Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Siege of Aleppo is not the Only Game in Town!

The recent military success by the Syrian army and their allies in Aleppo are undoubtedly important. But the recapture of three key military academies and the reinstatement of the siege on the militant-held eastern part of Aleppo may not be the breakthrough moment in the battle for northwestern Syria that many of us had previously hoped for.
Destruction in Syria's Aleppo
That said, the brief lifting of that siege in early August following a fierce offensive by “all” of Aleppo’s militant factions was always doomed to fail. Military formations in the area, which include Syrian armed forces, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Iranian special operations units and Iraqi militias, are markedly superior to the militants, especially in terms of their air power and artillery. This superiority enabled the Syrian army and their allies to hinder militant efforts to make any real use of the corridors leading into eastern Aleppo.
Furthermore, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham [formally known as Jabhat al-Nusra] and their main regional backer, Saudi Arabia, made a costly miscalculation in believing that they could push back the Syrian army in Aleppo using hastily recruited and inexperienced fighters from the neighboring Idlib province.
Out of the estimated 8000 militants who took part in the Aleppo operation, more than half have now been put out of action – either killed or wounded. With its newly armed formations decimated, the group’s exhausted weapons arsenal is now sufficient strictly for defensive warfare. The militants have been reduced to using air balloons armed with mines, which is a testament to just how depleted their weapons caches have become.
In an effort to reverse their loses in the north, militant groups have attempted to divert government recourses by launching attacks along other frontlines in Syria, including Hama and the Damascus countryside. But this strategy has so far had a very limited impact, if any at all.
Saudi Arabia’s Primitive Approach to the Syrian Conflict
These dire conditions have not only forced Jabhat Fatah al-Sham into retreat but have also resulted in serious internal schisms.
Its main backers in Riyadh genuinely believed that the group’s so-called “transformation” would give Washington and Moscow the necessary incentive to include it in the Geneva talks and any potential political transition in Syria.
What’s more, the Jabhat Fatah al-Sham-led Aleppo offensive was heavily reliant on the rebranding of the group. The militants and the Saudis were hoping for external military and political support, as well as international recognition – that, in fact, never came.
Instead, the announced split from Al-Qaeda appears to have been used as a pretext by Nusra’s Jordanian recruits to leavethe group. The Jordanian fighters had previously expressed their discontent at being deployed along the frontlines, claiming they were used as “cannon fodder”.
Following heavy airstrikes, those recruits are reportedly on the run, after fleeing their positions in the direction of Aleppo’s Khan Touman.
Thus the Saudi-orchestrated publicity stunt by the Nusra Front does not only open the group up to possible acts of sabotage by some of its recruits, but also makes it harder for Saudi Arabia to coordinate between Syria’s many different militant factions. More importantly, the attempted rebranding of Nusra illustrates the level of desperation in Riyadh when it comes to salvaging any of its interests in Syria.
Ankara Wants to Play Its Own Game
Ankara, which had once seen eye-to-eye with Riyadh when it came to the conflict in Syria, now wants to play its own game without being dependent on the whims of Saudi Arabia and its interests.
According to retired Lebanese army general, Hisham Jaber,
“Turkey wants to, and is expected to change course in Syria. But it is doing so gradually and it is not going to do a 180-degree turn until it fulfills all of its objectives. Today the Turks are in a position that allows them to impose their own conditions.”
Following the failed coup, Ankara has demonstrated that its primary focus in Syria is the creation of a military corridor between Azaz and Jarablous, and preventing the Kurds from concentrating their territories into a single unit. The saturation of militants loyal to Turkey will also be used for achieving this objective as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hopes to minimize loses among his own troops and avoid losing public support for the military operation in northern Syria.
And while there can be no doubt that the Turks received Russia’s blessing for this operation, the alleged ‘gentleman’s agreement’ between Moscow and Ankara only includes the willingness of both sides to “work together” when it comes to Aleppo. Beyond that, nothing is certain.
The ‘understanding’ between the Russians and the Turks likely involved a trade: Aleppo for other parts of northern Syria. But this still needs to be put to the test.
Pro-Turkish militants will now be expected to bow out of the battle for Aleppo, but also facilitate – or at the very least create – the conditions for Syrian forces and their allies to attack the northwestern Idlib province.
“If it weren’t for Turkey these groups would not be able to fight for more than a few weeks. Turkey is the lung through which these organizations breathe,” Jaber added.
However, the watershed moment for success in Aleppo and other parts of northwestern Syria will only come if the prominent Sunni Arab tribes in the area express their genuine willingness to join the US-Russian brokered truce. This will depend almost entirely on the weakening of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and other Saudi proxies.
Russian Concerns
Earlier this week, Russia’s foreign ministry expressed “deep concern” over the “lack of coordination between Ankara and Damascus” with respect to Turkey’s military incursion into northern Syria.
The statement may have been designed to play a dual role. On the one hand, the Russians are reaffirming their support for the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad. But at the same time,Moscow is opening up the possibility of employing a final military solution in Aleppo as a counterbalance to any potential US-Turkish conquest in Raqqa.
Moscow, Damascus and Ankara all appear to agree on the need to avoid such a scenario, at least for the time being, as it would undoubtedly lead to the de-facto partitioning of Syria, creating a weak central government with powerful regional authorities.
Source: al-Ahed News
10-09-2016 | 09:10
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 Syria "Transition Plan" Lacks Legitimacy, Turkish Invasion Faces Quagmire

