goals are set forth clearly in its founding document and do not include the delegitimation of Israel as a state: (1) withdrawal of Israel forces from Arab territories occupied in 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights as well as West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza; (2) respect for the right of return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with General Assembly Resolution 194; (3) protection of the human rights of Palestinians living in pre-1967 Israel on the basis of full equality. Without question, the BDS movement endorses an ambitious program, but it does not question Israeli sovereignty over pre-1967 Israel, despite its territorial control of 78% of the Palestine mandate, which is far more than what the UN considered fair in 1947 that was about 45%, and was rejected by the Palestinians as being grossly unfair given the demographics at the time.
In a growing reaction to the growing influence of BDS, Israel and pro-Israeli civil society actors have been pushing back in a variety of settings with tactics that violate the written and unwritten rules of democratic society. Among those most salient of these tactics have been the successful efforts of the organized Jewish community in Britain to have an academic conference at Southampton University canceled for two consecutive years, the frantic defamatory assault on Penny Green, the distinguished British criminalist who had been proposed as the first choice to be the next UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Occupied Palestine, a travel ban imposed by Israel on Omar Barghouti, the widely admired worldwide leader of BDS, and sundry outrageous efforts throughout the United States to have as many state legislatures as possible pass laws that criminalize BDS by associating its advocacy and activity with anti-Semitism.
Above all, this ugly effort to stigmatize BDS represents a double shift in the essential battlefield of the Israel/Palestine struggle. The first shift is from armed struggle to a series of symbolic encounters concerning the legitimacy of Israel’s policies and practices. The second interrelated shift is away from inter-governmental diplomacy and toward civil society militancy. It is possible that the second shift is temporary or provisional, having as its objective the revival of normal diplomacy at a future time under conditions where both sides are treated equally, and the process facilitated by a genuinely neutral intermediary. In effect, an authentic peace process in the future must correct the flaws that doomed the diplomacy undertaken within the Oslo Framework of Principles to failure, and what is worse operated to enable a steady dynamic of Israeli expansionism at Palestinian expense. One way of thinking of BDS is as a corrective to this failed diplomacy of the past.
In the meantime, both Israel and its civil society adversaries will reflect their contradictory agendas with respect to a variety of struggles centering on what is legitimate.
In important respects the double shift should be welcomed. The BDS Campaign concentrates on university campuses, churches, and labor unions. To challenge the legality and propriety of its tactics is to attack the most fundamental values of constitutional democracy. BDS-bashing also lends indirect credibility to those who argue that only political violence can achieve justice for the Palestinian people that alone can end their unspeakable ordeal. It is reasonable, of course, to question whether BDS is effective, or to argue over its proper scope and tactics, but attacks on BDS as a valid political instrument should be rejected.

Comparing Anit-Zionism in 1975 and Anti-BDS in 2016

This deadly dance between Zionism and the UN has now come full circle. In the 1970s, Zionism was condemned by the General Assemly at the UN, and the condemnation was sharply criticized by Israel as being so anti-Semitic as to contaminate the Organization as a whole. In 2016, Israel in a dramatic turnabout relies on the stature and access associated with its UN membership to empower Zionist forces throughout the world to engage in BDS-bashing. In the end, we should appreciate that neither Zionism nor BDS are racist as such, and any serious inquiry should be directed at the behavior of Israel as a member of the UN obliged to respect international law with respect to race and on the actual claims and initiatives of BDS as a transnational civil society initiative seeking the implementation of international law and fundamental human rights.
It was a mistake to play the anti-Zionist card in 1975 as the real grievances of Palestinians and the UN were obscured behind the smokescreen of a false debate about whether or not deep criticisms of Israel were anti-Semitic. It is an even bigger mistake to play the anti-Semitic card in the current global setting as a way of evading the demands set forth by BDS, which seem on their face in accord with international law and morality, and have as a principal virtue the clear commitment to pursue political ends by peaceful means.
The scale of this mistake is enlarged by blurring the boundaries between a proper concern with anti-Semitism as a virulent form of ethnic hatred that has given rise in the past to bloody persecutions and fascist extremism, and most abhorrently to the Holocaust. Opposing BDS on its pragmatic or normative merits is an entirely reasonable posture for those who disagree with its premises, methods, and goals. What is not acceptable is to engage in these provocative efforts to discredit and punish the proponents of BDS, and to threaten adherents with punitive pushback as happens when tenure is abrogated or steps are taken to brand activists by name as targets for vilification and intimidation.
A version of this article was published by Middle East Eye on June 5, 2016
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Iraq releases footage 5 U.S. helicopters landing in Daesh-held regions

