Neil Clark at RonPaulInstitute
Milosevic Exonerated, as the NATO War Machine Moves On
The ICTY’s exoneration of the late Slobodan Milosevic, the former President of Yugoslavia, for war crimes committed in the Bosnia war, proves again we should take NATO claims regarding its “official enemies” not with a pinch of salt, but a huge lorry load.
For the past twenty odd years, neocon commentators and “liberal interventionist” pundits have been telling us at every possible opportunity, that Milosevic (a democratically elected leader in a country where over 20 political parties freely operated) was an evil genocidal dictator who was to blame for ALL the deaths in the Balkans in the 1990s. Repeat after me in a robotic voice (while making robotic arm movements): “Milosevic's genocidal aggression” “Milosevic's genocidal aggression.”
But the official narrative, just like the one that told us that in 2003, Iraq had WMDs which could be launched within 45 minutes, was a deceitful one, designed to justify a regime-change op which the Western elites had long desired.
The ICTY’s conclusion, that one of the most demonized figures of the modern era was innocent of the most heinous crimes he was accused of, really should have made headlines across the world. But it hasn‘t. Even the ICTY buried it, deep in its 2,590 page verdict in the trial of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic who was convicted in March of genocide (at Srebrenica), war crimes and crimes against humanity.
There was no official announcement or press conference regarding Milosevic‘s exoneration. We’ve got journalist and researcher Andy Wilcoxson to thank for flagging it up for us.
How very different it all was when the trial of the so-called “Butcher of the Balkans” began in February 2002! Then, you‘d have to have been locked in a wardrobe not to be aware of what was going on.....
....When Milosevic died, his accusers claimed he had “cheated justice." But in fact, as the ICTY has now confirmed, the injustice was done to Milosevic.
While he had to defend himself against politically-motivated charges at The Hague, the US and its allies launched their brutal, illegal assault on Iraq, a war which has led to the death of up to one million people. Last year a report from Body Count revealed that at least 1.3 million people had lost their lives as a result of the US-led “war on terror” in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Those sorts of figures help us get Kosovo into some kind of perspective. Even if we do hold Milosevic and the Yugoslav government responsible for some of the deaths there in 1999, (in a war which the West had clearly desired and provoked) far, far, greater death and destruction has been caused by the countries who were the keenest to see the President of Yugoslavia in the dock. As John Pilger noted in 2008, the bombing of Yugoslavia was the “perfect precursor to the bloodbaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Since then we’ve also had the NATO destruction of Libya, the country which had the highest living standards in the whole of Africa and the backing of violent “rebels” to try and achieve “regime change” in Syria.
You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to see a pattern here.
Before a US-led war or “humanitarian intervention” against a targeted state, a number of lurid claims are made about the country‘s leader and its government. These claims receive maximum media coverage and are repeated ad nauseam on the basis that people will bound to think they’re true.
Later it transpires that the claims were either entirely false (like the Iraq WMD ones), unproven, or greatly exaggerated. But the news cycle has moved on focusing not on the exposure of the fraudulent claims made earlier but on the next aggressive/genocidal “New Hitler” who needs to be dealt with. In 1999 it was Milosevic; now it’s Assad and Putin....
Obama Launches Yet Another Criminal War on Libya
A classified map was presented to the White House this week, then leaked to NBC who posted it on their website, showing the "progress" of Obama's war on ISIS over the past two years. ISIS and its affiliates, the map shows, are now active in 18 countries, whereas in 2015 it was 13, and in 2014 it was only 7. Did this convince the warrior-president that his policy was a failure, and to accept President Putin's repeated proposals to bring the world's nations together to fight the common terrorist enemy?
Of course not. Rather, Obama launched a second war on Libya, bombing the city of Sirte (Qadaffi's home town) on Monday and Tuesday, supposedly to prevent ISIS from consolidating a base in the country. Obama went on TV Tuesday to say that the war was "critical" to help Libya's Government of National Accord fight ISIS, and that the war would continue as long as necessary.
There are several lies involved, as usual. The Government of National Accord is not a government of national accord, but a pseudo government hand-picked at the UN and shipped into Tripoli with the assignment to "invite" the US to start bombing, using US special forces on the ground as spotters. Obama did not ask for or receive authority from the UN, nor from the US Congress, to launch another war, proving once again his credentials as a war criminal. And, of course, ISIS would not be there in the first place if Obama had not bombed the country back to the stone age and killed its anti-terrorist leader in 2011, which, along with G.W. Bush's similar treatment of Iraq in 2003, constitute the greatest war crimes of our age, responsible for the terrorist chaos internationally and the horrendous refugee crisis across Southwest Asia and Europe.