September 10, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – The Western media has now repeatedly reported on a so-called “transition plan” unveiled in London by what it calls the “High Negotiations Committee” (HNC) – a group Western media outlets refuse to identify, enumerate, or discuss behind their superficial headlines.

The BBC in its article, “Syria conflict: Opposition unveils transition plan,” would claim:
The umbrella group representing Syria’s political and armed opposition factions has set out a plan for a political transition to end five years of war. 

The High Negotiations Committee (HNC) proposed holding six months of negotiations with President Bashar al-Assad, accompanied by a full ceasefire. 

Mr Assad would then hand over power to a unity government that would run Syria for 18 months and organise elections.
This lack of information regarding who the HNC actually is comprised of is not due to the fact that Western media outlets do not know, but precisely because they do know – and including this information in articles about their “transition plan” would undermine its legitimacy.
The majority of the committee do not even reside in Syria and have little to no ties with actual militant groups fighting on the ground there. Those armed groups that do continue to fight, are now openly operating under the umbrella of US State Department designated foreign terrorist organization Jabhat Al-Nusra – Al Qaeda in Syria – and have done so since a failed offensive attempting to break the Syrian government’s encirclement of Aleppo last month.
In essence, this is a “transition plan” proposed by a fictional opposition committee that has no power in Syria, and should Syria and its allies be irresponsible enough to accept such a plan, they would be negotiating with irrelevant players hiding abroad while failing to address the very realities on the ground in Syria itself.
It is a recipe for compounding the conflict, not ending it.
Irresponsible to Negotiate With HNC
The HNC is a creation and perpetuation of US and European interests, not that of the Syrian people, or even that of armed groups fighting in Syria.
Syria and its allies are already engaged in negotiations with various groups inside of Syria on the ground, negotiating partial ceasefires, disarmament and withdrawals, and even, by the BBC’s own admission, the releases of prisoners captured by the government during the war.
Image: Syrian forces have once again completely encircled Aleppo after a brief and partial breakthrough made by thousands of armed militants in a concentrated but ultimately defeated attack. 
It is the fact that these negotiations will eventually end the war in favor of Syria and its allies and not Western interests that the West has attempted to expand and intensify the conflict as well as propose “transitions plans” through its fictional opposition committee in London.
However, the Syrian government’s negotiations already ongoing reflect the reality on the battlefield of a Syrian government and people backed by its allies incapable of being toppled as was done in Libya and neighboring Iraq. The vast majority of the Syrian people currently live in government held territory with – even in 2013 – only 15-20% of the population remaining in areas held by militants.
The Carnegie Middle East Center, in a 2015 interview titled, “The Political Geography of Syria’s War: An Interview With Fabrice Balanche,” would reveal:
In the October 2013 issue of the French online journal OrientXXI, you published an essay on how the divided political space of Syria is being represented on maps: “L’insurrection syrienne et la guerre des cartes.” There, you provided rough estimates for the share of Syria’s territory and population held by each of the major politico-military camps. At the time, you had calculated that 50–60 percent of the population inside Syria—but somewhat less of the physical territory—remained under the control of Assad and his allies, while the various Sunni Arab insurgent groups controlled 15–20 of the population and the Kurds had perhaps 5–10 percent. The remainder consisted of people residing in contested areas.
Since 2013, more cities and territory has been retaken by the Syrian government, including some of the largest, most populated cities in the country meaning that even fewer people today exist in areas held by militants supposedly represented by the HNC.
The West’s insistence that Syria negotiate with and hand the nation over to fractured, violent armed groups clinging to corners of the country and who now operate openly under the banner of Al Qaeda, is a strategy formulated by those seeking Syria’s destruction, not its salvation. It is also a strategy that would render the nation as hopelessly divided and destroyed as Libya now lies today.
Turkey’s Invasion of Syria and the Quagmire that May Await
The only pressure Syria and its allies now face to accept such an unfavorable deal lies not in the actions of “Syrian” groups on the ground, but in an ongoing invasion being conducted by NATO-member Turkey in northern Syria.
However, with Turkish troops now in Syrian territory, the ability for Syria and its allies to wage a more open proxy war against Turkish troops as they drive deeper into Syrian territory may avail itself, bleeding Turkey’s forces in protracted combat and opening the door to Kurdish uprising within Turkish territory itself.
Should Syria and its allies remain patient in the face of Turkey’s execution of a US-designed “safe haven,” the worst possible outcome is a forward staging zone from which militants can refit and rearm before launching further attacks into Syrian territory, particularly against Aleppo. There are logistical and military limits to how far and how long Turkey can operate inside Syria and limits to the fighting capacity of militants it will be providing cover for.
While Turkey claims it is attempting to confront terrorists of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS), it is in fact rushing in to preserve their final logistical corridor. With Turkey claiming it has now sealed the border, should ISIS maintain its fighting capacity within Syria, this will suggest that ISIS supply lines have been preserved, even expanded by Turkish forces.
It should be noted that Russian airpower had been striking logistical routes throughout Turkey’s so-called “safe haven” specifically to disrupt ISIS supply lines flowing out of Turkish territory. In reality, should Turkey have truly desired to collapse ISIS’ fighting capacity, it should have done so by disrupting its camps, command centers, and logistical hubs inside Turkish territory.
That it has chosen instead to use ISIS as a pretext to launch a long-desired incursion into Syria aimed at toppling the Syrian government – not fighting “terrorism” – complicates and compounds the Syrian conflict and in no way is contributing toward its peaceful resolution.
Image: Two Turkish tanks are destroyed in a single attack in northern Syria, illustrating the violent and costly quagmire Turkey now faces as it attempts to enforce and maintain a “safe haven” in seized Syrian territory, a quagmire Syria and its allies can complicate and expand at any time of their choosing. 
The balance now hangs in Syria and its allies’ ability to confound Turkish forces and disrupt logistical operations emanating from its so-called “safe haven.” As this “safe haven” expands, Turkish forces will be forced to spread out. The inability to concentrate forces while attempting to maintain such an expansive “safe haven” provide the prefect conditions within to wage unconventional warfare against Turkish forces and the militants they are harboring.
While US policymakers and their Turkish executioners pose as having made a “power move” in Syria, they have prepared the grounds instead for a protracted quagmire – should Syria and its allies choose to transform it into one, and a quagmire that may in and of itself become a bargaining chip in the near future.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.

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What’s more important, peace or jobs for USA Defence Contractors?