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BODY OF PROOF:


Iraq Releases Footage 5 US Helicopters Landing in ISIL-Held Regions


(FNA)- The Iraqi Hezbollah sources released footage of 5 American helicopters landing in areas controlled by the ISIL in al-Makhoul mountains in Salahuddin province.
The footage released by al-Etejah news channel showed 5 US helicopters which landed in the ISIL-controlled areas in al-Mashak village behind al-Makhoul mountains.
Hezbollah’s information center said that the helicopters landed in the region on April 4 after which the ISIL launched a large offensive against the Iraqi forces deployed in al-Makhoul mountains but the attack was foiled by the army.
Al-Etejah had on the same date reported that unknown helicopters had landed in the region. The Iraqi Hezbollah later revealed that the helicopters belonged to the US army.
In a relevant development in the region last Sunday, the Iraqi army and Hezbollah resistance forces repelled an ISIL attack on their military positions in al-Makhoul mountains, killing over two dozen terrorists.
A sum of 30 ISIL terrorists were killed while the army pushed them back from Al-Makhoul mountainous region located at a crossroad that links the three Iraqi provinces of Salahuddin, Anbar and Diyala.
Tens of ISIL terrorists had tried to attack the Iraqi Hezbollah’s military positions with heavy artillery.
Al-Makhoul mountains overlook the bordering areas of Iraq’s Salahuddin province where the Iraqi Hezbollah resistance forces are closely monitoring the terrorists’ movements.

SOURCES:
Fars News Agency
Fars News Agency Video
Submitted by Cem Ertür 
War Press Info Network at :
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/06/10/usa-help-daesh/
~
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

“SOUTHERN FRONT” LEADER BLOWS SELF UP IN BOTCHED INSPECTION; ALQAEDA CRUSHED IN HOMS AGAIN; TEHERAN CONFERENCE MASSIVE SUCCESS; IRAN OKAYS MOVE INTO SYRIA

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IRAN:   The meeting of the 3 defense ministers was so successful, Russian minister,Sergei Shoigu, insisted “there will be more” of the same.  The meeting was so upbeat that the normally cameral-shy generals permitted reporters to film some of the proceedings for public consumption.  Iran has begun preparations to send more troops into Syria to finally “decapitate” the American-Saudi-Zionist-supported cannibals.
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SUWAYDAA`:  AT THE JORDANIAN-IRAQI BORDER
Don’t believe anything other news sources are telling you.  They are basing their reports solely on pronouncements by professional liars inside the terrorist network supported wholly by the Saudi apes and their Turk-Jordanian confederates.  A former Lt. Colonel in the Syrian Army, who deserted his position in order to destroy the people of Syria, one slime bag by the name of Saleem Bakkoor, was killed when he was inspecting a row of IEDs assembled by the Jordanian military for use on the roads in Suwaydaa` Province.  Well, when one went off, so did the rest rendering Mr. Bakkoor into a fine paste suitable for canning and burying in ‘Ammaan, Jordan.  Another 11 rodents, all army deserters,  were either killed or wounded with him in the explosion.   The rodents of this group calling itself the Brigades of the Martyr, Ahmad ‘Abdu, tried to romanticize this vemin’s death by claiming it was the work of an ISIS fellow rat wearing an explosive belt.  You see, according to the rodent reports, this traitor, Bakkoor, was inside a very well-protected base when an ISIS operative snuck in somehow and managed to take down this illustrious specimen of simian waste.  What they didn’t tell you was that the base was inside Jordan and surrounded by Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate.
This Saudi prostitute was probably drunk on cheap Jordanian arak when he decided to play around with the incompetently assembled explosives.  He was one of the earliest members of the army to fall for the idiotic approaches of the CIA in 2010 when the U.S. was beginning to set in motion its criminal plans to overthrow the government of Dr. Assad.  Like Saleem Idrees and the seemingly vanished Riyaadh Al-As’ad, Bakkoorwas on the fast track to oblivion.
The Brigades of the Martyr, Ahmad ‘Abdu, according to only Western prostitute sources, was committed to fighting both the Assad government and ISIS.  Yeah, sure.  In any case, we are delighted that he’s dead and hope all the rest follow him into the incandescent tunnels of Hell.
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HOMS:
Ayn Hussayn Village:  Syrian Army technology is now 21st Century.  Yesterday, the SAA followed spotters’ instructions implicitly and unloaded 10 tons of ordnance on a collection of Alqaeda/Nusra vipers at the entrance to this village in the northern part of the province.  As the murdering savages were conversing about Ramadhaan, and the like, praising one another, no doubt, for an especially well-executed beheading of this apostate or the other, the bombs came a-tumbling down on them killing 14 and wounding scores.  The SAA artillery also destroyed a 14.5mm cannon attached to a Saudi-supplied Toyota flatbed.
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NEWS AND COMMENT:
Brandon always writes incisively about Syria. Here’s his take on the move toward Al-Raqqa:
Hans Helffer gives us a view on the race to Al-Raqqa:
Fresh on the heels of a major public relations victory in Palmyra, however, the Syrian military is now marching toward Raqqa and, if successful, it will score one of the biggest victories in the five-year war. This is not only because the de facto ISIS capital will be eliminated or because the SAA will gain more territory, it is because the liberation of Raqqa will be yet another example of how the Syrian military will have accomplished in weeks what the United States and coalition members have claimed may take a decade to do. It will be another instance where the lack of will on the part of the United States to actually destroy Daesh is put on display for the rest of the world, either causing the U.S. to look weak in the eyes of the world or exposing it for actually supporting the terrorist organization to begin with. Regardless, the victory for the Syrian government will be twofold.