Leading bankers, including investment bankers, are now warning....
Robert Parry at ConsortiumNews
The widespread disdain for Donald Trump
and the fear of what his presidency might mean have led to an abandonment of any sense of objectivity by many Trump opponents and, most notably, the mainstream U.S. news media. If Trump is for something, it must be bad and must be transformed into one more club to use for hobbling his candidacy.
While that attitude may be understandable given Trump’s frequently feckless and often offensive behavior – he seems not to know basic facts and insults large swaths of the world’s population – this Trump bashing also has dangerous implications because some of his ideas deserve serious debate rather than blanket dismissal.
Amid his incoherence and insults, Trump has raised valid points on several important questions, such as the risks involved in the voracious expansion of NATO up to Russia’s borders and the wisdom of demonizing Russia and its internally popular President Vladimir Putin.
Over the past several years, Washington’s neocon-dominated foreign policy establishment has pushed a stunning policy of destabilizing nuclear-armed Russia in pursuit of a “regime change” in Moscow. This existentially risky strategy has taken shape with minimal substantive debate behind a “group think” driven by anti-Russian and anti-Putin propaganda. (All we hear is what’s wrong with Putin and Russia: He doesn’t wear a shirt! He’s the new Hitler! Putin and Trump have a bro-mance! Russian aggression! Their athletes cheat!)
Much as happened in the run-up to the disastrous Iraq War......
US-Backed Syrian Rebels Shoot Down Russian Helicopter, Abuse Crew Bodies
No group has claimed responsibility for downing a Russian Mi-8 helicopter on a humanitarian mission to aid the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo, but the crash site is controlled by a rebel alliance, comprising al-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and several other radical groups. Interestingly, the US views some of them as moderate.
Several gruesome videos that Sputnik will not publish for ethical reasons have appeared online following the attack that claimed the lives of three crew members and two officers. Their authenticity has not been verified.
Footage shows a crowd looking at the burning wreckage of what appears to be a Russian helicopter with several bodies nearby. Some bystanders can be heard shouting Allahu Akbar, or God is great in Arabic. One of the videos shows a rebel standing on a naked body, while another one depicts a mob dragging the body of what is said to be a Russian pilot through the dirt....
Robert Bridge at RT
The hysterical ‘information war’ just stopped being funny.
The influential Atlantic Council has released a paper calling for Poland to ‘reserve the right’ to attack Russian infrastructure, including Moscow’s public transport and RT’s offices, via electronic warfare.
There are some ideas that are so outlandish, so outrageous, so off-the-reservation weird that the only way they should enter the public realm is by sheer accident, or in haphazard fashion through whistleblowers and WikiLeaks data dumps.
Regrettably, however, that was not the case with the Atlantic Council’s latest paper, alarmingly entitled ‘Arming for Deterrence: How Poland and NATO Should Counter a Resurgent Russia’. The recommendations put forward in this paper are the result of a deliberate decision (predicated upon the unfounded idea that Russia would initiate a military attack against Eastern European and Baltic nations), and that’s what makes its contents all the more disturbing.
Heeding Tolstoy’s advice, let’s jump right into the action: Page 12, paragraph 7 and I quote: “Poland should announce that it reserves the right to deploy offensive cyber operations (and not necessarily in response just to cyber attacks). The authorities could also suggest potential targets, which could include the Moscow metro, the St. Petersburg power network, and Russian state-run media outlets such as RT.”....
Craig Murray at his blog
The Killings of Tony Blair
The film has been predictably lambasted by the mainstream media. But it does include some very essential first hand evidence – myself apart, two other British Ambassadors tell what they themselves witnessed, as do Cabinet members. Noam Chomsky adds some important perceptions. This cannot just be dismissed by cries of “Oh look! George Galloway’s in a hat!! Remember when he was on Big Brother!!” The mainstream media’s response to this film has been unanimously puerile.
The Blair-loving Guardian gave the film two stars and called it “sanctimonious”. If one cannot express moral condemnation of a man who forced through an aggressive war, directly killing hundreds of thousands and destabilising both the Middle East and communities in Europe, and who then went on to make multiple millions of pounds promoting vicious dictatorships, then are we to suspend the very idea of ethics itself?
The Guardian subscribes to the world view propounded weekly by Nick Cohen, that to appear on an Iranian government TV channel is a far greater sin than to promote a war which killed and maimed countless thousands of small children........