Sen. Rand Paul’s expression of opposition to a $1.1 billion 
Sen. Rand Paul’s expression of opposition to a $1.1 billion U.S. arms sale to Saudi Arabia — which has been brutally bombing civilian targets in Yemen using U.S.-made weapons for more than a year now — alarmed CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday afternoon.
Blitzer’s concern: That stopping the sale could result in fewer jobs for arms manufacturers.
“So for you this is a moral issue,” he told Paul during the Kentucky Republican’s appearance on CNN. “Because you know, there’s a lot of jobs at stake. Certainly if a lot of these defense contractors stop selling war planes, other sophisticated equipment to Saudi Arabia, there’s going to be a significant loss of jobs, of revenue here in the United States. That’s secondary from your standpoint?”
Paul stayed on message. “Well not only is it a moral question, its a constitutional question,” Paul said. “Our founding fathers very directly and specifically did not give the president the power to go to war. They gave it to Congress. So Congress needs to step up and this is what I’m doing.”
Watch the exchange:
Saudi Arabia began bombing Yemen in March 2015, and has since been responsible for the majority of the 10,000 deaths in the war so far. The U.S.-backed bombing coalition has been accused of intentionally targeting civilians, hospitals, factories, markets, schools, and homes. The situation is so bad that the Red Cross has started donating morgue units to Yemeni hospitals.
The war’s incredible humanitarian toll has generated an increasing outcry in the United States. Earlier this month, more than 60 members of Congress signed a letter asking the administration to delay the most recent arms shipment. Ordinarily, under the Arms Export Control Act, Congress has 30 days to block arms sales proposed by the administration — but by announcing the arms sale in August, most of those 30 days fell during Congress’s August recess. That 30-day window expired Thursday night and the White House has not granted the request for extra time.
The Obama administration has sold more weapons to the Saudis than any other administration, pledging more than $115 billion worth of small arms, tanks, helicopters, missiles, and aircraft.
So yes, it’s a legitimate moral issue. What it’s not is a legitimate economic issue.
If you’re worried about jobs, military spending is not where you look. It’s an inefficient way to create jobs, because it has a lower multiplier effect — meaning how much it ripples in the wider economy. One study from 2011 found that $1 billion put into military spending would create approximately 11,200 jobs, but that same amount of money put into education creates 26,700 jobs— which has been brutally bombing civilian targets in Yemen using U.S.-made weapons for more than a year now — alarmed CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday afternoon.
Blitzer’s concern: That stopping the sale could result in fewer jobs for arms manufacturers.
“So for you this is a moral issue,” he told Paul during the Kentucky Republican’s appearance on CNN. “Because you know, there’s a lot of jobs at stake. Certainly if a lot of these defense contractors stop selling war planes, other sophisticated equipment to Saudi Arabia, there’s going to be a significant loss of jobs, of revenue here in the United States. That’s secondary from your standpoint?”
Paul stayed on message. “Well not only is it a moral question, its a constitutional question,” Paul said. “Our founding fathers very directly and specifically did not give the president the power to go to war. They gave it to Congress. So Congress needs to step up and this is what I’m doing.”
Watch the exchange:
Saudi Arabia began bombing Yemen in March 2015, and has since been responsible for the majority of the 10,000 deaths in the war so far. The U.S.-backed bombing coalition has been accused of intentionally targeting civilians, hospitals, factories, markets, schools, and homes. The situation is so bad that the Red Cross has started donating morgue units to Yemeni hospitals.
The war’s incredible humanitarian toll has generated an increasing outcry in the United States. Earlier this month, more than 60 members of Congress signed a letter asking the administration to delay the most recent arms shipment. Ordinarily, under the Arms Export Control Act, Congress has 30 days to block arms sales proposed by the administration — but by announcing the arms sale in August, most of those 30 days fell during Congress’s August recess. That 30-day window expired Thursday night and the White House has not granted the request for extra time.
The Obama administration has sold more weapons to the Saudis than any other administration, pledging more than $115 billion worth of small arms, tanks, helicopters, missiles, and aircraft.
So yes, it’s a legitimate moral issue. What it’s not is a legitimate economic issue.
If you’re worried about jobs, military spending is not where you look. It’s an inefficient way to create jobs, because it has a lower multiplier effect — meaning how much it ripples in the wider economy. One study from 2011 found that $1 billion put into military spending would create approximately 11,200 jobs, but that same amount of money put into education creates 26,700 jobs

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No surprise! Putin Aide Says israel is Training ISIS

Mossad transferring ‘spying experience’ to the leadership of ISIS, as Israeli military advisers assist the terrorists, claims the aide
A senior aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Israel’s Mossad of training Islamic State (aka ISIS) terrorists operating in Iraq and Syria, Iran’s Press TV reports.
Alexander Prokhanov told the state-controlled news outlet that Mossad is also likely to have transferred some of its “spying experience” to the leadership of ISIS, even as Israeli military advisers assisted the terrorists in other ways.
Prokhanov said ISIS is a byproduct of US policies in the Middle East.
“ISIS is a tool at the hands of the United States. They tell the Europeans that if we (the Americans) do not intervene, ISIS will cause you harm,” he said. In fact, however, he added, Iran and Russia are the main targets of ISIS terror.
“They launched their first terror attack against us just a few days back in Chechnya,” he said, stressing that the ISIS ideology has got nothing to do with the Islam practiced in Iran and some other Muslim countries in the Middle East region.
Prokhanov said the United States and Israel are one and the same when it comes to supporting a terror organization like the ISIS
In September, ISIS terrorists fresh from the conquest of the last Syrian military base in the north of the country sent a “special message” to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, as well as his key ally, Putin.
After taking Taqba airbase, the jihadis released a video showing the mass execution of some 250 regime fighters and a group of jihadis addressing Assad directly from inside a hangar in the base.
“You’d better watch out Bashar – we’re coming for you in planes!” declared one terrorist from atop a captured Russian aircraft. “We’ll be coming for you from the skies, with these planes, Allah willing.”
“Brace yourself for what’s coming, you pig.”
A second, young fighter then addresses Putin, whose military and political support has been crucial in keeping Assad in power.
“Vladimir Putin, these are the Russian planes that you sent to Bashar. Allah willing, we will take them back to your own turf, and liberate Chechnya and the Caucasus, Allah willing… Your throne is being threatened by us,” he said