The rat metaphor is catching on everywhere.  Watch this video sent by Khaled:
Ziad II sends this interview with Senator Richard Black during which he pulls the covers off the lies of the US:
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

The Pentagon’s Great Wall of Impotence

Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online. Born in Brazil, he’s been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of “Globalistan” (2007), “Red Zone Blues” (2007), “Obama does Globalistan” (2009) and “Empire of Chaos” (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is “2030”, also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015.


© AFP
No one ever lost money betting on the Pentagon refraining from exceptionalist rhetoric.
Once again the current Pentagon supremo, certified neocon Ash Carter, did not disappoint at the Shangri-La Dialogue – the annual, must-go regional security forum in Singapore attended by top defense ministers, scholars and business executives from across Asia.
Context is key. The Shangri-La Dialogue is organized by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), which is essentially a pro-Anglo-American think tank. And it takes place in the privileged aircraft carrier of imperial geostrategic interests in South East Asia: Singapore.
As expressed by neocon Carter, Pentagon rhetoric – faithful to its own estimation of China as the second biggest “existential threat” to the US (Russia is first) – revolves around the same themes; US military might and superiority is bound to last forever; we are the “main underwriter of Asian security” for, well, forever; and China better behave in the South China Sea – or else.
This is all embedded in the much ballyhooed but so far anemic“pivoting to Asia”advanced by the lame duck Obama administration – but bound to go on overdrive in the event Hillary Clinton becomes the next tenant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Real threats are predictably embedded in the rhetoric. According to Carter, if Beijing reclaims land in the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, “it will result in actions being taken by the both United States and … by others in the region.”
What’s left for China, in Pentagonese, is just to be a member of a hazy “principled security network” for Asia – which will also help protect the East against “Russia’s worrying actions”. Carter mentioned “principled” no less than 37 times in his speech.“Principled” cheerleaders so far include Japan, India, the Philippines, Vietnam and Australia.
So here’s an instant translation: we do a NATO in Asia; we control it; you will answer to us; and then we encircle you – and Russia – for good. If China says no, that’s simple. Carter proclaimed Beijing will erect a “Great Wall of self-isolation” in the South China Sea.
If this is the best Pentagon planners have to counteract the Russia-China strategic partnership, they’d better go back to the classroom. In elementary school.