Americans Are Going to be Disappointed in Election Outcome
It is a sad commentary on the state of political life in the United States that our political conventions have become more like rock music festivals than competitions of ideas. There has been a great deal of bombast, of insults, of name-calling, and of chest-beating at both party conventions, but what is disturbingly absent is any mention of how we got to this crisis and how we can get out. From the current foreign policy mess to the looming economic collapse, all we hear is both party candidates saying they will fix it, no problem.
In her convention speech Hillary Clinton promised that she would “fight terrorism” and defeat ISIS by doing more of what we have been doing all along: bombing. In fact we have dropped more than 50,000 bombs on ISIS in Iraq and Syria over the past two years and all she can say is that she will drop more. How many more bombs will defeat ISIS? How many more years will she keep us in our longest war, Afghanistan? She doesn’t say.
In fact, the New York Times – certainly not hostile to the Clintons – wrote that it was almost impossible to fact-check Hillary’s speech because, “she delivered a speech that was remarkably without hard facts.”
Clinton’s top foreign policy advisor said just a day after her convention speech that her big plan for Syria was to go back to square one and concentrate on overthrowing its secular president. How many more thousands more will die if she gets her way? And won’t she eventually be forced to launch a massive US ground invasion that will also kill more Americans?
Clinton does not understand that a policy of endless interventionism has brought us to our knees and made us far weaker. Does she really expect us to be the policemen of the world with $20 trillion in debt?
Likewise, Republican candidate Donald Trump misses the point. He promises to bring back jobs to America without any understanding of the...
Rick Sterling at ConsortiumNewds
With the Rio Summer Olympics starting on Aug. 5,
there is a huge controversy about Russian participation. On the basis of a report by Canadian lawyer Richard Mclaren (the “Mclaren Report”), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has recommended the banning of all Russian athletes from the Rio Games.
Before his report was even issued, Mclaren influenced the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) in their decision to ban all Russian athletes from track and field events, including those who never failed any doping tests, in Russia or elsewhere.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been under media pressure to ban all Russian athletes from the Rio Olympics. The New York Times has carried many reports and editorials. The Daily Mail in London went so far as to publish a front-page story falsely claiming the “entire Russian team banned from Olympics” — two days before the IOC decision to the contrary.
Ultimately the IOC decided against banning all Russian athletes across all Olympic sports. They decided that that each sporting federation should decide the issue on their own. At the same time the IOC imposed special conditions on Russian athletes which prevent them from competing if they have ever tested positive, even if their suspension has already been served, unlike the rules for other Olympic competitors.
In the wake of this decision, there have been aggressive attacks on the IOC and its president for “failing” to impose collective punishment on the entire Russian team.
How Did we Get Here?
The sequence of significant events is as follows:...
Eric Zuesse at StrategicCulture
US Gov’t Refused US Entry to Jihadist It Employs for Overthrowing Assad
A four-minute video that was posted to YouTube on April 29th documents that the US government has been lying about an organization, the White Helmets, the US government hires to assist Syria’s al-Qaeda, called «al-Nusra», to dispose of corpses of persons al-Nusra executes. Al-Nusra kills Syrian government soldiers; and, according to Seymour Hersh and other investigative journalists, has, throughout the Syrian war, been supplied guns and other weapons by the governments of the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, for that purpose. This is part of America’s operation to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, whom even Western polling shows to be popular amongst the Syrian general population. That same polling shows Nusra and other jihadist organizations (and the US government, which arms them) to be extremely unpopular in Syria.
On April 19th, the US State Department had blocked entrance into the United States by Raed Saleh, the head of the White Helmets, and refused to say why. Saleh had been invited to receive in NYC an award by USAID and NGOs that the US government finances, but he was barred at the airport, apparently because the FBI had placed him onto its no-fly list as a known terrorist.
The White Helmets claim to receive no funds from any government, but the four-minute video shows a State Department official admitting «we supply through USAID about twenty-three million dollars in assistance to them» (which might be annually, but that question wasn’t addressed in the video). The White Helmets’ founder, James Le Mesurier, is himself funded by the governments of the UK, Japan, Denmark and the Netherlands, all of which are likewise trying to overthrow Assad.
Vanessa Beeley at 21stCenturyWire
SYRIA: CNN Normalizes Suicide Bombers and Embeds Reporters with ISIS and Al Qaeda
As the battle for Aleppo gathers momentum and the encircled terrorist factions respond violently to the strangulation of their supply lines and diminishment of their territory in eastern Aleppo, CNN goes to extraordinary lengths to obfuscate US connections to these terror gangs, romanticise the role of terror in Syria and even more astonishingly “normalise” suicide bombers and promote the re-branded Al Nusra as the new “moderates”.