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Wolves in sheep’s clothing: Exposing the treachery of USA funded NGO’s

USRAEL-AIPAC

THE NEW ATLAS – They represent a patient, concerted effort to compete with and eventually fully replace a nation’s existing sovereign institutions. This threat should not be underestimated nor should it be tolerated. And beyond a threat to national security,  these foreign-funded organisations attract and squander a nation’s human resources, while undermining the very legitimate and essential work performed by honest, locally-supported NGOs.

Exposing US-Funded “NGOs”
 
From Moscow to Myanmar, US-European funded organisations undermine the essential work of genuine NGOs.
August 9, 2016 The New Atlas 
A nongovernmental organisation (NGO) is described as a not-for-profit organisation independent from states and international governments. They are funded by donations and facilitated by volunteers drawn from the communities they serve.
Genuine NGOs fitting this description fulfil a vital role within the nations they work regarding issues including education, healthcare, the media, the environment, technology, and economic development.
They often perform their work in parallel with government organisations and may even cooperate with their national government. At other times, the provide a necessary but constructive check and balance to deficiencies present within a state.
However, NGOs can be abused. Foreign governments and financially motivated special interests can use the structure and appeal of NGOs as vectors to project unwarranted, coercive power and influence.
Funded not by the communities they claim to serve, but by these foreign interests, they often operate under the pretext of upholding the legitimate  roles and responsibilities of genuine NGOs while in reality undermining a targeted nation’s government, its people, its institutions, and national peace and stability. Ironically, such organisations also undermine the perceived legitimacy and effectiveness of real NGOs.
Foreign interests seek to do this for a number of reasons including pressuring a targeted government to make concessions regarding bilateral relations, competing with and eventually overrunning state institutions, and even replacing a nation’s entire government.