Navigate in freedom, dear vassals

Predictably, the South China Sea was quite big at Shangri-La. The South China Sea, the throughway of trillions of US dollars in annual trade, doubles as home to a wealth of unexplored oil and gas. Stagnated and increasingly irrelevant Japan, via its Defense Minister Gen. Nakatani, even advanced the Japanese would help Southeast Asian nations build their “security capabilities” to deal with what he called “unilateral” and“coercive” Chinese actions in the South China Sea. Cynics could not help to draw similarities with Imperial Japan’s Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
The Beijing delegation kept its cool – to a point. Rear Admiral Guan Youfei stressed,“The US action to take sides is not agreed by many countries.” Youfei – the head of the Chinese office of international military cooperation – did not refrain though from condemning a “Cold War mentality” by the usual suspects.
As for Japan, China’s Foreign Ministry detailed that “countries outside the region should stick to their promises and not make thoughtless remarks about issues of territorial sovereignty.” Japan has absolutely nothing to do with the South China Sea.
Beijing’s reclamation work on reefs in the South China Sea naturally put it in direct conflict with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. So US meddling – under the convenient cover of “freedom of navigation” – had to be inevitable.“Freedom of navigation” operations are a silly intimidation game in which a US Navy ship or plane passes by a Chinese-claimed island in the South China Sea.
It was up to Admiral Sun Jianguo, Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff Department of China’s Central Military Commission, to cut to the chase, stressing “the provocation of certain countries” and adding that “selfish interests” have led to the South China Sea issue becoming “overheated”. He slammed the Pentagon for double standards and“irresponsible behavior”. And he slammed the Philippines for taking the conflict to a dubious UN arbitration court after breaching a bilateral agreement with China; “We do not make trouble but we have no fear of trouble.”
U.S. Secretary of Defence Ash Carter meets with South Korea's Minister of Defence Han Minkoo (R) and Japan's Minister of Defence Gen Nakatani for a trilateral at the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore June 4, 2016. © Reuters
The Chinese position prefers dialogue and cooperation – and Jianguo re-stressed it, calling for ASEAN to make a move. In fact China has already reached what is called a four-point consensus with Brunei, Cambodia and Laos on the South China Sea two months ago. The Philippines are a much harder nut to crack – as the Pentagon is taking no prisoners to lead Manila “from behind”.
Even Vietnam, via Deputy Defense Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh, made it clear – in the same plenary session as Admiral Jianguo – that Vietnam prefers solutions via the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as well as negotiation between China and ASEAN.

Bend over to our rules – or else

After Shangri-La’s rhetorical excesses, the action moved to Beijing, the site of the 8th China-US Strategic and Development Dialogue. That’s the annual talkfestlaunched in 2009 by Obama and then Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang painted a rosy picture, stressing the exchange of “candid, in-depth views on important and sensitive issues of shared concern.” Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai once again needed to point out that the relationship is just “too important” to be “hijacked” by the South China Sea. And yet this is exactly the Pentagon’s agenda.
Beijing though won’t be derailed. As State Councilor Yang Jiechi put it, ASEAN-China dialogue is progressing via what Beijing calls the “dual-track” approach, according to which disputes are negotiated between the parties directly involved. That implies no Washington interference.
Beyond what is discussed either at Shangri-La or at the China-US dialogue, the Big Picture is clear. ‘Exceptionalistan’ planners have molded a narrative where China is being forced to make a choice; either you bend over to “our” rules – as in the current unipolar geostrategic game – or else.
Well, Beijing has already made its own choice; and that entails a multipolar world of sovereign nations with no primus inter pares. The Beijing leadership under Xi Jinping clearly sees how the so-called international “order”, actually disorder, is a rigged system set up at the end of WWII.
Wily Chinese diplomacy – and trade – knows how to use the system to advance Chinese national interests. That’s how modern China became the “savior” of global turbo-capitalism. But that does not mean a resurgent China will forever comply with these extraneous “rules” – not to mention the morality lessons. Beijing knows‘Exceptionalistan’ would not agree even to divide the spoils in a geopolitical spheres-of-influence arrangement. Plan A in Washington is containment – with possibly dangerous ramifications. There is no Plan B.
The bottom line – thinly disguised by the somewhat polite responses to Pentagon threats – is that Beijing simply won’t accept anymore a geopolitical disorder that it did not create. The Chinese could not give a damn to the New World Order (NWO) dreamed up by selected ‘Masters of the Universe’. Beijing is engaged in building a new, multipolar order. No wonder – alongside with strategic partner Russia – they are and will continue to be the Pentagon’s top twin threat.

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

“CrossTalk” Exceptionalism’s wars

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