Al Nusra Front (aka Al Qaeda in Syria) under new nomenclature suddenly become ‘freedom fighters’ (sounds familiar) and the new ‘reasonable option’ in the US mainstream media and the US voting public barely seem to notice?
On August 2nd 2016, as the Syrian Arab Army made serious advances on the ground against the NATO and GCC-backed terrorist factions occupying the eastern sectors of Aleppo, the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, Jabhat Al Nusra made the announcement that it was changing the name of the group. Naturally, CNN ran with this story almost immediately.
This re-branding also coincides with the agreement between Russia and the US to finally combine forces in combating Al Qaeda/Al Nusra fighting inside Syria. Here we can see the true function of CNN in the conflict theatre – to help sculpt the US government narrative – and to carefully nudge the public perception along those lines.
CNN’s crack journalist, Clarissa Ward, who has visited terrorist held areas inside Syria 14 times since the NATO dirty war on Syria began 5 years ago, even donning the full veil and chador, or niqab, presumably to “respect” the ‘moderate rebel’ jihadi extremist demands, has played the staring role in the CNN team producing these sensational reports....
What we have here is NATO "North American Terrorist Organisation" encircling Russia, getting ready to pounce!! #WW3 pic.twitter.com/KEQEq0FlCn— The chosen 1 (@darren_dazmav) August 5, 2016
From Sott.Net Source: Christoph Schult and Klaus Wiegrefe of Spiegel Online
DC Leaks: Breedlove conspired to lie about Russian aggression in Ukraine, get more weapons deliveries for Kiev
Working with dubious sourcing, a group close to NATO's chief military commander Philip Breedlove sought to secure weapons deliveries for Ukraine, a trove of newly released emails revealed. The efforts served to intensify the conflict between the West and Russia.
In private, the general likes to wear leather. Philip Mark Breedlove, 60, is a well-known Harley-Davidson fan, and up until a few weeks ago, he also served as the commander of NATO and American troops in Europe. Even during his tenure as the military leader of the alliance, the American four-star general would trade his blue Air Force uniform for motorcycle gear and explore Europe's roads with his friends.
Photos show a man with broad shoulders, a wide gait and an even wider smile. The pictures of the general's motorcycle tours were recently made public on the online platform DC Leaks. Restraint, it seems, was never Breedlove's thing.
The photos are the entertaining part of an otherwise explosive collection of Breedlove's private email correspondence. Most of the 1,096 hacked emails date back to the dramatic 12 months of the Ukraine crisis after Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014. Thousands died in the skirmishes between Kiev's troops and Moscow-aligned separatists. More than 2 million civilians fled eastern Ukraine.
Russia supports the separatists with weapons, fighters and consultants. When people began calling for Washington to also massively intervene in 2015, the Ukraine conflict risked escalating into a war between East and West. ...
Nafeez Ahmed at Medium
How America’s Afghan crusade came home to Orlando
Orlando ISIS gunman was embedded in expatriate US-backed Afghan jihad network
There are many threads to this tragic, horrifying story of a gay American son of an Afghan mujahid.
There’s the question of blowback: the deep politics of short-sighted military interventions and the self-defeating profiteering of the military industrial complex. There’s the escalating clash of cultures and the crisis of multiple identities that is becoming evermore fractious as Western wars have brought unresolved chaos to foreign shores, and invited foreign refugees from theatres of war to the homeland. And ultimately, there’s the destructive force of repressed sexuality.
This investigation throws light on the complex political, cultural, religious and personal forces that likely nurtured the Orlando terrorist into a man capable of tremendous violence.
The story opens up from an exclusive analysis of the network of companies surrounding Omar Mateen’s father........
2016 NATO Summit: "Achtung, Russia!" from Inessa S on Vimeo.
Darius Shahtahmasebi at AntiMedia
10 Facts the Mainstream Media Won’t Tell You About the War in Syria
Corporate media regularly attempts to present Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria as solely responsible for the ongoing conflict in the region. The media does report on events that contradict this narrative — albeit sparingly — but taken together, these underreported details shine a new light on the conflict.
10: Bashar al-Assad has a higher approval rating than Barack Obama...
9: The “moderate” opposition has been hijacked
There is no longer such a thing as “moderate” opposition in Syria – if there ever was. The so-called Western-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) has been dominated by extremists for years. The U.S. has known this yet has continued to support the Syrian opposition, despite the fact the New York Times reported in 2012 that the majority of weapons being sent to Syria have been ending up in the hands of jihadists. A classified DIA report predicted the rise of ISIS in 2012, stating:
“If the situation unravels, there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria… and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”....