How the US State Department Took Over Myanmar’s Ministry of Information 
An extreme example of this can be seen in Southeast Asia’s Myanmar, where the Ministry of Information is now firmly under the control of Pe Myint, trained in “journalism” by a US government-funded organisation posing as an NGO, called the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation.
Pe Myint is also a member of a political party supported by a large collection of US and British funded organisations (National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Open Society, USAID, etc.), which in turn was propelled into power during recent elections also influenced heavily by organisation posing as NGOs funded by these same foreign interests.
Previously an independent institution of Myanmar, the Ministry of Information is now firmly under the influence of the US State Department. This may explain uncharacteristic comments regarding “substandard democracy” published by a national newspaper it controls directed at neighbouring Thailand ahead of the August 7, 2016 Thai referendum.
Henceforth, the Ministry has been made to serve the best interests of the United States, not Myanmar, indicated by the fact that its recent comments only risk jeopardising what would otherwise be constructive and beneficial bilateral relations with Thailand.
In this example, foreign-funded organisations not only pressured the government of Myanmar to accept the conditions in which a foreign-backed opposition came to power, but these foreign-funded organisations also helped create an entirely parallel government that are now overwriting Myanmar’s sovereignty.
Recognise the Threat
These foreign-funded organisations masquerading as NGOs are more than just foreign-funded “charities,” “rights advocates,” or “media platforms.” This can be discerned simply by examining the intermediary organisations providing these groups money and examining the special interests and agendas they in turn serve.
The United State National Endowment for Democracy (NED) for example, lists amongits 2013 sponsors (.pdf) petrochemical giant Chevron, Wall Street’s Goldman Sachs, US State Department-connected and privacy usurping tech-giant Google and the US Chamber of Commerce which itself represents corporations ranging from defence contractors to oil companies to banks, as well as agricultural and pharmaceutical giants. Individual donors include pro-war Republican politicians including Frank Carlucci, Paula Dobriansky, Condoleezza Rice and Robert Zoellick.
(It would be exponentially more difficult for foreign funded organisatons posing as NGOs to attract volunteers and local support if the true nature of their funding was transparently and repeatedly disclosed to the communities they allegedly serve.)
NED’s board of directors represents a similar and troubling convergence of special interests who directly contradict the alleged purpose of both NED itself, and the many organisations it funds around the world.
Unfortunately, many people who work for foreign-funded organisations posing as NGOs are unaware of such facts. Senior leadership of these organisations often go through great lengths to conceal their foreign funding to avoid scrutiny and even in some cases, to avoid properly paying people who are led to believe no funds are available and thus are asked to “volunteer” to help. Those few who are aware of this funding, are usually unaware of who and what NED and other organisations like them truly represent.
To put it simply, any organisation or institution serves only the interests of those who support it. An NGO supported by local donations and volunteers serves its local community. A foreign-funded organisation posing as an NGO serves foreign interests.
And simpler still, an organisation funded by a foreign government cannot possibly be characterised as “nongovernmental.” Even at face value, this notion strains credibility.
Case Study: Prachatai, Thailand 
After being caught concealing foreign funding, Bangkok-based media platform Prachatai disclosed several million baht in US State Department funding, Open Society grants and funds from several European governments.
Remarkably, Prachatai was (and still is) soliciting donations on their website. They also have categorically failed to update their foreign funding in English (since their first and only disclosure in 2011) and have never disclosed their foreign funding to their Thai readers.
(US Ambassor Kristie Kenney in US State Department-funded Prachatai’s office in Bangkok, Thailand.)