....1: Western media’s main source for the conflict is a T-shirt shop in Coventry, England
This is not a joke. If you follow the news, you most probably have heard the mainstream media quote an entity grandiosely called the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” (SOHR). This so-called “observatory” is run by one man in his home in Coventry, England — thousands of miles away from the Syrian conflict — yet is quoted by most respected Western media outlets (BBC, Reuters, The Guardian, and International Business Times, for example). His credentials include his ownership of a T-shirt shop just down the road, as well as being a notorious dissident against the current Syrian president.....
Watch from the 25min mark. Hollande and gang never seem to miss an opportunity to degrade and harrass Christians, especially Roman Catholics. Ask yourself this: Would the Hollande creature have done this to a mosque and the mullahs within a mosque?
Wonder what the only Catholic leader of note in France, Marine Le Pen thinks of this outrage. France's powers-that-be would rather have a car park instead of a Catholic church. Goes to show you how much hatred of Christians happens to be in France, and only half of it is coming from the Muslims there. You don't believe me? Go visit France and see who really is in power there.
Peter Symonds at WorldSocialistWeb
“Thinking Through the Unthinkable”
RAND Corporation lays out scenarios for US war with China
5 August 2016
A new study by the RAND Corporation titled “War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable” is just the latest think tank paper devoted to assessing a US war against China. The study, commissioned by the US Army, provides further evidence that a war with China is being planned and prepared in the upper echelons of the American military-intelligence apparatus.
That the paper emerges from the RAND Corporation has a particular and sinister significance. Throughout the Cold War, RAND was the premier think tank for “thinking the unthinkable”—a phrase made notorious by RAND’s chief strategist in the 1950s, Herman Kahn. Kahn devoted his macabre book On Thermonuclear War to elaborating a strategy for a “winnable” nuclear war against the Soviet Union.
According to the preface of the new study, released last week, “This research was sponsored by the Office of the Undersecretary of the Army and conducted within the RAND Arroyo Center’s Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program. RAND Arroyo Center, part of the RAND Corporation, is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the United States Army.”....
Clinton: Destroy Syria for Israel
A newly-released Hilary Clinton email confirmed that the Obama administration has deliberately provoked the civil war in Syria as the “best way to help Israel.”
In an indication of her murderous and psychopathic nature, Clinton also wrote that it was the “right thing” to personally threaten Bashar Assad’s family with death.
In the email, released by Wikileaks, then Secretary of State Clinton says that the “best way to help Israel” is to “use force” in Syria to overthrow the government.
The document was one of many unclassified by the US Department of State under case number F-2014-20439, Doc No. C05794498, following the uproar over Clinton’s private email server kept at her house while she served as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013.
Although the Wikileaks transcript dates the email as December 31, 2000, this is an error on their part, as the contents of the email (in particular the reference to May 2012 talks between Iran and the west over its nuclear program in Istanbul) show that the email was in fact sent on December 31, 2012....
Very interesting #FSA Northern Division vid showing lots of T&E equipment being used to fight Gov't forces in South Aleppo. h/t @SCW_Nuggie— Rao Kumar (@RaoKumar747) August 1, 2016
Polly Hughes at CounterPunch
The Nightmare of Rev. Pinkney:
the Scales of Justice No Longer Exist for You and Me
In April 2014, Reverend Edward Pinkney submitted 728 signatures to the Michigan Berrien County Clerk’s office to recall then Mayor James Hightower. The required number of signatures was 393. Upon review, by the clerk’s office, 300 signatures were disqualified, leaving 428 confirmed and certified. With 428 signatures, the requirement was met in excess by 35 signatures. The recall date was set at May 6, 2014.
Then, the nightmare began.
After the recall date was set, Hightower questioned some dates on the petitions and, ultimately, the petitions were handled by multiple individuals until, finally, they were delivered to the Michigan State Police Crime Lab to determine if any dates had been fraudulently altered. This is where things get fuzzy. The crime lab determined that some dates were changed based on a change in ink color and variations in the type of pen that was used. The prosecution, after charging Pinkney with five counts of election forgery of changing five dates on signatures, contended that the reason for the change was to meet the 60-day rule (signatures on petitions dated more than 60 days before they were filed with the county clerk, would be invalid).
The kangaroo court, in Berrien County, Michigan that followed later that year, convicted Pinkney of the five counts as felonies and he was sentenced to serve 2.5 to 10 years in prison.
Fast forward to July 2016, after Pinkney’s legal team has filed multiple appeals for bond and briefs to ....