Independent journalists attempting to ascertain the true depth of Prachatai’s connections to the US State Department were told that Prachatai had none, and that the money was provided to them unconditionally.
In reality, as revealed by Wikileaks, Prachatai’s staff remains in constant contact with the US Embassy in Bangkok, with US ambassadors and political counsellors making regular visits to their office off of Ratchada Road, and with Prachatai’s director Chiranuch Premchaiporn making regular, lengthy and detailed reports about Thailand’s internal political affairs to US Embassy staff.
In the infamous Cablegate leak, the US Embassy in Bangkok sent off as many as 7 cables regarding or referencing Prachatai and its activities within the country and in particular its defence of agitators attempting to undermine the nation’s institutions and political stability.
For the US State Department, Prachatai exists as a state-funded asset — a constant pressure point to extort concessions from the Thai government with and to coerce from them the settings in which US-backed political forces might take power.
Under the guise of defending “free speech” and “human rights,” Prachatai networks deeply with US-backed political party Pheu Thai, its street front the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD or “red shirts”) and a large number of other US-funded organisations posing as NGOs and academic associations  many of which share the office building Prachatai is currently based in.
Additionally, Prachatai communicates and coordinates regularly with foreign media staff based in Thailand, particularly those who gravitate around the swank Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand clubhouse and bar in downtown Bangkok.
Together they stage public relations events aimed at portraying the current Thai government as overbearing, dictatorial and losing popularity and control. In reality, the events include the same handful of stand-ins and utilise intentionally deceptive methods to conflate the size and impact of each staged event.
By participating in such events, the foreign media betrays the principles it allegedly represent, creating the news rather than objectively covering it. For Prachatai, posing as an NGO but clearly functioning as an extension of US interests in Thailand, it too represents a betrayal of true, community-supported activism.
Ending the Charade 
In all honesty Prachatai’s activities could easily be tolerated by the Thai government, if only for one concession — that Prachatai and other organisations like it fully and repeatedly disclosed in English and in Thai, their existence as foreign-funded government organisations rather than pose as a genuine NGO.
Since it has operated for years and failed to fulfil its own responsibilities toward transparency to the society it claims to serve, it may be time for Thailand to pass legislation to force foreign-funded organisations like Prachatai to come clean.
Other nations have adopted comprehensive legislation to help protect real NGOs from those with foreign funding merely posing as such.
(The graffiti reads, “foreign agent,” written in Russian..)
In Russia, legislation now requires foreign-funded organisations to declare on all written material and verbally declare before all audio statements, their relationship with foreign interests. Those that fail to register as foreign-funded organisations or fail to disclose all of their funding, face liquidation.
While the US and the myriad organisations it was running in Moscow predictably decried the legislation as “oppressive,” some might appreciate the irony of “pro-democracy activists” resisting calls for greater transparency, a fundamental prerequisite for a democratic society.
Foreign-funded organisations posing as NGOs are more than a mere nuisance, or even simply a means by foreign governments and special interests to apply coercive pressure on a nation’s government and institutions. They represent a patient, concerted effort to compete with and eventually fully replace a nation’s existing sovereign institutions. This threat should not be underestimated nor should it be tolerated.
And beyond a threat to national security,  these foreign-funded organisations attract and squander a nation’s human resources, while undermining the very legitimate and essential work performed by honest, locally-supported NGOs.
 The New Atlas is a media platform providing geopolitical analysis and op-eds

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كيري ولافروف واتفاق على تنفيذ الاتفاق قبل إعلانه

Update

ناصر قنديل

– كلّ التصريحات الأميركية تريد ان تقول إن لا شيء جدياً على صعيد الاقتراب من التوصل للتفاهم مع موسكو حول سورية، فوزارة الدفاع الأميركية تقول إنّ الأمل مفقود من التوصل للتفاهم مع موسكو حول روسيا، بعدما قال الرئيس الأميركي باراك أوباما إنّ الهوة عميقة بين الإدارتين الروسية والأميركية حول سورية، لتنضمّ وزارة الخارجية الأميركية وتقول إن لا جدوى من حدوث لقاء مع وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف في جنيف. في المقابل يحدث على أرض الواقع ما يقول إنّ الاتفاق يسلك طريق التنفيذ، أسوة بما جرى عشية التوصل للتفاهم الإيراني والأميركي كنواة للتفاهم الذي طال الملف النووي الإيراني، حيث كان النفي يرافق كلّ معلومة عن لقاء سيجمع وزيري الخارجية الأميركي والإيراني، بينما تتقدّم كلّ الخطوات التمهيدية على الضفتين الإيرانية والأميركية لتطبيق الالتزامات التي ينص عليها الاتفاق، فتقوم إيران بفكّ أجهزة طرد مركزي من النوعيات المتطورة تقنياً من مفاعلاتها، وتبدأ شركات أميركية مفاوضاتها مع إيران حول صفقات لتقديم قطع الغيار للطائرات الإيرانية المدنية وتقول إنها ستنتظر التفاهم الرسمي لنيل إجازة التسليم.

– في مناخ التشاؤم حول التفاهم الروسي الأميركي ينجز الروس ما يجب إنجازه كي لا يتحوّل كلّ وقف للنار في حلب إلى سبب لتقوية مواقع جبهة النصرة التي يعلم الفريقان الروسي والأميركي أنها من يسيطر على الجماعات المسلحة في حلب، ما يستدعي نجاح الجيش السوري بإحكام الحصار المطبق على الأحياء التي يسيطر عليها المسلّحون في حلب،

Image result for Abu Hajar Al-Homsi

Abu Haajar Al-Homsi is on the right.  His companion in Hell, Abu Muslim Al-Shaami, is on the left.  You shouldn’t pee on other people’s cars. 

وهذا ما تمّ ويتواصل إتمامه يوماً بيوم وساعة بساعة، والأميركيون بالمقابل يبدأون بترجمة ما عليهم فعله فيفتتحون غاراتهم للمرة الأولى على جبهة النصرة بغارة تستهدف قادتها ويقتلون قائدها العسكري في حلب ومعه اثنان من المسؤولين في الجبهة، تمهيداً لمعادلة علنية للتعاون في الحرب على النصرة واعتبارها هدفاً للعمليات الروسية الأميركية كواحدة من قواعد العمل بالهدنة التي تشمل حصراً الجماعات الراغبة بالانخراط بالعملية السياسية، والخروج من تحت عباءة النصرة.

– تولّت روسيا فرملة الاندفاعة التركية التي تحرج واشنطن بعلاقتها مع الأكراد وقالت إنّ ما حققته تركيا للاطمئنان لعدم قيام شريط كردي بات كافياً، وما يتخطاه مقلق ويجب أن يتوقف، وتولت واشنطن وقف المشاغبة الكردية المنفردة بالحديث عن الفدرالية والخصوصية الجغرافية بعدما تلقت الجماعات الكردية ضربة عسكرية تركية ورسالة سياسية أميركية تسبّبتا بإحباط الرهان الكردي على التمدّد، فصار العاملان التركي والكردي تحت سقف ما سيتفق عليه الأميركيون والروس، بالإمساك بزمام المبادرة للعبة الخارجية، بعدما رفعت السعودية وبعض الأوروبيين الصوت بلسان فئات المعارضة التابعة، لرفع التوتر التفاوضي حول شروط التسوية، ما جعل المبادرة الداخلية لما يجري في الميدان، أمام الانسداد السياسي لقواسم مشتركة واقعية، بانتظار أن ينضج الميدان هذه الفرص لاقتراب المواقف. وفي الميدان يعرف الأميركيون أنّ الكلمة الفصل هي للجيش السوري وحلفائه، فلماذا تتحمّل مسؤولية كبح الجماعات المسلحة عن خوض غمار تجاربها ونيل نتيجة هذه التجارب مزيداً من الهزائم، من حلب إلى داريا والمعضمية والوعر في حمص، حتى تنضج هذه الجماعات وتستنجد بالأميركيين طلباً للحلّ بواقعية أعلى.

– تطبيق التفاهم وعدم إعلانه يبدو وصفة مناسبة لواشنطن، حتى ينضج حلفاؤها لطلب التدخل من أجل التوصل لتفاهم، بدلاً من تصوير هذا التفاهم خيانة أميركية، وتنازلات من حساب هؤلاء الحلفاء وخصوصاً السعودية ومن معها من عناوين من المعارضة السورية، ومن معهما في واشنطن وفي أوروبا، بينما يناسب موسكو أن تبدأ واشنطن بإثبات جديتها في الانضمام إلى صفوف الحرب على النصرة، لتضع أسساً متينة للتعاون الذي يقوم عليه التفاهم. والواضح أنّ هذا ما يحدث وسط الكلام الكثير عن مصاعب ومتاعب وتعقيدات تعترض طريق التفاهم، بحيث يصير لقاء كيري ولافروف ليس بالمؤشر الذي يبنى عليه التوقع لمصير التفاهم، بل المؤشر على نضج شروط إعلان التفاهم، بينما متابعة الوقائع الخاصة بتقدم الجيش السوري للضغط على الجماعات المسلحة وإحكام الطوق عليها وسدّ منافذ الأمل أمامها، وإسقاط الرهان على الخيار العسكري من حساباتها ودفعها إلى حضن واشنطن وأنقرة طلباً للتفاهمات والحلول السياسية، ومقابله انخراط واشنطن عملياً بالمزيد من الإجراءات العسكرية الفاعلة للحرب على النصرة، ووضع الأتراك أمام هذا التحدّي كشرط لنيل المزيد من الأدوار في المستقبل.

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Video: Syrian War Report, Iranian Fighters Arrive in Aleppo City, Heavy Losses incurred by Daesh-ISIS

Global Research, September 09, 2016
South Front 9 September 2016

Aleppo
September 8, 2016 saw heavy action for the Islamic State in eastern Qalamoun, Damascus. Faylaq al-Rahman, the Alabdo Martyr brigade and the Islamic State exchanged fire near the capital on Thursday. The Islamic State was reported to have lost a 23 mm gun to a TOW missile strike from Faylaq al-Rahman during combat.
The so-called ‘Free Syrian Army’ captured Qunra, Mirzah and Tel Ali from the Islamic State. Aided by Turkish airstrikes, the rebel factions wrested control of the Turkish border region from Daesh’s grasp.
Turkey reinforced its border forces by deploying 43 Armored Personnel Carriers with 180 fresh troops to Gaziantep. In Islahiye, north of Afrin, a Turkish army convoy deployed a number of T-155 Fırtına self-propelled howitzers.
The Kurdish People’s Defense Force (YPG) engaged Turkish forces at the border post in Hatay provincewith machine gun fire—and were in turn, engaged themselves. Five Rojava fighters and a single Asayish police force member were killed in the ensuing conflict.
While Kurdish forces have retreated from Manbij, they have not withdrawn East of the Euphrates River, as Turkey has demanded.
In Aleppo, a Nour al-Din al-Zinki missile team used a Kornet Anti-Tank Guided Missileagainst an alleged group of Hezbollah fighters.
Abu Umar Homsi, Head of Military Operations for Jabhat Fateh al-Sham was killed during airstrikes on the terrorist faction’s operations room in Aleppo.
Although rebels reported the demolition of a building occupied by Syrian government forces in Ramouseh, the Minister of Defense would later confirm that pro-Government forces had secured the entire district.
Iranian troops arrived in the countryside of southern Aleppo to help bolster pro-government forces for further offensives.

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